Twelve Days of Reflection and Change

We could really do with a bit of happiness as we come to the end of year one of C-19. It has been great putting up the decks and the lights and a joy seeing all the homes around doing the sam thing. I was going through olds files and found a copy of The Happy Newspaper.

In 2016 The Happy Newspaper ran with the idea of “12 days of happiness” not just twelve days of Christmas. I love this play on ideas. 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”… 

…and went to January 6th, the day when the three wise men turned up in Bethlehem to visit Jesus bearing their gifts. So Ed and I thought these twelve days should extend to 365 days, a whole year, of kindness and happiness. So maybe this Christmas we could start with the twelve days and see if we could carry it on?

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 Christmas my true love sent to me”, is 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 if 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 which the world gets brighter or the day gets longer. Whatever your beliefs structure or basis my suggestion for twelve day of Mindfulness would be to use the following as topics to meditate, think about and act on. Some things you cannot act upon but you can clear the negativity out of yourself and allow some light into your darkness.

The idea for these meditations come from the Live In The Present book and the ten steps course. 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 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

Use 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. This is like a spiritual detox getting ready for a New year.

2: Self forgiveness 

Use 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 apologies 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, for 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 situation, 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? Is 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 do you see yourself? What is your level of self esteem? Do you love yourself? It is important to remember that the way that you see yourself is a learned habit and if you don’t like the way that you see yourself then you do have the ability to change and create a version of 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 jobs, locations, attitudes, relationships. What would you change and how would you change it/them?

6: Creating an intention

Today meditate on if you do make the changes that you considered yesterday where is your life  going? What do you intend to do with your gift of life? If you were at a birthday party, 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 right now.

7: Making a plan

Today meditate on how you will put your ideas from yesterday 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. It is said 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, maybe, do one day. The plan that never happens.

8: Resource your plan

Today meditate on what you will need to bring your plan into action. What resources do you need? These may be practical things like equipment or supplies. It might be that you need knowledge, advice, or information. It may that you need the help and support from others, perhaps as a mentor. You may need forms of energy like money. Most importantly become aware 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 other people’s mistakes.

9: Check it out

Today meditate on how you might try out your idea/project. This is research. Traditionally this would be a focus group or a 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 considered what it will take to get you from where you are to where your 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.

Let me now how you get on.

Take care, have a fabulous 2021, have a fabulous life.

Sean x  

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