Around this time of the year, shopping is the last thing I want to do. There’s just too much pressure to buy, overwhelmingly so. As though not having the right Christmas accoutrements could be fatal.
But there’s one thing I absolutely love: lights. Christmas lights.
Having made my decision to shop, I said “no” (mentally) to Amazon and other retail giants and went to my local electricity supply store instead. To buy Christmas lights, that is.
I could say this was a noble gesture of support towards small business owners and the local community.
There was a much more selfish reason for going there, however.
I just had to see someone.
The store manager.
You see, the store manager is the female version of Jack Dee.
Same kind of face. Only sadder.
Honestly, two minutes with her in the shop is worth ten laughter yoga classes. Maybe more.
And so, I hovered for a while, until I saw her standing at the till. That was the moment I went over to pay.
“How’s it going?”, I asked.
She looked up and in true female-Jack-Dee-only-sadder-style confessed she was practically suicidal.
“Why?”, I asked.
“The street musician outside’s been singing ‘Jingle Bells’ since 8am this morning… Non-stop…It’s been days…I mean, who is it for?!”
The assistant manager and I shared a discreet smile, knowing there’d be more…
Her move was smooth. Imperceptible.
Without as much as twitching a muscle, she launched Martin.
I had completely missed the small green shape next to the till.
Martin, donning a Father Christmas hat and a special name tag, is a miniature (mains powered) rock-star Christmas tree that sings, dances and plays electric guitar. I believe Martin doesn’t have hips, but he was swinging something very persuasively, besides turning this way and that, moving his arms (branches?!) up and down, blasting one magnificent solo after another. (In an American accent, obviously.)
The assistant manager and I were in fits of laughter, while the female-Jack-Dee-only-sadder manager stood motionless, looking like she was about to hang herself.
OK, so you had to be there for this to be really funny, but there’s a serious reason why I’m sharing the story.
The fact is, around this time of the year, we are all under immense stress and pressure. Those who suffer from or are susceptible to depression may feel this even more, but there’s a general tendency to burden ourselves with too many responsibilities, obligations and (unrealistic) expectations of what “a good Christmas” is like.
As the end of the year approaches, we look back and often see all the ways in which we fell short of our own wishes and expectations. All those last year’s New Year’s resolutions that never materialized, the aspirations that turned into disappointment, the endings, the hurts, the time that flies and how we’re soon to be a year older.
In our gatherings with family, friends and colleagues, trying too hard to have a great time can leave us feeling resentful and fake. Our intimate relationships feel the strain and any relationship challenges, disconnection, or loneliness we may have been experiencing become augmented, more obvious and painful. Drinking too much, eating too much, spending too much in an effort to cover it all up, doesn’t make anything better.
Don’t let me paint too dire a picture, though. It’s also possible to have a fine time. Honestly.
(Unless you’re Jack Dee, in which case you’re permanently grumpy.)
Here are my top tips for a smoother Christmas season:
- Relax your expectations.
Be gentle with yourself. Be as you are and let that be OK.
- Reduce obligations.
Dare to accept only those invitations that actually bring you joy. Be realistic about how much energy you have to give and to whom you give it.
- Prioritise people over things.
Shop less, connect more. Make more eye contact, smile more. When you nurture connection, you’ll find entertainment takes care of itself.
- Stay present.
Decide where you mean to be, and mean to be there. Your presence, your energy and undivided attention, are the best gifts you have to offer.
- Where possible, dance.
Dancing is a wonderful way to release tension, connect and have fun. It’s a natural high. Dance on your own. Dance with others. According to Professor Joel Wade, it “communicates beauty, health, strength, and sexual attractiveness.” Need I say more?
- Think success.
If you find yourself thinking about the past, actively turn your attention to all your victories, large and small. Recognise all that you have learned and all the ways in which you have grown. Count your blessings. If you’re going to think about the future, think positively — and start again at #1: Relax your expectations… etc
Wishing you a very merry Christmas, and hope to see you at the next Soul Mate Connections – Christmas edition on Tuesday, 15th December. It’s the perfect antidote to the Christmas blues.
Lots of connection. Lots of dancing. Lots of treats.
Or go a step further and grab a place on The Ultimate Connection Summer Retreat in Spain.
Beautiful scenic location, fresh air, spring waters, pool & sauna plus awesome connection sessions, meditation, dance… perfect for body, mind and soul!
Possibly the best gift you can give yourself and an infinitely more holistic and lasting way to beat the stress and disconnection. Soul sexual alchemy at its best.
Want some coaching?
Have a story to share?
Go ahead and get in touch with me. I’d love to hear from you!
Love & blessings,
P.S. One last alternative Christmas ad for you. From Jack Dee. Enjoy!
P.P.S. In case you’re wondering, no, I’m not on commission and not selling Jack Dee’s DVD. But you may like my special Gift range: sensual & spiritual oils and essences for that sweet alchemy. Not for cheapskates.