Breathwork Europe

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Getting Real

December Contemplation by Carol A. Lampman

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As we enter the Holiday Season, I am filled with memories from my childhood. Christmas was my mother's favorite holiday and she celebrated for the entire month of December. The house was decorated with garlands, lights, and a fresh cut tree. There were tins filled sith sugar cookies spread with frosting and garnished with multi colored sprinkles. There were wooden boxes of Satsuma oranges from Japan, nuts to crack and fruitcake soaked in brandy. My favorite was the Christmas dinner finale, an English style steamed pudding studded with dried fruits and served with a warm vanilla milk sauce. Yum.

The Christmas of my childhood was filled with music. My sisters and I sang in the church choir and we knew all the songs "by heart". My father's family was very musical and every occasion was celebrated in song. There was music everywhere. We sang in the house, we sang in the car and we sang in our hearts. The candlelight service on Christmas Eve was the highlight of the season. The view from the Choir loft was truly magical. My eyes would fill with tears as I watched the candlelight spreading through the darkness of the church to soft voices singing "Silent Night".

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At our house the emphasis was never about gift giving, but about the Spirit of Christmas. The resources of our family were very modest and there were times growing up when this was painfully obvious. However, during the Holiday Season we were rich with joy and celebration. As I write, I remember so clearly the most exciting present I ever bought for my dad. I babysat for hours to earn the money to buy him his favorite recording, "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth", by Spike Jones. By comparison to the indulgences of today, it might seem like an insignificant gift. But, it is a memory that has gone with me throughout my life.

Fast forward to the present moment. My mother passed on her love of this holiday and I do love Christmas. Decorating the tree is a trip down memory lane as I reflect on the origin of each ornament. There is at least one gathering of friends to share in the celebratin of the season. There is still music and I still remember each and every word of my favorite Christmas songs. The presents are still secondary to me. I would gladly trade the most lavish of gifts for the joy of creating another prescious memory.

A few years ago, the entire family spent Christmas at our house. I asked each of my grandchildren to think of one thing that would make the holiday special for them. I loved the responses. The oldest one wanted to wear the traditional Santa hat and pass out the gifts on Christmas morning. The second one wanted to be the one to read "The night before Christmas" for the family. The youngest wanted a private showing of "Spongebob Christmas" with Grandpa. All was accomplished, a few traditions were passed on to the next generation and new memories were made.

While cleaning out a drawer last week, I found a treasure. It was a letter written by the youngest grandchild to Santa on Christmas Eve. As I read his words, I was touched by his honesty an innocence. He still believed... and so do I. I believe in love and its power to connect and heal our relationships with one another. Not just in our families, but in our communities, our country and the world. I believe in the mystery and magic of all life. I do not doubt that there is a benevolent power greater than you and me, that is available to guide each one of us in every moment. Call it God, the Universe, Love, or by any other name, it does not matter. It is all the same.

So much of Christmas has been swallowed up by commercialism and, as a result, something is missed. You could say that it has to do with being grown up, but I do not think this is the point. Some of the magic has disappeared due to the depersonalization created by modern technology. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate my smart phone, my computer and the ability to DVR my favorite television programs. All too often, we are just too busy and we text or email rather than have meaningful conversations with each other. So often, I see how words written on a page are misinterpreted without the sound and the heart of a human to go along with it. I also realize that most of this will not change, but only promises to get worse.

All that being said, I believe we can reclaim the Spirit of the season by creating a just one beautiful new memory this year. This would be something new and beyond the usual gifts or the decorations. You might plan an activity for your family or provide for a less fortunate family. When you create a memory for someone else, this act of kindness touches the hearts of all involved. This act does not need to be lavish or expensive, but it should be meaningful to you.   I invite you to take a moment and BREATHE into your heart. "Ask" what or how this memory can be manifested. Listen carefully. You might be surprised at what your heart will tell you... when you believe.

To all my friends, family and students, both here and in Israel... May the Spirit of this Christmas and Hannukah season fill your heart and spill out to touch your life in beautiful and profound ways.

Spike Jones   All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth

Spike Jones All I Want For Christmas

Is My Two Front Teeth

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About the Author Carol A. Lampman

Carol A. Lampman
Carol A. Lampman

A rare and unique individual, Carol's natural healing presence along with her therapeutic sensitivity and remarkable wisdom inspire ideals of love, compassion and faith from deep within us.  Her presence attracts and honors individuals seeking personal transformation, higher awareness and healing.  She is a dynamic teacher and mentor known for creating safe and sacred spaces for the process of healing and growth.

Carol is an acknowledged speaker and educator, and has presented programs, trainings and workshops for the public in the US, France Italy, Spain, Venezuela and Israel.  She maintains a prominent role in the professional community as a facilitator of personal transformation techniques.  Her dynamic personality combined with humor and deep respect for the work of the participants has allowed her to establish a strong foundation of support among her peers and colleagues. 

Carol's life experience with childhood trauma and her early medical background working with catastrophically ill children sparked her interest in the mind body connection, the emotional process, and its overall relationship to health and wholeness.  Carol focused her training on the interconnection and unification of the body.  Carol developed Integral Breath Therapy ™ Integration Process Therapy Trainings for health care professionals.  Using workshops for the public, individual and group work, she specializes in personal growth and development, stress management, somatic / health issues and self empowerment.

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