Create Art In Everything You Do

When I was driving the other day, I had this thought: “everything is an art!” We use the word “art” in things we typically associate with art; such as music, painting, and sculpture. We don't even use the word “art” often for books and movies unless it is “art-y” writings and movie, maybe because it is very commercialized,

I am reading the book “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,” which is written by B.K.S. Iyengar who is considered to be one of the pioneers who brought and taught yoga in the West. He translated the ancient Sutra of Patanjali written in Sanscrit and also wrote his interpretations and his own teachings along with each sutra.

At one point in the book, he mentions practicing yoga is an art whether it is in the form of Asana (physical poses), Pranayama (breathing exercises), or any other facet of yoga. He suggests dedicated and mindful practice to make improvements through yoga, not only in a body, but also, mind and spirit.

I think everything we do day to day can be considered an art. The more we practice, the better we get. The more we pay attention, the more details we can see and feel. Obviously, the opposite is true. If you don’t pay attention in what you do, what you see and feel stays the same as what you have always felt and seen before.

How we communicate, how we treat others, how we eat, how we cook, how we manage our day, how we drive, all can be improved and can bring more joy and happiness if we actually put our intention, attention, and practice to them. You may use your own creative and imaginative skills to think how what you do affect not only you, but also others who are present in your life.

Take what you say for an example. You may not be paying attention much in terms of how you say what you say everyday. There are a variety of ways you can say to communicate just one thing. Your habit of saying what you usually say is your own creation, your art.

You may use a joke or sarcasm. Do you use them to make others smile and that is the only reason? Or do you use them to make yourself look good in the eyes of others? Do you use them to communicate what you want to communicate in a passive-aggressive way? Do you use them to make an offense move first towards others so others won’t pick up your insecurities? Are you choosing them because of Love or Fear?

Maybe I am thinking about these things because I feel a lot of tragic events happening in our society. Maybe a part of it is that I feel we are getting to a point of our old way (patriarchic, misogynistic, greed-driven, ego-centric needs and structures) not being able to be sustained any longer. Maybe because I feel we can use more of our own intention, attention, and power of action to create what we truly want. We can always use more Love in our life.

Instead of problems, we can focus on solutions. Instead of blaming others, we can start with what we can do. Instead of focusing on tragedies, we can focus on inspirations. Instead of feeling powerless, we can use our power on what we can change and affect. Instead of listening all external chitchat, we can listen to our inner voice. Instead of hiding all the insecurities trying to appear perfect, we can love ourselves as we are and authentically show up every moment. Instead of allowing Fear to control us, we can use our bravery to use Love.

Create the life you want. Create the reality you wish. Create the world in which you are truly happy.  You cannot be a bystander any longer in your life. You must participate in your life. You must be in charge of your life. You must be in charge of your happiness. You must be in charge of your own creation.

What you have is your own thoughts, words, actions, and feelings. Create a beautiful art using them every single day. Create a wonderful art using them just now. Today. Because what you have had, what you have now, and what you will ever have is just this moment: Now.

So let us begin now. Let us create art of Love.

Non Attachment

As I was reading “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,” the book I have gotten almost 8 years ago and read here and there as a part of studying yoga, the concept of non-attachment grabbed my attention. 

I guess this was another example of synchronicity. I just needed to come across the part of non-attachment. I needed to be reminded of the concept. 

I had the opportunity to talk with my friend just to catch up the other day and this topic was what I said I was re-learning lately with my own experiences. 

When I get the depressive mood, or when I feel like I am struggling, I realize that the struggle comes from my attachment. 

An attachment to my expectations. An attachment to my rules I created. An attachment to my desire. An attachment to my wish. An attachment to my entitlement. 

These attachments make me blind to see what is. The reality of what is that exists in front of me. 

The book also mentions the concepts of moment and movement. Moment is the present that is the eternal now: the timeless. Movement is time that creates past and future. So “moment is subjective and movement is objective.”

Reading the book has given me many reminders to be here and now. Through concentration and meditation, I get to practice to be here by creating space: the space between me and attachment, the space between my internal and external, and the space between my being and everything else. 

I am nowhere close to be mastering this concept. I just started grasping it and seeing what the Sutra is talking about with my own experiences. 

At the rare moment when I get to experience the present moment in my daily life, I can feel the stillness, vastness, infinite-ness, blissful-ness, connected-ness, and one-ness of the space. 

My life is not mine alone. Your life is not yours alone. You are me. I am you. We are us all together. So I love you because I love me and I love all of us. 

So love yourself dearly so I can feel your love radiating from you. Your love is needed by you, me, and all of us.

Rise Above To Be Present

As I was talking with my client, we came to the topic of being present. It’s very cliché in the self-development/self-help/spiritual world, but I cannot help but agree that being in present is essential in pursuing happiness.

At one point in the conversation, I said, “I don’t want be trapped by the memory of the past. I don’t want to be trapped by the expectation of the future.”

At least in my experience, when I struggle, I usually wish something stayed the same in the way it has been. That’s the past that kept me feel comfortable because it was predictable and I didn’t have to change myself. Also another reason I struggle is because of my expectation of how things should be and how things should go. At least I have absolute control in my imagination in my head when I think of those expectations.

I often think about the movie “50 First Dates” with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. In the movie, Lucy who is played by Drew Barrymore cannot create a new memory due to a car accident. Henry –Adam’s character- meets Lucy in a diner and tries to go out with her. Due to her inability to form a new memory, Lucy doesn’t recognize Henry the next time she sees her. It is a romantic comedy in which Henry tries with various tactics to get Lucy’s attention.

So often when I am feeling down, depressed, stressed out, I say myself, “would I feel the way I feel now if I didn’t have a memory in the past or expectations whatsoever?” Then, I also ask myself “does what I am struggling with/an issue/a problem, exist in my present moment to give me any threats?” “Can I see it, touch it, hear it, smell it, or feel it?” My answer is usually “no.” Then, logically I can tell myself I am okay at least for now.

I like to watch animal videos in which animals act in a funny, happy, or very royal way. Dogs and cats (and other animals) are such great reminders to be present. They are always here and now.

I personally believe we are here as this earthly existence to experience. Whatever issue we are currently struggling with, we can put it into a perspective of “I am just experiencing this.” If we are happy, we are experiencing happiness. If we are angry, we are experiencing anger. If we are sad, we are just experiencing sadness. There is nothing wrong with experiencing life.

Somehow, we learned somewhere in our life, if we are sad, we have to get out of this sadness. If we are angry, we have to get out of this anger. We can just experience the experience. We can just feel the feeling. Usually, once we digest the experience and feel the feeling, the discomfort of the experience does not stay with us unless we constantly keep thinking about it.

Our soul is like a diamond. It is always pure and bright. The rock of diamond may get muddy, dusty, or covered with dirt, but what is inside is always the diamond shining brilliantly. I love a song by a Japanese band called Dreams Come True. It goes:

“Diamond. Oh, diamond. Can be only cut by a diamond. Don’t you see what makes you shine and glow is you. It’s always in you.”

Our soul, you may call it consciousness, is way above our physical existence. What happens to our body is just an experience. So let us rise above it and be present here and now. Then, we can feel the vastness of freedom and no-thing-ness. There is nothing but happiness.

The Cost of Self-unkindness

There was a shocking, and yet straight-to-the-point quote when I was watching a Netflix show called Sense8:

"The real violence, the violence that I realized was unforgivable, is the violence that we do to ourselves, when we’are too afraid to be who we really are."

This line was said by a character, Nomi, who is a transgender woman who has parents that does not accept who she is. When I heard this line, it reminded me how unkind I had been to myself with my own negative self-talk for years in the past.

As I have grown up and accumulated the years living on this Earth, I have learned and realized I could stop my negative self-talk at the moment I decided to stop it and that I did no longer need it. Yes, those negative self-talk comments originated from what someone told me or suggested in my past. But I was the one who was holding on to them and playing them over and over in my head.

I was “too quiet,” “too shy,” “often intimidated,” “weak,” and a lot of other things. I was a typical introverted kid who always enjoyed my alone time, who would rather read by myself than going out, and who take time to think through and put what I want to communicate into words carefully after careful observations.

Surrounded by a lot of extrovert and/or not-so-sensitive people, I felt out of place everywhere I went. So I thought what people say about me was true. I always felt I lacked something other people had. I always felt somehow I had to work harder to be like everyone else.

As an adult, I tried to be more “social” by going out with others. I tried to be more “vocal” to communicate what I thought and what I felt. I tried to be more outgoing and friendlier. These “trying” often just exhausted me. And yet I kept going at this “trying” for a long time.

I have had my share of depression, anxiety, and unhealthy behaviors that was due to my fears, self-doubt, and insecurities.

I was just going against the current of my nature. In hindsight, I appreciate those times I “tried” because now I know exactly who I am and what I am made of. And now I can go WITH the flow of my nature, instead of AGAINST it.

Luckily, I had a point of realizing I could just stop this incessant negative self-talk. I was blessed to have an inner voice saying, “You are much better than this. You are enough.”

As I work as an intuitive and empathy, I see others’ pain and fear. Like I did, they do listen to their own negative self-talk and they are the one who keeps playing those negative comments in their head.

There was another quote from the show Sense8 that got stuck with me. A character named Hernando says, “In the end, we will all be judged by the courage of our hearts.”

It takes an effort and courage to make a change within us. And yet, we do have a power to change a thought within us at any moment. I mean exactly now.

If we can change our thoughts, we can change what we say. If we can change our words we use, we can change what we do. If we can change our actions, we can change how we live. So by changing our thoughts, we can change our lives.

Would you care to join me and start saying to ourselves, “I am enough”? Let us share our kindness to say, “You are enough as you are”!

Let each of us to start within and be kind to ourselves first.

Process Oriented vs. Results Oriented

As we have welcomed the New Year 2018, a new year’s solution is a topic of conversation among us around this time of the year. “New year, New You.”  We say that to motivate ourselves to create a new habit to enhance our lives.

What we make as New Year’s resolutions are often about losing weight, eating healthy, quitting smoking, or saving money. As a fitness professional who has helped clients achieve their goals, I learned S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-specific so you can objectively say whether or not you achieve a goal.

There are a lot of articles and discussion as to how to create successful New Year’s resolutions, how to fail proof your New Year’s resolutions, and how to incorporate S.M.A.R.T. goals so that your attempt will be successful. And some suggests not to make a big New Year’s resolution at all, but rather to implement small changes in your life at any point of the year.

More often than not, the spark of New Year’s resolutions dies down quickly. Sometimes it happens even before January is over. Changes are hard. Changes are difficult. So we believe.

I am not arguing against New Year’s resolutions or making personal goals trying to enhance your life.

However, here is the issue. The goals are more often than not tied to results with external things. If you want to lose weight or eat healthy, you check your weight (or appearance) for success. If you want to quit smoking, you check the number of cigarettes smoked. If you want to save money, you check the amount of money accumulated in your bank account.

If you somehow meet your goals successfully, that’s great. I am happy that you put your hard work and effort into making them come true.

But what do you do when you fail? You’d think your goal was hard to attain, that you lack your will power, and that you didn’t want to make a change in the first place anyway. Somehow you feel bad about yourself for failing.

Here is what I am suggesting. What if we focus on internal things? What if we focus on the process itself?

So with an attempt to lose weight, for example, you focus on how you feel as you take an action of working out. Did working out make you happy or miserable?  Did the fact you are making a change in your life make you feel proud or awful? Did you learn something new about exercising or even about yourself or can you pick one thing you have learned?

If you can say, “Yes, working out made me feel better,” “I am happy that I worked out,” or “At least I am making a change for myself, which makes me proud,” and then it would be easier to continue with the new habit. If you feel like you learned something new, about how to do an exercise, about what you like and dislike, or about what motivation you need for yourself, then you can consider the process as a gain.

Let’s say there is nothing positive you can say about the process. The workout makes you miserable, the fact you are making a change does not make you feel proud, and you didn’t learn anything new. If we focus on internal things and the process, instead of external things by focusing only the results, such as you didn’t have enough time to exercise, or you were too busy with family, at least you can ask yourself why you felt how you felt and why you could not find anything that you learned.

Our thoughts, words, actions and feelings are the only things we have control over 100% of the time. These four things are always within our power to change. We do have a choice always when it comes to these four things.

At the same time, how we use our thoughts, words, actions and feelings are also our habits, too. How you think about you is your habit.  What you say about you is also your habit. How you feel about yourself is your habit. Habits are not just actions we take with our body.

Dr. Carol Dweck talks about the concept of growth mindset and fixed mindset in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. According to her, people with fixed mindset think failure is due to their own limited talent and abilities that they are born with and that they cannot change. On the contrary, people with growth mindset think failure is an opportunity to grow and believe they can improve their skill by learning and practicing.

Dr. Dweck argues that whichever mindset you have, what you think will come true. Let’s say you attempt to learn how to play piano. You, with growth mindset, think you can learn how to play piano. Even when you make mistakes, you think it is because you just started and you can get better by practicing. Eventually you get better because you actually practice. On the other hand, if you have fixed mindset, you get discouraged every time you make mistakes. You think you don’t have a talent to play piano and practice less frequently. With decreasing time of practice, your skill to play piano doesn't get better.

So which mindset do you have? Do you think you can make a change in your life with New Year’s resolution? Do you think you have power to continue with New Year’s resolution after the first month? Do you think or can you think every setback is an opportunity for you to learn and grow? Do you think you can overcome obstacles by practicing more?

If we can focus on internal things and the process, any discovery about the process or any learning about yourself is a gain. Regardless of challenges and frustrating results of your resolution, if you can be happy about your action, it is a gain. By taking an action to make a change, there will be always gains if you can focus on them.

And don't forget about this important part. Be kind. Be kind to yourself. You are not a loser. You don’t have weak will power. All the challenges you have faced so far got you here. So be the best you could be. Be the kindest to yourself you can be. All the success you dream is already within you. Everything is happening for you.

 

 

Subtleties

Having grown up in Japan, I was overwhelmed with bold flavors of foods when I came to the States. A lot of time, I thought foods in the States were either overly sweet or overly salty. Even now when I eat chocolate, I am reminded of how subtle the taste of Japanese chocolate is compared to the overly sweet American chocolate.

When we are so used to boldness of taste, loudness of sound, vividness of sight, it takes a bit of practice to make ourselves notice subtlety of things. Obviously in our culture, many things grab our attention because they are bold, loud, and vivid.

Have you ever noticed the colors that are part of sunset? Besides the brightness of orange around the sun, there are lighter orange, lighter lighter orange, light yellow, light pink, light purple, purple, blue, dark blue, and so on, depending on the day and the weather condition.

Our nature is filled with subtleties. And yet, a lot of those subtleties are lost with our unawareness and lack of attention.

I often get asked how I get connected spiritually or how I listen to my own intuition without getting confused with my own thinking.

I usually answer those questions by saying that I practice being quiet, especially in my head.

I do meditate. I do go to nature once in a while to unplug. I am not claiming to be a meditation expert. Sometimes I go my day totally forgetting to meditate. Sometimes I fall asleep during meditation. Sometimes I mediate only to feel nothing has changed.

Regardless of how I meditate and what happens before, during, and after meditation, I tell myself, “Good job. It was great.”

Why? Because criticizing, or evaluating, or thinking about how I meditate and what happens during meditation is just another noise. I tell myself everything happened as it was supposed to happen.

It may be very little but I now know the difference. The difference between the days with and without meditation. The more I practice, the more I feel connected, grounded, and stable. The more I practice, the more I can pay attention to subtleties.

Maybe clarity is a good term to use for what I get from being quiet. The fog clears out and I can see things clearly.

So re-treat. Re-move. Re-turn. This is the time for you to be alone and to feel the vastness of alone-ness. Then, you will know there are much much more being alive to be noticed in your solitude.

Remember Who You Truly Are

When I was in undergrad, I did a lot of extracurricular/volunteer activities that were related to my future career in fitness and wellness. I was a coordinator for adapted physical activity programs for people with various physical abilities. I volunteered to assist people with various degrees of mental abilities to engage in physical activities. I did those activities as a part of my learning. But also I did them knowing I could add those activities on to my resume.

 

Since my college days, I accumulated a lot of experiences and activities, whether it was directly related to my career or not. As the time passed, I had a good chunk of collected experiences and activities.

 

In addition to my collected educational degrees, I also collected certifications in my field. Having a good collection of degrees, certifications, working experiences, and related experiences, I was able to afford to get certain professional positions.

 

When we meet new people in a social setting, after introducing ourselves, often the next question is usually, “So, what do you do for living?” Then, we talk about what we do, maybe title that we have, or how many things/people we manage.

 

Our identity is largely associated with what we do: our profession. We rarely say in that type of setting, “I am so passionate about reading!” The topic of profession may be a safe topic to pick (instead of talking about religion or politics). But also we may associate what we are vastly with what we do.

 

I am not here trying to abolish our social rules in conversation. But rather, I am here to ask, “Who are you beside your profession?”

 

Think about reasons why you do what you do? Why do you take care of dogs/cats/pets? Why do you do your job? Why do you volunteer?

 

Are you kind? Are you compassionate? Are you jealous? Are you opinionated? Are you giving?

 

We should be who we are regardless of what we do. We should not let what we do as a profession dictate what kind people we are. Yes, a specific profession may call out for a certain skills to be tough, compassionate, understanding, etc. But the core of who we are should not be changed because of what we do.In addition to the profession, another factor is our roles we play. Being a mom. Being a son. Being a caregiver. Being a friend. We often get consumed with those roles and end up forgetting who we really are, because those roles create certain expectations within us and others.

You have been you, since you were born. You were a baby at some point in the past. You were a student. May be you were an intern. You were new at a job. You are a parent. Regardless of profession or role, you have been you.

So take a moment. Close your eyes. Inhale, and exhale. Let who you are emerge and remember who you truly are. Then, use your courage to be exactly that.

Own Your Brightness

From early age, we learn to adapt to a new situation and new people. We also learn to fit in. Sometimes we modify ourselves, whether it is our language, behavior, or mannerism, just to fit in so we can feel we belong and avoid being considered odd or strange.

As we grow up, those modifications of ourselves protect us or at least make us feel safe emotionally. As adult, however, the habit of those modifications becomes rather a barrier that prevents us from being authentically ourselves. It becomes very challenging to get rid of the habit because we are so used to it.

One of the modifications that we do sometimes is to dim our own light. Yes, there are people who are less conscious and less aware. Yes, it might be a bit challenging to have meaningful conversation with them. But at the same time, we do not have to dumb ourselves down just in order to fit in.

We have choices. We can do whatever we desired to do. It includes choosing the people you hang out with and spend time with. It is said we are most likely the average of the five people we most frequently spend time with. We have a choice to spend time with gossipy people to gossip with. But at the same time, we do have a choice to spend time with inspiring people.

If we like ourselves, trust ourselves, and truly love ourselves, we don’t have to be liked. We don’t need others’ approval. We don’t need others’ permission. We can be who we are and we can create our lives in the way we want with our own permission.

So don’t dumb yourself down. Don’t dim down your own brightness.

Be the light as you are.

Communicate

As a person who comes from a different culture, I often get lost in jokes and sarcasms due to the lack of cultural background and probably the lack of the ability to hear and understand different tones of what is said. For me, a direct way of communication is the easiest to understand.

I am not saying that jokes and sarcasms are not needed, because there are definitely place and time that they work wonderfully. In my opinion, however, indirect way of communication using them could lead to misunderstanding and confusion.

When I do psychic medium readings, I often tell my clients, “Say what you mean, mean what you say.” I frequently encounter the situations where my clients’ deceased loved ones communicate the message, especially of their love for the clients or an apology. Sometimes my clients are the one who felt things were unsaid between them and their loved ones.

Sometimes we hesitate to communicate certain things out of fears: fear to be judged, fear to be misunderstood, and fear to have an unwanted consequence. Additionally, everyone has different ways to communicate. Some are comfortable communicating directly and being blunt. Some are more comfortable in a more subtle way of communication.

When I say, “say what you mean, mean what you say,” I don’t suggest that you say what is on your mind without considering others’ feelings or consequences. Rather, I am suggesting that you say whatever you need to communicate with the best of your ability to get your point across.

It is okay for you to say, “I am upset,” when you feel mad. It is okay for you to say, “I am sad,” when you feel down. There are ways to communicate your anger and frustration without yelling at someone. There are ways to communicate your sadness without breaking down in front of others.

The point of “say what you mean, mean what you say” is to get whatever you are feeling out of your body by communicating truthfully and honestly. Any words you end up swallowing stay within you, because those are emotions not being unexpressed. I use an analogy of wanting to go to a bathroom with my clients. You can hold or ignore your need to go to a bathroom for a while, but sooner or later you need to go to release. Unsaid words and unexpressed feelings are exactly like that.

Further, if you say what you want to say and if you can live your life without leaving things unsaid, then you don’t have to regret for not communicating after your loved ones cross over.

So open up your heart and say what you want to say. Leave nothing unsaid.

Experience Fully

Whether you are feeling sad or happy, feel your feeling fully. Whether you feel like your life is going well or you feel like your life is a mess, experience it fully. Because when you immerse yourself 100% in whatever experience, your return from the experience will be also 100% whether it is understanding, meaning, or peace of mind and that’s how you are contributing to the world.

I like watching videos of someone who is performing some type of art whether it is dance, singing, or acting. What moves me is when the performers are totally in the moment to the point where they are totally invested in what they do. Because when they do what they do with their whole mind, body, and spirit are in the moment, I feel their performance is brilliant.

Although my experience in performing art is very limited, for them to be in the moment of their brilliant performance, I assume they have practiced it so many times. I also assume they struggled to understand and feel whatever the material during the practice and also struggled to put those into their performance and art.

And in order for them to fully understand and feel their material, I am sure they use their own life experiences. I assume they think of when they were in love when the material is related to love and that they think of their despair in their own life in order for them to express despair in their performance.

As a psychic medium/intuitive, when I talk to my clients, my spiritual guides use a lot of my own experiences.  They show me an image of my grandpa as a sign to talk about the importance of saying what you mean and meaning what you say. They show me an image of me when I was younger to talk about the struggle of being sensitive and intuitive or the struggle of not fitting in.

Even when I am listening to my clients talk about their experience in their life, I can pinpoint a specific experience from my own life to understand what they are talking about.

I am not saying that I am perfectly able to understand other people’s experiences or that I have experienced all I could experience from life. I am, however, rather saying that I can utilize my own experiences to connect, understand, and empathize with other people.

In that sense, all I have ever experienced has not been, is not, and will never be wasted. Further, the more honestly and fully I experience my own life experiences, the more I can understand myself and my life, therefore the more I can utilize those experiences to connect with and help others.

You are here in this universe at this moment, not only to live your life, but also to affect others somehow. You cannot NOT affect others by you being here in this universe.

So immerse yourself in your life experiences whether they bring you happiness, joy, anger, struggle, frustration, or despair. What you experience will never be wasted. Moreover, by living and experiencing your life fully, you are contributing to this world much more than you can imagine.

I love you.

Move

Human body is made to move. Not just sit around and stare at a computer screen. There are many well-known benefits of physical activities. I am not going to list all here because that is not the point I want to make.

Have you ever driven somewhere only you got there safely but you don’t quite remember how you got there? It’s because your mind was so occupied with some thoughts and you were not paying attention to the act of driving.

Have you ever been told that you looked like you were somewhere else even though someone was talking to you? Once again, it’s because you mind was somewhere else but here thinking about something.

Mind, body, and spirit. The three parts create the human experience. With my back ground in fitness and wellness along with what I see as a psychic medium, I strongly feel that it is very important to have a good balance in those three parts.

I sometimes see people who are totally living in the head (mind) spending so many hours just thinking. They often have this “airy” feel to them and no good connection to the earth. When I talk to them, they often describe their life to be chaotic or the lack of control in their life. They often feel ups and downs of their emotions. When I see them (with my psychic eyes), it looks like their spirit body is not quite inside the physical body as if I am having a double vision.

When you are thinking, mostly you are either thinking about the past or the future. When you are thinking about the past or the future, your awareness is not here at this moment. I am not saying not ever to think about the past or future. However, if you cannot touch, feel, smell, see here at this moment where you are, then you cannot solve, change, or fix whatever you are thinking.

If you have a habit of living inside your head, thinking all the time without paying attention to here and now, or daydreaming all the time, your overall wellness take a toll. Your spirit body and physical body starts moving away from each other creating issues in your life.

Here is my tip. Move. Move physically. You don’t have to get a membership at a gym. You can just walk. By physically moving, it becomes easier for you to be here and now, especially when you are not used to moving. If you are able, try walking bare feet on grass or earth. It makes your body more grounded. If you start moving, whether it is walking, yoga, or even stretching, you start breathing more, and your body starts circulating blood, delivering oxygen to different parts of your body. And that is a good thing.

So move. Stop spending so much time living only inside your head. Start living inside your body. Have a good balance of body, mind, and spirit.

Be You Without Labels

Who are you?

When I am asking, “Who are you?,” I am not asking what profession/title you have, what credentials and education you have, or what associations/relations you have with others.

In our society, when we meet new people and introduce ourselves to others, we tend to talk about what we do (profession and/or title), what we have done so far (credentials and education), what associations/relations we have with others, and so on to describe ourselves.

You have been, and you are, and you will be you when you have your parents living with you, when you live away from your parents, and even after your parents depart this world.

You have been, and you are, and you will be just you when you started out your career as an intern, when you got a job as a teacher, and even after you quit teaching.

Because labels such as “teacher,” “son/daughter (of your parents),” “husband/wife/partner (of your significant other),” and “employee/educated person/person with credentials,” are often-spoken part of our identity, we often play the role of those labels we identify with.

We have an idea of “what teachers should do, behave, and look like.” We have a specific concept of “what husband/wife/partner should do, behave, and look like.” Same thing goes with being a parent (mom/dad), being “professional,” and being an “emotionally stable” person.

So why am I talking about the labels and the role we play?

Because sometimes those labels are exactly the things that make us stressed out.  For example, we play a role of parent and we have specific criteria (and expectations) of being a “good” parent, we feel like we have to make ourselves adhere to certain sets of rules (i.e. A good parent should be always understanding, thus I should be understanding. A good parent should always have plans for everything, thus I should plan everything perfectly, etc).

It is okay for us to be who we are without fitting ourselves into someone else’s, society’s, or even our own idea of the specific labels. We can be as weird as we want to be. We can be as unorthodox as we can be. I am not saying not to strive for what you want to be. But make sure you do what you do because you want to and love to do it, not just to meet the expectations of those labels from others, society, and tradition.

We can create our own rules for those labels. Better yet, we can free ourselves from those labels. Yes, being a mom can be a part of your identity. Being an accountant can be a part of your identity. Those identities, however, do not describe you entirely.

We are who we are. We can be us, truly us.

So ditch those labels. Give yourself a slack. You are already imperfectly perfect.

Don't Skip The Test

I strongly feel any type of psychic medium/tarot reading should not be about getting an answer for your test.

This is what I have learned, not necessarily from my own interactions with my clients, but rather observations of the people who come and see a reader at a metaphysical event. They often skip from a reader to a reader trying to get only good news and ignoring what they hear.

Life is full of challenges and tests. I feel the point of life is for you to actually experience those challenges by going through them. If you see a reader only to find out whether your life will go easily or not, and decide to take an action only if the reader says it will be easily successful, then you are missing opportunities to learn from your experiences of taking a chance.

No psychic medium/tarot reader is 100% accurate. If you decide not to apply for a job that you really want, just because a reader says it might be difficult, the chance of you getting the job will be zero; the chance of you learning something from the experience will be zero.

If you decide not to ask a girl/guy out, just because a reader says she/he is not good for you (for whatever the reasons), you may not really learn about who she/he is, and ultimately who you are.

If you decide not to communicate how you feel to others, just because a reader says doing so would be difficult for you, then you will be never good at communicating how you feel to others.

Whether you determine they are good or bad, all the life experiences are opportunities. They are the opportunities to learn about you: how to be strong, how to be smart, and how to be authentically you. You are remembering who you are by experiencing your life.

If you are going through a grade school, it is important for you to study the materials and take the test. Whether you get A or D, at least you are learning. You may need to re-consider how you study if you get a bad grade, but it is still a learning.

So don’t throw away your chances of learning by taking a shortcut or just avoiding difficulties altogether. If the life gives you the same type of challenges again and again (and if you are getting the same message again and again from psychic mediums/tarot readers regardless who you see), it means you did not quite pass the test or did not learn the lessons you needed to learn.

Regardless of what we face in our life, only thing that is always constant is ourselves. So let us focus on the action we can take at this moment. Experience the experience by taking a chance. So each of us can pass the current grade and move up to the next grade in the school of life.

Loving Your Weakness

When I was growing up, I always disliked my sensitiveness. I always thought it was my weakness. It seemed male around me did not feel as much as I did, or care about other’s feelings as much as I did.

Good and bad, strong and weak, and right and wrong are all our judgments. It is our creation. Rainy day is not good or bad inherently. Our judgment of good and bad about rainy day is contextual. If you are having a job interview and the parking space is far from the building where you have the interview, you may see the rainy day as bad. If you are a farmer who is growing crops, you may see the rainy day to be good especially after not having much rain.

A bamboo tree is very flexible and grows fast while an oak tree is very rigid and takes time to grow. Wood from the oak tree can be used for a structure of a building but a bamboo may not be suitable for it. Every person has different qualities that may be suitable in a situation and may not be suitable in another.

Although you may consider your quietness, introvertedness, or being emotional as your weakness, those exact qualities can be also strength as well.

Your stubbornness is your determination. Being sensitive is being caring. Being emotional is being understanding.

This is why comparing yourself with another is useless, especially if you ended up feeling like you are less worthy or less whatever (less beautiful, less smart, etc.).

You have what you have. You are what you are. Whether it is your body, mind, or spirit, you got what you got from the Universe (or God).

Instead of feeling less desirable by comparing, just count what you have. Your generosity, kindness, determination, and compassion.

Love them with all of your heart.

Out Of Love

It does not matter how much money you make, how much contribution you make to a non-profit organization, how many hours you volunteer, unless you love yourself and are happy because whatever you do is just to mask and cover up your unhappiness (fear) rather than sharing you and your talent purely out of love.

Think about tax. We pay tax. Do we like it? Most of us probably say no. Then, why do we? Because we don’t want to get in trouble with IRS. In other words, we do it to avoid a negative consequence. Do we have a choice not to pay? Yes. Definitely. But we don’t like the negative consequence of not paying tax. So we do it out of fear.

What if we can change our thinking? We could think we pay tax because we want to. We want to contribute to having public services. We want to contribute to having smooth paved roads and highways. When we do it because we want to, and when we say (put into words) we want to, our attitude changes. We no longer have resentment of “have to” in our action.

There is no “have to” in this world. If you don’t want to, just don’t. Who cares what other people say? Just do what you want to do.

Up to this moment, we have chosen what we wanted. Always. Even when we said “I have to,” we chose the option because it was what we wanted. Even if we are under duress, we choose to oblige because we don’t want the negative consequence, thus we are choosing what we want.

Think about what we do day to day. Are we choosing it because we want to? Or awe we choosing it because we want to avoid something negative?

Then, think about how we think about ourselves. Are we great? Or are we bad? Are we happy? Or are we unhappy? So if we are doing things to make ourselves not feel unhappy, because otherwise we feel unhappy about ourselves, we are just masking the real issue.

So let us start within us. Let us face ourselves. Let us work on the issue we have. Let us be happy with who we are authentically and completely. Let us act out of love.

Out of love, we would truly contribute to the world.

Have Fun

When I was working at a farmers market to sell my handmade jewelry over the weekend, I had a moment to sit and think when I was not busy. I was under the pop-up canopy tent and sitting in the heat. Although it was hot, there was some breeze going through. When I looked up, I can see the sunlight coming through the branches and leaves of trees.

 

And I thought, “This is fun.”

 

I never thought I would have a booth with the pop-up canopy tent at the farmers market even two years ago. Nor I thought about having fun while working. It didn’t feel like working, but rather enjoying being outdoor.

 

Not that I love Texas heat in August, I still appreciated the fact that I am working, not in the office without windows, but out in the open under the tent, selling what I created with love. I felt like things were going well, especially when I was having fun.

 

I often hear professional athletes having a great performance when they let themselves have fun. Most recently I saw Tom Daley, who is a diver from UK, talking about making himself have some fun during the competition, which consequently lead him to become the world champion after disappointing performance in the Rio Olympics.

 

How is your life? Are you having fun? I am not just talking about your job. Are you having fun while cooking? Are you having fun while driving? Are you having fun while taking a shower?

 

When you are working towards your goals and what you want, it’s good that you have a specific vision about them. But if you are too strict, too focused, too rigid in your thinking, you may possibly be making your chance and opportunities to make them come true smaller.

 

It is okay for us to have fun while we work hard towards our goals. Having fun and working towards our goals are not mutually exclusive.

 

So let us take big deep breaths.

Let us immerse ourselves in this moment.

Let us have fun.

Big time.

Actions Open Doors

Why do we get stuck? In my opinion, we get stuck because we don’t move from where we stand. We stay where we are and think, think, and then think.

 

Why do we stay in the same spot?

 

Sometimes we are complacent. We are comfortable with the same routine. We are comfortable staying in our comfort zone. We are comfortable having the same people around us all the time.

 

Sometimes we are afraid. We are afraid to face the reality. We are afraid to fail. We are afraid to discover what we can and who we are (and consequently what we cannot and who we are not).

 

Sometimes that is all we know. We think that is all there is to it. We think we have reached our limit. We think there is nothing else out there. Or at least we make ourselves believe it.

 

I am not saying thinking is bad. You may list pros and cons of your plan. You may evaluate strengths and weaknesses. You may consider opportunities and threats.  However, without taking an action, nothing progresses. Nothing.

 

Actions open doors because taking an action leads you to a new learning.

 

Without lifting something heavy, you won’t know how strong you are.

Without running, you won’t know how capable your body is to sustain the cardiorespiratory activity.

Without communicating how you exactly feel, you won’t know what it is like to be understood by others.

Without climbing a mountain, you won’t know what a view at the summit looks like.

Without going abroad, you won’t know what is so unique about your own country.

Without asking questions, you won’t get to know the answers.

 

Without taking an action, the rate of your progress is zero 100% of the time.

 

So let us take a deep breath.

Let us have courage to try.

Let us have a faith in ourselves.

And just go dive in.

Once In A Lifetime

Every moment we have in our lives is an once-in-a-life-time opportunity.

There is a Japanese saying “ichigo-ichie.” This came from the Japanese tea culture where people gathered to share green tea in a small building that was made for that reason. Those people who showed up were not the same every time so each gathering was once in a life time to be present with each person. Thus, the saying was to teach they should treat that moment as if it is their last to be with those who were present.

We are so used to live our lives unaware of how precious each moment is in our day-to-day lives. We put off things. We think we can do it tomorrow. We think we can say what need to say next time.

Then, we face a terminal disease in someone. We lose someone we feel close to. We experience a tragedy. We remember our life is not guaranteed. We don’t have forever.

Unfortunately soon after the realization, we go back to our regular routine.

Whether we are feeling grateful or upset, that moment is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, because the same moment and experience will never come back.

So let us appreciate each moment and what we are experiencing at that specific time.

This is our once-in-a-life-time opportunity to get frustrated with traffic.
So we get to practice mindfulness and patience and we can feel grateful when there is no traffic.

This is our once-in-a-life-time opportunity to get mad at our bosses.
So we get to know what we want in leadership and we can feel grateful when there is a good and caring boss.

This is our once-in-a-life-time opportunity to get injured or sick.
So we get to learn how to take care of ourselves and we can feel grateful when we feel great.

Each moment is giving us a choice.
Choice to feel grateful.
Choice to be aware.
Choice to live our lives in the way we want.

Be Happy with What You Believe

Each of us has grown up with a certain sense of spirituality whether it came from a religion in your household, your personal value, and life experiences.

Doing what I do as a psychic medium, I often meet clients who have struggled with their own sense of spirituality mostly because what they come to believe or discover from their life experience may not agree with what they were taught when they were young.

I am not here to criticize nor make a judgment about a religion or spirituality. But I would rather like to suggest something to help you understand your own faith: consider your faith to be fluid and flexible.

I believe each of our own human experiences shapes who we are. It changes us because we experience something new and we learn about us. We are not to stay the same forever. We are not to be in the same emotional space forever. As we change and grow as a person, our concept of who we are changes emotionally and spiritually.

It might be comforting to believe faith is something that has been written in stone with what you need to do and should do as guidance. However, when one statement about spirituality is considered true to a person, the same statement may not be considered true for another person, because each person is uniquely different and no one on this earth will have the same emotional and spiritual experiences.

So let us give ourselves permission to change what we believe. Let us be free to believe what we want to believe. Because in the end, what matter is you being happy with what you believe by believing what you want to believe.

Making Allies

As a psychic medium, I often get asked if I get scared (or used to get scared) when I see a ghost or sense a spirit.

When I was a kid, I was often frightened by seeing or sensing a spirit as I had no clue why they were there. Now I get startled when I am not expecting but I rarely get scared as spirits have been part of my daily life.

I want to share some tips dealing with spirits. Obviously, these are just from my experiences, so they might not apply to all situations. Also, these are meant to eliminate some of your fears, and not intended for you to go ask for some negative energy to mess with.

When you feel a spirit is not nice or you don't want spirits to be there, especially in your home, you can tell them to leave and go away. You can act as if they are regular people. If guests show up unannounced or uninvited, you would tell them to leave. The same goes with spirits.

It is okay for you to tell spirits not to startle you or scare you. I used to get images or feelings that were shocking or scary, so I told them to show me a bit less shocking images, which worked for me.

When in need, you can ask spirits of your loved ones (who are on the other side) to help you. You can ask them to protect you from unwanted energies and to help you remove unwanted energies.

In addition to your loved ones, you can ask your house, car, furniture, etc. to be your ally. Everything is energy. If you want to be protected, you can ask whatever you have to be your protector. I tell my car, Henry (he told me that is his name), to take me safely to a destination, and also thank him for keeping me safe after driving. It is important to show your gratitude for what they do for you.

I hope these tips are helpful. You don’t need to scared. Moreover, you don't want to attract more fearful energy by being scared. Make yourself happy and make your house happy (whether by decorating with what you love or by painting with colors you love). That is your best protection.