Tag Archives: Self-Development

Checking In On My Relationship With Trust

The beginning of 2015, I wrote a post on my intention to work with trust this year. Well, we are halfway through the year (can you believe it?) and I want to update you on my experience and where I’m at right now.

I’m not one to sugarcoat, never have been, and likely never will be: it’s been at best a road filled with unexpected speed bumps and at worst a struggle that has implanted a very real desire to curl into my insides and emotionally/mentally/geographically run away from anything or anyone that requires me to trust.

Continue reading Checking In On My Relationship With Trust

I Chose Myself

I tasted sweet, sweet victory this week. Not because I won a race or finally managed to clean my apartment the way it’s been begging me to, but because I was able to choose myself. I chose myself…twice…this week.

It is way too easy to convince ourselves that what we feel and what we want is not as important if it comes at the expense of not providing other people what they desire.

Continue reading I Chose Myself

5 Measures to Implement Today to Ensure You’re Living, Not Existing

I often mention that one of our responsibilities in life is to ensure that we are living and not just merely existing.

Time goes by too quickly to waste it away waiting for life to happen to us.

What we do (or don’t do) today impacts our journey. It shapes what type of life we create and what we will ultimately remember when our time is running out.

It is easy to become complacent with a mediocre or self-preserving lifestyle. We can do a great job convincing ourselves that we are satisfied, when in reality we are simply hesitant to move outside of our comfort zone.

Are you living or are you existing?

People who fully embrace the experience of being alive are endlessly interesting. They have magnetizing stories to tell and planned adventures that they are too willing to share with kindred spirits.

Their excitement is contagious and their boldness is inspiring.

Here are 5 measures that you can adopt to ensure you’re living and not just existing:

1.Say Yes

There are hundreds of articles on google that not only advise people to say no, but also provide guidelines on how to say no to projects or people. I’m asking you to say ‘yes.’ I know, I’m a rebel.

I’m not asking you to take on more work. I’m asking you to be open to new experiences.

Say yes to invitations that you’ve never been receptive to before. Say yes to trying out a new hobby. Say yes to tasting fried insects as a snack in Thailand. Say yes to anything and everything as long as it will not cause harm to you or others.

The goal is not to stick to the new hobby or to become an insect eating addict, though both may happen. The point is to sample from the buffet that life offers before deciding it is not for us. People who live say yes to experience.

2. Move Your Body

There is no faster way to feel how alive you are than when you move your body.

Move your body!

Whether it’s pushing yourself to go an extra mile on that run, punching harder and kicking higher in your training sessions, dancing until every part of you is layered in sweat, whatever avenue you choose is fine, but just move your body.

When we utilize our body to its fullest capacity, we can physically feel how alive we are. Our bodies remind us of our privilege.

Besides, we only get one body; we need to take care of it.

3. Don’t Wait

I once read a quote: “The trouble is, you think you have time.” Because we think we have time, we put many things on hold.

Stop waiting.

The ideal time to do whatever you’ve been holding off on will never appear.

If you persistently think about running a marathon, starting your own business, breaking off a relationship, moving across the country…fill in the blank, stop waiting. The reoccurring thought is there for a reason and you owe it to yourself to live it out and see it through.

The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to begin. Start now.

4. Face Fear

Do something that you fear and after you do, you will feel empowered.

Life is not to be feared; it is to be consumed.

People who live have fear, but they do not allow fear to slow them down. They, too, are afraid when they act outside of their comfort zone, but they do it anyway. They do it because they recognize that the payout of doing so is worth it.

Those who live appreciate that they cannot grow and make the most out of life if they do not challenge their fears.

It is when we face our fears that we give ourselves the freedom to fully live and not just exist.

5. Celebrate 

People who live take advantage of the many reasons we have to celebrate.

They know how to loosen up, how to enjoy, how to appreciate, how to live it up.

They do not take having woken up that morning for granted and therefore already feel that there is a reason to celebrate!

They celebrate themselves, they celebrate others, they celebrate life.

People who live and not just exist make time to rejoice in victories, no matter how small.

They also have an awareness that good things can be disguised as hardships and learn how to find reasons to celebrate even when it’s raining.

What are you doing to make the most out of your life?

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