Last time I wrote ~ way back in November ~ I had just commenced a ‘Rock the Holidays Challenge’, in an attempt to alter my negative perception of this time of year.
So, what happened? Why haven’t I posted any updates at all during the past seven weeks? How is it all working out for me? Well…
As part of my strategy, I signed up for an on~line Meditation course, with Deepak Chopra, focusing on different aspects of ‘Abundance’ for 21 days. Each meditation was streamed for ten days after it had been posted, so it actually took over a month to listen, meditate and work through the prompts in the accompanying journal. Every morning I rose while it was still dark, lit a candle and joss stick, settled into my comfy old chair and plugged myself into my iPad.
I honestly didn’t think I was doing that well. During the first few days I was swamped by uncomfortable emotions ~ fear, anger, self~pity, sorrow… But, committed to laying the ghosts of Christmas Past, I persevered ~ concentrating on my breathing and the mantra, rather than the random worries crowding my mind as soon as I attempted to still it. I became impatient with myself ~ surely it shouldn’t be this difficult to relax and think of nothing?
On Day 5 something moved me to tears ~ completely out of the blue ~ and I began to feel better. Less concerned about doing it perfectly, I just got on with it: observing when my focus wandered and gently herding it back. Answering the probing questions in my journal as thoughtfully as I could brought up interesting realisations and, although I can recall only a few occasions when I successfully entered the blissful Alpha state, that seems to have been enough.
My head feels empty and I can no longer read for long, let alone write! Hence the long blog silence. I have been motivated to knit and crochet, though, ~ I’ll write about that soon, on Tao of Scrumble, (where I haven’t posted anything for months!) I was a little ‘spacey’ for a while but that’s settling and my thinking is becoming clearer. I’ve found myself communicating more confidently, noticing that colours seem more vibrant and feeling generally more lighthearted.
On Thursday morning I discovered that my attitude towards the once~dreaded ‘Festive Season’ has changed. I went shopping and actively enjoyed it ~ browsing, choosing gifts and soaking up the atmosphere without a trace of the sadness and regret that used to accompany me. I exchanged wry comments with sales assistants and other shoppers and even sprayed on a sample of the perfume my mother used to buy me every year, (which I haven’t worn since she died.) This memorable scent didn’t make me sad, like I’d feared it would. But smelling the one that Martin gave me on our first Christmas together brought back happy memories of that enchanting time. My perspective has shifted!
It would appear that my efforts to get to grips with my annual ‘winter blues’ have paid off ~ I’ve worked out what’s significant to me. I don’t have to throw myself into a flurry of activity to cover up deep~seated grief as my poor mother used to, bless her. And actually, now I come to think of it, we shared plenty of good times, too.
I’ve come to terms with the past and I’m free to spend my Winter Holiday in peaceful ways that please me, no matter what outworn custom and the media dictate. I prefer more intimate gatherings to noisy parties and value some time alone, to pursue my meditative and creative interests.
So, I’m looking forward to relaxing at home with The Artist, snacking on gourmet finger~food and chocolate, instead of cooking up a storm. We’re off to Waitrose in a minute to see what they have to offer.
We also plan to visit family on the mainland at the end of the week and I’m looking forward to that, too. My loved ones and I can begin new, happy traditions to pass down to the next generation.
This year I’m totally rocking the holidays ~ in my own unique way.
I trust that you are too! 🙂