The Story of The Two Monks

“Be where you are; otherwise, you will miss your life.”

Buddha

Does it ring true to you?

There’s this story about two monks.

One night, the monks were headed back to the monastery. The journey was long, and they had to do it on foot, armed with only a staff and a lamp. 

An hour into their journey, heavy rain poured. But the monks were determined to reach their destination before midnight. So the two kept on and walked as fast as they could.

Up ahead, they saw an old car stuck on the side of the road. It looked like it hit a tree.  

Curious, the monks ran towards the car and saw a woman behind the wheel. 

“Hey, are you alright?”. Asked one of them.

“I saw something on the road, tried to avoid it, but my car swerved and struck this tree.”

The woman must have hit her head; it was bleeding.

“We can’t leave you here in the dark and with this heavy rain. Let us take you to a clinic”.

The older monk helped the woman out of the car, carried her, and hurried towards the clinic. Soon after relaying the incident to the doctor, the two monks left and continued their journey.

A couple of hours later, the monastery was on sight. As they walked closer towards the door, the younger monk asked the older one, 

“Teacher, you carried that woman into the clinic.”

The teacher replied, “I did, and I dropped her off two hours ago. But you are still carrying her in your thoughts.”

Doesn’t this happen to us most of the time?

With our thoughts, we either linger in the past or chase and try to outrun the future. We do it on autopilot, forgetting that we have a choice.

sundaewrites

Being trapped in our head puts us in states of anxiety, fear, overwhelm, anger and despair. The opposite of that is precisely what we want, isn’t it? We call it a resourceful state. A state where we are calm, collected, confident, and creative. 

The good news is, getting to this state is very simple. We just need to “Be in the present moment.

So what does it look like?

  1. We focus our attention on what’s unfolding now. We are aware of our own breathing, we feel the energy (the life) in our body, we are alert, and we can zoom in on a task at hand.
  2. We tune in to a higher power that makes known what it desires from us at this very moment. In prayer, it can sound like, “Lord, I am here, and I am ready. What do you want me to do today?”.
  3. We acknowledge and believe that we have all the resources to produce an outcome. It has already been given to us. We just need to identify what’s necessary at any given moment and tap into it.
  4. We feel joy or enjoyment in the process and recognize that what we are experiencing is not inferior to the desired outcome.

Think about your desire to be happy. It seems elusive because of the stories you have of the past and the future.

Past: “He insulted me yesterday. How dare he? He really hurt me and ruined my day. I’ll never forgive him”.

Realize:

(1) How much suffering was caused by the actual event; and

(2) How much suffering was caused by your continuous story of how the person has hurt you. 

Future: “When I get the promotion next year, I’ll be happy and start spending weekends with my family.”

Realize how you’re postponing happiness and putting off family time (something you value) into a future that may not even come. Time as we know, is valuable and will cease at an unknown point.

Present: I choose to be happy now. End of story. 

Our lives are made up of a billion present moments. But where you are alive, and breathing is this moment right here. So choose it and notice how liberating that is.

sundaewrites

The Season of Self-denial

The Mount of Temptation photo by Photo by Snowscat on Unsplash

It’s the season of Lent for Catholics around the world. What an irony because as I’m writing this post, the song that plays in the background is “Constant Craving” by K.D. Lang.

I have taken on fasting from social media and Netflix during these 40 days for the past years. But unfortunately, I have failed to use those freed-up hours in ways that would have strengthened my faith and deepened my relationship with God. So I made sure I re-purpose the hours wisely this time around.

The Phone Call

Days before, a friend of mine called and asked, “What is Lent about?” So, to make sure I mentioned everything, I looked up the internet, and a couple of words struck me: self-denial.

Obviously, these words escaped me before. “Now I have to figure out how to make this happen in my life,” was all I could say.

“Be careful what you ask for,” he teased.

True enough, opportunities came one after another; I only had to say, “Yes.” From giving up minor indulgences to dropping a day’s plan for someone, it’s always a question of, “Is this what You need me from me right now?”

Starting each day goes like, “The plan is to not have a plan“, which is a bit challenging for semi-control freaks like me.

I can testify, though, that we cannot out-give the Universe. Going out there and creating a direct impact on someone’s life made me feel joyful and fulfilled. It’s always been my desire. 

The Thought

As I was exercising self-denial, I wondered, “How did I ever forget about how good this feels?”

You see, I used to do these things, and then at some point, I stopped.

Was it due to fear of rejection?

A feeling of not giving enough? 

The experience of being used or taken advantage of?

Or perhaps, exhaustion from it all?

If one or all of the above is true, how do I deal with it?

Then I recalled one conversation I had with my mom. She said you can do and accomplish anything you want. But what makes the difference is the intention behind those acts.

Hitting a Chord

I believe my mom is right.

We can manifest many things in life, but none of it would give us joy and a sense of meaning if our intention is wrong, to begin with.  

sundaewrites

You might say the rightness or wrongness of an intention in most cases is relative, and that’s true. So a guiding rule can be “what sits right with you.” Because at the very core, I believe we are wired for good, wired to create and impact something good.  

The weight of a task is also directly linked to the nature of our intention.  

A friend and I talked about this last time and figured when we are motivated by the desire

  • to please;
  • to be recognized;
  • or be rewarded; 

A task feels heavier on our shoulders. But if we change it a bit and do something just because,

  • we are capable;
  • we care; or
  • it improves other people’s quality of life;
  • it represents better stewardship of resources; 
  • it makes other’s jobs more manageable;

The so-called task feels light and easy. Suddenly, our core becomes attuned to something greater, higher, and powerful, and we just flow.

Lent or not, I hope you think about your guiding intentions today. It doesn’t just fuel your actions but also determines the quality of impact you leave on other people’s lives.

Trusting you…

How To Discover Your Passion

Some of the people I know are lucky enough to have figured at a young age the things that they’re passionate about.  But for most of us, the journey to discovery wasn’t easy.

A mentor of mine once said that if you’re into music and thinking about learning to play an instrument, you have to experiment with at least one from different classes: percussion, wind, strings, electronic, and determine which one feels more like you. Playing an instrument is supposed to be an expression of the music in you, so you have to pick up one which best translates the colors and shapes you silently see or the symphony that rings beautifully in your ear.

Once you have chosen an instrument, you have to go on full gear. Work on learning and improving your skills and fend off any temptation to be good as well in any other instruments. Good is the enemy of the best. Remember that. Don’t try to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. If you want to command a high level of proficiency at playing one instrument then dedicate all your time, energy and wits to it. That way you get to focus on one thing and one thing only.  This is the way of the champions and the path of the people we call experts in their chosen fields.

Proponents of multitasking teach us to do so many things at the same time. While this may fit in some circumstances like household chores or tasks which are more routine, mechanical or predictable, this won’t work if you want to immerse yourself in deep work. The latter would require intense focus to a point where you are oblivious to the world around you. This is where you get to experience the flowa state where you are no longer outside of what’s happening, rather, you are in it, intricately woven into the fabric of what’s unfolding: the process of creating, learning, imagining and expressing.

The flow, is more like being, instead of doing.  Any deep, meaningful work would give you that experience. If any of your work gets you in the flow that reveals one simple truth- that is where your passion lies, the one thing in this world that’s true to you, that speaks of who you are, what’s important to your soul, and what your very core is truly made of.

Discovering your passion takes a lot of time and a lot of trial and error. But the more you open yourself to possibilities and explore the world around you, the sooner you will find your calling.  Allow yourself to get lost so you reach unchartered territories. Your inner compass will point you home.  You see, passion is like a homing device. It will beckon you like a lighthouse when you’re caught in a sea of options, desires, wants or wishes.

Explore. Get out of your comfort zone and your limiting beliefs of what you can or cannot do. It’s only in the process of discovering, that you will liberate your true self. Once you find your passion, know that it is your gift not only to the world but to your self. So take responsibility to nourish it, hone it, and refine it ‘till it feels like you’re holding ounces of silver in your hands.

The Zombie Mode

by: sundaepena

You can listen to audio clip here:

Narrated by the Author

“You don’t realize it’s on until you wake up. Some people call it drifting. It’s like going into Starbucks and ordering a cup of cafe mocha. The cashier goes on to ask whether you like it hot or cold. And you say, “Ehh, lukewarm”.

“Man, I wonder how that tastes like,” I chuckled.

“Oh, I’ll tell you. It tastes boring!”

The rest of us roared in laughter, but the truth behind that statement stung.

For a few weeks now, I’ve been feeling upbeat every single day. So curious, I took inventory of activities I was doing and bingo! I recognized I was singing in the car every day on my way to work!

I forgot how much singing made me feel joyful and alive. So I wondered, should I pick up old stuff again that used to make me happy?

Backtrack

When the pandemic hit the world, it felt like it would go on forever. There was no sense of certainty about the future. But, in retrospect, I realized that shouldn’t have come as a surprise. After all, tomorrow is never guaranteed.

To stay liquid, I aimed to reduce my stuff to fit 2 suitcases, knowing that anytime, I could go. So I started to sell all the bulky items I owned. Of course, the first ones to go were musical instruments. I justified it by saying, “I can still enjoy singing. I just need to be creative around it”.

Out of sight, out of mind.

For a time, creativity served me well. But not until a few weeks back, when I found myself playing guitar in a music store and started singing. Oh my, I felt like being myself again!

Days after, I went on to re-explore photography and exciting conversations.

Toying with my old camera got me beautiful photos.

by sundaepena
by: sundaepena
by: sundaepena

As to conversations, I made an effort to discuss topics I was curious about and enjoyed the most. These made my brain more alert and stimulated and helped me forge authentic connections with people I hang out with.

So why bring this up? 

I noticed that we tend to become more serious about life as we grow old. So it makes sense why most of us suffer from stress or burnout. We forgot how to have fun, how it feels to be joyful and excited. 

Think about:

  • a full-time parent who has not taken a break to do some self-care.
  • a researcher who has not gone out with friends for a long time.
  • a student who’s not pursued any hobby.
  • an employee who spends most of his waking hours at work.

It looks like these people’s sense of purpose or identity got a little too defined by only one aspect of life.  

Sooner or later, the imbalance will suck the happiness out of them like a dementor in a “Potter universe” would. They will lose the spark in their eyes, quite telling that the zombie mode is on.

Happiness

Researchers and academics say that happiness, like a meal, has a few macro ingredients, and one of them is “Fun,” but not just any fun.  

A person needs to define what fun looks like to them. This exercise takes a dose of discernment and requires tuning out the noise around you to hear yourself. You have to know what you want. Not what the culture wants or your family desires. You need to focus on the wants that are inherent and true to you. 

I always use “yin-yang” as an expression to state how I value a sense of balance. In a world driven by productivity and peer pressure, I keep my sanity by indulging in activities that reignite the fire in my soul. Activities that make me feel alive and excited, joyful and authentic. To me, that’s singing, capturing beauty, and being caught in worthwhile, honest conversations.

At the very core, I believe we are built for joy, among other things. It’s innate, and putting barriers to block that natural expression will kill our humanity. As one of my mentors used to tell, “If you stop singing, you will explode.” And she’s right. I can’t bottle up this energy forever. Besides, what good will it create if I do?

So for you, my friend, what does joy or fun look like? What’s one thing that makes you feel excited right now? And what’s holding you back from doing it? 

Some Days When I’m Not Winning

A friend of mine told me once: Pick one thing that you can win today. Once you make it, pick another, then another.”  How I hope I learned this sooner. – #sundaewrites

I always make it a point to come prepared. It doesn’t matter which assignments I take, be it at work, ministry, personal goals or any activity set out on my calendar.  You see, I don’t like to be in a place where I’d hear myself mutter “I should have…”  I have high expectations from “me” and fortunately (or unfortunately), I project these expectations towards others.

Half of the time things go the way I envisioned them, and the rest of the time, they don’t. I get so pumped up on those “sunny days”, and well, “rainy days”- they always get me down.  These down moments seem to carry on forever. My heart bleeds, my positivity loses strength, my demeanor and stance obviously mirror defeat.

Still, I show up.  

As much as I want to analyze my feelings and thoughts piece by piece, I desire so much to just hit the rewind button and start fresh- wish I was better that day, wish I was smarter, wish people were more kind, more responsible, more caring.  When I realized I couldn’t even fulfill the wishes I had for myself, I understood how ridiculous it is to expect my wishes for other people to come true.

As I was driving home one evening I felt the urge to confront myself one question. “Why do you easily get frustrated?” A number of answers came up.

Your standards are too high

You’re trapped in the illusion of a perfect world

You’re over confident

You fooled yourself into believing that people are perfect

You like to operate in your own little world and expect people to fit in there

A lot of thoughts came running like athletes on a marathon pushing towards the finish line. Suddenly it felt too much. These voices. They hit you like a big wave, smashing and forcing you under water till you struggle to breathe and lose the will to swim.

Then it stopped. Calmness stepped in like a sudden quietness, a glimmer of pure silence.

I wrestled with that peace.  Reluctantly I said, “Okay’ I’m going to keep my commitment to those I made it to”.  And that still, small voice answered, “No, keep the commitment you made to Me”.  It’s like He knows, He’d hear me say “I quit” time and time again.

Point blank. I didn’t have the courage to say yes to that. So I argued some more

“It’s difficult”.

“It’s unfair”.

“How can you expect that from me?”

Did I get more answers? No.  I was left with those questions.

I guess, there’s no easy way to go about it, no easy way to go about uncertainties and the feeling of being let down.

A friend of mine told me once: Pick one thing that you can win today. Once you make it, pick another, then another.”  

Some days we lose, some days we win. I think the outcome is important, but more than that, the process is.  Whether we get a trophy or a zero star rating on any given day, it should not stop us from taking the next step.  We don’t get it all figured out at the start, even as we go on. But do we always have to have the answers? Maybe, but even if we don’t we go out there and keep asking anyway. We go out there and pick ourselves up.  We go out there and show up. Life “wills” you to take risks. When you do, it will define you and redefine you. At the end of it, you can never lose.

Questions:

Have you also experienced being let down? Did you wrestle with frustration? How did you come off it and what lessons did you learn? I’d love to hear from you.

“That little girl dancing.”

brown haired kid on grass field
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

She moved closer to the older woman and rested her head on her shoulder. The two sat on the bench and waited for the movie to start. 

Zootopia- kids got hooked, adults too, with a bag of popcorn on hand and a slushy on the other.  

Moments later, a song played, and the girl took off her shoes, stood up, and danced.

Freedom, ahh, she got lost in her own world. Never mind the rest of us who quietly sat there smiling and watching as she hung to every beat.

She laughed as she twirled around, stomped her feet, and raised her hands while doing a combo of salsa, jazz, and ballet.  

“So that’s how it looks like,” the stranger next to me quipped. 

“To what”? I asked.  

He turned to me and smiled, “To seize the present moment.” 

“I think so too.”

 How many times do we find ourselves wishing we were somewhere else or in another time?

“Anywhere but here; Tomorrow; Oh if I could go back in time” the thoughts we entertain like the present moment is never enough.

If it were a person, it would have felt hurt by now.

And when people feel hurt, often they withdraw their cheerfulness and affection, and they tuck them away.

“Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.”

Deepak Chopra

The little girl dancing looked like she was suspended in time- never rushing, never delaying, but openly embracing what is.

She tripped a couple of times but rose again and twirled.

Finally, the old woman motioned her to sit down and said, “C’mon now, Lily. Finish your ice cream. It’s melting”. “I want to complete this song, Grandma. My body loves it,” she replied with a giggle.  

We were once like that when we were kids. But as we got older, we rushed to the next thing, and on and on we go, like everything is a means to an end. Then when situations knock us down, we lose hope and wish we were a child again, having no worries in the world.

During one of our coffee dates, a friend said, “Gosh, can we just be kids again and not care about anything?”

“I think caring is good, but the question is, do what we care about really matters” said another.

“Think you’re right, and when we choose to care, I think we can do it without being grumpy,” and we all laughed.  

Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

My friend, if you’re carrying loads of worry right now, put it down.

If you’re feeling restless, impatient, and anxious, settle down.

When you think about this moment now, only this moment, you’ll realize that you are okay. 

You are all right.

You can find peace here…

and freedom,

and rest,

comfort,

even love.

“Always hold fast to the present. Every situation, indeed every moment, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Present moment… embrace it. It’s all there ever is.

Leaving Behind Colorful Dust

“What’s the point of all this? Maybe, there’s no grand plan, after all, no essential meaning or worthwhile reason that can really affect the world.”

I planted myself in one corner of the room, a tiny space, with a small plastic chair and an unused, sturdy, air cooler supporting my back.

This has always been my favorite spot. Sitting on a blue chair, my thoughts would take me someplace far away, where I can listen to them like a couple of old friends dropping by to say hello. Often times though, they’d stay a while for a cup of coffee or two.

This is what happens when you get time in your hands. You can revel in the moments that you’re alone, pondering about life, thinking about your very existence.  

Sometimes I think people get themselves busy for one reason-to escape these little moments, and come face to face with themselves, confronting deep questions, unconsciously buried in their minds. 

They don’t dare to wake up the sleeping giant.

But I love these little moments. 

I love having conversations with myself. Kind of weird, but these interactions actually reveal a lot about my deepest fears and desires.  The experience keeps me grounded.  It helps me get the worldly stuff beneath my feet, as a reminder of their fleeting existence.  

In this time when everything is mechanical and automated, we rarely get the chance to look at the bigger picture, or confront our doubts and deepen our understanding of profound truths. Most days we run on autopilot and drift.

After some time, you wake up and your kids are all grown up, your parents are much older, your gray hairs are starting to show, not to mention, a few more wrinkles adorning your face.  Yes, time slips away, and who knows when it runs out.

 

Is this all there is to it? 

I think about Oprah, Mark Zuckerberg, Hillsong United, JK Rowling, Mother Theresa, and their path seems to be very clear and very significant, affecting many.  

Where does that leave you and me- the ordinary boy or girl in this small part of the world? Will our voices be ever heard? Will our actions breed fire that can ignite the soul of a sleepy world? What difference can we make? Does our breath find it’s way someplace where it actually gives life? I wonder.

Maybe there’s no spectacular scheme, no fireworks, no rainfall of stars bound to fall down our path. But this I know. We are meant to be here. 

Out of a thousand possibilities in the whole biology and mystery surrounding birth and procreation, we are the ones who made it through. The ones who have seen the light.  

Maybe our WHYs may never get answered. Maybe we can never find it. But what if we create it by forging meaning into our circumstances, or the experiences we’ve been given?  What if the WHY lies in the little things we do every day, the things we were called to accomplish on simple occasions, the things that are normal, and ordinary? What if these little things are leading us to that one big thing, or maybe that big thing is actually the sum of these little things? 

We are no Michelangelo, Anne Frank or St. Paul, but we’re given the same opportunity to walk this earth just like they did.  Will our trail leave behind colorful dust so people can see the way too? I hope so. It doesn’t matter if we could light the path for one person or two. What matters is, we do.  

The light is always more beautiful when it shines through the darkness.- Unknown.

Question: 

Are you casting your light so others may see the path? What are the little things you’ve done to bless the people around you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Some Days When I’m Not Winning

A friend of mine told me once: Pick one thing that you can win today. Once you make it, pick another, then another.”  How I hope I learned this sooner. – #sundaewrites

I always make it a point to come prepared. It doesn’t matter which assignments I take, be it at work, ministry, personal goals or any activity set out on my calendar.  You see, I don’t like to be in a place where I’d hear myself mutter “I should have…”  I have high expectations from “me” and fortunately (or unfortunately), I project these expectations towards others.

Half of the time things go the way I envisioned them, and the rest of the time, they don’t. I get so pumped up on those “sunny days”, and well, “rainy days”- they always get me down.  These down moments seem to carry on forever. My heart bleeds, my positivity loses strength, my demeanor and stance obviously mirror defeat.

Still, I show up.  

As much as I want to analyze my feelings and thoughts piece by piece, I desire so much to just hit the rewind button and start fresh- wish I was better that day, wish I was smarter, wish people were more kind, more responsible, more caring.  When I realized I couldn’t even fulfill the wishes I had for myself, I understood how ridiculous it is to expect my wishes for other people to come true.

As I was driving home one evening I felt the urge to confront myself one question. “Why do you easily get frustrated?” A number of answers came up.

Your standards are too high

You’re trapped in the illusion of a perfect world

You’re over confident

You fooled yourself into believing that people are perfect

You like to operate in your own little world and expect people to fit in there

A lot of thoughts came running like athletes on a marathon pushing towards the finish line. Suddenly it felt too much. These voices. They hit you like a big wave, smashing and forcing you under water till you struggle to breathe and lose the will to swim.

Then it stopped. Calmness stepped in like a sudden quietness, a glimmer of pure silence.

I wrestled with that peace.  Reluctantly I said, “Okay’ I’m going to keep my commitment to those I made it to”.  And that still, small voice answered, “No, keep the commitment you made to Me”.  It’s like He knows, He’d hear me say “I quit” time and time again.

Point blank. I didn’t have the courage to say yes to that. So I argued some more

“It’s difficult”.

“It’s unfair”.

“How can you expect that from me?”

Did I get more answers? No.  I was left with those questions.

I guess, there’s no easy way to go about it, no easy way to go about uncertainties and the feeling of being let down.

A friend of mine told me once: Pick one thing that you can win today. Once you make it, pick another, then another.”  

Some days we lose, some days we win. I think the outcome is important, but more than that, the process is.  Whether we get a trophy or a zero star rating on any given day, it should not stop us from taking the next step.  We don’t get it all figured out at the start, even as we go on. But do we always have to have the answers? Maybe, but even if we don’t we go out there and keep asking anyway. We go out there and pick ourselves up.  We go out there and show up. Life “wills” you to take risks. When you do, it will define you and redefine you. At the end of it, you can never lose.

Questions:

Have you also experienced being let down? Did you wrestle with frustration? How did you come off it and what lessons did you learn? I’d love to hear from you.

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Is it worth it?

It’s the cold, windy month of February from where I live, and a few days later, I am celebrating my birthday.

Photo by bady abbas on Unsplash

I can’t help but think back on the day I was born. Were my parents happy? Was I? What did it mean to the world? What did it mean to God?

Days and years later, the answers to those questions might have slipped through unnoticed, never to be thought of again. 

We immerse ourselves in everyday living.

If we’re lucky, we get to grow up in supportive, loving environments where we feel safe and, most days, happy. 

However, we could have had it differently, too, dealing with poverty, terror, abandonment, or abuse.

Then we become teenagers and adults, ready to take on the world. Some of us “mature” fast, while others don’t at all, or maybe just not yet.

We go through different human experiences.

– Being in the world and of it, pursuing all sorts of things: titles, accolades, fortune, power, and pleasure.

– Losing and winning battles, whether physical like cancer, emotional like grief, mental like anxiety, or spiritual like sin.  

– Forging and breaking a connection with another living thing, be it human, animal, or plant. 

We create. 

We destroy.

We progress.

We regress.

It’s the cycle of life, the circle, the evolution; however, you want to tie the pieces together.

Is something we work hard to get worth what we’re giving up?

Is the pain we choose to endure worth the reward?

Is success worth every failure?

Is living worth dying for?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The map is not the territory.

Alfred Korzybski

I can only speak of my own reality.

And while you too have answers based on your own view of the world and life experiences, I’d like us to ponder on these questions more deeply.

Because like a long-distance train, we may keep on “chugging” a little longer, and then, it’ll be time to pull the breaks. When we do, I believe most of us would want to know we ended at the right stop.

Yes, significant shifts happen in life. Like tectonic plates of the earth re-arranging, they’re easily felt, and they wake us up. But there are subtle turns, too, urging us to take notice- like birthdays.

“The two most important days in our life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.”

Mark Twain

Birthdays, to me, will always remain special. It’s kind of a reset button, calling us to go back to the root of it all.

Have we expressed ourselves genuinely since the day we were born?

Have we strayed from the path made visible or shaped it as we went along with the tools we were given?

More importantly, did we come to know the intention behind the path?

sundaewrites

When I picture myself coming out of my mother’s womb, I see myself crying because finally, I’m independent, separated from my mom, and will have to be on my own sooner or later. It was a scary state to be in, but I knew I needed to adapt.  

I cry because it feels miraculous to be born, magical to be on this planet called earth, fortunate to know that out of a billion combinations, the universe impressed my ID tag and chose to manifest through me. 

I cried because I was handed a purpose, kind of like a mission to fulfill, though that wasn’t very clear when my eyes caught the first ray of light. 

Were my parents happy? I like to think they were, though I doubt they knew what they signed up for. Parenting is tough. Nevertheless, they were the right parents for me.

What did my birth mean to the world? Well, I don’t want to fill in the gaps. However, this is where feedback can be helpful. So if you have something, I care to know.

What did it mean to God? A lot. He made me in His image and likeness, and that’s a big deal. So my desire is to let His face shine through wherever I go.

I know I fail often, but every single time, it’s worth another try.

Where Is Your Road Leading To?

Dreams.

What are they?

Vision.

Picture of the Future.

What you long for.

Your Happy Place.

No matter how you describe it, dreams are powerful. Everybody strives to achieve them. Everybody desires to fulfill them.  Why?  Because we made a decision to pursue a happy life. Painting our life’s canvas with passion, relationships, and stability. But more than just happiness, each person has a burning desire for MEANING. The point of it all.  I call it the 3 Gs.

What we Get.

How we Grow.

What we Give.

It really is a cycle. We take, we nurture what we’re handed, then we put it back to the world.  We name it…. Stewardship- the best of its kind.

These three elements are undeniably intertwined:

Learning– We should enjoy being a  student.  There’s a lot of good things in the world that can nurture our mind, our heart and our spirit.

Experience– This is acting on all good things we already know and have learned. This is where “creating wonderful memories” come in.

Legacy– Help. Give. Contribute. Serve. Make this world a better place for the kids in your own home, in your own town or city, in your own country, wherever they are on this planet called earth. Think of them and make them happy.

I was with a group of beautiful, positive people yesterday and we spent some time working on our Life Plan, our personal Dream Board.

A stimulating discussion came up about wanting to talk about or not talk about our personal dreams.  Well, I’ve been in both states of desire. I’ve crossed over from not wanting to share to wanting to share.  Each of us would have to weigh the pros and cons of each choice. Then from there, we decide.

I made a list of helpful pieces.

Why you would not want to talk about your dreams. 

1) It’s Personal.  Case closed.

2) Fear-  of rejection, failure, criticism

3) Shyness-  you might be teased, ridiculed, laughed at

4) Hesitation-  you feel you’re not ready to either talk about it or to work on it

5) Belief- sharing your dreams early on might hinder its fulfillment

Why you would want to talk about your dreams.

1) Law of Attraction- putting it out into the world for the universe to conspire and bring the right opportunities to your doorstep

2) Inspire- you want to encourage people to have and work on their own dreams to give them something to look forward to.

3) Accountability-  you want to push yourself a little bit more to fulfill them since you’ve already “worn your heart on your sleeve”

4)  Tribe- You want to find yours.  The group of like-minded people. Those who share the same dream passion as yours. Those who can and will inspire you. Those who would stimulate your brain to create and stir your heart to keep going.

5)  Support from loved ones-  you would need this especially if your dreams include your own family.  You would appreciate their help. Surely It’ll lighten the load when the going gets tough.

6)  Remind yourself what you value the most-  Thinking and talking about your dreams helps you focus on them once again, especially when you get off track.  With lots of distractions around us, it helps to cleanse our lenses now and then and set our sights on what really matters to us in the end.

We already know that dreams have to be time-bound.  But obviously, we’ll never know how powerful this aspect is until we try it.  So put a month and year next to your every dream or goal. You can be more specific and narrow it down to the day or time.

However long it takes, you can always do something about it right now.  One decision at a time. One choice at a timeStart now with what’s in front of you.  Ask yourself, “What is one thing that I can do right now that will bring me one step closer to my dream”?

Try it.  You’ll see.

Question:

Have you thought deeply about your dreams? What steps have you taken to fulfill them?What motivates you to pursue these dreams? Share your thoughts. Comment here.