The only piece of advice I really treasure

Some time ago, inspired by all the lists of tips and suggestions for the new year resolutions I read and heard everywhere, I created my own half-serious suggestions list.

Do you remember?

I do not reject those pearls of wisdom, but I think that they are not as inspiring as I wished.

Today I stumbled upon a Mark Twain’s quotation I already knew, but that struck me as if I read it for the first time:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

It’s a fact that every century has its dreamers, inventors, visionaries. Depending on the time, they are and were treated in every possible way, from torture, derision, to awe, to suppression. But they all had something in common: the ability to go beyond the surface, to dare, to dream.

When Steve Jobs spoke the famous words, “Stay hungry, stay foolish!” he managed to sum up the unique philosophy of life that makes sense for me in a very short sentence.

The hunger for life accompanied by a certain amount of recklessness is not madness, it is the engine that should drive us to appreciate this journey, enjoying every opportunity, no matter who we are, where we live, how much money we have. What is appreciated by someone can be totally indifferent to another one.

Here is my list of what I have “explored” in recent years and that has enriched my life:

  •  create my own blog
  •  sing in a group
  •  practice Tai-chi
  •  practice Krav-maga
  •  discover the free online resources about meditation, energy techniques, motivational courses
  •  publish a household satirical magazine
  •  find resources that have inspired me to take care of my family and my home with no help
  • free myself from “reversed bias” (explanation follows) and learn to enjoy activities that I lived as a duty until a few years ago
  •  not being scared by washing machine and dishwasher breakdowns – yes, that’s right: as long as I can manage on my own, I will do it, screwdriver and clamp in my hand
  •  learn to say NO
  •  learn to let go of friendships that are fading
  • make room for new people, new ideas, new inspirations

None of this is making me rich (at least not yet …), less tired or perfect, but certainly eager to see what awaits me every morning.

And the great thing is that, the more I walk on this road, the longer becomes the trail of influences, imposed thoughts, unnecessary hesitation that I leave behind.

Even the “reversed bias” I mentioned before are terrible. Because of them we refuse “a priori” certain experiences, because we rebelled against them.

Take for example cooking. You already know what I think about it:

But when I try (“explore”) some new recipe, I like it! Just as I like it when the outcome of one of my pieces de resistance is confirmed for the umpteenth time.

Until some time ago I hated to cook, because as a girl I was surrounded by people who gave too much value to this ability. And I thought, “You bet your @$$ you will never see me sweating in the kitchen in this way.”

Life then took me to a certain point where I had to cook twice a day, lunch and dinner, every single day. For me it was a nightmare.

But one day, just for fun, I tried some cake recipes and it felt good. From then on I started experimenting and at some point I realized that after all cooking was not that bad and I could not believe that I had regarded it in this way for my whole life.

Cooking was not tiring, holding on to an idea that no longer belonged to me was.

Have I made you smile with this new article? I hope so, but I also hope that I’ve been able to make you feel the intensity I live everyday life with. This does not preserve me from living dark moments, but it gives me an awareness of the great light we can enjoy every day.

Have a nice weekend!

Thanksgiving and gratitude

Over the last 60/80 years, European and American cultures have mixed in many areas, in a literary, artistic, scientific and social exchange, which has had a big impact also on our daily lives.

Europeans are proud of their cultural roots that date back to the most ancient civilizations, but Americans are just as proud of their history.

I often happen to hear people say that America doesn’t actually have a very long history, yet I think that we Europeans have rested on the laurels of a glorious past, that goes back way too long ago to justify our pride. Points of view.

October 31st, Halloween, is just behind us and every year I hear people say and complain that it makes no sense to celebrate this date, that it means nothing for us, that it is a celebration invented by the Americans.

Regardless of whether this is true or not, I feel like asking some questions about this.

Could we live without it? Yes. Is it fun? Yes. Is it mandatory to celebrate? No.
The principles of democracy are saved!

A real all American celebration is Thanksgiving, which takes place every year on the fourth Thursday of November and practically starts the season of Christmas celebrations.

This tradition is regularly observed since 1863, when President Lincoln established it as a form of religious gratitude celebration.

The origin of Thanksgiving, however, is placed at the time of the Pilgrim Fathers in 1621. The story goes that they were not very successful with the seeds they brought from England, when they arrived in America. Later, with the help of Native Americans and their advice, they managed to get very generous crops and hence the celebration of a thanksgiving to God.

Surely the gratitude of the Pilgrim Fathers was tied to a very serious matter, the survival of their families, but every day you can feel and express this feeling, even for little things.

I don’t like talking about religion or faith, because I do not have the necessary expertise, but I think that talking about spirituality is for everyone. Spirituality is not linked to the name of an entity, to rites or to dogmas.

For me, spirituality means to be moved by nature, feeling real love without judgment, finding more meaning in an embrace than in beautiful words.

I feel gratitude for all this. I would like to celebrate Thanksgiving too!

I like to think of a group of people who meet to share the reasons to be grateful for … I do not think I’m betraying my ancient European roots!

Do you remember the definition of “Pollyanna Syndrome”, the famous idiot optimism? It is not about this, it is not about losing touch with reality, but to balance the scales.

Look around, listen: what do you see, what do you hear? Only complaints. Then don’t you agree with me that focusing on things we are grateful for one day a year could only be a good habit?

Have a nice Sunday!