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.
How are you doing? 2020 has been an interesting year, wouldn't you agree?
I did something this year that I thought that I would never do.
I signed up for a group coaching membership. Yep, I did. The past few years have been difficult and I have really been struggling with trying to figure it all out. So I had to try something. And in my typical fashion I had to do something that was somewhat anonymous. The group is big enough that you can attend and not be seen, but you get all of the teaching. And this works perfectly for me, and I have been learning a lot. I am so thankful that I put aside my preconceived ideals and make this investment in myself.
What could have been a very difficult year - that continued to spiral downward, has become a year of healing that I am so thankful for.
Are you taking time to invest in you? It is really important that you do. I carried some baggage around for far too long, and I wasn't taking care of my health - I just kind of let everything go. This is not a good place to live your life.
Making active choices to live intentionally is where we all need to be.
I have made a variety of changes in my life and part of it includes the environment that I live in and how I start my day. I am going to share a bit of that with you.
I have been following Yoga with Adriene on YouTube for years. I am not a big fan of public displays of exercise, I like the comfort of my own home. I start my diffuser with a relaxing scent, play some relaxing music (which for me is jazz), lay down my yoga mat and spend 30 minutes relaxing and stretching. It is an amazing way to start my day.
Now that I am working from home I have more time in the mornings because I no longer have the commute. Yoga helps clear my mind, stretches out the muscles that ache from the night (which seem to be increasing year by year) and gets me motivated to take on my day!
Yoga for Writers is a favourite of mine. I like the stretching with a little bit of core.
king the time to invest in my mental wellness has so important.
I created the My Journey journal years ago and it keeps evolving and become something that is a huge part of my life. It is my weekly check in with myself and has become a place where I can see my journey unfold and give myself more grace in my journey.
If you are interested in checking it out for yourself all you have to do it CLICK HERE to download your free journal.
2020 is year that I will always remember and I am thankful that I used this time as a positive experience. It is so easy to get sucked into a negative environment - and it happens. But you don't have to stay there. You get to choose, I really hope that you will join me as we choose to end 2020 well.
*affiliate links included
When life throws a few character building exercises at you, how do you process? How do you work through it?
I have been trying to figure this out for myself. In the past I have always used teaching. Yep, I would be struggling with something, I would do tons of research to learn and grow and then I would feel compelled to share it with everyone, whether they wanted to learn about it or not.
This time it's different. I can't explain what I am trying to deal with - I don't know what to google!!!
I feel like I am lugging this huge weight around and I don't know how to fix it. I feel broken in a way I have never experienced before, and I don't know how to move forward.
I have been carrying this for the past two years and I need to be able to move forward.
I do not have all the answers. I am not sure what moving forward means or looks like. But I am finally ready to start taking steps forward.
Are you carrying something? Want to join me?
It's always better to work through something with friends who are there to support and encourage. What do you say?
I know for me I have a lot of areas in my life that have been impacted. Through what has happened to me emotionally, mentally and spiritually has been affecting me physically as well. So there is a lot of work to do.
Through my blog and social media I will be sharing how and what I am learning (I apparently still feel the need to teach - even when I have no idea what I am doing 😂 ). I'm even thinking about resurrecting my old podcast - what do you think?
Join me on my journey on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/carolyn.carleton/ and sign up for my emails if you want to learn more.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you want to join me on the journey. We are in this together! I need all the support I can get.
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 scared us sometimes. So we keep adding to our lives.
Tonight our daughters were 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 cell phone and started to play a game on it. When 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 who 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, the girls have 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?
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.
Anyone want to join me on this journey? I am going to need all the encouragement I can get!
I have to admit that I come across as a confident person, but really I am a chicken!
Far too often I give up too easily, I start off strong but then I get in my own way. This is something that I will never have to stop working on.
I know deep down in my gut things that I need to do and yet I still hold back. Why oh why do I continually do that! Am I the only one that does this?
I am making a list of what I know I need to do and I am going to put my view of myself and my abilities to the side and I am going to Be Bravely ME!
Why am I choosing this?
Because others may be missing out on something that I can share with, a way that I can encourage them, a life lesson that they can relate to.
So here I am making a public proclamation that I will actively choose to begin working on what the still small voice has laid heavy on my heart. Ready, set, here I go!!!!!!!
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