Giving and Receiving at Xmas

Well, its only 10 sleeps til Christmas. Funny how we know that every year it’s on December 25th but it still seems to take us by surprise. I find that that I don’t have children living at home anymore I have a little more trouble getting into the Christmas Spirit. I did put up our tree last Saturday and put some fairy lights in our tiny patch of front garden. It does look gorgeous when we arrive home at night.

Last Sunday we had my family Christmas lunch in Ballarat. It was really lovely. I have a big family which includes 3 sisters, a step sister and two step brothers. We’re all married with children and grandchildren so when we all get together it’s quite a crowd. The family is ever expanding with three new babies this year.

I’m blessed that my family all get on well and it’s great to catch up with everyone, but I know Christmas can be a tricky time for some people. If you have any kind of family conflict or have had a death in the family during the year, then Christmas, (or other religious or cultural celebrations) can bring these stresses to the surface. We’ve had quite a few clients at the clinic lately who are struggling with Christmas for these reasons.  Hopefully you’re able to enjoy the holiday season and create a little more peace on earth in your own way, even if it means working on your own inner peace.

One thing you may wish to consider spreading around this Christmas is Kindness. I was very touched to see a segment on TV last Saturday about a Canberra family who decided to get into the Christmas Spirit by doing some Random Acts of Kindness in the lead up to Christmas Day. One of the things they did was to give a little girl they’d observed in a café a card with $5 in it from “Santa’s Little Helper.” The card simply said “Santa is always watching. He sends people to let you know that you are on the ‘nice’ list. Here’s a reward for being so good!”

It’s interesting to know that when you do something kind for someone else it literally changes your own brain activity and chemistry. Studies show that in a functional MRI exactly the same part of the brain lights up when you give as when you receive. It creates the same brain chemistry and it makes you feel just as good.

Once I learned this I realised why I always like to be there to watch someone open a gift  I’ve given them. I get such a buzz out of seeing the reaction. I always find it a little disappointing when people leave their presents to open later. On Christmas Day it’s tradition in my family that when we share gifts we do it slowly and give one gift at a time. We all watch as the receiver opens their gifts and we all share the joy.

But did you know that the joy can be even greater when its a totally random gift or act of kindness towards a complete stranger? The strangers surprise and gratitude can amplify your joy enormously. And you never know the ripple effect your actions can create.

The family in Canberra knew nothing about the little girl they gave the card to, but the woman with the child later posted this on Facebook:
“Dear Santa’s Little Helper … on Tuesday you approached us while we were having a treat at Max Brenner. You put an envelope on our table and promptly left, barely a word spoken. I could not hold back the tears when I opened the card you left and read your thoughtful words. You acknowledged the beautiful behaviour of my child, who sat quietly eating chocolate strawberries and chatting to me and my friend. What you couldn’t have possibly known, is that the child you took the time to acknowledge has recently been separately from their birth family. Life for a foster child is not easy, but through your kindness you have shown this amazing child the spirit of community. As a foster carer, I can’t tell you how much your gift of kind words (and $5) means to us. Your random act of kindness towards us, complete strangers, has touched me deeply. I will treasure this memory for my lifetime. Thank You.”

This family had no way of knowing consciously anything about that little girl but my guess is that an unconscious “knowing” triggered them choosing that child at that moment. When you stop and listen to your intuition before you take action who knows what magic could come from a random act of kindness.

So if you’re inclined to truly spread the spirit of Christmas this year then for the next 10 days why not let the Universe guide you and do something surprisingly nice for a total stranger.  You may never know the outcome but just imagining what good can come from your small, kind deeds will make you feel great.

I once paid the breakfast bill for a couple I had a fleeting conversation with in a café in Croydon. I’d recently watched the movie “Pay It Forward”  and it just felt like a cool thing to do at the time. I felt a bit weird but I told the waitress at the register to ask the couple to “Pay it Forward”. She lit up and said to me, “Oh my God, I love that movie. I’ve watched it so many times!”  She was so excited about telling tell and although I didn’t stay to see their reaction every time I’ve thought about that moment since I can’t help smiling to myself. In a strange way got more joy from that $30 I spent on someone else’s breakfast than I could possibly get from spending it on myself.

If you feel lonely or depressed at Christmas then the most effective thing you can do is help someone else to NOT feel lonely and depressed. Even if you already love Christmas you might want to consider a new approach to giving. I’d love to know your thoughts. (Just reply to to this email)

On another note, even though it seems that the world stops on Christmas Day, life does go on and we have some awesome events planned for the New Year. 2016 is the year of awakening your heart and creating the life you love so please take a look at what’s coming up and book yourself in…..

UPCOMING EVENTS:
It’s Your Life – Now or Never  – Based around the principles of the Law of Attraction this evening will inspire, inform and guide you to explode your reality for the start of 2016. Realise your full potential and make everyday amazing, worthwhile and fun.  With Dr Anne-Maree Hone (Chinese Medicine Practitioner)
7.30-9pm  Thursday Jan 7th  $30   BOOK ONLINE HERE

Shine Your Light Workshop – Learn some quick, powerful techniques to clear the belief that you’re not good enough and learn to live life with confidence.
with Alison Burton (Clinical Hypnotherapist)
7pm to 9pm Wednesday Jan 20th  $40

Love Your Life – Awakening  Your Heart’s Desire in 2016
A joyful day of exploration, sacred ritual, release and intention setting.

With Kara Kovacs (Medical Intuitive) and Julie van Nispen (Energy Healer)

10am to 2pm Saturday Jan 30. Cost is $149  ( Early Bird by Dec 30th $129)

Mind Your Own Health – Do you have a health problem? Join us to discover the five keys to reclaiming your wellness.
with Alison Burton and Anna Talaj  (Naturopath)
7pm to 8pm Wednesday Feb 3rd   FREE EVENT

ALSO REMEMBER OUR REGULAR CLASSES: 

Sound Healing Meditation   7pm Mondays  $30
Summer Holiday Yoga   7pm Tuesdays  & 9.30am Wednesdays
$22 or 5 classes for $100
QiGong   9.15pm Thursdays  $20
Kindred Spirits 10.30am This Thursday: “Create Your Vision Board for 2016” Everything provided  $20

That’s all for now.  Have a great week,
Warm Regards,
Alison Burton
Health and Happiness Guru

Simply Natural Therapies
41 Tunstall Square
East Doncaster
VIC 3109