All over the world, people are arriving at this time of year at a festival that involves pregnant thought and light. 
Whether you believe in the Christian idea of a woman bearing the son of Christ, or the Hindu tradition of Pancha Ganapati where one is asked to think upon our past mistakes and create new ways of being – or perhaps one looks to the Jewish festival – Asarah B'Tevet where from morning on the 25th December one fasts and mourns until 3 bright lights are seen in the sky where upon a huge celebration is had. 
Perhaps you might like to do your own research, it is uncanny how if you treasure hunt enough on Google, you can arrive at the discovery of beautiful December festivals that involve profound internal thoughts and reflections and light. 
It would be easy to imagine that this has something to do with the darkness of winter, of course I’m writing this from my own home in England where we have just passed winter solstice – the day with the shortest amount of light hours. One can imagine vast pagan farmers looking to the sky on winter solstice; full of thought as to how to keep going through the winter months yet equally full of relief that the light would now return to the earth. 
Every year my thoughts on the 25th December follow threads towards those who will not discover gifts under a brightly clad tree. Who will not feast upon vast quantities of food, and whose families are not around to hold, to laugh, and to echo sounds made from one’s own lips. And of course this year – my thoughts are amplified. What an incredible year we have had. 
Six years ago whilst researching trauma, I discovered a familiar theme – that being, when a person is in the midst of great waves of emotion – it is rare that they will acknowledge the part of them that survives. We will remember what we did wrong, we will talk at great lengths as to how the trauma came to be – yet... we do not expose the hero/ine within. 
This 25th December, whoever you are – whatever you are doing – I invite you to start a new tradition WITH yourself. Sit somewhere quietly, and be pregnant with all you have been through this year – allow whatever feelings are there to surface. Explore the narrative inside yourself which is the journey only you have taken. 
What did you discover this year, what did you learn, what did you disconnect from or connect to. 
How have you survived. Do not judge the part of you that has eaten great amounts (that’ll be me then), or the part of you that has needed to call several people a day, or the part of you that has been angry and ranted.... do not question your authentic way of managing this year’s unveiling drama. How have you survived? 
Now look deeper into the facets of how you survived. This December.... if you were to shine a light on how you came to arrive today – what other skills would you have. Hoorah to all the heroic over eaters..... how wonderfully we also can feed others. Welcome to all the frantic phone callers – you are great connectors and news bearers – to those who have gone quiet and retired, what colourful thoughts you have had during those silent hours. 
It’s so easy to judge a gift by its wrapping – I play the “can I guess what it is” game every year. Yet it’s only when one truly peels back the layers that we can discover what we have. 
May each of you arrive at the end of December having acknowledged what a true hero/ine YOU are. 
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