I am grateful for The Daily Love. It is an incredible project, which was created by Mastin Kipp. There is so much I could say about it, but I suggest you go check it out yourself at thedailylove.com. All you have to do once you get to the page, is signing up to receive a daily dose of love. This dose of love will come to you in the form of a daily newsletter with quotes, visual art and affirmations. It is a great way to start your day and it assures you will start it with a smile and a feeling of love. Two of today’s affirmations for instance, were “Life loves me.” and “I am 100 % Self Approved.”. The Daily Love does make sure that you get your daily portion of love and it is a great spark to start a day filled with love. There is never too much love. And thanks to The Daily Love you get a daily reminder to start loving life more and to start living more lovingly. Thank you for the joy you bring to so many people, Mastin. May your life be filled with love.
I am grateful for Armando & Katrien. They are two wonderful and lovely friends of mine and I am very happy to have them in my life. Armando & Katrien are also known as the Viva la Gente Office Team. Viva la Gente is the Mexican variant of Up with People and obviously that’s where I met them. They traveled together in Up with People in 2007 and became best friends right away. That’s one of the amazing things that Up with People does. Armando is from Mexico, Katrien is from Belgium and all of a sudden those borders don’t exist anymore and they get to be best friends. It’s awesome! So now Katrien spends most of her time in Mexico City, working in the office with Armando or just having fun together. When I flew in here about two weeks ago to start working on my first Mexican city for this tour, I felt so lucky to be working with the two of them. Since I’m usually flying around and I don’t get to spend much time in one place, I am so grateful for every moment I get to spend in every place I end up. So here, in Mexico City I am so glad I get to spend time with Armando & Katrien. They are here for me to guide me in this wonderful city – which just happens to be the biggest city in the world – as well as in the work I am doing or just to hang out together and enjoy the beauty of Mexico and life in general. Thank you, my dear amazing friends. I am excited for the following weeks and all the precious time we still get to spend together.
I am grateful for KONY 2012. It is an amazing project that we all need so badly in this world right now. If you don’t know about this, please visit www.kony2012.com for all the information and join us! Exactly one week from now, on April 20th the next stage of the campaign will start, which is called ‘Cover The Night’. In other words, we still have one valuable week left to get involved and change this world, by showing the power of our collective voices. That last part of the previous sentence is a direct quote from Up with People, for which I am still incredibly grateful. It’s through organizations like Up with People and KONY 2012 that I got to learn about the value and the power I have as a human being. I can change the world. I am so thankful for that power. I feel it is my duty to use it. And I will. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I am grateful for My Mom’s Side Of The Family. Not that I’m not grateful for my dad’s side, I just felt like it was time to highlight this part of my family. My parents got a divorce when I was about two years old and ever since I’ve always had “two families” even though they were all “my family”. I never made a distinction in loving them while growing up and in my eyes they were always part of one and the same family, but I barely ever got to experience having them all together in one and the same place. I remember my confirmation vividly, not because of the fact that I was taking a big step as a Christian, but because my family was all together. Just for me. I remember having my mom and dad standing right next to each other in church and not being able to focus on anything else but the fact that they were there. In the same place. At the same time. It was amazing. When I turned eighteen, I told my parents that all I really wanted as a present was to have dinner with both of my parents at the same table, since I didn’t have a single memory of that. We all met up at a restaurant and it became a beautiful – and highly awkward – evening, which I will never forget. Anyway, so far the explanation of the family story. This part of the family, my mom’s side, is a loving and caring little community. Mostly, I think, because we are such a small community. You have my grandparents and their two kids, my mom and my uncle. My uncle and his wife then have two daughters, Julie and Melanie, and my mom has three kids, my brother Koen, my sister Lynn and myself. That’s it. That’s all there is. But it’s just perfect. Tonight we met as a family, since I just happened to be in Belgium for a week and it became a wonderful night. Great conversations, a lot of laughter and just so much love. I love my family. All nine members of them. We are very close and I am so proud to be part of them. I wouldn’t have want it any other way and I am so grateful for everything we’ve done together, everything we have now and everything that’s yet to come. I love you.
I am grateful for Trains. They are such an amazing mode of transport. I like how they are good for the environment by transporting many people at the same time, which means we need to use less cars. I know that, for myself, all I really want is a bicycle and public transportation. It’s definitely all I need. Furthermore, it’s also awesome how you avoid all traffic and how you often get somewhere quicker by taking public transportation like a train instead of being stuck in your car. But mostly, I just love riding them. I enjoy sitting there for hours. Reading a book, listening to music, staring out of the window and enjoying the landscape, talking to people,… It’s much more relaxing than driving a car and having to deal with all the craziness on the road. Once you get on the train you don’t have to think of anything anymore. Except maybe for the storyline of the novel you are reading…
I am grateful for Board Games. Playing board games is without any doubt one of my very favorite pastimes. It’s a great thing to share with family and friends or to even play by yourself. Obviously it’s more fun with other people and often I enjoy spending time with the people I’m playing with more than playing the game itself. And I love playing so much more than winning. It’s fun to play with people who want to win though, because it makes me laugh so much. I even know people who don’t like playing board games, because they don’t know how to deal with losing. That makes me laugh out loud. Anyway, board games are fun. They always are. And there’s many I’ve played already, many different ones I like and still so many I haven’t discovered yet and I’m so excited for. For this picture I just took some of my favorite board games I have here at home. Some of my absolutely preferred ones are Bohnanza, Settlers of Catan, Bananagrams, Risk, Pictionary, Elfenland, Ticket to Ride,… Writing this blog just makes me want to start playing one right now! Maybe I should actually…
I am grateful for Belgium. That little country of mine, it has done more for me than I realized. I am lucky to have grown up here. We have a great system – except for maybe when it takes a break for like, let’s say, 451 days – that takes good care of it people. I feel fortunate to have had the education I’ve gotten and to have gotten it mostly for free. I am glad that when my mom got cancer and her second husband left her, so she ended up being a single mom with three children while fighting for her life, we still had a chance at survival. I am happy and proud to be able to speak six languages now, without having to have tried too hard, because it simply gets offered to us. I am grateful for the abundance of different cultures within one tiny county and I still enjoy learning about them. Yes, different languages and cultures tend to cause tension here, but they are also an immense beauty and richness, something I highly value. I never grew up feeling proud to be Belgian and I don’t think it is something that could come to me all of a sudden, but at least I realize now that I am fortunate and so grateful to have been born here. So, thank you, Belgium. Let’s give ourselves – at least – another 182 years!