Sunday, April 13, 2014

How Have I Survived My First 50's




Yes! In a couple of weeks I’ll be turning 50. Today, I am reminiscing a childhood filled with blessings and good memories in a country once ranked as the happiest land on earth: Puerto Rico. Surrounded by the wild and simple living, values were still cherished and family was the backbone of everyday living. I certainly enjoyed every minute of it without the fanciness and devices of these days.

Back then car seats were unknown. I would travel front seat on my mother’s lap feeling the ocean breeze on my face. Raised in a sugar cane factory, I would wake up with the roosters searching for the first morning harvest, sucking on that sugar cane like it was the elixir of gods. My immune system developed by walking barefooted over moist soil populated by worms and the excrement of hens and ducks, the sole owners of the yard. Way before fancy fast food breakfasts, mine was fresh, warm, and unsterilized milk straight from the cow’s udder. Helmets and knee pads were never used to ride my bike. I did fall many times and stood back up with the same grace. Climbing the mango trees was my favorite pastime even knowing that if I was to be caught I would have to spend some time in the shower; a green room where spiders and scorpions used to get together at times. After all my daily adventures, when thirst attacked the best water was that of the closest hose.

Cell phones and computers were still in the thoughts of the makers so I developed the good habit of writing letters and long collections of personal journals. Words were the vehicle to reach out to others and have a private dialogue with myself. There were no flash drives with 3 or 50 megabytes to save my thoughts but blank pages always kept my memories. Video games had not arrived to keep us in isolation. The best games were those created with the mind, outdoors under the burning Caribbean sun and with friends, new and old. Every game, every gathering was a neighborhood affair of sharing and caring.


Almost fifty years later I am wondering how I survived those years without the extreme safety measures, prefabricated vitamins and antioxidants, bottled water, diet frenzy, and the technology many can’t live without these days. I did and still remember those days as the best of that stage of my life, when everything was fresh, people truly cared for each other, and friends were forever. I hope my grandchildren will have something valuable and meaningful to save in their fancy gadgets but most important, I hope they survive the same way I did understanding the true meaning of life and what really matters. 

"Life is a game-play it. Life is a challenge-meet it. Life is a dream-realize it. Life is love- enjoy it. ~ Sai Baba~ 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Little Secrets to a Big Life


We're all only fragile threads, but what a tapestry we make. ~Jerry Ellis

We all fantasize on living the life of our dreams. For some this is synonym of financial stability, a healthy and lasting relationship, or a fulfilling career. Others with a simpler mind frame define the dream life as the ability to choose freely, retired from the hectic world and the long list of norms and societal imposed beliefs. We all live in our little own world and that’s perfectly fine. It doesn't matter what your vision of life is, what matters is how you approach it. As a life dreamer I've realized over the years that there are some basic decrees we must follow in order to achieve that dream life we all crave for.

1.       We cannot change what we are not willing to confront.
2.       Silence and distance from the rest of the world is always necessary to think and see things clearly; the always needed reality check.
3.       No matter your past blunders, what truly matters is your determination to keep trying with a positive attitude, set priorities, and always trusting yourself.
4.       In settling to be normal you are dismissing the opportunity to accomplish big personal and communal changes. The most important changes have been made by the ones considered “weird” at some point in their lives.
5.       The way you react to life will determine the final outcome.
6.       There should be no excuses in pursuing what we dream of.
7.       If you don’t like your reality, stand up, shake it, and do what it takes to change it. Your potential is limitless.
8.       Taking a risk is the best way to show up on life; present and alive.
9.       In the blaming game you are the only main character.
10.   You’ll never know what you are capable of doing until you cast away your fears and take action.

Yes! These precepts have guided me most of my life. What are you missing? Are you really missing it? What if you change the perspective of things? Would that help you attain the life you want? Do you want it or need it? How would your satisfaction and happiness levels be different? Don’t be confused by the masses. You know your own truth and only you can make it happened. Be well and prosperous my friends! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Coaching 101: Through Your Eyes Only



Some people have asked me about my decision some years ago to become a life coach. They couldn't understand why I wanted to add more to my full time teaching load. "Aren't you coaching your students already on a daily basis?" - they would argue. Well, yes somehow but coaching adults is a fulfilling experience; a vast opportunity to give back and feel I am doing a different kind of good. 

We are all born with talents and gifts. Some of us have the gift of listening, feeling empathy, being able to feel what others feel even if we haven't had the same experiences. It is not the "being there, done that" but more like an inner knowledge that makes us connect to what others are thinking and feeling. Friends and strangers are attracted to us asking for help, some advice, or maybe just some one on one time because instinctively they know we will listen without judgment. If you recognize some of these traits, then maybe part of your mission is to become a coach. Imagine all the good you could be doing by helping others find their own purpose, unveiling their own unique talents, giving them the tools to open the doors to new, exciting, and life changing opportunities.

If you are like I was at the beginning, maybe you are thinking that being a good listener or having the desire to help others is not enough. Perhaps you look at your own life and see a less than perfect picture that makes you hold back. How are you going to help others when you need some help yourself, right? Well, that's not the case. Whose life is perfect? We all need some adjustments. A perfect relationship doesn't mean perfect finances. In the same way a great and satisfying career is not synonym of self-trust and reliance. You see, we all have some gaps we need to fill.

As a coach, you do not need to be perfect to lend a hand. Your clients do not expect perfection but someone who strives to be the best everyday with flexibility to grow and improve. Coaches do not need to have a graduate degree. However, they would have a passion for learning to improve their practice. Coaching is a yearning of the soul based on service to others. With every session and encounter, both coach and client discover something new for every person we meet knows something we don't.

As coaches, self-discovery is our daily miracle. We don't tell people what to do. Instead we give them the tools to create their own Aha moment magic. We listen with compassion and objectivity, serving as the conductors of our clients own light until they find it. We guide them through the ladder and celebrate their success while they are discovering and walking up the steps. Ultimately, coaching is the realization that we are all one and we need each other on a daily basis to achieve our personal, career, or spiritual goals.


"Everything is the same above and below. Be content with who you are and what you do. Embark in the journey of everyday life. Without your uniqueness the world would be incomplete." 

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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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