Awake the Mind

31 07 2008

It has taken me years to be where I am right now with my writing and the manner in which my words flow from my heart through my mind and then to the paper and yet I can’t understand the whole process. For some reason in the past weeks the flow is not there, something is blocking it and I would like to know what it is. At the beginning I felt sad and hurt, now I don’t feel a thing, I’m an empty shell. I wish I knew how to shake off this feeling of numbness and move on but I don’t, all I can do is push myself to go on and write whatever comes to mind at this moment.

Tonight I’m going to have a Girls Night Out and go see the movie Mama Mia!, I hope that helps. I always dream to travel to Greece so any movie that present vistas of it uplight my heart and put a smile on my face. In addition ABBA’s music will transport me to good times in my life.

I know I need to do is remind myself of the good in everything I’m living at this moment, to be thankful for the little blessings and for those around me who love me no matter what. I believe we lose sight of what really matters when we focus on what we want instead of what we have instead. These are very hard times financially for most everyone and one tend to lose hope in the future and what it will bring, but instead we should be looking for a way out and be creative as we find our way out of the maze.

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life

Doing What I Love

28 07 2008

It has been just a few days since I returned from Puerto Rico and I’m already missing it.

I got to do one of the things I love; photography and this time I had my first chance to practice aerial photography. I invite you to visit my Photography page and follow the link to my Flickr account for a complete display.

Enjoy it!!!

Exploring Liberal Arts Education

26 07 2008

It is that time of the year when our high school graduates have applied and being accepted at the different colleges around the country, perhaps I’m a little too late for this article, but for those preparing to graduate in the next 2-3 years and to their parents, I would like to talk about a little bit more the choices we have in higher education in order to succeed.

Education has been one of my life passions; not only do I love to learn but I also love to teach. I’ve homeschooled my children for the past 16 years and while looking for the best methods and curriculum I landed on one I prefer over all others; Classical Education with Kolbe Academy. The curriculum is based on classic works of literature, history and theology not taught anywhere in any private or public schools around the country. It is a shame that the kind of works utilized to read, learn and analyzed during high school is no longer taught in schools. To me is the perfect preparation for a Liberal Arts Education in college.

If you don’t know what Liberal Arts education is you can read more about it here. But in a nutshell it is:

The standard definition of liberal arts education implies a program of study designed to foster capacities of analysis, critical reflection, problem solving, communication, computation and synthesis of knowledge from different disciplines. Its goal is to provide students with an intellectual, historical, and social context for recognizing the continuity between the past and future and for drawing on the human capacity of reason to understand human experience, to question the values dimension of human enterprise, and to articulate the results of this process of thinking.

–from Liberal Arts Education – A Foundation for Success

Nothing can empower more an individual than his capacity to reason, analyze, adapt, transform and communicate what he encounters at all levels in his life. It doesn’t matter what his vocation might be in life and how he makes his living, developing his mind to approach life with all his challenges and changes along the way is one of the best way to assure his success.

I’ve personally pursue this kind of education right along my children and I continue to look for ways to continue to grow at all levels. It is a lifelong process where I look forward to fulfill my mission and at the same time connect to others around me.

To go even further, all the great minds and the people we have benefited from with their works in arts, science, technology and great discoveries were educated in the liberal arts: Einsten, Beethoven, Michael Angelo, just to name a few. To me it is very logical to go this route for at least part of our college education years, it will provide a solid base to build upon.

You can find a list of colleges at The Nation’s Top Liberal Arts Colleges.

I hope that this brief explanation of what Liberal Arts Education is urges you to look into it before you or your children enter college. I assure you it will be one of the wisest decisions you could make in your life for your benefit, the world and humanity.

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life

Randy Pausch dies at 47

25 07 2008

Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon University professor and author of The Last Lecture passed away this morning. My prayers today go to his family and friends who in him have lost a great man, friend, son, brother, husband, father and most of all a great inspiration to us all.

I wrote a blog entry a few months back when I learned about the professor’s story who moved millions to listen to his message. You can read it here: On Facing Death.

I listened to his Last Lecture and it confirmed what I have believed for so long, life is more than material possesions, it is about making our dreams come true and holding on to what really matters in life; love, health, values, faith, hope.

Unlike Randy, many of us don’t have the minor idea of when our time will come but we know one day it will. I would really hate for that day to come and not have accomplished my goals and dreams. I realize that not all of them are meant to be but many of them are. We need to push harder, to work a little bit more, to tune in to our inner self more in order to find out how to do this.

The Last Lecture came about when at Carnegie Mellon University professors were asked to think about what matters to them most and give a hypothetical final talk. I believe it is a brilliant idea to do something like this at any stage of our life, it will force us to stop and think where our life has been and where is going.

If you were asked to write your Last Lecture what would it say? I’m sure I will be thinking of composing mine very soon.

Thank you Randy Pausch, your life mattered and your memory, great teaching and example will inspire many for generations to come.

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life

Guided by Intuition

24 07 2008

We drown under pressure, life changes, sickness and challenges that help us develop new state of mind. Trying to find solutions and maintain some kind of estability awakes an inner ear able to communicate to us what our next move should be in order to survive, some people call it intuition. Sometimes we listen, sometimes we don’t. There is a way and manner to go about developing this kind of intuition that will help us navigate the complex issues of daily life. It is important that we have a foundation to build upon in order to obtain the best benefit of this valuable gift. I call it a gift because it is given to us freely and it is up to us to accept it and learn to utilize it properly.

In my experience the first thing we need to do in order to connect to our intuition is to be silent, taking time to get to know what our mind and soul transmit takes time and dedication. We need to communicate to God, sometimes he whispers and others he shouts, but if we are not opened to this communication we won’t hear a thing.

Dark Nights

15 07 2008

“Your dark night teaches you the truth of the moon. Life is not intended to be only solar, and indeed the cool, blue shadows of the moon have a special beauty. You can live in that beautiful glow, that light shaded by painful experiences and doubts and lack of understanding. Life is often more buoyant there than it is in solar brilliance.”
– from Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore

It is in the dark, on those moments when nothing seems to make sense or that numb our senses, where we finally dig deep in order to bring forth our essence. Everything that lives deep beneath our mind, beneath the walls we plaster over our soul in order to protect the tender areas of our being. We are never safe from the perils life send our way all we can do is face them, if we shy away from them we end up living a meaningless existence. It is in trials and challenges that we begin to live in the manner we are called to live and to stand for our dreams and values. It is the moment when our true colors shine through.

We stand before the mirror and many times don’t recognize the face we see, it is the reality that time and circumstances have changed us not only inside but outside as well. Perhaps we have lost that optimism and good sense of humor in the day to day dealing with circumstances we have been forced to live. Resistance can make up a lot of intolerable moments in our life that we prefer not to live but there is only one way to handle that situation; facing it. It makes take us days, weeks or years but it is ultimately the only way to cross to the other side.

Tell me about your Dark Night experience.

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life

Plegaria al Mar

14 07 2008

Contemplo el mar y lo envidio. Quisiera ser como el, reflejando el cielo azul que lo techa, ser movida por el viento y acariciar la tibia arena cual dulce beso en la mejilla. Ser bañada por los rayos del sol y los destellos de la luna, sumergida en el gran misterio de su profundidad.

El mar, lugar donde todo lo que fluye corre hacia el para asi alimentarlo y bendicir a todo aquel, que como yo, lo contempla. Tener la fuerza y la constancia que no disminuye con el tiempo y sirve para que otros naveguen a lugares distantes nunca antes vistos. Lleno de sabor, mezcla de todo aquello que a el se unio. Suficientemente fuerte para golpe a golpe transformar todo aquello que se resiste a el, como las rocas que segundo a segundo toca; sin excusas, sin razones o explicaciones. El baila libremente con el viento, levantadose tiernamente en su vestido blanco entre sus olas, creando su propia melodia, despertando asi todos los sentidos. Logra complacer y llenar de alegria a todo aquel que lo conoce y lo sabe respetar tomando solo lo que el le quiere dar y nada mas.

Mar llevate mi tristeza y traeme mi alegria, dejala sobre la orilla a la vez que mis pies pisan la arena que vienes a besar. Llevate las lagrimas y sana mis heridas a la vez que me sumerjo en ti. Enseñame que como tu, todo tiene un tiempo, un ritmo, un estimulo unico. Que cobras vida en varias formas y que son muchas las influencias que te hacen especial. Que todo cambia y se transforma con el tiempo pero siempre ocupas el mismo espacio y lugar. Y que antes de disminuir mas bien continuas creciendo y siendo aun mucho, mucho mas.

Clary Lopez
11 de julio, 2008