Saturday, December 31, 2011

Un Día Más.

So we have just another day before we celebrate the close of 2011.

There has been a lot to be grateful for.

The past twelve months have flown bye.

It's as if Life is a huge mirror.

That reflection is not just us in the mirror,

it consists of everything we've done to others.

Even though its too late to realize that what we do to another we've already

done to ourselves.

In reality we have already chosen the response we've received.

What we reflect is what we get back. A good friend and a therapist always says,

"We teach others how to treat us."

But there is more to it then that.

Everything we put out there is what we get back.

So what are you waiting for?

If you want to be happier than be happy to others.

It's time to take a second longer and assess what we say and do.

Although we have less then fifteen hours, if you say you want to

be forgiven for something,

then you have to start forgiving.

Want to find sincerity in others, than be genuine.

If you want to find love, than show love.

Make it a reflective last day of this 2011 día!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A finite amount of time.

So count down to a new year.

In less then 48 hours we will begin 2012.

I'd like you to try an incredibly provoking and powerful exercise.

Imagine that you only have this coming year to live.

What would you do different?

How would you spend your time?

What would you do?

What would be important to you?

What things would not matter?

Would you change your job?

Who would you call or see more of?

Anyone that you would avoid?

I would start by telling them just how important they have been to you.

What about the ones who annoy you?

Are there any people you hold grudges against, anyone you have

an ongoing feud with?

Why would you want to take any of their negative energy with you?

Now’s the time to make things right. Begin by writing down your feelings.

Be fair, be sensible and be honest.

It's time to clear our karmic debt.

Anyone you could help?

Who could benefit from more of your time, your energy, your money?

There is no time for regrets, right?

Is there anything you regret not having done?

Anything you'd rather be doing?  

What is that one thing you always wanted to do?

Why not think about doing it now?

We've all made mistakes, are there any you could right?

If not, then let them go, as they say let go and let God.  

This exercise is meant to focus your mind on living.

You see, there is nothing as serious as dying.

What would you do if you had only a week to live?

What about just one day to live?

An hour to live?

Why not live every day as if it were your last?

Write down your thoughts and then follow through.

Use this time to create life, to live more consciously.

It's time to really enjoy every moment.

It's not too late to quit living with regret.

I’m not suggesting we all go out on a giant shopping spree,

or not show up to the office tomorrow or ditch someone.

What we need to do is to try and think about what is really important.

Once we quit imagining that we have limitless time, we begin to care more.

We begin to do the things that matter - more often.

My Viejita kept talking about what she would do when she "had extra time,

or "extra money."

Sadly she left a few perfectly new and wrapped dresses in her closet,

and a cub board with some fine china - a gift too precious for ordinary use.

How I wish she had worn those dresses, or used that fine china.

I know she would have looked beautiful in them, as she ate my favorite

albondiga soup in her fine china.

Make it a "now" día!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Creating a new universe.

44 hours and 14 minutes and we will all be celebrating 2012.

Time to begin sloughing off the old us and begin thinking, planning

and creating the new us.

I strongly believe that we create our own universe.

Like the law of attraction; our thoughts attract like minded thoughts.

Just like we once attracted the "love of our lives," or the next love to be,

even our best friends, and acquaintances.

If we are negative, than why would we expect to attract anything positive?

No one and nothing positive would want to reside in the negative.

So let's all seek to be and find everything positive in our lives.

We have more control over our beliefs, our intentions and our actions than

we give ourselves credit.

Be positive and choose to live in your new universe.

Don't give negative distractions or detractors any power.

Time to give them "la gran patada," the great big boot.

Time to create our best universe.

Make it a new día!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Baby steps to success.

A new year is just around the corner.

With it will come the perfect opportunity to make changes,

and improvements.

Whether in our personal life, at school or at the office.

Have you ever found yourself sabotage yourself?

Thinking yourself out of doing something even before you have given

it a chance?

The kind of negative, and self-limiting thinking that somehow stops you

in your tracks?

What these are self-imposed limitations.

Limitations that prevent you from reaching your potential.

The only way we can ever begin to change or transform our lives is

to give ourselves a chance to get started.

Just like simple negative words can deter us - simple positive words

can change our negative possibilities into positive probabilities.

We just completed our "Biggest Loser" in our office and one lady lost

a whopping 29 pounds or 2.07 stones or 13.15 kilograms!

The men did pretty well also with one gentlemen losing 25 pounds,

or 1.78 stones, or 11.33 kilograms. 

I agree, that it is much easier to eat fast foods or other unhealthy foods

than to find the discipline to make some changes, even if it's for

our own best interest.

More often than not, we go by the "Mañana, I'll give up all _______ forever,

and exercise for 90 minutes every other day.

What I am really impressed with is that the people that lost all that weight

did it by reasonable discipline.

They started off by believing that they could change.

They took baby steps, or a series of small steps.

A baby doesn't leap to their feet and take off running.

A baby takes one very shaky tiny step at a time.. usually accompanied by a big wide,

"I am not sure I can do this grin."

I too suggest taking small steps, and having patience, self-compassion and small

amounts of self discipline.

New Year's is just three days away… what baby steps will you be taking?

Make it a great día!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quatro days and counting..

Just five more days till the new year begins.

What is one thing that I have I worked at and done better this past year?

Probably overcoming fear.

We all experience or encounter pretty much the same ones.

How we face them is the only difference between overcoming them and or

allowing them to live in our world.

How are you facing them?

Do you tend to ignore them and hope that they will go away?

Do you shy away from them?

Problem is that if we don't do something with them they will continue to exist,

and grow into scarier, bigger, faceless entities in our subconscious.

What if we were to face them bravely and meet them head on?

By doing this we will use them as stepping stones to our growth.

It doesn't have to be an all consuming dread fest.

Spending just minutes a day facing our fears enables us see them

as opportunities to overcome.

I always start off with the smallest, least scariest of them.

I make time after m y morning meditation and prayer to visualize

them and seeing me overcome them.

Gradually by observing and dismantling our fears, you end up seeing

that many of them were unworthy of our emotions.

Once you've confronted one, move o to the next.

You keep moving on up the road until you reach your greatest fear?

Just what would the worst thing that you imagine happening to you?

The take away any drama or emotion.

Is it still awful?

It's about putting everyone of those fears into a "relativity" space.

You can and must reduce your fears down to manageable proportions.

In the end most fears come down to some type of insecurity.

A lack of security that may include losing a personal possession, your home,

or your job.. or possibly a lack of love in not having a relationship

or losing a loved ones.

The other fears may fall into saving face, a lack of or making a fool of yourself,

and appearing stupid.

Either way a fear is nothing more than something that you have given credence

to and created in your imagination.

It's time to clear the attic (or under your bed) of all our boogie-monsters.

Time to Live - Love - Grow.

Make it a fearless día!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Homemade albondiga soup.

The holidays are when I most miss my Viejita.

She was my best friend and condidant.

ChristmasEve, Christmas and Epiphany were all

celebrations that we both loved to celebrate together. 

My favorite dish is sopa de albondigas or Mexican meatball soup.

She made the best caldos but her sopa de albondigas was the best

I've ever tasted. 

I went to the nearest Michocana on Christmas day, I needed more tostadas.

I ran into the grey haired lady, Donna Laurita that runs the meat department,

and I told her my story of missing my loved ones and of my favorite

dish the albondigas.

She smiled and said, they were my son's favorite.

He had been in an construction accident in New York City in the 80's,

and last year had gotten pneumonia. 

He smoked alot she said and he never recovered.

She than said, "I bet I still remember how to make them."

We laughed about it but I offered to pay her for the ingredients plus $20.00.

She laughed and said if I make them once a week I could become a part timer. 

Donna Laurita took my number and address and said she would call me if she

got inspired, and tried to attempt making them.

This morning I had to go into the office for a couple of hours and when I

returned I found that Dona Laurita had come bye. 

She had left a huge casserole dish with my sopa de albondigas.

She also had hand written the entire recipe in her over sized trembling cursive.

What a great gift!

What an amazingly delicious surprise!    

2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs
½ cup long grain rice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

1 chiltepin (hot red pepper)
½ cup finely minced onions
3 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
5 potatoes, cubed
1 (9 ounce) can tomato sauce
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges

Add hot homemade corn tortillas, or french style Bolillos

Mix ground beef with the eggs, rice, some cumin and garlic.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Shape meat mixture into 1-½ inch meatballs.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil.

Gently place the meatballs into the boiling water.

Add the onions, celery, carrots, potatoes and tomato sauce.

Cover and reduce heat to low boil for about 1 hour until vegetables

are soft and rice in meatballs is tender.

Serve hot garnished with some cilantro, and a wedge of lime.

Heat up some corn tortillas or some bolillos.

 Make it a great dia and if you can, try this recipe!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Feliz Navidad querido pueblo.

I awaken to another beautiful morning.

The spirit of His celebration moves me to rejoice as we welcome His day.

No greater gift could we receive today.

This is Christmas!

Our heart are filled with Peace, and Joy.

They're filled with a desire to change, to be better than we were yesterday,

and the day before.

We are renewed with the Hope that Mexico's worse days are behind it.

That the tireless and faithful spirit of our beloved Mexico will complete

their difficult pilgrimage towards Peace.

That in the midst of Mexico's violence and tremendous difficulties

they can one day too,

celebrate with Joy.

Just as one contemplates the scene of that day; as particularly hostile

to the arrival of the first family as they traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem,

God will once again make right all wrongs.

Dear familia, and friends let us never forget that the Christmas stable

in our homes, the place that the Lord is welcome,

will choose to stay, settle in and lives.

God is not passing bye, He is here to stay.

It is not Christmas for one day.

It's Christmas, no matter how unfavorable and unwelcoming our

scenario remains.

That first Christmas offered an unfavorable scenario as well.  

The first Christmas manger offered little comfort to the baby Jesus.

Today we can't offer much better.

But among our miseries, I know God is present to fill us with Love,

and inspire Hope.  

The Mexican story is not finished.

I join my familia, my friends and neighbors in supplication that

His presence will rewrite and straighten it.

The cartels mistakenly believe that there is no place for the King of the Peace.

That there is no place for the creator of the world, in their unGodly world.

They are mistaken.

There is no place for them.

Today God has come to claim his people and his place.

Where just yesterday there was no room.

They're going to say that there is no place for Him this Christmas.

They will soon learn that there are a whole lot of reasons why they should

be celebrating His day.

They will learn that there has always been a place for Christmas.

That there has always been room where previously there was none.

So this morning as we awaken to new found Hope.

May the Joy that we feel in our souls be transcending.

May our prayers help bring Peace and fill everyone with a new Hope.

Someone please tell those lost people of the cartels that they too

can celebrate Christmas.

Even though many children and grownups have awakened in Mexico with

heartache, many grieving and overwhelmed.

May this Christmas morning, bring you renewed Hope.

It's a new day, and His birth is bringing good news.

Yes. With this day, and at this time, may His grace and salvation be in your hearts.

"Dios ha venido para quedarse." 

God has come to stay.

Feliz Navidad querido pueblo.  

Los amo..

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Midnight mass memories.

2011 has almost come and gone.

I have to admit I love the cooler weather and getting a chance

to pull out the old sweaters.

It’s a chance to over indulge in my favorite season's drink..

Southern Comfort Eggnog.

I enjoy taking in some long drives to check out the beautifully

decorated homes around the neighborhood.

But I too, find it difficult to avoid getting caught up in the commercialism.

Yet Christmas has always been a very special time for me.

As some of you know, I spent many of them away far from my wife and  

son (when I was in the military).

The one thing that was a constant; was that no matter what country

I found myself in, I would always look forward to attending

a midnight mass ceremony.

There were incredible memories from having attended midnight masses overseas…

from the midnight mass at an Armenian church in Achrafiyeh Lebanon,

to the Bavarian and beautiful Wieskirche in Germany,

which is also called the Pilgrimage Church of the Scourged Saviour,

and a beautiful Melkite Greek Catholic church in Amman, Jordan.

Each will always hold very special memories.

A few hours spent in joyful worship helped me celebrate this special

day's true meaning.

It still inspires a special sense of spirit that is almost difficult to explain. 

My spirit seems to gravitate to a greater degree of gratitude and generosity.

Christmas brings me serenity, a peace filled and tranquil spirit

and a solemn resignation in my heart.

It makes me pray that much harder for Peace around the gloce, 

and especially for the safe return of all of our uniformed men and women. 

A sense of a divine resignation that roots deep in my heart,

squares up the past month's hurt feelings and disappointments.

It is by far the greatest gift I could ever ask for.

So this morning I pray that you too are awakened to a more patient

inner voice, one that tells you to be more open to understanding,

rather than insisting on being understood.

That you will grow to be even more generous,

and may you find it easier foe goodwill to guide your every action.

I pray that more people around the world discover the essence of Christmas.

That moment by moment we grow ever more grateful for all that is good in our lives.

That we acknowledge with heartfelt appreciation all those

that accept us even with our faults.

That we never forget to demostrate our appreciation to everyone

that loves, supports and nurtures us.. and as often as possible.

This Christmas holiday I wish you continued growth, personal happiness,

and the success you've so worked hard for,,

as well as the all important stamina and good health.

May this Christmas be not so much the opening of presents,

but the unwrapping of our hearts.

Make it a grateful día and a memorable Christmas Eve!