Sunday, August 31, 2014

Top 6 Never to Forget



Determined to spend a day washing off the dust from my soul – yes, that which often piles up over the chaos that sometimes surrounds us- yesterday, I spent the day with my grandson. The world is different through the eyes of a 5 years old. We walked around the square under the hot weather and a crowd of people gathered with a common purpose; take a break from routine and enjoy living colors. We made rings with fake stones, waves of sand, and balloon animal shapes; splashed our feet in the fountain and threw pennies making a wish. For him it was another fun day; to me a time to lose and find myself, seeing life from a different angle once again. It is in the small things that we re-balance and re-member how simply life could be if we cling on to its basic lessons.
1.       Rejoice in life: Be content. Nothing is perfect. It doesn't have to be. Embrace what is. Find your own drum and dance to your own beat.
2.       Create: Make it a mission to explore and use your talents giving life to something uniquely yours; something that would make a difference to you and others.
3.       Play: It’s not that serious after all! Take a break. Do something fun and silly. Keep the door open and welcome your inner child.
4.       Laugh: A good giggle goes a long way. It keeps your heart pumping, relaxes your body, and boosts your immune system. Laugh it out!
5.       Love: The greatest feeling of all; the transformer. Love yourself, pass it on, role model it, shape it, live by and through it.
6.       Believe: Re-frame your mind. Set no limits. Stand strong in your faith. Be confident and rest assured that everything is possible when we hold on tight to our dreams.
So, a walk in the park holding my grandson’s hand was all I needed. As we begin a new week, let’s find time to reboot, re-energize, and create ways to make it simple by reducing our baggage, packing light, and enjoying this amazing journey we signed up for.







Friday, August 29, 2014

10 Power Habits to Live By


It’s Friday. I love people and corner café’s. It is amazing what we can learn from each other any given morning while chatting over espresso or latte. In between sips, I have witnessed how difficult it is for us to prove our self-worth and the many fantastic gifts we have been vested with. I blame it to old habits, many of which have been passed on through generations.
I don’t have all the answers. I am a woman in the process of learning and living. The best I can do is to pass on –yes, pass on – what has worked for me. In the fulfillment of happiness we must all follow our own path. I have chosen experience and intuition as my guides.
Taking a break from the conversation and placing the coffee cup on the table, these are the habits that have helped me grow and embrace who I am.
1.    Everything begins by believing in yourself and your abilities. Yes, if you love it, you can do it.
2.    Build a support system of like-minded people. Don’t be afraid of asking for help. Ask and you will be given.
3.    Stop judging- starting with yourself -and you will not be judged. Simple math, right?
4.    Learn to be happy with what is happening now as well as with what is about to happen. Remember, there are no mistakes but lessons to be learned.
5.    Focus on empowering others and you will be empowered to keep striving for a better you.
6.    Replace the good thoughts for the best actions. Go from the negative to the positive and make it happen.
7.    Remember you are not perfect and the best thing is that YOU DON”T NEED TO BE.
8.    Learn to enjoy your successYou've worked hard for it. Feel proud of your accomplishments.
9.    Create the kind of environment that nurtures your soul. Don’t settle for less.
10. Life always comes full circle. Don’t rush. Walk steady but enjoy the ride. When time comes, you’ll arrive to your destination with a bag full of experiences to share with others.
This I heard once, “Don’t mold, fold, or hold. Don’t stress, press, or mess. Let the chips fall where they may. Let everything come full circle. Then, reach out and allow it to. “


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Let's Talk Dallas, Texas

Trying to stay faithful to my more traveling resolution, I spent this weekend in Dallas, Texas; the lone star state, where everything is big. A short phrase summarizes my stay; learning experience. If you can manage to delve into the jam packed traffic and the spider web bridges with confusing highway exits challenging people like me who can easily get lost even with a GPS, then you can survive. If you are a first timer like me here are my top pros and cons.




Thumbs Up: A Million Things to Do

1.       Dallas is a vibrant city with many places to visit tailored to a diverse audience. Among the ones I stopped by I recommend: http://www.buttonsrestaurants.com/, a soothing environment with tasty soul food and music for your senses. The secret? Its owner greets you with a smile and a story to share making you feel like home. Take a pick at Mr. Hicks here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEhzwwPIqIQ
2.       The streetcar in the downtown area is the best way to navigate the city allowing you to enjoy every district. If like me you like to stop, take pictures, and engage with the people then hit the roads, walk and enjoy the blend of modernist and Gothic revival styles all around the city. Make sure that you visit the http://www.dallaswestend.org/ , the http://www.deepellumartsfestival.com/ with its jazz and blues, and the Arts District, http://www.thedallasartsdistrict.org/

Thumbs Down: Watch Out

1.       Drivers beware! If you are renting a car make sure all your senses are flashing in alert mood. The basic "consider your fellow driver" and "stick to the speed limit" rules seem to be forgotten there. Car insurance and patience are a must!
2.       If traveling during the summer get ready to sweat. Temperatures rose over the dry and hot 100’s during my stay. If you are not used to it, you will be spending a lot of time making sure that air conditioner is blowing and all scheduled activities are inside.
3.       On your way back, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport if you need to return a rental car. Although the process is fast once you get there, driving to the rental car facilities could be a long and confusing trip.

Exploring people and lifestyles is one of the best perks of traveling. Dallas best asset is its people; talkative, friendly, and expressive in their ways. If you mentally prepared with the cons but focus more on the pros, you can have a great time. Dallas is a huge, modern, and progressive city where the old meets the new and fun can be found anywhere. 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jumping on the Everyday Positive Movement




My friend and mentor, Hal Price invited me to join what I've come to call the Everyday Positive Movement; three days of writing down and passing on 3 positive thoughts. During this time we are committed to look at the bright side and help others do the same. Although setbacks are sometimes inevitable and positive thinking doesn't come naturally in most cases, I am sure and it has been researched that looking at the bright side of life can bring many benefits to our well-being, individual and collective. How positive thinking can help you?

1.       It helps you coping with the everyday stress.
2.       It can improve your overall health.
3.       It makes you more resilient when challenges arise.
4.       It can improve the way you relate to others.
5.       It makes you aware of the importance of taking care of yourself.

So, I accepted my friend’s invitation and these were my first 3 thoughts focusing on gratefulness. 

On this day, I am thankful for...

1. feeling the presence and guidance of the Divine in my life.

2. being able to be here and now, enjoying a blessed and meaningful life surrounded by loving friends and a beautiful family.

3. living through my passion: teaching, writing, and connecting with others.

Not very often I check my page’s statistics. This morning I did and realized people from every continent have read my posts. That was my first happy moment of the day. If even with one word I have inspired you in any way then I have accomplished my purpose. So, my question to you is, would you join the movement? You can write your thoughts down and keep them private, share them with us here, with family and friends, or your preferred social media. Let's fill our world with positive, happy thoughts! There's nothing to lose. 

Stephen Biko said, “The power of a movement lies in the fact that it can indeed change the habits of people.” If that movement helps in rising the consciousness for a better world, I am in and hope you volunteer as well. Thanks to my friend and thanks to you. :-) 


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Balancing Act of Women



I always wondered how my grandmother managed to stay in the house every day taking care of her husband, children, and grandchildren; cooking three meals a day, washing, hanging cloth to dry the old way, mopping, sweeping…I feel tired just to think about it.

For the last couple of months I've been working from home. Being here involves all the above tasks, except for the children, plus work. I have been pondering the benefits; a flexible schedule, time to give some love to my pets and plants, following my own pace, and some more time to do this, write. I've been thinking about the cons also. Since I don’t live by myself anymore I have to cook every day, keep the house clean, and yes, do laundry, fold, wash dishes…you know the drill. Not that I didn't do it before but now it is not one but two people. That’s not considering that when living alone you live up to your personal expectations. Add one more human and you are expected to meet theirs as well. Maybe, unlike my grandmother, I wasn't born to simply be a stay at home woman.


Homemakers do a holy work; they sacrifice their own well-being for that of their husbands, children, grandchildren, and community. No amount of money is enough to pay for their multiple daily tasks. Being a woman, who works out of the house and also manages all the household and family chores, is a sacred endeavor. Hail to all of them, the quiet and wild spirited.

As of today verdict: I am a people person. Contact with others keeps me alive and happy. I like to hear the smiles and complains, look at sad and joyous faces alike, listen to the horns honking from time to time and come back to silence when I feel like it. I love to cook when I want or go out and try that new place around the corner. I am proud of how I raised my children and went through all the trails and trials in the way. Today, I am passionate about living under my own terms; lift off and land at my own speed.

There is a Chinese proverb that says: “A hundred men make an encampment, but it takes a woman to make a home.”  Maya Angelou also said: “A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself. “


If we can make a living doing what we love and built a home without forgetting our value and worth, without letting go of who we are, then we can certainly turn the world around. 

Photo Credits: Creative Commons

Friday, August 1, 2014

Don't Let the Fences Hold You

Sometimes we need to step back in order to move forward. That’s what I told a friend of mine when he asked me about my recent trip to my homeland. It was certainly a long overdue awakening journey. Walking down the streets I used to play as a child, climbing the mountain tops, visiting my beloved waterfalls and dear places was a déjà vu experience that helped me realized how blessed I have been and how that wild childhood molded the woman I am today.

It was in that world where I learned that souls are free and each of us must preserve our individual freedom breaking loose from anything that hinders us in becoming the person we want to be; uncertainties about our abilities and fears that hold us down.

Going back home reminded me that good memories sustain us and the bad ones remind us of the lessons learned and the situations we need to avoid; that we must live by what we feel and by our own standards.

Roland Gau once said: “If at some point in your life you don’t ask yourself, “What have I gotten myself into?” then you are not doing it right.” Give yourself permission to create your own path with straight lines and curves enjoying each step of the way. 


"Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home." 
~Matsuo Basho~

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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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