I’ve just come back from Spain. It is sunny, warm and beautiful there, as always. There is this painting that I really like, I like how the artist draws light in it, but I never knew its name or the name of the artist. Interestingly, I ran into it in Spain by accident. The painting is called Stroll Along The Seashore and it is by Joaquin Sorolla.
An interesting alternative perspective from Buddhism on birthdays… It is my birthday! I baked 2 cakes, prepared post Soviet “tapas” like sproty, red caviar rye bread canapes, pickled tomatoes, a mandatory post Soviet New Year salad, there is sangria in the fridge and I started a rewatch of both seasons of Young Royals 🐸 👑
Another approach to birthdays in Buddhism is that one gives rather than receives presents. In that spirit, please see below or here a template that you can use to reflect on a passing year and to plan for the year ahead. I’m planning to fill it in also.
And if you want to do a reflection exercise looking back at 2022, here is a perfect one from Loner Wolf – contemplative journaling prompts. I had a go at it below. Share/ comment your thoughts on how this exercise went for you.
What keyword defined this past year?
What was your main area of inner growth?
What was the biggest challenge you faced, and how did you move through it?
In what ways are you being invited to evolve in 2023?
If you could choose one word to use as your mantra for next year, what would it be?
What does your deeper and wiser Self (Soul) want you to know right now?
There is so much I am doing and not doing that I want to share – books, films, new experiments and ideas, epiphanies. But we’ll keep it simple. It took me a while to get the tree up this year. I actually started with a smaller, special symbol holiday tree – can you spot a 🦊 for the Fire Fox from one of the ceremonies, a 🍄 Father Frost, obviously, and a 🚀 for The Expanse (tv show)?
What special stuff are you doing for you? Are you slowing down? Taking it easy? Practicing lots of self-love? I hope so! And if like many of us this year, you are not in a holiday spirit, that’s ok too. We have not had a break for a while. Remember you are not alone, I love you ♥️ and please do what is best for you, or don’t do much, like some of us 😊 Blessings, light and love!
Nazaré has been on my radar a lot lately. It is a fishing village in Portugal with the world’s highest waves where surfing world records get made and beaten. As someone who is not a great swimmer, is afraid of water and has a recurring nightmare about floods, when I noticed this documentary about a Portuguese female athlete surfing big waves in Nazaré (only 3 women having done so ever), I had to see it.
In 2020 (it was a strange year), I did a digital at-home shamanic (!!!) retreat with Blue Morpho and Hamilton Souther (see more here). I wrote a draft about my experience afterwards but for some reason did not publish it. Here it is.
Ram Dass, aka Richard Alpert, was not just a Buddhist, a Hindu and a mystic, he was also a child psychologist. I love his perspective on the question that has forever bugged me – why do almost all of us lack self-love and why does it start so early in our lives? Ram Dass explains in this video and shares a reframing technique on how “to love oneself more.”