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With “that” time of year upon us – deep calming breaths all round (!) – it seemed like a good time for a couple of gentle reminders to make life a little easier all round… 
Ready? Then here we go. 
With so many things going on – and so much still to do – it’s all too easy to rely on sheer willpower to try and get things done. We’re sure you know the script. It goes along the lines of “I’ll get this done if it’s the last thing I do” usually muttered through gritted teeth… 
While it’s a very popular way of getting things done, the question is whether it’s the easiest way to do so. And, however much we may not want to admit it, the answer is always “no.” 
Just as we don’t like to be forced into something, nor does anything – or anyone – else. Everything happens in its own time and way. So, it’s ALWAYS a sign that something is “off” or, if you prefer, out of alignment. 
Put another way, it means we’re over managing whatever it is. Trying to force matters. And we all know that never leads to the easiest or best outcome. More likely, sky high blood pressure and, often, having to re do whatever it is at a later date… 
While it may be completely contrary to perceived wisdom (!) the quickest – and easiest – way to get things heading in the right direction is to walk away from them. Just take a break from all the struggle. Go and do something else that feels better. Perhaps it’s having a hot drink, a walk or one of your “go to” instant mood boosts. Or, maybe, it’s doing something else on your list that you do feel inspired to do. Or one of those “good intentions” that never quite get done but you do feel like doing now. 
Not only will you feel much better – and less stressed – but you’ll find that many things will seeming magically sort themselves out as soon as you stop trying to force them to happen at a particular time and in a particular way. This may be that someone else does them – hurrah (!) – or, suddenly, they don’t need doing at all or in a different – and easier – way. 
So, if it doesn’t feel good AND doesn’t seem to be easily falling into place, then those are two big hints to leave it alone. At least for now and, preferably, until you feel like doing it AND it seems to be falling magically into place. 
Ah, that feels better! 
Ready for the second one? 
It’s something else we all instinctively know but often forget. However much we may not like to admit it, our view of the world – and the people in it – is far from objective. We all see what we expect to see – with much of it being driven by the Little Monster in our Heads, our beliefs and past experience. 
And we’re not just talking about whether our glass is “half full” or “half empty”, although this is an easy place to start. Rather, in any situation, we only see what we expect to see NOT what’s actually there in front of us. 
So, if we expect Great Aunt Matilda to be annoying / rude / unkind / fill in the blank then that’s all we’re going to see. And NOTHING that contradicts this expectation, whether by a little or a lot. So, not her more positive traits of having a good sense of humour / being generous / loving her dog / fill in the blank
If you’re wondering why this happens, the answer is simple. To avoid data overload. Every second a huge amount of date comes in from our five senses, much more than our brains could possibly handle. So, to make it much more manageable, a huge amount is simply filtered out, leaving only that consistent with our existing beliefs, experiences and world view. This is the reason we each have our own unique experience of every event and person in our lives. 
So, there are no prizes for guessing where we’re going with this (!). 
Well, with the season of goodwill being here (!), it’s a timely reminder that – perhaps – our own expectations and perceptions may be a little wide of the mark. Not only does this instantly take the pressure off – phew (!) – but also brings the possibility that, perhaps, our own unique viewpoint may be in need of a little updating. Perhaps there really is another side to Great Aunt Matilda or an event that’s been pushing all our negative expectations buttons?!? 
And, despite what the Little Monster in your Head may be saying, it’s not about us being “wrong” in some way. Rather, it’s opening us up to another possibility, one that will make everyone’s lives flow a little more easily… 
Easy really does win every time. 
And on that positive note we wish you a very happy festive season and a great New Year. 
There’ll be no blog post next week but we’ll be back as usual – and raring to go (!) – on 3rd January 2024. 
As always, the choice is yours. 
Picture by unknown author 
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