To be Sincere

29 06 2009

I need to keep writing, if I don’t you soon will stop coming here but at the same time, what do you do when the words just won’t come out? It has been almost six weeks and I still don’t find a internal balance in order to draw something worthwhile from within. It is like a dark night of some sort in which nothing is clear but at the same time I am forced to keep walking on. There is hardly time to rest and when I do is not for very long. Images, thoughts and sadness overwhelm me sometimes bringing me to tears. I know with time all will pass but what I ignore is how long this journey will take.

Life is all about growth, change and transformation is always evolving and moving us from where we are to where we are supposed to be. Sometimes we go with it but at others times we hang on to what is comfortable and familiar, we are afraid to leap into the unknown even when the unknown might be something better. I don’t have all the answers and yet I want to make all the decisions. When I decide to let go is when I really move forward and when I want to move forward I feel frozen in time. The Lord is taking me out of my familiar surroundings and teaching me to let go, trusting that the work already done will now be put to the test. There is no more controlling in some regards and that will help some people to show what they are truly made of for the very first time. Whatever is, is and I will learn to accept it. At this time it is about learning to think about me for a change and not to feel responsible for someone else’s actions or inaction.

To be sincere I don’t have much more to say, there is no easy to navigate on rough waters when you are on a tiny vessel. Somehow I know the water will calm and I will find my way to shore, in the meantime it is about handling the present moment.





Another Year

23 04 2009

Today is my Birthday!

The year began on a positive note, many new experiences in my life and even though I found myself on unfamiliar territory I found out that it was okay, I could handle it. I don’t need to always do and say the same things and a little change brought a freshness that my life was lacking at that moment. Life is a cycle and like many other times in my life I had to deal with some very familiar situations I wished I didn’t have to. Accepting what I could not changed doesn’t come easy for me but I had no choice but to accept it.

Fear took the best of me at times but in time I faced my demons, there was no way I could ignored them so I handled it to the best of my knowledge and ability. I looked for allies and with them I was able to see a little bit further than I could all by myself. The assurance was that all would be well in time, different maybe, but fine.

I lost something that was very valuable to me in this whole process, trust; trust in someone I trusted more than myself and that led me to a very painful awakening which hasn’t heal yet and I am not sure if it will ever will. Nothing will ever be the same, but we are not the same for very long anyway so I might just as well learn that.

I don’t look at the future with the same eyes anymore and that could be a good thing. Anything is possible and surprises could be just around the corner. I don’t expect bad things but I am not so naive anymore so it won’t take me by surprise. Situations manifest itself in many subtle and impacting ways in order to teach me something, so I will pay more attention from now on. I will learn the lessons and move on, in time I hope to graduate from this life to the next.

All in all I am thankful for this year, it has taught me a lot; that dreams come true, that I am truly alive, that I matter to many people, that my heart bleeds sometimes, that I am capable of powerful emotions, that I have faith and hope, that there is only one person I can trust, that there is always one person who TRULY loves me, that I want to fly, that I know I can and that one day I will.

So here it is, to another year. To hopefully many more and better ones than this one. Here it is to me and to all those I share my love and life with.

Cheers!!

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Creating Opportunity

16 04 2009

It just break my heart to see so many capable and dedicated people lose their jobs and possessions;their homes, their cars, their credit and sometimes even their relationships.

I am not sure if this a common practice, but I found out that some employers now check on candidates and employees credit reports in order to get hire or dismiss personnel. This brings a whole new set of situations to deal with when you find yourself out of work for too long. I don’t believe is fair that credit reports get so much weight on hiring decisions specially during these hard economic time. Most of the people are responsible with their credit at least paying the minimum amounts if they can. Credit card companies are so unwilling to work with their customers that they continue to raise their interest rates without any concern for the ultimate result, default. When a customer is having a hard time paying their debts but are willing to continue paying what they should do is reduce the interest rate and work towards a solution, it is much better than to have to write the account off and never get their money back. I believe this is an issue the government should also consider taking in, with this kind of domino effect on people’s financial state the economy will take a very long time to regain its strength.

If people is not able to find work the next thing to do would be to create and opportunity for themselves. This time could be turned into a blessing as we learn how to use our hard earned money. There is no doubt that somehow this period of time would be remembered by the time when we learned what is really important in our life and a deep understanding of the many blessings of living a simple life. Families are getting closer together as they try to help one another stay afloat. Our children for once learn that they can’t have everything in life and that they need to prepare for the unexpected.

I come from a family where hardships came and went, right from the start my parents looked to work with the ordeals that presented themselves in their life. There was always a moment when an important decision needed to be done in order to change the course of their financial situations and I believe the same thing happens to all of us.

My parents lived in a very small cottage far away from town when they first got married, it was a place who needed much work and his brother owned it, he let if fix it in exchange to live there for free for two years. They had no water or electricity, my dad would come with a tank of water in the back of the truck every afternoon after work and I was just a newborn. I can not imagine having to wash dirty diapers and clothes by hand, cook and clean without potable water but that is what my mother did. Then all the sudden my dad hit the lottery and got enough money to purchase 5 1/2 acres of land. He gave a deposit and with the rest of the money built a small house. They lived there a few years while he work as an excavator operator for someone else. He noticed how busy they were and the phone would not stop ringing for more and more work to be done. At that time the property purchase agreement was coming to an end and he decided to sell it instead. He had divided the lot in two; one empty and the other with the house. With the sale money he had enough to buy another home or a brand new excavator to begin working on his own. He consulted my mom about it and my mom told him to go ahead with the business idea instead and she would move in with her parents and me and my dad to his parents for a while. But the lawyer who sold the lot to him had another property pending in his investments and wanted my dad to see it. My dad liked it but had no money but $1,000 after buying the excavator to cover for the payments just in case he could not get work. The lawyer went ahead and bought the house and offered it to him with the $1,000 down payment and a $500 payment every six months for 3 years. So my dad would let go of the $1,000 he offered to lend him the money back if he needed it at any time if he had no work to cover for the excavator’s payment. Well, my dad didn’t have to borrow the money he had enough business to make the payments and his business began to grow from there. From one excavator he expanded to a few different equipments that he bought as he got jobs for them, many times he would get a contract and then buy the equipment needed to complete it and most of the time with the rental of the equipment the machine was practically paid off. It wasn’t long before he then bought a better and bigger home closer to town. Every 5-7 years he would move to a better place. He invested his profits in more properties, some land and some with houses in that way he was able to get loans against the properties if needed or sell them in order to expand or survive. He has so much work that at one point instead of continuing to grow his business his brothers began to buy equipment also and he began to pass work to them. Today most of the family owns and operates heavy equipment and transportation trucks. My two brothers are two top operators for a company in the United States.

Changes always bring a whole new spectrum in our life; we can be affected emotionally as well as financially and my parents lived through it too. When they decided to move to the United States they left behind all they had built for 20 years, but at the time it was what they thought needed to do. It wasn’t long when they realized that they couldn’t make it here and went back to the island to begin all over again. Hard work and determination helped him build his business again, but by that time other big companies started to move in to the island and in the next 10 years the business began to decline. He concentrated in real estate then and with that he has been able to survive. What I want to say here is that we need to pay close attention to the trends and changes and continuously look for ways to put our energy and talents into something that will be of service to others. Do not keep looking at what you lost but look at what you have, what’s lost is lost and only looking forward you will be able to create something that will work and provide the necessary means to sustain yourself and your family.

Tell me your thoughts. What do you think these times are teaching you?





Book Launch Preparation

7 04 2009

As the time draws near to the moment I have worked so hard for, I can not help but to also feel anxious.

I pray that my next book, Moonlit Walks, offers my readers a reason for hope in these difficult times when it is hard to look for that positive glimpse in our daily circumstances. It is the only way to move on and let our life be transformed into what is meant to be.

I don’t offer solutions to individual situations but one thing I can do is to share with you my journey in order to inspire others to begin their very own journey. In the same way that I offered in Simplicity, Richness of Life, my experiences on raising a family and learning to live simpler in order to do what matters in my life, on Moonlit Walks I will explore many other topics that I deemed worthy to reflect upon and explore. It is the only way I know how to navigate my life and the turmoils it sometimes accompanies it, one that perhaps will help others to do the same in their own unique way until they too find themselves in come waters.

Life is not easy sometimes but it becomes bearable when we share it with those around us. I believe that is why many of us are having a hard time today, we have disconnected ourselves from each other in pursuit of our own dreams. We have lost the sense that family, friendship and community is what makes us prosper in the long run, not merely individuality. We treasure who we are, yes, but never forgetting that we are also called to share ourselves with others. It is a way to enrich life and to make it more meaningful. It is to give it reason for its existence.

Stay tuned for the announcement on the launch of Moonlit Walks, I will try to make it as memorable as the moments that inspired it.





Let Me Hear From You

26 03 2009

Today I thought about you and what are you going through. Tell me about your day, your challenges, your worries. I share on this blog a lot of different topics and describe many situations for you to reflect upon, but today I want to hear it from you. Would you tell me?





Making the Best of Our Present Situation

24 03 2009

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“Life’s circumstances are not always what you might wish them to be. The pattern of life does not necessarily go as you plan. Beyond any understanding, you may at times be led in different directions that you never imagined, dreamed, or designed.” — Vicky Silvers

Life is like that, it is training ground where we develop the skills and virtues that what we lack and strengthen the ones we have. Uncomfortable a times, yes, but worth it at the end, that’s for sure.

Changes, which we have no control over, throw us into unfamiliar ground. We get accustomed to certain routines, comforts and income as life kind of flow from all the efforts and educational preparation we have in order to live reasonably at ease. In these changing economic times when all we have known disappears, is taken away or becomes unknown to us it is hard to feel at ease and optimistic, but it is at those times that we find out what we are truly made of. We are forced to dig deep within in order to find the strength to go on and it is in our yielding to “what is” and the acceptance that we are not really in charge that ultimately give us the strength to let go and by doing so allowing freedom to emerge in our life. Faith is belief in something we can’t see or explain. Shifting realities pushes us to think like we never have before, we need to look for the unthinkable and try to find new ways to survive. There are great opportunities to be discovered and developed in time of hardships but only a small percentage of people will be able to grasp it. You can be one of them if you stop thinking about what you lost and start thinking of what you can gain instead. It is good to be cautious but not to the point to be immobilized, if we do so I can assure it will get worse before it gets better.

The last three years has been very hard financially for my family and for a long time I was using the wrong words to express the lack of money. I was saying; I can’t afford it, I don’t have the money, etc. but during the Christmas Season I decided to trust God -not that I didn’t before- but this time I was going to do it totally and try not to -at the same time- get my will in the middle of His. And you know what? He hasn’t disappointed me yet. I changed my language and I don’t use the phrases I used in the past, now I say; when I get the money, as soon as I can, in a week or so, etc. I am always expecting that God is going to provide us with the necessary means to go on and we have.

So don’t get discouraged, lose hope or faith, there is a silver lining in all of this but you have to open your eyes, ears and heart to it. This could be a time when you will finally find out what your true mission in life is; you will probably get to use your God-given talents for the very first time or on a full-time basis and in the long run you will be happier than you have before. Maybe you will have to give up many material possessions that only tied you down and you will learn to live simpler and that will be a good thing. Too many responsibilities and possessions sometimes enslave us beyond measure. Accept what you can not change and change what you can and see how little by little everything falls into place. It is a given that in order to get something better first we need to let go of what we have sometimes. In order to get our hands full we need to come forward with empty hands, but what we must have is a lot of faith and hope.

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Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life





Then Came Uncertaintity

18 03 2009

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In life we have to deal with so many components and uncertainties. There is a fine line between what we want and what we get, most of the time it is our actions which determines the outcome. At certain times we are called to be courageous and face the consequences of our actions or the actions of others in our life or theirs. There is no way to escape it, but there is always a way to deal with it. It might be difficult but it is up to us to lead the way wherever that might be.

I am learning that I don’t need to go by others way of solving or dealing with similar problems in order to be in “control” of the situations in my life, I am tempted though. I tend to fall back in that trap that said to me that if they dealt with it in certain way if I don’t do the same I would insult their perspective. But it is my way of doing things and dealing with conflict and crisis what I need to implement here, it is my way to be satisfied to a point that will provide me with a certain degree of confidence to move forward.

Detaching and creating ways that reflect the uniqueness of my being takes effort and self-knowledge and I am making sure that in time it is something that will carry me through unto the other side. I am cutting my umbilical cord from everything and everyone but God and not letting myself be carried away by the despair I feel at times in my life, there is always a way out. I know it will get better in time and once I am on the other side of turmoil, crisis, pain and sorrow the light will shine brighter than before just because I emerged from total darkness.

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Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life