Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hello Norma


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Amazing Unpredictability


“Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.”
~Celtic Proverb~

There is something magical about unpredictability; that good or bad habit admired by some and hated by others.

As a teen, I remember my parents planning and predicting my future; high school graduation, college, walking down the aisle, and finally adding some souls to the family. Nothing turned out like they wanted. My father worked more than seven decades; making sure he would have a solid retirement fund that would allow him to enjoy life. A couple of years after leaving the workforce, his health started breaking down. Yes, he was financially stable but could enjoy as he would have wanted.

 As a mother, and following what my parents had taught me, I started a college fund for my children. None of them used it. They had their own plans, a different view of what life really is.

I have had many critics of my unpredictability although I have directed them to research supporting the advantages of it. They have taken it as a joke.  I don’t see it as a flaw but as a healthy inclination of following my instincts. If it doesn’t feel good in my guts, I don’t do it. It has worked for me ninety-five percent of the time. It is not a "go with the flow" but a "listen to your inner voice" lifestyle." Aren't we supposed to know ourselves better than anybody else? Well, then we should be paying attention. 

Sometimes we are afraid of saying no. We have the tendency of following the same path our parents walked through. We feel the need to be loved, accepted, and even celebrated, even if that means being who we are not and doing the opposite of the mainstream.

As I keep living I keep learning that…

1.       The best moment is now.
2.       It is good to save for rainy days but, better one good thing we did than two we never dared.
3.       The best inheritance to our children is our love, support, and the help we provide while we are here.
4. They will learn to admire and respect you for who you are.
5.       It is not selfish to enjoy our lives how and when we want to.
6.       No matter what others might think, we are always allowed to follow our heart and passionately seek life. There's no age limit for that. 

In the end, everything we truly desire will be found in our lives and we will be one with them; no need for excessive planning or lacking of living. 

What is your instinct telling you today? I hope you are listening. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

When in Rome...Flowing Like the River

Death separates us from the ones we love. It also reunites those who have been apart.

There’s a beautiful and historic district in the city of Rome, Georgia. Between the Rivers is an area surrounded by the Etowah, Oostanaula, and Coosa rivers. Here, in 1834, the city was founded as an industrial and business hub. Here these three bodies of water merged, greet each other and depart back in different directions.

I chose Rome to reconnect with my mother. You see, even when we have a good relationship with our parents, sometimes there’s a missing link. For forty-three years, we mostly connected by memories, words, and short visits since I moved from my country. Threading her life around my father’s, we’ve never had that one on one time to strengthen mother-daughter bonds. All relationships need time and attention. We couldn’t say we knew each other. It would take almost half a century for this to happen.

Walking down the district, we were able to share stories, some of them unknown to me. Together we crossed streets laughing like teens. She would occasionally get lost in time reliving her life with my father. While enjoying lunch she would share some motherly advice. Riding down the roads, she would let me know how proud she is of the woman I’ve become. Listening to her, I started thinking about our life’s cycles and all the things we do but need to stop doing if we want to live in peace with ourselves.

1.       Stop bringing the past to your present.
2.       Stop trying to understand people’s attitudes and behavior.
3.       Stop being the rock you stumble upon.
4.       Stop holding grudges and resentments.
5.       Stop holding yourself responsible for others.
6.       Stop thinking there’s no hope to change and make your life better.

Every person has a story. My mother created hers and I weaved mine in the opposite direction. During the six weeks we spent together after my father's passing, we turned into those rivers, sharing a riverbed, flowing towards different oceans but always coming back together to replenish and exchange our life force.

"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it." 
~ Norman Maclean~

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Can We Turn the Wheel?


Last night I had one of those “conversational” dreams. I remember the images, but words have vanished; just the weird feeling of shadows brewing remains. Then I stepped out to the yard where I drink my coffee every morning. A deer, cardinal, and blue jay appeared at the same time; dancing to their own rhythm, just there in peace in their world.

Deer are messengers of beauty; arts, poetry, and music. They lead the fairy realm where everything is possible. They call on us to seek out our inner treasures. Blue jays present us with the gift of gab. They urge us to speak our truth, to be fearless when we do, and to honor our bonds with loyalty and patience. The majestic cardinals remind us to hold ourselves with pride but not from the ego. They tell us about our grace and nobility and teach us to love life seeking happiness regardless of our circumstances.

It seems like everything around us is falling apart; social unrest, personal instability, race issues raising from the grave, nations against nations. The earth is shaking and shifting. It is pulling us to shake and shift with it. The Divine is speaking to us through nature. It is telling us that in the midst of apparent chaos everything is possible if we step inside where our true being resides. We have a little box filled with precious jewels. It is time to find it and share our gifts with the world. The time has come to speak up and stand tall as a universal community, to burn down the bridges keeping us apart rebuilding one where we could all walk in harmony spreading grace and happiness; to recover our nature which is not hate but love and understanding.

Written words, old beliefs, indoctrination, and manipulation have been the tools used to control the masses. Truth has been adapted to what is convenient to those claiming to have all the answers. Life has shown me that she has her ways to stir us up.  I choose to begin my day following the call of nature. I chose to walk by faith but not blind; to be faithful to who I am, and to speak my truth even if it is casted as an act of disobedience.

A blind can’t lead a blind, but that’s how we have chosen to live in the past.  The consequences are all around us. What would happen if we let love lead us then; unselfish, unconditional, understanding, respectful of differences, and welcoming of what makes us one?  Hopefully, this is not just wishful thinking. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

In Times of Loss...Rejoice

I have been quiet for a while putting together the pieces of losing my father. It has been a time of reflection, being strong for my mother, and expressing the blessing of having shared with him for almost half a century.

Losing a loved one is always hard no matter how prepare we think we are. For me, although it hurts, it has been a time of reassurance. A firm believer of life beyond life, I decided to express my gratitude for all the years, moments, and lessons learned. Next to his body, I knew his spirit was watching over me on his way to new beginnings. A man of God as he was, I know he would have wanted me to do just that, rejoice in a life well lived, serving others through his pastoral and teaching lifetime duties. It was eye opening to see former students and colleagues, couples he had married, adults he baptized as children, old friends recalling funny or life changing events.

And when everyone was mourning in pain, I mourned my way. Having the ocean as my setting and submerged in the waters of nature, praying in gratitude for my father’s soul, immersing in a one on one conversation with him, and saying thank you with a smile; letting him go with every wave knowing that we will see each other again.

Like he would always say, there’s a time for everything in life…

“ and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace,” ~ Ecclesiastes 3~


Life is a constant prayer.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

5 Things That Make the Poor Happier

I was recently looking at old pictures of my days in India under the shadow of some kind of sadness. I have watched many movies. It was one of those countries that always “spoke” to me. I remembered how I wanted to be there, to experience its culture, to meet its people. I pictured my first day and how its reality surpassed any movie or book read. It was shocking and it hurt. My first week was a non-stop battle between my duties and powerless feelings. How could such an amazing country live in so much struggle? Why the extreme poverty, the hundreds of children roaming the streets barefooted, and a society that seemed indifferent to them?

Over time, and through my conversations with people, I came to understand the magic that envelopes this country. For some reason, poverty hasn’t touched their souls. Instead, I found compassionate and spiritually filled men and women to whom every day was a gift and it was celebrated with joy.

What makes them so special? What makes them so happy under their circumstances? How do they find peace and a reason to rejoice in every day even when most of the population call cardboards their home and sit on bare ground? Today, I remembered.

1.      Attitude of gratitude: “For every day is a gift and if you’ve been given another day is because you have a purpose to fulfill.” ~ Indian colleague quote~

2.      Willingness to change: There’s no point in resisting what you can’t control. “We have been through so much that we don’t resist, we don’t think about the impact it could have, and no longer fear the possibility of suffering,” ~ Market vendor~

3.      Abandonment of the defensive mode: Nothing is to be taken personally. Actions can’t  seem as a personal attack. "One should not be happy or distressed over desirables and undesirables, knowing that such feelings are just created by the mind," ~A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada~

4.      Compassion over-reaction: They live from the heart, in harmony with life and it surroundings; accepting it as it is and giving with an open heart. "The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them," ~Swami Vivekananda~

5.      Leaning into Life: “A spiritually illumined soul lives in the world, yet is never contaminated by it.” ~Swami Bhaskarananda~ They take action and show up no matter the circumstances.

I’ve visited other places after my days in India. I have met new people, with limited to non-resources. I have seen the same qualities in most of them. Their lives make me wonder about our own limitations and how many things we take for granted; how much we could learn from them if pride, fear, or preconceived beliefs were not in the way of our humanity. Maybe we would be able to find happiness where it truly resides.


Airfares Around The World

Adultery by Paulo Coelho

AdulteryAdultery by Paulo Coelho
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great story by Paulo Coehlo. Real life down to earth characters struggling to find the meaning of life; a mirror of what we all go through day by day. The amazing story of Linda makes us ponder and question. What's life's ultimate purpose? What force moves us? What is it that we should all strive for?

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