It's time to press the pause button - Michelle Gibbings

I love Christmas. Putting up the tree, buying presents, celebrating, catching up with old and new friends, and spending time with family. It’s a time for renewal and reflection.

And yet this year it took a while for the Christmas spirit to catch on; to the extent that I debated with my husband as to whether we’d put up the Christmas tree. We are away for Christmas day so there was some logic to my perspective.

However, not one that made a lot of sense. In reality, my lack of interest in putting the tree up was because it felt like it was just another thing to do on my long list of ‘to do’s’.

I needed to press the pause button and reflect, and to shift my focus from the task to how I would feel afterwards.

Sure enough, when the tree went up and the house felt more festive, so did I.

It was a reminder of how easy it is to get caught up, feeling busy and rushing, and therefore failing to stop, pause and remind yourself of everything you appreciate and are grateful for.

Research from the Greater Good Science Centre explains that one of the keys to well-being is practising gratitude. Gratitude has been found to increase happiness levels, positive emotions, improve relationships and increase our resilience.

We all have things we can be grateful for. It can be simple: the sun is out, or I had a great cup of coffee (or in my case tea). Noticing each day what you are grateful for is a key ingredient for a fulfilled life.

One of my favourite meditation practices is by Ryan Kenny. In the meditation he says: “And if you are breathing right now there is more right than there is wrong with you“.

Hearing that phrase always makes me smile, and it is so true.

With gratitude comes immense thankfulness for what you have.

And to that end, I am grateful for each of you who take the time to read my thoughts. I really enjoy writing them, and love to hear feedback when an article has particularly reached you. Thank you.

I am thankful for the amazing clients I have worked with this year. I am thankful and inspired by many people I have met through the year who have challenged my thinking and helped me learn more.

Of course, I am most thankful for the support, love and encouragement I get from my husband, Craig, and the cuddles from our pooch, Barney.

To you and your loved ones, have a wonderful festive season whatever it entails.

See you in 2019!  The first of these weekly missives will be back on Friday 25th January.

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