Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Power of Now: Being Aware and Present

Living in a fast-paced world as we are now is like a marathon, a race with an uncertain outcome. People are always in a hurry but arrive late at their destination. Along the way, we bumped into each other to get ahead. There's a lot of shouting, screaming, or even crying. No matter how hard it seems to be. Still, a determined soul can conquer obstacles and overcome defeat. There's no way to quit but to continue the race toward the peak.

Unhurried life isn't a thing nowadays, even in a rural village. We are all connected by the power of technology and get the latest information in real-time, at a particular moment, and as needed. Through an upgrade in transportation and communication, everything is quick and instant, as fast as teleportation if it's real. Getting to a destination excites us, and the journey becomes a cherished expedition. 

Years ago, life wasn't that complicated, and people enjoyed much in the present moment of their lives. Compared to now, most people live in their past when they can't leave their worries behind. Others may live in an uncertain future and become anxious about what lies ahead. That's life! Truly complicated.  Whatever comes into our head are unfiltered noises from different sources and even our own prejudice.

Living in the past and in the future is inevitable. When the mind wanders means a lack of focus and awareness of the present; not truly conscious -- not being aware. A complicated life of being not present in the moment has its consequences. We need to be more focused and productive. Our worries, fears, and uncertainties are enemies of productivity and consciousness. Though it is a result of previous traumatic experiences, we are still in control and have the power to return to a normal state of being; we enjoy the present moment and truly live. 

As we go through the next level of spiritual existence, we learn to ignore or filter those noises that will not benefit our being. We become more alert and focused on our actions; the result is fascinating  a stress-free living.

Being present and aware at the same time is a gift to ourselves or to someone dear to us. When we are aware and conscious of someone's presence, they feel accepted and loved by us. However, when we ignore their presence, they will feel neglected, abandoned, and uncared for; that's miserable and unacceptable. 

But in today's world, there's another side of the story; we often focus on our own, our personal intention, and our goals to achieve. We go on our own without validation from others. That's consciousness from the individual level. We go for healing when our soul finds its peace and being.

The power of now is so mighty that we experience and practice mindfulness. We do not allow minds that wander, but we focus our intentions back on our present reality. We choose to be peaceful and live stress-free lives, leading to our health and well-being. The power of now is a spiritual gift to the people surrounding us. When we are at peace with ourselves, we are present in dealing with people no matter what happens, and we deal with life peacefully. That's the power of presence and awareness  the power of now!

© 2018 Del Cusay

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Celebrating the Feast of Sto. Niño 2018

Devotion to the Holy Child Jesus or popularly known as Sto. Niño has been celebrated in the Philippine archipelago yearly, particularly in January. This is not just a tradition among the faithful but a meaningful celebration of being a youthful and cheerful servant or believer of the Holy Child. The image brought by the Spaniards was the reason for our celebration. Since then, Christianity has spread in the Philippine Islands, and our ancestors have embraced Christ, our Lord, and Savior. 

Several generations have passed, and we're still allured by the charming image of the Holy Infant. In the Philippines, there are several parishes whose patron is Sto. Niño. Being the recipient of the first Holy image given as a gift, Cebu City celebrates the Sinulog festival on the third Sunday of January. In Iloilo City, they also celebrate the Dinagyang festival the same week as the Sinulog. These two festivals have become one of the most significant religious events in the country and have attracted thousands of followers who are witnesses to the grandeur of this festivity.

On January 21, I witnessed the devotion to Sto again. Niño. From the old commercial district of Pajo in Caloocan and passing along the Parish of San Roque, thousands of devotees, including children, have shown their faith through a long procession of the Holy image. Devotees have been creative and vibrant in showcasing their images. Some parents would carry their children on their shoulders as they dance to the beat of the drums. 

Indeed, the significance of this celebration is the innocence of the child, who is full of wonders and gives a sense of happiness and joy to the parents and everyone. It was in 2013 that I witnessed one of the biggest celebrations of Sto. Niño in Luzon. Celebrating The Feast of Sto. Niño de Tondo gave meaning to personal devotion, a reflection of one's faith in the Divine. 

Celebrating the Feast of Sto. Nino 2016 was another chance to witness and glimpse this celebration. Two years after, it became more upbeat and alive. Unlike another religious processions, this is not the solemn type since they would carry the image and have it move or dance. This, however, is a personal devotion and belief. In the end, it is our faith that matters.

Like the Holy Child Jesus, we must show innocence, but our faith must not be stagnant; it must keep growing and flowing. We keep expanding our faith to reach people to keep believing and having faith in God no matter their challenges. 

© 2018 Del Cusay

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Divine Light: Our God's Greatest Love

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Sitio Lomboy, Linambasan, Jamindan, Capiz

We seek the power of the Divine light whenever we encounter unpleasant events in our lives; the darkest moments that block our path to see the light. We seek Divine protection when we feel weak and need comfort when we are in the deepest pain. We may have struggled and endured the pain, but one thing is for sure that there is a meaning in suffering. As we go along with our battles, we may experience the presence of Divinity in our community; the church, the parishioners, the servants, the followers, and the believers. We belong to a community that is Divinely inspired and committed to serving its Divine purpose.

It is through our heart's desire that we envision a greater community of the faithful. When one is called to serve his purpose, it will become a reality through the support and cooperation of the chosen community. Our wish; our desire is the presence of Divine love to all; regardless of one's creed, societal status, and character. Our merciful and loving God has called its people to renew their faith no matter how sinful one has become. Greediness, hatred, and lack of compassion may have degraded our character, but our spiritual nature cleanses and heals our flaws making us a stronger faithful. There is certain holiness in you no matter how sinful one may have become. At some point, we are bound to fail and stumble upon the dark. When the soul is in the dark, there is surely a light that would shine to serve as a guide and to lead the rest towards the Divine path. 

The foundation of the church is stronger as it is built with love and compassion. People from even the farthest location are called to follow and to serve. There's no hindrance to a spiritual path when one is called to serve and believe. Doubts and uncertainties are inevitable, but a stronger community will surpass the negativity and support each other bringing more light to the path. There's no big or small contribution as long as it is wholeheartedly given through Divine inspiration and guidance. Individual and group contributions will go a long way making the church and the spiritual community a leader whose obligation is to spread the message of hope and peace and love to all. 

The church is built closer to its people; we continue to make it bigger and brighter for generations to come. When the unknown future creates fears and doubts, we call for the Divine, just like when we call our mother when we are frightened and helpless. Our merciful and loving mother would rescue its child and save him from harm and danger. We are always being heard when we call for Divine help; when we can't stand alone in our battles and are easily defeated by the dark. Until we call for Divine guidance, we remain to be weak and helpless.

Through the spiritual community founded, we are one for all and we feel the warmth Divine presence.  We become clearer with our plans and decisions, we are guided with our intentions and we become a servant to those who needed help. Years may have passed by and the church that was built by the faithful will continue to become a sanctuary for everyone: the lost and wandering souls and those seeking the path towards Divine love and light. 

© 2018 Del Cusay

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Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year 2018: Beyond The Limits

That was a challenging year, 2017. A roller coaster of unforeseen events and unexpected triumphs, an opportunity that was never lost but continuously on a cycle. When I look back to the previous year, I am still overwhelmed by the circumstances I experienced and feel grateful for what I have achieved. I have learned through the years that when the door closes, a window will certainly be opened for another milestone and breakthrough. 

The year 2017 ended with a positive spirit and gratitude to the Divine while looking forward to a beautiful life for 2018 for myself, my family, my friends, and everyone who has made a significant impact in my life.

To celebrate New Year means celebrating a new life full of hopes and optimism for a brighter future. I always look forward to the brighter side and removing the negativity that may hinder future success. Looking forward doesn't necessarily mean the inability to reflect on past living, where struggles, obstacles, and defeat are inevitable. 

It's always good to look back for self-realization leading to more vital determination. Whatever we have gone through will not change, but we can always learn a lesson for positive change and renewal. Celebrating a New Year is just the start of another challenge to take and hindrances to break. New Year 2016: A New Beginning was a liberation of the mind and grounding back to reality. Attainment of higher consciousness will always be instilled in the mind and will be the guide for a more excellent living beyond the physical plane.

A thousand-mile journey will need a guide, a GPS leading toward a destination. The will can complete the trip no matter how far it may seem. Time will be the barometer of success; we arrive on time, behind the time, or ahead of time. New Year 2017: A Hopeful Journey was about having the faith and perseverance that things will be better ahead of time; another life is waiting and will be something bigger and still significant. Indeed, that was an incredible opportunity, and I will persevere despite my challenges.

The time has come that I don't have to be on the same level of the fight but to understand and find meaning in every challenge encountered. I ended 2017 with a more significant fight of optimism that things would improve and healing would eventually take place for the benefit of the greater whole.

A New Year celebration with the family is always a source of joy, to be reunited and gain positive insights about living. It needs to be fixed from a different perspective when things go wrong. We may have been defeated and put to the test, but we can always reconnect the dots and rewire the broken lines to become whole and complete again. The principle of higher consciousness is beyond our lower emotions and limits. We can always stand up again and face the world with greater heights and a clearer view of the path. 

The road ahead is always about advanced thinking and the ability to see the next episode of life. The year 2018 is welcomed with incredible energy. The light from above will serve as a reminder that things become brighter even in the dark. We can rise up from the challenge and will emerge as a champion —  a winner in life.

© 2018 Del Cusay