Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meet Chica: 3 Life Lessons We Learned Getting Our New Love

It's not often that I hijack this blog for purely selfish reasons but I must do it tonight to introduce the newest member of the Barreto Family, Chica, the Dachshund.

It's funny this journey to a dog that I (and Mr. Barreto) have resisted for years ends with the sweet face you see here. We learned a few things a long the way that you can apply to all areas of life.

Preparation Is Key.

Since last fall, we committed to looking for a family pet and began the journey with a local shelter, Animal House Shelter in Huntley. We volunteered to walk and play (and pick up the poop) of animals in need of a home. We fell in love several times but never jumped on any of the many dogs we loved because we were not ready. Even on the short notice of our decision to take Chica, the 5 days before she arrived was filled with reading about Dachshunds, getting the right gear and mentally preparing for a new member of the house. Preparation made her homecoming easy.

Know What You Want.

We got Chica because of a casual conversation last December about our desire for a dog with a very specific list of attributes. Needed to be under 25 lbs due to the fact that both adults in this household have trouble with their right arm. Wanted a dog who loved to be with kids and had a chill disposition. Knowing we are travelers and keep a pretty hectic lifestyle - we wanted a pooch who could just jump right in, not disrupt the flow of this house. Do you get where I'm going? Knowing what you want is really the first part of getting it. Articulating is is even better.

Involve Others.

Did I mention that Chica came from a friend of a friend? Yeah, that casual conversation was just that -  an articulation of our desire for a pet with some folks who were visiting us. They immediately mentioned that they knew of some dogs who needed a home early in the new year due to a family friend moving... and the rest in history. To take that a step further... the crate in the basement that she most likely will never use was loaned to me because I put out an emergency plea to my friends that I needed help. When we involve others, it gets us closer to what we want. Even the most resourceful of people (me) need other people.

So, I'm going to go enjoy my new sweetie....You think about how these lessons can get you closer to what you want in your life.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pursue Your Righteous Calling, No Matter What.

A rare photo of Dr. Martin Luther King with a smile.

I chose this photo on purpose.

Most photos I've seen of the great peace driven leader are solemn and pensive. I love that this rare photo genuinely displays joy in his eyes.

I believe what you see in this photo is likely the best depiction of what his life was like. No doubt, he had the weight of the world on his shoulders as well as the eyes of the world on his every move. And it is documented that he had a target on his back. But I contend that he loved it because he was living out his unique calling.

Think about it.

How many articles can you read about his family and their fear of losing him? How many photos can you find of him and Coretta where they just look spent?  Can you imagine the the private conversations between him and his family and confidants? Remember his very public response (Letter from a Birmingham Jail) to the private  pleas from his peers to "wait" as the country was not "ready" for his movement?

Martin Luther King, Jr is my first inspiration for pursuing righteous callings at all costs.

Often what we desire most in life, comes with high costs.





However, it also comes with...




I am opening the door of a new reality for me very soon. A reality that has been in the making since 2008. In fact, it was 3 years ago this weekend that I took the very bold step towards it by turning in my packet for election to local office. And little by little, I've been making movements toward my life's work. Each day, each month, each year getting closer. But it all started with a bit of courage and inspiration from many... including the late great Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who I know pursued and lived his own righteous calling at all costs.

Thanks Dr. King.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

3:03 AM, That's What You SHOULD Be Doing

3:03 am - the time my body woke up where ever I've been over the last 10 days

3:03 am in Spain is 10:03 pm in Chicago.

3:03 am in Chicago is 10:03 am in Spain.

Why does that even matter?

Well over the last 10 days I have been in both places and my body has woken up at 3:03 am in each of them. Wide awake, mind racing sleep interruption has taken place. But the topic on my mind has been the same. My life's work. Prioritizing my life's work. Accelerating my life's work.

Very soon, I'll elaborate on what that all means. For now the lesson is this:

What is it that WAKES you up at night?

What is it that MAKES your heart race every time you think about it?

What is it that can hardly be contained any longer WITHIN?

It's a New Year and time to go for IT. Whatever IT is.

The time has come for my IT and IT is no longer a want or a desire, it is a full on MUST HAVE NOW. 2012 is the year IT is on, full month

I am encouraging you to give in to whatever IT is that is pulling at your heart, your talents, your soul. You will not be sorry.

Your 3:03 am wake up call is what you SHOULD be doing. Now.