image of church across River Tyne

So this is Christmas… (24.12.21)

image of church across River Tyne

For a number of reasons, this is being completed and posted later than originally planned.

This particular weekend is Christmas and tomorrow the ‘Big Day’ itself. Millions of us around the UK and indeed the world have been busy these last few weeks preparing for this weekend. The month of December is usually busy and chaotic for many people in the run up to Christmas.

Due to the ongoing pandemic and the increasing prevalence of the Omicron variant in the UK, many people have decided to amend or even cancel their original plans. 

This year and last year have been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it by governments around the world.

This time around, our ability to celebrate in the way we wish is dependent upon which part of the United Kingdom we reside. The rules and guidance in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland aren’t entirely united.

Especially at times like this, the noise of everyday life encroaches upon our wellbeing. Like many people, I sometimes find that ‘noise’ begins to drown out the connection to my inner self.

Whenever we encounter problems and difficulties in our lives and they encroach upon our wellbeing, we can find ourselves becoming overwhelmed.

In seeking help or guidance when and who we ask will vary. We might cast a query out to the Universe and expect or wish for an immediate answer. Some of us will send our query or plea to a loved one who has departed this mortal life.

Just as the sending of our question varies, so too will the delivery and receipt of our answer. If we don’t get the help or answer we seek in the time frame we want, we can become impatient and frustrated. We become embroiled and it becomes all consuming.

We become so involved in a situation that we can see nothing else and plough on. Reminiscent of the ‘Mastermind’ quiz show on BBC television, “We’ve started so we’ll finish.”

Sometimes we just need to stop thinking so much about a problem. Giving ourselves the time and the space required to quieten our minds increases our chances of finding the solution.

In the last couple of weeks, I found two opportunities to dampen down that noise and reconnect with the High Side of Life.

The first came a couple of Sundays ago while driving to visit stables where friends train racehorses. From my home to theirs is almost precisely an hour’s drive south on the A1 road. That hour on my own, in the quiet of my car and with little traffic on the road was just what I needed.

The noise soon faded away and I was able to hear the new thoughts that filled the space. I received an answer to a question I’d been pondering about a friend. The answer made sense and helped me see things more clearly.

On a slightly stranger note, I have no idea why Welsh comedian and singer Max Boyce popped into my head singing his signature tune, ‘Hymns and Arias’!

Earlier this week, I paid my latest visit to my local barber shop to have my flowing locks tamed in time for Christmas. One gentleman was already in the chair and another sat waiting. I knew it would 30-40 minutes before it was my turn.

Again, my mind quietened down soon after I’d sat down. A radio played in the background and the barber and her client chatted as she cut. I found myself tuning in and out to what was going on around me.

During the ‘out’ times, I became more connected with my true being, my inner self. I realised that this monthly visit was an ideal opportunity to take some time out. I learned I could use my ‘haircut time’ as a reset button and stop the noise of everyday life encroaching upon my wellbeing.

Just as Madonna said “Beauty is where you find it”, our peace and stillness of mind is also where we find it. Sometimes it will be a place and time we don’t usually think of looking.