christmas treeRecently, someone asked my opinion as to the reason we are here. I believe we are  here to learn to live together in peace, to help and support each other through hard times, to heal our addictions, learn our lessons and to grow as people. At this time of the year, more “situations” arise with friends or family that test our patience and what should be a fun and peaceful festive season can often turn sour. Here are a few simple ways to enjoy this time:

  1. Stop whatever you are doing and take slow, deep breaths – when you feel rushed and stressed, just take a minute and do this – it will centre you and remind you to calm down.
  2. Remind yourself that we are all so different and the person who is annoying you may have no idea they are doing so and has absolutely no intention of upsetting you.
  3. Remember to own your emotions – even when you feel the irritation or hurt rising – tell yourself it IS a choice – you don’t have to hang on to these feelings.
  4. Once you have acknowledged the emotions, choose to let them go as soon as possible.
  5. Make up your mind before the family gathering that whatever happens, you will stay calm and relaxed. Set the intention to enjoy yourself no matter what!

When doing my xmas shopping, I came across a wonderful little book called peace-joy-love” published by Struik Inspirational Gifts (New Holland Publishing South Africa), which I promptly put into my shopping trolley. It’s made up of inspirational and uplifting stories and quotes and beautiful photographs.

The story  I share with you today (with kind permission) is called  “the colour of peace”.


Once upon a time, the colours of the world started to quarrel. All claimed to be the best. The most important. The most useful. The favourite.

Green said “Clearly I am the most important. I am the colour of life and hope. I was chosen for grass, trees and leaves. Without me, all animals would surely die. Look at the countryside and you will see that I am everywhere.”

Blue interrupted and said, “You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. Water is life. Rain is life. The blue sky ensures space, peace, and serenity. Without my peace, you would be nothing.”

Chrismas baublesYellow chuckled. “You are so serious! I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, and the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me, there would be no fun.”

Then Orange started to blow her own trumpet. “I am the colour of health and strength, I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins and oranges. I don’t hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise and sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.”

Red could stand it no longer and shouted, “I am the ruler of all of you. I am blood – life’s blood! I am the colour of danger and bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the colour of passion and love, the red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy.”

Purple rose to his full height and spoke with pomp. “I am the colour of royalty and power! Kings, chiefs and bishops have always chosen me, for I am the colour of authority and wisdom. People do not question me. They listen and obey.”

Indigo started speaking quietly, but with determination and said, “Think of me, I am the colour of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and softness. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace.”

rainbowThe colours continued with the boasting, each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their quarrelling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightening. Thunder cracked and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colours crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.

In the midst of the clamour, Rain began to speak. “You foolish colours, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the others. Don’t you know that each one of you have a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me.”

Doing as they were told, the colours united and joined hands, rain continued: “after a shower, when you stretch across the sky in a great bow of colour, remember that the beauty is created by each and everyone. Let it be a reminder that you can live together in peace. Let us remember to appreciate one another, because there is something very special in everyone.”

–          Author unknown

The story says it all – let us try to understand each other better and to praise and appreciate others, rather than to judge and criticize. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if the only time a person looked down on another – was to give him a helping hand up?

Barbara Shepherd  is a holistic life coach and author in Fish Hoek   “ONE STEP at a TIME LIFE COACHING”  website:

phone   021 7822098 or 072 437 2810 or email: