How often do you take time out to just enjoy a good book?
How often do you take time out to just enjoy a good book? Photo Thinkstock

Take time to reflect now that Christmas is over

ANOTHER Christmas Day has come and gone. Did you celebrate in traditional style or choose to ignore it? Perhaps it has no significance in your religion or culture or you were working or looking after others less fortunate so it seemed like just another day.

And now it's Boxing Day, the origins of which are unclear. Some suggest it may have begun with priests, who opened the church's alms (charity) boxes on this day and distributed the contents to the needy and many people now do something similar in the run-up to Christmas.

Boxing Day, the start of the hiatus between Christmas and new year when there is no real pressure to do anything (unless you have to be back at work). These days it may be spent with family and friends, eating leftovers, heading for the sales, watching a new or favourite movie, the cricket or Sydney to Hobart or just enjoying a good book. How often does that happen?

It's not that we don't have time necessarily because we can create time; it's more likely that we don't take the opportunity. So here is what I suggest. During the next few days find time for you, away from others and the hustle and bustle of a daily routine, to sit with yourself. Stop "doing", silence the "shoulds" and, just for a moment, "be".

Find somewhere calm and peaceful, your favourite place, and focus on your breathing, ensuring that it's gentle and even. Then expand your focus to notice the details of your environment; sounds, smells, colours, textures before gradually shifting your focus to this past year.

Use it as a time to reflect on all that has happened. Notice and respect any thoughts and emotions that may surface and let them pass by like a small cloud on a sunny day, without judgment. Recognise that you cannot change any of what has happened and instead choose to accept it all as part of your personal development and growing wisdom.

The saying goes "Charity begins at home" and now is a great time to apply the Boxing Day theme of charity to your life. Start by being gentle on yourself and finding time to apply the Reflect, Respect and Accept approach more regularly. Not selfish but self care. Purely for you.

Will you do that?

Rowena Hardy is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned: http://www.mindsaligned.com.au


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