Monday, December 7, 2009

Feeling the Love at Christmas

To me, Christmas is about embracing the festive season and making it magical. Sharing this wonderful occasion with family and friends, connecting with people, being grateful for all that is wonderful in our lives and celebrating the gift of giving.

Part of Christmas is also amazing food which ranges from the traditional ham and roast turkey with all the trimmings, to seafood, cold meat platters and salads. And who could go past plum pudding, Christmas cake, chocolates, summer fruits and whatever else the table is laden with? Food is a big part of the festive season. Magazines that hit the stands in January typically feature post festive season dieting tips. And leading up to Christmas, there is plenty of information doing the rounds about party food no-no’s if you want to maintain your figure.

I’d like to take this one step further – or perhaps a step sideways – and say that how much you weigh is not an indication of self worth. Whether you are engaging with people you care about, celebrating at the end of the year Christmas party with colleagues, or dining out with friends, pay attention to how you feel on the inside. Self love is important because positive body image comes when we love ourselves from the inside out.

Take a moment to look into your heart and really feel the love that is there. And as you do, let your mind wander back over the year to some of the amazing moments you’ve experienced; triumphs; joyous moments when life has surprised you; friendships and relationships that have become important to you; places you’ve travelled; unexpected encounters; special events; and on. And recognise that these moments have profoundly shaped your year and lead to where you are now. And as the year comes to a close, and we enjoy the company of those we love and cherish, and sit down together to share a beautiful meal, trade stories, laugh and connect, if you feel love and contentment on the inside, then that is a wonderful gift.

Christmas doesn’t have to be about dwelling on what may be lacking in our lives. If we take the time to look at all the wonderful things we have now, in this moment, we naturally feel a sense of contentment. It could be simple pleasures like feeling the sunshine warm our skin, the smell of freshly cut grass, a hug from someone you love, to having a roof over our heads, special people in our lives and the promise of the endless possibilities that lay before us in the year ahead.

So, as you indulge in Christmas fare, forget about calories and make the practise of sharing a wonderful meal about feeling joyful in the moment.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say Merry Christmas to you all, and may your festive season be filled with wondrous moments, meaningful connections, love, laughter and happiness.

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