#NPWSelfCurious

The Power of New Beginnings

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time for a repost of last year’s Self Curious about hitting the bullsh*t button when people start throwing their musts, shoulds and have-tos around the place. You don’t need any of that cramping your style. 

It’s also time for a new festive thought. 
 
We assume a lot at this time of year about what makes us merry. Sequins, shopping, parties. Every party invite and every advert tells us about all of the joy we are entitled to, purely because it’s December.
 
But doesn’t the carol go “tidings of comfort and joy”? What’s happened to the comfort?
I think we’re missing a trick. Comfort is stuck in a box along with mindfulness, yoga and self-care. Put comfort in the office Christmas party along with joy, merry and happy, and it’s the awkward one standing in the corner while everyone else dances on the table. 
 
In fact, comfort is the dark horse of Christmas. There is quite a lot we can do to nurture a feeling of comfort, even when joy feels out of reach. Choosing to wear something that makes you feel warm. Taking time to get organised at work or at home can feel like we know what’s what. That’s all comfort. 
 
And in the way we give to each other at this time of year, we can give comfort more readily than we can give joy. As anyone with a complicated life will tell you, you can’t spark joy by willing it to happen. Joy is like accidentally leaving work when the sun is going down seeing the sky in the brief moment when it is on fire. But comfort is different. Comfort is an absence of fear. And while we sometimes have to be patient and wait for joy to come when she feels like it, we can fight for freedom from fear wherever we see it threatening others. 
 
And finally, a little bit of Christmas magic: when we sit down in comfort, joy sometimes comes along for the ride. And joy from a place of comfort has roots. The spark might be sequins or the taste of hot spiced apples, but joy is a feeling, and we need to be comfortable where we are to let that in. 

Claire Eadington geeks out on workflow management, performance and wellbeing.

Claire’s TEDx talk about barriers to performance for exceptional women kicked off the 2017 TEDxWhitehallWomen event in London.

Claire writes a weekly blog, Self Curious, on NPW’s website.

You can read more #NPWSelfCurious blogs here and find out more about Claire herself here.

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