Heather McKay of Head in the Clouds Ireland has just had a gorgeous revamp to her website in time for the Christmas season. If you don’t know Heather’s work then you’re going to want to check it out because her Christmas cards are some of the most joyful things you’ll ever stick in a post box. Your friends and family will be delighted to receive her colourful pictures on their door mat!
I’ve known Heather for (ahem!) a very long time now and a couple of years ago, we sat down and had a chat for the podcast. If you haven’t listened to it already, go and check it out.
Heather’s stunning and unique style of illustration really stands out and there’s an inherent joy and optimism in everything she does. I’m excited to see the next stage of the journey for Head in the Clouds.
Where are your shoulders right now?
Are they relaxed, your neck feeling good, your arms loose?
What happens when I say the ‘C’ word?
Yeah, you heard me, I mean Christmas. CHRISTMAS!!!! CHRRIIIIISSSSTTTTMAAAAS!!!
Where are your shoulders now?
Is there tension in your upper body, maybe your jaw is tight, your tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth?
Are your shoulders sitting up around your ears?
Is your breath caught high up in your chest and does your throat feel constricted?
Maybe this season of the year has you all chilled out and maybe you are organised and sorted with gifts and decorations ready to hand out to all and sundry. Maybe you are the illusive (smug) Christmas unicorn of mythical legend!
Here’s the thing; I am supposed to love Christmas because I love the whole Jesus story. This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year when I remember how spectacularly awesome is the idea of the Divine coming near and being in the muck and mess of the human story.
But like everyone else, I so easily get snowballed into the commercial blizzard that happens at this time of year and it totally stresses me out. Every year, I say I want to do Christmas differently, I want to focus on the real essence of the story and every year get to the 25th of December feeling utterly shattered and demoralised.
So I have asked myself,
How do you want to feel this Christmas?
How do you want to feel this Christmas?
I want to feel joyful.
I want to feel present.
I want to feel abundant.
I want to feel peace.
If you’d like to join me, I’d like to invite you to come with me via Instagram and FB over the coming weeks as we intentionally create the season we want to experience. I’m going to be blogging and doing live videos over the coming weeks sharing my intentional attempt to Slow. The. Heck. Down. and realign my lived experience of this sacred time with my deep love of the Divine and the beautiful story of Immanuel/God with us. Even if you have no religious leanings or feelings about this, or your religious background or inclination is different, I invite you to join me and take a step out of the madness to discover what #Christmasfeels like for you.
I’m done with the commercial mess of this year, however I do want to support local business for whom this time of the year is their most important. With that in mind, I’m compiling a list of awesome small businesses that you might not know about and who you may wish to consider if you are buying gifts this season. To get the first dibs on this list, subscribe to my newsletter by the end of next week when I’ll be releasing it for #GreenFriday…..
Yes you read that right…. it’s going to be a #GreenFriday this year! Sign up to learn more.
The nights are surely drawing in now. Once that clock goes back, you can really feel we’re heading into the dark. My children are on the half term holidays as I write and are excited about Halloween sweeties and dressing up.
I’m soaking the currants, raisins and sultanas in tea overnight so that we can make our ‘breac’, the traditional fruit cake for this time of year. We’ll hide a ring, a coin and a piece of cloth inside and who ever gets the cloth will be provided for, whoever gets the ring will find love and whoever gets the coin will be rich. Or so the story goes.
We focus on Samhain in our house, more than Halloween and on the 1st of November, we’ll have a feast and party games and share stories of loved ones who have left this side of the story for their adventure on the other side. It’s the feast of All Saints, and in the Celtic tradition it’s a ‘thin’ time. It’s seen as a time when the dear departed visit for a time in the land of the living.
I’ve hustled my children to help clean and tidy as I’ve told them that if my Mum’s spirit stops by I don’t want her to see a messy house! It’s been eleven years since she died from cancer and she never knew my children, never saw me own my own place. I’d like to think of her walking in and nodding in approval, marvelling at my children and proud of how far I’ve come, though I’ve no doubt she’d take issue with my yoga pants and hiking boots; ‘you’ve so many nice things to wear!’
I have been thinking of my Mum recently, dreaming of her quite a bit of late. She’s always pretty much the same as she was in life; practical, down to earth, a Mrs Fix-it if ever there was one. I think of all the people she supported and loved over the years, the wise insights that came from her deep devotion to her spiritual path. I think of her faith, right to the end, her faith in transformation and transfiguration, her hope that all is never lost.
As I embark on this journey as a Desire Map Facilitator, I hope I bring with me some of the wisdom she passed on to me. I like to think I’m continuing her work, forging onward on the journey. Though the path might diverge in many ways from hers and will take in different scenery, the destination anyway will be the same; Love.
Wishing you and yours a very blessed Samhain peace as you go into dark of winter and rest to restore you for Spring.
There’s still time to sign up for my free 6 day online course called Free & Clear which starts on the 5th of November at 11am GMT. You can find out more and sign up here.