Category Archives: #personalgrowth

Consejos para una Vida Éxitosa

Cada persona cambia significamente durante la vida, y hoy día desde tengo casi 56 años, nada es más importante que vivir con propósito y el deseo de crear un mundo mejor. Por eso, tengo unas ideas que quiero compartir con ustedes acerca de los hábitos y actitudes que son muy importante en mi opinion.

SEAN PRESENTE. Desde que vivimos completemente en el momento presente, cada vez más me siento obligado a centrarme en el aquí y ahora. Nuestras mentes van para tantas direcciones – por lo menos sé que mi mente funciona como así – y nuestras mentes están constantemente llenas de charla, y perdimos demasiado tiempo pensando en el pasado o preocupandonos por el futuro. No estoy tratadando de decir que no podemos o no debemos aprender del pasado, tampoco significa que no debemos preparar y ahorrar para el futuro. Sólo significa que el momento presente es donde vivimos, y es muy importante enfocar en la ahora … en el presente. Nada más. Apaguen la mente. Olan las flores. Disfruten la vida. Den gracias. Respiren conscientemente. Animen a otras personas. Sean esperanza!

HABLEN MENOS Y ESCUCHEN MÁS. Sean personas que dice muy poco. Tengan en cuenta que muchas personas hablan demasiado, y ellos dicen muchas cosas que son críticos y sin amor. Cuando otras personas están hablando, escuchen con atención. Cuando hablen, digan muchas cosas que son útiles y amorosas. Las palabras pueden manifestar los milagros, así que a través del poder que está ubicado dentro de ustedes, les sugiero que manifiesten algunos milagros hoy con sus palabras.

SEAN AMABLE y NO SEAN SIEMPRE CORRECTO. Es muy importante dejar todo juicio y permitir a la gente ser y hacer lo que quiere. Es tan fácil de encontrar defectos en otras personas, de ridiculizar a los demás, de presentarnos superior a los demás. Pero ¿Piensan que esta aptitude es un servicio a los demás? Claro, hay momentos en que es importante hablar en contra de las injusticias en el mundo, pero la mayoría de las veces que pasamos tiempo discutiendo y criticando y juzgando a otras personas, no es más que nuestra necesidad de tener razón en nuestros propios ojos en lugar de ser amable. Cada uno de nosotros es dada oportunidades todos los días para elegir entre ser amable y ser correcto, y parece que la elección de ser amable es siempre la mejor opción.

DEN. Podría ser un poco o podría ser mucho … pero de cualquier forma pueden verla, el dar es una buena manera de vivir. Den a alguien una sonrisa. Den a alguien el benefício de la duda. Den a alguien una flor. Den dinero a los pobres. Den tiempo para ayudar a otros. Den el regalo del perdón.
Wayne W. Dyer en su libro que se llama, “El Gran Cambio,” dice esto:

“Apoyo incondicional. La cuarta virtud cardinal nos informa que estamos eternamente apoyados en el proceso de vivir de forma auténtica. Abandonamos la ambición impuesta por el ego y nos relajamos en el verdadero significado qu apoya nuestra vida particular. El apoyo incondicional se manifiesta como un servicio a los demás sin expectativas de recompensas, ni siquiera que nos den las gracias; es el componente más importante para sentir que nuestra vida tiene un propósito. Es la forma más segura de aprender a pensar como Dios piensa.” “Cuando nos vemos como expresiones divinas individualizadas de Dios, nos sentimos más inclinados a desear comprender la forma en que opera la fuerza creativa.”

VIVAN CON PASIÓN. Sólo tenemos una oportunidad de vivir esta vida, así que si hay algo que quieren hacer que han estado posponiendo innecesariamente, les invito a dejar de posponerlo … y en lugar de eso, busquen sus suenos! Este es un asunto que a veces es difícil de proponer porque vivir con pasión puede aparecer egoísta, especialmente para aquellos que piensan que pueden ganar el favor del cielo en negarse lo que disfrutan. También es difícil imaginar los más pobres, los que viven en la pobreza extrema y que buscan sólo para sobrevivir hoy día, es difícil imaginar que ellos pueden pensar en una lista de deseos; para ellos, vivir con pasión significa la intención de mantener su vida como es … parece que ellos solo pueden preocuparse en sobrevivir . ¿Cómo puedo justificar mantenando mi lista de deseos y mi intención de vivir con pasión cuando hay tantas personas que necesitan tantas cosas necesarias en el mundo? Una forma de hacerlo es a través de organizer su lista en una manera que da beneficio no sólo a sí mismo, sino también a la humanidad. Enfoquen en ganar un millón de dólares para que pueden dar la mitad a causas necesitadas. Vayan en un viaje en un crucero y durante su parada en cada puerto enfoquen en buscar y encontrar a los pobres que se sostienen con la venta de artesanías hechas a mano, y compren sus cosas. Aprendan un nuevo idioma para que puedan usar este talento para ayudar a la gente a aprender inglés, porque con este entendimiento de inglés la gente puede mejorar su vida. Completen un maratón de corriendo para que puedan ser más saludable, y para que peudan ser menos de una carga para sus seres queridos y en el sistema de atención de salud – haganlo para que ustedes tendrán más energía para ayudar a otros. Tomen una clase de baile para que puedan aprender más sobre una otra cultura. Tomen una clase de arte para que puedan pintar un cuadro bonito para colgar en el refugio para personas sin casa. Hay una gran variedad de formas en que podemos vivir con pasión que beneficia tanto a nosotros como a nuestros vecinos en el mundo.

Obra Citada: Dyer, Wayne W. El Gran Cambio, p. 105 Hay House, Inc. 2010.

Also posted in #empowerment, #español, #learnspanish, #Spanish, Blog de Español

Five Secrets to Becoming Fluent in Spanish

I started learning Spanish at the age of 48, and 4 years later I passed the B1 intermediate level DELE exam administered by the Cervantes Institute of Spain. (The DELE exam is a standardized test of Spanish language proficiency that is taken in 900 certified examination centers in more than 100 countries around the world). Now I am at the high intermediate level, and when I pass the C1 exam I will be considered an advanced learner of Spanish. Today I would like to share with you my “Five Secrets to Becoming Fluent in Spanish.”

First, there is no secret to becoming fluent in any language. Granted, some methods work faster than others, however it still takes an estimated 3 hours of study and practice every day for 10 years to go from absolute beginner to near native fluency.

Not everyone wants to invest the time it takes to become completely fluent, so my second tip is to get clear in your mind what level of Spanish you’d like to reach, and then set specific and achievable goals for reaching that level of Spanish.

Thirdkeep it fun! Many people burn out quickly because learning a language becomes all work and no fun. Watch Spanish videos. Listen to Spanish music. Read Spanish news that interests you. Build your Spanish vocabulary in a way that is fun for you.

The fourth key is the importance of using the language from the very beginning. If you only know 100 Spanish words and a few verbs in the present tense, start speaking Spanish to everyone in order to make many mistakes … that’s how we learned our first language, and that’s how we learn a new language.

Fifth, check out the following list of programs and websites that I think are the most helpful for learning Spanish … they are listed in no particular order. Some are free, and some can be very expensive, so proceed as you wish. Also, be sure to go to my Spanish Words and Resources page to take advantage of the FREE resources there.

www.newsinslowspanish.com/latino – My favorite Spanish podcast. This link is to the Latino Spanish site, but you can also listen to the Spain Spanish program. You can get portions of these podcasts in iTunes for free to try them out, but if you want the entire audio program it is $14 per month. For $23 per month you get full access to the audios, PDF files, grammar exercises, etc.

www.spanishobsessed.com – This podcast is very well done, it is a British guy and his Colombian wife; you can listen to podcasts free, or pay a fee to get greater access.

www.lightspeedspanish.co.uk – This program is similar to the program above in that it was created by a British guy whose partner is a native Spanish speaker … they have some nice free audio and other resources, however the Spain Spanish accent is not the most commonly used throughout the world.

www.memrise.com – A good site for improving vocab, and there is a phone app that you can use.

http://www.laits.utexas.edu/spe/index.html – A very helpful site, free videos in Spanish for various levels (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced), and the videos are accompanied by a text translation. I have downloaded many of their videos to my iTunes and iPod/iPhone.

http://www.learner.org/series/destinos  – Destinos Spanish educational telenovela, it is a bit dated but very helpful and free to everyone; go to this site and click on “Watch” at the top.

http://conjuguemos.com – Lots of people (especially youngsters) use this sites for the vocabulary quizzes and verb drills.

http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/VERBLIST.HTm – In my opinion, hands down the best site for finding all of the conjugations of all the Spanish verbs, plus there is plenty of additional information on this site that is very helpful.

www.yabla.com – Hundreds of videos organized by learner level and Spanish country accent, this is a nice site that costs $10 per month to use.

www.veintemundos.com – The name of this site refers to the 20 Spanish speaking countries, it is a free site with audio and text that highlights cultural activities.

http://noticias.univision.com/america-latina – Univision is the most trusted news source in the Latino community, and this link goes to the latest news stories for Latin America; listening to the news in Spanish is a great way to improve your ability to hear Spanish.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/temas/america_latina – BBC is very similar to NPR in the United States (and unfortunately NPR does not have a Spanish language version), and this link takes you to the latest news stores for Latin America.

www.duolingo.com – Another free site that asks you to contribute to the cause by reviewing other submissions … this site contains many helpful exercises.

www.fluentin3months.com – Benny is pretty well-known in the polyglot community and he emphasizes “speak from day one,” and he encourages you to work on becoming “fluent” in a language in as little as 3 months; he has written a few books, but the real value of this site is the language community as well as the email newsletter that includes many language learning links.

www.pimsleur.com – Pimsleur was my favorite program for a long time, however it became less useful to me when I reached intermediate level (which is about as far as Pimsleur will take you). Pimsleur is great at teaching you to speak Spanish, and since it is all audio and there are no books, you can use it anywhere (such as while exercising, driving down the road, etc.) In early 2015 Pimsleur released a level 5 Spanish program, and I purchased the download of the MP3 files for only $120 (the CDs are much more expensive). Sometimes you can borrow Pimsleur from your local library, so I encourage you to check it out.

www.rosettastone.com – Everybody knows about Rosetta Stone, one of the world’s most popular language learning programs. Most people believe that extensive marketing makes it so popular, but I believe it is popular because it makes building your vocabulary fun. (I completed all 5 levels of Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish).

www.fluenz.com – This little company fearlessly claims to be better than Rosetta Stone, and the program is equally as pricey. I own the two highest levels of Fluenz, and it has some of the best writing drills that I have ever found. Also, in Fluenz there is an English speaking instructor that clarifies grammar, vocabulary, etc., in contrast to the Rosetta Stone total immersion system where nothing is explained in English.

https://newsela.com – A very nice news site made for language learners that I recently discovered; to learn Spanish, go into the menu and click on Spanish Text Sets

Julioandgringo.com – My friend Julio and I created this site to provide entertaining and informative audiobooks, podcasts, and other products that help native English speakers learn Spanish.

Fotopala.com – Last but not least, our very own Fotopala.com site where you can find numerous resources that will help you learn English, teach ESL (English as a Second Language), learn Spanish, and be Empowered.

Also posted in #empowerment, #fluent, #learnspanish, #Spanish Tagged |

Sammy

Por muchos años yo decía que iba a escribir una novela, y por fin comencé a escribirla aproximadamente en 2002. Pero escribí solo un parte de la novela en 2002, paré de escribir despues de unos meses.

Creo que en 2004 cuando llegamos en Utah, comencé otra vez de escribir, pero otra vez paré este proyecto. La verdad es que yo comenzaría escribir de vez en cuando, y yo pararía de escribir cada vez.

Por fin en verano de 2012 mi esposa y yo decidimos a mudarnos a Arizona, y encontré trabajo en Arizona antes de que mi esposa pudiera mudarse; ella tuvo que quedarse en Utah un mes más que yo, por lo tanto yo estaba viviendo solo en Arizona y tenía mucho tiempo libre. A consecuencia decidí a dedicarme a escribir dos capítulos cada día por un mes para terminar mi novela – los capítulos son cortos – y la terminé y publicar el 22 de octubre de 2012.

Mi novela, que se llama “Sammy” es la historia de un hombre afroamericano (Sammy) junto con el policía blanco y corrupto que trató de destruir la esperanza de Sammy. Se puede comprarla aquí, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009V7FHGK

Keith

Also posted in #spirituality, Blog de Español

Fotopala Plan

Welcome to the Fotopala Plan for improving your personal wellness. There are no secrets here – eat well, exercise, meditate, and focus on inspirational words and concepts.

EAT WELL

  • Eat six small meals a day for a total of 1500 calories per day.
  • Eliminate sugar.  In the early 1800’s the average person consumed 10 grams of sugar per day, and now it is 150 grams a day.  Lower your daily intake of sugar to about 30 grams.  (FYI, one banana has 15 grams of sugar).
  • Go gluten-free.  For many years I ate lots of wheat products. believing that I was eating healthfully.  Unfortunately, the Big Food industry has eliminated almost all wheat varieties by replacing them with their genetically modified wheat, with the result that many people have become gluten intolerant and actually gain weight by eating wheat.  Here are two books to consider reading:  Wheat Belly, and the other is called Wheat-Free Worry-Free.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.  Period.
  • Protein.  Eat lean or non-fat protein items such as non-fat greek yogurt, non-fat cottage cheese, lean meats, and nuts such as almonds, pecans, etc.

EXERCISE

  • Day 1 – 45 minutes of light exercise such as walking
  • Day 2 – 60 minutes of intense exercise such as an aerobics class
  • Day 3 – 45 minutes of light exercise such as walking
  • Day 4 – 60 minutes of intense exercise such as an aerobics class
  • Day 5 – 45 minutes of light exercise such as walking
  • Day 6 – 60 minutes of intense exercise such as an aerobics class
  • Day 7 – Rest

MEDITATE

  • This is not so much about mantras as it is about attending to the breath.  Sit comfortably, close your eyes, be aware of the present moment, and start observing each breath in and each breath out.  Do this at least 15 minutes every day, and more is better.

FOCUS ON THE REALITY BEYOND INSPIRITIONAL WORDS

  • Obviously, you cannot get wet from the word “water” because a word only points to something or someone beyond itself, a word is merely a collection of letters, or a symbol, or a sound that points to some reality beyond itself. With that in mind, below are at list 70 inspirational words for your enjoyment … I hope that you will experience the reality beyond each word.
  • Be, word, believe, wellbeing, breathe, water, communicate, vegetables, create, universe, dance, stillness, drink, spirituality, eat, sky, encourage, silence, exercise, rest, feel, recreation, flow, peace, give, now, gratitude, grow, nature, help, music, hug, mindfulness, imagine, meditation, kiss, love, know, light, laugh, life, learn, language, listen, joy, live, hope, love, happiness, manifest, God, share, gap, beauty, smile, fruits, teach, freedom, think, energy, touch, earth, travel, discipline, volunteer, detachment, truth, walk, being, watch, acceptance, write, abundance.


THE FOTOPALA PLAN IN PRACTICE

The following is a detailed explanation of how I used the Fotopala Plan a few years ago to lose 17 pounds in one month, dropping from about 199 pounds to 182 pounds.  After that I used the plan a few more times over several weeks to lose an additional 13 pounds in order get down to 169 pounds … thus, at the age of 53 I was able to get down to nearly the same weight I had when I was an 18 year old senior in high school who was playing basketball virtually every day. Here is the history of my past success using the Fotopala Plan:

After I completed an extensive health assessment, I was not surprised to hear that I would do well to lose at least 10 pounds.  As a result, I put myself through a mini boot camp last week to see if I could lose 7 pounds in 7 days.

Is that even possible?

Several weight loss programs promise that you will lose a pound a day if you follow their program and buy their products.  So when I put myself through my own self-imposed boot camp, not only was I losing a few pounds, but I was also able to evaluate the hype surrounding weight loss programs and their promise of … LOSE 1 POUND A DAY.

Each one of us consumes a certain amount of calories every day through food and drink.  If the number of calories consumed equals the number of calories burned, we stay at the exact same weight.  What exactly is the limit to how many calories I can consume daily if I want to stay at the same weight?  How about if I want to lose weight?

The daily calorie burn is different for each person, and the exact figure is calculated based on your gender, age, height, weight, and activity level.  Here is how you calculate your daily calorie burn:

Multiply your body weight by 10.  This figure is called your basic metabolic rate (BMR), and it is the number of calories you would burn if you stayed in bed all day.

For example, my weight at 190 pounds multiplied by 10 equals 1900.  Thus, my BMR is 1900 calories, which is the minimum amount of calories my body needs every day for basic functions such as breathing, keeping my heart beating, regulating my body temperature, etc.  Multiplying your weight by 10 gives you a fairly good estimate of your BMR, but at this online BMR Calculator you can add your gender, age, height, and weight … and thus, you can calculate a more accurate BMR.

Is that it?

No, because you are not likely to stay in bed all day, and thus you burn more calories every day than your BMR.

Now, multiply your BMR by your daily activity level, and then add that amount to your BMR.  Here are activity level factors:

Sedentary (sitting most of the day) – 20%
Lightly active (walking here and there; daily chores) – 35%
Moderately active (constantly moving around; daily exercise) – 40%
Very active (substantial exercise for a long time) – 50%
Extremely active (intense exercise for an extended period of time) – 60%

For example, if I was sedentary I would multiply my BMR of 1900 by the sedentary factor of 20% to get 380, and then add that amount of 380 to my BMR of 1900 to get 2280.

Woo hoo!  When I am sedentary I still burn 2280 calories a day!  1900 + (1900 x 0.20) = 2280.
If I am just lightly active one day, I burn 2565 calories.  1900 + (1900 x 0.35) = 2565.
When I am moderately active, I burn 2660 calories that day.  1900 + (1900 x 0.40) = 2660.
And if I exercise heavily on a given day, I burn 2850 calories.  1900 + (1900 x 0.50) = 2850.
Finally, when I really work it, I burn 3040 calories.  1900 + (1900 x 0.60) = 3040

But wait, there’s more!  Your body actually burns calories to digest food, and the number of calories burned is estimated to be 10% of your daily consumption according to your activity level.  Thus, take the sum shown above based on your activity level, and multiply that amount by 10% … and then add that extra to the total.  For example:

Sedentary, 2280 + (2280 x .10) = 2508 calories
Lightly active, 2565 + (2565 x .10) = 2821.5 calories
Moderately active, 2660 + (2660 x .10) = 2926 calories
Very active, 2850 + (2850 x .10) = 3135 calories
Extremely active, 3040 + (3040 x .10) = 3344 calories

This final figure is called your Total Daily Caloric Expenditure.  It is a measure of how many calories a day you burn based on your gender, age, height, weight, and activity level.

So what would it take to lose 1 pound in one day?

Since a pound of body fat is equal to 3500 calories, theoretically I would have to eat nothing or very little during the day, and also be extremely active that day to achieve a Total Daily Caloric Expenditure of 3500 calories.  Thus, for me to lose 1 pound a day for 7 days, I would have to eat little or nothing all week, and be extremely active through exercise every day.

Actually, I believe that I lost about 6 pounds during the week.  Granted, some of it was probably the “water weight” that everyone loses at the beginning of a diet, and the scale in my house may not be precise, and/or I may not have replicated exactly the starting and ending weigh-ins (i.e. clothes worn, time of day, etc.), but even if I only lost 3 or 4 pounds, I am pleased.  I can see the difference in the mirror, and I can feel the difference in the way my clothes fit.

So what’s the point?  My point is that I think people can lose weight fairly quickly, and lose it in a safe manner while eating well but without having to starve.  So how did I do it?

I burned a lot of calories exercising every day.  On at least 3 of the days I was extremely active for over an hour by bicycling up a canyon, starting at about 4700 feet above sea level at my house and rising to slightly over 6000 feet above sea level at the end of the trail (7 miles up, 7 miles back).   On every other day, my exercise was lighter … perhaps I only walked for an hour.  FYI, a person my size can burn 100 calories per mile walking, or as much as 200 calories per mile running or bicycling swiftly.

Also, I ate 6 small meals every day, about every 2.5 hours to avoid feeling hungry.  At each mini-meal I had a high quality low or non-fat protein source (such as non-fat yogurt, turkey jerky, non-fat cottage cheese, non-fat protein powder in a shake, etc.), some fruit, something whole-grain (whole-grain crackers, cereal, brown rice, or some healthy gluten-free item, etc.), and veggies.  With each meal I drank at least 16 ounces of water in order to feel full.  I had no cookies or deserts of any kind for the week, although after a long bike ride I may have had something like a 100-calorie Healthy Choice fudge bar (since protein after a good workout helps rebuild muscle).

I consumed about 250 calories at each mini-meal, so I estimate that my daily intake was no more than about 1500 calories.  Like I said, I never really felt hungry during the week, for if you eat something healthy about every 2.5 hours that includes protein you will stay satiated and keep your energy level constant.

Try out the Fotopala plan and let me know how it goes. You can do it!

Also posted in #spirituality

Words

Obviously, you cannot get wet from the word “water” because a word only points to something or someone beyond itself … a word is merely a collection of letters, or a symbol, or a sound that points to some reality beyond itself. With that in mind, below are at least 70 inspirational words that you can use like a mantra to meditate on. So for example, if you want to manifest more laughter in your life and in the lives of the people around you, just carry the word “laugh” in your mind throughout the day … and you will no doubt be prompted to laugh during the day because you have been carrying that thought in your mind. Pick an inspirational word to meditate on today, and may you experience the reality beyond each word.

Believe, word, create, wellbeing, breathe, water, communicate, vegetables, be, universe, dance, stillness, drink, spirituality, eat, sky, encourage, silence, exercise, rest, feel, recreation, flow, peace, give, now, gratitude, grow, nature, help, music, hug, mindfulness, imagine, meditation, kiss, love, know, light, laugh, life, learn, language, listen, joy, live, hope, love, happiness, manifest, God, share, gap, beauty, smile, fruits, teach, freedom, think, energy, touch, earth, travel, discipline, volunteer, detachment, truth, walk, being, watch, acceptance, write, abundance.