The spirit of cool-mass

The spirit of cool-mass

It is amazing how different cultures celebrate Christmass or not as the case may be. One thing every fairy tale or christmas movie, book or story has in common is to look after those without family or those people not able for whatever reason to celebrate Christmas the same way as everyone else with presents etc.

When I lived in Ireland I often experienced this true spirit of christmas personally with people inviting me to their house, the warmth and friendliness of being accepted into their family. Friends and people you didn’t necessarily know very well getting together and extending their celebration to include who-ever would be left alone. And negotiating your way out of it was often and mostly futile, no matter what weather condition.The true spirit of christmas for me in the last number of years has always been the Cork Rotary Christmas Tree Project where people put a ribbon on the tree to remember those that can’t be with them for christmas. The stories you often heard of what people were going through and how much they missed family members was always chilling and very grounding. I miss not being able to attend there.

I don’t miss the usual Irish frenzy of shopping for Christmas presents and here in Sweden most regular Swedes are so well organised that they have it ordered and it doesn’t seem such a big deal after all. With that also comes an extreme cool-ness of people. I have a great bunch of colleagues, but when work ends that is where the contact also ends.

Moving from one country to the next brings new habits and new ways of living, which is to be expected. This time of year I find particularly difficult, I don’t like the whole commercial side of Christmas and I guess that is all I have seen here. Because of recent house moves I am staying Stockholm based for the coming days and I have to say I am contemplating renaming it ‘Cool-mass’, with minus double digit figures to go with the term it is probably apt.

In my current limited experience Sweden is a very closed society where everything is guided by rules and limited to specific boxes. Work is work and it doesn’t cross over. I would hate to be old and alone in this country, because I doubt people would care much or I don’t see it. Reaching out and including someone doesn’t quite happen. If something is to happen, you have to do it yourself and nearly impose your presence on people. If you invite people they are too polite to decline, but then would stop by for a very short period, not even enough for a chat or a real getting to know. I don’t know whether it is the weather or just the way society works, but I would love to know what warms or thaws out the coolness.

So whilst I figure out how to keep myself entertained with movies, some activities and nice food in a beautiful city with beautiful looking people and cool temperatures for company, I sure wish you and yours all the best for the Christmas period.

Some spirited gift suggestion:
“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To your opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. to a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” – Oren Arnold

Snow flake philosophy

Snow flake philosophy

With -20 C outside and a nice carpet of the fluffy white stuff covering both Stockholm as well as my previous home of Cork, it only seems the right thing to do to write about my snowflake observations. Let me tell you after days of watching them falling from the sky from the warmth of my little house, I have plenty of analogies and observations….some may need a stretch of imagination, some are probably obvious.

Each little snowflake is unique, has it’s own shape and constellation. It is beautifully perfect without any need for it to be improved. It is just perfectly shaped as it is. Each one of us also came to the planet like this, perfectly shaped, unique and beautiful in our own way.On it’s journey from the sky, some snowflakes stick together and form little clusters and other seemingly prefer to go it alone. Either way the snowflakes make the journey at their own speed, some taking a trip with the wind others heading straight for the target. As human beings we can learn from the snowflakes, we can choose to come together with other and enjoy a journey together or we can choose to go it alone. No matter what get’s in the way, the snowflake reaches it’s destination and largely goes with the flow on it’s way there. If other get in the way they just join up in little groups and make bigger flakes, if they hit a higher up target that may well be the end of the journey. No matter what their journey is graceful and usually silent.

Maybe there is a lesson in this for us too…..graceful at least if nothing else ;-)The power of the snowflakes really is only manifested when thousand upon thousands come together assisted by a low temperature and form this magnificent white carpet, which crunches when you step on it and feels like fluff when it’s fresh. What if we all set a positive intention of beauty and feeling good….I wonder could we have the same effect as the snow flakes world wide….Imagine having the same impact as the millions of snowflakes sticking together, wouldn’t that be something?!

Each snow flake has a temporary journey, some end quickly when they reach a warm hand for example, some remain part of the white landscape for weeks and months on end…it just depends on their environment and possible a bit of wind and luck.

For most of us our journey is equally limited on this earth, we can give it our best and most beautiful shot or we can choose not to… in the end of the day our environment and choices play a part in our impact we make. We probably have a bit more input in whether we become part of a magnificent outcome or something more equal to a black slusshy mess. We can fight all the way or go with the flow dealing with obstacles as they come along and change direction when the winds of fortune change.

Some of us become an avalance of success and greatness and others one of destruction … whilst the snow flake is best in it’s unique beauty, I fully believe all we can do is show our best side up too…even if the winds of fortune and change may often steer us in a new direction or off course, we always still have our inner unique beauty and potential. Never forget you are perfect and beautifully unique and that is just the way you were supposed to be, just like those thousands of snowflakes.

I just want to finish my snowflake philosophy on a Brian Tracy quote I came across this week: “The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.”

Enjoy life through the eyes of a snowflake…