As We End The Year 2023

For some reason, this year more than ever there seems to be a kind of weariness around as we embrace the festive season. Maybe it’s still a kind of post-pandemic tiredness, whereby we are living life more fully again but still carrying the shock of the pandemic and its impact. Or maybe it’s just trying to do too much and feeling overwhelmed when Christmas and all that comes with it. The expectations as well as the actual work and commitments that’s added into the mix. Or maybe it’s just normal, human, comparison despair when we see others celebrating a great year and feel our own experience of 2023 somewhat diminished.

However you are experiencing the festive season I wanted to share with you some thoughts and resources for navigating it all in ways that nourish and empower you.

For me personally, I love this time of the year. I grew up in a shop, a local village grocery store, that provided everything from nails to newspapers, food staples to treats. Christmas was manic in the shop for the few weeks in the lead up. Then on Christmas Eve, the Christmas draw (Raffle) would take place late afternoon, prizes would be allocated, dispatched and the wind down would begin.

Christmas Day and St Stephens Day were the only two days of the year that the shop didn’t open. And even on those days, you’d never see someone stuck for a pint of milk or a packet of cigarettes if they came to knock on the door. Such were the times! The few days between Christmas and New Year were the quietest all year and I loved it. It has stayed with me ever since that this is my quiet time, my time for reflection and rejuvenation, for hanging out with family and lazy days around the fire.

Today I want to encourage you to create some time like that for yourself. By all means, enjoy the festivities in whatever ways you like to celebrate. And, create, make or take some me time, quiet time, reflection time. Everything in the natural world is telling us and teaching us how to slow down at the moment and it serves us best when we match that pace.

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

If you’d like some resources to support you in your reflections, be sure and use my 2024 Make Your New Year Your Best Year Workbook. I think it’s the best one I’ve created so far and there is lots in it to support your reflections on 2023 and create a new year you’d love.

You are also warmly invited to join us for the free Masterclass, live on Zoom at 7pm on 4 January to empower you to create a great trajectory for 2024. Register here to access the Zoom link.

I am conscious that for all of us Christmas can also be a time when we can get triggered. Often times there can be things going on in our lives that make it a stressful time. Loved ones can be sick or missing – you may have lost a loved one this year, or your nearest kin or friends may be overseas or distanced from you in some way. Sometimes we just get worn out from overdoing it or being around people whom we find challenging. Sometimes tempers fray and we find ourselves reacting in ways we’re not proud of.

I want to share with you some ideas that I was reminded of recently to support you in those moments when we express exasperation or displeasure in unhelpful ways. I believe it is always possible to ask for a do-over. Ask the person you had a challenging exchange with for the opportunity to re-visit the conversation. Acknowledge your willingness to take responsibility for your role or contribution and say you’d like to discuss things again, in service of strengthening your relationship. And schedule that conversation for another day, when you both have had time and space to be ready to have a better quality conversation. In the meantime, ask to put it aside and be willing to be present to each other and your wider group of family and friends in the spirit of the season.

If you need to, you can also make some time for yourself to have a disappointment appointment. The link takes you to a blog on the topic. To further contextualize the process to the scenario above this is what I’d suggest: Journal out the feelings, the disappointment about the exchange, the frustration about your response or theirs, your anger or whatever it is you are feeling. Journal it for the purpose of shifting the energy AND continue your journaling process to identify the growth for you in this experience and what you’d love to create going forwards and what you’re leaving behind in 2023.

Always remember that it is in the challenges, the moments of disruption, chaos and disappointment that we have the opportunity for the deepest growth. Be open to that.

And finally, I’m leaving you with this beautiful poem by Irish poet, John O’ Donohue, from his book:

To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

At The End Of The Year

As this year draws to its end, We give thanks for the gifts it brought And how they became inlaid within Where neither time nor tide can touch them.

The days when the veil lifted And the soul could see delight; When a quiver caressed the heart In the sheer exuberance of being here.

Surprises that came awake In forgotten corners of old fields Where expectation seemed to have quenched.

The slow, brooding times When all was awkward And the wave in the mind Pierced every sore with salt.

The darkened days that stopped The confidence of the dawn.

Days when beloved faces shone brighter With light from beyond themselves; And from the granite of some secret sorrow A stream of buried tears loosened.

We bless this year for all we learned, For all we loved and lost And for the quiet way it brought us Nearer to our invisible destination.

Thank you for being part of my community this year. I trust you are that bit nearer to your invisible destination and I look forward to continuing to walk our paths together in 2024.

Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

Cover Photo by Maja Il on Unsplash