Sunday, May 1, 2011

The GIFT under my bed...

We are all motivated by our success, yet at other times we become 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." 

We all have the ability to change the writing of our individual chapters and outcomes each day.

I like to wake up way before dawn each morning - rain or shine.

I wrote this entry several months ago and I’d like to share it with you.

This blog entry is about one of my life long spiritual habits.

I’ve written a lot about how my Viejita had a way of teaching her family

about life in her very simple and humorous ways.

She also inspired a legacy of self discipline and more important self reflection in her children.

A lifelong Catholic she often reminded us that her Faith,

and daily prayers ( using an old worn wooden “rosario” rosary ),

were the soul’s nutrition.

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

Ever mindful of the importance of being grateful and being present in her LIFE.

A "grateful consciousness" was what 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 -

yes all eleven children (really we were thirteen but two got a little ahead of the rest).

She prayed about our fulfilling of her beloved family's collective dreams, goals and desires.

I am certain that just ensuring we were fed and sheltered

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 do each of my brothers and sisters.

I not only keep my “rosario” under my bed, but I also keep a hand written note

with a six questions I've written.

I also keep my car keys and wallet there as well - although not for safe keeping.

My Viejita was always the first one out of bed and awake each day.

Even on the coldest of winter mornings and with a foot of snow on the ground she was the first to stir. 

Our only source of heat came from an old cast iron wood fed stove,

which we also used to cook on and heat water with.

Only an expert with the perfect kindling, a match and a lot of patience

could get that beast going.

Years later I still have a heck of a time getting that old stove fired up.

But before hurrying to her tiny kitchen, she would begin her day on her knees.

On her knees and on our cold compacted dirt floors.

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 be a Catholic or use a rosary to pray -

just use this special time to either pray or meditate at the very begining of your day.

So what are some of the things I pray about?

Or what could one ask while on their knees in “silencio?”

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

or memorize some positive self talk expressions or affirmations or do like I have done,

and simply write some thought provoking questions that only you can answer each day.

These are the questions that I meditate on and use to make my day-to-day existence,

more meaningful.

1. What am I most thankful for?

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

2. What did I accomplish yesterday or last week?

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

In life as in the business world, it’s also a great way to keep track the progress we’re making.

3. 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 meeting or just trying to get ahead of a busy day -

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

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

4. 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.

5. 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 one a year and eight months ago, when my Viejita left her earthly journey…

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

This is another important life prompt or 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 through out your day

Make it a good dia!.