All I Want For Christmas is…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers and followers. The festive season is upon us, a time for celebrations, seasonal gatherings, and the exchange of gifts.  For the little ones, Christmas is associated with everything looking a little prettier than usual, with Christmas decorations and lights everywhere. But the excitement really comes from the expectation of a visit from Santa Claus who will stop by to drop off some presents, assuming of course  that they have been good enough throughout the year. Adults will get presents too, hoping that Father Christmas would have enough insight to have guessed properly all the things on their Christmas list, the list they only wrote in their head and never took the time to send out!  

May you all have Peace and Clarity to be the first to latch on your door. And Happiness to be guided to your home by the candlelight of Christmas. May you have the strength to take the first step of many to where you want to go. May you have the grace and wisdom to persist in things worth doing. And find solace in the knowledge that, that in itself is remarkable. ©JoanneReed

All I want for Christmas is Peace and Clarity

There are two types of people in this world, those who see clearly, and those who don’t. People who see clearly are confident in themselves and in their abilities. Confident people know who they are, what they want, and how they should go about it. They have a road map, they have a destination in mind, and have planned the journey ahead. They have determination, discipline, and a sense of purpose and they go through their life journey in a state of joy, happiness and grace. The Quest for Clarity is an endless pursuit. We all seek it. We all want clear answers to our questions. We all want clear solutions to our problems. We all want clear paths to follow along the road to a happy and successful life. We all want to move from a state of confusion, which brings with it a lot of suffering to a state of clarity, which brings joy and happiness.

People who don’t see clearly are lost, they drift, they are discouraged, they keep changing their mind and instead of going forward towards the light (there is always light at the end of the tunnel) they turn around in circles, wandering endlessly and compulsively but not really going anywhere; and their life journey ends up being a journey full of pain and suffering. The lack of Clarity triggers different types of reactions in people. Some people will opt for burying their heads in the sand and continue operating on autopilot. Others will sink into despair or run around in a state of panic not knowing what to do, holding on to their anger, resentment, and suffering. Suffering is part of life, everybody has problems, issues, and dramas to deal with. Jordan Peterson advocates that we should bear our own cross, our own suffering, transcend it and then try to reduce it by becoming some kind of hero to ourselves and to people around us. How do we become heroes? Not by wearing a cape, jumping from building to building trying to save the world. We become heroes by becoming a better person every day shining our own light into the world, and the gift of clarity helps us do just that.

All of us without hesitation would prefer if given the choice, to be in the skin of one of those people who can see clearly. However, life is never black or white, life is a lot more complex than that and you can bet that all of us will have periods where we experience moments of clarity, where everything is in harmony, where we feel that we are on top of the world and we know where we are going; but we will also experience moments when we lack clarity -when we are filled with doubt and feel discouraged and drift, not knowing where we are going. If Clarity was a commodity that could be purchased, the chance is that commodity would become the most precious item one could own. The problem is you cannot obtain Clarity from someone else; you cannot buy Clarity and you cannot unfortunately receive it as a gift from someone else. You will have to find it yourself. Clarity will make your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions congruent with each other. We should also accept the fact that if you are not present in the moment, you will not be able to see clearly.  Being present in the moment is a very powerful tool for you to experience greater clarity and make better choices.

All I want for Christmas is Peace and Clarity.

All I want for Christmas is the strength to take the first step of many to where I want to go

Where do you really want to go? Have you taken the time to sit in a quiet place to ask yourself this question? Before you go on a plane and travel halfway across the world to some exotic location, you may want to pause for a minute or two to ask yourself what is your likes and dislikes, what are your expectations and aspirations. You have to know yourself first before you decide to go on a trip of a lifetime. According to the Ancient Greeks, the source of all wisdom and clarity is to Know Thyself. The path to knowing oneself, according to philosopher Carl Jung (1875 to 1961), is no light stroll. It is a dark and mysterious business; digging into oneself, climbing down directly into the tunnel of one’s being is an agonizing and hazardous undertaking.

When you embark on a journey of self-discovery, you will come face to face with what makes you whole. Every story has a hero and a villain, and in your story, you will be both. There is your heroside who is wise and rational and will say, “this year, we are going to eat healthily, exercise more, and lose weight.” And then there is your villainside who is less rational, more impulsive, and will tempt you, “you deserve that ice cream and a lay down on the sofa, maybe even a few hours of TV.” Knowing who you are start with asking the right questions. What do you believe to be essential and important? What are you really living for? Why do you do the things you do?

 A large portion of the decisions we make is to fulfill a need for societal validation. Societal validation will sometimes require us to behave in a certain way; being good to our parents, to our siblings, our teachers, our boss, our spouse, our neighbors, and our country (even if it means dying for it). There is a huge degree of inner peace and security connected to feeling good about who we are and all of us are prone to fulfilling this need. That said, once our sense of obligation and duty has been fulfilled, we should still leave some room left to make decisions based on our own needs and not just focus on what other people want us to do. 

All I want for Christmas is the strength to take the first step of many to where I want to go.

All I want for Christmas is the grace and wisdom to persist in things worth doing.

According to Henry David Thoreau “The mass of men leads lives of quiet desperation.”  This feeling comes from the fact that a lot of people feel that they are stuck in the rat race  unable to make their own choices but forced instead to go through the motion of waking up every day, going to work to get a paycheck which is necessary in order to afford all the necessities of life, pay all the bills, put some money aside (if possible) for a well-deserved vacation somewhere (to get away for just a little while) from the mundanity of everyday life and repeat the process year after year after year; but people are not born to just go to work, pay their bills and then die.  Surely, there is more to it than that.

Living a life of quiet desperation can affect everyone, young, old, poor, and also the rich & famous.   For the majority of people, the ultimate measure of success is to become rich and if you can achieve fame at the same time – all the better; but sometimes notoriety and money alone are not enough to save people from a life of quiet desperation. The most fundamental question that each one of us should ask ourselves is What is the meaning of life? The meaning of life is to live it to the best of your ability.

Whether people admit it or not, most of us have the desire to make a difference, to have an impact, or some level of influence on others. It is part of human nature, and it is admirable because it implies that we want to live a life that is bigger than us and our immediate entourage. We want to leave something of value after we leave, we want to leave a legacy. The thought of being forgotten and having had not much impact during the course of our life is troubling and distressing.

The world needs able men and women, peole who can do things that are thoroughly worthwhile; people who can think great thoughts and transform such thoughts into great deeds.”

Christian D. Larson

To be or not to be impactful? This may seem to be an odd question for some. Some people are very content with a quiet life away from the hustle and bustle. They are happy the way things are and don’t have any inclination to change things and even less inclination to change the world. Fair enough. Sadhguru has an interesting point of view on this issue. Every one of us is free to capture as much life as we want. If you capture a substantial amount of life you will become a significant presence, you will radiate, and that presence will draw people to you. It is not the knowledge you accumulated in your head, not the social status, the successes, or the muscle you built upon your body. It is just how much life emanates from you.

If you have the opportunity to go out in the world and do something impactful. Good, go out there and be impactful. But if not, don’t worry. Concentrate on being happy and content. The world needs more of these types of people. An oak tree sitting outside is not trying to create a significant impact on anyone. By just sitting there in a calm and assured state of being, the oak tree by its mere presence is being impactful without even trying. If someone just happened to walk past that oak tree on a hot and sunny day, wishing to rest and cool down for a little while, that person will find refuse under the oak tree and will appreciate its presence and the shade it can offer in that particular day, at that particular time. The oak tree has had an impact on that person, just by being there.

All I want for Christmas is the grace and wisdom to persist in things worth doing.

And this my dear friend, is Your Quest.

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