Self-Sabotage: when my mental monkeys are on the loose

The boy cried: “ why are you doing this to me? I am a good boy…I don’t like when you treat me like this. —silence— I do what I got to do, I respect and do good to others, so why can’t I get what I want? —silence—  You know this is not what I want. It is not fair, what am I supposed to do? —silence— I’m so mad at you! —silence—  ( red face, fist clenched) Give me what I want…I want it and I want it now!”

That  boy was me this morning, in a full-blown pity party. I was driving to work and I felt so frustrated with myself because I was not getting exactly what I want at this point in my life. I have set my goals, planned accordingly and work hard to make it happen.  I felt that I was going in the right direction, so why things are not going my way? This morning that drive and sense of direction I thought I had were put in question.  In other words, my faith was in question. I felt lost without guidance, like a GPS without a signal, (gasp!) useless.  I got tired of asking questions seeking for an answer or something remotely close to it that will let me know that I am on the right path in my life. Despite of working hard to get more business, work is lacking and no steady income coming in. I felt like I was wondering around aimlessly like a sailboat with a broken mast, again…useless. Then it got worse, the mental monkeys were out and running loose. I was enraged about why this and that were not happening, justifying how hard I have worked for this and rationalized different theories of why it isn’t happening.  I had an internal rage with myself , with God and the Universe.  I cried and protested like a little boy demanding what I want it so bad and what I felt it was so righteously mine.  

After several periods of silence and feeling that my mental monkeys were tired of ranting the same injustices over and over, I was feeling numb. I was ashamed by my actions and my sense of despair.  I started to breathe slowly and used tapping techniques to release my tension. I also practiced  the Ho’oponopono technique  to cleanse myself of all the negativity I have created in such a short time.  The long drive did me great service this morning.

I got to the work site and feeling better about myself, I started my work day without giving it another thought. Hours later I got a call for an immediate job, as I knew it will happen. Needless to say, I was happy.  But despite of knowing that a solution always come at the 11th hour, why I did this to myself? What I did this morning was giving into hopelessness and questioning my faith because thing are not happening exactly the way I want to. When this happens the mind self-sabotage itself fueled by the negative thoughts I help create.  Why I do this? There is a lesson between the lesson as my Systema instructor will say. I recognize faults in my character that need more attention.  As a human being, I have my strengths as well as my weaknesses. Instead of holding on to my faith, trusting that everything will turn out well in due time as it has been proven to me many times before,  I tend to judge from the current facts (and the lack of) and give into self-doubt. When I dwell on uncertainty for too long it is easier for the negativity and the mental monkeys to conquer over.

Life with No Regrets

I lost a friend today. Sadly, he died on my daughter’s birth-day.  I am still in disbelief;  he left this world at such an early age, I just can’t seem to grasp reality yet. I pray for his family  in these difficult times. He was, as I saw him, happy with his life.  One look at his facebook page will tell you that he was very loved by all.  He was a popular and a very cool guy to call a friend.  He lived the Orlando’s  seen and be seen lifestyle  and had a passion for his  sports bike, his Ninja.  He was the life of the party, Orlando’s  Plank Extraordinaire, dancing every night away surrounded by people who love him for his energy and attitude. He was a fashion setter, dressing sharp at the clubs in downtown, dazzling you with his moves on the dance floor. The man got moves!  If  you wanted to have an idea of what would be the ideal life of a single guy, my friend was the poster child of that. He knew how to kick it at the bar or club in style, always with the latest in fashion and electronics trend. He was also the go to guy for everything a friend needs, anytime, anywhere.  Whether you needed a new TV or a gadget or had a breakdown and needed help, my friend was the man to call. He always knew someone that knew someone that can help.

My friend will be missed by all who loved him. I got so used to see his updates. I know many will miss his regular updates about everything happening around him and more importantly his outlook on life.  His attitude of “doing everything the way he only knows how to” will not be easily forgotten. I believe that despite of his life’s ups and downs, he crossed over happy with his life at that point. He lived life to the fullest with no regrets, so when his time came  he went out with no regrets and doing what he loved to do. He is now up in the havens where there is the whole dance floor open just for him. I learned today  to appreciate every moment of my life because  I will never know when my time will be up to meet my maker.  To live life to the fullest so there will be no regrets. Rest in peace my friend.

A Rainbow of Fruits and Veggies

I recently watched a documentary by filmmaker Joe Cross titled The Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. He was fat, sick and nearly dead when He did an experiment for 60 days drinking only juice of fruits and vegetables. It is called “juicing”. In short, I was very intrigued about his experiment and got motivated to do my own experiment. I am not fat, but my Body Mass Index (BMI) told me a shocking truth. My BMI for my weight (174lbs.) and my height (5’9 in) came about 25.7 which categorized me as being overweight. What? Me, OVERWEIGHT? Come on! My normal BMI should be between 18.5 and 24.9. So I am over but just for a bit. Despite of refining my dieting habits and eliminating bad things, I continued to enjoy eating food specially the Puerto Rican food my Mom and Dad love to cook. I could not say NO to that and when anxiety was high, I admit that food was my first line of relief. My main reason to do this is because of feeling tired all the time. My mind was in a constant fog and my body felt heavy and sluggish. I knew it was because of my eating habits. Everyone who knows me, can tell you without a doubt that I LOVE food. I felt that I needed to detox my body from food, give my digestive system a rest and re-boot my body by juicing only fruits and vegetables like Joe Cross did. I am going to  follow his steps adding a twist of my own liking.  I was on  a 5 day fasting juicing a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

I got in contact with my friend and wellness expert Dr. David Orman for his short version of the color wheel of fruits and vegetables in relationship with the benefits for a particular organ of the body:

Green is the color and sour is the flavor. Good for: liver, gall bladder

Red is the color and bitter is the flavor. Good for: small intestines, heart

Yellow is the color and sweet is the flavor. Good for: spleen, stomach

White is the color and pungent is the flavor. Good for: lungs, large intestine

Black/purple is the color and salty is the flavor. Good for: kidneys, bladder

I started the first day of August with a visit to my Wal-Mart store to buy a quality juicer machine and the food.  I thought that if I am decisive and don’t let the other food bait me, I can make it in and out in no time. Just avoid anything that it is refrigerated or canned for now. Why? Most of those foods has preservatives and additives that I need to avoid. Instead I will give my body a rainbow variety of fresh fruits and veggies. So I avoided the refrigerated area and beeline along the aisles away from anything containing the word “hydrogenated” in it, the high sodium, high cholesterol food, high sugar calories, carbohydrates, starch, the infamous red#40 and its rainbow of unhealthy agents. Also the meats, pasta and anything with “added flavor” on the packing. Stick with fresh, green food…period! It proved to be not so easy to do and very time consuming. Too little or too much of this and how much for that? Better come prepared and plan before shopping. It could turn a quick grocery shopping into a marathon grocery shopping.

As with any experiment, I wanted to document everything: cost, daily serving and juicing frequency. I learned my first lesson here: Healthy eating = paying premium for my fruits and veggies and it can be very expensive. I opted NOT to buy my fruits and vegetables in large super markets and visited several farmers market and mom and pop grocery stores for the best deals. It was difficult and time consuming but worth to shop around until I find the right place. My measuring cup was easy: a fistful of everything to toss a salad and make enough fruit juice to fill a 20 oz glass.

Day One:

I immediately encounter problems with juicing vegetables. Without hesitation I altered my plan and selected a few veggies to juice. The other will be eaten as long they’re green, fresh and uncooked. I started my day with fresh orange juice and apples, served in a chilled 20 oz. glass. Lunch was a green salad and carrot juice. Dinner was salad with a variety of veggies and a mix of carrot, apple and ginger juice. I chose balsamic vinaigrette for the salad…not too fancy, just right. I snacked oats and honey granola bars and Cherrios cereal in between meals. No cravings for sugars or meat.

Day Two:

Breakfast was a glass of Orange juice and apple with a hint of ginger; a cup of cheerios whole grain cereal and a granola bars as a mid-morning snack. For lunch, I mixed a salad with corn on the cob and carrot juice. For dinner, a selection of green salad was the choice. It was pretty boring but no cravings of other food. My mind seemed to be clearer. I am pretty upbeat about my progress and felt with little more energy than usual. I could contribute this as to my motivation to continue this experiment.

Day Three:

Hump day! Middle of the week. I screwed my schedule by juicing at different times. A blend of celery, ginger, apricot, apples, oranges, peaches, bananas, papaya, lemons for juicing and eating cheerios, salad, tomatoes, kale, cucumbers, members of the pepper family, broccoli and other veggies either in a salad or raw the rest of the day. Not getting the gist of the eating schedule yet but my mind and body were feeling the changes already. I feel good, at ease with life and not anxious. My digestive system was appreciative of the changes.

Day Four:

I had an unusual feeling today. It was like having a constant sugar high. Maybe it was caused by too much juicing, elevating my sugar levels. My Mom and Sister helped me chopping the veggies and preparing the food so it will be ready to serve. Timing is critical for some fruits and veggies. I know that if I want to keep up with this, I need to learn how to properly storage my food and the right quantities per serving.

Day Five:

This is it, I made it! A 5 -day rainbow diet of fruits and vegetables. I lost 2 pounds in the process and I gained a lot of personal insight by doing this experiment. The most significant are my elevated energy levels and mental clarity. Now, I prepare my fruits, ready to peel and to juice in the morning. Cherrios cereal and granola bars to supplement the snacks at mid-morning. Salad and vegetable juice are the choice for a quick, light lunch. For dinner, fruit or veggie juice with a salad loaded with all the green bells and whistles.

From here on, I plan to continue for 5 more days adding lean chicken breast fillets to the salad, steaming veggies and juicing different blends. Maybe I’ll add two days of full meals of selection of meats and low carbohydrate foods. I like using ginger on anything; it adds a distinctive spice to everything I try and it is good to the digestive system. I am getting used to the taste of celery (without the ranch dressing), kale leafs (too hard to chew) and eating the veggies raw. Carrot juice I like and even a concoction of celery, cucumber and carrot with a dash of ginger. The choices are plenty and there is more information online to plan a weekly meal program. It is certainly a trend that not so many will dare or care to do. Despite of everything we think about fruits and vegetables this is worth trying. It is a good way to detox your body, give your digestive system a little break and lose weight in the process. How many pounds to lose depends how much I commit to it.  At least now I can say that I juiced and ate nothing but a rainbow of fruits and veggies for a week and survived. Best of all is that I feel great about myself.

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Las Cronicas de mi Abuelo: quien es Dios?

Quien es Dios?

Dios es la inteligencia suprema; causa primera de toda las cosas.

Que debe entenderse por lo infinito

Lo que no tiene principio ni fin. Lo desconocido es infinito.

Puede el hombre comprender la naturaleza intima de Dios?

No y es este uno de los sentidos que le falta aun a los seres humanos.

Dios es soberanamente justo y bueno. La sabiduría providencial de las leyes divinas.

Tenemos idea perfecta de sus atributos?

Si Dios lo juzga útil puede revelar lo que no puede enseñar la ciencia.

Desde luego, por estas comunicaciones el hombre adquiere hasta cierto punto el conocimiento de su pasado y de su destino futuro.