Sunday, January 22, 2012

Learning to just listen...

Today I got a phone call from one of my soul sisters. She called me in distress about losing a loved one. Its a phone call such as that one that makes me wish I knew just what to say to others when they are going through a grieving process. I am seriously considering to do my ministry in Bereavement Counseling. I believe that losing a loved one changes our life and sometimes can take us into dark places. The idea of not having a shoulder to lean on during such a difficult time is something no one should ever experience. I am grateful to God that I was able to be on the other side of the telephone line to listen to her. Sometimes even just listening helps. Our conversation made me get up, get dressed, and attend mass. I felt that I had to be present and at least show up to prayer and peace on behalf of my soul sister who is grieving over the lost of a loved one.

One of the things I thought about today was this idea of co-survivors. Sometimes the person who has passed away may not be anyone we are close to but they meant the world to someone who we were very close to. It is almost like when someone goes through trauma, the people closest to that person will also feel repercussions of that trauma through their loved one. They experience the anger, the loss, and the hurt in their own way. This is why I believe that building fellowship is so important. I believe everyone should have a place where they can go to for encouragement and support. A place where they will feel safe, loved, and not alone. I am grateful that I've been blessed with a great circle of family and friends that I can call home because wherever they are that is where home is. I know we can come together whether its just over the phone to pray, or to light a candle for one another. It makes me think of the way Jesus felt over his friend Lazarus, and although we won't be able to bring back to life someone who is physically gone, we do have the power to uplift their co-survivors. We also have the power to feel deeply connected to our loved ones passed when we remember them with love.

"When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled, and said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said, 'Lord, Come and see.' Jesus wept. And so the Jews were saying, 'Behold, how He loved Him!"
John 11:33-36

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.
Matthew 18:20

Be Still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

Today I had the morning and afternoon free so I decided to visit a few thrift stores. One of them was in the town of Woodside which I visit quite often. It was actually a Salvation Army family store and its pretty huge. I have been there before to drop stuff off but not to actually go inside and check out the treasures within. There wasn't much to catch my eye except the mounds of books on the shelves and this little jewelry trinket I thought was really cute. Diego went on my thrift store adventure with me and we ended up having lunch in Woodside at this little place called Sweet Basil. The place was full of cute scenery and the food was good and very colorful. We shared one of our favorite Thai Soups-the coconut milk soup with chicken. It was delicious!

We had one more thrift store to visit all the way on Merrick Blvd which took us about half hour to get to. This place was advertised as a BIG flea market and the only thing big about it was the sign outside that read: Flea Market today. We didn't even stay ten minutes there and decided to just head back home. The adventure turned out to be a bit frustrating but I am glad we took the time to make it happen. I am grateful that we spent some quality time getting to know our favorite borough of Queens : )

Here are some photos of the day:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Daily Inspirations...

Last night I received a beautiful e-mail from my best friend that made my heart skip a is part of it:

"Glad to see you are using writing as an outlet for your feelings as well as a spiritual outlet. It inspired me to go back to my spiritual self and to also remember that I am in control of my life. It also reminded me that the Lord takes any space you can give him, and I want to give him my whole heart so that he may work through me to bring peace and spirituality to my family as well as my community. I am excited to be able to open my heart and soul to the lord..."

Isn't that beautiful?..I am truly grateful for my best friend and special bond we have always shared..we are definitely spiritual sisters, soul mates, and each other's biggest fan : )

Today I also received a beautiful message from this kind and spiritual blogger who made me realize that not only my family is inspired by my blog but even folks out there who are entering my world for the very first time. I have always been an avid journal writer with notebook and pen but only for my eyes. I've realized over time that its okay to share thoughts and experiences with others, in fact its like planting a seed and seeing where it can bloom. I am grateful for her kind words of inspiration and look forward to continue to be inspired by her.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. King continues to inspire...

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day and social networks all over the web have been posting several of his quotes. Its great to see his legacy is still inspiring others. I had the day of from my internship today but I wanted to do something to honor Dr. King. So I attended a unity event in Brooklyn sponsored by the Occupy Sunset Park folks and it was in a church. I didn't stay very long but I was glad I went. It was great to hear people voice their concerns about the Occupy Movement going on. There hasn't been much talk about it lately but like all movements we probably won't see the fruits of it until years later. In the meantime I pray that the people continue to gather and stand up for their rights the way Dr. King did in such a major inspirational and courageous way.

To learn more on Dr. King visit:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spiritual Sunday

I started my day today by attending the Spanish Mass at my church. I hadn't done that in quite some time since grad school began. It felt great to see my parish community and to listen to mass given by a new priest in our parish. He seems like a humble man and I am looking forward to getting to know him better.

So that afternoon my friend came over and we headed over to Barnes and Nobles for some quality time and inspiration. She told me how much she is enjoying her new job and all the exciting things that are happening in her life. She also mentioned that in the midst of it all she feels like she is not doing something to help others. Her job isn't necessarily in the helping field but in our conversation she mentioned painting her co-workers nails. She added that she has taken upon herself to paint women's nails at work. All I can think about was Jesus washing his disciples feet. I shared it with her and told her that what she was doing was a form of empowerment for women and that it was a great start.

At Barnes and Nobles we picked out a zillion magazines and sat in one of the corners of the store. We both took some photos of some things that stood out for us. I was really happy we spent that quality time together, but it wasn't over after that. That evening we went to my apartment and got dressed and ready to go to a live jazz show at Birdland in Manhattan. Her husband met us there and we enjoyed a really great show by Arthur O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. It was a really great show, its amazing how moving live music can be and anything with Latin Percussion in it makes me want to get up and dance! It wasn't a dancing kind of place but I was moving my shoulders and tapping my fingers to the beat : )

Here are some inspiring photos of today (all taken from magazines):

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Let the inspiration begin....

I'd say the year started off pretty inspiring. Receiving the gift of the holy spirit was a great way to start the year(see Jan 3rd post). Just the other day I received another gift in the mail from someone very special. It was a beautiful inspirational bracelet. It was quite a pleasant surprise.

At the beginning of the year I was a bit tormented about a decision I had to make regarding my church. I spoke to several close people and they all told me the same thing but I was not convinced in my heart. Then out of the blue someone that I least expected and that I was not anticipating bringing it up with completely inspired me to continue my spiritual journey. God always works in mysterious ways. I pray that I am doing God's will.

As a result, I attended the orientation for the Lay Ministry program today. They pretty much gave us the break down of how the year is going to go. At the orientation there was a table full of different kinds of books for us to take and give a small donation if possible. I picked out five books but shared two of them with my friend who came a little later when most of the books were gone. We were both very excited about the books. One in particular I have begun to read and it has pretty much laid out to me the very idea of being in tune with the divine on a daily basis. Here are some of the quotes that stuck out from me from the book which is called The Song of Seed:

The right seed touching the right secret can produce an abundance of new life. Your task during this retreat, then, is to tend the soil of your
soul that it may be a place where the seed can bear fruit.

A loving attentiveness is the finest gift you have to offer the one who is sharing

And the very best advise I have to give you is a Native American Saying: Listen, or your tongue will keep you deaf!

I am looking forward to continuing reading the book and perhaps
sharing some more inspirational quotes from the book here. After the orientation I went to lunch with my friend Angie who is taking the courses with me. We had a really great conversation about the need of spiritual mentors in our lives. I wonder if people around us were inspired by our conversation because it was deep and spiritual. In fact, talking with her made me realize that I just have to take a deeper look at my daily happenings because God is in everything. She also gave me some really great tips on how to have an interfaith dialogue with people from different religions. Basically to talk about how our religious/spiritual backgrounds have inspired our lives. How God has worked in each of our lives through our religion. She made it sound very easy. I hope she was inspired by our conversation as I was.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Word of the year: INSPIRATION

I remember always having my list of new year resolutions ready before the year was over. My lists were always long and I remember posting it nearby so I can remember the things I wanted to do. Anyhow as the years have gone by the list has gotten smaller. Not so much because I can't come up with any resolutions but because I feel like the list is completely overrated. I'm not sure if this was the first place I saw it, but in Eat, Pray, Love the movie Julia Roberts picks a word to describe her year. I don't remember what word that was but I find that to be a much simpler way to change our focus for a fresh, new year. Before the year was over I was deeply longing for inspiration. I feel like I have been longing for it for quite some time. So I decided that was going to be my word for the year: INSPIRATION.

So every morning before I get up I thank God for a brand new year and pray for inspiration. I chose the word inspiration not only because it has been whispering in my heart, soul, and spirit for quite some time, but because the word inspire means that an action has taken place as a result of the process of being inspired. I remember when I was an undergrad I used to be in poetry and spoken word circles. I was always in awe to hear some of these young folks express themselves through words. I remember one evening at home I watched the movie Piñero and I remember getting on my computer right after and writing what I was feeling at the moment. The next morning when I read what I wrote I couldn't believe I had written such a deep and meaningful poem. After that day I continued to write poetry and it lasted for maybe a few months. I don't know what it was about that time but I was on fire. I want to be on fire like that about everything. I want everything that I do to be deep and meaningful like I know it can be. I want to be able to find that inspiration in my daily life and make it last.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

the spirit of learning

I truly am grateful for today’s daily word (below). It makes me think about how we are capable of learning so many things on our own. This society tends to make us think we need to go back to school or we need to spend money to learn something new. Meanwhile we possess the spirit of learning within. It takes a lot of self-discipline to learn something on our own but it is truly possible. For example, I remember I once wanted to go to cooking school. No so much because I wanted to make a career out of it, it was just because I wanted to learn the basics. Thankfully I never spent the money to go to school, and learned the basics and beyond on my own. I have a few recipes under my belt and the more I cook the more I realize its not that difficult to follow a recipe. I talk about cooking because I feel that its such an important skill to know. Cooking at home with fresh ingredients is better for our bodies than constantly eating out. Just yesterday I was having a conversation with my sweet mother about food. I was giving her alternatives to satisfying her sweet tooth. She buys certain things thinking they are healthy. For example, Arizona Iced Tea has tons of sugar in it. She buys it thinking she is choosing a healthier alternative juice. I told her to try crystal light instead. She says she loves eating crackers, I told her to look for the boxes that say low sodium or to try veggie crackers. I also know that she shops at the Spanish grocery store that does not often have healthy alternatives. I told her to check out Aldi’s because they tend to have healthier alternatives to snacks. Its difficult to teach ourselves new habits but its worth it to stay in good health and feel good.

This year marks one whole year that I quit drinking coffee and trained myself to drink herbal teas. I remember I was diagnosed with IBS in the beginning of the year and I knew I had to eliminate certain things from my diet. I began with caffeine and realized that was a HUGE reason for my condition. I haven’t had an IBS flare up in a while and I can eat whatever I choose as long as I have my green tea in the morning or something that has fiber like granola cereal or oatmeal. I am grateful to God for allowing me to make this drastic change in my life. I had been drinking coffee since I was very young and never thought I would be able to eliminate it from my diet, but thankfully I did.

In the spirit of learning, I would like to teach myself how to paint and how to combine paint with collaging. Even with collaging, I know I can do it and I know I enjoy it but I just cannot bring myself to do it. For example, a day like today I have time to do collaging but I have something fighting against me and I don’t know what it is. I pray to the Lord to help me push through these feelings of inadequacy or whatever it is so that I can get inspired to create the pieces of art that are waiting to be created.


I am in tune with infinite intelligence.

Whether I am a student trying to comprehend a textbook, an employee learning the requirements of a new job, or a fledgling driver learning to drive a car, I remember there is only one Mind--Divine Mind--and this Mind is in all.

Whatever I may be learning, the process is easier and simpler if I remember that Divine Mind gives me the power to learn and comprehend. I find it easy to learn new things when I keep myself in tune with infinite intelligence.

I am lifted out of fear and tension as I attune myself with Divine Mind. I am free from any feeling of inadequacy. God's Spirit of success is within me, and I am capable of succeeding at whatever I choose to learn.

We have the mind of Christ.--1 Corinthians 2:16

-message from January 3, 2012