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Love

Dear readers, haven’t you noticed how loosely we use the L word. We say “I love you”, but do we really love in a tangible way? Quarantine has had me thinking….. maybe too much by the way.

I’ve also had my grandparents in my thoughts a lot lately.

My grandparents weren’t people fond of words, they were folks of action. They could easily be the poster children for Home Depot’s catch phrase, “How doers get more done”. They excelled at doing. They excelled at loving.

My grandfather provided for his family out of love and responsibility in a time where resources were scarce. I have made my personal mission to interrogate my mom about her childhood (or what she can remember of it). Before time, which never hesitates, takes her physically away from me.

Covid19 has made my trips home less frequent, however our conversations on the phone have become quite long. They begin with business as usual, and then move on to the stories of her childhood, all it takes is a short question to get things going. A story that often comes up is how her mom sewed all of her daughters undergarments including her own by hand. Putting it into perspective and knowing the amount of daughters she had, that was a heavy load.

I can imagine her stitching with a concentrated gaze, with the needle chanting the phrase “I love you” over and over….. it was the only way she knew how to love. Caring and working for her family.

Expressing our feeling is liberating and equally fulfilling. However, like Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh in his book “How to Love” writes, “To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love.”

Love is a practice.

We need to teach ourselves to practice love in its many dimensions. For me, it’s taking my grandparents doing and adding powerful words forming boundless expressions of love in its purest form. It’s feeling the warmth of its caress in my life expressed in tangible and intangible manifestations.

Love is a way of life. A life full of days worth living. It’s not that things will be easier, but rather that life will become more easier to live. No human being has a promise of eternal summer. But, loving and being loved make winters easier to bear.

So my dear friends, next time you come across the words “I love you”, please think of a way to express healing in a world full of disruption and violence.

And remember be kind to yourself, stay safe and thanks for stopping by.

Hasta Pronto!

Mindfulness

It Takes More Than Believing

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!

 

 

 

Faith

Coming Home

Dear readers, time and time again I always come back to the same place.  Some think that life in its own funny way always makes you go round in circles.  However, its just probably us.  Our now and yesterday just intertwine pressing the play and replay many times.

Maybe that’s why many believe that we live over and over again in different time periods during the infinite life of our spirit.

For instance, I love cats.  What I like the most of them is their unbothered way of life.  They just go about doing their own thing.  However, my point is that during my life I’ve always had a cat, as a child I recall having a white Siamese cat, Mom told me recently that she wasn’t white, but black, probably she’s confused with my other cat, Miss Me-aw.  I had a hard time after she passed, so it took me a while to let another cat into my life.  My son convinced me of adopting a kitten and four years down the road, Jinx  lives happily (or I would think) with us in our home.

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But hey this isn’t about cats!!! So let’s move on.

Isn’t it quite funny how things just happen to us so many times, the SAME things.

So, why wouldn’t it be different with my blog.  When I first started writing I was invested in it.  My blog was a way I would write myself through my difficulties, but than I just lost the thirst for writing.

It transitioned from reacting to Sunday’s sermon, to a place where I began growing as a person.  It was an eye opener to what was going on in a world that I had never bothered to look at closely.  Injustice rang loud and clear as I witnessed devastation created by those with power.  I began to question what I had thought was my faith.

I saw Christianity with new eyes.

I saw Buddhism with new eyes.

I began reading books about how to live a mindful life.

My spiritual exploration had been set in place and all these years down the road it’s still is.

Believing is a place where that exploration takes  place and I think I’m over with people who put you down spiritually.   It’s time to come back home and just write about the ups and down of life and faith.

My fingers are eager to type away my thoughts and experiences of a new path I’ve discovered.  A path where my spirit rests knowing that each and every day I try to not fall into practices that do  not contribute to my growth or those who I encounter with each day.

Because at the end of the day, we all want to feel the comfort of being in peace with ourselves  and the world, we all want to come home.

See you around and thanks for stopping by.  Hasta pronto!

Community

Troubles Melt Like Lemondrops

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything.

To an extent it’s because I’ve become trapped in my own thoughts, most not worth writing about.

Our world is in turmoil since November 4th and the easiest way out would be blaming Trump and moving on.  However, if I’m going to honest it’s not about Trump or anybody else, it’s about me because  I am part of a society that is liable for placing Trump where he is right now.

The funny part is that as an American citizen I can’t vote for president unless I’m living in one the continental states, however I am affected directly by the President’s policies.

Policies that will make the rich, richer and the poor, poorer.

Basically because  we’ve forgotten to give each other hope in a recession because of our egocentricity,  and have been held prisoners  by a rhetoric delivered with a 5th grader’s vocabulary. And all of a sudden we think that we can make America great with hatred and escalated verbal and physical violence.

Not taking into notice that America can be built greater if we build communities where people can come together and find solutions to the problems we face together regardless of the differences we have.

Most of the time life is hard for so many reasons and we just forget to hope and believe.  Which is by the way ironically is one of the things I think I am, a believer.

Life presents us with so many horrible situations where we have to make a stand or just simply walk away.  The coward in us wants to walk away and be settled in a status quo that most of the time will lead us to live half alive and half dead.  Probably the people who created The Walking Dead with its one line plot feed upon people like me or maybe you.

The dreamers in all of us wish that our problems would just melt away like lemon drops, but its not that simple.  Caring for others is hard enough, imagine if we tried to be changers in a society that  is more and more about the individual and less and less of our problems as a community or country.

Tonight as I searched for songs for a conversational English course that I’m teaching,  I came across one of my favorite songs that transported me back to 6th grade and back to my dreams of finding a place of happiness somewhere over the rainbow.

I felt moved as I listened to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole sing about hope and happiness, and felt such a coward for not standing up to life’s endless situations.

My husband is about to loose his job because of a partial close of a pharmaceutical company, hence it’s no secret that we are all touched by the ups and downs of an uncertain economy.  However, all of us need to hold on to believing that in someway or form are dreams may come true if we are brave enough to believe.

And that my dear readers may sound to many as something delusional to an extent, but nevertheless don’t underestimate the power of  hope.

Hope is the engine of our lives, making us stand stronger in the face of adversity and when the day comes to an end and we welcome the night expecting something good to happen the next day with the rise of the sun.

May we all rest tonight expecting a brighter and better day tomorrow. Life is waiting for us whenever we’re ready to embrace it.

See you around the corner.