Friday, June 29, 2012

The One(s) Overlooked...


   A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his five year old son waiting for him at the door.

     “Daddy, can I ask a question?”
     “Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man.
     “Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?”
     “That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.
     “I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.
     “If I tell you, will you leave me alone?” “Okay, I make twenty dollars an hour.”
     “Oh”, the little boy replied, head bowed down. Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I borrow ten dollars, please?”

 The father was furious.

     “If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work long, hard hours every day and don’t have time for such childish games.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boys questioning. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money!
After an hour or so, the man had calmed down and started to think he might have been a little hard on his son.  Maybe he really needed to buy something with that ten dollars, and he really didn’t ask for money very often.  The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

     “Are you asleep, son?” he asked.
     “No, Daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.
     “I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day, and I took my aggravation out on you. Here’s that ten dollars you asked for.”

     The little boy sat straight up, beaming.

     “Oh, thank you, Daddy!” he yelled.

Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled-up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.

     “Why did you want more money if you already had some?” the father grumbled.
     “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied.

     “Daddy, I have twenty dollars, now. Can I buy an hour of your time to play with me?”

This is a story of a person I would never want to be…
I had tears falling down my cheeks when I read the last sentence because through this story I could relate so much on the father’s exhaustion, his irritability and annoyance after coming home from a long day at work… I had tears because I never want my kids to feel they EVER are in competition for my time with anything or anyone but I’m not sure of how good of a job I do in managing my life and priorities…

Review how you spend the hours and days of your week. Think about the amount of time your children spend with you. Plan how you can weave your children into your social life and knit yourself into their lives.
Learn to listen to your children. It is easy for us to tune out the talk of our children. One of the greatest things we can do for them is to take them seriously and set aside time to listen.

   To making time…

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My 'Extraordinary', ordinary life...

“My invitation to you is to begin living every moment as though you are miraculous and deserve to live an extraordinary life. Fake it if you must and keep faking it until it's real to you. The gift you will be giving yourself is a lifelong journey of discovery, one that is infinite and infinitely rewarding. Begin the journey. Today. This moment. Now.”
― Robert White


As I look around, I notice that most of the people that surround me and are part of my circle of “friends,” lead the same life that I live… Overlooking the details, the life I live is probably very similar to that of my counterparts on the opposite side of the world. We make a living to afford ourselves life’s simple pleasures and autonomy; we fall in and out of love, stay in bad relationships, grow in commitment, we socialize as much as time permits, and we deal with social and personal obligations and expectations.  For those of us who have children, we manage that responsibility too…
For most of us, the basis of our lives is an ordinary one.
We have to understand that the definition of “ordinary” is perceived differently from one person to another. Regardless of the perception that “ordinary” has, it is impossible for each and every person to be the same. The common thread in “ordinary” is that (most likely within our environment and society) ordinary people will blend.

If when living your ordinary life, you don’t settle for riding the wave and become content with blending in, but instead you thrive on doing things with determination and integrity... well…that’s what makes you an extra-ordinary person. Your daily routine filled with kindness, genuine interest and love weighs heavier than an out-of-the-norm burst of gentleness. Being extraordinary is putting forth the best of you in anything and everything you want, or try to achieve it; being a great mom, being a great spouse/partner, being a great friend, or even being a great employee.

There are many thankless jobs that we do as humans every day, which to some might seem insignificant, but in reality, they are extraordinary. I can’t help but think of the tragic events of 9/11, where “ordinary” firemen and policemen became extraordinary superheroes and legends. I think of simple things like the person who makes my morning blend at Starbucks; although they might not be saving lives from a burning building, helping me stay awake after a long night, and enabling me to focus on the tasks at work, is an extraordinary achievement. Okay, so maybe I’m aggrandizing things, but you still understand my point. All it takes to become extraordinary is to consistently do your best at whatever it is that you do. Once in a while, your number will be called, and that’s when you get to display (in an extraordinary fashion) all the things you have been working on in your ordinary routine....

Although I consider myself at times more fortunate than others around me, (allowing me to rate my life as successful in terms of emotion versus accomplishments), I still realize that I’m deficient in many areas compared to some others. Nevertheless, my accomplishments in life and the way I go about achieving them or working on them makes me extraordinary.

I’m living my “ordinary” life in an extraordinary way…

My disposition makes me understand that I’m not “better than” or “less than,” but that I should just live the life that I have in the most positive, focused and purposeful way I can. This will still be true, even if the only person I impact is myself and direct family. Impacting and performing for an audience will weigh the same as if it’s for self or one person; the action (its effect and the depth) is what makes you extraordinary, not your audience.
In conclusion, we should all know that however uneventful our lives can be, we all have the capacity to live an extraordinary life. Any level of success requires work and motivation, heart and strength. To be extraordinary is to conquer your fears and opposition; it is to be content and appreciative of where you are and to be the best and live the best you can under all circumstances.

The thing about me is that there's nothing ordinary but everything extraordinary…

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
― Jimmy Johnson

How about you? Is your life filled with extraordinary tales, moments…? Do you recognize and enjoy YOU being extraordinary (as you know you are!)?

To our ‘extra-ordinary’ lives…

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Sunday Quote of The Week...

Every now and then you will stumble into ‘says’ ‘quotes’ that just ring so true to what is going on in your life at this moment… They just speak to you, about you and meant for you. This week quote is one of those …

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."
-Maria Robinson

“My life lessons” blog’s premise is all about the message of this quote. You can’t ever erase your past; you can’t go back and mend your mistakes. You NEED to learn from the errors you made along your journey, learn to stop repeating them, get a new perspective so you can restart anew and stir yourself differently into your future…a change of path is needed if you don’t want your old life to follow you. Don’t live on regret, nothing is set in stone… Think of it as your opportunity to change your life’s direction anytime you see fit!

To reinventing ourselves…

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Karma... The Universe I.O.U...

“Every man is where he is by the law of his being; the thoughts which he has built into his character have brought him there, and in the arrangement of his life there is no element of chance, but all is the result of a law which cannot err. This is just as true of those who feel “out of harmony” with their surroundings as of those who are contented with them.”
--James Allen


Standing where I am today, surrounded by all that surrounds me, having become the owner of my belongings, the seeker of many ‘wants’, being grateful for the many blessings, stanch about my beliefs, being filled with peace of mind, yet shaken by doubts, I wonder how and why my life is not consumed exclusively with positive thoughts, actions and materials…

Do I make sure to project positivity?
Do I know what my definition of success is?
Do I make sure to visualize my definition of success?
Do I avail myself to the unknown?
Do I release my thoughts, needs and wants?
Do I realize that everything I put out will be repaid in ten-fold… whether good or bad?

I have learned that luck is a word that sums up good Karma. To be “lucky” is not a response (from the Universe) based on chance or coincidence; it is to be a recipient of a good response to what you once put forth… the boomerang effect but with not set timing.
To experience downfall, defeat, deception and heart-ache is payback for your negativity.
Whatever you put forth, positive or negative, will be returned in the same manner but stronger…

Karma=Law of Attraction= “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” --Matthew 7:12

What we sow is what we reap. When it is good, good will come back, however, when it’s bad, negativity is what you will attract. There shouldn’t be any doubt in anyone’s mind that with every action there is/will be a reaction. For every cause, there will be an effect. Reaction and effect are unfinished responses, unfinished business, latent response to our actions and causes. I sum it all up to Karma. I strongly believe that we all are governed by our power of thought and action. Where we are today and the predicaments we face are all in direct relation to our past; remains which we carry and our present thoughts and actions which create future Karma.
Karma is the result of our thoughts and conduct. Your thoughts and conduct will dictate your now and future quality of life. It will dictate if you will carry over good Karma or bad Karma.

When I’m in doubt, questioning the many “whys” in my life, I tend to project all negativity towards someone or something else and not take responsibility for anything that is not to my liking. That is my first reaction. But then I remember that the reason I’m in that position is because I let the power of negativity take over. Now, by me not recognizing and accepting my thoughts and actions, and cultivating negative feelings toward the who I believe is to blame, perpetrates the vicious cycle that keeps me wondering why…
First and foremost, I am my own friend and enemy. I know my good and my bad and I have the power to control my predominant traits, characteristics and thoughts…

When you visualize, then you materialize. If you've been there in the mind you'll go there in the body. - Dr Denis Waitley

I have the power to manifest the life I want to live. What I am today is the direct result of what I put forth in making the person I am. It is the direct result of my actions and decisions. As I recognize that, I also realize that I have the power to then create my future; to make sure I am deserving of good deeds. I do that by making sure that my today is filled with good actions and sincere thoughts.
So yes, I strongly believe in Karma (cause and effect) and the “Law of Attraction.” There is always cause and effect towards others or towards self. The belief also allows me to concentrate on other things than seeking revenge or payback if you feel you have been done wrong, leaving it up to the universe to even out the playing-field when it sees fit. If you’ve been done wrong, to be bitter and hold a grudge will eat you up and damage your aura rather than make you productive.

Life is what’s been on my mind lately… Although I have many questions as to why, when and how things happened the way they did, and why the lessons I’m going through are manifesting themselves the way they are, I’m learning to accept that there is no getting around Karma. Nothing is instantaneous and predictable in its timing. Through Karma, I’ve learned to accept the reactions, the effects, and the results as they are a direct response to what I once put forth.
I am passed the stage of discovering myself; I am “in the Know” of who I need to be, where I need to be and what I need to be. I have been building a mental pin-board of what I visualize my life to be with all that need to be in it…

I’m ready for my I.O.U from the Universe…

What about you? What are your beliefs? Do you believe your attitude, thoughts and actions determine your future? Or do you believe your path 'is' already and all you have to do is uncover it? Or maybe is it a combination of both?

To surrounding ourselves with positivity...


Monday, June 18, 2012

A Parent's Choice-Less Choice...

“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
–by Elizabeth Stone

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This evening, while driving with my son to my brother’s house (to pick up his sister), he started to ask me a series of questions. At first, I thought that they were funny questions with obvious answers, but then it turned into deeper subject matter (which he covered up with laughter). I could sense that my answers were very carefully analyzed and digested. He would ask the same question (turned many different ways) over and over, just to test the consistency of my answer(s).
At the heart of the conversation was him and his sister “always being there for their mom, no matter what,” and it moved on to his own unconditional love for me. In his words, “Well, I can’t speak for my sister but I know I would,” to his pragmatic side taking over and declaring, “Well, I don’t want to make any promises because you never know what could happen to me and I’m unable to be there for you.” To that I replied, “I would never let anything happen to you, if it was left up to me.”
“Mommy, what if Scientists needed my brain, because I’m so smart, to help save the world... then what then?” he said.
“Well son, they would have to find another solution because I’m not letting them take you away from me” I responded.
“But mommy what if I’m the only one that could help save thousands of people?” he asked.
“I don’t know what to tell you but I will never decide to let you go to save someone else” I replied.
Giggles…and you can tell he was happy with my answers but not quite sure if I would bend…
“Mommy, what if you, daddy, and my sister were all sick, along with grandma and grandpa? What would you say, would you let them save you (using my brain)?” he asked.
“Baby, if God decided that it was our time to deal with a terminal disease and you would be the only one not affected, then so be it. It will probably be harder for you to be left behind by yourself but I could never decide to be a part of the detriment of you! You probably won’t understand until you become a parent yourself; then you will realize that when it comes to your kids, the pragmatic and rational gets trumped by emotion and love.”
Again he giggled and said “Mommy I love you!”

While the conversation started as a light, fun back and forth, it now had me a little despondent as I thought of how much love I have for my angels but how sometimes it is just not enough to keep us safe and together. As a mom, I know deep in my core that there is not a situation on this earth that would make me decide to put my kids in danger nor protect them first and foremost before myself or anyone… The ONE thing I pray to be spared of is to be put in a situation where I would have to choose between saving one of my children over the other…That’s the one thing that I couldn’t stomach, couldn’t decide… I couldn’t live with!

We got to my brother’s (house) and as he was there with his wife and daughter, my son decided to share our conversation to see what their point of view was. As expected, their view was the same as mine, as most/all parents out there should… But soon, as we were finally done with the topic, my sister shared a story that had just come up in the news the previous day and just how heart wrenching it was. Police were speed-chasing a car that a robber was trying to flee with. The car rolled over a couple times and a 1 year old got ejected through the window. The poor child gets up, trying to run after the car which is still attempting to move, tumbles and gets up again until the car stops and someone comes out and grabs the childSee video caught on tape

I was flabbergasted and heartbroken watching the video. Watching this poor little girl instinctively run after those who are supposed to keep her safe (but unbeknownst to her just put her life in great danger), I’m dumbfounded…
Didn’t I just say to my son that as a parent the sense of protection and the need to keep our children safe (of course I’m talking about sane, healthy, normal parents) is an innate predisposition, inherited even before giving birth?
Didn’t I just tell him that “they” become first and foremost, before sense and sensibility?
Didn’t I just give him a whole monologue about how a parent’s love is greater than anything/anyone in the world and how our main focus is protecting “them?”

Deciding to become a parent is a choice, regardless of whether the timing is right or if it’s something that you didn’t envision in your future. Once you’ve decided (for whatever reasons) to accept the idea and carry your pregnancy to term, you decide to make changes in your life. You decide to change your priorities. You decide to rearrange your ways. For some, the process is started before conception (when a planned pregnancy occurs) and for others, after finding out about the pregnancy. The idea is not to sacrifice your happiness for your child but to willingly prioritize for their well-being. The idea is to realize that they are more important than you and your needs. They didn’t ask to be here, we brought them.
There should never be an instance that would justify putting, keeping or leaving your child in or near harm’s way. They are dependent on us, our experience, and our values. Because of that, they should be our number one priority. You should love your children, not only because they are yours but because you’ve brought them into this world. They are the start of your legacy and who would be better to protect it?

Now-a-days, there are so many instances where our children are being targeted by predators, psychopaths, molesters and bullies. There are so many negative entities that we have to shield and protect them from that, to me, it is of inexplicable sadness to hear that a child has been put in danger by the very ones who brought them into this world…

Is there anything more rewarding than when your child reaches maturity/adulthood, they look you in the eyes and thank you for who they are and having brought them this far in life; safe, loved and with knowledge? That is my aspiration. That is my number one goal and there is NOTHING on God’s green Earth that could or would make me behave or forget the pecking order of those in my life…

“...the love, respect, and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts to be the woman I would have them copy.”
― Louisa May AlcottLittle Women

To embracing our most important role...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Sunday Quote of The Week...

It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.
- Pope John XXIII

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Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and acting fathers out there; continue being a strong presence in children lives as there is NOTHING that can replace a father's love and bond!



Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Father He Was meant To Be...

"None of you can ever be proud enough of being the child of such a Father who has not his equal in this world - so great, so good, and so faultless. Try all of you, to follow in his footsteps and don't be discouraged, for to be really in everything like him none of you, I am sure, will ever be. Try, therefore, to be like him in some points, and you will have acquired a great  deal"                                                
-- Queen Victoria of England

A mother, father, wife, brother, sister and friend’s point-of-view of the person you are, will always be different and skewed by the type of relationship that binds you together. Their views will certainly be different than that of a child…your child. Your progeny tale of who he knows you to be will really give the accurate version of ‘you’ to the world. Your child’s eyes are the mirror to your truth…~RS
I was complaining out loud today about the fact “the hubby” loves to purchase and watch all those cartoon movies. I also didn’t understand how it could be that my 12 year old son (who overheard me talking to myself) said, “Mommy, that’s what makes him so different and fun. Don’t you know that daddy is a big kid at heart?” My heart, at that instant, became overwhelmed with gratitude, joy and love at what I heard from my child. It was the confirmation of what deep down, I already knew (although it didn’t matter that I knew, what matters was that they knew). My loving husband had turned out to be the father he was meant to be all along…
What makes a man a father (more specifically, a dad) is not their aptitude to provide and secure safe grounds for his family, but it is his ability to do all the above and also go the extra miles that come along the way. A true father can do this, even at the disadvantage of neglecting the things he needs for himself. Being a father…a good father is what I witness every day, when I look at the father of my kids. I had asked him once, what having children taught him. His very candid answer was, “It made a selfish man, selflessly put HIMSELF last…in one word, become a DAD.” My husband is truly a selfish person at the core, who always hated to share, but for us (let me include myself in thisJ) he has learned to adjust and give without question.

Being a good dad is more than learning and mastering patience, or listening. When considering him as my husband to be, I had to visualize him as the father of my kid(s). I can truly say, in no uncertain terms, that my expectations have been met. He’s gone beyond any expectations I had, not only of making me happy, but the fact that everyday my children are feeling blessed to have him as a dad makes my heart burst. My foresight on who would be part of the life of the most important gifts given to me was accurate. He is their fun, their disciplinarian, their balance, their security, their role model, their teacher, their main person; he is their father…their dad.
To the best father I could ever have chosen to take on this amazing adventure called parenthood, you have made it more than easy for me and you are making it more than enjoyable for our kids. Continue being you; continue being ‘the big child at heart’ that we all love…

A Dad is respected because he gives his children leadership.
A Dad is appreciated because he gives his children care.
A Dad is valued because he gives his children time.
A Dad is loved because he gives his children the one thing they treasure most - himself.
~ Author Unknown (taken from a church bulletin)

Happy Father’s Day CBS!

  To loving thankfully...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Joy of Alone...

“Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your own presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement.”
Alice Koller
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I’m not big on social gatherings. In all actuality, I rarely get invited to events; either because people know that I won’t show up or just because I’m simply not thought of during the invitation making process (which by the way, I’m not really offended by, as there is no smoke without a fire).
Sometimes I envy some of my friends who have a social calendar that stays filled all year long. I see their enjoyment of mingling, their need to be surrounded by people, and their desire to venture out (or even staying in) with friends. It’s almost as if they’re on the speed dial list of everyone they know. Is it because I have the “been there, done that” syndrome from all my years of partying and being on the go? Is it because I’ve developed an anti-social personality? Or is it because what fulfils me has a direct connection to self?
Even my kids have a busier social life then me… Another reason why they’re lucky to have ‘the hubby’ as their dad; he truly brings balance and sanity to their lives J.

I belive that part of the discrepancy here, is that people often confuse being “alone” with being “lonely. It’s possible to be constantly surrounded with people, yet still feel alone. It’s also possible to be “alone” and yet feeling completely satisfied and not “lonely” at all. Maybe it’s a good thing that I can find solace within myself. There are so many people who constantly need to be around others, because if they’re by themselves too long, they begin to realize how unhappy they truly are with the person they are on the inside. Some choose to hide in the crowd; it’s much easier to please others, than to focus on what’s going on inside of you. The only person you can’t hide from is yourself, because when the end of the day draws near, you know all your secrets, all your inner-thoughts and all of your shortcomings. I encourage people to take time out to find yourself, on your own terms…..

Now, I don’t want to make it seem as though I live under a rock, on a deserted island and occasionally come out to see what life is like on Earth, because that’s not the case. When I do decide to entertain, it is always a big production, because believe it or not (especially after the introduction of this post), I do actually enjoy seeing my friends. When I’m planning a get-together for them, I want to make sure they enjoy themselves. I want them leaving knowing that I poured my heart and soul into the event, for their pleasure but more importantly I need them to know that I love, miss and enjoy them! So in all honesty (and this comes at risk of me contradicting my whole piece), I do have those moments where I need to be surrounded by loved souls; moments when I need to reconnect with my social circle and society (outside the work environment). There’s no greater cause to host an event than that of a “Thank you” to my friends for putting up with me…..

Thriving in alone versus falling in loneliness…

Since my teen years, and up through my twenties, I was the “Miss Social Butterfly.” I had a core group of friends, and we were always out and about. Now it is obvious to me that with age (and while still having the same group of friends in addition to a few new ones) I’m enjoying my own company more, thus I’m alone more and more… but not lonely. I have so many interests, and there are things I like to do (that don’t require another party), which keep me occupied. I’m comfortable being alone because I’m in tune with who I am, what I need and I love myself. This really allows me to appreciate my own company and focus on improving me. You can enjoy yourself (being alone) but to get there you have to find things that you enjoy doing alone and even when you find this great balance of self-sufficiency, you can’t ever let it turn into loneliness and find it  okay to be lonely (which leads to a depressive state of mind).

“I restore myself when I’m alone”
Marilyn Monroe

The ability to create and have a “1-on-1” with yourself is a gift; it is an equal opportunity aptitude as we all need a daily balance sheet of our actions, emotions, etc…
I found my interests, my likes and dislikes. Everyday I’m dabbing into them, reflecting on them, on what I see, on what I feel, on what I observe and on what is lacking and what needs to be improved. Between my everyday obligations and my family, this keeps me very busy as an “alone person.” Socializing might be important to one’s life, but we need to know and understand that it is not a necessity. Being able to connect and interact with self (by accepting and loving who we are) is more important. Understanding that being an individual is totally different than having personality and character; individuality will help you enjoy those times alone….

Enjoy connecting with yourself… enjoy some ‘me’ time…


Monday, June 11, 2012

I Thought I Knew... But Now I Know

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.”
~Gilda Radner
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I know a lot about life… at least I thought I knew…

I realize so much now. Now, while I’m uncovering, finding and recognizing many things that had skipped my mind, things that I was oblivious too, things that if I had just paid a little more attention to, would have saved me from so much headache, heartache and wasted time… I’m realizing just how little of an understanding I’ve had of my circumstances over the past 40 years. I also see how much ground I have to uncover to chip in the book of ‘life fully lived’…

I’m sitting on my sofa, my feet planted under me, looking at the screen and picture but not watching the movie. My mind is thinking and focusing on all I’ve missed and all I could have known if only I had paid attention. I’m contemplating all the things I could have avoided if I didn’t think I “knew it all.”  If only I had known then what I’m learning now by listening and just paying attention… so many mistakes could have been dodged and so much would have been not been…

My life: such a story. My story: such a discovery.
It’s such a humbling experience to admit your flaws and come face-to-face with all your mistakes and wrong doings (when you look at it that way, one fault is too many to admit…). When I take into account and realize where I am in life, I realize how remarkably short this gift we have been given is. While I’ve been made (or maybe I chose) to believe that time is on my side and in my hands, I now see all the time I’ve wasted, as it had passed faster than I could see. I see the grey hair making its debut, and the kids refusing to stay babies. All of this is taking place, while refusing to give me the time to enjoy, appreciate and fully understand.

I need to learn to do less, instead of always wanting more. I must learn to be thankful for what I have and where I am, instead of skipping out on the moment and not recognizing it… I need to learn to focus on the journey by appreciating it and soaking it in, instead of focusing on goals and the endpoint…
I need to learn to give my kids the undivided, continuous and much-needed attention, not only when they ask for it but because I never want them to feel that they’re without it…
I need to also learn to enjoy ‘the’ hubby more in challenging and stressing times, instead of seeing him mostly as my trouble-shooter, and as the solution to all my needs and problems…
I need to learn…

So at this point I realize that I have a lot left to learn but the ‘so far’ has not been in vain J… Slowly but surely I am getting it but by now what I know for certain, is that I am more often wrong about my certitudes and the only limit to my trying to get it right is set by me. Life, my life, this revolving story that I am, has many lessons to teach me, and I’m looking forward to them all…

What about you? Do you sometime take account of your progress in life and realise you had a lot of it wrong? Do you at time feel that you are starting over more often than you would like?

Loving learning…

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Sunday Quote of The Week...

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
                                   -John Lubbock
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Perception… our compass to the world

While in action, while in motion what is your motivation, what keeps you going? What are you looking for? And why are you doing the things you are doing when you are doing them?
We usually have driving source to our actions; a motivation, a goal that generates from selfish, fear or genuine honourable reasons but sometimes there is no substance to the behaviour, there is no a purpose to the action… We just have our own perception and vision of how the world should be which dictates our entire outlook and attitude

The way we interpret things does drastically determine the outcome of our life journey emotionally and pragmatically. Knowing that, we should consciously gear our thoughts and perspective of the world in a positive view instead of negative. The optimistic attitude will shape the vision of our life and actions to positive beginnings and will construct, to a certain extent, the road of our experience.

To a positive outlook,

Friday, June 8, 2012

What Puts The "Best" in Best Friend?

It’s amazing to me how easily people use the terms “friend” and” best friend”, when at best they should use the term “acquaintance”…
I can say that I am well-travelled and have been witness to many different cultures and belief systems. Because of that, I can state that I’ve never been in a society where those terminologies are used as freely as saying “hi” and “goodbye”, which translates into the quickness of when the relationship starts and ends…
I’ve come to notice that in this part of the world, where we mostly glorify the superficial and shallow, and the primarily focus is on self, there’s a serious issue. All that, combined with a strong one-sided capitalist mentality that leaves you with no time to develop and focus on anything other than self-survival, meaningful terminologies like ‘friendship’, ‘sisterhood’, and ‘brotherhood’ are used stupidly; more for show than for what they truly stand for…

I believe that the media plays a big role in the decline of society’s common sense; sense of value and sense of relationship. From game shows that promote competition, where when all is going well people become best friends in a matter of days, and meet the soul mate they have been looking for all their lives. Then, when all fails (in a matter of hours or days in most cases) you move on ready to kill your “former-best friend/new adversary”. Then there are the reality shows like “Basket Ball Wives”, “Housewives of …” who are truly just a disgrace to any relationship by the way they portray and behave themselves.

So now when there are so many situations that call for a label on relationships between individuals, the different tiers of friendship need solid definition:

  1. Acquaintances: (which are occasional amity/relationship between people who have basic characteristics, personalities and interests in common, who see each other socially more than privately, mainly for fun, although at times serious moments are shared. When distance gets in the way (due to moving away, or life obligations), these relationships usually don’t survive, and fade away with only a thought…
  2. Friends: People who meet up at times regularly or not, for lunch, dates, shopping trips, catch-ups on life and gossip. You genuinely like each other and always manage to keep in touch somehow, as you appreciate them and their company. You trust each other and have each other’s back when you are in need or are right there in times of rejoicing.
  3. Best friends: These are the people who truly understand you, know the actual you, and appreciate the person you are. There is no fa├žade, there is never a need to perpetrate, hide, embellish, lie or preserve them from your behaviour, as we/you accept each other with your faults. Through thick or thin, high and low, best friends/true friends stand the test of time.
What is a friend?
It takes constructive effort to take a relationship from acquaintance to friend. After you learn to know someone and spend a great deal of time with them, you develop a need and understanding for each other. The “wish-for-the-best” attitude towards each other will be and is the basis of the relationship. Friendship is based on the belief that the person will not harm you and their interaction with you will always be genuine and consistent. When in challenging situations, they will always be truthful, honest and in difficult situations they will feel sympathy and show you empathy.
A friend will be very similar to you in personality and character; they will have many of your likes and dislikes. While you will share many common grounds, some of the differences you will find in them won’t be a deterrent; however to the contrary, they will be inspirational. Friends are ultimately an asset to your life as they enhance it with new outlooks and challenges that are in line with your vision and provide you with the necessary support you need to achieve it by cheering you on.
From one friend to another, the nature of the relationship will be different as individuals bring different layers of quality. However, you need to identify and cherish each ones qualities as real. Deep friendships are needed in everyone’s life.

There are 2 categories of relationship management when it comes to bond between people; either you are the kind of person that has many friends but only have very little unit of close friends/best friends or like me, you have few friends but most are considered close. Especially with experience and age, I have been able to identify the few that I share a strong kind of friendship with. To those I’m closest…my besties.

What puts the “best” in friend?

“I haven't seen you in a while, yet I often imagine all your expressions. I haven't spoken to you recently, but many times I hear your thoughts. Good friends must not always be together. It is the feeling of oneness, when distant that proves a lasting” Unknown

What puts the “best” in my friends is not necessarily the length of time that I’ve know them but actually how well we’ve progressed in our relationship. It’s the fact that when we are together (or even apart), the thought of them and our memories makes me happy. It’s the fact that they are part of my extended family. It is easy to make friends and foster great friendships. However, it isn’t a given that the latter will fall into the BEST friend category: that selective category where your inclusion means that in times of crisis, in times of need, in times of sorrow, in times of joy, and in times of celebration or just because, the people that come to mind, apart from direct family are the faces of those I created the unconditional bond with. My best friends are the ones who, when I finally decide to do or go anywhere, will be there along with my family or who I would rather go with. Now, I’m not the conventional best friend; I enjoy my time alone. I’m not an introvert or a withdrawn person but I appreciate, enjoy and do best when with myself and direct family. So for me, a best friend is one that knows me and knows that regardless of my sometimes recluse attitude, I’ll always be there for them (no matter what). I will help, listen, and stand up for them no matter what and vice versa. A best friend is someone who, even if you wanted to (after an argument, fight…), you couldn’t ever let go of the pure love, and you could never forget them. A best friend is someone you love whole-heartedly and with no reservations, which are gems very rare to find.

The one thing I have to keep on reminding myself is to not take any friendship or relationship for granted. Like with human, the relation need to be loved, acknowledged, given at times undivided attention so it can keep growing healthy and strong. In good times be present and in still quiet times, make your presence known, if only to share a smile so that in challenging times no back will be turned…

“A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely." - Pam Brown

What about you, are you able to define all your relations and why certain people fall in certain categories? What does it for you? What puts the "best" in best friend?

   Love always...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Life in Rehab... My Life Reinvented...

Every moment provides an opportunity to take steps toward changing and improving your life…

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
 – Maria Robinson

Every day I seek growth; I seek better for myself and my family. Every day, before I sleep, I choose to learn by analysing what the day has either brought, taught, surprised me with, or has made me curious of. I analyse what was placed in the path I chose to pursue. Every day I have the opportunity to wake up anew. I’m not forgetting yesterday, but my mind and body are ready for the ever changing novelty that is life.

I’m choosing to expand from the old and give in to new desires by transitioning into and through new experiences. My confidence level has reached an all new height, so although I do care about my surroundings (people) and their opinions of the evolving me, my focus is letting myself and my happiness come first.

I have entered a self-governed rehabilitation program for my life; I have decided and need to reinvent parts of myself....

My 10 step process to rehabilitating one’s life:

1.      Identify what’s missing. Recognize your mistakes. Detect the “things” you are unhappy with (within yourself), that are prompting you to seek change; to want to renew part of yourself.
2.      Set goals of betterment and craft a plan to achieve them: your new goals and endeavours have to be enjoyable and the journey has to be one of purpose. Turning your life upside down to achieve someone else’s expectations will inevitably end your adventure in failure.
3.      Take time to think things through, and then take action. Impulsive behaviour is always risky and generally marred with an unpredictable outcome. You want to start renewing yourself with a vision in mind. Define what your motivation is and write down your short term and long term process.
4.      Let go of the negative experiences of the past and grow from the positives. Take notice of what you’ve already achieved (that is, of success), and review the negative, as those are not pointless experiences either.
5.      Challenge all that is ingrained in you, all your emotional habits and impulse behaviours. Focus and believe in your dream and see the changes in your belief.
6.      Believe in yourself and your capabilities; believe that what you set forth in the atmosphere will manifest (another blog post subject all togetherJ). Your thoughts are powerful. Be challenged by doubts but ultimately leave them behind.
7.      Be grateful! Show gratitude (every day) for the support you receive on a daily basis and also for the challenges you get which fuel your competitive side.
8.      Review your accomplishments on a daily basis; small steps forward, huge leaps forward or even setbacks and stagnant results, to make sure you are not forgetting what it is you are trying to achieve. You can easily get caught up, so give yourself a daily reminder. While you strive for improvement, please remind yourself that the new you won’t manifest overnight; it takes time and energy to master a new set of values and attitude.
9.      Surround yourself with positivity… You don’t need to only have people around you that agree with you but you also need people that respect your decisions regardless if they agree or not. Your path is yours to take. Guidance should always be welcome, however, don’t let others’ opinion deter you from your bottom line if the advice is not sound and genuine.
10.  Enjoy the journey and have fun through the process… At the end of the day your life will be what you make of it. Your vision might not come to fruition the exact way you planned but giving it your best will get you as close as possible to achieving it.

 Your life is in a constant state of change. From the time you wake up in the morning, until the time you rest your head at night, there are some big and some small changes. What you sought out in the morning might change by the time you process your day’s event. Be ready, be prepared to readjust and rehabilitate yourself to pursue growth while already in the process. The little details are the ones that take more effort to adapt to and implement.
Live to the fullest, focus on today but with vision of your future. Mind your actions, as personal betterment doesn’t mean disregard of others’ feelings or opinions…

 “We must let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” 
                                                                      ~Joseph Campbell.

Have you ever find yourself face with need of self improvement? Need for rehabilitation so you can better yourself? What is/are your process? 

To a better Love... always,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Sunday Quote of The Week...

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.”
-- Groucho Marx
Happiness is a choice, it comes from within. Soon as you wake up, decide on your attitude. The way your day will unfold is your choice, the way you handle positivity or negativity will determine the outcome of your day…
Far from me to say setting your daily morning alarm to “happiness o’clock” is easily done however there is no ambiguity on where the responsibility lies upon…either way…

To happy starts,

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What To Do, When You Don't Know What To Do...

“Doubt is the vestibule which all must pass before they can enter the temple of wisdom. When we are in doubt and puzzle out the truth by our own exertions, we have gained something that will stay by us and will serve us again. But if to avoid the trouble of the search we avail ourselves of the superior information of a friend, such knowledge will not remain with us; we have not bought, but borrowed it.”
— Charles Caleb Colton, author

What do you do with the feeling of loss, or of being in an impasse? What do you do with the feeling of not knowing what to do; what to choose or decide, not knowing which decision is the right one, feeling torn…  not due to having too many options, but because you can no longer discern a prospect worth contemplating or worth consideration …you just don’t know.
I often get myself into these situations, those predicaments where I am "trying” too hard to achieve "results" too fast. Situations where I’m not giving myself time to process, think, or weigh decisions, thus starting to feel inept…

What to do when you don’t know what to do…

We all have an internal compass (inner voice) that guides us in our decision making process. In any given situation, it tells us to follow our heart, our gut, our emotions, to be impulsive or it tells us to be sensible, to be practical, listen to common sense and be level headed… always helping you find answers in what you should do versus what you shouldn’t do. But what happens when your compass is broken and has let you down?
Where do you go? What do you do? Where do you dig to find the answers?
How do you get out of an impasse: a jam of not being able to make a decision because you question yourself, you don’t trust yourself, or you don’t know what to do… What seems like a good decision at the time does not provide you with solace and peace of mind, leaving you to still wonder…what do I do?

Is the solution picking the lesser of 2 evils (and still feeling doubtful) or tossing a coin and whatever happens, happens…
Or you could retain fear and pride, take a stand, or accept faith and humility, which is acknowledging that you are weak and with doubts and will keep walking into uncertainty without making a decision...

I would say, even if you are son of God and live within his grace, don’t leave it all to faith. Be a participant, at all times of your life; participate in the direction of it and the outcome of it. Always take responsibility for your outcome. Although your faith will walk you through any decision you make, you will be the one shaping your outcome through good or bad situations, positive or negative results.
You have to realize that at times the path you have to take is not going to be an easy one; it’s not one that will make you feel good… sometimes the right decision will make you upset and you’ll have you cry. Sometimes it will turn your world upside down.
Don’t always strive for the easy; you might have to build your own bridges to overcome hurdles and get to “the answer”. You might have to move mountains instead of just climbing them… but coming to (it) and through (it) scathed or unscathed is worth the journey. Don’t be encumbered by doubts and worries that leave you uncertain, because you HAVE to keep keeping on…

Keep it simple for yourself… sit still…listen to your inner voice, listen to that “inside” whisper to your soul and your core…
I feel terribly helpless sometimes but even with the limited spiritual awareness that I have, I am able to find the answers, as I know the end is not the outcome of my decision; I’ll be able to move on, readjust, pick up the pieces, re-centre myself or enjoy my decision. As I will grow spiritually more and more, I know that these impasses, these doubts, that feeling of doubt and not knowing what your next step should be will be easier to handle because the fear of judgment will be a non-issue.
So I sit, clear my mind and think, at times I have conversation with friends (and strangers), but mostly I am patient with myself. I pay attention to me because the answers are all around me; around us. While it is okay to take a step back, don’t let the moment, don’t let the answers pass you by because of fear. Take a step back, learn the situation, know the situation or then move forward and see what cracks. Any doubts and uncertainties which present themselves have been caused by me, to a greater or lesser degree, which means I can also work through them.

Assuming a negative outcome will hold me in doubts and in an impasse, being willing to deal with wherever side the ball drops will have me moving forward.
There is no gratification in achieving when you already know the results…

I’ve come to realize that our experiences are determined by our decision making process and our path are determined by the experiences we choose to go through. There is always an answer; there is always a step to come in front of the previous one. What to do when you don’t know what to do is keep pushing yourself, keep moving forward and take chances. Jump into your leap of faith and while the choice between following your heart versus listening to your head might at time leave you indifferent, I truly believe your heart will lead you to an answer you can take comfort in…

At the end of the day, leaving questions unanswered and piles full of problems will shorten your life by adding worry. The goal is not to be worry free; the goal is to be able to solve problems when they arise. We all know that in this life we will have circumstances beyond our control, so dig deep inside AND outside to find what you need.

So what do you do, when you don’t know what to do? Do you look within or do you ask others for guidance? How about your moral compass… is your faith leading you, or are you following what you believe to be a higher power? What do you do? Where do you go for answers?   

To loving your answers,

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