It’s fast approaching winter, the familiar Christmas TV adverts are pointing the way to the fun and cheer of a joyous festive season.
Scenes of family time and fun with not a care in the world…but where are you in all of this? Does this fill you with hope or despair at yet another Christmas arriving, meaning stress and overcrowded shopping centres.
Christmas can present a mixed bag of emotions as you reflect on the year gone by. What were the highs and lows? Who is in your life now and who has drifted away? Christmas is essentially about love and togetherness with those that mean the most to you. For me, it always serves to remind me about the importance of my journey in life and about taking time to have gratitude for everything that is wonderful, right down to the miracle of each breath that keeps me alive. Christmas is time for me to slow down and take that time to rest and just be. Bliss!
Of all the journeys in life your own is the most important but how much time do you actually spend in the moment, present in what you are doing and who you are with? Our minds love to mull over the past moments and plan for the future and so we constantly live in the past and future, rarely in the now.
How do you see yourself right now as Christmas is looming? Have you powered through the year and can’t wait to “bring it on” or are you war torn from the twists and turns of the past year and in dire need of R & R and a stiff Advocaat? And how much love do you have inside of you? What’s your automatic reaction to that statement? Your reserves may be low but that is only a perception. We are made of love through and through and can’t run out. Our experiences may have hardened us a little or sent us running for the hills but dig deep and you will find what you were born with… pureness of heart. Everyone has it in abundance but life does have a habit of testing that reserve to the limit!
I won’t give you a heap of techniques to practice on the art of being present and how to fill your love tanks but would just invite you to spend some time over Christmas being with you and being present, in the moment, in the now. Observe what you are giving out and how your interactions with others affects the moment. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “doing” of life. Working, nurturing the children, being a good friend; the list is endless and then to add to the wobbling pile, Christmas preparations, it can seem like a step too far… STOP! Just for a while be with you and just feel how it feels. Are you being negative or positive and what are the stories that your mind is plaguing you with over and over? Being in the moment and actually noticing it, can have a massive calming effect. It allows a slowing down of the bodily senses and brain. The moment is often a very still place.
Take a look at those around you and maybe you will see in them things you haven’t noticed before. I did just that, the other day, while sitting in the kitchen with my mother. She was talking about a friend who is in trouble and in my “present” mode I saw her so much more clearly than when I normally only lend an ear. The way her hair curls around her face, the way her passion and caring about her friend affected the way she spoke. Mum became new in an instant and I thought, wow, I hadn’t noticed that before! I also thought about how little we have quality moments with ourselves and others these days. You may live with other people but how much, if any of that time, is actually in the moment?
Another important factor of being in the now is being present in your body. Have you said hello to your body lately? Minds have the annoying habit of running your life and bodies usually spend their time trying to catch up. I went to an Ayurvedic retreat in India for a month in 2007 and had the great fortune to meet Tom my now dear friend. During his detox journey one day he sat and told me, with tears streaming down his face, how for the first time in all his 41 years he had never connected with this body like he had that week. It was a touching moment. Our body is the home of our soul and the only planetary vehicle we have, so practise being present so you can hear its cry for attention.
If your year has seen some harrowing and emotional times and you just want to dump all those painful thoughts, bring yourself into the now and warm yourself with the following thoughts…
“You are love, let the natural you shine”
“Be who you really are, that is where the most beauty lies”
“When you love you, so will everyone around you”
“You are the shining star on top of the tree this Christmas. Honour yourself for learning and growing. Your best is trying to happen”
“Keep being love and it will find you”
Have a safe and joyous Christmas everyone.