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"Everything is waiting for you" - David Whyte

Dear Friends, Thank you for sharing this year with me , its ups and downs, detours and round-abouts! It has been an eventful year for many of us. A year full of change, adventure, struggle, and transformation. Now, we are coming to its end, it is the perfect time to reflect on all that we have achieved, all that we have let go of, and all that we are creating more of in our lives. Yesterday, was the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the signal for the brighter, lighter days to come. I attended a festival in Smithfield Square in Dublin where we wrote our wishes for the new year onto a withy (a twig or stick with a piece of paper attached) and then offered it to the ceremonial fire (representing the light of the new year). It was a moment of hope, of commitment to what we want to create, and of the belief that we can do it. And judging by how the crowd of people around me slowly took it in turns to offer their withies to the flames, the ritual had a profound effect on each one of us. While these last few days before Christmas are a hectic time for most of us, it is also good time to begin reflecting on what you would like to bring more of into your life in 2017. At this time of year we naturally begin to plant the seeds of new beginnings in our hearts and minds. A helpful way to start the process is by putting 30 minutes aside and listing all the things you have done this year that you are proud of. Everything from putting a boundary in place with someone to completing an important project to trying something new or letting go of outdated beliefs about yourself. Now take a good look at the list and celebrate your achievements, really absorb them and thank yourself for taking these important steps. Next, take a moment to see where you could develop some of these initiatives and jot down all of your ideas, the big bold exciting ones and the small steady stabilising ones. Everything that makes you feel tingly and alive! When you glance over the list, doesn't it feel good :) Now, think about what you would like to grow and flourish in 2017. Is there ONE WORD that could sum up how you will be in yourself and in the world? Mindful, courageous, focused, adventurous, confident, healthy, compassionate...? A word that could rest in your heart throughout the year to remind you of who you are? My word is 'joyful'. After all of the sadness this year with the ongoing war in Syria, the refugee crisis, poverty and homelessness, and so many other hardships and traumas people, animals and the planet are suffering, I struggled to feel joy. Partly because I felt guilty. Guilty that I was safe when others were struggling to survive. But, abandoning our own joy does not help anyone. As the year comes to a close I realise how important it is to feel the joy in the things we often take for granted, like our health, our friendships and our families. The joy in being able to take action, to speak out and stand up for those who can't. The joy in being able to comfort and lighten the load of those who are suffering and who need us at this time. As we all know, emotions are contagious, and we have the power to brighten someones day, by being whatever we want to see more of in the world. What about you, what is your word? Why have you chosen it? And what difference could it make to your life and to the lives of others? I hope you will take it into your heart in 2017 and embody it for yourself and others.

Poem of the Month:

'Everything is Waiting for You'

Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone. As if life were a progressive and cunning crime with no witness to the tiny hidden transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely, even you, at times, have felt the grand array; the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice You must note the way the soap dish enables you, or the window latch grants you freedom. Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity. The stairs are your mentor of things to come, the doors have always been there to frighten you and invite you, and the tiny speaker in the phone is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation. The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness and seen the good in you at last. All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

Thank you for reading this blog. I would like to wish you a peaceful and happy Christmas and a New Year where 'everything is waiting for you' <3 Shirley xx

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