Another year has passed! I still remember the old dark predictions for year 2000, then 2012 and even 2016 and 2017…and we are still here! But are we OK?
The UN has declared almost every year since 1959 an “International Year of…” with a cause or topic to focus on, to make us think and change patterns. 2015 was the International Year of Light Technologies and Soils (promoting green technologies and regenerative use of soils); 2016 was the International Year of Pulses (promoting the consumption of pulses, or legumes such as beans, peas and lentils over meat) and 2017 was the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development...
2018, however, has not been named as attached to any theme…so I will take the liberty to declare 2018 the year of Reflection, Re-arranging Priorities and Focus on Wellness!
When we move to a new country, we are always looking for greener pastures: we want better quality of living and better jobs, some want a better future for our children and some may be running away from war-torn countries or persecuted for being who they are.
The main focus is almost always to “get a job”, settle and provide for our families. We become so preoccupied by these priorities that we may lose focus and become overwhelmed, frustrated and even physically or emotionally sick.
With the rush to “get jobs” and eventually settle and start enjoying the “Canadian dream”, we also forget the impact our life choices have beyond ourselves and our families: we forget that the wellbeing of entire communities and ecosystems depend on how each and all of us live and work and how we interact with each other.
Every year, we make promises we rarely keep (they are called “resolutions”). I suggest changing this pattern by focusing on what is real important: what we really value, what our spiritual practices call us to do: beyond society expectation and marketing…if we start small and slow, knowing in our hearts we are doing this for what we value most and not so show off to others, we may have a better chance to keep our promises.
Here are my suggestions:
- Enjoy nature: reconnect with what gives us life, the source of our air, food, and water.
- Develop a daily or weekly wellness practice: walk, hike, yoga, meditation.
- Observe the needs in the community you live, meet with others and share ideas of how to find solutions together
- Clean a community stream, park or forest; adopt a tree; volunteer at an animal shelter.
- Make a list of what you and your family really need and resolve to consume less and enjoy more time together.
- Invite someone from a community or group different from yours and share a meal.
- Make a list of all the things you are grateful for in life, note of most of them are free but vulnerable to be diminished or destroyed: commit to make them a priority!