How much stuff did you get for Christmas?
I was going to write a blog post just wishing everyone a Merry Christmas… but when I look around, all I could see is that Christmas is broken.
As a religious event that then became a secular festival for sharing, giving and bringing family and community together, in many ways it has morphed into a time that trains children in the art of “getting” the things on their list!
I remember… I was one of them!
For those of us privileged enough to be a part of this frenzy of gift giving among the exceptionally uber wealthy 10% of the planet… have we gone mad? Aren’t we simply looking for a way to express our love for each other?
Now there’s nothing wrong with lots of presents. Everyone needs to be able to express their appreciation and love for one another. And giving a gift at Christmas is an easy way to do that.
It’s just that this last minute “shopping till we drop” frenzy has become the symbol that so many families have been trained into over these past few generations, often to impress and supersede what their parents did for them, proving that each successive generation is better than the last.
Are we using Christmas to prove to ourselves that we can give our kids “more” than we got?
In this capitalistic, shopaholic Western civilisation that hypnotises everyone to pride themselves on having the latest and greatest things, are we really giving our kids more?
Is this what we all really want?
Are our desires our own?
Do the desires of our children come from them?
Or have we all been fooled into believing something that isn’t really our own truth?
Has the marketing won and taught us that our lives/homes are empty without owning XYZ?
When all we know is how to keep up appearances, to keep climbing to the “top”, to keep showing up at school/work with the best outfits and gadgets – is it any wonder that our main festival is all about “getting” instead of living freely and making a difference.
Because to be free you have to relinquish getting.
You have to give up accumulating.
When you’re free you discover that the real joy comes from the reverse of what society has been trying so desperately to brainwash us into thinking.
It comes from letting go.
It comes from creating space.
After this festive season is over, will you have more space in your life, or will you be more stuffed and crowded in?
I’m a tough person to buy Christmas presents for. With only 2 bags, I don’t have space for anything new. And anything new that I do get, I literally have to get rid of something!
For something new to come into my life, I have to give something away to make space for it. This keeps me light and free. I’ve created a structure that means there’s no room for “things” to crowd me in or weigh me down.
Everything that was precious or that I held onto, I took a photo of and gave away. I got clear on what my goals were and I was willing to let everything else fall away.
But I had to wait before I could do that. I chose to wait until I finished raising my daughter.
After 18 Christmas’s, and after I saw she could travel the world by herself and that she could get herself into university, I knew it was time to execute my plan to live from my laptop in any country that I chose.
That’s what’s enabled me to spend this Christmas with a lovely Mexican family on the Texas/Mexican border. Without any planning I was invited to travel up to the north of Mexico for a few days and part-take in a celebration that would never normally have come into my life, if I hadn’t created this life based upon flexibility and mobility.
Now, get this…
After years of my daughter telling me I had it all wrong (teenagers do that!), a few months ago she admitted to me that it must be nice to have a life where I can go anywhere, and wake up to do whatever I want. I reminded her that it took a certain skill set and attitude to be able to live like this. And I reminded her that this way of living was available to her (and anyone), should she want to train herself in the skills needed.
In the coming years we’re going to see unprecedented change. And those of us who have created lives of flexibility and adaptability with the structures that allow for geo-independent income will be poised to take advantage of this new world that is already all around us. You just need to open your eyes and take a look.
Each Christmas can be a wake up call and a barometer to access what kind of life we are living. Are you participating in the game of creating more stuff that just ads to the pile of accumulation for everyone?
Or are you freeing up space for everyone to think more clearly.
It isn’t the 1950’s anymore, when people dreamed of getting the new bright shiny object to show off.
It’s the 21st century. It’s no longer about shiny objects. We’ve got plenty of those.
It’s about taking new actions, opening up new possibilities and creating new experiences.
Let’s teach our kids (and ourselves) to stop searching under the tree and start planting trees! Let’s give ourselves and our loved ones the gift of time to search for the inspiration to create a remarkable life, that in turn transforms this remarkable planet into a place where we can all truly live freely.
Because you deserve that.
Make a plan for how you’re going to create a life of greater freedom.
Check out these free tools for helping to organise and make new goals – Coach.me and 42 Goals. Because once you get clear on what you want, the rest is a fait accompli.