Thursday, December 19, 2013

Crossing the Spanish Bridges

Has anyone ever told you to "cross that bridge when you get to it"?

There is something so symbolic about a bridge. It's a connector, a link, a transition. So many things! It allows you to go from where you are, to where you want to be. Why do you think people tell you not to burn them? Bridges make life easier.

But that's not the only reason I love them. I think bridges are beautiful!

Simple but beautiful bridge over a canal in Venice, Italy.

I recently crossed some amazing bridges in the south of Spain. My absolute favorite (and also my new all-time favorite) was the bridge at Ronda. Wow. That's all I can say. It was a breathtaking sight.

Ronda, Spain

El Puente Romano was a pretty awesome bridge, too. It lead to La Mezquita, the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. It's a medieval Islamic mosque turned Catholic Christian cathedral. That was a peculiar experience. So much religious contrast in one space. It kind of made it seem like the idea of separation is just plain silly, and should become a thing of the past. It made me think that existing as one would be better than coexisting. Maybe one day the world will agree.

Puente Romano - Cordoba, Spain

This trip to Spain was amazing. Walking across these bridges, with anticipation of what the new land would offer, gave me such a sense of wonder. I knew that only beauty awaited me, and that once it met my eyes, I would greet it with a joy-filled smile. I got to cross some incredible bridges, some of them, metaphorical.

I know where I am, and where I have crossed to. I have crossed to a place where everything I see is beautiful, everything I eat is delicious, every sound I hear is music to my ears. Where life is a holiday, and I'm on vacation.

What bridges will you be crossing? What are you crossing over to? I hope it's something beautiful and happy.

When you are at the bridge, it's time to cross.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Friends, Family and Florida!

I have not written in a while. Not sure if it's because I haven't had time or inspiration. Maybe a combination of both.

I'm on a train now, staring out at a giant lake surrounded by lush greenery... in December! That can only mean one thing: I'm back in Florida :)

I'm excited about experiencing some warm weather for a couple days, but even more excited about seeing my friends and family.

I love my new life in Maryland, but there will always be something so special and close to my heart in Florida.

Relationships are a big part of life, and forming strong bonds makes life so precious. It means being able to spend time away, and upon your return, picking up right where you left off. True friendship means being there through thick and thin, and time away certainly thins things out. I love that within minutes of announcing my trip to Florida, my entire stay was booked with lunches and dinners and nightly outings. It really makes you feel so special when people are excited to have you in town and want to see you.

I believe the secret to having great friends is in being a great friend. I love the people around me like they are my family. My best friends are like my sisters (and a few of them like my brothers). The people of the world are my family. We are all one and we are all related. I think that's what makes life so beautiful to me. I don't see separation, I see oneness.

We have evolved a lot as a human race through the years, but we are not done. I look forward to the days where we see past our differences and see that we really are one and the same. Humanity together is a system, and we belong to the earth. We have a purpose.

All we can do for now is be the change and encourage others to do the same. I am your friend, be mine too. I am your sister, love me as if I had your blood, because that is how I love you. If you want great friends, be a better friend. If you want to be loved, learn to love more openly and freely. Your energy will become so attractive that people will not know what draws them to you, they will only know they want to be around you. That is a good feeling.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Breathtaking Views Through Your Eyes

How can you see something, if I am the one looking at it? How can you feel something, if I am the one experiencing it?

I have been in Maryland most of this month. I am really enjoying the weather and the people have been great. Everyone is so friendly, and of course, I have been getting involved in some deep conversations.
Fells Point, Baltimore

I recently met a young guy with a wealth of knowledge and understanding. We got into a conversation about belief systems and religions and what not. I always enjoy these types of debates. I consider myself a pretty optimistic and positive person, but I learned something from him that made me question that.

I had never heard the term "Homo Empathicus". Apparently, it is the species that we may be evolving into, or have been evolving into more deeply. As much as I love the world and the people in it, I had a sense of sadness in my heart from all of the pain and suffering in the world, especially the pain inflicted onto humans by other human beings. Terrorism, war, greed. I was starting to think that with all the potential we have as humans to change this world around, that we are headed in the wrong direction. I see now, that we are not.

Human beings have evolved from only associating with their own families and tribes, to being a part of something bigger, like communities and nations. When you think about it, that really is HUGE! Although many of us are still separated by religion, we can hope that one day we will unite as humanity, and make the world a better place.

The idea of Homo Empathicus is just that. We feel what others feel. It's our nature. It's why we have become bigger than just our tribes. We don't only feel each others' pain, we feel each others' joy as well. When we empathize with another, we are celebrating the life of that person. I read that "the shared bond intensifies one's own sense of aliveness because in the empathic act we 'transcend' our physical confines and, for a brief period, live in a shared non-corporeal plane that is timeless and that connects us to the life that surrounds us."

If we can connect, at a higher level, at an empathetic consciousness, we would be living life more fully. We would really feel alive! People who live a life of solitude, are living life less deeply, their life itself is less lived. Living doesn't just mean breathing and having a pulse, it means having a life and being alive in it.

The only way to feel alive and to connect with someone on this "non-corporeal plane" is to be totally present in the here and the now; to totally inhabit your body, and not just your mind. Your mind will separate you from the rest of humanity, and if you are not careful, will create an ego that not even you can control.

We all share this beautiful planet Earth. We are all human beings. Why don't we connect with each other and show compassion for one another? It's a very simple thing to do, but it can do wonders if we all participate just a little more deeply.

Open your heart. Feel my pain and my joy. I will feel yours too.

[W]hen a person realizes he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense, he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying, "Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it's like to be me."
-Carl Rogers

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Map to Happiness

Wouldn't it be nice if it existed? The map to happiness?

Many people think they know the way. They have happiness all mapped out in their minds. They say "when I have ___ then I can do ___ and then I will be happy!" Some say that when they have more money they can do more traveling, and then they will be happy. Others say when they have more time they can do more sharing and gathering socially, and then they will be happy. Many say if they had more freedom they could do whatever they wanted and then they would be happy.

That's the problem.

You can't map your way to happiness. You can't do anything to achieve happiness. There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way, as Lau-Tzu eludes to in the Tao Te Ching.

London, Summer 2009

We need to let go of the false perception that happiness is something we will have later. Happiness is something we have to be right now. We have to take that map we've been holding and look at it through the mirror. Inverted. We already are at our destination. We already are happy. And now that we are here, we can do and have whatever we want.

What have you been planning out and mapping out in your head? Success? Freedom? Happiness is not the only desired destination. We can flip those maps too. You want to be rich? Be rich. Then you will do what rich people do, and you will have what rich people have.

Be who you are and you will create the rest. If you focus too much energy on becoming, not much is left for actually creating it.

Be you. Be well. Be kind. Just be. Be now.

*and now smile... a smile is almost inevitably accompanied by a sensation of happiness*


Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Northeast is Calling

When was the last time you were in New York? Have you ever been? For me it was last January,  which is interesting because I don't usually go to New York in January. I don't like it. It's too cold. I made an exception this time because it was my teenage cousin's birthday, and she and her parents were going to be there visiting and celebrating. It was a family thing. I love family things.

Waiting for a table in a cute spot in Brooklyn
for Sunday Brunch with my uncle and siblings.
I can't believe it has been 7 months since I last saw these guys! I used to make it a priority to travel to New York every 3-4 months religiously. I love being around my young nephews and enjoy watching them grow. I guess the travel bug bit me and I started going other places instead... but I was missing them!

My sister, my best friend, and now my business partner.
My sister came down from New York to visit last week with my mom and my nephews. It was so nice to see them. I cried some tears of joy when I hugged my sister. That's how I know I'm turning into my mom... just kidding! It was actually quite beautiful feeling that kind of emotion. It felt like a true blessing.
Vanessa, my younger but taller sister, did not just come for fun. She came to work. She came to get things done! We had decided to team up. She was going to help me design my blog, and make it look nice. I write. That's what I do. She does websites and design. So that's what she will do. It's a match made in heaven :)

Working lunch at a Mexican Food Truck
in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

It was really great to spend time with my sister. I always learn so much when I'm around her. This time was no different. She has taken on a really healthy lifestyle, and she is looking better than ever! She has inspired me to have more integrity when it comes to eating right and being well. No more eating cupcakes when no one is looking.
Having integrity means waking up when you say you are going to wake up. It means no snoozing. It means going to that Bikram Yoga class even though you didn't drink enough water today, just because you said you would be there. Having integrity means no "cheating" on your "diet". I put it in quotations because having integrity means having a healthy lifestyle, and not just forcing you to deprive yourself of certain "guilty" pleasures. That means choosing not to eat the cupcake, not because it has too many calories, but because it is made with processed sugars and food coloring, and the calories are empty.
I definitely don't plan on letting another 7 months go by without seeing my family. My youngest brother has a birthday in NY next month, but after that, what will I do? The Northeast has been calling my name for a long time. I love being near my family and I think the time has come to leave the Sunshine State, at least for some time. Enough time to make me strong enough to survive a real winter, not just a weekend of 30 degree weather. I'm considering making the move, just not sure to what city. I'm not sure about NYC just yet.
I want to live someplace where I don't need to
get into my car to take my dog to the dog park.

I appreciate you and your readership, and I am open to receiving your thoughts and opinions. Do you know of any city or neighborhood I should consider living? Maybe something urban and hip? Where would you like to live?

I am really excited about the projects Vanessa and I are taking on. I'm excited about how much I will grow personally (and in turn, how much YOU will grow) and about how much better my blog is going to look and feel! (By the way, we will be moving over to WordPress, so stay tuned for more information about how to find the new and improved Timeless Travels blog once we do!)

Stay awesome!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Journey Through the Nervous Mind

What exactly goes through our minds when we are nervous? Why does our mind take over and stress us out? I mean, that's what it does, right?

The mind has the power to make you believe whatever it wants. That is some power!

The mind can create a reality for you to experience, and it can tell you whether it's a good one, or a bad one. Sometimes, when you think it's a bad one, you start to act differently. Your breathing changes and your face starts to feel heavy. You can't smile.

I witnessed a nervous mind today. It was the mind of a young lady. It was written all over her face. She was uncomfortable.

It was my job to coach her; to tell her the words she needed to hear to break away from the fearful control her mind had of her at the moment. I could see from her eyes gazing out into space, with no expression on her face, that she was far, far away from the reality I was experiencing.

I asked her what she was thinking about that kept her from experiencing what was really happening. I told her that if she forgot about all the things that were running through her mind, and just brought herself to where her physical body was, that she could experience truth and thus joy and inner peace.

Those weren't my exact words, but you get the picture.

I can't tell you how amazing it was to watch a smile start to peek out. She started to realize that she had control over what she was experiencing. Her face changed!

It's incredible how saying the right words to someone can totally alter their reality, in any way; positively or negatively.

Think about the words you have been using lately with the people around you. Are they loving words? Are they empowering words? Are they encouraging and inspiring?

Now that you know you that you have the power to change someone's reality, whose life are you going to change, and how?

Words are powerful.. Remember that.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Late Night Strolls Through Suburbia

Have you ever decided to take a walk in a suburban neighborhood late at night and realized you should have gone before sundown and avoided walking into the spider webs?  That's such an icky feeling, knowing there is a web on you and not being able to see it or get it off of you. You frantically start rubbing your arms and face just to make sure if there was anything there, it's off now. You get a little upset, perhaps that you didn't see it coming, and you are glad when you are past it and no longer feel it on your skin. That is, until you walk into another spider web.

It was getting a little out of hand for me the other night. I must have walked into 10 different spider webs. Easily. Until finally, I became conscious enough to look for them.

This is when the "light bulb" turned on.  Suddenly, I felt awake. I felt so aware, of everything around me. I had decided to start paying attention to the spider webs, so that I wouldn't walk into them and get agitated anymore. As soon as I started paying attention, I became mindful. I saw every spider web that had been spun in my path and walked under or around it. It was amazing.

If you are not fully aware and present,
you could miss something.
Then, something strange happened. Thoughts started to creep into my mind. I started thinking about how much further I was going to walk before I turned around, and then about what I was going to do when I got home, about whether I should wash my hair tonight or tomorrow.

All of a sudden, I realized I had stopped paying attention, and was no longer looking for the spider webs. As soon as that realization came to play, I stopped dead in my tracks. There, in front of me, about two inches from my nose, was a creepy black spider on a huge web. That was so close!

It was such perfect timing, I got lucky having returned to the state of presence, where I could be aware, right at the moment where one more step forward would have meant a spider on my face. Wow! Needless to say, I was mindful the rest of the way, and the walk in my neighborhood became a journey into a higher consciousness. It was like a walking meditation.

Have you ever experienced that? You should try it. The next time you take a walk (hopefully by day) take it mindfully. Notice the colors of the flowers and vegetation around you, notice any scents or aromas in the air you are breathing, listen to the birds in the trees and the dogs in the yards, feel the warmth of the sun on your face, open up your senses.

You can miss things if you are not present. So keep your oil burning and your lamps lit. It will give light to that which is around you at the present moment, which is the reality and truth of the now. The eternal and timeless gift of the present. Be here now, and enjoy it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Scarves in the Summer

When you think of summer, what kind of wardrobe comes to mind? I'm sure it's a relative question, depending on where you live, but it's certainly not jackets and scarves. Personally, I think shorts, tank tops and flip flops are appropriate.

I spent the last 5 days in the Windy City. I had never been to Chicago before, but I had heard that they have some pretty brutal winters there. I am not a fan of freezing cold weather, but I wasn't worried because hey, it's summer.

Apparently, temperatures had been in the 90s in recent weeks, and I don't know what happened, but temperature dropped the days I was there. I had to go shopping and bought myself a jacket. It was crazy! People were wearing scarves! And it was the middle of the summer!

It was a nice change, though, a truly welcome break from the heat and humidity of Miami.

The famous BEAN and me in my new jean jacket.

I was in Chicago because, as some of you may know, I am following my heart.

My heart took me to Chicago because it was the host city of one of the largest blogger conferences there is: BlogHer. My heart (and my good friend JennyLee of JLPR) told me this was an event I HAD to attend.

I started doing some research and found out that BlogHer is a network of women bloggers and I immediately registered to go to the 2013 conference in Chicago, which was less than 2 months away. As I mentally prepared for this conference, I decided to start a company and registered Forever Timeless Consulting with intentions of somehow helping people around the world using my words, my voice, and my ears. I know I have a purpose, and I'm going to learn as much as I can to be able to reach as many people as I can to make a difference in this world. Will you help me?

My dream is for the world to become forever timeless, to be conscious and aware of the reality of this present moment, and to let go of attachments to things of the past or anxieties of the future. I want for people to connect at a deeper level with their own hearts and their true self. I want people to find their gifts, their passions, and share them with the world. That is, after all, what I believe the purpose of life is.

They put a picture of me listening to an interview with
the US Secretary of Health on the big screen!
So now, after having attended an intense, hard core series of blogging workshops over the past weekend, I feel more equipped mentally. I am a little more educated on the business of blogging. One thing I learned, is that I must focus on quality content. That is what I have committed to giving you, and you will be receiving it more often than before. So you can expect to read a lot more from me, and pretty soon (when I get over the fear) you will start seeing me too, as I have also learned that video is a must. Yikes!

One thing I ask of you is, please, give me some feedback. I want to know if I am providing you with quality stuff! Tell me what you like, what you don't like, what you love and what you hate. I want to take this journey through life with you. I want to learn with you and grow with you. So please, let me know you are there :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Traveling Spirit

The spirit has a different feel to it, when it's traveling, doesn't it?

It's a light feeling, a free one.

The feel of exploration and curiosity. That expansive feeling knowing every step that you take is into the unknown, the unexplored, the un-manifested... well, by you anyway.

I love that feeling.

As I grow, I am learning that life is travel. Life is not about the destination, it's the journey. Life is not about the person you are going to become, it's about becoming the person you want to be.

Where will your path lead you?

Who do we really want to be? I believe we can only desire to be free to be ourselves.

It's so easy to do that when you are in the unknown, once you let go of the fear. It's easier when you travel because you are surrounded by people who don't know you, who have not judged you, who are probably curious about you. It's easy to make friends, people love to connect.

Why can't we feel so free all the time? Why can't we be curious and excited about all of life?

I think it goes back to being a kid again. Looking at everything like it's a brand new experience and with such wonder. Learning something new everyday.

Life is a journey. It's up to you whether you want to live it like you are on vacation, or like you are on a mission. I prefer to live like I'm on a mission; to live life with intention. Living life with a purpose gives you a feeling of great joy, it fills you up with energy, it motivates and inspires you.

My spirit is exploring, it's discovering, it's loving life. My spirit is forever traveling. Forever traveling in the present moment, in timeless travels, learning, growing, evolving, discovering, exploring.

So where is your journey leading? Where are your life travels taking you? What have you learned along the way that you could pass along and teach to someone whose life path crosses yours?

Life is awesome. Let's see where it takes us tomorrow! Bon Voyage!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

T is for...

TEN YEARS!! That's how long I've been blogging!

I decided recently to look up my first online journal on a site called blurty the other day, and I noticed my first entry was dated 2003! I read through some of the entries, and it looks like it was a combination of a diary and a dream journal. It had A LOT of crazy dreams!

The blog you are reading now (formerly known as Live Out Loud) has been around since 2009. I went back and read some of those too, and I realized how much I have grown, matured, and evolved, even as a writer, in the past few years. It's funny how I thought that when I turned 22 I was a little older, a little wiser,  and how strange to read an article about looking back at the original blog and how I thought that I was so lost back then, and that now I had all the answers. Ha. The best was reading about Super Paola, I even decided to buy the domain!

I decided to take this opportunity, being that it is the 50th article on this blog and the first since it's recent name change, to salute you, the readers. I know most of you are new, but some of you have been keeping up with me for years, and I appreciate that.

T is also for Turning Point. I believe I have, and my blog has, reached a turning point. The Live Out Loud chapters of my life are over. Living out loud is now a way of life, and I don't have to try to be expressive, it's who I am now. I no longer am inhibited by my own vulnerability.

I have always said one day I will write a book that will be a compilation of my blogs. I realize the time to write and compile this book is now. So please stay tuned! But as far as the blog, as you have probably noticed, it has become a timeless travel blog. I call it timeless because when you travel and you are totally immersed in the experience you are having, then there is no time; no future to worry about, no past to be upset about, just the pure joy of the present gift given to you to fully express who you are as you explore what's around you. Timeless is also the wisdom that you gain while you journey through life, no matter where in the world you are. That is what I will write about. Timelessness is also the world's best kept anti-aging beauty secret. I'll write about that too. T is for Timeless and T is for Travels.

After reading blogs from years past, I am more confident in my path. My purpose is to inspire people and help heal the world. I know I can do that with my words, with my Inspirational Messages and Uplifting Stories from Around the World. I just need a little help. Please :)

I have placed a little widget on the column to the right where you can enter your email to follow this blog. Then, every time you read an article that really resonates with you, or really touches you, or maybe reminds you of someone, share it. There's a widget for that too!

I'm excited for this new chapter in my life. The Traveling Thirties. That could be the book 10 years from now!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Mask First

I just recently returned home from an evolutionary trip to Costa Rica. I say evolutionary because I don't feel like it changed me. I feel like it allowed me to evolve.

It really was an extraordinary experience. I went for a women's retreat lead by the beautiful and amazing Jennifer Grace and the charming and radiant Michelle Alva. I didn't know what it would be like, only that there would be yoga and meditation daily. I went with no expectations, only with hopes of coming back a new woman. I knew exactly what I wanted out of it. I wanted the empowering feeling of being comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to come back glowing. I wanted to walk with my head held high and with full confidence in my creativity. I wanted to come back knowing and believing that I was capable of creating anything I want to experience.

Those were my intentions. To feel unafraid to express who I really am, and to do it without an ounce of doubt in my being.

Jumping for Joy at the Poas Volcano
Well, I did... but I sure learned a lot in the process.

You see, this was the first time that I travelled abroad by myself. I arrived in Costa Rica a few days before the retreat, and was able to do many of the fun and adventurous things there is to do in Costa Rica; from taking on the white water rapids of the Pacuare River, to surrendering to the power of the giant waves of the Pacific Ocean, to relaxing and rejuvenating in the natural hot springs, and admiring and the sight of a real life active volcano! I did this of course as a tourist, but also as a human being experiencing life and sharing life with other human beings whom I had never met before. I enjoyed meeting people and making friends.

People are such a big part of our life experience. People can be our teachers and they can be our students; we always have something to learn or something to teach. I wanted to learn as much as I could.

It's amusing how life works. It's like it already knows the lessons you need to learn, and it puts people in your path that can teach you.

One of the most interesting people I met in Costa Rica was a healer at the Pura Vida yoga retreat and spa where I stayed with the rest of the lovely ladies in my group. He is a warm and tender guy named Tim. He is originally from Australia, but has lived and travelled all around the world. He wants nothing more than to help people. He is the type of person whose heart can be seen and felt by those he is around.

Among other things, Tim is a Shamanic Sound Healer, and I was lucky enough to have been treated by him for a 90 minute session of gong, drums and energetic ceremony that allowed me to release some emotion and have a renewed sense of wellbeing and lightness. I had the opportunity to speak with him over lunch one day at the retreat, and this conversation gave me better understanding of what it means to "put your own mask on first". You can't help others until you have helped yourself.

Tim left his hometown of Melbourne at the age of 21 to New York and studied "self psychology" at the Option Institute. He knew he had to help himself first. He studied modalities for his own inner healing work, self-knowledge, and consciousness. He then went on to study massage in Thailand and continued his journey in healing arts in places like India, Mexico and Guatemala before ending up in Costa Rica, where he initially went as a tourist at the age of 23. A month into his trip he found the yoga retreat and was able to get work there because of his ability to lead a drum circle. He had been in bands as a teenager. He loves music. He had also been exposed to yoga very early in life by his mother, and had been practicing yoga since the age of 8. He created his own style of yoga called Shaman's Heart Yoga. He has been in Costa Rica 11 years now, and his goal is to teach people and get them certified to teach his yoga style in Costa Rica and the U.S. He is now traveling the US by car realizing his dreams.

I realized while speaking with Tim that as much as we all might want to help others, we really need to help ourselves first. He certainly did that. He freed himself of whatever it was that held him back. He left his home country to find himself. He found compassion for himself and now has compassion for others. He has set himself free in doing this. This was so inspiring!

Tim says that the world is full of infinite possibilities. I believe him. He says to follow your heart, and I am doing that.

I am more motivated than ever to help myself, to put myself on a pedestal for once. I'm inspired to love myself as much as I love the world around me. To devote more time and attention to my own well-being. After all, how can I change the world, if I can't even change myself?

We all find encouragement and influence in others. Who have you met that has changed your life or your philosophy on life? Who has crossed your path and illuminated your way? What have you learned from those you have encountered? Who will you meet next and what will they teach you?

This is something we can always have an open mind about. Instead of judging each other and resisting each other, let's open our hearts and our minds to our fellow human beings that share this wonderful home we call Earth. Allow the messages to be heard by your heart, not just your ears, and don't let them stay with you. Share them.

Happy trails my friends, happy trails.

Monday, May 27, 2013

To be a kid again

When you look at a child do you see the joy in his heart? Have you noticed the wonder in their eyes? Does it make you want to go back? Do you ever wish you could be a child again?

What if you could? Well not physically, but what if you could go back in your heart and see life like a child sees it? What would that be like? I think it would be heaven on earth.

Think about it. A child's mind and heart are open. Vulnerable. Perfect soil for the seeds of joy to bloom in. A child knows who he is. A child is unconditional and not judgmental. A child needs nothing more than to exist in this very moment, completely aware of the joy in his experience.

So, why don't we do that? Why don't we learn from the children, and look at life with curiosity again? Why don't we drop those expectations, and start looking at everything with fascination and admiration. Why don't we get excited and surprised by the gift we keep on getting: the Present. Why don't we remember in our hearts, what it feels like to be a kid, and hold on to that feeling?

How can we bring back that inner child? What if he has been hiding for a long time? He may have fallen asleep... time to wake him up!

Do things throughout the day that make you feel like a kid. Spin in your chair at the office once or twice. Skip to your car after work. Dance when you get good news. Make up songs in the shower. Do things that make you smile. Do things that excite you. Do things that make you feel YOUNG and alive!

After all, who really wants to grow old anyway?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's the Purpose?

Purpose. Let's talk about Purpose.

I think the question we all try to answer is "what is the purpose of life?" at some point or another. But what if the question is not what is the purpose of life, but what is the purpose of my life?

I think we were all put here for a reason. I don't think there is anything random about life.

We all have gifts, special talents, abilities which we should use, and share with the world. Developing our talents, practicing our abilities, mastering our gifts will allow us to lead a life of fulfillment, of joy, of pure bliss.

Doesn't that sound amazing?

Problem is that sometimes we don't know what we're good at. Sometimes we wonder if we even have a talent. I know because I thought that.

Sometimes we know what we are good at, and we love it. But we find ourselves too busy being busy. We get caught up in life's little hamster wheels. We give up our purpose for someone else's.

And sometimes, just sometimes, we take our strengths, and run with them. We run and run and run. We don't look back. We just go.

All you need is faith. Faith in your creativity. Faith in you!

You don't need to know where you're going. You just need to know you are on your way.

How do you know you are going the right way? Happiness is your gauge. Trust yourself.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

it's the principle

What is God?

(yes, I'm going there)

God is a word. Words are symbols. They point at something.

The word God points at something that creates. Creates everything. Creates itself.

God is the creator and the creation.

But God is just a name, a name for the nameless. And really, what's in a name?

The nameless is that from which you come from. Your "father" so to speak.

Call it what you want. It's the principle.

It's the idea of something that is the source of everything. The source of even your thoughts and actions. It's a shame we are not always tuned in. We don't always hear what we are trying to tell ourselves. What kind of messages could be hidden in our dreams? By breakfast time, many of our dreams have been forgotten. What could our spirits be trying to tell us? We can't hear the voice of wisdom because our minds are so cluttered with thoughts.

If we could just quiet our minds, and love each other, and realize that we are all believers of the same "principle", even the non-believers (they just believe they don't believe, but they really do... you can't deny the truth that we all came from something that we can't put a name on), the world would really be the world that was intended upon creation.

It would be perfect. Human beings would love our planet and we would not hurt or destroy it.

Come on people, get it together! It's the PRINCIPLE!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dear Momma... open letter

Hi Mom
I love you
More than words
Could ever say
But my words are my gift
And today I give them to you:
You are special
You are humble
You don't even know how wonderful you are
You are strong
You are sensitive
A rare kind of woman
A loving woman
Caring and Selfless
Beautiful and Smart
You are a precious gem
You have a sparkle in your eyes
You see the world with eyes of wonder
You are forever young at heart
I only ask one thing
That you never grow old
I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

that little light of mine... I'm gonna let it BURN!!

The fire inside me will be inextinguishable.

This "article" as they call it in the blog world, will be a continuation of the only article I posted last year, titled "the time of your life". It's interesting, you see, because not only is it the only thing I posted in 2012, it is also my most viewed post of all time, by almost double the views as the first runner up!

That is the reason I read the article in the first place. I wanted to see what was so different about this particular blog post.

It was about here and now. Literally.

It's curious because this was the topic in my transformational class today. Be. Here. Now.

So here I am. Here and now. Where do I go from here? Or should I just stay here?

I think the answer is here... and now. Always.

Now that I am here, I can do the things I want to do, that will get me what I want to have.

It's brilliant! It's the be-do-have paradigm. Knowing and remembering this is key in life.

The problem is most people have it backwards. So many people think that when they HAVE something (money, time, fame) then they can do the things they want to do (buy a big house, go on vacation, act in a movie), and then they will BE happy (rich, successful).

You have to BE (what you want) HERE and NOW. Then you can do and have what you want. You will attract it. "Act as if" or "fake it till you make it", as they say.

If you want to be happy then BE happy!

It really is that simple. So simple that we forget about it and sometimes even don't believe it.

So what am I doing here and now? I am doing all in my conscious power to fill myself up with desire and passion. I'm following my heart. I'm igniting my fire! I'm gonna let it burn!!

I am being me. I am becoming a more evolved me. I am creating awesomeness.

Be here and now. Be you. Be the awesome person you were born to be. Just be.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My brother from another mother

Traveling has always been a passion of mine. I have seen some of the most beautiful landscapes, photographed the most captivating architectures, and enjoyed the most delectable dishes and foods from around the world. The people I have met, however, are what have made my adventures more meaningful and satisfying. They have given me a chance to connect with and learn about other cultures, that I may have never experienced otherwise. They have given life to my worldly trips and have put joy into my heart.

The most interesting person I have ever met while traveling is a young man named Paul. We met while traveling through Europe and the connection was instant. We were like family. Why? Well, interestingly enough, he looked almost identical to my youngest brother, and was about the same age. He even had a personality like my brother's and his sense of humor was strangely similar as well. I shared that with him, and from that day forth, he called me "sis".

Brother Paul (as I called him, "BP" for short) and I traveled to 7 countries together, along with the rest of our groups, and we were inseparable until the day we parted ways in Paris, France. We laughed so much and shared so much about our "real" families, that we started to really feel a strong bond and we knew that we would be friends forever.

I was delighted to be able to give him guidance and influence him as a real big sister would, and I thought it was so sweet that he looked after me like any brother would. I loved him for that, loved him like a brother.

I had tears in my eyes that day in Paris. BP was heading back to his hometown in Australia, and I was continuing my travels in Spain. We hugged each other so tight and welcomed each other to our homes in our respective countries. I found a shirt that said "My Sister Went to Spain and All I Got Was This Stinkin' T-Shirt" and mailed it to his home as a souvenir. He was so surprised and grateful. I just wanted him to know he was special.

Since that trip, Brother Paul has not made it to the US and I have not been able to travel to Australia, but we keep in touch via Facebook and we have many memories and pictures to keep us connected. I hope to one day soon surprise him and pay him a visit. I can't wait to see him again and catch up. I'm sure it will feel like it was only yesterday we were drinking Prosecco on a gondola in Venice and toasting to "family" with our pints of beer in Munich. Ahh the good old days.

This post is an entry in the "Win a Trip to TBEX Contest" sponsored by WeHostels, Webjet, and TBEX.

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 1, 2013

whatever your heart desires

What do you really want? What is your heart's deepest desire?

These are questions I have recently asked myself, and when I try to think of the answer, I can only come up with another question.

How do I know what my heart's desire is?

I'm learning, little by little, that to know your heart, you have to quiet your mind. Your mind is quick to pass judgements and make assumptions. Sometimes your heart is too soft and sensitive to your mind's opinions, that it may just numb itself. I think that's what happened to me.

I let my mind give me all my guidance, or at least lead me to it. I let my mind make all the decisions. I allowed myself to believe that life was all about the hustle. Work, work, work for a better future. Future? There is no such thing!! Maybe in my next life. But in this life, it's only the present. I don't want to spend my whole life planning for a future that will never come. I need to start living life now!

I realized that I was out of balance. I didn't "have it all together", as much as I thought I did. My mind and body may have someone been aligned with each other, but my spirit longed for something so different.

I started listening to my heart. I started writing again, to see what my heart would say. My heart wants to be free. Free to feel, free to love, free to explore, free to create, free to simply be. My heart seeks truth, it seeks wisdom. It seeks to be forever present in the eternal moment of now.

I have learned that to fulfill your heart's desire, you must learn to let go, and just be the creative being you were designed to be, and not let your mind convince you otherwise.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Coincidence? I think not!

People always say "everything happens for a reason." If that's true, do you ever stop to wonder what that reason is?

Things don't happen "just because", nothing happens by chance. Everything has a purpose.

What is the purpose?

Well, in short, to create opportunities. All events and experiences create the opportunity to do something, to think something, to react to something, to express something, to feel something. These events are a part of your life experience, and they are drawn to you by you.  You use these them as tools in creating and experiencing you.

So what does this mean?

It means that even these words you are reading right now, you attracted to you. You are reading these words at this time for a reason. Maybe you are trying to understand something that is happening to you right now. Maybe you are thinking about that new person in your life and his or her purpose. Maybe you have lost something, or maybe you won something. Whatever is happening, it's happening so that you have the opportunity to grow, to become a more evolved version of yourself, and to experience the real you.

It also means that we need to be conscious of what we are attracting. We need to be aware of our thoughts and actions, and make sure they are aligned with our beliefs and desires.

We are creating our destiny. The future is being created now, by us!

What will your life experience be? What do you call forth?

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Way of Life

I never thought I would say this, but I learned a lot from a Buddhist monk. He taught me so many beautiful things yesterday. I am fortunate enough to have a friend who is taking a religious studies class and she coordinated a trip to a traditional Buddhist Temple! She was there to interview the monk for a research paper. He ended up shedding light upon us.

It was an incredible experience; eye-opening and life-changing.

I had a few "ah-ha" moments.

It was so amazing because I felt that when he spoke to me, that he was seeing me, as I am. He could see me and he knew me. Every word he spoke fell on open ears and into an inquiring mind.  Unfortunately his English was not good, and so many words I did not understand. His eyes, however, really told me everything I needed to know.

He asked me a question. Where did you come from?

We all gave different answers, but nobody really knew. Where did we come from?

I believed I came from the source, the light, GOD... but his answer was you came from your mother. He said that Buddhism is first knowing WHO YOU ARE. Before you even begin to study Buddhism, you have to know yourself.

He asked another question. What is important to you?

We pretty much agreed that it was our families, our mothers, our children.

His answer was that we were important to him, because we were there with him now. The most important people in your life are the ones around you right now! Your life is happening right now. He said that your present life is today, right now. Tomorrow is your next life. That was one of those "ah-ha" moments. Don't worry about tomorrow. Live the life that you are living now. If you are happy in this life (today) then you will be happy in your next life (tomorrow).

I loved the simplicity of it all. So simple, yet so deep. Like me :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

oh no, I'm in the box!

Are you in the box?

How do you know if you are living in the box or outside of it? What does that even mean?

Well, I found out today. The box has four walls. It is the box of survival. The walls are as follows:

  • Be Good
  • Be Right
  • Be in Control
  • Avoid Pain
If you have to always "be good" or "be right" or "be in control" or "avoid pain", then congratulations, you are just like everybody else! You are in the box.

So how do you get out of the box? Simple. You get out of your comfort zone. It's like Neale Donald Walsch said: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

Yet most people don't do it. Most people don't live.

So what is it that keeps us "in the box". I know it's a "comfort zone", so getting out takes work. Why don't we put forth a little effort? Maybe just that, for starters. Maybe just putting forth some effort, into not having to be inside the four walls will make all the difference. Maybe being different, being a leader, instead of a follower, will get us living outside the box.

I can't allow myself to learn something in vain, not something like this. This is life-changing. Knowing that being or doing any of those four things, is keeping me in the box. Life doesn't happen there! So I would be a fool for staying in the box and not making an attempt at an escape!

So from now on, and this is what I am calling forth, I will do my best at everything, instead of having to be good at everything. I will accept that I (and this is kinda hard to write, right now, I will admit it) sometimes make mistakes, and I am at times.... ugh... wrong. I will surrender to each moment and never have to be in control of everything around me. I will embrace pain, because I know that failing doesn't feel good. Remember what Michael Jordan said "I have failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed."

I'm doing this! Who's with me?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Get it together!

Ever wonder what it means to "have it all together"?

I just found out what it means exactly:

I read that we are "a Triune Being made up of body, mind, and spirit" and we "often make decisions and choices at all three levels simultaneously - and they by no means always coincide."

It makes perfect sense.

If you create a balance between your body, mind, and spirit, you will have harmony. If every decision you make on every level is in harmony, life will be good, and you will "have it all together!"

So how do you do that? How to you get your body, mind and spirit aligned? I'm going to guess you start with your spirit... you listen to your heart. If your body is not where your heart is, you may experience physical pain and illness, probably created by your mind!

I'm not really sure how to do it. All I know is that I have to do it.

I know one thing: my heart is full of joy when I write. My body, my fingers are in tune with my heart now. My mind is being helpful by correcting grammar and spelling errors right away! My mind and my body are just two practical aspects of who I am. When the body and the mind are the expressions of your heart, they act out of love and they create beautiful moments.

If you allow your mind or your body to be the driving force behind the choices that you make, you will create chaos. It is very easy to let the ego we created when we started realizing that "these are our hands and these are our feet" to convince the mind that you are it, and that it is you. If the ego takes over, your decisions might be based out of fear. Fear that you will discover that you are not your ego and in turn, fear of it's very death.

So how do I get it all together? Simple. I remove everything that is not me (the ego), and bring together everything that is. Bring it all to stillness and then just be.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

to be or not to be

that is the question.

it is not a matter of what you want to be, it's a matter of whether or not you choose to be it.

I learned a very valuable lesson from a book recently. It's one of those things that kind of change your whole life. It's the type of knowledge that would be almost sinful not to live by. It's like Jim Rohn used to say, "why do we do what we do, when we know what we know?"

It's the BE-DO-HAVE paradigm. How can I continue waiting to be something? I must be now.

What will I be now? I will be what I am. I am a teacher. I am a writer. I am happy.

I must feel as if I am already there, as if I have students, an audience, listeners. I must feel inside as the knowledge inside me is being expressed and recieved by many. I must feel as I am an inspiration to the world.

I have to stop talking in "needs", "wants' and "desires'.... and speak affirmations instead. Speak it into existence, as they say.

I love being me. I love being the "new" me even more.

I choose to BE awesome. So I AM awesome!

Awesome things happen to awesome people.

Being awesome is so much fun :-)

What do you choose to be?

Monday, February 18, 2013

the first step

This is the first step of my journey of a thousand miles.

I have to admit it. I have lost it. Luckily, I found it again, and I'm here and now... in the present.

It's incredible how people say they lose their minds like it's a bad thing. I say when you lose your mind you find your heart. I believe it's what we need to do; lose our minds and find our hearts.

Ok, so maybe not completely lose our minds... just lose the control that it has over us, lose the power that it has over us. It is not us!!

If we would only just realize, that we will never be happy if we believe that we will be happy later... when we have the things that let us do the things we want to do.  We need to be happy now and we will do the things that will allow us to have our hearts' deepest desires.

Knowing this, I have no choice but to just "be". Be everything I desire to be. Happy. Prosperous. Young :)

I am about to embark on a life changing journey. I know not what is coming. I only know that what's real is this, and this is what matters, this is here, and this is now.

I invite you to journey along with me; share stories, experiences, wisdom.

I wish to grow beyond my ego. I wish to use my ego as a puppet.

I am in control. I use my mind creatively and productively.

My mind is a tool. Just like my watch.

It helps with clock time management.

These are the things I call forth. These are not my "wants". These are my affirmations.

My next step is meditation. A moment of silence every morning. No thought.

I must be intentional about it. Religious about it.

I will be the person I want to be, and then I will have the life I want to have.

I read that if you want something, give it away, because the act of giving something away tells your mind that you have it to give away, therefore attracting more of it for you. So since I seek inspiration, I seek to inspire you and anyone else who reads these words.

Come with me. Keep reading. Let's grow together and be who we really are!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

end up starting over

So here I am... in a busy terminal... waiting to board... without a book to read, without my iPad, without a phone!!

(long story)

This puts me in an interesting position. I have been talking about reviving my blog. I have blank note pages in my planner, and I just bought an I love NY pen for less than 10 dollars. I'm set!

So here I go...   ...   ...

I tend to write spiritually and philosophically, so I will remain true to my instincts, true to my self... my inner, truer self.

I love this pen!

I know that came from out of no where, but I really do love it. It is making me enjoy the act of writing. Even my handwriting looks good!

I think my point is that I feel like I am in the right place, at the right time (and the "write time").

 [insert chuckle] hff hff

i feel as if I am about to embark on the most important journey in my life... I want to experience every moment of this journey, and I don't want to miss a thing... (aerosmith song came to mind)

I don't want to take this journey alone... I want to invite you to come along... I know I seem a little goofy in my blogs sometimes, but hey, I'm easily amused and I crack myself up! (had to say it, it's been a while)

I have started a path that involves healing myself, becoming totally present and conscious of the now, and manifesting the life that I dream of...

I will share on this blog all of the things that help me on my path somehow, and all of the things that I learn from those around me that are wiser ...

I am very excited about this! I hope you keep reading and come along for the ride. Maybe you will be inspired to go after your dreams and do what makes you happy. 

Much love.