100 thankful notes

Thankfulness can be underestimated.

Did you know that thankfulness is a practice that’s been in different cultures for a really long time? Thankfulness is practiced in different spiritual currents like Christianism but others as well. It is also recommended by some physicians because there’s actual science behind it that proves that gratefulness affects your brain in a positive way. 

Why am I writing about thankfulness? Because I have underestimated the practice of it for a long time, and it wasn’t until recently that I am disciplining myself to do it in a regular basis because I’ve tasted the benefits of it, not just for my brain, but for my heart.

This lock down time because of the quarantine caused by the corona virus is actually a great moment to put this into practice.

These past months, I kept hearing about gratitude journals, and daily practices of thankfulness in different books, podcasts, etc. And I decided to give this a try. So what I’m talking about is actually setting time apart in my morning or evening before bed to intentionally think about the things I’m grateful for and write them down on a daily basis. I try to find 5 to 10 different things. I write them on a piece of paper. And I do the same the next day, but finding new things every time.

The reason I’m doing it, is because I feel the focus of my heart shift inside of me when I do. And that’s important to me. Out of the heart flows all the issues of life1 so it might as well be important that we take care of what’s inside of it. What happens with gratitude is that the focus of my heart, the things I’m focusing on, change. Those things are there all the time, the things don’t change. But it is where I put my focus that shifts. And this makes the difference on how you will live and experience your days. Blessing may always be around you but It’s up to you to notice it.

If I write a thankful note for my day for 3 months and some extra days, I will write a 100 thankful notes. 100 days would be enough to really train my brain to look for the good things all the time that are around me. Putting in this effort for 100 days will most likely change my default mode of thinking into thankfulness and it won’t be something I have to practice that hard anymore, but something that happens to me daily, because my brain will be trained to think that way. To understand what I’m talking about, think about this like if it was my diet. I make choices daily that make up what I eat. If I repeatedly choose something, either good or bad, it will at some point become habit. For example, when I first started drinking coffee for breakfast, there’s was moment were it became a daily habit and I didn’t need much effort to do it. I still have to make the coffee and drink it, but it takes no real effort, and, at least for me, it actually brings happiness in the morning and I wake up looking forward to this moment of my daily coffee that I love so much. This is the same with any type of food you get yourself used to eating. And it can become the same with a gratefulness habit.

There’s a lot of benefits that happen to your brain and even to your relationships when you practice being thankful (at it is scientifically proven that it creates better relationships when you practice thankfulness). There’s a reward. You will feel it in your heart, and in your brain, which will affect your body in a positive way as well. So basically, your spirit, soul and body are affected by a simple 5 or 10-minute practice of gratefulness.

If you aren’t convinced yet that this is a real thing that will transform you, try writing a thankful note at the end of your day or in the morning for a week or so, daily. See how it feels. See if it makes you feel different or helps you see different. Just give it a try. If you love it (and I’m sure you will), try doing it for a 100 days. Write a 100 thankful notes. This can be really simple things that happen in your day, the people you are thankful for. It just has to be specific, and it has to be a new thing every time. You need to get a bit creative but it will help you see things that you are taking for granted.

Write those 100 thankful notes and you might just create a habit that would not only reward you during those 100 days, but it will actually create a habit inside of you that will change the rest of your life and how you see and experience your days.

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1Proverbs 4:23

What creativity taught me

What creating taught me.

When you think about inspiration, what comes to your mind?

A feeling? An action? Is it familiar or unfamiliar? Is it important to you?

I don’t think I knew how important “inspiration” was for me until this last season.

I’m a very driven person and I like doing, doing, doing, accomplishing and just achieving everything that is in front of me. Working hard. Going after things. I like being busy if I feel I am accomplishing, growing and going further than before. And that is a good thing. However, it can become negative in a very subtle way when it gets in the way of other important things that I’m not seeing in the midst of my busyness.

For a long time, I had been not paying attention to something that was really important to me, and that is art, creativity, music, etc. But in this last season I decided to pursue the things that are in my heart and that make my soul come alive. Even though this may sound good, it wasn’t an easy choice. It takes time, energy, investment, believing and creating some new habits as well as tearing down some older habits. But the truth is that I reconnected with a part of me that makes me myself, and I wouldn’t change the choice.

That pursuit, led me to days where I felt so inspired. I felt inspired because I was creating. Because I chose to implement creativity when I wasn’t feeling creative. When I chose to write some songs when I didn’t feel inspired.  And by the end of those sessions, each one of them, I felt incredibly inspired and ready to create again the next day.

I used to think inspiration came first and the you create, and I mean, those days are amazing. But I think maybe inspiration lives inside of us and we can learn to connect with and make use of it those days we don’t feel it. We can cultivate it.And the best part is, that by doing this, we can also give it away.

Creativity is given to each one of us as human beings, regardless if you do a “creative” thing or not. It is a gift that we can access. And I believe it is important to release it into the world, we were created to create, to be inspired.

***

Cuando piensas en “inspiración”, ¿qué te viene a la mente?

¿Un sentimiento? ¿Una acción? ¿Es algo conocido o desconocido? ¿es importante para ti?

Yo no sabía lo importante que la inspiración era para mí, hasta esta última etapa.

Soy una persona muy motivada a hacer cosas, cumplir nuevos retos, alcanzar metas y todo aquello esta delante de mi. Trabajar mucho. Ir hacia nuevos proyectos. Me gusta estar ocupada si estoy alcanzando nuevas cosas, creciendo y llegando más lejos de lo que estaba antes. Sin embargo, todo esto puede convertirse en algo negativo de una manera sutil si se interpone con otras cosas importantes que dejo de ver al estar tan ocupada.

Durante mucho tiempo, no he prestado atención a cosas que eran muy importantes para mí, esto es creatividad, música, arte, etc. Pero en esta última etapa, he decidido perseguir aquellas cosas que me importan y que me hacen sentirme más completa. Aunque esto suene muy bien, no es una decisión fácil. Requiere tiempo, inversión, energía, creer en ello y crear nuevos hábitos, así como destruir otros hábitos viejos. Pero la verdad es que conseguí reconectar con una parte de mí que me hace ser yo, y no lo cambiaría.

Esa búsqueda, hizo que experimentara días en los que me sentí muy inspirada. Me sentí inspirada porque estaba creando algo. Porque decidí usar mi creatividad cuando no me sentía creativa. Decidí sentarme a escribir canciones cuando no me sentía inspirada. Y al terminar esas sesiones, me sentí increíblemente inspirada y decidida a volver a crear algo al día siguiente.

Antes pensaba que la inspiración venía primero y después el crear algo, y es verdad que cuando pasa en ese orden, es increíble. Pero pienso que quizá la inspiración vive dentro de nosotros y tenemos que aprender a conectar con ella y usarla en esos días que no te sientes creativo. Podemos cultivarla. Y la mejor parte es que, al hacer esto, también podemos dársela a otros.

La creatividad es algo que recibimos, como seres humanos, sin importar si hay algo “creativo” que hagas o no. Es un regalo al que tenemos acceso. Y yo creo que es importante dar esto al mundo, fuimos creados para crear, para sentirnos inspirados.

Who we are

Who we are.

Do you know who you are?

Are you letting yourself be seen and show up for who you really are?

Do you feel proud of yourself?

I think these are questions that we don’t ask ourselves often. We would rather run hard at life, or keep ourselves busy doing whatever is in front of us and maybe even scared of the beliefs that could be found if we would look inside instead.

Brené Brown, a famous researcher about shame, worthiness, and Wholehearted living, talks about the importance of cultivating a sense of worthiness to actually be able to live wholeheartedly.

But how can we cultivate a sense of worthiness if we put our identity in the things we do, or if we are doing them successfully, or what other people will think successful is. We often compare ourselves to those around us and even imitate what is happening in our environments, to feel a sense of success or achievement that would only last as much as that achievement lasts. But it won’t last forever.

Too many times we look at what we do and we let that define who we are when we actually should look at who we are, what are passions are, what inspires us what makes us come alive and the things that fill our souls and let that define the choices about what we do, and let ourselves be seen completely, even if it is scary at first.

It is 20 times more vulnerable to try and show up for who you really are or the things that are in your heart, not knowing if we would be accepted or liked. Vulnerability is required for wholehearted living. For connection. For feeling a sense of worthiness and love. And we are wired for connection – it is what gives us purpose and meaning to our lives. 1

The more you show up for who you really are, the more you get in touch with your true self and others, the better you can connect and feel loved by yourself, by others.

We need to be bold enough to believe who we are and actively pursue this. We are worthy, we are valuable and so are our dreams. Your dreams are unique and you are the only one that can fight for them. Chasing our dreams is loving ourselves well. Chasing our dreams is placing value in who we are created to be.

And if you have lost touch with who you are it’s never too late to find your way home. Take a look at the past and find the times that you felt most alive and take note of them. Those passions will still be in your heart. It’s never too late to find your way home.

* * * * * * *

1 Daring greatly by brené brown.

Living in hope

I’ve been thinking about destiny.

About plans.

About what’s next.

Big things that may be coming.

I’ve always been a person that has an intense focus on the future, trying to build something for my own future and for the people around me through my actions and choices. Grabbing hope for the things that are coming and pulling it into our present.

Sometimes, it feels paradoxical to me that I can really despise the feeling of unknowing and uncertainty, yet absolutely adore the idea of future possibilities, and what could be.

It can feel scary at times, but I’m learning that it all depends on the eyes you are looking with.

If you expect good things, you’ll have hope and expectations. If you expect boredom and more of the same, you’ll grow weary.

It is a fight, I believe, to stay present in our present keeping eyes of hope. For what might be, believing the best is yet to come, that we are being prepared for the next big thing that is coming our way, that we will be surprised in our next step, that we are walking towards our great destiny.

Sometimes, big disappointments can get in the way.

I’m learning to hold onto the hope that is promised to me, even in present struggles, because I believe hope to be a powerful force that actually changes what’s around us and what is coming. Hope can create. Hope is powerful.

And it is a choice. It is a choice to believe good things are coming. It comes from the inside. You don’t need evidence in the present circumstances, the evidence will come later, through the believing.

It’s not deception if we can face our current situation with strength. I think we were made to live inside of hope. To breathe hope. To release hope.

Good things are coming, for you, for me, for the whole world. Regardless of how it may look like today. Let hope be alive. Let hope be our strength to fight whatever struggle we may face today.

//

He estado pensado sobre el destino.

Sobre planes.

Sobre qué vendrá después.

Sobre las cosas buenas que están por venir.

Siempre he sido una persona que mantiene la mirada en el futuro, intentado construir algo para mi propio futuro y los de mi alrededor. Agarrando la esperanza por las cosas que estas por venir y trayéndola al presente.

A veces me parece paradójico que no me guste para nada la sensación de no saber qué viene y que sin embargo me encante la idea de un futuro que viene lleno de posibilidades, y lo que podría ser.

Da miedo a veces, pero estoy aprendiendo que todo depende de los ojos con los que se mire.

Si esperas cosas buenas, tendrás expectativa y esperanza. Si esperas aburrimiento y más de lo mismo, te sentirás agotado.

Yo creo que es una lucha, el estar anclado en el presente manteniendo ojos que miran con esperanza. Por lo que podría venir, creyendo que lo mejor está por llegar, que nuestro siguiente paso nos va a sorprender, y que vamos caminando hacia un gran destino.

Aunque a veces podemos experimentar alguna desilusión que se interpone en nuestro camino.

Estoy aprendiendo a agarrarme a la esperanza que se me ha prometido, incluso en luchas y obstáculos presentes, porque creo que la esperanza es una gran fuerza que puede cambiar las situaciones a nuestro alrededor y lo que viene. La esperanza crea. La esperanza tiene poder.

Y es una elección. Es una elección creer que hay cosas buenas que están llegando. Y empieza dentro de ti. No necesitas evidencia en las circunstancias actuales, la evidencia llega más tarde, a través de la creencia.

No es engañarse a uno mismo si lo que produce es que puedas enfrentar tu situación actual lleno de fuerzas. Yo creo que estamos hechos para vivir con esperanza. Respirar esperanza. Emitir esperanza.

Hay cosas buenas que están llegando para ti, para mi y para el mundo entero. Sin importar cómo estén las cosas hoy en día. Dejemos que la esperanza viva. Dejemos que la esperanza sea nuestra fuerza para enfrentar cualquier situación a la que nos enfrentemos hoy.  

**

“I’m leaving; I know I’m only staying for a while”.

If you have known me for a while, you know that, for the past few years, my life has been full of travelling.

The reality is that I haven’t stayed in the same place for more than one year for the past 5 years. Sure, I lived in Redding for three years but I would have to travel to Spain every 9 months to spend the summer working in Madrid, just to leave again by the end of the summer to continue my studies back in California.

There has been a lot of plane rides, being here and there, feeling like I never had a permanent home, yet having homes everywhere at the same time. I could never fully settle in Redding because I knew I would end up leaving again, at least for a short time, even if it felt like my home.  

You might have seen the good, rather than the hard parts. The excitement of travelling, meeting new people, living in different countries while living what was a dream for me. And all of that its true. But I don’t think everyone gets to see the other part of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the life I’ve had for the past few years, it’s been a gift and a privilege and I would never see it as nothing less than that. And it’s a privilege to have made so many good friends even if they are all over the globe right now.

Yet at the same time, in the midst of the blessings, of the gifts, of the great days, incredible opportunities and living the life of my dreams, that I never knew could happen, in the midst of the amazing things that have happened to me, there’s a hard reality that can’t be seen but only felt. Living with this feeling of “I’m leaving; I know I’m only staying for a while”. The deep knowing that I haven’t made it yet to the place where I’m supposed to stay. And who knows when that would come or where that would be.

 I daily see people around me building something lasting for their lives,  building a future in the places they are at right now, the relationships around them, etc. And, eventhough I desire that, I know it’s not my time to do that yet. I know it’s my time to trust what I feel deep down that I’m still on a journey, that someday I will find the place I will stay at and build my life, but that right now, I’m just passing through different places.

 It’s a great adventure. I love the never ending excitement of waiting to what will come next, waiting for the door to open just in the right time, the times of uncertainty while waiting. I love the life I’m living and building and my personal journey. But I’ve been finding hard to be surrounded by people that don’t have the same journey. That have different ways of looking at life and different priorities. It doesn’t make me wrong, but it makes the road lonely, at least for some moments.

But even with all of that, I will never stop looking at my life with the wonder of what could be, the desire of having something different even if it costs me everything or If it is a hard road, and a lonely one. I will never stop because I know that the best is yet to come. So let’s expect it until it comes.

Some things don’t come as easy as we want them to

I used to feel discouraged if things would take a lot of work, thinking that the reward wouldn’t be as good after all the suffering or pushing through that would take to get there. Very discouraging thought.

I think it actually only adds up to the reward.

I think it will feel as good as it will because of all the hard work, effort, believing, pushing through.

So if you are going through something like this today, where you have to still work and give your effort, you see the end goal a bit further away from where you would want it to be, don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. If you have to put extra effort, it’s only because what’s waiting for you is so much bigger and better than what you had in mind in the first place. Just keep going. It will be worth it. 

The concept of peace

I love the concept of peace. The reality of peace.

I don’t’ think peace is just a feeling. Just feeling calm in the inside. Or lack of chaos.

I think peace is more than that.

It’s the inside knowing without a shadow of a doubt that things are going to be okay. That you are taken care of. That you have nothing to worry about. Ever.

I don’t think you can obtain that just by thinking. Or breathing.

There has to be more to enter into the reality of peace.

I think peace is spiritual.

That’s the only way I can describe it.

It goes beyond mind and body. It comes from deep within. It comes from the spirit.

Peace, is rest.

You can find peace inside of love.

And love is everything.

If you are lacking peace today, don’t hesitate to write me. I will love to introduce you to the person of peace.

//

Me gusta el concepto de tener “paz” . La realidad de sentir paz.

Aunque no creo que la paz sea tan solo un sentimiento. No creo que sea tan solo sentirse calmado por dentro. O sentir que no hay caos.

Creo que la paz va más allá de eso.

Paz es saber sin ninguna duda que todo va a ir bien. Que te cuidan. Que no hay nada de lo que debas preocuparte.

No creo que eso sea algo que puedas conseguir tan sólo a travs de un proceso mental. O respirando.

Tiene que haber algo más para poder acceder a la paz.

Yo creo que la paz es espiritual.

Es la única forma en la que puedo describirlo.

Va más allá de la mente y del cuerpo. Viene de lo más profundo. Viene del espíritu.

Paz, es descanso.

Puedes encontrar paz en el amor.

Y el amor lo es todo.

Si te falta paz hoy, no dudes en escribirme. Me encantaría presentarte a la persona que es paz.

Here I am, writing

Writing feels like a struggle. But I decided to push a bit harder to see where this resistance I’m feeling may lead me once I pass it.

I believe sometimes the best roads are not found the easiest.

It requires something from us, because it takes choice. And you can apply this principle to anything in your own life, relationships, career choice, friendships, etc. Sometimes we are lead right were we need to be, it’s like you are just planted exactly where you need to be, you know it, you breathe it, you dig it. Some occasions that might be the feeling but you still need to push a Little harder to find all the gold hidden in your season. It is kind of a tension. To be led and flow, but also to find where life is on and follow it with all your heart and everything inside of you. And that’s what I’m choosing, the hard road, the one I’m feeling led to, to see where it’ll lead me. So here I am, writing.

ESPAÑOL

Aquí estoy. Escribiendo.

Escribir a veces me supone una lucha. Un quiero pero a la vez no. He decidido ir más allá esta vez y ver a dónde me llevará el hacerlo una vez me enfrente a esta resistencia.

Creo que los mejores caminos no son los que encontramos más fácilmente.

Requiere algo de nosotros, porque hay que elegirlos. Puedes usar este principio en cualquier área de tu vida, relaciones, carrera profesional, amistades, etc. Muchas veces nos encontramos justo donde tenemos que estar sin tener que hacer nada, como si te plantasen justamente donde tienes que estar, y lo sabes, lo sientes, lo respiras. En ocasiones, aunque esta puede ser la sensación que tenemos, aun así tenemos que insistir un poco más para encontrar todo el oro que está escondido en la etapa en la que te encuentras. Es cómo vivir en una tensión. Sentirte guiado y seguirlo como si te llevase una corriente, y a la vez buscar donde sientes que está la vida y seguirla con todo tu corazón y todo lo que hay dentro de ti. Y eso es lo que estoy eligiendo, el camino difícil, el camino al que me siento guiada, para ver a dónde me llevará. Así que, aquí estoy, escribiendo.

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