As Christmas, or the holiday season, approaches and the decade end is looming in the distance, I’ve been thinking a lot about what lessons I’ve learned in the past and what I’d like to accomplish in the future (ie. soon-to-be written upcoming blog posts). Also, it’s Friday the 13th so in festive spooky season style I’d like to purpose a simple exercise to try, encompassing the holidays and mindfulness. I call it the “Christmas Carol Challenge”. We all know the popular and well spoofed Dicken’s story the Christmas Carol (if not, it’s good reading if you can get through Ye Ol’ English vernacular). The premise of the tale is that a lonely individual hardened by trauma is forced to look within themselves via the help of the supernatural to understand how their hardened exterior has hurt others and themselves in the process, all steaming from the fear of being alone and inevitable death (or the ultimate fear of failure). They are visited by 3 ghosts, each representing a different tense, showing them what affected them (past), how they are affecting others (present), and what will come from this behaviour (future). In essence it’s very Newtonian – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and the world of literature is based in cause and effect (our world is a bit more multifactorial, but let’s adopt a literal mindset for the sake of the exercise).
If you were to meet these 3 ghosts what would they show you? What would they want to show you? What would you want to see? Be afraid to see? What are you missing out on? Or avoiding?
For each ghost write (or visualize) what they represent to you:
Christmas past – What event changed you in your past? Does it affect you still? What do you need to LET GO off?
Christmas present – Do you see what is going on around you? Are you aware? Does your behaviour affect others around you? What do you NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE?
Christmas future – Are you fearful of the future? Of what you’ve done? Haven’t done? Missed out of? What are you AVOIDING? And HOW WILL YOU CHANGE?
I truly don’t hope I’m not setting myself up for a Christmas ghost-filled dream after writing this post, but if so, so be it. I always enjoyed the Muppet version of a Christmas Carol anyway (the ghost of Christmas present was my favourite… apparently I was already practicing mindfulness as a child!).
Happy ghosting 😉 everyone!