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And so this is Christmas

image from creationinateapot.com       The Holly and the Ivy

False friendship, like the ivy, decays and ruins the walls it embraces; but true friendship gives new life and animation to the object it supports Richard Burton
And so this is Christmas

There is a certain element of “Why are you doing this?” It’s a question that surges through my mind often at midnight. Most people, or many people, are already in bed or at least preparing for bed. Their day is almost over and they are calm, relaxed and settled for the night. It is time to get into the rest and healing mode and allow our body to repair and recharge for the next day.

So I ask myself once again, why am I sitting here at this time of night?  The answer is fairly simple.

And so this is Christmas

Am I tired? – Well yes I am. It’s been a big day. In fact it’s been a five big days for me, and I struggle with having to accept the reality of that. After all, Christmas only comes once a year. This year my husband did much of the physical work getting ready for the big day. In fact we both shared the work of readying the turkey. What I couldn’t manage I instructed him on what to do. Not being able to do it all myself was irritating.  I’m sure it was quite trying for him too!

And so this is Christmas – Christmas Day

Technically, Christmas Day should have been relatively easy going as we were spending the day alone. There was neither family nor friends calling in that day, we were a duo of orphans for the day. Yet somehow, the very fact that it was Christmas, the expectations I had of the day, made it a day where, by days end I was feeling drained. Happy but none the less drained. I already know that this had to do with the change in my routine of many decades (oh I’m so ancient!) transitioning into a new phase. It’s something I have to work on and it is already part of my plan for 2014.

And so this is Christmas – Boxing Day

Boxing Day was a special day; my son and his girlfriend came down to spend it with us. Once again my husband did much of the work, under supervision, but by the end of the day I was exhausted. I had a beautiful day but I drastically under estimated how I was going to respond to the physical part of the day. From spending whenever I needed to resting, to spending all the day talking, joking and reminiscing. Including preparing, with help, the lunch, and afterwards, the clean-up, it was a surprisingly big change. Whilst being really happy to see them I was truly disappointed that I hadn’t coped better. Reality can be a harsh task master or task mistress.

And so this is Christmas – Friday

Hence, Friday was a mandatory day of rest. It had been decided beforehand when we realised my daughter would be unable to get down for Boxing Day and due to work pressures we agreed to travel up to Brisbane to see her. Once again I underestimated how much the mere trip would tire me. I find it frustrating, aggravating and annoying, and I have yet to come to terms with those feelings. We had a lovely lunch, more talk, laughter, reminiscing, and I also got to play with our dogs. One was mine but they have both been together since puppies and, since it would have been too difficult on the dogs, or was it on Natalie, she ended up with both dogs.  It was wonderful and nostalgic at the same time seeing them again. It is astounding how draining the emotions can be, and yet eliminating them reduces the humanity of a person. I’ll stick with emotions and learn how to deal with these things in the coming year.

So this evening I’m feeling ‘fried’.  The aches and pains are back and the brain fog is starting to creep from the corners of my mind with each passing minute. I knew it was going to happen when we arrived home and I could feel the stiffness as I tried to get out of the car.

And so this is Christmas – Today

I mentioned in an earlier post, “I’m a work in progress” and I accept that I am a spirit having a human existence. All these physical and emotional knots are things I have to learn to deal with. That’s not to say they have to be easy, nor even hard, they simply are to be learned. I have time, plenty of time in which to learn these things. There will be days when I wish I didn’t have to learn them, days when I wish it would all go away. I’m hopeful there will be days when I can sail through these lessons with equanimity and aplomb, but I have a way to go yet before I reach that point.

And so this is Christmas

quote by Audrey Hepburn

For now, I’m doing the best I can. I hope I see things realistically, without rose coloured glasses and without too much of the ‘poor me’ syndrome which I despise.  No, I don’t like this situation but I have to learn to deal with it, without becoming a psychoanalysing “Dr Phil”, and without feeling sorry for myself at every twist and turn. A little is okay, but too much is…. Well it’s too much. I’m sure my husband will let me know if I go too far down that track.

So, I’m hoping everyone has enjoyed the festive season thus far and is gearing up for New Year if they are going to be ‘doing it’. Personally I think I’ll be spending it quietly with my cards and books. There is a New Moon on the 1st of January and I will most probably get myself ready for that. It’s something my husband and I look forward to. That’s the plan at this point in time. You can have a drink for me.

Blessings.  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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“Trying to plan for the future without knowing the past is like trying to plant cut flowers.”
David Boorstin

Christmas Traditions

Christmas traditions come in all shapes and sizes. There are those who celebrate on Christmas Eve, celebrations on Christmas Day and yet others on Boxing Day. There are religious traditions and non-religious traditions. What they all have in common is family, or if not family, the gathering together of people. For me, Christmas has always meant family, together, sharing, laughing and having a good time, and for the most part I have been very fortunate.

Christmas has always been a time when people gather together and it has been a time when people try to extend a hand in friendship to others, especially those who have little. It is beautiful offering a hot meal (in cold countries) and something else in hotter climes to those who have little or nothing. The gratitude is palpable and makes the effort worthwhile. To me it’s one of the Christmas Traditions that are worth keeping.

Christmas Traditions

image from http://www.smh.com.au                                   The Salvos helping hand

This year has been a year of change for me. All my previously held family Christmas Traditions have been changed and I’m finding it difficult to adapt quite so easily.  For the first time my husband and I had Christmas Day alone, just the two of us. After cooking Christmas dinner for my family for over three decades, it felt – not quite right, as if I was slightly out of sync with the way things should have been.

We spoke to our respective families, those who would or could. Such is family life. My son and his girlfriend had the Boxing Day spread with us and it was a wonderful day. My daughter we spend the day with on Saturday. Yet, the change to my ‘Christmas Traditions’ feels a little alien.

I find myself feeling ashamed by my thoughts. I have so much more than some. Even though things have changed I still have my family. They care enough to spend time with us and laughing over Christmas’ past.  This is what Christmas Traditions are all about.

I think of the families separated by distance and cannot be together. I think of the soldiers in other

Christmas Traditions

image from kindnessblog.com

countries who cannot be with their families and I think of the people on the street who have nowhere to go. I think of so many things and wonder what has made the difference so pronounced.

Since I start to reflect on the past year once Boxing Day winds down, I look at how the year has progressed and how I have changed. It sounds a little ridiculous to say I had refused to acknowledge I was ill, but that has been truer than I really care to admit. I have fought it, tried by denying it, to make it go away or have less impact and, as a consequence, paid the price. I have reached a point, where I can no longer deny the truth. I now have to be realistic and balance out the various aspects of my life.

By no means is this giving in. As 2013 draws to a close it is time to review everything which has occurred this year. There is time to look at the year and take what has worked well and expand on it; take what has worked sometimes and either improve on it or change it; and those things which have not worked, they need to be looked at and ‘tossed out’ if necessary.  Time to start new Christmas Traditions!

Christmas Traditions

image from megayachtnews.com

It is only by reviewing the year realistically that I can make 2014 a better year. That means taking the good and making it better and getting rid of what has failed.  It’s not simply a case of making “New Year’s Resolutions” because they rarely last long enough to be effective. Rather it is this review process which promotes growth in a positive fashion.

By being willing to throw out those things which are not working I am giving the Universe space to allow those things I am planning, room to grow. My “Life Change Program” has a fifteen point review for me to look at. There are questions which help me to hone in on the successes or the not quite successes, to the things which simply didn’t work. I will use it to make my plan for 2014 so that when the year begins I will have my blueprint ready.

I am going to factor in my health this time, healing time, work time, fun time, anything which will help make 2014 a brilliant year, because, the alignment of the stars tells us that it will be a super year if you are ready to make the most of it.  Five days of planning, for my husband and me individually and together, as a couple and for business. Everything we need to have a fabulous and successful year. Then look out 2014, here I come!

Blessings for a bright year

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson  2013

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Spirit of Christmas

image from http://www.josephinewall.co.uk “Snow Flake” #spirit of Christmas

“Christmas, when observed with the right spirit, still has the power to call miracles from Heaven to Earth.”
Richelle E. Goodrich,   Smile Anyway

Spirit of Christmas

I’ve let myself down this year. More than this I’ve let everyone else down. I lost the spirit of Christmas.  After meditating for a long time to gain some perspective, some equanimity to look at everything I’ve made some remarkable discoveries.

  • As well as an existing back/neck problem which has seen me ‘confined’ for long periods I finally discovered:
  • I have Lyme disease and a host of companion diseases to confront.
  • From being “flat on my back” from the injury now I’m “flat on my back” from the medication, most of the time
  • I have been challenged to re-define my approach to the spirit of Christmas
Spirit of Christmas

image from caixinhadepirlimpimpim.blogspot.com

I found that I had allowed my existing beliefs about who and what I am, my beliefs about “how” Christmas should be and my role in it, the very spirit of Christmas, to push me into a position where I was severely depressed because I could not meet these expectations. What was more devastating was that I allowed this to almost ruin Christmas this year.

Spirit of Christmas

image from http://www.superstock.co Remember – if you were naughty you got coal in your stocking?

I have found, with the help and support from my husband and some very dear friends that this does not have to be my reality at all. The spirit of Christmas which is so important to me is still alive within me. Whilst this may sound such a simple thing it is, in itself, incredibly profound.  Anything which alters your perception in such a manner is life changing, if you allow it to be.

I found:

  • I have pain, at times intense and unremitting pain, but it does not define me, it is not ME
  • I have some nasty bugs running my internal programs but they do not define me, they are not ME
  • The lack of support for the spirit of Christmas I have always held as a family tradition is not defined by the presence of others, they are not ME

Most importantly I have found that:

  • I am a unique spiritual being having a human existence, my spirituality is not affected by any pain I might suffer, I am ME
  • My unique spiritual  being is not the zillion bugs attacking my human body because I am ME     and
  • It is my spiritual being which creates the magic, joy and belief in the Spirit of Christmas because I am ME

Such a simple and profound statement: I am ME.

Knowing who and what you are, is something which people search for their entire life. I have not found the full scope of Who, and What I Am, but I am content that I have found the ME who is here, right now.

I have always known and accepted I was a “work in progress” since that is the purpose of my spiritual presence here. I simply forgot that changes in the lives around me, which affected my own life, did not change my purpose. I had to learn how to adapt to those changes, to learn something new perhaps, but I retained the essence of who I am. I can retain the spirit of Christmas within me.

I am so grateful that this incredible appreciation has arrived now.  I have been struggling with my meditation but today I found it was there all along.  I have welcomed it back with so much happiness that it feels as though a great light has been re-lit and a beacon now shines in the place of the darkness the depression had enveloped me in.

Spirit of Christmas
“Beacon of Light” walking into sunshine  Spirit of Christmas
  • I am celebrating Christmas Day with my husband, our first alone together and it is going to be uniquely special because we are together.
  • I am celebrating Boxing Day with my son and his girlfriend, a first, which is another uniquely special occasion.
  • I will see my daughter when I can before New Year’s Eve, and I am grateful I can see her then. Whilst she cannot be here “at Christmas” she is here in spirit, in my heart, which is all I need at the moment.
  • Most importantly, my parents, Mum and Dad, will be here in spirit. I miss them more each year but I now know, beyond any doubt, that they will be with me as I sit at my dinner table with my husband eating our Christmas dinner.
  • In all of these and many more the spirit of Christmas I rejoice in is alive and well within me.

It may be the first time I have been ‘alone’ on Christmas Day but it will also be the first time that I have been able to put aside the crushing loneliness their absence brought – even if it is just a little. It makes it a little easier not to have my family physically with me at Christmas when I have always believed that family and the spirit of Christmas were synonymous with each other. I have no idea when or why that changed but since it has and I cannot turn back the clock, I have to “move with the times”.

As the saying goes, “life goes on”, and it does, whether we will it so or not. Whether it hurts or not, life always goes on. It is a spiritual lesson our human selves must accept. When we do, life isn’t as bad, even if just by a little.

Whilst my family may be moving in other directions, as their lives change, then so has mine. Now I have a wonderful and loving husband who spoils me, not just on Christmas Day but every day. As our love grows it encompasses all the changes which occur.  Our spirit of Christmas is alive and growing each year.

Spirit of Christmas

image from twu.ca

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
Bob Hope

When so much seemed to have been taken away I looked and saw that I have so much to be grateful for, a family who are strong and capable individuals, who care enough to want to be around, and a husband whose love will wrap me round and always keep me safe and warm.

The Spirit of Christmas – what a wonderful thing to be grateful for,  I know I am. I hope you are too!

Blessings for a wonderful Christmas with the Spirit of Christmas alive in your own hearts.

Merry Christmas,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson, 2013

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Day by day

image from futureofcio.blogspot.com  Happiness is enlightenment and blessings.

~

 “From a mind filled with infinite love comes the power to create infinite possibilities. We have the power to think in ways that reflect and attract all the love in the world. Such thinking is called enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a process we work toward, but a choice available to us in any instant.”
Marianne Williamson, The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles

~

Day by Day, my reality had been the same. The way this morning began I wondered if I was going to make it with any degree of equanimity. For several days now I’ve been troubled with an annoying pain in my left arm. When I say arm I’m not being very accurate, it actually feels as though my entire shoulder-blade through to my fingertips is being crushed under a tonne of rocks. Enlightenment seemed a long way away.

Even after the pain has subsided, how strange to use a word like that when we also talk about the ‘area subsiding after an earthquake’, my entire arm feels numb and somewhat uncoordinated. It has made doing anything a challenge. Day by Day I hope that giving myself a rest I would feel better the next day. It felt strange not having a blog ready to publish yesterday after the 30 day challenge.

Day by Day

image from wanderlustandlipstick.com                      Rocking chair – rest, Oh Yes!

Well it appears the ‘rest’ didn’t work quite as I’d planned. My left hip and leg are now joining my arm and both ankles and feet appear swollen. For the first time ever, I am not researching it before I see my doctor this week. If I manage to wait three days it will be a historic event, but I’m not happy with how I feel. I’m supposed to feel better since I’m able to ‘stop’ my Lyme meds for a month. Time will tell. So I’m just taking it Day by Day.

Yet that is why Marianne Williamson’s quote is so apt. Having the power to create infinite possibilities – good ones – means that I can remove the worry over what is currently passing. She calls it ‘enlightenment’, available in an instant. So I’ve chosen to accept this. It’s a day by day project with myself.

Day by Day

image from http://www.true-enlightenment.com    Enlightenment warmth

In my enlightened state I am not worrying about the strange things happening to me at present. Nor will I undermine myself because I have been unable to attend a retreat I very much wanted to be on.  I am releasing all of the emotions attached to them to make way for positive emotions and actions to replace them.

I asked my body what it needed, and what I should be doing to help myself, at this time. There are fifteen days until Christmas. I have cards to complete and send, although the list has shortened of recent times, gifts to finish buying and a menu to think about.

In years past it has driven me to distraction. It literally turned me into a ball of worried knots, unable to sleep because I may not have enough time to do everything. Also, that everything would not be done ‘perfectly’. In the past, anything less than perfection was not tolerated.  Well, it doesn’t matter. Everything will be done, and those people who get cards, and perhaps a letter, will hopefully realise that the effort to get that letter ready for them is, in itself, a gift. If they don’t, it’s not my problem.

Day by Day

image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk     Rushing to get that shopping done.

I’m almost done with gifts; in fact I have only one to arrange – Way to Go!  I made the ice cream plum pudding today, with help from Ray, and it looks good. I have photos and will put it in a blog soon. It’s yummy in the heat; I just have to remember not to be heavy-handed with the spirits for those who are driving. (Last year it was loaded – oops).. Turkey arranged – check, my stuffing ingredients – check, vegies – have to be bought close to the day. I’m all set.

The Christmas tree has posed a problem – I’m not where I’d hoped to be, but that too simply is how it is, and we accept that we’re here for a while longer. Yet the house doesn’t lend itself to the placement of the tree, not to my satisfaction. The problem I thought was the fact that I had decided not to unpack everything, and there are still boxes around the place. Yet that is not the problem at all. Arranged the way we need to have the house set up, it really doesn’t lend itself to putting one up. Not unless you want to waltz around it at every twist and turn.

I’m still pondering that little problem. If it can be sorted out then enlightenment will make the solution known.

Day by Day

image from http://www.christmashungama.com    Christmas trees, a sign of the season

I had thought my children would be unavailable at Christmas. Quite a shock when I found out. Yet I have since found out that my son is returning to Brisbane and will come down on Boxing Day, as long as we’re having turkey. That is really a big gift! Hopefully, now my daughter has a new job, she will come down on Boxing Day too and we can all be together.

It’s quite strange in one sense, and beautifully perfect in another. My daughter has been given quite a big promotion, to Superintendent. She is the only female Superintendent in Queensland and possibly Australia. It’s a far cry from her situation just a few weeks ago. My son, I thought would remain in Melbourne, but is now back ‘home’. All my preparations are just about complete. (I think the house decoration must fall to Ray).

As far as my health is concerned, it is what it is and I will find out during the week, hopefully, or have more tests to do!  None of this can I change or alter in any significant way by worrying or over analysing them. They are what they are.  As strange as that may seem, it is ‘Living in the Now’, although I prefer to say I am Being Present in the moment.

Day by Day

image from ohua88.com –   Decorations, exotic or plain make the home a magical place.

Perhaps this new-found equanimity is the ‘enlightenment’ that Marianne Williamson referred to. If so, it feels darn good.  There is another older saying, “Let go and Let God”.  If that appeals to you then I’m happy for you. In its own way it is still able to be applied; God is whichever higher power you personally believe in, and that too, is very much alright with me too.

No doubt  I will be challenged, we always are, but for now, I feel very happy with the status quo. I have a full heart filled with the many Blessings I have already  received. I am grateful beyond measure.

~

Day by Day

image from wallpapers.free-review.net       Enlightenment and happiness are with me, join me?

“I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Join on me on Enlightenment journey this Christmas season and we can see how much happiness we feel and can give to others.

Blessings,  Susan xx

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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