“When we take it slow moving into the new year, we create space to be surprised by what life sends our way “
Bethany Douglass : Ease Into the New Year Magnolia – In pursuit of Presence – Take Hold of the Heart and Now issue no. 25
It has been awhile. Consistency has never been my forte and one of my New Years resolutions is to work on this !
I like to think that I have a good excuse though. On November 27, I left on a month long adventure with Sergio.
Paris, Amsterdam ( to visit my lovely daughter :)), Lisbon, the Azores, and Morocco. We had an incredible time. Travelling to Morocco never crossed my mind but, had always been somewhere that my husband wanted to explore. I had zero expectations and was simply blown away by the entire experience. The people are kind and gentle, the landscape is incredibly diverse and breathtaking oh and the food ??? To die for. They have so many resources ….dates, figs, lemons, oranges, mandarins, almonds, mint, saffron ….the list goes on and on.
Two of our three daughters travelled with us for this leg of the race. It was wild !
Our starting point was Marrakech, a former imperial city in western Morocco. It is a major economic center and home to mosques, palaces and gardens. The medina is a densely packed, walled medieval city dating to the Berber Empire, with mazelike alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery and jewelry. We had a few days to explore the city before our tour guide Mohamed, picked us up. This guy was a young buck who loved to drive. He took across the Atlas Mountains, through the Grand Canyon (Dades Gorge) and all the way to the Sahara Desert. We rode a camel, slept in the tent and participated in a traditional drumming circle. Sergio was in his glory ! The riads we stayed at were exquisite.
We finished off in a coastal in a town, Taghazout. It was a funky little surfing haven with a beautiful beach.
One of my favourite experiences was visiting a small village where we met a woman who was making a rug. It was a cooperative and there were hundreds of rugs to choose from. Making rugs is a way for women to express themselves. Each rug tells a story. We ended up the most beautiful piece of art that represented the mountains, family, happiness, and joy. When I look at it I think of our adventure and it warms my heart 🙂
If you’re looking for an affordable adventure that is off the beaten track but totally safe, look no further. Morocco is the place to visit 🙂
Tonight is New Years Eve.
As I sit here reflecting on the events of the past year, I am filled with both joy and sorrow. I am missing my sister and the laughs we used to share together but know she is with me in spirit.
I recently read an article “Ease Into the New Year” by Bethany Douglass. The beginning of a new year “can bring a sense of haste and a feeling of needing to do it all now”. We create lists of goals and aspirations but, “not everything lovely comes about from a plan”.
Douglass suggests that instead of rushing, we should consider taking cues from the world around us. “Let yourself rest, go slow, and recover while you wait for what will spring forth next.” Winter invites us to slow down, be present and listen. If we create space to become better listeners, we open the door of infinite possibilities.
I absolutely love this idea !
For the month of January, I am committed to following Douglass’s list of suggestions on how to embrace the new year gently….
- Retreat from screens or other activities that might distract you from true rest.
- Keep a small notebook or journal for reflection, gratitude and ideas for the future.
- Go for walks to connect with the winter season.
- Follow natures lead and hibernate for the evening hours. Give your physical body rest and sleep.
- Light candles in the twilight hours. Natural light is a beatiful thing.
- Be intentional about resisting pressure to set goals or expectations for the year to come. Wait until you are coming from a place of rest to look at where you want to go.
Looking ahead to 2023 I feel a sense of hope.
Wishing you all health and happiness .