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It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
Nelson Mandela

Solstice-MedThis is a photo of our community solstice meditation from another year, to give you an idea. We walk into the spiral with an unlit candle, releasing the year that has been, light it from the large candle in the centre, and walk out opening to and welcoming the year ahead. This year, I led the meditation.

So it’s Week 31, right in the thick of the season of goodwill, and though the presents remain for now unopened beneath the Christmas tree, one of my best gifts of the season has already been received. Though I try to shake it off and don’t yet carry it gracefully, there is a pioneer and a leader in me that’s still clumsy but full of passion, and on Saturday I was gifted a whole day of being nurtured and guided by two elders in my community who gave me the space to lead. I learned most how much I still have to learn, but I also learned that that’s OK. I was reminded how unhelpful it is to expect the first time you do something to be perfect, and how unrealistic my expectations of myself and others are sometimes…and after that long intro! Another week of Good Deeds to celebrate and share!

https://wordsthatserve.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/to-be-humble/

My ongoing and ever increasing thanks to…

http://rosieamber.wordpress.com

the inspiration for these posts.

For other Good Deeds posts I’ve written, including the original, please check out:

https://wordsthatserve.wordpress.com/good-deed-weeks/

Sunday 15th December

Bought a Christmas tree and untangled the lights to have it standing, sweet smelling and shining by the time Mum got home from work.

AND good deed(s) received:

Got a lovely email from my father and was reminded that he is where I get my gift of words from:-)

Monday 16th December

Spent 1.5 hours with the baby son of a friend, to give her some time alone. Sent an email to two women in the community, who are my friends and wise elders, asking for their support and affirmation, as I had been invited to hold the community solstice meditation. Prepared and handed in an invoice for my Mum, so she didn’t need to leave the house especially.

AND good deed(s) received:

Lots of smiles, laughter and giggles from my friend’s baby son, who I was spending time with. Delicious chocolates to go with fresh coffee mid afternoon, from a lady I was cleaning for. Received very warm responses from the women I’d approached for guidance and support – made me feel incredibly blessed and humble:-)

Tuesday 17th December

Sang carols for a group of elderly people with Alzheimer’s, while Mum played her flute, and they all sang along. Stayed and chatted with them over tea afterwards…it was very sweet. I looked everywhere (well, ok, the three local supermarkets – we don’t have an off-license) for Kirsch which my Mum needed for her trifle recipe, but couldn’t find any.

AND good deed(s) received:

Received a card in the post, a text on my phone AND a lovely email on my computer, all in one day from the same friend! Wow:-) The text was a beautifully timed good luck message for my Mum and I, as we were on our way to sing at the day hospital.

Wednesday 18th December

Brought grapes to a mini pot luck Christmas party at the house of the lady I care for, where the team were gathering, as a friend of mine I knew was coming has just finished a juice fast, and I knew she wouldn’t be able to eat any of the cakes and chocolate treats others were bringing. Called Beatha in Rwanda to give her details of the money I’d sent.

AND good deed(s) received:

Was treated to an evening of delicious food, fabulous company and belly aching laughter during a pre-Christmas dinner with friends of ours. When the laughter began I really wished I hadn’t eaten so much, but the food was soooooo good – and they’d gone to all the trouble of making a vegetarian option for me:-)

Thursday 19th December

I woke early to see my Mum off as she left for the long drive down to England to visit my sister and pick up my brother. Took a deep breath to lessen my technophobia and got myself set up on Viber! (a free way to text and speak to friends and family all over the world) so I could speak to my Dad in Bali more often and easily. Played endless games of Christmas themed hangman with the mother and son I teach English too, as he just didn’t want to stop…even when he realised he’d spelt Jeasus wrong:-)

AND good deed(s) received:

Got a lovely handmade card in the post from a dear friend that came all the way from the sunshine coast in Australia:-)

Friday 20th December

Called my Dad in Bali on Viber for the first time – very cool! Did the bulk of the Christmas food shopping so there’s not much to do when Mum gets back from England with my brother. Made another present for my Mum which I’d woken up with the inspiration for, as it’s also her birthday on Christmas Day.

AND good deed(s) received:

Received two hand delivered Christmas cards from our lovely neighbours. A dear friend sent me a very sweet text message about the meditation I would lead the next day.

Saturday 21st December

I gave myself to the fire of initiation and, though I felt the heat, I was not burned. I prepared myself deeply and with integrity and gave my best with honesty and humility, as I lead our community (at least 200 people were present) in a meditation to celebrate the solstice and welcome the return of the light. Oh, and I left a beautiful shell on the beach for someone else to find, in return for the beautiful heart stone that the beach had gifted me.

AND good deed(s) received:

P1030044The beautiful heart stone I found, resting on my meditation cushion, after doing its work of calming me and soothing my own fast beating heart as I held it warm in my nervous hands.

I took my fear and nerves to the beach, which gifted me a smooth, small beautiful stone in the shape of a heart, to hold close throughout the day as a talisman and channel, rooting me in the land and the earth and the movement of the seasons with an ancient knowing that life goes on. I was supported with great love and generosity by two older women who had been in the position of leading this meditation before, and who sat with me in silence three times during the day, grounding and preparing and sharing ideas.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas dear friends:-)