What is the meaning of Christmas for you as an adult? – finding your integrity and enjoying Christmas the way you want to!

Integrity is a topic that is coming up alot in my life at the moment. Someone asked me recently what does having integrity mean to me? For me it means following my ideals, walking my talk and my inner moral compass. It was a great soul searching question and I enjoyed the teaching gift that conversation gave me immensely. It made me wonder how many of us are actually in tune with what integrity means to us? Or is it just a buzzword that gets thrown around yet we don’t really dig deep under the surface of meaning?  

A few days afterwards it suddenly struck me that Christmas is actually one point in our yearly calendar that can really help us find our integrity and re tune with that. You maybe thik How on earth does that work? Well let me tell you. Christmas is obviously for millions of people a religious festival. However for the rest of us what is Christmas really about? You ay have even been part of those discussions the crash commercialism of Christmas, complaining about early Christmas decorations or the pressures of all the Christmas events you have to fit into your already busy schedule. And yet with all this in mind you may find that you still attend the parties, partake in the crash commercialism by buying the gifts and decorate your house. Is this maintaining your integrity? No certainly not. And that’s why I say that in today’s modern society when we celebrate a festival like christmas it is an opportunity to realign ourselves into a place of integrity. If we can find our what Christmas means to us and how to celebrate that with integrity then it is possible to be consciously aware of living a life of integrity. Which that means living a life where we can respect ourselves and that is a great Christmas gift to ourselves!

So how do you realign and find your yuletide integrity? Actually it’s a fairly quick and easy process and will take you no more than 15- 20 mins if you put your mind to it. And the great thing about this is that you can do this alone or as a family, or with your partner, which helps to eliminate those Christmas squabbles we can all live without!

Here’s my tips of how you can connect with your integrity this Christmas and give yourself the best adult Christmas you have ever had.

Working with, not against Christmas (for the Christmas hater)

You know that even if you are not a Christmas person that it will still be going on around you In fact fighting it and being anti Christmas gives you constant opportunity to be negative. And who wants that, really? No-one who is negative has a truly happy life. Negativity does not serve you. Working with Christmas does not mean you have to like it. It means you will have to find a way to enjoy it for yourself. So you have to accept the fact you have to work with Christmas not against it.  You are going to have a holiday from work. People will want to see you for dinner. So make your peace with Christmas and shift your mindset from the I hate Christmas to I want to live a happier life in December.

Find your meaning in Christmas

Christmas means something different to every person. In my family it means very different things. For me Christmas is about being grateful for the gifts in my life, honouring the spirit of nature, giving and receiving gift,s as well as sharing cosy memories with the people I love. My Mum and my brother are the similar but for them they also really enjoy the Christmas TV and the break from work. My Dad and his wife are not Christmas lovers. They enjoy it by taking a break from life, eating good food and going for walks, their christmas is a time of happy solitude. Knowing what Christmas means to you means knowing how you will best enjoy Christmas.

Brainstorm  what Christmas means to you. And here let your inner child come out to play. Just because you are an adult does not mean you have to be boring at Christmas time. If you used to love snowman then the chances are you probably still do you just haven’t done it for a long time.  Include your values, activities you like. All the things you see as positive aspects of this time of year.

Find out what Christmas doesn’t mean to you.

It is equally important to know what Christmas doesn’t mean to you. For my Dad and his wife they don’t do presents because it’s not important to them, no-one in my family attends Church as we are not Christian. I however watch the winter solstice sunrise and light a candle during the longest night as this is important to me. Make a list of what Christmas doesn’t mean to you.

Check in with your Christmas activities

Now have a look at the things you intend to do at Christmas. (It’s best to do this on paper.) Make a list. Now put a ring around all the activities that are not in line with your meaning of how to enjoy your Christmas. If you can see that things you will enjoy are not on your list then add them. For example as I child I often made Christmas presents and for years as an adult I didn’t. However I love crafting. aking the presents actually gave me an opportunity to learn something new, so I have reintroduced it into my Christmas traditions.

Restrategies your activities

Now what to do about those activities that aren’t aligned with your meaning of Christmas?

It’s time to restrategise these activities so you can be true to yourself. This is tough. Some of those activities involved other people. Not doing them might hurt someone you love. Here you have to be creative. Firstly look at anything you absolutely have to do that  you can easily  rearrange how you do it. For example- Online shopping instead of the mall. Donating christmas gift money instead of buying lots of presents and asking family to do the same for you. Have a kindness advent calendar instead of a chocolate one.  

Now the harder part. Is there anything you want to completely drop? There is a family tradition in Mr T’s family where they visit the graveyard of a deceased relative. I have participated for 3 years however as I didn’t know this person I feel false. I only go to support the family and honestly I could do with the time to relax before Christmas for myself. So what to do? In this case I talk to Mr T and find a compromise. It gives the opportunity to honestly openly discuss it and find a way to meet both our needs.

Setting boundaries

Christmas dinner at you sister’s house with your parents, could be something you hate about Christmas. However your parents would be so hurt if you didn’t come. Here you need to ask yourself what is the important thing here? In this scenario you don’t want to hurt your parents. This is being true to your integrity. And this is why you will still attend. However you don’t have to be a victim and just go along with everything. To maintain your integrity you need to set boundaries. Pre agree with your parents you will only attend the day for part of it. This way you can please them and please yourself.  Plan something that you will enjoy for the rest of the day so you can enjoy yourself. If your parents would like to see more of you over the holidays then do lunch with them. Yes you will have to make compromises over Christmas however these do not have to cost you your happiness. So find your integrity, identify your limits, set boundaries in your compromises and plan energy booster after you have done something you had to compromise on.

Make sure you enjoy the things you want to enjoy

It sounds maybe strange to mention this however when we have a lot to do (and of course December is hella busy) we often drop the fun stuff. Not OK. Fun is something we all need in the middle of winter. It’s our midwinter boost and seriously important for our mental health. So make your fun as important as everything else. Plan your fun into your December. A great way to do this is to do a December month plan (See this #lifelsson101 on planning december without stress).

Stick to your choices

Now you know where you are and what you want to do- stick to it. A belief you cannot hold to is not worth it’s salt. Walk your talk and hold onto your integrity. This can be challenging in the face of everyone else’s behaviour however look at it this way. When we walk from a place of integrity we offer other people inspiration to do the same and that is a great gift to the world.

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The important part of this soul searching journey is to do it now. If you want your family/friends/partners to be along for the same ride then you need to talk to them quickly before they get set in their ideas and expectations. Make this Christmas one you are going to enjoy. A Christmas where you can hold to your inner truth and appreciate the moment the way you want to and you will find that you have given yourself the gift of a stronger happier you for 2018.

Have a lovely week <3

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#lifelessons101: Finding your integrity

This week I was supposed to be hosting an important event – the first meeting of a new women’s circle in my local library. I was so excited to be taking on the challenge of creating a new sacred space for women in a traditional male dominated community. However due to miscommunications it has now been postponed for one month. And honestly I am feeling glad. Why? you might ask. Well it was all to do with this month’s theme. Integrity.

It might seem strange. Integrity is a positive thing. Living a life of integrity, or coming from a place of integrity is powerful. Yet have you ever stopped to think what integrity means to you? How do you live your life from a place of integrity? Honestly these questions stopped me flat. For two weeks I have been mulling this theme around and around in my mind and I have to admit it’s made me feel uncomfortable.

As I thought about it I realised that actually although on the surface I do live a life of integrity when I began to look deeper I realised that that’s not always the case. Integrity to some people means doing the right thing, and yes that is part of it. However for me integrity is much more than that. It is a sense of wholeness. Being in the flow of living from one’s truth and walking your talk. It’s hard to explain but if you remember that uncomfortable feeling you had as a child when not telling the truth, that is the opposite of living in integrity.

So through some google-fu, university youtube and a lot of soul searching here is my guide to finding your integrity. If I am to be completely truthful this article has been researched and written for my own benefit, if it helps and inspires you then that is an added bonus!

Define your core values

In 3 words define your core values. Sounds simple, I promise you this is the most challenging part of the journey. In order to live your truth you need to know what your truth is. Cutting it down to three words keeps you focused and keeps it simple.

Make an agreement with yourself that you are choosing to live your life in harmony with these core values.

Who are you?

Are you the kind of person you say you are? We all have personal narratives, stories we tell about ourselves. Have a look at that. What is it you put out into the world? What is it you tell the world about you? Are you actually living your life as the person you say you are? And most importantly is that person living in harmony with your core values?

Identify your untruths

Somewhere you will be living little lies that are not inline with your core values Find them. Identify them. You will probably find that here are areas of your life that you don’t like and that actually have created a lack of trust in yourself. Find out your weak areas so you can tidy them up.

Vision and action inspiration

It is not enough just to think we also have to do. Walking your talk is a BIG part of living a life of integrity. Create a personal vision statement that gives you clarity about your beliefs and will lead you to become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Then brainstorm certain actions you can take which will align your daily life with your core values and vision of yourself. If you like you can brainstorm for certain areas of your life such as family, work, myself etc etc.
Put it all into practise

Living with integrity means living consciously, making decisions that are in line with our core values and doing what we believe is right. So now you know your core and have ideas for your actions go out and do them. Don’t worry if you make mistakes just bring yourself back on track and if you need to tidy up your mistakes. Keep your agreements. Speak and live your truths and take responsibility for yourself and your life.

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You have inside of you a little voice (or jiminey cricket if you prefer a visual representation) that will tell you when you are not living in tune with your integrity so learn to listen to it. The more you try to hear it the easier it will become. Reclaim your integrity this weekend and go back to work rested and ready to show the world you respect yourself enough to live your truth and I am certain the world will begin to respect you a hundred times more than it did on friday!

HAppy Weekend  – Enjoy your journey <3

To live life with INTEGRITY means never forgettingwho you are

#LifeLesson101 – Ways to find your self respect and be true to yourself (3 min read)

 

Happy Friday y’all 😀

This week during my miracle morning it was time to choose a new book.( I always love this part it’s exciting to think of the new teachings to come.) So I closed my eyes and let my hand fall naturally on a new book. To my disappointment it landed on the Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Macmillan. Don’t get me wrong , it’s a great book with many insights and teachings, it just wasn’t what I was hoping for. So although reluctant, I decided that the universe knows best and read it anyway.

I am so glad I did. One teaching became so apparently clear that I couldn’t ignore it.

Do you respect yourself?

And if you don’t how can you expect others to respect you?

(Although really that’s is not seriously important, your opinion of you matters the most)

This question rolled around my mind, a lot. Do I truly respect myself? I like myself, in fact, I’d go as far to say I love myself. But respect, well I had never given it proper consideration.  And then that poses the question if I don’t respect myself then how can I love myself?  And that  led to what is self respect?

What is self respect? There are so many answers to this question. Self respect is extremely personal. For me it means walking my talk and living my truth. If I put my beliefs into practise then I am truly able to respect myself.

Time to get back to the drawing board and figure out a way to create my self respect……….

Below is the process  of four steps I have been through during this week  to recover my self respect. And already I feel so much better. Already by making myself more aware of the things I need to do to respect myself, the  more I feel my belief in myself rising and my vibration changing. Now my self respect is growing and due to that I love myself even more. When you love and respect yourself life is a beautiful experience from the vibration you send out.

Decide what self respect means to you.

This is a personal definition. No answer to that question is wrong or right. Decide what is right for you.

What do I respect myself for?

One of the best processes ever. Make a list of things that you respect yourself for. Start every sentence with I respect myself for ……………………… Once you start it’s hard to stop. There is so much you have to respect yourself for so take a moment to celebrate that.

What don’t I respect myself for?

Using your definition of self respect make a new list. The what I don’t respect myself for list. Be truthful. Start every sentence with I don’t respect myself for ……………………… You will know if you are not being honest and with this honesty counts. Don’t get into your stuff about these things or allow a negative self judging spiral to start. You are doing something about these challenges now. They are in the past and it is the now you can change.

From not respecting you to respecting you

Look at the don’t respect list. For each of the points write what you can do to change this around and respect yourself for. For example I want to help the planet recover from the abuse it has suffered and yet I was eating Macdonald. (I know, don’t say it I know) So the solution was simply to choose not to eat there. Basically from positive to negative.

Do it and be kind to you

You have a plan so follow it. You know now after this process what you need to do, so do it. And be kind to you. It’s ok if you don’t manage to make the changes all at once. Allow yourself to notice if you fall off the bandwagon. Notice let it go and then do you best to hold to your resolutions and create the new habits you are forming.

 

Take a journey of discovery this week and improve your self respect, it will I promise lead to some fantastic and rich insights that will make you more conscious of your life and much, much happier every day.  After all if you are being true to yourself then the rest is just icing on the cake….mmmm cake!

Happy Friday 🙂

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