Always grateful for lessons


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“If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition; if you want to know your future life, look at your present actions.” – Sogyal Rinpoche

I didn’t go to see the Broadway musical “Beautiful” with the guy that I mentioned a couple of posts ago.  He is recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. He had also just quit cigarettes when I met him.  He has issues.  We all have them, but he has more issues than I am willing to deal with.

I thought we could be friends, as I often think of everyone I meet.  He said he was okay with just friendship.  We exchanged texts and phone calls and in the first couple of days all was fine.  Then it got weird.  He started texting and calling at odd hours, sometimes after midnight.  At other times in the middle of a conversation he would say he needed to call me back and never would.  At times some of the conversations didn’t make much sense.  I sensed something was off, but I kept trying to be a friend.

It was becoming both painful and annoying.  I realized I couldn’t be the friend he needed.  He needed a supportive, understanding, sponsor-type of a friend.  I stopped picking up the phone late at night and started calling him out on the behavior that I thought was not ok.  He then just stopped calling all together.

What I learned from that experience is that sometimes you have to be selfish and think of yourself first.  Something is off with him and I am not going to stick around to find out what that is.

Be a friend but do not lose yourself in the process.  Do not think that it is your job to save everyone. Respect yourself first.

I haven’t had cable/internet/phone for the past several days due to the heavy windstorm we had starting last Friday.  The windstorm was scary. I have to walk 3 blocks from the train station to my apartment and the wind was so strong that I actually had to stop and hold on to lampposts not to be blown away and I am not a small creature.

Nature is powerful. It is beautiful. It is a wonder, but it can also be scary at times.  Nature needs to be respected.  At times such as this I am reminded of the need to respect nature and its force.

What am I doing to respect nature? The best way I know how to show respect it is through conservation. Growing up in Brazil I was reminded daily by my parents that water and electricity are expensive so I grew up with the mindset of using only what is necessary.  I also believe in reusing, re-purposing and cleaning my surroundings.

I decided to pay even more attention to my efforts of showing respect for Mother Earth.  Every little action builds up and promotes change.  It starts with me.

On those evenings without cable I joked with friends that I actually had to talk to my sister.  It is amazing how much TV is part of my life.  Even though I rarely sit down and watch something, the TV is always on in the background, especially now that my sister is using it to help her with fine tuning her English listening skills.

We normally don’t realize how much we appreciate something until it is gone.  We also normally don’t realize how much we depend on something until it is gone.  In this case it is minor, it is just cable and internet, but I can see how much I depend on so many other things and how I take those things and people for granted. Realizing that people and things that are part of my everyday can just one day disappear forces me to take another look at them and me.

Do I really need all that is around me? Am I choosing to surround myself with only people and things that add to my life or am I wasting time on things that are actually detrimental to me?

Be grateful for all you have.  Show people and things gratitude.  Get rid of the old and unused things.  Get rid of the negative and painful people and relationships.  





Trying to be blessed, not stressed


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“If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.” – Seneca

I miss being here. I miss writing. I miss reading and replying to comments. It feels like I have been away for ages. It has been only one week. 🙂

My absence is due to too much work, little time, not feeling well and lacking the energy.

It has been a crazy stressful past several days. It started with barely being able to lift my head from the pillow on Monday morning. I had been dizzy on Saturday and Sunday mornings but on Monday it was really bad. Don’t judge me but I still went to work. I had to schedule the payment of bonuses to the brokers. There would have been a riot if I didn’t show up.

After I managed to get up and get to work, I declared I was there to only do this one task and go home. Result: I ended up staying even later than usual.

The brokers and management hadn’t yet finalized their numbers. It took them hours to agree on the final numbers, after weeks of negotiations. I also had to juggle the money from different accounts to cover everything. Then the brokers have different requests on tax and deductions on the bonus.

On top of that I have other stuff looming over my head. I have an audit I filed that will have to be amended. Any amendment is sure to draw the eyes of the regulators. Then I have another audit around the corner that I have to compile numbers for. I have to decide on a new health insurance for the company plus work on setting up a HSA plan. No one will be happy with the new Health insurance choices.

“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” – Steve Maraboli

Some customers are months behind on their payment so I have to chase them around. Some are in Singapore, India, Portugal, etc – it would be exciting if I could go see them in person. Then there is the regular stuff, regular payroll, check and pay expense reports, check and pay vendor’s invoices, etc

Stress doesn’t appropriately cover what I go through at work. Don’t take all this whining as a complaint. I am just giving you a picture of the many hats I wear. One way or another I get it all done.

Then there is the stress of worrying about my elderly parents in Brazil, and wanting them to be okay. Also having my sister here and trying to guide her on getting a job and starting her life here.

Getting back to what ails me. My sister suspects I have Vertigo ( Labyrithintis) as she knows some people that had it and the symptoms seemed similar. When I described the symptoms to my Naturopathic doctor friend he thought it was Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, a condition that most regular medical doctors don’t think it exists. He says that given my age (menopause around the corner), stress and the symptoms I described he thinks it is a classic case of it. I have taken a saliva test that will determine what is going on. It will take one week for the results to come in.

Until then I wait.  I know the stress is over my need to control things.  I need to have everything performing optimally.  I need to have my family happy.  I need to be perfect at work.  When things are not as such I stress.  I didn’t think I was stressed.  I just thought I was just a tad tired.

Time to listen to my body. Time to think about leading a less stressed, stressful life.  Time to make changes.

Still feeling blessed – always!

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” – David Mamet

Broken English, I suppose


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“Your assumptions are your windows on the world.  Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” – Issac Asimov

I went on a date Wednesday night. I didn’t know much about the guy. I knew that he lived in Brooklyn and worked in the field of painting and construction.  For some reason I didn’t ask where he was from, I thought I knew.  I just assumed he was European.  Probably from Poland or Ukraine. Yes, I should know better than to just assume things. 😦

The day before meeting him I told my sister that I thought it wouldn’t work out but that I was keeping an open mind.  When she asked why, I answered that it was because of his broken English.  My sister walked away, clearly unhappy about something. I think partly offended and partly shocked at that statement, again I am assuming.

I was not happy that she just walked away without asking me to clarify my statement.  I was left to wonder to myself: What is really understood by “broken English”?  Is it rude to say that somebody has broken English? Am I being hypocritical?  Am I being insensitive?

My sister and I started learning English around 18 years old.  I learned by immersing in life when I moved here.  My sister learned by attending all kinds of classes while in Brazil.  She is a languages teacher, she now teaches English and Portuguese. While her grammar is better than mine and she is able to translate the works of Shakespeare and such, I noticed that she lacks the confidence that comes with speaking it daily as I do.  I have been living in NY for over 30 years and she just arrived.

I didn’t use “broken English” as criticism, a put down or an insult.  I just meant that it would be difficult for us to communicate.  I meant that his language skills needed a lot work and probably communication in person was going to be even more difficult than in writing.

My assumption was made based on his writing and based on an experience I had before.   I once had a date with a man from Argentina and even though he was really nice and in emails there were no issues, in person it was a nightmare.  We tried a combination of English, Spanish and Portuguese and we still could barely understand each other.  He had been here already for over 10 years so I had to assume that his English was not getting any better. I always wonder if there had been any chemistry the language barrier would have been less noticeable.

I took this opportunity to approach my sister and discuss the need for more communication.  Her modus operandi of walking away and brooding is not the best course of action on most situations.  We are living together now and we are both fiercely independent so co-existing is already difficult, can you imagine if there is no clear communication?

She explained that she was offended since her English is not perfect.  I am not sure how she took that leap but I just chose to respect her feelings. “Broken” implies that something needs to get fixed.   I can see the negativity in it.  She also agreed to speak up any time she has an issue with anything.  Baby steps…

Lessons learned this time around:

  1. Be careful when using idioms and other phrases.  I need to get back to studying and improving my vocabulary.  I need to make sure that I know the exact meaning of words and phrases.  It is easy to hear a word or phrase in a certain context and take that as gospel.
  2. Never assume you know something for a fact when you just suspect it is so.  I keep having to learn this one lesson over and over and over again. Note to self:  Never assume, always ask!
  3. Be more sensitive when speaking to my sister and others. She is new here. I need to watch the words I use and my tone of voice.  My boss just told me I should stop yelling as I was discussing something with him.  I was not yelling but I was frustrated and probably louder than usual.  If he was your boss you would be frustrated too!! Still, “calm and collected” is not often used to describe me.

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”  – Abraham H. Maslow

Here is the kicker:  My date was a Brooklyn born American man!! Not from Europe or any other foreign place else at all.  I was totally wrong in my assumptions.

I am not sure why the horrendous grammar.  Perhaps he was just being hurried and careless.

He was a nice person and there were no issues in communicating in person.  We had dinner at a Chinese Restaurant and the meal was good.  We were not a match though.  He was guilty of what I am normally guilty of.  In the first 5 minutes he told me his entire life story.

He is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic.  He gave up cigarettes 2 weeks ago.  His credit is in shambles. He is trying to payoff student loans and credit cards.  His cars is very old and it overheats. His childhood was dysfunctional and abusive, etc, etc  While I appreciate the openness, it was all a bit too much to learn in one sitting especially since he had given no inclination of any of that in the emails.  I guess he had the need to come clean right away.

I applaud him for trying to get his life on track.  He seems to be working very hard to get it done.  He enjoyed the date, commenting that I was not judgmental and he felt very comfortable with me.  He was right I try to pass no judgement on anyone.  We are all trying to fight some kind of battle.

He said he is okay with just being friends and wants to take me to see Beautiful, the Carole King musical next week.  I love Broadway shows and I haven’t seen that one yet but I think I should decline.  I know he says he is okay with friendship, but he wants more, so I would feel I am taking advantage of him.  Still I would like to be his friend but don’t want him thinking it will lead to something more.  It is a very fine unclear line to walk.

Thank you for reading!

Make this weekend count!  May it be a blessed one!

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” – Henry Ward Beecher


A night at the Opera


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“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

On Friday I was so excited to go to the opera that I left work early to have plenty of time to get ready for it.  After trying many dresses I settled on a sparkly navy lace dress that hugged my figure in all the right places.  My hair was soft curls and my makeup was simple as I don’t wear much of it.  I had black patent leather pumps that were 3 inches high. I would be doing some walking so I didn’t want to have on anything higher than that.  I looked pretty amazing if I do say so myself 🙂

P. had called the day before and we had agreed to meet there.  I got to the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center at 7:15pm.  He got there at 7:30.

Since I had already made peace with his lack of interest and had by now lost total interest on him, I was indifferent about seeing him again.  The opera was what I was really excited about.

The Metropolitan Opera house is magnificent.  From the lush red carpet to the crystal chandeliers the interior of the building is absolutely gorgeous.  It is worth a visit just to see it.

When he came in I was by the entrance on the phone with my sister.  I just smiled while saying good bye to her.  We then hugged and after the hellos and how are yous we decided to head to the bar and get drinks.  We had a delicious prosecco and some fun conversation.

He had on a tuxedo with no bow tie and black patent leather shoes that matched my black patent pumps. He looked good.

I was not going to address any of what had transpired but he brought it up.  While having the drinks and also during intermission we talked about how things had fallen apart after we were getting along so well.

“Discussion is impossible with someone who claims not to seek the truth, but already to possess it.” – Romain Rolland

He said he didn’t understand why I got upset that he couldn’t come to the city to see me since he was keeping in touch by still texting daily.  He said that I reminded him of his ex-wife.  He said that he couldn’t go on with a relationship if he had the fear of being dumped when  he couldn’t come see me or do something that was expected.

I said that I don’t want a texting relationship.  At this point I know that I have zero interest in a romantic relationship with him but still for whatever reason I was hoping he would understand where I was coming from.  I hate being labeled demanding when all I wanted was to see him and was not expecting anything else other than what he had promised.

I won’t bore anyone with the details of the conversation.  The bottom line is that we have agreed to disagree.  He thought it was perfect acceptable that we were not meeting because he was still texting.  I had a problem with him no making any effort to see me.  In the end he really didn’t have a good excuse other than saying that he was busy.

He also said that I could have driven to see him.  I reminded him that I had offered to do so and he double talked and never agreed to that.  He had no answer to that.

It was actually a good conversation where we both said what we wanted to and no one was disrespectful or confrontational.  Neither one f us was trying to convince the other of anything.  I appreciated that.  Just a stating our opinions, as both of us knew it.  I still think he doesn’t get it, and perhaps he thinks I don’t get it but we made the best of it.

I don’t think there is anything worst than being told that you remind someone of their Ex. I said to him is that if someone reminded me of an Ex I would run away and so should he.

Still we had a great time, we held hands, we even flirted, but I don’t think either one of us were under the illusion that we would go back to dating.

He asked me a couple of times if I wanted to go dinner after the show.  I agreed.  I was all dressed up on a Friday in New York City and I wanted to make the most of it.

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” – Maya Angelou

La Boheme itself was awesome.  Even though I had an idea what the story was all about I was grateful to have the subtitles and not miss anything.  The performers were incredible.  I also loved the atmosphere and watching the fashion show, some people dressed to the nines.  Still there were a lot people dressed more casual which I think it detracts from the experience.

La Boheme is an Italian opera by Giacomo Puccini.  It is the story of a very poor poet and his seamstress lover in Paris.  The story was written by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica based on a book by Henry Murger.

The only other opera I have seen is Madam Butterfly, also by Puccini.  I enjoyed it very much and hope to see others.

After it ended we decided to walk around and find a restaurant since the restaurants right near it would be packed.  Unfortunately we found out that the city that never sleeps does sleep.   It was now 11:40pm and most restaurants we went into were already closing. I guess only Times Square suffers from insomnia.

We went into a mall called The Shops at Columbus Circle with some very nice restaurants but all restaurants were either already closed or closing.  Our final attempt was Serafina, but again it had closed at 11:30 so we just went across the street to a diner.  I had a grilled cheese with tomato and bacon something I haven’t had in a long time and it actually tasted really great.

Again we had some light conversation, flirting, joking, talking about the opera, etc. There was nothing awkward or bad about it.  There was also no plans to ever meet again, which was perfect.

From there I just jumped in a cab to get to Grand Central Station to get in my train home.  I said thank you for the evening and said good bye with a kiss on the cheek.

I didn’t text him to say that I arrived home okay.  He didn’t ask either.  I am not sure if I will hear from him again.  I am indifferent.  I am open to friendship but will not make any effort to start and nurture one at this point.  There is still something off and that is not being revealed.

I am glad I went. I had a great evening with no awkward moments.  No regrets!  I was living in the moment and it paid off.

“Life is a balanced system of learning and evolution. Whether pleasure or pain; every situation in your life serves a purpose. It is up to us to recognize what that purpose could be.” – Steve Maraboli

Between online dating and homeless people I am becoming an expert at taking rejection


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“Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.”- Mother Teresa

As I was waiting for my café mocha at Starbucks I noticed a man sitting in a corner surrounded by old torn shopping bags. He was young but had the weathered look of somebody living on the streets. He was just sitting there with a vacant look. I saw no food or drink in front of him and wondered if he was hungry.

I stood there for a while watching and trying to make eye contact to see if it was safe to approach. He looked at me at a couple of times. I try to be careful while approaching people uninvited as I have been yelled at before. Nowadays it seems that there are a lot mentally ill people on the street.

After thinking to myself that it was safe to approach I did so. I asked him, while sitting down next to him, have you had coffee? He said he did.

Instead of getting up and leaving I insisted. Can I get you any breakfast? No, he said.

Again, getting up and leaving never came to mind. By this time I was thinking that instead of food he probably needed human contact and conversation so the following exchange took place:

Me: At least it is a nice warm day today. (Weather? Is that the best l I could come up with? Lame!!)
Him: Yes, it is.
Me: What is your name?
Him: Listen, I don’t need anything. I am fine. I don’t need you to get me anything. (he said that in a loud annoyed voice)

I was startled, shocked, speechless, and sad, so many emotions were going through me. I looked around to see the other people’s reaction but I saw none. If they noticed and heard it – and how could they have not being that he was so loud;  they made a point of ignoring it and pretending nothing happened.

I mumbled something like “I am sorry” and just sat there frozen in place.  My drink was still not ready, so I couldn’t just run away. Eventually I got up and stood next to the counter.

Finally my coffee arrived and I left. I still didn’t know how to feel as I walked to work.

Something I was told many years ago came to mind. In one of my trips back home to Brazil I went to a Shaman – a spiritual healer. I don’t remember everything he said, but one thing marked me and helped me a lot throughout the years. Clearly I needed a reminder today.

The Shaman said and I paraphrase: Why are you trying to be God? Why are you trying to fix people’s lives? If you take care of your own life that is good enough. Let people come to you and ask for help if they need it. Don’t go thinking you know exactly what they need, you don’t!

At that point in my life, and to this day still, I try to make the lives of my loved ones as easy as I can. I overdo it.  I am always the fixer, the peacemaker.

To this day I try to remember that when trying to help people that never asked for help. Clearly sometimes I fail. I will try my hardest to wait to be asked.

But you can bet your bottom dollar that this will not be the last time I get yelled at. I am sure at some point I will try again to push food and myself on somebody that just wants peace and quiet.

The lesson here?  I am still trying to figure that out, but some things come to mind:

  • Don’t ever assume anything.  Don’t assume you know somebody’s situation by the way they are dressed, by what they are carrying, by where they are, etc.
  • Don’t interfere/volunteer.  Don’t interfere in someone’s life unless they ask. Don’t volunteer advice, help, etc, unless you know for sure that is needed and welcomed.
  • Exercise caution when approaching a stranger.  This person could have been mentally ill and even have had a weapon.
  • Rejection is not the end of the world.  One survives and moves on.
  • Ask yourself why do you want to help.  Is it to make yourself feel better or is it to make somebody’s life or just that minute in their life better?  Does it make a difference? humm, that give me the idea for another post about intention and outcome.

*** Update:  The Opera is tomorrow and I am going! Le Boheme here I come!***

Wanting a boyfriend on this Valentine’s Day!


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“You may be lonely in St. Valentine’s Day, but you must know that love is like an air, it is everywhere! You shall find it in any day and anywhere!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan

I was talking to my sister about Valentine’s Day.  She just started living in the US this year so the concept of Valentine’s Day is new to her.  In Brazil we have Dia dos Namorados, which is often translated as Lover’s Day, but literally means Day of Boyfriend/Girlfriend.  It is on June 12 and it is meant only for people that are in a romantic relationship.

I said to her that I wanted to write a post about Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t want to write one of those posts about dating and loving yourself.  She said: Write about that.  Write about not wanting to write about that.

So here it is: I will not write about dating and loving myself on this Valentine’s Day. I feel it is somewhat expected that someone so positive and single like me would write something like that.

I don’t want to tout here that if you are single you should be loving and dating yourself today.  You should be loving yourself every day.  If you don’t, start now and every day going forward.  Don’t wait until Valentine’s Day to realize that you can have fun by yourself and treat yourself.

If you can’t first love yourself you will never be ready to love someone else and you will never attract good loving people into your life.

My truth is that I want a boyfriend and I wish I had one today and every day.

No, I am not depressed or feeling sad.  I am actually very happy with the way my life is right now.  Things are the way they are supposed to be.  I have to be and I am ok with not having a boyfriend at the moment because I know the right person will eventually come.  There is no need to rush things or to be with the wrong person.  Given a choice of alone or with the wrong person, I will take alone any day.

I love myself but I don’t want to date myself, especially on Valentine’s Day. I am not going to fool myself with special treats.  I don’t need that.  I already treat myself often.  I get myself flowers every week, I get massages, I get chocolates (too often), I go to dinners, etc, any time my heart desires. Yes, I do spoil myself.  I don’t deprive myself of anything I really want.

If I made a point of doing anything special today to me it would be a charade.   I don’t want to come up with some gimmicky ploy to feel better on Valentine’s Day.   It is what it is, and it is perfectly okay to be alone.

Being single is okay.  Being single and happy is great.  Being single, happy and wanting not to be single is okay too.   I much rather be in a loving relationship and celebrate it with that person than being single today and any other day.

My boyfriend for now is still a thought in my mind, a song in my heart, a twinkle in my eye, a rainbow in the sky.  He will come.  I have faith.  If he doesn’t it is okay but I will not sit here and pretend that today, of all days, I don’t wish he was already here.

On a second thought, how about going out of your way to send love to someone else that is alone today?

Thinking of love and the love that will eventually come I leave everyone with these awesome words by another one of my favorite poets:  Kahlil Gibran.

When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep. And when
his wings enfold you, yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him, though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness. He kneads you until you are pliant; and then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor
would it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God. And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy.
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

― Kahlil Gibran, Le Prophète


Walk with Me, mindfully


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“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.” Thich Nhat Hanh

I just watched “Walk With Me”, a documentary narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.  I loved him in Sherlock Holmes, so it was interesting hearing his voice in a different setting.

The film centers around the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk that has written many books about mindfulness and peace. It shows glimpses of the lives  of the monks and nuns that live at Plum Village and dedicate their entire lives to mindfulness.

Plum Village is a Buddhist meditation center located in the South of France.  That is also where Thich Nhat Hanh lives and teaches. The center offers retreats and workshops for individuals and families.

If I had to choose only one word to describe the documentary, unfortunately,  that word would be “uneven”.  I was hoping for inspiring, deep, meaningful, life changing, mind altering, but unfortunately I think that I, once again, approached something with so much expectation that it left me disappointed.

It had great moments, but the moments seemed a bit disconnected.  I will not describe the moments I liked here so I do not spoil it for anyone intending to watch it. I do recommend it that people watch it as it does offer some moments of contemplation.

When the first few lines appeared on the screen it hit me, it spoke to my core.  I couldn’t help but to be filled with expectations:

“I know what it is to get angry, and I know the pleasure of being praised.
I am often on the verge of tears or laughter,
But beneath of these emotions, what else is there?
How can I touch it?
If there isn’t anything…
why would I be so certain that there is?

I searched it and found out that it is from his book “Fragrant Palm Leaves”.  It is based on his journals from 1962 through 1966.  I just ordered it and plan on devouring it as soon as I get it.

Back to the documentary, I expected a journey into mindfulness, but it seemed to have never picked up momentum. The train never really left the station for me.

Looking back, I don’t think I watched the documentary as mindful as I should have been.  I kept expecting a big aha moment.  I was not watching it in the moment, I was watching it expecting the next moment.  The next moment never came.

Perhaps that is the lesson that I should carry with me: less expectations.  Be in the moment, in the very moment.  Welcome the moment.  Have no expectations of that moment.   Let the moment wash over you as a fresh rain, take it in, get wet.

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

When things don’t go as planned


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What do I do when things don’t go according to plan?

“He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklyn

What a difference a few days make.  When I started working on this post it was going to be a totally different post.  It was going to be about disappointment, feeling defeated and giving up.

Now, a few days removed from all the disappointment , I have a complete different view on the situation.

I was working on a side project at work that I was sure was going to be amazing.  This was not anything I had to do or part of my job, but it was something that I envisioned would make some functions more efficient at work.

I didn’t tell anyone I was working on this so I don’t have to explain or justify anything for anyone.  I think the reason I didn’t tell anyone was that I didn’t want someone to tell me I was reinventing the wheel.  What we have in place at work is working okay but one day some ideas popped into my mind that would make the process so much better.

I started working on it and put a lot time and energy into it. I enjoyed the creative process but what I enjoyed most was thinking that I was coming up with something that was going to be amazing.  I was focused on the results.

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci

I was so sure that it would work!  I would have bet my life on it, that is how sure I was.

Then on January 31 I was able to put it in practice and… to my absolute dismay and shock… it failed.  It failed miserably!  I was crushed!  It was like I had been punched on the stomach.  I tried over and over again and still it failed.

I felt I wasted all my time and energy and had nothing to show for it.  All those hours dedicated to this project could have been put to better use: exercise, fun, learning something knew, sleeping.  I could have used that time to read more blogs and even to find and go on more dates.

I was down in the dumps. I was extremely disappointed. I was so defeated.  My sister got tired of hearing about it. So I stopped talking about it, but I was still thinking about it.

Then I asked myself: What do I do now?  I knew I couldn’t continue brooding and complaining.  I had 2 choices.  1) Give up, forget about it, move on or 2) Try again, look for a different route

The answer was clear:  Snap out of it, and try again!

After licking my wounds and allowing myself to be sad and disappointed for a while I chose to bounce back.

“Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.”  – Dan Brown

I realize I am not a person that gives up at the first bump on the road.

I realize that I was looking at this momentary defeat completely wrong. This project didn’t fail.  The project is not over.  It did accomplished something.  It showed me a way that it does not work.  Now I just need to find a way to make it work.  I can use that valuable knowledge to tweak a few things and try again.  I am closer than ever to being successful.

I am however taking a break from it all now.  I am not allowing myself to look at it or try anything until a little time has gone by.  I want to go back to it with fresh eyes. Thinking back I see I was too narrow minded and looking at only one aspect of it.  I now see I missed some variables and I already have ideas of how to address those.

This is probably just a test of my determination and commitment level.  How much do I really want it?

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if I told others about it or not.  I know about it.  At the end of the day I am the only one that counts.

I have all the ingredients required to succeed: desire, determination, commitment, drive and persistence.  There is no reason to give up or to fail.

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” – Peter F. Drucker

Should I go or should I stay?


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“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” – Elbert Hubbard

This morning I received a text from Peter.  If you have been following my dating misadventures you know he is the guy that was acting all interested about me and then all of a sudden just faded away.  You can look back to some previous post to get the whole picture.

Here is the text from this morning:


It is interesting that he seems to blame the fact that we stopped seeing each other on me.  If one is not aware of the facts it would seem the guy was doing his best and I was not understanding, when that is not the way it is at all.

This is a man that made all kinds of promises.  He said that he worked in the city a few times a week, and he also said he didn’t mind driving to come to my town to see me.  He also had plenty of chances to say that before.  What am I to think or do when he is not making an effort?  There is really only one conclusion:  He was not interested anymore.

Why can’t a man just say that he is not interested anymore?  Why must they play games and use flimsy excuses? Why can’t a person just say: I have changed my mind.  We were just getting to know each other so it is perfectly understandable if either one changes their mind after getting to know each other better.

I replied  to that text saying that I understood it and that I was glad he was okay. I don’t understand it but it is easier to accept than to go back and forth on a subject that no longer matters. It would feel like beating a dead horse…pointless!

He asked me the date of the Opera.  He got the tickets for February 16th so I am not sure why he thinks it is on February 12.  He emailed me the confirmation to print the tickets when he got them so he still has them and can check them himself.  Perhaps that is more game playing on his part.

Impulsive that I am I said I was still going with him, but I am now wondering if I should go.

A side of me says: Go, have fun, why not?  You want to see La Boheme, he had promised you that.  Why should you miss it?

Another side says:  He acted like an —hole, he is still acting like one.  You don’t need him to take you to the opera, you can buy your own tickets any time.  He doesn’t deserve your company and energy.

I have 12 days to decide what to do.  We shall see how I feel by then. So many things can change by then.

“Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward.” – E.E.Cummings

One thing I know for sure is that I don’t want anything with him romantically.  Now my doubt is if trying to have a friendship is a good idea or if some people are just not worth of the title of “friend”.

Forgiveness is a necessity not a luxury!


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“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I was talking to a friend the other day and I was shocked at how bitter she still is over something that happened years ago.  She still foams at the mouth anytime she recounts the events.

There is no reason for her to be reliving the past other than hurt and to feel like a victim again.  I guess it feeds something in her, otherwise she wouldn’t be doing it.

I tried telling her to let it go, that holding anger in is only hurting herself.  It only keeps her in the past, not allowing her to move on.

She was not listening.  She said that I couldn’t possibly understand all she went through.  She forgets I do understand. I probably have gone through more, I just choose not to advertise and live in it like she does it.

She also starts talking about how she hopes that that person is suffering now.  There is nothing more unattractive and distasteful to me than vengeance. I don’t understand it.  I don’t see what someone gains with it.

I have stopped trying to reason with her.  Now I just listen when it is unavoidable, and change the subject as soon as possible.

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli

Today my message is for her, but since she is not ready to receive perhaps somebody else is, and it also serves as a reminder for myself to look around and see if I am really being as forgiving as I like to think I am.

The harder something is to forgive the more you need to forgive and the freer you will feel when you do it.  Forgiving is a gift you give yourself.  It is not easy but it feels so good.

Is there someone or something in your past that still has a hold on you?  Is there someone that you still think about it and it gets you angry, sad, and overwhelmed every time?

I am one of those people that easily get mad but I am even quicker to forgive.  I consider that a gift.  Most of the time I don’t even remember I was ever mad to begin with.

I believe in redemption, but I also believe in keeping my spirit light without carrying around the baggage and burden of anger and rancor.

Still there are times that even for me is not that simple.  At those times I need help and I pray.

Many of you know that I started this blog out of the pain of a broken heart.  Several years ago I thought I had met Prince Charming and for 3 years he treated me like a Princess.  Then one day I found out he was cheating.  There was no working it out, he didn’t want to.  He just asked me to move out.  Not only was he a cheater he was also an extremely cold human being.

Having the rug pulled out from under me was one of the hardest things I had to go through.  I was calling my sister multiple times a day until one day she said she was worried about my sanity.  At that moment I realized that I had no right to drive anyone else crazy over that.  Instead of calling her I started putting my pain on paper and then on the web, thus this blog was born.

“Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.” – Bob Dylan

At that point I went through all the stages of grief, more than once, and anger was there also. It was a tough period in my life. So I prayed, I prayed and then I prayed some more.

There is one specific prayer that I used and use often.  I use it when someone angers me, hurts me, anytime I see sadness and resentment building up inside me.

I was blessed to have grown up attending Seicho-No-Ie teachings.  Their teachings are about the power of the mind and the power of positive thinking. I am being overly simplistic here so feel free to read more online.  Even though it has been many years since I have studied anything regarding their teachings it is a prayer that I learned there that I turn to time and time again.

Forgiveness Prayer.  (Where it says “you” I normally add the name of the person or event)

“I have forgiven you. You have forgiven me. I have forgiven you. You have forgiven me.
You and I are one in God.
I love you. You love me. I love you. You love me.
You and I are one in God.
I am grateful to you. You are grateful to me. I am grateful to you. You are grateful to me.
You and I are one in God.
There is now no longer any ill feeling between you and me.
I wish you ever increasing happiness in the days to come.”


“I have forgiven all of these people. I surround each and every one of these people with God’s love. In the same way that I surround every one of these people with God’s love, He too forgives my mistakes. He surrounds me with infinite love.”


“God forgives you. Therefore, I too forgive you.”

What also helps me it to look at the person as a teacher and at the event as a lesson, as a vessel for my betterment.  I can see now how each experience has made me stronger.  If were not for my Ex I would have never had started this blog and have never encountered so many amazing friends with amazing life stories.  For that alone I would get hurt all over again.  For that I thank him.

“The wound is the place where the light enters you” – Rumi

Also very important is to not forget to forgive ourselves.  We make mistakes, daily, little and big ones.  We say what we didn’t mean to, we gossip, we forget to be nice, etc.  We hurt others.

We need to forgive ourselves also for the part we play in hurting ourselves.   We choose the wrong person to trust, to love, and we get fooled and hurt.

Forgive yourself, you are human and flawed, but you also have a loving heart, a trusting soul, a gentle spirit.  Never admonish yourself for being open to love.  That is one of our greatest gifts, the ability to love.

I am going to open my heart many times, and many times I will feel like a fool.  Many more times I will get hurt and cry.  Still I am going to continue doing it, because not trusting and not loving is not living. And life is too precious a gift to waste.

Forgive, always! Forgive a person, forgive an event, forgive yourself, and move on!

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” – Martin Luther King Jr.