06. That Most Wonderful Time of the Year Effect

As if we didn’t have enough with all the preparations for our upcoming year-long trip around the world, all the planning, vaccination and gubernamental bureaucracy, on top of that, we have been dealing with Christmas, which it’s known for single handedly destroying entire  families and long-lasting relationships. This might be the reason why all enlightened monks don’t celebrate this festivity and wisely stay on the top of a mountain staring into the emptiness. We dare all the meditation masters to live through Christmas mindfully, down here surrounded by tinsel and party blowers and Christmas carols. Their mystical light might suddenly blow.

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For us it is weird how the concept of Christmas has evolved: From the excitement and religious beliefs we once held as children to this very familiar but somehow alien, forced celebration that everyone complains about, covered in messages of universal peace, love and fraternity which, promoted by big corporations and the manic shopping from the masses, renders the whole thing completely meaningless, except maybe for Coca-Cola. We cannot recall any passages from the Bible where Jesus teaches about going on a shopping spree or eating like there’s no tomorrow to celebrate his birthday, and we attended a Catholic school for 15 years! So we struggle to remain calm, happy and mindful when we see so many reasons to just send everything to hell and join the happy monks in the Himalayas.

But, even for us who dare lifting the modern Christmas shiny cloak of hypocrisy, it’s not all gloom and doom! Because the second part of these festivities is the New Year. Here there is a true sense of renewed hope that things can get better, and we should embrace that. But how can we ensure that this time, this set of new intentions (often led by a hardcore diet) are meaningful and doable and we don’t forget about them in February? Narcotics Anonymous (and not Einstein as many believe) stated it clearly: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

Not this year. Not for us. We have a new approach. For starters we are making changes at random times during the year and as it turns out, it works just as fine or probably better! After all every day is a new year, right? And secondly we are not putting down solid, target driven resolutions, but rather broader intentions. This way we can keep an open mind to how things evolve and adapting as we go becomes much lighter and less of a burden than having to set (and meet!) very specific goals. Things will happen, plans will change and we’ll change with them. And that’s OK. 

Since we’ve already started our new year’s intentions some time back in April, we’d like to share with you how they are looking at the moment in case you might still be looking for ideas:

  • We intend to live more in the moment, be more present and less reactive to things happening.
  • We intend to look after our bodies and minds more carefully.
  • We intend to learn new skills.
  • We intend to understand and be open to new people and cultures and learn from them.
  • We intend to share our experiences and skills.
  • We intend to be more compassionate and understanding.
  • We intend to enjoy nature.
  • And finally we intend to be more grateful.

As you can see, we don’t have time frames or specific goals, which is nothing like we have ever tried before. One of the positives of this is that since we’re not working with time scales or specifics it’ll be more difficult to identify failure and we’ll hopefully feel better about ourselves. And maybe, we’ll get a tiny little glow. That, of course, if we survive all the festivities....

Happy 2018!!

In our Tips and Tools section we share some ideas for the New Year's intentions, just click here.