2020: the year of kindness

Dear you,

Happy new year! I wish you a wealth of joy, laughter, love and health: today, tomorrow and every day of this year. Because it’s ours for the taking, whether we realize it or not.

For the past few years, I’ve chosen a word to guide my intentions for the year (I’m not a fan of new years resolutions).

So for 2020, kindness is my word.

Who knows? Maybe it’ll be a theme I’m able to intertwine into my articles, and share what I learn as I go along, or maybe not! I’ll see what kindness feels like as I make these decisions in real time.


With the New Year’s clean slate, we’re often tempted to focus our attention on change and muscling our way through it. (Read: using finite willpower to affect change in our lives, sometimes things beyond our control.)

I’ve come to the point in my life now where I recognize how hard I’ve pushed and the cost that that’s had on my overall health and body, and I don’t want another year to pass without acknowledging that there’s a bigger picture and an easier way.


Kindness as Catalyst

I notice the tendency in all of us to skip over all that’s working (the glass-half-full mindset I’m always going on about) and to where we’re falling short (what our materialist society is constantly offering solutions for us to consume, which often take us away from our inner wisdom).

It’s conversations behind closed doors, like the ones I have with my 1-on-1 coaching clients, that have shown me how extraordinary our brains and bodies are, how they’re working overtime to adapt to our surroundings, making use of all the possible resources – even years in. This has had a ripple effect in my own life, as it’s often easier to recognize the denial of kindness in others, than in ourselves. ‘No man is an island,’ as the saying goes, and we need these exchanges in order to grow our own self-awareness.

If there’s one thing I can wish us all for this year, it’s to really acknowledge and see all that you are already doing. When I pause and notice, I get glimpses that legitimately leave me speechless with awe and wonder. We really do live in a magical place and time. We can align with our hearts, mind and bodies for a kinder experience of the world.

I shared my word for the year with a friend, as well as my recent experiments in being kind, and she shared the quote below with me. So far, I’ve read it every morning of 2020. Maybe you’ll enjoy it too.

At some point on the journey, you may reach a point where you want to ease the throttle of transformation. Not where you stop growing, but where you stop utilising your will to affect personal change. You’re still growthful, but it’s different. It’s gentler, and it’s more about accepting what is, than changing it. You reach a place where you are more embracing of who you are, and how far you’ve come, and you feel ready to work with what you’ve got. It’s important to notice this moment, if it arrived. Because there is a real peace in that tender self-acceptance. And ironically, it may ignite the most profound change of all. – Jeff Brown




Did this post resonate or bring up a thought you’d like to share? Continue the conversation with me and other community members by leaving a comment below.


Upcoming events for January 2020

For those of you looking for a leg up with Finnish pronunciation, Glyn Faulkner and I have teamed up to teach a few workshops on the topic this January. (Kindness, wonder and coziness are all on the agenda.) Click here for details, and feel free to spread the word to others who may be interested!

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Hi! I’m Irina.

I’m a multibelonger to Finland, Canada and Romania, without ONE language or culture to call my own – I have several. My intention is to be present where I am and find inner peace and harmony where ever life takes me. I’m embracing the gems of the ongoing cultural and linguistic transition which is my life and hope to inspire others interested in doing the same. Click here to find out more!