I am in Queens, New York tonight. Tomorrow I am presenting my Positive Psychology Changes Lives workshop, and next to the hotel is a Spanish restaurant.

Now Spanish food is not at all like Mexican or Central American food. I lived in South America, and have visited Central America and Mexico, but I’ve only been to Spain a couple of times. Spanish food is mild and subtle.

The waiter spoke English with a pretty thick accent, so I asked him in Spanish where he was from, and he said, “Queens.” We spoke in Spanish, but my ear is not nearly good enough to discern his origin. It sounded to me like the Castilian Spanish, someone from the north of Spain.

I ordered Chilean sea bass, and as an appetizer, they brought me a dish of olives, carrot sticks, and celery sticks. There were large green olives and small purple ones, and they tasted so good they almost brought tears to my eyes. I am trying to avoid white bread, but Spanish bread has such a robust crust, I had to try it, and again I was moved by the simple yet flavorful mouth-pleasing texture.

The sea bass was very mild, with three small clams and four small shrimp. There was a sauce featuring green peas and some unknown green base. It was, again, a very simple and direct meal. There was a white asparagus over the sea bass, a wonderful and gentle treat.

I slowly ate, feeling so grateful. The people who came in and sat at the next table were conversing with the waiter in what again seemed like Castilian Spanish. They knew each other well, and the waiter said how it had been a long time since he’d seen them.

What a delightful meal. I walked slowly back to the hotel. I am blessed that I can teach something so vital as how to flourish in a world where we forget who we are and what we should be about. I am doing my part, as are you, to awaken a sleeping planet.


I stumbled across Misa Criolla on YouTube. Generally it is performed by Los Fronterizos, an Argentine folk group that is kind of the Kingston Trio of Argentina, but not so much sell-out-ness. Misa Criolla, translated Creole Mass, although our word Creole does not convey the same meaning at all. The criollos (pronounced with the hard ll of Castile, sounds like “Cree-Oh-Joes”) were the common people of northern Argentina, the people of farms, ranches, and most of all, horses.

Ariel Ramirez took the Catholic Mass and wrote it in Spanish vernacular and with traditional Argentine folk music themes, hence “Misa Criolla.”

Serendipity. Looking for something entirely different, I discovered Los Fronterizos performing the Misa at the cathedral of San Isidro, an wealthy area of Buenos Aires. I put on headphones, and relished the music.

It opens with the words, “Senor, ten piedad de nosotros,” or, “Lord have mercy on us.” Again, like eating the olives at the Spanish restaurant, I am transported above myself. I glimpse heaven.

Then I discovered a performance by the UCLA choir, directed by Rebecca Lord. I loved it, perhaps better than Los Fronterizos. Notice how she charges up “Gloria a Dios,” (Glory to God) and adds more syncopation to “y en la tierra . . .” (and on the earth, peace unto men).

I am not Catholic, but this music is wonderful and I encourage you to broaden your holiday music at this time, in the northern hemisphere with the long nights and days of snow and clouds.

It is wonderful to be a member of the human race, when we can do such wonderful performances, bringing beauty and awe. I am listening to it again as I write this. My heart is full.

May your new year be full of joy and progress. May your days be full of light, peace and love.


By |2012-12-12T05:21:21+00:00December 11th, 2012|Articles, Core Happiness Skills|7 Comments

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  1. Judy Krings December 12, 2012 at 6:15 am - Reply

    I was transported, Lynn. I savored every morsel! Lovely. Many thanks.

  2. Nancy Mramor December 12, 2012 at 7:34 am - Reply

    The more we open our minds to embrace other cultures, religions, music and literature, the more we appreciate each other and find the similarities as well as the differences among us. Thanks for the holiday reminders to savor it all!

  3. Ray Erickson December 12, 2012 at 8:26 am - Reply

    Dear Lynn,

    It’s early in the morning and I am preparing for work so I cannot listen to these to examples of God embodied into the human voice. I couldn’t help but respond to your lip smacking, delightfully tasty description of not just that fantastic meal in Queens but the music that you are gifting to the Norteamericanos. Having lived in Costa Rica and being married to a Tica, I am well aware of the riches that the rest of the world offer us in an increasingly isolationist and nationalist America. Thank you and Felíz Navidad.

  4. patricia pencil December 12, 2012 at 9:20 am - Reply


    Your commentary was so enlightening!! I truly felt and tasted that meal through your words and the clear visualization of every detail…I look forward to experiencing the music, in the same way that you experienced it. I am not fluent in the language, however I imagine the music will speak to my soul as it did yours!!!
    Happy holidays and may enormous blessing follow you like the moon chases the sun…

  5. Jim Christensen December 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Thank you for a wonderful holiday experience. My wife and I sing with the Utah Choral Arts Society and have had a great esxperience there this Christmas season. Music brings peace to all who will take the time to be in the moment and leave all care and worry for a moment.

  6. Ginny Sassaman December 13, 2012 at 9:43 am - Reply

    How serendipitous! I was in the middle of writing my own blog on savoring when I received your email notification. That was a great reminder of my need to THANK YOU for everything you taught me about savoring, etc. through your seminar and Enjoy Life book. You have been an enormous influence on my life path, and I am so grateful — and say so in my blog. Thank you Lynn!

  7. Priscilla Hone December 13, 2012 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Thank you Dr. Lynn for reminder of the many gifts of life and this sacred season. I’m looking forward to taking your class again in Spokane, Washington on January 8, 2013. Safe Travels, Priscilla

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