Releasing 2020 with love and thanks

01/12/2020 at 11:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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When my two children were growing up, we used to hold parties around 21stDecember every year, to mark the longest night and to celebrate the return of longer days in the seasonal calendar. Some years we’d just hold a small family event. Other years we would invite 40 or so people and cater with big, easy pans of cheese and onion flan, parsnip and potato mash and salad, all washed down with local wines, beers and cordials. After supper we’d step outside for a simple ritual that had evolved with the help of a stoneware bowl – we’d make a tiny fire of handwritten notes on which we’d symbolically let go of the past in order to make room for the new.

Each person would quietly write down something they were ready to let go of from the previous year. We’d write, “According to the highest good of all concerned I now let go of (fill in the blank) with love and thanks.”  Then we’d scrunch the paper up and deposit it in the bowl. When all the notes had been gathered, everyone watched the flames. It was a good way to declutter mind and heart. After all, who needs to carry old emotional baggage into Christmas and the New Year?

Thankful, optimism, support

01/02/2013 at 5:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments
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purseThis is a special bag: a beaded evening purse; handed down through the generations of my family. My mother gave it to me one day last December.

I typed out a list of positive, uplifting words, and printed several copies on card, then cut them up and popped them in the bag. During the Solstice, I invited many people, upwards of 80, to take a word out of the bag and keep it with them as guidance for the year ahead.

During the Solstice get-togethers I drew a total of  three words for myself: ‘Thankful’, ‘Optimism’ and ‘Support’. I looked at them, felt their specialness, then put them down and forgot about them.

January came, with snows, then wind and rain. There were winter bugs in my household, which meant I didn’t get to the gym, or go walking, or swimming. I reduced my daily yoga… gradually, imperceptibly, I was putting my wellbeing on hold. This is never a good idea, I know. But still, it happened.

And then, just yesterday, I found my three words once more: ‘Thankful’, ‘Support’ and ‘Optimism’. I hugged them like old friends. How could I have forgotten them?  The truth is, I need those words every day. Each word is a tiny, effective dose of wellbeing.

If you would like me to draw a word for you out of the bag, just ask, and I’ll be happy to send you your own little dose of wellbeing.

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