Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas, Everybody!!

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New Year's Questions...

Here are the questions I've come up with, so far...

How shall I fill my days with magic?
How can I use ritual and ceremony to infuse each day or each week with comfort and warmth?
Which roles would I like to emphasize in my life next year?
What would I like to create that I haven't created before? (In myself? In my family?)
How might I nurture connection with family and friends?

And here are two of the questions my coach suggested...

What challenges would I like to overcome?
What specific visions would I like to bring into reality in 2008?

What About After Christmas?

I had a depressing thought last night and woke up thinking about it this morning...

I have been having a truly wonderful Christmas season!! And part of what has made it so wonderful is that I have celebrated every day. In little ways and big ways. With winter apple tea and cookies, with Shawn Colvin, with Christmas homeschooling, with decorations, with an almost nightly Christmas movie. And all of America and around the world has celebrated with me.

But in just two short weeks, that will all be over!

And then what???

I think that is usually what makes January and February a challenge. And I remember thinking about it briefly last year and the year before that, but I was still working part-time then and was so focused on the relief I would feel when the holiday rush was over that I didn't worry about it too much.

But this season has been nearly magical! ...

I need a plan!!

Some way to transition into non-holiday. A way to make garden-variety winter feel special. Maybe I will incorporate this idea into my thoughts about what I want for the new year. A way to have some sense of ritual, tradition and celebration all the time...

If you're reading this, and I wonder if anyone is, and you have ideas, lay 'em on me!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Celebrating Winter Solstice

I just went out on my balcony to look for the moon. I didn't find it, but the night smelled wonderful!!! I could hardly bear to come back inside. And I did catch a glimpse of light which made me think the moon was just out of my range of sight.

Earlier, I talked to my wife, and we decided that today would be the shortest day if the actual solstice moment occurs tonight.

So, around 4:30pm, after I woke up from a lovely winter nap, the sun began to go down but it wasn't completely dark until around 5:20pm. Here's what we did to celebrate...

1) Both my son and I made little speeches honoring the darkness and the light that is to come.

2) We both put our pajamas on early (before 5pm).

3) He created a little "winter solstice dance", which inspired me to do the same.

4) We sang "In the Bleak Midwinter", sung by Shawn Colvin.

5) We lit candles when it got dark.

6) And I made our favorite food for dinner: penne pasta alfredo. The picture is my son finishing up his celebratory dinner.

I love ceremony!! It was fun :).

Winter Solstice

I went to bed last night and woke up this morning to the pouring rain and a gusty wind, which made me ever-so-thankful for a warm comforter and a blanket. No sunshine on this cold winter solstice. I suppose that's appropriate!

But I'm having a great morning!

My son and I are burning a cinnamon apple candle, listening to Christmas music, reading Christmas stories and coloring last-minute Christmas gifts for Grandma and other family members. Well, he's actually doing the coloring, but it was my idea! :)

As a homeschooling day, I decided to mirror what usually happens on the last day of school before the holidays begin. So this afternoon, we're going to watch a Christmas movie, drink apple cider and eat Christmas cookies.

As it gets dark, we will probably do something to celebrate the winter solstice, but I'm not sure what that will be. The winter solstice actually will occur tonight at 1:08am, so the 22nd is the official date. I'm not sure which day will be the shortest day, so we will compare and celebrate both days.

And have I mentioned that I am officially on vacation?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Feeling Better

I took a wonderful nature walk with my son (we gave that name to our taking-out-the-trash adventure) and stopped in front of a group of trees to listen as they had quite an interesting conversation! While I was there, I was singing inside my head, "we will rock you, rock you, rock you, we will rock you, rock you now" from Shawn Colvin's CD and I got this image of me holding Jesus and rocking Him.

Now, that's the Jesus I'm anxious to meet. Tender, gentle, sweet! Although ostensibly, we celebrate the birth of a baby, we almost always end up thinking about a fully-grown man/God. But I need tenderness and innocence and wonder, perfected. And gentleness and sweet comfort.

And a child's wholehearted love!

Anyway, I'm feeling cheered.

One special reason is I switched tomorrow's client (after a cancellation) to this afternoon, and so, I now have met with my last client for 2007!

I am officially ON VACATION!!!! YAY! :)

Chasing Away Winter

My goal was to make my next post about what I'm looking forward to in the next year. But I have a far more important task at the moment! I am chasing away a touch of winter blues. I'm also getting to the end of this month's cycle. I imagine that has contributed to this brief touch of melancholy.

I was quite liberal this morning when I put on the soothing oil blend I use, aptly called Peace & Calming.

And I have fallen in love with Shawn Colvin's "In the Bleak Midwinter" and somehow, I'm finding it and all the songs that follow, quite comforting. I also have just taken a long bath, and had a mindful breakfast. This time I actually tasted the winter apple flavoring in my glass of iced tea!

I'm sitting out on my balcony, letting the sun warm me. Watching the breeze ruffle the trees.

"Christmas time is here..."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Year in Review

Have you taken a look back at the gifts brought by your experiences in 2007?

Since this is the year I got married and one of my best friends did, too, we've both said "what a difference a year makes" a few times this year!!

But other than that, I haven't yet taken a very careful, thoughtful look and today, I decided I would. My life coach, Ann Strong, who is a fabulous coach's coach, gave me a helpful list of questions to get me started...

Reviewing 2007:

Go wild! Acknowledge all your go(o)dness and greatness.One guideline: release criticism and focus on positives.

What did I accomplish that I am most proud of? Finding a wonderful new home to live in and going to Toronto to get legally married to the love of my life.

When did I have the most fun? Every time I was with Shelly. Even going to the grocery store is fun when we go together! (You think I'm in love?)

What experiences touched me the most? This question makes me think of my church. There have been so many wonderful experiences there that brought tears to my eyes!

What experiences were the most intimate? Looking into the eyes of my love and seeing her heart and her soul.

Most powerful? I have had some very powerful spiritual moments involving trees, moon, reiki, essential oils, nature walks, water, etc.

Most sacred? When we were saying our vows, in both the commitment ceremony in April and the legal one in November.

What difficult challenges did I meet successfully?
(1) I let go of a part-time job so that I would have more time to homeschool my son.

(2) I handled being outed at work by a co-worker.

(3) I found out that my wife and daughter weren't going to be able to move here this past summer as planned. We still don't know when they will be able to move.

In meeting the challenges, what did I do best? Relying on guidance and support in my relationship with God and in my marriage and support from my friends.

What lessons did I learn? That God is taking care of me all of the time, that He has good plans for me and that I can trust my life to unfold as it should.

How would I describe my power in those situations? I would say I did a lot of co-creating with God. The year as a whole was empowering!

But, you know, there are more questions that occur to me...

Here are questions I would ask as a healing practitioner...

1) What are you most grateful for that healed this year?
2) How did you become more of who you are at the core? In what ways are you living more from the essence of who you are?
3) What blocks were removed? What are you more open to, where are you more free?
4) Which limiting beliefs did you release? And what wonderful new beliefs did you develop as a result?
5) Were there any specific memories you remember healing? That you can now remember with peace?
6) How has healing empowered you this year?
7) In what ways did you surprise yourself that you would attribute to the healing work you've done?
8) What's next?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sick Day

Just got through eating a cookie at breakfast.

It's official! The days are a little too short for my constitution. Bring on the comfort food!

Also, my son and I are still a bit congested. So I've declared a sick day, or homeschooling lite, if you will. There might even be a Christmas movie-watching event!!

And plenty of Christmas lullabies, with a nap thrown in for good measure.

After a day of hiding under the covers, I'm sure we'll be ready again to face the world.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Surprising Christmas Pageant

On Sunday night, when I was already so tired, I could hardly bear to drag myself to the church, Jonathan was a cowboy shepherd in the Surprising Christmas Pageant. It was a great show, but I am so glad it's over!!

I was so tired I forgot my camera and am now waiting on the generosity of my friend, one of the other mothers, who took lots of pics and promised several to me.

Jonathan and I still haven't recovered and are both significantly more sniffly than we were before. Ah, well!

Hopefully, we'll both feel better in a day or two.

Airborne, anyone?