My Sicily: 365 days of lessons & gratitude

Buonasera,

It is Thanksgiving Eve and I imagine most of you either preparing for tomorrow’s festivities or in cucina.  That’s where I usually enjoy being but tonight I had a special letter to write to all of you.  The year is coming to an end – two weeks ago I wrapped the “My Sicily Book Tour” for 2013 and what a year this has been!  365 ++ {485 if we want to be precise, not that I count or keep exact track, I’m generally much more spontaneous than this but I roughly know this one :)} and as I look back with immense gratitude for an extraordinary year, I also reflect on the lessons learned along this incredible journey…..whether you are about to embark on a personal journey of your own similar to mine, if you launched a project, started a brand new business, wrote your first book, or are pondering on a major leap of faith in your life ~ I hope that we can connect, and perhaps inspire each other, on many levels with some of my own lessons learned from the publishing of my first book and the almost magical adventures that followed.  If I had to summarize in a very simple and concise manner the five principles or degrees of learning from this year they would be listed as follows:

1. AMORE.  I find that true love for your idea/project/business spread in every inch of your heart, body and mind in alignment will carry you through the good and the worst.  The journey will not always be easy, it’s not supposed to — you are supposed to do the work and proove how much you really care/want something.  Nothing was ever easy in my life, in fact I’ve become so acquainted with the art of mastering problem solving that it’s almost exciting for me.  Throughout your journey, there will be moments where you will be completely alone, or completely exhausted, in those very moments your AMORE/LOVE for what you do will carry you forth, showing the truth of your intentions but also your rawest, strongest talents. Amore also refers to the support of your family and friends.  It also means going against those you love the most to show your deepest intentions.  In Sicilian we say “Suli nun e’ bonu mancu in pararisu” = “It’s not good to be alone even in paradise/heaven.”  I hope that you will always have nurturing companionship to carry you through your brightest light or your darkest moment.

2. ENTREPRENEURSHIP.  Here, we could talk for hours.  This refers to your ability to be flexible, a quick thinker, a strategist, a resourceful master, a confident leader — without being arrogant, putting aside ego.  We are not born knowing everything.  No one is better than anyone else.  Your journey will not always be positive — but it’s looking at the most positive reflections of every situation and being able to move quickly ahead with confidence and conviction that will allow you to succeed.  Remember to enjoy the ride, with its ups and downs.

3. HUMILITY.  Never forget your roots, where you came from, where you were born, how far you have traveled to get here, the many paths you had to cross to reach your destination – in other words – don’t forget who you are at the core.  And once you reached your destination, what?  The point is not that you reached, but how…and who you became along the way……how the journey touched/influenced you.  Humility also refers to the ability to look beyond the material – this will never be a soul filling or enriching experience, will never be as powerful as the power of your spirit, of what and how you feel, how you touched someone’s life.

4. COMPASSION.  Be generous.  Be caring.  Live a significant life.  Lead by example.  There is always someone who will need your help or might be having a worse day than you.  Be observant of those who may need you but can’t/are not able to tell you.  If you were fortunate enough to make one of your dreams a reality, be of assistance to those who were not as lucky.  It is our ethical responsibility.

5. FAITH.  Have faith in yourself and your abilities, your inner strength.  Visualize your dreams, and for as simple as it sounds, as you work through and towards them, they will materialize.  What you are looking for is already within you, keep digging and you shall find.  Have faith in others and respect their presence, their suggestions in your life. Most of all, have faith, spiritual faith, believe.  This will give you the serenity and peace of mind to lead a life of significance, whereby your intentions, your actions, your words will match and bring out the true message of your essence, of who you are, of who you can become.

I attribute almost everything that has happened this year to a most powerful combination of these five elements.  I want to thank Padre Pio, my family and friends, and all of you for all your support and love.  I am amazed at what we have been able to achieve together:  21,000 followers on the Blog, nearly 300 followers on Facebook.  I have a number of surprises to announce in the coming days, after enjoying some Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin Pie ;) Stay tuned.  Don’t think that this is the end.  It is the end of a journey and the beginning of many others………

Che Dio Benedica Voi e Le Vostre Famiglie ~ May God Bless You and Your Families

Con immensa gratitudine ~ With immense gratitude,

Francesca   {photo taken on the Island of Ponza with Padre Pio, August 2013 – a very special/magical moment for me this year……..may His Light Protect You and Your Families This Holiday Season and Always}

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. RoseMarie Storniolo says:

    Francesca, I truly believe in the 5 principles stated above…with a firm belief in oneself and a large leap of faith…success will always come…God bless…RoseMarie

    1. How very kind of you, Rose Marie. Thank you for the beautiful, encouraging and uplifting words. My heart is already very grateful as is. Anything else, is in the hands of God. Buonanotte and thanks for your support!! Francesca

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