Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Most Powerful Prayer

Every day brings a new opportunity to be grateful for all the gifts and blessings life pours on us. A smile, a nice word, listening without judging; simply being there for another person could make a difference. There are many ways to say thank you. Everyday gratefulness is our most powerful prayer.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Stop Looking Out There. You Have All You Need.

You are the teacher you've been waiting for. You are the one who can end your own suffering.”
~ Byron Katie~

So I have been under the weather for the last four days. Here it is called allergy season and it seems that the northeast mountains are not good for mines. Being sick means rest. Rest equals time to think; a deep exchange of thoughts between me and anybody else out there. My thoughts began by trying to understand why I am getting sick so often ever since I moved here. They moved forward into my profession, my past and present, the change I am feeling coming, and people in general. At some point they got stuck in all the time and money we spend looking for outside help for our sadness, doubts, physical and mental health and the myriad of problems we are facing as a society. Why are we always reaching out looking out there what we have had inside of us all the time?

My grandmother always said, “The two most important relationships you have to nourish are the one with God and that with yourself. One feed from the other. Keep them strong and you’ll need nothing else.” She called it God. I call it Sacred Energy, Force, Universal Oneness. Maybe you use a different name.  It is from this close and personal relationship that we get all the answers we need to enrich our lives, make it better, overcome any obstacle, and find the right solution to all our difficulties. It has been there for us all the time and it is free. Ask and you will be given. Pay attention to the signs; they are everywhere. Learn how to love, accept, embrace, pamper yourself and this self-love will give you all the tools you need to succeed, be strong, and unveil the creativity and motivation you were born with. Follow your instincts. No one knows you better than you do.  Only you know your story; you have been the author all along. Make a commitment to re-member who you really are and the curtain will drop to reveal where you belong to.

Sometimes all we need is stillness to get grounded. To come back to what truly matters. I am feeling better thanks to my memory of the fish stock grandma use to make to heal any illness; something about the power of nature inside the snapper’s head. Life always makes us slow down when it’s needed. When we are cruising through life, she always put a halt on it to make us aware of the power we possess. Seek it, find it, and make it part of your every day. Nourish the relationships that make you who you were meant to be. Blessed be my friends! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fruity and Fresh Georgia Jewel

It was opened in 1958; 150 acres of stalls considered one of the largest in the world. It has a garden center, wholesale and retail sales, a restaurant, and a welcome center. Already know what I am talking about? I have been in Georgia for 16 years but this was a newly discovered jewel. It is called the Atlanta or State Farmer’s Market; heaven to those who love the aroma of fresh fruits and vegetables and reminiscent of my childhood plazas where I used to go every weekend when in the city, my perfect weekend escapade. There you will find a long list of vendors selling almost any fruit and vegetable you can imagine. I admit I was enjoying like a little girl finding my native fruits; something I can’t get at the local grocery stores.

The State Farmer’s Market is opened 364 days a year. It offers great prices although I recommend looking around and engaging with the vendors since prices vary greatly from stall to stall.

If you happen to be visiting the state of Georgia make sure you don’t miss the Atlanta Farmer's Market. If you live here, this is the perfect time to drive around and discover what this place has to offer. Make it a day trip to remember and have fun. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Let the Strangers In

“Are you actually talking to your coffee?” I turned around and saw this middle age guy with sparks of silver hair straight looking at me with an amusing face. “You can say so; bad habit from my times in Spain.” By the time I finished my statement he was sitting next to me. He introduced himself and   started a short conversation about that country and its magic. An exchanged of business cards took place, I finished my coffee, and continued my day of getting lost, literally, among the country houses, John 3:16 graffiti on wood and zinc panels, and abandoned small businesses from another time. Today I received an email.

Dear Norma:

Since I sensed your love for traveling and I am in the business I wanted to pass on some tips if you ever decide to go on a cruise, although you stated clearly this is not something you are fond of.

1.       Remember that fall is the cheaper season to book.

2.       If you like spas, make sure you check for some deals while the ship is docked. They always offer huge discounts for the guests when ashore.

3.       Pack light. Laundry service could be expensive although you always have the option to use the self-service machines.

4.       When in land, plan your excursions ahead of time. Planning with tour companies that will meet you at the ship could save you up to 30%.

5.       Internet booking is the latest trend but you could save more when booking with a travel agent since they book more than 80% of cruises and get paid a commission so they will be willing to get you some additional perks.

6.       Lower decks are less pricey and more stable.

Hope this motivates you to try a cruise in the future. You could travel, enjoy, write, and maybe get some new insights from your coffee conversations while on the sea; can’t get better than that.

Thanks for sharing with a stranger.


Lesson: Never let your fear get in the way of connecting with a stranger. You never know what the lesson could be, the new friendships you can create, or the happiness that causal encounter might bring.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Why Are Rituals So Important?

Greeting the sun in the morning, lightning a candle to honor our ancestors; rituals we learn from childhood or adopt as we grow. They are structures we use to help us along our personal path. They bind and guide us; helping us in sometimes mysterious ways to get through the day. They are the connection between the visible and invisible; simple ceremonies attached to our being but not necessarily to a specific religion or belief. They have always been present; always there as part of who we are.

I have my own set of daily rituals: quiet time to listen to myself, driving solo days to explore and connect, greeting the day asking how I might be of service, me and them time, also known as meditation, to hear the messages of those I can’t see, and the leaving home one when I humbly ask for a blessing as I begin my day.

Scientists agree that even simple rituals like these can be extremely effective.  Rituals serve as reminders of who we are and where we belong. They have the power to ignite some kind of happiness and self-assurance. Rituals around the world serve as a bond that ties us to our culture and community. In such a hectic world like the one we live in, these ceremonies come to our rescue to help us live a more balanced and, yes healthy life. The best thing about rituals is that we can create our own making them as simple as we want them to be. What about brushing your teeth while visualizing your day as you want it to unveil or greeting someone without words feeling silently grateful for the encounter? It can’t get simpler than that.

Here are some ideas that could help in getting you started if you haven’t explored the benefits of rituals yet:

1.       Do one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is not always the healthy solution.
2.       Do everything with a purpose. Give each one of your tasks as special meaning.
3.       Give yourself some quiet time every day, even if it is only 5 or 10 minutes. Give yourself the gift of undivided attention.
4.       Pay attention to others; be aware of your and their feelings.
5.       Eat slowly and feel the flavors; live in the same way.

Thich Nhat Hanh once said: "When you drive around the city and come to a red light or a stop sign, you can just sit back and make use of these twenty or thirty seconds to relax - to breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy arriving in the present moment. There are many things like that we can do." The gifts of life are many. It is up to us to be grateful and embrace them. 


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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