Because you are love in one of its many forms. 💗💕😘
Because you are love in one of its many forms. 💗💕😘
Focus on what’s important to you and consider all else, just noise. ❤️
Our life begins
with a breath.
It’s March and it’s almost that time of year when we have to start getting our gardening tools out and start sowing our spring and summer crops.
I almost decided to not garden this year 1. because it took too much of my day hours last year, 2. i have more going on this year than I did last year when we first moved in this house. Spring 2017 was so spectacular that I spent 85% of my waking hours outdoors.
Last year was also my first time gardening, and thus was my first growing season. I remember how I felt when I was in my garden, it was an overwhelming feeling of joy and so much purpose. In the garden there’s always something that needed my attention. The dogs spent a lot of time outside too for as long as I was there. The three of us got a lot of sun together.
In working with earthly elements, I discovered another part of myself that I have not met before. It was in one of my gardening sessions last year when I was first introduced to the concept of intuition–in completely trusting this flow of ancient wisdom from elsewhere.
Here are some of the lessons I learned from the garden last year:
Our experience on social media and other online outlets can be constricting. Recent studies have shown how our habit of “browsing” has noticeably cluttered our space and capacity for creating. Since the rise of social media in our culture, our attention span (adults and children) is noticeably shorter.
Working on projects that require an X amount of focus can help create a breathing room in our mind and our soul. These therapeutic activities (whatever it is that we decide to take on) create internal expansion and are healthier for us in the long run.
For a meticulous gardener, every plant is precious and needs ample attention and care. There is also the thrill of waking up everyday excited to see the changes: what’s thriving, what’s bloomed overnight and what’s being attacked by pests.
Gardening is inviting ourselves to co-create with nature. And I like this whole concept of time away from modern technology. It is not a cheap hobby, but it can be cost effective when planned accordingly. Last year, I grew almost every seed I could get my hands on. Some succeeded and some did not. And that was fun. This year, I will concentrate growing only herbs and vegetables that I use in my kitchen.
I am really excited to step into spring, get into the rhythm of the garden and find out more of what the plants can teach us.
There is a silence,
a gentle breeze,
that takes over me when I empty myself.
What I’ve been looking for,
this profound peace,
was in me
There is no price that can amount to the happiness I feel after a good workout. Working out at home and at the gym is by far the best “self-emptying” method I’ve found (long walks come in second, and meditation comes in third). It gives me an opportunity to connect with my mind and body. It gives me some sort of physical stress, but I can tell this is the kind of stress that my body wants…and need. When we empty ourselves, we break the habit of carrying negative stress caused by interactions from our immediate environment.
I used to push ‘fitness’ to the side when I was in my 20s thinking that it’s not a vital part of living. I always said, “don’t have time for it.” Fast forward to my 30’s I began to feel my body more, I have stress coming from different places, and I didn’t know where to begin my personal overhaul–I just know that something different needs to be done. It was overwhelming to have so many symptoms of unhealthfulness. I would constantly medicate just to pacify all these feelings of stress and anxiety from thinking too much about my health.
Luckily we have 2 young dogs that are eager for walks. Long walks was where my fitness journey began.
I started taking long walks with my husband and our two dogs. Washington is such a beautiful state for doing this kind of thing. The air quality is really good because of the trees and there are hundreds of trails to choose from. Luckily, we live close to a trail alongside a river that streams from Mt. Rainier. I started to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. The feeling was similar to waking up after a long frustrating dream. Like, “oh, was I the prison guard all along?”
This gave me the idea that the more movement I add in my life, the better I would feel. I incorporated routine workouts, and wow, it’s truly life changing. I love this place where it takes me. Which I think may be my personal nirvana. It’s so beautiful, so peaceful, and it’s a place where I know that everything is okay.
I see now that when we operate from this place, we feel good and confident that even the toughest storm will have a hard time shaking our foundation.
So I invite you to embark on a journey. Find what empties you, what brings you that genuine happiness, what makes you surrender in joy and peacefulness. When we know how to access this place and we continue to show up to the part of ourselves that want to be in healthfulness, our life and our well-being will improve dramatically.
Aloe Vera Plant (believed to have originated from Sudan) is one of the most revered plant worldwide for it’s healing properties. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignin, saponins and salicylic acids–all of which our body can recognize and know how to process.
There are many benefits in including aloe vera in your medicine cabinet, refrigerator, or freezer.
Here are some of the benefits of Aloe Vera that I’ve gathered:
I hesitated buying it because I was lazy, until one Saturday morning while shopping at Whole Foods (at $3.29 for a good sized leaf), I finally added it to my cart. My husband smiled and jokingly said, we now have a lethal weapon in our cart. Yes, it’s got spikes on the sides but they can be carefully and easily removed using a sharp knife.
Here is an article by Wellness Mama on how to deal with fresh aloe vera, she includes how to remove the sides, how to extract it, and how to turn it into aloe vera gel: click here to read it
I am amazed by the instant gratification effect that this plant have. I used it for both my dogs and I.
Purifying Mask For the Face:
The Result: Clear, smooth, glowing, rosy complexion
Leave-on Conditioner For the Hair:
The Result: Shiny, hydrated, moisturized hair
Conditioner for the Dogs:
The Result: My Ridgeback stopped itching, and both their coats looked amazing!!!
Aloe Vera plant will now be a staple in our home. I hope you give it a try because it’s as good as it’s reputation, and it is very affordable. There’s a lot of recipes for aloe vera concoction that are worth a try once you have a plant in your hand. Here’s the one that I liked: Click here to visit the face mask recipes.
It’s not easy to make good food choices and eat healthy in this culture. Luckily for us, our built-in body intelligence knows when have eaten something that we shouldn’t. With awareness, time, and practice, we learn to understand this intelligence. Eating and doing good by our bodies are habits that drastically improve our quality of life.
On occasion, I indulge in something I know that contains one of my allergy triggers like red wine. Food additives that trigger my allergies which can cause body inflammation and my skin to break out are: sulfites, tartrazine, benzoates, grains, sugar, and other processed foods with preservatives. These are the ones that I know of so far that cause suffering and stress to my body.
Dealing with suffering takes away so much of our good energy. I remember being at the peak of feeling unwell (inflamed skin, abdominal pain, leg cramping, low energy, frequent migraines, and insomnia all at once) I felt powerless, I just kept asking how much more of this I can handle. All I know in that moment is that if I go see a doctor, they will put me on a medication that can potentially destroy my organs and affect my fertility over time. My health is not an option I can risk or gamble.
The reason why I got into elimination diet is that I needed to be done with my physical and internal suffering so that I can focus my energy on my passion and my essential task (my family and my work). I had every reason to believe that I can gain control of what’s happening to me.
One of the first things I had to remove were all highly processed packaged foods. If it comes in a box or a bag, I’d avoid it. I got into reading ingredients list on everything that I am buying. I stopped shopping at places that sell foods that are unfriendly to my body. If a store is not transparent on where they are sourcing their food from, we don’t go there. A year later, I followed it by detoxing from cannabis (both THC and CBD). Then I developed an exercise routine that can easily be done at home. I was surprised to find out how much it made me feel better and more connected to my body. I am reminded of how sacred life is. Now I have the energy and the will to focus on what matters most in my life (my marriage, our beautiful dogs,projects and little things that gives me happiness :)😘)
What I would hear from my community when I tell them that I cannot eat from certain food group was, “oh how sad you have to give it up, it’s so delicious,” or “that’s so crazy” or “oh that’s great, but are you actually happy?” Insome ways, elimination diet may appear or sound extreme. But the results that we get when we eat only the food that’s good for us is priceless.
We all have different body types, blood types, and allergy triggers. That’s why I recommend elimination diet by personalizing your journey. It’s easy to follow health gurus and popular diets. It’s hard when there’s something in that box that doesn’t suit us and we only get frustrated and give up hope.
What we mostly do in our home is a hybrid of Ketogenic and Paleo Diet. I mention these two diets because it is easy to find recipes online and modify them if there is something in the ingredients list that you are allergic to. The foods in these categories have eliminated highly processed foods + bad oils and is a good start if you want to learn what whole foods are.
This article by Mark Sisson from 2012 helped a lot when I was beginning this journey, he has a good list of what to avoid when learning to eat clean and only shopping for what is good : click here to read it
When doing elimination diet, it is important to:
The hard work is only in the beginning. This is a path that will have long term positive results that will improve our quality of life. Know that there are others from all around the world that’s doing this journey. This is the truth that I keep reminding myself as I go along. I am not alone.
What does it mean to “show up”?
To the best of my understanding and experience, “showing up” is our ability to grant our passion and accountabilities our full presence. It doesn’t necessarily mean that our physical bodies need to arrive somewhere. Showing up pulls from our capacity and willingness to focus our attention where it is needed (either by something or someone).
Showing up is key to achieving success in our lives. It is a vital part of our creative process because that is when the REAL work gets done.
When we show up to our life and to our immediate environment, the things that need our attention and support gets taken care of. When we show up for the people in our community, not only does it strengthen our relationship, we also learn a lot from each other in the process of showing up for one another. These interactions that happen in our immediate environment has the most impact on our personal evolution and therefore are the ones that we need to pay attention to.
Showing up is an expression of love, both to ourselves and to our community. We may have friends and family that are not affectionate, or expressive of their feelings, but are always there showing up for us when we have a crisis or we just want to catch up.
The people in our lives are here for the reason that we chose them to stay in ours too. To keep the connection alive, we simply must show up.
We each have our own way of expressing ourselves, our love, our gratitude, irritations, anger, and all of our other human qualities that don’t necessarily define who we are. These are very short-lived feelings. What matters in showing up is that we are willing to do the work that is involved and we are willing to work through it, even on days we don’t feel like it.
This may be coming from a self-ISH place: there is a very satisfactory feeling that occurs in our inner self when we show up to our commitments. A part of what can keep us happy is when we feel that we have accomplished something, whether we are in the prepping stages of a project, or at congratulatory stage for the completion of it’s life cycle.
When we have a lot of things going on, the best we can do is keep track of our commitments and show up for it.
How to create a healthy environment for ourselves so we can keep showing up:
Before discovering the true meaning of love, I treated it as this elusive entity in my life. Like I was a fishing pole and if I waited long enough, I’d catch love. This pattern of thinking consumed me. I’d hold on to whatever I catch for as long as I could no matter how unhappy and toxic of a person I become. My incapacity to love myself and lack of imagination for the love that I want in my life played a big role on the choices I made. It also did not help that my ideals were influenced greatly by romcom movies I’ve seen from my early years.
I made unconscious choices for most of my relationships or lack thereof, which only resulted in terrible misjudgments and created more confusion in my life. Who is the entity that participates when we are on autopilot? I was looking in all the wrong places and attracting other energies that did not mesh well with mine.
I felt a thirst that nothing or no one else could quench. It was maddening.
Somehow luck never leaves our side even when we’ve given up because we messed up so many times. It sticks and cheers us on silently, waiting for the right time to surprise us.
“I will be waiting here,
For your silence to break.
For your soul to shake.
For your love to wake.”
Love found me when I least expected it.
My husband and I met at the workplace. I had no idea that this person whom I’ve been emailing work related stuff with, exchanging “hi”, “hello”, “good morning”, “have a good evening” for 6 months, is the person whom I’ll be sharing the rest of my life with. Looking at him from the outside, all I know is that he’s got a great sense of humor and he carries a seriousness in his overall personality. One day, he asked me to go for a walk with him and I said yes. That was the beginning of our journey together and the beginning of the many yeses I will say to him. For the first time in my life I felt that thirst being quenched. It’s so rejuvenating that I keep wanting more. Our first walk was followed by many many walks, sunrises, and sunsets in LA. We have been inseparable since.
We got married in the late summer of 2011. It was just us and the judge who pronounced us man and wife. I didn’t mind that it wasn’t the wedding I had imagined having from all those years of attending big wedding ceremonies. What mattered to me the most in that moment is I am now getting married to this amazing human who brings so much magic in my life.
Falling in love and embarking on this adventure with my husband has taught me a great deal about myself and what it is like to wake up next to someone I care deeply about, someone I love and someone I am attracted to.
The vows (“to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”) we exchanged that day we got married is something we choose to uphold every waking day of our lives, together. Aside from the bliss and the passion, there are storms that shakes things up and makes the marriage feel even more real.
There’s a lot of personal growth and evolution that occurs between two people when they decide they want to be in a lasting relationship together. Change is powerful and beautiful in many ways. These are the real gifts that come with being in a relationship with another divine being. For him and I, the key is that we stay together.
In our relationship we outgrow ideas, things, people, and all sorts of manners. We don’t expect each other to stay the same. We embrace the nature of our humanness. We make mistakes and forgive each other. We admire one another’s growth and uniqueness. We fight the good fight. We serve each other. We laugh at our silliest moments and call each other out on our BS. We own and keep conscious of our accountabilities to each other and to the environment we are cocreating both as a couple and as individuals. No matter what life brings us or what each other bring to the table, we stay together as conscious and as present as we can and we go through it together. We enjoy the bliss, the hurt, the growing, the fun, and all that encompasses being in a relationship.
Love is not tiresome, nor is it unmindful. Love is generous. It takes many acts of kindness to wake somebody up from their long slumber of numbness. That is what my husband did for me. And in loving my husband, I learned that love is not elusive. It is quite the opposite, love is abundant and ever present. We are the source of the love we want to create in our lives. We need only to learn to tap into the source.
There can only be limits to love and loving where we put it.
My top concern is the health and well-being of my family. That is why I have decided that we need to cut down on the stuff we drink or eat that our bodies don’t really need, as well as enhancements that only lead to suffering when all is said and done. For us, one of those things is caffeine. This is a tough one because we love the main effect it gives, which is a good focus on our work and that is why I go back and forth with this. But ultimately, I’d love to just not have it in my life because when I think about all the side effects, I can already tell that it is not worth adding this substance to our system on a daily basis.
Although the effects may vary from per person, here are some side effects of caffeine based on our experience:
The first day of no caffeine consumption is always the hardest if your intake has been regular. It would feel as though you are orbiting space. So trust the process because the next day will always feel a little better knowing that you are making a conscious decision for your health.
There are alternative beverages you can have if you are into having a morning beverage, research a good herbal tea that you will enjoy to replace your morning joe, matcha, or energy drink.
In addition there are supplements in the B-vitamin family that can boost your energy without giving you harmful side effects.
I started making lemon water, and do enjoy a warm cup of it.