Thank you for being part of this year’s Relationships Advent Calendar, I hope you’ve had as much fun joining in the fun as I’ve had creating it ..
I’ve been inspired along the way by the penguins at noomi, whose Kindness Advent Calendar I follow every year, so check that out too.
And today of course is a day for family so I’m off to spend a peaceful day with mine, a bit different from usual having coached the older generation in Zoom skills this year .. wishing you a love-filled day close to your special ones, whoever they are ..
We may not get to see the kids nativity this year, but as we know Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem for the census .. and today I’d like you to start a mental tally chart of the good things in your life, and how many are possible because of the love and support of others.
Keep adding whenever you think of one and watch that list grow .. find a beautiful notebook and start a gratitude journal if that’s how you roll .. notice how it feels to know you’re not dependent on or independent of each other .. but inter-dependent, people who support and appreciate each other.
Sometimes it’s tempting to take the good things for granted and only focus on the things people do wrong .. we can have long conversations with our friends and family about the difficulties they’re having.
How about taking some time to high five someone you know for something they do or have been doing really well .. this year maybe more than any other we could all do with a reminder of the efforts we’ve been putting in.
Nothing is more meaningful than when we take the time to find the right image to go with a message, so today think about finding a great gif or photo to show someone you care about how you feel. You could even draw, craft or paint something.
We’re so used to quickly capturing a moment in time, publishing it and moving on.
Take just six seconds today to stop, and share a moment in real time .. 6 seconds that will bring you closer with someone you’re with .. if you’re alone right now, use that 6 seconds to bring someone to mind you care about, and notice how that changes how you feel in your body.
The number one thing that shifts things for people I work with is when they start communicating differently with those around them. Sometimes that’s finding ways to say something difficult in a sightly different way, and often it’s about recognising and taking ownership of our part in an interaction.
Research shows that 5 positive interactions to every 1 more difficult interaction serve to strengthen relationships and make disagreements easier to manage.
So get into good habits .. Tell those around you what they did to make you happy today, whether that’s a ‘good work today’ to staff or a ‘thanks for that yummy meal’ to a family member or waiter.
Sharing gratitude is so important in our relationships and it’s such a shame that it so often gets lost in the busyness of our everyday lives. Stop and think how you might feel if someone thanked you for something you do every day at work for example .. now .. does it feel good?
Your challenge is to give someone in your life the gift of gratitude today .. Thank them for something they do for you today, or simply for being who they are.
Notice the difference that one small action makes, and consider making gratitude a bigger part of your relationships.
“Advent is the perfect time to clear and prepare the Way. Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace.” – Edward Hays
Those who know me also know I love a good challenge, and at this time of year I usually post a daily challenge for couples to reconnect and nurture their relationships.
2020 has been a hell of a year though, so I’ve decided to widen this year’s challenge to include all our relationships. Like it or not we exist in relationship to others, at home, locally, nationally and internationally, and when we take time to approach these relationships with intention we can find great healing and joy.
December is a great time to take stock of our relationships, and to make sure loving each other is part of the run up to Christmas. Those of you who read my posts regularly will know I’m a firm believer in the power of small sustained actions to build and sustain loving relationships.
So I invite you to follow my new and improved Relationship Advent Calendar Challenge, a great way to build acts of love into each day from December 1st, as my seasonal gift to you.
So, what’s a “Relationship Advent Calendar?
A lot of advent calendars are about getting, but this one’s all about giving, because in our relationships we give to receive. Every day in December until Christmas, I’ll reveal a new action to build and sustain your relationship with others and your world.