Christmas, holidays and the Festive Spirit

So the festive season is upon us.
Wherever you are the sounds of carols in the shopping centres, the excitement on the childrens faces, the shopping, the planning, the cooking, the wrapping!

For so many of us each day of the year is a bit of a rush. We have to-do lists, we go on Facebook, we ring and text people. We watch our diet, our waistline. We get the car serviced, we plan our holidays.
And now Christmas. Now there are children’s concerts, family visits, tempting mince pies, Christmas closures at the stores, last day for posting and, whatever the weather, Santa will come on his sleigh with his reindeer and all will be ready for gift giving on Christmas morning!
So in all the busyness and energy of these days, consider yourself and consider those around you.

Santa finds stillness.

Santa finds stillness.

Take a moment to be mindful.

Just stop.

Focus on your breathing and allow it to deepen.

Ground down into the earth, and stretch up towards the sky.

Just for a moment be where you are.
Notice your body. Release all the thoughts and busyness, and notice what is around you.

Stay in the present moment allowing your mind to be still, clear and spacious.
Notice your tightnesses and gently allow them to release.
Feel the free flow of blood, of energy, of sensation.
Connect with yourself.
Go inside yourself and be happy with everything you find there.
Good or bad are just words and ideas.
It is what it is.
Accept and bless all that there is.

At the same time go outwards.
Expand your bubble of awareness so it includes yourself and all around you.

Peace on earth, goodwill to all men.

Fill your bubble with this energy.
The energy of forgiveness, acceptance, joy and hope.
As you breathe and notice and connect.
As you are inside, and outside. Expanding, accepting, and surrendering to the Present moment, consider the message of Christmas.

Christmas is about community.
At the end of another year we come together, in groups, small and large.
The nuclear and extended family. The school; the seniors home; the homeless.
We share experiences, over the internet, over the TV, over the dinner table.

One year nearly gone, another on the way and all of us together marching forward in time.
Every day choosing our direction, choosing our thoughts, choosing our actions.

In this quietness consider the message of yoga.

Union; non attachment to possessions; autonomy; respect; challenge to yourself, to the status quo, to the way we think, the actions we take.

The Yamas include:

Ahimsa ~ Nonviolence
Satya ~ Truthfulness
Asteya ~ Nonstealing
Brahmacharya ~ Nonexcess
Aparigraha ~ Nonpossessiveness

The Niyamas include:

Saucha ~ Purity
Santosha ~ Contentment
Tapas ~ Self-discipline
Svadhyaya ~ Self-study
Ishvara Pranidhana ~ Surrender
 Happy Christmas and an Abundant and Prosperous New Year to All!

So, this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Lets hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The road is so long

And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so happy Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

War is over
If you want it
War is over
Now

Songwriters
Yoko Ono;John Lennon

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