This is the traditional time of year to think back and to think forward. It is the time to examine all that went right and all that went wrong. I feel it is a time to call to mind just how much we have to be grateful for.
Before we get together around the Christmas Tree or before sitting down for a festive meal, in fact before we rush around to buy everything we feel should go under the tree or on the table, we should pause for a moment. If not our mantra for Street Philosophy, then at least our guide: “STOP. LOOK.” says David Steindl-Rast. Now more than ever.
Sometimes I feel that my mind is made up of drawers. Now is the time to open them, one by one. I imagine shining a torch into a drawer to illuminate its contents. Some of them will have to stay shut and wait for a time better suited to looking into dark corners. But others are full of miracles, small and great. A year without serious illnesses, no accidents; a year enriched by precious hours spent with friends, old and new. A year which, in spite of clichés as to families, enabled ours to grow closer. A year of grandchildren growing and making their way with excellence in a world that is not always easy to navigate. A year that enabled us to have several visions and projects for Street Philosophy and see them through to the end. We received support from unexpected sources, from great personalities. We learnt that in spite of all the negativity and pessimism, there are lots of wonderful beings out there who have similar ideas and are willing to cooperate to achieve a common aim. We humbly realise that we were able to offer a few answers to urgent questions in our society.
The contents of some of the drawers I look into are less easy to face. They mostly concern expectations of myself that I fell short of. People I should have been kinder to, less critical of. Things I could have done or should have done and didn’t. Some of the excuses that spring to mind are acceptable, others are not and I know it.
We are all surrounded by “stuff”; things we do not really need, things we amass more or less unconsciously and never find the time to get rid of. We clutter up our lives and we overreach the capacity of our minds. Our mind also needs to be uncluttered. We need to start afresh, like a half-empty wardrobe that shows the promise of new things to fill it, so a mind less filled with conversations we lead with ourselves, is open to so many new possibilities; new insights, new perspectives, new feelings, fresh thoughts.
Presents at this time of the year are of course nice to have and nice to give, but maybe the greatest gift is to give a little more of ourselves, of our time, of our unconditional love and trust, of our understanding and support. After stopping and looking at what we have, we can “GO” and make our lives and the lives of a few others who we are able to reach, happier and easier in the New Year to come.
Julia Kalmund, December 2017
We thank you very much for your support and your trust throughout this year! We very much look forward to continuing our journey with you in 2018. We have more news and goodies for you still in 2017. So take the time to read and reflect!
Have you yet read our latest post in English? It’s worth reading – and worth doing the little exercise that comes with it! Try it here.
Art by @sarashakeel