CHRISTMAS PRESENT: MAPS, JOURNEYS & SIGNPOSTS
Charles Dickens was onto something when he wrote, in 'A Christmas Carol', about the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-to-Come.
There is a timeless quality to the festive season which unravels the moments of our lives like a map, showing us what has been, what is, and what is still to come.
Christmas comes but once a year, and we can get lost in all the flashing fairy-lights, yards of wrapping paper and festive songs on repeat.
Yet the memories of this single day span across our whole life, drawing together a flowing map of traditions, moments and people.
We can map our changing lives in the remembrance of this one day - familiar faces, faces that blew in and out of our lives, faces we may never see again.
In an instant, we can recall family dynamics, relationships and the culture of our childhood.
This is why Christmas day can spark tensions as we are put into a room with relatives who each play the roles assigned to them in their youth.
Family, though, can be the greatest blessing - in spite of the heady cocktail that is created when all are mixed together under one roof for hours!
Times change. We may change. But the spirit of Christmas does not.
The 25th December heralds a spark of light in the darkness and stokes the warmth of love - both of others and ourselves.
If we fan the flame of this light throughout the year, we will keep the fire burning that always leads us home...
If we allow ourselves to be still, we give ourselves the greatest gift of all: the gift of presence, of embodying the now and all its infinite possibilities.
If we take a moment of peace and reflection, we see where we started our journey from at the beginning of the year.
We see where we have been as we journeyed through the twists and turns in the road.
Then we see, even without a crystal ball, the direction we are headed in - unless we take stock, and subtly or dramatically change our course.
As Philip Larkin writes, 'Where can we live but days?'
Let us not forget, in a blur of festive busy-ness, the haze of happy moments we have lived these past 12 months. And not all happy, either. Some deeply sad, but all with a lesson tucked inside, like the copperplate message in a Christmas card.
Let us look for the signposts that point us in the direction of where we next need to go.
Unfold your map and look at your journey, not just this year, but across all the years of your life...
What have been your moments of greatest joy? When have you been the most richly fulfilled? Which areas have you made progress in? Where do you need to create stronger boundaries - with people, places, and even with yourself? What limiting beliefs or negative self-talk can you strike from your map?
Much like the Christmas Spirit, your spirit is an energy. Use it wisely on the people, places and things closest to your heart.
And as we stand at the threshold of this brave New Year, let's focus our mind on dreams and what is still to come.
Perhaps the greatest gift of Christmas is that it opens us up to our loving, timeless nature.
You are an infinite being, living in an infinite universe, with infinite potential.
Instead, set intentions.
Imagine and feel your way into them.
And get ready to step into a life aligned with intention in 2020.