100 reasons

fotoreflejos

The saying goes “Every one in his/her life time must, have a child, plant a tree, and write a book.  The problem is who will raise the child, water the tree and read the book”.

So, here I am giving you a 100 reasons to buy my book.

1.       To get a peek into my life
2.       Because you are curious
3.       You like the title
4.       You like the cover
5.       You will get to know Rumi
6.       To read it to your grand children
7.       To  give it as a present  (graduation, wedding anniversary, birthdays)
8.       You were part of the stories
9.       You know the characters in the stories
10.   You want to find the reflections of the stars
11.   You want to connect
12.   You want to believe
13.   You want peace
14.   You want to create a magic story out of your struggles
15.   To use it as an Icebraker
16.   Night stand decoration
17.   To carry it in your purse and read while waiting
18.   To learn Spanish
19.   To learn about virtues and character building
20.   To learn about meditation
21.   To read one at a time and reflect
22.   To start journaling
23.   To support the development of the self
24.   To show you read
25.   To instill the reading habit in those around you
26.   To help in the development of awareness
27.   To promote the author
28.   To learn about magical places on earth
29.   Because you want to heal
30.   To restore hope in you
31.   To simplify your life
32.   To look cool
33.   To feel the texture of the book
34.   To awaken the child in you
35.   To learn the virtues
36.   To confirm pink dolphins exist
37.   To motivate you to travel
38.   To meet Jovita
39.   To see your natural surroundings in a new light
40.   To believe in magic
41.   To create your own magic story
42.   To start a journal
43.   To awaken the Divinity in you
44.   To see the spark of God in all
45.   To give it as a present to your Spanish speaking friends
46.   To donate to a public library
47.   To spread the word
48.   To get points in your credit card
49.   To fund my creativity
50.   To talk about it
51.   To show your children you still read books
52.   To relax by reading
53.   To decorate your living room book case
54.   To find the spark that unites us all
55.   To read it in a book  club
56.   To start a book club
57.   To take it in your next flight
58.   To underline the phrases you like
59.   To learn Saint Francis prayer
60.   To find answers to your questions
61.   To stablish your own connection with the Divine
62.   To enjoy the now
63.   To practice your reading skills
64.   To see if there is science in writing a book
65.   To look at the author’s picture
66.   To find gramatical mistakes
67.   To take it to your children’s Spanish teacher
68.   To find a message
69.   To share a message
70.   To leave it on your desk and see who picks it up
71.   To set your mind in the right mood
72.   To help you fall asleep
73.   To have your spanish speaking boyfriend/girlfriend read it and  translate to you
74.   To instill character building
75.   To meditate as you encounter a blank page
76.   To dedicate some time to reading
77.   To learn about Confucious
78.   To accumulate good Karma
79.   To receive Rumi’s messages
80.   To give me feedback
81.   To check amazon delivery time to Europe
82.   To make it a best seller
83.   To show support
84.   Because you love me
85.   To promote the book industry
86.   Because you care
87.   To give it away
88.   To improve your Spanish
89.   To share the stories
90.   To connect with your Gurdian Angel
91.   To visit Barnes & Noble
92.   To book your next trip to the Amazon
93.   To take it to your church
94.   To spend some money
95.   To bring it to friends in Latin America
96.   To pay attention to your dreams
97.   To create your own poetry
98.   To use your Spanish dictionary
99.   To promote possitive thinking
100.                        And finally …. Something I have been wanting to do for a while ….. To leave it on a public bench, with instructions to read, sign the place and date, and let it travel the world

 

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Good Bye to a Beautiful Soul

papi

The best decision in my life so far has been to cancel the cruise, the celebration my school classmates had organized to commemorate our 40TH graduation anniversary.  I decided to go to Colombia instead and spend that week with my family.  That was the last time I saw my dad.

We had such a great time,  reading poetry,  listening to music, remembering his friends.  His mind was so bright  even on his last day.

He was very ill, he had kidney failure and had decided not to do dialysis.  He had managed to live his life without spending one single night in a hospital.  Anytime the doctors had suggested an overnight stay, he simply stood up, put his shirt on and walked away!

It still makes me laugh to remember his determination and the doctor’s face.

So,  in his critical condition he decided to stay home, patiently waiting.

It was a waiting game and the uncertainty was difficult to deal with.  We did not know if he would lose consciousness, if he was going to experience a lot of pain,  and if that were the case. What would we do?

The other question was the timing, life is always full of events and two of my brothers were taking their children to Europe for college, one to France and the other to Germany.  My sister was having a civil ceremony for her daughter getting married.  I had friends coming to visit and had planned a trip to New Orleans.

I kept asking all my friends how their parents had died.  For me this was a first, and I wanted to make sure I was prepared to face that situation.

Some people mentioned long periods of agony with the person being bed ridden for months,  even years.

But my father was different,  or lucky because he did not get to that point.  He left before he was a burden to his family and he waited for everyone to be back from their trips.

There was no pain, no fear , he just let go as if merging himself with the Universe.  He waited for my mother to arrive; he granted her the blessing of being with him at the moment of his ascension.

After he passed I stayed in Cali for two weeks to help my mother with the transition.  I went through his filing cabinet and found a packet of old pictures of him, from the time he was single.  I also found a handwritten envelope  with the names of three children he loved  with some money.  Everything had been planned to the smallest detail.

What surprised me the most was to find his two lucky charms.  One was a tiny piece in yellow plastic he always carried in his wallet.  About 15 years ago I got a magnifying glass and saw that they were the three wise monkeys “see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil”.  He never told us where or when he got it, but the philosophy of the three wise monkeys seemed  to be engraved on his behavior.  He was such a great man, always doing good to those in need, always  kind, never complaining or talking bad about others.

amuleto

To my surprise, the second charm was a tiny Buda.  He, who had not participated in any religious activities lately or had any religious affiliation, had carried a Buda with him.

Buda

The day after the cremation and the mass, we took his ashes to the place he loved the most “La Buitrera” where he had spent time and time again, climbing the mountains,  meditating, contemplating nature.

There is a lot of construction going on right now, so we had to park the cars  a mile away from the house and walk, carrying our belongings until we got to the farm.

It reminded me of a pilgrimage, we all siblings, my mother, my daughter nieces and nephews, bringing him back to the place he loved.Buitrera 2

Buitrera 2

In this day and age when we depend so much on technology, it was great to see that there was no Internet Connection, everybody was  dedicated, concentrated, meditating, on life, death, and the importance of elaborating , mourning, letting go.

In the days that followed, I helped my mother go through his belongings.  We only came up with 7 bags, that is all he had.  I confirmed my idea that he lived in a monastic way, only having the bare minimum for him.

He was so generous with us all, and everybody he encountered.

It is hard to think that he is living now only in our memories,  the body is no longer here.  That is the reason why I write, so that I do not forget.

I want to remember all his gestures of love

His  positive mind

His sensitivity and alertness to the needs of  others

How his friends valued his friendship

His love for nature

Our unspoken communication

His business advice

The pandebono He bought for me every morning

He lives in each one of us and I Thank God for having experienced life with him.

May he rest in peace ❤wonbudhism

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The Matryoshkas in my life.

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I have always been fascinated by the  matryoshka doll Russian: матрёшка;  also known as a Babushka doll, Russian nesting dolls.  You buy one and it is actually a set of 8 wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. The name connotes the matriarch of a big Russian family.

The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin,

The Matryoshkas are used metaphorically, as a design paradigm, known as the “matryoshka principle” or “nested doll principle”. It denotes a recognizable relationship of “object-within-similar-object” that appears in the design of many other natural and crafted objects.

So that brought me to my thought of the miracle of heritage and how I am a nested being compounded of all what my ancestors have been, maintaining certain similarity physical or spiritual, of likes or dislikes all  united by the thread of  genes.

But also,now that I write about it, maybe not even necessarily sharing genes, the matryoshkas in my life may be not only  my genetic ancestors, but all those women or men who through my life have nested me, shaped me by being a significant part of my life.

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Today, I want to recognize those matriarchs for what they have given me, my mother for life and fun, my American mother for teaching me to  sew and to be practical in the kitchen, my mother in law for her innate taste and elegance, my grandmother for the positive thinking and trust in God.

Mami 2014

I feel secure and empowered by them,  I can continue to  peel the layers and find new knowledge in them, even if they have departed their influence is still strong.

mathroiska

It is not that I am predetermined to be like them, but rather revise the good in them and adopt it and be a better version, aware of my potential.

In gratitude for those who have come before me.

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Fear

chamalu

If your life is a Tsunami, learning to surf is a duty – Chamalu

Fear is such a sneaky being.  It climbs in your thoughts and gets you going, and then you are worrying about everything; your health, your finances, your job, your family the future, death, even the end of the world comes to mind.  You are paralyzed, your heart rate increases, and then you worry that worrying is going to make you sick, that you need to stop.

I am reminded that I should embrace life with whatever it brings, because there will be challenges, struggles, difficulties and they will be overcome, one way or another, allowing me to learn a lesson or to move into a different direction, motivating change, creating new opportunities.  I just need to know and trust that whatever happens is what needs to happen to help me advance in the journey through transformation.

And then… with that in mind, I can live the present moment and be grateful for the good in my life.

Please feel free to leave a comment.

__________________

More on the  subject of fear:

http://christianmickelsen.com/the-only-one-real-fear-we-have/

and

http://prosperitybydesign.com/the-deconstruction-of-fear-

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Saying Good Bye

“Every time I say Good Bye….. I die a little”, so goes the song, and it makes perfect sense.

I visit my parents traveling 5000 miles, spend good times with them exchanging gestures and love and then… I have to leave.

I hide my sadness by saying that I can come back any time, that taking a plane now days is like jumping in a bus some years back, I can just come back anytime.  But even though I say so… I know it is not that easy, and the feeling of dying a little comes back.

LET GO, LOVE, ACCEPT, those are the keys to well being.  So, I have to remember that love will travel distances and touch the heart of a soul across the planet.

I know I need to let go of attachment, because the lighter we travel, the easier it will be to transcend.

Acceptance.- I miss my parents, I miss the city where I grew up, but I also feel good about landing in this new place where I live now.  I can call it home. I have to accept the benefits of living in the present moment.

Let’s  not forget LOVE, the strongest force of all.  Let it be with me inside and out, so it radiates to everything I do.  Let it fly to Colombia and embrace my parents in a cloud of everlasting love.

Until we reunite again, and our eyes can meet, I let go of attachment, trusting that love fills all the corners of our relationship.

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A tree has died

A Tree in my back yard has died.

At the beginning, when we first moved into the house I had a difficult relationship with the tree.

I did not think it was pretty and worried that being close to the energy lines it would knock them down.

I also thought it was not very pretty looking. It appeared to be sick, did not have any flowers, any smell.  Those were my thoughts as we arrived.  I even tried to contact the authorities to have it removed, but since it was actually the neighbor’s, there was not much I could do.

So I began to love the tree, we hung two hammocks from its branches and enjoyed sunny afternoons reading under it.  I realized it was a place where many birds hung around and even an occasional opossum would rest.  It even looked pretty, all green, strong;   in the corner of what is supposed to be the couple’s corner in Feng Shui.

We have had a lot of rain in Austin, so much that it has caused rivers to overflow, houses to be lifted and carried away, and even some people have lost their lives.   I have been blessed to be safe.

And then one day, as I was walking around my garden, I realized the tree had fallen.  All the upper part was lying in the middle of our backyard. It looked as if it had just slowly rested over our fence, making sure he didn’t cause any damage on his way down.  One could say it was resting, probably sleep.  But it was not the case; it had a big black stain in the roots.  Maybe it had been hit by lightning, or maybe his roots could not absorb the amount of water it was receiving.

Arbol2

In any case, there was no way back, the Tree had died, and I was sad.

arbol1

Now I can say, I miss his beautiful presence in that corner, as I see the many birds still flying and resting in its branches.  The leaves are still green but you can see that they are drying out and soon will be brown.

I want to honor the Tree, give thanks for the many times it offered us its shadow, for the way in which he went without causing any damage (I do not even know how the energy lines weren’t compromised with the fall), for housing the birds, for breathing and being.

As I mourn the loss of my tree, I am reminded that with any loss there is a new beginning, new opportunities; that the cycle of life is to be born, grow, transform, and die.

May I be as my beautiful tree, gentle and compassionate on my way out, not causing any damage and simply resting my soul as if I were asleep.

_______________________________

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, ‘To Him we shall return.’

–Jalal ed-Din Rumi (1207-1273)

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La enfermedad de estar ocupado

Al gluten, buena cara

Hace unos días me encontré con una buena amiga. Me detuve para preguntarle qué tal le iba y saber cómo estaba su familia. Puso los ojos en blanco, miró hacia arriba y en voz baja suspiró: “Estoy muy ocupada… muy ocupada… demasiadas cosas ahora mismo.”

Poco después, le pregunté a otro amigo y le pregunté qué tal estaba. De nuevo, con el mismo tono, la misma respuesta: “Estoy muy ocupado, tengo mucho que hacer.”

Se le notaba cansado, incluso exhausto.

Y no sólo nos pasa a los adultos. Cuando nos mudamos hace diez años, estábamos emocionados por cambiarnos a una ciudad con buenos colegios. Encontramos un buen vecindario con mucha diversidad de gente y muchas familias. Todo estaba bien.

Después de instalarnos, visitamos a uno de nuestros amables vecinos y les preguntamos si nuestras hijas podrían conocerse y jugar juntas. La madre, una persona realmente encantadora, cogió su teléfono y…

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