We hear people talking about their countries with so much passion you begin to believe it's the most magical place on earth. We hear mothers speak about their children like they're the smartest, funniest most beautiful creatures that ever existed, or ever will for that matter. You see people defend their religions not only with word but with money, time and blood.
And yes, it is partly because we have egos that identify with places, concepts and people that we have emotionally invested in so deeply. But there's also something else...
What we often fail in doing, often jumping into conclusions and comparisons is that we don't take the time to fall in love. I believe that if you approached any country, religion or person with an open heart for long enough then you are sure to see the beauty, build a tolerance and fall in love.
But we are both, to an extent, emotionally closed down and hasty. We don't allow concepts in whenever we feel they will threaten our own. We don't let people in when we feel they will reform our ideas of what is acceptable and what isn't.
And so we walk through this life clinging to what we know. Sacrificing the magical for the familiar. May the new year bring you fresh perspective, a willingness to love and the strength to shed your burdens.
I burned myself out.
I'm one of those people that feel that in order to feel accomplished I have to conquer every challenge that is thrown my way. This means that I would work till I could work no longer, I would attend all the functions I could and I most definitely wouldn't ask for help in the process.
This meant that as time went by, I did less and less of what I loved (apart from work) and took less and less care of myself.
But what shook me the most was that I was suddenly becoming fascinated by human kindness. It fascinated me because all my hours spent outside of my time teaching, I felt restless, rushed and agitated.
And I knew that this fascination I had with how people took the time to listen to one another, to help one another and to spend leisurely time enjoying each other's company came from a deep longing.
This longing came because my mind, in its endless movement and seeking, stood between me and my very excellent ability to flow with the rhythm of life. I knew that I was able to function very efficiently and be nourished when I slowed down, when I didn't spread myself too thin. And yet I kept getting in my own way.
I had to awaken a side of me that sounds firm and sure that says "no" at the expense of approval and self validation to a desperate "yes" that knows that life is about the little moments of being there for someone, being present enough to look at clouds, have the time to color with your daughter, mindfully make your breakfast or leave your phone behind when you walk your dog.
After years of being unable to slow down I promised myself to focus on what will really matter in the end: being kind, being loved and loving in return.
Weam is the founder of Namaste. She had started a very deep and intense spiritual journey at a young age having refused to continue to suffer with the common challenges of her generation: depression, anxiety and being lost. She insisted that there must be more to life than the constant rat race she was in