On my journal, i have a few pages dedicated to list my “wins” of the year. So far this year I’ve listed 30 wins. From simple ones to challenging ones.
It’s nice to review them at the end of the year to remind myself that I’ve been pretty good this year.
So these are 5 things that im proud of in no particular order of importance:
Overcoming a massive anger from relationship matter. Forgiveness and love are truly the greatest forces in this world. Plus learning that my heart has a boundless capacity to love has reminded me that everything is possible. Life happens as it needs to happen. Releasing any emotions that shackled the heart is like releasing any burden from the heart so it can expand and embrace all parts of Life so Life can actually move on.
Successfully becoming aware of the lack of awareness in a particular body part (a major muscle group) and then after months of working this seeming disconnection between the brain and the muscle (throughout the day, while i’m standing, sitting, working etc), I’ve successfully started to engage this muscle. Tiny progress but super proud of it cause it will bring more balance to the Left and Right side of my body!
Successfully climbed Mt Sinai (and other hills in Bhutan after that). Not quite sure why but climbing tend to be something challenging for me. Granted, climbing Mt Sinai at 0 degree Celsius in pitch black pre-dawn morning is a definite challenge. But there definitely was a mental obstacle there. So I’m very proud of turning all climbing-related doubts into little successes. May this continue to translate into other metaphorical mountains in my life.
Did a few themed yoga classes which I absolutely love delivering (I hardly ever do a themed yoga class with my private clients) and held a few group meditations. Sharing something I love is always so fulfilling and always a wonderful learning opportunity for myself.
Serving at Vipassana for 11 days in the beginning of the year with a team that is very short of people and lots of sick meditators. Getting knocks on the window at 3 am in the morning by a meditator who was badly sick and wanting to go home was a test of my ability to handle a situation with patience, clear head, and compassion. So this experience taught me equanimity at a deeper level.
The Kingdom of Happiness is a place that has tugged the strings of my heart for a very long time. When my friend Gladys shared casually that she was organizing this trip during one of our monthly Skype calls, I said a very loud YES immediately (without knowing how I was going cover the trip). I just knew I would be there.
So as always, the Universe provided and shortly before the trip, it was revealed to me one of my past lives in the land. I flew the DrukAir that early morning on the 1st of October with a knowing that I was coming home. And right enough, as the plane made its maneuver around the green mountains of the Kingdom, as it navigated towards the tarmac, my heart joyfully screamed that she is home.
In the following 8 days after that, I walked a journey back towards my Mother’s womb, as guided by Tara, as the representation of the ultimate Divine Mother.
I walked deep inwards into the lands, caressing every veins of leaves and every granules of soil.
The earth, is my home. In it, I am alive. For the first few days I was extremely quiet. My soul seemed to only want to listen to the vibrations the dwellers of Mama Gaia.
I almost ran towards this tree on the courtyard at the Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) like a child running towards her favorite friend. I spent several moments quietly just being with her. Only afterwards that I knew this was a Bodhi tree. A tree that I have mentioned repeatedly in the 4 weeks previous to the Bhutan trip as I kept telling a friend of mine (who owns a carved Bodhi seed) how I wanted to see the full thing in glory. And there she was.
This was a tree that called me outside Punakha Dzong (also known as Palace of Great Happiness). Upon touching this tree, for the first time, I physically felt the pulsation of the trees upon my hands. Communicating, communing, with Mama Gaia.
The rocks of the hills towards Chagri Goemba (or Cheri Goemba) spoke to me. I was allowed to take one home and I found an eye lovingly ‘keeping an eye’ on me on the way home. Communication with nature continued.
On the trail between Chele La Pass and Kila Nunnery, I heard the songs of the mountain in my soul’s ears, as well as the songs of the prayer flags. I understood how the macrocosm is the same as the microcosm and that I am a part of both and all. I was in the smallest of spores and in the farthest of trees. I was one with all.
The rock of the caves at Taktshang Goemba pulled me down in a wash of familiarty. The terma (treasure) uncovered by the terton (treasure finder) in the form of a large rock with a thumb print of Guru Rinpoche felt like a dear friend that I just met again. Rocks always store so much memories in them.
I walked through the doors of past, back to the beginnings.
The currents of memories course through my veins, creating my blessed perfect life.
As soon as I stepped onto the grounds of Punakha Dzong, I knew it was special. As soon as I saw the left most mandala on the main hall, I felt like I passed out for a split second. I was triggered, and my heart was on a roller coaster. This mandala was my beginning. I was once under the maker of the mandala. This mandala was also our beginning, the beginning of our cosmos.
This valley, the Phobjikha Valley, was once my land, where I roamed free and wide. I was emotional as I sat on the ledge looking down. I go to this place a lot in my meditation, not knowing where it was. I was finally physically there.
The Universe went on an effort to make me find this mandala on the gong by first knocking my head upon the rock near where it was hanging. But I only managed to see it at the end before I left.
I was also triggered. My heart felt deeply and widely in all directions and dimensions. I remembered the gong’s vibration and also knew that it was part of my past. I understood that my connection with mandala had started hundreds of lifetimes ago. I always forget with each rebirth, but the memory remains in me and eventually surfaces.
I walked back into Mother’s Womb, allowing myself to be embraced by her magnificent love.
Along these tall trees and mother earth, I had the most amazing connection with our tour guide. At one point, I shared how I love Tara and my connection with her has started intensifying before the trip and how I had been chanting her mantra. Then and there, I was also shown what an amazing role my guide has as an angel in this trip. Divine Mother spoke through the voices in my head, the images I see, the earth, trees, humans, and everything around us.
At the Taktshang Goemba, the Universe sent several different reminders of the Compassion chant, Om Mani Padme Hum. The reminders included the wonderful monk chants that was heard throughout the mountains, 2 locals who started chanting around me one after another as I got closer to the Monastery, and this sign that (again) led me to a short discussion with our wonderful guide (He was always at the right point and the right time to lead us to the right direction). It says om mani padme hum hri – which I was told to mean that the mantra is repeated a hundred times.
Upon the final and hardest part of the ascent, along with the reminder from the last local who chanted while climbing next to me, I took out my mala (or mani chim in local language), and started chanting 108 Om Mani Padme Hum all the way to the top and closed it with 3 Ohms. I did the same chant on the most difficult ascent back. Both done while being breathless, with burning thighs, trying to keep going on the steep climb. The Universe seems to remind me that on the toughest climb, trust that the Divine is there to guide you.
In this Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple), I was pulled down on my knees, unable to get up again, leaving me prostrating in front of Tse Lha Nam Sum (the Trinity Godess of Long Live). Yet again I was affected, my heart felt so much – elation, gratitude, melancholy, and love. I bowed down to such an amazing loving great power. I cleared my karma and opened myself wide to receive all her love.
That same night, during Rebirthing Breathwork, I owned my power of feminine and beauty and activated all 12 chakras.
On the last day of the trip, we had the pleasure of taking a traditional hot-stone bath. In the bath, I felt the most amazing bliss and spent the majority of time just curling in a fetus surrounded by the warm water as if I was back into my mother’s womb. Being the last significant thing I had on this trip, this felt like I had completed my journey back into my mother’s womb.
Land of the Thunder Dragon. Homeland.
I never imagined that so much of my past (that made up the person that I am) started in this magnificent Land of the Thunder Dragon. I drew the picture below in the rocking car on the way from Gangtey Goemba back to the capital Thimpu. I had one amazing meditation that morning in the lodge by the Goemba and saw this image.
Our past, present, and future are merely dimensions of the same point in time. There was no separations of the 3 and they all reside in ourselves.
Our eyes at our back are the brightest for we see best to the past.
Our third eye sees our way into the future.
But the most important one is the one that sees with the heart.
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha
I prostrate to the Liberator, Mother of all the Victorious Ones.
I haven’t been writing much cause I was traveling for a little bit and I’ve been needing a lot of alone time.
I’m not alright. Well, actually, I’m alright, I’ve just been sad. And that’s alright.
In this life, often, we work too hard on being happy, that we make sadness not okay. And because we make sadness not okay, we don’t know how to handle sadness.
Sadness is uncomfortable and it doesn’t feel good. It particularly turns me into a beautiful fountain of salt water. (Maybe that’s why I love going to the ocean when I’m tender – so that my salt water merges with the ocean salt water and I become a part of something bigger, no longer feeling so alone.) But that’s the more reason to make friends with sadness.
I’ve been through a lot of sadness – many different kinds and each one is never the same as the other. I’ve been through a very deep sadness that made me so afraid of sadness. But that didn’t work cause the more I was afraid of it, the more it sneaked up on me and took me by surprise and engulfed me in it until I no longer knew who I was.
So after experiencing that, I said no thank you and I started getting to know sadness and being a friend to sadness.
These days, sadness is like that friend that I rarely talk to, but once in a while would come and visit and demands a lot of attention from me. Since sitting around with sadness is uncomfortable, naturally, I try to avoid it – I would surround myself with other people, get myself busy, avoid certain songs. But guess what, unless I attend to sadness, it will never go away.
Like tonight, I was on my way back to my room after hanging out with my family and I got a little voice in my head that goes, “you sure you want to go back to your room? cause you’re just gonna be sad.” And there was a part of me that wanted to do a 180 and say “you’re right! let me just go back and entertain myself some more.” but instead, the wiser part of me replied “yeah, I’ll be alright :). it’ll be good.” And I went and spent more time with it.
I never knew how long sadness will stay or how much I need to attend to it. I wish I could put a specific date to it – “okay, you can only stay for 2 days and after that you gotta go, cause happiness is gonna come and I need to spend time with happiness.” – but that’s not how it works. It will come when it comes and it will go when it goes.
And to be honest, I’m blessed to have reached a point in my life where joy is always around (even though sometimes it’s playing hide and seek with me). Joy makes dealing with sadnessmuch easier. And sometimes joy occupy sadness and takes sadness for a walk so I don’t have to attend to it, and that was really nice of joy to do that.
This time around, when sadness arrived, I was actually reminded of another friend that I can bring along to make spending time with sadness much easier. So I called up compassion and ask compassion to be around whenever it can while I play host to sadness. And what a great companion compassion is – its presence softens things and made me embrace sadness with an open heart.
So there you go, folks, I’m playing house with sadness, who drives me crazy sometimes, and makes me cry in a puddle on the floor whining “i’m miserable and in pain, help me! just take it away from me! why do I have to go through this? where is that magical band-aid when I need it? I got a boo-boo and can someone kiss it now so I feel better?”
But other times, I’m alright. We sit here together, playing my uke and singing and crying, and drawing, and reading and it’s all quite enjoyable. And oh my lordy lord, the insights we have come up with just from sitting here together have just been beautiful. These insights shines a beautiful light on areas that I can grow to be a better, more loving and more compassionate person, and these insights have always shown that there has always been love and that there is only love.
Yeah, sitting around with sadness ain’t bad at all.
“What happens when we transport ourselves out of the pain is we missed all of our transformations. Because everything that we need to know to become the people we were meant to be is actually inside of our heart loneliness. So when we jump out of it, when we jump out of our mat, we are like caterpillars who jumped out of our cocoons right before we were to become butterflies.”
Now, I’m not and was never attracted to Tony Robbins. Just cause I think his energy is completely different from mine. I have never read his books in my life. I have never attended any of his events. Just never been attracted to him. (Tho interestingly my mom had been to his events once). And that has nothing to do with the fact that I know he is amazing and has done many amazing things and lots of people loves him and I would still be happy to see him one day.
But I heard so many things about this documentary in the last few months that I decided to click play.
And I was already crying in the first 5 minutes of the documentary. (And I continued crying/ tearing/ being emotional throughout 90% of this documentary).
Now this documentary is not for everyone. It will show you how fucked up this world can get. (And you might get put off by Tony Robbins cause he really does have so much energy). But I want everyone to see it, to simply reminds everyone that there is so much love in this world.
And below is the passage that got me crying in the beginning of the movie and got me watching it till the end. Somehow, discussion of suicidal thoughts (of mine and others) had came to me in the last few days and it was beautiful how the documentary started with a man who is suicidal.
This man, came to Tony’s event to probably find an answer. And he courageously shared his vulnerability and his soul to a whole room of 2500 people, and I connected with him.
And this is Tony’s reply that I’d like to leave you with…
” You’ve been so hard on yourself.
I love you that you have such high standards. But those aren’t high standards. That’s called perfection.
And most people over estimate what they can do in a year. And they underestimate what they can do in two or three decades. And you haven’t been around long enough to have those extra two or three decades. So don’t fuck it up. There’s time.
And if you give yourself just a little bit of time.. And if you’ll be a little more loving to yourself… I think you’re gonna find that you got a lot to give.”
And to me, that’s everything.
Give it time, be more loving, and realize that we, each one of us, has so much beautiful valuable gorgeous things inside of us.
Have a beautiful September, you :).
And if you’re interested to watch it and don’t have netflix, hit me up and I’ll let you know where else you can probably watch it.
There are certain moments in our lives where a situation presents, in 100” High Definition 4K Ultra HDTV, a more detail and complete view of Life (with capital L) that puts our own lives in perspective and gets us thinking/going – or to be more accurate, gets us into a mini existential life-crisis.
Well this afternoon, this situation came in the form of the Introduction and Foreword to the book: The Salmon of Doubt. The book is a collection of writings of the late great author, scriptwriter, comic, world’s no.1 nerd, animal lover and activist, Douglas Adams. The prologue by Nicholas Wroe, and the foreword by the also very funny Stephen Fry, painted the life of Douglas Adams, the extremely successful, cult-enducing, writer of The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (one of my favorite book series in this lifetime).
Sure, Mr. Adams was an ordinary human like the rest of us. He had a nerdy passion like mine and gets into massive excitement about little things like the latest Apple gadget. He enjoyed music and had even played with the Pink Floyd. And he loved his daughter very much. But I believe, at times in his life, he was also an asshole. He had that typical assholic behavior of an artist who doesn’t give a flying fuck on the implications of his action if he had a work to create or a script to finish. Yep. That one.
But I read about him creating the amazing series at the age of 25. And I read about Stephen Fry, his buddy, missing him cause now he no longer have Adams to make fun of a posh hotel soap over email, and he no longer have Adams replying him with an incredibly witty comment (over email) that would make Fry dance around in the hotel room for an hour….
…And that got me off my bed to stand around in my room, literally just spinning and looking around my room, looking at items strewn everywhere, photos in many many picture frames, mementos of life young and younger, and thinking “What have I done with my life? What have I done in my life? Have I created something significant? Have I been that person that make someone laugh and dance around in his/her room for half an hour? Why am I here??”
It was like a bewitched trance really. The spinning around like a slowed down Sufi dancer, the repeated existential questions like mantras, the extended arm, the glossed gaze over different random items. I was really having a moment..
..and I stopped.
There were 2 ways I could have continued from there. One was to go into panic mode, gasp dramatically, and silently sighed (but actually screaming inside) “Omg I’m having an existential life crisis..” and proceed to wail miserably (which is probably the path I would easily have chosen in the past). Two was to shrug the shoulder and laugh and smile and say “Haha, look at that, you just had an exciting crazy moment there. Yep, you just had a mini crisis. And yet look at what it did to you? It woke something in you, didn’t it? Good.. good *nod sagely and stroke imaginative sagely beard*).
So I went with the 2nd choice.
I feel like someone just turned on the stove in my body. My heart is pumping slightly faster, my eyes are wide open, and my skin feels electrified.
This is not about doing an inventory of what I have done with my life (Well, okay, it’s about that too. Never stop being grateful of where you are in your life, folks!), but it’s about getting inspirations and new jolts of life at the weirdest places and situations. And about mini existential life-crisis.
Crisis can be bad or good, depending how we handle it and view it. We can crumble and fall apart into a pool of unworthy self-criticizing mess, Or we can rise above it, fully aware that our lives are never comparable to anyone else’s life, and take that shocking endorphin to do something good instead.
So this is me, taking that endorphin to write you this story. And to tell you that these moments happen – they happen randomly and unexpectedly. And you have the power to use it for awesome things, which you never know, might lead you to write your first novel, or start your own business, or start a circus, or it might lead you to the best thing of all: happiness. And it’s exciting.
But you are not going to get there if you’re stuck in an unhealthy cycle of mundane life starring you as a walking zombie. So this is a reminder for you to do something fun everyday, like read a book, play music, sing, dance, or take a walk outside, or swim, or cook, or whatever your heart desires.
What I did before I picked up the book was deciding on whether I need to do the work that I’m getting paid for or let myself relax and read the book; the work that I’ve done last night and the night before, and the night before that; the work that I absolutely enjoy but I am also aware can suck me into it. I was in a little struggle of easing into taking a break and reading that book. The temptation to work was high. But I relaxed and stayed by the book cause that was my reward for working. And I’m glad I stuck by it cause it led me to my crazy lil moment.
So, have a wonderful week ahead! Don’t forget to make time to rest and do something that you love. You’ll never know what excitement you’ll get out of it.