Saturday, 27 December 2008

The third day of Christmas (some admittedly desperate anti-gremlin measures)

Another favourite Peanuts comic strip: Linus is comforting Charlie Brown, who is afraid of the dark, with the quote: "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." Elsewhere in the dark field, Lucy is bellowing: "YOU STUPID DARKNESS!"

I haven't been tackled as much by gremlins over Christmas, but every now and then the spectres of the coming year have been sneaking up on me and I've been taking measures. Years ago, a Hare Krishna type handed me, just handed me, a copy of Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain. Shortly after this, Hospice Victoria, where I was volunteering at the time, gave a workshop on Creative Visualization, so I've hung on to the book and dipped into it over the years.

Sometimes it takes a little struggle with my knee-jerk reaction to the New Age-y overtones of the concept which, over-simplified, is this: You draw into your life whatever you imagine, both for good and ill. I think there is some validity to this notion, although I draw the line at using this idea as a bludgeon on anybody going through a tough time. In the late eighties, early nineties, when creative visualization seemed to be particularly in vogue, I heard some horror stories of people suffering from cancer being informed by some well-meaning numb-wit that they had brought the cancer on by the wrong attitude.

It seems, though, that I am doing myself no good whatsoever by allowing myself to be beset by scary and upsetting imaginings at 3 am, no matter how realistic, so I slipped Creative Visualization into my bedside drawer and set a flashlight nearby. When the fears and recriminations close in, I do a meditation exercise. I don't know if I'm managing to manifest more positive stuff in my waking hours (in satisfying ways and for the greater good of the universe, of course), but I'm sleeping better and that's got to help my attitude right there.

In further vaguely New Age-y news, my favourite horoscope is by Georgia Nichols whose kooky irreverent humour is a breath of fresh air from all those other deadly serious or airy-fairy horoscopes. There's actually some practical and common sense advice in there too. Anyway, she's suggesting this year that the best day for resolutions is today. Since I resist the idea of New Year's resolutions anyway, believing them to be doomed to failure by definition, I think I'll try a couple of creative visualizations (or at least a wish list) for today. Most of them will revolve about younger daughter because this coming year, when she leaves elementary school, is terrifying beyond belief. Between the bus strike and the freezing rain which has transformed the sidewalks into icy chutes, I'm not likely to get to any place of worship any time soon, so this will have to do. In this, the darkest corner of the year, I need to light some candles. I'll skip the incense. And the bellowing.

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