For over six months now I have been dedicated to studying Spanish. My ability to read, comprehend and speak has greatly improved. Since, however, I don’t have a natural aptitude, my six-year-old nephew speaks better than me, but heck, at least I’m trying. I do love the language though. It is interesting to explore how different cultures decide how to express themselves and how the way we speak can change how we see and experience the world.

The Spanish language uses a lot of suffixes. Add “-ito” or “-ita” to the end of a world and it means little or dear. For example, the cat or gato that often sneaks into my house becomes a “gatito.” Add “-udo” or “-uda” to the end of the word and it means a lot of. Mi gatito es peludo. Pelo meaning hair becomes peludo meaning hairy or furry (or leaving blankets of white fur in my house when it sneaks into my home).

Another suffix which is used is “-ada.” This suffix can be used to mean the result of use. For example, cuchillo or knife means stab wound when -ada is added, cuchillada. It can also mean a large quantity of, so spoon, cuchara, becomes spoonful, cucharada. It can also mean the act of carrying out a verb. Llamar or to call becomes una llamada or a call, and nevar or to snow becomes nevada or snowfall.  The other day, I saw -ada added to corazón.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Corazón means the heart. When -ada is added to it, “corazonada” literally means the act of heart, full of heart, or to act with heart. The translation of corazonada is a feeling, a hunch, or a sudden impulse to act. Across cultures and languages, we have tied our intuition, our instinctual knowledge to our heart. We are not acting from our knowledge or reason, but acting from a deeper knowledge which comes from the heart.

I love my mind. It helps me write these posts in mostly perfect grammar. It usually helps me with math problems. It can help me reason out different options to a problem. And, more times than I like to admit, my mind can also mislead me. It can keep me up at night playing through again and again what I did wrong, what I could have done differently, or what I prefer to have happened. My mind sometimes thinks it is right and correct, even when the world is pointing to something different. My mind can make me think I am better than or worse than others.

That is why I have been trying to have more balance between my heart and my mind. The HeartMath Institute has been studying and teaching for years the importance of our connection with our hearts. What has been known in the scientific community for some time, is that our heart sends as much if not more information to our brains than the other way around. It is our heart, not our minds which are running the show. In this informative video, the HeartMath Institute outlines how we can regulate our stress and ability to think under stress, by working to smooth our heartrate and help our hearts and minds connect. It is not just the brain or not just the heart, but getting these two to play together which can make a difference in our lives.

When you get angry or anxious, do you feel your heartbeat increase? Have you ever used meditation to calm your heart which in turn helps calm your mind? What are your thoughts on living more corazonada?

About Time

The Secret Formula of Life

About TimeI learned from a sweet little movie called About Time a very powerful message about to find happiness in our lives. The story is about a family with the ability to travel back in time. On the son’s 21st birthday, he is told about the power and how to use it. For the first half of the movie, this young man uses his ability to have do-overs. Can you remember your teens and early twenties? Are there words you wish you hadn’t said? Are there sentiments you wish you had? Did you have an awkward moment you wish to erase? Were their opportunities you would have seized? Were there choices you would have changed? Where their conflicts you would have handled differently? Every imaginable situation occurs as the lead character tries to perfect every moment of his life. Then the movie turns from romantic comedy to something deeper. It teaches us two important points about life: the necessity of living with the bad to get the good and the secret formula for happiness, living deliberately.

Living With the Bad for the Good

In the movie, we learn that if the time traveler goes back in time before his child is conceived that the baby will turn out differently. A hard choice has to be made between allowing a beloved child to be born or rescuing a dear family member from injury. If he goes back to fix a bad situation, he loses his good situation, his child. The lesson is that sometimes we have to accept the bad in life to get our ultimate joy. In the long run, sometimes the bad that happens is a wakeup call for a difficult lesson or a turning point which will become our purpose to teach and help others grow. Acceptance of some of the less than enjoyable situations may actually be allowing us to receive the good in our lives.

Living Deliberately

Toward the end of the movie, his father who has lived fully due to his time travel ability shares the secret formula of life. Unlike the first part of the movie, where the ability is used to try to make each encounter perfect, the father recommends living the day like everyone else. Experiencing all of the worries, stress, and issues which “keep us from noticing how sweet the world can be.” Then secret is then going back and reliving the same day, but noticing the joy, love, beauty, and miracle during each moment of that day – without changing it. Eventually the lead character learns that he doesn’t have to relive his day to see the sweetness of life, but that he simply needs to live each and every day deliberately to find the wonder.

Try it today. Instead of focusing on your worries and fears, look around you. What is beautiful? How can you find the humor in the moment? How can you gift another? How can you maximize each and every moment? I can not show you how to time travel, but through acceptance and awareness, you can surround yourself with an amazing life.