This year Christmas is going to be different. My old pal Servan says that the Taoists don't wait for their problems to become a crisis, but they do something called 'picking the dragon's teeth while it sleeps'. This means getting tooled-up ahead of time to be strong, awake and present with life's approaching challenges, and exploring their potential wisdom and illumination before they become too overwhelming. You can't draw the wisdom from a challenge when it's triggered you into a melt-down or a big reaction, the trigger is too intense, so it's very self-loving and sensible to look into upcoming stumbling blocks and vexations ahead of time. Which brings me to this Christmas.
This year I'm treating all the challenges, triggers, and crazy head-trips of the whole Xmas season as the benevolent, illuminating mirrors and invitations to self-awareness that they really are. I'm going to harvest all the potential breakthroughs on offer - the real Christmas gifts to birth myself ten levels more liberated into 2013, because I believe that every challenge in my life, when framed correctly, is a way that Life with a big 'L' is trying to show me something - usually myself. Even at Christmas.
I have become fragmented as a man and, with all the parts of myself I've edited and suppressed to maintain approval from the World, I've made myself less than whole. I've learned which bits of me get good responses and which might get rejection and in my pursuit of endless approval and inclusion I've snipped myself down. Until now, every time someone I valued didn't like an aspect of me I hid that part away from then on, and gradually, violently edited myself down to this crippled brochure of myself - just the perceived 'good bits' to get you to love me.
I now believe that the intimate life I want to live is all about un-editing myself from this little 'appropriate' version I present to people and to playfully journey back towards the juicy, inspired, unapologetic, unafraid Jamie - light and dark, angelic and diabolic, present and whole.
Wholeness is the word.
So now, when I encounter a challenging person or situation, it is my business to have the balls to see the trigger as a benevolent mirror of a part of me that I'm usually denying or escaping, an opportunity to face myself unflinchingly. And the longer I deny and escape aspects of myself that I don't like and won't face, the more I manifest people and situations externally that get right in my face and freak me out. The human body/mind/heart is looking for wholeness. It's looking for personal Unity with itself. It can't walk around incomplete with bits of itself cut off without getting ill. So my mission is to dare to see all the challenges as opportunities to question where I'm not being whole - to examine what part of me I'm in denial or exclusion of that I need it rubbed in my face by the 'outside world'.
And I don't believe the World is 'outside'. I am in the Universe. The Universe is in me. I have the potential to be an abuser, but if I can't handle that truth I am going to judge and condemn abusers wherever I see them. And as long as I am proclaiming 'that's not me! that's not me!' I will manifest more and more of them in my life. I have the potential to be an idiot, but if I can't handle that truth I am going to judge and condemn idiots wherever I see them. And as long as I am proclaiming 'that's not me! that's not me!' I will manifest more and more of them all around. The World around me is here to deliver versions of everything I am in rejection of until I am can say 'I am an abuser, I am an idiot…' and feel no aversion.
Because we are all potentially everything.
So now, feeling that familiar dread of seeing my family members, of the Xmas challenges and all the personal twilight zones that this season has to offer me, I'm trying something new.
I'm getting together with a bunch of friends, outlaws and misfits on December 22nd in London to try out some new processes, games and discussions to dissolve and welcome the approaching Christmas challenges and harvest them for all the illuminating gifts they are bringing. This is the real spirit of Christmas - a period of self discovery and liberation from old traps and self-harming habits. When we address them ahead of time they will no longer knock us off balance and catapult us into age-old painful patterns. Instead they will give us revelation after hilarious revelation, because by tying bells to the ankles of these insidious triggers, when it comes to the actual challenges on the day, we easily see the sucker-punches coming and are able to lighten-up and free ourselves from the ancient, predictable reactions.
If you'd like to join us or find out more then the details are all on my website or here:
Instead of intensely striving just to get through, I invite you to transform this Christmas into the liberating illumination it's meant to be - and give us all the real Christmas presence on offer: Self-Awareness and Lightening-Up.
All Jamie's Workshops and Talks at www.jamiecatto.com