I'm sitting here with a goblet of gluhwein, reflecting on the festivities so far this month and looking forward to the next week or two. We celebrated our family Christmas a couple of weeks ago, as my son was home for a short visit. It was such a lovely family day with all four generations present, ending with us singing around the piano, which is my idea of a perfect day! Grandkids and their parents joined me to have breakfast with Santa at the beginning of the month and I have just had a visit from New Zealand cousins. I feel very fortunate to have had such a lovely time over the past few weeks, but in the past I have had less happy times, and am well aware of the challenges some of us have, as we cope with the memories, expectations and stresses (quite often self-imposed) linked to the various festivities at this time of the year. We often want things to be 'perfect', whether it's cooking the 'perfect' meal, buying the 'perfect' gift, having the 'perfect' relationship, having a 'perfect' visit with our friends and/or families and all of that can take away the joy from the special moments we do experience.
Mindfulness has helped me through many tricky times over the years. It has helped me to appreciate life 'moment by moment'. Instead of looking at that half-empty glass, be grateful it is half full, feel gratitude for the electric light bulb that brightens up the dark winter days, the thick socks that keep your feet warm when you're outside, the smile that is returned when you smile and acknowledge someone walking towards you..... The list of possible moments to be grateful for is endless!
This Christmas (or whichever festive event you celebrate) might not be the 'perfect' Christmas but it can be appreciated more by noticing those moments (it's catching!) and then observe how much easier it becomes to notice more moments. People who look for the positives in life tend to be healthier, happier, heal quicker and generally enjoy life more!
Wishing you the very best for the festive season and 2019!
Gratitude....... This past week, I was reminded just how much we need to be grateful for every minute, and every second, of every day. As I wrote the last blog, I knew that Kirsty, my four-legged friend, was nearing the end of her long, much loved life. However, it was within hours of posting the blog post, that she had deteriorated to the point where I had to call the vet. I knew I was possibly going to have to make a very difficult decision and decided to go to my 16G cards (I will write more about 16 Guidelines for a Happy Life in more detail soon). The card that I chose/chose me was 'Principles'. This was very interesting, as I have very strong principles when it comes to the end of life care, of both myself and my animals. Any decision had to have Kirsty at the centre, with my feelings taking a firm second place. Later that morning she crossed 'The Rainbow Bridge' to reunite with her pals, Ben and Rannoch. It was a peaceful end, as she drifted off to sleep with Reiki sparkles (something she loved her whole life) easing her last breaths.
The next morning was the first morning in just under twenty years, that I woke up to no dog in the house. It was very empty and I wondered what sort of day lay ahead (the 16G card was 'Aspiration' that morning). It was time to benefit from the other tools in my tool box! I started to tap on that awful emptiness. I was soon tapping on the gaping chasm in my heart. However, as I tapped that round, it came to me that the chasm wasn't empty at all, it was full of the love that Kirsty and I had shared over the years. I began to feel that the level of emotion was easier to accept. I ended up tapping on the fact I had not been ready for Kirsty to go. Again, it came to me during that round, that I would have never 'been ready' for that moment and that I had so many years to look back on, with so much gratitude for her friendship. That got me to the elusive zero! However, even though I felt at a 0, I still felt sad. I ended the session tapping on that, realising that it was right to feel sad, it was ok to feel sad, and now it was a 'calm' sadness that seemed more bearable.
For those of you wondering how 'Aspiration' fitted so well into that day (as it does every day!), I will share the meaning, as recorded in the 16G book:
'Aspiration is the profound longing for purpose and fulfilment, joy and happiness, which lies deep - and sometimes buried - in our hearts, and in the heart of every living being. It is the voice inside that urges us to use our life well and to make the best of whatever gifts and passions we possess. The way we choose to respond to that voice will determine all the other choices we make in our lives.'
Yet again, 16G helped to frame that day and remind me why I do what I do.
Meet Kirsty! She has been my constant companion in the lead up to AndBreathe... becoming a reality. She is a very elderly (14 years in February) black labrador and was so happy to find out we had a beautiful new walk this week! On the second Monday of every month, we will be visiting 'The Sanctuary', Whitecairns and taking time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. In addition to our very important walk, I will also be hosting a monthly 'Group Tapping' session, as well as offering EFT/Tapping and Reiki appointments. Please check the Registration and Booking pages on the website to book a session! Any queries or questions, please use the Contacts page.
The 'Taster Sessions' held at the Bennachie Leisure Centre last week were well received, with lots of discussion, laughter and maybe a few tears (tissues supplied!). Both sessions focussed on choices around food. Group sessions are 'lighter' sessions, where we focus on more general issues, minor irritations, niggles and pains. I will be holding monthly 'Group Tapping sessions at the Bennachie Leisure, as well as other venues listed in this website. Group sessions are good for introducing people to EFT/Tapping.
The Pawsb schools for this term are approaching their last session. This week we were dealing with 'the storytelling mind'. I love to watch children begin to see how mindfulness can help them in their day to day lives. It's a good feeling, knowing that I am sharing a habit that will last them a lifetime. For more information about Pawsb, please go to the Pawsb and .b page on this website.
This Saturday I will be sharing an event with 'Qi-in-Me' at Fetternear Hall, near Kemnay. This is planned to be a treat for all who attend! A time to feel pampered in the lead up to the 'C' word! Participants will be led through a Qi Gong session, a Group Tap and a Loving Kindness meditation followed by a Soundbath. So looking forward to sharing this event!
To keep updated about events and all the goings on, feel free to register on the AndBreathe... website. AndBreathe... gift certificates can be applied to appointments, group sessions and events. You can find them for sale in the 'Shop' page on the website. A perfect gift for all ages!
Thank you for reading this far! AndBreathe... is a very exciting venture and I am glad you have joined me on the journey!