There were students and friends who asked me to write this article, because they consider that what we do at Ashtanga Cascais are the best gifts that could be offered this Christmas!
Because we have a number of conscious choices that make a difference in people’s lives, from the book Stop.Feel.Breathe, to our regular classes, our workshops and retreats! Whether it’s offering a simple lesson, a broader set of experience in our classes, the February Workshops with the renowned Hamish Hendry, or a keen participation in the 6th Inspiring Mornings, the Bali Retreat, or the Craveiral Retreat in Alentejo, and all the other events that are part of our house, and that are all organized and thought to help directly to bring simplicity to life, connection and greater inspiration.
When we come to this time of year and choose what to offer our family and close friends, we must stop buying only for buying, giving for giving, exaggerating the typical consumerism of this time of year, and making decisions that really help those who we are close. Well, and if possible support the environment, and still try to help those who have less. Whenever I turn on the television to watch the news, it is increasingly frightening, because there is an awareness of what is going on in the world, the number of people who are in real difficulties, of hunger, cold, so many children, women, men without hope, or faith in a better future. Sometimes my heart is so tight, that i look at the face of my daughter who has fallen asleep in my arms, feeling that there are people, the same age group as me, with babies of the same age, abandoned at random, others old as my parents, who have lost everything, the result of a life of work, there are so many examples that we have to rethink what is really important, that has nothing to do with the last fashion cream, or the last gadget that is so expensive, or any other product which comes to our minds through powerful advertising campaigns.
At this time of year, rather than walking in shopping malls to consume and spend what we have and what we do not have, we really have to stop and do something different. Whether it’s to reduce consumption, opt for simpler gifts, maybe even make our own offers, bring kids together, and in the family create something special and with redoubled meaning. The examples are many and the way of conducting the Christmas season lies in the responsibility of each one, but if we all do a little differently, we create communities, and a more conscious, caring and friendly society.