It is a time of mystery and magic. Jack o lanterns glimmer from porches, tiny ghosts swing from trees. We dress as witches and ghouls and kitty cats, and slip into the expansive night. The air vibrates with other places and times, and we can touch them, ever so lightly. It feels as if a guest is coming, there is an extra place at the table and our fortune is about to turn.
Candy rains down in kiddy imaginations and then arrives like a small miracle into their pillow cases, or nowadays a reusable canvas sac made of reconstituted naturally shed hamster wool, dyed orange and black with dye squeezed by hand from ethically farmed flower petals. They fall into bed with cool autumn air in their hair and tingling in their fingers and toes as they warm into sleep. If you are in Calgary the tingling might actually be frostbite, if you are one of my people in far away places with gentler climates you may not need to cover your child’s costume, —carefully planned, sewn or purchased or lovingly brainstormed from the depths of your parental creativity, or fitfully thrown together because it did not make the top 30 emergencies on your October triage list—with a down coat, leg warmers and a hat. “Oh look, Dearie” says good old Mrs. Jameson as she answers the tenth chorus of Trick or Treat to a gust of blizzard in her entrance way, “it’s another Albertan.”
And then it’s all over. We wake up from the big party, dab off our Courtney Love makeup residue and nurse our metaphorical or literal hangover with a Starbucks…wait for it…in a RED cup.
Because now, it’s Christmas! Or the Holidays. One of my favourite segments of a late night talk show was Clint Eastwood (if memory serves) speaking to the aging process and his big observation was that “It’s always Christmas”. Honest to goodness, I haven’t figured out how to slow that shit down. And yet I can’t, won’t, REFUSE to start it all before Halloween. I used to do Christmas cards, with thoughtful messages, and I remember carrying that bag everywhere for a solid month. While the kids played peacefully for 3.5 minutes I would write out a card. I loved to share. I still do. Alas, a time came when the bag never made it to the post office, the cards remained half written. I though of sending them out in May with a “this is about where it’s at for me” stamp. Ecards became a thing. I cried a little inside. But I just couldn’t do ALL THE OLD THINGS, when there were so many NEW AND MORE URGENT things added to my list.
So a red cup, a faint nod to the days gone by of Christmas cards, and then an ethereal blur of merriment and goodwill and pressure and stress and family and hope —that this year the big giant holiday miracle in the sky might land on your general pocket of need, whether that’s bringing you love to answer your loneliness, or give you someone to share your joy with, whether it’s healing for a friend or a loved one, not having to worry about whether you’re doing it right, or a tiny snowflake of peace or trust landing you in moment of stillness.
And then BAM, it’s January, and it’s on you again. To put away the decorations. To recycle the wrapping and boxes and bows. To intervene somewhere somehow, for the love of all things good and beautiful, between January first and the advent of the holidays, next year, and MAKE SOME SHIT HAPPEN. Whatever that may be. Feeling better, living better. Not doing the exact same thing. Not spinning your wheels. Not winding up in the same place. Less hurt, more happy.
Sometimes you don’t even know what the thing you need to make happen is. Ever seen that show where the handyman carpenter house fixer upper guy comes in and you tell him your hopes and dreams and then you go away and when you come back your ugly bathroom is just the same, but he’s fixed something deep in your foundation that you didn’t even know was cracking, and you’re like, this is so sad because I don’t have a shiny bathroom, but then while you’re feeling shitty for feeling sorry for yourself because this guy and his tv show just came in there and gave you a bunch of stuff you didn’t have to pay for and did it super well but you can’t SEE any improvement, you wipe your drippy nose and come out of the ugly bathroom and after a couple of hours or days you realize that that weird smell is gone now, and the world feels sturdier somehow, and you walk a little bit different and relax a little more, and something feels better on the inside and you keep looking at the bathroom and you can’t figure out why you hated it so much in the first place, and you kinda wanna hate it still because otherwise what sorcery has just gone on, and what if you’re just like complacent now with mediocrity and your lack of bathroom hatred has sealed you into some new level of uselessness, but finally you just accept that the hate is gone, and by the end of the whole process of fixing the crack you could not see in the first place you wind up with a new bathroom anyhow because so many other things did not break and actually worked better that you had the resources to get the new bathroom without praying to the Almighty to deliver one straight from heaven, priority post, and now you have a shiny new bathroom with no pressure to be a miracle, because somehow while you weren’t looking your miracle, little Who down in Whoville, snuck its way in through the chimney and came just the same?
I call this process coaching. At least it is my kind of coaching. I can break your bathroom reno into a thousand tiny manageable steps and trick you into doing them, so that presto your bathroom is new and shiny before you can say “I can’t do that myself”. And if that is what you want I am not going to say no. But if you let me, if you give me a snowflake of trust, I’d prefer to fix the foundation that’s leaking the undetectable odour into the bathroom that make you see it in hues of vomit yellow before I simply whip out a paint brush and sing along while you work.
What if you didn’t have to wake up January first with 365 empty to do pages in your day timer, and every prior year for easy reference as to what will not solve what needs solving for you. What if you didn’t have to figure out how and where to apply your miracle, or steer your ship, all by your lonesome?
What if you could cut hindsight off at the pass, and give your 2020, TWENTY TWENTY VISION instead!!!???? (Yes I am super proud of that little play on numbers friends, thank you, thank you).
What if you could go into the holiday season a little freer in your heart, with a little more pep in your peppermint, and a little more to give of your spirit and your compassion and all those beautiful things about you, because at the end of it, you knew you would have someone to hold your hand, to get up with you in the cold of January, open the blinds and let that crisp winter light shine in. To set up a year of support, and guidance, and fixing the cracks and seeing what you really need to see and where you really want to go. The gift of Wow, this wasn’t the same at all. We did this. And we deserved this. The gift of meaning and purpose; the hindsight of future you, given to you now. For those of you who have seen Bill and Ted’s Most Excellent Adventures, an early nineties classic “Your future you thanks you”.
I am offering you a gentle nudge toward setting yourself up for great things. Like any number of these THINGS that I have helped my clients with this past year:
Getting you out of a toxic career dynamic or culture and into one where you are healthy, validated, financially rewarded, and challenged appropriately
Moving you from heart break or loneliness into a relationship based on equal partnership
Getting your existing romantic relationship from struggle to thriving
Undoing unhealthy emotional patterns that keep you feeling unhealthy or in pain or stuck or bad about yourself or your behaviour
Parenting in a way that reflects what you value rather than recycled hurt and anger from your own childhood or history
Parenting through a difficult divorce or break up without losing your marbles, in a way that is protective of your family’s emotional health
Healing from painful abuse or neglect
Accomplishing a project or a dream that you can’t seem to understand the obstacles to or make room for
Making decisions with clarity and self understanding, with the bravery and wisdom to move forward
Preparing for a meaningful retirement that provides rest and celebration but also allows for connection and contribution
Manage the existing demands of a leadership role in your high profile career with clarity, self understanding and insight
Navigating your way through challenging family relationships in a way that is compassionate but also healthy and empowering
Someone did it for me. And I can’t thank them enough. And I can’t thank ME enough for having the bravery to say yes, Christmas is coming too fast and I don’t want to be forgiving the same things all over again next year. THAT thought made me brave enough to GO BIG on not actually solving it all myself. And what do you know, magic. I was like, Wow. This is what it’s like to be on the receiving end of support. #Tomeloveme.
We don’t want to go into the storm just praying there is a lighter somewhere in one of our pockets or the bottom of our purse for when the power shuts off; to endure and repeat. There is a better way!
Don’t get me wrong. You’re going to do great things without support, and so am I. You’re going to do your very best, and that is already a lot. In fact you’ve probably done and given enough that you should be 5 Airmiles away from a forever vacation.
But we are talking a change in the game, from what is on you, from you, yours to prove and solve and accomplish, and surrender, to what is FOR YOU. More of what matters to you, FOR you. And that is a pretty big deal. A change from “I weathered the storm” to “Holy Year of Life Changing Change Batman, I can’t believe THAT happened.” It feels pretty damn good to be saying that one. It feels hella good to be feeling that one.
So, how do we get there? How do we say yes to the 2020 vision dress?
Well my friends, I can only do the intensive level of support with a limited number of you. Because it’s like, intense, man. I give you my all. I would not have you going into the basement alone! I’ve seen those movie commercials. My larger packages are designed to give you dedication; enough time to make the foundational differences you need, for your vision, your happy, your break throughs.
If you feel yourself breathing out a sigh of imagined relief at the thought of securing for yourself that kind of support for your 2020, then send me a note. We’ll have a talk and flesh out the details; we’ll figure out what is the best pace and dynamic for you. And we’ll get it set up now, so you can breathe easy through the merriment and chaos to come.
And from now until then and way beyond, I’ll still be in your inbox with my weekly stories and insights from my heart to yours, helping you in every way I can.
I see you, after all.
P.S. Do you have a friend or loved one who is struggling? I offer GC’s of smaller care packages you can give, to get someone through the holidays or as a holiday gift. Just give me a shout for more information.
P.P.S. One of the kindest things you can do for me is to share my writing. If you enjoyed today’s Monday Musing and know someone else who would please forward it to a friend.