Christmas is a busy time of preparations. The year is wrapping up, work projects are being finished, the kids are almost on holidays. Family will be visiting, there’s cooking and shopping and cleaning to be done. Travel plans to make. It can be hectic to say the least!
In the middle of all these goings on, especially the hazy, lazy week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, it’s also a great time to look back over the past year and reflect on all that’s happened: progress made, losses and heart ache, fun times and laughs, quiet moments. Throughout the year we can be so focused on where we’re going and what’s next on the list that we don’t give ourselves the chance to acknowledge all we’ve achieved. Or to recognise the mental and physical break we so desperately need.
Over this Christmas and New Year period, take some time to reflect on the year gone by. You might like to write about it in a journal – getting stuff out of your head and onto paper can be so powerful and bring home so many ah-ha moments and insights. Sometimes by simply making a list of all you’ve done – what worked and what didn’t, what was fantastic and what was simply awful – puts life in perspective. You can make better decisions about what you’d like to drop from your life and what you’d like to build on.
Don’t be hard on yourself – go about your reflection with kindness and compassion for yourself and those around you. Everyone does the best they can with what they have and know at the time – including you!
What did you love about this year?
What went really well?
What didn’t go so good? What would you like to let go of and not take into 2020?
What would you like to acknowledge yourself for?
This Christmas – celebrate you and all that you’ve done this year.
Have a great week, and a beautiful Christmas.
Gratitude is a symbol of hope, it’s a way of finding a spark of light in the down times, and it’s a pathway to heart connection. I love all that it stands for, but I think sometimes in our commercial environment gratitude can become a platitude…unless you dip below the superficial surface, and actively apply gratitude as a tool for personal growth.
What do you want?
When I ask this question of a client she often doesn’t have a lot to say to start with because she doesn’t know the answer. All she knows, or all that she’s been focusing on, is what she doesn’t want. ‘I don’t know…I just know I don’t want ‘this’ anymore’, is a common response I hear. What you may not realise is, knowing what you don’t want is often a great place to start.
How? Well, when you stop and take the time to describe what ‘this’ is, you’re forced you to put words around your thoughts and this makes them tangible and manageable. (Yay! Less confusion!). From here you can start to see patterns about what’s missing in different parts of your life, and once you understand the problem you can start to find a solution. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Let’s just start with the first questions:
What don’t you want in your life? What are you unhappy about or dissatisfied with?
Write down your answers to these questions, then have a look over your list. Are there any patterns or themes emerging? What’s missing from your life?
What are you grateful for?
Did you know gratitude gives you a direct link to what you enjoy about your life, on a heart space level? Knowing what you’re grateful for tells you what you want more of, and tells you want you delight in connecting with.
It’s so easy to go through life and say ‘yes, yes, of course I’m grateful for all I have’ – but do you ever actually name those things? Do you ever sit in that space of gratitude and connect with it? When you name what you’re grateful for and connect with the feeling it brings, you give it an opportunity to exist in your life – and in your heart. A dismissive ‘of course I’m grateful for it’ is a head-space, superficial lip-service. It’s like giving a friend a hug while you’re thinking about your shopping list.
Instead, why not take the moment to drop into your heart and connect with what you’re grateful for, and the feeling that gratitude brings you? Just like writing about what you don’t want, writing down what you’re grateful for makes it a tangible thing, something you now consciously notice. And, when you can see on paper what you’re grateful for, you can start to see patterns in what you love about your life and what you would like more of.
So, what are you grateful for? Write it down.
Now, take a look over what you’ve written. Are there any patterns or themes emerging in this list? What would you like more of in your life?
Gratitude helps you make decisions
Tapping into gratitude helps you become aware of the fairy lights in your life, the parts that twinkle at you more brightly. With this new awareness comes insights into what you want, what you enjoy, and what’s important to you. And when you know that, your life direction becomes clearer, decisions become easier, and your life can start to take shape.
On the other hand, it can also raise a whole lot of new questions, like ‘OMG, I just realised how much my life is nothing like what I want, so now what?’. If this is you, just take a big breath, right now, and congratulate yourself on your new awareness! It’s only when you understand the problem that you can start to make changes. From here, you can start to map out what you DO want and where you want to go, and move in that direction one step at a time. What you do next is your choice. What do you want? Go after it. You can do this!
Have a great week!
Life experience has taught me a lot about change - its messiness and my desire to circumnavigate it in a more efficient way. In this blog I share my experience so you too can survive change with a smile on your face!