I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, because my opinions are clouded by my own personal experiences. I do, however, think that it’s when I set aside my own prejudices and open my mind and heart to learn that I can begin to understand.
I also know on the most basic level that I need to be kind. Not just a surface kindness, but the deep kindness that comes from the heart and is sincere. When there is inner kindness, so many other good things happen, such as not assuming I know the answer every time, listening with my ears, and making positive changes in my life from what I learn.
It’s very easy for me to slip back into my old patterns and keep on living my life as usual. I’m not big on New Years resolutions, but I do think it is a great opportunity to hit the reset button and pause to reflect on life.
From where I currently stand, it’s time for change. It’s time to climb higher and gain new perspective. I have been sitting for much too long. On a practical level, that means taking better care of myself (mentally and physically) and working on my relationships with others. These things are so important, and it is easy to lose perspective.
I wish everyone a happy, healthy New Year as we begin a new decade!
In my travels one weekend I came across this charming house. The bright, welcoming door (which is rounded at the top), and the quaint shutters were intriguing. Not to mention the wreath that pulled it all together!
So as you head into a long weekend, I want you to remember some important things: be happy with who you are, and embrace your unique qualities. It’s worth it.
Experiencing new places doesn’t mean you need to travel to far away lands. The picture above was taken on a beautiful walk with some good friends down Lowther Avenue in Toronto. The old world beauty of the street and it’s charm had us in awe. Sometimes the most interesting places are right under your nose.
Of course, I have to discuss landscape architecture. It is a lens in which I view everything around me. I would point out the small, intimate spaces that are intricately designed. There is delicate detail to the buildings and the landscape, and at a scale a pedestrian feels comfortable enjoying.
Finding these hidden (to me) gems is a really good lesson for me; to appreciate my life, right here, right now. There is so much beauty in a simple life, to find charm in the small things, and explore to your own backyard.
I encourage you all to explore places and spaces around you, and to enjoy!
Did you know that we don’t have to destroy nature to live in it? The outstanding beauty of Switzerland is a prime example of the possibility of harmony between nature and development. The rugged landscape has limitations on where development can happen, but the unique character of the landscape has not been ruined, rather celebrated.
In such a small country, there are a variety of fabrics that run through the country. The rugged countryside, dotted with small, preserved farms are incredible in their own right. These operations run on the side of steep slopes, and new buildings blend with the historic architecture of the land. The cities are condensed. They save space and create an intimate, colourful atmosphere.
I learned a lot and was inspired by the design of their cities. As I live in a country where new development is always happening, and where physical space is plenty, the way we develop our urban spaces isn’t quite the same. Maybe new isn’t necessarily better, and if we could apply some of the principles of old European city planning and architecture, more farmland could be preserved and the natural beauty of Canada could be preserved, while the urban fabric could become a more accessible, intimate experience.