Monday, November 30, 2009

Hope senses the dawn.

"HOPE is like a bird that senses the dawn and starts to sing while it is still dark."
- Anonymous

We are now in the final days of 2009.

Much like these tiny creatures; we all sing before dawn…

knowing we can enjoy our day; reassured by what we’ve accomplished

the short twenty four hours before.

HOPE senses the dawn.

Make it a great dia!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Working hard to leave your own legacies?

"The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live." - Joan Borysenko

I love this quote – brings home the importance of living our VIDA (life) to the fullest.

Not one of us knows when our time will come.

To me this quote tells me that what we do each day matters to someone.

Whether it's for our loved ones and familia, our amigos, our colleagues

or even our neighbors - the friendship, love, and generosity that we show

day to day matters.

My Viejita always reminded us that she didn’t have a grand inheritance to leave us,

just the loving memories and life lessons that hopefully would help us get

through our LIVES.

She would often remind us to do the same.

I can still hear today, "Don't proscrastinate, you have to begin each day certain

that you are working hard to leave your own legacies.

Then when “your last day” comes, others will say that your "VIDA had been

a blessing to them."

Make it a great dia!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On my knees...

We are all motivated by our success and at times dejected by simple failures

that we allow to script our life’s story.

My Viejita would say – I came into this world with nothing,

I will leave it with nothing but I have everything I need right now

to be grateful for.

My blog is about making changes, living in the present and creating

a better life by being grateful.

We all have the ability to change the writing of our individual chapters

and outcomes each day.

I like to wake up around 3:45 a.m. each morning – rain or shine.

This week we celebrated Thanksgiving and so I’d like to share one

of my life long habits.

People that know me know about my Viejita (a name I fondly used for my beloved Mother

ever since I can remember).

I must have been eight years old - she was my little old woman (mi Viejita),

and I was her little old man (su Viejito).

I’ve written a lot about her through the years and how she had a way of teaching ,

her family about life in her very simple and humorous way.

She also inspired a legacy of self discipline and more important self reflection

in her family.

A lifelong Catholic she often reminded us that her Faith and prayer using an

old worn wooden “rosario”, were her soul’s nutrition.

She always began each day (roughly 30 minutes) in prayer and meditation.

Ever mindful of the importance of being grateful and being present in her VIDA

(Spanish for life).

A grateful consciousness she called it … grateful of where we’d been,

grateful for the work at hand, and even more grateful in trusting where we needed to go.

She often reminded us that her morning meditation and “the praying of her rosario”

helped her deal with all of the challenges that came daily in the preservation

of her beloved family.

The preservation of all eleven children (really we were thirteen but two got a little ahead

of the rest), and our collective dreams, goals and desires.

Just ensuring we were fed must have been an incredible weight to bear.

So years later those same childhood lessons continue to nurture and benefit me

as much as they benefit each of my brothers and sisters.

I not only keep my “rosario” under my bed, but I also keep a small piece of paper

with a few hand written questions.

I keep my truck keys and my wallet there as well, although not for safe keeping.

My Viejita was always the first one in the family to wake up.

Even on the coldest of mornings, with a foot of snow on the ground and our only

source of heat coming from an old cast iron wooded stove.

But before hurrying to the kitchen to get the wood stove going,

she would begin her day on her knees.

On a cold, compacted dirt floor in her bedroom.

She taught us that praying on our knees was the only way to humbly accept

all the great gifts we’d be getting throughout our day.

So even though I am thoroughly indoctrinated in this life-long kneeling gesture,

by habit I still leave my keys and wallet there.

You can leave whatever you need to remind yourself to get on your knees,

and meditate or pray as you begin your own day.

Some of my dear friends have complained about forgetting that they had left their

keys and purses there a few times.

Especially the first few days but everyone of them later thanked me for this

simple suggestion and all have benefited immensely from the peace and tranquility

they feel after their morning meditation.

You don’t have to pray the rosary, even if you are Catholic... just use this special

time to either pray or meditate.

So what could you ask while on our knees in “silencio?”

I would do one of the following: either write a few positive affirmations,

or memorize some positive self talk or affirmations.

Or do like I have done and write some thought provoking questions that only

you can answer each day.

Along with my rosary these are my written questions that I meditate on,

and use in improving my own day-to-day existence.

What am I most thankful for?

I believe that by giving thanks we give meaningful value to all that we’ve earned.

What did I accomplish yesterday or last week?

By reflecting on our accomplishments we raise our personal sense of self-confidence.

It’s a great way to keep track of the progress we’re making.

What must I do to make my upcoming day or week less stressful?

I start by thinking about the simple stuff and reminders I may need to add to my calendar…

Whether preparing for an important a meeting, trying to get ahead of a busy day

I try and think of the ways I get organized mentally.

My Viejita believed that physical clutter was just as bad as mental clutter.

Who deserves my gratitude?

I take time everyday to thank the people who have helped me.

The easiest way to get what you need, is to help others get what they need.

What are my top three goals this month or this year?

I’ve broken this one down to both personal and career related ones.

We can easily track our progress in Life by setting important goals for ourselves.

These five simple questions have helped keep me from losing sight of what

is important over the years.

I added this sixth one three and a half months ago, when my Viejita left her earthly journey…

If I only had one week to live, how would I spend my time?

Another soulful reminder… remember like the song says,

“tomorrow is not promised to us.”

I spend all of my quality time with the people I love and have come to care about.

I honestly don’t know which “ Tomás, ” would be the one showing up in “ Tomás’ Life "…

if my Viejita hadn’t taught me about the power of prayer and meditation.

Whatever you do, remember that how you start your mornings will make

a difference in just about every outcome that day.

Make it a great dia!