Hello New Year, 2015

Happy new year to every single one of you!

2014 was a year of exploration, internal work, and some much needed growing pains. It was a year full of valuable lessons that brought me more self-awareness than I’d expected.

With that cycle coming to a close, I am ready for 2015’s clarity and manifestations.

For 2015, intentions are set, I am present, enthused to continue working my butt off, and finally ready to receive.

May this year bring forth what you need, what you seek, and what you’ve been working towards. Let us remember that time is a gift and to accept that gift we must fully live and not just merely exist.

Here’s to all the new people we’ll meet, the meaningful relationships that we will continue to nourish, the experiences we’ll have, the places we will see, and the love we will give and receive – cheers!

Thank you for the memories, 2014.

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Music: Filter, Take My Picture

 

Liebster Award and the Blogging Community

“A writer who isn’t writing is asking for trouble.” – Walter Kirn

It’s true. We writers write because if we don’t, then a chaotic mash of thoughts and stories get caught inside a place that is too small to contain them all. The release of words is a necessity for the sake of a writer’s sanity. The great Maya Angelou once said that there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you. For the writer, this statement hits our center, an assurance that other writers understand our passion and need for the art of words.

The camaraderie and support among bloggers is inspiring, but even more rewarding is forming bonds with those writers whose work you respect and who see the value in yours. This is why a nomination for the Liebster Award is humbling and why I chose to receive it and pass it forward.

The Liebster Award is given to newer bloggers by other bloggers. It is a way to discover new blogs and recognize new bloggers with potential. I want to thank Lou for the nomination and also for writing this blog post that has provided me with a more efficient way of blogging!

So here is how the nomination works: I will list 11 random facts about myself, answer 11 questions that Lou posed, and will nominate other bloggers who are adding great quality to the blogosphere, and provide them with 11 questions to answer!

11 RANDOM FACTS Continue reading Liebster Award and the Blogging Community

I went to Vietnam and Returned with a Lesson on Trust

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” ~Alan W. Watts

One of the most appealing factors about traveling is how much mystery is immediately placed in front of you. You set off on an adventure with the hope that you end up collecting more happy stories than difficult ones. But, in reality, you never know what you’re going to get, how you’re going to feel, who will cross your path, and how the experience will change you…and for the explorer that’s the drug that travel provides.

Hanoi is chaotic. Motorbikes surround pedestrians in all directions. The hustle of markets can be found in every corner. Friends gather on sidewalks to share meals. There is constant action everywhere.

Hanoi waits for no one; it expects you to keep up. But, more importantly, it demands you to trust. It requires you to trust other people and it forces you to trust yourself. In Hanoi, trust is what gets you around the city.

The United States has traffic laws. We rely on lights and traffic signs to keep us safe. We have legal oversight on traffic management and bank on people following the law. If we don’t follow the law, there are consequences to pay, mostly in the form of a fine.

In Hanoi, the city relies on people to keep each other safe. There are very few traffic lights, and traffic regulation does not exist. Traffic does not flow in one direction, but in every direction. Cars, motorbikes, and pedestrians all meet on the road and miraculously make it to their destination in one piece.

They survive the road because they all look out for one another, not because a traffic sign asks them to yield. They are aware of their surroundings and acknowledge everyone in their path.

As a foreigner, especially one that comes from a country where the law teaches what is right and what is wrong on the road, I was not prepared for these demands. I feared crossing the street. I feared that either someone on the road would hit me, or that I would panic in the middle of the road, come to a complete stop, and somehow cause an accident. These were the external fears.

When I did some reflection, I realized that the internal fears were really a fear of having to trust that strangers would care enough about my life not to jeopardize it. I also feared that my intuition would lead me astray by directing me to cross at the worst possible moment. I was having a hard time trusting myself, trusting my steps and awareness.

But, if I was going to get around Hanoi, I needed to work through these fears, and quickly…because, again, Hanoi waits for no one.

I had to believe that those on the road and I were capable of looking out for one another. I had to trust.

As vehicles were headed towards me every which way, I took a leap of faith. I took a breath and willed myself to stop thinking so much and to join the flow instead, to relax and know that it would all turn out just fine.

After practicing this for hours day in and day out, it became easier. My tension decreased and my confidence increased. There was a greater trust in my reliance on those with whom I was sharing the road and more conviction in my steps and intuition.

Practicing how to trust when it is difficult to do so didn’t just aid me in navigating the streets of Hanoi, it left me with a renewed trust in the recent changes and growth that I have experienced in my life.

I left Hanoi and entered California still carrying with me the trust that when we are facing uncertainty, when we do not yet know where our decisions and steps will lead us, that everything will fall into place.

When we start doubting ourselves, or start questioning what the universe has to offer us, we need to take a breath and a leap of faith. We need to stop getting lost in judgment and critical thoughts and learn to trust that the actions and efforts we make will take us on the journey that we need. We must relax and know that eventually all settles and turns out fine.

Swimming in the Peak of Uncertainty

Sometimes we find ourselves in phases where uncertainty plays a starring role. At times life asks us to make decisions when we are uncertain which direction we want to take. Other times the general mystery and uncertainty of what is in store for us is enough to push us into the stress zone.

When uncertainty surrounds us, it is common to procrastinate and even avoid moving forward. We may be reluctant to choose a path because we fear what we may lose, whom we may impact, and even how we will feel after the fact. Nobody wants to have regrets and when we are faced with uncertainty second-guessing our decisions becomes far too easy.

How do we move forward in the midst of uncertainty? How do we prevent ourselves from becoming paralyzed with fear of the unknown? Continue reading Swimming in the Peak of Uncertainty

An Adieu to 32

A fourteen hour plane ride on your birthday gives you a lot of time to look back. It’s difficult to recognize that what you’re doing at this precise moment will quickly turn into a memory. Most change is subtle and we don’t recognize it as it is happening; it is only when we look back that we realize just how much has transpired.

Thirty-two was transformational. It was a year that was waiting for me to show up. Every experience that I had felt impactful, not only because it was molding and affecting me in unique ways, but because much of what I went through reaffirmed what I already knew about myself, but what I needed to test.

I sought out to be uncomfortable at thirty-two. I wanted to push myself, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Continue reading An Adieu to 32