Be A Warrior

You cannot be a victim.

You have to be a warrior.

In your story, you only have room to be one or the other.

If you succumb to your problems, you cannot unleash the tremendous potential that you harness inside of you.

Get back up!

Fight on.

11403236_10207237795848901_1626279315470303789_nAmazonian Highlands of Cusco, Peru

(C. Fattal 2015)


So That You Will Listen


Because my words grow thin
Like the footprints of seagulls upon the beaches
Like the lines drawn in my books between science and reason
Between faith and believing in life’s seasons
I hear the ship’s whistle for my next adventure!
My hands shake – too fearful for the imminent departure
Like the vines of the ivy, my old sufferings cling to me — making me unsure
And to whom can I blame for their choking and enthrall?
For love fills up everything, why would I fear? I must ignore!
Before learning to love again, my heart has to be free
It has to decide to sing —
To choose not to live on my knees;
Can you hear this reckoning?
Winds of agony still beckon me, friends,
Can you hear it too?
It happens, from time-to-time in the stealth of the moon
But my dreams overthrow them greater, you see
With more power and fortitudinous grace, my future chooses me!
In this reluctant rejoice, I know that you can hear my voice!
Lament no more of old worlds
Old agonies,
Old exigencies,
The time has come to forgive and get going!
For my words have been stained by a future of hope;
Not hate!
Only I can occupy the rooms of my soul
Like only you in yours
Do you hear the train whistles or the plane engines at the departure gate?
Can you see the waters compelling you forward this way?
If not, uncover your ears
So that you can hear me; it’s not too late.

Inspired by Pablo Neruda

Save The World

We all have a little bit of ‘I want to save the world’ in why we are in college – to pursue that desire and to attempt to fill it.

That might be why most of us chose to go to college – to pursue that desire and to attempt to fulfill it.

It is okay to feel this way and to not ‘save the world’ by the time we graduate.

It is okay if you only save one person.

And it is okay if that one person is you.


Amazonian Highlands, Peru

(C. Fattal 2015)

Finding Yourself

There is no magical way to find yourself. It’s not out in the wilderness or in another country or city. It’s not in the deep depths of a book. It’s not awaiting you in solitude.

It’s right there, in you.

And if you never find a way to appreciate yourself, you will never see it. How can you see it? When will you find it?

That is up to you.


Amy Poehler Quotes

23 Amy Poehler Quotes You Should Live By

“I think we should stop asking people in their twenties what they ‘want to do’ and start asking them what they don’t want to do. Instead of asking students to ‘declare their major’ we should ask students to ‘list what they will do anything to avoid.’ It just makes a lot more sense.”

“I believe great people do things before they are ready.”

“Going from crying to laughing that fast and hard happens maybe five times in your life, and that extreme right turn is the reason why we are alive, and I believe it extends our life by many years.”

“Emotions are like passing storms, and you have to remind yourself that it won’t rain forever. You just have to sit down and watch it pour outside and then peek your head out when it looks dry.”

“A bossy woman is someone who cares and commits to something. I think that is not being bossy, it is being a natural leader.”

“If you do start crying in an argument and someone asks why, you can always say, ‘I’m just crying because of how wrong you are.'”

“Nobody looks crazy when they’re having fun.”

“People are their most beautiful when they are laughing, crying, dancing, playing, telling the truth, and being chased in a fun way.”

“Ignore what other people think. Most people aren’t even paying attention to you.”

“Please don’t drive drunk, okay? Seriously. But by all means, walk drunk. That looks hilarious. Everyone loves to watch someone act like they are trying to make it to safety during a hurricane.”

“It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for.”

“It’s very hard to have ideas. It’s very hard to put yourself out there, it’s very hard to be vulnerable, but those people who do that are the dreamers, the thinkers, and the creators. They are the magic people of the world.”

“There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”

“The only way we will survive is by being kind. The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are.”

“People are not medicine.”

“Sticking up for ourselves in the same way we would one of our friends is a hard but satisfying thing to do.”

“Sleep can completely change your outlook on life.”

“Continue to share your heart with people even if it’s been broken.”

“Make ‘no’ a complete sentence. You do not have to explain yourself”

“Time can be your b*tch if you let go of the next and the before.”

“I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.”

Humanity is Complexity

Like the Humans of New York author, Brandon Stanton mentioned in a post, I also can’t stand moral absolutism.

You know, there’s always that person who wants to point out that Martin Luther King cheated on his wife. As if, he obviously couldn’t have been a great person if he did something like that.

Along the same vein, I often hear someone bring out an inspirational quote, and get you to agree with it, and then he/she informs you that Hitler said it. As if, a good thought couldn’t come from Hitler.

Moral absolutism is an ignorant and lazy umbrella that we wrap some of our world’s biggest issues. We try to come up with “blanket solutions” for dealing with humans, as a whole and it keeps us from progression.

It’s easy to say: ‘Hitler was a demon. Nazis were all bad seeds.’ That’s simple. It’s much harder to say: ‘Is that humanity? Or is that me?'”

Ultimately, as Stanton said, it keeps us from learning from the past. 

Humans – you and I – are complex and we must be dealt with case by case. There is no “fix-all”. Once we understand that, we can move forward.


Misdirected Gratitude

Apprehensively, I thanked you for teaching me something about survival back then. With a broken spirit and a tattered heart, I attempted to rise above the brutality of this world by giving undeserved gratitude to perhaps, relinquish the bond that was strapping me to hate you.

Now, however, I realize that this gratitude doesn’t belong to you, nor does this bond still exist.

Because the more I learned about water, the more I understood where my gratitude should go.

To experience.

Likewise, the ocean never handed me the gift of swimming; I had to give it to myself. The seas never handed me a life jacket; I had to learn to float on top of the waves.

I learned that the tides are the most brutal before a bigger storm; a type of natural omen for us humans to find shelter.

I learned from nature’s harbinger that the formidable opponents — who only answer to gravity and the sun — are also our sustainers and suppliers of life.

Thus, my gratitude belongs to nature and the seas.

Thank you, nature, for the experience.

Thank you, water, for making me strong.

“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” –Edwin Louis Cole

Darkest Hours Mold Brilliance

Who looks good in their darkest hour? Nobody.

If someone looks great (or better) during which, he/she isn’t truly acknowledging the period at hand.

It’s during these dark times, however, that we must recognize where we are and let it teach us what we need to know. Often, we become better individuals because of it.

In spite of our isolation and bleak outlook, we should choose to travel outside of our comfort, in spite of our pain and temporal suffering.

Bad situations, such as this, spark our creative genius and beckon our spirit that would’ve otherwise lain dormant — as the great Roman poet, Horace once said about adversity.

In the same spirit, there is no place for us back in security and it is easy to run back — thinking it’s where we belong. On the contrary, it’s from there that our problems arose, and our better selves couldn’t be realized.

Therefore, my friends, it’s time to get your umbrella and learn to walk through the rain. It has been waiting for you.