The Power Of Giving And Receiving

May 17, 2012 by  
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Yesterday, I read something I had never thought about, but which it makes perfect sense: when we do something good for someone else we experience the feeling ourselves.  That is why giving is receiving.  Our brain, heart, soul, experience the doing and the result without discriminating who the ultimate receptor is.

Think about it: if a friend needs consoling over something that has happened in their life, as we embrace and love them, the love we give is also felt by us.  The act of consoling is felt by both parties.

If you give money to someone who is in need, as you think about how much that’s going to help that person and the gratitude that will bring,  you get to experience the excitement involved in the gesture.  Again, the satisfaction impacts both the giver and the receiver.

On the other hand, in the giving and receiving world, it is important to play both roles.  Unfortunately, some of us have a hard time receiving, mostly because of low self-esteem.  We either think “I’m not worthy to receive” or we masquerade that by thinking: “I don’t need it.  I’m too great.”  Both thoughts are the two sides of the same coin because thinking we are too great for help is only covering up for I’m not good enough.

Now, truly receiving requires us to embrace our imperfections and our need of others.

Of course, we intellectually know that none of us can ever be perfect.  But, in the emotional reality realm, we often struggle with the acceptance of our mistakes and flaws.

It is in those times that we have to apply compassion towards ourselves and remember that ultimately our journey is about acquiring wisdom and that can only happen through trial and error.

Lastly, we are social beings.  It is through relationships that we experience life.  Giving and receiving is how we relate.

And as Buddha said…

If you knew what I know about the power of giving you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way – Buddha



Want To Be Free? Let Go Of Results

April 16, 2011 by  
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“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”  – John Lennon

I’m always in a hurry.  I want things to happen yesterday, and when they don’t I get frustrated and unhappy.  I have been aware of this shortcoming of mine for a long time without having been completely successful in changing my level of expectation.  But, I do have succeeded in tampering it quite a bit.  And I believe I’m close to the finish line to living in the moment and letting go of results.  And that is what I want to share.

In my journey I first realized four things:

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Life’s Greatest Accomplishment Is In Living

November 13, 2010 by  
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One of my closest friends is a man in his mid-70s.  We met about ten years ago in New York City.  He had produced a few films and I was looking for financing for a picture I wanted to make.  We ended up working together and still are very good friends.

A few months ago, while visiting me in LA, my friend said if there was something he regretted very much not having known while younger:  he was referring to the undue pressure he had put on himself to “be” and to do were just that; undue.  He wasn’t talking about working to provide for himself, wife and daughter.  He was talking about our compulsiveness to occupy every second of our lives with something to do as well as our eternal fight to prove to others and ourselves that we are indeed important.

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Thoughts On Self-Confidence

April 28, 2010 by  
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Sometimes we are afraid of taking certain actions.  The reasons can be: 1 – We think we couldn’t possible to X, or  2 – We are afraid if we fail what others will think of us or 3 – What do others think of us in general?  Are we good enough?

Let’s think for a moment about “we think we couldn’t possibly do X”.  The truth is we don’t know. And if we never try we will always be stuck exactly where we are.  Why not shift the focus of our thinking from fear of failure to exhilaration?  Instead of being afraid let’s be curious about what will happen if we do succeed.  By turning a negative into a positive we can overcome our fears and move on. And once we do, let’s make sure not to forget to look back and rejoice in what we have just achieved.

How about fear of what others will think of us if we fail?  That questions points to a different issue.  It points to a fragile ego.  If we realize that life is a journey, full of excitements, wins and losses, we know that the only way to move forward is by having self-confidence and taking risks.  Loss is part of life and so is winning. So let’s not care about what others think of us.

And lastly “are we good enough?”  If we think we are; then we are.  It is truly up to us because 1 – there is no such a thing as good enough  2 – If we are on a journey to live a happy and rich life, we know where we are headed and we don’t need anybody’s approval to keep moving forward.

Being self-confident makes life feel more free and easy.  All the worrying feels like a ton of bricks on our backs, and who needs that?  The time of slavery is over.


Being Familiar With The Angels

February 12, 2010 by  
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This journey through life is a winding path. We can’t see how many turns it will make before it ends. Until two years ago I felt thoroughly grounded on my path. I was living a life that was beyond my dreams. In 2003 I began a career in higher education. My husband retired after years of constant travel. While I was at work, he played golf. We helped each other balance. We were all things to each other. Our life together was more than I had ever imagined was possible.

Then the “T” word entered our vocabulary. Transplant. Someone needed to die for him to live. My husband needed a new heart.

The United Network for Organ Sharing, UNOS, offers transplant statistics in real time. There are currently 105,743 people waiting, 3,071 of them are waiting for a new heart. In 2008, 177 people became too sick to survive the surgery, 378 people died before a donor was found. One of those was my husband.

There are numerous resources of support honoring organ and tissue donors and their recipients. What about the loved ones of those who died, waiting for the gift of life?

I’ve often thought back to when my husband and I began our journey, living in a new condo that had a small fenced in area. I watched him transform that space into a peaceful retreat. Planting a miniature Japanese maple in the corner, he designed a brick patio with flowerbeds of small hybrid rose bushes outlining the fence.

Yesterday a friend said, “I put something in your office, but just know, it’s really not from me.” She told me about about seeing this plant and feeling like she was supposed to get it for me. But what if getting flowers this close to Valentine’s Day upset me? Not being able to put the thought out of her mind, she went back for the plant the next morning. I was touched. How sweet of her to think of me.

The plant from my friend yet as she prefaced, not really from her — a small hybrid rose bush.

Reflecting on the words of St. Francis de Sales…

Make yourself familiar with the angels, and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you.



July 18, 2009 by  
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My dad is back in the hospital. 

My mom just called to say that in the middle of the night he felt sick and was rushed to the emergency room.  He had three more stents put into his heart.  He now has a total of fourteen stents.  He also needs to stabilize so he can undergo another surgery to clear up all the clots in his heart. 

My mother was crying and said: “He wants so much to live”.  I too want my dad so much to live. He’s eighty four and has been my rock through many ups and downs of my life.  It was him that I called when things with Chris would take a turn for the worse, knowing that he was there for me helped me to survive.

I know we’re coming to the end of our journey together and I’ll miss him very much when that happens. He has taught me that nothing stays the same and that life is really worth living.

I hope I have a little more time with him but whatever happens he knows how much I love and cherish him.

Losing Chris really taught me the importance of spending time with the people you love and care about and letting them know often how much you appreciate them. 

I have no regrets of things that I did or didn’t do with and for Chris.  I did and felt everything that I was capable of.

When my dad wakes I’ll know when I’m going to travel to Brazil to be with him but in the meantime I’ll be there in my heart and in my mind.

I love you dad.