Letter to Twixmas

twixmas

Dear Twixmas Time

Twixmas is that nether region of time that lies between Christmas and New Year. It is a hinterland where the build up to Christmas Day is now over and the New Year is still yet to start…

It is the longing left over time, ticking inexorably towards the cessation of another tide marked twelve months of our lives. A time where we feast on left overs and doze off a thousand calories, or pick up the post Christmas threads and start to weave through our normal lives again, lived now in a fuggy half life, on hold and not yet paused, waiting to begin again, to renew, to refresh, to pace faster, to taste more of, to reconcile and refresh…

There are many for whom this is no special time, since they do not celebrate Christmas, they work through and for Christmas… Yet somehow, all who live in this corner of the round world are affected by the time and tide of this time of year.

So many people have planned, shopped, cooked, wrapped, written and travelled to come together for Christmas Day. There may have been joy and laughter, or stress and anger or indeed any febrile combination of feelings that the combustion of Christmas may unwittingly cause.

Then Boxing Day dawns, the morning after the day before, when it is time for cold turkey, to think or to feel of beginning again, to slide slowly towards the cut off point of New Years Eve.

Christmas is after all a collective consciousness – a mass movement, an energy glitter ball throwing out its’ light in sparkling, random bursts. And now Christmas Day has come and gone, either in a blaze of candle lit, carol singing glory or having slipped away, simply as another day.

Whether known or unconsciously felt, there is a Twixmas consciousness too – a winding down, when time slows deliciously to a fattened, hazy subconscious or maybe even conscious contemplation. A crystallization of winding up to the New Year and what this next twelve months will bring – being a new start harmony of fresh possibilities.

Twixmas then is a seasonally strange combination of winding down and gearing up, with a unique energy embraced from our cold blooded ancestors coming out of the winter solstice darkness to energetically embrace the first cold light of the approaching spring.

For me this is a time of left overs – left over food and left over time; and I relish in how the combination of both brings out my creativity… I love to take what is left over from Christmas feasting and turn it into new foodie creations. Christmas dinner transfigures into Turkey and Ham Pie, and then turns magically into soup. I have time to turn an oldish loaf of bread, the remains of the Christmas pudding and the dregs of an advocaat bottle into the most deliciously tipsy bread and butter pudding and so my lefts overs keep leading me on.

For me, meals made from left overs are somehow more satisfying than the obvious, original meal.  This is how my mind works – I break things down to their component parts and then build them back up into a new and gorgeous whole, to be gorged upon and engaged with again, and even again. And this is just one of the many gifts of the ‘in between’ time and tide of Twixmas.

So how to make the most of and mould this tame time? We always have a choice – even if it feels like fate or circumstance foists events or people upon us… Is this really the case? Think on this…. And if we decide to run with a particular befallen fate, let’s decide to choose if not what, then how… How could it be easiest / happiest for you? Could you change a pattern of how things have been done before? Could it be done differently, could it be that you ask for support or time or what ever commodity it is that you want? Think of what will most benefit you from this time? And if it feels tempting to do chores, to use the time to DIY and clean, then this is all good… Or is it..?

Could it be that after the build up to Christmas madness, and the end of another year, that getting away, resting, reading or giving into countless other so called guilty pleasures might just be the single least selfish thing you could do at this time? Maybe take this Twixmas time to rest, to reboot and revive, and in doing so give yourself the most amazing gift of all – the best most rested you. Then you in turn get to give more, and are ready to embrace the lightening energy of the approaching New Year, facing towards it, as a new you.

I understand too that the gift of Twixmas time can be usefully used to catch up on many things, I just ask you to consider all the gorgeous possibilities and to choose, always to choose…

My choice is that I use this gift of Twixmas time doing gorgeous things with cherished friends and family. This year I have chosen presence as presents for my dearest friends and it has been a blissful, restful time, taking time out to dine out and shop and share. Taking me too away from chores that will catch my eyes and threaten to guilt me if I let them. So I choose to let them go instead.

And so that is Twixmas, all neatly tied up in a bow; and so it is now time too to bow out of this letter.

Thank you for this timely gift…

S xxx

PS: This year, as a Christmas Gift, I’m sharing the gifts of my writing and learning to entertain you, make you think and to deepen the Christmas experience in my capsule ebook. A Peachey Christmas is a collection of (previously published) blogs along with new material, gathered into one, gorgeous Christmas capsule…  All you need to do to claim your free electronic copy is to fill out a few details here and then it will wing its’ way back to you.

PPS: For Twixmas Time, you could just fill your time gorgeously reading a whole book of my Love Letters to Life since Peachey Letters’ have now been gathered together in to a beautiful book.  I’m completely biased of course, but it makes a perfect present for you or for anyone… You can buy it from book websites any where in the world, including of course Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)… Enjoy S x

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Letter to Christmas Eve

Xmas Eve

Dear old Friend

It is the Eve of the Day.

And it is time for the wonder to begin, I mean to really begin now…

You see I am not talking about any Advent Calendar countdown from 1 to 25 here; or whether I have shopped, wrapped and done enough to make this Christmas a success… This is instead the warm realisation and joy that Christmas Day is nearly here and how, instead of investing all my energy and emotions into one day, I shall gradually unfurl my feelings around it, savour and relish them and slip gently into a most gorgeous and exonerated Christmas.

This day starts my Christmas – for a long while ago, some where in time, my living older brother was born on this day of the year. So family celebrations always started here, and this day is demarcated for me; and you know, it was so, long before I was ever born, so I step easily into that ‘made for me’ tradition.

This means that there are joyful practicalities and arrangements to be made and fulfilled, not least to celebrate that I have a sibling, some one I love and have shared so much with. Some one who knows where and how it all began. Some one who is funny and generous, and who reflects some of my similarities and who too is so very different from me.

So this day is where is all starts and is all about my slow perfected preparation. It is after all, no matter who I share it with, my Christmas, my comfort and joy, my creation, my very own time.

I am winding gently into Christmas – my mass – a simple time, built of many layers, from a long life time, now honed and smoothed by me into a fleeting, glorious experience.

At this time I will let my spirituality be free, to spiral and circulate, shining out of my soul to be acknowledged and aired and to thank God for all that was, is and shall be.

I shall rejoice in who I am, what I have and what has led me here. And I shall rejoice in what shall be, of me.

I am going to celebrate the connections – with my nature, with my past, with my family – living and departed. All these things will be celebrated and accepted quietly, as I go about my way, my Christmas way.

I shall slow my being and my soul and take life in slow motion, observing and breathing through it.

I shall thank those who travel with me, shear and support me, who love me and make me laugh. I will bless all who have taught me and left me and the roles they have played out in my psyche.

That is Christmas in my heart and head and there is Christmas for the body too, where I will feast and I will feed, lovingly preparing food, with a mother goddess joy.

I will talk and I will read and watch and listen, and I shall allow myself the delicious boredom of stopping the world weary madness of any tread mills that I have allowed myself to step on to through out the rest of the year.

From Eve to Day and beyond – Christmas is not just one day. Could it be that how you do Christmas is how you do life? So slow now, choose your day, make your time your time, and if that seems like a crazy, selfish statement, think of how your happiness and well being impacts every one around you and everything that you do.

Bring some Christmas – what ever that is for you into every day of your life, not just for one simple solitary sun rise to sun set.

Whether you speed, slide or slowly step into your Christmas, what ever I do or you do, I wish you love and joy and a portion of what ever your heart desires on this eve, this day and on all your future days.

With love,

        from Sandra

xXx

PS: This year, as a Christmas Gift, I’m sharing the gifts of my writing and learning to entertain you, make you think and to deepen the Christmas experience in my capsule ebook. A Peachey Christmas is a collection of (previously published) blogs along with new material, gathered into one, gorgeous Christmas capsule…  All you need to do to claim your free electronic copy is to fill out a few details here and then it will wing its’ way back to you.

PPS: Now Christmas is here and it is time to think of gifts, a collection of the ‘Peachey Letters’ from this blog have been gathered together, along with new material, into a book.  It makes the perfect present and a gorgeous Christmas read, 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 Christmas Food

My Mince PiesMy own imperfectly delicious mince pies…

Dearest One

It is time now to explore and exonerate you, to devour and venerate you, to eat you up, digest you down, and inwardly ingest and digress on all that you are to me…

Christmas food is feast and I can feast upon these words too, calorie free, yet still savoured deliciously and selfishly, gobbled up again and again, and all this with no widening girth, no indigestion or regret, a word diet eaten and repeated in the best possible way…

Food, when you listen to it, tells stories… and Christmas food harks us back to history, hyperlinked to a past, long ago forgotten, although eaten and excreted by our own ancestors.

Pick over archaeological sites and find remnants of millennia old meals of bones and seeds and cooking pots. And now pick up your fork and eat a Christmas meal today to ingest a more recent history, albeit more quietly and neatly.

In my Westernised world at this time of year I am warmed through by winter spices in pies, puddings and mulled wine. They are the devices that have travelled down time and along trade routes, carried on beasts of burden through deserts and sent in ships across seas to enliven the dull winter diet of my pale historical counterparts here on this island land.

Each pie, each pudding, and each component on my Christmas plate has a history, a fascinating story of currency and enrichment underlying the aroma and flavour which has been tasted by so many, through so much darkened winter time.

Then we marry this history with our own recent traditions, of coming together to celebrate Christ’s birth and the ensuing mercantile madness of gifting and wrapping and eating to excess, so that we fall in to a snoring afternoon sleep after lunch on the 25th of December, full as we are, of thousands of Christmas calories.

And we have our social and cultural traditions and create our own intimate ones too… I make mince pies and snowballs to prepare for the big day, and then eat ham (cooked in cider on Christmas eve) along with my turkey on my Christmas plate. There is then a long pause of several hours before Christmas pudding is eaten. Then what little room is left in my stomach later that same night, is filled with tinned salmon and cheese. It is the comforting ritual of my Groundhog Christmas, to be repeated without erring or swaying from the pre-destined foodie plot of many previous eating years.

Before we get to feasting, we must literally prepare and over many years I have learned to do this slowly, languorously and easily, completing each component in turn, relishing the gorging gratification to come, by setting out my laden larder in advance. Mince pies are made then, stuffing done now, things bought in readiness and stored in order, all components waiting for the blazing heat of an oven for their moment of gourmet glory when they are all bought together to celebrate and complete the ritual on the plate.

So Christmas food to me is a blandishment as well as nourishment; it is a sign of love, and lore, it is history and culture. It is a wanted necessity, as well as a glorious luxury. So there it is, as always with me, that strange dichotomy of love and difficulty. Because my friend, you know that I have a complicated relationship with you, as I do with just about everything in my life.

And there I was a few nights ago, quietly cursing you… You see I was up to my elbows in a foodie fuddle, flinging flour around the kitchen in the name of creating the most perfect mince pies. Blithely tying on my apron and feigning Domestic Goddessery in my Christmas kitchen, it was instead, all mess and stickiness…

But I persevered: I experimented, added, stirred, chopped and kneaded. I rolled, cut, then filled, and finally there was the tenderly triumphal moment of committing my precious labours to the waiting oven.

They weren’t perfect those particular pies, but oh my goodness, they were delicious. Friends had pie-gasms whilst consuming them and went silent for seconds of ingestment and wonder; whilst I on the other hand, experienced the smuggery of creation, of earth mother provisioning and the satisfaction of an empty plate, with a just few forlorn crumbs left as the legacy of pies past.

I love Christmas cooking and have my big day down to a tee, tying together all my provisions and preparations onto one plate of perfection, served with relish and a flourish and on the same old Christmas crockery that we air for one day every single year.

And then I pay the price with indigestion and tightened clothes and extra winter fatted weight. It’s not just about the Big Day, but the Christmas build up, with chocolates never more than 2 feet away from reach and Christmas dinners, lunches and buffets to be feasted on and quietly, farted out…

You would think that after all my time on this planet, with all those Christmases under my gut bending belt, that I would remember; yes, you would think that my stomach would remind my brain that such fullness is disastrous, yet in my stomach also lies my heart, so the stomach says nothing; it just senses survival and suggests I keep eating and savouring and so simply stores all the nourishment as fat for a long winter famine that will probably never arrive.

So as my gastronomic voyage through Christmas Food comes slowly to an end, and as I boast of plenty and excess, I now want to give thanks for all that I have, which is in every way so much, when I appreciate that there are many who have so little. So I give some food away too, so that other humans and animals may also have a feasting festive Christmas, in what ever place they may be in head, land or heart.

For food, be it Christmas or of any other sort, is love to me and love is always meant to be shared.

With love and burps…

Sandra xXx

PS: As a Christmas Gift, I’m sharing the gifts of my writing and learning to entertain you, make you think and to deepen the Christmas experience in my capsule ebook. A Peachey Christmas is a collection of (previously published) blogs along with new material, gathered into one, gorgeous Christmas capsule…  All you need to do to claim your free electronic copy is to fill out a few details here and then it will wing its’ way back to you.

Letter to Damsels in Success

damsels-logo-black-bg (2)

Dearest Damsels

Today was my last official day as a Damsels in Success Director… But then again my sisterly story starts a long time before today…

Today was also the last Damsels in Success – Warwick meeting of the year of 2014 and I wanted to mark the occasion, so I asked to speak and speak I did… I wasn’t sure afterwards whether any of what I said made any real sense to any one but me and thinking that I hadn’t said a lot of what I had meant to say, but knowing too that this was OK, for I spoke from the heart and in the moment. And even more importantly, as a dyed in the wool Damsel in Success, I decided to take it easy on my self, so I rounded off my speech by reading out a post that I had written nearly 3 years earlier – my Love Letter to Every Woman, in love and homage to womankind and to Damsels in Success and of course to Lucie Bradbury. I read it because I have been so busy and had not prepared, I read it because it was true then and still is…

So now is my chance to say all the things meant to be said and still to be said… Slowly and out of the spotlight, to go on this page, whether seen or unseen, a never ending record of how it was for me.

If you didn’t already know, I am the second longest serving member of Damsels in Success – after Lucie Bradbury, whom we should never forget, is really the first in every way.

The truly magical Michelle Clarke (Director of Cardiff and stalwart of Damsels Heart Quarters) who has been on much of this journey with me (and who I call my ‘Shelley Fairy’), has suggested that as a result I should get a gold badge – and you know, whether I wear it on my dress or in my heart, I’ll wear it with pride and laughter and so much more…

And all too soon being a Damsels in Success Director will be a part of my history… And speaking of history, did you know that I was the first ever Director to step in this gorgeous, sparkly spotlight – at Warwick in fact, where I co-led with Lucie for a little while.

I was there because I was one of a group of gorgeous women in Lucie’s VIP Mentoring group and because I knew that I desperately wanted to change to my life… Worn out by working years in the corporate world as a Human Resources Manager, never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would have the capability and resources to run my own business, and to write the books I had always dreamed of…

Yes there I was, a corporate demon, dressed in black, thinking I was a sad and broken thing, when someone suggested I train with Lucie Bradbury and learn Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).

Well the rest is more history – from NLP graduate, I became Damsels Member – that at a time when we just had one group in the whole wide world.

I quickly knew too that more women should have what I was getting from Damsels and so I told Lucie I would help her to do that and so, you know, I did…  There were a small group of us who took a leap of faith with Lucie Bradbury to create this community, and leap we all did, holding hands and learning such a lot along the way.

I can take the credit for many things in Damsels in Success, one being that I helped this amazing community to grow and influenced it in many gorgeous little and large ways.

I haven’t had a perfect relationship with Damsels in Success, but I have had a real one, a brave and beautiful one and I gave so much to it, for five amazing years, because of course, I got so much from it. And I could always see how at its’ beating heart, that it could give more to more women, who like me had a craving for change and wanted to be with spirited, high vibration women who wanted more from life and were prepared to do something about it.

And soon I moved away from Warwick and set up my Burton upon Trent group, moving to the East Midlands to marry an amazing man and set up my own business with his support. The day after my Burton launch, my man ended our relationship… What followed were strange times, when I nearly gave up on every thing, including Damsels, but then gradually I gained members, and that felt wonderful and putting myself into that purpose became my strength. My group grew slowly and gorgeously and over time together we made a large family, a community and a bond. I have some founding members that stayed with me for most of the 4 years I ran the group, and there were members who came and went, who have kept in touch or left our view, as is the way of the world. And for a wonderful while I ran the Glasgow group too.

Time and again I saw transformation, growth and change – these wonderful, ordinarily extra-ordinary women grew and blossomed and grabbed fantastic opportunities and still too created amazing opportunities, all with Damsels in Success and me as a catalyst.

My group (she said proprietarily) Damsels in Success – Burton, I am so proud of all we have done and been. I love you for being on ‘the journey’, and thank you for coming with me on mine. You, my members have always been my greatest gift and joy.

IMG_0574

The last Damsels in Success – Burton meeting

In the three years of the annual Damsels in Success ‘Women Inspiring Women’ events, we Burton Beauties have won awards, with Hayley Lloyd-Wilkins and Caroline Ashby both winning most inspirational UK member and myself winning Director of the year.  So I got to be three times proud…

Because of Damsels in Success I have realised two dreams that I have held in my heart for so long… to be a coach and a published author. My first book – ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’, has Damsels in Success weaving in and out of it in so many seen and unseen ways. Being a coach and a writer were both things that I was born to be. In doing them I fulfilled myself and then got to support and serve others, joyfully… How could I even begin to express my gratitude for the phenomena that activated these gifts and gave me the forum to explore, hone and then give them to others?

As a writer, I always wanted Damsels in Success to have its’ own book and I am so proud that a group of us came together and co-created ‘The F-Factor’. The whole process was a joy – from heart storming, to writing, through to launching and now to the continuing comments received from its’ readers; and so our beautiful purple book keeps touching and inspiring more hearts and lives.

Damsels has also given me a platform to speak and share – honing my learning in every single month I ran an event. Then I had the gift of the larger stage of IGNITE! where I spoke to hundreds of women, with thousands of butterflies in my stomach… On one such occasion I asked two hundred women to chose the cover of my book Peachey Letters from two designs… It was a defining moment for me…

Every month we have explored and shared a theme and I always chose to walk the talk before I shared our strategies each month with my members – this has been the most amazing investment of just about every asset I can think of!

Next I come to the Directors, who did not just co-create a book, but a fabulous feminine community, one I have tapped into every day for five years. Can you imagine bringing together a group of such wonderful women ‘on purpose’, living for a purpose? We’ve been through so many things together, have been so supportive to each other, through light and through dark. It has been a defining force in my life and I have learnt and gained so much from it.

And it all began with Lucie Bradbury. Damsels in Success is her dream and her mission. And she took it from an idea to a reality, creating a team to build the dream.

I have seen her go through many things, and have been in loving awe of how she shined through having a critically ill baby and a husband with a head trauma. I’ve seen her become a mum three times over and grow Damsels many times over. And we’ve had our moments, especially in the early days of my directorship and we’ve even nearly walked away from each other. But we are both loving stubborn women who chose to work it out and became stronger and better because of it.

I have a lot to thank Lucie for, and I do, with all my heart.  My loving nick name for her is my Angel in Chief… for she has of course, given me wings…

Flowers

My last day flowers…

And whilst I am in the business of giving gratitude, I want to thank Michelle Clarke, too, for her warmth, her wisdom, her sense of fun, her strength and for being another amazing example of growing more and more into her true and beautiful self and shining a light for so many others. So often with Michelle it felt like nothing was ever too much trouble, and for me she engendered this with out ever being a push over.

And I have a lot of gratitude to give to so many others too on this Damsels journey, whether I name you or not – I can cliché say, that I hold you in my heart, every woman one of you and the marvellous men too of course…

And so I write this elegant elegy as I step down from becoming a Director. Why would I leave something like this behind? There are many, many reasons as it happens and they are all personal. I have known for a while that it was time to make a change, and to focus my energies on other things. When I finally admitted to myself that I was going to cease being a Director, I was actually devastated, and for a while I grieved, deeply. Then came the acceptance it was time for me to change and I worked through all the practicalities of winding this part of my life and my business down. Next came reflection and gratitude and joy. I am most definitely leaving on a high. Well actually I am leaving Directorship to return to membership – how much does that tell you?

At this time, I have had a hankering to put together a video of all my amazing Damsel’s moments to remember and to celebrate, but never did, since I have been having a busy, happy, filling all my time, time these last few weeks.

Well on my last lovely night as a Director, I received a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from Lucie and my sister Directors and also, my Shelley Fairy – Michelle Clarke created the memories video for me… Bless her – something else to thank her for!

Here is the video… What can I say? It is a damn fine indictment of an amazing five years that I couldn’t and wouldn’t swop for anything

 Click here to play…

And finally, as we like to say in Damsels in Success… WOW, WOW, WOW!!!

With much love to you.

Sandie

xXx

You can buy my Peachey Letters in book form – it’s all here at the click of a link…

Letter to Christmas Commercialism

Xmas moneyDear CC

It all starts in September, when friends start saying that they have done all their Christmas shopping already…

And then I start spotting mince pies on supermarket shelves…

Next come the TV adverts… between every programme I am haplessly watching – surely and suddenly I am bombarded with images of happy families sitting at tables heaped with festive fare. There are always crowds of them, but even so, how could they possibly eat their way through all that food?

Also in TV land there are the glamorous women sparkly clad in gorgeous gowns and the handsome men in dinner jackets, unwrapping perfect presents or clinking champagne filled glasses in castles, or suburban semis – with snow on the lawn and privet hedges…

In between the adverts it feels like there is an endless Christmas cavalcade of American made for TV Festive movies, with added smoltz and a cachè of mistletoe kisses; all back lit by snow, instead of sunsets, for the happy protagonists to walk off into…

In the outside world, the shops are playing Christmas hits as I wander around the aisles, skirting round the huge Christmas Tree by the door and trying to ignore the vast tins full of biscuits and chocolates calling to me softly from the shelves. Then there are all the gift sets – turning ordinary every day items into the boxed and cellophaned extraordinary…

It isn’t even December yet and still celebrities start flicking on switches that illuminate town centres with wattage and bright bulbs, flashing loud lights at me to heighten my Christmas consciousness.

I visit my favourite restaurants and suddenly turkey is on the menu and the prices have doubled. I try buy to a drink at the bar and Christmas people heave and jostle in order to fill themselves with Christmas spirit/s and get in my way.

It’s CHRISTMAS!!! Except that it isn’t… Not yet any way… Around about early November I always have a comic concern that my Christmas spirit will be worn out by mid December. This means that in my house, the tree will not go up and decorations cannot be hung until the week before the 25th, and then must be religiously un-decked on Twelfth Night.

And as much as I love shopping, love presents (giving and receiving), love parties and feasting and all that a merry mercantile Christmas entails, I’m still not sure how I feel about the constant and cunning commercialisation of it all…

For Christmas is actually a religious declaration that for Christians, our saviour – God’s own son, was born of man, in a stable. A stable with a bright star above, illuminating the camel tracks of the wise men, travelling towards Bethlehem, there to venerate the Messiah.

The Messiah, then a baby, who became the man who preached and created miracles and is known to us through the New Testament and contemporary historical accounts. Jesus who was born a Jew and so from Judaism a separatist group created Christianity, an entity which changed and ended the lives of millions upon millions of people.

Christmas was and is the celebration of Christ’s Mass, replacing a previously pagan rite of passage – a celebration to mark the end of the cold dark nights of winter, and the slow, Spring lengthening of day light hours, with its’ re-awakening of nature’s bounty.  This ritual, during those ancient druid times, was a feast to forget the frozen famine.

The Christmas we westerners experience now, in our corners of the round globe, with its’ trees, presents and mulled wine ambience, started forming its self in relatively recent history – being just a few hundred years old. From Christ Mass it morphed in to ‘Merry Christmas’ after two millennia of worship and reverence. In fact, for so many, Easter was and is, a more important celebration – the resurrection of Christ, rather than his birth.

So now I am experiencing a Commercial Christmas – an experience which I simultaneously relish and reject. And when I think of candle lit Christmases, with a chorus of carolling, accompanied by candy and cake, somehow cold, hard cash seems at odds with the sentiment of peace, love and good will to all men (women and children).

At the root of it all is a deep down, inherent discomfort of buying and so it follows, with selling. As a business woman I choose to sell to live and I have had to learn that selling services is a good thing. I couldn’t pay the bills with my coaching and professional support if I gave it away for free. And because I am a creature of constant contradiction, at times I find this joyful and times I find it difficult.

So it feels like Christmas has the same inherent contradiction – Christian versus commercial… So I admit that to myself and by doing so turn it in to a simple fact, and a choice, rather than a concern.

And you know this is the world that I both live in and have had a hand in creating… For years I have shopped and wrapped and watched and feasted and carolled. And still now I do all these things… to a degree; yet recently I find that I have scaled down and pared back… I don’t put pressure on myself to conform. Rather I confirm and affirm what Christmas is to me and for me.

It is a time to connect – I love how Christmas brings families together from streets or continents apart and means that I catch up with friends near and far, by touch or by Christmas card.

I like feasting and socialising and believe in marking time and occasion, so Christmas is a perfect concentration of love, laughter and celebration for me.

I have had a life time of being a Material Girl, who has loved her stuff and populated her life with things. I love giving and receiving too and find – slowly and naturally, that I am now more about giving my time and energy, rather than a thing – beautifully wrapped and soon forgotten about…

And after all the Merry Christmas madness, for me – it is time to slow down, to rest and relax for a while. Time to contemplate a year in my life and all it has bought me and what I have learnt from it. And then it will be time to welcome in a New Year – to contemplate, to plan, to prioritise and then dream through the pregnant possibilities of the months to come.

So, after all the shopping and socialising, it will be time to be slow, to both step into and sleep through my Christmas; this being partly Christian, partly commercial and all me.

And so, Commercial Christmas, farewell…

Yours (maybe)

       Sandra

PS: This year, as a Christmas Gift, I’m sharing the gifts of my writing and learning to entertain you, make you think and to deepen the Christmas experience in my capsule ebook. A Peachey Christmas is a collection of (previously published) blogs along with new material, gathered into one, gorgeous Christmas capsule…  All you need to do to claim your free electronic copy is to fill out a few details here and then it will wing its’ way back to you.

PPS: And here is the perfect Christmas irony – I am now being unashamedly Commercial – as Christmas comes round and you are thinking of a gorgeous gift, a collection of the ‘Peachey Letters’ from this blog have been gathered together, along with new material, in 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…

Love Letter to 2014

Letter to the Old Year

Before we start on the business of the New Year, let’s celebrate the outgoing one by listing and exploring all the good things about 2014 and our reasons to be grateful for this year in a life. Whether you feel there is a lot or a little to shout about, simply trust the process and let go to the flow. Write the good out onto the page and let all the good in your life snowball as more and more things come to your mind and heart. This loving list is your celebration of 2014 and all it has bought you…

And here is MY list in progress…. A manifesto of celebration…

THANK YOU 2014 FOR:

  • Special simple moments shared with friends
  • Lots of laughter
  • Time with children and seeing the world through their eyes
  • New opportunities
  • Realising my dream of publishing a book, one I still can’t quite believe actually came out of me, and for which I will always be so proud…
  • Being a Damsels in Success Director, having the privilege of supporting gorgeous women to shine their light in the world and ending this wonderful time on such a high
  • Sharing Vickie’s & Rob’s first wedding Anniversary and Isaac’s Christening with so many friends, and so proud / happy to do a reading
  • Delicious meals, created or bought, and all devoured
  • Such a lot of sunshine
  • Taking long lovely walks in this beautiful country I live in
  • Cat companionship, with purrs and furry fun
  • Spending a month in Spain, writing, navel gazing and resting my body and soul
  • Doing what I was born to do – coach… Supporting, enabling, witnessing miracles
  • Doing what I was born to do – write… It has always been in me and now it is quite literally, unleashed!
  • Doing what I was born to do – speak and share, bear witness and make a difference.
  • Being changed for ever, stepping up and out
  • Surrendering to the things that could not be changed, instead of being tortured by them… after being tortured by them…
  • Being fabulous! I decided long ago that I would improve with age and safe to say, I have , this has come with more confidence and acceptance. It is always balanced out with doubt and fear, yet the positivity and the fabulousness always win through in the end…
  • A bounty of hugs
  • Me, Sue and Pinda in our special, happy bubbles of time together
  • A big birthday, such a big deal and yet not a big deal…
  • Catching up with old friends
  • Making new friends and connections, with the promise of who knows what to come???
  • Conversations – short and long. Exchanges, updates, gossip, triviality and the serious – etc and so on…
  • Selling stuff and services that make a difference
  • Yummy wine and cocktails. Champagne cheers!
  • Dancing – when I was really in the groove baby!
  • Social media and ego addiction – thank you for all the positive comments, praise, pictures and vastly shared wisdom and connection xx
  • Cupcakes… nom…
  • Feeling proud when friends have been delighted with my success
  • Learning to let go with love those who don’t want to share the journey any more, giving me time and space to let in the new…
  • Being OK with not being OK. I ‘support’ because it’s my true vocation and also because I want it in MY life. I find life hard, but I find it good too… That is my roller coaster and I don’t think it will ever change, so I always thank God for the good.
  • Texts that made my heart soar
  • Celebrating friends good news and good times
  • Being an author – speaking, signing books and being showcased.
  • Being: Sandra Peachey – Author, Coach and Director at Damsels in Success
  • Being at home and away. My sofa, sailing and chateaus…
  • My fricking amazing life!!!

And I will keep adding to this…

Thank you and farewell to an amazing year…

From S xx

PS: As Christmas comes round and you are thinking of a gorgeous gift, a collection of the ‘Peachey Letters’ from this blog have been gathered together, along with new material, in 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 Christmas Snow

xmas snow

Dear Snow

I can only remember one actual Christmas day where snow lay on the ground, yet it is so much of the Christmas experience, I wanted to explore it more…

Writing ‘dear snow’ feels sort of un-natural, but then why should it?  Snow is one of the most natural things in this corner of the world; a force of nature … a simple weather feature … mere frozen water transformed into magic or … a sheer pain in the arse?

Let’s explore some more… There is what snow gives – a gorgeous luminescent sky, the magic of white cold flakes falling from heaven – filling the horizon with the promise and excitement of transformation.

For snow IS transformative: the landscape is altered, filtered and changed in so many dimensions.  There is the sight – a cool, white blanket covering the horizon; purifying, electrifying, cleansing and sculpting the landscape to wind blown topiary peaks or a smooth unifying pure concrete.

And look closely into snow and you discover that it is woven from crystalline magic, being formed of diamonds and stars into a myriad of patterning that gives you a tiny glimpse of god.

Then there is the sound: Of an electric silence, of feet crunching and compacting the pureness to footprint; shrieking happy children pelting snowballs and creating future be-wintered memories of sledging and snowmen.

And people tell me that they can smell snow coming. I don’t sense snow that way, it’s appeal for me is the lack of that sense … another cleansing apparition, another altered state of being.  A deprivation to add to the sensation.

The feel is multiple – the shiver of the anticipated shock of freezing cold; the sudden solidity transformed by warmth to water.  Snow can be the solid force that is shaped into missiles and carrot be-nosed, old scarf dressed snow people – that jocular cousin to the scare crow.  It can be sticky and clingy, grabbing onto the fibres of your protective clothes.  And snow can be white dust skimming the wintery land – powdery and ephemeral and formless.

As it fades, it melts and disappears, changing from its’ pure white form to the half way house of sludge – snow now blackened, dimmed and dirtied by the environment underneath and around – reasserting it self and infecting the cool whiteness with a creeping blackness.  And then there is snow melted and re-frozen … that smooth form of treacherous ice that brings bruises, breaks bones and slows us to protective caution.

The emotion is child-like and primordial.  There is a heightened sense of homeliness, of being safe inside, peering out of the window; knowing there is a warm security, a cosy certaincy enhanced by comfort food, extra warmth and other winter indulgences.

So snow, this is your love letter and love is many splendored thing.  Yet it can be a complicated, contradictory thing too.  For the light, white stuff has a dark side too and I tried not to think of this before I headed out into your path last night.

I hedged my bets … I would be safe because you were starting to fall and had not yet formed yourself into solid danger; it was a Sunday, so you would not have caused too much crazy world stopping chaos and I decided I would respect your power and be careful, mindful and remember all the snow wisdom I have ever been taught.

Combined with darkness snow, your power turns darker; and add in side-winding wind and you become an even fiercer force to be reckoned with.  Even on the motor way where the cavalier speed merchants usually ride my bumper or flash by me in the fast lane, everyone respected you and slowed to snow pace.  I so wanted to be home and warm and out of your way, yet joined the convoy of caution until the time came to branch off to my local little motorway.

I was all alone in the dark until I reached thickening slush and the next convoy of caution – feeling its way down towards my town at 30 miles per hour.  I kept my calm and joined the crawl and still the adrenaline quickened in my blood, to flash out when I braked and my brakes fought and ignored me and then slowly acquiesced and slowed my car down; unlike my heart, which was beating faster and faster.  I kept my nerve and whispered loving comfort to myself to see me through the ever shortening distance home.

Then turning the corner to my final descent, the car slid and skidded – just for a second and then was in my control again, facing forward, heading home, cautiously maintaining momentum as I drove through your thickening layers along country lanes, where I had to guess the lines of the road from the hedge rows and my local land lore.

More careful twists and turns and finally came my home strait, my street, my relief.

So snow, your power is mutable, variable, a kiss on the landscape, a potential kiss of death.  And that too adds to your thrill.  Friend and foe snow. Love and loathe snow.

Snow – you are an infinite force to be reckoned with and isn’t that, after all is said and done, so very like Christmas itself?

With much love, regards and respect.

    Sandra 

 

PS: As Christmas comes round and you are thinking of a gorgeous gift, a collection of the ‘Peachey Letters’ from this blog have been gathered together, along with new material, in 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…