Guest Post by Two Wise Chicks
Post Design by Christy Zigweid
Photo by Unsplash via Pixabay made using @WordSwagApp
If Christmas is in your life, then you will be very familiar with the idea of writing a letter to the big bearded guy. Can you believe it's writing-to-Santa-time again - already?!
Typically, young kids' letters are checklists of 'wants', along with parent-nudged-politeness like "Dear Santa, hope you are well and have had a good year", or "I hope Mrs. Claus is well" and, ideally, a "thanks so much for last year's gift I LOVE it! :)"
With age and awareness these letters get more personal, and can sometimes include emotional pleas ("climate stabilisation, a different US president") and other more heart-wrenching requests ("please help my gran/brother/aunt/dad get better") These are the things that, unfortunately, Santa can't control. For if he could, I'm certain he would fix all of these things for us...
We often can't remember what age we stopped writing letters to Santa. Or why. Perhaps it felt just too 'childish' at some point? Some adults still write them, and beautifully. They'll start popping up on social media around now; moving masterpieces of human desire and hopes, things of beauty. These adults who write to Santa write because they believe that if you don't believe that you can receive, you don't receive.
If we don't believe, we don't receive.
It seems almost too simple. Can we make ourselves believe (in) something?
'Belief' is something about which we are passionate.
Professional and personal experience keeps teaching us that our beliefs about ourselves dictate our behaviours. Ponder this: if I believe I am worthy, I act in ways that reflect that (without having to think a lot about it). If I believe I am not worthy, then I also act in ways that reflect that (especially if I am not thinking a lot about it).
Beliefs don't stop at "I am worthy" (although, truth be told, this might be one of the most encompassing and important for most). There are hundreds, maybe thousands of beliefs that inform our lives on a daily basis. Some of the ones that feature in therapy and have wide-and-long reaching effects on a person's day-to-day life include:
Do any of these resonate with you?
Can we change what we believe about ourselves?
Yes we can, with awareness and practice. It means choosing to think and act in ways that align with what you would rather believe about yourself. And doing that over and over.
Repeating these (more) healthy thoughts and actions until you don't have to think about it so much. Until it becomes a habit. Your new habit. Until you believe 'it' about yourself. And when we believe these things, we receive "more". More respect, better relationships, better health.
Possibly the most important step, is first identifying which core belief we have about ourselves is the one we want to change. That can be the hardest part. Once we know what it is (and come to terms with the fact), we can work on how to change it. There are plenty of resources out there for us to work with (friends, books, workshops, counsellors, therapists).
It is healing and empowering to realise that our beliefs about ourselves can limit our happiness - we cannot fix what we don't acknowledge.
So in a very real sense, knowledge is power.
Your letter to Santa:
So, what about taking a little time this week to write your own letter to Santa? And ask for something that money can't buy, but could be absolutely life-changing?
In that letter, write what you would really like to believe about yourself this year (and always). Write about how you would like to know how to overcome the belief that holds you back. That belief that stops you from being fully present, aware, focused, connected, even vulnerable.
There is no 'right' way to write your letter. Simply write from the heart, write what you feel (even if it doesn't make 'sense'). Writing is a time-honoured addition to successful therapy, and the beauty of it is that it works in the comfort of your own home, with any old piece of paper or pencil or pen you have. It even works on a keyboard - and it's FREE! Which is always nice...
To help you along the way we've put up a template here. It'll only take a few minutes to print out and fill in, and it might be one of the nicest gifts you've ever given yourself - plus it literally won't cost you anything!!!
Mind you until the next time, and may Santa (may you) be kind generous to you.
About the Authors
Sally wants to help create a world of compassion for ourselves and others. A world where mistakes are allowed, gender roles don’t exist, sex ed in schools is a real thing and everyone dances – lovely! As a psychologist and psychotherapist in Ireland, she’s worked for nearly twenty years in private practice, with adults and trainee adults of all ages. She blogs on her own website, is a feature writer for super duper parenting website Voiceboks.com, does print and radio media work and has been known to Tweet. She’s the one running our Twitter page!
When she’s not working, you will find her engrossed in Science Fiction or some dark and Danish TV show, listening to music, watching the sea (while really, really wishing it were warmer), or figuring out how to work Lightroom on her Mac. All while munching on Bombay mix.
She’s happiest when dancing and erm…. her cat has his own Facebook page. We won’t link to that, it’s too embarrassing..
Tanya looks forward to living in a world where people know their worth, respect boundaries, and always have time for tea and chocolate. A magic bubble that protects her from sticky fingers, hormonal girls and dog hair would be awesome as well.
Her education and much of her training is in the areas of psychology and human potential. She worked as a licensed psychologist for over 14 years, with 10 of those years spent building her own successful private practice. In total, she has over 20 years of varied experience working, volunteering for non-profit agencies, and consulting to small business. Most recently she has launched her dream online coaching practice where she gets to work with motivated, amazing women who need help overcoming life’s hurdles. Exciting times!
She has lived in Ireland, Ethiopia (okay, just 6 months), Canada, and currently lives in central Texas with her husband, three girls (including fraternal twins), two dogs and three cats.
When she’s not finding ‘everyday moments’ to write about here or on her own blog, you can find her being walked by her dogs, unearthing unidentifiable food-objects under the couch cushions or baking her famous banana bread.
Tanya runs our Facebook page – and not to be outdone by Sally’s cat, her dog has its own Facebook page too.
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