Sunday, 16 December 2012

the friendly ghost of christmas past

Consider what you were up to at this time last year. What were your Christmas preparations like? Were you in a contented, fulfilled place? Or was Christmas difficult or painful for you? How do your feelings about your life twelve months ago compare with now? What needs to change in the New Year? What have your challenges and opportunities been over the last twelve months? This festive season is a perfect time to reflect on the year laid out behind us. Often, we can't actually help doing that. Hearing the same old, well-loved Christmas songs and looking at the decorations and street lights reminds us of the life we were living the last time Christmas rolled around. Sometimes this can cause pain, whilst at other times it brings joy. Life is a cycle of ups and downs. You can never be at the top all the time - you have your high and low points and let's face it, if life was a straight line of mediocrity, it wouldn't be so enjoyable. Sadness is a compromise so that we can get to the good stuff - it's not always smooth sailing and that makes us appreciate the good times so much more. Let's use this time of celebration to reflect on how far we've come. The changes we've experienced have inevitably shaped and altered us. Let's not be afraid of that. Let's embrace it and validate our choices and experiences by giving them a creative voice.

Express yourself this Yuletide and Christmas. Give your 2012 a portal out into the rest of the world by journalling about it, making images to describe it, scrapbooking, painting, making music - whatever it is you're in to. If you've experienced pain and sadness this year, use that negativity by approaching it in artistic context, appreciating how it's defined and moulded you. Are you going to allow that negativity to drag you down or build you up? The twelve months you've just been through was important. Celebrate its effect on you and make it into something you own. Think of it as something you were very much a part of and consider how you're going to weave its lessons into your future.