Karol Speaks Up

Welcome to my special internet place, where I like to express myself and talk about my opinions and feelings. ACCEPT ME... for what I am. No... you need not agree with me; but Accept Me. For I am total in being. I have my faults, I have my guilts; but that is who I am. Perfect I will never be. Allow me to be uninhibited. Do not pressure me into feeling what I do not feel. Do not put me down... nor make me unhappy about me. I am I. And I like being what I am... ME. (Larry Chengges)

Monday, May 01, 2017

Don't Take Things Personally

How hard it is not to take things personally! You always find in life people that make you feel bad, that judge you, that criticize you, that talk about you (for no reason at all), that bully you. I know some of us are more sensitive than others. In fact, I believe that as I’m getting older I’m becoming hypersensitive, and I must try harder not to be affected by the words and actions of others (by the negative energy of others). I always remember Maya Angelou’s quote (which I love!) “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It is so true! So we must try our best not to be bothered by the negativity and “drama” that others create and carry with them. We must try to ignore their "poison."

But how can we protect ourselves from such “poison”? How can we ignore these people? People that take their frustrations, anger, resentments, guilty feelings on others? People that love to make fun of others, that call others names, that bully others in different ways. They either lack empathy, or are in such “pain” themselves that feel the need to cause pain in others. Why? And now we have a president who enjoys doing this... bullying and demeaning others, not a very good example for the citizens and young people of this beautiful country and this world.

Don Miguel Ruiz, who wrote "The Four Agreements" and "The Mastery of Love" wrote: “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world."

"When we really see other people as they are without taking it personally, we can never be hurt by what they say or do. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally. The whole world can gossip about you, and if you don’t take it personally you are immune. Someone can intentionally send emotional poison, and if you don’t take it personally, you will not eat it."

"As you make a habit of not taking anything personally, you won’t need to place your trust in what others do or say. You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices. You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you. When you truly understand this, and refuse to take things personally, you can hardly be hurt by the careless comments or actions of others.”

What a beautiful message, but so difficult to follow his advice. It is hard isn't it? What a challenge we have to put this in practice for a more peaceful and happy life. We can do it! We can arm ourselves with patience toward others, and fill ourselves with compassion, understanding, love and kindness. Let's try our best to put this in practice and not take things personally - just go with the flow and live one day at a time!

"Don't let the behaviors of others destroy your inner peace." ~ Dalai Lama

"How you make others feel about themselves, says a lot about you."

"You don't ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn't matter whether someone is a relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend, or a new acquaintance. You don't have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It's one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and "continues" to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go."
~ Daniell Koepke (check her online, she's a clinical psychologist and has written some great quotes)

"Some people will never get you... NEVER. When you accept that, you will have peace and inner direction."

"One of the ugliest things in the world is a human without compassion." 
~ Karen Salmansohn

"Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution."

"Negative people give off negative vibes and are an energy drain. Surround yourself with positive people." (Womenworking.com)

"It's OK to dislike someone, but it is not OK to disrespect, degrade and humiliate that person."

"Keep your distance from people who will never admit they are wrong and who always try to make you feel like it's your fault."

"The more you love yourself, the less nonsense you'll tolerate."

"Happiness is an inside job. Don't assign anyone else that much power over your life." ~ Mandy Hale

"One day at a time
this is enough!
Do not look back and
grieve over the past
for it is gone
Do not be troubled
about the future
for it has not yet come
Live in the present
and make it so BEAUTIFUL
that it will be worth remembering."
~ Ida Scott Taylor

Do not let the world
make you hard
Do not let pain
make you hate
Do not let the bitterness
steal your sweetness"

"Try your best to stay POSITIVE."

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Sunday, July 03, 2016

Poisoned Minds

I recently ordered a book called "Poison Mind" - the true story of the Mensa murderer and the policewoman who risked her life to bring him to justice. This so-called genius (a Mensa member) killed his neighbor, one of her children and a grandchild by poisoning their Coca-Cola drinks, just because he was upset that the teens that lived next-door were very loud. I heard about this story on TV, and yes! I'm fascinated with crime shows (stories of murder)! It is so hard for me to understand how some people become so cruel and angry, and so "poisoned" - that they choose to inflict pain in others, abusing them and even killing them. Some people even feel pleasure when they hurt others (even doing the most inconceivable things). Mind-blowing! I like to try to analyze the minds of others. What motivates them to commit such crimes? How can seemingly "normal" people (or what we thought were normal people) commit such atrocities?

I like to ponder things (many things), and in listening today to Thich Nhat Hanh (a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, a beautiful peaceful person) speak about "Mindfulness," "Happiness" and "Compassion" and how we can learn to accept our suffering and become more compassionate and loving toward others, some questions arose in my mind: Can human beings become so "poisoned" -  embracing anger, negative thoughts, resentments, guilt, fear and other negative emotions so deeply - that they lose control or snap and do terrible things? Can people become so afraid that they feel justified in killing others? Can people have such little tolerance toward others, and such anger, that they see nothing wrong in killing, injuring, bullying or insulting others? I'm afraid the answer is YES to all.

And then, the questions are WHY? and HOW?  (how did it come to this?) and what can WE do to enlighten others? Hatred, misery, violence are not the answers! I feel that it is our responsibility to do our best to nourish ourselves with positive thoughts and emotions, "to feed our happiness" like Thich Nhat Hanh said. To make sure that our minds are not so "poisoned" and brain-washed, that we see nothing wrong with hating and harming others (physically or mentally). I also heard someone say (today) that one of the hardest things we have to learn is to "love others that are not lovable." This also spoke to me, it is so hard to do! Our goal should be to become "loving" and "peaceful" human beings and all that that entails. Learning to be patient, at times extremely patient, kind, happy, unselfish, caring and understanding people, not an easy task! But so rewarding! We must try our best to avoid conflicts (including wars), through our positive interactions with others, communicating properly and avoiding confrontations. I know, life is hard, we cannot get along with everyone, we cannot be "always" happy; but we can make it a happy life when we learn to get rid of what "poisons" us. When we learn to appreciate what we have (the good things) and understand that it is our responsibility to make our lives happy, that WE CAN DO IT, that we can accomplish and create great things, and just try our best to take it one day at a time, being mindful of the beauty that surrounds us, enjoying our many moments, our family, our friends, nature, etc.

I remember that Norman Vincent Peale (in "The Power of Positive Thinking") wrote that inspiration is like nutrition, we have to take it everyday - "inspiration and motivation are exactly like nutrition, you have to keep on taking it daily, in healthy doses." It is our responsibility to do this!

We cannot feel like victims in this life (even if many terrible things happened to us). We have to learn to forgive, to let go, to heal, to become the best that we can be! We have to, again quoting Thich Nhat Hanh, "understand the suffering that is within us and learn to be compassionate toward others." We MUST learn to love ourselves! "Happiness is like love, we must feed it." We must "be fully present in the here and in the now." "Touch the miracle that you are alive." Learn to love your life or do whatever you have to do to love your life!

Louise Hay is also a wonderful teacher! She believes in the power of affirmations. Check her out! She gives great advice and has written some great books! There are many teachers out there, find them! Find inspirational messages in books, in magazines, in websites, wherever! Positive messages! Don't poison your mind with negative stuff (you can replace "stuff" for any word you wish, anything that diminishes who you are, that makes you feel bad and unworthy, that makes you angry, fearful or anxious). You are a beautiful person (we are beautiful persons), with a special mission/purpose and a spark of greatness within us! Don't ever give up!

Always remember that to be healthier (mentally and physically) we must pay attention to our feelings, thoughts and emotions. These can poison us if they are negative for extended periods of time. We will have them, it's normal, but we must learn to let go of them (whatever it takes without harming others or ourselves). It's easy to become our own worst enemy, like they say, and there's plenty of new research making the connection between our bodies, minds and spirit. If our souls, or minds, or brains, or deeper selves (if you prefer to call it this way) are sick with poisonous thoughts and emotions, our physical bodies will suffer too.  We could get physically (and/or mentally) ill. So it's imperative to "pay attention." Take good care of yourselves! All the best to you!

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

And so it goes... And life goes on!

Here I am again trying to write something on this blog, which most of the time I neglect due to my work responsibilities and the many distractions we have today. I love "wasting" time using Facebook, creating fun exercises for my students (I teach two Graphic Design classes now), creating digital art, reading, taking care of our very old dog Lucy (17 years old) and our other pets (an old cockatiel and an old lop-ear bunny), doing things with my family, gardening, etc. And to me now, more than ever, time flies! 

[I cannot believe the last time I wrote here was back in 2012 (even when I have many blogs, it's hard to believe). Which really tells me that sometimes I tend to do, or try to do, too much and then I cannot keep up! Creating my Spanish Blogs for my Spanish classes (Spanish I and II) the previous two years, was very time-consuming; as it was teaching the language (I truly have great admiration for language teachers now!). What a job it is! I had also previously created blogs for all my other classes, Computer Applications and Digital Applications. Now I have a blog for my Graphic Design Classes, never a dull moment!]

Why is it that as I get older time seems to go faster and faster? Who knows? I think we simply get too busy at times. One thing I always noticed, particularly in this country (this doesn't happen in Latin America as much), is that people -in general- work very hard. People work long hours, some with crazy schedules, and are always rushing. I keep telling myself "life is not a race" and yet, I have done this too. As a teacher, you not only work in school, you also work from home, and being a perfectionist is a problem - I tend to overdo it. There is nothing wrong with working very hard for a period of time, let's say a period of 20 years (or 30 years, depending on your preferences), but after that, we must learn to shift our priorities, in my opinion, and concentrate on other things that have special meaning to us, things we always wanted to accomplish but didn't have the time to do. Maybe volunteering in an Animal Rescue place, maybe writing or pursuing artistic endeavors, maybe traveling and photography, etc. (the list is endless...).

And so, life goes on! And life, to me anyway, seems to fly pretty fast, and I'm on a stage in my life where I want to SLOW DOWN and simplify my life, as much as possible. I don't want to worry about pleasing people anymore, about going out of my way to make things "perfect" or as "close to perfect" as possible. Who cares? It's okay to make mistakes! It's okay to do less!

I have to admit I was disappointed when after working so hard for 11 years, in a school that I loved, I was let go (with five other people), just like that! It's been a struggle to come to grips with the reality that sometimes people don't care how loyal you are, how dedicated and hard you work, if they have another agenda -you do become "dispensable."

I used to believe and still believe that WE ARE ALL INDISPENSABLE (in one way or another)! It's just that some people don't truly appreciate our work, or they worry about their company's/organization's/school's financial situation too much (many times unnecessarily) and rush to fire people that don't deserve it. While other employees that are not productive, loyal, deserving and caring remain in their positions. It is an irony in so many ways, mind-blowing, but we must move on! “Let bygones be bygones,” like people say.

So here I am at another crossroad in my life, trying to decide what to do in my future. Besides teaching digital art, I would like to find more time to do the many things I love, and "work" less. We don't have to prove to anyone how productive we are, how much we can do, and get so busy that we don’t find time to do the “ordinary” things that are also important in our lives. Life is not a race!

Let’s simplify our lives and find time to enjoy nature, our families, a hobby, learning something new, helping others, and doing the things that have meaning to us. Let’s do what makes us happy and what gives us life!

"Do the things that you know give you life! Don't feel bad to leave, when you know you MUST do the things that give you life." ~ Barbara Brown Taylor

According to Barbara Brown Taylor, who wrote the book "Learning to Walk in the Dark" - we must ask ourselves: "What is giving us life? What is saving our life?" Important questions indeed! Let's reflect on this.  And so it goes... and life goes on!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Here we go again...

So sad... so unbelievable! How can someone even consider killing innocent children? It is truly mind-boggling! How can we stop this from happening? Could stricter gun controls help? Could better mental health care help? Could better parenting help? Could more spirituality help? These are the questions I ask myself. How can we prevent something this terrible from happening again? What are the answers?

I personally feel that we must do something to prevent criminals, mentally ill people, and even outstanding citizens from acquiring guns so easily, especially automatic or semi-automatic weapons with the capacity of killing many innocent people in a matter of minutes. Why does anyone need such powerful assault weapons? Studies have shown that usually people that own guns end up hurting themselves, or hurting loved ones. We must give this topic serious thought and start coming up with better ideas and better solutions. I feel that we should follow the example of Great Britain, where they have much stricter gun controls.

According to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10220974:

"The UK has some of the toughest gun control laws in the world. If you want to own a gun, it is very difficult to do so. In short, it has been designed to put as many barriers in the way as possible and to assume the worst, rather than hope for the best. In the United States, you can declare that it is your constitutional right to bear arms. But in the UK, you need to spend hours filling in paperwork and proving to police officers that you are not a danger to society. The system is administered by police forces in each part of the UK and in England, Scotland and Wales there are separate licences for shotguns and for other firearms.

Getting a licence is a long and complicated business. Every stage of the process is designed to reduce the likelihood of a gun falling into the wrong hands. It starts with an application form which asks specific questions about why the individual wants a gun, telling them they need to show 'good reason.' The criteria are tougher for firearms than shotguns because weapons that fire bullets must only be used for specific purposes in specific places. These would include deer stalking or sports shooting on an approved range. In contrast, shotguns tend to be used in more general rural circumstances, such as by farmers who are protecting livestock from foxes - and police recognize that landowners need guns for pest control.

Independent referees provide confidential character statements in which they are expected to answer in detail about the applicant's mental state, home life and attitude towards guns. Officers check the Police National Computer for a criminal record and they speak to the applicant's GP for evidence of alcoholism, drug abuse or signs of personality disorder. Social services can also be asked for reasons to turn down an applicant. Finally, senior officers must be sure that prospective shotgun holders have a secure location for the weapon, typically a dedicated gun cabinet. Each certificate is valid for five years.
The two most important laws came in the wake of two national tragedies. Michael Ryan's massacre of 16 people in Hungerford in 1987 led to the banning of all modern semi-automatic rifles, the range of guns that can be fired rapidly without needing to be reloaded. Nine years later, Thomas Hamilton killed 16 schoolchildren and their teacher when he opened fire at a school in Dunblane. Parliament banned all handguns and there is now a mandatory five-year jail sentence for possession.
Since then, we have seen moves against criminal conversion of imitation firearms - a tactic used by backstreet engineers working for gangs."
So, even though nothing is completely foolproof, I do feel that stricter gun controls would help, it has helped in the UK. Of course another issue is how to better help mentally ill people. Our present mental health care system is obviously not working well. So many people don't get proper care, especially when they need it the most, and the young are even more vulnerable. There's a lot to discuss and consider to make this country a safer one. We must put more pressure on our government and our legislators to make something happen! We cannot give up...

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Monday, November 05, 2012


Why is it that some people create so much "drama" in their lives and the lives of others? Have you ever considered this question? I have a “friend” who’s driving me crazy lately with all the drama she creates in her life; and I don’t think she even realizes how negative and annoying she has become. How can we explain to someone that believes she’s always right, and that gets upset very easily and thinks we did something on purpose to hurt her, and is so highly sensitive about everything, that the way she’s reacting and acting is bringing her more drama and negative outcomes? She's affecting the people who surround her, her family, her friends, etc. Stressing everyone including herself, blaming everyone for her problems and not taking responsibility for her actions and inactions.

I believe that in large measure we create our own reality; and we are responsible of creating beauty, happiness, good health, peace or chaos in our lives. Of course, sometimes, like Randy Pausch said: "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” But in my opinion, we must remain optimistic and positive as much as we can, concentrate in the good of others, the good in ourselves, the good in every situation and know that the bad experiences and trials will pass. We all go through tough times at times!

It is so hard to deal with people that thrive on drama. They complicate things so much and incessantly thrive on negative attention. They call friends only to complain and talk about their miseries, never anything positive. They make us feel bad! They want us to believe that we are the ones with the problem... They think they're perfect! God forbid if we are honest with them and try to pinpoint a few of their weaknesses, they take offense right away (who are we to criticize them?) I'm dealing with someone like this right now and it is really stressing me out a lot! I try to be a loving and compassionate friend, and yet, my "friend" assumes things that are not true all the time. She creates certain scenarios to explain some of her behaviors or reasons why she doesn't want to, or cannot, work now, or do something else, or why this, or why that. She hates everyone, her boss, her co-workers, her neighbors, her brother, her relatives, etc. She has too many health problems, her daughter is a mess, etc. I'm even considering stopping our friendship, due to the stress of dealing with someone like her. You may say... what are you waiting for? I like to give people second chances, but at this point I'm at my wit's end with her. We all have some stress in our lives and don't need more than our share. We don't need to explain ourselves all the time, and we don't need to feel like we're walking on egg shells all the time.

I think this behavior is mostly seen in girls and women - not that there aren't any men who exhibit these traits (I know someone at work that is a big "drama king") - and it's so unbecoming! We all like to get attention once in a while, it's only human; but some people thrive on excess drama and behave in outlandish ways to attract any kind of attention. They're not even aware of the stress and undue emotional upset they're causing others. We must learn to be more aware of how our actions and reactions affect others, and learn to be more considerate and not become emotional drains on others. I like what they say in the following site: Harvest of Daily Live: "We often get criticized for pointing out the positive stuff about the situation when this person whines on about all the negative. When we express displeasure over the drama, sad stories or rude comments we are made to feel stupid for feeling or thinking that way. It is clear our views and opinions are not welcome or accepted yet we are expected to remain in the encounter and act as they want us to."

The following site http://www.bullyonline.org/attent.htm has a great explanation for this type of behavior, titled "The need for attention." They mention that "human beings are social creatures and need social interaction, feedback, and validation of their worth. The emotionally mature person doesn't need to go hunting for these; they gain it naturally from their daily life, especially from their work and from stable relationships. Daniel Goleman calls emotional maturity emotional intelligence, or EQ; he believes, and I agree, that EQ is a much better indicator of a person's character and value than intelligence quotient, or IQ."

"The emotionally immature person, however, has low levels of self-esteem and self-confidence and consequently feels insecure; to counter these feelings of insecurity they will spend a large proportion of their lives creating situations in which they become the center of attention. It may be that the need for attention is inversely proportional to emotional maturity, therefore anyone indulging in attention-seeking behaviors is telling you how emotionally immature they are."

"Attention-seeking behavior is surprisingly common. Being the center of attention alleviates feelings of insecurity and inadequacy but the relief is temporary as the underlying problem remains unaddressed: low self-confidence and low self-esteem, and consequent low levels of self-worth and self-love. Insecure and emotionally immature people often exhibit bullying behaviors, as well, especially manipulation and deception. These are necessary in order to obtain attention which would not otherwise be forthcoming."

Very interesting! But who really wants to deal with people like this? It's not easy! It takes a lot of patience and tolerance; and after a while, we just give up; especially when we realize they don't want or are willing to change; that they are very "self-centered," will never admit that they like to create all this drama wherever they go, are simply not willing to change, and, consciously or unconsciously, they enjoy manipulating people - they're getting something out of it. They're on denial and somehow get a kick out of it, because it inflates their ego, I think. They perceive this as some kind of "power." In the meantime, they keep complaining about everything and are always looking for an audience. So, we must keep people like this at bay, since they cause true emotional drain and can weaken us.

Another good site to check is: http://healing.about.com/dramaaddiction.htm. I personally feel that people that act this way (the drama kings and queens) can drain our energy to the point of exhaustion, and of course are very hard to deal with. Many times they end up isolating themselves, since people in general avoid them due to their annoying behavior. You can find another good article at: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/7-crucial-steps-to-minimize-drama-in-your-life/. So get informed and try to avoid or not pay too much attention to "drama" people; and let's try our best not to become like them! Yesterday I found this quote in Facebook: "Protect your spirit from contamination, limit your time with negative people." (Love it!)

Then, I remind myself of "The Paradoxical Commandments" by Kent M. Keith (that many attributed to Mother Teresa because she hung them on a wall of her children's home in Calcutta, India):

The Paradoxical Commandments

by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.

Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.

Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.

Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001


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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Don't Die Slowly

He or she who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his or her clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
dies slowly.

He or she who makes the television his or her guru,
dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
and dotting ones "i’s" rather than a whirlwind of emotions,

the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
he or she who does not forego sound advice
at least once in his or her life,
dies slowly.

He or she who does not travel,
who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself or herself
dies slowly.

He or she who slowly destroys his or her own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself or herself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his or her own bad luck,
about the rain that never stops,
dies slowly.

He or she who abandons a project before starting it,
who fails to ask questions on subjects he or she doesn't know,
he or she who doesn't reply when asked something he or she knows,
dies slowly.

Let's try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort
far greater than the simple fact of breathing.
Only a burning patience will lead us
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.

~ Martha Medeiros (Brazilian Writer)
In Spanish (En Español): "Muere Lentamente"

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Path to Good Health...

So what has happened since I wrote my last blog entry (November 7, 2010)? I had a very busy school year, but with the excitement of work and all the busyness, I haven't had too much time to dwell on my "health issues." Truthfully, I cannot complain at all. I'm very thankful that I have a very good job and that I work with some great colleagues. I also have a great family - my husband and daughters are my most precious treasures. My students also inspire me and fill me with energy - they're very enthusiastic and loving (a pleasure to teach!) and I enjoy teaching them and trying to inspire them as best as I can. They also make me laugh a lot, which is truly a great thing, since laughter heals...

My back is pretty good now... my lower back doesn't hurt much anymore! My body is achy at times, and my feet still give me some problems (especially my right one), but I'm optimistic and confident that if I lose some weight (my goal: about 20 pounds) and continue avoiding caffeine and eating healthy, I will feel a lot better. My feet are actually small for my height (size 9 for a 5'10" frame - I should be about a size 10 or more); and as I have gained some weight these past 5 or so years, due to my slower metabolism and hormonal issues, the arches on my feet have started to collapse (according to my foot doctor) - this is why I went from a size 8 1/2 to a size 9 in shoes in the past few years. Also, joint pain is common when you are having these hormonal problems. Luckily I decided to take Tai Chi lessons a couple of months ago; and since then a new sense of empowerment and optimism has filled my spirit. I've joined Golden Breath Tai Chi in Philadelphia, and I know that this discipline with gentle exercises (and emphasis on "breath") will help me and make a difference in my life (check: www.goldenbreath.com). The important thing, no matter what, is to stay positive and hopeful, and to continue with optimism, enthusiasm and passion to achieve whichever goals and dreams you set your mind to accomplish. If you embrace an attitude of "doom and gloom" (a negative attitude) - you're doomed. Your energy is drained out of you and depression and disease can set in. You have to learn to be strong and to pay attention to your thoughts! I don't get tired of stressing how important our minds are...

I've learned 20 movements to date and I'm very excited about it. I know that I have to improve them; but with practice, perseverance and my commitment to get better and better, I think I'll do all right (more than all right - GREAT!)

Yes, life goes on - but it's up to us to make the best out of it, don't you think? It's really our responsibility to live our best life and create beauty wherever we go. I hope you are also committed to making the best out of your life as well. In good times and in tough times, we learn many lessons; and a bad situation can improve considerably if we remain positive and optimistic, and if we learn to love ourselves, just the way we are - with our weaknesses and our strengths. Don't ever forget that!

Peace and love always...

"When you know better, you do better." ~ Maya Angelou
"Unless you love, your life will flash by." ~ Mrs. O'Brien (character in "The Tree of Life" movie by Terrence Malick, actress played by Jessica Chastain).

Update (November 6, 2012): I'm still taking Tai Chi lessons, and love it! I'm on move No. 49. My feet feel great and I walk a lot, as long as I wear good sneakers! I continue being positive and reading positive and inspirational things (these are my fuel!) I feel great! I love my family! I love my job! I love my students!