by Celina Benon August 7th, 2012
I am . I Am My Journey . you can have it all
I just came back from visiting my family in Mexico. I had a wonderful time taking walks on the beach, making ceviche with fresh fish, playing board games and taking time to find out how everyone was doing and involving my nieces and nephews in interesting conversations.
Yesterday I received a beautiful e-mail from my 17 year old niece Vi, where she tells me that she believes that one of the main problems in this world is that “human beings are completely manipulated by the material things, we leave aside family and friends for material possessions … and the worst part is that when we die, we leave with nothing. I decided to leave behind the material things and to take my life for a simple road, I am 17 years old and I think that it is going to be something very difficult , but the reward is going to be big, I’ll try to involve the people closer to me. Regards, Vi”
I couldn’t wait to reply and give her some good news.
“Vi, You are such a beautiful soul!! And that, just makes me love you even more….
You are right when you talk about people being materialistic, but there is more to it. What if I told you that YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL.
Would you be interested in knowing how you can have it all?
Let me start by reminding you that God created this beautiful world for us, He wants us to be happy and to appreciate everything He created for us.
Based on that, we can agree that the material world is not the problem, but our attitude towards it. When we get attached to “stuff”, when we live our lives on the “surface”, living superficial lives, is then when we cause pain and suffering in the world.
Our indifference, our disconnection is what causes the pain.
When I said that you can have it all, I really meant it.
God is not against prosperity or abundance, He wants us to have dreams and to be happy.
He even told us: “Ask and you shall receive”.
So for now, let’s ask God for clarity so I can be able to explain what I know and for you to understand it and apply it in your life if is something that can benefit you.
You will see that most of the things I will explain to you are things that you have already heard from your parents, or learned at school or church, but for some reason we don’t get it until we are ready.
To be continued.
Love, aunt C.
by Celina Benon June 30th, 2012
Finally Summer is here!!! After few weeks of tests, graduations, celebrations, getting summer jobs’ schedules and more, I feel like I can continue with my plan to make this summer an unforgettable one.
My husband and I have already planned and enjoyed few activities with our three teenagers in the last weeks and our goal is that by the end of the summer, our bond as a family will be stronger.
We want them to be able to “create” happiness. With a little imagination and participation from everyone, we can create as much fun as when they were kids and in the future, when they have their own children, they will be able to do the same, create happy moments.
I’m going to title this summer: Instructions for a Happy Life.
On Thursday I prepared a beautiful picnic dinner for the family which included fresh lemonade made with our own lemons, spicy noodles, chicken and fruit. We had a wonderful time, eating, laughing and talking at a picnic table in a beautiful local beach.
We told the boys in advance that after dinner we were going to have another “family activity” but we didn’t tell them the details.
We had to write on the sand a word that somehow resonated with each one of us and take a picture with our phone. Once everyone was ready, we sat on the sand and one by one shared the picture of the word and the reason why we chose it.
The words were charisma, believe, desire, creative, patience and astronomical and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my sons had something meaningful to say and that they were happy to participate.
My husband explained that he chose the word charisma because he thinks that personality is a very important part of life. In the corporate world, a charismatic person can mean success. He told us how there are companies training their employees so they can become more charismatic.
I think that the best way to make your personality shine is to be who you are.
Make your qualities speak for you, be friendly and caring, keep it simple!
If you want a meaningful life where your dreams come true, always be true to yourself, pay attention to others and care.
We already have the next activity, it will be very exciting since it will require for the boys to cook, we’ll see how that goes, I will let you know
My three sons are getting to mature too soon. The oldest will be 20 by the end of the summer, got his first real job as an intern at a local corporate office and has a beautiful girlfriend. Then my 18 year old has a cool job at our local gym, is a Sr. at high school, loves his beautiful girlfriend and his car too (lol). My youngest is 15, and it happens that this summer he is too young to work and too old to play. All his friends are already driving but him. The thing is that when he wasn’t 6 yet (his bday is 9-27) I decided to put him in 1st grade when he should have stayed for one more year playing…… I felt so bad, that I decided I was going to do my best to make this summer a very special one, a summer with many different activities and things that can make up for that.
I knew that Old Family Photos could help me do the trick, so one of the first things I did was to bring photos from back then, to remind everyone how happy and fun our summers used to be. The 3 of them and few neighbors of similar ages would run in and out our home, playing in the street, in the pool, in the “play room” and a favorite place for a long time: our garage, which was covered by left over carpet, and made a perfect place to keep a constant mess.
There are photos from the beach, from their summer camp at Pali, of them mountain biking in the local hills, doing “cannon balls” in the pool, playing with their and our neighbors’ pets, many of them now gone.
So I brought a huge basket and I put a couple of hundred photos in it from years ago. It has been a success!! I don’t care if their finger prints get on them; I want us to never forget what happiness looks like.
As we become adults, responsibilities, work, traffic, mistakes, future plans and more, keep us so busy that all of that make us forget to “stop and smell the roses”.
If we dedicate at least a small part of the day to connect with ourselves, with those who are closest to us and have fun, we will be happier and more peaceful.
When people are happy and peaceful, they tend to care more for others and for Nature.
If we get to do that, we will create a better world and our children will thank us for that. Peace, Celina
Few days ago my husband had a great idea for the entire family in order to have some fun, quality time together. We all went to the beach a couple of hours before sunset and had to take photos with our cell phones of nature, anything was valid; we just needed to be creative and have fun. Then we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant in Laguna Beach: “La Sirena” and over tortas and tacos we all submitted our best 3 photos. At the end just one was voted The Best and won $20.00 (that was my youngest son who has the oldest phone. lol)
We took pictures of shells, rocks, waves, there was even a picture of a star fish! I didn’t take that many since I dedicated most of my time to take pictures of them and enjoyed observing how excited, serious and competitive everyone was.
I heard my boys laughing and talking about the times when they were little and came to the same rocks many, many times every year and how much fun that used to be. You see, this is a magical place for my boys, they feel a special connection with the tide pools since they grew up coming to that cove.
That night I thanked my husband for such a wonderful idea and told him that it was going to be hard to top that one, but I was going to try soon.
I felt so happy, we are still creating magical moments with our family. All it took was a little bit of imagination and a family that cares.
by Celina Benon August 9th, 2012
This was Anna’s question as she was soliciting outside Trader Joe’s for Greenpeace.
Of course I believe in it! I said.
Anna is a beautiful young girl who just graduated at a college in Texas and is now working for Greenpeace doing something she strongly believes in and is passionate about.
She is another messenger from Mother Earth with another message of concern, of love.
Anna and I connected immediately and we both agreed that if we want to see a change in the world, the most important thing is to find something we believe in and motivates us to start making the difference.
I was so inspired by her that I decided to start writing again in my blog after weeks of absence.
At an early age Anna started questioning the “traditional” way of doing things and decided that she didn’t agree with it. She represents a new kind of people; they question and disagree with the way they were told to live their lives, destroying our planet and each other. Many people don’t agree with it and they are taking action.
I found many examples of what I’m talking about, “The Power of One”, in this amazing magazine named BLINDFOLD , which is filled, page after page with interesting and honest articles about extraordinary people doing extraordinary things.
The stories are diverse and engaging and they show how when people care, find their purpose in life and follow their dreams, beautiful things will start to happen.
In one of the articles in BLINDFOLD, Daryl Hannah says it very simply: “Find the thing that interests YOU that you are passionate about and participate in making a better world for every living thing you know.”
The superficial world we live in keeps us distracted and we end up ignoring the things that matter most. However, the minute we decide to pay attention and do something about it, we can start living our lives in a more profound and meaningful way.
There are two ways to live our lives, I told my niece the other day, she is 17 and decided to make a difference in the world.
I will share through my blog my point of view hoping that will help someone some way.
by Celina Benon August 21st, 2012
There are two ways to live our lives.
One is the material way which is how all of us live in this world. We believe in the material world we live in because we can see it, touch it, smell it, hear it and taste it.
The other way is the spiritual way; the good news is that we can still be living in the material world as we add the spiritual part to it. So you have nothing to lose and so much to gain if you give it a try.
Based on appearances only, we wouldn’t be able to tell who is spiritual and who isn’t, a spiritual person eats and sleeps and goes on with his life pretty much as the rest of us, but he has a different perspective.
A spiritual person understands that the material world provides only a superficial way to live our lives, so shallow and meaningless that is not enough, hence the need to look deeper.
Since we are talking about a different way to live our lives, we then understand that this is a process which should last for the rest of our lifetime. It is important to understand as well that no one’s path is the same; we are responsible to walk that path and to start when our own individual time is right.
Some people very dear to my heart need some guidance since living in this world can be very distracting and it is difficult to know where to start and what to do.
Many think that spiritual means religious which is not necessarily truth, or that becoming spiritual isn’t “cool” or boring so I decided that I will share some of the most useful and insightful concepts that have helped me on my own search.
I can guarantee you that as long as you dedicate a small portion of your everyday life to your spiritual growth; it will only get better and you’ll never regret it.
by Celina Benon August 21st, 2012
Our point of view is unique to each one of us and is the result of countless interactions and experiences that we have been exposed to throughout our lives.
Starts when we are babies and continues through our childhood and adolescence, all the way to the present day. The people who took care of us, our parents, teachers, baby sitters, relatives, friends, etc. all of them influenced our POV. All the interactions and acquaintances, some of them meaningful, some of them not so much that we encounter and experience, the places we’ve visited, the books we’ve read, the music we’ve listened, even the food we’ve eaten and the neighborhoods we’ve lived in. All this and more, has helped formed who we are today; all this gives us a personal POV.
The reason why I will be posting a series I am calling “Baby Steps to Spirituality” is that I see the need to have the POV of a “regular” person (by regular I mean, w/o previous training in the subject), who started just a little over a year ago to question and to look deeper. One situation led to another, one person recommended a book, that book pointed in the direction of the next and I started to put in practice all that made sense to me.
I became the “perfect reader” of all those books, since I actually was putting in practice whatever I thought it would be beneficial to me.
After just few months from the time I started what I called my journey, my POV shifted and I started to see really positive results, it was then that I felt the responsibility to share with those closest to me at least part of my experience.
Part of that experience is that I came to realize that it is not impossible, and that in fact it is quite thrilling, to find out that there is a real possibility to live our lives in a different way, with a much deeper meaning.
I discovered that we have the ability to be happier and peaceful without the need of anything material or external, so I will be sharing what has worked for me hoping that it will benefit someone out there.
I finally understood FB, and I was very happy to find out, after a short couple of weeks of “training”, that the superficial people are not that many after all! There are by far, more people who are concerned and care so much, that they post constantly not only their dreams and beautiful memories, but their fear and frustration when they discover a world where suffering seems to be endless and the problems are so diverse that we know that the least we can do is to post something positive; from our pets and babies, to inspirational affirmations and famous people’s quotes. Uplifting or informative videos and a very popular kind, the “How to be happy” follow the steps lists.
We are in the right track! We know that there is suffering; that it is too much and we know there has to be something that we all can do.
We have the right technology and enough resources to feed and house every single human being. Talented and unselfish people are everywhere on this planet. So I asked myself;
Why haven’t we been able to figure out the solution to all this we, ourselves created?
In my opinion, the answer to that is the lack of a common goal and the lack of inspirational leaders who can motivate us to do something, at our own level, as much and as often as we can.
I know that many people are ready to do more than just posting on FB and by doing so, they will inspire others to do the same.
Earth is our common factor, Earth unites us. We depend on Nature not only to survive, but for a peaceful life as well. A peaceful place where to raise our families, individual prosperity to make our dreams come true and the certainty that our children’s grandchildren will have the opportunity to have the same chance.
We tend to believe that our individual actions won’t make a difference, that the suffering is endless and the problems so many, that our little something will just get lost in this sea of madness.
I want to remind you of one of the shortest and most inspirational quotes. Is easy to understand and very popular, I’ve seen it in several occasions in FB.
The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. Ralph Waldo Emerson
If we post something is because we believe in it, if we “like” it is because at least it makes sense to us, if we share it is because we care for others and we want them to benefit from it as well.
Each individual is potentially able to make a change. A “forest size” change.
We feel comfortable using FB and I beleive is the right Social Media because we don’t need to rely on others to post exactly the way we feel and what we need when we need it and we can reach millions of people if is used for the right cause.
We’ve proven our trust by giving FB an evaluation based on the company’s potential.
So, FB can be the place where we all connect as ONE, to care for and protect Nature, which is our legacy to future generations.
Our common cause is our Mother Earth, we can connect through FB, now we only need influential leaders that can inspire us so much that we will be willing to follow THEIR lead.
David, if all this makes as much sense to you as it does to me, let’s meet, and at least give it a shot.
Today I am responding to this kind comment I received on my blog;
Thank you Aron.
I love growing plants, watching my fish grow and having my dog by my side. All these things make me happy, now I need to let go and learn how to relax………..
Bamboos go with the flow
Dear Aron, thank you for your comment, it makes me so happy to find out that people are reading my articles.
It seems to me that you are almost there, is just a matter of practice, let me suggest you to learn from them, from your dog, your fish and your trees.
Dexter is most relaxed when you are relaxed, try to imitate his attitude.
Go near the pond and quietly stand there observing your fish for a short while, think how would it be like to be swimming and enjoying, calmly and comfortable with your surroundings feeling that you don’t need anything else to be happy.
Let me tell you about bamboos, they grow tall and very thin and have abundant green leaves. One of their best qualities is that in case of strong winds, they are able to bend so much that they can touch the ground and stay there until is calm again.
I’ve learned from them to “go with the flow”. To adapt to new circumstances and know that after a windy day, our favorite soft breeze and sunny days are just around the corner.
Happiness is always a thought away.