Your experience of the beauty and perfection of these holidays is colored by your capacity to feel full, deep, unconditional love for yourself. Without this self-love, you will judge yourself based on what you have or have achieved or on your expectations. To live fully and celebrate fully, love yourself fully.

During the end of the year, it is natural to review what you have achieved or to look at how you did in the past months. But in so doing, the result is often a sense of failure that leads to the infamous holiday blues.

Why do so many people get depressed during the holidays? They run a list of goals and tasks that they had set for themselves. When they see that they have not achieved everything, they feel as that they have failed. This turns the Holiday Spirit into self-deprecation.

Now more than ever, with the recession extending into the holidays, we run the risk of falling into those holiday blues because:

• We lost our jobs.
• We have suffered financial set-backs.
• We are on a tighter budget.
• We were not able to realize our goals.
• Some of our loved ones are suffering from the above problems.
• We are still at war and this dampens the holiday spirits, especially if we have been praying or working towards peace or for social change.

Now more than ever it is essential that you flood yourself in self-love and spring a shower of self-love all around you. But how to do it, especially if you are running low on the love bug?

For starters, the gift of self-love cannot be given, but it can be encouraged, nurtured and strengthened.

Today’s recipe for a low-cost holiday firmly planted and blossoming in self love is a visualization that transforms your Empty Hands into Rose Blossoming Hands.

This is a quick, abridged version of the Awaken the Rose visualization, a simple visualization that you can do every day during the holidays. You can give yourself or your loved ones the entire experience, with art and audio meditation recorded by me, at the Holiday Gifts of Self Love. For more information visit

Open your hands, palms up, and look at them as you breathe deeply and slowly.

STEP 1: Acknowledge the lack
See your Empty Hands. See all the things that you failed to do, lost or still lack. Perhaps you see these things sliding off your hands. Perhaps they weigh on the emptiness in your hands, making it heavier. Allow whatever feels more real to you to emerge in the visualization.

STEP 2: Receive the unconditional love from the Great Mother
Now inhale deeply and open your heart and your mind to the Great Mother Creatress. For you, she may be the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit, Mary Magdalene, Kuan Yin, Ochún, Yemayá, Earth Mother or simply the Sacred Feminine. Feel the love that she has for you, the love that brought you into being. Breathe deeply and slowly as you receive her unconditional love. Feel yourself as a drop in her soup of love; an atom in her body. Partake of her divine love.

STEP 3: Feel gratitude and acknowledge the divine design of your life
Acknowledging, receiving and feeling her unconditional love, feel your heart flooded with gratitude. She gave you birth. She has a purpose for you. She gave you all you need to realize this purpose. Your entire life is an act of love of the Great Mother and everything is in perfect divine design. Allow the gratitude and sense of perfection to spread into your hands, heart, mind and body.

STEP 4: Receive the Alchemical Rose and flood your being with love
Now feel a beam of white or pink light descend on your hands. The great mother has deposited her Essence, the Alchemical Rose, in your hands. Feel your hands wrapped in the luminous, fragrant rose of love. Allow that luminous, fragrant rose to ignite your hands with love. Enjoy your Rose Blossoming Hands!

STEP 5: Let it spread
Let that luminous, fragrant rose spread to your heart. Now let it spread to your mind. Let it spread to all of your body. Now let it spread to your Energy Bodies. Let is spread to your loved ones. Let it spread to Earth, bringing love and peace in all corners.

Know without a shadow of a doubt that you are more than your circumstances. Your value is not established by your possessions or your achievements. What you bring to the world and to your loved ones is NOT money or things. What you bring is your unique, sacred presence that expresses your perfect Essence. What you bring is love.

Author's Bio: 

Maria Mar is an author, speaker and ceremonialist poet. She is also a spiritual teacher and an internationally known shaman who inspires women to manifest the life of their dreams. She has designed four Self-love collections for these holidays at