“I like stuff!” Lalita Patel…

So the other day I was watching Oprah and her guest was director Tom Shadyac, known for movies such as Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar and more… he made millions upon millions of dollars directing such great movies. He had a 17,000 square foot home, luxury cars, etc.

He essentially gave it all up, moved into a mobile home, donated the majority of his money to charities close to his heart and made a documentary called “I Am“. It looks like a brilliant movie and I can’t wait till it opens in Toronto…

“I was standing in the house that my culture had taught me was a measure of the good life,” Tom recalls in his documentary I Am. “I was struck with one very clear, very strange feeling: I was no happier.”

I have always believed in “paying it forward”… Giving back, not taking my good fortune for granted… Essentially I want to change the world, leave it better than I found it, leaving this world saying I did something with my life… Right now, while my business is growing, I can only give of myself, so I volunteer at charity events where ever I can and do some small donations when possible.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” Mother Teresa

I have been thinking a lot about Tom and his journey and came to this realization… good or bad, I like stuff! YES, I admit it, I, LALITA PATEL AM A STUFF-AHOLIC…

So I decided to look at my life to see what can I cut out, give up, how can I be more like Tom?

  • My TV? Well no, it’s the only entertainment I spend money on… I rarely go out to eat, I don’t go to bars, clubs, movies… so having my digital cable is my fun time…
  • My car? Ha! No way, we all know I won’t take the bus… won’t ride a bike everywhere… and walking…? I repeat… HA!
  • My knick knacks? I collect a few things, pewter wizards, Egyptian artifacts, these make me smile when I look at them… so they stay…

Then I began thinking, why do I want to change my life to be like Tom’s… just because that is what works for him, doesn’t mean it is what works for me… cuz remember, I LIKE STUFF! Why can’t I have it all? I work hard, my business is growing with each day, money is going to start rolling in… I am going to get more stuff! A home for my mom, get my dad and step mom the vacation of their dreams, pay off my debts of the past, save for my future and enjoy the now, travel, get a super bad ass car, a gorgeous condo… and more!

But! I won’t be selfish, I’ll still volunteer, I’ll still put my heart and soul into events for charities close to my heart, I’ll donate a portion of my limitless riches…My goal for Events by Lalita is to ensure 20% of our business is not for profit, and where I can, even, pro-bono… I won’t be one of those planners who charges insanely high prices for fundraisers just because I can… When it’s a cause in which I truly believe, I’ll give back, with all my heart… For it is in giving that we receive…  I am soooo looking forward to the day when I’ll be planning huge fundraisers, being a part of something bigger than myself, events that I can be proud of…

AND  I’ll be driving to these events in my Super Bad Ass Events by Lalita Purple Aston Martin with a very clear conscience!!!

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi – Words to live by…

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen

 

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Disappointments or blessings in disguise???

Over the years I have been thrown many a curve ball, been let down a lot, faced disappointment head on. But, hey I am still here, and for the most part pretty darn happy… I’ve learned to never give up hope, that, while there is no guarantee of a tomorrow, I still go to bed each night thanking God for my blessings and ask Him for the strength to do it all over again tomorrow, with the hope I get it right 🙂

 

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Looking forward to things is one of the sweetest gifts life has to offer, vacations, babies, new love, new careers, new opportunities… That feeling of anticipation & elation, is matched by few other emotions. However when those things don’t go according to ‘our’ plan, we have to remember its not ‘our’ plan that is ‘The’ plan!

 

I believe that we must, as Jesus said, ‘ask and ye shall receive’, however He didn’t say ‘ask and here’s how and then I’ll receive’. We simply ask and know its ours long before its physically in our hands. Let the ‘how’ just flow, follow the path before you and it will manifest.

 

“Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you.” Jim Rohn

 

So when things don’t go my way I know there was a higher power protecting me from what could have happened.

 

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.” Garrison Keillor (FYI, this is probably one of my most favourite quotes)

 

So, while in the moment, I may feel sad, disappointed, bummed out, in the long run I know ‘The’ plan is the right plan. One example I always remind myself of is a story from my trip to Egypt back in 1994…

 

We were travelling the country by train, and we were very diligent about being at the station early so that we would be sure not to miss our train. One morning we slept through the alarm, the wakeup call, and missed our train. All the way to the station we kept complaining about having to pay the penalty to change our ticket. We were pissed off at the added expenditure, and disappointed by the fact we missed our tour that we had booked that day. We got the next train and continued on our journey in silence. The next day we were watching the news and saw that the train we were ‘supposed’ to be on was attacked by guerrillas and our car was badly hit.

 

My belief…? God made us sleep in, made us miss that train, as we were not finished our journey here in these bodies…

 

So, yes, I’ve been disappointed, let down… But when I look back, they now appear as blessings in disguise for as said before, I am still here, smiling, laughing and looking forward to the next adventure, onwards and upwards as they say!

 

 “Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.” Joseph Addison