Category Archives: Happiness

Patience, why now?

During a recent session with a client working to reconnect with himself, he reminded me of the value of patience when he said, “Eternity is going to be such a long time, I might as well learn to be patient now!”

And René, the Salvadoran house painter who paints apartments in my building and is known for his speedy yet professional work, said to me in the elevator “It’s ok, I can go to the eighth floor. I have time,” as he pushed the button to my floor and waited until I left to push the button to the floor where he was working. I thanked him for being a life saver today by reminding I have time.

20131011-131114.jpg Do you hit the door close button in the elevator to hasten your way up or down?

Do you refresh your email every few minutes to see if you’ve gotten the message for a follow-up interview?

Do you have it within you to wait until the mud settles and the water is clear?

Do you really expect self-help books, lose weight-fast diets and get-rich schemes to really work in one day, two weeks or 30 days?

Do you rush in as the doors open to the subway car or do you hurry by an open door as someone is leaving?

Do you get annoyed when the person in front of you has more items in her cart than the maximum for that checkout?

Do you expect a reply immediately to an email just because you’ve sent it at the speed of light?

What are the small things in your daily life that can help you to be patient?

Do you have the patience of a saint or like watching drying paint?

Do you stop and ponder?

Where does your compass lead you?

Where is your compass – physical, mental, emotional, financial, moral – pointing?

Back in the late Nineties, I worked for a company that managed U.S government projects in developing counties to increase their agricultural output – promoting export-led growth in countries where agriculture represented, and still does, the largest portion of economic activity and gross domestic product. Products like the quinoa on your supermarket shelf; once a nutritious staple for Andean folks who now can’t afford it or can’t buy it.

The company’s logo was a crude plowing field shaped into its corporate initials. As it grew, a designer revamped the logo into a stylized compass rose, which combined the creativity of a Spirograph design and the Arab influences of a region that would later produce a company president and chief financial officer.

The compass, with a big letter C, had a curiously placed little triangle pointing up – North. In development, North always seemed better. Post-industrial. Modern. Developed. The South, a host of isms and a proverbial game of catching up or leap frogging. Oddly this north-south distinction applied within Western economies where North is industrial, faster paced, progressive. The South, agrarian, traditional and slower paced in language and thinking.

About the same time I had undertaken a spiritual exercise in the first decade of new century, I had a rare opportunity to view a world map compiled in 1602 by Jesuit missionary to China, Matteo Ricci. Displayed at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the 400-year-old map was being shown publicly for the first time in North America after fetching a purchase price of USD1 million, the second highest price ever paid for a rare map.

Ricci’s map included pictures and annotations describing different regions of the world; Africa is noted to have the world’s highest mountain and longest river. North America mentions “humped oxen” or bison, wild horses and a region named “Ka-na-ta.” Ricci was the first Westerner to visit what is now Beijing in the late 1500s. Known for introducing Western science to China, Ricci created the map at the request of Emperor Wanli.

The map measured 12 feet by 5 feet and was printed on six rolls of rice paper.It showed Florida as “the Land of Flowers.” For the first time, China was placed at the center of the world map – thus displacing Jerusalem and the Holy Land from their primacy.

Later, after joining a global men’s organization championing integrity, accountability and self-awareness, I became acutely aware of the importance of the compass as each session of our group peer counseling began with the NEWS: a physical and verbal recounting of the multicultural importance of the cardinal points. In opposition to each other. East is East and West is West and never the twain…

And now in every man”s hero or warrior journey, does North-South axis represent highest and lowest points of journey and East-West the separation of the ordinary and special world of the journey?


How do you love?

Is your love unconditional love?

Is your love altruistic love?

How does your love as a spiritual man challenge you to “love your enemies,” or to “love without thought of return?”

How does your love flow out to others?

Is your love filled with compassion, kindness, tenderness and charitable giving?



Do you have a mindfulness playlist?

Music’s calming effects can also help you focus and become mindful.

If you do use it for mindfulness, what are some of your favorite songs on it and why?

If you don’t, what songs would you pick to get one started?

A smartphone is an ideal way to keep a mindful music list to listen any time you need it throughout your day.


Are you treading whitewater?

How do you use your own stories, examples and even your own dreams to help you see an achievable series of next steps?

How you find ways to thrive, instead of fighting to maintain the status quo?

Are you treading whitewater?

What does it mean to connect and to create positive, good first impression?

How do interpret, understand and undertake acts of generosity and moments of purpose?

What do you tell yourself and others along the way?


Are you learning to let go and forgive?

Let go of grudges and forgive!

Empower yourself by learning to let go and forgiving others. In the process, you may also learn to forgive yourself!

+ Consider value of forgiveness and its importance in your life.

+ Reflect on facts of situation and your reaction

+ Reflect on their effect on your life, health and well-being

+ Move away from seeing yourself as victim

+ Release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life

+ Actively choose to forgive the person who’s offended you


How are you incorporating changes you’re learning into your everyday situations?

Create new experiences.

Once you’re heading in the right path and direction, practice changes you’ve made.

These changes can become your new habits. And for some, it can take 21, 30 or 60 days to get new habit or disrupt an old, unproductive one.

Whether you’re adopting a new skill or changing an attitude or belief, do something – no matter how small – every day that reinforces changes you’ve made.

Find a professional coach who can help you become accountable.


Are you a caregiver needing care?

As a caregiver, you can feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities as you care for a family member or loved one.

Regrettably, you may have feel a significantly higher level of stress than other family members or the general population.

Surveys show that caregivers believe they are doing a poor job of managing and preventing their stress. In fact, caregivers also often perceive themselves to be in poor health.

Take care of yourself.