Why We Are Grateful for 2020

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2020 - What a Year

Many around the world wish they could erase 2020 from their life (or at least from their memory).

2020 WAS a Challenging Year:

  • A year of deaths, fears, and isolation
  • A year of social distancing, finger pointing and mass hysteria
  • A year of ugly politics, brutal violence and social divisiveness
  • A year when education shuttered, healthcare spread too thin and economy collapsed
  • A year, that for many, was filled with self pity, complaining and binging

BUT...

2020 Was ALSO a Year of Changes, Opportunities and Hopes...

  • A year that forced us to calm down, slow down and reflect on what’s really important
  • A year where social distancing, lockdowns and quarantines actually deepened our important relationships 
  • A year where life as we knew it paused, and we had to re-invent and innovate to survive
  • A year where we learned to value and acknowledge those who are essential for our survival (medical personnel, cashiers in the supermarket, street cleaners and so many others...)

A year where we got a chance to start all over again...

So, we thought to share with you...

Why We Are Grateful for 2020

Nisandeh

1. The Ultimate Challenge 

Every first of January, I take on myself a new challenge to push myself out of my comfort zone.

The 30-day cold shower challenge has transformed my health, my energy and my mindset.

One year later, I’m still taking a cold shower every day.

Being comfortable in the uncomfortable is the main reason why 2020 was one of the best years of my life.

(If you didn't get it, read the last sentence again. It's important!)


2. YouTube Success? Not So Much... YET!

On the first of January 2020, we also started a new business experiment - producing a daily YouTube video to share our knowledge and experience to support our audience.

The experiment didn’t turn out to be the business success we were hoping for.

BUT...we learned so much from the experience, developed skills that will serve us for life, and made a difference in the lives of thousands in the darker and lonelier days of this year.


3. Cancer Can't Win Love

As COVID-19 hit - my parents (in the header picture) became isolated in a far away land... 

I started calling them on Zoom every single day.

Quickly, this intimate and caring communication transformed my relationship with them.

All the way to me sitting next to my father’s deathbed - in his last weeks - holding his hand.

When he took his last breath next to me - he was complete... and so was I.
That was the most precious gift I could ever ask from him.


4. Love in Days of Corona

During the long weeks of lockdown, I spent most of my time reflecting on my life - figuring out what is really essential and meaningful for me.

I chose to focus on deepening and strengthening my relationships with my loved ones. As a result - my intimate relationships and close friendships are on a whole different level than they were just one year ago...


5. Mountain vs. COVID

As the hysteria around the pandemic increased - I chose to focus on improving my health, energy and immune system.

I decided that my "vaccine" would be a daily aerobic and strength training and frequent hikings.

Doing those basics improved my fitness so I could climb Mount Teide in Tenerife (3,715 meters) twice in one month. If I can do that... I can take on COVID 🙂


6. Big Disappointment Leads to New Passion

Our biggest goal for 2020 was a 6-month, adventurous, world road trip.

As our dream and plans came crashing down with the closure of borders, I chose to isolate myself at home for an intensive 20-day only-water fasting.

It was one of the toughest adventures I had in my life... but it brought many changes, and the biggest one was... finding my new passion.

As someone who was never interested in cooking (or in food, for that matter), I came out of not eating for 20 days - completely obsessed with preparing, cooking and eating healthy, tasty, beautiful and creative food.

Since then - I spend 2-3 hours in the kitchen every day... my happy hours...


7. Standards of Living vs. Quality of Living

As a consequence of the pandemic - our working income dried out.

As soon as we realized that it’s not temporary and that the financial crisis that would follow - will cripple almost everyone for years to come... we took a hard look at what is really essential and meaningful in our life.

And although we always lived a modest lifestyle, we surprisingly managed to lower our costs of living by more than 60%, while increasing our quality of living in almost every area.

We’re now happily living on a tiny budget, and not even considering going back to our past lifestyle.


8. Growing Food at Home

As we looked at what’s most essential and meaningful for us - we realized that living sustainably and eating from our land takes priority.

We chose to replace our long road trip with intensive work in the garden - growing more and more of our vegetables, fruits and eggs...

Today, a big part of all our meals is grown in our own garden - which means not only cutting costs - but mainly eating healthy, organic, in season, ecologically friendly food...


9. Growing Brain Cells

As working time dwindled, social meetings disappeared and surfing the internet or social media became boring, predictable and negative - I found myself with more free time on my hands since I can ever remember.

I chose to dedicate my newfound time to studying new topics.

For almost a year now - I spend 2-3 hours every day studying classical music, gourmet cooking, advanced economics, philosophy and social sciences. 

My brain is on fire generating countless of new neuron pathways every day.


10. Netflix is Dead

As I spend a big portions of my day learning new stuff and connecting with my loved ones - one old time-waster has simply disappeared from my life.

I used to love movies and normally watched one every night.
No more! COVID-19 definitely killed my movie addiction.


Vered

1. Home, Sweet Home

As our tiny island got into its first lockdown in March 2020 - all the volunteers who shared our vision and home flew back to their families.

For 3 years, talented, exciting and inspiring people from all over the world were an integral part of our daily life,  making our life and theirs richer and more meaningful.

However, once they were all gone, I discovered that even though I loved having them around... I missed my home, my space, my energy...

As they left, I reclaimed my own home and made it into a haven for me again.


2. Zooming the Year Forward

As lockdowns were introduced everywhere, all the live events I was registered to participate in were canceled.

But instead of losing a year, thanks to Zoom, I took part in seven important and valuable conferences and seminars from the comfort of my home.

I have learned more this year about the craft and art of writing than ever before from the top world experts who shared their wisdom so willingly virtually.


3. Best Movie Script

As a result of this intensive learning from great minds and well known authors, I wrote a new screenplay within 30 days.

Not only did I write it so quickly, it is the best script I've written in the past 3 years. 

All thanks to the knowledge I gained and the time and space I dedicated to writing.


4. Cold, Colder, Freezing

On the 1st of January I joined Nisandeh in his 30-day cold showers challenge.

It took me less than 7 days to get "addicted" to the feeling that comes after taking a cold shower at 5:00 am on a freezing cold day… It’s an exhilarating experience… You should try it.

I haven't taken a warm shower since.


5. Heart to Heart

Being locked down on an island sharing the house with only Nisandeh - we turned our attention to each other and to our relationship.

Having no outside disturbances allowed us to spend a lot of time together and truly listen and speak from our hearts.

We probably wouldn't have the depth of insight into each other's soul if the outside world had a stronger hold on us as in the days before COVID.


6. Simpler Life

Having our working income disappear would have scared me to death in the past. But this year, it helped us transform our relationship with money.

For years Nisandeh focused only on profits, while I was the one looking at our expenses.

This has changed this year, and we tackled together the new adventure of simplifying our life. It was a lot of fun... and still is.


7. Second Chance with Alzheimer

During the first lockdown, our elderly neighbors, who normally live in the UK, got stranded on the island.

When my parents got sick, my father with a stroke and my mother with Alzheimer, taking care of them fell on my sister’s shoulders, and I always felt guilty for not being able to be a part of it.

Now I got a chance to care for this wonderful couple in their 80s, especially as the wife is suffering from Alzheimer just like my mom.

It was a very special gift to be able to care and be there for them, every day, for more than four months.


8. Giving Everything Away

As our business model collapsed, we decided to focus on bringing light and hope to our loyal community by giving away all our spiritual, personal development and meditation courses for free.

This allowed me to return to creating and presenting a part of our teaching that has always been close to my heart and in the previous years took a back seat to the business curriculum... now I got the opportunity to share it on a deeper level.


9. Dinner Together - 3,000 km Apart

The worldwide lockdown presented for us, as a family, an unexpected gift.

Our daughter is living in London, leading a busy life as a young woman trying to make her mark in her chosen field. 

Her busy lifestyle didn't leave much space for us to meet (online or offline).

COVID-19 has pretty much put her field of work (live entertainment) into a coma.

She still keeps herself busy, but now we have a weekly family dinner on Zoom, which brought us closer together than ever before.


10. Entering the 21st Century

Living off-grid has its advantages and its romantic halo.

But living off-grid and trying to run an online business and personal life can become very challenging when the internet is slower than carrier pigeons and breaks down every other week, leaving us with no external communication.

Trying to get the service companies to fix it was a weekly struggle for years...

However, Corona-times made the internet companies realise that they must find a permanent solution for the problem. 

And finally... about 2 weeks ago we joined the 21st century by having our own fiber optic line, which means we can still enjoy life off-grid, AND still be connected, if we wish, to the outside world… hello world!


So... those were our 20 things to be grateful for 2020.

Now It’s Your Turn

You can choose to focus on the negativity, the pains and the fears... and try to dismiss, suppress, deny or forget 2020...

Or...

You can realize that with all the challenges, 2020 was a wonderful year too...

And be grateful for all its gifts and opportunities.

If you’re willing to do that, we invite you to come forward... commit to being positive and grateful and be an example and an inspiration to others... by sharing what you are grateful for in 2020...

Remember... what you focus on expands...

  • Focus on negativity and darkness and you’ll get more of those.
  • Focus on positivity and hope and you’ll get more of those.

So... let us know what you’re grateful for in 2020.

Please, share your list with us in the comment box below.

We can’t wait to read and get inspired.

And until then...

Make it a great holiday season and a very happy New Year.

Live fully, stay awesome…

Vered & Nisandeh Neta

If you find this article valuable... please take a moment to share it with your online connections...


  • In 2020 I am very grateful for the positive things this year has brought me.
    I am not going to list them all and limit myself to one: Cold shower. I still enjoy the images of Nisandeh taking a cold shower the first time because it is so recognizable to me. What was and still is suffering and yet I keep doing it. It remains a challenge for me to take a cold shower every time and so far my immune system has not let me down. I estimate the temperature of the water is around 4 degrees and my body can handle it. That’s it, my body can handle it. My body is stronger than the cold and that feels fantastic. It is not my best moment, but the most powerful.

  • Lydia Verblackt says:

    2020 was not that bad at all. At the end of 2019 my first grandchild was born. And in 2020 I saw him every monday, and he brought me happiness, he is such a lovely boy, and I saw him change each week. His first smile, his first teeth, his making sounds, and what a lovely boy he is.

    2020 in February I went on a short holiday with my friends who has parkinson. We went to Torremolinos. It was amazing. We had such good time together. It was just before covid-19 started to get all over Europe.

    2020 was the year that covid-19 took over the world. But it gave me rest. Rest in my head, thinking I had to do this , and that. And go to every birthday party and celebrate. Celebrate my own birthday and not even have time to sit on a chair and talk to any of the visitors. It was all forbidden. Just 2 people allowed in your home. And what was it great to see my brother and sister and have a talk with them both. And in the morning my friend came over and we had a walk outside. I took some drink and a cookie and we sat outside on a wooden peace to have a drink. And all the way we talked about me and her and our kids. It was the best birthday ever

    2020 I tried to go to sportschool 2 or 3 times a week. It cost lots of money. And sometimes too busy to go. THe lockdown came and the school was closed. My dog who was 14 years old got sick and we had to let him go. So no walking outside with the dog. I thought without dog you can’t go for a walk. Stupid I know. So no sports, no walking and I began to gain weight. And I began to eat more sweet stuff. feeling sorry for myself. Missing the dog. But in september my husband and I went to the beach and we did a walk every day. And I started to understand that you don’t need a dog at all to go outside for a walk. And since that walk on the beach I have been walking every day. I go outside for at least an hour no matter if it rains or heavy winds. I go and have a walk. And i feel so much better doing this.

    2020 I have been following webinars from people all over the world. About all kinds of issues that I was interested in. It was great

    2020 the year that lots of people lose their jobs. My son still works hards in his job and that is something to be grateful for.
    My daughter and son in law are pilots and they still have their jobs and fly all over the world, not with much passengers, but with cargo. But so grateful they still have their job.

    2020 the year that I was able to help some people quit smoking.

    2020 the year that I started giving hand massage to elder people with alzheimer. So wonderful to see how the people respond to it.

    • Vered Neta says:

      Thank you Lydia for your honest and open sharing on what you are grateful in 2020.

      It was very touching to hear your experience with people with Alzheimer and how you can connect with them. Such a unique opportunity.

  • Marianne Kruiswijk says:

    1. Part time retirement
    One thing in 2020 is worth ten things to be thankful for because it changed every aspect of my life: I resigned one of my jobs. I struggled for 3 years with an illness and the stress of this job. Sometimes it is better to stop fighting. And.. as result of the Financial Freedom-course I followed a few years ago, I had paid of my mortgage so I could live of the income of my other job. Thank you both for this course! Never expected it would be so helpful.

    2. Safety
    I am very thankful for the safety I live in, compared to so many people. I have a secure job, I am healthy and everyone around me is still in good health. Nisandeh, your story of losing your father affected me. I hope the good times you had will give you long time peace with it.

    3. Rest
    I was exhausted from my job and this year I accepted the need of resting. I found a special book about this. It is written by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang: Rest; why you get more done when you work less. He convinced me of the positive qualities of resting. I enjoy it now, without feeling I have to get up to do something. It was easier to learn this because I was at home anyway and so many things were closed.

    4. Relations
    In june I got an epileptic seizure as a result of years of working too hard while being ill. I needed a lot of help in the weeks following the seizure and people gave it to me wholeheartedly. I learned how wonderful it is to accept help.

    5. Time to read
    When I could read again after the seizure, I enjoyed it very much. Remembering the hours and hours of disappearing in a story as a child. Now I didn’t need to make time for reading because I had time in abundance.

    6. Study
    How I like to study! I am researching the life of one of the first woman pastors in the Netherlands. It is my wish to write her biography. Not only do I study her life but also the art of writing a biography. Vered, do you know this book: Steven Pinker – the sense of style? I think you will like it.

    7. Nature
    Did you look at the sky this year? It has never been as blue! The beauty of nature gave me a lot of joy. And… again: there was enough time to enjoy it.

    8. Abundance
    So many people shared the abundance from their gardens with me. They know I like cooking jams and chutneys and thought of me. I got apples, pears, walnuts, chestnuts and pumpkins. My cupboard is filled with a lot of lovely tasting food, thanks to them.

    9. One worry
    There has been something I worried about: young people. This time of lockdown and being schooled from home is hard on them. It was reason for me to tighten the ties with the children of my sisters and support them as much as I can. Our relation has become a joy for me and I hope it is meaningful for them.

    10. The other job
    My other job (20 hours a week) is bringing me a lot of joy. Now I have time to concentrate. My colleagues tell me they appreciate what I do. That is very motivating. Monday is my next workday and I am looking forward to it. I like working from home and hope I can continue doing that after Corona.

    These are my 10! Thanks everyone for sharing the inspiration.

    Marianne

  • Dear Vered, Nisandeh, and you reader,

    In this year we all learned to adapt and received a new experience in our backpack. My long list: well women tend to need more words…. I am perfect in imperfection ;-).

    In January I looked back on 2019. I had learned new content in my study as to become a better Economics Teacher. WoW what a great feeling to have more skills to teach children around puberty (15 & 16 years) that they are talented even with small steps it makes a huge difference. I knew this, but there are million ways to “how” they feel this within themselves

    In February my Son became 18! So amazing and with that also all challenges of letting go on his chosen Roda.

    In March spring awoke and I love to hear the birds in my garden wake-up while I meditate.

    In April I started to feel more struggles on all areas in my life: though I had transformed offline to online lessons and accomplished my own study results. I lost control and was forced to do something about it. Communication brought the family stronger together.

    Still in May we again had to adapt and it came as an eruption (vulcano) as I fell and broke my writing finger (and the physical problems of my hand will be less in 2021)! I would like to tell you all be grateful for what your body does for you. I am so enormously grateful of every cell! The fact that I learned a lot with my left hand; even writing ✍🏼

    In June-July-August I had to come to terms with the fact that I could not use the finger YET as I was used to, the work as a teacher increased enormously and I needed my family. We went to the Island Vlieland and to the area of Bergamo. We met such nice young people and Italians that suffered far more than we had. Nature gave me so much love. The sea brought us Vongele, sea-vegetables and the forest ‘Pilzen’. Love spread over us.

    September-October-November
    To see the group 4e years students, new 3e years VMBO students and new& old colleagues. Old (almost forgotten) friends were strengthened and re-visited. Love of connection.

    December WoW 6 Months after my fall again I fell over an obstacle and broken my left elbow, right bruised and needed to take it slow. As I am most of the time active (running) I had to do it differently. Walking loved it, I read and I loved it: I listened to podcasts of Caroline Myss and the Tapping solution. New ideas for the next year.

    Thank you Vered and Nisandeh for the free motivation mails I received over the years. Sending you love, health, new pleasant surprises and above all success in all you do!

    Greetings,
    Anna

    • Vered Neta says:

      Thanks for your kind words, but would love to hear what are YOU GRATEFUL for in 2020

  • Jolanda Deken says:

    Thanks everyone for the authentic input! My gold from 2020:

    – We were on the point of starting a big wellness project in a monastery house. Someone bought it for much more than we could pay, but hey, we are rescued from a killing business plan, we would have been bankrupted many times without any client who can attend our courses. And we got from this: our passion to contribute to the world is the same, but we want not to be dominated by making money that much. We need another approach: focussing and believing there is another way.

    – my relations close by have improved by taking more time to listen.

    -My mediation has deepened much more.

    -I started to do 4 times a month dry fasting, it strengthens me.

    -My subtleness has improved, I can feel much more what people need, for instance as a herb or essential oil to support.

    -Being a whole day runner type, I’ve become more centred.

    -I’ve traveled somehow quite much this year, doing projects or supporting projects I love.

    -I had a car accident recently, car total loss, I had an amazing spiritual experience from this, my body has little problems, but hey I am alive!

    -I started a course on holistic lifestyle support, what for sure is my future’s passion.

    – did and organized a load of zooms with beautiful relationships from it. Learned a lot of new skills like sociocracy, food forest, permaculture.

    -I learned once more to grow food and make all kind of delicious products from it.

    _ while writing I get even more it was a rich year, I’m sure I forgot things to mention.

    GREAT EXERCISE!!!

  • Wouter Weber says:

    20 +1 moves me to 2021! stands for 1 year more experience. A year where a lot happened , mostly positive things to bring to 2021.
    Stay safe Vered and Nisandeh and all the best for 2021.

    • Vered Neta says:

      Thanks for your input Wouter and blessings.

      Would love to hear what positive things took place in your life in 2020 that you are grateful for.
      Please inspire us by sharing it with us

  • 2020 was my best year ever !

    After skiing I had to go in quarantaine for two weeks. I had no symptoms. The weather was beautiful and I made my garden tip-top.

    My physiotherapy practice was still open. We had a lot less patients, but the german government compensated very good.

    I cleaned my house and I’m planning to sell it in 2021 .

    I also started new business , I can do everywhere.

    My practice is expanding now , so I have two more employes.

    End of 2021 I want to sell my practice.

    I will be 60 years old then.
    I’m not going to buy or rent now.
    2021 will lead me , so excited !

    Thanks to my mindset changing that started in 2012 with the open circles . After that breakthrough, writing book in 28 days and some more. Also a weekend with Nisandeh with 10 people.

    Yes, my book is on the table again and not in the cupboard.

    Thank you both for coming into my life !

    😘👍

    • Vered Neta says:

      Thank you for your inspiring contribution Hellen.
      So good to hear that 2020 was your BEST year EVER!

      Wishing you all the best for 2021!

  • Tortelboom Carine says:

    I am grateful for the time COVID gave me so I you could follow so many courses and learn a lot.

    I am grateful my toxic relationship ended so I could recover and be more present for & with myself. That learned me to have more selflove aswell.

    I’m grateful because I’m home alone, I bought new furniture so it’s a lot cosier than before and i like to be at home.

    I’m grateful that my renovation project has been sold. Even in
    This difficult time.

    I’m very grateful I bought a penthouse in Spain. I had to come out of my comfortzone but I did it!
    I will reap the benefits in juni 22.

    I ‘m grateful that I learned who are my best/real friends. COVID took care of that.

    I had a health problem who scared me to death. After I found out aloe Vera can cause bleedings in the intestines. So happy and grateful to be in good health.

    I’m grateful because I have very good neighbors who take care of me.

    I’m grateful I did so much therapy to empty my backpack. When I will meet the love of my life, I will have a chance the relationship will last.

  • Great post.
    Sorry to hear your father passed away Nisandeh.

    I am grateful for many things, these are the ones that come to mind specifically for 2020:
    – The fact that the projects my colleague and I do were not affected, so we had our best year ever – even though this was the first time I hired someone full time (started in February).
    – The fact that I work with several great people on great projects.
    – The fact that I learned a lot.
    – The fact that I have deepened my relationship with my husband.
    – The fact that although meeting family was difficult, we still maintain a strong connection and feel love and dedication toward each other.
    – The fact that financially everything is easy and has become even easier this year.
    – The fact that I have a great physiotherapist so that my knee can heal the way it should.
    – For all the opportunities that I had to shine on (the digital of course) stage.
    – And for all the free time I got because I did not have to travel.

    • Vered Neta says:

      Thanks Elske for this wonderful contribution and your open and honest comment.

  • I was for 3 weeks in coma due to corona and I am still recovering .

    I am humble and grateful that I have survived and the quality of life I have now with my love ones
    So 2020 turned out to be the big turning point in my life and the best thing that could happen ❤️🙏

    • Vered Neta says:

      This is in short the essence of the magnitude of how we all should be grateful for 2020.

      If we are able to read these words, it means that we are alive and just for that we should be grateful.
      Thank you Ed for putting it so clearly and simple and getting straight to the heart of everything

    • Clair Aghassipour says:

      Glad you have won the battle against Covid.

  • 2020 was indeed a challenging year.

    In the first lockdown of the corona I started my new job in a home for elderly people as assistance in care. With no one to tell me how to start this job, what to do and how to do it. It was a rollercoaster with all the people being scared, sick, dying…

    It taught me a lot about myself and my relation with others. Also how strange sometimes we handle each other and if it was/is possible to do something about that because I am also part of the social system. If I want to change something I have to work on it myself.

    I am in discussion with myself if to sell my house and buy a meadow to put on a Tiny House, turn the meadow to nature and live from the land.

    I want to allow students from green schools to help convert the pasture so that they can see the value of nature and learn them that -if you are aware of it- there is -figural speaking- food growing on every corner of the street.

    The young kids may have their biology lessons there and if someone from the village feels an urge to come and dig some soil and / or is in need of a chat, he / she is welcome.

    Since this virus spread it self, I ended my discussion: I am going to do this! I want to do something what may change how we treat nature and each other. And maybe I can do that with this project.

    • Vered Neta says:

      Thanks Lilian so much for this inspiring comment.

      No doubt this year helped many of us to come to a decision that we struggled for a long time as it showed us that there is no better time than the PRESENT to do what we dream about. Good luck to you with this fantastic adventure

  • Sander van Mourik says:

    Well done. I agree, the year 2020 has had really some benefits.

    • Vered Neta says:

      Thanks for your input Sander.

      However, I would be truly interested to hear/read what are YOU grateful for in 2020?

  • Why am I so gratefull for 2020?

    1. We were equal in lockdown and corona crisis. No matter rich or poor, old or young, we all faced staying at home with its challenges.

    For me it meant I was no longer an ‘outsider’ as I don’t have work out of my house. It was lovely to have my whole family around doing their thing and still be together.

    2. I loved the quietness and calmness in nature. It felt like nature was grateful and showed a lot of blessings with our quarantine.

    It brought me back to the seventies when I was a child and speed was less in achieving. It seemed there were more colours, scents and sounds of nature to be heard as mankind was more quiet.
    In that way quarantine maybe should have stayed longer to slow down in materialism and grow in spirituality and awareness.

    3. I am very grateful for ‘discovering’ Vered and Nisandeh’s wonderful challenges, meditation and inspiration. Especially the challenges to make a picture of beauty every day and the brain gym ‘what if’ made me wake up what really moves me and what I need.

    The unfinished tasks confronted me with the dispersed use of my energy. Good Life Redefined seemed to be made for me as I was hungry to do the tasks and loved to hear Vereds voice in all these meditations.

    The seven goals were great to work with and brought more self-confidence, a better mood, a belief that I can reach anything I want and a result of more visibility.

    4. I am grateful for my courage to step out of my comfort zone and address fears and beliefs that are no longer working for me.

    I am taking up some existential questions to be answered to be able to be more visible. I connected with people I never believed I could connect to. It will be my step forward for 2021 as this process will go on.

    5. I followed impulses to investigate, write and share my thoughts and questions. It brought me in contact with interesting people and thoughts and resulted in a publication in one of the national papers. The fact it was published and some other articles nearly published confirms that I do have something to contribute and gives me also the possibility to learn through feedback and reactions.

    6. I am grateful for my new friend who is warm-hearted and gives me all the space to feel comfortable and safe and makes me aware of sides of me that I want to improve.

    7. I am very aware of the richness and luxury we have as a family. As we do not know that is going to happen we do not have to worry and that is a blessing. Strangely it makes me wish to have less things that connect to luxury, less materialised energy to take care of and more space and energy to use for things that really matter and have to do with creation.

    8. I started to follow the news again. Although a lot of people just stopped watching it, for me it was a step back into the world again and confronted me with the differences of my own beliefs and reality.

    I see it as a chance to be more steady in holding on my beliefs despite other ones beliefs and prioritize where to react and where not.

    9. Corona in the elderly home of my parents confronted me the possibility of loss (they still live) and still being able to make sound choices for myself.

    Where I normally would freak out and put everything aside to fight for I thought would be necessary for my parents, I stayed calm. This calmness brought a lot more in quality of the connection with my mother.

    10. I was surprised how Zoom and Meets were able to intensify contacts. Where you normally sit in a meeting that takes too long with a lot of distraction the screen meetings brought a lot more connection as you are face to face with each other and are able to pay much more attention to what people are saying.

    You are much more aware of each others needs and are forced to connect when missing someone. Glad we had this as a sort of compensation to physical contact.

  • I am thankful for so, so many things (also for your support and challenges and lessons and meditations).

    Above all I am very thankful that my mother has recovered from a TIA.

    That my daughter has graduated university and already has a nice and good job and lives at my home again.

    That my son and his girlfriend are doing so well living together in their apartment with love and with his study and her job, and that there are so many people around us that we have a heart connection with.

    That this year inspired me to publish my second book and also a music lesson book (for kalimba) and that I have my regular job in the medical emergency call centre and that I have succeeded in completely paying off my loan this month and that I am free of debts now.

    • Vered Neta says:

      Thanks Yvonne for your honest and open sharing.

      Seems like 2020 has been a year full of love for you.
      Curious to know what would you wish for 2021?

  • David Meijer says:

    At the end of the previous year I wrote the title “2020 WAS the best year ever, because …” on the last page of my journal.
    As a result the whole page is now filled with things to be grateful for.
    It didn’t just remember me to write things down, but to actively pursue entries for that page. The biggest ones are:

    1) I reduced my toxic load by removing my mercury fillings, not drinking any alcohol, getting rid of my coffee addiction, growing food from my own garden, eating predominantly biological plant-based whole food, using a water filter, getting proper sleep, doing regular fasting.

    2) I took the cold shower challenge to the next level and took an ice bath.

    3) I celebrated 12.5 years of marriage and actively worked on the years to come by getting a coach to find the blind spots. It did not just improve my marriage, but made me a better person as well.

    4) I improved my endurance, strength and flexibility by increasing my cross fit workouts to every other day, quit doing my work seated, buying a rebounder

    5) I quit using the television and stopped watching/reading the news altogether.

    6) I did a 3 day water-fast and liked it so much that I will do a longer one in the summer

    7) I invested in my personal development by getting my NLP Practitioner, attending Tony Robbins’ UPW, Joseph McClendon’s A-Factor, High performance coaching with Brendon Burchard, starting to read 1 personal development book a week.

    • Vered Neta says:

      WOW!!! David, these are amazing results for one year!

      Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring us all with them.
      Seemed like 2020 was a pivot year in your life. WAY TO GO.

      Curious to hear what would you wish for in 2021?

  • This was a year like no other for me. I usually tend to negativity, but I was surprised that from the beginning I was actually quite happy with the situation, mainly because it was bliss for an introvert like me.

    * I loved spending lots of time with my partner, who at that point I was only together with for less than a year after 9 years of no contact – it felt like the necessary time to catch up.

    * I got engaged in lockdown, which meant no people watching, just a moment between the 2 people that actually matter. It was beautifully romantic, at 6 o’clock in the morning I followed a path of lights into nature where he stood on top of a ‘hill’. The ring (even though I said it shouldn’t be about the money) surprised me so much, because the style was 100% me (and I have a deviant style) and I was so touched that without my interference he managed to grasp what I like so well.

    *Because of the spare time, we decided it was a perfect moment to get a puppy. I have been mortally afraid of dogs since childhood, but with the help of my partner I got over it, to the extent that I am now caring for and training a (very bity) puppy. I make it sound small, but it’s a golden mountain dog so he’s quite the size already!

    *I graduated university & I got my driver’s license at the first try

    *Even though I haven’t found a “real job” yet, I am very grateful that I managed to stay financially independent AND that my partner is willing to provide when necessary. This gave me time to invest in a sales training, try new marketing “tricks” and keep learning about how to market my books.

    *Even with cancelled events where I usually get 90% of my sales, I still managed to sell an amount of books that I am happy with, I thought I was very bad at online sales and wouldn’t reach anyone new. I’ve proven to myself that’s untrue and I’m very proud of my creativity and flexibility and sense of adventure that contributed to that.

    *I was ASKED 😀 to write a novel for a small Dutch fantasy publisher

    *Without the effort of reaching out, clients got to me for Chinese translations and manuscript proofreading (wasn’t counting on that, nor is it a strategy, but it’s a blessing)

    • Vered Neta says:

      WOW Annemiek these are AWESOME things to be grateful for.

      Thank you so much for this wonderful open and honest sharing!!

      And… CONGRATULATIONS!!!

      My you be blessed with a MAGICAL and FANTASTIC 2021

      • Thank you, Vered! I wish you a magnificent 2021!

        It feels silly, but taking time to review all this makes me giggly and very happy!

  • Froukje de Wilde says:

    Thanks Vered & Nisandeh for sharing this beautiful insights with us.

    You are both still inspiring the world. And it is just what I need now in this times.

    So thanks very much for keeping sharing how you both deal with life, the way you live a wonderful way with taking care of yourself and the people around you and nature.

    • Vered Neta says:

      Thanks Froukje for these kind words. Happy to hear that our sharing inspires you.

      Would love to hear/read from you what are YOU grateful for in 2020?

  • 2020 and I am grateful for
    * Being part of a small family. Therefore we were able to stay in direct contact.

    * I am thankful I had the company of my little dog, who needs medical care every day. She cheers me up when needed.

    * I lost my job. A perfect job to add earnings to my small pre-pension income. I am grateful that it gave me the opportunity to get back to work to make my online businesses a success.

    * I am grateful for all opportunities I have had to share my knowledge on how to live well with type 2 diabetes.

    * Wonderful to see people with diabetes type 2 living well.

    * I am grateful for getting energy from learning new things.

    * I am grateful to share what I have learned with people with type 2 diabetes.

    * I am grateful that 2020 has given me the opportunity to prove that online training is an option.

    * My motto was so true; Don’t cry over the past, it’s gone. Don’t stress about the future, it hasn’t arrived. Live in the present and make it beautiful.

    * For 2021 The secret to getting ahead is getting started, Mark Twain.

    I wish you all the very best for 2021.

    • Vered Neta says:

      Fantastic and inspiring blessings 2020 has given you Cobi.
      Thank you for sharing it with us and showing the way on focusing on the light.

      Curious to know what new things you have learned in 2020?

  • Sascha Meyer says:

    THIS IS THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE COMMENT
    Due to the previous financial crisis, I had already gained quite a few insights and mastered certain rules of life. I realized that through corona.

    I already live with only what I needed or lacked and had experienced poverty as a single parent of 3 children.
    After writing “The New Poor” I started to study poverty.
    (Healthy) food and a few people around you is enough. I can make something out of nothing, and that is what I enjoy doing the most.
    I have reduced my life to the basics. I think “success” is living in peace with yourself.

    After all the business training that I suspected would bring me the wealth, the treasure was simply hidden within me.

    My life has not turned out the way I expected. Life is a big ptsd, and preventive living is not working. Because life is going as it is. That’s life.
    I just have to look ahead. My mother always says: a day is enough on itself.

    Now I was one of the “lucky ones” with 2x a six-month contract as a NL teacher in education. And well… 2021 starts without a job.

    There is no certainty and our system is based on false security. I have had no income during the financial crisis. Now it appears that the entire world economy is in a state of disrepair in a few months due to corona.
    – I’ve been taking a cold shower for years
    – safety is in yourself (or only exists at certain moments)
    – Corona had to teach digitally. How nice it is to be able to “silence” students. And also learn from them digitally. You are very much in the now.
    – being at home is nice if you can also go away (balance)
    – cleaned up and cleaned up my house to generate passive income
    – a mark to make room for a new year in which South America is on the wish list
    – seen my family regularly
    – extra happy with my cats
    – Done digital dinners with single friends. It turns out that many singles only eat in front of the TV (bad habit)
    – extra grateful for the small-scale life that I have. The big is also in the small
    – I have a few cleaning houses, so I was away from home too
    – nice that 2 adult children live on their own
    – investing in health, exercise and nutrition keeps you fresh

    Have a nice little healthy year 🙂

    =================================================
    Door de vorige financiele crisis had ik al aardig wat inzichten opgedaan en mij bepaalde leefregels eigen gemaakt. Dat realiseerde ik me door corona.
    Ik leef al met alleen wat ik nodig had of te kort kwam en had armoede ervaren als alleenstaande ouder van 3 kinderen. Na het schrijven van ‘De nieuwe arme’ ben ik me gaan verdiepen in armoede. (Gezond) eten en een paar mensen om je heen is genoeg. Van niets kan ik iets maken, en dat vind ik ook het fijnste om te doen. Ik heb mijn leven herleid tot de basis. Volgens mij is ‘succes’ in vrede kunnen leven met jezelf. Na alle businesstrainingen waarvan ik vermoedde dat mij dat de rijkdom zou brengen, zat de schat gewoon in mijzelf verborgen.
    Mijn leven is niet gegaan zoals ik gedacht had. Het leven is een grote ptss, en preventief leven lukt niet. Het leven gaat namelijk zoals het gaat. Dat is het leven. Ik hoef alleen nog vooruit te kijken. Mijn moeder zegt altijd: een dag heeft genoeg aan zichzelf.
    Nu was ik een van de ‘gelukkigen’ met 2x een halfjaarcontract als docent NL in het onderwijs. En tsja … 2021 begint zonder baan.
    Zekerheid bestaat niet en ons systeem is gebaseerd op schijnveiligheid. Ik heb in de financiele crisis tijden geen inkomen gehad. Nu blijkt door corona de hele wereldeconomie in een paar maanden op zijn gat te liggen.
    – ik douche al jaren koud
    – veiligheidheid zit in jezelf (of bestaat maar bepaalde momenten)
    – door corona moest lesgeven digitaal. Hoe fijn is het om leerlingen op ‘stil’ te kunnen zetten. En ook digitaal van ze te leren. Je bent heel erg in het nu.
    – thuis zijn is fijn als je ook weg kan (balans)
    – mijn huis opgeknapt en opgeruimd om passief inkomen te gaan genereren
    – een pas op de plaats om weer ruimte te maken voor een nieuw jaar waarin Zuid-Amerika op de wensenlijst staat
    – mijn familie regelmatig gezien
    – extra blij met mijn katten
    – digitale etentjes met alleenstaande vrienden gedaan. Het blijkt dat veel alleenstaanden alleen voor de tv eten (bad habit)
    – extra dankbaar voor het kleinschalige leven dat ik heb. Het grote zit ook in het kleine
    – ik heb een paar poetshuisjes, dus was ik ook thuis weg
    – fijn dat 2 volwassen kinderen op zichzelf wonen
    – investeren in gezondheid, bewegen en voeding houd je fris
    Een fijn klein gezond jaar toegewenst : )

    • Vered Neta says:

      Dear Sascha,
      We had to translate your insightful comment into English. This is an international community and many cannot read or understand your Dutch.

      In the future, please comment in English and if you’re not sure, you can always use Google translate.

  • I am very grateful to my dogs, that help me get over all sadness.
    I am grateful that I wrote 2 books and the third I am finishing now.
    I am grateful of life. Enjoy every day an do what your is. Stand behind your passion.

  • Hello there,
    2020 was challenging. All work, business collapsed (entertainment). had to look for new ways.
    Faster internet for online communication, didn’t work out too well, but we did some new stuff.

    Reading more books on self development. Jim Rohn video’s. “Become a better person”, educating new skills.
    Started doing simple jobs, weeding gardens, have contact with elderly people that couldn’t do that work anymore.

    Finding solutions to, what is possible to do in Lockdown. (Having difficult times, doing nothing as workaholic). Started meditating, cold showers and so now and than, take a very cold bath in the river, trying to better my immune system.
    Do more runnings/sports. Be more outside in nature. But I terribly miss my audience.

    Luckily, finally after a few years my website/ drawing/painting lessons, brings me some passive income. I live very simple, don’t need much, so don’t have much expenses.

    And thanks to Gerdy Heek, I started to get more things online on youtube. Stories, scripts, songs, music etc. (as you noticed yourself, it’s difficult).

    Wish you all the best for 2021. And let it please, please give some hope!

  • Dirk-Jan Maas says:

    I’m also grateful for many things.
    Our trip just before the lockdowns to Nordcap in February.
    My healthy and vital 80+ mother.
    The trust my clients have in me, Zoom and Teams, the slowdown of life and going back (or forward) to the essence, my campervan project (for after the lockdowns!).
    The possibility to donate (I increase my 1,5% of my turnover for Aflatoun to 2%), the inspiration you gave me (now to make a new year wish for my relations).

  • Japke Englebert says:

    For me 2020 had it’s challenges but brought also great things.

    We managed to change our finances so we have less monthly costs on our mortgage and we actually pay off more of the this.

    Also because of this we got solar panels and start to do the last parts of our house in the next two years.

    Also I am happy to live with the ones I live with because we live well together.

    I could take rest and focus on the things in the house.
    Despite the accident of my husband my own hormonal changes and Corona we had a good year. Mainly because we love each other and see also the positive things.

    And I am grateful of the things you offered because that gave me insights which helped and are helping me!

    Wish you a good 2021 with love Japke

    • Vered Neta says:

      Thanks Japke for this honest and inspiring comment.

      Living with the people you love makes a huge difference to the quality of life, no doubt.
      Thanks and have a glorious 2021.

  • Gerdy Heek says:

    I loved 2020. Here is what I am grateful for:
    1. My effort to make the training company that I work for grow started to pay off, and for the first time in years I managed to make a very good income, beginning of the year.

    2. I also started to work as an event manager. Here I learned how I love to support instead of lead, which I always did before.

    3. In Holland there was an arrangement for small business owners to get a bit of support. It helped me through the first month when my income dropped again to zero, and it gave me the space to figure out how to deal with kids full-time at home.

    4. My kids were suddenly full-time at home. I had a hard time (and them too) at first, to find a structure that worked for us. In the second lockdown, we all loved it and we had a great time. My relationship with my kids is better than ever before!

    4. Forced by a lockdown that took a lot longer than expected, I started to create different forms of passive income. Now I have 4 different ones – none of them enough to provide for my daily needs, but they’re all scalable. And they brought me the belief that I can actually become financially free.

    5. I had to find an alternative for the loss of income. I didn’t start a business on my biggest passion before (it didn’t feel necessary since I made enough with my other work), and now I “had” to. I would not have started this without COVID.

    6. I am helping people from all over the world with my knowledge, all because I dared to stand up and get with my face on a video.

    7. I thought I could live on a small budget, but I managed to still cut 20% of what I spent. It taught me what is really important in life. And the best part of this, is that I got more conscious, but less spastic on what I am spending!

    8. My new company wasn’t making me money yet, so I looked for a JOB. And I found an awesome one, at one of the coolest companies in Holland. But when I had the final interview I realized that I didn’t want to work for them, if I had to give up my freedom. And- I felt like I wasn’t making a difference. So… I rejected the job. Now I had to look for another one. My whole working life I calculated my value on what I was paid, and I suddenly realized that this is not what makes me tick. I want to make a difference. So I started to work as a cleaner for people who are too old or sick to do it themselves. Finding this value was one of the biggest lessons of 2020 for me.

    9. I had to bury my control freak. Suddenly everything was completely different from what I planned it to be. And I HATE it when things don’t go to plan. I think I gained a lot more acceptance and enjoying whatever life is throwing at me.

    10. Working as a cleaner gives me so much joy. I don’t like cleaning at all. But cleaning the houses of these people, old, wise, with amazing stories, I am going to work every single day with a song in my heart.

    • Vered Neta says:

      Thanks Gerdy for this honest and in depth look on 2020.
      It’s inspiring to read how a manial simple job as a cleaner can bring so much joy and meaning into life.
      Thanks for this insight and sharing

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