12 Days of Kindness

Ed and I had been reading the Happy Newspaper and we came across the article on “The 12 days of kindness”. I love this play on ideas of the twelve days of Christmas. In the Christian Cannon the twelve days started with the feast of Stephen on December 27th. If you remember…

Good Kind Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen“.

The. Twelve days went to January 6th, the day when the three wise men turned up in Bethlehem to visit Jesus bearing their gifts. So we went through these twelve days and maybe we all should. Perhaps even extend it to 365 day of kindness.

The song or hymn “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was designed to teach the Christian faith to younger people. The interpretation of the exact meaning of each day, the numbers and the gifts vary but in general were used as a mnemonics to aid both memory and learning. So, “on the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me”, it assumes to be True love = God, the Me = you the receiver of the gifts and the gifts are the message of Christianity in symbolic form.

Well, if the Christmas is about living a positive giving and happy life and the message of renewal and new beginnings, perhaps we could each create our own message, of twelve days or twelve steps. It would seem probable that the original pre-Christian festival was the solstice on December 21st which is the longest night and the shortest day of the year, after that the world gets brighter or the day gets longer. Whatever your belief structure or basis my suggestion for twelve days of Mindfulness would be to use the following as topics to meditate, and to then act on. As when doing the ten steps course some things you cannot act upon but you can clear the negativity out of yourself and allow the light into your darkness.

Some of these meditations may lead to action and you may need to keep a pen and paper by you so that you can list any actions that you might need to take. You might simply want to record what you are feeling after each meditation. Ideally each meditation would last for thirty minutes or more.

1: Forgiveness
Using this day to meditate on forgiving all those that have done you wrong. A time to let go of everyone and everything that you are holding any negative energy about. in your meditation allow the people or events to come before you and actively and consciously let them go.

2: Self forgiveness
Using this day to meditate on being honest with yourself about anything or anyone that you have wronged and might need to apologise to. As with day one bring those people or events before you and actively and consciously apologise and let them go.

3: Gratitude
Use today’s meditation to review all the positive things, events and people who have influenced your life and bring them before you. Actively thank them for what they have done or who they are and openly feel the positive emotions of gratitude and thankfulness.

3: Live in the present
In today’s meditation review your life as it is right now, all the people, all the situations that make up your life as it is right now. As you observe your life pay attention to how it feels. Do you need to change it? If yes, then what do you need to do? This might be a time to make a list.

4: Who are you?
Today in your meditation take a look at how you see yourself? What is your level of self esteem? Do you love yourself? It is important to remember that they way that you see yourself is a learned habit and if you don’t like the way that you see yourself then you have the ability to change and create a new you that would serve you well.

5: Creating change
In today’s meditation consider that if you were to create the ‘you’ that you would like to be what would you need to change? This might mean job, location, attitudes, relationships. What would you change and how would you change it?

6: Creating an intention
Today meditate on if you make the changes that you considered yesterday where is your life going? What do you intend to do with this gift of life? If you were at a birthday ten or twenty years hence and someone is giving speech about what it is that you have done and achieved what would you like to be hearing? What would they be saying? Having completed this meditation you might like to write the speech yourself.

7: Making a plan
Today meditate on how you will put your idea into effect. To put anything into effect requires a plan. A plan does not need to be fixed, but it sets you off in the right direction. A plan is a map that can be varied and changed according to need. For most of us it is the lack of a plan that keeps us trapped and immobile. They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Many of us fail to progress because we do not plan, we simply have an intention as a fanciful idea that we will do one day. The plan that never happens.

8: Resource you plan
Today meditate on what you will need to bring your plan into action. What resources do you need to get your plan into action? This may be a practical thing like equipment or supplies. It might be that you need knowledge, advice, or information. It may be that you need the help and support of others perhaps as a mentor. You may need forms of energy like money. Most importantly becomes the awareness of other people who may have done something similar to what you want to do. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, don’t waste your time doing what other people have done before. Try to learn from others mistakes.

9: Check it out
Today meditate on how you might try your idea/project. This is research. Traditionally this would be a focus group or test group. Your idea might require other ways to test it. How can you try out your plan? Once you try it out see how it works and decide how you can adjust it or fine tune it?

10: Time for live action
Today meditate on how you will present your idea/project. This is the step prior to the actual enactment of your idea/project. It might mean organising a launch or a presentation. Who will you announce it to? Who will come to your event, what do you want them to get from it? What will happen next?

11: Feedback
Today meditate on the reaction to your launch. What have you learned? How can you increase the effectiveness of your project/idea.

12: Reality
Today is the reality test. If during the last twelve days you have used contemplation and visualisation to consider who you are, where you are, have you considered what it will take to get you from where you are to where you need to be and have taken your self through a plan of how to get there, you will now be ready to begin the process of change.

Realistic change takes at least ninety days and it may be that each of these mediations need to be done for one week or even for one month. Overall the only thing that will ensure that you achieve what you want is to be persistent and consistent and to never, never, never, give up.

Take care, have a fabulous 2017.

Sean x

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