Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dare to Dream.

I strongly feel that death is actually a small concern compared to the living dead, who have not fulfilled their dream or who have not been true to themselves. Live a life for which you can be thankful. - Patch Adams
Clearing the inner clutter and freeing ourselves from past patterns that would hold us back is the beginning of liberty. But it is only a beginning. We are the ones we have been waiting for, and it is up to us to cultivate our potential for greatness and offer our gifts to the world. If we have emptied ourselves of prejudice, anger, and fear, then we can be filled with love. We can be the dreamers who make a more lovely and equitable world a reality.
'When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes.'
We are great mysteries, living in the sea of life. As the ebb and flow of tides of changes wash through us we can choose growth and expansion, or we can cling to the old ways of thinking and being. Still even if we choose to cling, life itself changes around us, and we find that trying to stop the evolution of our souls is the way of death. If we choose to seek and embrace the changes, to ride the tides and trust the powers that is both within and without, we co-create our destinies and become more than we even dreamed we would be.

The power lies in this moment, this choice. At the intersection of here and now lies the opportunity to begin a new and happier pattern by making a different choice.

'Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else'


06/21/2010

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Loving what we do.

The first thing to remember is that we must be satisfied with our work, knowing that we've done the best we could do with what we had to work with at the time. Know that, if we're worth our salt, we'll always wish we could do more, improve, become more proficient at our craft or skill.

Those who do good work of any kind always seem to be seeking that next mountain to climb, that next challenge that takes them to another creative level. It is crucial to find satisfaction in our work at this time and at this stage of our development. Be gentle and generous with ourselves. Give credit where credit is due. Do not let that inner voice of censorship overwhelm us with self-defeating criticism.
 Be thankful that a task have been completed and then move on. Let's remember that this is one step in a long process. We do not fall or stand by one project, this is not a "make or break" - this is a signpost, a landmark on a long journey. If we look at successful people, we'll see that the majority work patiently at what they do over the long term. We'll find that everyone has their ups and downs, but it's one who keep going that get somewhere. Trust the process.Loving what we do, giving ourselves permission to do something for the sheer love of it. When love is our motivation, others opinions matter less. The fire is generated from inside, from the center of our hearts.

Love is the compass that guides us across the desert stretches and through the howling wilderness. If we love what we do, we will be able to move beyond our own fears and the negative opinions and actions of others. There is no substitute for passionate and heartfelt belief.

"The best picture has not yet been painted; the greatest poem is still unsung; the mightiest novel remains to be written; the divinest music has not been conceived even by Bach. In science, probably ninety-nine percent of the knowable has not yet been discovered' - L. Steffen

06/04/2010


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

With the option of Success how come, sometimes, we choose failure?




I woke up this morning and as always even before opening my eyes, just run my plans and thoughts for the day.

I have had so far a very good year and few more closings to happen within the next month. However there is nothing on the pipeline for August and the following months, so my thoughts this morning was "I have to reach out and get my buyers buying". Well long history short , after doing the work that goes into prospecting, here I am, it is almost 9 pm and I got 3 buyers ready to start looking at houses this weekend, planning to buy by August the latest, wow! what a sense of accomplishment!...

I believe that if we have well-defined dreams and goals, then we focus on putting in the work towards them, THEY WILL HAPPEN....
"We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives. We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams." Les Brown
06/03/2010

Monday, October 22, 2012

Surrendering to Resistance


How often have we tried to control and confine life, living according to old rules, ideas, and expectations? I've wasted so much time and energy on proving I was right, on resisting change, and trying to hold onto the past long after it was time to let it go. It took me a long time to become conscious that another way was possible - a more flexible and easy way to approach life. I have learned that there is a great power in living in the flow.

Sometimes we try to force things to happen. Yet our anxiety and urgency block the very flow we desire. The ego loves to control, confine, define. But freedom of the spirit moves according to a deeper wisdom.
'The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.'
Flowing with life is not merely a passive allowing. Just as a farmer prepares the soil, plants the seeds, waters and cultivates the land, and does his daily work, so we do what we can do to create the optimum conditions for what we desire. It is the life force within the seed and the seed's partnership with the elements that create the magic of growth and fruition. The farmer does not have to stand in the field, grunting and groaning, trying to make the seeds grow. He plants the seeds and trust its nature to fulfill its destiny. We too, can plant and cultivate our seeds of faith and watch them grow according to a greater wisdom than we can yet imagine.

The more we resist, the harder life is. If we are willing to be flexible and open, we'll discover a gentle strength greater than we could have imagined in our earlier power struggles. Surrender to resistance. Go with the flow. And let it lead us into a more fulfilling adventures.
'Those who don't feel this life pulling them like a river, those who don't drink dawn like a cup of spring water or take in a sunset like supper, those who don't want to change, let them sleep.' Rumi
 
05/23/2010 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Blaming Game.



Many times over I have heard, friends and people that I love, speak of good things, always with a 'but' at the end of their sentences: 'I had a nice day but...' 'I had a nice vacation but...' 'He's a good boyfriend but...' and it all remind me of the person I once was.

I remember a time when I, myself, used to use blame others and everything I could, in order to justify my reasons. Parents, job, family, partner, friends, children, government, economical situation, heritage, my home, my income, my car, the weather....anything would do, whatever reason I could find in order to take the focus of what the 'real' problem was.

It was a comfortable place to hide, to avoid the truth, a truth that patiently and silently waited for me to finally have the courage to face it.

As a child I never saw myself over 35 years old. Aging has never scared, for me it was a sign that I had survived the tumultuous early years....and as I age I am glad to see that some kind of crazy wisdom is making me company in my early 'old years'. Today I realize that all the blame was just a big waste of time. Blaming others and the circumstances that I've, ironically, many times put myself in, was just a waste of everyone's time.

As I look back and see things much more clear now than I did then, I see that I let fear dictate most of my actions growing up, fear to be alone, fear to be abandoned, fear to have another parent walk away without ever looking back, fear to be hungry again, fear that others could see the life me and my siblings lived and judge or take us away, fear of not having friends, fear of never being happy, fear of not being accepted by who I was...and the list goes on. Fear had created a whole 'persona' inside and I let it dominate my young years with its loud voice echoing inside.

Blaming others for what I did or for what I didn't was just a way to keep looking at external factors in order to find an explanation for my own unhappiness or frustration. Blaming others didn't change and will never change others, didn't change the fear inside, it didn't make others act or behave differently, it didn't change ME.

In few occasions, I was even successful making others feel guilty or sorry for something they did, but even then I would be 'happy' for a little while and then, like an 'addiction', I had to find something or someone else to blame...However, there was always a little voice inside that would remind me that the cause of my unhappiness was within myself, not outside.

Life has taught me, not too long ago, that I experience and live with the 'monsters' I create with my own hands. That the only way to change the outcome of my experiences is changing myself. Facing my own fears, changing the way I behave, the way I respond to things that happens to me, changing even the circle of people most close to me.

Stopping this belief that the world revolves around me, that I am that important, that everyone else on the planet has it better than I do, learning that all that happens is not, necessarily, personal and direct at me - wow, even as I write this, it sounds so farfetched that someone can think this way - Life has taught me that an honest eye to eye conversation - with myself and others - might not be the easy thing to do when we hurt but it can avoid deep scars and a life of what ifs.

Learning to silence my mind and dealing with my fears one by one, letting them finally rest, having a cold look inside myself and being my own critic, pointing fingers at my own mistakes, behaviors and thoughts, accepting responsibility for what I have done, or not done, then learning to respect other's choices, and walk away when they still have their own lessons to learn, loving and respecting myself first, standing up for my dreams and goals, understanding and forgiving myself.

Learning that forgiveness has a healing power so immense that can transform a life. To say 'I am sorry' and 'I forgive you' has helped me heal my soul and mind. It has taught me that I am capable of making a difference, if not in someone else's life, I most certainly can make a difference in my own life.

N. Cardoso 05/10/2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Art of Simplicity

The art of simplicity is not only about things and experiences, it's about the choices you make and how you cultivate character. The old-fashioned virtues have been neglected, but they are timeless essentials for a fulfilling life.
 
You know how complex life can get when you procrastinate so long that a neglected problem takes on a life of its own. Suddenly the leak has become a flood, the pile of paper, an avalanche inundating your desk, the little white lies turn into a complicated attempt to remember the stories you told. Sometimes the difficult choices turn out to be the simplest choices of all.

The choices and attitudes that make life simpler and easier are ones of character and integrity. One of the easiest ways to cultivate inner simplicity is to practice gratitude. By giving thanks for what we receive, we encourage the universe to shower even more of the good things of life upon us. We come to realize that we are rich in the things that count.
'Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.' - Melody Beattie
'Only one thing is more frightening than speaking the truth. And that is not speaking.' - Naomi Wolf
05/08/2010

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Walk the Talk.

Motivational author and speaker Zig Ziglar once said,
"Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be."
Think about words like commitment, honesty, accountability, respect, courage, ethics, and integrity. These are important words when it comes to your success, but these words are meaningless if you don't live by them. After all, if you constantly say one thing and do another, you will lose people's trust. And without the trust of your family, partners, friends, clients, or colleagues, success is impossible. The late Christopher Reeve once said,
"I think we all have a little voice inside that will guide us.... If we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do."

Behaving according to our beliefs can be a challenge. But when it comes to earning trust, keeping trust, and therefore maximizing your success, walking your talk is critical.
05/08/2010

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Change of address.

Hello there,

Thank you for stopping by. Please follow the link below to sign up and start following us on the new revised blog.

http://yourpoweriswithin.wordpress.com/

I look forward to see you there. Feel free to leave a note or your opinion.

See y9ou soon,

N Cardoso

Change of address

Hello,

Thank you for stopping by The Power Within. Please just follow the link below to sign in into the new address.

http://yourpoweriswithin.wordpress.com/

Please stop by and feel free to leave a note. I look forward to hear from you.

N. Cardoso
 

Life's a Classroom

I was driving to my office this morning thinking about some of the latest events that has happened, which without any doubt have pulled me down for a while there. This event has brought back feelings that I believed was never to be experienced again in this lifetime.

As always the radio was playing something that I was not paying attention to but then a song came along and got my attention. As I listened to the lyrics something just clicked. Part of the lyrics said "...life is much more than our eyes can see" and it reminded myself that there are so many great reasons to be happy, not let temporary obstacles drawn us down. The song went something like this:

"Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it's more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don't you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining
It doesn't matter what you've heard
Impossible is not a word
It's just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody's scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It'll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what our eyes are seeing
You will find your way

We all go through ups and downs in life, it becomes harder to have the downs when you have learned what the ups means, however this same knowledge on the other token should be the strength that pulls you to stand up straight, look right ahead and continue to believe on things you believed.

Bad, insensitive,, simply mean people are all around, don't ever change your values and beliefs because they show you how deceiving and unscrupulous a person can be. In moments like this, it is ok to feel down, to hurt and temporarily lose faith in humanity, step back and evaluate the situation, cry and let your wounds heal at its own time. In time we will realize that the day has come to close the book behind, recognize that these people have been deceiving themselves much more than they have deceived you and look ahead. Get closer and surround yourself with the ones you care and truly care about you, their love for you will make all be fine again.

Love is always worth and it is a powerful energy that keeps us going like the Duracell bunny....

Have a great day!

05/06/2010

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Good Morning World....I'm alive!

Welcome every morning with a smile. Take 5 minutes to enjoy your surroundings, take a deep and fresh breath, let the smell of the world run through your veins and enjoy the feel of wonder that comes with the knowledge of how miraculous is to be alive...

If you can,  stop for a couple of minutes or even seconds, close your eyes, open your arms wide and breathe slowly, picture the air getting trough your nostrils and going into your lungs, bringing the vital energy to your body, refreshing every little space of your body, now.... hold it....then slowly let it go through your mouth, until all is empty...taking out all the impurities, bitterness, sadness and leaving a clean slate for a new and great life to start.

Look on the new day as yet another special opportunity ... "Every day is a good day to examine our prime-time priorities.

Positive thoughts make you feel not only happier, but help you to live longer. What we have is a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day, we must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives, we must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams.

This is the only life we have and we must live it the best we possibly can. Make a difference on yours and someones life today.

Have a Great Day! 09/2010

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Finding Balance

 Balance is the point where the spiritual, physical and emotional aspects of our personalities meet and concur” –Deirdre Lovell
It's funny to realize, every day, how life works. Do you know when you get a car, that you believe to be totally unique, just to realize, after you buy it,that every other person in town has the same model.Or you think about someone you haven't heard or talked to for a while, that person, just out of the blue, send you a note or make a call? Well this happens to me, a lot.
Last week it was one of those weeks, sometimes feeling something out of a 'twilight zone' episode. In almost every conversation I have had, either be with friends, family, colleagues or just complete strangers with whom I stroke a casual conversation while waiting for an appointment or at the market line...in almost every one of them we end up striking one common point, balance. We start with a light and easy chat about the week, work, weather, flowers, the coming summer - which makes most of the New Englanders excited - and then, it shifts into family and how to balance the personal, family, social and professional life in order to be able to do all the things that are important without losing touch with the things that are only ours, without losing ourselves.

How can we still be an individual with ideas, dreams and realizations at the same time as being a 'professional', 'employer', 'employee', 'mothers', 'daughters', 'husbands and wifes', 'partners', 'fathers' and 'sons'. How to be everything else that we are suppose to be and still be the person, that unique and original individual, we all wanted to become? How to create and live a well balanced and satisfying life in the meantime? How to hold the scale in the middle, without shifting too much to one side or the other?

I guess we all have a list of things we want to achieve in life....Finding Balance is the second goal in my life goal list, and I have learned that it is a lifelong process, it's a daily chore and require practice, lots of practice. It's not something you learn today, apply and let it go, counting on 'it' to have a life in its own. It's something that requires daily attention and dedication. You know, almost like educating your children...how many times did you repeat or hear your parents say 'What do you say...?' when you want to your children to learn how to say 'thank you'...balancing life is something like that...it's a everyday, every hour, every minute activity and has more to do with time management than you would like to believe.

Creating order in our daily routines works, and works well. A path is not a path with one stepping stone in the beginning and one in the end. It requires one stone after the other, going somewhere to be an actual path. Order, will allow you to make time for what's important to you. For me, making lists~ which I usually put together at night, after checking the ones I had for the day that is ending ~ works well. It does feel good to see my daily list all checked out and motivates me to keep on doing what I am doing.

My first 2 hours of the day are usually reserved to myself, no cell phone, no computer...it's a time I take to myself, to read, write, meditate, take photos, walk on the beach, enjoy my cup of coffee, do yoga or anything that I have pleasure on doing. This is what is important to me, at this time in my life.

Focus on whatever is that is important to you, work with a good schedule and add them into your to-do list. Seriously, if it's your family, shut off all the external influences and distractions (unless you are a surgeon or an attorney with a client on the death row scheduled to be executed today), really, stay with them and enjoy the time you have together. It's the quality of the moments spent together that create unforgettable memories, not the quantity.

Make those minutes, hours or days worth. It's important to stick to it. I usually say to myself: 'If this was an appointment with a client, I would not miss for the world.' If I am ready to overcome any obstacle to honor an appointment with a client who, sometimes I have yet to meet, why I would not be able to make to the 'appointment' with myself, my family, friends or to what is really important to me? Don't take me wrong, yes my clients are important, they are my livelihood but, if I don't care for myself, I will not have much to offer to then either.

Start right now - make lists, enter on your tablet, iphone, make post its...whatever works for you. Start with tackling just a couple of things on the list so you don’t get overwhelmed at first. Start with baby steps...make a little list and add one thing you want at a time. You don't have to read a whole book in one day...reading one chapter or a page a day is a great way to do. The habit makes the monk isn't that as the saying goes?

A new month starts tomorow, it's a great opportunity to start something new. So start today and enjoy!
Noemi Cardoso 04/30/2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

How would you spend today if it were the one day by which your entire life would be judged?

What would I write if I knew I only had one shot at making a difference in someone’s life?

How would I spend the next hour with my twenty three year old daughter and my twenty one year old son if I knew it was the only hour they’d remember from their teenager years when they are an adult?

How would I spend this evening with my loved ones if it were the last evening we would spend together?

How would I spend my money today if I knew that today spoke financially for the rest of my days?

Would I hold my temper? Would I stop being such a perfectionist?

Would I set a good example?

Would I not worry what the neighbors thought and just run through the sprinkler in my clothes, laughing with my children?

Would I make a perfectly delicious, tasty meal and smile at my children across the dinner table – or would I just throw a box of Tuna Helper out there?

Every single day, we’re making an impact on the people around us. The people we love. The people we merely like. The people we will never directly know. Even on ourselves – our future health, happiness, relationships, skills and finances. Every single day, we have a chance to really make all of those things shine – or we can buy a sack full of double cheeseburgers and sit in the basement all evening watching Friends reruns or texting people we wouldn't have anything to say if they were sitting next to us.

Today is really the only day that matters. You can’t make your past self do anything. You can’t make your future self do anything, either. Your only freedom of choice is right now, and thus today is your one chance to paint your masterpiece.

What are you going to do today to make it your masterpiece?'
 
October 2010

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Obstacle in our Path

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.

Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

The peasant learned what many of us never understand! Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

Tiny Buddha 09/2010

Monday, October 8, 2012

Embrace your Vulnerabilities

Embracing vulnerability is one of the toughest challenges. Being vulnerable means accepting the unknown and uncontrollable. The protective walls of “perfection” are removed. And our authentic self is fully present. While one of the greatest challenges, embracing vulnerability is also one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.

With all the pain and challenges in life, it would seem foolhardy to encourage vulnerability. However, there are benefits to allowing yourself to be open to the unknown and accepting your inability to handle every situation by yourself.

Take a moment to think of a time that you were vulnerable.

Perhaps it was the moment when you first told someone that you loved them? Or maybe it was the last time you experienced problems with your health? Chances are you were apprehensive (or just plain scared) about the outcome. Will the person you love feel the same about you? Will your illness be treatable? While these events leave you open to harm, they can turn out to be positive experiences.

Consider the satisfaction of knowing that you are loved in return! Imagine your joy when you learn that you will recover!

If however your vulnerability leaves you wounded, there are still lessons to be learned. Emotional and physical pain can often be the impetus for positive personal change and improvement. In addition, you will likely find yourself surrounded by an unexpected and kindly support system that you may not have realized existed.

Being vulnerable requires trust and faith that, despite the outcome, you will be changed.

Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. Letting your guard down and opening yourself up to whatever comes is a testament of true strength.

Don’t deny your vulnerability – embrace it. It is proof that you are a caring, involved, and strong individual!
I am not a person who likes to be viewed as vulnerable – I usually prefer to be a portrait of strength, stability, and independence. My experiences, however, have taught me that there are times that it is necessary and beneficial to let down my defenses and allow myself to be loved by my support system.-Jamie Saunders (Perseverance)
 
by Carolyn Rubestein 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

2 Years After Thoughts for a New Day

Once upon a time I used to go to a place that was my utmost favorite, it was 'The Place' I would go to recharge, think, talk quietly with myself, listen and usually ignore what my instincts was saying, because it was not what I wanted to hear.  

I haven't been there for 3 years - as of next week. Not because of the place itself, but because I have been afraid of the memories this place would bring back. I wasn't sure I was ready for it.

Memories of times spend with someone who is not a part of my life any longer, memories of many empty promises made by someone who I believed would be part of my life for the long haul, anyhow, all that it is now gone, and amazingly enough, it seems unimportant on the big scheme of things that came to pass. Unfortunately, for a very long while, I associate the place to a person.

Well, much water has passed under that bridge, and even tough I have not yet published everything I have written during this time, I decided to publish this. I though it was appropriate since I just published a post written a little over two years ago - Thoughts for a New Day - when I was still free-falling to the cold dark bottom, broken so badly that, I thought then, I was beyond repair. This has been a 3 long yet amazing years on the process of rebuilding myself.

When I left my home this morning, I had no plans whatsoever to go there, I got into the car with the sole intent of going for a hike and take some pictures. There was no set destination as I drove out of my driveway, just a desire to enjoy a beautiful Fall day. After going to a couple of places, taking some photos, it took me by surprise as I realized that I was there, right at the place I loved going to.

Oh my, it felt like so many years ago. The parking lot right in front of me, inviting me in and so I decided to enter. As I parked the car I realized that the time had finally came for me to overcome that "forbidden place" mentality and go for a walk.

It just took a meager couple of minutes to realize that I, and no one else, have created this taboo about the park. The joy I used to feel was still there. As I took the first steps and saw the monarch butterflies playing under the sun, I could smell the brine of the ocean which brought back to memory the reason why this place was chosen as my refuge. It reminded me that it was my favorite place, before and in spite of any of those memories were built, and it was time to remove the tainted association from it and start enjoying it again.

I walked the couple of miles, all the way to the inlet where I used to take a break, sit and picnic. It took me completely by surprise to see the transformation that had occurred.

The path that used to be a narrow one, with a rocky beach in one side and 8+ feet high dunes on the other side, was much different now. The dunes were gone ~ maybe swept away by Hurricane Irene last year ~ and like on a strange co-relation, I saw my favorite place, much like the 'me' walking there today completely transformed.

The landscape had become this flat open scenery where, I now could see far into the horizon. The little and peaceful river branch that used to be hidden by the tall dunes, was wide exposed, easy to see from the ocean side. The narrow path was now wide and open, covered with soft white sand.

As I walk down this so familiar path, this new environment made me think about the person I've become. This place and I were completely and profoundly changed. Our old appearance have drastically changed.. Yes the important things are still there, the sand-my beliefs, the river-my dreams, the ocean-my soul, yet we were forever transformed.

The open and clear horizon, even though it seem serene and peaceful now, still holds fresh signs of the path taken by the storm. I can clearly see what areas have been affected by it, what has happened and how it molded and reshaped the old land into this new scenery. The changes occurred have left its scars, and only if one knew the place before one would be able to see the change that has happened.

My little inlet, as well my own landscape, have been completely redesigned, from what looked set and secure, to a brand new, creatively beautiful and simple wide open world.

Even tough it took a strong storm, which have destroyed many things on its way, it had also created all the beauty of today, all the new life I see at this time. For sure it is different from the beauty of before, but somehow it is even more harmonious and peaceful.

The tall dunes always made me aware that an animal could come from behind it; I had always made me, walking along the path, to be aware of the possibility of an expected surprise lurking behind those tall dunes, they made impossible for me to see what the paths that were behind them.

Now, as I walked down the old and familiar path, I can just enjoy the view, the whole path of this little journey is now, open wide, right in front of me, there was no more risk of the unknown, I could see far and wide into the distant horizon.

Changes were visible, scars were all around. The piping plovers were gone, their nest and sheltered area completely destroyed. The marsh between the inlet and the ocean washed away. The soft little beach area where I used to swim, now sinks about 4.5 feet down below surrounded by sand walls that exquisitely surrounds the body of water, as to remind us of the big transformation that has taken place, at the same time it protects the new, still fragile landscape from the rushing hi-tide flooding the whole area again. The inlet opening ~ which connects the two bodies of land ~ that was, in the past impossible to cross, is now much smaller and allows me do cross from one side to the other during the low tide, just walking across.

However, like anything in nature, all the surroundings have adapted to the new design. The birds found a new nesting area, the marsh is growing fresh and filled with life on the other side of the river, the ocean water found new grounds to flood when the hi-tide comes in, also creating a brand new habitat filled with life that was not there before, and on things go as they might.

As I reached the inlet, I sat there, soaking in all the changes and beauty. the co-relation between my little paradise and my own little life was astonishing. It made me finally realize that the eye of the storm has passed and we have both survived.

My redesign took 3 years, almost to the date, to become what it is today, but like it did with my little sanctuary, it has created new curves and lines on the shore. It is again renewed, reborn, filled with life, hopes and possibilities.

Being able to sit there and see the rush of the ocean in one side, and the serene curves and water of the inlet on the other, taught me that opposites can co-exist.

I have a need for passion and at the same time I am on a quest for balance, this new scenery showed me that I can have both as long I can understand and respect its limitations, weakness and strengths. Sometimes the passion (ocean) has to come and take control the balance (river) and then some other times the river (balance) has to push the ocean (passion) away to allow life to emerge.

There is a subtle balance between the rush and openness of the ocean and the serene peace and quiet of the little inlet. I realize that changes don't have always to be a bad things and I can have both passion and balance in my life.

I figure that our new design works perfectly with the life we now live. It is filled with a unique beauty. It has interest, designs, lots of character and charm and an immense array of possibilities.

It becomes clear that everything is now okay and the only memories I have left of this place, are the memories of peace, rebirth, joy and happiness.

Looking at this exceptional change I am certain that I, like this little paradise, have changed and became a new and enhanced version of my old self. The horizon is open and clear as far as my eyes can see. The path, I now take, is open, wide and sunshine bright and clear right in front of me.

Well, the point of this post is to show that, no matter where you are, no matter how far you believe tomorrow is, how much it feels that this pain will never leave, how hard is to believe that you will stand up again, just be patient, take time to meditate, take more time to breathe, be lovingly and forgiven with yourself, let time do what it does best, allow that a new landscape brings all back to life, learn the lesson in your way and be ready for that day when you just open your eyes and discover that it is all okay and life is just a wonderful thing and it is worth to be lived at its fullest.


"When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability…To be alive is to be vulnerable." ~ Madeleine L’Engle
by N. Cardoso 10/07/2012

Thoughts for a new day.

I have lived an experience today that I thought it was completely behind me. I needed something to bring me back to my own self. I have been on this path to the center of myself for a while and still shakes me when something like this happens, it takes me off my balance. This is a fragile phase and I must hold myself with care so I can keep myself where I am and get the strengh to move forward. I am still holding to a crouch to keep my aching heart and, at this moment, any action can send me back to the beginning of the path...

I decided to go for a long and well deserved walk with the full moon illuminating my way to and back from the beach. The clear sky, mercury still close to the moon and easily seen from down here, the calm waves shining under the moon light like tiny diamonds, and the sweet ocean breeze surrounding and embracing me with its fragrance. All that harmony made me desire to be part of it and enticed me to a night swim, it felt like the sea welcomed me and hugged me with its warm water making me one with it.

Now sitting here awake at 11:00 with no sign that I will sleep at any time soon, listening to Billie Holiday singing in the background....I had to go to my readings to try to find the peace and balance in my soul that this event has disturbed...to get thought tonight and see a new tomorrow.

This is the last day of summer, my favorite time of the year and I have promised myself that this is also the last day that this issue will ever bother me again.

These are few of the thoughts I read on one of my books and they just spoke to me as I needed them.

"You have done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn into positive, effective, unstoppable determination."

"The meeting of two souls is like the contact of two substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed."

"These are my last words to you. Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact."

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as thoughh you could not hold a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."

"The stupidest mistake in life is thinking the one who hurt you the most, won't hurt you again.

Now it is the time I have been waiting for. Time to laugh, to rise, to be happy and free again.

N. Cardoso 09/22/2010

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Changes...

New and exciting changes are just ahead of me and when I close my eyes I can see it clear as the sun that shines in this gorgeous Fall day in New England.

Life have turned out to be such a great thing...memories of the dark days of my childhood are so far from me today that it seems to belong to someone else. I have grown, have fallen, have collected the tiny pieces of my heart time and time again, started from zero more times than I care to mention, got it right sometimes, screw up many times, made so many mistakes that it makes hard to count then sometimes...but have also learned so many precious lessons along the way...

I think the ones I loved and lost; the ones that are no longer around; the ones that are still with me in spite of myself; the ones I've helped along the way; the ones who held me together as I felt apart; the ones that I loved but rather stay away. When I close my eyes so many faces runs through my mind and I wonder what has happen to some;others I wish them the best but don't want them in my life even tough at some point they were the air I breathed; rejoice for the success and happiness of many; others have been forgiven even though they have never said 'sorry'.

I have learned, through the generosity of the least expected person in my life, that forgiveness leads us to the path to redemption, for that she will always be in my prayers. Forgiveness of others and ourselves opens the doors to healing and healing guides us to acceptance, peace and self balance.

The joy that comes from the inside is such that, sometimes, when I think of the journey I've traveled so far, tears of gratitude strings down my face, there is no sorrow nor sadness, instead a fuzzy happy feeling (like a glass of bubbly) feels my soul and heart, all the memories of times I thought I was all alone in the dark, and the realization that there was always His arms holding me even when I couldn't see it then.

They say that age brings you wisdom, peace, acceptance and balance, I believe it does ~ if you are willing to look inside yourself ~ to deal with the pluses and minuses that comes along with living a fulfilling life, understanding that risks and mistakes are part of the journey and like anything else, sometimes we win and many other times we lose, but there is always something fruitful to come out of it.

I am happier, peaceful and in balance with myself today at 50 more than I have ever been. It is a feeling free of someone or something else, it is this infinite source inside, that pours through me, loving and appreciating every little blessing that comes my way. No, life is far from being perfect (whatever that might be), but if it ended right here and right now I would leave with a smile in my face and a light spirit knowing that I lived a good and fulfilling life.

That is the thought in my mind every night before I fall into the arms of unconsciousness ~"If I don't wake up tomorrow, was this life worth living??? And as I slide into my dreams the answer echoes in my brain YES IT HAS!'

Last night I dreamt that I was dancing alone in my kitchen and singing 'I can see clearly now...'
 
So I leave the great Jimmy Cliff in one of my favorite songs, enjoy your day my friend, it is such an special day that will only happen once in your lifetime. Make it a memorable one!


 
Noemi Cardoso 09/11/2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Honesty: A lost Treasure?

Honesty is one of the greatest signs of a person's character. It is too easy to let slide and avoid saying our truthful thoughts to the people we care about. Not behind their backs, to others in a whisper... but staring at their eyes, in private, in a loving manner.

To say not just the bad, the flaws we see, not to humiliate but to motivate, a 'positive criticism' - if that is at all a possibility, after all criticism has always a bitter taste - (On a side note here, we must also be open-minded to accept the same 'positive criticism' from them). We must also recognize, highlight and applaud their good with the same easy we point fingers at their faults.

It can make you, break you, help you to succeed. It can destroy you, exonerate you and even bury you. BUT the thing that it will guarantee to do is to bring peace, harmony, trust, wealth, friendship, peace of mind, but most of all love and respect.

Honesty is not something you just expect to get from others because you believe to be entitled to it. It is something you give to others at the same proportion you expect to receive. Once honesty it is gone in any type of relationship then trust is wounded, and even tough a relationship can still remain, it will always be like trying to put together the pieces of a broken mirror...it might work still, but the image that reflects from it will always be distorted and imperfect.

Many today, have forgotten the importance of it and the 'few' that still honors this trait of a good character are usually labeled 'idiots'. Most people exercise the current 'what is in for me' mentality. The current society of 'immediate satisfaction at all costs' is transforming characters and relationships into something unnecessary and banal.

You can call me a dreamer, but I rather be an 'idiot' than a lost soul in search of a never-ending fantasy life filled with lies, pumped up by TV reality shows to fulfill the emptiness of my own life. Just because 'everybody does it' it does not make it right. That is where the use of common sense and free will should kick in.

Honesty is what comes out and it is what is expected from others. Without the bad I will never be the great human being I am cut out to be. Without losing I will never savor the taste of a sweet victory, without being discriminated I will never enjoy the pleasure of fitting in, without a tear I will never recognize the thrill of a happy smile.

No matter what the weather is on the outside, it will always be sunny on the inside because I know where the truth comes from and no one has the power to diminish it or try to mold me into something else, so they can feel comfortable on their own skin. Like the song said, “Don’t worry, be happy”.

Smile, regardless the tears streaming down your face, there will always be a sunshine shining after a stormy day.

N. Cardoso 07/26/2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Road To Happiness

"The U.S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up to it yourself'"
"When I travel on business, I like to talk to the taxi drivers who take me from the airport to my hotel, or to a convention center, or to a restaurant. Taxi drivers are often immigrants with interesting personal histories and unusual cultural backgrounds. I ask them how long they've been in America, how they chose which city to live in, and what they like best about where they live. Of course, I also ask them for advice on good local restaurants and any special attractions they'd recommend to a visitor. I've had some great experiences on my travels, thanks to the advice of taxi drivers!

On one trip about ten years ago, I was making conversation with the taxi driver, asking him my usual questions about how he came to live where he lived. Then I asked him a hypothetical question: "If you could live anywhere in the world—and if money was no object—where would you live?"

Without hesitating even for a second, he replied, "I live in my heart. So it really doesn't matter where my body lives. If I am happy inside, then I live in paradise, no matter where my residence is."

I felt humbled and a little foolish for my question. Of course he was right—happiness is an inside job. He had reminded me of something I already knew, but had forgotten. If you can't find happiness inside yourself, you'll never find it in the outside world, no matter where you move. Wherever you go, there you are. You take yourself with you.

I am grateful for the wisdom of that taxi driver. And I'm grateful for all the wisdom others have shared with me about how to be happy."  by Mac Anderson and BJ Gallagher

          

You don't have to be a graduate from Harvard to know what that cab driver knew....

Until you learn to be happy with what you have and with whoever you are, regardless of any outside circunstance, no one can help you.

You have to search deep down within yourself to realy find the happiness we all strive for. Happiness is not a when and a where, it is a here and now!
Excuses can be made - when I have a bigger house, when I go on vacation, when I get there, when this or that happens...

There is an immense amount of excuses you can create, or just absorb from others to keep you from facing the real problem, however, until you realize that IF happiness was only encoutered on richness and possessions, millions of people around the world wouldn't have the faintest chance to achieve it, yet without any of the riches people in riches nations have, they know, they have the grasp and understanding what happiness really is. It is so simple that in a capitalist world, in a 'what is in for me' mentality, in a life lived vicariously through ridiculous 'reality shows on TV' it scapes, like the fine sand on the beach escapes through your fingers as you try to hold it, through the majority people's understanding.

Happines has no price, but never fool yourself into believing that because it is a free commodity it has no value...it has no price and it is available to all without discrimination not because it has no value but because there is not enough gold, diamond and money in the world tthat could pay the price that is worth.

The pictures on this post are pictures of few places I've lived in and had the opportunity to visit. There are so many different and gorgeous places that I would need a much bigger album to add all of them, however, today, as I look back,  I realize that I have been blessed enough to live and visit few of the most beatiful places in the world but I also realize that I was only partially happy in every place, because I, like many, I was always looking looking for something outside myself, for what was missing, for 'the next big thing', the thrill...
 
 
Now, those places are thousands of miles away from me, maybe one day I will be blessed enough to visit them again, who knows, life is a wonderful adventure, but the happiness and joy I feel inside can't be tainted by anything else.
 
 
No one, and I truly mean no one, have the power to take it away from me.  Even tough bad things, heart breaks, disapointments, eventual failures and life in general is not a 'perfect life' (whatever that might be), even tough I am still searching for an even better part of myself, I know that, in the end, there is only one person that holds the key to my complete happiness, and that person is myself.

N.Cardoso





Saturday, June 23, 2012

Staying Positive on a Negative World.

I was reading this article this morning and thought it was a good reading for the begining of a new week and worth sharing with you...hope you do enjoy as well.

"We live in a world full of many negative and bad things.

Sometimes I am sure that you think that there can not be anything good happening! The media loves bad news! It reports on wars, crime, famine, recession, disease and disasters all the time. Such news they say sells. Yes there are many bad things happening and yes many of them will affect us at times.

What happens though when these things become all consuming?

Many people today are depressed, they drink and overeat to drown their misery which adds to their woes. What can we do to stay positive and get more out of life? For entrepreneurs it is vital to stay positive. How can you make your business grow and succeed if you are always worried about the next problem around the corner?

What is Real Positive Thinking?

Firstly let me be realistic about ‘positive thinking.’ Positive thinking will not give you some power to do what is not possible. This reminds me of the story of the man who said that positive thinking would allow him to jump off the top of a 30 story building and land without getting hurt. As he fell and passed a window on the fifteenth floor he was heard to say, “So far so good!”

How do we define real positive thinking? It is a realistic view of the world. There are many good things, many good people, many kind acts. When faced with problems there are usually solutions or methods to cope with them. A positive view helps a person to overcome or go around obstacles. To get to the other side of a mountain you do not need to go over it! You may walk or possible sail around it. There is often another way.

With positive thinking a problem is just a challenge. It will require a strategy and maybe help from someone to solve it or help you live with it.

My grandmother you used to say that there is no such word as ‘can’t’. I can’t do that or I can't do this? How do you know unless you try? Now a real positive thinker will know that there are some things you can’t do. At my age I will not win an Olympic Gold Medal in the 100 metres! This does not mean though that I can’t run and enjoy it! Be positive about what you can do and be prepared to try new things to see what your talents will allow you to do.

Being Positive in Business

The great thing about business is that you do not have to be able to do everything yourself. You can outsource work, get a business partner or employ someone. No such word as can’t! You can because you can get someone else to do the things you can’t do or do not have time to learn how to do them.

You need to look at every problem as a challenge. How can this be solved? Or how can you work around it? Use experts that can help if the problem is bigger than you can handle or you lack the knowledge to deal with it.

Learn to be realistic so that when you have a fantastic business you check it out before plunging into it. The positive thinking gurus will tell you that if you are positive any business idea will work. Rubbish! When many people tell you that your idea won’t work they may possibly be right. But ask the right people. Potential customers are your best option! Try and look at things in an objective way and do market research before risking your hard earned and cash and wasting time on projects that will not make you any money. However keep in mind that if what you are proposing is brand new it will meet resistance from investors, banks and others but if genuine market research (not your mum!) shows that there is sufficient demand then go for it!

Avoid Negativity

Whilst you need to be a realist, one thing that the positive thinking guru will encourage is to avoid being too connected with negative thinkers. That is probably good advice. Limit your time with the doom-mongers of this world. You know the ones. It’s too hot, then it’s too cold, and they are happiest when they are miserable! Most news channels on the TV show the same depressing news over and over again. By all means keep up to date but why watch or listen to the same story time after time? Read a good book instead or find something to do that will not only benefit you but will help others too.

Enjoy your life!

Take a pride and pleasure in what you do. Success is not to be measured against someone else’s wealth. There are many miserable millionaires in this world and money does not buy happiness. Surveys show that those most satisfied with their lives are people that work for little or nothing in the way of money as they spend their time helping others not as fortunate as themselves. In business there is a great deal of satisfaction from helping your customers to solve their problems or simply make them happy. Build your business around customer satisfaction.

That satisfaction will reflect in your enjoyment of your work and will give a you a positive feeling that no amount of positive thinking without such results will ever give.'

Monday, June 18, 2012

A magic moment!

I woke up this morning and between that little moment before the dream's memories goes away and the reality sets in, I hear birds chirping as the sun rises, the day gets brighter almost by the second. The sound of the ocean waves smoothly playing with the rocks and pebbles on the beach comes to me through my bedroom windows. The brine smell creeps in and reminds me of how blessed I am. The sweet perfume of wild roses swirling awakens my senses.
I throw my legs up in the air and push the covers away, just to feel the morning chill in the air in my still warm body...I pull them back quickly, all the way up to my neck and snuggle under it for a little bit more. I smile because that peaceful moment plays with my head, reminding me of days thata are long gone, giving an extra special meaning to this peaceful moment...I avoid putting my feet on the floor for as long I possibly can because once I do, this special time will be over, and all the daily routines must start. 

'You've got to get up every morning with determination, if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction' - the quote from Geoge Lorimer comes to my awaking mind, and I think: it's another wonderful day for the living and I am looking forward to all the wonderful promises and adventures this day has in store for me.

It's Monday, my friends, enjoy this day like no other. Make this a day to be remembered on the days to come. Have a magnificent day! 

N. Cardoso 06/18/2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

Who is this person on my mirror, who stares right back at me?

Look into the mirror... NO, I am not kidding....seriously look into the mirror. Instead checking out your skin, face, shave, hair, clothes, etc.... look into the eyes that stare right back at you. Look deep into the person that stares right back at you. Then ask: 'Who are you?'

Have you ever done this exercise? Once in a while I do practice this and to be honest is not always a pleasant exercise, okay, all right, 99.9% of the times is actually an unpleasant experience, but it is an eye opening one. Sometimes I get the answers to my own questions, I must confess that usually I don't like what I hear. Respond to your own question with honesty and sincerity, be candid and brutally honesty, this is the only way this exercise can have any positive result. Sugar coating reality is not going to cut it.

The majority of us have the habit to think that we do our best on everything, then I ask you. Do we? Really? To say we never did anything to deserve this! - Seriously? That we have been treated unfairly? - Truly? That we are always nice to everybody else? - Honestly? That we don't understand why this happened to me? - Are we for real?

If we have the courage to face the person in the mirror and be honest and frank with the same effortless energy that we usually have to judge others we may find that the truth is a 'little tinny' different than the one we perceive.

I will share a personal experience with you - something happened to me a couple of weeks ago and I thought to myself  'I never did anything to deserve this...' this is what I have said and heard many times me and other people saying - 'I did nothing to deserve this....' then looking into the mirror, staring at my red crying tired eyes, looking for an answer inside myself.... it hit me like an eighteen wheeler on a high-speed highway coming down the mountain....

That was where I went wrong....the core of the problem was what I was using to justify myself.... 'I didn't do anything'....

Issues were boiling between me a loved one for a while, I had quiet my own instinct, I had hushed the little voice that urged me to an eye to eye discussion. I silenced myself and behaved like all was well, to avoid a confrontation I made myself believe that everything would all go away, that maybe was just a phase, that as long politeness and common courtesy existed all was fine - oh boy, I didn't see it coming and that was where things went wrong, my biggest mistake was 'to do nothing'.  

Due to my aphaty, my cowardice, my weakness to confront the little signs and situations with an honest conversation, the little problems became out of control and created a parallel life in itself and then it all came to an unexpected and uncontrollable point that all exploded.

There is a saying that I used to hear when little that comes to mind: "The worst blind is the one who refuses to see". I refused to open my eyes to see what was happening. Because it was comfortable, because I was afraid of the consequences, because I was afraid of the truth, I was afraid of loosing - now here I was, getting the truth direct from myself and that was not an easy thing to hear.

When our own shoes hurts it feels differently, the discomfort is bigger, the pain is more profound than when someone else's shoes hurt. We might just ask why don't they change the shoes??? Then again why don't we change ours when it hurts? Just because the response is usually not that simple.

It does amazes me how easy it is to look at others and say what their problems are, where they have made a mistake, how they didn't fight for themselves, etc...and then, when it comes to the person looking back in the mirror, we are so condescending, so flexible with the facts. Funny to learn how reality works in different measures. We are so ready to justify, usually blaming others for our own mistakes or just exonerating ourselves of anything and becoming martyrs.

We must learn how bad pain can be to really exercise true compassion towards others. We must realize that nobody can always be nice (unless they are afraid of showing who they really are and be rejected), that we are not always fair, that we do not always do our best, that even thought we don't want to listen we do, most of the times know and understand why things are happening to us.

Growing is a painful process, but it is also a rewarding one. Being today, better than we were yesterday and striving to be better yet tomorrow is the right and not always glorious path to a fulfilling life. Part of this growing process is not just forgiving others but most importantly... forgiving ourselves.

Being patient, loving, gentle and caring to ourselves while walking the road that will bring us to better understand our own flaws and weakness it will, in time, make us stronger and wiser to be more understanding, loving, caring and forgiving towards others. It is a daily exercise and many times we do make the same mistakes over and over until one day we finally get it, and then we practice to remove that habit from our list of habits. One habit at a time.

Once you finally figure who this person looking back at you is, with all its weaknesses and strenghts, go back once in a while and ask other questions 'What do you want from your life?' 'Are you happy where you are?' 'What can you do to improve and make a better version of yourself?' and so on.

The world can go on and there is very little we can do to change others. There is only one person you can change in the universe and that person is yourself. You can change you mind set, you can eliminate destructive habits, change behavior, re-program and make a 2.0 version of your old self with many enhanced optimizations and became much better than the person you were before. 

We don't, and will never have all the answers. If we can only figure the answer we need now, at this exact moment while looking to our own eyes in the mirror that alone is a huge step forward. We don't get it right all the time. It is humanly impossible. We fall here and there, we just need to be humble enough to stand up again, recognize our weaknesses, ask for, and give forgiveness. Learn how to get one thing right at a time. That alone is how we end up achieving Victory.



N. Cardoso 08/2010

Monday, May 28, 2012

What is Happiness?



It doesn't matter what your answer is in the and it all boils to one simple and common answer.

It is to become happy.


Whatever country or society people live in, they all have the same deep desire: to become happy. Yet, there are few ideals as difficult to grasp as that of happiness. In our daily life we constantly experience happiness and unhappiness, but we are still quite ignorant as to what happiness really is.
 

The secret of happiness lay in building a strong inner self that no trial or hardship could ruin. Happiness for anyone - man or woman - does not come simply from having a formal education, from wealth, having power or from marriage. It begins with having the strength to confront and conquer one's own weaknesses. Only then does it become possible to lead a truly happy life and enjoy a successful relationship with others.

Happiness doesn't exist in the past or in the future. It only exists within our state of life right now, here in the present, as we face the challenges of daily life.

You know best whether you are feeling joy or struggling with suffering. These things are not known to other people. Even a man who has great wealth and social recognition may still be shadowed by indescribable suffering deep in his heart. On the other hand, an elderly woman who is not fortunate financially, leading a simple life alone, may feel the sun of joy and happiness rising in her heart each day.

Happiness is not a life without problems, but rather the strength to overcome the problems that come our way. There is no such thing as a problem-free life; difficulties are unavoidable. But how we experience, confront and react to our problems depends on us.

Buddhism teaches that we are each responsible for our own happiness or unhappiness. Our vitality - the amount of energy or "life-force" we have - is in fact the single most important factor in determining whether or not we are happy.

True happiness is to be found within, in the state of our hearts. It does not exist on the far side of some distant mountains. It is within you, yourself. However much you try, you can never run away from yourself. And if you are weak, incapable to deal with your own vulnerabilities and mistakes, suffering will follow you wherever you go. You will never find happiness if you don't challenge your weaknesses and change yourself from within.

Happiness is to be found in the dynamism and energy of your own life as you struggle to overcome one obstacle after another. This is why I believe that a person who is active, free from fear and strong to stand for his/her faith and belief is truly happy.

The challenges we face in life can be compared to a tall mountain, rising before a mountain climber. For someone who has not trained properly, whose muscles and reflexes are weak and slow, every inch of the climb will be filled with terror and pain. The exact same climb, however, will be a thrilling journey for someone who is prepared, whose legs and arms have been strengthened by constant training. With each step forward and up, beautiful new views will come into sight.

A teacher used to talk about two kinds of happiness - "relative" and "absolute" happiness. Relative happiness is happiness that depends on things outside ourselves: friends and family, surroundings, the size of our home or family income.

This is what we feel when a desire is fulfilled, or something we have longed for is obtained. While the happiness such things bring us is certainly real, the fact is that none of this lasts forever. Things change. People change. This kind of happiness shatters easily when external conditions alter.

Relative happiness is also based on comparison with others. We may feel this kind of happiness at having a newer or bigger home than the neighbors. But that feeling turns to misery the moment they start making new additions to theirs!

Absolute happiness, on the other hand, is something we must find within. It means establishing a state of life in which we are never defeated by trials and where just being alive is a source of great joy. This persists no matter what we might be lacking, or what might happen around us. A deep sense of joy is something which can only exist in the innermost reaches of our life, and which cannot be destroyed by any external forces. It is eternal and inexhaustible.

This kind of satisfaction is to be found in consistent and repeated effort, so that we can say, "Today, again, I did my very best. Today, again, I have no regrets. Today, again, I won." The accumulated result of such efforts is a life of great victory.

What we should compare is not ourselves against others. We should compare who we are today against who we were yesterday, who we are today against who we will be tomorrow. While this may seem simple and obvious, true happiness is found in a life of constant advancement. And the same worries that could have made us miserable can actually be a source of growth when we approach them with courage and wisdom.


The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. ~Muhammad Ali

N. Cardoso - 08/2010