Tag Archives: friendship

My Horse Lessons

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The year of the horse is almost gone. It may stay a bit longer though, if I stick to the Chinese calendar. It was more of a herd year. It brought plenty. It had the grace of a Friesian horse. It had the strength of a Belgian draft horse. It had the speed of a racing horse. It had the lightness of a Paso Fino. It was a year of learning. Both academic and life learning.???????????????????????????????????????????????????

I learned about the healing power of forgiveness through one phone call I learned the happiness of ignoring the buzz. Both internal and external. More they tried, more ignorant I became. Oh, glorious ignorance.

I learned that a mentor is very much human. He can make mistakes an apprentice would not make and he can still stay my mentor.

I learned that pretty anyone can be a mentor, as the experienced barista at my favorite coffee shop smiles at his new colleague’s clumsiness.

I learned that even after 10 years people in civil service go back to what I’ve written for them back then and find it helpful (although this makes me worried about their progress :).

I learned that appreciation comes at most unexpected times and colleagues’ prize for “best coach and support of others” in the organisation are best given in absentia. To my highest delight though.

I learned that a graffiti Christmas tree on a flipchart is best decorated by post-it notes each member of the team writes their wishes on.

I am more environment conscious now. I learned the joy of one item for breakfast.

I learned to enjoy four times less cloths orders this year compared to last year.

I learned that people whom I admire share my admiration to tears of joy.

I learned that my partner is a better lover year after year.

I learned that my child and I can have the same dream and share it in the morning.

I learned that blessing others brings peace to all.

I learned to say goodbye just to say hello to something else the minute after.

I learned the value of a place where my coffee cup waits for me. Always.

I relearned the joy of organizing parties: Butterflies Fairy party in Winter, Strawberry party in Spring, Ratatouille cooking party in Late Summer, Bowling and Art party in Fall….

I learned that a stranger can grow into calling me “mom”.

I learned that a stranger can grow into calling me a “gift”.

I learned to allow myself to feel and let go.

I learned the power of No. With a big smile.

I learned the power of stillness.

I learned the power of vulnerability.

I rejoiced in the thought of what the power of No, the power of stillness and the power of vulnerability can do.

I started to be around only people who love and support me. Reciprocity creates magic.

I learned that confidence comes from fearlessness. Fearlessness comes from faith. Faith comes from freedom.

I hope I was a good life student. I am ready for more. I want to know more. I want to learn to play chess. I want to learn to dance like a pro. I want to learn to swim. I want to do more to help others. I want to explore my 21 year old sexuality. I want to discover the world with my children. I want to prosper in building lasting memories for my loved ones. I want to embrace minimalism; a day a week without consumption is my first small step. I want to learn to heal through compassion. I am open to everything Life brings. Only the best comes my way. These are not New Year’s resolutions. Or maybe they are 🙂

Reasons to celebrate

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“Dear friends, would you like to join me for breakfast tomorrow, on Sunday? I have at least three reasons to celebrate:)” reads my email to my friends.

Earlier this week, they were the ones who said I should celebrate it when I shared the news about my master diploma. Fully taken by my daily duties, I left unmarked the moment i received the University’s confirmation that I met all the diploma requirements.

My friends’ support on the last stages of my dissertation and their natural joyful celebration mood made me think “Why do we need reasons to celebrate?” Reason is a function of the brain. Celebration is more from the heartland. Left to my brain, my master diploma is a fait acoompli and I should be heading to another challenge. “What’s next?” is already implanted in my mind. Pausing a bit, only my heart knows how it actually felt to raise a baby, have a full time job and study for my second master’s, all at the same time. I owe a big celebration to my heart for all of it. I owe it to myself, my wise friends told me.

A month after her birthday, my kid said she wants a Spring birthday party, and a Summer birthday party and an Autumn one. Indeed, who said there should be only one birthday party a year?! She does not have yet an adult perception of time and of a calendar. She does not need to look for a reason. The reason is always there. She is the reason and this is more than enough.
We wait and postpone. Other commitments take over. Accomplishments become info on a resume or a life event we put on our facebook wall. We look back and wonder how was our last month, last summer, last year, or last ten years…It can be a little fuzzy, isn’t it?’image
To acknowledge an event or an achievement one does not always need a social gathering or expensive champaign ( which is nice from time to time) or anything very elaborate. Sometimes a simple “Thank you” ritual, a cup of tea shared with loved ones, couple of volunteer time hours, time to yourself indulging on your favorite pastime, paint a figurine, anything you choose to mark and cherish what you did to materialize your aspirations and how this made a better you, is memorable. Count your blessings, they say. Small or big they are yours. Observe them, mark and honour them in any way you like. You’ll see little stars appearing on your life board, joining in constellations and galaxies to brighten your life.
My Sunday breakfast turned into a celebration of the three of us. My master diploma was one reason to celebrate. “What are the other two reasons you mentioned in your email?”, asked my friends. “Well, it’s you”, I answered to their bemusement and offered each their portraits my kid drew on our last trip together. I framed and wrapped them as gifts for their upcoming birthday, which they celebrate a day apart next week. Their happy faces became stars on my life board. They mark our friendship, my kid’s talent and just a beautiful Sunday morning in a lovely company.

Is friendship a commodity?

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The usual verbs associated with a commodity are ‚loose’, ‚gain’, ‚destroy’, ‚add’ all fit with friendship as well. Still some verbs like ‚nurture’ do not always find easily their way of being associated with such a ‚commodity’.

Can one loose a friend? My take is no, one cannot. We do not own friends, thus cannot loose them. What we loose or miss is the feelings a friendship brings.

I remember my first encounter  with a dear friend of mine. It was 15 years ago. We were both attending a summer course: me as a student, he as a rep of the organizers  He wore a bright colorful tea-shirt and orange bermuda   Over time, he played milestones’ roles in my life: when I took admission exams to postgraduate studies, when I was considered for a fellowship, before job interviews, after job interviews, reviewing my work, keeping my feet on the ground … He is great fun to be with: I still remember the smell of coffee and the taste of croissant we were having in a French cafe in a French city and our endless talks about everything and nothing. He moved to  another country, then to another continent. Still, the warm, tender, sweet friendship feelings stay with me for years.

Once a mentor of mine told me that ‚you have to be lucky to meet good people’. Over time I have grown to understand that I also need to be wise enough to keep them in my life.

Keeping is not necessarily physical. It is more mental and perhaps spiritual.

They say marriage is made in heaven. So is friendship! Right, St. Peter? 🙂