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Hello Beautiful!

Happy New Year! Can’t believe we’re already 11 days into the year 2017! Seriously, time flies and it’s a great reminder to appreciate every second of this life cause it’s so so precious!

I titled this letter One cause this is my first letter in 2017, and I’m sending it on the 11th of the 1st month of the year. And numerologist also believe this is a “One” year: (2+0+1+7=10 —> 1+0=1). Uhm, I can’t remember what is 1 in numerology, so you can google it :D.

To me, number 1 signifies a beginning, a fresh start, a new page. And for us, a beginning starts with a thought or an intention. What do you want to this year to be? What is your intention? It’s always good to spend some time reflecting on this question and I would encourage you to do that to set the intention for the year.

I’m going to reflect on the same questions as I go into my 10-day silent meditation retreat (which is more like 12 days) starting this afternoon. I love going into these silent retreats cause it gives the space to feel my emotions, observe my thoughts, and face my fears without distraction. The elimination of writing, talking, watching, reading combined with the detachment from outside world really “forces” me to not run away but deal with whatever comes to the surface. 

And the result of this interaction with myself is like the clearing of a crystal ball: I’m more clear with what I want out of this life and what brings me joy and it’s like a recalibration of my compass in life :).

Anyway, I thought I was going to be a meditator this time around but turns out I was asked to be a server/ helper. This means I’m going to be meditating less and the rest of the time I’ll be assisting in cleaning up of things and the preparation of things. This is going to be a new experience for me.

I’m having mixed feelings cause despite my excitement to serve, my ego is screaming “nooo, I want to be served!”. And ladies and gents, that resistance is the more reason why I was put to serve this time around :D.

In these last few years of self-awareness/ self-realization work, I experienced that this type of resistance is normally the final hurdle/ gate/ boss before some kind of transformation can happen. So I am taking deep breaths and walking forward, light-saber in hand, facing whatever boss/ monster coming up.

Alright Beautiful, may this year be an absolutely fabulous one for you. If there are monsters and hurdles, may the battle be easy and enjoyable. May your Kyber Crystal be clear and your light-saber shine bright.

And finally, May the force be with you.

My 2016 Lesson

I do this thing at the end of the year where I ask myself a bunch of questions to reflect the year that has passed and create a vision for the year to come. I haven’t quite done that in the kind of details I normally do, but I’d like to start reflecting on the past year with a prompt that a friend of mine asked a few weeks ago:

“What have you learned this year?”

I thought about it and started listing all the amazing lessons I’ve learned, but actually it all comes down to this:

I learned to face my fear and have courage even though it seems like I have none and be okay with whatever flaws I have as I take that step forward.

That’s what this year has been for me.

I began this year by facing my fear of not having a steady income and not having a so-called “plan” for the future. This little one still comes from time to time, but each time it comes I spend time being quiet and realize that I am actually having the best year of my life, living and doing whatever I want and when I want it. The future will shape itself naturally as I follow my heart desires. And the support, somehow someway, is always going to be there. So I learned to trust this life.

And then I learned to face my fear of writing. This one caused me some anxiety attacks – the kind that requires several rounds of deep-breathing. The turning point came when I stopped judging my ability to write and accept that I am learning, and I don’t have to write perfectly. And that if I really want to learn, I gotta stop being embarrassed by what I write and just put it out there. And in the end, here I am, months later, actually doing writing on the side and getting paid for it. So this one turns out okay after all.

And finally, the biggest fear I had to face was myself and that question of “who am I to teach and share?”. I like to share about things that I’ve learned (if it’s not already sooo obvious from all these letters and posts I’ve done), and in the last few months as I took my Yoga Teacher Training, I realized that I do have things that I can share to others that might help them with their lives! As that realization sunk in, the struggles of unworthiness began instantaneously and I started comparing myself against great Masters like Yoda (DUH, good job brain for that totally insane comparison), and all the mentors I had in my life. All that left me shrinking in the corner remembering how to breathe again.

But then I remember again, I am learning this thing. I DON’T have to be perfect. If I make mistakes, then that’s how I will learn. So then I started sharing myself more with people. I’m still scared shitless on teaching others, which is insane, cause normally, as long as I spend time preparing it (which might take days), I’m totally comfortable in class. But yes, I’m still scared (even as I’m writing this my breaths get shorter), but fear is not going to stop me from sharing.

I am committed to making this world a better place by teaching others about love, and no, Sir and Ma’am, I ain’t gonna stop just because I’m scared of myself. 

So there, my beautiful and amazing 2016. And as I look forward towards 2017, I came across these fun GIFs where I gotta take screenprint as the words scroll really really fast and these are what I got!

The Universe knows me so well. She knows I’m all about the Tacos and the Booties. So in 2017, am totally having lots of Tacos and am totally having a cute booty. Plus, if recognition comes my way, I will welcome it with a big heart. (Probably going to freak out about it, but after some deep breaths, I will inhale all the love).

Oh and one more thing, this is my fortune cookie for 2017. Which is again, totally true and accurate cause the same day I got this was right after I came home from hanging out with a neighbor who pointed out that their normally noisy dog totally loves me and sat quietly by my side. Yeeep, puppies totes love me. Cause I am totally adorable and lovable 😀

 

Alright, I really hope the year has been lovely for you. Spend some time reflecting on the year, and share with me what lessons you’ve learned this year. I would absolutely love to hear it 🙂

Heaps and heaps and heaps of love,

My experience with Yoga

My lovely friend Gladys who started Dawn of Gaia featured me in her December 2016 Newsletter. So here’s my little sharing on my experience with Yoga :). Enjoy!


My first yoga class was when I was in high school – 10th grade if I remember it correctly. That was about 17 years ago, before yoga was cool, before trendy leggings and fancy mats. My mom bought some of those puffy exercise mats for her, my sister, and I, and we did Yoga in the studio, or sometimes at home.

As the years passed, I did yoga on and off, never continuously in a long period of time, but somehow, someway, I always came back to the mat. And as how most people’s yoga journey goes, it started off for purely physical reasons and evolved to become a tool to find myself.

I remember going to a boot camp in college that had yoga elements in it and the instructor told us that yoga is great cause we all are going to get a Yoga butt – a.k.a a very nicely heart-shaped toned butt. And I, who was overweight at that point, was like “hell yes, give me a yoga butt!”

And I remember years later, when I was a young professional in LA, finding (by chance) a Summer yoga session at the beautiful Santa Monica pier. And despite the start time of 7 AM on a Saturday morning, and despite my crazy 12 hours work days, I showed up every single Saturday just for that 1.5 hour of being under the sun, surrounded by the ocean, to find some solitude in my life. My greatest memory of that summer was receiving the most beautiful gift of witnessing a school of Dolphins jumping, playing and swimming in the distance as I was balanced in the Tree pose. At that moment I thought, “Life is perfect.”

Now, if you think I’m stretchy and bendy and can fly and do magic with head on the floor and feet up in the air, you’re not quite right. Despite years of getting to know yoga, I’m not quite advanced in the Asanas (postures) yet. I’ve only recently learned arm-balancing poses. All the years I’ve taken yoga, we tend to focus on Sun Salutations. Plus, back then, there was no Instagram, so there was no push and incentives for showing off the ability to do a hand stand while doing funky legs while being inverted. 😀

Actually, that Instagram Yoga culture got me a little frustrated and became the trigger that pushed me to finally take my Yoga Teacher Training this year. (So, thank you, Instagram!)

I love Yoga. I also love meditation – but that combination of moving body and breath just has a certain magic for me. And when suddenly the Western Yoga world exploded in the last 8 years and now everyone seems to be a yogi and there seems to be a huge emphasis on Asanas, I got frustrated. Cause to me Yoga is bigger than all that. I knew that Yoga wasn’t just about Asanas (or the physicality of it) and I was curious to find out what actually is Yoga.

And now that I got a glimpse of it, my oh my, it’s truly such a beautiful Philosophy of Life. Yoga is all about the coming together of opposing energies and about the balancing of the male and female energy. It’s about finding the highest Self and the connection between the highest Self and Divine. It’s about living a contented life without being affected by results. It’s about a centeredness that is not affected by the changes in emotions. And at the core of it all, is still Love and Light.

The goal of Yoga, as the goal of any spiritual journey, is enlightenment, or Samadhi. And to get to Samadhi, one has to do so many other parts of Yoga (which includes meditation, and breathing exercise, and having values and morality and devotion, and many others) and Asana is just one tiny elements of it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love Asanas because I do love moving body as a way to learn. There’s so much wisdom stored in these beautiful bodies of ours. But now that I understand the bigger picture, there’s so much deeper meaning of these Asanas and I will now share Asanas with that in mind.

As many readers in this community, I too discovered Meditation through Gladys at a time when I was in desperate need of help and at a risk of losing my life. And in the last 5 years, I had healed myself through Meditation and Rebirthing Breathwork, as well as through dance, creativity and art, yoga, and a lot of solitude, self-work, and reflections, all with the guidance of the ever loving Divine.

In 2015, I came to a point where I realized that one of my clearest purpose in life is to share about Love and develop a bigger community of Love. Since then, I had left the comfort of a stable job and a life in a modern country, shook it all up, embarked on a journey to get more centered in my Truths so I can contribute to Love. And I am extremely thankful that I have been led to this path where I’m given the tools and opportunities to share, and one of them is through Yoga.

Dumbledore’s Army

I’m sitting here, on the aftermath of everything that happened today, feeling weird.
Weird like the world as I know it is going to change significantly and we are going to lose our sense of bearing and we’re going to flail around for a little bit.

I’m also feeling like a sobering is happening – like people are coming down from a high and slowly grasping with reality that the world is not happening without us being involved. We create this world we’re living in.

With the presidential election in the States and the recent unrest in Jakarta, emotions are at their most high. Plus, there’s been lots of flooding in my hometown. Chaos, is the word that comes to mind.

Here’s what I think: I think things didn’t go so well (horrible might be the right word if we’re gonna judge). But the way I see it, it wasn’t straight up ugly.

There were a lot of beautiful things I witnessed, like women rising – finding sisterhood and remembering their power, embracing it and actually using it to make a difference. I also saw a vast number of people coming back to their values on what matters to them and persevering in creating the community they believe in. With the rise in people highlighting differences, there is also equal number of people rising with their beliefs that we are all the same humans and that we’re brethren in this life. These are things that matter that we should continue to hold in years to come.

As humans, we always have choices on how we react to grim situations. I personally choose to hold my faith in all things good and positive cause I believe in the good of people.

I like to see myself as being a part of Dumbledore’s Army – yes, like in Harry Potter. Remember when Voldermort came back and the whole world was invested with Dementors and it was just bleak, and there was a group of young wizards made up of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and eventually joined by all the other awesome wizards, believing in the good, staying and fighting? Yep, I like to see myself as a part of that group, staying strong in my faith, cause I believe that love eventually wins and someone eventually slays Voldermort.

I can’t levitate things or turn back the time. My power is spreading the seeds of peace and love. We can’t change what happened today. The past is in the past, but what happened today highlights the importance of holding kindness, solidarity, peace and love as our values. We can make a difference by sharing these values with the next generation – that we are standing here today, a part of one united Earth and that peace begins with me and can spread from myself to the next person, and that is how we’re going to change this world.

In the wise words of Dumbledore: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.”

Wherever you are in your life, whatever emotions you’re feeling, whether caused by personal matter or political matter, you can always find that light and turn it on. It might take a while to shine, it might start only as a tiny glimmer of yellow spark, but it will continue to grow to be your guiding light. And we’re called now to be these lights that will help others in making sense of the chaos and finding ourselves in this mad world.

And to close, I’d like to borrow the words of Zachary Quinto (my favorite Spock – yes I have no shame in admitting this) as he lighted candles surrounded by crystals earlier today:

“as the narrowest hope dwindles – a vigil to our strength. we will need it more than ever. may those of us in mourning find space for compassion. in these depths we must not harden our hearts. with courage and openness we must endure.”

May we continue to live long and prosper,

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