One Apple A Day #896 – it’s a miracle

This morning I want to celebrate the simple fact that I exist.

What are the odds of me existing here and now?

From the big to the most insignificant ones, how many events had to align throughout millions of years only for me to be here and now?

One Dr Ali Binazir crunched some numbers and calculated that the probability of me existing is 1 in 102,685,000. To be honest, I think that the odds are way smaller, but it doesn’t change much. That number already means basically zero!

Yet, I am here, now.

I exist, love, think, feel, write, play, taste and much more.

Isn’t that a miracle?

Often I give my existence and the existence of the people I love for granted. As if being alive here and now is a given.

But it’s not.

So, this morning I just want to celebrate life and remind myself to be grateful.

“With shortness of breath

I’ll try to explain the infinite

How rare and beautiful it is to even exist”

from Saturn by Sleeping At Last

One Apple A Day #883 – Gratitude

I needed this reminder.

It’s easy to feel stressed between deadlines, problems, things to finish, and emails to answer. In those days, I feel stuck and like I’m running in circles. I question my own choices, and I close up.

Gratitude is my way out.

It is like being lost on a dark night and then remember that you can look up at the stars for guidance.

That is gratitude for me.

Recognising that my life is full of bright stars.

What a relief.

When I feel under pressure because I think I have too much to do and not enough time. When things are not going as they were supposed to go. When I have no idea how to get out of the swamp in which I walked in.
I just have to close my eyes and remind myself of all the things I’m grateful for. A simple gesture that brings so much grace in my life.

Gratitude changes everything.

Bye 2019

So here I am again. A few hours more and 2019 will be a thing of the past. A folder filled with memories, images, words, faces, emotions ready to be archived. So, today I’ve decided to put aside my morning practice and instead of the daily “apple”, I’ll celebrate the year ending today.

In the last days, I spent some time looking back at all that has happened over the previous 12 months. Not to cling to the past, but to dig out lessons and insights that I can use for the future. All of that with a sense of gratitude.

As I did last year, at the end of this post, you can find a pdf with the questions I used to reflect upon the past and set the stage for the future. If you’re not interested in my learnings and you want to jump straight to the document, click here

If you’re still reading, I’m grateful for your interest, and I hope you could find some useful hints for yourself in my recollections.

First of all, the word that better summarise my 2019 is Identity. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting, talking, reading, writing and exploring the subject. My own identity obviously, but also “identity” as a concept. Can we really know our identity? How do we know who we are? Is it a fixed thing, or does it change and evolve over time? Even if I’m sure I’ll always have more questions than answers on this subject, I feel that this quest is an integral part of my own identity. So, it will also inform my future work, but I’ll talk about this in another post about 2020.

My three most significant achievements in 2019.

  1. The launch of The Lab by MentorLab. I had the incredible opportunity to partner with Rossella and Cristiano in the creation of The Lab. A safe and private place of knowledge sharing and collective learning to connect coaches, mentors and hr professionals in Italy. So far, it has been an incredible journey, and the best has yet to come.
  2. The ACC credentials from ICF. I must admit that I’ve never given much importance to formal recognition or titles. But this one is special because to get it, I had to face and overcome some of my toughest limiting beliefs. So, I want to celebrate this achievement because it reminds me of the journey I did to get there.
  3. The first Italian company taking the Being At Full Potential Organisation Assessment. I’m so grateful for the trust, the courage and the openness with which they decided to challenge themselves.

My three favourite posts (that I wrote) in 2019.

This year I wrote 249 posts as part of One Apple A Day practice plus a few other articles. In 2019 I have produced fewer pieces than the previous years even I definitely wrote more. The main reason is that I started writing in Italian (on The Lab by MentorLab). I’ve also kept working on the book I’m writing with my mentor, but not as much as I wanted. This is something I want to improve next year. Anyway, these are the three posts I remember the most.

  1. Discipline and Identity
  2. Identity, Maps and Territory
  3. Drawing lines

Three lessons I’ve learned in 2019 that will serve me in 2020.

  1. Connecting vs Collecting: I wrote about this lesson in this post. In 2019 I learned that every time I got engulfed in the collecting mindset, my energy drops and my actions are less powerful. In 2020 I’ll nurture a connecting attitude to play my part in letting the energy of the universe flows.
  2. Serve the vision: at the beginning of 2019, I was struggling between the desire to serve others and the need to serve myself. I was stretched between these two divergent forces. That was creating tension and stress. Then I remembered the metaphor of the pendulum, and I realised that when I serve my vision, I’m in service both of myself and others.
  3. Aspirations vs Goals: over the last 12 months, I set many goals, too often failing at achieving them. At the same time, I achieved some unexpected results. I realised that with me, aspirations are more effective than goals. Starting with my aspirations, I can create and focus on practices and rituals that generate results. In 2020 I’ll focus less on what I want to achieve and more on who I want to become.

The three people that most inspired me in 2019.

I am surrounded by incredible people that inspire me every day with their love, passion, curiosity, talent, courage and, above all, with their humanity. I feel blessed, and I’m immensely grateful for their presence. 

Your presence. 

Because if you’re reading this, then you’re one of them. You’re a person who inspires me with your extraordinary uniqueness. 

But there are three persons in particular that I want to celebrate this year. Just thinking of them reminds me of what it means to be human and why I do everything I do.

  1. My dear friend Stefano with his bow, arrows, hugs, jokes, presence, poetry and realness. 
  2. My best friend and travelling partner Andrea for his courage, curiosity, humbleness, open mind, authenticity and ethics.
  3. My sister Silvia because she’s the most incredible example of selfless service, kindness, faith, strength and unconditional love.

The three most useful book that I read in 2019.

  1. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
  2. The Nature of Consciousness: Essays on the Unity of Mind and Matter by Rupert Spira, Deepak Chopra, and Bernardo Kastrup
  3. Beyond Performance: How Great Organisations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage by Scott Keller, Colin Price

One Apple A Day #682 – innocence

Here I am, another Christmas is gone even if its magic is still in the air.
This one has been abundant in all the things that matter; love, emotions, tenderness, friendship, family, care, hugs, smiles, simplicity.

Among everything, one memory shines particularly bright. The pure joy of my niece when she discovered that Santa Claus – the real one – has eaten the biscuits, drank the milk and left a present and a letter for her.

There were such purity and beauty in her eyes while she was jumping around excited that it was lighting up the room.

At that moment, observing her, I realised that I want to experience more of that in my life. That innocence, that sense of wonder.
That ability to see the magic in things.

How can we learn how to make sense of the universe while keeping that capacity to sense it’s magic?

One Apple A Day #665 – gratitude and care

“Gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without and beside us.”

Since last week, when I read these words from the poem ‘GRATITUDE‘ by David Whyte, I knew that I wanted to write something. When I woke up with these words in mind, I thought that today was the day even I didn’t have a clear idea of what wanted to emerge. 

Then this morning I picked a BeTheChange card for my meditation, and it says “Dare to let of control“.

Gratitude and letting go of control. 

Is there a connection? 

While I was sitting in silence with this question, a memory came back. A late-summer conversation on the seashore. In that conversation, I realise that if I can replace control with care, I can make my actions exponentially more powerful.

“Care” is the word I was looking for. Because paying attention, being present to everything is a form of caring.

Gratitude is the attitude I need to nurture to shift from control to care.

P.S. for some reasons, I wrote this post yesterday as I do every morning but I forgot to publish it! So, here it is.