Category Archives: Reflections

Stepping Into The Unknown

When you decide to step into the unknown, life rewards you with a whole new world of opportunities. It is there where miracles happen, and one day, when you less expect it, like magic, almost instantly, life revolutionize your whole reality, and the impossible becomes possible, what seemed only a fantasy becomes real, you can suddenly touch that what it seemed unreachable, your heartbeat increases, the adrenaline runs through your veins, you feel what you have never felt before, you give a deep breath, and then in that precise moment your soul awakens, you become conscious. You have stepped into the unknown, now the adventure begins.

 

 

"Relinquish your attachment to the known, step into the unknown, and you will step into the field of all possibilities." - Deepak Chopra

 

 

You realize that now you are truly alive, and you understand the meaning of being alive and that feeling connects you with your soul, with your true self and everything else around you. You feel reborn, your soul expands, a strong energy travels all over your body flooding it with happiness, and that strong and deep energy is then released into the world, out to the universe, a new star is born, a whole new world is now in front of you, your awake, you are alive and that is all that matters. 

The unknown holds within the greatest treasures, because it is there, in that particular place where everything is possible, there are no boundaries, it is the place where magic happens but in order to be able to experience the feeling of being in such place one has to be willing to cross the barrier, to leave behind what is known, what is comfortable and be ready to expose yourself to a whole new reality and in order to do this we have to be willing to face our fears, to be ready to take risks, and to go for it, no buts, no maybes, no halfway, all in, deeply, completely, with your whole self. 

 

 

“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” – Alan Alda

 

 

That is what I experienced when I decided to turn my whole life around by stepping into the unknown. It takes months to decide and one minute to make it happen, one minute to change your whole life, and then miracles happen. In that moment of decision, of action, life enlightened me, it showed me a world of new opportunities and slowly it whispered: “Go my dear soul, I set you free, go get what makes your soul on fire, the world is yours, discover it, experience it, come back to where you belong, take what you deserve, and be happy.” 

My 30s arrived with doubts and fears, with an old world falling into pieces, burning, disappearing, the afraid of becoming old, a failing marriage, uncertainty, but they also came with a whole new world ahead of me, calling my name, extending a hand from the sky, like if it was God itself, taking my hand, pulling me up from the hole, saving me, and telling me: “There is a whole new world waiting for you, you have wished, here is the answer to your prayer, the life you deserve awaits you”. The unknown, the wild, the miraculous, the impossible was in front of me, and I decided to take it, I wanted to do that what feared me, I wanted to do the things no one thought I could do, I wanted to start again, to dream a new dream, to shape a new life and create a brand new future, I wanted to experience life on a whole new level and then the magic happened. 

 

 

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” – Patrick Overton 

 

 

I was invited to join a 5 days Expedition by the owners of the company I work for as a present for the arrival of the wonderful and scary 30s. The trip consisted in driving your own sled with the company of 6 Alaskan Huskies through the most magical Arctic tundra in all different weather conditions, sleeping in tents, with no modern comfort, rather traveling back in time, to a more primitive kind of lifestyle, the one we lost, the one that connects our soul back to our roots, the one that provides the most wonderful of the feelings, the one that challenges you and makes you realize that the simplest things were, are and will always be the most important thing a human can have. 

With no showers or toilets, no electricity, sleeping in tents surrounded by snow, with the weather changing from a completely clear sky to a snowstorm and furious winds in a matter of seconds, driving the sled with unstoppable and energetic Alaskan Huskies from an easy path to an exhausting uphill to narrow and bumpy trails. After hours on the sleds, we arrived at the different places where we stayed for the night, we needed to unpack the sleds, feed the dogs, build the tents, melt snow to have warm water to drink and water to warm up already made food we carried out in boxes on our sleds, to finally taking out the heavy winter boots and expedition jackets and pants, to find shelter inside a sleeping bag on a tent, in the wilderness, our roof was the sky, our floor the snow, our neighbors: the Huskies, and nature in its more pure state. Waking up in the Arctic, preparing breakfast in the tent, putting on the boots and jackets, and getting ready to put everything back on the sleds to continue the journey into the wild.  With our huskies and sled ready we began the journey again, more fascinating landscapes, more emotions, the feeling of being truly alive, an intense sense of freedom, a deep connection with nature and happiness in its purest state. 

After 5 intense and magical days, and after driving for hours in the most wonderful conditions surrounded by the most amazing landscapes we reached the pickup point where they were waiting for us. The trip was finished but it was not the end but the beginning of a whole new life. I had tears in my eyes, we said goodbye to each other, and especially we gave our respect to the most magical of the beings, the Alaskan Huskies, the ones that with their enthusiasm, their free spirit, their passion, and strength took us for the most wonderful of the trips. 

 

 

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” – Eleonora Duse 

 

 

I was not the same, I was reborn, I understood that I have put myself into a place far away from my comfort zone and that I have succeeded, and I understood that real life happens when you decide to do what you are afraid of doing, or when you do what you truly love, when you enjoy life to the fullest, when you are not afraid of the unknown but you rather embrace it, and you let it surprise you. You discover your true strength, your true self, your true nature and only then you know that the sky is the limit. 

 

 

 

 

In order to experience an extraordinary life, one must be willing to leave the comfort of ordinary life. Leaving the shore, sailing to the unknown, discovering new worlds, making possible the impossible and living life to the fullest! 

Polar Nights: Embracing Darkness

Another year has ended, and a new year has begun. We have left behind our past and we are focused on the new experiences to come, periods of darkness and light may come to your door, but here there is an important lesson for the new year that has begun, and you are the main star. Join me and together let’s find a new key to making this year the most wonderful of all!

 

 

"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars." - Og Mandino

 

 

Living above the Article Circle, in a beautiful city called Tromsø, in Northern Norway, has not only provided me with fascinating landscapes, amazing nature and unique experiences but it has also taught me two important lessons: The Darkness is temporary, and the light will always find its way to shine again and the second lesson is: The darkness will remain as long as we decide to find our own light, because there is no brighter light than the one we have within ourselves, an unstoppable source of light capable of providing light in the darkest places. What do I mean with this? Let me explain you.

In Tromsø you can experience what is called “The Polar Nights”. During this period that begins on the 21 November and lasts until the 21 January, the Sun remains under the horizon, this means that for two months we cannot see the Sun, only having between 3 to 4 hours of daylight, a beautiful bluish color but no Sun, after those hours you experience full darkness. Can you imagine it? No sun, no light, only darkness. 

 

 

“The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness.” – Nikos Kazantzakis

 

 

During this period your body and mind feel tired, you lack Vitamin D, you might feel more depressed and with less energy. From the “Midnight Sun” with 24 hours of daylight in summer to almost 24 hours of darkness. Your mind loses track of time and space, you cannot focus, you are irritable and want to sleep the whole time, and you end up having two options: You either succumb to this period of darkness, ceasing to control your emotions letting sadness, anger, stress, and frustration be part of your daily life or you can decide to make the best out of this period, taking back the control of your emotions providing your own light along the way. 

This does not mean you will not feel sadness, frustration or anger, but you will know that you have the control to transform those emotions into the ones that will make you feel better. Here, in Tromsø, you can see during this period the Northern Lights, the magical green light shining in the dark sky, you can see the stars and the moon most of the time when there is clear sky, you can find the way to see beauty in such darkness, you get extra vitamins, you find the way to feel better, and the most important thing is that you have the power to find light within your own soul, and in the end, darkness is as beautiful as the most wonderful summer days. 

 

 

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu

 

 

I learned that actually this period does not always happen between those two months, but it actually can happen at any time and everywhere, it is part of the cycle of life, we can experience during our whole lifetime several periods of “Polar Nights” where we enter a period of complete darkness and we might feel sadness, anger, frustration, we might feel tired and depressed and our whole life may seem to be out of our control, but the key is to see this period as an opportunity rather than a punishment, it is a period to reconnect with whom we really are, it is an opportunity to make our light shine and bring light were there is only darkness. The day you realize that you can control how you feel regardless of your current circumstances, it is the day that you will have mastered the key to a life of less suffering and more joy, less sadness, and more happiness. 

It is important to know that one day the sun will rise again, but, it is more important to know that in the end, it is not the current circumstances what really determines how we are gonna feel, because sadness, feelings of emptiness, depression can happen in the most brighter days, but it is our own strength, courage, perseverance and willing to sparkle the light in our own souls and bring light to our life.

 

 

 

If the sun does not shine, you shine, and if it shines, you shine brighter, because it is your own light, your true self, what makes this world a beautiful place. Shine like the stars, lit your soul and with the fire bring light and warmth to the human hearts! May this New Year be the year you make your soul shine! 

We Change the World with One Small Action at a Time

Every revolution begins with a small step. Every small action or thought carries the seed of our own success. It is by one small action, by one small thought what can put the world upside down, it is the small details what creates a huge difference and impact on the way human beings live and experience life. One small change can push us forward in the right direction, and the effect will expand and continue without stopping, creating many ripples. Every small action combined will create an impact of massive proportions. Will you accept the challenge? 

 

 

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." - Vincent Van Gogh

 

 

One of the main reasons why we tend to fail on the road to success is that we become overwhelmed by how difficult it is to achieve what one desires. The goal normally seems unreachable, rough, distant, or impossible, and because of that, we tend to give up before we even start. Once I wrote that the smalls steps are the ones that push us closer to our dreams and goals making the impossible possible, the unreachable reachable, because the truth is that it is the small actions, carried out day and night, the small thoughts, the small details on every aspect of our lives what creates a revolution, what gives us the power to recreate ourselves anew and gives us the control to create the destiny we wish to obtain.

The problem is that small does not mean easy, and that is what normally tends to stop us from doing that little thing that can change our lives and the lives of others around us. It is important to know that it won’t be easy, nothing that can help us change our life, nothing that can create the life we want to experience and nothing that can give us the reality we wish to experience is going to be easy, therefore, we have to be willing to commit ourselves fully on this project, and accept the fact that the road will be hard and painful, but the result will be worth it.

 

 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

 

 

What is the main obstacle that can stop us from doing that small change that can change our life and the lives of others? Fear. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of the unknown. We are afraid of being rejected by those who think different, we are afraid of being humiliated, we are afraid of not fitting in, we are afraid of failing in the road to our goals and dreams, and we are afraid of not being able to reach the utmost goal what can give us utter disappointment, we are afraid of what will come next, of what is waiting on the other side once we have decided to walk into the unknown.  

Here you can see that the first limitation we find is our own minds dominated by the power of our fears. It is fear the main cause of failure and the one capable to limit the potential we have to create the life we wish to experience and the change we want to create in the world. Knowing this, it is important to not let fear to control our lives, and we do that not by running away, but by facing them and we do so by one small change in our thoughts. Change your thoughts, begin with a small action, face your fears and change the world.

 

 

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

 

 

I sometimes find people trying to convince me that small changes are worthless and that the world will never be changed, no matter how hard I try. Looking it from their side, you can see that the phrase “change the world” seems pretty big, and you can see that a small action is far from creating the utmost goal of changing the world, and that is easier to do nothing than to face what seems to be a complete failure.

However, if you look it from the perspective of those who believe they can make a difference, you understand that perhaps the utmost goal will not be achieved by one person and on a specific time, and maybe not even long after we have left this world, but you do not let that to limit you because you know that it is the small actions of every human repeated every day and when they are put together makes the impossible possible.

 

 

“While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary.” – Matt Bevin

 

 

Everything created by humans was once started by one small thought and action, one small change. Every building was once a drawing on a paper, every small action put together by many different people created the drawing into a reality. The key is to believe that it can be done, and with commitment, perseverance and by one good example we can change the world. You can be today the kind of person that decides to do nothing to change their life and the life of others because it is hard or impossible, and waste your potential or you can be that one person that can begin to change the world one action at a time. Remember that it does not matter how little you think you are doing, every small action is never wasted, in fact, it is by our daily positive, kind, and loving actions what make us heroes. 

 

 

 

 

The world needs more people willing to change the world for the better, we all need more people willing to create a better tomorrow for all of us. Start now, join our side, and together let’s change the world! 

Here Comes the New Year: Are you Ready for New Challenges?

Another year is about to end, and a new year is about to begin. Over 300 days after the beginning of the 2017 and here we are, safe and sound. We all have been through different challenges and battles, we have faced defeat and tasted victory, we have encountered difficulties, learned lessons and survived adversities, and now is the time to pause our hectic, chaotic, sometimes quiet and absolutely beautiful lives for a moment and take the time to reflect, to be in contact to what surround us, to be in a profound connection with our own minds. The new year, 2018, is around the corner, more challenges and opportunities are ahead of you, the question is, are you committed enough as to be the architect of your own destiny or will you leave everything at the mercy of luck?

 

 

 

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier.' - Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

 

 

Another year has passed, and at least for me and I guess for most people too, it passed at the speed of light, another prove that life does not wait for us, it simply passes, at its own pace, its own speed, regardless if we decide to move at its own rhythm or not move at all. For that reason, as life moves and passes minute after minute carrying us forward through the path of our lives whether we want or not, we must then take advantage of our time and seize every minute of our own lives.

During one year, anything can happen. Life can punch you in the face and put you in your knees from one moment to another, putting you in a state of darkness and despair, but also it can provide you with the most wonderful of the feelings. No matter what happened, life will keep passing, and it is in our own hands the decision to move forward with life seizing every minute of our lives, or to remain still while it passes through our faces. Now is the time to leave behind what is not good for us, what we do not deserve, what makes us miserable and takes out the worst in us, as the new year begins, let’s make the choice to create the life we truly deserve and become the best version of ourselves.

 

 

“If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.” – Kevin Ng

 

 

The bad thing about life is that we cannot travel in time and modify our past, we cannot erase our mistakes nor change our past decisions, the past is out of our hands, however, the good thing about life is that always gives us another opportunity to begin again, to born anew from the ashes like a Phoenix and become the person we were meant to be. For this reason, embrace this New Year with happiness, courage, and commitment, for we can be the creators of our own future. Accept the fact that we cannot always control life circumstances, but indeed, we can always control how we react to those circumstances. Choosing them wisely is the key to live a fulfilled, happy and prosperous life.

Embrace this New Year with your open arms and be ready to accept its challenges. May this New Year be a year of action, do not only wish, dream and hope, but go out and make your dreams become a reality, begin this year by deciding what you really want, make a list with everything you want in this New Year, and then make a plan, take it seriously, as your whole life depended on it, because it does, your life, the life you truly deserve, your dreams and desires depend on you for them to become real. You are their commander-in-chief and you have the power within you to make everything become a reality.

 

 

“The path to success is to take massive, determined actions.”  – Tony Robbins

 

 

Let’s take some time to say goodbye to 2017 and reflect on the good and bad things. Let’s take with us all the lessons and great memories, and with courage let’s embrace 2018 with confidence and commitment, and always remember that greater things are ahead of us, more challenges and opportunities are waiting. The question is: Are you ready to abandon the comfort zone and go for an adventure that could bring you the most rewarding experience? Are you ready to accept the New Year’s challenges? Are you ready to dream more, and do more in order to make them become a reality? Are you ready to create the life that you wish to experience?

 

 

 

 

 

Say yes and accept the challenges! And always remember that if you can dream it, you can do it. Go out and make it happen. May the sorrows be gone with the old year and may the new year bring only happiness, welcome 2018!

A Wonderful Stroke of Luck

There are those moments throughout our lifetime when luck does not seem to be in our favor. The things we want are denied to us in a very brutal way and feelings of despair, sorrow, anger, and disappointment flood our heart. Suddenly we found ourselves lost standing in front of a brick wall in the middle of the road in the journey of our lives. The things we wanted, our desires and dreams have been taken away from us, the doors has been closed, and our hopes and illusions disappeared. Confused and upset we try to find the reason for our bad luck. We ask again and again, why? And the answer conspicuous by its absence, until now?…

 

 

"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck." - Dalai Lama

 

 

Sometimes in our lives no matter what we do and how much we try to have the things we want, life insist to deny us the things we yearn, and as if in life everything were about luck, we consider ourselves to be in the group of those with the worst one, but what if I tell you that sometimes what it seems to be bad luck, is in fact, good luck? What if those moments of bad luck in our lives are what we need in order to get a better luck? What if those moments of bad luck are actually saving us from a worse luck? What if those moments are giving us the chance to have a better future? What if sometimes life has to deny us the things we want, in order for us to have better things?

The truth is, in many cases, what it seems to be bad luck, is only an opportunity in disguise, an opportunity to take another road, a better way, to develop ourselves, to improve, to evolve, to create those things that we really want, deserve and that will really take out the best version of ourselves, but it is true that when life snatches from us the possibility of getting what we desire, when life denies the opportunity to have the things we love, we feel nothing but pain, our heart tears apart, and we cannot find any reason enough as to justify such sacrifice. You keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason, but the truth is, for you that reason seems to be non-existent, hard to discover, or has no sense at all, and days keep passing and you keep yourself immerse in that sorrow that sinks you to the depths of darkness.

 

 

“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.” – Cormac McCarthy

 

 

The truth is, that reason, eventually becomes visible.  The things that happen to us, the things that we were not able to get, are not a mere casualty, but it was meant to be that way, because life in fact, is not about luck, life is not a fortune wheel where some of us obtain better things than others, it may seem this way, but the truth is, we create our own luck, and if life doesn’t give to us something we want is because is giving us the chance to broaden our limitations, recreate ourselves anew, and become the source of our own luck.

If I look back into my past, some of the things that happened to me seemed first as bad luck, but now in the present, I see them as good luck. Why? Because from the point of my life where I am standing right now, looking back into my past, I can see that if I would never have had those moments of “bad luck” my life would be different from the one that I have now, and the things I have achieved so far, I wouldn’t have achieved them without those moment of “bad luck” I had in my past.

 

 

“Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” – Steve Maraboli

 

 

You can be a victim of your own circumstances, you can accept that luck is not in your favor, and succumb to adversity, surrendering the control of your own life, becoming a slave of your “bad luck” and be at mercy of fate, or you can decide to recreate your story, knowing that any moment of “bad luck” hides within itself the opportunity to obtain a greater luck, because in the end, if we are patient, if we don’t lose hope, if we give life time to prove us wrong about our own luck, if we decide to move forward and reinvent ourselves to recreate our destiny, we will discover the reason for that previous bad luck and we will thank God and life for all those moments where we didn’t get what we want, because that put us to the edge, took us from our comfort zone, and made us discover a new path, a new way, a new life, a new version of ourselves.

 

 

 

Some doors are meant to be closed, some are closed that so we can find a way to open them again, and some are closed so that we can find the way to those that will lead us to something better. Trust that everything happens for a good reason, and your faith will help create the fact, and your commitment and perseverance will shape your destiny and create your own luck.

 

2017: A New Year, A New Opportunity, A New Beginning

We can almost see it, the 2017, the new year is about to arrive. It carries a big suitcase, and it is loaded with hopes, opportunities, challenges, adventures, goals, dreams and more. And I believe we all wonder the same questions… What thing in that suitcase has my name on it? What will the future hold? The answer is simple: The 2017 will bring us what is best for us and all those things that we are ready to receive. Are your arms open? Is your heart open? Are you ready to accept the new opportunities of this new year?

 

 

 

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day

 

 

 

 

Every new year comes with new opportunities and challenges for every one of us. They come in different shapes, colors and sizes. They come in different ways and in different times, and we all receive at least one opportunity to improve our lives, to discover our true self, to develop our character, to become the best version of ourselves, to grow, to evolve. Those are purposes of these opportunities and challenges.

I said that this 2017 will bring us what is best for us and what we are willing to receive. What I mean with this is that God and life are always ready to give us what is best for us, that is to say, all the new opportunities that will push ourselves forward. The problem is that we are not always willing to receive the gift of a new challenge. The reason could be because of fear, doubts, uncertainty, maybe because we prefer to stay in our comfort zone or because the gift is not to our liking. So, we refuse to accept the new opportunities, letting them go, losing our chance to improve, develop, grow and evolve.

 

 

 

 

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…” – Alfred Tennyson

 

 

 

 

The new year can bring positive and “negative” things. With positive I mean a new job, a new relationship, an increase in your salary, a new trip, any kind of material possession, the achievement of a goal, a dream come true, a new home, another child, or any other positive thing that could happen to us. And with “negative” I mean those kinds of things that are opposite to the ones we call positive. For example, the loss of a job, more debts, the end of a relationship, the loss of any material possession, failure in any aspect of our lives.

What do we all want in this new year? We want more of the positive things and less of the negative ones. But what if the negative things have also a meaning? What if they happen for a reason that we do not yet comprehend? Well, the truth is that they also have a special meaning. The key is to discover its purpose, it could be for example, to make us learn a new lesson, or improve ourselves, to give us the chance to have better things, or simply because they want us to develop the greatness that is within us.

 

 

 

 

 

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor E. Frankl

 

 

 

 

Always remember, that it is not what happens outside of us, that is to say, our external circumstances what really matters, but how we respond to those circumstances is what matters the most. Regardless of what happens to us, at any given moment we have the opportunity to decide how we are going to feel and how are we going to respond to what is happening. Therefore, face this new year with courage and optimism, be ready to receive the new gifts of this 2017. When a new opportunity, whether positive or not so positive knocks at your door, take it, and give your best to create the outcomes you expect. Always remember that no matter what happens, you are the creator of your own destiny!

Let’s say goodbye to this wonderful 2016 that is about to end with happiness and gratitude, because no matter what happened, we survived and nobody can take from us the lessons we learned, the wonderful moments, and all the things we got from it. Let’s keep the good memories, the important lessons, and take them with us in this new year. Leave behind what doesn’t serve you, and with hope, courage and enthusiasm receive this 2017 with your arms open. Be ready to face any challenge, do not surrender in the face of adversity, transform the negative into positive, use any circumstance in your favor, and never lose the opportunity to create the life you imagine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new year is coming, and this 2017 brings 365 new opportunities, and if we are ready to take them they will help us become the person we are meant to become so we can create the life we yearn, the one we deserve and the one we are capable of living.  Happy New Year!

What is the true meaning of Christmas?

The year is almost over and with Christmas around the corner is easy to lose control. In this time of the year, specially the last days before Christmas people tend to be more stressed than relaxed. In these days, we have many things going in our heads, we are full of things to do, we need to organize everything with our families, prepare all the food possible, and one important task requires utmost urgency: Gifts. But why we truly celebrate Christmas? What is the true meaning of it?

 

 

 

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.” - Bob Hope

 

 

 

For most people the first and most important thing to do before Christmas is to buy gifts. The little story about the old man who has a long white beard and is dressed in red and white made us believe that without gifts, Christmas is not Christmas. Therefore, it is necessary to buy gifts for all our friends and members of our family. So, it is time to go out to search and find them, but there is a little problem: Everyone left everything for the last minute as you did, and now you are trying to find gifts in a human tide.

The “Operation Gifts” becomes an impossible mission, there are a lot of people, endless queues, hundreds of different products at exorbitant prices, you don’t have enough time, and as you see the money flying from your wallet, and your card on fire, you know that it will be impossible to buy gifts for everyone. When you are about to lose hope, or go crazy, you find everything you “need” and you manage to go back home. Everyone put all the gifts in the Christmas tree, we celebrate, we eat, we drink, we open the gifts, and we say good-bye to Christmas until next year. But, what is the true meaning of Christmas?

 

 

 

 

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” – Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

 

 

 

 

Some people may think about Santa Claus and gifts, others about eating a lot of food and drinking, and some about having a good time with their families and friends or maybe all together, but it’s that all? Well, there is something more. Christmas is in fact the day we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Yes, I know. Most people know that. But, then why when the day comes, everyone forgets about it? I mean, imagine that is your birthday, everyone buys gifts, prepare food and gather together to celebrate it but you are not invited, in fact, nobody remembers about you. Sad, isn’t it?

Where do I want to go with this? That Christmas is a day to remember and commemorate the most wonderful thing that we have as human beings, and that my friends is called love. That is what Jesus taught us: To love unconditionally, to love with no boundaries, to love our neighbor as ourselves. Regardless if you are a believer or not, if you are going to celebrate Christmas, do not let Santa Claus, materialism and this society that made us addict to consumerism make you forget what is really important about Christmas: Love.

 

 

 

 

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” – Hamilton Wright Mabie

 

 

 

 

Therefore, do not feel pressured by this society to buy the best and most expensive gifts, or to spend a lot of money in high amounts of food, do not feel stressed because you have the need to go to certain places and meet with people you don’t want to. Don’t even feel depressed because you are alone that day. Don’t feel sad because your kids are not getting any gifts, that is not the meaning of Christmas, that is what this society made us believe, because the real meaning of it is to be grateful, for the things we have, and for the opportunity to love and be loved. Enjoy this moment, regardless of your current circumstances. Simply raise your glass and make a toast for today you are alive!

 

 

 

 

 

What is the meaning of Christmas? To remember that love conquers hate. May today all our actions and thoughts, and all the things we eat, the music we hear and the things we say may reflect only love, for love is what saved us and what will save us forever. Merry Christmas!

A Short Story About the Power of Understanding – Part II

In the previous part I started writing a little story that I imagined one night while I was watching the stars. This short story is about the power of understanding. It is a way to see how different everything could be if we could be less judgmental and more understanding with each other. Hope you enjoy it!

 

 

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." - Carl Jung  

 

 

He started seeing flashing images, they were passing quickly through his eyes like a movie. As the images were passing, he started to recognize the kid in the images, it was the life of this kid in little images. As they were passing, the little kid was getting older, and suddenly he recognized completely who it was: It was his neighbor, a shy and quiet boy of about 20 years of age. The man has always criticized and judged this boy, because he was different, he always referred him as the “suicide boy” because he was lonely and never smiled. The images keep passing through his eyes, until they stopped.

 

The man remained motionless for almost 15 minutes, and suddenly, he broke into tears. What he saw in those images was the 20 years of life of this boy. The magic about the shoes he tried was that not only made him see the life of the boy he always criticized but he could felt what he also felt in different moments of his life. He understood why he was the way he was. This boy has been through a lot of hardship in his short life. And in the present, he was taking care of her sick and drunk mother, because his father ran away when he was born.  Suddenly, he realized that this boy, his neighbor, was worthy of being respected.

 

He tried the second pair first, and afterwards the third pair of shoes, both fit him perfectly. He saw the images that appeared. Those two pairs were the lives of two different people he knew. People who he always criticized most of the time.  One was the life of the secretary of her boss. He always criticized her for the way she looked, the way she acted, the way she spoke, he always judged her because she was a very reserved and quiet girl, who looked like a nun. It turns out that this girl has suffered abuse from his father when she was a child, and she has been afraid of men ever since.

 

The third pair of shoes was the life of his father. He has always been very critic with him. His father was always a strict, cold and distant man. He didn’t know much about his father’s life, they never really had a relationship, and they haven’t talked in the last years. He always criticized his father for not being a good, loving and understanding father. But what he saw in those images broke his heart into pieces.

 

It turned out that his father has had a rough life. His grandfather, his father’s dad, was very severe with his son. He has been the only son out of 4 daughters, and his father was very hard on him, always receiving psychological and physical abuse from his part. “This will make you a man, and you are the only one, you must take care of your sisters”, he used to say. This man now understood that his father was the way he was because of his own father. He saw in the images that his father always took care of his 4 sisters after their father’s death, and he always took care of him. The man felt ashamed of himself for being so cruel with his father, because he was always distant and cold, but deep inside him he was good man. A father to be proud of.

 

The man feeling a mixed of emotions tried to find again an exit door, he also went to the front to see if he could open the door, but it was still locked. Tired and hopeless, he went back to the rear of the store. He realized that he hasn’t tried the fourth pair of shoes. Already feeling devastated he was afraid of what he could see in those last pair of shoes. His curiosity was stronger so he decided to try them on.

 

He started seeing the images passing through his eyes. Immediately he recognized the person in those images: It was himself, and those were his memories. He saw the person he was and he saw the person he has become. A selfish and judgmental person that has always been criticizing people without even knowing them. He started crying, he couldn’t recognize himself. “Who have I become?” He said with tears in his eyes. The images keep passing before his eyes. He couldn’t tolerate seeing himself in those images. He felt ashamed, and for a moment he even despised himself. “Please God I don’t want to be this person anymore, I can be better than this, I can change.” He cried out loud.

 

Suddenly, the images stopped. He took out the shoes. The lights went on, and he went to the front door. It was open. He went out the door and left the shop. He opened his eyes, he was lying on his bed, it was all a dream, a dream that came true. He wanted to change, God gave him hand. He reborn, he changed, he evolved, and his life was never the same again.

 

 

 

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – John Watson

 

 

 

With this little story that I imagined in my mind, I could understand how different everything is when we get to know the story of a person. Once we know what they have been through, once we feel what they felt, everything changes. But do we need to go through that to be understanding and compassionate? The answer is no. We need to understand that everyone is fighting their own battler, becoming more understanding and less judgmental. We do not change people by criticizing them, nor we change our lives. We need less critics, and more people willing to become the best version of themselves so they can be ready to help others do the same. Together we can make this world a better place, it all starts with us and with the person we choose to be every single day of our lives.

 

 

 

 

The next time you criticize and judge others, try to put yourself in that person shoes first. Try to understand others as you would like them to understand you. Understanding is the key to a better world. Will you help create it?

A Short Story About the Power of Understanding

When it comes to criticize and judge others, we are all experts. Without mercy we go through life like judges criticizing and condemning others, but what would happen if we could spend the same energy we spend on judging others, in trying to understand them? Could it be possible that our understanding could change the way we see others? What if we would have the chance to walk in someone else’s shoes?

 

 

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." - Carl Jung

 

 

A few days ago, in one of those beautiful summer nights where the sky is clear and full of stars, and the temperature is pleasant, I was quietly sitting on an armchair in my balcony gazing at the stars. For some reason, every time I look at the sky I start to reflect about a certain topic, as if there were something up there, probably God, watching me and whispering something to me. In that night I started wondering about how much people tended to criticize others. I think because we can’t cope with our own life, we tend to focus on others rather than ourselves to feel less miserable.

While I was thinking about it I imagined how would it be to walk in someone else’s shoes. How would it be for one moment be in someone else’s skin and see life through that person’s eyes, and feel what that person feels. I was thinking that probably would increase our understanding for others, and we would become less judgmental. Our hearts would open, and we would change the way we treat others, becoming more understanding and compassionate, having more empathy and being less ruthless judges.

 

 

 

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie

 

 

 

I always try to find examples that will help me clear my concerns. It is so that I imagined a little story about a man of about 30 years who used to criticize others constantly. It didn’t matter if you didn’t have reasons to criticize someone, this man always found a reason to criticize someone. Day and night, he was always criticizing and gossiping about other people, and no matter how annoying and despicable he was, he will always find followers who will applaud him.

One day, he went to a near shoe repair shop to collect one of the shoes he had left for repair. He entered into the shop, and suddenly a strong wind closed the door abruptly. He rang the bell, which was over the counter, to call the cobbler. No signs of him, he rang it one more time. He waited a few more minutes and decided to leave the store. He tried to open the door, but it was locked. “Maybe it was because of the wind” he thought. Tried a few more times without success.

“How will I get out? Maybe there is an alternative exit at the rear of the store” he thought. He went there to find a way to get out, and maybe he could also find the cobbler. As he was walking through the alley behind the counter the light slowly started to fade. Suddenly it was so dark he couldn’t see a thing. He was trying to find the light switch when something bright started shining. He went to see what it was, and he found four pair of shoes shining like stars.

He was amazed, he has never seen something like it. He took one of the shoes to see it closer, they were common shoes, but the light that shine through them with no apparently reason made them special. After seeing it carefully, he started using it as a lantern. He searched all around the place for the cobbler and the exit door. There were none of them. He searched every corner of that room, but there where no way out.

He decided to sit down and wait. “Maybe the cobbler went out to do something and he forgot to close the door, probably he will return soon” he thought. He waited half an hour, one hour, the cobbler never came. He was tired, hungry, and bored as hell. Where could he be? The man wondered. He took one of the shining shoes and tried it on, it was his size. He tried the other one. He stood up, and in that moment a miracle happened.

 

 

To be continued… 🙂 

Is Life a Competition?

Since we were children we are taught to compete. Day after day the habit of competing with others is shaped. When we less expect it that habit is created, and our whole life becomes a competition, a competition where we need to beat others in order to be successful. But is life really a competition? Do we need to compete in order to be successful? It is the act of competing with others what give us true victory? Can the result of a competition really define a human being? Let’s find out together more about competition, its definition, level of importance and impact on human beings.

 

 

 

 

According to the dictionary, a competition is “a situation in which someone is trying to win something or be more successful than someone else” In other words, we can define competition as being an opportunity to get a special prize that might have a special significance, or the opportunity to defeat others to declare oneself as being more successful or superior than someone else. Therefore, does this mean that we must focus on defeating others to be successful? It is by doing so, that one truly achieves victory? It is true that through competing with others one evolves, becomes superior, and achieves greatness?

Well, that will depend on the way we see it, that is to say, our own perspective, belief and idea of what a competition truly means. Two different beliefs are going to determine the true meaning of competition and the answers to those questions: 1. The belief that life is a competition, where you have to defeat others in every possible aspect of your life. 2. The belief that life is not a competition at all, and if there is one competition that is with the person you were yesterday.

 

 

 

“The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself.” – Washington Allston

 

 

 

The first belief will define competition as the possibility to beat others to be successful, believing that through defeating others one gets true victory, what makes them more superior, what makes them evolve, and so achieve greatness.  The second belief will define competition as being merely the chance to be better than you were yesterday, believing that one is successful, evolves and achieves greatness by becoming the best version of oneself.

The people who have the first belief will focus on winning others. That will be their maximum goal, beating others will become their main desire, and the defeat of others will be their victory.  Those who have the second belief will focus on being better than they were yesterday, and becoming the best version of themselves will be their ultimate goal, and victory for them will mean being the person they were meant to be without needing to defeat others for being so.

 

 

 

“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.” – Arthur Ashe

 

 

 

As we can see competition is a word that can have many different meanings. The true is that nowadays people have accepted the first belief, because that is what this society taught us. It taught us that we need to compete, and in every competition, we have to win others in order to be successful. And this is not about sports, this is not a simple game, this is about life. Somehow, they transformed life into a competition. We compete not to become the best version of ourselves, but to simply defeat others, what gave us a wrong idea of life.

Every aspect of our life has become a competition. In every place there is an ongoing competition: In workplaces, schools, universities, homes, neighborhoods, bars, parks, and every corner of this world. We compete to see who has the best car, smartphone, house, clothes, shoes, we compete to see who has the best body, who looks better, who is more beautiful, we compete to see who has the best job, the best position, the best salary, we compete to see who has the best grades, or the most important degree, or anything that will put us in a “high status position”,  we compete to see who has the best birthday, wedding, funeral, it doesn’t matter, the fact is that we have to be better than others, that gives a fake sensation of happiness and success, that seems to fill our empty souls.

 

 

 

“Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

 

 

 

But, do we ever feel complete? No, not really, and that is why we never stop competing. We desperate need to be better than others to feel successful. What we don’t know is that the only person we need to be better than is the person we were yesterday. Being the person we were meant to be, doing the things we love without needing others approval, without needing to beat others, gives us freedom, and that makes us truly successful, that is how you really win this competition called “Life”, which in fact is not a competition at all, or not against others, but a competition against the person we were yesterday. Winning this game, means defeating the person that we are not, becoming the person that we really are, and that means becoming the best version of ourselves.

If you want to improve yourself, to develop your true potential, if you want to succeed at life, you will have to fight to become the person you are capable of becoming, if you believe in yourself and you think you are good enough to be the person you have imagined, then there is no need to compete with others, because you will realize that you don’t have competition, and if you don’t have competition, against whom are you going to compete with?

 

 

 

 

 

Life is not a competition, and if there is one competition, that is against ourselves. We create our own success by exceeding our own standards not by defeating others. So let’s go out and become the best version of ourselves!