Thursday, March 31, 2011

Think "GRATEFUL".















Do you only think about GRATITUDE when everything is going well?

Have you ever been GRATEFUL when you were in the midst of a crisis?

Quite often we are overwhelmed by the moment..

and can't seem to feel that happiness is the lining within.

Our GRATITUDE may be missing..

and even the ordinary things that bring us happiness get sidelined and overlooked.

GRATITUDE increase our happiness..

it decreases one's blood pressure..

and even boosts our immune system.

Many studies have proven this!

No matter what you are facing now, be GRATEFUL for the things that are important in your life.

Be GRATEFUL for everything and everyone that brings you happiness.

You'll find that even I the midst of a crisis there is a lot to be GRATEFUL for.

Make it a GRATEFUL día!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More time to do less.














I awoke extra early today.

I love these type of days - some people get upset when their sleeping time is cut short.

I see it differently.

I am actually given extra time to do some of the things I want to get accomplished.

This morning I spent some extra time in morning meditation.

I am spending more time with the Parker (a 12lb. lhasa-poo).

I also love reading and one of my favorite people that came to mind was Gandhi.

I remember one statement where he said, "There is more to life then increasing its speed."

This morning I am taking his advise to heart.

With the additional time I have been gifted with I am going to take more in.
I am going to really slow my pace down today,

and observe and enjoy the people and the world around me.

Live - Love - Grow.

Make it a great día!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sancho Panza and my Mother.

















There is an old saying from Sancho Panza from Don Quixote that says, "Hombre pone, y Díos dispone" or basically man proposes a plan and God disposes of it how he wants.

I am not saying we should not have plans, but even the best laid out ones at times have challenges.

My Mother was a very wise woman, although as some of you know she never attended school.

Yet she believed that there were lessons in everything we encountered.

That we needed to do a better job of accepting and understanding challenges (which are quite often troublesome).

"Patience with determination!", I can hear her saying.

Make it a great Sancho Panza día!

Monday, March 28, 2011

CDSD it!












Spring time is here!

With it comes a renewed call to clean, organize and unclutter our lives!

Clear out, donate, sell or dispose of anything that is no longer useful in your life. 

If you haven't thought about, read, worn or touched something in over two years - CDSD it!

Yes, clear it out, donate it to a charity, sell it at a garage sale or on line or just dispose of it.

Remember the less you need to dust, clean, reorganize, move, protect, even insure…

the more Peace, Tranquility and Joy you'll experience..

and a lot more time to relax and enjoy your down time.

Make it a great día!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Some faded photographs.















Last night I was listening to my favorite Mexican music, songs by Trio Los Panchos.

Boleros and romantic ballads that I grew up listening to and that I love so much,

and careful sifting of the many treasured photos of memories made.

I was once more reminded of just how blessed I am. 

My life has been filled with adventure and chance meetings.

Experiences that overflow with emotion and satisfaction.

Hardship and reward.

Loves made and loves lost.

A beautiful family and many beloved brothers and sisters.

Tender memories from a Mother now gone, that continue to fan a grateful heart.

Reminders all that encourage my living life, with purpose.

What can you do to contribute to your earthly stay?

Make it a great día!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A pat on the back...



















No matter how old we get we all love a good pat on the back.

To be reassured that we are of value to another.

We tend to think of self-esteem as being something that we seek to encourage in little children.

We work at developing and nurturing them so that they will grow up happy and well adjusted.

As adults we rely on past confirmations that have helped us to furthur nurture and develop our own self esteem.

Self esteem that we rely on a daily basis to pull us through the daily experience.

Especially when we are at a cross roads, a trying time or facing a tough decision. 

Here is where we need to be able to have that solid "self" to trust and depend on.

Never doubt just how far you can go.

Never doubt your own strengths and abilities.

Know that within us lies every ounce of ability and strength, to handle just about any situation.

Live - Love - Grow.

Make it a great día!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The curtain rises.




















It's VIERNES!

I don't know about you but I love seeing good plays.

Life is really similar to the most well written of plays.

It has a grand opening number..

a main character and story line,

a plot and various intermissions..

filled with incredible drama, and emotion,

and its climax or conclusion. 

Throughout the play in our vast theater of life, there is also music. 

With many colorful backdrops, lights and sounds all coming together to entertain the audience - the world around us. 

Yet, we have a choice... 

we can either turn off the lights,

quiet the theater,

and sit back and enjoy it as an audience member..

or give it the "Oscar winning performance of our lives!

I don't know about you but I wouldn't mind winning one.

Make it a great dia!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Suppressed emotions.















Have you ever suppressed your emotions - suppressed what you were feeling? 

Maybe because you were afraid of another's reaction,

maybe you were afraid to share your feelings,

or felt that it was better to just leave things unspoken?

I was always taught to be frank, honest and open minded.

That it was never a good thing to remain silent and worse yet say nothing. 

Quite often we take the easy way out and hope that whatever we are feeling will pass -

or we will get over it. 

The truth is that when we suppress what we feeling, we are minimizing them -

almost making them less worthy of their existence.

We end up burying them under the surface…

and certain to pop out at the most inappropriate time. 

I was taught that it was always best to face our emotions,

to honor them in a way wherer we worked through them,

and more importantly understood them.

Suppressing or ignoring feelings causes pain and confusion.

You know the feeling - out of no where you get the sense of melancholy, sadness or heartache.

Looking back there may have been something from our past that was triggered by someone's words or a certain song or memory. 

Suppressed emotions have a long lifeline.

It's when we don't process them that they never go away. 

Deal with what it is you need to deal with without becoming that emotion.

You will be much better off - and glad you did.

Make it a great dia!   

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Teaching moments.















Life is a great motivator!

It is constantly teaching us.

Reality is never perception and yet perception can often times appear to be reality.

But not everything is how we envision it...

however; it is quite often in our approach..

and how we react..

along with our attitude to those experiences..

which will ultimately determines how well we do or how badly we perform. 

Make it a great dia! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A daily do over.















One of my favorite things about LIFE is that we get to start over every day. 

A have daily "do-overs."

We awaken to the new day - and in that instant we can decide how we are going to approach the day.

Whether we are going to positively influence our day or create a negative series of consequences that will dog us throughout the day.  

I don't know about you but I choose to be happy, influence a more positive response from others and the world around me.

Make it a great día!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Japan - sadness and Hope.









I have witnessed the fear, panic and heartbreak that an earthquake delivers.

I was in Mexico City soon after leaving the military on the morning of Sept. 19,1985.

The morning that the 8.1 earthquake destroyed most of the downtown area of our city.

I saw the destruction that Mother nature was able to unleash.

Over 10,000 people died in that earthquake, thirty thousands more were injured and thousands were left homeless.

After the 3 minute long earthquake was done - it had leveled 3,000 buildings and destroyed another 100,000.

The earthquake in Japan brings back many of these same sad memories.

This catastrophe has hit a really special, and unique country.

My love of Japanese culture, architecture and food go back quite a while.

In high school I was fascinated with their famous Samurai warriors, their traditional Buddhist monks and beautiful geishas.

I  was mesmerized by their elaborate wooden temples and beautiful pagodas.

Along the way I was fortunate to have befriended several people of Japanese descent.

In the military I had a strong ally in a Lieutenant Hirochi and a very funny Capt. Saburo.

Years later I have been blessed to know a prodigal pianist named Toku.

He is now a professor of music in Boston.

Today Japan, the third-largest economy in the world is showing the rest of the world that it is a brave and resilient country.

It is facing, if you can imagine the kind of devastation and disruption on a scale of what it faced soon after the end of world war two.

My good friend Toku reaasurred me that the resilience of his people, instilled patrioitism, along side their phenomenal work ethic and community spirit, will make it possible to rebuild and come back even stronger then they were before the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

Toku over the years has told me about their noble sense of perseverance and stoicism, and how orderliness is something that is ingrained from a young age.

These qualities are going to be vital to their rebuilding.  

Toku mentioned a common Japanese word for that way of thinking or spirit.

He called it,  “gaman” which means something like “toughing it out.”

I am praying that our Japanese brothers and siters will "tough it out" and together overcome all that they are facing.

A distance of 6,000 miles, seems far… but I know that millions of us are holding them close to our hearts and we are there in spirit.

My heart is with Toku and his family.

We here at home are praying for Japan and the Japanese people.

It's painful to think about the 18,000 victims, and all of the people still missing, and  the 750,000 still without electricty, sparse food supplies, and drinking water.

I feel rather helpless not being able to do anything for them, except pray.

I am asking you to pray for their recovery as well and to please donate to the Red Cross.

This morning I am also praying that they continue to be blessed with that sense of "gaman." 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

An inspired day














I have always enjoyed meeting new people,

I am especially attracted to ones that radiate a positive spirit -

people who inspire.

Everyone I came into contact yesterday left me feeling inspired. 

The neighbor who was working on her garden,

the neighborhood clerk,

the knowledgeable man behind the counter at the car parts store,

my mechanic,

the shop owner,

a lady waiting for an MRI,

the attendant who took my parking ticket,

and another neighbor as I made my way back home.

I felt so fortunate to be able to share such an amazing universe with these fellow travelers.

To be in the midst of complete inspiration. 

Life truly is a reciprocal wonder; 

the more we seek our own potential,

the more we find another's. 

Be positive - Inspire.

Make it a great dia!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Adios mi querido primo... RIP.






















Another sad chapter is written in our family's book.

Another young businessman, is taken.

Our cousin Arturo was robbed and murdered soon after he had left

the bank in Cd. Juárez yesterday.

The investigation is leading to an inside job.

He had always been extremely careful about his monetary transactions.

You can never be too safe.. he tried.

If I was to measure his value as a man...

I would have to remember how he lived his life,

his actions,

his words,

feelings,

thoughts,

and unfailing generous heart,

whose one main desire and wish was to one day see his beloved city

return to normalcy.

He was as noble as his self-worth.

A rare individual who never had anything negative to say about anyone.

Nor say anything that he had to apologize for.

Kind, generous and loving.

Memories of Arturo will live in our hearts forever.

Alone on the Chihuahuan pavement he had stood.

Like a young fragile weed peering out through the pavement cracks.

Suffocating from the searing air of despair all too abundant in Juarez these days.

Still Arturo thirsted for Hope, and for the precious gift of Life.

Patiently awaiting his day of redemption.
 
Wake up! I'm here!

I have brought you Salvation and Joy!

But the young weed, had trouble hearing and could not reach for his gifts,

He laid too deep, wilted on the searing pavement.

Very still he remained.

You will never be alone!

He had returned once again and called his name.

To the very spot of crimson where he laid.

Loud prayers could be heard - Aleluyah!


And a new pair of wings,

and as he streched out his arms he earned what was his.

Faith and Joy had been offered to the most worthy of all.

Eternal rest calling his name.

Adios mi querido primo... Adios.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A thousand eyes...















The night they say has a thousand eyes,

And the day but one;

Yet the light of the bright world dies

With the dying sun.

The mind has a thousand eyes,

And the heart but one;

Yet the light of a whole life dies

When love is done.

Live - Love - Grow.

Make it a great dia! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Self imposed limitations?


















There are many challenges to our daily living.

Some are meant to be learning lessons..

and others I believe are there to remind us of our innate abilities to overcome.

The difference is how we see them.

Are they "self imposed limitations?"

We end up frustrating ourselves to no end by operating out of an "If, then mindset."

If I had __________, then I would ___________.
If I could __________, then I would ___________.

So…
If I had more money, then I would buy a nicer car.
If I could play the guitar, then I would be a celebrity musician.
If I was more skillful with carpentry tools, then I could build my own furntiure.

Some of us encounter this same kind of thinking in the corporate world.

I call this thinking, "atmospheric box thinking"..

What would you do if you had unlimited money?

Could sing?  Were more skillful?  And so on…

Who wouldn't want it, but this mindset can be a breeding ground for frustration.

Why?

Because at the moment you don’t have unlimited money.

You presently can’t play the guitar like a pro.

You don't have the current knowledge or tools to be a master carpenter.

Simply put, for the time being we’re somewhat stuck with our limitations.

And while it might be liberating to think about life as if we didn’t have them,

they’re still there and WE have to WORK with WHAT we HAVE.

I’m not saying that one shouldn’t plan ahead and improve or that we shouldn’t dream.

Of course we all should.

But our box is never going to expand to that atmospheric potential, until you learn to "live" in it.

I want to challenge you to think closer to the box.

Stop waiting for what you want and work what you’ve got.

How much money do you have now?

What can you do now to improve your financial situation.

What talents do you have? 

What music lessons can you take to become a better musician or singer or craftsman.

Your greatest limitation is also your greatest opportunity.

There must be something greater awaiting for us and we need to work through our limitations.

We need to make do with what we actually have and actually can achieve.

Most of us are so focused on what we don’t have, that we’re blinded to what we do have.

Gratitude is possibly missing in our lives.

We can't keep hoping for change - if we are not willing to work hard to make it happen.

We all have it in us to accomplish much more then we think we can.

So as el Señor Hernandez my music instructor would always tell us,

"Never say you can't - say you'll try."

Make it a great dia!