Inspiring you to be more grateful each day

Happy Tuesday,

Hope you’re having a beautiful week.
I just came from a 4-day retreat and I’m still on happy high. Woohoo!

I’ve been going on annual retreats since college.

It halted during the height of the pandemic.

Thank God things are much, much better these days, pandemic wise.


I want to share with you some of my reflections from the retreat:

1. Be faithful to your calling.

The retreat was organized by The Work, an organization founded by St. Josemaria Escriva in 1928.
He was only 26 then.

Though St. Josemaria is no longer around, I can still feel his presence up to this day.
This was because St. Josemaria was faithful to his calling. Praise God!
Because of his faithfulness, I and millions of people all over the world get to know and love God more and get to experience God’s love in a beautiful way.

Application: What is your calling? Be faithful to it because you’ll never know whose lives you will touch by your faithfulness. Your calling can potentially bless generations.


2. Do everything with love, care, and excellence.

Everything about the retreat was beautiful.

Words, photos, and videos are not enough to capture the beauty of the place and the experience.


The retreat center was well maintained!

Can I share a secret with you? Hehe!

I am so amazed at all the centers of The Work, at least the ones I’ve been to.

So I crafted a secret game since college. Every time I would enter a center, I’d check if there’s any dust anywhere.
I’ve checked bookshelves, tables, chairs, foyer, visible surfaces, etc. — no dust!

That’s how keen the admins were with details. Everything was clean and orderly.

The garden! OMG! I was so in love with the garden!
I walked in the garden for at least two hours every day for four days! Two hours!!!

I took all the beauty in! Plus, I got to complete 10k to 15k steps daily!

Can I tell you about the food?
One of the fanciest fine dining places I went to this year was Metronome.

It was just for one meal — dinner!

During the retreat, I felt I was having a fine dining experience every single meal for all four days!

I’d say Metronome is a close second.


Here are some photos from the retreat dining area.

Everything about the retreat was done with love, care, and excellence.

This is exactly what St. Josemaria encourages people to do.
…To strive to be holy regardless of your profession.

…To convert your work into prayer.

…To put love, care, and excellence in everything you do.

For example, if you’re a cook, cook food with care and love. (Thus, the fine dining feels!)
If you’re a gardener, put love into what you do. (That’s why the garden was like a piece of Heaven!)

If you’re a cleaner, clean well. (That’s why I’ve never seen dust inside the center and everything was neat and orderly).

If you’re a speaker or an entrepreneur or a doctor, do your profession with love, care, and excellence.

I am so grateful to the gardeners who maintained the cleanliness and beauty of the garden in that retreat center.

I am so grateful to the women who prepared our food and who kept the center clean and orderly!
I am so grateful to our retreat directress, our priest, and our speakers!

I am so grateful to my fellow retreat participants. I gained new friends!

3. Pray, fast, give alms.

It’s the season of Lent. The retreat reminded me to pray a lot, fast, and give alms.

Our family, friends, and the world need a lot of prayers.
Fasting is not about depriving ourselves of the good things, but about mastering ourselves so that we don’t become slaves to our desires and disordered passions.
Giving alms teaches us to be sensitive to the needs of others. It opens us to love others more.


Speaking of alms, THANK YOU to everyone who donated to our recently concluded Post Valentine Concert-for-a Cause.
If you still want to donate, we will still accept donations until March 19 (Feast of St. Joseph).

You can donate any amount. Every peso counts.

100% of your donations will go to Bahay Aruga and San Lorenzo Ruiz Home for the Elderly.


You can donate here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1vKP_ykq3sRsLilueaS7K04JkG6wFHklZK2InHGeadFs/

(I’m giving a little token of gratitude to everyone who donates at least Php500.)

4. “In everything, love and serve the Lord.”

On Day 2 of the retreat, our retreat directress asked if I can entone and lead the songs during the Mass.

She asked me because she heard that I love to sing for fun!

That was the first time someone asked me to serve through singing!

Wow!
I said, “Yes!”

Of course!

So I formed a little choir and invited my twin friends to join me. The twins taught me the song “Amare et Servire”

The song says, “In everything, love and serve the Lord.”

On Day 3, our choir grew bigger. We recruited more members! Hahaha!

I can still remember that night. We were outside the oratory and we were having so much fun practicing our repertoire for the Mass the next day! We even practiced how to do harmony!

What a gift it is to sing!
What I realized about singing is this: If you can sing whether you’re in tune or not, praise God!

The enthusiasm to sing is in itself a GIFT!

I’m saying this because there was a day last month when I was so down, discouraged, and insecure, I didn’t have any enthusiasm to sing.
Thank God it lasted for just a day!
That’s when I realized that as long as I have the joy and enthusiasm to sing, I’m good. 🙂


So if you can sing even in the midst of problems, stress, and difficulties, YOU’RE GOOD!

All is well!

Truly, God can use whatever we have — little or big.

My journey as a singer started with the enthusiasm to sing. I was still tone deaf then.

Then God sent my coach to inject the belief that I can sing and that I have a beautiful voice. (That’s when I started to “hear” the notes).

Then I sang for fun by creating music videos.

Now, God gave me opportunities to sing to serve.

Wow! What a gift!!!

Speaking of singing, on Day 4 of the retreat, we had a mini concert for God during the Mass!

We even did an encore for our closing song! (The story behind this is so funny! Maybe I’ll save it for another newsletter).

5. Earthly sufferings are temporary, Heaven is forever!

Whatever it is you’re going through right now, remember that “This, too, shall pass.”

Whenever I experience troubles, this is what I tell myself, “Something good will come out of this.”

Likewise, in our quest for earthly successes, may we always remember our end goal, our ultimate goal.

6. Have FUN!!!

I believe God wants us to be joyful. I feel God delights when He sees His children sing and dance.

Sharing with you some outtakes during our retreat. Impromptu TikTok with my cool retreat mates.

Enjoy!!!

Hope my retreat reflections blessed you! 🙂


I wish you love, joy, and peace today and everyday!


Cheers,
Sha

P.S. I have two gifts for you 🙂

Gift #1: The Look of Love (music vide0)

This is a classic jazz song that was first released in 1967. Diana Krall then released another version in 2001. This was the version I followed for this song cover.

You can watch it here:

Gift #2: You are Loved by Ellie Holcomb (music video)

Whenever I need an upper, I play this song. This song reminds me that I am loved! 🙂

May this song remind you how loved you are by the Greatest Lover of all!

You can watch it here. 

Enjoy!

If you liked the songs, please feel free to share your comments on YouTube! Would love to hear from you!

Have a beautiful week ahead!

Sha Nacino

Sha Nacino is an author of 14 books, a keynote speaker on gratitude & creativity, and the founder of World Gratitude Summit and Thrive University. She is the recipient of the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the United Nations Global Entrepreneur Council.

She is the host of The Author's Voice Podcast and Joy & Peace Podcast for Catholic Singles.

You can find her on IG at https://instagram.com/sha_nacino

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