Saturday, December 29, 2012

Open Heart, Open Mind


The past few weeks for us could be likened to climbing a mountain (admittedly a cliched analogy, but it seems apt since we are moving to the himalayas). Its been a slow climb, carrying kids on our backs, through dense forest without much of a view.

I think we had many more boxes than is reasonable for a small family home!

Bob and the removal guys worked so hard in the scorching heat.

Then we've had some lovely days like Christmas Day and Boxing Day where we've had a chance to unwind, dress up, eat and play, just like having a well-earned rest on the trail and taking off our smelly hiking boots!

Remy enjoyed the Christmas lights.

Xavier on Santa's train at Myer.

Xavier and Remy with their cousin Max wearing their new Hawaiian shirts!

Now it's like we are approaching the summit, we have our eyes on the path, plodding on, knowing the pinnacle could be around the next corner.

At the top of our metaphorical mountain, the view I'm looking forward to most is a final day spent enjoying our gorgeous Queensland weather, spending unhurried time with our family and savouring our life here.

As I scrub the house I've actually had moments where I have enjoyed the experience of cleaning away the old in preparation for the new - a cathartic ritual almost. I know in Chinese culture people clean their homes in anticipation of New Year and it seems like a great opportunity to reflect on what's been and also set goals for the year ahead.

In the past three years, I have chosen a 'mantra' or phrase as my New Year's Resolution. It works best if I don't think too much about it - and just let it come to me.

This year my mantra, or my guiding thought when I'm not sure which way to turn is going to be Open Heart, Open Mind.

When I think of the situations that lay ahead, I know there will be challenges, I know there will be cultural differences and frustrations. If I can remember to repeat my mantra at that time, I will stay awake to the present moment and give it all I've got.

Similarly, when I am planning and teaching and thinking up new ideas for school, doing this with a feeling of an open heart will bring out the best in me.

Many of my friends and family members are on the cusp of big change as we enter 2013. New jobs, new babies, new routines with eldest children starting school. While new beginnings can be scary, they are also a time of great personal growth and you realise what you are really capable of.
I wish everyone a wonderful year for 2013 and if you are starting a new endeavour, all the best.

Do you make any New Year's Resolutions? I'd love to know what they are!


  1. lovely mantra, Andrea - so apt. I am so excited for you as you all dive into this fantastic adventure - you are going to learn so much and see so much!! x

  2. Thanks Ali, I know you know. If only we had a few precious days in passing...