As I write this, it is almost December 1...and just about that time of year to start wishing everyone Happy Holidays! And Merry Christmas! And time to get into theSpirit of Christmas or so the retailers would have us believe (meaning….break out your wallet!)  

For all you word-lovers out there, I got to thinking about the word ‘spirit’ and what it means, the origin of the word, and ALL the English words that contain the  four letters ‘spir’!   (If you are so inspired, take a look at this link  A truly awe-inspiring list!)

Turns out that the word inspire has its roots in Latin ....‘espiritus’  which translates as breath.  BREATH!  I know breath!  Every yoga teacher knows breath! Wow!Spirit means breath!

The word also means "soul" or "courage." It bears some semantic similarity to the Latin and Greek roots that sprouted "animation" and "psychology", but the etymology doesn't quite work here. So, looking further back in time, the root peis (or speis) comes from Indo-European origins and addresses the sound of rushing air, breathing. 

In some Native American spiritual traditions, the Spirit, or 'Great Spirit', is a term for the Creator.

I’m starting to see a very strong familiarity with Yoga! We often speak of
Yoga as being a “Mind/Body/Spirit” system …. A system by which one can connect these various aspects of self, thereby knowing oneself, and ultimately, unifying self with Universal Spirit or The Divine.  Here’s a partial word picture of Spirit.

In the tradition of yoga, spirit is the word given to our inner-most self. Buddhist thought has it that the spirit enters our body 40 days after conception. That the soul (spirit) exists before conception...and is placed there by The Creator.

In another line of thought, we can then say that the whole process of respiration is a way in which we are continually inspired! If inspire truly means breath, can we then say that we are ‘breathed’ by breath? If we are all breathing (and one would assume that we are!), can we therefore say that we are truly inspired with every breath that we take?! Oh my. I am becoming dispirited with this line of thinking!

For those wishing a partial visual look at the word spirit....(see more in the Visual Thesaurus): (partially missing word at top is ‘emotional state.’ 

Whew. I am uninspired at the moment to go further with this rendering! Further, having said all that...This season let us all conspire to ensure that those near to us, and those far from us, are truly inspired with the true meaning of Christmas Spirit.  

And so, with a glass of spirits in hand, and anticipating a dose of aspirin in the morning,  we wish you a spirited Merry Christmas and the Best Holiday Season Ever!