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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Through the Looking Glass

image from gamesfortrainers.blogspot.com

“Every ceiling, when reached, becomes a floor, upon which one walks as a matter of course and prescriptive right.”    Aldous Huxley

~

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the planned trip to Mount Tambourine so we could have a “time out” to use as a forward planning session for next year. You can read about it here.

Initially I wasn’t a whole-hearted supporter of the planning session as I felt tired and still unwell from the Lyme medication and pressured by the proximity to Christmas. In fact, both issues were learning exercises for me. Being ill is not a natural state for anyone to be in and I’m no different to anyone else. I fight it, which is counterproductive. By this I don’t mean that if you are ill you, or I, should simply lie down and give in to it. Definitely not! But fighting an illness is not helpful. Understanding it and then making the most of your time and resources, is the better way to manage it. Fighting it just exhausts you and leaves you open to many other problems because of the exhaustion.

Similarly, letting the fact that Christmas was so close unsettle me, to the extent that I felt overwhelmed, was a fruitless exercise. In reality, when I had time to look at what I had already done and what was remaining, it allowed me to realise that I was as ready as I needed to be before the big day. I allowed my struggle with ‘brain fog’ to start running a destructive program in my mind which could have ruined Christmas. Fortunately my “time out” sorted through these issues.

Through the Looking Glass

Outlook from Tambourine over the mountain

More than that, after I had my shower and dinner, settled in and allowed myself to unwind, it in itself was an enormous gift. I found I was ready and able to focus on planning for next year. Yes, next year which is now only twenty-four hours away, and as such the reason I felt I should finish “Through the Looking Glass.”

I believe it was an auspicious start to the event as it was the night of the full moon. You may have already gathered that I love the full moon and from the top of the mountain it was interesting. Even with the cloud cover the views were amazing.

We had a table brought up to the room so we could spread out our writing material, and set to work with the check list of questions from the Life Change 90 Program. We each had our own monthly and yearly review sheets which we filled in alone and as an exercise discussed later. It was enlightening to see where we were completely in sync with each other and the small areas where we had a slightly different viewpoint. It isn’t necessary to do this but it was a good exercise from our perspective since I’m the director of Life Change 90.

Through the Looking Glass

The review in Progress

It was also good to see where we were both on the same track; most of the ‘differences’ were in reality, terminology. Which brought home the importance of making sure you and your partner really listen to each other and understand what each other are really saying, not what we think they are saying. If that rings a bell, it’s because we use the same ‘formula’ with our children when we want to make sure they are really listening to us and following our requests, at least when they are small enough to pay attention!

Obviously, our reviews were slightly different as my focus was tilted towards my perceptions of how my illness affects what I do, Ray and us as a couple. Ray’s was naturally tilted towards his viewpoint as the person who carries a larger share of the daily activities since I am unwell a lot of the time and the changes that entails. He also focused on his activities and us as a couple.

Through the Looking  Glass

image from projectavalon.net Everyone sees things from a different perspective

Our forward planning went into three stages, as individuals for next month, next year and as a couple for the same periods. Then we looked at it from a business perspective.  It sounds onerous but in fact, it was relatively easy. There is a degree of overlap between each which cuts down the planning steps. Once again we worked on individual sheets to begin the process and then began to combine them.

Whilst it was important to schedule the goal setting for the business, it is something which I do at home and therefore it directly affects and impacts on what we, as individuals, are able to do. I am fortunate that Ray is the Chief Blogger at the moment for Life Change 90. (One Chief Blogger at a time is enough, don’t you think?)

Through the looking Glass

image from Life Change 90

One of our major goals is to move in the first quarter of the year, onto our farm somewhere relatively close to here. By it’s very nature it is not something we can have concrete steps for, since there are many things which need to fall into place first, such as my health. I start my new regimen of Lyme medication at the weekend and my response to it will affect some of our plans.

Through the Looking Glass

image from properties.mitula.com.au

Another interruption (or irritant as I call it), is having to visit my Lyme doctor every six weeks. It would have been nice to be told he was changing his routine when I saw him last.  Instead, we found out when the advice he inserted into a Christmas card fell into our laps as soon as we had finished our planning session. Plus my appointment had been moved to 7.30pm and when it is three and a half hours away from home, a late appointment isn’t really what I would prefer. Traveling is not my strong suit. I arrive like a bent pretzel and feel as though the least movement will snap off an offending arm or leg completely. But, this too shall pass.

Through the Looking Glass

image from deltasdazzlingcostumes.com.au –

There is a big family birthday coming up in February, but we need to be flexible until we see how these meds affect me, so we have a mini monthly review planned for mid-January to see how we are going.

I hope you now have an idea of how we went about our review and planning. It is, I feel, important to make the most of the time you have and this way I feel we maximise what is possible.

Make the most of your New Year celebrations; the New Year is almost upon us. Roll in 2014!

Through the Looking Glass

image from blog.grandchancellorhotels.com

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”    Edith Lovejoy Pierce

May you reach all your goals in 2014.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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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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Christmas Day is almost over as around the world the countdown starts. The excitement of the younger children has reached its peak and they’re starting to be grumpy. The older kids are wishing they could go out and visit friends instead of family.  Mums and Dads the world over are beginning to run out of steam after the late night from gifts which needed to be assembled and presents wrapped and placed under the tree. Wishing for a few hours sleep before the day began. But what’s happening with our Christmas Soldier?

I haven’t watched or heard the news all day, but I wondered – what about the Christmas Soldier in far-flung corners of the world? I wonder how their Christmas Day has been, is, or will be? Far from home and loved ones, whether in harm’s way or not, has Santa managed to find his way to those far-flung shores to visit the Christmas Soldier?

The Christmas Soldier gives their time unstintingly so we might be safe at home. They spend their time keeping peace in other lands, so other people might be secure. The Christmas Soldier may not get much ‘peace on earth’ they may not get much Christmas cheer, but they are thought of by so many, who wish them safe at  home.
I heard a story that the Christmas Soldier may not be able to use the word Christmas, and I cannot help but question why? Is it not Christmas? Are they not Soldiers? Are they not then a Christmas Soldier? They stand shoulder to shoulder to keep the peace, are they not entitled to a piece of the peace? Just  for a short time.

We sit at home, full and replete, the table groaning under leftovers. A glass in hand we watch the news or a movie to keep the kids happy. We have all the comforts of home. There is no need for us to be on alert. There is nothing to cause us to tense at the sound of a car backfire or a firecracker going off.  Not so the Christmas Soldier.

He is on guard for anything out of the norm. He watches vigilantly for any strange movement. He listens carefully for the out-of-place noise. He is tense and watchful as he stares at a foreign landscape.  It is Christmas and if he is fortunate he will get the “Army”  “Navy” or “Air Force”  version of Christmas dinner. Those in the war zones will have… their own version of Christmas cheer. The Christmas Soldier version of Christmas dinner.

So wherever they may be, let’s say a prayer that they are safe. A prayer to wish them a happy Christmas, peace and joy with their fellow soldiers, free from harm. And more, that the New Year will see them safe at home, with their loved ones and families. That’s my wish for the Christmas Soldier.

Blessings  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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Christmas Calling

image from
josephine-wall-fantasy-paintings.co.uk

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ”
― Norman Vincent Peale

~

“I know what I really want for Christmas.
I want my childhood back.
Nobody is going to give me that. I might give at least the memory of it to myself if I try. I know it doesn’t make sense, but since when is Christmas about sense, anyway? It is about a child, of long ago and far away, and it is about the child of now. In you and me. Waiting behind the door of or hearts for something wonderful to happen. A child who is impractical, unrealistic, simpleminded and terribly vulnerable to joy.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

~

The Christmas of times past seems to have vanished like the snow from my door. Snow is never likely to fall in front of my door again, but it really has only a small part to play in the changes in Christmas. I would that I could offer everyone the intense joy and happiness I knew with each and every Christmas. The fact that it has changed for me is a matter of great dismay. The fact that it has changed for so many others is daunting.

As a child I knew so much happiness and excitement as Christmas drew close. It wasn’t for the fact that the stores were filled with toys and lollies and Christmas decorations. It was for the joy and wonder my parents and grandparents created each day leading up to Christmas day. I was fortunate that the shops didn’t put out the decorations, cards and toys until much closer to Christmas. The unique ‘specialness’ of Christmas had not been inundated with the bombardment of the commercialism of Christmas. It yet held that special air of magic. The pleasure of a nativity calendar!

I remember one year, being so convinced that my parents had to be helping Santa by hiding our gifts somewhere at home. After all he couldn’t really get them all round the world to every boy and girl on Christmas Eve, could he? I searched the house from top to bottom (I was very excited). I found nothing of course. My parents knew me well – they had hidden everything at my Nanny’s since she lived next door. It was a thrilling time none the less.

I remember when I was old enough to start sending Christmas cards to my friends. It was a sign, an indication that I was getting older and able to understand the real meaning behind Christmas. It meant, to me at least, that Christmas was a time for family, and for friends, and more than that for everyone I met. It was a time to share happiness, even if it was only a smile or a card.

Christmas Calling

image from theearthconstitution.org

I remember when my children were born and the excitement I felt when I gave them cards and gifts. I remember the fun we had as we made up Christmas hampers for the Salvos and for the RSPCA.  I remember with a sigh, when they too became old enough to want to give their friends Christmas cards.  Yet, in what feels like a few short years later the world itself has changed. Somehow, Christmas has lost some of its magic and sparkle and we are the poorer for it.

People  no longer want to send cards, if you are very fortunate you might get an e card. I haven’t yet found a way to hang it up though. What does that card mean? To me it meant that I cared about the person I was sending it to; I was thinking about them even if I couldn’t see or speak with them on Christmas day – or perhaps over the few days of Christmas. So a card, especially when money was tight, was a true gift of the heart to say…I miss you and I wish you all the best and that you were here. We made cards which held a stronger magic of love.

The other day I heard someone refer to themselves as an orphan and having an ‘Orphan Christmas’ because their parents had divorced. I felt so saddened by that. I thought of all the children who have never had parents, are living on the streets, or whose parents have passed away and therefore cannot have any part of the physical Christmas with them. I understand, I think, what they meant, but I couldn’t stop the tears forming, as I thought of the fact that my parents were no longer here, my brothers not speaking with me and my children unable to visit this year. I was selfish, I know, but the words hit like a barb bringing all the other barbs to play.

What hit the hardest was knowing that this move from giving Christmas cards means that I don’t even have the joy of a card to say – Yes, they are thinking of me. There is a part of them here too. Of course, they are in my heart, but I have to wonder why people are so reluctant to spend a few dollars sending a card.  What has happened to the feeling and magic of Christmas?

Oh, I know, its expensive sending cards today, and if you are giving someone a gift why spend a few extra dollars on a card? Better yet, why send a card when the postage costs more than the card? Perhaps it’s the thought, why send a card at all, we don’t see or hear from them most of the year? Somehow this just sounds like excuses or miserly thinking. (To me). The Christmas Spirit seems to be vanishing, or has the Christmas Grinch caught up with most people?

I am often heard wishing for snow at Christmas, the feel of the crisp air and the crunch of snow underfoot. The robins and tinsel, mistletoe and fairy lights. My mother’s fantastic Christmas tree decorated, which eclipse mine to this day, I can never see again, except in my memory. The paper decorations we all made as children – do you remember the strips of coloured paper, we glued one end to make a circle, then added more? Paper chains, we had a houseful one year. 🙂  I have beautiful cross stitch ornaments and sequin balls made at school by my children. Yet there is a hollow feeling in my heart. The Christmas magic is being stolen.

If I was allowed only one Christmas wish I would give it to –  all of you. I would wish you; a Christmas filled with joy and magic, the excitement of family or friends, or someone who cared, to make your Christmas special. If I could I would make sure that everyone received at least one Christmas card, with wishes for a safe and happy Christmas, filled with love and that you would all return safe and sound in the New Year.  

~

Wherever you are, my wish is that you receive the joy and magic from my heart to yours. That you feel the love and happiness of Christmas, of time shared however briefly together.

~

This, is my Christmas Calling to You.

~

Blessings, 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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Ray, Mum New Year Eve 2011, Moruya

They “year” began with New Years Eve at Ray’s parents in Moruya.  A beautiful day and night set the tone for the year to come.  It was a wonderful few days, seeing the sights – a finding a great little crystal shop. Needless to say I came home with bags of crystals. (We drove or it wouldn’t have been possible).

Tawny Frogmouth

A Tawny Frogmouth let himself be known early on and has been a visitor ever since.  We have at least four different owls living in the area, from a Powerful Owl, the Frogmouth and what looks like a Barn Owl, plus a very reclusive one we hear often but haven’t managed to get a good photo of yet.

Owls being my favourite birds, it was a real blessing seeing one so soon after we moved into our new home.

Presented to the guests, husband and wife

Presented to the guests, husband and wife

May was a brilliant month, and after months of preparation our wedding went off superbly. Here we are presented for the first time as Mr and Mrs  Jamieson, can you tell how happy we were – and are.  I’ve restrained myself to one photo, it’s hard to know which ones to use and there are so many!

Natalie and Christopher   Couldn’t pass the day up without showing off how fabulous my son and daughter looked on the day either.

One of my favourite gifts came from my husband shortly before we were to go away, a Nikon 150 camera. It is fantastic and even an amateur like me can get some marvellous shots. Most of all it made it super easy to have something to remember all the marvellous things which happened throughout the year.  A few lessons and I might make a reasonable photographer!

The Little Blowhole at Kiama, dodging salt spray to get a good picture.

The Little Blowhole at Kiama, dodging salt spray to get a good picture.

We had been so busy during the year that we hadn’t had a break – even after the wedding, so we spent a glorious week at Kiama, exploring the area and having a well-earned rest.  The Blowholes were in fine form and we saw lots of whales passing by.  Here’s the best picture we managed to get of the whales passing.

Occasionally I wished for a super zoom on my camera so I could get more photos – they really are beautiful creatures.

Humpback passing Kiama whilst we were there.

I found Nicole’s blog and became motivated to get back on track with my spiritual growth. It has been a wonderful year of rediscovery and discovery of new exciting things.

Full Moon Ceremony Aug 31 2012 (Copy)Thanks to Nicole we had a fantastic ceremony provided for the Blue Moon in August.  This was taken just after the “Releasing Ceremony” and the crystals were in the bowls of water. The next night we had a “Becoming Ceremony”  which finalised the entire ritual. It was an awesome feeling and really made us feel great.  My blogging journey began shortly after this.  Reading and writing have always been passions, now they are intertwined beautifully.

Cutting the birthday cake

With lots of work in between we went back to Moruya to celebrate my father in law’s 80th birthday bash in October.  It was a beautiful day and night – in fact they outdid the younger guests. It seems stamina comes with age!   The cake was superb, it was only spoiled by the fact we couldn’t bring any home with us!

Coffs Harbour, Crystsl Castle and home 034

On the way home we stopped at Coffs Harbour for the night and the next day were greeted by this beautiful water dragon on the decking near the water feature. He was so tame he let us get really close. Obviously very used to all the visitors, he’s probably quite the model by now!  See he even gave us a good pose for the camera.Getting friendly with the neighbours horse2012 022 (Copy)

Back home we were back hard at work but love to take a walk around the garden at the end of the day.  Here the neighbours horse came over to say hello and was really friendly.  My first ‘kiss’ from a horse – strangely enough it was a special moment for me and I’m blessed Ray got the photo and so filled with gratitude that the horse was so  friendly.

Ray hard at work, surprissed by the camera!

I’d love to know the identity of this little fellow but just love his colouring.

Blue flash honey eater

We have lots of honey eaters visiting with the flowering trees. Some like this fellow seem totally oblivious to our presence and let us snap away merrily as he feeds. His colouring is ‘electric’!

Kookaburra ready for a dip in the pool

We were graced by a family of kookaburra who came down several times a day to take a dip in our pool as the weather became hotter.  They made lots of noise but it was worth it.  Occasionally there would be a line up of all the different birds waiting to take a dip. It was really funny watching them take off one by one and then ruffling their feathers out as they waited their next turn.

Water Dragon sunning himself on our garden seat

We were surprised and pleased to find another water dragon sunning himself at home.  When he was in the pool area I “chased” him around the pool  – from the upstairs balcony, to get some photos of him. It was so funny seeing me trying to run around to capture a good shot. As soon as I had him in focus he would take off again after some other tidbit he’d spied.

Christmas surprises

Christmas seemed to arrive so quickly. It was a special time for us – the first one as a married couple (old-fashioned isn’t it?) and getting the decorating done together with the family coming down to celebrate Christmas Day together. We were grateful we could all be together and Ray and I felt blessed that our family could get together when so many couldn’t.

Full Moon 30th December 2012

The last full moon of the year, December 2012.  Even with the inclement weather we were able to get some beautiful photos of the moon through the trees and the weather remained fine for our ceremony.  The meditation from Nicole was a beautiful way to complete a wonderful year.

As always we are mindful that not everyone has been as fortunate as ourselves. Like most people we have had our ups and downs. At times it felt as though the downs were holding mired in one place for far too long, but 2013 will be a wonderful year – for everyone.  Throughout 2012 we have tried to remain mindful of what has been happening for us, being present at the important events was easy, how could we not. Being present when things were tough was harder, but we managed and it felt very heart centered in being able to do that. Ill health has been a drag but I’m hoping that with a new move, hopefully to a place with some space around it will give me the right atmosphere to get on top of things.  Country life seems to beckon.

For myself, the unconditional love I have been so grateful to find with Ray has made this a wonderful, love filled year. Heart centered and soul centered, we have felt the growing and stretching of our soul growth throughout the good times and the hard times.  We have also felt, and been awed by the presence of spirit, our loved ones who are no longer with us – in the flesh at least. It has made each special occasion that little bit more extraordinary and that is something I am incredibly grateful for.

The records for 2013 are now about to begin!

   Quote

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

HAPPY 2013 EVERYONE.                                              Blessings and stay safe.

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image from fwallpapers.com

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”    Deitrich Bonhoeffer

It seems appropriate that whilst I wrote about “12 Days of Christmas – Gratitude Style”, that it should be remembered after all the Christmas festivities have finished, that gratitude is not something which is only to be thought of then but throughout the year and for many different reasons.

image from theclassywoman.blogspot.com

Christmas day dawned bright and early at our home – perhaps too early for someone who isn’t sleeping very well, but it was a special day and what’s the loss of a little more sleep?  The anticipation of having my son and daughter visit was, as always, tempered by the knowledge that my parents would not be there, nor could I see them. My parents have passed over and despite the passage of time it feels like yesterday and the wounds are still raw.

It was brought home even more by the shooting in the US – so many wasted lives.  The private tears I shed and the prayers I said were for all those souls and their families as well as for myself. Yet for all that, I felt incredibly selfish. Here I was with my beautiful family and I was mourning the loss of my parents with whom I had shared so many beautiful memories of this time and others.  But, I am only human, and this is what humans do. I feel blessed to have my children with me on Christmas day, or any other, and grateful that I shared so many glorious ones with my parents, and they with their grandchildren. Yes, I have been blessed.

]

I know that grief has its seasons, from the raw and open wounds of its beginnings to the calm and soothed eve of acceptance. I also know that we can revisit these many times over.  Strangely I am grateful that I feel so intensely for those I have and those I have lost, and those of whom I know nothing at all beyond what I have seen and read,  since it means, to me at least, that my heart is full of love for everyone and full of gratitude for their presence in my life.

image from 100smilechallenge.wordpress.com

Especially in my prayers and thoughts are all those who serve our countries and lose their lives.  The many soldiers, sailors, firefighters, ambulance officers, policemen and women, nurses, doctors, and even the bus drivers, train drivers, teachers, people who give their time so that others may enjoy themselves – even the call centre operators who work on the telephones that we may talk with loved ones far away over the festive season. I am humbly thankful for their efforts and grateful for what they do for us.  I cannot thank them all, I only wish I could.

image from naturallyearthfriendly.com

Christmas Day is only one day though and gratitude continues every day. The development of the “Attitude of Gratitude” is something we can all practice each and every day and make our world a more beautiful place, and in this place and space I thank and am grateful for each person who reads this who may perhaps be moved to think of others and be grateful also.  In such a way can we “Pay it Forward“.

image from stopeatingyourheartout.com

For those with no home, living on the streets despite the weather, I pray for them also, sending them love and light and praying that the glow of warmth I feel in my heart may somehow keep them a little warmer, more loved than before.  I am truly grateful for my home, my family and that we can gather together at any time. Love and family are my treasures.

image from theprovince.com

Love and gratitude can be found everywhere – even amongst our beautiful creatures. The bonds of love and family are as close for them as it can be for us. I am grateful for the beauty of nature, the glorious sights I can see and the love I can feel between two incredible creatures. We have all been blessed to be able to see such wonderful images captured if not in fact.

image from mindfulnessmuse.com

This is a simple message, that we may all be grateful for the treasures we have.  My hope that, despite the challenges we face, the hopelessness we may feel, that we may turn the corner from the darkness into the light and remember how much we have to be grateful for.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”     ― Thornton Wilder

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image from comments.funmunch.com Where would we be without friendship?

“Somehow, not only for Christmas, But all the long year through, The joy that you give to others, Is the joy that comes back to you. And the more you spend in blessing, The poor and lonely and sad, The more of your heart’s possessing, Returns to you glad.” — John Greenleaf Whittier

There are so many ideas on what Christmas “should” mean to everyone. I really don’t like the idea that “should” can enter into the reason why we think, feel believe or do something.  There has to be a more visceral reason behind our thoughts and actions, especially at such a time of year.

I know some people  are of the belief that the ‘true spirit’ of Christmas can only belong to those who are in real need. To some extent that may be true. I feel deeply for the many who will spend their Christmas season in hospitals or care due to ill-health. I won’t categorise the level of need or ill-health since that feels shallow, to me at least.

Is the person terminally ill with cancer any less in need than someone needing a transplant or a heart valve replacement or a small child with an acute allergic reaction needing a respirator to breath? I don’t think so.  Yet there are those who are suffering from any kind of mental disability for whom the very joy around Christmas adds to their depression or malaise.

image from facebook.com Happiness is….

Yet I can understand these people all too well and I am totally grateful that they have a chance to start the New Year better than they finish this one. I pray that is the case, although there is also a measure of sadness in that wish, since for them to be better someone else has to have found a worse ending.  Life is like that; what is given on one hand is also taken away on the other, and who am I to judge?

The other people I think of at this time are those who don’t really fall into this group.  Their ailments seem trivial in comparison and yet they can be as devastating in their own way.

The person with a chronic skin ailment who has to spend all summer hiding from the sunshine whilst the newscasters joyously tell us will be hotter and brighter than the day before. It must be demoralising for them. What about the person in chronic pain, stumbling around their home, trying desperately to get all in order for the ‘big day’ yet knowing that within a relatively few short hours they will be left alone in their pain with none the wiser. These people I also think of and wish an easier time for. These people know that there is no cure for them and cannot, even tenuously, hold onto a hope that help may be around the corner.

image from lessonsinashell.blogspot.com

Yet I have found that I can ‘gift’ to the world. In the same way I can spread gratitude around the world – by intention, then I can also spread love , happiness and friendship around the world – by intention.

I visualise a beautiful rainbow coloured sphere encircling the world, coming from my heart and covering the world. I chose rainbow colours to represent all the chakras, but also to help ‘fill up’ any chakra which was a little flat or empty. After I firmly have this vision of rainbow light covering the world I imagine it showering down on everyone in the world, bringing love, friendship and happiness.  It can also cover love, friendship and understanding for the self as well as for others, and also all the animals, plants, spirits, in fact anyone or thing inhabiting out little planet.

image from facebook.com

This is my small way of giving a gift to everyone on the planet. Of course the gratitude is also there, that I have so many wonderful people to be grateful for; that I have so many creatures on this planet to spread all this to also.  In my own small way I am also blessed because I can help to bring some peace and joy to everyone.

image from fineartamerica.com              Puppy love at it’s best

“It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one’s fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit.”    – Isabel Currier

May your Christmas be filled with love and laughter, peace and understanding and happiness to fill your heart the whole year through.  Bless ❤

(c) owls and orchids: Susan Jamieson

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