Time to stop, time to think, to be grateful and bountiful.

It´s been a while since my last post, in between, few continents, exciting projects, new acquaintances, and plenty of thoughts not always easy to translate into words.

I guess life is (really) what happens while you´re busy making other plans.

Without much of a warning 2013 slipped between my fingers and a new year suddenly is around the corner.

The celebration of the spirit of love, brotherhood and compassion is the perfect time to bring the all family together, not only the ones that make it to our house but also the ones that live inside our hearts.

The essential of Christmas is more than a celebration, is the challenge to become Christmas everyday and re-tribute to the ones around us the same love we seek for our life’s. (thank you Richard Warrell for pointing that out).

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A new year will always be an opportunity for a fresh start, for a clean slate, a “tabula rasa” of good in our lives, it is a great opportunity to see things with a different perspective, dont hesitate to use it.

I guess my New Year reflection started earlier in November while in South Africa.

In Johannesburg I was deeply touched by the presence of “The Mandela Spirit” in everyday reality of such a bright nation.

While there I had the opportunity to learn a little more about the sacrifices that so many people went trough during so many years to bring a new hope and a more equal society into light.

Despite the human imperfections of human work, South Africa stays in my heart as an example of our capacity to achieve a higher purpose when the sum of all parts is greater than the whole.

Specially striking was the fact that few days later I learn while back in London about the departure of Madiba. Among so many powerful words he left, one that resonates stronger inside of me.

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I guess there is no better way to encapsulate the coming days when across the world many people think about what needs to change in the coming year.

In this last week of the year, looking at the empty vineyards from my office window in Portugal, a powerful thought crosses my mind. The unstoppable value of life

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In the coming months the silent landscape in front of my eyes will turn into a vibrant field with different colors, new forms of life and the hope for a great harvest. Despite all the challenges ahead even the powerful “general winter” cannot beat reality. Spring will come.

But when we talk about human actions, we know that certain achievements cannot be measured in a time scale because they last beyond time, beyond the action itself.

Let me share with you a precious gem (thank you Nick Ahnen).

If you have the time in the coming days, try to watch the documentary  – Searching for Sugar Man – an inspiration, a blessing that helps you believe that everything you do, everything, has an impact in other peoples life…even if it is across the ocean and takes you 30 years to notice.

I guess thats why I still dream of one day becoming a full time teacher.

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Before the year draws to an end I want to wish you all a good closing and a peaceful landing in 2014.

A year full of happiness, health and plenty of opportunities to have a positive impact in other peoples life.

A special thought to my family, friends and students out in the cold squares of Ukraine. Be strong and keep building your future everyday, life is unstoppable, spring will come!

João

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