I love space, the out of this world kind and the emptiness kind. This post is regarding the latter.
Recent turn of events sparked this lesson I'm still in the process of integrating~
Make Space or the Universe Will for You.
Oftentimes, I find myself stoked on setting the intention, getting clear on what I desire, etc. yet I do not take proper measures to make space for what I seek to attract to enter. When you do the hard-work on the front-end (i.e. matching the vibrational frequency of what is you're attracting), as deserving as you are- it cannot enter your life in the physical form if there is no space.
Being that this incredible Universe is always conspiring in favor of our growth, people, things, attachments, etc. will be taken out of our lives in a seeming instant, out of the blue, to create the necessary void for abundance, blessings, and new characters to enter.
Do not be afraid if space seems to be carving out in your life. The teacup must be empty before it can be refilled. It can only mean good things to come.
All in all, life has been great, ridiculously great at times. Lately, more so than ever before, I catch myself in awe of how magical my day to day life is.
Recently, the consistent stream of goodness has invited my ego out to play a bit more than I would like. I find myself relishing a little bit too much in my recent accomplishments and have been experiencing gentle lessons that have been quite humbling. One recent blunder I created brought a heat of embarrassment to my face for nearly 2-3 weeks recounting the experience in my mind. During tonight's full moon ceremony, after a vulnerable heart to heart session with my incredible roommate, I found the courage to face this event head on. I invited the physical blockage, experienced this discomfort, observed the mental and emotional responses, and learned to accept the nectar of this lesson to store the positive teachings and to surrender this blockage. I learned the lesson once more of non-judgment even as it pertains to myself and my own actions. I learned how to forgive, laugh with, and love my own rough edges that are still being smoothed out. I am recognizing and falling in love with my own humanity and remembering the importance of staying vigilant and committed to "doing the work". I recognize my own imperfections in a space of love and am given the opportunities to observe with compassion and without self-judgment. I am strengthening that compassion muscle for my relationship with myself. I am humbled, shaken, and re-awakened to the significance of the journey. I am grateful for these Tong-Tong learnings, for the sake of my growth and for the collective. I am grateful for everything. I am grateful for the incredible support and the continuous opportunities to rewrite my story and the endings of different chapters. I love you Tong-Tong. Thank you for surrendering, forgiving, and returning to a state of self love. I'm here for you.
To anyone else reading this, I love you and please don't forget to give yourself the forgiveness you deserve. Learning to use the intensity of energy following a seemingly unpleasant experience and transmuting the polarity of that experience can ultimately lead to transcending the experience and using that same energy as fuel for growth. Onward to the next level, the next challenge, the next leg of the journey.
I'm ready for you <3
Love & Light,
Only in the cloak of safety love has to offer, can all past wounds be brought to light.
I LOVE love. I love the chase, the warmth, the timeless moments when deep gazes and fantasies melt together. The sensation of one tracing fingertips across the unexplored, yet strangely familiar parts of a new lover. The affection, the kisses, the warmth and heat of two becoming one. I love love. I LOVE love. There is no better feeling than loving and being loved in return. I love how these magical moments can occur spontaneously, transcending the bounds of space and time, almost in an alternate reality. I love the power love has to take you places...amazing beautiful places. I love how beautiful lovers look and feel when they are in love.
To exist in love is much simpler than I grew up believing. I grew up conditioned with an unrealistic (rather unhealthy) romanticized version of love. The "I can't live without you" type of co-dependent love movies and pop culture drilled into me. I lived believing love entailed immense longing, sacrifice, pain, and suffering in order to be "true love". All these "conditions" subsequently turned into barriers which ultimately made it much more difficult to feel and receive the love I knew I deserved.
After my first fire breathe experience at Quodoushka... I realized I myself deserved my own best quality of love and nurturing. Rather than hopelessly investing my love into others seeking reciprocity, I came to realize I am WORTHY of my OWN highest quality of LOVE.
"To love thyself is the beginning of a life-long romance."
I finally began to understand this. I began to see how the characters in my life and the flow of love began to seriously shift as I began prioritizing self-love. I firmly believe we can only meet others as deeply as we've met ourselves. To fulfill one of my purposes in this life- serving as an embodiment of unconditional Divine Love, I knew I had to step up my self-love game to begin meeting others around me with a deeper, richer, warmer love. As my relationship with myself began to deepen, it felt more and more natural sustaining the giddy, warm, bubbly love on a daily basis, without the presence or attachment to a significant other.
I began thinking, "If everyone could feel the power of their own love, the world would be 1000x more magical" I began to realize how strange it is that self-love is not emphasized much in schooling or society in general...
I'm inspired to put together a 21 day self-love challenge in light of my own reunion between myself and my heart. I wish to support others along this mission. To BE IN LOVE is not exclusive to sharing the experience with another individual, rather each of us can simply be. in. love. Exist in the space of love, act with love, speak with love, hold loving thoughts...but it all starts with the self-love and viewing/treating ourselves with unconditional love.
I am truly grateful and humbled by the depth of love I am able to share with so many beautiful people in my life. Romantically, platonically, sometimes dancing on a thin line between both ;) Regardless, the pure expression and reception of love has been unreal. Aside from my own personal delight and pleasure I receive from being in a love-filled space, being in love with myself, family, friends, or lovers, I'm most overwhelmed by the transformative power love has the potential to facilitate. I've witnessed the healing of old trauma, pain, self-defeating thought cycles of myself and others, achieved through the safe and non-judgmental space pure love has the power to hold. What do I mean by pure love? To me, pure love is non-posessive, non-attached, unconditional, and non-expecting. It's the generous giving of love simply to love, and it stops there. If it's mirrored or reciprocated from will and desire from the other(s)- fantastic, but this is and should not be an expectation.
To all the marvelous beautiful souls who shared love with me to any extent, I thank you. You've catalyzed the healing of my heart and the heart of the collective. I love you and always will.
Love, love, love & more love, sprinkled with lots of light,
When an external trigger creates internal tension, the natural tendency for me is to seek relief in the external world. I turn to music, my favorite foods, cleaning my room, anything to take my mind off the situation. I have recently realized all these channels are merely a distraction to take away from facing the source of my pain. A fantastic friend and I were in deep discussion, and he shared a personal story with me that added a layer of insight into how seeking external relief creates the illusion of healing, when in reality, we are subconsciusly risking forming new attachments.
Imagine your housemate or partner has created a terrible mess in the shared living space and this terribly irks you. You immediately feel a sense of discomfort, unease, and perhaps even disrespect as you witness the result of what seems to be careless action. The majority of us would then take 2 routes:
A) Fall into a thought loop driven by frustration, thinking something along the lines of "How could he/she do this when they KNOW this upsets me?" Allow the emotions to take charge, evoking the ego, and then letting doubt slip in. "Should I even be with/live with this person?" Perhaps this would even inspire an obsessive craigslist search for a new place to live, or a mentally exhausting internal dialogue questioning your compatibility with the "culprit". By sinking into this victim mentality, the "me vs. them" game, we are in a sense now turning up the dial of our own suffering without even realizing it.
B) Reframe the situation as "They probably didn't mean to do this... I'll just clean it up anyways." By playing the cool, dismissive, and over-forgiving role, we run the danger of falling into a cycle of self-sacrificing behaviors in fear of jeopardizing the relationship. Don't get me wrong, it's a great quality to forgive and move on, but it becomes a delicate line when choosing to honor ourselves or to ignore what we are feeling for the sake of external "harmony". In a sense, we subconsciusly sink into the delusion that "external harmony" is more important than "internal harmony".
In both scenarios, we are placing power in the external environment to resolve the internal turmoil. We become dependent on external configurations as a means of validating our internal happiness. Thoughts like, "When I move elsewhere, I will be so much happier. When they realize this and this, things will be so much better," continuously place our own happiness and well-being contingent upon external factors while giving little attention to the internal configuration during this experience. The truth is, even if we do move into a new space, when the same trigger comes up again, the same emotion and thought patterns are highly likely to repeat. Even if your roommate/partner does catch notice and apologize, this might lead to an unsustainable and unhealthy self-conditioning where passive-aggressiveness through self-sacrificing behavior is the only way to inspire behavior change without thwarting the relationship. By replaying this karmic cycle over and over again, with different faces representing the same archetypes, we are doing ourselves a huge disservice and inhibiting our own growth.
When these feelings arise for me, I am learning to remind myself to self-observe without judgment, and to watch my thoughts rather than jump to attaching and acting out of them in a disrupted emotional place (for when we act out of pain-body identification, we tend to project our hurt onto others and say/do things we later regret). I remind myself that these triggers are by no means meant to be interpreted as a character flaw in others, but rather an opportunity to recognize a part of me that is yet unhealed. With this awareness, I can choose to ask myself more questions such as, "Hmm, why does this bother me so much? Where is the root of this trigger? What would the best case scenario look like if this were to happen again? How do I communicate my true desires in a loving way that will help the other understand my perspective without coercion?" This opens up the path for honest self-reflection and creates a fertile ground for us to observe our own reactive tendencies with compassion. From a place of compassion and unconditional love for oneself, we are then able to interact with others in a much more authentic and loving way. When conscious communication honors both parties involved, only then can sustainable behavior change occur naturally, giving way to growth.
"Doing the work" to me is one of the critical components of living consciously. Through recognizing our own capacity for growth by practicing self-observation without judgment, we are able to navigate the realm of emotions much more smoothly without over-identification, and lessen the likelihood of unnecessary friction within ourselves and between others. "Doing the work" does require more mindfulness, but I promise you it's absolutely worth it. Once we exercise the mindfulness muscle, we are re-wiring our own reactive patterns and making it easier for future versions of ourselves to navigate similar experiences much much much more quicker and skillfully.
By owning and taking response-ability, and honoring our ability to respond, we are doing the work not only for ourselves, but on behalf of the collective. Stay awake, stay loving, and most importantly, stay true to your higher self. I believe in you and love you.
Love & Light,
Lately, I have been feeling incredibly grateful the the amazing people in my life.
Truthfully, I cannot say I have ever had a hard time meeting new people or forming connections in unlikely places. However, I do find in most environments, I've always felt the pressure to hold back from my true full expression. Perhaps this is out of the ego-driven fear of "what if they don't understand/accept me for who I am? What if I do something not socially acceptable? Why do I even care if what I do or say fits in to the condoned social norms?" I have noticed once the self-doubt creeps in, the game of "what ifs and whys" creates a strange thought cycle that then manifests as tension within my body. I am then less natural in my environment, more withdrawn, and feel less empowered to be my full authentic self.
Despite being an ENFP, I have observed a craving to be alone to process my experiences and to decompress from the overwhelming inflow of energy from all the beautiful human interactions I receive through my amazing job. My time away from work creates the desire to be more selfish with my time and energy, as I seek to actively learn more and more each day about how to fill up my own cup. Though it is necessary to discern between when it's appropriate to take time for oneself (without remorse), I have found it to be equally as necessary to engage with those we care about on a daily basis.
Recently, I am blessed with the company of AWESOME individuals with whom I have greatly enjoyed exchanging energy with. In a sense, this has reawakened me to my purpose, which is to serve as a channel for Divine Love. When exchanging energy with like-minded individuals hungry for growth and equipped with the openness, honesty, and introspection, is an entirely different level of nourishment for my mind-body-soul complex. When there is a true deep heart-felt connection between myself and the other, it is as if our stories and life experiences run parallel. The words shared have a direct and powerful ability to activate a deeper part of my core, leaving me to think, "Mmm, brother/sister speaks for me". It is through this raw and honest reflection that I am able to catalyze my own processing. I am recognizing the potent power of storytelling as a means of learning and teaching. I have always enjoyed being the one who tells the stories, but just now truly falling in love with giving my full attention and listening to others tell their stories. What a remarkable gift it is to receive someone's reflection, witness their growth, and see the sparkle in the micro-expressions of their face when recounting an experience. It is beautiful experience when we come together to co-create an environment where everyone feels safe to bring their full selves to the table.
A big thank you to the wonderful, magical humans I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with. Your presence and fearless commitment to honoring your true selves have held the space for me to grow. This has been a great tool for me to reflect on my own experiences with great love and care. Thank you for sharing vulnerable pieces of your journey with me and for being fully present and engaged while I share my stories. It is a true blessing to both witness and be witnessed in full beauty and rawness.
With Love & Light,
Back in November of last year, in efforts to escape the emptiness of post break-up life, I logged into the League and figured why the hell not. Much to my surprise, I "matched" with some very interesting and seemingly intelligent individuals. One in particular really caught my interest. We shall name this individual "Jeffrey" for the purposes of this story...
Jeffrey and I would chat via this app interface and occasionally over text quite reguarly as respective travels kept us from meeting in person for almost a month. Finally, Jeffrey was back from his multi-week outdoor adventure, and drove straight to meet me at a Griz concert. We had a blast, had a few adult spirits, and of course explored the chemistry a bit further. As a result of not fully "feeling myself", I drew clear boundaries and Jeffrey was very respectful of such.
It was clear he was infatuated with me, and it was clear I was unable to reciprocate any time soon. I kept my distance and made excuses for the next 2 months as Jeffrey excitedly texted me only to receive sparse and inconsistent responses from me. Finally I was honest with what was still unfolding for me and expressed it was nothing personal, but simply just not the right time currently. He understood, expressed his patience, and we would meet in person for a heartfelt apology from me.
Finally in January, as my heart began to fully heal and was in a playful state and began to open, I invited him over to share how I felt in person. He was receptive, kind, and agreed to ease into picking up where we left off. Things were smooth and fun the next few times we hung out. It was much to my surprise to receive a text one day that expressed his heart was no longer in it. Though I truthfully felt similar, I learned it was still uncomfortable being on the receiving side of this news.
In this moment, I felt both a bit rejected, but more so honored in his brutal and gentle honesty he shared with me. Clearly it took a few days of mulling over to reach a state of self-awareness and self honesty to communicate in raw truthfulness what he wanted and felt like he deserved. In this moment, I stepped out of over-identification with my emotions and was able to appreciate the his perspective on the matter, which I imagined may have played out something like this: Guy invested heavily in girl, treats her like a Princess, responds to every text immediately, yet gets stiff-armed for a good 2 months. Finally after girl "gets her shit together", comes over and experiences immense pleasure, is suddenly texting aggressively to see guy again. Guy may be feeling a bit used, and have too much respect for both parties to continue investing energy in something that realistically wasn't meant to be more.
Very interesting, very respectful, very honest, and a very opportune time for some self-reflection and compassion. I texted him back thanking him for speaking the unspeakable in such a gentle, kind way, and to express my gratitude for all the wonderful time spent together. Through this experience I learned to be much more considerate of others', and know when and how to set boundaries for myself when I'm clearly not in a space to be dating or playing. I learned that even though sometimes we think we are "clear" in our communication, we cannot account for how others interpret the message (the classic "no" means "maybe", and "maybe" means yes). I learned how not to take these things personally, how to get out of the ego's temptation to begin internalizing false stories of self-pity, and how to find the beauty and learning in all the unfolding. I learned how to respect and honor and the Divine Masculine, to a level I wasn't previously aware I needed to work on. I learned how intimate connections have the power to heal and change all, for the perceived better or worse (hopefully better most times). Most importantly though, I learned how to maintain my center, and not let any external perceptions or events throttle this unshakeable attitude of self-love and my self-worth.
Ever a work in progress, Every bit worth the process.
Love & Light,
My Dad is the BEST. He is incredibly hard-working, super intelligent, has a wicked sense of humor, and a true heart of gold. Things haven't always been smooth sailing for us, but I am incredibly grateful for the ever-blossoming relationship we have.
You see, as a child, Dad was the BEST. As an adolescent/teenager, Dad was not perceived as the BEST. Being a first-generation Asian-American, I grew up conditioned with Western expectations of what "paternal love" ought to look like, but often forgot to take into account the very different, conservative Chinese culture my father raised in. Having a military father and being the oldest and only son, expressing sensitivity, vulnerability, or any emotions at all was certainly not encouraged.
As a young embodiment of all my father stands for, the good and the not so good, my innate endless curiosity led me to rebel in multiple (and sometimes very unskillful) ways. My father's endless devotion to his research would sometimes create a sense of disconnect for me. There were distinct times growing up where I felt I was competing for his attention. Who could blame him? His hard work was accelerating humanity's understanding of brain cancer. He gladly put in 50-60 hours a week, would occasionally work on weekends, and still continue writing grants and editing his publications after returning home from work. Let's be real, he was (and still is) working to save the world through his passions and talents. Ironically, this very same work ethic was what even led to the opportunity for my family to emigrate to the U.S. when I was a wee-baby toddler Tong-Tong.
In the 2-3 hours of the day where our times would intersect, we did our best to connect over dinner. When sharing my stories from school, he would be the first to ask what I could've done differently to affect the outcome. He wouldn't ever let me play the role of a victim in any story I told because this was the hallmark in helping him escape the oppressive environments and tyrants in his own life. Only later would I come to appreciate his well-intended critical eye. The realization grew into understanding and later accepting the fact that he was here to help me grow, not to coddle me.
My Dad didn't come to every tennis match, play rehearsal, dance competition, etc, but he did show up when I needed him the most, always. He would move to the suburbs and take on a 45minute one-way commute for almost 10 years so I could go to the best (most academically rigorous) public high school around. He would save every penny he could, alternating between the same 10 Ralph Lauren polos for years, so I could buy "Angel jeans" and "fit-in" in high school. He would drive 5 hours to come hear my name called at graduation when he had a multimillion dollar grant due the next day. He would take clear his schedule, take-off work, take me to my favorite childhood beach and sit with me when he heard I was coming into town after a big break-up. He would sit beside me holding my hand during the hardest court case of my life. Most importantly, he would forgive me for all of the trouble I would get myself into, all the dishonor I brought upon our ancestors, and he would continue to unconditionally love and accept me the best he could.
It took years for me to understand our vastly different environmental influences and upbringing led to a distinctly different language of love. Where I sought verbal affirmation and quality time, my father displayed his love in the form of gifts and acts of service. For him, growing up in scarce economic times meant fighting to survive. His tough upbringing motivated him to work incredibly hard so I and future generations would never have to endure the type of suffering he was all too familiar with. For him, financial security, having the BEST version of what I "needed", college tuition saved up, and always being there on the other end of the phone was the best type of love he could offer.
It was not until Spring of my sophomore year in college when I would come to the realization that I had been a little turd the years prior, and that I needed to step up if I wanted a better relationship with my father. I began taking initiative and calling my father for advice, to connect, to ask him about his childhood, to celebrate my achievements, to discuss my fears... Heck, I'd do anything just to get to know him and help him get to know the person I was becoming.
In the next few years to follow, our relationship grew exponentially stronger and stronger. There were a few brief moments of brutal honesty that were difficult to digest for us both. He shared his regret in me not attending an IVY League school, pursuing medicine, and being a "normal" Asian daughter. I shared my frustration with his emotional immaturity, inability to verbally apologize, and never hearing the words "I love you". Despite the rough patches, one fact remained the same- we loved each other unconditionally and always will. Time and time again, our mutual commitment to growing, both ourselves and our relationship paved the way for new behaviors, compassionate communication, and more love to take hold.
In the most recent years, the beauty of emojis has opened another channel for us to communicate our feelings and love without the "forced" pressure of an unnatural "I love you" to him. Recently, I remember calling my dad after a small discourse, apologizing for my own irrational words, and him immediately forgiving me on the other line saying, "You're always going to be the most important thing in my life, and I will always here to support you." To me, that was the same, if not better than any "I love you."
If anyone out there reading this feels some resonance to my story, from the bottom of my heart I encourage you to take action and reconnect with the male/father figure in your life. I've learned that people will live up to the stories you believe about them. Through small steps, beginning with forgiveness and then re-wiring our minds to hold nothing but positive, loving thoughts about them whenever possible, we are allowing ourselves to heal old wounds and create space for more love and new endings to be written.
Love & Light,
What a magical day.
I sit in a circle of gratitude today as I realize all that has transpired today.
All that is left is to meditate, give this gratitude all back to spirit, and awake tomorrow excited to do it all over again.
Tomorrow, I'd like to recommit myself to Keto and blog in depth about a 30 day Keto/workout regime. Crossing my fingers I will also be accepted into the 6 week Crossfit program without having to invest anything financially.
I finally feel like I've got my mojo back. After this weekend's recent workshop, "Tong-Tong" is back and more and more attuned to a higher purpose rooted in service.
May all continue to fold with ease and in a blessed and beauty way.
With Love & Light,
I am BACK
I forgive myself for the erratic and infrequent postings.
I forgive myself for the embarrassment I still slightly feel when I look at this blog and how much I wish I would've done.
I forgive myself for allowing the fear of imperfection to impede and delay my efforts to finish what I start.
I forgive myself for the self-destructive cycles that reappear in the most inconvenient times.
I forgive myself for judging myself, and for comparing myself to others.
I forgive myself for comparing others to others.
I forgive myself for wishing to escape.
I forgive myself for the multiple times I've let others define my identity and purpose for me.
I forgive myself for believing them.
I forgive myself for my ego interfering with bringing a deeper and more authentic version of myself in interactions with others.
I forgive myself for over-apologizing to others to mask my own confused sense of self-worth.
I forgive myself for holding judgment, for myself and others.
I love you Tong-Tong.
You are forgiven.
I have stored the positive teachings,
I'm ready to continue.
There's this emphasis and pressure within society to create the "perfect" relationship. Our ideal of success is the lastingness of each union. When in reality, there have been relationships drug on for decades where both parties wouldn't dare deem "successful", yet simultaneously spurts of summer romances can be very nourishing the soul, as many can attest.
I'm writing a new standard for what a "successful relationship" represents to me. (I've never been one too easily impressed with convention always).
Post Compassionate Closure ~Survey~
Congratulations, you've successfully graduated from a conscious relationship!
Store the positive teachings, quickly while they're still ripe. Heck keep a running tab in a journal when reminiscing on the beauty of favorite moments in the relationship. If I've learned anything, gratitude is the only way to ensure we keep welcoming an abundance of gratitude to flow into our lives.
These are the experiences we can allow to nourish us, so we can use this as food for our spirit to continue reaching, rising, and becoming one with all and one with love.
Don't be shy in reaching out to people you love to spend time together. They want to be there for support and you are so worthy <3 . Get some of your favorite food, immerse yourself in nature, drink a smoothie, go on a hike, do some stretching, do some crying, do some laughing, lots of laughing with lots of dancing.
Welcome to the inner musings and mind gems that I've harnessed from the thought streams that scurry across mind. Here you'll find the experiences, reflections, and learnings I feel worthy of documenting as my journey unfolds.