Friday, October 28, 2016

Fat lip

I was eating hurriedly and had my mind on several things when my attention came full center as I bit my lip. Ouch! It hurt, but there was no blood so I carried on with my day. As I went about, I kept feeling the wound with my tongue, but I kept on going. Instead of taking care of it, I ignored it. Over the next few days, the wound grew and the pain intensified. I numbed it with an ointment and kept going. I numbed it and kept biting the same spot on my lip, deepening and widening the wound. It got worse. The pain and the swelling did not let me sleep, eat or speak. Why didn't I take care of the wound sooner?! I mumbled in pain.

We ignore our pain when it is subtle. We don't make time to tend to what bothers us. We ignore certain issues hoping that they will go away. Yet they don't. Numbing ourselves from the pain doesn't make what causes the pain to go away either. These issues will be made felt until we deal with them.

Today is a good day to tend to ourselves, to our wounds, to what is bothering us, to what hurts. Healing begins with facing those issues. They will not go away until we care for them. They will grow deeper, and wider affecting us in other ways, developing into other symptoms and dysfunctions. Either our pain grows or we grow. Today is a good day to nurse the wound on our lip before it gets fat, swollen and painful. Today is a good day to heal ourselves back to well-being.

Image found at (Magical Mandalas)
© Millicent Maldonado and Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The lay of the land

Things are much easier when we know our way around. To know the lay of the land gives us an advantage. We are safer, more productive and can make wiser decisions. We don't stumble as much, or make as many wrong turns. To know the lay of the land is to know the conditions under which we operate, the facts of a situation, the features and characteristics of a locus. To know the lay of the land allows us to evaluate before taking action.

To know ourselves is to know the lay of the land. This is no easy task. We must have the willingness to look within, to see what's there. This is not easy because once we survey our inland, we have to appraise, to acknowledge what we find. Yet, this is where it may get easier for us. Once we know the lay of our land, we may understand what our triggers are, why we react a certain way to certain circumstances, where we flow, where we are afraid and where we are excited to go, what we enjoy, what are past conditions have made us believe, where we get stuck, what are current conditions are, where our perceptions take a false turn, where we have fallen, the wounded places, and the points of healing. Once we start to know the lay of our land, we get more adept at handling situations, we recognize our strengths and weaknesses. We know where we ought not to go, where we have to repair, rebuild, rehab, renew and restore and where we can go for inspiration, feelings of ease, encouragement, energy, insight, motivation, imagination, perspective, clarity, creative juices, intuition, discernment and reminders of what we want and what makes us happy. When we go there, we respond better to life. We become composed, patient, serene, able to deal.

Today is a good day to look within, to start to familiarize ourselves with who we are beyond the scope of our self-concepts and external pressures. Let's take a few minutes in meditation to focus only on our breath in and our breath out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Stay for a few minutes. Still. Quiet. Focused on the breath. Let's do that again tomorrow. Then the day after that. Let's do that for a few minutes each day. That is a sign of our willingness to know ourselves. We will then know not the way around, but the way in.
Image found at

© Millicent Maldonado and Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 14, 2016


The morning didn't work out as planned. He called me to vent, to tell me how his plan for work went bust. He set a goal and wasn't able to meet it. The people at work didn't cooperate and didn't seem to care that they were now behind on their objectives. He was so angry. After a few minutes on the phone, we hung up.

I, on the other hand, had had a very productive morning. I was on a roll when he called. My mood was opposite his. After we spoke on the phone, I could've kept going with what I was working on, but I had to go pick up my son from school. But then, right before I stopped writing, he texted me. In his awful mood, he offered to go to school. And then they came home. His was an act of love. 

He and my son were both smiling and talking lightheartedly as they walked through the door. The day had shifted. From then on, it went much, much better. 

And so it seems that the best way out of a funk, out of our frustrations and out of the chance of perceptually enlarging our problems, is to serve. To do for others what we would have others do for us. To do for others what they cannot do for themselves. To do for others what we would like to do for them as an act of love. Sometimes it is more than that. Sometimes serving others in the midsts of our feelings of need is a challenging of our circumstances, an act of alchemy. Serving others is also an act of hope, love, generosity, goodwill, kindness, decency, respect and compassion. Sometimes we do it intentionally and sometimes we are moved and do not know rationally why we are serving. In any case, when we serve, we bring the light and, somehow, our grievances are shadowed. 

Today is a good day to shadow our grievances. It is a good day to remember Haiti, its people, and the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew. We may not be able to serve Haiti and its people physically due to our geographical distance, but we can bring the light in other ways. Moments of silence and moments of prayer for Haiti and the relief workers, alone or with family and friends,  are a way to bring the light. Donations of money and goods and other forms of funding the aid efforts are another way to bring the light. Spreading awareness and acts of remembrance are yet another way of bringing the light. Let us serve and be lifted up by doing so. Let us serve and shift our energy in a positive way. Let's bring our thoughts to Haiti and to the other places hurt by Hurricane Matthew. Let us bring the light. 

Image found at LIKE A

© Millicent Maldonado and Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 7, 2016


I live and work in the city. In it, there are construction sites everywhere – regular maintenance on roads and utilities, new construction, emergency repairs. I plan my days, and, though there's a little wiggle room, I don't plan the delays I meet on the road all of which can be very frustrating. I map out the best routes trying to avoid traffic, but the jams I find while driving are out of my control. Set on my ways and routines, when I come across a roadblock I can find myself in a downward spiral of aggravation and pessimism. This, of course, is metaphorical of life: We have a plan. We are set on it. We hit a roadblock. Then what?

Well, we have choices to make. We can sit there waiting for the roadblock to clear up. However, sitting there, waiting in a state of inertia, we are lethargic, apathetic, bored, passive, joyless, dissatisfied, and jaded. We could push against the roadblock. Yet pushing against an obstacle creates other problems. We act without full knowledge of what's on the other side, we get hurt, we lose our imagination, our resources and our strength, we risk our safety, we ignore our protection, and we can set ourselves back. We could, on the other hand, take a detour.

We tend to block ourselves from direction, guidance, creativity and inspiration by stressing the shoulds – I should do this, He should do that, This should be the way, That should be the norm, We should take this road, They should think this way, I should be there by now. We block ourselves by setting our ways. But taking a detour means letting go of our insistence of an exact way life should go, things should be, and people should act. It means letting go of control.

When we reach a roadblock and take an unexpected detour, we are given time to reflect. We allow new pathways to open. We discover new things, new musings, new ways of going and of doing. Obstructions don't necessarily halt our progress. They may be part of our path, giving us the opportunity to go where we intend to, even if in a roundabout way.

Today is a good day to flow in a different direction when faced with an obstacle. Let's trust a higher knowing. Let's be open to intuition and guidance. We will get there. An indirect way is still a way to arrive.

Image found at Blue Mandala by Marco Braun.

© Millicent Maldonado and Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.