Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ooops there went a part of us...
















I've found that in order to gain the trust and respect of others at whether at home, at work or in a personal relationship; one needs to show unyielding committment to who we are, to what we stand for and to our own ideals.

It is when we violate these values that we lose their respect, as well as our own.

We must therefore be willing to accept the responsibility that comes with all greater challenges.

Seek to commit to the larger proposition... 

As the opportunity presents itself - don't be tempted to take the less painful road or the more comfortable path.

Believe that your greatest rewards will come when you live a life filled with INTEGRITY...

Don’t ever be willing to put the loyalty to others ahead of the loyalty to your own principles.

You'll find that whenever you've sacrificed your integrity, you'll feel as though you've lost a sense of who you are...

And you have!

You have just lost a part of yourself.

Make it a point to stand tall on this great dia!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two might mend...


Two people. Two players. Two approaches. Two solutions. Two strategies.

Might take Two minutes. Two days. Two weeks. Two months. Two years (you decide).

It's up to you.

Make it a great dia!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Will Peace ever come to Juarez?



















I have a favorite city in Northern Mexico that I have loved visiting for as long as I can remember. I loved going to the theatre, the bullfights, its many dance venues and my all time favorite a two story downtown market place. There you can buy some of the most delicious tacos and horchata beverage in all of Mexico!

Ciudad Juárez was at one time the fastest growing city in the world, that in spite of the fact that it is "the most violent zone in the world outside of declared war zones.

Locals call it Juárez and it was once known as Paso del Norte or Pass of the North. I love visiting the city and have several relatives, as well as life long friends trying to live and survive each day. They tell me that no one goes out at night - even if one has an emergency, it has to wait till day break. My cousins rush to their jobs each morning and run any errands during their lunch hours, before rushing back home after work, praying they will not get caught in an unexpected cross fire.

Juarez is an international port of entry with four major bridges that connect it and El Paso, Texas. The combined total of legal crossings for 2008 was a total of  22,958,472 people. This makes Ciudad Juarez a major point of entry and transportation thoroughfare for all of central northern Mexico.

The city is also known for its industrial centers which include more than 300 maquiladoras (assembly plants) located in and around the city.

According to a 2007 The New York Times article, Ciudad Juárez "is now absorbing more new industrial real estate space than any other North American city."  In 2008, FDi Magazine designated Ciudad Juárez "The City of the Future". 

Sadly however, the city is also the site of widespread poverty and violence, including an infamous series of unsolved murders of female factory workers. The violence generated by the narco-insurgency translated into some 6,000 killings in 2008. There were 2700 in 2009 and over 1600 so far in 2010.

Juárez, had one hundred and eight times more murders than the most murderous city in the United States of Memphis Tennesee with 25 murders in 2009.

The death toll in Ciudad Juarez, a city across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas has about 1 and a half million residents, has risen steadily as drug cartels and their associated gangs fight for territory along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The city's deaths in 2009 came close to that year's toll for all of Afghanistan, which is a country of 29 million and where a war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda have been waged since 2001.
U.S. officials explain the violence in Ciudad Juarez as the result of turf battles for control of heavy trafficking routes.

But the cartels are not the ones affected by the violence.

Each of the victims had loved ones and family.

Parents, spouses, and children along with friends and neighbors – tragically lost someone these past three years.

The city has become the center for drug traffickers because of what's happening on the Northern side of the border. Our demand for drugs sustains the market and U.S. laws do little to prevent the illicit trade; weapons purchased at swap meets and gun shows go into Mexico, cocaine, meth and marijuana and other drugs come out.  Making a once bustling and peaceful border city more of a war-zone.


For comparison - Juarez had more than 2,700 murders (estimated in 2009).


AFGHANISTAN: 2,932 deaths total since 2003.


Poet and border native Benjamin Saenz increasingly pens poems of border violence. His latest came after a night at the Kentucky Club. A great bar made famous by Kentuck Derby betting and Mariyln Monroe. The bar is located on one of the tourist streets leading into the city, Avenida Juarez. He wrote it on a late night visit there on May 7, 2010. 12:37 a.m.

Young soldiers, rifles slung over their shoulders, pace the dead and empty street.

Seven people laze out of the Kentucky Club, searching their pockets, looking for change to pay the toll.

Charon does not take money from the living -- but the turnstile is hungry for coins.
Sober in their drunkenness, these ragged pilgrims place their quarters in the slots and begin their journey home.

They carry the weight of the evening, carry the weight of this sad and singular thought: Juarez is dead. Jua...rez is dead.

The immigration agent checks the passport of a young woman: What were you doing in Juarez?

Do you have a death wish?

When he asks the next man in line if he has anything to declare, the man laughs: I would like to declare my sadness.

I would like to declare that all my dreams are dead.

A man -- alone -- is making his way over the bridge.

No hurry in his steps.

He remembers another time, the streets full and teeming with commerce and expectation.

He stares out into the lights of El Paso, his back to Juarez.

He listens to the echoes of the empty streets.

The laughter and dancing are gone.

Nostalgia is his only consolation.

A handsome man, well dressed, in his early thirties, rushes across the bridge.
In twenty minutes he will be dancing in the nightclubs of El Paso.

If the killings never stop, then neither does the dancing.  -Benjamin Saenz

Pray that Peace comes to Cuidad Juarez - and soon.

Make it a dia of prayer and reflection.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Is your circle of LIFE inclusionary?




















If you try to make your circle closed and exclusively yours, it never grows very much. Only a circle that has lots of room for anybody who needs it has enough spare space to hold any real magic. - Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Our circle in LIFE can consist of family, friends, neighbors  and acquaintances...

Yet we often forget that to be a friend to others we have to be a friend to ourselves.

We need to know who we are and be concerned about our character.

If we can do that - we are being "true" to ourselves.

Our character is who we really are, while our reputation is what others think we are.

So grow your circle - be open - be honest - let others join in today.

Make it a great dia!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What do you VALUE?














The easiest way to know oneself is by clarifying who we really are or identifying one's values.

How well do you know yourself? 

Could you list your top 20 personal values?

Maybe your top 10?

Certainly your top 5?

If you're like a lot of us - you probably haven't  taken the time to write down your personal values.

Or maybe, like some of us we get caught up in what we think we “should” value because that was what has been scripted for us.

It's never too late to figure out one's values.

Try this simple exercise...

I believe that once we know our values, we have a much better understanding about what matters in our lives and more importantly what we want out of LIFE by identifying what we value.

The exercise is at first a bit challenging, but if you go back later or the next few days and look at your list soon you will be adding more "VALUES" to your list.

My LIST of VALUES in alphabetical order (I tend to appreciate order :)

Achievement

Accessibility

Adaptability

Affection

Ambition

Commitment

Compassion

Competitiveness

Conviviality

Creativity

Determination

Drive

Encouragement

Excellence

Family Happiness

Fearlessness

Freedom

Friendship

Gratitude

Health

Inner Harmony

Integrity

Kindness

Loyalty

Making a difference

Perseverance

Pleasure

Resourcefulness

Responsibility

Self-respect

Spirituality

Wealth

Valor

What are yours?

Make it a great dia!

Friday, June 25, 2010

My soul blossoms...














"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;  they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."  - Marcel Proust


Thank you from the bottom of my heart,  and know that for you my heart has no bottom.

Gracias amigos -

Make it a great dia!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Giving it away...




















Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. - Melody Beattie

A close friend is going through a very tough time. Divorce is always such a painful process.

She is trying to shed the many hundreds of memories and things she had collected over the years.  

Selling and giving away all those hundreds of books, sheets and blankets, assortment of dried flowers, table games, pieces of furniture and dishes is at first overwhelming...  

She's filled at once with sadness but soon those emotions give way to joy and gratitude.

Joy and gratitude when she sees the smiles on the faces of the families and the children she has seen smile, when they bought a bargain priced item or accepted her gifts.

I know it is always tough letting go of our material stuff - but it is so much easier when we know that someone will soon be enjoying and taking care of our treasures somewhere.

It is through simplifying our surroundings that we gain tranquility in our lives.

Only when we reach out to another do we achieve a peace of mind.

Let GO and Let God.

Make it a great dia!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ancient spiritual law...



















You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you. - Sarah Ban Breathnach

I've often wondered how people of "expired" Hope survive their earthly journey.

How can anyone go through their day, never noticing how much they have been blessed  with?

How can anyone go through their day without being grateful?

How can one ignore the love eminating from everything around them?

Today choose to be open and accept all the LOVE that surrounds you.

The more LOVE that you give...

The more Love will be given to you universal priniciple, truly exists.

Be GRATEFUL.

Make it a great dia!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Be open - be kind - be innovative...


"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative!" - Woody Allen

The best ideas come from being innovative! Do you encourage creativeness at home... what about at work? Instead of prejudging, next time ask yourself instead what's right about it and then build on it.

After all a “mistake” could be a well-reasoned attempt that didn’t meet certain expectations. Remember mistakes will happen… especially when people get creative...  and when people are allowed to experiment and are innovative.

To encourage a culture of intelligent risk taking, we need to tolerate, expect and even welcome some mistakes.

To take risks, we must rid ourselves of the communal “fear” that is at times all too prevalent in our lives.

Are you willing to encourage innovation? Can you accept creativity? More important how do you deal with another’s mistake?

Be open - be kind - be innovative.

Make it a great día!

Monday, June 21, 2010

What is your purpose?







There is no failure except no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, nor really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose." - Ken Hubbard


The purpose of life is a life of purpose. What's yours?

Make it a great día!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Create your own universe...

  


















Can you say, "I am my own universe?"


It's funny to say out loud, but only you know what LIFE, is best for you.

So set your goals based on what is important to you, and not on what others may think is important for you. 


I find it wise to also identify things and people that you should treasure.

Cherish them as you would your LIFE, for without you'll one day realize that your LIFE would be meaningless.


Live your LIFE one day at a time, in the present, and each day to its fullest.

My Viejita always said, "La VIDA is like sand that will slip through your fingers if you aren't careful to watch it closely as you walk."


Remind yourself often, that LIFE has much to offer... so be relentless in how you live it.  

Remind yourself that nothing is really over, until the moment you quit or you stop trying.


Take risks, don’t be afraid. We all learn how to be a bit braver when we take chances.


Have ever truly dreamed of what your universe would look like in an ideal life?


Only you can DREAM the big dream.

So go out and LIVE your dream.


Take time and savour the journey.

Don’t rush through LIFE so that you end up forgeting where you have been, how you got there or where you are going.

LIFE after all is the universe that you create.

Your DESTINY awaits you.

Have FAITH that it will unfold as it should.

Make it a great dia!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yesterday's moments that take our breaths away today...


Your LIFE is valuable not for the number of breaths you take, but for the number of moments that take your breath away. - Author unknown


Growing up I was the one responsible for walking Tia Asuncion (she really wasn't our Aunt but we reverantly called her that name) home. She would arrive early in the morning to help my Viejita with the daily chores and to have some company as all of her children were grown and old Loreto her husband usually was out tending his six cows.

It was a slow and very deliberate sort of walk, as her arthritis in her knees usually gave her problems, but her bulky floor length skirt and shawl didn't help much either.

The Tia Asuncion was a gentle soul - I never heard her raise her voice and more important she never had a bad thing to say about anyone. Her light green colored eyes almost seemed to glow against her dark wrinkled tanned face.

We would always begin our walk with a short "sign of the cross" saying under her breath, "To you dear Lord, I commend us to." It wasn't a great distance we were going, but she always made it seem like we were about to embark on a long journey.

Some days I would try and guess just what calamity she thought might befall us. I would laugh at some of the visions in my head, like maybe she thought a mischievous herd of wild cows were loose and headed our way.

So each evening right before sunset, as we neared the wooden gate leaving our home, she would look both ways, look up to the skies and then take my hand. In about twenty minutes we'd be at the front stoop of her adobe house which was only about 1500 feet away.

I remember it took 764 steps to get us there (I know who counts their steps - but we did it so many times that I had to countthem). It always took me less then 740 steps to get back home - I usually ran back.

I loved our daily walks, she would make us stop often along the way... (now I realize it was to catch her breath or rest her sore knees). She would always point out a tiny new rose bud, a marigold, or a Monarch butterfly flutering around and even a scorpion leaving its nest on one occasion.

She would tell me that every thing, every flower, every creature had a purpose even the scorpions. She said that God created them and so they must be important and had a purpose.

I asked her about fleas on one of our walks and she replied, "They help keep my old dog
Chucho awake long enought for him to eat." We would laugh at her funny answers and then go back to our slow but steady walk.

Year later I still stop and look at a new bloom, up in a tree for a sparrow and even up close on the ground to see how ants carry a crumb of bread. She would never know just how much she affected me, and how her simple inspired acts on our daily walks so long ago would have made a significant difference in my world today.

Muchas Gracias Tia Asuncion!

Make it a great dia!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Stretch objectives in our dreams...

There are those who work all day. Those who dream all day. And those who spend an hour dreaming before setting to work to fulfill those dreams. Go into the third category because there’s virtually no competition. - Steven J. Ross


I've always loved rainbows. As a kid I wondered what magical place awaited me at the end of one.

We talk about stretch objectives in our professional world... but we should also incorporate them into our personal lives.

Make sure that you stretch your horizons as far as you can see and even further.

There is a huge world of possibilities...

All free for the taking.

And waiting for you.

Make it a great dia!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Leaving our baggage at the bank...



A friend sent me this folk story and I had to share it...

Once upon a time two monks were traveling together. One was a rather large and imposing monk and the other was a much smaller monk.

They came to the bank of a river and found that the bridge was damaged and that it would not bear anyone’s weight. They had no choice but to wade through the water to get cross.

There at the bank of the river was a young maiden. She was clearly upset about the bridge and not being able to get across, because of her fear of drowning.

The larger monk hearing her plight offered to carry her across the stream on his shoulders. The young maiden was very appreciative of the offer and accepted.

The petite monk was shocked by larger monk's decision. He thought to himself, "How can my brother help the young maiden cross without touching her? He knows we are not supposed to have any intimate contact with females?"

Still he kept quiet... as he watched the big monk lift the young maiden to his shoulders. Then he watched as the large monk carried the young maiden across the river. He followed behind them, quite disappointed and unhappy about what he was seeing.

As soon as they had crossed the stream, the large monk gently set the young maiden off his shoulders.

She thanked him and they parted ways.

As they continued to walk and for several miles on end, the little monk was seething… he was very unhappy with the big monk’s indiscretion.

The more he thought about it the more agitated he got. He kept making up all kinds of accusations about big monk in his head.

His thoughts only served to make him angrier and angrier. But he kept quiet throughout the long walk. And the large monk felt no inclination to explain himself.

Finally, at a resting point many hours later, the little monk could not stand it any longer. He burst out angrily at the big monk. “How can you claim to be a devout monk, when you seize the first opportunity to touch a female?”

Tell me how could you have done that? After everything you have taught me? With this one incident all of your teachings to me over the years, do nothing but make you a big hypocrite!

The large monk was surprised by the outburst. He quietly turned away and said, “My dear brother, I set the young maiden down at the river’s bank many hours ago, why is it that you are still carrying her?”

The moral reflects the thinking of many of us. We all encounter many unpleasant things in life, they irritate us and they might also cause us to get angry. Often they cause us a lot of hurt and sometimes cause us to be bitter.

But like the little monk, we are not willing to let them go. We choose to carry around our baggage, much like the “young maiden” in this story. 

We allow the baggage to weigh us down.

We allow it to continue to cause us a lot of unnecessary pain. Why?

Simply because we are not willing to set our baggage down and let it go.

Much like the large monk, we too should set down down whatever weight it is we are carrying around.

By doing this we will immediately remove all of that discomfort and pain. There is no reason to be further hurt by any unpleasant event, after we have put it behind us.

Let Go and Let God.

Make it a great dia!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Over 25% of human genes are the same as a...
















Some days we all really have a way of annoying others with our intelligent remarks.

On those occasions all you have to do is remember this little nugget that I came across. 

Did you know that over 25% of human genes are the same as those of a simple banana?

You probably also know that humans and the ole chimpanzee’s genome have already been sequenced.

Although both chimps and humans have lost and gained a hand full of genes since our lost common ancestor...  we still generally share the same types of genes.

(Obviously the actual sequence of the gene may be a little different).

However; we are closely related to chimps, (from an evolutionary perspective that is), we share about 98.6% of our DNA sequence at the genome level.

Now that should make us feel a whole lot smarter than the earlier banana reference.

So let's get over ourselves!

Make it a great day and try not to annoy anyone this morning… or the rest of the week.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Optimism always wins out...


Optimists enrich the present, enhance the future, challenge the improbable and attain the impossible. - William Arthur Ward

I read in that Walt Disney showed a lot of optimism, resourcefulness and resilience throughout his life.

But I didn’t know that his first company went bankrupt, or that he went on to lose the rights to his very first successful cartoon character (Oswald the Lucky Rabbit).

That he had also lost most of his employees at the time.

But Walt never gave up!

He even experienced and recovered from a nervous breakdown.

Then came back and won what would be his first of a record 22 Academy Awards (for a cartoon that he'd completed in black & white but then redid in color from scratch called "Flowers and Trees" in1932.

He kept challenging all these odds and successfully worked his way through the Great Depression with merchandising deals of Mickey Mouse watches and dolls.

150,000 employees today are grateful to his optimism and with $38 billion in sales, so is our economy, investors and his loved ones... as well as the millions of visitors.

Be optimistic and resilient.

GO… enrich, enhance, challenge and attain!

Make it a great dia!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beauty surrounds us...


Beauty comes in all forms and sizes… and easily measured by one’s heart.

Beauty can be found in someone's eyes…

Beauty can be felt in your lover’s soul…

Beauty can be heard in a guitar’s melodic strumming…

Beauty can be seen in a simple crayon piece of artwork…

When we look up at the stars…

When we get the newest bloom…

I know we are blessed to be surrounded by life’s glorious beauty.

I saw beauty each time I spoke to my Viejita… an inner beauty found underneath her weathered and wrinkled face.

I felt beauty when I first held my son… warmed by his innocence and the magnificence of that moment.

We are surrounded by beauty.

I pray that we all live long lives… so that we can experience many more beautiful moments.

We can either choose to see beauty everywhere or ignore it and remain untouched by it.

Make it a great dia!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is it real LOVE?

So you are in LOVE?

CONGRATULATIONS!!

I’ve learned a thing or two about LOVE over the years.

So for my novice LOVERS - here is my heartfelt advice for you to digest.

I've learned NEVER to rush into LOVE. 

You deserve to be LOVED in the most genuine and sincerest way.

Don't ever short change yourself and never settle for less.

Your new relationship needs to feel right... it should "fit." 

It needs to feel comfortable. Above all though it must feel safe.

You'll also know if its the one... if you get the fuzzy, warm, butterflies in your stomach sort of feelings.  

Your new "LOVE" relationships should be easy on the mind, fun in the heart and inexpensive.

I haven't forgotten about the important three letter word.... sex.  

Sex is not LOVE. 

Confusing sex with LOVE is never a good thing.

I get it... we all feel those overwhelming emotions that stir up inside us when we're in close physical contact with the new LOVE of our life. 

Do ask yourself, "Will I still LOVE my him/her if I wasn't physically attracted to him/her?".  

Remember beauty and youthful looks are fleeting, but the heart and mind will endure.

LOVE is not medicinal or an emotional fix.

I remember my "puppy love" days and needing the latest teenage LOVE of my love so badly that I would literally feel sick when I couldn’t reach her.

Real LOVE – the sort of love that will be worth saving – is more than just "wants and desires."

This next tip is important, "Don't ever fall for someone with an agenda."

Even your own agenda.

If you must over look soooo many things about him/her and you plan on changing them, then it's not LOVE.  

If you will have to change your partner’s personality or behavior, consider finding someone less "defective."

Same goes for them, if you sense that their aim is to change you, your personality or behavior... don't walk, run as fast as you can AWAY from your new relationship! 

Here's a bit more advice...

Any long-term relationship worth keeping will involve some type of compromise.

Some compromise may be necessary, but in a true "LOVE" experience the compromising will be easy to do and inspired. 

All relationships will undoubtedly experience a few rough spots.

It will require your deep understanding and patience. 

A “long-term,” meaningful relationship will prove its worth over time.

So don't rush in... your new relationship has not proven their worth.

I found that many of the warning signs of a potentially disastrous relationship (at least in my own experience) appeared within the first three months.

Finally you have to enjoy being around your new found LOVE.

After all worthwhile relationships tend to inspire HAPPINESS.

In fact when you find the right one - you won't have to work at being happy.

The most successful partnerships I've ever enjoyed, produced happiness all by themselves.

Now go LOVE someone...

Make it a great LOVING dia!
 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's been 151 days for HAITI...














It's been just five months and Haiti is still suffering.

It's children are waking up as I write these words… stretching their little arms, maybe looking around and carefully listening.

They’ve been listening for these past five months; for the sound of voices, gentle voices, loving whispering voices.

And like the past five months they have heard silence.

Nothing, no familiar words, no comforting voice, NOTHING.

They do not hear anything, but the pain of nothingness.

A deep and crippling pain.

The pain that excoriates the flesh – a searing burning that flows through their tiny bodies and souls.

They will never hear them again...

They who gave them love, warmth, who shared their food and would hugged them tight.

They who gave them life.

Tuesday January 12th forever changed their Life as they knew it.

Forever changed the rest of their days…

Transformed their life for a future of loneliness and sadness.

Loneliness because “they” are gone and sadness because “they” are gone.

They have gone.

They who were everything…

The children are waking up as I write these words… sitting awake and carefully listening.

Listening and waiting…





















They still need you. There were 380,000 orphans prior to the earthquake - it is estimated that this number has now doubled.

Here are some more grim statistics:

The unemployment rate is over 70%.

54% of all Haitians live on less than a dollar a day.

There are few paved roads, an inadequate supply of potable water, minimal utilities, and depleted forests.

About 60% of the population lives in abject poverty.

Less than 20% of Haitians age 15 and over can read and write.

Fewer than 75% of children attend school.

60% of the Haitian population does not have access to primary health care.

The United Nations estimates 6% of Haitians are infected with HIV/AIDS.

The highest rate in the Western Hemisphere.

An estimated 30,000 people die of AIDS every year.

One in twenty Haitians is infected with HIV/AIDS and there are over 150,000 AIDS orphans.

The more you give - the more can be done for them.

Give as generously as you can.

Just GIVE. Proverbs 19:17

We Are the WORLD - Donate button at bottom of blog.

Make it a dia of gratitude.

Friday, June 11, 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa!




















Did you know the World Cup starts today? Mexico kicks it off against South Africa at 9:00 a.m. CST.

I bet you didn't know that more people watch and play soccer then do any other social activity? It may be that anyone, any size and where can play or enjoy it.

As a kid we played it on any level surface... grassy fields and pastures, on dusty grounds, stony and or cemented areas and even in doors with my Viejita yelling at us for doing it.

Let me tell you a little about some of the top players to watch... the world's best all time soccer player is Argentina's Lionel Messi and he stands just 5'7" tall. Rumor has it he took a lot of growth hormones just to grow that tall.

Other players to watch are:

Other then Beckham, Cristiano is probably the most recognized player in the world because he models for Armani. Cristiano Ronaldo a Portugal Winger, who scored 33 goals in 35 appearances with Real Madrid. Cristiano's name Ronaldo came from his father's favorite actor, Ronald Reagan.

Helmed Maicon is a Brazilian defender and the world's finest right back. If you go to You Tube you can see him doing some amazing ball juggling and then striking an impressive goal against Juventus.

There is also the amazing Wayne Rooney an English defender who scored 26 goals last season. Rooney is known for his tempermental outbursts and has "Just Enough Education To Perform" tattooed on his right forearm. The line is the title of an album by his favourite band, The Stereophonics.

Then there is Samuel Eto'o and Cameroon's all time leading striker. He gave each of his team mates $35,000.00 gold and diamond encrusted watches from his personally designed jewelry collection this past season.

I think you should look out for Spain's Iker Casillas, who is the world's best goalkeeper and who allowed zero goals in the Euro knock out round. Casillas played around 96 matches for Spain and has more than 43 clean sheets to his name.

Finally there is our own USA's rapping midfielder, Clint "Deuce" Dempsey who scored the only goal at the 2006 Cup against Ghana. I really love his never-say-die attitude which has been a constant feature of his career. His soccer ability got him out of his childhood trailer park in Nagodoches, Texas and opened doors which led to college and now Major League Soccer.

However; my all time favorite team is Brazil and they should do well this time around. We will have to get past Portugal and the Ivory Coast, but I predict it will be a Spain - Brazil final match- up this time around.

Let's take a look at some recent single game viewership stats - 

NBA Finals Game 5 -  8 Million watched

World series Game 6 -  22.3 Million watched

Super Bowl 106.5 watched

WORLD CUP 715.1 MILLION!

Make it a great futbol dia! Goooooooaaaaaalllll!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Grateful to those who have lit our flame...
















At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. - Albert Schweitzer

I was invited to attend some dear friends daughter's fourth birthday celebration. She is now in her senior year at a college in Maryland, going for a degree in counseling. Before I confuse you anymore let me explain.

I attended her fourth year anniversary celebration. It was her fourth year of sobriety! The large cafeteria at a local Menonite church was full of her fellow recovered alcoholics, their friends and loved ones. There was so much goodwill and laughter in the air... there was also eternal hope and heartfelt gratitude.

Each person celebrating their one, three, four, nine and even twenty-one year period of sobriety got a chance to go to the podium and speak. Each spoke about their journey towards recovery. They related their triumphs over their trials and tribulations.

They talked about no longer being content with just getting by. How serenity was not the absence of conflict, but their new found ability to cope with it.

They spoke about their gratitude and all the wonderful positive changes to their life since reaching sobriety. Especially about reconnecting with loved ones. 

Each one also spoke about their gratitude towards their mentors or sponsors and the meaningful bonds and friendshps they had cultivated over the years.

Most told about how their staying sober was a direct result of being of service to others and paying their message forward.

We also heard insipiring stories filled with faith and how many had experienced a "spiritual awakening" in their lives.

It made me remember my Viejita's advice about prayer and meditation and how they were both vital to one's life.

She often reminded her family that, "It is impossible to stumble when one is on their knees."


SERENITY PRAYER

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.


The less known part to this beautiful prayer ends with...


Living one day at a time; 

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next.

Amen.  - Reinhold Niebuhr

Make it a great dia!



Wednesday, June 9, 2010

10 ways to love the earth...



















There is so much we can invidually do to show our eartth more gratitude. Here are 10 tips for living green that you can implement immediately:

1. I love fresh fruits and vegetables, go to your nearest Farmer's market and buy organically grown fruits and vegetables. Organic foods avoid the use of pesticides and are better for the environment, as the produce is grown naturally. You'll also be helping the economy recover.

2. Walk instead of taking your car. Also consider carpooling or taking your public transportation systems, such as buses or trains as often as you can. You'll save money on gasoline and in the long run generate less air pollution.

3. Are you a clutter bug? Try recycling your household items. Give all your old clothes to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Organize a yard sale and get rid of things you no longer want or need. Like water, what you are not using... let it flow.

4. I love to garden, so when gardening, create a compost pile for fertilizer. That will save you money on commercial fertilizers.

5. Always use canvas bags when grocery shoping. Mexico City has actually outlawed the use of plastic bags.

6. Invest in a water-saving showerhead. You can also do the same with your toilets. A inexpensive water saving solution is putting a small brick in the tank which helps to conserve our water.

7. Have you ever bought things in bulk? It will save you money and requires less packaging materials that you end up discarding anyway.

8. Save energy by installing a programmable thermostat to heat and air condition your home or apartment. They are easy to install. Keep it above 78 in the summer and at 68 in the winter.

9. Pure soaps are biodegradable and break down completely. Always choose soaps like Dove. Avoid all soaps with synthetic scents or colors.

10. Make an outdoor bird feeder out of recyclable products, such as a milk carton. You'll be feeding God's little creatures and helping the environment at the same time!

Make it a GREEN dia!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The reflection in the mirror...




















As you wake up each day you have to look at the reflection in the mirror - your own.

You're standing in front of the mirror of life.
This mirror tells your present day story.

Do you like what you see?

Only you are capable of changing what’s reflected.

You alone are the person who has been hindering your growth.

Have you been setting limits? 

Do you see youself in the right light? 

Only you can correct the lighting in your life. 

Is it bright and sunny or is it dim and gloomy?

Do you see a happy reflection?

Only you can influence your reflection and the happiness in your life.

No one else can take your place in front of this mirror.

You alone are reflected in the mirror… and only you can change what you see there.

Your reflection will not change as you change neighborhoods or jobs, or if your friend's change, or even if your loved ones' change.

Your reflection will change when YOU change.

That image in the mirror will change when you go beyond self imposed, limiting beliefs.

When you begin to see that you alone are accountable for what is in the mirror.

So take a closer look at that reflection...  your reflection.

Take a closer look at yourself.

There will never be a more important image then the one in the mirror.

Your mirror’s reflection is the truest depiction of the person standing in front of it.

It doesn't hide any imperfections.

Only you can change what is reflected, only you can change the reality in the mirror.

You can and will create the image you want reflected. 

Start to visualize a new you... your new reality.

Start by seeing a NEW you.

See it. Believe it. Attain it!

Make it a great dia!

Monday, June 7, 2010

I can't hear you ...

















It's an incredibly liberating thing when you stop worrying about what other people think about you. Now I just need me to love me and, as a result, I'm a much better friend, girlfriend, sister, aunt, everything. - Linda Evans

Sometimes you just have to pretend that no one is talking to you.

You might need to plug your ears and mute out the cacaphony of LIFE.

Make it a great dia!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Are you happy with the person you're alone with?
















You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with. - Wayne Dyer

It is all about being who you are and what you believe.

It is loving yourself.

It is about being true to yourself.

Having the courage to accept yourself as you really are.

Showing yourself, self-respect.

It is living and acting with value, your values.

It is about introspection, your own.

It is being genuine and sincere.

Being true to yourself means that you will not let others define you or make decisions for you that
you should be making for yourself.

Being true to the very best that is YOU!

It is living your life, your dreams and pursuing your highest aspirations.

Be happy with the person you are alone with...

Be YOU!

Make it a great dia!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

One may fall but two must get up?














It does not matter how many times you get knocked down,  but how many times you get UP. - Vince Lombardi

Coming from a very large family of thirteen (that is just counting my siblings ;) We learned about getting back up after getting knocked down, from our own 4'8" version of Vince.

We were taught that no matter what - in a fall or in our defeat we must never stay down.

My Viejita taught us to look for ways that we could also help others up around us. 

So early on we were taught to not only pull ourself up by our "proverbial" bootstraps, but to always reach down to pull someone else up too.

Years later when I have experience leadership challenges or even a personal crisis; I know to not only focus on my own troubles, but to reach out and pull someone else to their feet.

Make it a great dia!

Friday, June 4, 2010

You are the "right" piece...


Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without YOU the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things. - Leo Buscaglia

Always look for opportunities to continue to "positively" impact your world.

Keep loving - accepting - forgiving - and being the "right" piece of the puzzle.

The piece that completes you and others!

Make it a great dia!



Thursday, June 3, 2010

I will always remember you...



















My Viejita lived a very long life, one totaling 94 years. She lived a full life with no regrets, and was fully engaged until the very end.

Some days even ten months since her passing are tougher than others. What I miss the most is hearing her humorous but optimistic reflections of the world.

I also miss the companionship and our friendship and not being able to share our thoughts and dreams. I will forever be grateful for her influence and the time we had.

You can only imagine all of the many wonderful and crazy memories we created when we were back home in the village. From our horseback riding adventures into the sierras ( yes, she was still riding into her 87 birthday ), to cane pole fishing, old fashion river bank cook-outs and even surviving our getting lost late one night with little over head moon light in a huge pasture… she was as a tough and fearless 110lbs. 4' 8" woman.

As I was doing my morning prayer and meditation, I also began thinking about the other important people in my life. Whose influence over the years have served to shape who I am today.

I started with My Viejita - for her unconditional love, devotion and steadfast support throughout my life. The person who also taught me to pray, to believe, have Faith, laugh and always show kindness.

My Father - his tough and formal German exterior was balanced by his quiet wisdom and caring nature. Working along side him I also came to appreciate his more subtle strengths of resourcefulness and purpose.

Tio Roberto - he was a Consul General and a high level politico in Mexico. I spent three summers at his home in Mexico City growing up and he opened my eyes to a whole new world.  He taught me about keeping up with current events, the newspaper, and engaged my intellect and interest in philosophy and politics. He taught me the importance of integrity, servant leadership and patriotism.

Maria - she gave a kid an opportunity to make enough money to bring home two beef burritos home each evening, one for my Viejita and one for me. She taught me about unconditional service to others and whose own tragic life story (she was a double amputee) made me want to pursue a career in health care.

Tia Julia - she was Tio Roberto's better half, and she gave me the opportunity to experience a few of the finer things in life, while schooling me in proper etiquette and being the perfect gentleman. She also taught me about music and dancing... and told me that all women loved to dance and if I wanted to be a great catch one day...  I needed to learn how to cumbia, corrida, salsa, waltz and foxtrot.

Antonio - my older brother and someone who was a quiet but important presence in my life. He taught me about dependability and work ethic. He also taught me about taking pride in everything one did, being persistant and developing trust.

Roberto  - my music teacher for over six years who taught me to read music, and play several brass instruments; coronet, trumpet, baritone, valve trombone and the upright euphonium. He also taught me about team work and self confidence. 

Colonel Daniels - who was the toughest but most fair minded man I ever trained with and worked for. He taught me to have the perseverance to accomplish any goal, regardless of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles. To always be honest, fair minded, and inspiring to my troops. He also taught me the importantance of leading and how a true leader always led by example. How there was a distinct difference between managing and leading. Managers he often said; were individuals who did things right, but leaders were people who did the right thing.

Rev. CT - a giant of a man I met while developing a diversity program for a fortune 500 company. His inspirational life story taught me about justice, fairness and humility. Our chance encounter and personal relationship over the last 20 years have also taught me about generosity, faith and living a spiritual life.

I hope that one day I will be able to repay others with the precious gifts I've been given. That their lessons' keep me on a path that rekindles positive influence in others.

I plan on finishing my list and then writing and thanking as many people on that list as I can. This is a great project - who would you list?

Make it a great dia!