Our Realms

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Dear readers, if I would choose a word to describe what I felt while watching the documentary Magical Andes on Netflix I would probably pick, “MESMERIZED”.

Scene after scene threw me an awe.

I marveled on the beauty, wonders and dangers each one of them had.  I marveled on the relationship many who lived there had with the mountains.  How they revered them to an extent.

I thought for a moment that heaven probably would look like that.

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photo credit via Morguefile

It was a glimpse of Mother Earth showcasing it’s wonders, untouched by humanity.

Life burst like the active volcanoes that it has  within  its range.

I think  that humanity is closer to God when we can listen, see and experience  nature. We stumble continuously upon buildings  utilized as temples, synagogues, mesquites and so on,  all of them particular to the faith tradition people who gather there practice.

We visit these places to venerate and seek God.   But what if, every once in a while we let us seek God in the home He created.  When you visit a friend, well you go to his or her house.  We experience joy and comfort when we connect to them in their surroundings.

So my dear friends, what I’m saying is that if  we want  to go and visit  God, to have a nice chat, to find some peace for our spirits,  to connect, to let ourselves be transformed with and by love, it’s not such a bad idea to look for a beautiful natural landscape once in a while and sit still  and God’s spirit will certainly touch our lives in ways that will make us wonder.

The buildings, they have their purpose as well,  they are there to build community. We just have to remember  this.  People don’t need to go to church to seek God  and his blessings, people need to go to church to connect with others.   We need to go to  church to be able to share with others our joys and our burdens out  of love  for one another. Not perfect people, but just people.

Today is Sunday, the perfect day to seek some solace and marvel in the beauty of this astonishing world we live in.  Let us quiet our minds, and open our ears to listen to God’s voice through the many sounds of nature.  Let’s set aside the “dogma” our times have engineered and experience the simplicity of realizing that  we  get to live in the here and now.

Love and let yourself be loved.

Seek community in the building and seek God in the mountain or shore.

Thanks for stopping by, and remember be kind to others and yourself.  See you around the corner.  Hasta pronto!

 

It Takes More Than Believing

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Dear readers, I’ve been on my quest to become a better person for many years now.

For some time I thought that “it” meaning transforming myself into what I had thought was the best version of myself, would come “naturally” meaning I would have to do nothing more than believe and a magical wand would transform me.

By the way that’s how my blog ended up with it’s name.

Boy, was I wrong!

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Transformation requires being stunned, it takes time, patience and a ton of work.

It means that each and every morning when I wake up, I tune myself into nature, into everything that surrounds me and I practice no harm, love, self-awareness and mindfulness.

In a world where consumption, criticism, hatred and violence are practiced so vehemently by so many, it’s like swimming against the current, feeling you’ll drown any minute.

Which makes me lazy once in a while.  I ask myself, “Why practice?”, “It doesn’t really make a difference in the world.”, “Why put myself through this each day?, “Why not just join the crowd?”.  However, that would certainly unleash the crazy monkeys who would probably make a home in my thoughts.

I struggle with my mental health every day, it’s my little secret.   I’ve really gotten good at hiding and blending in. Although, lately I no longer try to reject that part of who I am, I’ll rather embrace it and love myself with an “all inclusive” attitude.   I’ve  basically wrestled with it since a very young  age and I’m  tired of   doing that.  I’ve been thinking about therapy for some time now (like a year or so), but that very first step is hard to take.  Which takes me back to my starting point, my day to day practice which keeps me sane in the midst of the jungle of my thoughts.  My practice lets every part of who I am live in harmony.

So my dear friends, I do conquer lazy and come back again and again, to my practice. I hold myself accountable for living my life the best I can, always trying to remember that in all of us live good and bad. We just have to work on our good! Sometimes it only  takes a shared story and a good laugh to make us feel that everything will be fine. That we can share our lives with all that negativity that permeates everything.

I would say that humanity’s greatest challenge today is being able to live and let live.

That being said, thanks for stopping by and remember to practice kindness to yourself and others.  See you around the corner.  Hasta pronto!

 

 

 

Why Keep Quiet

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Dear readers, words are powerful stuff.  That is certainly no secret, nonetheless people don’t give to much thought when speaking their mind and dumping all their views and opinions at  large.

And “at large”  now a days is really easy when you utilize the wide variety of social platforms that are available to just dump anything at anytime. Which is by the way our default way of acting.

There is a popular saying that goes like this (I think) “Bricks and bones can hurt my bones, but words can never hurt me.” I personally would rewrite it and say, “Bricks and bones can hurt my bones, and words can deeply hurt me.”. Words can hurt you beyond anything, they sink into our souls like heavy vessels made out of the best metal.

Words stay with us forever.

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photo credit via Morguefile

Words that are uttered in anger resonate in our minds and are replayed thousands of times during our lifetime.

The thing is that after receiving them it’s dam hard to  let them go.

I’ve tried  to transform my thinking to an extent. However, I’m just human so now and then it gets difficult to follow through on my practice of letting go.

Each night when I go to bed, I visualize five things to let go.  Some our acts, others are words.  The curious thing is that contradictory or adverse life events our easier than words spoken to me.  I cling to them!!!

Words  hurt more when we are vulnerable.

Probably that’s why people say that life has “toughened” them up.  Which basically means that they have created coping mechanisms where shields and walls have been erected.  The negative side of that would be that feeling are safely  tucked away, however we run into the risk of being stripped of our sensibilities as well, and fear creeps up on you fast and furiously.

What would be a great solution?

Just to remain quiet.

In  the pockets of our souls quiet and solitude are precious gems.

Becoming mindful embraces many aspects of our lives.

It would be tremendously generous not only to ourselves, but to  others to be careful and watchful of our reactive responses.  We don’t need to become  Judge Judy to humanity.  At the end of the day we are only just humans, all of us full of good and bad.   What we probably would need is to have  our good always ready and nourished so it can overcome our bad.

Even if it sounds corny, love and compassion are the best choices any human can make. Both give us joy and make our lives so much more meaningful.

Now a days I try to remain quiet out of love.  Being watchful of my words, so when I’m gone the words I’ve spoken resonate as a loving whisper of compassion and kindness and not as a whip of hatred and cruelty.

But hey,  I’m only human,   transforming myself takes a lot of work so that’s  why I practice each day walking under God’s amazing  grace and love.

So next time you feel like pouring out some steam through your words, try writing them down and seeing  them for what they are, powerful weapons of destruction or construction.   You get to choose what’s it going to be.

Thanks for stopping by and remember to be kind to yourself and to others. See you around the corner.  Hasta pronto!

 

 

Harvesting Cancer

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Dear readers, it’s common knowledge how devastating cancer is to patients and their families.

Why??? Resonates in our minds when a loved one is diagnosed with this deadly disease in its many  ways and forms.  We come up with a million possible reasons trying to come to terms with the whys.

But, we are overlooking the practices  modern day farmers are employing when they harvest their crop.  Which is later sold to stores who distribute them and they end up on our tables.  Produce that becomes our breakfast, lunch or dinner along the way.

This is why I’m writing a series of posts related to farming practices and policies and how they are affecting the average consumer.

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via morguefile

We need to go one step further when we are buying the products we consume in our homes.  The other day I opened a bag of spinach I usually buy at the supermarket and looked the company up, to my surprise they were second generation farmers from California who are practicing ecological friendly farming.

Do we need to stop and kind of check out who we’re buying from? I would say “DEFINITELY”.

For example, some years ago when in Puerto Rico the plantain harvest was scarce, they got expensive.  You can get a plantain from twenty-five cents to a dollar.  Some called them “oro verde” which means green gold.  Farmers who were able to harvest them when no other had them to distribute made their fair amount of money.  The land was the vehicle for the business transaction.

The land we live and eat out of is part of this marvelous creation.  Land really belongs to no one.  I have a deed that says that my house in anchored on three acres of land that our under my husband’s name, but nonetheless it’s not really ours.  Can we take it when we finally leave this thing we call life.  I don’t think so! It’s ours to use and share.  It is alive and can nurture our bodies and souls.  Farmers need to step back and see the land they have the privilege of harvesting as a living thing.

The question is, would you poison a person or an animal?

Then why are we poisoning our lands with pesticides?

Pesticides that end up in the food we are putting on our tables.

Pesticides that are linked with cancer in every possible way.  Even though healthy lifestyles are being adopted constantly, the very source of cancer is being overlooked.

We need to seek answers even if with our interrogatives we may cause discomfort to those who are violating the lands that cover this beautiful blue globe.

We would have to ask ourselves, why isn’t the government doing something about this, other than offer workshops on how to handle pesticides to local farmers.  Probably because farmer associations and lobbyists are the very ones that are influencing policy makers who are elected to office every four years.  They hand out their favors through hefty contributions equally to all, they really don’t care to much who or what they respond to because at the end of the day it’s all about politics.

Which brings us back to rethinking where we are getting our food from.  Who are these farmers and distributors that sell the produce.  Here in Puerto Rico green plantains are a staple item, but truth to be told  farmers are heavy on pesticides and those same chemicals end up in our tables.  Produce we feed our families and ourselves with.

Remember, be kind to yourself and to others and practice awareness of the capital humanity has  which is nature with all its resources.  Let us make good use of it.

See you around the corner.

 

References:

Santiago, Xiomara B. Dr.; Rivera, Desiree; Pabon, Agnes; and Garcia, Arnaldo (2016) “
An Examination of the Use of Pesticides in Puerto Rican Agriculture,”RURALS: Review of Undergraduate Research in Agriculture and Life Sciences: Volume 10: Iss. 1; Article 1.

Pray, Love & Eat

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Dear readers, the other night I sat in front of my television checking out Netflix’s new  additions.  I stumbled on Eat, Love and Pray.

And I watched it again.  The  first  time I watched this movie was on Thanksgiving Day eight years ago.

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photo credit via Morguefile

I barely understood it on that occasion, I dragged  through what I thought  was a very boring movie.  I totally didn’t get the point of the story at all.  I obliged myself because I  had picked it up at the “video  store” to  do something  after our dinner.  I  had family and friends over, but only one of  my younger cousins and myself went through  the motions.  We were both Julia Robert’s fans and we pulled through  out  of our loyalty to her or at least for me, that’s how it worked.

To tell you the story in a nutshell, I’ve been on my own version of Eat, Pray and Love.

Your journey for discovery can only be began and finished with  one person and that my dear friends is you and me only.

I had no understanding of these millennial spiritual traditions, so that added up to my disconnect the first time around.  A fore night before I was  deeply invested in Elizabeth’s pain and joy trying to figure out my own.

This is my own version of this great story.

Now a days,  I try to  remain still and become aware of God’s presence in my life. I no longer feel the need to introduce myself to him. He knows who I am, he’s been with me always.  His calm and gentle voice has protected and guided me through out so much.  In 2011 my life was beginning to fall apart after my diagnosis and I felt vulnerable and lost.

Feeling the presence of a still higher power uplifted me through very difficult times.

Today I don’t pray in a structured or modeled way, but just with the words in my heart. I don’t care much if they sound right for others and make sure they are honest and right for me.  Praying for me is the very first step.

It’s probably the hardest because I need to  recognize that I am in trouble with myself.  Recognizing this is hard, almost unbearable.

Love is a locked gift in our souls waiting  to be set free. It entails plenty a work on our part to keep it  going.

Lately I like to go by this prayer for friendship written with so much love and insight by, Christopher Titmuss.

“May my mother and father live in peace and harmony.

May my brothers and sisters live in peace and harmony.

May my friends and neighbors live in peace and harmony.

May the friendly, strangers and unfriendly live in peace and harmony.

May I live in peace and harmony.

May my words and actions contribute to the happiness and welfare to others.

May the power of my friendship transform difficult situations.

May all living beings live in peace and harmony.”

And the eating part, I love my food! Nowadays I don’t let guilt ruin it for me.  I try to eat feeling gratitude for all that goes into it.  When I drink my fruit beverage I delight myself in thinking that my papayas grow in my mom’s trees with any other fruit I’m lucky enough to enjoy.  And I apply this principle to all that I eat.

I love my cake and when I get the blessing of eating a slice of one (like I’m about to) I savor the moment not worrying to much about calories or so and so.  I used to beat myself the morning after if I indulged the prior night, I do that no  more! Yesterday is gone and the only good about it is thinking about the happiness we  experienced during that brief moment yesterday brought.

You know I’m still a work in  progress.  Always trying to balance off my life! However just like Ketut told Elizabeth, “sometimes to be in balance we need to unbalance our lives”.

So my friends what better way to end this post then with a quote from the book,

“Devotion is diligence without assurance. Faith is a way of saying “Yes, I pre-accept the terms of the universe and I embrace in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Be kind to your self and listen to your heart  with deep compassion.  Hasta pronto!