In the 5 months since we have here we have seized every opportunity to celebrate. Celebration is at the core of who we both are – we love to engage with the milestones and to find some small ways to wrap our arms around anything special; our first polar bear sighting, first northern lights, first storm, first sliver of light after months of darkness, first run on the ice after 2 months of training inside, a successful call with kids around the world, our first ice core sample, a healthy meal, our first photographed rocket launch, our first time to crawl out the window in -35’c because there was too much snow in front of the door…the list goes on. We celebrate all of this! And not always with a shot of Jägermeister…

Family, community, sharing our resources, shelter, firewood, water, love, laughter, long underwear, peace of mind, health; these are all things that make us Bamsebu gals happy!
We have been thinking of this as we are so far away from any news, no internet and what we normally might “feed ourselves” had we been at home. Read, TV, newspaper and things that can drain us.

A documentary called “HAPPY” came out several years ago. It was essentially an around the world study that asked “what do we want most in this world”? The majority answer was “to be happy” and another,”what actually makes people happy – do we have much control over it”? It turns out we have quite a bit of control over our own happiness, but it’s an inside job.

Many cultures around the world have traditional practices and celebrations to reconnect with the “core” of who they are, let’s call this our ‘regenerative’ forces – the rituals that serve to revive us! The Indigenous people of the American southwest believe that to cultivate wisdom and character you must develop the capacity to be fluid like water, warm like fire, and solid like a mountain or, you will suffer soul loss or some disconnection from what is meaningful and life-giving. Some of symptoms can look like apathy, anxiety, depression, emptiness, confusion, self-doubt, irritation, restlessness or numbness.

Perhaps it takes people like us, passionate nature lovers living a 9-month remote existence dedicated to inspiring engagement or devoted scientists looking for understanding, meaning, and solutions to make changes or to find extraordinary in the ordinary. Or people who have seen their own personal world collapse through devastation, illness, divorce or a death. It is through these events that we are encouraged to celebrate even the smallest of things. Life is precious. Be mindful of what you feed yourself!

Feeding ourselves has a double meaning here. What do you feed your mind? What do you feed your body? Our bodies are our temples and we are so very privileged to make choices around where we buy our food, how much we buy, where it is sourced and what we eat. This can either weaken or strengthen us and the resources around us! We hope you chose as we have, to be strengthened and that our choices are sustainable.

We are so careful to keep our souls connected to exactly where we are and who we are. We have no room for negativity, irritation and anger though they do show up in very small ways and very rarely. The choices we make and what we tell ourselves are critical to our mental well-being. It really could mean life or death here.

It’s celebrate Svalbard week as the national TV station for Norway – NRK travelled up here to Svalbard and filmed something called “ minute by minute”. They were here at Bamsebu in August and spent ½ day here when we were getting set up for this 9 month project. It ends on Feb 9th which is the 100-year anniversary of the Svalbard Treaty, recognising the sovereignty of Norway over the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. They will be showing Bamsebu in the morning of Feb 8th. They will do a live interview with us somewhere between 1800-2000 CET. Check out the link here!

It’s also celebrate each other week. With mental health an issue that begs center stage we want to encourage all of you to reach out to one another, be mindful of your words, your actions, your body language. Remember how very powerful each and every one of us is and how important we are for each other. We have the power to transform. Celebrate our differences!

As it relates to being stewards of the earth, each one of us is needed to stand up, stand out, engage and lean in to the conversation. And remember, from the words of our special friend Pascale “Once you’re awake, you can’t go back to sleep!” So, let’s all do whatever it takes to wake up!

Hearts in the Ice is committed to growing its platform and we need your help: please check out our GoFundMe-page.

Upcoming School Calls for Feb Citizen Science month. Join experts Elizabeth MacDonald from Nasa and Allison Cusick from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Join our free classes here!

Big hugs from Sunniva and Hilde

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