‘The wings of hope carry us’…………………………………………..  Ana Jacob


As we start this New Year I am filled with ‘hope’, the world is becoming smaller, opportunity to communicate & travel is becoming easier, people are turning to each other for help & scientific discovery is opening up so many new possibilities. Our children are questioning the old way of doing things & demanding change to make the world a better place. We can either sit back complacently & let it happen, or we can join the growing stampede & do our bit. We’ve all heard that the key to happiness is ‘giving’ so whether it’s a smile, a hand, a dollar, volunteering our help or sponsoring a child, let’s be a positive influence. We can also make sure that we reduce our footprint; buy local, use recycled goods, conserve energy & water, start a garden, in other words care about the world around us.  I think we are incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful country, Canada has so much space & so many resources, we should all try & be more proactive in making sure it stays this way.

On a more personal note we need to be kinder to ourselves, accept & love ourselves just the way we are, stop worrying so much about what other people think, stop seeking perfection. We need to start realising what is important in life, start taking time for the people who are closest to us, treasure our family & friends. Take joy in the small things in life, live each day to its fullest, stop rushing around & give ourselves time to smell the roses. This means working for love not money, doing things we care about, sometimes this will mean taking risks, going outside our comfort zone, but if we are passionate about what we do, other people will be too. I don’t think it’s better to be safe than sorry, what is important is looking back & having no regrets. Activities & dollars do not replace the time we spend with our children, we need to open our ears to their words & ideas. Encourage our children to be creative & follow their dreams, they do not have to find ‘ traditional jobs’ as we did when we were young, there is so much more opportunity in this connected world to develop new & creative income sources.

Phew, a daunting task in some ways but if we focus on what’s important in our lives we can slowly steer ourselves little by little onto a much happier, rewarding path. We are not helpless, even if we feel we have no control. If we just change one small thing at a time, open our minds to the possibility & believe in what we are doing & where we are heading, we can eventually move mountains. It is so much easier to be a victim & blame all our problems on others, but the one thing we can always control is the way we feel & react, despite setbacks along the way if we always remain positive we can overcome so much.

I would like to share with you a few promises I have made to myself in the early days of this New Year:

Stop sweating the small stuff, worrying about things in the past, expecting too much of myself, over organising. Allow others to help, be more laid back, realise that ‘impromptu’ is often more fun.

Start practising yoga, sign up with a nearby studio, as recommended by a good friend. I want to improve my breathing & ability to relax in order to reduce physical stress.

Keep a balanced life, including: physical exercise, support for my parents, creative pursuits, time to spend with friends & family, plus time to travel with my partner.

Read more in the evenings, to entertain & educate myself, rather than wasting time playing solitaire on my iPhone or watching mediocre TV.

Investigate my idea of volunteering for a good cause, while using my creative skills to help raise money…………..

Health, happiness & success to all of you in your life for 2014. Helen

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