Many people think the twelve days of Christmas song and the associated gift giving, as the 12 days leading up to Christmas, when in fact it’s from Christmas to the 6th of January.
To find out more about this, my friend and author of secret Swindon and Swindon in 50 buildings, Angela Atkinson has a blog on the subject.
Many find themselves rushing around, as Christmas approaches, searching for the right gifts to give. Yet winter is meant to be a time for reflection and rest.
Rarely do we consider that we receive gifts every day, in small ways. Often not physical gifts, just opportunities, acts of kindness, which can be more valuable, as they sometimes last forever. If we pay attention, and feel grateful for them, they become gifts we can give ourselves, every day.
So before you get drawn into New Years resolutions, setting goals and planning 2020, take a moment to reflect on 2019. After all, in order to ensure you go in the right direction, it’s important to assess where you are now. As the expression goes; ‘ensure your ladder is against the correct wall before you climb’. Just as a Sat Nav needs to have located where you are, before it can give you directions to where you want to go.
Come on a journey with me down memory lane. Consider what has happened in your life (not in politics or world events) over the year. If you’re not used to doing this, you may find it difficult as our brains are programmed to pick on the things that haven’t worked so well, rather than the good stuff (only until we retrain it that is). So as a guide, here are the things I am grateful for over the last 12 months.
At a family level it has been lovely to:
- See our son flourish through home education and adoring the home education climbing group.
- Be able to travel at quieter times of the year. Of all our trips, Exmouth was my favourite.
- Celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday and he is still well, despite his cancer diagnosis a few years ago.
A highlight has to be the conference to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the LCSP register, my professional body. Among other things, they fight our corner, at government level, to give our profession the recognition it deserves. It also provide excellent continuing professional development.
It was also an opportunity to reconnect, eat and dance, with my teacher, colleagues and suppliers. One of which was Sissel.
They have many of the products which have helped my clients over the 26 years I have been in business. As well as the orthopaedic pillow, which I use, to get a good night sleep and no stiff neck in the morning. Now that is something to be grateful for!
Personally, I am so glad:
- I am able to get support, honest feedback and encouragement from business networks and have friends to meet up for evenings out with songs and laughter.
- I met Miriam who organises an event with a 3 course meal, called ‘Girls Night In’, at her home in Highworth, in aid of various Charities. One of which was Freedom Kit Bags, the one I support through donations in exchange for Accunect taster sessions. More about that below if you are interested.
- The 5 Rhythms mindful dance workshops, I organise to support clients with self care, is still running a year on. More of that on the cards in 2020. Also I danced contact improvisation in Oxford and Dorset. Here is an article about the benefits of dance for mental health.
- In August I attended an Accunect course which has been great for self care and to use on family as well as clients. I am so glad to have yet another easy tool to keep myself and others well.
- I have good teachers for my yoga and pilates practices.
- Every year, I aim to do something new. This year, like my son, it has been learning to climb and I have such an amazing and very encouraging climbing buddy.
My training accomplishments:
- I am now an IEMT (Integal Eye Movement Therapy) practitioner. It taught me a lot about my behaviour patterns and how to stop the unhelpful ones. This is valuable information I can draw upon to help clients better understand theirs.
- I attended a fabulous ‘Be seen, be heard’ workshop in Hawkwood college which helped me realise why I love public speaking so much. On that note it was like a Christmas present to myself, I reached level 5 at the Swindon Speakers club. This means I can officially call myself a public speaker. If you belong to a group looking for a speaker then please let them know I am available.
And last but not least, because without the following none of the above would be possible; a BIG thank you to:
- All my clients for trusting me with their issues
- And to those who have referred friends and family, recommend me. It makes a huge difference if people can see that what I do actually works. Some have written testimonials on FB, Google or Linkedin. Two of them literally sing my praises!
It is truly an honour and a pleasure for me to do what I do and to share part of my story with you.
So what are you grateful for and can you find 12 gifts to give yourself? If you are happy to share, let me know your top three.
Enjoy the festive season.