40 Responses to “Give Yourself the Ultimate Gift: You”


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  1. Hi Melissa and Katie,

    I love the idea of this guest post gift swap!

    While you say that: “Because behind the woman that’s trying to do it all is that beautiful, pure self”, I think your wisdom equally applies to men too. Unlocking true potential is a worthy goal, no matter one’s gender.

    We can be brainwashed into believing it’s selfish to focus on ourselves, and that giving our time, efforts and energy to others is preferable.

    But, giving away too much leaves us with little for our personal benefit. Sure, there’s a fine balance to strike between selfishness and selflessness… and we often allow it to get out of kilter. Then, everyone suffers.

    Spending quality time on yourself is priceless – a gift that money can’t buy (or charge to the credit card!)

  2. Melissa and Katie:
    Rocking post! Full on. Thank you Melissa for bringing home so many of the things I wrestle with. Feels good to know like minds are out there in the blogosphere. I am printing this post, it’s one of the strongest ones I have ever read. It REALLY speaks to me.
    Katie, thanks for being such a tremendously giving and sensitive person. Happy holidays, keep bringing the good stuff.

  3. Hi Scott,
    Thank you for unwrapping our gifts. :-)

    You bring up a good point about the balance between selfishness and selflessness. That is so true! Self development can be a tricky quest. Luckily, my loved ones helped keep me a clear path … And if I fell, they were there beside me.

    In the end, developing myself has led to many family improvements. So even if some of the changes seemed for “myself” – they encompassed everyone around me, too.

  4. Hi Elana,
    I’m thrilled you printed the post. That’s one of the best compliments you could ever give, hands down.

    Your words give me momentum. So nice to meet a kindred spirit.


  5. Hi Melissa!
    Thanks for the positivity!I found this post really refreshing. Christmas should not be about what we want, but what we already have & are greatfull for. I love your idea of the ultimate gift. It sounds like it all boils down to self-love! How can we go wrong with that!! Thanks!


  6. Melissa, you and Katie are right on target with your posts. It is time to give the gift of ourselves and our love for one another. And, as I’ve already mentioned in a recent post of mine, my 1st resolution for 2011 is to be kinder to myself!

  7. Hi Melissa,
    When I began the move towards living more simply, I worried about how to make my family get with the program as well. It turns out that all I needed to do was focus on living my own passions and my family began to follow by example. It’s a beautiful thing when you’re in your “right place” and things just fall into place around you! Thank you for this beautiful gift reminder that we MUST focus on ourselves first if we are to ultimately bring happiness to those around us. Happy holidays! :-)

  8. You are absolutely right. I didn’t really want to receive any gifts this year. I have also had a year of change. The first 6 months were grueling and the second 6 months have been for healing and introspection. I will enter 2011 as a new person, a different person than 12 months ago. Last year I was but a shell hidden behind a mask to hide the pain. I will greet 2011 as a new person on her way to wholeness!
    Great post Melissa!

  9. Melissa this rocks! You’ve had quite an amazing year. Thank you for leading my example it’s brings it home on a deeper level when we know someone did it – it reminds that we can to. Like you say, “Even if she’s spent, distracted, pressured and worn out … trust me. She believes you can do it.” – such a wonderful post

  10. Hi Elana, I’m so glad you connected with Melissa. She’s a beautiful, thoughtful blogger. And, Melissa if you haven’t been over to Elana’s blog http://flyintheface.wordpress.com you must! She’s beyond fabulous. Two of my favourite gals.

  11. Funny you say this, Scott, because Melissa was concerned she might sound like she was bragging, but I think her genuine nature shines through in this post and illustrates how focusing on yourself can be a gift to others, not selfish. And yep, this applies to men and women for sure. Thanks for stopping by Scott.

  12. Melissa,
    This was very inspirational. Reading that you payed off debt warms this financial planner’s heart. Quitting your day job to follow you bliss and spend more time with your kids must have been a dream come true. Someday…..me too. But – the meteorite? Yikes! That’s a hard act to follow!

    You had a fantastic year with many awesome accomplishments. I hope 2011 brings you many more!

  13. Exactly! Well said, Dandy.
    Thanks for adding your own positivity to this post.

  14. That’s a wonderful goal, Barbara. Let me know how it goes!

  15. Hi Tisha,
    I’ve learned that so many times this year – focus on what you can control (AKA yourself) and you will find incredible joy.
    Happy holidays to you, too!

  16. Hi Bernice,
    Sounds like your pure self has already come to the surface.
    Wishing you the best in 2011,

  17. Thank you, Aileen. Your comment really means a lot.
    Be well and happy holidays.

  18. Same to you, Angela!

    I have no doubt you will keep making your dreams come true.

  19. Melissa,

    This is beautiful. What an amazing year you have had! This is indeed the ultimate gift. That’s exactly where I am too and so happy to be there. Thanks for the kick in the…

  20. Outstanding, Melissa! I love the way you describe finding YOU. Your post also got me thinking about the lost part of me. I found ME many years ago and turned my life upside down to create an authentic path. Somehow, though, in the last few years, I got lost again.

    Do you ever receive an awesome gift that you use and use and then you misplace it and forget you had it? I think that’s what I did with the best part of me. I’m now on a path to reclaim me, and your post validates that. Thank you!

  21. Hi Melissa,
    I smile each time I see your photo. It’s memorable that’s for sure.

    I gave up wanting or needing gifts a long time ago. What was huge for hubs and I was telling my four adult daughters (in their mid 30’s) we were going to stop gifting them at Christmas and we hoped they would stop purchasing gifts for us. This will be our second year. We continue to gift our three grandchildren but have cut back there as well. Now the best gifts of love, compassion and joy are at the forefront of our holidays. Isn’t life grand?

  22. Oh and congratulations on your major and life changing changes.

  23. We do exchange gifts, and I try to shop for meaningful gifts. Something that describes that person’s passions and interests. Or, something they may not give themselves, because they were giving to someone else. I also make a lot of photo gifts. I see it as giving the gift of a memory that lasts a lifetime :)

    So, I’m not ready to cross all gifts off that money can buy. But, I am giving myself a gift of 10 days off from work for Christmas. I have 5 hours to go…

    Thank you for the post Melissa. It is inspiring, motivating, and uplifting.

  24. I can definitely relate to this. We are so conditioned by society to seek others approval and love, but none of that can come if we don’t approve and love ourselves first.

  25. Really good point Katie. Sometimes by being our best self we can be an inspiration to others. I also believe we can’t truly make others happy until we ourselves are happy.

    You can’t give something that you don’t have. :)

  26. Hi Steven … you are right, and it often shows when we try to give advice that we’re not really living. That’s what I love about Melissa – she lives it and shares her wisdom from having walked the walk. Thanks for your comments, Steven.

  27. Anytime, Sandra. :-) Thanks for your words of encouragement!

  28. Hi Ande,
    I know that’s happened to me before. I’m cheering you on down the path to reclaim YOU. Much love for stopping by and giving me momentum.

  29. That’s wonderful, Tess. And thanks for the comment on my photo. I have thee best local photography. He rocks.

    I’m so glad we connected! I’ll be sure to stay in touch.

  30. That is so great! This is the first year I get to take MANY days off during Christmas. I am so excited. Not quite counting down the hours, but still looking forward to that gift to myself.

    Enjoy YOUR gift.

  31. Very true, Steven. It really is the ultimate gift to yourself.
    Thanks for adding to the conversation here.

  32. I definitely agree with the minimalism idea.

    I have been de-junking- it is so freeing….I feel like I can BREATHE better…

    It’s weird.

    I also gave up Girl Scouts- hated to do it, but all the negativity associated with assistant leaders who stop showing up to meetings, and girls who would rather text their friends than do anything else…..it was bringing me down. And all the planning for meetings and going to meetings…I have so much more time now.

    I also gave all of my goats to a friend…I just don’t have time to feed, clean barns, etc….for pets. If I was making money off them it would be different. They are at a friends so I can see them now and then.

    Ok, so I have started a book here…deep subject :-)

  33. Hi Carolee,
    I know how it can be with certain activities. Just because other people like them doesn’t mean you will. It’s important to be true to yourself!

    You’re doing a great job simplifying your life. I’m cheering you on!

  34. Hi Katie and Melissa!
    I also feel that this year I gave myself the ultimate gift. I gave myself permission to follow my dreams and design my life the way I always wanted it to be. I created jobs that I loved and followed my passions in every activity I choose.
    Thanks for this beautiful post. Loving blessigs!

  35. Hi Melissa – I enjoyed reading this post even though it is nearly June! I think the message applies at any time of year, in any point in life. I have recently chosen to give myself the ultimate gift and it feels great.

    Katie – your most recent post about taking chances and scaring yourself makes a great connection to this archive.

    Thanks as always for the big ideas!