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.
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.
Wellness is described as the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.
Crafting gently keeps the mind active and encourages you to try new things in a safe, low-stress environment of a project chosen for pleasure. Repetitive movements, such as crocheting, induces a relaxed state, similar to yoga or meditation. The repetitiveness helps keep the mind calm and distracts the brain from the numerous negative messages that we tell ourselves everyday.
By keeping your hands busy you reduce anxiety because you are focused on your project not your problems or perceived problems. (Most problems are a result of your thoughts not facts, but that is a post for another day 😁)
Did you know that fibre crafts are shown to improve Alzheimer's disease, insomnia, depression, anorexia and was prescribed to WWI soldiers to helped with PTSD?
The colours and textures are pleasing to the senses and a finishing a project has great benefits:
To celebrate fibre crafts I have included my Nisbet Throw crochet pattern for free, just click on the button below for the pdf. I can't wait to see your finished projects, please tag #nisbetthrow so I can see them. 😀🧶
Life is a lot like fibre arts. It is a journey of twists and turns, full of life lessons, character building exercises and there is beauty watching it grow and unfold.
Last year I found myself scrolling a lot. I was checking the news all the time, wanting to keep up on the latest COVID reports. I was trolling through social media to find connections and to constantly check on everything. Completely wasting a lot of time.
Finally I got to the point where I had to stop watching the daily news reports, I had to stop listening to people who were always speaking from the negative.
I have always tried to look at situations from the positive. Focusing on the negative - always seems to bring more negative.
Less scrolling - more living
I had to consciously make a choice as to how I was going to deal with social media and my news consumption.
Here is a list of steps that I took:
Social media has it's benefits and it can be good, but when it gets in between you and the one life that you have to live, then there is a problem. I think most of us have a problem finding that balance.
This week I am asking you to take a little self check and see how you are doing. Click below for a checklist that I created.
While visiting a friend a few years ago we were enjoying a chance to catch up with one another over a cup of tea.
At one point I looked down in my tea and noticed chunks of something in the bottom of my cup. Since I wasn't sure what my friend had put in my tea I had to figure this out.
She told me that she always cuts up pieces of ginger and puts it in her tea. It just stays in the bottom of the tea and adds great health value.
I have started to this daily as well. But I wasn't sure what the health benefits were so I did a little research - I just had to share what I learned.
Next time you are in the produce section at your local grocery store add some ginger root to your cart. There are many ways that you can add it to your diet, and the wellness benefits are worth it!
And check out my new favourite wellness tea - Living Apothecary!
Seriously why did I not know about this!
It took a trip to the ER because I thought my uterus was falling out to find out what was happening to me! Perimenopause no joke and so many deal with this without knowing it is coming in order to prepare themselves. Seriously start stocking up on personal supplies now because you will use the whole supply in one day.
I don't want to freak anyone out but I have talked to so many women my age and have found out this is so common.
You should have seen the poor male triage nurses' face when I ended up in the ER. He looks at me and says, "You are here because you are having your period?" I look at him like the young naïve man that he is and tell him that my uterus is falling out and I have been having my period for over three weeks and I have gone through a six month supply of pads and tampons. He still doesn't understand and I end up waiting in the ER for five hours. Finally, I was brought in and put in a room and my female doctor comes in and I tell her my tale and she starts an IV immediately, orders blood tests, and started a magnesium drip. Thank God for Canadian health care. My test results come back showing that I was incredibly anemic. Which would be why I was sleeping all - the - time.
One of the first questions my Doctor asked was how my Mother experienced menopause - not really a subject that ever came up. This was all new territory for me, I had no idea what my body was going through. But if you have experienced this than you know if you know - if you know what I mean.
Honestly I don't understand how it works - it just does. It contains pure frankincense, bergamot, and peppermint essential oils. It's all natural - from plants!
I don't sell Young Living, I just have an account to purchase products for myself. If you know someone that sells Young Living contact them about this miracle oil and order it. If you want a link to purchase it you can click below to my link. I just signed up to get the diffuser and some beginner oils and then added the progessence oil. I have been using it for two months now and I have only used a 1/3 of the bottle. Honestly, how effective it has been for me, I would buy it monthly if I had to. Best investment ever!
So there it is, probably more than you want to know about me. But is a something that needs to be shared - I'm all about helping others. Enjoy!
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