Saturday, December 24, 2011

WARMEST GREETINGS TO EVERYONE


For you all.....

a very MERRY and BLESSED CHRISTMAS with your family and loved ones. May the precious blessings of this wonderful season dwell in your homes forever.


Thank you for visiting my blog. It's such delight and pleasure for me. This year has been a wonderful blog journey with you. Bless you.


Sincerely,
Ellen



Thursday, December 15, 2011

TALENTS DIFFER - ALL IS WELL AND WISELY PUT

I was watching children playing out on the street close to the house one day. Overheard were older boys taunting a smaller kid who looked so helpless and defeated. Something they felt he wasn't capable of doing and which apparently they thought they did better if not best.

I feel so bad for the little kid, in fact for anyone who is at the end of such mean taunting or ridicule.

Frankly, that also happens in our adult world.... in different versions but with the same end result of making the object feel so unworthy - inadequate - dejected - and miserable.

But you know what, it is true that maybe the little kid wasn't capable of whatever it was the older boys could do better. Yet I am also sure that the small fella won't be so small with what he would know best too. He has it in him (God put it there) and one day he will find out what... if he hasn't already.

Let's be kind to one another. Because who you think is inferior to you might be quite superior in things you know nothing about. There's more to gain with kindness. Knowledge or talent is the monopoly of none. God wisely made sure of that.

Quoting here wonderful lines along that same thought ........

"If I'm not as large as you,
You are not as small as I,
And not half as spry,
Talents differ, all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut."

Lifted from Emerson's poem -- Fable
(a quarrel between the mountain and a squirrel)


Unquote.

Big thanks to a good friend who sent the poem to me today.
Blessings to everyone. All the best for you this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WORDS ARE POWERFUL -- HANDLE WITH CARE.

This line from a quote may come across as somewhat stern to some. But I think that's not the intention. It's more of real good sense, truthfully.

To quote:
"I am responsible only for what I say not for what you understand." - Unknown.

We never can read a person's mind, no matter how close that person is to us. The mind is a mystery and always will be. So is the heart.

So then when I say things or write my thoughts down, I do not expect listeners or readers to see it or understand it the way I may want it understood. Maybe some will and that's when I consider it such a blessing and appreciate it lots. But some won't or can't or will not. Still good because I respect the differences of our respective histories and nature. People are as different as the wide range of colors in the color spectrum. That simply makes it even more interesting. We may be looking at the same thing but you may be seeing apples where I see grapes -- or maybe you see some good where I can see only utter bad, and vice versa.

But I am responsible for what I say or write. I should be careful that whatever is said or written would not in any way be detrimental to another person's personal growth or well-being. Would not detract from the beauty of his god-given nature and soul. Would not diminish his self-worth. Would give credit where credit is due. Would seek more to understand individual differences and flaws. Would not feed his fears, doubts, frustrations, or even bias. But would allow for his greater potential and possibilities to shine through and out to the world. Better yet to help clear his way or nudge him gently along the path of his life journey, by God's design.

I see every person as my brother or sister -- as equals in this common journey we are taking in life. A travel companion regardless of gender, color, culture, creed or personal history.

It is a privilege and pleasure to travel this same road with you.
Blessings to you and your loved ones.

(A yellow rose, as been said, stands as a symbol of friendship. This is for you, lovely people in Christ. May I say thank you, too, for coming by my blog page every time.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

GOD AND YOUR PARTICIPATION EQUALS ANSWERED PRAYER

A good friend bemoans the fact that her earnest prayer hasn't been answered yet. I asked her how long... and she replied longgggg! And she added 'so what's wrong with God? doesn't he think my prayer worthy?' Whooah that's taking it too far.

Everything in life has its own allotted time and place and memory that would etch itself into life and living. (Something along that line which Ecclesiastes says so well.) There's no escaping that. Now you would ask me how that has something to do with her prayer. It's this. As hard as it may seem to understand how this works but strangely I think it works. (Believe me, I had some problems with that at the start but with the gifts of understanding and faith I have learned to see it now through the eyes of God.) Not always easy but it is worth trying for.

Time is what it's all about. Everything happens in its own time. The perfect time is not our time but that which God decides for you. And that time is when every factor of your life is in sync with the rest of the divine plan for your life. But He expects your participation in its granting.

You will get your dream but only after you have worked hard or honed your talent to deserve it when it comes.

You will get well but only after you have strengthened your faith and belief in the power of a God who heals. And further if you change bad habits detrimental to your well-being.

You will get your dream job but only after you have scoured all possible areas leading to it. And after you have kept up with the desire and persistence to land one.

You will find a good husband or wife but only after you have learned to love yourself first. Because how can you give something which you do not even have in full measure yourself? Be the person you want to see in others.

You will pass the important college exam but only after you have made yourself study hard and consistently have worked on good grades from day one. There are no short cuts to excellence.

You will overcome hurdles in whatever sphere of your life but only after you truly understand that it solely depends on you..... on your attitude towards life, on how you can understand that success or failure does work itself to make you come out even much better as a person. There is always something in either one that increases your worth and stature, it always adds up and not take away from you.

Your earnest prayers will be answered but only after you understand and understand all these very well ..... after all else has been considered --- after you have done your part --- after your faith has grown stronger with every moment that you prayed...... and when everything is in sync with His divine plan... you will have your prayer. Because God operates on the right timing ----- one that is especially right for YOU.

Oh yes, God sometimes makes exceptions... things called miracles. Blessedly wonderful things. Still it is good to ask from your simple humble human mind and heart with a faith that pleases a magnificent God so much more. Ending your prayer with 'Thy will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.'

Monday, November 14, 2011

BE THE GOOD THAT WE LOOK FOR OR WANT TO SEE IN PEOPLE AND IN THE WORLD

I believe the lines in the quote below. Though sometimes it's quite a challenge dealing with some rather odd and difficult character types. But I try to remember that basically people are good. That's how God made us all. So when I got this in my email this morning, I simply wanted to share it here.

Nope, we need not have to bother about those who make life miserable or mess things up big time. Well, maybe they could hurt us someway by intent or maybe not cos after all who can read their minds or hearts anyway ..... but they can hurt themselves even so much more than what they might have intended for someone. Because it is always true that 'what goes out ---- comes around.' It's one of the simple truths of life --- that the boomerangs of life can hit you where and when you least expect it. Things have a weird way of finally catching up with you. Everything that we do, good or bad, comes back to us in the same form it was created or intended. Maybe that's God's odd way of rewarding us and on the other hand punishing us too. That's some thought, don't you think?

But that isn't the whole point of my discourse here. Rather it is to say that we need to learn to refocus or set our aim on looking for the good in men and in life. We do know that there's enough bad or misery happening around us... we needn't add anymore to all that. Rather that we should make the choice to highlight the good, to promote it, to advertise it, to assert it, to believe it. More importantly..... to BE the good that we look for or want to see in people and in the world. It's been said and written about in many different ways by many before us... and will still be said by many more after we have gone. But the thought still remains........ to quote ----

"If you look for good, you'll find good.
If you look for bad, you'll find bad.
In life, you always find what you look for.
Only thing that matters is - what you choose to see."

- Unknown –

Thursday, November 10, 2011

COUNT TIME WITH THE BEATINGS OF YOUR HEART WITH YOUR EYES ON YOUR DREAM

This got my attention this fine sunny morning.......

"Life is like having a cup of tea. You sit by the side of the window, Lift the cup and take a careless sip only to realize, Somebody forgot to put the sugar. Too lazy to go for it, you somehow struggle through the sugarless cup. Till you discover undissolved sugar crystal sitting at the bottom... That's LIFE... So move on and stir up your Life ......."
- (Unknown)


So I hope that wonderful quote will turn your attention to all the undissolved dreams sitting there in your heart. It's never too late to get it out up front of your life, begin even with tiny steps. Make it matter whatever it is you may think would feed those dreams. Little is big when the heart is in it.

Don't put up fences yourself; instead break down all those walls keeping you back from realizing your dream. If you have to do one painful task at a time, do it. Because nobody else will do it for you. And if you truly want it very much, nothing can ever stop you. Don't worry about time... Time is always there for anyone who knows how to handle it. Don't think that youth is enough excuse for not starting now. Neither should you think that old is. Grandma Moses did her famous paintings in her seventies. Age is just a number, as many have said, and it is. And even if perchance you don't get there to where you want to be... be comforted with the thought that you have worked towards a dream... for a dream... because of a dream. That you are luckier than some of us who don't even have a dream... or know what it is.

And when you enlist the help of the Big Guy up there, you can never lose. Don't count the days with time; count it with the beatings of your heart with your eyes on your dream. I am :-)

Blessings to you all! :-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

LIGHT TRUMPS DARKNESS EVERYTIME

Came across this quote: "There's always going to be bad stuff out there. But here's the amazing thing -- light trumps darkness, every time. You stick a candle into the dark, but you can't stick the dark into the light." -- Jodi Picoult


Exactly! Some friends I know curse the darkness with their hearts, hating everything bad that's happened to their lives. I don't blame them. It's hard enough having to go through misery to have to sing along through it. Easier said than done.

But I do know one thing... that bad is just as real as good. That it too has its own place and time in our lives. Yes, nothing beneficial derived from it. Well, that seems to be the general perception. But you know what, when you have gone through so much you come to this new understanding that it's temporary... that it's weakness is its own nature. Meaning that bad is strong as it is also weak. Weak in the sense that you can pierce through its darkness with the right tools.

And what are these tools? Easy. We do it everytime. The tools of hope, love, trust, faith, strength and courage, knowledge and understanding, and the belief that it too will pass... just like everything else in life does. It's fleeting - temporary - impermanent - transient - and that it has no defense against the good that could and would permeate it.

And it has no armor to shield itself against a person's willingness to learn from it. So thus it will be tossed and turned, beaten blue, shaken and rolled around, and squeezed tight until the lessons are extracted from it.

Neither can it revel in the mistakes it pounds upon a person because a person who sees clearly with the eyes of God is enabled to see mistakes as friends and not as enemies. We learn from mistakes.

Good and bad. Yin and Yang. Darkness and light. Each have their uses. But truly 'light trumps darkness everytime'.

Have a pleasant and blessed weekend, everyone! Blessings!

(Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org)

Monday, October 31, 2011

THE HEART IS THE LANGUAGE OF GOD

"It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason." ----- Blaise Pascal


The reason why it seems so difficult to believe in God and in what He does for us is because we put our reason in so many other places.... except in the heart. We believe reason for what we think it is as being logical... making sense which we, who consider ourselves very bright smart and intelligent, pride ourselves to understand.

But when is believing in God or having truth faith ever logical or scientific or making sense in terms the human mind alone agrees to? When is it ever bad that in praying to God you sometimes don't get what you want but what you need? Did the world end for you when you cried or were miserable or so depressed over the way things turned out sourly in your life? Did you stop living because you failed, not once but many times? Did it destroy you because you lost a loved one or precious thing?

The answer is NO to all that. Because look at you now. How'd you get there.. where you are at this point in time? Do you think you got there by your own strength, effort, wisdom? Partly perhaps but even that God provided you with. When you lacked strength, He gave you His. How do you explain how you rise up with every fall? How can you explain this when you find hope - help - change .. from nothing at all? How do you explain that despite the numerous mistakes you have made, still you are being blessed with so much more good?

When God answers prayer He answers it with His eyes on your heart.... to what is contained in there. True needs rest in the heart in silence -- a silence God alone understands. So no matter what you may think in your head which often translates itself into your words, it is not what totally nudges God to move. You see the mind and the heart are two separate things, the reason why ofttimes we find ourselves at crossroads in our lives. What moves the heavens is THE heart.

See God with your heart. And if you don't know it still ---- the heart is the language of God.

May God pour out blessings beyond measure upon you and your loved ones, near and far.


P. S. A thought and prayer for November 01 - All Saints' Day .... May the heavens welcome our dear departed ones into the presence of our magnificent God through His Son Jesus Christ. Mother Mary, pray for us the living and those who have passed.

Monday, October 24, 2011

THE GUTTER CAN'T STOP US FROM LOOKING UP AT THE STARS

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." - Oscar Wilde


Oh I like this quote. See and feel the positive note in there? That's where we should focus our lives on.

Gutter is such an ugly word. For instance ---- the vulgar, sordid, unprincipled gutter mind, gutter emotion, gutter intelligence, gutter spirituality, and the physical gutter that's messing up the face of the earth.

It has its way with us because often we tend to fear it, ignore it, tell jokes about it, or tolerate it ------ more than we would even try to or attempt to lift a finger to resist it, fight it, expose it, censure it.

Luckily some of us have found the secret to rise above it -- overcome it -- or bash it down to smithereens! By fearlessly lighting the candle of HOPE in their hearts.

We are made free by keeping our hope - faith - courage - optimism - positivity - and dreams alive. And move our lives forward by living and acting on those principles.

A star-studded sky. Keep looking. Find your star. It's just there waiting for you. Besides there's enough for everybody.

Blessings!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

WRITE BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE CAN OR WILL WRITE IT FOR YOU

To someone out there who has this huge dream, or even the smallest dream of writing.... allow me to say this .........

Write because nobody else can or will write it for you.

Your talent is not meant to be stored away in a dark corner languishing in anonymity. If you are afraid that people may not like it nor read it. That's the least of your problem. What should concern you is what your heart is nudging you to do. And if it says 'write'.... then listen to it and write. Write for the joy of writing. Write because you love to write. Write because you have something to say. Write because it feeds your dreams and your soul.

And don't worry about making mistakes, to do a good thing well you have to make some mistakes along the way. But learn and learn well. Don't fake it; write what you know. And remember that a good piece of writing is one which a reader after reading comes out of it thinking. And when he does that --- Congratulations! you done well where it truly matters! You have made the connection.

Believe that you can....... and you certainly can!!
Good luck! Blessings to you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

JUDGE NOT SO YOU BE NOT JUDGED

I don't know who said this, wasn't mentioned in the email I received. But it's sure one good quote. What it says is this ----- "You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him."

Now as I understand it we are more inclined to listen to what people say about others and from there make our own judgment about that person. I used to, that was before I learned that people are not always correct in their judgements. That includes myself. No kidding abut that.

Until on this one particular day (in high school) when I found my big BIG lesson. This friend, let's call her Patty, was singing praises about her other friend -- speaking with such high adulation about Wendy's achievements, her sweet temperament, being smart, and etc etc etc. Added that I should meet her. Okay, I was curious now to meet this person who seemed to be after my job as best friend to Patty.

So we met. Pretty, big brown eyes, long black hair, fair skin. She would stick out in a crowd indeed. And we girls talked the usual 'girl talk'. Clothes, shoes, handbags, cute boys, brownies and ice cream, monster teachers. And I sat there and listened intently to her chatter. She knew the latest fashion trends, knew almost every high school boy worth knowing, and carried on a monologue on the worst teachers she met alongside some of the girls she considered boring - bland - stupid - geeky - ugly - lousy dressers - and weird.

Then it hit me hard like a huge rock to my head --- she wasn't the girl Patty so admired after all. What came out of her mouth belied the nice smart sweet person Patty praised so highly to me. She was pretty alright.... but her mind and heart was not!

When I got back home that day I thought about Wendy. If I may have in the past sounded like her spewing out negative jibes at people and things, then the people listening to me right there would have reacted towards me so much the same as I had reacted towards Wendy. Awful, isn't it?!!

Well, to cut a long story short, this one high school girl learned one big lesson out of school that day. Sometimes the best lessons can be found outside the classroom too without the help of books.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Favorite Song

AS TIME GOES BY
(From the movie Casablanca)
Played on the piano by Fabrizio Caligaris

Lyrics:

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

And when two lovers woo
They still say, "I love you."
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by.

Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date.
Hearts full of passion
Jealousy and hate.
Woman needs man
And man must have his mate
That no one can deny.

It's still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die.
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.

(Sorry, folks, but the owner of the first video posted was removed. Here's another version as beautifully played as the first one. Just click on the title song. )

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

IN MEMORY OF MOM


"Lettre à ma mère" - by Richard Clayderman


I want to do this for my mother. This piece translated means 'Letter to my mother'. What can you say to your mother... no words suffice for what's in the heart. So many plans I had planned for her but God to my sadness had something else in mind. He took her away and just when I needed her most.... and just when the dreams were almost in my hands. So close -- almost there. But when it did come ... it came to an empty heart, an irreplaceable inconsolable void. Still is, always will be. My heart aches with her memory. Nope, don't need nor wait for a Mother's Day because each time she comes to my mind is a 'Mother's Day' to me. And that's for as long as life is.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

WHAT A DOG AND A CAT CAN DO TO YOUR IMPORTANCE

"In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him." -- Unknown


Love that quote. I go back to it every time my human impulse is to revel in vanity or ego. Oh yes, we all do that secretly or blatantly. Humanly natural. But it can become quite annoying when we take it so seriously. Otherwise it simply comes and goes.... just like a good pat on the shoulder for a job well done.

We are important only as we see that importance from the perspective of doing what is expected of us as intelligent creatures above our four-legged brothers. And essentially important as we are able to see ourselves as God sees us. Can't fool the Big Guy upstairs.

My pet dog Maxie adores me and I revel in her adoration and adulation... I'm important to her. I'm great to her world.

My cat Miko is the exact opposite... I could go walk by him in all of my human splendor and importance and he would just sleep through that experience. Yawns at my face sometimes.

Maxie sends me off to cloud 9; Miko puts me back on the ground.

Importance -- it's not the be-all and end-all of everything nor of you. That is all that we need to know about that word.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

IN REMEMBERING MY TEACHER

"An understanding heart is everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child." --- Carl Jung


I have been blessed with good teachers.... well, most of them. Cause we do know that sometimes you get one odd thing in the same bunch. They were good, brilliant. Drove home the lessons well with their teaching, books, homework. Learning from them was great.

But one stood out... a nice sweet simple petite lady who stood out not only for her brilliance but for the warmth injected in her teaching. The class wasn't just a roll call of names. She connected heart to heart. I often felt that it was almost like she was reading my mind every time she caught me looking at her when a subject was being discussed. "Okay, Ellen, what's on your mind?" And again when my mind strayed to something far away unrelated to the subject at hand. She'd ask "What's on your mind now?"

I like hearing those words from her. Nobody asked it the way she did. I felt that I mattered, that whatever it was I was having trouble with.... it's going to be alright somehow. She made me feel that I was someone, that I was not a weird odd nutty person thinking my thoughts about the universe... about people, good and bad... about life and its mysteries... and about the challenges of living in my tiny corner of the world. I was a person, not just a name. She saw me, she knew me, and understood me. She cared. She was all heart and the mind just followed close behind it.

I learned much more from her than the other dozen or so. She not only nourished my mind... but too my soul. God bless her.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

WHEN PRAYER TOUCH ATTITUDE

"Sometimes Prayer doesn't change the situation,
but it changes our attitude towards the situation
and gives us the hopes which changes our entire life."
- Unknown.

Saw this quote in my notes this morning. Beautiful one, isn't it? You know this is also true. But I don't mean that God never answers our prayers. He does but in different ways -- 'wait' 'later' 'not today' 'let's try something else'. Now we all know that, don't we?

This quote though tells us about prayer and attitude. An exquisite truth to learn and keep. And I think that is what prayer really does to us apart from nudging us to up our faith. Prayer alters the way we see our problems, our worrisome struggles or trials, our anxious wants and desires. No, it does not banish them all to never-to-return-again. The problems stay there as real as your pizza pie. But it restores your appetite for the pizza pie and eventually you would devour it leaving simply bits and shreds in the box. By the way, I love pizzas too.

Prayer makes you see things differently. It somehow opens a door which all this time remained closed as your heart and mind battled with your perceived curse. Prayer opens it and takes you through that door and all seems like new --- All that you feel inside you. You feel hope, quiet joy, bigger faith, rock-like trust, renewed courage and strength. You see heaven and your day from a new set of eyes - a faithful heart - an enlightened mind.

Doesn't that give you all the reason you may need to pray?

Pray as you are - wherever you are - for whatever need and reason. God always hears. Be it a quiet whisper or a silent sigh or a lonely tear in the dark of the night. Bring your heart to God. He knows what to do with it.

May you all have God's blessings to your prayers.




Friday, September 30, 2011

WE ARE AS SMALL OR BIG AS OUR BELIEFS

"BELIEFS - We grow as big as the things we believe, and there we stop. Beliefs are creative, and they also are restrictive. They make us what we are, and limit us to what they are."
(Roy L. Smith)


The dictionary says that 'belief' is something believed or accepted as true. That covers a wide range of somethings. Exclude religion though because I'm not going there with this. Not yet anyway.

This subject came to mind when a friend remarked that he believes people to be selfish. That's a harsh thing to say but I respect his right to say it. It's his belief; he's entitled to one. But when you say that people are selfish (a sweeping statement, by the way) ..... it's not because they are but I think there must be a story behind it. Something must have happened somewhere there in their own tiny niche in life. Life presents us with so many challenges and battles which undeniably affect us in different measure and degree of discomfort or unpleasantness. As we live through it, these impact - form - shape our experiences, insights, opinions, attitudes, perceptions, and responses to life. Everybody has his own history. What is inside that undoubtedly creates the person that you are. It forms character and personality. Thus is born our beliefs.

But we should remember too that we can be as small or as big .... creative or restrictive --- as our beliefs. We are what we believe. Believe in potential, opportunity, greatness, talent, hope, faith, GOD, and in the basic goodness of man. Believe that yes there is both good and bad in life... but we can learn from 'bad' and be immensely blessed by good.

Blessings to you all! :-)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

THE MEASURE OF SUCCESS

---- This was a question from a good friend in our usual lunch get-together with the rest of the gang..... 'what is the true measure of success?'

That's a good question, don't you think? The answers vary and it will depend on that person's sense of priorities in life..... on what he deems far more essential to make one's mark in the world. So when I heard that question I waited to hear what others would say bout it. It can be so revealing.

A nice house and car or houses and cars, a high position, dozens of titles attached to their name, substantial bank account, expensive clothes, the best of schools for their children, a successful profession and career, travels several times a year, luxury perks, and moving in high social circles.

All well and good. It's all been worked hard for. Those were and are dreams fulfilled. Blessings from a good God.

Just like everybody else I have my own dreams... some have materialized, some are still in the work process. But as the years go by and after looking in serious retrospect at my world and everything in it, I saw something else which shook up my thinking cells big time and made it rearrange themselves - reorganize - regroup - reset.

This is a material world. I understand that; we all do. That's the world we have been born and grew up in and live with. And around us are many of material people living in the same material world. How is anyone ever going to escape that?

We can't. It's the only world we've got. But instead of trying to escape this consuming materialism which engulfs every area of our lives.... we should live through it just as we would but also resolutely rise above it just as we should.

We are given far more than just the material. We can do far more than just the material too. Because the bottom line is that after all has been said and done --- we must and should measure up to the measure that God intends to use with us.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

" Always demanding the best of oneself,
living with honor,
devoting one's talents and gifts to the benefits of others -
these are the measures of success that endure
when material things have passed away. "
- Gerald R. Ford





Friday, September 23, 2011

WE DON'T RECEIVE BUT DISCOVER WISDOM

"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us." --- Marcel Proust


That's a good quote and I like it.

Wisdom comes to a person who takes his journey with an open mind and a believing heart to truths unfolding down the road for his benefit and education. Than armed with this he acts towards keeping the Light shining for the next traveler or travelers coming after him.

May your own journey be blessed with God's light and peace.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

FIND - KNOW - EMBRACE YOUR CALLING

"I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you." --- -- Oprah Winfrey


So what is your calling? Have you ever stopped to figure that out? Honestly, sometimes you don't get to know it early in life. Some discover it in midstream when they have something else going for them. Sometimes it comes to you later in life. Much later. But then again who can tell why it is so? Why God so chooses at what time you should or shouldn't? The goal is still the same.

The essential thing to this is that you perform what it is that is being asked of you. That is after you have found out what it is of course. That is the challenge and task HE has set out for you to do. And pronto.

No, it's not to be another Oprah Winfrey or a Helen Keller or a John F. Kennedy or other highly esteemed personality who have made their indelible mark on us and on the world. But why not also cos if it is .. that's something fantastic on a grander scale.

But usually it is in being what you do best with what life and God has given you. As you are. God may want you to be a ...... good mother, leader, priest, father, son or daughter, friend, student or teacher, employee or social worker, nurse or care giver, businessman, pilot, NGO, street sweeper, etc. But this also means that you give it your best shot. If you are a street sweeper, be the kind that does an excellent job of sweeping the streets that people will enjoy walking by your street and admire the work of the hands that did it!

It is in knowing that what you have is not there for keeping. Not really or totally. It is meant for something much bigger than you. I've said this before I know. And you will always hear it from me. Because by nature we always tend to forget. We forget a lot of things we should be remembering............... birthdays, anniversaries, grandparents, good old friends, appointments, favors, and more stuff which give meaning purpose and reason to our lives. We forget to be kind, friendly, compassionate, sympathetic, generous, helping, understanding, tolerant, human and humane, non-judgmental, forgiving, trusting where trust so inspires, believing in a greater good, savoring the simple pleasures of life and living. Like we also always forget to thank HIM for HIS blessings then and now and forthcoming yet. We forget.

So then let's try find our calling. Know our calling. Embrace it. Make it our gift back to God.
Blessings to you all, in Christ.

Friday, September 16, 2011

AND I AM ME AGAIN



Comes a moment when the heart seems to long for something. Something you can't put your finger on.... elusive... distant... unreachable... intangible... unreal.

When I hear this played somehow my thoughts settle and my heart begins to rest on calm serene soothing strains of this enchanting melody. And I am me again.


(This lovely and exquisite melody "Claudine" is played on the piano by Maksim Mrvica. I could listen to this over and over... again and again. It has become a part of my day... my life.)



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

TODAY IS SPECIAL. THERE'S NOTHING LIKE IT.

I like those lines.... no, I love those lines. The now moment. This moment sitting here at the computer typing out these words... this moment is special. Not for any reason but simply because.

Thoughts are special .. one gives birth to it but it takes on a life of its own .. moves from one person to another .. transforms itself as more or less is added or removed from it. It becomes someone else's thoughts until again it is time to move on to the next ownership and experience. Thoughts are timeless.... immortal.

The heart is special. When one looks at his day with his mind.... he will see nothing there but ordinary mundane stuff. But try to look at your day with the eyes of your heart... and you will see awesome - magnificence - beauty - miracles ... things beyond your imagination. The heart sees worthy things from the hands of God.

Life is special. You don't live because you deserve to live. There is nothing we can put into life that would make life worthy. Not by our efforts. It comes from something much bigger than you and me, bigger than life itself. Life is a GIFT. And the Giver has decided to bless us with it because he loves us this BIG!

Make every day, hour, minute, moment in your small temporary life so SPECIAL.

Live SPECIAL with all of who you are.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

WE DECIDE WHO WE ARE AND WHAT THE WORLD WILL BE

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“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

Buddha quotes (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)
----------------------

Those lines there tug at familiar strings in the hearts of many, honestly. I know that in any one of these some of us have become slaves to, at some point or another. But just because we have been doing it for ages or because we got it from highly esteemed authorities and cultural or social tradition, it does not mean that it's always right or true or useful or wise... or foolproof. Sometimes these same things serve as barriers or stumbling blocks to genuine understanding and communication. It has to be put to the test. If it be found to stand solidly on the foundation of authentic good ... fine... but it must also be understood that it's not entirely or only for our own personal consumption but rather meant to be shared outward in the spirit of service, truth, enlightenment, progress and change.

We all stand connected, in one popular or odd way. And whatever lessons, knowledge, wisdom, or learning in life we get from it is meant to be passed on and on and on.... to the generations after us or out there to do some service to a greater number you can manage. To help make our world a better place. Ambitious plan? No. But a mission, I believe, designed by Someone up there.

Like life is a gift from God, and that what we make of it is our gift back to HIM. And so why we should learn and strive to be responsible with ourselves, with our fellow human beings, and with what we want our world to be. Everything that is -- is as good or bad as we make it to be. We alone must make that decision. Nobody will make it for us. And it's done day by day, with every task coming our way, with every thought passing through our minds, with every soul crossing our path, in the way we regard Mother Nature and all of creation.

Have a blessed weekend, everyone. May God's light and blessings pour out upon you and your loved ones.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

THE BEST IS YET TO COME

"Promise me this, that you will not allow life to harden your heart because it will if you allow it. Always stay open to the possibilities of a new Love, it could be right in front of your face, and always have faith that God wants you to be happy and he has wonderful things planned for you." ----- Karen Kostyla


Beautiful, isn't it? Yet we fail in all that it highlights. We allow the difficulties of life to harden our hearts...... close our doors to new love and possibilities when we are broken lost and confused..... and doubt our God in His plans for us when we are at our lowest ebb.

And still.... God loves us inspite of our frailties flaws and imperfections. He picks us up every time we fall. He comforts and heals our broken hearts and souls. He understands the times when we struggle with our faith. Not once, not twice, but all the time.

That said, I think it won't be so hard to keep those promises, Karen Kostyla. Cos we are backed up by the magnificent love of a wonderful God. Hope can't be very far behind. It's just a prayer away.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

TRUTHS ARE ROSES WITH THORNS


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"Truths like roses have thorns about them." --- (Henry Blinn)

Truths are not always welcome. And why we shrink or shirk from it with elaborately cooked up excuses. Motivated by aversion or diversion from what could be apparent challenges to one's preconceived notion or notions. But all to naught because truth will seek you out. Always. Sooner or later.

Know that to be true?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

AUTHENTICALLY YOU - ME - EVERYBODY

Each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass,
A book of rules.
And each must make,
Ere life has flown,
A stumbling block
Or a steppingstone.
------ R.L. Sharpe

That's a good one. Sent to me by a friend. So I guess the question to ask ourselves is ... what are we making with and of our lives ---- our thoughts, words, actions. Are we building or destroying? Are we sowing good seeds or rotten ones? Are we loving or hating? Are we a blessing to others or have we made ourselves somebody's burden or bane?

Let's take ourselves seriously. Waste not precious time and life with being such huge disappointments to the Lord. And in case we forget, let's remember that we were designed or created for good - to do good, think good, speak good, act good. No other way to live our lives. No other way to be authentically you or me or us..... that means everybody.

Remember this popular quote: "Life is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God."

Blessings to you all. Have a pleasant evening.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

PUSHING OUR CART THROUGH LIFE

You see that guy in the picture? A common figure in the tapestry of life... the bigger and smaller tapestry of our collective and separate lives. Aside from the apparent message it pushes out to our brains i.e. dignity of labor... it holds a far more stronger symbolism of ourselves.

That's us pushing our own cart and inside our cart is heaped a dozen or more of our hopes, ambitions, goals, aspirations, or dreams and the nitty gritty details of having them. We carry these with us in our cart pushing hard along the path of our journey. Pushing hard, harder, hardest.

You think that we'll make it?

Unlike the guy in the picture who won't think of losing any of the contents of his cart for some apparent reason I would presume, we can and must do better than that. Cause certainly that's a heavily laden cart we're pushing through life. And it's a long tough journey we're taking no doubt.

So then what's to do? The logical thing.... meaning relieve some of that burden or load.

You see, not all of that load is necessary. Some in there are just there for the ride and then some pretend to be important and again some are downright extra baggage. So you sort through it all and extricate those you don't need or which tend only to hinder your progress. Now this is the part when you have to think... and think hard. What you don't need is the wrong attitude... lack of discipline... hanging on to old comfort zones.... unwillingness to adapt.... fear of change.... weak faith... and other unessential stuff or undesirables you are better without. You know them all.

Because unless you lighten your load it's going to be a huge struggle pushing a gigantic cart with only your mere puny strength.

And when you have done all that and still the pushing is hard. Well, there's nothing like having a good strong friend to help you push. And that's what God is there for. Bring Him along; you won't regret it.

Note: Picture is courtesy of a friend. Thanks, Perry.



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

PATIENCE IS WHAT YOU DO TO YOURSELF.... WHEN LIFE BECOMES DIFFICULT

Nobody can give you patience. You give that to yourself. Nothing can make you patient. You train yourself to be one. Many things will go wrong in your day or your life. That's a fact. Nothing will and can assure you of a hundred percent outcome according to your expectations, requirement, or plan. Things can and will go wrong at some point or another, like it or not. That includes people. You can't heap on them your expectations, goals, or dreams and expect them to run it through with precision and exacting detail. Well, maybe in some but then that does not always happen; it won't happen. Always something somewhere would go crazy. Different folks; different strokes.

Life and people are both unpredictable and ever changing. If you tend to be steady, unbending, and resolute in your dealings with everything and anyone crossing your path, expect to be disappointed because your expectations will be dashed to the ground eventually. Not because they failed you but because you have failed yourself. Impatience rises from your utter frustration of not getting what you want or of seeing that you are losing your desired control of situations or people.

Because that's the way the cookie crumbles. Your cookie.

Unless you understand and learn that you need to develop patience. The kind that is nurtured by self and shaped by a broad understanding of how things work with life and living. The kind that allows you to think the matter through and not allow emotions to lead you. The kind that can afford to give generously to seeking the greater good thus making allowance for imperfections and human flaws. The kind that does not insist on self-satisfaction first and last. The kind that believes and trusts in the power of God to work things out for good.

Patience is what you do to yourself when things around you don't go the way you want it to. Patience is knowing in your heart that there is a bigger Power at work and this power makes things right for you and everyone.... sooner or later. Just believe.

God is very patient with us -- how can we be anything less than that??



Thursday, August 25, 2011

SUNRISE - SUNSET



Every time I see a sunset or think of one, my soul soars high up in the clouds. Might even take me higher to heaven's gate. I can't imagine how something as magnificent as a sunrise or sunset could go past our senses or being. It's magical. But why must it be so fleeting? Would it not be wonderful that it stay and wrap its magical glow around our souls forever. I'd like to be in that moment for a lifetime. Wish!

Fleeting.... that's what it's saying. Like everything is fleeting. Life is fleeting.... the good, bad, sad, joy, grief, fear, worry... and everything else laid down on our plates. Everything that comes to us come for some reason but certainly and sadly not to stay. When these things of life - love - experiences have done its job it moves on to touch other lives too. But unfailingly leaves behind those precious memories which hold us close to life. Memories which hold a promise.... Like a sunset assures us of a new morn... a new day... a new life... a new you.

Cherish the sunrises and sunsets of your life.

Blessings to everyone.



Sunday, August 21, 2011

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME IS STILL A ROSE

A rose is such a beautiful flower that standing inside a flower shop amidst a myriad of roses makes my senses swim in sweet confusion and delight. Comes in different sizes, colors, varieties, and numbers. Yes numbers, take three red roses and it simply says 'I love you'.

Makes me think of friendship ..........

Good friends and friendships are there in times of joy and sorrow, success and failure, sickness and health, love and hate, wealth and scarcity, strength and weakness, smart and sometimes when you're just plain being silly or stupid.

A friend knows much about you and sometimes even more than you know yourself. Can read your mind and the secrets of your heart. Knows when to be silent or be such a nagging freak to you. Understands when others have ceased to be or don't care.

A friend stands by you when others choose to be somewhere else. It doesn't matter if you're walking on one leg or see with only one eye or have this uncanny knack for doing the wrong things 90% of the time. But of course to this, a friend would find the biggest hammer to bang your head with and knock you back to your senses. The rest would be up to you.

A friend, as that lovely old song goes, is often the wind beneath your wings.

Friends come in different sizes, color, creed, culture, education, breeding, orientation, and other things besides. But.....

a friend by any other name is still a friend. Just like a rose by any other name is still a rose.

Cherish your friend or friends -- those who truly matter in your life. They matter.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

HAPPINESS AND CHANGE ARE CLOSE COUSINS

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The shortest distance to change is knowing that you are unhappy. You start from there. Then some action would come from that maybe not overnight but eventually. It could be anger, pity, frustration, depression, and others more that would make you even feeling worse. And worse it is but.....

as a good friend further added --- it makes you feel so bad, revolted, and darn fed up with it all that it pushes you to a firm resolve to have no more of it from now on! She should know... she went through that kind of hell.

What did she do next? Simple. She picked herself up, determinedly shook off the dust, shut rather slammed the door of her sad past.. locked it, threw away the key and never looked back since. And now she is one happy lady moving on with her life, having lots of good people around, happy with family, enjoying a good job, and thanking God for making her see that she was unhappy and was needing to change.

Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Admitting you're unhappy. But that's just half of the battle and solution. The other half is having the courage to change. But admitting that you are unhappy is the first step towards the change you want for yourself. Unless you see it for what it is instead of creating so many excuses to ignore it, you will never make that big start. Seeing things honestly and where you stand in it does set you down straight on that desired road without a moment's waste. Then you can get moving!



Thursday, August 11, 2011

LIFE IS A JOURNEY OF FAITH

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This morning I got this nice email from a good friend. Let's leave the letter alone in respect to a wonderful person and friend.

But, let me tell you my story.....

I was in a similar situation in my life.. Doing something important and yet not what I really wanted. Yet keeping the hope alive that God would finally send me something right up my alley in passion and interest. My fond dreams materialized.

I was bored with that and although I gave it my best shot it wasn't really me. While in it something got me to thinking ... in retrospect. Maybe God wanted me to be simply there for the moment... maybe there was something God wanted me to acquire in skill or ability or spiritual attitude.... maybe there was special work God wanted me to do for Him right there with who I am, with what I have, and with whose company I was.

So to make a long story short, I refocused and realigned my sight to the realities of the moment. Knocked my head to tow the line and kicked my heart to stop it from wandering elsewhere. My prayers became different. --- I simply posed one question to myself: What is it going to be, faith or no faith?? I made the decision of faith... apparently a not so easy decision or choice. But I did what I thought God wanted me to do --- DECIDE to have faith... and like He said even the size of a mustard seed. And the rest is up to Him.

Did my life improve? Far beyond my expectations. Nope, I'm not rich yet......... hahahah. But in matters most essential to life, heart, and living, I think God is so generous in His blessings. Transformation wasn't done overnight.. took some years.. and struggles or battles of faith. A roller coaster ride, so to speak. One thing I learned from those struggles... when one decides to have faith -- God will make sure that you will keep it. One other thing I learned -- faith is a journey.. small ones, big ones, one or two or several.. which we take day by day, every minute, every hour. A life of faith is what God requires from His children. There is no other option.

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May your own journey of faith be a blessed one. Keep the faith. Trust HIM.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

GOOD BATTLES ARE FOUGHT BY GOOD MEN

--------------
This quote caught my attention today.....

"A lot of life is dealing with your curse, dealing with the cards you were given that aren't so nice. Does it make you into a monster, or can you temper it in some way, or accept it and go in some other direction?" -- Wes Craven

Don't we sometimes find ourselves in that same boat at one time or another in our lives? Not nice, aye?! But the wonder of it all is that we survive. We do our best with what's laid down on our plates, good or bad. No, not everybody is turned into a monster by it. Maybe a scanty few but these are the exceptions rather than the rule. We suffer yes ... does cause us a lot of pain. Ofttimes in the middle of the night we shed buckets of tears like an unstoppable stream. But when the morning comes we rise and wipe our eyes dry and bravely step out the door to face our challenges anew. That's how tough we are.

There are many ways to fight our battles and we sift through those and find something that will work for us. Although there's no guarantee that the choices we make would be the right ones... no guarantee that we wouldn't fall not just once but again and again... still we hang in there fiercely and believing that one day everything will work out just fine.

Because they will... maybe not today but eventually they will.

Good battles are fought by good men; nobody can put a good man down easily. He always wins... sooner or later... but he wins!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

BUILD WALLS OR BRIDGES?

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Just finished with breakfast on this gray rainy morning when I thought that I should be checking my inbox for mails. And clear it of junk too which I do on a regular basis. Well, I got this lovely forward email from a good friend which contained a list of quotes. All good, some I've seen before, and a few I've used in my writing. But I was drawn to this particular quote which struck me as inspiring. Here's how it goes.....

"SOME PEOPLE ALWAYS THROW STONES IN YOUR PATH. IT DEPENDS ON YOU WHAT YOU MAKE WITH THEM..... WALL OR BRIDGE?? REMEMBER YOU ARE THE ARCHITECT OF YOUR LIFE." -- Anon.

Criticism ... nobody wants that word, it sounds so negative. It's unwelcome. Most would, on receiving criticism, take it as an affront offense or hurt. Well, that depends on intent. But we can separate good criticism and bad criticism easily by this simple measure: bad criticism destroys ... good criticism builds. While bad criticism blocks creativity, good criticism inspires it.

Life though is never without one or the other. In fact both are laid down on our plates just like Yin and Yang.

So then what to do with that will depend on how we understand things. Knowing ourselves well gives us an edge simply because we know both our strengths and weaknesses. Faced with what is true in both aspects we tend to respond easily with grace and open-mindedness. What should come after mistakes and being criticized for it is -- growth and wisdom.

And when people throw 'stones' at you, understand that it is not because they are more knowledgeable than you are or smarter or educated.... but rather because they have understood so little of what's happening to you or something. They didn't bother to know at all. And that already is a huge stone hurled back to their faces without you helping it along.

In fact you should be thanking them --- those who throw these stones at you. Why? Because they have, without aiming to, given you all the tools you may need for building or creating better things with it. Foremostly, they empowered you to be your better self.

As it's been said ....... It all depends on what you make with them; you are the architect of your life.



Thursday, July 28, 2011

KINDNESS - PASS IT ON!

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"Pass it on! Kindness is like a snowball that's rolling down a hill. Each unselfish act or word is another snowflake that greets others... creating something much larger in the process. Whether it's a big deed or a little one, just do! Each day find the opportunities to do something kind that will make a difference in the world around you." ------ Mac Anderson


I'm looking for kindness everywhere I go. And it's not the big acts of goodness that I'm searching for. It's the little ones that oftentimes go unnoticed. It's because these little gems tell more about a person than the big flashing ones do.

Now you ask me.. why this interest or unusual pursuit? I'm going to write about them. It needs to be put out there for the world to see.... both the giver and the act.

I'm sick and tired of the kind of news that's making the headlines on TV, the radio, or the daily papers. They make it seem that we have a dearth of good people around us. That good does not matter. That this is such an evil society with people killing each other for the silliest of reasons.. and smart people are smart with bad motives.. the exploitation of the deprived and underprivileged... that bad are packaged to look good and good made to look bad that you can't tell one from the other anymore.

To this my best friend quips --- 'That's our world today. Can you imagine what it will be like tomorrow?"

Okay, that's quite a ton of pessimism she's heaped on me. But, my dear friend, this is a big wide world and gazillions of people inhabiting it. Different people of varying education, upbringing, orientation, culture, religion, breeding, character, and other things more which make them quite different from one another. That's a lot of bad people to contend with, you know, if you would consider them all bad. You might want to say -- "Stop the world -- and let me OUT!!"

Anyway, I'm putting one tiny word on today's agenda ---- KINDNESS. It's a small big word. Often taken for granted, ignored both in high and low places, many times dealt with in utter suspicion, and sadly not given its space to shine.

Kindness is out there and it needs to be recognized. And don't think that it always has to be a huge grand show of generosity or goodness. Not always. Usually it's just like this teeny-weeny buds of a wild plant which blossoms and beautifies the meadows and plains... just as the bigger gorgeous flowers do. And by the way, while we're at it.... kindness begins with you and me and so with many others more. And we need to pass it on. Now! Help me tell my friend that she is wrong. Because she is wrong because I believe this still is a beautiful world!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

START WITH SELF

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A good friend online sent this to my inbox. Glad that he did because it is one of the most powerful though simple piece of writing I have ever come across.

To quote........

"But where to start?
The world is vast. I shall start with the country I know best, my own.
But my country is very large; I had better start with my town.
But my town, too, is very large.
I had better start with my own street.
No, my home.
No, my family
Never mind, I shall start with myself."

(Elie Wiesel)

Unquote.

It's as simple as that... 'start with myself'. But sadly we don't. Well, not often as we should or must. Funny but we seem to get so much thrill in pointing the task or blame on others. We say ...... It's they who should change, they should do the dirty work, they should stop their bad habits, they should be praying more, they should do the noble and higher goal. It's always --- he, she, they or them.

But where are we in the bigger picture of things? Have we made ourselves part of the change? Are we there where things are happening and not under the cover or safety of our comfortable shells? Are we willing to take risks for a better life for self and the family, home, street, town, country? Do we bite our tongues rather than speak out when we should? Do we crumble at the merest pressure? Do we hesitate in writing down our thoughts on something controversial yet which we believe is true? Do we turn the other way when we see crooked practices from men and women of religion, position, and uniform? Do we simply look with distance and disinterest at cruel and unfair practices of man towards man... or man towards animals... or man towards the environment?

You want a better world, country, town, street? --- Start with self. A good person creates a good family and home, is a good influence to the neighborhood on the street where he lives. This in turn makes for a good community. A good community creates a good town. Many good towns create a good country. And hopefully many good countries create a better world.

Isn't this what we really .. really want? To get that -- we, as somebody once said before, need to be the change we want to see in our world.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

MY NEIGHBOR'S MANGO TREE

My good neighbor across the street has trees in her yard... but this one stands out being so close to the fence and road. It's a lovely mango tree lush and green. And strong branches heavy with leaves and fruit.. and then some branches sticking out like wayward children. Wayward that this morning my neighbor decided to hire someone to trim off those unwanted branches. It was becoming a risk and threat to the safety of nearby neighbors being so dangerously close to the power lines hanging between light posts.

So this morning I woke up to the sound of someone fiercely hacking on wood with an axe or some sharp tool I guess. I looked out the window and there it was.. branches falling down from the sky or so it seemed. I felt sorry for the tree cos it must have hurt but on the other hand there was an apparent reason for the cutting and the bigger picture it hoped to achieve. Mother nature would understand that too.

So much like life and some people, don't you think? People who are so uncontrollably wired up inside and can't get a good hold of things thereby creating chaos within and without. People with habits and attitudes that brush across others in an abrasive and unpleasant way. People who think that the world owes them everything and live in that bubble of illusion. And many other irregularities of mind, spirit, and character.

And just like that mango tree they need to be clipped too. They need to be trimmed of faulty attitudes or behavior which serve no purpose other than make life miserable for those around them... and ultimately for self. And if they can't do it themselves to change, somebody or something or GOD might come along and put him back on track again or force the needed change to serve the better and greater good. It will hurt of course but sometimes to get to the good part one must peel off unnecessary layers to do that. Pain can be a good thing sometimes. Unwelcome but necessary. It happens to all of us.

Looking back to the activity outside my window I now see a tall handsome nicely trimmed mango tree and a happier safe neighborhood on my street. The trimming indeed served the greater and better good ---- the bigger tapestry of life on the street where I live.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

QUALITY ENGAGES BOTH THE MIND AND HEART


"Quality is never an accident:
It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives." ---- William A. Foster


Some people think that it's impossible to churn out quality in everyday life. I'll say that depends on -- you. You alone will decide what you want your day or life to be. Quality, I have once read in a nice piece written by someone (now I'm forgetting the name Lols...), starts from the heart. And I certainly agree with that. If the heart's intent is to serve honestly and well... or please with the best intention in mind... or seek what is not just good but better or best... or live intelligently for the bigger picture of life.... that in any language I know will tell you what quality is all about.

Quality engages both the mind and the heart and then tumbles out as visible expressions of it to the outer world.

Here's a story of two mothers...

Maria is a full-time wife and mother tending to her family and doing the usual chores to keep the house turning with clockwork precision. Clothes are washed, meals are cooked, children are sent off to school, house is cleaned, dog is fed, and the wifely duties of a wife to her spouse. At a gathering of friends one day, she was asked by one just how does she manage with all that. And she replied .... 'It's a job. That's what wives and mothers do.'

Sarah, a wife and mother, also is a work-from-home employee as an English tutor to foreign students via the internet. She also does the laundry, cooks her family's meals, takes her kids to kindergarten school every morning, cleans the house, feeds her golden retriever and Persian cat, and gives her wifely attention to her spouse. When friends ask her on their usual monthly lunch date how she manages with everything.... She replied --- 'I try to make the home a place they would feel happy, cared for, loved, nurtured. This way I hope to prepare them well to cope with the challenges of the world outside. My family is important to me.... as I too am to myself.'

I guess you know whose star shines brighter. :-)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

EXCELLENCE IS WHAT YOU DO BEST EVERYDAY


"Excellence is...
caring more than others think is wise;
Risking more than others think is safe;
Dreaming more than others think is practical.
Expecting more than others think is possible."
--- Winston Churchill


More often we tend to shy away from -- caring more, risking more, dreaming more, and expecting more....... and would rather stay where it's considered simply -- wise, safe, practical, and possible.

So then maybe it's time to understand that it's the little extra put into something which makes it very special. It's going the extra mile.... believing a wee bit more than the fella next to you dreaming the same dreams.... creating masterpieces out of the mediocre... or doing ordinary things extraordinarily.

A good friend once told me that all these are easier said than done. Well, I told him that excellence also takes practice. You must challenge yourself everyday, pushing yourself farther forward each time towards that dream. You don't stop even if others have. And it is well to understand that even a small conscientious step will certainly create the big moves you aspire for and definitely take you there. It matters.

Excellence is what you do best with the best you can be. Everyday.


(With special thanks to a good friend who sent me the abovementioned quote.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

LITTLE MOMENTS MAKE LIFE BIG -- AND YOU BIGGER

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A cute 5 yr old girl came up to her mom, who was busy chatting with a visiting friend, and unceremoniously yet proudly placed a piece of paper on her mother's lap. On the paper was a drawing of a smiling little girl in pigtails which was named ME... and her tiny chubby little hands held those of an older woman named MAMA. In the background was a drawing of a smiley sun.. a blue bird, and a tree laden with red apples. The little girl happily raised up the drawing to her mother's face and said 'Mama, for you!". One brief silence... and then the mother told her daughter to 'Go and wash your hands... it's dirty!'

A young woman sat on a bench, one of other solitary benches at the park that afternoon. A slight wind blew and softly brushed her hair. Tiny birds flew up in the air and some flitted here and there on the ground and the pavement near her chirping merrily. She looked down, opened her bag and took out something to tie her hair with. That done she stood up and walked away from the bench and out of the park without looking back.

Little moments. Those ordinary oftentimes considered trivial moments that touch our days and lives but mean more than you could or would ever imagine. Taken for granted things which we often give no attention to because we never really understood.

Life's genuine treasures pass us by because we fail to understand that wonderful things don't always come in dramatic ways and means. Or that not everything is wrapped with glossy paper or colorful trimmings. We pay no heed to the little gestures of kindness.. gifts of joy... proud achievement... familial love and bonding... genuine gestures of friendship... unsolicited respect and admiration... courtesy and honesty.... thoughtfulness and consideration... awe for the beauty of mother nature... unabashed gratitude... quiet times of calm and peace... gems of faith... simple pleasures..... and many more. These fill up our little moments which definitively give so much more meaning to our ordinary lives. These little moments tie up our mundane lives in a beautiful package filled up with treasures beyond compare. These too lead us to discover self --- our long forgotten capabilities to become better individuals where it matters most.

It's the little moments that make life big.... and you bigger.
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Hope this makes for a wonderful Monday to start the week with. Be blessed.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

THE PAST HAS DONE ITS JOB

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Somebody posed a question and this was the answer he received from someone too. Probably a quote making its way from one hand to another but it certainly made its point very clear.

"Do you know why a Car's WINDSHIELD is so large & the REAR VIEW MIRROR is so small? ------ Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. Look Ahead and Move on."

I like that answer. The past has done its job. We've learned and have been made wiser by it. Those parts which broke our heart have no part in the present nor in the future. There is no need in wanting to live the pain and hurt over and over again. No need to break your heart repeatedly by your own pitiful thoughts... and certainly no need for it to be brought along into the future; it will only clip your wings if your aim is to fly.

There is more to life than what you can conceive in your mind. The dreams of your heart are there to move you forward. And that is the only direction we are supposed to take.

Move on. Forward.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A SILENT WISH



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What's on your mind? That's a question I often hear. Not that the person really cared. But it drives me crazy whenever it's asked of me. Well, sometimes it's because I don't really want to tell. But that question does serve a purpose by making us think. Though occasionally some among us would say that people tend to 'overthink' or 'underthink'. Oh I don't mind that, it's their opinion. Different folks, different strokes. But with my two-cents worth.. I think that's better than a 'no think' person. :-)

Minds are made for thinking, whether in mediocrity or brilliance it does not matter, for each has its use which God may know of. Now then that pricks my mind to nudge brain cells to some bit of action this morning. :-)

A good old cousin once told me that -- '..we can never have what we want and what we need at the same time...' Impossible, he insisted. Fine! Maybe he is right... and yet again maybe not.

You see, there was this one afternoon in that wonderful family vacation in Boracay a year ago and which I remember so well ... I was sitting on the beach looking out to the cool blue waters. Just enjoying the moment mindless of the people around me. Pretty soon the sunset in taking its leave made a wonderful show of it floating away down the horizon. In farewell it painted the skies in glorious scarlet and yellow ... filling my senses to overdrive. Gorgeous, simply magnificent. What can you say!! It just leaves you speechless.

But it certainly made me think. It was just what I needed to ease my weary soul... and it did a wonderful job of it. Moreover, it was just what I wanted --- a gorgeous sunset. I love sunsets!! Give me one anywhere and you'll have my full attention.

So to you, dear cousin, I believe that we can have what we want and what we need at the same time..... with the heart. A silent wish which God saw fit to grant.

Have a good day, people. May that silent wish in your heart come true.

Friday, July 8, 2011

SO WHAT'S ON MY MIND TODAY?

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What's on my mind today..... so asks a friend, not that he cares. :-) But I do care to tell or write about it. Because somebody out there might need to hear it. He or she might need to hear what a day is like in the life of one of God's creation. And after hearing maybe just maybe it would light up the spark kindling in the heart that never was given the chance to shine out to the world brightly. There's plenty of us who live very quiet lives holding that spark within quietly. So thus here are my thoughts today...........

-- I can let any of my daughters choose the movie they want to see or pick the dish on the menu in a posh restaurant without having to ask of mine own choices if that puts huge smiles on their faces. Because I can.

-- I can shelve my precious free time to listen to my best friend when she calls on the phone with her miseries and woes. Because I can.

-- I can write of things which may not be popular to a greater number of people because it could be something about the harsh truths of life which they don't really want to know. Because I can.

-- I can stop by a display window at the mall gazing at gorgeous fashion and accessories of jewels shoes and bags without batting an eyelash and messing up my wallet. Because I can.

-- I can speak my mind honestly when necessary if the goal was to shake some sense into another person confused and unsure in his hour of darkness. Because I can.

-- I can cry in the privacy of my room, kneel down and pray when things get so tough and tougher. Because I can.

-- I can do a lot more other than what I have been born with as I acknowledge the power of God within me. Because I can.

It's a CHOICE. A choice to do what is good, what is necessary, what is essential, what is kind or noble or meek or generous or compassionate, and what is simply called --- 'doing my job'. A humbling of self so that others could have their joys. An honest acknowledgment of what we should really be doing here with our lives. You see, we have a job .. but our boss is HE who sits on the throne up there in the great halls of heaven.

And what, you may ask, is that JOB? It's simply this..... to be the best we can be to ourselves and to others with who we are-what we have and aim for the greater glory and praise of a wonderful God and Father. He who loves us beyond measure -- constantly, unfailingly... whether we deserve it or not.

Make the right choices.. and do your job. You were created to do far more than you ever dreamed you could as a person and as a child of God. We cannot do anything less or lesser than that. Shine as you are right there where God has placed you. And make it your goal to make God smile. Everyday.
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Hope you all have a lovely and blessed weekend up ahead. Bless you!
(Picture above was taken by my daughter on our Boracay Island family vacation.)