Monday, April 30, 2012

My top 25..

I was over at a neighbor 's, Richard wanted me to help him translate a letter

that he and his wife had received.

The couple are sponsoring a young girl, just ten year old that lives in Guatemala.

They also have two children of their own.

The 8-year old was writing down a list of all the things that she planned

on doing this summer.

She then walked up to me and began reciting it, "Mr. Tomás she said politely,

This is my list of all the things I want to do... I want to go to the zoo,

I want to go to the park and eat a big strawberry flavored

snow cone, and ride the swings, go on a trip to the beach,

and spend more time watching all of the Saturday morning cartoons.

It was a great list, I quickly thought, "I wouldn't mind doing all those things myself."

Maybe we all get a bit distracted and quit noticing or appreciate

some of the simple things that we can do.

But there is so much more to love about life and realistically

most of them don’t cost us a nickle.

So I asked myself, “What do I love about life that doesn't cost me anythign to enjoy?”

Here is my list…

1. The wonder of Love.

2. Mí famila and especially our little Bryn.

3. Just being able to wake up to the sounds of birds before dawn.

4. Appreciating what I already have instead of wishing I had more.

5. My ability to empathize.

6. The funny and loyal things my Parker does. Even though he lives in

the moment, he is always so excited and happy to see me.

7. How by his actions he reminds me to do the same.

8. What we say and do matters.

9. Being grateful for those that have never given up on me.

10. Affecting people as positively as I can, without them realizing it.

11. No matter how bad things get, there is always something

beautiful to keep me headed forward.

12. Hope.

13. Enjoying all the unexpected things.

14. Realizing that every moment in life is a chance for a new beginning.

15. Trying out new things.

16. Second chances.

17. Pain relief - even if it is just paid out in small tokens.

18. Knowing that everyday is another chance to get it right.

19. My colleagues, my leadership and my friends.

20. A good night’s sleep!

21. Quiet time, tranquility and being at peace.

22. Big and little smiles accompanied by huge laughter.

23. Acknowledging  that there truly are many paths to happiness.

24. How nothing is permanent.

25. That I can change what I don’t like.

Most of all I appreciate and am grateful for the small moments of enlightenment

that show me the path towards being a more fulfilled,

and compassionate human being.

I know I missed a lot more things I'd like to share - the list was fun to write

and think about.

Take time and write yours..

Make it a great week and a great día!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Old habits?

How often do you hear about slipping back to our old ways?

A more medical term used is relapse.

But that is not the one I am speaking to.

Our earthy journey will be one lived with many opportunities for personal

growth and emotional mastery.

We will also experience moments where we all slip back to how we used to do things.

Yes, our old ways.

Old habits and old ways of thinking and doing things are always hard to break.

Be patient on yourself, (goes back to the positive self talk I wrote about

earlier in the week).

Letting someone down is disappointing and letting ourselves down is more so…

as well as pretty frustrating.

Just be gentle, understanding, and empathetic.

It's all about the progress.

Eliminate the negative commentary.

Don’t put yourself down either, we are all slow learners..

it just depends what it is we're learning.

So forgive and move on.

You are constantly going to be changing, and or inspiring others

to make some changes.

So stand back and embrace the transformation, and while you are at it

applaud yourself for taking action.

Be grateful for your inner competitive spirit and courage!

Make it a great día!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

An Authentic Self.

So a reader asked about how I take on challenges and more importantly

how I deal with trouble or pain.

I pray and meditate.

I deal in gratitude.

I learn from past experiences.

I forgive.

I make it a point to begin and end each day with gratitude.

Whatever troubles me is not something that I run away from.

I become an observer, I take it all in and process it.

I take whatever it is that I am feeling and become a witness to that experience.

I don't allow any pain or suffering to fester.

I live by and manage my life, both my personal and business one

based on principle.

One based on the same values that were instilled in me as a child,

and the ones that are inherent to the many wonderful teachers

that I have come across.

I say teachers but they came from the lessons instilled in me by my

beloved parents, family, siblings, friends and my military,

corporate world, and medical missionary encounters.

Work to be the authentic creation that you were intended to be. 

And just don't forget to "Pay it forward."

Make it a great día!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A link is not a chain.

It's another beautiful dawn, and we all awaken to a full day's

worth of opportunities.

Moment to moment they will change and with them bring the many

wonderful rewards and lessons we need to make us complete.

But what if some present discomfort and pain?

As I mention regularly sadness and pain is temporary.

It's all about how we face or resolve them that will achieve the best

outcome in any situation.

At times we may find it difficult to "own" our pain, whether it's physical,

emotional or spiritual.

However great the challenge, be resolute, be strong.

Believe that you have the power within to resolve anything that is put

in front of you.

Each of our storylines vary in their substance and opportunities.

But we create the chains.

And all chains have a link that can be snapped, or broken therebye 

liberating us so that we can better tend to our other opportunities. 

It is up to us to break the link, to the self limiting chains we may have

wrapped ourselves in. 

The key is knowing we have the power to change by opening that one link.

One link and the chain is no longer a chain, but a mound of links.

It's about showing fortitide and courage.

Stop, breathe and take a good look at them.

Quit struggling in place, stop fighting them.

You have to allow them to manifest themselves totally.

Don't be afraid to face whatever it is you are facing. 

Embrace the situation, your feelings, and the sensation that they have created.

Next quit struggling and expanding all that energy and stresing yourself out.

Replace that space instead with one filled with a sense of learning.

Whatever it is it will no longer keep you chained, and or have power over you.

Much like our past repeating itself; until we finally learn from it,

or whatever lesson we should have learned the first time around,

we can't move on until we do.

I've learned many things in life, that one main one is that all opportunities

come with lessons, including purpose filled ones for healing, for change,

for personal growth and spirituality.

It is only by opening ourselves to change, will we ever be fully empowered

to grow and succeed.

It is also by accepting change, that we will expand our capacity in many

other important areas like love, personal growth and compassion.

Make it a grateful día!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eyes wide open.

We have all been there.

Somehow a bit misunderstood.

Our teenagers filter us out at times.

Maybe even some of our own friends or colleagues.

Have you ever been misunderstood?

Not the grammer, speech, language kind of misunderstanding.

But the simple communication's kind of misunderstanding.

Wouldn't it be easier if we all had the power to see through others?

Maybe read one another's mind?

Scary maybe, but then again it sure would make all of us more candid,

and honest in how we dealt with life and one another.

Communication is about being more transparent.

It's being direct and having straight talks.

The kind of honest conversations that end up clarifying the narrative.

It's a lot like the opposite of a song about communicating,

only with open eyes.

The lyric by John Lennon goes, “Living is easy with eyes closed,

misunderstanding all you see…”

Just think about that and tell me what you think.

Make it a great día!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What is that you say?

Communicating is vital to all relationships.

It doesn't matter what level of interactions you are on.

Whether speaking to a loved one, a friend or a colleague.

Be as authentic as you can be... as they say be genuine.

Be one with what you speak.

Speak with integrity and impeccable in the words you speak.

Begin by saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

Our words and how they're directed is important, and powerful!

Whether spoken to a loved one, or a colleague.

They deserve to hear what is important and what matters,

morever that what we are saying stands for something.

Make it an honest conversational día!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our own therapist.

I am up early, can't sleep and my neck is just not cooperating.

Ahh yes, yesterday I wrote about criticism from others,

what about when we do it to ourselves?

Not the actual outloud, outright criticism, but the one in our thoughts

or under our breaths type of criticism.

"Geez that was dumb, how much dumber can you be?"

You get the idea, right? 

If you know me I am always talking about how we have the power to manifest

what we expect in our lives.

Whether it's love, spiritual growth, success (whatever that means to you),

or basic financial stability.

We must begin our day by encouraging ourselves through words.

A big smiling "I LOVE YOU!" type smile in the mirror works well too.

Getting off to a positive start in the morning is the fuel that will keep you at it all day.

Ever notice how when we tell ourselves something positive, we start to believe it.

It is about believing it ourselves.

Yes, it's ok to remind ourselves that we’re …… honest, caring, kind, intelligent,

charming, loving or whatever it is we expect in ourselves.

But how do we expect others to believe us if we don't even believe in ourselves? 

Our positive self talk is as important early in the morning

as it is throughout our entire day.

There is tremendous power and weight in everything we say…

and more so in what we believe.

If we tell ourselves we’re going to fail, then we will.

If we tell ourselves that we can do anything, we can do anything.

If we tell yourselves that we are in complete control of our attitude,

we will learn to control our attitude.

To build our sense of self, and our confidence we need to see

ourselves how we would want others to view us.

It all begins and ends with US.

It's about personal accountablity, and manifesting the best outcome

on any given day.

Make it a great día!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Aristotle's helpful advice.

I read a quote written by the great Greek philosopher Aristotle.

Althought I love the one that reads, "One swallow does not make Spring."

Having visited the mission of San Juan Capistrano and the swallows

it makes a lot of sense to me now.

That beautiful Spanish mission is located in the Anaheim-Irvine area

of Orange County California twenty or so miles southeast of Santa Ana.

That quote took me back to my old DLIFLC military days.

But the quote I read this morning was on criticism.

Aristotle was Plato's student and went on to become a teacher

of Alexander the Great.

His writings covered many subjects from physics, to poetry, and theater to music,

and politics, government, ethics, even biology and zoology.

He wrote,"Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing,

doing nothing and being nothing."

We'd all have to be statues to be able to avoid it all, but come to think about it..

even these structures have pigeons dropping stuff on them.

At the end of the day one has to realize that criticism will not always

be delivered at an opportune time, and may not come gently.

Even if it is from someone legitimately doing their best to help us

or the situation.

If we were to take the approach that the feedback (we are receiving

no matter how unsolicited it is), came from someone trying to teach

us something, maybe we would be able to process it faster.

At the end of the day how we reach that level and internalize it;

will deliver the best outcome, because aren't reacting to it negatively.

So let's learn from it, and as soon as we are finished processing it,

let's make sure to let go of it, and keep moving.

Make it a great día!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A letter to ME.

I was thinking about what it takes to get things done.

One one side of the scale is sheer determination, at the other courage…

but what about in between.

What gets you up and going in the morning?

I am not talking about a latte.

What is it that makes you get out of bed and earn a day's pay?

It could be many things, but what has helped me succeed in life 

has been integrity, personal will, and keeping my word.

I always have my newly hired folks write a letter to themselves.

In it I want them to write out the "why's" of their coming to work.

The agreement is between the individual and themselves.


Yes, I have them write a letter that I wil never read.

In it I want them to write down why they come to work, what goals and future

they want to create for themselves.

It may be small, it could be life changing.. what matters most to them is what

I want them to write about.

It is an agreement that they will hold themselves accountable throughout

the next twelve months - one entire year.

I have them share it with someone they love or respect and then seal it

up in an envelope I also provide.

In exactly one year I will mail it back to them.

My folks have already begun to receive theirs and we have had many 

great conversations over them.

Write your letter and then put it away for an entire year.

Next year at this time see if you kept all or most of your own promises.

What a great feeling that will be openning your letter next year,

and finding that you accomplished all the things that you promised

yourself you would try and do.

Make it a great día!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Power to switch the inner voice.

We all have an inner voice, and what we teach it gets recorded,

and recited back.

One of my favorite positive thinkers is  Dr. Wayne Dyer.

I really love his philosophy on life and positive affirmations. 

If you’re someone who tends to complain frequently about how terrible your life is,

how bad it always turns out, how much life sucks, or even more neagative,

“I hate my life!


I would stop and take an inventory of your moment, that day, week or lifestyle.

What exactly is about your personal experience that is making you

believe these thoughts?

What is making you think this way?

What is about that moment that would make you permenantly record,

and program for future play back any of these negative,

and self-destructive statements?

Our inner voice is really our personal voice and attitude recorder.

We all have the ability to program a different response.

You first have to find out why you feel this way.

It is about identifying why we're unhappy with our life.

It is never too late to make some necessary, maybe even drastic,

changes in our life.

If we are unhappy with our life then what are we doing about it?

What are we doing to change it and increase our happiness and love for life?

If you've been saying this for a while, then guess what sitting around, waiting

for something to happen and sulking in our sorrows won’t make them somehow

magically disappear.

A different approach, a more positive affirmation will!

We have to create a more positive inner voice, and also a more positive attitude.

With it will come an outwardly happier existence.

Make it a great día!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A 70 mile walk of faith.

Did you hear about a college student in Indiana who made a two-day journey

of the soul on his own two soles?

The college student Andrew Domini went on this pilgrimage as a way to pray

for a friend with stage IV cancer. 

He said he was inspired to make the trip after clicking channels during

a commercial and stopping on CNN where they had a special on a saint.

The documentary featured Mother Theodore and outlined the process

of becoming a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

One of Mother Theodore’s quotes at her shrine read,

“What have we to do in order to become saints? Nothing extraordinary,

nothing more than we do every day. Only do it for the love of God.”

The remains of St. Mother Theodore Guerin are on the grounds

of St. Mary-of-the-Woods near Terre Haute about 70 miles

from where he lived.

He purposely didn’t bring much money, only an extra pair of socks,

a clean t-shirt and a backpack.

I am not familiar with the cities in Indiana but he walked from Crawfordsville

to Greencastle, where he spent most of the night searching for a place to sleep.

He ended up resting on a park bench at the Greencastle's square.

Domini next went to the DePauw University union building, where he slept

on a couch for a few hours but then was asked to leave.

The very next morning he set out for Terre Haute, and had walked for several

long hours before accepting a ride part of the way from a couple.

He said that his feet had many blisters and were very sore at this point.

The couple dropped Domini off at the outskirts of Terre Haute.

Once he arrived in Terre Haute, he continued walking the several miles

remaining to St. Mary-of-the-Woods.

Once inside the church "Church of the Immaculate Conception” he went up

to the altar where St. Mother Theodore Guerin’s remains are kept.

Once there, he prayed for his elderly friend who has pancreatic cancer.

“The world wouldn’t be the same place without him,” Domini said when interviewd

that Thursday morning at St. Mary-of-the-Woods.

“He’s just one of those people who gives and cares, with nothing expected.”

He then added, “I don’t fall into a religious box, but I do have a spiritual search

for some kind of higher meaning.”

Although the young man could have driven to St. Mary-of-the-Woods,

where the Mother Theodore shrine is located, he decided to walk

because he wanted it to be a sort of sacrifice.

Not just some three hour round trip.

While he was at the alter he was approached by Sister Jan Craven,

the coordinator of Mother Theodore’s shrine.

She came up to Andrew and he shared why he  had come there.

The two prayed together.

She also took him to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel located next to the church.

Late that evening Sister Craven offered to put him up for the night in Owens Hall,

where about three dozen Sisters of Providence live.

He ended up staying in a visitors’ wing, where his new found thirty plus

“grandmothers” doting on him, and even providing him with Epsom salts

to soak his sore feet. 

The following day one of the Sisters of Providence who lived nearby the church

offered to give him a ride back home.

I really enjoyed reading about this 70 mile journey of faith.

We all have heard that Faith needs action.

I hope that this story inspires you to also take action, on your behalf

or someone else's.

Make it a great dia!