Christmas is one HUGE stressor, the Sun once claimed it was more stressful than going through divorce! It's everything from cost, repetitive festive jingles and pressure, through to the loneliness and feelings of inadequacy when everyone else’s Christmas seems to be so “perfect”. More than at any other time our Christmas experiences are put under the microscope and compared to the ad man’s ideal, we tend to feel frustrated and a bit bah-humbug!
How would you like to have the Christmas of YOUR dreams, as opposed to everyone else’s?.
Major disruptions are a “gotcha” we all experience at one time or another in our lives. We lose our job or get passed over for promotion; a loved one dies, leaves or gets in trouble; a project stalls or gets cancelled. The list, unfortunately, is endless.
For some, the impact of these hard times is overwhelming. Recovery, if it comes at all, can be painfully slow. Others show resilience and are admirably able to glide through these times fairly easily, bouncing back to a normal life again quickly. Resilience—the strength required to adapt to change—acts as our internal compass so we can resourcefully navigate an upset.
It is wow, just to be alive and breathing, isn’t it? And, actually, that is sometimes as good as it gets. During the Cyprus Retreat some of the group made a trip to Pathos to see the mosaics, others chilled by the pool or beach and I found myself with the afternoon free! I went scuba diving and felt firsthand the beauty of my own breath. I became totally absorbed in the sound of my inhalation and the feeling of the bubbles leaving my mouth on the exhalation. It was intoxicating. I didn’t realise I was slowing my breath – apparently a good thing in yoga is a not-so-good thing in scuba – still it was fun and so relaxing at the same time. I had a similar experience snorkelling on the day of our boat trip, seeing the beautiful fishes made me feel at one with creation.
Psychotherapy is invaluable in uncovering our deepest feelings and catharsis is crucial in temporarily releasing our pain. These psychological techniques prepare us for the journey of healing, but they often are not enough to lead us through the deeper way of transformation. Healing without transformation risks re-living negative patterns over and over, in the wrong hands even reinforcing them by repetition, rather than truly putting them behind us.