The Gift Of Failure

How many of us feel like a failure because we haven’t followed our true calling? How many of us wake up in the morning dreading the day ahead because we are stuck in a dead end situation? We have bills to pay for our homes, education, food, gas, and so on. The list is exhausting.

The vast majority has chosen to follow careers that turned out to be a big disappointment but continued to follow the same path because it was familiar. Maybe some wanted to be musicians and had become doctors instead, abandoning their true calling. Maybe others wanted to be writers and had become accountants instead. Others wanted to have their own fitness center and had worked in restaurants all their lives. I know a man who wanted to learn to play guitar and never had the time to do it. But he kept the guitar in his office as a reminder of his failure.

I wonder how many of us will mourn the road we have abandoned?  

We long for something to change, we consider not following our true calling a failure, often being as scared and ashamed as those people who have been fired. How many people were laid off from their jobs through no fault of their own? They feel that somehow they have failed. The truth is that a new world of opportunities opens to them. All they have to do is let go of the familiar and embrace change.

How many people are stuck in jobs they hate, are terrified to risk change, and despite themselves for doing less than their best?

It could happen that at this very moment the world praises us, and we still believe that we have failed our own best hopes, our dreams. Everyone is terrified of failing, but whether we risk it all or play it safe, we can’t avoid failure. But failure is good because it stretches us beyond our own limits and helps us grow into our authentic self. It guides to become whom we were meant to be since the beginning. That’s why we should see failure as a generous gift.

The worst thing it can happen isn’t failure. It is never having tried.                                   

Love,

Carmen Monica

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Turning over a new leaf

September is the month for reflection and resolution. And it has been this way since ancient times. For example, Jews observe the High Holiday of Yom Kippur as the day for public and private atonement, when they retire from the world for twenty-four hours to become right with God and the ones around, so that real life has a chance to be renewed with passion and purpose.

We notice the changes in the natural world when summer gives way gently to fall. Soon the leaves will start turning colors, and just like them, it is time for turning over a personal leaf so that our own lives can be restored.

September resolutions are about authentic wants. It is the time to ask ourselves what we want more or less in our lives so that we can love the lives we’re having? Some will say that they want to see their friends more often, others will say they want to set time aside to have adventures with their children while they still can. Some will want to rekindle the romance in their daily routine, other will want to designate a solitary hour a day as their own or just to take walks in a dazzling sunshine.

Whatever your resolution is, no one will know it. It will be between you and the fall. Fall resolutions don’t come surrounded by champagne or confetti, but they only ask that we open ourselves to positive change.

I will try to do that. You have to try it too.

Love,

Carmen Monica

What goes around, comes around

I learned…

…that not everything happening is a random process. Everything happens for a reason, and that reason is not always grandiose, but necessary to our growth.

…that every situation is a lesson, and every person you meet is a teacher. I learned not to judge anyone and anything.

…that everything you give comes back to you because life functions on the principle of cause and effect.

…that to be strong means to forgive, to forget, and to offer goodness and love. When others attack you, don’t act the same way, but ignore and know that their attitude has nothing to do with you, but with their frustrations. Your attitude creates a state of peace and discomfort, and that you can avoid the discomfort by choosing to ignore and be positive.

…that resentments, hate, anger are useless, and they only bring suffering and sadness.

I learned that by accepting life for what it is, you get peace.

I found out that nobody and nothing can make you suffer, but your own expectations make you suffer. That’s why when you offer something, or you do something, don’t expect something in return, but offer everything unconditionally.

I learned that the past is just a lesson and nothing else. That it doesn’t exist anymore and you must leave it behind but keep the lessons you’ve learned and the beautiful memories you’ve formed. I learned that if you insist on living in the past, you only make yourself suffer by recalling those negative feelings that are useless to your present and future.

I learned that your happiness depends on you. Nobody can make you happy. You hold the door to your happiness. I learned that happiness is not permanent, but it is composed of happy moments, those tiny unimportant things in our lives.

I learned that happiness can’t exist without sadness and that both are necessary.

I learned that you can’t see the goodness and the beauty surrounding you or in the ones around you if you don’t feel them and you don’t offer them. I learned that your life reflects what you feel inside. That’s why you must nourish the love and the goodness inside you. Only when you offer love and goodness, you can get them returned to you.

I learned that we are creators of our lives, of our happiness, and that our peace depends on our attitude about life and how we think about life. It’s that simple.

I learned that life is beautiful if you are prepared to see it this way.

Love,

Carmen Monica

Paying a high price

We need to be able to spend time alone to rest and recoup if we don’t want to suffer from what the psychologists call “privacy deprivation syndrome.” These symptoms include increased resentment, mood swings, fatigue, and depression. I bet it sounds familiar. Does is sound grim? Well, it is. When it happens, we struggle to get up from bed every morning only to fall into bed so emotionally depleted that we can’t sleep well at night. When we reach this point, the littlest thing can set us off, bring tears and irritabilities. Soon our work and our personal relationships begin to suffer because we never have time to refresh our feelings, to filter them, and let them settle down.

Unfortunately, for many of us, it is only when we get sick that we allow ourselves the luxury of time and space alone. If you find yourself looking forward to regular dates with a hot water bottle and Nyquil, then it is time to find the time alone to recharge because there is a better path. For example, finding a hobby is a wonderful way to start freeing ourselves creatively. Pursuing a hobby warms up our talents and illuminates our natural inclinations. By doing this, we are bringing more fun into our lives, and the opportunity to free our spirit from the rigid rules society imposes.

Love,

Carmen Monica

Snatch Stolen Moments of Solitude

Everyone has tried spending time alone in the early morning or late at night when the rest of the house is asleep. My hour of solitude is during my lunch break. I use it for solo excursions to a library, an old church, or a public garden. It is the time when I am contemplative and think of what I want to achieve in life and how to get those results. I think of the past and the current friends, of the people who passed through my life and at the reasons why they are not in it.

It is of vital importance to have some quality time alone at home, at least two nights, no matter how busy I am. Deliberately seeking solitude may seem selfish but it is not. Solitude is necessary for my creative spirit to develop and flourish as are sleep and food for my body to survive. There is a certain quality of being alone that is incredibly precious. I must find the delicate balance between my deepest personal passions and my commitment to family, friends, and work.

To keep my inner harmony, it is essential for me to have at least an hour’s worth of solitude and to defend my soul against all distractions. I had to be inventive. I decided to retire an hour earlier than the others in the house, and read, and relax in bed.

If you are juggling family, home responsibilities, and an outside job, claim two hours as your own. Allow yourself to enjoy solitude.

Be open to the unexpected.

Love,

Carmen Monica

Trusting God

Sometimes you experience times of frustrations in your life. You believe you’re on track, trusting God and yourself, yet things don’t work out. You have false starts and stops. The door refuses to swing wide open. You may wonder if God has abandoned you, or doesn’t care. You may not understand where you’re going, or what your direction is. Then one day everything is revealed: the reason you didn’t get what you wanted was because God had something much better planned for you.

Imagine that you decide to make some changes in your living situation. You have lived in the city, and now you want to live in the country, on a lake. You find a small, lake house that isn’t the home of your dreams, but after selling your city house, you will be able to have money to remodel the new house. You wait for your city house to sell and it doesn’t sell. You have times of patience and impatience. Some days you trust God and others you can’t figure out why God makes you wait so long and doesn’t let you move on with your plan.

One day, a neighbor comes to visit you, and he tells you that he is selling his house because he is moving. His house is your dream home. The neighbor offers you the first option on purchasing his home. Two months later, you sell your city house and the small lake home. A short time later you move into the home of your dreams.

Sometimes, all it takes is patience to wait for the right things to come to you at the right time. You must trust that what is meant to be yours will belong to you if you are patient enough to accept that God has a plan for you and your life and he will always give you what you seek at the right moment.

Love,

Carmen Monica

Summer thoughts

The time has flown. It has actually been an insanely busy couple of months. I had a lot of things to do in my house, I had a rewrite to do on a book, I decided to weed some things out in my house and get rid of some furniture, and with one thing and another, I haven’t stopped for the past weeks. I have another rewrite to do. I do many, many rewrites before a book finally gets published. It takes a couple of years from when I write a book until it gets into your hands.

Aside from writing, and responding to family matters, I try setting time aside for what makes me happy. Yesterday, I went to the theatre, watched Disney’s Little Mermaid, and wondered why people stopped believing in fairy tales? It is true that if I look around, the sights are not very encouraging, but I tell myself that if I cease to believe in the power of love, all will be lost. When people love each other, distance becomes just a word. We like a lot a people we meet during our lifetime, but we don’t love them all. We don’t have to spend every second together to feel we belong to something greater than one. Distance is a way of proving that what we feel is real, testing our resilience to the outside temptations.

My new book, Unveiled Secrets, is a testimony of one woman’s tenacity in finding her husband and another one’s determination to distance herself from the man who stole her heart and reinvent herself while she gets in touch with her heritage. Look for it in a couple of months!

So, it’s back to the grind for me now, time to get back to work. I’ll be hunkering down with the keyboard for the next several weeks!!!

Lots of love,

Carmen Monica

You are lovable

Tell yourself that you are lovable.

Even when people haven’t been there for you, or when people haven’t shown love to you in ways that made sense, or just because relationships have been unsuccessful doesn’t mean that you’re unlovable.

You’ve had lessons to learn and sometimes, those experiences have hurt. It takes time to release the pain and open your heart to love. You are afraid that you will be hurt again. But it is important to take a chance and assume that everything will work out in the end, just as it has been intended since the beginning. You must believe that things meant to happen will happen anyway, that people will come and go from your life, that you will always remember the way they had treated you, the way they had made you feel when you were around them. Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they had forgotten about us, that they love us any less than they had loved us when they were around. If there were love then, it will always be love in their thoughts and hearts. Nobody can take love away. Love stays with us, grows with us, becomes part of us. It is in every cell, in every breath we take and in every step we make. Lovable people have a glow no one can destroy just because they are pushed aside. Lovable people find other peoples to love, and help, and lift when they need to be lifted. Lovable people will always remain lovely because they had been born with an aura of mystery that no one can ever understand, and they will always want to be touched by it.

Keep in mind that you are lovable and that you are loved. You must go back through the layers of fear and hurt until you discover the exuberant and delightful child that was, and still is, in you.

Love,

Carmen Monica

Peace with the past

By holding on to the past through guilt, longing, denial, and resentment, I discovered that I wasted time that could have been used to transform today and tomorrow. I used to feel guilty about things that had happened, things I had done or other people had done to me. Although I had made amends for most everything, the guilt ran deep. Everything became my fault, and I could never let it go. I was in denial about many things and held on to anger for weeks. Sometimes, I tried to forget my past, but I couldn’t stop and sort it. My past was like a fog that surrounded me, and I couldn’t shake it off. I think I was scared to let it go, afraid of today, afraid of tomorrow.

I’ve been recovering for weeks, and I’m learning I can’t forget the past. I need to heal from it. I need to feel and let go of any feelings I still have, especially anger. I had to start with stopping to blame myself for aching events that took place, and trust that everything had happened on schedule, and truly all is good. I’ve learned to stop regretting and to start being grateful. I’ve learned to see my past compassionately, trusting that God was in control, even then.

I’m still healing from some of the worst things that could happen to anyone. I’ve made peace with myself about these issues, and I’m able to see how those things helped form my character and developed finer points in my personality. We can’t control our past, but we can transform it by allowing ourselves to heal from it and by accepting it with love for ourselves and others.

Love,

Carmen Monica

 

Have Some Fun

Loosen up and enjoy life!

You don’t have to be somber and serious, reflective and critical, so bound up within yourselves and the constraints others or yourselves placed around you.

Life is not a funeral service. Have fun with life. Participate in it. Experiment. Take a risk. Be spontaneous. Do not always be concerned about doing the appropriate thing, or about doing it right. Do not always be worried about what others will think or say. What they think and say are their issues, not yours. Do not be afraid of making a mistake. Do not be so fearful and proper. Do not inhibit yourself so much.

You were created fully human. You were given emotions, desires, hopes, dreams, and feelings. There is an alive, excited, fun-loving child in you somewhere! Let it come out! Let it have some fun not for just a few hours on a Saturday night. Bring it with us, let it help us enjoy this gift of being alive, being fully human, and being who we are!

There are so many rules, so much shame you’ve lived with. It isn’t necessary. Don’t worry! You will learn your lessons when necessary. You will begin enjoying and experience your whole self and trust yourselves.

Have some fun! Loosen a bit. Break a few rules.

Much love,

Carmen Monica