Letter to a New Year

2015 year

Dear Friend

So another year has wound down and it’s time to celebrate and start again…

To ‘start again’ if only to break in a new calendar… To learn to live in a new year and to remember to write 2015 instead of 2014 – whenever I mark the day… To decide what this year is for – what will continue, what will end and what will begin… again..? Since it is the again time as well as the fresh start time.

Time is marked by the passing of days, then weeks along with months, and so seasons turn into years… And as every day is the seed of a new start, so comes the new year, fresh with promise, ready to grow and give, and ready too to change and reinforce.

This is traditionally time to ‘resolute’ – to resolve the future with goals and games – now named resolutions… Time to fix, to change, to plan, to expect, to shape, to realise, to escape, to grow, to mutate, to travel or maybe, finally to stand still…

Or it can be a ‘good riddance that’s over’ time, or ‘I don’t bother with resolutions because I don’t keep them’ time… or, for many, it’s simply another day… or yet still a day to be shunned as non special for as many reasons as there are people on this planet…

And though a common enough human experience, with the calendar clicking around again, each New Years Eve is composed of each of our own memories, thoughts and feelings, the circumstances of so many happenings, on so many levels, so it is also entirely our own…

And will THIS new years eve make a difference or simply be another day sailed upon in the sea of your life..?

Time to decide, time to collude, to now set intentions that will actually turn into actions… So easily said…

So how to commit to a chain of real changes..? To commit in this context is to state – to write, to speak, to share…

First of all, create the container to claim and then draw your dreams, promises and plans… A journal, a piece of paper, a keyboard (with CPU and screen attached of course), or a flipchart – or what ever works for you, that you can come back to and review…

Do this in a ‘party’ where you can – share with a friend, on a forum, publish on line – your PUBLIC commitment will mean so much more… For THIS purpose (and for so many others), remember to seek the people that will nurture your desires and support you in giving them wings…

Make this creation a ceremony… Light a candle, or dance a dance, or what ever works for you; design your own ritual – to mark the boundaries of these new beginnings…

Now set your intentions… Decide to let new thoughts flow, new ideas download, decide to let your intuition rule and your heart have its way… Now is the time to feel, see, hear, taste and touch your schemes and dreams, and to literally let them take flight!

Now scribe! Simply ‘heart storm’ – fling down anything and everything that comes into your heart, into your brain, into your gut and your senses – write it, draw it or scrawl it – just let it out and get it out!

Now look your scribings over – is there a sense, a pattern, what are the priorities..? Here your head can join in, but not take over… If you are with others – talk this through – what within your heart stormings will mark out this new year for you..? What will flavour it, shape it and fly it to fruition?

Pick out the priorities – feel your way over them… Then create the final list or picture or graph or map… This is now refined to encompass the year ahead – clearly defined for your heart to own and structurally outlined for your head to action…

Now give your goals air – breath them, speak them, share them, publish them, post them on a wall…

Then seal the deal – state your commitment – how will you ensure this happens..?

Answer these questions and add the answers to your plan:

* How will you know if your resolutions have happened?
* How will you feel when the HAVE happened?
* What will have changed as a result? And…
* What will happen if they do NOT come to pass..?

To move from Dream to Action, now ask and answer:

* What now are your actions?
* When will you take them?
* Who completes them. You or will you share or delegate?
* Where will they take place?
* And how will they take place – these are the fine details…

And these answers now are your Action Wings, they cannot survive on paper alone and cannot grow in the dark. Move now, flow forward at what ever pace works for you, and take them one simple step at time.

This is your Yearling Plan, so promise to visit and revisit your intentions, like old friends – so set the reminders in your calendar or diary now, with your friends, with your forum, with your tribe – at least once a month, for the year ahead. And as you revisit your resolutions, revisit your resolution ritual too – renew the spirit of the New Year, of that special energy that you created and committed to at the beginning, and this means you are bringing it back in to your plans and actions again where ever you are in time, how ever you feel, what ever has changed…

And through the year, know that it is all good that the resolutions will flex and they will resolve and they will alter and they will be and they will exceed… As you live and relive them and nurture them along, they will unfurl and uncoil or explode or simply transpire… So let them…

This is YOUR year… so have it – love it and live it, with your dreams and goals and perfect plans giving it wonderful wings…

So here’s to 2015… the year of..?

Yours, already, with surprise and delight…

                  Sandra

PS: Grab the opportunity to embrace the New Year energy to start a new project, get something off the ground, clear some blockages, or get a fresh perspective, by having a New Start Coaching session, at a specially reduced price – all the details are here…

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Letter to Christmas Expectations

Xmas Anticipation

Dear Friend

Tan tar a!  Tan tan tar a..! An expectant fanfare announces that the big day is nearly here…

So Christmas is a-coming and with it our expectations – conscious or unconscious – are building… Building and growing – waiting to peak in a day of cosy rosy picture postcard family lugubriousness, or growing like mushrooms in our unlit subconscious, silently waiting for a glory day of mirth and merriment, or a gory day of festive misery…

And yuletide logs are thrown onto the fire of our expectations by the retail world – assaulted as we are with adverts and offers and reminders and jingles from (at least) November onwards… Gah! – I loathe doing Christmas too soon! I want my expectation to build slowly and in due order and in MY Christmas book – that cannot happen at least until mid December…

Then I shall stoke my own festive fire thank you and will dust off the Christmas music and journey into the loft to liberate the decorations.  Then I will doff the Santa hat (pink of course) and the angel earrings.  Then I will eat mince pies, drink mulled wine and strange spirits (like port and advocaat) so my taste buds will know that there will be a blow out of huge calorific proportions to come.  That there will be one day and one day alone when I shall eat Christmas pudding (don’t like it that much, so once is enough thank you very much).  And, there is a countdown so that the very same taste buds can’t wait to partake of a foodie feasting day and my greed will dictate that my stomach can anticipate stretched and loaded fullness yet again.

For many, it will simply be ‘another day’, for Christmas nay sayers and don’t carers and people of other cultures and beliefs.  For shift workers – it can be the same old same old, or else the addition of Santa hat and a mince pie, along with Yuletide bonhomie will tincture it differently and either make it harder (to make the effort to be there) or lighter and easier because you are there in full Christmas swing.  And always – know it or not, there will be expectation…

This is an expectation built on millennia of anticipation – a Christian celebration of the birth of a saviour; of more recent culture and custom demanding that we eat, drink, party and give gifts.  Ah – the anticipation of gifts, even for the adult… a sense of jumping back into childhood – waiting for Father Christmas – to unwrap and reveal treasures intended for us, for those things we childishly craved… that moment of feeling the parcel, of rattling it and weighing it up – guessing what lies within.  The joy of recognition (I got what I wanted) or surprise (an unexpected and cherished gift).

So if as adults, we experience a certain neutrality around receiving and unwrapping – is that born out of the fact that we have done this so many times in our lives; or that we insulate ourselves against the disappointments of more socks and bath cubes; or that some one some where buys us stuff and doesn’t know or care what is that we really want or that would really deliciously please us???

And the expectation is a commercialisation too of our sensibilities – that we should be connected families, that we should be jolly and merry and bright; that Christmas is a day of love and light… That the normal rules do not apply and every one will ‘behave’ and be happy.  So if Christmas is instead a day of shade and shadow – darkened by our heightened expectations, worn out by toil and tears, somehow the weight is more.  The gathering clouds of subconscious script spew forth acid rain on our brains and in our hearts.  This should be perfect day is angry, is dull, is lacking and is more so, because of a set of failed expectations, all balled up into one calendar day…

And I know those whose expectations lead them to loathe Christmas – they had bad Christmases past, where someone died or got divorced or beaten or forgotten or what ever bombshell sticks in the brain, this being glued to Christmas, to trigger off more bad memories and the anticipation of dread and repetition.

Yet these happenings are not Christmas, they may have been magnified by the expectation – an opposition of Christmas joys, yet they really are separate.

We can all choose our Christmas, in that it is after all, as well as a communal holiday – a state of mind.  Even better when it becomes a matter of heart, or heart over matter.  Let’s create our own Christmas – where we take the opportunity to kick back, relax, connect and hyperlink to the best parts of our childhood, or what ever way would be the best way for us to celebrate and cherish and relish what we have; feeding from the positive energy that so many are contributing into and not buying into anticipated angst.

Consciously create your very own positive expectations… feel Christmas coming like a tingle, a simple gorgeous shiver… and enjoy this moment… this reality now – shaped by what is to come – but not making it all dependent on then.  And if this is a burden, then simply think about the feelings you would choose to have and that will start to raise the dark curtains of impending doubt, rather than focussing on them…

So Christmas is all about expectation – we wait a full year for it after all, and having waited, let’s make the most of it and not fall into the least of it.

I expect Christmas will be what it will be after all, and I’ll choose Choicemas instead of Crisismas any day.

With love, as always

        Sandra

PS: To admit to a Christmas Cliché – the published book version of these Peachey Letters makes a perfect present ALL year round…  See these letters together with new material, to show you just how Peachy life can be.  You can get yours from my website and also from Amazon in either paperback or Kindle… or from any good book website from around the world…

Letter to Christmas Malady

Xmas Heart Bauble

Dear Christmas Malady

So we here we are and as I write this I have a pounding headache, I’m oh so tired and my muscles ache… Basically I’m suffering from a seasonal condition called C.A.D… Christmas Affective Disorder…

Every where I go, I meet people who are similarly afflicted – sniffing and croaking and bravely battling against Christmas maladies, afflictions, conditions, illnesses, or what ever label you choose to stick on them…

So this is Sickmas and what have we done to deserve this disease?  Why is this when now should be the time to rest and rejoice and yet our bodies rebel and implode instead?

So many Christmases I have spent with a box of tissues by my elbow, with antibiotics, paracetamol and a ready cupboard full of medicines, that I wonder what provokes this, and why it is such a part of the common Christmas experience of so many fellow sufferers..?

Could it be the mystery of the change of season?  Winter comes in, bringing chill and ice and fog… does it permeate the bodies of creatures – even human ones, who should slow down and find a form of hibernation, instead of speeding and shopping and labouring and living too hard for the time of year?

Without realising it, thinking we are modern and hardy and masters of the planet, we are still prone to the time of year… so as the seasons slow, so should we too??  In many ways we do… I have endless conversations with female friends about how the cold and dark inspire us to stay indoors more; to love the cosiness of winter clothes – to retreat to our caves until the spring sunshine beckons us outdoors again.

And it is as if we are attacked with illnesses – the viruses and germs coercing with nature to force us to slow down and lie down, swaddled in blankets – to take seasonal care of ourselves.  It is as if our bodies allow the onslaught so that we store and nurture our energy for the new year to come.

Yet here is the thing… Christmas for so many of us means to speed up, to run around, to work at playing… To travel; to shovel food and drink of Christmas excess into our bodies… To please, to chatter, to try, to cook, to wrap, to run, to share, to please…

And ‘to please’ turns to disease… Otherwise known as dis-ease – an unbalance, a causal effect wreaked on our systems, as we humans ignore nature’s balance.  Yet as earth’s children and creatures we must survive – we cannot stop completely, we must keep the wheels of the world turning and feed the body; and so in our 20th Century brains, we would not reckon on being slaves to the rhythms of season and solstice.

Yet our ancestors knew.  Our pagan parents knew when the solstice turned the tide towards longer and lighter days; and this feasting time began back then – not as the Mass of Christ, but a feast of celebration for the end of the dark winter era; of moving back towards the light, of quickening and growth and the start of a new cycle of seasons…

And our bodies still have this history imprinted in them – we respond to moon and weather – whether consciously or not, and so Sickmas is a reminder of this natural fact.

And could Christmas, itself, make us sick??  Could it be that all this expectation and energy expended into a seasonal and universal mass celebration turns in on itself and attacks us when we are wintered down?

Or is it simply that we know that there is a ‘slow’ (time) coming, that we can be ill and therefore still, and so let the latent stress and illness that has been lurking and kept at bay by busyness, creep out into the open, presenting itself to be healed and cosseted and given its’ due attention?

I believe that it is all of these things and that the knowing or not, probably does not make an iota of difference, quite literally to how we feel.  That is the mystery of malady…

So the Solstice is turning now and as the lengthening day light calls us to a new year, let’s choose comfort and healing and cosiness, choose them over the rat race and speed and effort and electric light.

And in accepting and surrendering to this so called seasonal ‘suffering’, most of all, let’s accept ourselves and not dwell with the devil of disease, but simply be, and to simply let our hearts accept the message that the season and our bodies are telling us… that it is time to slow and to heal and most of all to love… as well as to celebrate.

Yours with sweet surrender

       Sandra

PS: To admit to a Christmas Cliché – the published version of my Peachey Letters will  make you feel better and be a perfect present too, ALL year round… A collection of the Letters from this blog have been gathered together, along with new material, into book form.  It makes the perfect present, for you, family and friends… You can buy Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life on my website here or from Amazon (in Paperback and Kindle), and from all good book websites around the world…

Letter to December

Dear December

Here you are… the clock and the calendar have ticked and clicked around to you yet again…

My December is the feeling of Christmas coming – a slow and relentlessly gorgeous anticipation of celebration, of receiving and of feasting.  Then there is the savoured future joy of family and friends coming together; of anticipated gifting and unwelcomed bloating.

That is December in my head and heart; and then there is the external twelfth month landscape too.  Sunlight and chill combine to crisp refreshment of the senses – the cold stinging us into action, so we must dance and cush through our outdoor chores to return as quickly as we can to the internal warmth and comfort of anti-cold, back to our own warm and cosy indoor comforts.

December’s outdoor world is alternatively gloomy and sunny.  I dive into the lush, sunny, crisply cold days. These days are meant for walking, and I devour them with all my senses – frost under foot, slickly wet autumnal leaves carpeting the ground, a lack of smell sense, bare and beautiful trees; ice skimming and then thickening the surfaces of puddles and ponds, widening as the thermometer dips…

These are my December days and as we troll down to the end of the year, the dark nights deepen and thicken and deprive us of daylight.  On past winter days I have risen in the dark, worked in caves of chores and returned back to my lair, hidden in the same darkness – a kind of celestial vampire, never seeing, and so starved of the sun.

Then somehow we contrive to bring the outside be-wintered December into our interiors.  Chopping down and dragging in fir trees or counterfeiting them with tinsel or plastic representations of their tree selves.  Then we spray and scatter pretended snow and bring in boughs of holly and mistletoe – the forgotten ghosts of our pagan past.

So my indoor world transforms to Christmas land with decorations collected over decades and added into every single year.  Boxes brought down from the dark attic, waiting their turn, and when opened, bringing with them joyous shocks of remembrance – a year of Christmas stored in the glistening darkness, germinated and then liberated to live in the Christmas light for a few shiny, glamorous weeks.  Then the cards trickle in and are displayed – from colleagues, cohorts and friends; from long lost cousins and nearly long lost friends of decades gone.

I love the preparations… I take and make them languorously and slowly, relishing the joy of Christmas transformation, dining and dancing, of presents wrapped to be deliciously unwrapped.  To choose the present that will delight the gifted one, that will make them pause and smile.  There are Christmas decisions to be made – whether to take the time trodden path of tradition or to spice it up with modernity; then again to take and shake all the elements together to make it MY chosen Christmas, a blend of me and of history?

My December is flavoured with gluttony and gastronomy.  Spices tingle and warm through mulled wine, mince pies and other wintery delicacies.  Chocolates rustle, jostle and abound.  Spirits chink in glasses and some seem reserved solely for Chringle tide – port and advocaat stay firmly at the back of my drunken cupboard for 11 months of the year, and then in December are opened, poured and appreciated in their own spiritual season.

December is winter through and through.  The distinct and distant possibility of snow can transform our outdoor world and seize up the systems of transport and safety – slipping us up, or blanketing our dull world with white ethereal beauty.

December is light and shade.  A tingled anticipation or a mangled realisation of misplaced expectation.  Expectation or negative association can be heavy and brutal, so consciously choose delicious anticipation and feel and fly through your own December.

So December is a choice, a feeling, a flux of emotions.  Choose wisely and craft your Christmas to you.  For all that your December is, I wish you joy of it, to love and revel in the now of it.

So dream your December, deem your December; live it and love it.

And so Dear December, another end here begins…

Yours, again and again

            Sandra x

PS: All the letters published before this one, have now – with added material, been turned into a book, which you can buy just about any where in the world. With new and remembered material, they come together to show me and you, that life is worth living, loving and celebrating… It has been featured in the national press and received amazing reviews… Buy it in Paperback from any well known book site or in Kindle on Amazon