Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sing even during your darkest of times...


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

I have several that come to both my front and back yards each dawn,

and help me welcome the day.

You can't imagine just how inspirational they are to hear.

These tiny beautiful creatures, awaken each day with the certainty that their

sunshine will soon be there.

What a powerful message of HOPE - knowing that we too can sing in the darkness

of any situation...  knowing with all certainty that a new dawn is near.

Another tragic natural disaster has hit. An 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit

south of Chile's capital early Saturday morning, triggering tsunami warnings

across the Pacific and rattling buildings throughout South America.

By midday yesterday 122 deaths had been reported and the death toll

was rising quickly.

Make it a HOPEFUL dia and keep our amigos from Chile

in your thoughts and prayers.
 
¡Fuerza Chile!"

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Be grateful you can open your heart...



















In LIFE we must never lose sight of the reason for our journey. 

We truly are dependent on one another.

At times we even tend to overlook or take for granted some of the very

people who make a difference in our lives.

Just think how much HEALING we could give the world and each other,

if we just opened our HEARTS.

Try not to miss an opportunity to be GRATEFUL for these very people,

and all the ones we will continue to meet along the way.

Thanks for being in mine.

Make it a GRATEFUL dia!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Today...


TODAY I PROMISE that I will...

Express GRATITUDE.
   
Express LOVE .

Express APPRECIATION.

Today I will keep these promises…

I was taught early on that LIFE would be challenging, that there were

would be things we would lose through no fault of our own.  

More importantly, that the one thing that no one could ever take away from me,

was the value of my word.

Make it a great dia!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Never say you can't, say instead that you'll try...

LIFE always offers us CHOICES... but we need to QUIT second guessing ourselves!

If we doubt ourselves - we're bound to end up making (the negative) come true.


We must always BELIEVE THAT WE CAN SUCCEED!


Quit asking the "what ifs"... you know the "what if I can’t do it?"... "what if I am wrong?"...

"what if I fail?"


Over the years one thing I've seen work and believe in, is the POWER of VISUALIZATION.


Never be afraid to make a different CHOICE, start by giving new possibilities a try,

and let them unfold... see what happens.


If you do, in the end only one of two things can happen:


If it doesn't work out, consider it another lesson we've learned.


If it does work, just think how great we'll feel.


We all have that ONE OTHER CHOICE... will you choose to do

something different today?


Make it a different kind of dia!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My week at the circus...

It's been a hectic week and it is only Wednesday.

This week my LIFE feels as if I am at the CIRCUS... 

One moment I am so in charge and feel like the dashing RING MASTER...

The next moment I am the TRAPEZE ARTIST flying through the air,

going from one trapeze to the other - holding on tight as I do,

and making sure I don't fall. 

Then at some other moment I am back on the ground taming issues,

and problems,

as the courageous LION TAMER...

Then all of a sudden I am back behind the scenes, tending to some stalls

that need cleaning out!

Funny thing... I have always loved the excitement of the CIRCUS!

Makes for an interesting time. 

Make it a great week!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Focus on the healing...

One thing I believe is that FORGIVENESS 

isn't something we do FOR someone else.

It's a gift we give to OURSELVES. 

Next time you are dealing with a situation that is hurtful to you, ask yourself,

"Do I intend to waste any more energy

on whatever it is that is bothering me?"  

If the answer is "No," then it's done!

Always FOCUS your energy ON the HEALING, never the hurt!

Make it a great dia!

Monday, February 22, 2010

What channels are you listening to?
















I was running an errand yesterday and as I drove I accidentally tuned

my radio to a country-western music channel. 

No offense but the only country western music I've ever listened to is

the great Gene Autry, Lester Flatt or even the Merl Haggard types...  

but then again what type of music did I expect to hear on a country western

radio channel - hip hop?

Funny how we know exactly what we will hear when we tune to certain stations

or press any one of our radio's presets.

As I drove on I changed the channel and was now enjoying one of my favorite 

Sunday radio programs. It's called "Car Talk" and the hosts

are Click and Clack - the Tappett brothers on NPR. 

It is a very funny and entertaining show by two brothers in real life,

Tom and Ray Magliozzi that deals with the program listeners' unusual

car repair problems.  

I started thinking about what I had just done to change what I was listening to,

feeling, sensing and more important now enjoying. 

I realized that when it comes to LIFE, we are often puzzled as to why we fail

to pay attention to our own emotional presets.

When we allow ourselves to tune-in to certain presets, our thoughts,

and feelings can’t help but respond to that particular frequency.

So much like the radio - if we don’t like that particular “channel”,

all we have to do is to change the station.

Easy enough one would think?

My advise is to erase your sad, depressing, guilty, angry, frustrating channels…

or whatever you don’t want as your “presets”… and replace with more uplifting,

joyous and happier ones.

Every moment is a new moment and it’s never too late to make a permenant

change to our presets.

Make it great dia!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

She still sends me gifts...

I received a beautiful gift from my Viejita in the mail this past week.

Wrapped in soft tissue inside a plain white envelope was a beautiful medallion

– on one side was the image of the “Virgen of Guadalupe” the patron saint

of Mexico and on the other side was a beautiful image of Christ’s head.

The gold medallion was beautifully crafted with tiny roses surrounding its edges.

My sister said she had found it along with forty-six dollars under the mattress

that my Viejita had slept on for many years. The envelope had my name

scribbled in my Viejita’s shaky cursive… all it said was “Para mi Viejito”

or for my little old man.

It was a playful dialogue we shared – I have been calling her “My little old woman”

or “Mi Viejita” ever since I can remember.

She thought it was funny and decided a long time ago to respond to me in kind.

My sister wrote that she thought of keeping it but then thought better of it

– she joked that she didn’t want our Viejita coming to haunt her or something.

So even though this special gift brought tears of sadness, it also made me smile.

I miss her dearly - no one ever really quits grieving a loved one's passing.

The only solace I have is knowing where she must be and how one day I'll see her again.

I don't want to discuss religion on my blog, so these are only my personal observations.

Have you ever wondered what happens to us after death?

How does the world as we know it look - how does it really end?

The bible uses apocalyptic language of darkness, tribulation and fiery skies.

Is it describing the possible reality?

There are some who respond with fatalism, responding without faith,

where one trudges through life barely surviving each day.

How terrifyingly sad that must be.

We all know that on this journey, everything has an expiration date…

everything comes to an end and everything must pass.

Yet one thing I believe in and I feel remains is the promise of an eternal life.

I am grateful that my Viejita raised us to believe that there was something

beyond the apocalyptic chaos and destruction.

I am grateful that I believe that there’s something eternal that awaits us.

And these beliefs which I hold hallowed, are not just words

or some anonymous voices, but what’s been a life long amorous dialogue

between my Creator and I.

A dialogue that reaches its peak in my relationship with HIM.

A belief that HIS words are made real.

Words of agape love, faith, hope, charity, and grace and which together

express a wish… of one day joining with HIM in paradise.

HIS promise is stronger than any destruction, for like it reads…

"Whoever believes in me will live even if he dies.

My word is word of an eternal life."

Gracias Viejita!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Today I will change one thing...














I've found that one of the easiest ways to embark on a journey towards change,

is to add slight nuances to our daily routine.

I suggest you begin at the top of the morning – start by waking up just

15 minutes earlier then you usually do. 

I read that our minds need time to re-engage LIFE after hours of sleep

- and all it takes is a few minutes of silent reflection.

I always try and begin the day with a SMILE. 

No matter what happened before I went to bed, I want to make sure that

I wake up with a SMILE.

I begin my day in as POSITIVE of mood as possible.

By a simple SMILE I am setting my expectation's for the day.

My POSITIVE mood can guarantee that it will improve not only my day,

but someone else's day that I will come in contact with as well.

I work to intentionally create an experience that will stick out and is memorable.

Typically I share something I’ve read or a personal funny moment or story.

By planning ahead for expected moments of laughter

– I am introducing moments of HAPPINESS into my day and everyone else’s.

Laughter and HAPPINESS are contagious!

I also make sure that I make time to give thanks.

GRATITUDE improves our outlook on LIFE and helps us appreciate

all these POSITIVE moments.

As I walk out the door I give thanks for another great dia

– I tell myself that I am GRATEFUL for the career that I have, 

and colleagues I enjoy being with.

I also remind myself of just how GRATEFUL I am for the opportunity

to make a small difference!


"ÒMen anpil chay pa lou,Ó" in Haitian...

"Many hands lighten the load."

Friday, February 19, 2010

If any moment could last forever, let it be this one...

You see this? Its a piece of ice and one week ago it was a snowman.

My snowman.

Yesterday afternoon - seven days later as I drove home I had to wonder

how my snowman would look - would there be a puddle of water,

would there be no sign of it ever having been there? 

Just thinking about my hombre de hielo made me smile.

As I drove around the bend I could see something white on the lawn.

To my biggest surprise it was a lump of ice.

I immediately ran over to get a closer look - and instantly I was back to last

Thursday when we had our historic snowfall record 12.5 inches!

You can't imagine the feeling of joy this simple lump of ice brought me.

I looked all around and nowhere could one see, even a small reminder

of the beautiful snowfall we had last week.

I had to take a picture of the neighborhood like I had last week during the snow...

and this picture I took last week - seven days ago to be exact!

And one more picture of my very first "hombre de hielo" - my snowman...

The older I get the more I  realize that it doesn't take a lot to make one HAPPY. 

Eventhough HAPPINESS may not be a feeling that permenantly resides inside us,

memories are very important in keeping HAPPINESS there.

Without memories you may not have the spark that brings that HAPPY

moment to life in us...without memories it's harder to feel it...

and much harder to enjoy it.

So take the best out of each experience - make more out of each of your 

memories and make them HAPPY MEMORIES.

Make it a great dia!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Are you a great juggler?

LIFE is a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air.

You name them - WORK, FAMILY, HEALTH, FRIENDS, and SPIRIT

- and you're keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball.

If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four balls - FAMILY, HEALTH, FRIENDS,

and SPIRIT are made of glass.

If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked,

damaged, or even shattered.

They will never be the same.

You must understand that. 

You must strive for balance in your life. - Brian Dyson

Strive to have balance - you'll be GRATEFUL you did.

Make it a great dia!




"ÒMen anpil chay pa lou,Ó" is a Haitian proverb which means, "Many hands lighten the load."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We are all very capable of...

"The Wisdom of the Heart" - Dalai Lama (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1989)

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

Sleep is the best meditation.

Spend some time alone every day.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.

The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.


No matter what one feels about religion, these 10 truths by the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso,
the current spiritual and exiled leader of the Tibetan people are quite enlightening.

Try them on for size. 


He was born in northeastern Tibet, and at age of 2  was recognized as the reincarnation

of the 13th Dalai Lama.

After the suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in 1959, The Dalai Lama 

escaped to India where he was given political asylum.


Did you know Dalai Lama is a Mongolian title, which means "Ocean of Wisdom?"  

"Dalai" means "ocean" in Mongolian, and "Lama" (bla ma) is the Tibetan equivalent

of the Sanskrit word "guru", and is commonly translated to mean "spiritual teacher".


Make it a WISE dia - we are all capable of it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras


A good friend, employee and colleague of mine lost her two beloved pets yesterday.

She was excited about taking them both in to get groomed.

She told me it would be the little one's first full grooming.

They were such beautiful pets - one was a very unique chocolate schnauzer Huey

- I called him Mr. Huey out of respect.

The other was a new addition to her family a puppy by the name of Riley.

Later in the afternoon they called her and told her that Huey was having

seizures and she needed to come to the store.

She quickly rushed to be at his side.

While she was there when her puppy Riley, also became ill,

and then went into convulsions.

Sadly late in the afternoon she called me to tell me that both of her little

fellers had passed.

What can you tell someone grieving over her two companions?

I'm so sorry for your losses Tamika. 

As the quote says, " Dogs are not our whole life, but they make out lives whole."  

I've always loved animals and have always had a pet - a dog, a cat even horses,

mules and donkies.

I can't imagine losing one, much less two at one time.

As the sunlight beams gently through the apartment's window pane onto

a spot on the floor..... you'll remember, that's where your two little fellers 

Mr. Huey and little Riley used to lie, but now they don't lie there anymore.

As you walk around your carpeted  floors and silent echoes sound.....

it is only then that you remember, it's where their tiny paws would happily abound.

You walk across the grassy lawn and some barks are heard up around the bend...  

it is only then that you remember, those tiny barks can't be theirs..... 

your little feller's tiny barks are now still.

But please take that snapshot of those special now vacant spots of living room

floor and silent halls and their now absent joyous barks and gentle whimpers, 

and small unused food and water dishes along the kitchen wall.

Take those treasured memories of Huey and Riley and set them deep

within your heart and remember and forever treasure them with love.

There is no doubt you know, that one day your two best friends will one day

be waiting for you to come greet and play...  as they sit there,

Mr. Huey and Riley are now bringing much joy and happiness to everyone

just past the pearly gates above.

I know you miss them now, but will one day see them both again...

Monday, February 15, 2010

May your dia be filled with HOPE, FAITH and LOVE...
















Nothing worth doing is ever completed in our lifetime – therefore we are saved by HOPE.

Nothing true, beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate

context of history – therefore we are saved by FAITH.

Nothing we do, however virtuous can be accomplished alone – therefore

we are saved by LOVE.


No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend

or foe as from our own – therefore we are saved by the final form of LOVE,

which is FORGIVENESS. - Reinhold Niebuhr

We all make choices every day.

Some important choices we must make are to LOVE, another choice is to BELIEVE, 

and yet another choice is to have FAITH.

Until we LOVE, until we BELIEVE, until we have FAITH...  

only then will we have true HOPE in LIFE.

We all need HOPE in our LIVES.

It is that special substance one must feel inside in order to nurture LIFE.

HOPE is something which gives each of us a sense of fulfillment in our lives.

HOPE is mourning for yesterday yet being GRATEFUL for today. 

Knowing that we'll stand in awe of what is to come. 

Hold on to HOPE.

Without HOPE, there is no LIFE.

As you start a new week may every dia be filled with HOPE, FAITH and LOVE.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I LOVE YOU TODAY...



St. Valentine's Day has always had a special meaning to me.

When I was little I'd made it a point to always give my Viejita something...

a poem or a letter telling her why I loved her, and why she was my Valentine.

Later on I would give or send her cards or Precious Moments figurines

no matter where in the world I found myself. 

My Viejita loved us dearly and was never hesistant to say I LOVE YOU.


I LOVE YOU… to me are more than just words... or a heartfelt expression,

they are more than just written prose… they are more than a sentiment

that time wrote and something that is reciprocated by the person who created

that feeling in you.


I LOVE YOU… to me are more than just words… it’s a feeling that one feels,

and something that one suffers by the absence of a loved one,

it’s the aching for that gentle caress or a warm embrace.


I LOVE YOU... expresses how we feel and is what keeps our bond,

and relationships alive.


These beautiful spoken words fill my world with transpired moments

that make time seem eternal.


Loving someone to me means being willing to share our most vulnerable side…


Loving someone is always doing what is best for the other…


Loving someone is committing to making a relationship work…


Loving someone is holding their needs and wants higher than our own…


Loving someone is always wanting what's best for them…


Loving someone is compromising when you really don’t want to…


Loving someone is accepting of all the little quirks you grow to love anyway...


Loving someone means being attracted to someone emotionally and mentally...

and physically doesn't hurt,


Loving someone is doing the hard work in a relationship because you have

committed to that person...


Loving someone is TRUSTING...


Loving someone is BELIEVING...


Loving someone is getting through the hard times, together.


So if I haven’t said it lately... 


I LOVE YOU and thank you for devoting time to me.


I LOVE YOU for being concerned for my well being.


I LOVE YOU for giving me your undivided time.


I LOVE YOU for listening to my problems.


I LOVE YOU for your smile and affection.


I LOVE YOU for showing me unconditional love.


Español: Te amo    Inglés: I LOVE YOU   Alemán: Ich liebe Dich 


Hebreo: Ani o'have otach  Italiano: Ti amo 


Vietnames: Anh ye^u em Navaho - Ayor anosh'ni


Mandarin: Wo ai ni   Portuguese - Eu te amo      


Arabe: Ana Behebek   Esquimal: Nagligivaget


Coreano: Dangsinul saranghee yo   Francés: Je t'aime


and in the Nahuatl the Aztec language which is still spoken in Central Mexico... 

Ni mits neki!


I LOVE YOU TODAY! 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

To be free... is not about chains.














"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. " - Nelson Mandela

Mandela is one of my heroes.

He refused to be broken.

Think about everything that means the world to you.

Maybe someone very special - a loved one. 

Someone you know you would never be able to live without...

Now think of a cause for which you'd be willing to sacrifice that person for.

Could you even think of doing that?

Would you?

Make it a GRATEFUL dia!

Friday, February 12, 2010

My first snowman...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed building my first snowman

- my muneco de hielo.

It also made a few neighbors (which I had never met) stop their cars,

roll down their windows and enjoy a few minutes joking and laughing

with my snowman and I.

It was contagious - before long two more popped up (snowman across

the street and right next door).

My Viejita was so right when she said that when we put energy out towards

others in a friendly, welcoming way, we attract that same type of energy back.  

There's a rule I read somewhere that says, 

"Act the way you want to feel." 

I feel pretty HAPPY today.

Make it a great dia!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Be like a giving tree...


The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity. - Francis Maitland Balfour

A few of the opportunities to GIVE that I came across and I've missed,

were because I was waiting for the BIG opportunity to GIVE.

Too often we wait for that one BIG opportunity, not realizing that a lot of

the smaller ones are just as important.

 Ones where we would have made as much of a difference too.

Make it giving dia!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Begin seizing your destiny today...














"Life is a series of near misses. But a lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all.
It's seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future." - Howard Schultz (1953 – ) Chairman of Starbucks

You’ve heard me say how everything we do matters - not just to us,

not just to our loved ones,

not just to our neighbors or even to our companies

- everything we do matters

to ALL of us – everywhere.

You can and will make a difference everytime!

We must take charge of our lives each day.

The world around us - is waiting for us to make it a more fulfilled,

happier,

and successful one.

It’s all a matter of living our lives with purpose – with a decided heart.

As my Viejita would always tell us –

“Be a person of PURPOSE!”

Today we must choose to be HAPPY.

Each of us must work towards making our lives more satisfying,

more fulfilled,

happier and successful.

Today we will choose to make it a GREAT día!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Are you open for business?

"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live."- Flora Whittemore

We need to be more like a business and be "OPEN for BUSINESS"

in every aspect of our lives. 

We must welcome all new ideas and the newest challenges that come in our doors. 
 
We'll soon discover amazing opportunties for SUCCESS, not just in our day

to day business life, but in every aspect of our lives.

Make it a great dia!

Monday, February 8, 2010

31-17...




















On September 17, 1967 the New Orleans Saints took the field for their

first regular season game in front of 80,879 fans at the ancient Tulane Stadium.

It would be almost 43 years before they would enter Sun Life stadium

in Miami, Florida to play in their first ever Superbowl.

It certainly had been a long time coming and it hadn’t been an easy path

for this franchise team.

Looking back to Sept. 26, 2005, 85% of New Orleans was under water.

Its locals were evacuating to cities across the country.

Most of them like most of the country, didn’t know if New Orleans would

ever come back.

Most of them also doubted that their beloved Saints would ever come back.

But somehow, with a lot of hard work and courage the team much like

the people of New Orleans came back.

Many viewed the Indianapolis Colts as the better team coming into

Super Bowl XLIV, with odds makers predicting the Saints to lose.

The fans “the Who Dat Nation” however never doubted their team could win.

And when the last whistle was blown at Sun Life Stadium, it was the

New Orleans Saints that had taken down the favored Colts 31-17!

This game turned out to be about heart.

Drew Brees was brilliant,

and deadly accurate –

I read that when it was said and done he had completed 32 of his 39 passes

for 288 yards with two TDs.

His 32 completions are tied for the most in Super Bowl history!

They never lost FAITH and they never lost HEART!

These Saints, are marching on!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

For every season...















To everything there is a season...

A time for every purpose under heaven,    

A time to be born and a time to die;

A time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill and a time to heal;

A time to break down and a time to build up;

A time to weep and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to gain and a time to lose;

A time to keep and a time to throw away;

A time to tear and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence and a time to speak;

A time to love and a time to hate;

A time of war and a time of Peace. - Ecclesiastes 3


La VIDA (Life) is very precious and in the end it only matters that we serve.

That is as long as we serve never expecting anything in return.

I've also learned over the years that we serve best when we don't fully

understand or question why.


Make it a beautiful dia!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

We are connected to 1000 others...














When we practice generosity with others, they in turn are very

likely to be generous with someone else. 

It works a lot like the "Paying it forward" concept. 

Studies show that we are connected to more than 1,000 different people -

by three degrees of separation. 

This is what our network might look like - studies show we effect change 

in others every day. 

Moving forward let's make it a point to help one another be mentally,

and physically healthier, happier and more generous.

Be generous and feed your global network.

What will you gift to your 1000 today?

Make it contagiously GIVING weekend!


"ÒMen anpil chay pa lou,Ó" is a Haitian proverb,

"Many hands lighten the load."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Are you a rock or a rock star?

I was on my walk the other morning and noticed my neighbor had

started to landscape part of his yard.

There were a ton of rocks and for some reason I noticed how each one 

was very similar to the next. 

All the same. 

Maybe with time – a lot of time… the weather would affect them,

and a few would end up changing or at least have softer edges.

So I walked on thinking how some of us will always be rocks.

Especially if we get too comfortable in our ways and just lay around,

and wait for change to happen. 

Maybe in time (just like all those rocks), through what we weather,

and experience we might end up with softer edges too.

Yet, the potential similarity stops there! 

We must remember that we all have a God given ability to change.

But we have to want to change.

It takes personal will and taking action.

We also don’t have to change every aspect of our life in order to improve it…

small steps keep us moving and soon we've traveled a distance -

improving our health, our attitude and our LIFE.

Don’t be a rock!  

Make it a rock star dia!