LOVE- The Next Topic Monday, Feb 6 2017 

Hello everyone, it’s been a while and how much about my life has changed. I have a 4-year-old daughter. She is still alive, healthy and doing amazing. I am grown up… That is still questionable lol…

 

Recently a very close and significant individual in my life came to me and asked me to write a blog about his and her views. The idea of writing a blog with someone in collaboration sounded amazing. However, it also served as a reminder of my blog and my book. What happened? Why did everything come to an end? Well, in short… kids will take priority even if you do not want them to. In addition, some stormy times whipped my shores. When I look back at the last few years, I just don’t know how I managed to get through it all. They say the hustle is real… It is and sometime you just don’t know how tomorrow will be or how you will feed your family the following week. That said. I put my head down, set my sights, embraced and let go of the negative and learned that it’s not what you have or where you are, it’s about your determination to win. No retreat. No surrender.  To those of you who reached out with a helping hand. For ever you will be in my heart. All the money in the world can’t repay what you have done for me…

 

With this in mind, I would like to share the next chapter idea. Needless to say, this is the idea and not the actual chapter. This is simply my blogging on the concept. When life give you lemons lets me lemonade… This has been often stated and whoever originated this statement is wise. However, I’d like to add a thought. What if we do not just make lemonade? What if we make different kinds of lemonade and invite those around to share? What if we host a lemonade party and turn the sorrow into a party? What if we learn from the party and take something amazing from it?

 

While I was receiving lemons, I realized a great lesson. The light of a candle can illuminate an entire room. Yes, the smallest good action creates massive positive impact in one’s life and the life of others. I’ll explain, when I was struggling (in some ways I am still struggling), a few came to me and with no request offered to help. No string… No expectation of payment… Those individuals have one idea in mind that is the only thing they care about. They loved me and wanted for my life to be ok. They wanted happiness for me with no expectations. It was not a trade. It was a simple gift. I can and will pay the monetary back. I have and will always love them and want the same for them. However, all my love and all the money doesn’t even come close to what it was like to have money to buy my daughters diapers when I had been un-employed. I can’t re-pay that. Even in the event that they are in a similar situation and I supported them, kept them from losing their home etc. I would not be able to help them today if I had starved or ended up homeless… When I realized the depth of their actions, it occurred to me, this is real love. When we think about love, we often think of it as it applies in intimate relationships, how we feel about our children and family. In some cases, we think we love someone only to get angry when they do something that makes them happy. Well, if that something is not something we want them to do. Is that a form of control? A form of expectation? I wonder can you love someone, I mean really love some and have an expectation?

 

We may not understand the actions taken by someone we love. For example, in an intimate relationship, we may not understand why the person we love will chose to have a relationship outside of our relationship. That said, if that makes them happy and we really love them, should we not be happy for them? Why must we get angry when this happens? We may feel bedrail or let down, maybe even hurt, un-appreciated or even scared. It’s a bit disconcerting to wonder if that relationship maybe coming to an end. Maybe we have been sharing our lives together for a while and the idea of having to find someone new is overwhelming. In some cases, there may be financial issues and co-dependencies. Love has nothing to do with any of these feelings. When a family member or significant other decides to take an action that we don’t like, if we really love them, we would and should be supportive. We should find joy in the fact that the person we love is experiencing something that makes them happy. Our fears are really that, our fears. Fear cloud our vision.  Fear will turn to hate. Fear will destroy love if we let it. The individuals that extended monetary support when I was down on my luck probably fear and wonder if they will ever see the thousands of dollars they lend out. However, they did not let that fear get in the way of how much they loved me. How important it was to them that my family be ok.

 

The reason why I feel the next chapter of my book will be to describe my interpretation of love is that after looking back and reflecting, I realized this applies to all aspects. In relationships, we tend to allow our fears to cloud our understanding of love. We often hear to love someone is to forgive.  Yet, somehow we tend to get confused and fail to understand that we are human. We are here to explore, experience, feel, learn and share. We can only really live our lives to the fullest if we are excepting of one another and allow the pace required to let our loved ones live their life, feel and learn. Expectation, fear and week moments will destroy love if we let it. We must remind ourselves that actions taken by those who we love are simply actions required by them to be happy. If we really love them, we should find happiness in knowing they are happy on this journey we call life. They are living, learning, loving, feeling, exploring and navigating thought this experience we call the human experience.

 

I invite you to do the same…

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Breaking Up, Right & Wrong Tuesday, Dec 7 2010 

Break ups are never easy. Sometimes they tent to make us think and question ourselves. Have you ever been in a break up where you stopped and wondered how did it all come about? Maybe you put your all into the relationship and somehow it was not enough. Have you ever asked yourself, how can that person not appreciate what they had in me? It’s understandable to ask these questions. You look around and notice how people treat each-other and you know in your heart with no doubt that you were gold when you compare your behavior to other’s. However, somehow the person you were with could not see the value in you and your relationship fell apart. As you stand there and watch it all crumble, you can’t help but wonder how did it all dissolve into nothing?

If you’ve been there, you know these times in your life are never easy. If you are going through something similar to what I’m describing, you have my sympathy. I know you’re facing some really tough moments powerful enough to rock your emotional foundation. If you’ve never been there and don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m really sorry. I wish I could tell you that you will never have to live through this but chances are at some point or another you will face this horrible feeling. This is a sour drink we must taste and if we are lucky, we get to learn a few things from it. Now, let’s talk about some of the things we might be thinking when facing this dramatic section of the master piece called our life… When you face these heart wrenching moments, do you tend to look around and find that some of the rudest people are with the nicest people? By some mysterious nature the really sweet, cute sexy girl is constantly chasing the lame, short, rude jerk. The really nice, hopeless romantic guy is in love with the plastic, trashy, ridiculously mean girl who has no self respect or respect for others. How can we not be appreciated when we are so great? We are nice, lovable, passionate, friendly, funny, supportive and cute and the list goes on and on. In addition, when things were good in our relationship, they were so good… What happened? Should we be mean? Maybe if I’m mean, the sweet romantic guy will be into me? The answer is no. The universe responds to everything we put out there. If we are mean, soon enough someone will be mean to us. The bigger the jerk we are, the bigger the jerk we will find.

I often say the world is upside down and I’m the only one standing up right. When we look at the idea of right, in respect to behavior, we could say there are three ways to look at the concept of right.

1)      That which is right is right no matter what. That which is wrong is wrong no matter what.

2)      That which is right for the majority of the people dictate what is right.

3)      That which is right for me is what dictates the right.

In my opinion that which is right is right. Whether the majority agrees or disagrees it doesn’t make a difference as to whether or not something is right or wrong. We know it is wrong to take human life. If the majority of the population stated that it was ok to run around and shoot people, we would not run around shooting people simply because it’s allowed or accepted by the majority. Now, when we visit the idea that what is right for me is “right”, is very easy to see that this idea is not correct. If I dictate what is right, who is to say that my right will not cause a burden on to others. That said, if you feel the world is upside down and you are the only person standing up right, don’t feel bad. We are only responsible for our own behavior. Behaving “right” and being able to look in the mirror feeling good about who we are is a major accomplishment. This very idea that we are not like the majority is the very reason why we are so valuable. We are the unique pink diamond. We are the rear piece of art in the world. The sweet, cute, sexy, passionate, smart girl is what every guy wants. Just the same, the nice, sweet romantic guy is what every girl wants. Let the world be upside down and remember to value who you are. Learn to appreciate who you are. You are not responsible for the world. You are responsible for you and with all your imperfections; you are the platinum in the world. You are the best person you could be. As long as you behave right, you are the catch.

In order to appreciate the sweet in life we must taste the sour. Remember our role in the last relationship might have been to help that individual learn the difference between good and bad. They might go on in life after tasting the sweet to discover the sour and in the process discover their real needs. If you did not take part in that process they might never have found their way. I invite you to feel good about your contribution to the development of that individual. Try to remember that while you were contributing to their development, they were contributing to yours as well. Those little things they used to do that drove you crazy, now that you know what they are, you know if you see then in someone else they are probably not the right person for you. The guy who you just dumped or the guy who just dumped you contributed to your finding your way. If they dumped you is because you deserve better and they wanted to give you the space so that you could find the amazing person you deserve. The girl that was mean to you was mean so that you can appreciate the girl that is sweet to you. Now you know that a mean girl is not what you want.

Having a healthy mind set will place you in the right path… The universe also has a process and you are going through it. It’s like the first time you where trying to get you drivers license. You waited in line, you took the written test, you took your driving test and once you were done it was all over. Now you don’t even think about your driver’s license. Well, it’s the same with the universe. You live life and learn from the experience and once the process is done, you will have the magical person in your life. After a while, you will not even think about the idea of finding the right person. Trust me when I say this, those couples that have been together for 20 yrs and are mad in love, cant wait to see each-other and count the hours that they apart don’t think about finding the right person. They been driving for a long time.

I hope this helps you navigate through you human experience. I hope this helps you embrace the negative and enjoy the positive. Remember the more right you put out there, the more right you will have in your life.

Alexis 🙂

 

Obstacles Friday, Oct 15 2010 

The idea that we can ever really stay ahead of all the cubes life can throw our way is simply crazy. It’s been over a month sense my last post. I don’t think there is a word in the dictionary that can truly describe how busy my life has been sense my move to AZ. There’re many obstacles that mark the way and half the time I can’t even stop to think about them. I just simply embrace them, appreciate them and move on.

Shortly before my move to AZ, my best friend said “Everyone is where they want to be, otherwise it is obvious they are going somewhere”. There is some irony in this statement and somehow it resonated with me. There hasn’t been a day in my life in AZ that I don’t think about that statement. Those who know me will tell you all about how I never stop moving in some direction or another. It’s true. I never stop. I simply think of the next thing and go for it. Regardless of what life extends my way, if there is something I want to do, with no hesitation I jump in it with two feet. Living my life this way tends to place me in front of obstacles constantly. My choices have consequences and I navigate through them like a sailor in the middle of a big storm. Well my move to AZ is just another storm and this sailor will navigate through this storm like any other.

A wise man once said “learn to like obstacles because they are there to show you that you are moving in a specific direction”. If I was standing still I would have no obstacles. However, if I want to get across the street, I have to get past the curve, traffic, around the bus stop bench etc. Obstacles are a part of life. More often than not, we tend to think of them as a negative thing. In reality they are a positive thing. There are there to help guide us in our path.

I’m sure you would agree with me when I say that everyone has barriers or obstacles in their life. Some of us view then as opportunities and some of us see them as reasons to stop from accomplishing whatever it is we were working towards. I believe the difference in our prospective is the main contributing factor to whether or not we fail.

Now take this idea further and see if you can apply it to everything in your life. For example, if we apply this to relationships, could we say that every time we meet someone new and that relationship doesn’t go anywhere it simply means that we are moving in the right direction? Chances are we would never meet the right person unless there are a few wrong people in the path. Those people that were not so perfect have two purposes, 1) They are there to help provide prospective. They help us learn and evaluate what qualities are important. 2) They help us appreciate the right person when the right person comes along.

Someone once said, “If I take you to a mud field that stretches 10,000 sft. & told you that somewhere in the mud there are 50 diamonds. Each diamond is worth 10 million dollars and all you have to do is find them and they are yours. Would you dig through the mud?” There is a lot of mud and the mud is your obstacle. Well, lifelong happiness is equivalent to all the diamonds. We can’t find it unless we jump in the mud with a healthy mind. We have to be ready and willing to get dirty.

Everything is life tends to work in a similar ways. My obstacles in AZ are simply the mud I have to work my way through so I can find my diamonds. The obstacles in your life are the mud you have to work through to find your diamonds. Get out there and start digging. Get dirty and smile every time you pick up a mud rock. That’s just one less rock you have to check. Get excited because now you are that much closer to finding the diamonds. Last but not least, have fun while you search for your diamonds. Life is all about the adventure.

Until next time 🙂
Alexis

What is Success? Wednesday, Sep 8 2010 

From time to time I slow down and pay attention to those around me. More often than not I’m blown away by the funny things I notice. There are many ironies in life. Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with some intriguing question. Why does life become complicated? Do we control how complicated our life becomes? Are we slaves to our thoughts?

After spending several weeks pondering the first question and coming up with many deferent ideas for possible answers, I narrowed it down. I have to say the only person responsible for your life being complicated is you. I don’t mean for you to be offended or feel defensive. I’ll have you know, I complicate my life in the same manner you complicate yours. Its normal and we are all guilty of it. After analyzing this idea and really breaking it down, I realized that more often than not our complicating our life is directly connected to a few factors. These factors apply to everyone. However, how much of an impact each of these factors have in our individual lives may vary. A large contributor to a complicated life is ambition. Ambition is a quality that can be positive and negative depending on who you are and how you see yourself. If you have the desire to have more in life and posses the drive to go after the things you want, ambition can be a good thing. If you allow your ambition to become dominant of your life to the point where it become obsessive, ambition could become an oppressive nightmare.

In my life, I’ve been very fortunate. I was born into a family of much wealth. Having a personal servant as a child had some benefits. Having parents who catered to my every want, was very cool. Living above it all and not having a care in the world was priceless. However, the real lucky break was when my family lost it all. At the age of ten it was very difficult to understand why no one was there to prepare the cloths I would wear. The idea that I had to go to a school and not have my personal tutor come to my home was an adjustment. Moving away from my spacious home several times over until eventually ending up in a small apartment in CA seemed dreadful. However, what I did not realize back then was that my life was going to teach me about many things that I would have missed if these drastic changes did not take place. At an early age I learned that material things are never entirely ours. Money for example, tend to have this funny way of giving us a false sense of ownership. When we have it in our hands, we can’t help but to think we own it and it belongs to us. This idea of ownership provides a false sense of security and stability. In reality money doesn’t belong to anyone. Money just like everything else that is material simply serves a purpose. Think about it for second. Today you have $1000.00 in your savings account and tomorrow your car needs tires and “your money” moves on to the next phase of its path. Therefore, could you say that you ever really owned it? Or would you say, you held it for a designated period of time until it was time for you to give it to someone else? Hm… In my opinion, it is ironic how money provides us with a false sense of security as well as opportunities to take care of the things we need while also depending on us to serve as an intricate part of the transition process. If you think of this idea and apply it to everything that is material in your life, you will understand that we never posses anything. Nothing material is truly ever ours. Losing everything I had at such an early age helped me understand this concept. In addition, it opened my eyes to the idea that we, people, are not what we have. The misconception of ownership often leads us to think our identity is attached to the house we live in, the car we drive, the work we do, the salary we earn etc. This could not be further from the truth. My parents lost everything but they were still my parents and I was still their son. I am the same Alexis today that I was ten years ago and will be the same Alexis I am today in 20 years from now.

Among my many fortunate breaks in life, is the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to meet really wealthy people. I’ve been blessed with the ability to see their life up close and personal. The routine 4 am wake call, fast breakfast, driver outside their penthouse waiting to take them to the office followed by a day filled with hundreds of phone calls, text messages, emails and meetings is the norm for most millionaires. If you are a mover and a shaker and you are making big money, I know you know exactly what I’m talking about. The common and familiar filling at 5pm, realizing that you forgot to eat lunch, the arriving home after 12 hours in the office only to log on to your laptop to continue to work on the numbers for the next fiscal year is the reality of your life. Then there is those amazing weekends where you spend your time planning out your personal taxes and maybe if you’re lucky, you might squeeze in a game of golf while your assistant follows you around the golf course going over your schedule for the following week. I’ve actually met some guys who have to schedule the time they plan on spending with their wife. I wonder how passionate can that be? If this is not your scenario, try to think of someone you know who may live their life this way. In many cases we don’t have to look to such extremes. Many of us know what is like to have your parents miss your football games and recitals because they had client meetings or some kind of dead line at work. Now that you are imagining the life I described ask yourself these questions. Does slavery have to be physical or can it just be mental? Are we slaves to our own ambition? If so, why? There are many millionaires who accumulate so much wealth only to give it away when they die. They never stop to enjoy the wealth they built. Why is that?

Fear… The fear of the unknown drives us to wrap our minds around that false sense of security that material things provide. If we don’t know where our life will take us how do we know we have enough? Will we be ok tomorrow? In addition, you add the fact that somehow in the process we managed to tie our identity to the house, car, cloths and social status we live in and the possibility of losing any of it would destroy us to the core. Who would we be? What would we do? Would we be accepted? Fear fuels our need for more and in the process can in some cases slave us.

Over the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many young adults. I found it mind blowing how many young adults share the same goal in life. “I want to be a millionaire so that I never have to worry about anything” is such a common statement among young adults. It is borderline scary. We are creating a cookie cutter society driven by the false idea that money cures fear. It’s no wonder why there so many of us out there that find ourselves depressed at 30. Lets look at this for a second. If 10% of the American population control 90% of the wealth in America, nearly 20% of the population live in poverty in America, (America is among the wealthiest countries) this means approximately 70% of our population is struggling to achieve what many would feel is impossible. Remember education and social connections are large contributors to why that 10% control 90% of the wealth. This doesn’t mean it is impossible but a young adult from middle or lower income class America sure have the odds against them when the price for a good education can run anywhere between $1000,000 to $300,000 dollars.

Losing it all was a real blessing. I often times get asked this question. How is it that you are so relaxed about life? You never stress and you’re always happy. In addition, I’ve had many ask or assume I have some kind of trust fund and this is why I’m never stressed. When this occurs, I simply smile and reply… who knows? If you really want to know the secret, I’ll tell you in my brothers words. I’m simply a “Thousandnaire®” I know you will not find that word in the English dictionary. A thousandnaire is the individual who can simply enjoy life for what it is and appreciate the simple things. You are a thousandaire and you did not know it. If you are a millionaire you have many things to worry about. Ambitious people are constantly trying to take the money or things you think you own. Thousandaires don’t have that problem. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy my massages, social life, good cloths and the occasional travel. However, the most pleasant part of my life is the lack of stress. I chose not to let fear drive me into slavery. I chose to be free and with freedom comes real comfort as well as contentment. I consciously work to simplifying my life and my only real quest is to do anything I want to do with no limitations. If I want to travel I plan and work towards it. I don’t worry about the illusion that we call tomorrow because tomorrow doesn’t exist until it gets hear. I simply live today and create a stress free day. The Daly Lama said it best “Today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday, was it worth it?”

I invite you to try it. It won’t be easy but I can guaranty it will be worth it. Make it a point today to eliminate one item in your life that causes stress. Do that every day and for every stressful item that you eliminate from your life have a relaxing item replace it. Your neighbors stresses you out, don’t talk to them as much and give yourself ten minutes of quiet instead. Your financially stressed cancel your cable TV and make it a point to relax with your family watching the sunset. You can find a map of stars and play games to see who can find and name the most constellations. These ideas will not only help to relax you but can in some cases strengthen your family’s relationships buy opening lines of communication. My parents played games and talked to me every evening. I was not babysat by cartoons nor was I raised by Nintendo. In part because those luxuries were just not available. However, the lessons learned while talking to my mom for just one hour, I would not trade for a life time of video games. I hope you get the picture. If you don’t and you need more ideas, shoot me a comment and I’ll share more.

Good Behavior Wednesday, Aug 11 2010 

It’s been 3 weeks sense my last post and it helped me realize how much people read this blog. This was really positive and encouraging. It brought me happiness to know how much you missed me. In addition, because of you messages and enquiries, I was able to realize how many of you like the relationship topics. Even though you enjoy the other ideas discussed, it was made clear to me how much impact my research and experiments have on you. There are no words to describe how good this makes me feel.

A question that was brought to my attention was “Why haven’t you discussed any more relationship or communication topics”? I would like to take a few minutes to answer this. As most of you know, I’ve recently moved to the state of Arizona for school. Last month was my first month in my new home and I spent it trying to get settled. The public interviewing and social dynamic experiments that I run to gather the information I discus in my blog have been on hold in part because I’m still not completely familiar with the area. As my schedule begins to fall into place, I will conduct more research and share more on the topic of relationships. I can already tell the research in Arizona will expose different ideas. The views of people in Arizona are deferent than the view we encounter back home. I’m excited about the discoveries in Arizona.

The rest of this blog is mainly addressed to the male readers. Yes, that is correct. I’m talking to all the guys that read this blog. I find it interesting how many girls bring up the fact that guys tend to be a little careless. I have to say as a guy, I would like to think that our species is caring and polite. As I was growing up, my mother took the time to teach me good manners. I was taught to respect everyone. Gentlemen are those who take on the challenge to insure that everyone around them is comfortable. This behavior is to be conducted when we deal with any individual and even more so with ladies. We behave this way because this is the right way to behave not because of expectation but rather because our behavior is a clear reflection of who we are. As individuals, we should always stride to become better people. As our society evolves and our lives become more hectic than ever, guys have become more careless and less attentive. Some would say that we’ve become lazy.

I disagree. I believe that both men and women lack direction in this matter.  Society as a whole has become more hectic and our lives have become busier. Work days have become longer and unfortunately parents may not have the time teach their children good behavior traits. It’s no body’s fault. I’m not writing to place blame on anyone. I’m writing to help you guys understand that good values and gentleman behavior is not only appreciated but also looked after by women. Some would argue that independent women get offended by a man opening her door. This to me is a sign of ignorance on both parts. If you encounter a women that feel offended it is up to you to educate or clear this misconception. The man that doesn’t open the door for women is not being a gentleman and women who are offended by this gesture are confused. My behaving like a gentleman and opening a door for a lady is not an action that I take because I think her to be weaker or any less of me. It’s quite the opposite, my gesture not only reflect my respect and appreciation for women but also reflect how I value myself. Men should hold themselves to high standard and push themselves everyday to be better. Being cordial and polite is a basic respect that should be a part of our lives every day. It’s never too late to start and it’s never too late to learn good behavior traits.

Some of the guys reading this may be thinking that this is just hot air. Reading this you may be thinking there is no way that women are ever impressed by your pulling her chair or standing when she goes to leave the table. These behaviors and actions only work in black and white movies. They don’t impress anyone. No one pay attention to these things. If you are thinking this, I invite you to take on a challenge. The next time you are spending time with a lady, ask her to please wait in the car when you pull up to your destination. Exit the car and walk around to her door. Open her door and extend your hand out to help her out. As you walk into or exit a building open her door. If you’re out to dinner, as she excuses herself to leave the table, take a stand. As ridiculous as it may seem these old fashion behavior traits not only will impress your date or significant other but will enrich you as an individual and reflect a cultural value that will make you stand out in social environments.

It’s important to understand that I’m not inviting you to change for anyone but rather integrate these changes for yourself. Take pleasure and enjoy becoming a better person. Take pride in knowing that you behave as a gentlemen should. Smile a lot and pay attention to how other respond to your behavior. You might be pleasantly surprised as to how others behave toward you. In addition, you might be pleasantly surprise as to the type of women you will attract. Remember it’s not just about impressing the lady it’s also about impressing yourself.

Until next time.

Alexis 🙂

Where does information come from? Friday, Jul 23 2010 

Recently I was talking to friend and she asked me a very important question. At first I found the question offensive. However, after giving it some thought I could not help but to want to share the information with you. My friend asked me why do I feel that any one should read my blog? All the information and points of views, where they my opinion of did I reference any books? Are they fact or simple opinions?

As you can imagine the idea of being questioned about my ideas was very insulting to me. After all, even though I spend a lot of time reading about different things that contribute to the ideas I post, they are my ideas.

Several weeks passed and somehow, I could not get myself to write anything without trying to think about how original the thought was. To be honest with you, I don’t know if any of the ideas I’ve written are original ideas. I’m self educated and have read many books. I would have to say, the ideas on my blog have many contributions and even though I haven’t quoted any book in particular, I can guaranty that many books, conversations and workshops have influenced my opinions and thoughts.

When I started writing this blog I wanted to inspire, share hope and a new prospective to those who read it. Just about everyone around me seems to be looking for answers to help them with their challenges and questions about life and I wanted to share my prospective to help. Never would I have imagined I would be questioned as to how I came up with the ideas shared. Not to mention, the very idea that some would not simply think of me as a smart individual with original ideas would come across somewhat off. That said, I guess I should reveal my secret. The secrete to my thoughts. The very reason why no matter what happens, I’m happy and find comfort in knowing that my life is fabulous. I read and not only do I read the words in the books but I stop to think through the sub text. I look up words that I don’t recognize and find out what they mean before continuing to the next chapter or phrase. That’s it. That’s the secret. In addition to my reading, I had an amazing mother who was a philosopher, a pioneer dedicated to my development. She devoted her very existence to creating curiosity within me and teaching me to find the answers to any question that pops in my mind. She believed that any flaw I would have as a man were a reflection of her failure as a mother. She believed the first school in the development of a child was a combination of home and parenting. I’m proud to say that I am my mother’s son and that is why I share my thoughts.

As I’ve mentioned before, even though I credit my mother for much of my development, there are many books that have contribute to my development. Books such as The Republic by Plato, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell, The Power Of Kabala by Yehuda Berg, Launching A Leadership revolution by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire by Deepak Chopra and many others. The reading list goes on and on. There is no particular topic. Therefore, many different philosophies are incorporated in the ideas I share.

As you can see many different thought processes influence the ideas I post. However, the most important one is the idea that you can’t read a book and simply take what’s presented to you for fact. I would have to say that I question everything I read and try to see how it applies to my life. After all, if you read The Communist Manifesto by Karl Max you would think communism is great, only to discover that the very idea presented by Mr. Marx fall apart when you start to talk about the administration of wealth. There are many who read Marx and believe that humans are capable of administering wealth for the interest of the people without putting themselves first in line to benefit from their position. Many nations have fallen to this idea only to realize that we as humans are not naturally Just enough to look after the well being of the people before our well being. How can this happen? In my opinion this can only occur because some read without ever questioning and looking deeper into the sub text.

When you read my blog, I would like to invite you to look into the sub text. Please read responsibly and stop to think about how the ideas presented applies to your life. Only incorporate the ideas that you see apply to you. I’m living my life and sharing. I don’t want you to fallow my foot steps for I’m not perfect. You are probably closer to perfection than I am.

In closing I would like to provide you with a though from The Republic by Plato.

“Hope”, he says “cherishes the soul of him who lives in justice and holiness and is the nurse of his age and the companion of his journey; -Hope which is mightiest to sway the restless soul of man”

Alexis 🙂

Learning From A Four Year Old’s Mind Monday, Jul 12 2010 

Recently I’ve had the magical experience of hanging out with a 4 year old boy. The first few times we chilled together, I could not help but to be amazed of how quickly he was able to bring me back to being four again. This to me was especially surprising because as some of you may know, I’ve been a grown up for quite some time. In addition, I’ve consciously navigated through my dating experiences with the underlined mission of avoiding single moms. Kids just haven’t been a part of my life and the thought of ever having to share my life with one had the same affect to me as the sound of nails on a chalk board.

One morning I decided to take on the challenge of being open minded and actually dating a single mom. I thought how bad could it really be? “If I hang out with her kid and I don’t like it, well, I can return him back to the mother and go home”. The plan seemed perfect. I could experience what it would be like to interact with a child on a part time bases and go back to my regular life at the end of the day. Not to mention, the curiosity was killing me. My brother had a child and he talked about how positive this event was in his life. My friends with kids always talked about how kids were so amazing. I could never take part in some conversations because I could not relate. In some cases, when my friend Shawn would talk to me about his son, I felt like we were speaking different languages and somehow I kept missing the punch line. I decided to move forward with the adventure.

Me and the 4 yr Old:

The first encounter was actually a little over whelming. The little guy seemed to get upset at just about everything. He cried because he wanted candy, whined about wanting juice, complained about where we were going and last but not least, he talked nonstop. I kept thinking he would eventually run out of oxygen and have to take a breath. I could not help to think about human physiology and some important questions came into play. “How long can a person talk before running out of saliva”? I can honestly say that I still don’t know the answer.

We arrived at the park and I had a plan. I would picnic with mommy while the little man would play with the kids at the park. What I failed to realize was that the little man also makes plans. He’s plan included me playing with him. In addition, there is no way to tell a 4 yr old “No”. Four year olds get their feeling hurt and if you try to be polite and simply shift attention, they call you on it. “Alexis, I’m talking to you. I want you to play with me. Please?” How can you say “no” to that? After all I am the adult. I should understand the fact that this child likes to play and requires attention just like I did when I was four. We began to play. First we played on the castle like structure. We moved on jumped into a swing and began to swing front to back. “Let’s see who can go faster”? The little guy said. Once we came off the swings the little guy stated that he had a plan. “Let’s race to where the ducks are and feed the ducks”? We began to run. I’ve never seen anyone have this much energy. “What do you feed him”? I asked mommy. I was thinking maybe he was on a Red Bull & Power Bar diet. As an adult who is always looking on how to capitalize on situations, I was thinking on how to bottle the energy and sell it. Forget the 5 hour energy drink. If I could bottle and sell this energy, I would solve the weight problem in America while increasing productivity in the nation by at least 30%. Even though I was on and off thinking about all this, I was also having a great time. Before I knew it or could see what was happening, I was four again.

After the initial park day, mommy and I had a very important conversation. If we were to keep hanging out with the little guy, we would have to make an agreement. No matter what, If we were to stop dating we would stay friends and still hang out. This was a requirement. I could not allow for the little one to get used to me and somehow go though the disconnect if mommy and I broke up. We agreed and continued to date.

A few months later we spent a weekend at the beach and played in the hotel pool. The little man and I would take turn throwing each other in the pool. As I walked to grab a drink from the table, the little guy walked to my cousin and asked for him to take on my role and throw him in the pool. As I heard this in the back ground and turned around, I stated, “Make sure he lands with his feet first”. It was too late. There was a splash. The little guy came to the surface and even though he was ok, I knew he did not like the experience. I immediately pulled him out and asked him to go into the other pool with his mommy. It was not intentional; my cousin was just trying to play with the little one. However, I could not help but to be somewhat angry. The little guy did not get angry and fifteen minutes later, after my cousin and I had a conversation, both my cousin and I were throwing him back in the pool.

I came home a couple of days later and was having lunch with my friend. We were talking about my recent experiences and I mentioned the incident with the little guy and my cousin. After describing how I felt, she replied, you seem a little protective of the little guy. That’s when it hit me. Yes, I was protective. The little guy had somehow won me over. I no longer chilled out with him just to see mommy but I actually was enjoying my time with him. He had become a part of my experience.

Kids are a pain and they demand attention, throw fits, cry, laugh, feel, argue and do everything adults do. The difference is, they don’t hold on to anything, if you upset them, they let it go in minutes and they are still your friend. If you say “no” and their feelings get hurt, they let it go and forget about it in minutes and you are still their hero. Their spirit is pure and doesn’t hold on to anything. Their love is unconditional and they don’t really expect anything in return. In addition, the idea that they feel invincible and need you to protect them from themselves places us in a hero type role. When it come to kids we must do all we can to preserve those qualities of innocence as well as the ability to hold on to nothing and let go of everything. As adults our lives would be simple if we could understand that nothing is worth holding on to. Life is about the experience. Therefore, live it and let it go. We can learn so much from the mind of a four year old.

The Journey Tuesday, Jun 29 2010 

June 25th marked a very interesting day for me. It was the last day in CA. I was setting off on what I thought was going to be a 12 hour drive to AZ. The plan was set months before and the strategy was in place. We were to have no problems.

Ten O’clock came around faster than we expected. The night felt like it had a mind of its own. Right before setting off, as we filled up our gas tank, my brother and I noticed a 4 inch nail had pierced through the side wall of the right tire of the trailer that was pulling my Jeep. At this point we could not turn back. I could not take the risk of arriving too late and having no place to stay in AZ for 2 days. We took the gamble and hit the road with the small air leak on the tire. We were both pretty tired and had been up for about 15 hour at time of departure. At this point all we could do was hope for the best and plan for the worst.

Four hours into our drive, I looked to my right and caught a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. The brightest moon reflected off the water in a magical way. The clouds that surrounded the moon reminded me of the movie Pirates Of The Caribbean. They were mystical and powerful looking. As I looked at the beautiful scene, my brother turned to me and said “Enjoy it brother. There is no Ocean in AZ and it will be 2 yrs before you could surf these waters”. Those words created pressure around my heart. It took all of me not to break. I could not look at him. I simply stared out the window of the rental moving truck and quietly replied. “This is true. I think when I’m done with school I’ll move to Monte Rey. This way I can make up for all the lost time”.

As we drove across the crazy city of Los Angeles and began to head east, I felt as if I could not breath. The decision to move to AZ for school felt like the biggest mistake ever made. I was leaving everything I know behind. All I could think of was “I will not share a wonderful conversations with my mother over coffee on Monday”. I asked myself why would I have done this? The answer to this question kept me from telling my brother to forget this heart wrenching drive and head back home. This decision was taken because I wanted to accomplish a childhood dream. It’s not about the money or social acceptance. It’s about doing what your heart desires and enjoying the adventure.

The adventure of self discovery is amazing. We as people tend to limit our selves because we are afraid of failing. In some cases we are afraid of success. I was feeling afraid of the un-familiar. I’ve talked about this problem in my blog before. Whether in conversation or threw my blog, I’ve told people to never let fear stop them from doing what they want to do. As an individual who was brought up to stand for what they believe in, I will set the example. I will not turn this car around. I will not let a nail stop me from arriving to AZ on time. I will accomplish the adventure and learn to love every minute. I’ll learn to deal with the heat. I will learn to like everything about this new place I will call home for 2 yrs.

The drive took 16.5 hours. My brother and I arrived in AZ after being up for 32 hour. I was tired and we still had to unload the moving truck. We were welcomed by that amazingly warm AZ weather. The temperature was 108 and the sun was on a mission to cook us. As we began to unload, I realized that this moving truck was made of medal and metal heats up. The inside felt more like 150 degrees. We began to work as fast as humanly possible. Three hours later, after returning the moving truck we headed back to my new place and took turns showering. When I was in the shower the water felt refreshing and cool. My skin began to feel human again. This is the absolute longest I’ve ever gone without showering and I was grateful to have water and soap. We searched for a local place to have dinner and found a Jumpers. Their food was fabulous. After dinner we came back home and finally went to bed at 12:30 am. The total hours awake came to 44 hrs. Needless to say, we fell into a deep sleep. The initial journey had came to an end.

Sunday at 7:00 am, my brother and I went out for coffee. We talked about my staying there and his returning to CA. His flight was scheduled to leave at noon. As the time passed, I began to feel that heart constricting feeling again. I drove him to the Air port and he left. I came to my new home and began to unpack.

Monday morning I realized an important part of doing this. I called my mother from my local Starbucks. She answered the phone and before saying good morning, I said “Let’s have a long distance coffee”. We talked and had our coffee together after all.

In life sometimes we shoot for things that present challenges. Whether emotional or physical, challenges are tough. They are there to test us and confirm to us whether or not we really want something. A wise man once said to me, “If you come across a challenge get excited, happy and grateful because it means that your life is moving towards something you want”.

The initial journey ends and the real quest begins. Learning and sharing. Living life to the fullest.

Love

Alexis

Love and requirements Friday, Jun 18 2010 

Have you ever been in a situation where love presents a requirement? Over the course of some time now, I’ve thought about the idea that love can’t possibly require anything. Love is the most powerful emotion we can experience as humans. I don’t think it is necessary to elaborate on how much power love has. We (people) share love with each-other and accomplish the impossible for real love.  Now, I’m not talking about saying “I love you” to someone because they told you they love you. I’m talking about the real deal. You know the kind of love that motivates you to share without you ever really thinking about it or expecting anything in return. Well, if two people fall in love and they truly feel the stuff I’m talking about, I can’t imagine love requiring any particular action from either of them. In love is anything ever required or is everything simply surrendered?

Recently I came across a friend who just presented their boy friend of 7 yrs with a choice. The option was to get married or to split up. In addition to having spent the last 7 yrs together, they have formed a life filled with memories. They spend all their time together and as far as I can tell, this couple shares the real stuff.  However, the very idea that love would require this choice leads me to question if love (the real stuff) is really present.

Let’s talk about the guy facing the delicate choice. He is a good on paper kid. You know, the educated, responsible, career oriented individual. As described by my friend, he is great. He is charming and always treats her with priority. In her words, “he always makes her feel like the most important person around”. From the outside looking in, I can tell you this guy is really into my friend. He’s supportive of her painter/creative arts career. He encourages and supports her on all her crazy choices. In addition, he’s one of those guys that always seems like he just came out of a spa. You know those very hard to come by individuals who are always relaxed and in a good mood. Now, I can’t testify to the next statement but according to her, he is a generous lover. He is the perfect package right? Hens why she wants to marry this guy. I get it.

Now, let’s take a look at her. She started with a cosmetology school deal only to realize that art was her real passion. If you’ve ever seen that movie “Sweet November”, try to imagine Sara Deever. I know my friend will not be upset when I say this. My friend is a little crazy and scattered brain. She is cute, funny and you can’t help but to be inspired by her lack of connection to the real world. If you live in the SF bay area, I know you’ve met someone with those qualities. She never listens to the news, has no idea who Obama is or why people keep talking about him. If you say Parliament, she will ask you for what? If you ever try to talk about world changing events such as the fall of the Berlin wall, she might say something like “it’s really stupid how a 10ft wall was built to divide a city and even more stupid how the Germans never tried to jump over it. The wall in Berlin is not even close to the size of the great wall of china”. When things don’t go according to plan, she tends to take a deep breath and close her eyes for about a minute… This works like a reset button that somehow makes everything like nothing happened. She is a Yoga instructor with a heart of gold. She doesn’t care for money but loves bebe. She hates the beach because there is sand but loves the Ocean. Her style is a colorful as her paintings and she idealizes Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears. She is about 5’9 with great teeth. She is always happy and never stops talking. A great dancer with an adventurous streak. While the world is facing a nightmare oil spill in the Atlantic, her world is coming to an end because she gained 5 lbs. There are lots of people that make jokes about blonds who act this way but she is not a blond. She has dark brown, waist long hair with green eyes. Everyone who knows her loves her and she has always been the center of attention Hens, why Mr. Perfect package is in loves with her.

Together they are perfect and they are in love. Hm… but this latest choice thing has made me think about many questions. If he was to choose not to marry her, does it make sense for her to walk away from this nice guy? Is it that easy to walk away from someone you are in love with? Will she love him any less? What does not wanting to get married have to do with whether or not you love someone? If he doesn’t want to get married does that mean he doesn’t love her? If he doesn’t love her why is he so sweet to her? Why has he spent the last 7 yrs of his life with her? This whole thing is confusing. She admits that this guy is perfect for her. He doesn’t want their relationship to end. So, the questions are why are two people in love having to meet a requirement? Why is this idea of getting married so important to some of us? This archaic ritual can potentially destroy a relationship where two people are happy. What is really different about them after they get married? They will live in the same house where they are living now. They will eat dinner together like they are now. They will have great sex like they have now. As far as can see nothing changes. Is loving someone for ever not enough? I could not help but to think if I was in he’s shoes, I would feel love is not enough and if it’s that easy for her to walk away, maybe real love is not present in our relationship.

The ritual of getting married up close and personal: This archaic ritual was put in place to celebrate two people, coming together and giving themselves to each-other. Exchanged is the promising to love and take care of each-other forever until death. Somehow over time, we became obsessed with this idea that a piece of paper with a signature, a big party where we invite and feed relatives and friends who will criticize everything afterwards is what holds weight in this matter. I’m wondering, what would I rather have? Would I rather have a union falling under the category of a successful marriage? Or would I rather have someone in my life who loves me forever until death? According to California statistics:

  • In 2009 a successful marriage last 5 yrs.
  • About 48% of marriages don’t last long enough to be categorized as successful and end up in divorce.
  • Another 10% of marriages actually last 5 years or longer but are separated.
  • An additional 10% or so have made it pass the 8 year mark but have been separated at least once in the process.
  • Last but not least 70% of people who get married a second time end up divorcing again.

If the odds are so much against us, why is this archaic ritual pushed upon us throughout our lives by media and our society? Ohh you didn’t know that this was drilled into our heads from before we had the ability to put on our shoes? Let me explain. There is a number of Disney movies pushing the concept of marriage in a very subtle way. Drilling our subconscious with the idea of happily ever after as early as childhood. Our parents push this idea on to us because of their own mental programming even after being divorced themselves. In some cases they are in miserable marriage but still tell us that marriage is the right way. They never stopped to questions and ask why? Companies push bridal campaigns every year during bridal season (Can you believe there is a season). Hallmark got creative and created a holyday filled with red hearts, candy, cards and flower in an effort to create the perfect day for proposals. Not to mention Tiffany’s & Co. and their wedding photo of a bride in every magazine. Marriage is so heavily programmed into our subconscious it’s no wonder why some would rather get married and divorced than share a life time of happiness with the person they love. The question still lingers. Why is our society so obsessed with marriage? I’m thinking it has to do with money. You see everyone wants to buy into the fairytale of happily ever after and Disney wants to sell movies. Just like Calvin Klein tapped on the idea that sex sells, Disney tapped on the idea that forever after sells and the easiest way to present this idea is with a princess finding happiness and getting married. As mentioned before, our parents simply push the idea because they endured the same subliminal programming for their entire life. You see this is not something that started to happen yesterday. This subconscious programming has taken place over hundreds if not thousands of years. Generation after generations have fallen victims of this horrible lie that marriage and love are connected. The truth is Hallmark wants to sell more cards. The bridal shows want to sell more dresses. The cake maker wants to make more cakes. Photographer wants to sell more pictures. Tiffany’s & Co. want to sell you diamonds. The wedding industry has been a booming business that never seems to be affected. If the economy is doing well, people are getting married. If our economy is down, people still get married even if they have to incur large dept. It’s almost funny how people would rather spend 10, 15, 20, 50, 100 thousand, a million dollars on a wedding before taking a killer vacation together in Europe or investing into an early comfortable retirement together. Ironically, about 80% of divorces take place due to financial struggles. Go figure that out. I’m thinking there might be a connection.  Now you might be wondering how can our government allow this to happen? Well, let’s see, lawyers and politicians pass laws. Judges sign wedding licenses and work for the State. Lawyers are needed for prenuptial agreements as well as divorces. (Divorce is big business in the United States. According to maritalstatus.com, a Web site geared toward divorce and remarriage, divorce is a $28 billion-a-year industry with an average cost of about $20,000) I would have to say that it’s not in the best interest of any politician to advice against or even begin to think of pulling the sheet from this manipulative industry. An industry that not only wants you to get married, makes you feel like a loser if you’re 30 and never been married but also wants you to become a repeat customer. If you don’t find happiness the first time get married again. Third time is a charm. Right? I’ve actually hear a photographer at a recent wedding tell the groom to save the business card and a 20% discount would be applied to the 2nd wedding. They laughed about it and turned it into a joke of course but who are we really kidding here. Why don’t they just sell you on finding happiness, sharing your life with someone who cares about you, loves you and respects you? Because they can’t sell you anything with that and there is no chi-ching if there is no wedding. If as a society we walked away from marriage, divorce lawyers would starve. If you ask me they are the only ones that find happiness when you get married. That’s because they want your money. Whenever I feel the need to take action on anything, I tend to ask myself some key question. Is this important to me? Why is this important to me? What are the other options?

So what would I rather have, a successful marriage or lifelong happiness?  I’ll go with lifelong happiness. I realize that you, like my friend, might read this and feel somewhat like you did when you found out about the tooth fairy. The good news is that my friend had a conversation with her boyfriend. Right as he began to tell her about how he loved her but did not want to get married, she stopped him and stated “it’s not that important”. They spent the weekend in Monte Rey and just booked a 2 week trip to Grease. Those crazy kids are all over each-other like two 16 year olds at their high school dance. Real Love nothing is required and everything is surrendered. Simple after all.

Taking Ownership Of Our Lives Wednesday, Jun 9 2010 

I would like to start by thanking all of those who read my little blog and take the time to comment. Know that your comments are appreciated and welcomed. My last post was a bit on the political side of things and even though I enjoy sharing my opinions on political issues, I would like to keep this page somewhat balanced. Therefore, this time around, let us talk about the idea of living our lives for ourselves.

Over the course of several years, I’ve had the opportunity to observe many people and noticed how much as individuals we compromise our lives. Life somehow becomes this constant negotiation.  I would imagine if you stopped for a second, simply took the time to think about your life and reflect on it, you would be surprised as to how many times you have given up things, ideas, projects or interests. Sometimes, we give up on our interests because of time. Our life tends to move on this timeline and maybe we begin to think we are getting to old to try something. A more common example of how time influences our ability to accomplish the things we want, is the fact that our lives get busy with work, kids, girlfriend or wife, boyfriend or husband, dinner, cleaning, homework, DMV, taxes, budget, getting a car-wash and all the many things that we dump on our daily agenda. The time challenge is without a doubt a tough challenge to overcome. Unfortunately, the day only has 24 hours and most people lose at least 5 of those hours sleeping. To this problem, I can only say manage your time and make time to accomplish those things you want. Try to remember age doesn’t matter. The things we do or experience are the very fiber that makes us who we become. We as individuals are an accumulation of our life experiences. Our experiences form a collage that not only create who we become but also strengthens us, makes us more efficient and capable to face new experiences. Remember that no one really knows how long they will be here in this world. Therefore, it’s never too late to learn or live a new experience. We really owe it to ourselves not to cheat ourselves from living.

Another major reason for giving up on things we want tends to be the people we love and the fear of how they will feel or react towards our interest. I often hear people say thing such as “I would love to sky dive but my husband/wife is not into extreme things”. Sometimes, because we know our partner is not into something we like, we might not even suggest doing it. We want to share the excitement but we know they just don’t feel the same way we do about the particular activity. We know they would be miserable if they did it with us. Therefore, we simply give up on living it.

This is a complicated problem with a simple solution. Stop for second, look around you, take a deep breath and allow yourself to realize that this is your life. This is “your” life we are talking about. Leave your fears behind and do whatever it is you want to do. If your partner doesn’t want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or can’t. Live your life and own it. The other option is to have your life own you and this can lead to having many regrets. I for one, don’t want to wake up one morning, 80 yrs old, wishing I had done anything. Even worst, I don’t want to regret not trying something. Furthermore, I don’t want to wake up one morning and feel bitter or angry towards my life partner because I gave up living for them.

I invite you to be strong and communicate with your partner. Tell them what you want to do. Invite them to do it with you and if they don’t want to, simply say “ok cool, I’ll let you know how I like it after I do it”. If your partner doesn’t want to experience something with you, those experiences you do by yourself will make you more of a unique, interesting individual with a colorful life. When you come back home from doing whatever it is you wanted to do, you can share the experience with your partner. Share with them the new stroke of color that was just added to this wonderful painting called your life. At very least, you will have more things to talk about. If they get upset be understanding of their fear or concern and give them the space to be upset. Remain calm and remind them that this is “your life” and you are “sharing” it with them because you love them. “Sharing” your life is a little different than “fusing” your life.

You probably already figured out from reading my previous post, the ideas I share are ideas I live my life by. I love snowboarding, fast motorcycles, fast cars and anything that gets my blood pumping. Sometimes, the person I’m dating doesn’t have the same appreciation for some of the things I’m into. I’m ok with this. She doesn’t have to drop into the face of Alpine Meadows to please me. The jumping out of airplanes and ridding 100+ mph on a motorcycle with my hair on fire is just where she ends and I begin. I don’t care so much for reading cook books, trying new recipes or shopping but I love to hear about what makes her tick and tock. I love to try her latest dish while we talk about the new dress she picked up. With excitement, I wait to see her in her new dress the next time we go out. She doesn’t snowboard but we sure have a great time laughing about my tumbles and falls when I come back from my snowboarding trips.

It took me years to understand this concept. Furthermore, it took me years to overcome the fear of owning my life. As far as I can tell, the secret or key is to be strong, stand your ground, be responsible and find balance. Share your life with your partner even if it means they are standing on the side lines for a second while you experience your life. Last but not least, respect your partner and allow them the space to do the same. When your partner wants to try something that scares you, acknowledge what you are feeling and brace yourself. Don’t be selfish and open your mind to giving your partner space to live their life. Thrust me, they will appreciate you for it. Believe it or not, after the fact, there is a good chance that you will actually feel good about the outcome and appreciate them for living.

Food for thought: Life is like the movie “Titanic”. We all knew how the movie was going to end. We all knew the Titanic was going to sink. There was no surprise ending. We went to see the movie to see the middle of the story. In life, I’ll save you the mystery. We are all going to die. There is no surprise ending. The journey is what matters. What we do while we are here is what will vibrate and echo through our being forever.

Now get out there and own your life 🙂

Immigration? What Is The Right Answer? Tuesday, May 25 2010 

In the previous posts, I’ve written about relationships. I’ve shared ideas about mutual respect, communications, building self-esteem and discovering who we are as individuals. However, this time, I would like to talk about something a little different.

Over the last few months, I’ve been asked about my opinion regarding the recent immigration laws in AZ. I simply reply, “it doesn’t concern me”. I tend to change the subject or make funny jokes about the entire thing. You see, even though I have brown hair, brown eyes and speak Spanish, I’m not Mexican. In addition, I’ve lived here for over 25 years with no ties to my country of origin. I’m an American. I love this nation and everything it stands for. I believe in democracy, capitalism and the US Constitution. I agree with Jack Nicholson in a few good men. I appreciate and love the comfort I find in the blanket of freedom this nation provides. Therefore, I try not to question that manner in which it provides it. I rather say thank you and try to understand the reasons behind the decisions that our leaders make.

Unfortunately, the topic of immigrations just doesn’t seem to lighten up. It wasn’t too long before I began to wonder how just these drastic measures were. I’ve listen to discussions about racial profiling and how these laws or tactics were unfair. After a while, I could not help to agree. A very real thought came to me. If I was Asian, Indian or German and I was pulled over in AZ, would I be treated the same as if I was Mexican? Hm…Sense I speak Spanish, have brown hair and have brown eyes, will I be treated differently? Hm… Is there a possibility that I would be harassed while attending school in AZ? Hm… Even a bigger question came to my mind when I noticed a commercial for Meg Whitman. She talked about the idea of sending the National Guard to patrol our borders if necessary in an effort to deal with the immigration issues in California. If these drastic laws were to pass in CA, would I be at risk of being harassed in the very state I call home? How much tax payer dollars would be spent on having the National Guard patrol our borders? In another commercial she talked about minimizing Government spending but it seems to me that this National Guard patrolling our border business would have a pretty hefty price.  Is the National Guard looking to donate time and provide this service free of charge? If this doesn’t work, what’s next? Are we going to deploy Marines to our borders? Doesn’t this seem a little ridiculous? These questions have kept me up at night. It seemed to me that these types of laws should concern me after all. Still, I do not question the actions taken in AZ or the ideas presented by Meg Whitman. I rather try to understand the reason behind the decision taken and ideas presented by our leaders. After all, I have promised to defend this nation from all enemies foreign and domestic. At very least I should be supportive of all laws that are passed for the purpose of preserving this way of life that I appreciate so much.

I wondered what the problem really was. Is it that we don’t like Mexicans? I don’t think that’s it. The first 10 amendments of our constitution lead to believe that we are not a racist society. The bill of rights leads me to believe that we don’t base our decisions on whether or not we like people from any specific country or race. Could it be that we have forgotten about how this country was founded upon people who came here from other countries? I don’t think that’s it either. The very American spirit is driven by our diversity and the embracing of different cultures. Wasn’t there someone who said “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe fee, your wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door”? ohhh wait, that’s right, that’s written on the statue of liberty. You know, that pretty lady in NY that represents freedom. So, what is the problem with having immigrants come to this country? The answer is money. There is billions of dollars that escape our economic system. I agreed that we have to do something to preserve and protect our economy. We must put a stop to those who come here and drain our economy by sending and accumulating dollars in foreign countries. Furthermore, there are many illegal immigrants who work and never pay taxes because they don’t have a legal social security number. All this madness has to stop. However, these individual who cost our economy so much are not all Mexican. They are from all corners of the world. As you can see there is no doubt that our leaders have to find a way to fix this problem. However, we must find a fair solution that not only protects but strengthens our economy without sacrificing the values that this nation stands for.

I believe that if you are going to take the time to identify a problem you should also take the time to present a possible solution. That said, I believe that amnesty is the answer. Give those who want to come here and take part in the strengthening of this nation the ability to do so by providing them with work permits. Allow them to work and take pride in becoming positive contributors of the growth of this nation. Address the real problem by:

  • Placing an 80% tax on all money that gets wired out to foreign countries. This will insure that those who want to be here are here to establish a life here in the U.S.A. This will insure that our money will be spent in our economy. Dollars will be spent in the US where they belong.
  • Eliminate welfare benefits to anyone who doesn’t have a permanent residency card.
  • Make it mandatory to establish a good working history of at least 5 yrs before being considered for permanent residency. Those who want to come here and work hard to create a better life would be able to do so. If they are here in search of a free meal they would not find it.
  • Give tax breaks to those business owners or corporations whose work force consists of 50% or more permanent residents/citizens. This will motivate employers to employ citizens and permanent residents before employing foreigners.

I hope that no one who reads this blog takes offense. This is not meant to offend anyone. These are just my opinions or ideas on how to address the immigration problem in a way that is fair to those who are coming here in search of Justice, liberty and pursue of happiness. I believe that this approach will minimize the amount of money spent on patrolling our borders. Those who come here with the wrong intentions would soon realize the US is the land of opportunity not the land of free pie and you have to earn your keep to live here. Not to mention they probably would go back home and tell everyone about how hard life is here. Those who are looking for a free meal would probably be discouraged to take all the ricks they take to get here to find out that this is a country that believes in hard work. If you don’t like my opinion, I have good news. I’m not running for office so you don’t really have to worry too much about it.

Hahahah  lol!!!

I would love to hear your feedback and welcome any comments.

Oppression Thursday, May 13 2010 

Oppression is one of those words sure to bring an uneasy feeling to the pit of our stomachs. I’ve never met anyone who ever wanted to be oppressed. That said, I can’t imagine that anyone would ever go around stating how much they want to be an oppressor when they grow up. In America, as Americans, we become almost angry when we hear that there is a group suffering from oppression. I can’t speak for the entire country but at least here, in the Northern CA. bay area, most people hate that idea that any one person or group would try to control another person or group. What I find disturbing is how oppression is so unacceptable and yet it’s still so present on our day to day life.

I imagine you’re thinking that I may be discussing some political idea today. Let me be clear. No, I’m not referring to politics. Give me second and I’ll explain what I’m talking about. In order to understand this concept or though, we must be clear on what oppression is and how it works. Sure, oppression is about control over someone or some group. That part is easy. Anyone can go to Webster’s dictionary and get that definition. However, parents control their kids and that type of control does not fall under the category of oppression. We have laws in our society that tell us that driving drunk is not ok. These laws are in place for the purpose of protection. This places a form of control over those who drink but still this is not oppressive. Oppression is far more complicated. Oppression is a lot sneakier.

The oppression that I’m referring to is systematically embedded into our way of life for the sole purpose of control. What does that mean? Well, even though this is going to sound really sneaky, dishonest, manipulative and right down wrong, it is rather simple. Oppression is systematic. That means that is takes place like clockwork. It works all on its own without you having any idea that it is doing anything. It’s part of the big picture. Oppression works parallel to everything you do without ever stopping you and letting you know about its presence. Try to imagine the human body and how we have different systems. When we go running and become agitated, we begin to breathe faster and harder. While this is taking place, our heart is beating at a much faster rate. Our blood is pumping faster though out veins. The human body we call home begins to work harder and therefore our body temperature rises. This causes for our sweat glands to release sweat to cool us down, lower out temperature and control our body heat. All these different systems are working and yet we don’t ever really stop and think consciously about everything that is going on. Our mind is focused on how long or how far we are from accomplishing our goal and completing out work out. Well, Oppression works like all those many systems in our human body. It’s happening around us every day and we never stop to think about it.

Oppression is also embedded in to our way of life. What this means is that is part of our way of life somewhat like cotton is part of your shirt. We look at your Ed Hardy T-shirt and we don’t see cotton. However, we know is there, present in every inch of that fabric and vintage design. When you think of the interweaving of our day to day life, oppression is just like that cotton in the T-shirt. The only deference is that oppression is present for the purpose of someone else controlling us and the cotton in the shirt is not. However, it is right in front of our eyes and we don’t see it. The majority of us don’t even know oppression it’s there and fail to recognize it.

Now we know how oppression works and I’m sure you are probably wondering how oppression can do this to us. After all we are smarter than to let anyone or anything control us. Right? The answer is also very simple. It happens extremely subtle. A series of small changes occur over an extended period of time. After all do you remember the running example? When we run is not like we immediately run out of air and begin gasping for a breath. The same thing happens with oppression. Let’s look at something that we can all relate to and identify oppression. When we looking at relationships from the outside looking in, it is rather easy to notice oppression at its purest and strongest form. The vast majority of relationships are oppressive in nature. Don’t get mad or upset. This is just the nature of things. Right? Not… After you’re done reading this, you will be able to identify oppression. Do you remember the old GI Joe cartoons? Well, it’s true knowing is half the battle. Once you can identify oppression in your relationships you will be able to consciously make changes to eliminate it. To illustrate this, I will use the girl meets guy scenario. If you are a guy and you met a girl, you’ll simply have to reverse the concept and see how it applies to you. Ok, so Imagine that you are a girl and you are out with your girl friends on a Saturday night. You are wearing a cute, short, strapless cocktail dress with those sexy heels you love so much. Your hair is looking silky smooth and feels feather soft to the touch with a sexy bounce. You are feeling confident as if your presence demands attention. Life is good and you know it. While hanging out with your friends at a trendy spot, you meet that guy. You know that fit, sophisticated, educated, confident, charming, good lucking kid that makes your heart skip a beat. You exchange some laughs and phone numbers and go home excited about seeing him again. A few days later, you go on a date and find yourself experiencing a wonderful connection. Before you know it, it’s been a few weeks and you have been spending all your free time together. You find yourself going to the movies on Friday nights. Maybe, on Saturdays you find yourself enjoying candle light dinners at home followed by magical one on one time in comfortable casual clothing next to you fire place. Sundays you find yourself spending time at a local park, laying on fresh cut grass, playing discovery on all your ticklish spots. Six months later, your girls friend calls you and asks to hang out with you. You know, the friend you were hanging out with that fabulous night you met your boyfriend. She misses you and wants to go out. After all, you want to hang out and tell her all about the wonderful guy who has made the last six months enchanting. You and your girl friend make plans to go out the very next Friday night. After you hang up the phone, you call that nice guy you’ve been dating to tell him that this upcoming Friday you have plans. To this he replies “hey that’s great”. “Have fun”. Friday after noon comes, you and your boyfriend have dinner and you tell him how excited you are about hanging out with your friends. After diner you ask him to help you pick out what to wear. You walk into your closet and pull out a cute skirt, a nice pair of heels and a sexy silky top. He takes a look at it and tell you “I’m not so sure about the way these cloths make you look”. “They are cute but I’m not so sure”. So you look at him and go back into your closet to pull out a 2nd arrangement. His response is rather negative. “It’s seems like your are trying too hard”. “You realize that you are just hanging out with you friend”. You reply, “really?”. “Yes”, “try something a little more casual”. Now you find yourself second guessing your choices and eventually find your way to some cool jeans and a somewhat cute top. You take off and have a blast with your friend. You go back to your regular routine for another six months. Then one day, he comes over to your house right as your arriving home from work. You step out of your car and he notices how sexy you look. However, rather than complimenting you, he gets a little upset and asks “why are you so dressed up for work?” After a small argument he tells you that he is sorry for acting stupid. It’s just that it makes him a little uncomfortable when he sees you trying so hard. It’s not like you have to impress anyone at work. Right? To this you simply respond reassuring and agree that its really stupid that you dress up because you basically spend 8 hrs of your day facing a computer in a 8×10 cubicle. You do this because you want to be the good girl who is caring about her boyfriend’s feelings. Another month goes by and you been wearing comfortable jeans and sweatshirts to work. That great friend calls you again and wants to makes plans to get together with you. This time you suggest meting for coffee. You end up getting together for lunch and coffee and come home rather happy to have seen your friend. When you get home and you share your day with your boyfriend, he reacts rather uncomfortable about you hanging out with your friend. He tell you all about how he can’t understand the importance of your friendship. It’s not like you even see this person regularly. It’s been seven months sense the last time you seen her. Six more months go by and you are now so used to not seeing your friend that you hardly remember why you were ever friends with her in the first place. You’ve been wearing jeans and Ed Hardy T-shirts to work with your hair pulled up on a pony tail because there is no real reason to dress up. Right? Besides, why cause any problems and upset the nice guy you are dating. It’s not like you have to impress anyone at work. You are in a relationship. After all, this is what it is all about. Settling down and being responsible is just a part of growing up. You are simply growing up. All the girls out there wish they had found a nice guy who treats them as sweet as your guy treats you. I mean he spends his weekends with you. He cooks and brings your flowers once a month. He makes your whole family laugh at family gatherings. Your neighbors love him. He charms everyone. He is smart and has a great job. Now, let’s imagine a series of small changes such as the ones I’ve described over the course of 5 years. Can you see how one day you might wake up in the morning wondering why you can’t remember the last time you attended your gym. Maybe even worst, maybe you can’t imagine why you ever attended your gym in the first place. Ohh… and by the way, that little cute, short, strapless cocktail dress you wore the night you met him? Yea, you never wore it again and you don’t even remember ever having it. That cute skirt you were going to wear that time you were going out with your friend? You donated it to goodwill about 3 yrs ago because it had been in your closet collecting dust. You needed the space for all the jeans and cool sweatshirts you wear now. As far as friends go, you have friends. They’re his friends. Your friends are all the people you’ve met through him or with him over the course of 5 yrs. After all, this is what life is all about. Right? Couples should hang out with couples. Having common couple friends only strengthen your relationship. Right?

I’m thinking you get the picture. Maybe you might even reflect on your life and find out that you have lived through this or are living though this now. Maybe you have lost a friend who met that nice guy one night when she was hanging out with you. As much as I hate to say this, this is a perfect example of oppression at its truest, strongest and rawest form. I have no shame and telling you that these types of relationships take place every day. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how much you paid for college. Some of the smartest people I know, have at some point or another, found themselves in an oppressive relationship. It’s important to understand that the oppressor, most of the time, doesn’t consciously want to be an oppressor. They simply take on that role because of insecurities and passed life experiences. They do this seeking protection of their own feelings. Their behavior is driven by the fear or getting hurt.

When you look at your relationship, as you navigate through it, ask yourself, “am I the oppressor or am I oppressed. Once you define your role, if you are the oppressor, make a conscious effort to let go of any fear and refrain from controlling those who you love. Try not to restrict but rather encourage them to fallow their passions and express themselves as the individuals they are. Learn to appreciate them for who they are. When they are feeling confident, sexy and strong, you should feel confident, sexy and strong for them. Become supportive of their choices and learn to become a unit with them for the purpose of making each-other strong. Help them grow. Help them become a better person and find pride in knowing that no matter what happens, you helped them become their own person. If you are the oppressed, you face a harder challenge. It’s up to you to talk to you other half and educate them. It’s up to you to identify oppressive behaviors and be strong enough to not allow a resting point for oppression in your relationship. You can do this by simply communicating with them about what you are noticing. Letting your partners know how this makes you feel. Pointing out their behavior in a constructive manner can go long way. Remember that they want to change. No one really wants to be that ex that girls talk about at coffee shops.

I truly believe that sharing information can really change the world. I encourage you to not be embarrass if you’ve experienced this in your life. Share it and teach those around you. In case you’re wondering… Yes, I have experienced this both as the oppressor and the oppressed. Remember knowledge is power and power is the ability to create positive change.

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