Christmas is a time that evokes many different emotions and expectations – positive and negative.
There is much focus on family and togetherness and this can touch up a lot of old wounds and increase of a sense of isolation for some.
Christmas can be a very difficult experience when negative memories and expectations are ruling and controlling us.
If you are someone for whom Christmas brings up anger, hurt, sadness or such feelings why not decide that this year is going to be different?  Why allow your energies to be caught in the past and allow thoughts and feelings of resentment, bitterness, anger and such to take you over.
You have the power to change your experience – each of us has this power but we must claim it and use it.
Nobody else can take away this pain for you and if they try, you will think such thoughts as they just don’t understand what its like, its so different for them.  So nothing they do will work – it is you who must make this choice to stop giving your power away to the past, to old memories – to stop giving your power away to the story you always tell yourself about Christmas.
You can use the power within you to create a new story, the story of how you want to live Christmas and the rest of your life.
When a lot of your energy is stuck in the past, your mind is closed.  Open your mind and allow ideas to flow.  Allow yourself to be creative.
Light a candle and be still. 
Allow the blessings of this time to come into your heart and open your heart.
Open yourself to Love’s Presence.  Attune yourself to the Truth of you.
Experience how different it is to put your mind and attention on these and to take your attention away from all the old negative memories and expectations.
Create a new story for yourself about Christmas and you and all that you want to make happen.
Push out from all the old limiting beliefs and see what emerges.
You may say to me things like I don’t know what love is, I don’t know how to create a different story – it’s all too hard.
This is your inner child saying no and she/he needs to know that you are in charge and you are determined to make changes.  You want him/her to know that you love her/him and will protect him/her and that you will make a lovely Christmas experience for her/him.
If you are a person who is feeling isolated and on your own for Christmas don’t close down and think there are no solutions to this, that you must just get through it.  Sit quietly and connect with the soul within you, with Spirit and reflect on this challenge of isolation.  Ask for help with it. Write the story of how you would like it to be, imagine it, create your new story.
For others, Christmas challenges them to stop the busy-ness and tune into the Spirit within, to watch the pull to ignore the voice of inner guidance, to introduce new ways of celebrating this important time, to “Thine own Self be true”.
We are all on a journey and everything is a lesson, a challenge and an opportunity to grow.  We easily forget who we are and that life here is precious and all about learning and growing. We have the power to change our experience.


Crisis as opening to more


Written by  on 19 December, 2013

Gill RiordanCounselling still holds some stigma. There’s an idea that those who seek counselling are people with “problems”, people who aren’t “managing” their lives, who are somehow weaker and less able.

I remember the feeling when, as a student of psychotherapy, my boss suggested I increase my sessions. I felt like I was sick, a no-good. I felt devastated. I also noticed that I felt open. I was vulnerable and I was strong in my openness. I admitted to myself that I did need more help at the time and that was ok. I wanted to learn and grow and not hide and make do.

I remember reading, during my main studies, that a person who is in crisis is opening up to more of themselves, allowing more to come through. This is the potential of the crisis. Of course, we can stuff it down and put up the defences, afraid of what it might mean and avoid looking at what is calling to us. The crisis passes, stuffed down into a deeper part of us, and life goes on.

“It takes courage to admit to your need for help”

The child in us, as a result of certain experiences, has fixed ideas on what can be managed and what can’t be and this is often holding us in a tight grip, even as adults. There may be a belief, held inside, that, for example, conflict is something I can’t handle so I must avoid it and in order to do this I must never rock the boat. Or it might be that the story you tell yourself is, that if someone isn’t happy, it’s your fault or if someone seems displeased or disapproving it’s because you have done something wrong. There may be feelings held inside you that seem just too big to handle so they are best stuffed down. However, this way they have a lot of control over you.

It takes courage, real courage and grit, to admit to your need for help and to take action on this. It takes trust to believe that you will find the best person for you to work with through this challenge. It takes staying power to work through the experience and learn what it is you are to learn and it takes trust. This is living and not just existing, making do.

Life is all about learning and growing, evolving, becoming, expansion. There is always more to discover and open to. It is only fear that stops us and gets in our way. So often, we stay in that comfort zone believing it is safer that way but the truth is that fear increases in the comfort zone. The best way to deal with fear and not let it be the controller is to stretch yourself, and keep doing things that challenge you and move you forward. As Susan Jeffers book title says, “Feel the fear and do it anyway”.

Life is for living and living fully. When a person climbs a mountain, they seek a guide and so, similarly, we all need a guide at times to help us climb our mountain of life so that we keep growing and moving upwards.

Positive Living


Positive living means seeing the good, focusing on the good, expecting good. This is a big shift for us because the general habit is a negative focus and negative expectation.  All you have to do is listen to some conversations and to the news and you get the picture. A lot of negative focus.

When you are starting your day, instead of getting caught up into tension and struggle, smile broadly and say to yourself “I bless this day and give thanks for it.  I am looking forward to the day and all the gifts and opportunities to grow that it has in store for me.”  You have set an attitude of gratitude and positive expectation for the day and this is powerful.
As challenges come up, you remind yourself that these are opportunities to learn and grow – not problems, bad and something to struggle against. We do need to keep reminding ourselves of this.
It takes practice to keep our minds and hearts focused on positive expectation, expecting good and this practice uplifts and encourages us and we see and experience more and more good.
This does not mean that we ignore what does need changing.
The Government can be a focus of criticism and negative expectation. Many decry the Government and constantly give out about them, express little or no faith in them and think of them only as corrupt.
When we are critical and have negative thoughts and conversations like these, we send out negative energies and these affect the receiver as well as the sender.
It is very different to bless those in Government and be grateful for the Government we do have and the general order this brings to our society. We can also hold that we desire improvements and focus on how we would desire it to be.  This is powerful – it puts out an energy of positive expectation and we are strengthening the vision of the greater good.
Rather than focus on what you don’t have, bless what you do have, think and write about what you want and visualise it.  Put images of what you want to attract into your life in a scrapbook or up on your fridge. Live as if you have these. These are the energies that attract to you what you want and desire.
When you are challenged financially, see it as a challenge and opportunity.  Bless what you have – the money you have, the work you have, where you live – and focus on what you want. Live in trust and faith that when you want to increase the good in your life and you keep your faith in this, you will receive it.
Faith is not about believing in what you were told was truth by outside persons – “Faith means we are confident of what we hope for, convinced of what we do not see.” Moffat.

Judgement vs Discernment

Judgement of others is a habit. It comes from the belief in and experience of separateness and it increases separateness.

It is caused by an old faulty belief that the other person is a threat to me and I must be superior so that I am not inferior.

Judgement of others has us in our heads and out of our hearts – it’s kind of cold and distancing.

We also tend to judge ourselves and to expect judgment.

The effect of all this judgement is to squash, disempower and cause feelings of being unlovable and unworthy.

Discernment is different and is an essential quality for us to develop.  It is about making a judgement about something or someone but with unconditional love.  It is about wisdom and conscious choices and being clear about what is the best for us to do.

Discernment is about making a judgement for the sake of doing what is best and is not at all about criticism or putting the other down.

When we practise discernment we are thinking about things and gathering information so that we make the best possible decisions.

When I made a choice to stop the habit of judging and started to journal about it, I felt like all I did was judge. It seemed like such an automatic response – I couldn’t believe the strength of this negative habit.

It is important to not give yourself a hard time for this but to love and forgive yourself and see it as a victory that you are willing to overcome this habit and want to love yourself and others more.

It does take commitment and practice.  I found it very helpful, when I observed that I was going into judgement mode, to consciously get out of my head and into my heart and feel love.  I also affirm to myself that I want the best for the other and to help them on their path.  Why would I ever seek to harm or disempower another person?

This habit only persists because of faulty beliefs and patterns we have, because we aren’t fully conscious of it and because we have not had the experience of thinking about it and realising how unloving and crippling it is to self and others.

The great and real reward of working to overcome this habit is that you feel more love and compassion. You feel more connected to others and you are clearer about what really matters to you.