Earth Strong Day!


another_year_wiser-117350(Photo : google images/quotesgram)

In a few days, I’ll celebrate another Earth Strong Day! As I look back on the past year, my thoughts are very much dominated by the types of fires I’ve had to put out. Fires, I never thought would come to my door. While most have been smothered, a few are still smouldering. I’m used to it, just another day, on the wild ride, that is my life.

Another year in life’s journey has come upon me. I wonder what adventures, trials, and ridiculously happy moments will come my way. How will the next year play out for me?

While the struggles are being slowly filed away in the recesses of my mind,  the idea came about to record the happy, wholesome, and fabulous memories of the previous year.

Ten, twenty, forty years from now, if I’m still walking  the earth, I will look over these posts,  laugh, shake my head and say “What a bloody amazing ride that was”! It’s been a year of many firsts, and there is so much more waiting for me.

In no particular order, below are some of the notable highlights of the past year:

I got trusted with my first credit card with a sizeable limit, which have been increased twice.

First time being asked to help represent my company at an Employment Assessment Day!

Interviewed for two roles at a company, got offered both, and had to choose!

First retreat in Devon.

Met Ann Lewin, and got an autographed copy of “Watching for the Kingfisher”

Helped to man a stall, and raise funds for a charity at Bristol’s Nature Festival.

The unknown strangers who took care of me, the morning of my collision.

Helped to make history, while working on a four month contract. My colleague and I brought in more revenue, over the same time period, when compared to the previous five  employees! Our efforts were recognized in the annual AGM.

Became the first employee to bring in a total of six job outcomes for the same company above.

New car insurer accepted my no claims certificate from the USA, saving me a bundle.

The sweet flat in Fishponds.

Three different summer festivals in one year.

Plug and Drive Gold Standard driver…which led to insurance discount.

Shaun’s Trail.

Arcadia Spectacular with Jenny (show of year).

First contents insurance policy.

A year of BOGO cinema tickets.

Attended a Dreamboys show (no apologies here).

First epic Three Cities /6 days holiday, and all the famous landmarks (Geneva, Berlin, and Paris).

First cable car ride 1100m up Mt Saleve.

During my epic holiday, I got off the bus in Geneva, crossed the street, and entered France.

Secured a permanent role in July 2015, and within three months, I achieved Gold Medal Performance Winner for meeting and exceeding my targets.

Saw Boys II Men in concert (and secured tickets to Nelly and Jeremih)

Finally found a sector I LOVE.

I’ve read over 25 books in the past year (including E books, and the reading frenzy started in Jan this year)

Finally, sorted a Will!

Student Loan sorted

First Vintage Fair.

Clubbing, twice in one month.

When a Manager says: “I hope you never leave”

First Masquerade ball NYE party!

First professional photo shoot, and registration with a modelling agency!

Visited Alice’s (Alice in Wonderland) Sweet Shop.

My cousin has begun illustrating the cover of my next book.

Became Reiki Level II Certified.

Completed Life Coach Training.

Naturally, the good has outweighed the bad. Bring on the next year. I hope your year is even more amazing!

Until the next post,

Love and Light,

Juan

 

 

#lookforthegood#


#lookforthegood#

I am not one for making New Year’s resolutions. For a host of reasons. I figured, if there are improvements to be made; I can work on them, at any given time, throughout the year. While strolling through the park on New Year’s Day, I decided that 2015, will be the year, I start looking for the good. In people, and more so, in my own life. As often as I can. Every day. There are several projects, which, true to my nature, I am juggling at once. So, I hope I can keep at this, and turn it into a lifelong habit.

I have to remind myself to look for the good in everyone, often. I recognize this will be the most challenging bit of the exercise. Generally, (except for family, friends, and work) I dont look for anything. I mean, how often do we need to? We go about our daily lives, not a thought for the other person. We interact, and move on. Let me hasten to add, my friends and family, would tell you, I don’t automatically look for the bad. However, I know; I need to do a much better job, of seeking out the positive attributes in everyone, especially, when it would be so much easier to see otherwise.

As for the things in my own life; at the end of every day, I write short notes, about the things I experienced, the people who helped, etc, and place them in a jar. The photo above is the actual one I use. I started with white for January. Eventually, I will need to get a much larger, nicer model.

With so many grim images and stories, of terrible things happening in the world, I want to find another way to escape its brutality. One that is often very difficult to accept. The past few years have been rough. I am sure it is for the next person. This exercise, will offer peace and comfort, when I look around, and find dimness.

If I am blessed to be alive next year, I will open it on Jan 1st, and be reminded of all the wonderful things, and people, which made up 2015. It’s been a wonderful exercise, thus far. I find myself looking forward to writing the notes every day. WHY didn’t I do this sooner? I had to resist the temptation, to reread the slips of paper. Even though I just added them. I am sure, at some point I will, as the lure will be too great. It’s a good problem to have, isn’t it? 🙂

I will update you on this project throughout the year. Wish me well.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Thank You Very Much.


thank-you-facebook-cover2014 is a year I will never forget. For a myriad of reasons. I am sure, if I sat down with each of you, we can spend hours, days even, swapping stories on the lessons we learned. When it comes to chindeepinlife however, I wanted to make this post brief, and to serve one purpose.

Thank you. For following. Commenting. Liking. Sharing. Visiting. Encouraging. Your loyalty. I write for so many reasons. One evening, a few short years ago, while I sat in my small university dormitory, I decided to start writing again. I never imagined where the journey would take me. And what a journey it has been.

Through it all, you keep returning. I know days, even months might go by, without a visit, but I find great hope in knowing the blog is here, when you need it. I will keep writing as long as I am physically able to do so.

I hope and pray the year ahead brings us every good thing. I ask the heavens for continued strength, and healing.

Once again, thank you very much. See you next year.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

A Happier You!


LettingGoAfter one stage comes another. The incredibly good thing changes, is the fact, that we are able to look at things from a different, fresher perspective.  One thing I learned this year is the power of positive thinking. Times are hard as it is. Anything which takes the pressures off, even for a short time, I try my best to hold onto it, and revisit often.

I have the Learnist app. Subscribers get daily updates of everything from helpful hints, news stories, reading material, and how to’s. Carmen Sakurai offers some rather simple, yet powerful advice on how to be happier. I hope you find it helpful. Take what you want, and leave the rest.

Over the next several months, I will use a few of the ideas below for future posts.

Let Go of Worrying about What Others Think of You. You see your world through eyes of your own personal life experiences and interpretation… and so does everyone else. It’s important to understand that when someone has an opinion of you or your life, it doesn’t make it a fact. You don’t need anyone’s permission to set your worth.

Let Go of Making Superficial Judgements. Just as you shouldn’t worry about what others think of you, it’s important that you avoid judging others and their life choices. The only life you get to live and are responsible for is your own, so leave others to live their own lives full-out.

Let Go of Anger or Resentment. Don’t punish yourself for poor choices made by something outside yourself. Process any negative thoughts and feelings quickly, then free yourself from the damaging energy by forgiving and letting go.

 Let Go of Making Excuses. If you have a goal, you must do whatever it takes to achieve it. Otherwise, you’re doing nothing but throwing empty wishes up in the air. Remember, while outside forces may temporarily block your path, you have the power to take responsibility for the attitude you choose in situations which you have no control over.

Let Go of Setting Perfection as a Goal. By obsessing over perfection, you become so consumed in finding imperfections to fix that in the end you will have nothing to show for except unfinished, imperfect work. Practice progress over perfection instead, by making constant improvements to live a life of accomplishments.

Let Go of Waiting for the Perfect Time.“Stop waiting for the perfect day or moment….take THIS day, THIS moment and lead it to perfection.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli. Time won’t stop and wait for you to take action, so it’s up to you to either move forward and create a positive momentum… or sit and wait. So why would you want to sit in a puddle of stagnation when you can invest your energy into your happiness and success!

Let Go of the Need to Always Feel Comfortable. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” ~ Neale Donald Walsch. Avoid setting limits to what you can achieve in your life by remaining in your personal comfort zone, because when you break out of it is when you grow the most. Look at it this way, if a single seed that’s fallen under a side walk can find a way to break through to bloom under the sun, so can you!

Let Go of Your Past Mistakes. The past has already happened and that moment no longer exist. Your past does not define you or limit what is possible for you to achieve from this moment on. If you suffered in the past, recognize that you are here today, and you are OK.

Let Go of Insecurity. You were born perfect as YOU can be with everything you need to live a successful and fulfilling life. That means you can relax and stop comparing yourself to others or setting your standards based on someone else’s expectations.

Let Go of Excessive Worrying. “Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn’t happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.” Worrying about something that may or may not happen won’t change anything – and you miss out on the opportunity to make the present great.

Let Go of Negative Influences. No matter how positive you are, if you constantly surround yourself with people who always complain, procrastinate, and make excuses, there’s a strong chance you will begin to absorb their toxic energy. Make it a point to surround yourself with positive and proactive people who will lift your spirit and inspire you.

Let Go of Trying to Change Others. Just as you were born as uniquely perfect as you could be, the same goes for everyone else. No one is obligated to change their attitude, thoughts, or actions just to make you feel more comfortable or secure. Appreciate the differences… they’re what makes this world so interesting!

Let go of One-Sided Relationships. This is when one person is fully committed while the other is not. We want to believe that if we give someone all of our love and invest enough attention and effort for both people involved, we will be able to “convince” them to love us back. Listen, you are an incredible individual deserving all the love, security, respect, and happiness that a healthy relationship can offer.

Let Go of the Attachment to Money. Being financially secure certainly can help open opportunities, relieve stress, and offer some piece of mind. But all the money in the world cannot make you happy if you are unable to feel happiness from within. Instead of measuring your success by how much money you have, define it with happiness, inner peace, and the positive contributions you can make in this world!

Let Go of Wishing Life Was Fair. Sure, there are people who have advantages in certain areas of their lives, but know that you also have advantages over other people in different areas of your life as well. Just because something that’s worked for someone else didn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean you’re less than or incompetent.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

 

Guilty…


Pleasures. That is. My definition: things I am powerless to say “no” to. I have an abnormally high level of them. So. Don’t judge me, cuz I sin differently than you 🙂 . I’m sharing a few. No particular order. I don’t like to use the phrase “guilty pleasures”. Because, they are things which make me happy. And gives pleasure. And I don’t feel a single ounce of guilt.

  • Eating Haagan Daas vanilla ice cream out of the container.
  • Checkers fries. By the bucket load.
  • Cuddling until I fall asleep.
  • Men with a wicked sense of humor.
  • Sleeping in late in the morning.
  • Being waited on by my significant other.
  • Spontaneous shopping sprees.
  • Staying in bed all day during bad weather.
  • Holding hands, and strolling through quaint villages.
  • All night pillow talk.
  • Dancing in the rain.
  • 800+ thread ct sheets.
  • Receiving “just because” gifts.
  • Listening to a man with a sexy voice.
  • Long, breathless kisses. With a partner who has perfected his craft.

Live. Love. Laugh. And be happy.”What’s my guilty pleasure? The thing is, I never feel guilty about pleasures” Tom Hiddleston

Best,

Juan.

The Reasons Why I…


It’s great to be alive!! This morning I opened my eyes. And like days gone by, I was reminded many people didn’t. I’m grateful. Life is hard. Sometimes, it’s impossible to see the rainbow. Through the rain. Let me share some of the reasons why I get up in the morning. Here’s my invitation: make a list. Or two. Place it in a spot, where it can be seen. Often. The result? You’ll see. Go on. I dare you.

  • I love life.While there is life, there is hope.
  • The love of family and friends.
  • I believe in my dreams. I have goals to accomplish. Many things to do.
  • People need and depend on me.
  • My motto:“Life is the ticket to the greatest show on earth”. It’s not a dress rehearsal.
  • The dreams I have for my family. One day.
  • The feeling that I could change a life. Today, might just be the day.
  • I have everything I will ever NEED.
  • It could be a lot worse. And it’s always darkest before dawn.
  • I was destined to be here. At this time. In this life.

Until the next post, enjoy #100reasonstokeepliving

Best,

Juan

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?!?


Them, on a day when you are using your last good nerve: “Sometimes you gotta let things slide, you know? Turn lemons into lemonades.There are more important things in life”. You :“NO! Say what?! Why don’t you make the lemonade, and pour me a glass while you’re at it?”

What drives you crazy? Annoys you to no end?. Call them pet peeves. Personal vexations. Bother. Nuisance. Beef. Bellyache. Button pushing. Things people do that pi$$ us off. You know. And really. Truly. Grinds our gears. Have a look at mine. No particular order. What’s yours? Sound off below!

  • When people say in all seriousness:” I know how you feel”.  And they have no earthly idea.
  • Chronic liars. Especially when they are overselling.
  • Dressed. Ready to go. And having to wait on someone.
  • People who post TMI on Social Networking sites. Spare us.
  • Hearing: “It’s outlined in the terms and conditions section. Did you read it?” No! No one does. Did you?
  • Chronic offenders who don’t respond to messages in a reasonable time, but gets upset when you return the favour.
  • People who take, and take, but won’t give anything in return. AKA the “all about me” types
  • Outsourced customer service to the nether regions.
  • Any type of psychological manipulation. Especially transference, and projection.
  • Shoppers with the double the amount of items in the express lane.

Until the next post, take time to sound off. To someone willing to listen. Write it down. Or hash it out within. You will feel better!

Best,

Juan

30 Sumthin’


At the ripe age of 30 sumthin’, life has taught me valuable lessons. Some were harsh and unforgiving. While others were beautiful and lasting. Yea, I know what you are thinking; did she say 30 sumthin? Yep. Sure did. I know. Don’t look it. Thank heavens for good genes. Lmao. Through it all, like anyone else, I have laughed. Cried. Been driven to anger. And desperation.Denied some were happening. Loved. Lost. Begged for forgiveness. Persevered. Overcame. The entire lot. I can’t imagine what the next few decades will bring my way. Permit me to share some bits with you.

1) No one can take the place of family, but some people come pretty close.

2) You can’t change people. And some people will never change.

3) Sometimes, you have to stop waiting for the perfect moment(s) and take the risk.

4) People will let you down. They are only human.

5) Things always look better the next morning.

6) The only person you should compare yourself to, is the person you used to be.

7) You cannot please everyone. Don’t bother trying.

8) Sometimes you have to lose to win.

9) Crying is NOT a sign of weakness. It actually cleanses the soul.

10) If you are stuck in one place, perhaps there is trouble ahead.

11) Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.

12) Everyone makes mistakes. If it happens again, it’s a choice

13) Don’t judge, everyone is fighting a different battle.

14) We teach people how to treat us.

15) Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can come together

16) Today will never come again.

17) You know their name. Not their story.

18) In every heart, there is sorrow the eye can’t see

19)” When someone has a problem with you. It’s their problem. Not yours”.

20) Don’t change to impress anyone.

21) Tomorrow is not promised to us.

22) “Don’t take people for granted. No matter how much they love you, people get tired”

23) No matter how much you guard and protect your heart, you are still going to get hurt.

24) You cannot love another, until you love yourself.

25) You are fabulous! Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

26) Try to live each day as if it was your last.

27) No matter how bad things look now, they will get better.

28) “No matter how much you revisit the past; there is nothing new to see”.

29) Everyone has skeletons in their closet.

30) It’s okay to ask for help.

31) No one can take your place in this universe.

32) If something is meant to be, it will always find a way.

33) Treat people how they could be.

34) If you walk away from a relationship and he/she does not chase you, keep walking.

35) “Everyone comes with baggage; find someone who loves you enough to help you unpack”

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Yes.It’s. About. Me!


Chindeepinlife is almost a year old. I intend to do something to mark the event. Staying power. Time in the blogging world. You know. It’s also time to share a bit more about myself. Through random facts. Twenty of them. Some won’t surprise my friends. No one knew them all. Until today. Of course.

I learnt how to cook at the age of 10.

Unless it is dark and quiet, I cannot fall asleep.

I can eat a pint of Hagen Daas Vanilla ice-cream in one sitting.

I have moved 10 times in the past 8 years.

I have a tendency to change my plans at the last-minute.

I am deathly afraid of snakes and frogs.

I sucked my thumb into my early twenties.

I love to dance in the rain.

I detest cooking.

Kissing is a hobby.

I hate high heels.

I was a cheerleader in high school.

I love listening to podcasts.

I like to eat hot, just-out-of-the-oven-bread, with melted butter.

My second ear-piercing was done by a high school friend during lunch period.

I was terminated from a job once: for helping someone.

I made it through a category 3 hurricane by myself.

I get along better with men versus women.

Both parents have high blood pressure.

I lose interest in things very quickly.

Until the next post, let me remind you of my favorite quote by Robert Frost: “Education is the ability to listen to anything without losing your temper or self-confidence”.

Best,

Juan Williams

IF This Was My Last Blog Post..


We never forget defining moments. Where we were. And what we were doing. The Oklahoma City bombing. Sept 11th 2001. The capture of Hussein. And Bin Laden. The minute Obama became president. The death of Michael Jackson. And now Whitney Houston. When a famous personality departs this life, shock, and sadness are expected. The entire world mourns. Understandably so. However, the devil’s advocate in me must ask, are we sad and mournful when countless children die every day from lack of food, and clean water? No. Do their stories make headline news? No. Is there a world while outpouring of grief? No.

Let me hasten to add, I loved Whitney Houston. Loved her music. The woman was a superstar. She blessed us all with a voice that beckons the soul. And stirred hearts. I danced to her songs. Following the loss of my first love, I cried waterfalls every time I heard “I Will Always Love You”. When The Bodyguard was released, I sat like a sardine, in a cinema with temps rivaling the Sahara desert. Because it was the movie everyone had to see. The point is, let us spare a thought for the children dying every day. Can we? Let us remember them in our prayers. In acts of service. Mourn for the loss of young lives. Hopes. And dreams. That will never be. They were snuffed out by starvation. Hunger. Malnutrition. Yes. I know we cannot save them all. But we can save some. Anyway, my soap box has now been placed under my bed. For now.

When the world loses a well-loved figure, naturally, it engenders feelings of your own mortality. I mulled over what I would write about if this was my last blog post. What I would want people to remember? Here are a few the things I would want my readers to be aware of.

(1) I would want you to become aware of the work of Zainab Salbi. One of my heroes. And founder of WFWI . I have pledge my full support behind this organization. WFWI helps women in war torn countries. They have been used as weapons of war. They were raped. Tortured. Abused. Suffered loss of limbs. They have survived genocide. Civil wars. Loss of spouse. And many other atrocities.  Along these lines, I would encourage my readers to choose a passion. A cause. And fight for it. Leave it better than you found it. Make your contribution. In your own way. Don’t stand by. And do nothing. So many people can use your help. The great Muhammad Ali once said: “You lose nothing when fighting for a cause … In my mind the losers are those who don’t have a cause they care about.”

(2) I did what I could with the time and resources given to me. Yes, there were many false starts. Roadblocks. Harsh learning experiences. However, using the knowledge. Experiences. And skills I had, I did what I could to stay standing. I made the majority of my decisions on my own. I took forever + 1 day to figure out everything happens for a reason. People will disappoint you. Cause you grief. Hurt you over and over (if you let them). Break your heart. Let you down. Stab you in the back. But I kept going. TBH, I had no other choice in most cases. Many watched.  Some judged. Others accepted. The rest turned away. I am who I am today, because of where I came from. What I endured. And the choices I made.  One of my favorite songs is “I did it my way” by the man. The legend. Frank Sinatra. Who remembers this quote by Judy Garland? “Always is a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

(3) Despite tremendously painful experiences in my love life. I chose not to give up on it. And the beautiful experience it could be. I still hope (d) to find someone who shares my passions. Drives. Hopes. Dreams. Love of laughter. The husband whose eyes I meet across a very crowded room, and the contact makes me breathless. My palms get sweaty. Heart rate increases. A man who still gives me butterflies 50 years later. He lets me make mistakes. Because he loves me enough to let me find my way. He is in it for the long haul. He makes all my ex’s look like backyard experiments. Because the search is over. It will not take an act of congress for me to love again. I was/am ready. You catch my drift. I love this quote: “When you ex says: you will never find anyone like me, reply with: that’s the point” Anonymous.

(4) Do not lose sight of your dreams. EVER. I recently published my first anthology of poems Have a Read On Me, two decades after being stung by the writing bug. As a teenager, I sat in a fifth form English class, and listened with pride as the teacher read my short story (along with a few others) to the entire class. This is how monsters are created! Is there is something you want? Go for it. No. Scrap that. Chase it. Pursue it. Relentlessly. Leave the naysayers in the dust. And proverbial wet blankets? Let the door hit them on their way out of your life. Do it. Do what makes you happy. Live your dreams. I love, love, yes love this quote: “Listen– are you breathing just a little, and calling it life?” -Mary Oliver

(5) It’s okay to apologize even though you did no wrong. Yes, you read right! “Apologizing doesn’t always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego”. Before I learnt this valuable lesson, I was there. Holding  the apology until I absolutely had to give it. That was until I saw what it was doing to my spirit. Hear me out. I am not saying to walk around apologizing to everyone. For everything. You will know when it’s needed.  It might be to settle an argument. Soothe hurt feelings. Or just be the bigger person. Try it soon. Sincerely apologize for something you did not do. Use it as a way of opening a dialogue. You will be surprised. I think it was Harriet Beecher Stowe (1865) who said “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone”

(6) You have the right to forgive yourself anytime you want. Seriously.We are too hard on ourselves. Somehow, we’ve become experts at self-fulfilling prophecies. And social aggrandization. Comparing ourselves to others. Dissecting our failures. Playing host to doubts. Being our own worst enemy. Holding onto things we have done wrong. On and on. And on. Let it go. Forgive yourself. Tomorrow is another day. To start fresh. To move on from this latest failure. The very public fall from grace. It’s the day to look in the mirror. Smile. And say to yourself: “Don’t worry, I got this”. Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.Anonymous

(7) If money was not an option: I would work only 6 months out of the year. Volunteer for three. And spend the other three travelling. Life is a rat race. I believe it should also be well-balanced. We work very hard. With very little time to enjoy the benefits. I would volunteer in Africa for a month. Spend another at a shelter for abused women, and the last at a local humane society. As for travelling, I would spend a month in my favorite place. Another in the places I have only seen in my dreams. The last would be determined by closing my eyes and blindly picking a spot on the world map. Dr Kathleen Hall said: “We have overstretched our personal boundaries and forgotten that true happiness comes from living an authentic life fueled with a sense of purpose and balance.”

In closing, the list above is far from exhaustive. However, these are the things I felt impressed to share. Live. Love. Laugh. Forgive. And while you are at it remember this saying: “Life is the ticket to the greatest show on earth!”

So, if you were writing a final epistle, what are some of the things you would include?

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan