It's Christmas time again!

Here is my chance to give unasked-for advice! I love giving advice (usually advice I pay absolutely no attention to myself!), so this blog is my own Christmas gift to myself.

Looking at the world these days, I am thinking that the 1993 movie 'Groundhog Day' may have got it right. Perhaps we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes, lifetime after lifetime, until at last we get things right.

Opportunities arise and we make choices, often the wrong ones. When things go pear-shaped, our chances for better things can seem to be lost in the mists of time.

However, a favourable circumstance will inevitably appear again. It's the way of things – a law of the universe. The key is to notice a new possibility when it arises. We often don't notice. With effort, one can make the most of it.

Each of us has the power to transform a bad circumstance into something good. One can chuckle at adversity. Have you ever noticed how negative things are always so serious – po-faced?

I will be looking for unfamiliar openings this Christmas. It comes around every year, a reminder of time passing and all that has happened in my life.

Every year I see similar patterns in the people I know best. There is something comical about all the repetitive habits we have. As I observe my companions in this place we're all just passing through, I realise I am just the same and have my own habits – bad and good.

At Christmastime, we think about what we 'want' all the time. What do most monied people want? Comfort and reassurance, warmth and inner peace, and at least a dash or two of passion and excitement.

Consider how lucky one is to be able to even think this way. If you are in a wartorn place, and by that I include being on the streets without shelter anywhere in the world, water, food and warmth are the most imporant things to have. If you are severely ill, good health and independence with the ability to 'do' for yourself are the things you need in addition to those. If you are in jail, freedom and kindness may be additional wishes. If you are being mistreated by your companions, you need all of the above.

So please remember to be kind, at least for Christ Mass. We have no idea what others are suffering.

The questions I will be contemplating this Christmas are: What do I want my life to be? What can I do to make it so? If I cannot help to make it one thing or another, what can I be grateful for? What can I enjoy that is?

Whether you are with people or alone, I hope you all have a little bit of sparkly delight to temper and flavour the inevitable tensions that will come up for or inside you this season. I highly recommend a good breath of fresh air, some vigorous exercise or a walk at such times, but best of all would be to take some time to meditate and pray.

Send up a few good wishes into the cosmos. Maybe they will come true.

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I wish the most wonderful magical chances will appear for you – and for me!

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