Many people love the build-up to Christmas, and so do I. The build-up to the big day, the buying and wrapping of presents and going to a candlelit carol service are all part of an annual rhythm that resonates with us and we wouldn’t be without. But for me, equally precious is the time between Christmas and New Year. Some find this period a little ‘flat’ after the hype of Christmas, but personally I absolutely love this time. There is no pressure and very little to do once all the relatives have been visited, and for many of us within the food business, no work as many of us close down for some or all of this period. It is an oasis of calm in the year before the new year’s resolutions kick in.
It is good for us to reflect and take time out. Yes, spend time with family and catch up on some box sets, but also spend time with ourselves. Many of us are so busy ‘doing’ but spend very little time ‘being’. We would be better people and better leaders and managers if we devoted some time to the inner person within us and were less focussed on constant activity. The ancients advised people not to neglect their soul. What were they talking about? Well we can only give out to others from the resources within us, and I am sure many of us have come to a place several times when we think to ourselves that we have nothing left to give. It is not only good for the soul, but also the body and the mind to give ourselves some ‘me time’ each day. This isn’t selfish, but actually the opposite, as we will have more energy and life to give to others.
I spent some time doing this this Twixmas and prior to Christmas was on an 9-day walk in India with 12 other men learning more about replenishing my inner man. It was an amazing few days, one of the most profound weeks of my life in many ways and I have come back determined to carve out more time for myself. I know when I do this, I will be more abundant to others. How we do this will be different for different people. For some it will be some morning meditation, for others it may be escaping for a quick walk during the working day. It should almost certainly involve silence with music off and phone switched off and as well as a daily routine it will be good for us to have a longer quiet period reading and reflecting at some point during the week.
Many of us set New Year Resolutions which generally involve big actions. I set a big one at the beginning of 2018 which was to write my first book. I am pleased to say that I achieved it by September and it will be available to pre-order soon. But this year one of my resolutions will be to do less not more. And in this way, I may well achieve more!