Every year we know Christmas is coming. The date doesn't change - but it always seems to sneak up and overwhelm us.
This year I want Christmas to look different, I want it to feel different. I want to enjoy every second, I want to be intentional with how I invest my time and energy.
Several years ago we started a family tradition of walking into the wooded area behind our home and chop down a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. We string lights, hang a few handmade ornaments and it is our family tree.
We thought last year would be our last year of this tradition. Our oldest moved out a year ago, our youngest is in University so my husband and I were not planning on trumping through the snow in search of a tree.
One day my husband asked our youngest if she still wanted to go into the woods to find a tree this year. Her response was unexpected and hilarious, she stated matter-of-factly, "I'm offended that you would even ask!" She went on to tell us that she had already invited her boyfriend to join our excursion.
A few nights later our oldest and her boyfriend were over for supper and we invited her along for the Christmas tree hunt if she was interested and she immediately asked for the date and invited her boyfriend along as well. Now it is a Christmas experience that has extended to include our now family of 6 - or 8 if you include the dogs. 😁
What was a random idea a few years ago, is now apparently an expected part of the Carleton family Christmas.
This made me think about Christmas traditions in my family growing up and different experiences that stand out through my almost 5 decades on this earth. I remember waking up far too early on Christmas morning and trying to be quiet to not wake my parents. There was just something about the glow of the tree, and the sparkle of the tinsel that captivated me. I remember the Christmas Cantata's at church where I sang soprano with my aunt. The Christmas Panorama in the park, and the families all together, filling our bellies with potluck and recovering from turkey coma with endless games of cards.
As I sat and smiled at the thoughts of Christmas past, I continued to paused and think of Christmas present. What Christmas memories will be created this year?
If you have attended any of my journaling workshops - you know I like to put paper to pen and ask questions. So if you click on the button below you will receive your Christmas worksheet with two questions to ask yourself.
What are your memories and traditions of Christmas past? And what do you want this Christmas to look and feel like? As you answer the questions think of it holistically- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
By investing a few minutes to answer the questions you will find that you choose to live more intentionally this Christmas. It doesn't need to overwhelm if we approach it with the right perspective. Have a very merry Christmas!
I would love to hear about some of your Christmas memories and traditions - share them on Instagram and be sure to tag me @carolyn.carleton.
I thought I would share a little video with you today about what I have been learning on my journey in 2021.
I would like to introduce you to Corliss.
Corliss Rassyle is a Canadian inspirational speaker, a certified leadership coach, motivation expert, and the Founder and CEO of Corliss Co. Consulting Inc. She is also the best-selling author of the book Lead Your Life; How to Live With Purpose, Passion, and Confidence and the host of one of Canada's most popular self-improvement podcasts, Conversations With Corliss.
Through her Company, Corliss helps people connect to purpose to rise up and be all they can be. In a relatable and down to earth way, Corliss influences everyone around her to see their value, recognize their potential, and use their uniqueness to positively influence others. Corliss has an energy and enthusiasm for life that is contagious. She leaves you feeling like you can do anything and then provides you with tools to make it happen!
I had the opportunity to share my journaling passion on her podcast Conversations with Corliss 😃
If you stop in on her website you can receive the first four chapters of her books when you sign up for her email encouragement list!
Life is full of chaos and noise. It has gotten to the point where we are afraid of quiet.
Whenever there is quiet our thoughts take over and those thoughts can scare us sometimes. So we choose to keep adding to our lives.
Tonight our daughter was working on homework assignment, my husband was at band practice so I finished up the dishes and thought I would go and sit down and rest for a few minutes. While I was sitting down to relax I turned on the TV to watch the news, then I thought that I hadn't read the paper today. When I finished the paper I picked up my phone and started to play a game on it. All of a sudden I realized what I was doing. I had planned to sit down and relax for a few minutes and now I was bombarding my brain into overload.
Why do we willingly do this to ourselves?
It is time my friends - to embrace quietness and stillness and learn to just 'Be'.
It takes time and practice, it will not be easy for me - I can tell you that! But it is something that I know I need to do. The first step I believe is to find a place where you can find quiet. Also, if you have children that would include a time as well.
I have friends that will get up at obscene hours in the morning just to guarantee their quiet time. I am not a morning person. I get up because of necessity to take care of my family and get ready for work. I like dusk, my family has quieted down for the night and I have time to think about my activities of the day - the conversations that took place - and what did I learn today? I want to start working through my 2021 Reading List and drink more tea.
Use those precious moments during your day to pause and "Be". I am told that your quality of life will increase dramatically. Life throws so much at you each day - I want to be able to treasure those moments of silence and solitude, and use them to become a better wife, mother and friend and to truly Enjoy the Everyday!
Anyone want to join me on this journey? I am going to need all the encouragement I can get!
Leave a comment below with your favourite time of the day to find quiet, and what that looks like for you.
This journaling workshop that will help you discover a practical, weekly journal that helps you develop an attitude of gratitude, intentionally live each day and choose to be brave with your life. Throw out any prior notion of what you think journaling is and be willing to try something new!
Discover why putting pen to paper can be one of the most therapeutic things you can do for your wellness. You will get to explore who you are, what path you are on and gain clarity on where you want to go.
Upcoming Journaling Workshops are a part of Culture Days in Saskatchewan!
Funding is provided in part by Sask Lotteries, as a part of SaskCulture Days initiative with the City of Prince Albert Culture Plan.
It has been a long time since I have made time to write. I have been walking quite the journey over the past two years and I haven't taken the time to process it all.
So, last night I made myself a cup of tea and sat with my journal - it has been a long time. I turned to a blank page and it just sometimes that blank page just stares back at you - you have so much to write but you don't know where to begin or how to start.
When I teach my journaling workshops I always ask the group to start with the date. It is always a good place to start.
So with the date in the top right corner, the words began to flow.
Finally after four pages I felt like I had made a good start. There has been a lot going on and my heart needs a lot of healing. I have always found writing to be a form of healing for me. When I wrote my book it caused me to deal with a lot of issues from my past so that I was free to move forward in my life.
With all that is going on with the COVID-19 I have been found myself coaching people again. One of the main things that I tell people is that they need to start writing about this experience. As we write it is incredible to see the awakenings and healing that can emerge.
I have always felt that my life experiences and character building exercises are for me to share. As with my book and my journey over the past two years, I heal by writing and sharing. And hopefully through my sharing I can help others on their journeys.
Do you know that in individuals who have experienced a traumatic or extremely stressful event, expressive writing can have a significant healing effect. In fact, participants in a study who wrote about their most traumatic experiences for 15 minutes, four days in a row, experienced better health outcomes up to four months later
Finally, keep the following in mind while you are journaling:
Find a notebook and just start writing. It's where you will find me - and I will be blogging more over the coming weeks as well. I have a lot to work through - it's time to start the healing.
Get notes from Carolyn