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Dicho del Domingo – New Day

15 Sep

Sunset at Playa Langosta

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of god. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make and manifest the glory of god that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson

I’m a Distance Runner

13 May

I’ve been trained to keep going even when its hard. When it hurts. When it sucks. When I don’t want to. I look past it. Relentless forward progress to the finish. Call it what you want; stubbornness, endurance, determination, guts. Deep down, I don’t know how to give up. [And its always worth it in the end]

Words of wisdom and inspiration from my friend Debbie Carpenter – Thank you!

Seasons of Change & Liberation

2 Oct

The past week has been a whirlwind. The seasons collide and Fall is upon us. At this very moment the stars align and bring forward an opportunity for change in my own life. Sometimes I don’t know exactly what the catalyst is, perhaps its all of the energies coming into one at a particular moment and it ignites a signal that now is the time for change. Change is an opportunity. But its also incredibly frightening. You can feel like your whole life has been turned upside down. Or better yet, that you just made a decision that brought forward a change and deliberately turned your own life upside down. In a nut shell that was what this week was for me.

The change occurring in my life is on the professional side of life, which for me is wrapped-up in my personal emotions and purpose in life. My “career” is one that I’ve created… its synonymous with my last blog post. In building my career and business, I’ve built my own life in the process. It is all so deeply intertwined. I’ve spent the last 7 years of my life building and nurturing a business and a couple of organizations. I’ve poured my sweat, love, and tears into building these institutions. It has been incredibly challenging, exhilarating, gratifying, and disheartening all at the same time. There have been many moments along the road where I’ve stopped and looked within and found that my own personal well was empty. That I’d given so much in the process that there was nothing left to me. I’ve lost balance many times along the way, and forced myself to take the time to replenish my well, regain strength, and carry on. Each of these organizations, with all their beauties & flaws, are a reflection of many things I am passionate about in life. They are in and of themselves catalysts of social change in varying forms.

There have been so many “signs” that this has been coming, but I really had no idea when I would get up the courage to make it happen. In December of last year, I travelled home to Costa Rica for a weekend. It was the Reunion for my graduate school, the United Nations-mandated University for Peace. Despite being incredibly busy with work, I knew I needed to make the trip. Here I met a lovely colleague, we connected and talked for quite a while. She shared with me that I am in the midst of my “Saturn Return” and that it was a time of major change in my life and that it was going to be difficult but that it would work out for the better. Facinating… First of all, I really had no idea what “Saturn Return” even meant until I got back home and researched it on the web. I had put this moment out of sight out of mind until last week, when it came charging into my life. I just knew, my gut instinct, that this is the moment to make the change.

For over a year, I’ve been feeling a lack of professional growth. Sure, I continue to learn new things everyday. I talk to our management team about it and we tried to make changes & concessions several times over. But I’ve continued to feel incredibly stuck in a position that forces me to fill roles and responsibilities that don’t draw on my strengths. Yes, I CAN do all these things, I’ve learned to do them out of necessity. I’ve tried (for years) to grow to like to do these things, but I’ve also grown into my own potential and with each passing day finding myself less and less happy in these roles.. I just don’t have time to fill these unsatisfying roles and also capitalize on my strengths by doing the things that derive my energy & passion. I’m constantly battling against time. Do I take 10 hours to work on legal filings? Or, Do I spend those 10 hours charting a vision & implementation strategy for a new program? Both are equally important at all levels. But only one of those things draws on my strengths. Unfortunately, there is only time for one or the other… and well I am never going to get those 10 hours back. This is the same time conundrum I wrote about a couple of months ago. It had turned into an intractable conflict in my life. Yes, there are good days. And I have learned more in the past 7 years than I would have ever learned in a “standard job” over 20 years. I am grateful for all I have learned in the process. But the bottom line is that it had become toxic to me and the only way to make it healthy was to make a change. It was the moment I realized that this is just not working for me. So the decision was mine and I made it.

I made the decision to exit. And I had no idea what it meant for me. Its not like I had my dream job waiting for me when I made the decision. I hadn’t even thought about looking for jobs, I haven’t even updated my resume in over 7 years! The stars aligned and BAM I made a pretty big decision. I found myself empty again, but in a different way (you know as they say in Asia, “same same but different”). Empty as in Taoist empty. Sure I felt scared and vulnerable. I felt incredibly fearful and anxious at first. But the emptiness that came with the decision to make this change has become very liberating. I felt empty – open to all the new possibilities the world has to offer. Free – from the burden of the daunting challenges I faced every day.

Then a good friend who lives all the way in Singapore sent an email that she herself had received from a professional mentor… it was like a 2 page interactive manifesto on the ‘Journey to Self’… it was called “Stop the World I Want to Get Off”. Ah timing can be incredible! If telepathy exists, I swear that it was happening at this very moment. This short manifesto on life reflected the essence of the challenges I need to face & deal with at this very moment in my life. This change in my professional life is reflective of the first step I need to take in overcoming these obstacles to living the real life that is meant for me. That is me… I am the person staring back from the words encapsulated on these 2 pages. I am not ready to go into all of the things that this manifesto on self is about or how it reflects me and how I got to where I am… I’ll save that for a blog post 20 years from now. Bottom line, I am an “over-functioner” to the point that it can become self-destructive. What I know now is that this change I’ve brought about in my life is an opportunity to grow and improve my own life. To take one step forward in becoming less of an “over-functioner” for others and become more of a functioner for myself – to live the balanced & positive life I deserve to live. For me, being “selfish” and making decision based on what is best for me is counter to my nature. My instinct is to make decisions based on what is best for everyone else. So simply making the decision that I did was the first step forward. I don’t think my selfless nature will go away, only now it will be balanced with factoring in my own needs.

So there you have it. Four days ago I made a big decision and I had no idea what it really “meant”. And well, day 4 of its aftermath has brought me to some important self realizations that I otherwise would not have been able to put into perspective and begin growing from. I still don’t know what the future has in store for me. Or where I will be 4 months from now. But I am okay with that for now. I want this transition to go smoothly – and for once in my life – gracefully. I don’t fully know what this change and transition will be, but I know it is the RIGHT thing for me. With that, I conclude this day by making a few promises.

  • I promise that I will take my own needs into consideration in making decisions that commit me to something
  • I promise that I will be more “mentally present” when I am with my husband and family
  • I promise that I will make more time to enjoy life, enjoy the people I love & savor the moments

Dicho del Domingo – Dia 107

17 Apr

Quote – Dia 107

Solitude is a silent storm that breaks down all our dead branches. Yet is sends our living roots deeper into the living heart of the living earth. Man struggles to find life outside himself, unaware that the life he is seeking is within him. Nature reaches out to us with welcome arms, and bids us enjoy her beauty; but we dread her silence and rush into the crowded cities, there to huddle like sheep fleeing from a ferocious wolf. – Kahlil Gibran

Photo – Dia 107

Man fishing off the Mediterranean Coast of Spain

An older man admires vast sea before him. Patiently awaiting natures bounty. This is a typical Valenciano fisherman in the small Spanish town of Sagunto that sits along the Mediterranean sea. Its history began 219 BC when it was inhabited by an Iberian community that traded with the Greeks and Phoenicians. Today it is a living reflection of vive y deja vivir. Christians, Jews, and Muslims peacefully co-exist in this small town where an ancient Roman castle complex rests atop a hill largely untouched. Something tells me that the sense of solitude brought by the ocean is a secret to peace and harmony amidst deep history and diversity. (Photo: Rebecca Harned - Sagunto, Spain - January, 2011)


Dicho del Domingo – Dia 100

10 Apr

Quote – Dia 100

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.  Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. – Marie Curie

No temenos que tenerle miedo a la vida, solo tenemos que entenderla.  Ahora es el tiempo para comprender mas, para que podamos temerle menos. – Marie Curie

Photo – Dia 100

Brightly colored costumes of traditional Guetamalan festivities

High in a mountain village in Guatemala, the people still practice their traditional dancing and music adorned in costumes. The dances narrate the story of colonization and the fall of the Mayan empire. The masks you can see above represent the Spaniards during the colonization of the 1400s and beyond. Through the dancing, they unraveled a story of torture and massacre on the people, land, flora, and fauna. The brightly colored clothing is very typical of Guatemala past and present. And in this village the only language spoken was Quiche, a language with ancient Mayan roots. (August 2003)

Want to go on a journey?

2 Apr

I’m not always going to take you to paradise, but sometimes I will!  I welcome you to join in my personal journey through life vis-a-vis this blog.

Together we will – Go to gritty little niches in the world.  To blissful paradises. To Pandora-like lands. We will face bitter realities of inequality and injustice.  We will try heavenly new foods.  Endure vast new lands.  And reflect on personal moments of fortitude, desperation, hope and triumph.

It’s a candid and honest reflection of the daily life and dreams of one woman – a global citizen, social entrepreneur, wife, daughter, Washingtonian, artist, companion to 3 cats & 1 dog – and someday a mother.

Learning at each step… how to be a better person, make the world a better place, simply striving to live more gracefully.  I will stumble along the way, trip over my own feet, gets bumps & bruises, pick myself back-up and live another day.

The essence of this journey – Vive y Deja VivirLive and to Let Live – The single most important lesson I’ve learned in the thirty years of my life so far.  I am still trying to figure out exactly what it means for you, for me, and for the greater humanity.

I hope you will share with me your reactions, thoughts, convictions, and insights on life throughout this journey.  I want to learn about your perspective – no matter how different from my own.  It’s through your contributions to this blog, that you will help shape the journey, determine the places we go & the things we will do for years to come.  Lets get ready for liftoff!

Dicho del Domingo – Dia 93

2 Apr

On Sundays (Domingos) I am going to highlight a quote (dicho) of the day.  I think of it as “food for thought” on the day of rest and reflection as we head into a new week – and take another step in the journey for life.  I won’t always post a dicho on Domingos, but I’ll try to be consistent.  Sometimes I’ll also post a photo from one of my past or present travels.  So if the quote doesn’t resonate with you, well, hopefully the photo will inspire some good thinking on life.  I always look forward to your comments and reflections on “Dicho del Domingo” posts.  Disfrutalo!

Quote – Dia 93

Años de ineducación apendejan a la gente    – Molotov

Years without education breeds ignorance and fear in the people     – Molotov

Photo – Dia 93

 

 

Children playing outside of a school in the Lares Valley of Peru

Children playing outside of a school in the high mountain region of Lares Valley in Peru. This small subsistent community carry on many of the Ancient Incan traditional farming practices and spirituality. (August 2008)

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