Coffee Shop Thoughts
A collection of short reads on the little moments of magic.
The way he feels love, the way he knows magic. Two of the most treasured parts of me that I’ve suppressed to get into business-mode. Obviously, I bought the book and slept on it. Sometimes we wish upon a star, something we wish upon a book. That’s the truth about magic.
I was recently interviewed on a podcast about creative flow and overcoming burn out. I have to admit, I do some pretty funky stuff to keep my creative juices flowing, my ex used to call them “Hillaryisms.”
And one of them is hanging upside down. Not only does it help stretch my back in the morning, but it also helps me broaden my perspective of the world. You can do it on a yoga trapeze set (which I HIGHLY recommend) or just on a tree branch or local playground monkey bars (depending on how harmless you appear). I’ll occasionally “hang” at a local playground on my way to work, and have gathered quite an audience of little humans who will clap for me with their grandparents’ help. It’s one of my happiest moments everyday.
In this life, one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and for the world is to broaden your perspective. If you’re feeling stuck, hang upside down, stand on a desk, sleep in the kitchen. Sure, it’s a little funky. But hell, why not?!
How can you add more “perspective moments” into your everyday routine?
I was walking through Portsmouth, New Hampshire the other day and found my attention captivated by some tune. It was so bad I couldn't help but look. And when I glanced over, I saw a guy pressing [what I can only assume random] keys on a keyboard and a girl to his right dancing with absolutely no rhythm. No one was watching. But I think that’s why it left a lasting impression. What a strange and beautiful life.
Following the retreat, I’ve been on an email exchange with Master Dao Yi. We got to talking about the book “Mothers Who Can’t Love” and this brought out some deep emotion in me about parenting, about love, and about healing. Read More for an excerpt from our email:
Feeling blessed to share this earth alongside so many wealthy hearts and minds of our time (like my teacher and Master Dao Yi). In this day and age, we often talk about the importance of growth, and in this very moment, I'm feeling especially grateful for the encounters that expand our whole being, like meeting Master Dao Yi who took the time to respond to me amidst this conflicted soul of mine.
Man oh man, getting back to the real world is tough. Back to real problems and desire and struggle. But it also means learning more of the kaleidoscopic things that make us all light up and light on fire. It also means falling in love, not just with humans but with life and what it means to be the entirety of who we are....and to be given the freedom to express the entirely of all that we embody.
Here I am, transitioning from an invigorating Buddhist retreat and back into my soulful coffee shop moments. Returning after some time, my plan is to find more of what makes me radiate and glow—to continue documenting my daily moments on my Equilibrium Journal, and to track my fulfillment, radiance, joy, connection to purpose, and energy in everything I do. My wish is that I can invite more of the things that I find the most beautiful into my life.
This Seth Godin quote got me thinking about how we hide from our responsibilities and our potential everyday by brushing things off and not trying them. It’s also challenged me to become more aware of the choices I’m actually making when I decide not to try something. Is it my subconscious running from fear? What metrics am I measuring the costs-benefits by? How can we reevaluate our definition and interpretation of the word “trying”?
The relationship that you’re in right now—if you knew it wasn’t going to last, if you knew it had an expiration date, would it make you want to love deeper and fall harder or would you leave in search of another story?
How many lives do writers live in one story?
Some people live every moment they get, some live as many lives as they can, and some don’t even realize that they have one. I remember after my sister and I wrote our first novel together, someone asked us to summarize it in one sentence. We answered, “A pair of sisters—one destined to live out her life, and the other, to outlive her life.”
For the women out there giving every ounce of your love to your partner, it’s important to remember that the love we emit is a deep reflection of our relationship with ourselves. We can’t love someone into loving themselves. Your love journey is entirely your own, and so is theirs. Doesn’t mean you can’t share self-love, self-care, and inner beauty secrets, of course! :)
And for both parties out there, you only accept the love you’re ready for. Your partner can love you with all of his/her heart and soul, and carry all the love in the world, but you will only feel the extent to which you understand.
Isn’t it beautiful, terrifyingly beautiful, that happiness isn’t a reminder, but an allowance? That unlike joy, the choice of happiness isn’t decided in the moment, but invited long before that. That at some point in your life, when you’re ready, you make a promise to accept happiness. And how it makes all the difference.
Isn’t it terrifyingly beautiful that maybe our decision to invite happiness into our lives is the closest thing that exists to fate?
Fill your lungs with morning air and hold the universe inside you. Breathe in the first rays of the sun and awaken the force within. (Morning routine)
A reminder that every experience and encounter since the moment of your birth has been leading up to today, to this moment. Take a second, take it in.
Continuity in romance is not about imagining a future with someone, but about not envisioning one without them. It’s not about wandering the celestial paradise or the depths of hell, but about journeying back and forth without losing sight of that one person. And it’s not about uniting by the hand, but by the density of each footstep and pace of each breath. Lastly, it’s not about him/her being the one; it’s about the two of you becoming one.
Morning coffee shop thoughts. Or perhaps rushing out of one realm and falling into another? If you are falling, may you be falling into the clouds of a beautiful universe.
This morning, a friend shared with me a story about his lovely morning adventure. My first instinct was to say, "Ah, that's incredible, I'm wildly envious!" But what I truly meant was, "Wow, you're beautiful. I'm deeply inspired by your story."
I think oftentimes, we focus on what others have that we don't, and it brings us to a place of comparison rather than unity. In these moments, we're faced with a choice; we can either feel envy or inspiration. I promise you they're equally powerful.
You know the days when you look up at the stars and instantly feel your worries fade? Is it possible that we, as beings, are connected to the substance of another star?
And one day, we look up and feel a dreadful emptiness and a hint of guilt. With no previous understanding that we ever connected with that one star, and no knowledge that the star is no longer there. Still we sit there, consumed by emptiness, feeling so whole and so empty, so big and so small, so ancient and so naive at the same time.
Hello there! I'm Hillary Wen
By morning, I run When Toys Age; by afternoon, I dive into independent passion projects; and by 11pm, I try to go to bed. I believe in coming alive in all your work & relationships, and balancing your inner child with your strategic instincts.
With an academic background in political and leadership theory, a professional background in project and people management, and a passion in life design and story-telling, I strive everyday to find the balance between creativity and strategy & planning and execution.
Available January 2019