Faith · Life path · Life's Work · Spirituality · The Self

Agents of Tenderness

stressLife can get tough, but the Universe doesn’t leave us alone in our journey. The Universe understands that while we need to go through our own path to learn what we set out to learn and accomplish, we also need not forget who we really are.

In my life, I’ve always had those beings who remind of me of my natural tenderness – humans, animals, nature,. Tthey hold my hand, smile at me, persistently ask me to play and have fun, to sit and relax, to listen to my heart. Many times, I’ve learned to build up a shell around my heart as a way of protecting myself, and many times when the need for it subsides, these beings always do their work of breaking it up either piece-by-piece or  in one blow.

It took a while for me to connect the dots and see the meaning in these relationships, and the presence of these beings in my life. Many times I’ve thought how undeserving I was of their love. But maybe, my human mind just can’t fathom the unconditionality of pure love. And maybe we are also part of this pure love even though it’s difficult to feel that way in our human form with all our complexities and struggles.

Nevertheless I am thankful beyond words can express. The Universe has always been unfailing in sending me all the help and love that I need.

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Faith · Life path · People · The Self

Break Down to Break Free

bouquetWhen it seems as though life wants to break us down – the truth is, life wants us to break free. To crack open. To release our grip from the edge. To let go of the only thing that has supported our existence so far – the illusion of control.

When it feels like life has grabbed all that’s left of us and we end up feeling powerless to stand up again and proceed – life is actually just teaching us how to trust, how to open our hearts fully and how to accept more help, more grace, more love.

Career · Life path · Life's Work · The Self

How to Prevent Burn-Out? Hit “Pause”

Once you stop to breathe and unload – all the creative solutions and all the help that you need arise to the surface like magic.

solitudeI have a tendency to burn myself out, and I believe anybody who cares enough about something has a tendency to lose herself/himself in it. I have such a huge propensity towards burning out that I have been clinically depressed once because of it.

I’ve learned about self-care since then, but time and time again, I still struggle with remembering and/or finding new approaches on how not to go there again. Lately I found myself more stressed out than usual, not yet to the brink of burn-out but, my self-awareness has enabled me to spot the early signs. I didn’t know what to do; I didn’t know how to keep myself from going into that familiar downward spiral.

Until I made the decision to hit “Pause”. Until I decided to take a full day’s rest.

I took a nap. I spent my time on play and creativity, meaning, doing things that free my mind and nourish my spirit. I set the intention to put my to-dos backstage. I knew they could wait. I knew my well-being mattered more.

That one day of rest did serve me and the people I care about. My 2-week old cough subsided. I spent quality time with my family (including my pets of course!) again. I finally got to enjoy my alone time again. I felt satisfied. My weekend has been full and energizing.

I was also in a better mood when I got back to work. I didn’t feel the usual tendency to push myself to do more and cramp as many things as possible in one day. Instead, I intentionally identified my priorities. I structured my tasks in a way that won’t end up depleting my energy and creativity.

There are many articles and books dedicated on how to avoid and how to recover from burn-out due to work and any other demanding aspect of life. But based on my personal experiences, none of those would make a difference if we don’t take the action that matters the most – that is, to hit “Pause” to breathe, to unload, to intentionally meet our own needs, to honor our own pace. Again, creative solutions and all the help that we need arise to the surface once we do. I hope that you find the strength and courage to hit “Pause”, too. ❤

Faith · Life path · The Self

Jesus reincarnated in my life – to literally Sleep in my bedroom

needleplant​I’ve been berating myself lately for taking the retreat I knew I needed, too. I’ve been feeling anxious; going back and forth in my mind, obsessing on finding new resolutions, new action points that could push me forward in my path. I couldn’t keep myself from asking the Universe, “What’s next? What should I be doing at this point?”

All I’ve been getting was the guidance to stay still, to allow myself to go through this process and above all, to have more patience.

Maybe the Universe knew that all its past efforts were no longer enough to hold me together. I remained anxious. So it sent me a more lasting, more concrete and a more compelling ​(and really funny) ​reminder.

Yesterday, as I was walking towards my bedroom, coming out from the bathroom, my view somehow brushed over the top of an old bookshelf. At first I thought my mind was just playing tricks on me. But ​as soon as ​I got closer to confirm what I thought I had seen, ​I knew I was right – on top was a sculpture of Jesus, sleeping like a baby.

I was raised a Catholic, and all my life the images I’ve mostly seen of J​esus were him crucified on the cross, risen from the dead, preaching in public or making miracles. So just imagine my disbelief and amusement when I saw this sculpture.

I’m not religious, but I have a personal affinity with stories about him. I think he’s a very wise and kind person. He’s someone I can be friends with, someone I can trust.

“How could it be there all this time and I haven’t even noticed? Where did this come from? And how come I noticed it now?”, were my initial thoughts.

Two seconds later though,​ I was already grabbing him by his tummy. I kidnapped Jesus and put him in the altar in my bedroom where my “good-vibes things” chill side-by-side. And he is, literally, the most chill one there now.

Since then every time I start to feel anxious again and lie in bed fully awake – I look at Jesus in complete surrender, trusting that he’s safe to take a rest as long as he needs to.

The Universe’s reminder can never be more clear than this.

People & Relationships

Meet people where They are

helping

couple2This post was inspired by one of my mother’s closest friends. You see, my mother has always been baffled as to why he won’t accept the help she’s been offering him. She thinks it’s because of his foolish pride. She pities him, yes, and she also looks down on how his life turned out to be.

My mother has sincere intentions for him, and to me, she’s one of the most generous people out there. What strikes me, though, is the disconnect between them. My mother thinks his pride is out of place, on the other hand, I see him as someone who simply prefers to live his life by his own rules. He’s a free bird.  He thinks that any help being offered comes with a leash – and there is also some truth to that. Who can blame him?

Freedom comes with a price – and sometimes it doesn’t look all pretty. All of us who have chosen this path of freedom in one way or another know that we need to give up certain comforts to be free.

To others, including my mom, it only looks foolish. Why would someone prefer that? To someone who depends on human connections and validation for spiritual nourishment, this really won’t make sense. But we aren’t wired the same way. Some people thrive on independence and solitude.

It’s always a good thing to offer help to someone out of sincere intentions. What will happen to us as a society if we don’t have generous people around?

But help won’t be taken, and won’t be of much use if we don’t meet people where they are; if we don’t offer the kind of help they need.

If we really want to help others, and we know we can, we should see them for who they are first – dignified, free and loved.

We cannot help others in genuine ways if we are looking down on them. We have to honor their principles and support them in their dreams. We cannot go around imposing our opinions of what is right or wrong and expect to be trusted.

We cannot make helping others a project –  just to get that kind of feeling good that we believe in.

And if the help we offer is not taken, we should have the maturity to respect that decision. This doesn’t diminish anybody. Even the Divine respects our freedom to choose and ask for help on our own terms – exactly because we are entitled to the life we are living, and we are enough and perfect as we are. We should have the same attitude towards each other as well.

Faith

Send an SOS to the Universe, for anything, anytime

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It’s easy to be cranky and hurtful when we’re overwhelmed. During these times we feel like saying “No” is not an option and we want to act as if we’re in autopilot, never stopping until tasks are all completed (which never happens, of course) or until we drop dead (which we don’t really think is possible but of course it is).

Aside from the fact that we have to take an honest look at our lives and learn how to set healthy boundaries, we must not forget that we can always request for any kind of assistance from the Universe.

During the recent chaotic weeks, in the middle of feeling overwhelmed, I found myself telling the Universe:

I trust you that by co-creating these awesome opportunities and relationships with me, which have already manifested in my life, you’re not gonna drive me crazy and make me do things that would result in me losing everything that mattered to me, everything that I have co-created with you.

I know, I know, it sounded harsh. It sounded like I was just bitching around. But what I was really doing there was shifting my attitude from a place of panic and loss of faith to a place of trust. It’s also my way of setting boundaries and letting the Universe know that other matters have to be taken care of in my behalf.

To my relief, the Universe instantly responded. I didn’t even have to directly ask others for help, they just did. The issue has been resolved for me. Suddenly I could take breaks and I had time to focus on the things that needed my attention.

So I’m telling you, friends, you don’t have to suck it all up and go on autopilot. You’re not a machine and even machines break down. You have a direct line to the Divine. Go and quickly ask for anything you need, anytime.