Posts tagged Coffee Shop Thoughts
Give Our Parents The Freedom To Heal

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. This is an excerpt from our email:

I find myself intrigued by the message of healing but am simultaneously hesitant to read works that shed a negative light on mothers suffering from narcissistic personality disorder (and other disorders).  It doesn't make sense to me to protect and heal the daughters and not offer a message of love and healing to the mothers suffering in their own journeys. While better parenting is one of my number one values and priorities in life, I refuse to do so at the expense of rejecting others who are trying to heal themselves. Quick story for you...

I spent the majority of my childhood conditioning my mind to rise above (and to make sense of) the darkness within me. 13 was the height of my struggle with mental illness (OCD and paranoia amongst others), where I found myself shaking beside a night light every night. Around that time, I met my mentor who was about 40 years my senior. He shared that he had experienced paranoia in his 40's and that he understood how difficult the fight was. And for the next three years until he started his fight with cancer, he would spend a few hours every Sunday introducing me to ancient scripture and teachings, the newest scientific breakthroughs and TED talks, as well as life and career skills (he was also head of HR at a Fortune 500 company). 

For those of you who don’t know her, my mother is one incredible human being. In her early 20's, she took an important government position to save her family, helped many people through tough times All throughout my life, so many people would walk up to me and tell me how blessed I was, how my mother saved their whole family. She's got this remarkable heart and inspiring wisdom, but so much success at such an early age will sometimes have a tremendous effect on someone. She had her own battles to fight and had her share of healing to do...and I was a struggling teenager with mine. When I told my teacher I wanted to escape from it all, he told me that instead of fighting her, to consider rising above and choosing love. He told me that the only way to heal a broken ego was through love. 

And I knew then as I know even better now, with every bit of me, that my mother loves us with the entirety of her being, and that she, as any human, has battles of her own that she has to sort through. And it was only after understanding this that I began my own healing process--both so I didn't pass the burden onto my children, and so I could introduce her to the healing and love that I believed was possible for us both. I'm still working on this journey and on forgiving myself and for forgiving my mother, but I know damn well that there's nothing at all to forgive. She was the way she was because that's who she believed she needed to be, and she did so much good as a result. I am who I am because that's what I knew at the time, as a result, I put a lot of pressure on my little sister (that I'm not proud of). But we both did our best to give what we could to those around us, and we continue to learn to better love and accept each other with every day that passes. 

The message isn't to reject each other but to understand each other and to fight the darkness together. And the best way I know how to honor my teacher is through embodying and sharing his teachings and message. Anyways, thank you for listening to this story--this topic brings out a great deal of emotion in me, and it's such a release to bring it to the forefront of my attention again and remind myself of the important things in life.

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. 

Favorite Moments Of Floating In The Sky

Here I am, transitioning from an invigorating Buddhist retreat and back into my soulful coffee shop moments. This experience carried a lot of new insight, especially after an incredible walk with Master Dao Yi. Walking beside him, I felt like I was floating in the sky.

After our stroll, the big word I walked away with was “radiance.” The grace that flowed out of his being and into all life. I’m eternally grateful for the profound message he seems so naturally embody and radiate.

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.

Some of my favorite moments of the retreat (in no particular order)

  • My walk with Master Dao Yi that felt like a combination of coming up for air and floating in the sky

  • Dancing with my sister under the moonlight and lanterns, and the feeling of “as long as she is happy, nothing else matters in this world”

  • Seeing the natural energy, joy, and freedom of children as a reminder to embrace the abundance and purity around me

  • Closing my eyes and dancing by myself in a crowd full of people—because expression and movement are some of life’s greatest luxuries

  • The car ride back with Hildy and Alex with the windows down, dancing and laughing and singing (or some variation of screaming) and feeling deeply blessed

  • Seeing my parents after the retreat and wrapping them in my arms, a soul-stirring reminder that they have given me absolutely everything I needed to be the best version of me

  • Reflecting on the retreat with Hildy and witnessing the powerful growth and new energy within her

"Trying Is The Opposite Of Hiding"

I’ve been reading a lot of Seth Godin recently. His outside-the-box thinking really appeals to me, and never ceases to offer new perspective. On page 44 of “Poke The Box,” he writes this, “I’m not sure Yoda was right when he said, ‘Do or do not, there is no try.’ Yes there is a try. Try is the opposite of hiding.” This really 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? But Yoda wasn’t wrong either (of course). We often hide behind the idea of trying. The trick here is to reevaluate your definition and interpretation of the word “trying.”

Outliving Your Life

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 a life. 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.” How do you live your life? At the end of your life, could you be said to have lived at all? If so, when?

Thoughts inspired by Nikita Gill’s “Take This As Your Sign.”

On Femininity & Love

Inspired byNayyirah Waheed’s words, “I am relieved when I see the feminine presence in a man’s eyes. hat means he is a peace I do not need to bring to him.”

These words remind me of a silly pattern I’ve been spotting at weddings. You’ll often hear in a groom’s vows, “I love how much love she has.” As beautiful as it is (and appropriate for the occasion), so often men see women as their source of love and nurture.

For the men out there, are you looking to your partner to teach and remind you how to love yourself, to love the world, to love life? Please remember that we’re learning too, and we don’t have the answers, and we’re not responsible for your love journey. 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’re ready for.

This obviously doesn’t mean that women have more love, or are capable of more love than men are. Truth is, some of the people I know who carry the greatest capacity for love are men.

Closest Thing To Fate

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 wherever you are in life, when you’re ready, at your own pace…you make this decision, a promise to accept happiness. And how it transforms everything you see, everything you do, everything you feel, everything you are. 

Isn’t it terrifyingly beautiful that maybe our decision to invite happiness into our lives is the closest thing that exists to fate? 

Monday Morning Rise

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.

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.

Concealed Within True Love

Continuity is not a theory; it actually exists, so I’ve reassured myself over two fleeting decades of animation. This single quest for clarity, especially within romantic endeavors, has dragged with such muffled mercy to the soul that my faith in such continuum has fallen inferior to what others deem fantasy. And again, I propose the question: Is a flow in progress self-sustainable?

I don’t know the secret to continuity, but in some untrodden region of my consciousness, I recognize that I won’t secure it in Keats or Shakespeare. And whether through the sirens of heaven or the indolence of hell, continuity has entertained my mind with only an exquisite spirit of inquiry. But today I stand, embowered in my own awakened and flickering eyes, upon a first glimpse of this concept so fine in texture.

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.

Within his voice, I have found the therapeutic value of harmonic rhythms found only in music, and within his eyes, the enchantment of vibrating colors emitted only through light. And within his soul. I have begun to digest the manifesting expression of eternity concealed within true love.

What Is It Really: Envy or Inspiration?

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.

Tribute To A Soul Friend

A few years, I found a soul friend. He didn't know me, and I didn't know much about him. He was a star and I lived across the globe. But at our cores, he and I were made of something of the same substance. 

A few days ago, I found out he has passed away from a possible suicide. That soul-throbbing emptiness, I have felt before. 

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. 

I can't help but think that if only he knew I existed, that he had a soul friend, that we would both feel a little more whole right now. And this is why I do this.