Gifts to Give Yourself this Christmas

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

~ Dr Seuss

Christmas and gift giving are strongly intertwined. But isn’t it true that most of your effort, if not all of it, will be centered around giving gifts to others this year?

I’d like to suggest that in the spirit of giving, you also honour yourself. That’s not selfish – in fact, it’s marvellous because you are giving the world a happier, healthier YOU.

Here are some ideas for giving yourself Health, Wealth and Happiness. You might want to have your Journal ready, to write down your ideas and insights…

Health

Health is that space of feel-good flow where we enjoy abundant energy, sleep well, move easily and are in tune with our bodies. Choose any of these to wrap and put under the tree for yourself:

  • a walk in nature, somewhere beautiful, that touches your heart
  • a whole day in bed, to read, to sleep, to stretch and relax
  • a pantry or refrigerator stocked with food that truly makes your tummy and your body feel good
  • the gift of a regular time in your life for yoga, swimming, massage, riding your bike or anything else that heals and energises you
  • a holiday – one that you can look forward to, one that will fill you up spiritually and emotionally, one that will enable you to come home feeling uplifted and refreshed
  • a book, course or program that will teach you new and useful things about self-care, health and well-being
  • an appointment with a practitioner that can help you move back towards feeling your best – it doesn’t matter if this is you FINALLY going to your GP for a full check up, an acupuncturist, a naturopath, an allergy expert, a yoga master, a personal trainer, a counsellor or grief therapist – if you know you need help to heal let this Christmas be the year you get things rolling!

Wealth

Most of us worry more about money than anything else. Wealth is actually about more than just money though. Wealth is that glorious space of security and abundance, the feeling that we have enough, and some left over. Wealth is investing in ourselves.

This Christmas, make an intention to sort your finances out. If you don’t know how, don’t worry. There are many, many people, books and websites out there dedicated to helping people become financially responsible and secure. Get that worry about money sorted. It’s worth it!

Now, ask yourself, what does real wealth look like to you? Let go of images of fancy cars, and mansions with heli-pads on the roof. Think of a time when you were truly happy and care-free. Or what that space might look like to you. Wealth aligns our actions and our possessions with our values.

Here’s my personal top five signs of feeling wealthy:

  • Time to write, and a bag with a laptop, notebook, pens and some spare cash for coffee (my passion!)
  • Shopping at the farmers’ markets and then using my purchases to cook a meal big enough to share with friends and family (my ethics and ethos)
  • Friends and family I can phone, or catch up with for tea and hugs, when I need someone to talk to (my life-line)
  • Being able to donate to charities (my conscience/spiritual beliefs)
  • Knowledge – having books, the internet and access to education. Learning new things. Being able to enrol myself in a weekend workshop, or at University. Being able to make informed decisions because I’ve researched what I need to know. (my interests)

Make a top five list of your own signs of wealth, and find ways to include that energy in your life. How can you invest in yourself, your interests and your dreams? Can you find a gift in there for yourself this Christmas?

Happiness

Happiness is that state of mind we get from being (momentarily) free of worry, and in a place of grace and emotional abundance.

What makes you happy?

Look for people, places, activities, hobbies, music and those other things that nurture your soul and fill your heart. Write them all down. Search far back in your memories. Allow yourself to be inspired. Know that many of these things will be simple and cost little, or nothing.

If you’re unhappy, maybe it’s time to let go of something.  That counts as a gift too. We all have a right to feel positive and optimistic, peaceful and safe in this lifetime. Our happiness is as important as everyone else around us.  Perhaps your gift to yourself needs to be a decision, plans and action.

What can you shape from your happiness list to put under your tree this Christmas?

2012 is coming to a close, and for many, it’s been a rough ride this year. Give yourself a hug and choose yourself a gift. There’s brighter things to come. And you can start right now, by loving and valuing yourself. Merry Christmas!

Australian Native Flowers Christmas Wreath by Archara

Australian Native Flowers Christmas Wreath by Archara

PS: If you’re looking for a little extra inspiration, I recommend these posts:

30 Days of Gratitude to Change Your Life

Writing Ourselves into Awareness

Seven Gifts from Your Wise Self to You

Your Life is YOURS to Live!

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”  ― Oscar Wilde

Life is a precious gift, and one that can be all too brief. Before you came to this life, you had a deliberate intent to be here.  You chose your parents.  You packed your bag.  You came forth into this world with a plan, or at the very least a sense of adventure and possibility, and a rough checklist of things you thought sounded interesting.

So here you are. This is it – your moment!

How’s that working out for you?

Life really IS for living.  Not for existing. Not for pleasing others. Not for mere surviving.

It doesn’t have to be about riches, winning, and being super-productive. Life is not measured only in achievements or possessions.

Life is about experiences, relationships, following your heart, finding pleasure in the small moments, being satisfied with who you are, where you are, and who you’re with. Or being excited about where life is taking you, and allowing your life to be a glorious work in progress.

I had a client come to me recently where I got a very strong glimpse of a past life – the one immediately before this one.  This man had been a soldier in World War One.  Before that he’d been a teacher.  He hadn’t wanted to go to war, but he went ‘to do the right thing’.  He left his new wife behind to fight in the trenches and absolute misery and hell of the Western Front and then Passchendaele. He survived, only to come home and find his wife and mother dead. He later died from influenza; cold, lonely and miserable.

The Second Battle of Passchendaele – Image from jamesmay.blogspot.com

Why was that relevant to his next lifetime? All he’d thought about, during the war, and in between lives, was about what he wanted for this next life. He wanted a simple life. No great responsibilities; a gentle life of suburban ordinariness with his wife and family.  The chance to grow old. To live in a warm climate, in a dry house, with plenty to eat, and enough to do to keep him busy. That was his dream, and now he’s living it.  He’ll never be famous.  He’ll never be rich.  But already he knows contentment. And contentment for him is enough.

Of course that’s not everyone’s path.  Some people have a flame blazing brightly within them. They have a driving passion to be or do something.

We all walk different paths and have different dreams. All we ever need to do is what’s right for us. We each come to this life for the experience – to learn and grow by making our own choices. And ultimately each of us seeks happiness, fulfillment, love. That is going to look different for every single person because we come from diversity and we exist in diversity.

Are you following your dreams?

Did you put them aside to live someone else’s dream for you? Do you say to yourself, ‘one day I’ll get to it…’  Did you sacrifice your dreams to let someone else achieve theirs? Or are you doing something you don’t want to do because you’re told that ‘this’ is what’s expected of you.  Are you down the bottom of the pile, letting other people stand on top of you to reach theirs through your unrewarded efforts?

Or did you just give up?

You are not here in your skin to live this precious life for others, or to let them live through you. And you’re not here to fix things, or make things right for ‘them’. This is not a duty call.  This is not a dress rehearsal.  This is your one shot to make this life work for YOU.

Life too short to waste it on doing things you don’t want to do, being places you don’t want to be, or being in relationships with people who don’t love you or make you happy.

If you want to explore this further you might find these posts useful:

What makes you come alive?

Using your Internal Compass to navigate life

The Green-Eyed Envy Monster

Telling yourself a better story

Listen with your eyes

What does Happiness look like to you?

In our age of overwork, stress, social isolation, time pressure and exhaustion, it is increasingly important to know what fills you back up again, what makes you smile, what brings joy and happiness into your life.

What does happiness look like to you?  If you don’t know, make it your mission to find out, and then make a list to put on your refrigerator, mirror, or somewhere you can be often reminded of these things and their importance in your life.

This is some of what happiness looks like to me:

♥ Browsing in bookshops, and finding some new treasure to take home.

Shakespeare and Company Bookshop, Paris. Image from stylestudio.blogspot.com

♥ A shared meal with friends

Image from rhinoafrica.com

♥ Going to the movies to see something on the big screen

Image by Robert Pearce

♥ Wandering through the markets

Bangalow Markets – fourth Sunday of every month!

♥ Travelling to new places and soaking up the atmosphere

Bangkok floating markets – Thailand

♥ Losing myself in a book

Image from imbookingit.com

♥ Hugs

Image from mdjunction.com

♥ Time in nature

Heaven’s in my backyard!

♥ Swimming in the ocean

Beach – Byron Bay!

♥ A cup of tea with friends

Carly-Jay Metcalfe and Gordon Greber

♥ Working on my book

Cafe writing – my favourite kind of breakfast!

♥ Snuggling up in bed with the one I love – or family cuddles

Charlie and Bert – actively guarding the house!

♥ Baking, and sharing my creations with others!

Brownies and a cuppa on the veranda

Life’s too short not to include lots of the things you love.  Happiness is a choice. Remember to enjoy the journey.  Much love to you ♥ xx