Mindfulness with Dr Dave Wood

Every edition, Alt Valley Voice features a wellbeing column, written by Dr Dave Wood, a life coach and trainer, and founder of Metanoeo CIC and Realign Coaching.

Who can beat a bit of Shaky at Christmas?

Snow is fallin’, all around me. Children playin’, having fun. It’s the season, love and understanding.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Shakin’ Stevens

Sounds like the perfect Christmas. But for most of us it’s not just the snow that might be missing from this idealised vision. Christmas is often a time of family arguments, financial pressure and, dare I mention it, the stress of preparing the expected Christmas feast! We put a lot of pressure on ourselves when we build up expectations as Christmas as a; “Time for parties … Time for presents.”


But if we continue to listen to Shaky, we start to get just a glimpse of an alternative approach to Christmas which might just help us save the Christmas spirit when it comes to our wellbeing around family and friends this year. Shaky proclaims: “All the old songs, love to give.”


The one thing we can always give which doesn’t take great cooking skills, lots of money, or professional negotiation skills to diffuse family conflicts, is love. Nice thought. But where do we draw this love from during the exhausting and frantic Christmas season? Shaky suggests the old songs.


When I started to think about this in the context of friends and family, I could see how the principle of drawing on the past might make sense. We often need to draw not so much on our current experiences with people, but the joy we might have experienced in the past. Where we’ve experienced closeness to others in the past, remembering this can help motivate us through current difficulties.


But how about when those positive experiences haven’t been there. Thinking about our personal ‘songs from the past’; the stories, music, experiences and thoughts that have helped to get us through, can provide us with the perfect wisdom to help us in our relationships with others now. Even when our relationships with others haven’t been great, we are still likely to have other experiences and reflections upon which we can draw.


So, this Christmas, make sure you give yourself a little bit of time and space to remember where you’ve been so far in your own life journey. You never know, it might not only get you through the season, but it might also set you up for your new year’s resolutions.

Merry Christmas!

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