How do you keep alive the freshness and magic of Christmas?

Do you sometimes feel that we have all lost the plot – just a little bit – as we hurtle towards Christmas in a whirlwind of frantic preparations?  Spinning ever faster as we battle along crowded pavements looking for the perfect present, making endless lists to be worked through and ticked off.  Do you feel a rising sense of panic and desperation induced by the onslaught of tacky materialism?   Isn’t there more to it than this extravaganza of tawdry Santas’ grottos, tacky baubles and the increasingly aggressive, pressurising TV advertisements exhorting us to buy, buy, buy?

In short – do you sometimes catch yourself feeling jaded, exhausted, dispirited and STALE?

Christmas Trolley

And yet …….

Maybe we are missing something really important here.  Nothing is ever as it first appears – but we rarely stop to check.

How can Christmas be zingingly fresh and alive when we are allowing ourselves to be swept out of balance by everything around us – re-enacting the same old habits of mind and hoping that it will somehow just “happen” for us.   We need to consciously change the filters through which we see the world, we need to “cleanse the doors of perception” as Aldous Huxley famously once said.  Or as Deepak Chopra said more recently in his wonderful book “The Way of the Wizard” – “You can not bring your same old stale self to the world and expect the world to be new for you”.  It is yourself that must constantly be transforming.

Christmas is, in essence, an opportunity for transformation – for magic to happen.  Without an inner transformation there will be no outer transformation.  So how do we begin this inner transformation?

The first step is to skid to a halt – just for a moment.  Put down the shopping bags, drop the wrapping paper, and take the bits of tinsel out of your hair.  We are so used to spinning and seeing everything in a perpetual blur of busy-ness.  We skitter over the surface of things ensuring that we never fully engage in the experience and therefore never really feel it at all.  We become numb and de-sensitised.  It feels strange if we allow ourselves to stop for a moment and fully focus on what is in front of us – and a moment is all it takes to step out of time – and reconnect with the magic that is already inside just waiting to grow.

Sit in a quiet spot and take three deep breaths while you close your eyes.  Allow the outer world to withdraw and slip away like the outer wrapping paper concealing a present.  Then imagine that you are the box inside the wrapping paper – lift the lid and look inside.  See yourself sinking into the heart of the present.  At the very centre you are here and now – totally merging with all that is.  Quantum physicists and mystics now agree that this is the overflowing, ever present, spring at the heart of everything.  Stay long enough to savour the moment, to be reconnected with the centre of your being.  It is from here that the mystery and the magic flows out if you let it.  If we can practise living from this central core we will regain freshness and clarity of perception.  We will indeed become the wizard who transforms base metal into gold; the pure gold of ever flowing life, love and spirit.

Christmas Box

This, after all, is the often forgotten message of Christmas, before it became hijacked by our modern world.  As well as being a time for remembering a very special birth.  It is a time for re-birth – our re-birth. It is a time for remembering something that we have forgotten or perhaps are only dimly conscious of in fleeting seconds.  At the heart of every moment is an opportunity for this re-awakening to happen; a re-awakening to the certain knowledge that the magic is already here – just waiting to be tapped into.  Christmas shines a spotlight if we will only let it, but in reality every moment contains the same invitation.  It is the invitation to realise that something totally extraordinary is hidden deep in the very ordinariness of every day living.  Right now – right here.  Now that is pure magic!

I hope you all have a wonderfully happy and vibrantly magical Christmas!

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