Week 60 – Close for stocktaking

Another year is about to finish and another Christmas is just around the corner. It is unbelievable how the time is passing so quickly and how things are taking shape without much thought- probably our subconscious works better than our conscious minds. This time of the year is very special because we celebrate the birth of our saviour “Jesus”: however we keep our attention on things that are not related to him at all. Consumer marketing took over our Christmas, making us “buyers” more than anything else. We spend money buying stuff for people that might not need or like it: very sad, isn’t it? We rush around the whole year consuming things that we don’t need, spending time on things that do not add anything to our lives, and having high expectations from all that’s around us.

I believe that this time of the year is the best time to slow down and reflect. A “stocktaking” moment is what we all need! We know that many companies close for stocktaking during the year to check if their products match with what is recorded in their system. We also need a moment to stop and check if what we want for our lives is matching our actions, our reality! It is so easy to be carried away by day to day duties and lose focus on our objective. Time to analyse the things we really need in life. Material things are probably the ones that we need least. Perhaps we should bring the real Christmas back, the real love for helping people, the real love of serving and not being served. My wish to you this Christmas and this New Year is that you can live fully the present that God gave you: “your life”. I hope that you and I can be less judgmental and have more empathy with all those around us, that we can help those really in need and can invest our time in things that really matter to us; and I definitely wish that we can be more like Jesus! Have a wonderful Christmas, everyone, and a beautiful 2017 full of good thoughts!

Week 23 – For the new to come the old has to go

We are nearly at the end of another year, and we can already smell the New Year on its way. For many people, the turn of the year means the beginning of a new chapter in life, even if life does not totally change. For others, it means the opportunity to begin to improve the situation which they are facing. And for others it just means one more year. We all have dreams and goals, and it seems that they rise up at this time of the year and get us excited and full of expectations. Many people say that for the new to come, the old has to go. But I can tell you, it is often very difficult to disconnect from the old, because most of us are afraid of the new!!!

We need to understand that life is made of constant opportunities. No day is like any other, and every morning is “a new day”. So I invite you to start your new year by putting into practice your dreams and objectives. Keep in mind that you will have 366 days in 2016- an extra day as a bonus- an additional “new” day to seek what you really want! Every year I put on my notepad 20 things I want to achieve over the New Year, and at the end of the year I pick up my notepad and see how many things I have achieved. I try not to be discouraged by the things I did not achieve, because I know that during the course of the year many things can change and our plans can also modify. However, I celebrate the victories of the things I have achieved. Do not be afraid of the new, do not be afraid of the different, as to make room for the new things you need to leave the old behind. And do not think that changes happen overnight, or that they take place every dawn. As the saying goes: “going slowly can get you far”. If along the way you get tired, do not stop, just slow down the rhythm! “Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow” (Plato). I hope that this year will be a year that we can all make progress, even if it is slow. I hope that we can all achieve our dreams and goals, even if they are only a few from your list! Happy 2016!