Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I take time each day to be grateful...

I received this in my inbox today....

I'm Grateful... But...
by Marie T. Russell

As I reflect on the tradition of Thanksgiving, I am reminded that Thanksgiving needs to take place every day, and every single moment of eqach day. Maybe that's what mindful meditation is all about... remembering to be grateful and appreciative for every single thing in every moment. Like what, you say? We can start being grateful for every breath which gives us life. We can give thanks for the magnificence of our body which transports us, transforms the raw materials we eat into energy, etc. We can feel wonder at the magic of the blessings of each day... food to eat, loving beings around us, the possibility of creating the life that we dream of. Do you have a dream? Be thankful for the imagination that helps you envision that reality, and be grateful that your dream will come true in as much as you are willing to believe in it.

'Yes, but', I hear. It seems, that even as we express gratitude, that little babbler inside says, 'yes, but...' If I express gratitude for my body, it says, 'yes, but' it is not as healthy or in shape as it 'should' be... If I give thanks for the food I eat, it says, 'yes but' it is grown with chemicals.. When I say I'm grateful for the loving beings around me, my little babbler says, 'yes but' they're not always loving… And so on and so forth.

Upon reflection, I see that the 'yes but' comes from the ego. And even though we have given the ego a 'bum rap' it really is there for a divine purpose — as with every thing and every one else we encounter in our journey of life. The ego's 'yes but' reminds us that as Divine beings (or children of a beneficent Universe or Loving Father, if you prefer) we can aspire to greater heights than we now have attained. The 'yes but' reminds us that we need not settle for what we have attracted so far, but that we can indeed look forward to creating heaven on earth. So, when I express my gratitude and hear 'yes but', I realize that it is not putting down or diminishing in any way my appreciation at the bounty of the Universe. It is simply pointing me towards the next step.

We as humans never seem to be satisfied. Maybe that is the inner prodding of Spirit guiding us to rediscover our perfection and to recreate the Eden that was provided for us all. We might consider that we are indeed blessed, and that we don't even know the best of it. We have unlimited treasures at our beck and call, and to reach them we simply need to open the door and walk through to the other side.

What is the other side? That is the side where we have absolute faith and trust that whatever we desire (from a Higher perspective) is provided for us. It is the knowledge that we are safe... that there is no need to worry, no need to fear. We simply need to do our best, to live our life with the best of intentions towards ourselves and all living things, and we will be "re-reimbursed" in kind through the Law of Cause and Effect.

Take time to be grateful first thing in the morning... count your blessings. And then repeat the process often during the day, and at least once again before going to sleep. Give thanks for the love in your life, the support, the blessings, even the small blessings. Thank the Universe, thank Life, thank the Sun for its energy and light, thank the trees for their supply of oxygen, thank your car for transporting you ('yes, but' the pollution), give thanks that electric cars are becoming a reality. There is so much to be grateful for. We simply need to change our focus from what we don't have, to being grateful for what we do have, and the miracles of life will reveal themselves to us.

So in this month of Thanksgiving, focus on what you have and what you desire, not what you don't have and what you don't want. Remember, what you focus on expands — so if you focus on crime, lack, cataclysm, you can expect more of that to affect you directly.

I have found it much more productive and peace-enhancing to focus on love, peace, healing, prosperity, and all those good things... and I can see that my world is getting much more loving, peaceful, abundant, and happy. And if the 'yes but' is saying that's selfish and unrealistic, on the contrary. The more you focus on love and healing, the more love and healing there will be, not only in your life, but in the lives of the people you meet, and in the whole world.

We can create a better world... It starts with each one of us. `Think positive" is more than a slogan, it is a way of life. So choose your thoughts, your attitudes, your words carefully. They are the seeds for your tomorrows, and for the tomorrows of the world around you. Have a "great full" month.

Love to you All! Thanks for being here!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Filipino Pride

A friend sent this article to my inbox today.
Monessa Catuncan
UNITED States Air Force F-16 fighter pilot Monessa Catuncan doesn’t just maneuver an aircraft whenever she’s on air—she also carries the Philippine flag and the pride of the country it represents and the people in it.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon or most commonly known as the “Viper” is a state-of-the- art fighter aircraft. It has been a high-performance weapon system for the US and allied nations for it has been used in numerous air-to-air combats. This specific aircraft has exceeded all the potential threat fighter aircrafts. Its feature as an offense-defense weapon is very precise that it can perform on any weather condition. This kind of plane is a complicated device meant to be handled by highly qualified pilots.. The F-16 or the Viper has played vital roles in most of America ’s wars with the most recent being in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. An F-16 fighter plane is what Monessa Catuncan navigates.
But before Monessa even set foot to the elite US Air Force, this humble Pinay, like almost everybody else earned her way to success.
The twenty-six-year- old Monessa is the youngest daughter of Ramons and Teody Catuncan of Mesquite , Texas . She graduated in 2000 as a Valedictorian in a class of 693 in Mesquite High School . She was then accepted to the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs , that same year. While at USAFA, Monessa, aside from pursuing her desired career as part of the US Air Force, served as a Squadron Commander, a Division-1 tennis player, a Glider Instructor Pilot, and a member of the Glider Acrobatic Team, among other essential positions. In 2004, Monessa graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering from the USAFA.
Like all of her colleagues, Monessa went through an Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) before becoming a fighter pilot. However, she didn’t just pass her UPT – she excelled in it.
She then started her pilot career flying a T-6 Texan at the Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta , Georgia . This aircraft is the basic trainer for every Air Force aspiring pilots. After this training, students will then choose whether to fly fighter/bomber aircrafts or cargo/refueling aircrafts. Most of the time, only top students in the class are given the option to fly fighter/bomber aircrafts.
Monessa proved herself, and finished the course as one of the top student-pilots in her class. She was then chosen to fly either a fighter or a bomber aircraft. After her course at Moody Air Force, she went to Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio , Texas and Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls to fly the T-38. In her training there, Monessa learned the basics of formation flying, offensive and defensive fighter maneuvering, and surface attack bombing techniques. Monessa went through intense studying and was put in a variety of stressful situations in order to pass this training.
From flying T- 38, she had an option of choosing from different aircrafts like the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-15C Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, B-1B Lancer, A-10 Warthog, B-52 Stratofortress, and F/A-22 Raptor, and T-6 or T-38 are also options. After her T-38 course, Monessa requested to fly an F-16 Falcon, and she got what she wanted.
Monessa went through with her training to hone her skill at maneuvering fighter jets at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix , Arizona where she learned how to control and apply tactics of the F-16 Fighter Falcon, or Viper. Monessa finished her course at Luke Air Force Base with flying colors and was part of the “Lucky number 13” graduate from class 2007. She was the only woman in her group, not to mention the only Filipino to pass the much-coveted pilot course.
Monessa, who just recently pinned on Captain, is now assigned to 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base in Salt Lake City , Utah . She and her squadron just recently came back from Iraq where they served and supported the Army Troops on the ground through a variety of close air support missions.
The US Air Force is an elite organization and to a pilot, an F-16 fighter plane is a prized possession. Monessa, through her perseverance and hard work, has earned not only the fly the F-16, but also the pride and honor of defending the United States , as well as making the Filipinos proud. (www.asianjournal. com)
(Published October 25, 2008 p.A11 LAWKND)

Monday, November 3, 2008

These I love

My sister Jo, her husband Franco and their 3 young men, Francis, Ivan and Kenu had a short vacation in Metro Manila. And look what they brought - my favorite food!

This is special baye baye, as the more common one comes in brown color. The difference in color is from the sugar used. Baye-baye (similar to Southern Tagalog’s espasol, is made from glutinous rice or pilit, and shredded young coconut strips. Espasol from Laguna differs in texture, they have this starchy coating and they are usually rolled and wrapped in white paper.

This is mamon tostado or toasted chiffon cake.

Biscocho - sweet and buttery, so yummy.

And what is Ilonggo sweets without piaya.