can you imagine…?

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What if Brussels sprouts were square?
What if turkey meat was blue?
What if parsnips tasted of coconut?

Believable things? Maybe, maybe not. But you can imagine them.

What if next Christmas you were more aware of what you do and why?
What if next Christmas you knew your purpose in life, why you are here?
What if next Christmas you understood more about your unconscious beliefs and motivations; what made some things possible and some things hard for you?

What if knowing these things gave you more choice, more freedom, more joy?

Imagine that.

Merry Christmas

image by t1na (deviantart.com)

unselfishly selfish gifting

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Last minute Christmas. It’s that time.

The rush, on the last few days, to find a gift for someone. Maybe you forgot. Maybe you have been busy. Maybe you couldn’t find your first choice gift. Maybe you didn’t think they would buy, but somewhat frustratingly they have, and it’s beautifully wrapped. Maybe you have been given something unexpectedly and feel the need to respond now. Maybe what you bought isn’t suitable. Not enough. Not right.

Christmas is a time for giving, so the saying goes. But is it? Really?

Are we perhaps really being our most selfish at this time? Is it more about our need? Our need to buy a gift that shows we know the person? Or that we care? Or that we didn’t forget? Do we, in point of fact, really give gifts for us? To make us feel good? To satisfy a value or need we have? Maybe we see ourselves as kind, thoughtful, loving, friendly. Perhaps. Or maybe it’s our need to be a friend, to be loved, thought of, our need to belong, to be treated kindly? Perhaps the act of giving makes us feel good in some other way?

Many years ago, when I began coaching, I considered working pro bono or for free. I had received coaching, seen the benefits, and wanted to coach selflessly, for free, so that other human beings might reap the rewards of coaching, enjoying life more, being more themselves, happier, more fulfilled, at peace.

I spoke with my own coach. He pointed out that actually I was doing this because it made me feel good. An act of giving that could literally change people’s lives, was in fact all about me. Selfish. My desire to free people to be at their best, really all about my needs.

He was right of course. It was a key realisation for me.

I wonder now, how much of our behaviour, our decisions, our choices are in fact for us. Even if they are ones of support or giving towards others?

Christmas seems to be a convenient opportunity for us to fulfil this selfish selflessness.

Have a joyous Christmas. Wherever you are, whomever you are with. By all means exchange gifts. The exchange is a bilateral selfish selflessness. Human. Healthy.

The best gift you can receive though, is increased awareness of your self. So reflect. Look inward. Understand and accept your true motivations. Give yourself something special this Christmas.

image by Gretchen Rubin

 

 

is it time to change the baubles?

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Christmas approaches.

You probably have decorations up. At home. In the office. Maybe your house is lit up from top to bottom, with trailing flashing lights, illuminated elves and a ho-ho-ho-ing Father Christmas? Maybe not.

Decorations are a tradition at this time of year. As is the tree. So too Brussels sprouts, parsnips, Christmas pudding, mince pies, giving gifts, time off work, parties, over eating, old films on the television…

Traditions connect us to the past.

As individuals we have traditions too. Ways of being, behaviours, things we say or do. We learned them a long time ago, but they stay with us in the present.

Traditions can be thought of as the passing of customs, behaviours or beliefs from one generation to the next, usually within a specific group. Often they reflect a special significance, a meaning defined by our ancestors, long ago.

So too with our own traditions of custom, belief or behaviour. Except with our own traditions of being, we created the meaning and the significance ourselves. And we passed them down, from our childhood, through our teenage formative years, into our early adulthood, our mid-life (crisis optional) and on into our old age. At an early stage of our lives we decided something had to be so. Probably for good reason. Now we continue to live it. It has become our own personal tradition.

Sometimes we would do well to unpack these. To review them. To notice them. To see if they still serve us well.

Traditions can be good. Reminders of our past. Connections to where we come from. But sometimes they can become unhelpful, inappropriate or even a burden.

Reviewing our traditions is probably something we should all do, at this traditional time of year.

Keep what serves you. Change what doesn’t.