If we look at what is happening in nature at this time of year, animals are hibernating, plants are resting, and birds are feeding to keep warm. For those of us who might want to hibernate, rest and keep warm, Christmas can lead us to behave in exactly the opposite way.  Rushing around, buying, choosing, worrying, feeling overloaded or inadequate.  Does it have to be like this?

How can we embrace the spirit of Christmas, in the ‘bleak midwinter’ and keep our sanity?!

The first step is to simply slow down and become more attuned to our natural rhythm. We can do this either by sitting or lying quietly and really listening to what is around us without judgment, or focussing on our breath, letting go and releasing tension as we breathe out.

Here is a gentle visualisation to help keep us centred and grounded in our True selves, the place where we are ALWAYS of more benefit to others.

‘Imagine your favourite place – a garden, beach, countryside…. Wherever you choose be aware of the sounds you may imagine, what smells are in the air?  Feel the soft breeze, waves, warmth or…….on your face.  What can you see?

Now, you are walking along a footpath near the sea. You can hear the sound of waves but cannot yet see the water.

As you walk along the path, you see and feel the brown earth beneath your feet and there are patches of golden orange sand. The sun’s warm, golden rays filter through the beautiful green leaves of the trees on either side of you.

You reach a clearing and climb over a stye into a green field. Now you can see the sea, as well as hear the waves and seagulls.  You cross a small field and notice some rose pink flowers growing amongst the grass.  As you reach the other side of the field you notice some meandering wooden steps leading down to the beautiful blue sea.

As you gently walk down to the beach and sea, you feel the soft breeze from the sea, smell the salty air and notice that you are surrounded by the sea and sky, bathed in a beautiful blue.

You rest on the beach for a while, enjoying the peace and rhythm of the sea.

Feeling refreshed and calm you begin your journey back. Climbing the meandering wooden steps, you pause from time to time to look back at the blue sea, with the soft breeze gently touching your face.

You reach the green field and begin to cross to the other side, noticing again the rose pink flowers amongst the grass. You can hear the waves and seagulls in the distance.  Reaching the stye, you climb over.

As you walk the path back the golden yellow rays of the sun filter through the leaves of the trees on either side. You look down at your feet and notice the orange sand and brown earth, and realise you are back where you began your walk.

We wish you a peaceful and joyful Christmas.