Rules of Engagement

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Pic from google

Hello. I don’t have a blog schedule, I just write when I feel like it.

I realize that most of us don’t grow up being taught how to make friends or what is normal, healthy in a relationship. I’ve learned some things over the years that have helped me to have healthy boundaries. First, I read the book Boundaries by John Townsend. That changed my dynamic with my mom because I realized that I could say no to my mom. Also I grew up going to a baptist church where they taught you that loving people meant listening to them, or serving them. What a recipe for a fucking place mat, or door mat. I meant.

I don’t think Jesus listened to everyone when he was walking this earth, I think he wouldn’t have accomplished everything he needed to do.

Here’s a few things I came up with : 

  1. Close friends are your inner circle that you share your problems with, confide in, pray with. It’s a mutual relationship where you better each other.
  2. There are different types of close friends, some friends you talk to more often than others. Some you talk to about certain problems.
  3. It is okay to separate from friends that are going different directions. I have broken up with a few friends that due to beliefs and differences, it was healthier for both parties to basically stop talking or fade off. You don’t necessarily have to “break up”, you can just distance yourself.
  4. As a wise sage, many people have requested to “hang out with me”. Hey WE HAVEN’T talked forever, we should hang out! 

I found out the hard way that it meant I was their therapist and they would dump a shit load of problems into my ears and psyche and mess with the positive flow I was in. 

Which is why I have started asking people “what do you want?”.

Here’s a way to filter out people:

  1. What are you hitting on me?
  2. What’s up?
  3. What’s going on?
  4. What’s wrong?
  5. What’s right?

Which sounds kind of awful, but it has helped me clarify so that I am not getting fooled.

You might be thinking, “well maybe you are the answer to their problems!” Well, most people who use manipulative ways to “spend time with you” actually won’t listen to any of your advice. They will continue to brood, complain to anyone who will listen. 

5. The key is to say no. Say no when your heart says no.

6. If you ARE on the other end, you see someone that is maybe wise, as an acquaintance, approach them by asking “hey, can I get some advice from you?” Come out right in the beginning and say what it is that you want. “Hey I need help, I’m in a pit right now and was wondering if you had any advice for me”. Don’t manipulate others by pretending you are wanting to be their “friend”. Friends are people who actually want to contribute to another person, not just TAKE from them.

7. What does that mean? Your circle will decrease in size. As you get older, you will learn to discern who has your best interest in mind. You will maybe have a best friend, and a few close friends….

8. What is a true friend? Someone who you can be yourself with. Not just a therapist all the time.

9. If you do want to do something, do it. 

If you don’t, don’t. There is nothing worse than a obligated life. 

 

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Daughter of A Father

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

5,she said.

And I am 23 years older than you. And yes I have a happy meal too. I admit when I see little girls with their fathers I often feel a twinge of jealousy.

The most time I have spent with my dad is when I visit Taiwan, and even those precious times of being a daughter of a father, I am grateful I have a father who is alive.

I suppose hardships keep you grasping for some positive mindset.

You are going to meet someone, I hear as I am walking to Mcdonalds.

I met a 5 year old girl. God often surprises me. She is a daughter of a father who was sitting with her. And I, well, was sitting on the far end of the booth playing with my transformer robot alone.

It is sometimes in these moments that God reminds me how I am never alone, that as my father He sits with me and watches me play like a 5 year old. In these moments I am reminded that His love is unconditional and fatherly.

To this I am grateful. 14743200213181913755183

Stop Putting Millenials In A Box

We are not all hipsters who live in San Jose or have trust funds.

Of course, I hope people don’t think that. But I also feel like millenials are really misunderstood. First off, we are people, individuals with different backgrounds, families and upbringings, obviously.

I am a first generation immigrant who was born in Germany, lived in Taiwan for 4 years, then moved to LA. My parents divorced when I was 8. I grew up seeing financial hard times. Stress, lots of yelling, objects being thrown. I heard, even a knife one time. Financial aid helped me get through school and different things. I worked 40 hours a week one semester to pay for tuition. I became an entrepreneur in 3rd grade because I didn’t want my family to struggle. I basically grew up since 8 years old, making my own money. I actually didn’t know how to ask for help because I thought it was normal to be independent. Later I learned that it was okay to ask for help or to simply be someone’s child.

I didn’t have a relationship trajectory, I had lists, but I didn’t know my worth enough. I got into a long term relationship, I broke it off. It is taking years to heal. I quit my job and saw serious struggle. I remember not having money to buy toilet paper and I used cotton balls, my roommate used Trader Joe’s paper bag, thanks Trader Joe’s. During this time, God broke off any ideas of identity coming from achievement or works.

Identity, He says, comes from knowing you are my child. 

My business took a down turn, I took several turns, I found myself, what I really wanted. I gave everything up, I started over, I lost everything, I restored my relationship with my mom and dad. I dropped everything. Though sometimes I can hardly breathe thinking about everything I’ve been through in just the 28 years of my life, I thank God that I survived and found my authentic self.

So please, do not put us in a box. I have friends that in the last 5 years have struggled through immense pain, cancer, spiritual growth, finding their purpose beyond “just working and being a robot”, wanting to start a cafe but having both parents talk shit to her and discourage her, saying things like “how are you going to make money”.

And yes, even millenials with trust funds have parents that use money to control them. So no, I don’t think there is one life that is better or more privileged than the next. Everyone has shit going on in their lives. Everyone is looking for purpose. 

I’ve seen almost 5 people who are millenials go through difficult, heart wrenching divorces.

You can minimize pain, say that 1/4 of our nation is spoiled and don’t know what our lives are about, but please, try to get to know us. Yes, maybe the media has shown otherwise, but remember they are celebrities, but even celebrities are human beings, not a grouping of people, they’re people.

Here’s an advice, try to actually hear our stories, get to know us as individuals. 

Don’t try to separate us from the rest of humanity.

Here and Now, The Life of Non-Resistance

-You have everything you need to be the person you need to be now-

If love is not fear, has no part in it, and vice versa, then it makes sense that when we try to control the outcome, the process of life, loved ones or even what we desire, we will not attain it or have true peace (even if we attain it to our liking).

Why? Because control comes from a fear that if you did not have it or attained it, whether it is a person, thing or goal, you wouldn’t be whole.

So then, what is true happiness?

Contentment, becoming, being. 

In knowing your position as a daughter or the son of God, we are whole in all. Royalty.

So that our acquiring, achieving, creativity only comes from a pure place of knowing who we are as royalty, and not from a place of needing the world’s approval. 

That is why people are often disappointed because they are waiting for proof of their royalty when in actuality a queen or king has no need of proof, they are, within, knowing who they are.

I wrote this in my notebook a few nights ago.

The more I release the ego- the desire to fight the flow of life, the more I am reaching deep spiritual breakthroughs, and often in my dreams. Yesterday I dreamed that I was driving a large truck and it was broken so that each time you tried to brake, it would halt only a little. The end of the truck kept hitting things.

Finally, I folded the truck (in the dream it was foldable) into the size of a piece of paper and laid it on the chair along with the keys. I gave it to the strangers around me.

The driving experience was the same as the one I had when I was in Bali. I got into a moped accident when in my excitement to discover the island like the author of Eat, Pray, Love, forgotten that Bali was a crazy island with lots of cars and mopeds.

A few times in my inexperienced state and fear, I pulled on the gas instead of the brake, one time going right in front of oncoming car, missing it by a bit. I ended up in an accident with the moped crushing my feet. I sat in my hotel room for 5 days, then another week recovering at another hostel. There was a clinic right across, it felt like a huge loss both to my wallet and to my ego. I was not able to experience Bali the way I wanted to and my feet was bloody with deep wounds.

My feet and legs are still sore 9 months after. That was December 2015.

I remember my friend said “God is guiding you, teaching you which steps to hop into like hopscotch”. 

The truth is sometimes I get ahead of God. I supposedly didn’t really crawl when I was baby, I just kept attempting to walk and I fell often. Later on as a kid, I fell a lot because I guess my legs weren’t properly prepped. I’m learning to rest.

I have always been different, in school, in the world. 

Instead of accepting the gift of being a breed of my own, I often tried to “catch up”. A lot of people my age are married, have kids, have a normal career, but I don’t have the status quo life. I often live in solitude and prefer writing. I don’t go out to party as much as I used to. I don’t have a lot of close friends, but I love the ones I do have.

In fact, I have learned to love my need for solitude and my time to be with God completely. It is strange I know, because I don’t really care to be popular or to hang out with people I don’t have any interest in. I’m not on any dating sites now, and I prefer not to date. I know in due time when the universe is ready, I will be aligned for my life partner.

So now I’m learning what it means to live a non-resistant life.

That means I don’t do things that cause havoc to my spirit, I listen to my spirit…if something seems too complicated and trying (such as planning things like meeting with a friend), I refuse it. So naturally I respond better to things that are spontaneous as I do not have to plan.

I don’t do things to further my career or status in life, because I believe I am always at the right place at the right time and I am in “further”, I am now, here, so there’s no means to an end, I am the end. God is the end and I am one with God. There is less striving, more being. 

The Lord is my Shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me besides quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley. I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever- Psalm 23

Accept that you are enough, here and now for the journey you are on.

Daily Surrender

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The beauty of life actually lies in the act of daily surrender.

As crazy as people say I am, the more I live a life of surrender, the more I realize how limited my thinking is. I cannot begin to comprehend how God works and that is just the beauty of it. I’m dumb as fuck compared to God. 

Life becomes enjoyable when we admit that our wisdom is beyond limited and God’s unimaginably creative and mind blowing.

By letting go of control, we get to partner with God in creating art out of our lives, to feel deeply each emotion, to play, to have fun, to create a rich life of love.

I am lost for words, sometimes unable to even express the plethora of emotions that is in my heart. I will go days feeling the tensions and not knowing how to face my truth.

It is in admitting “I don’t know why that happened, why nothing happened according to my preconceived notion of what should have happened, and why I even had that notion in the first place’ and maybe that I’m disappointed, scared that life is unpredictable, uncontrollable….

That my heart can finally release it’s grip.

It is okay that I don’t know.

It is okay that I may have been disappointed, but I want to continue learning how to surrender to God’s infinite ways of life.

Nowadays, grace is not so popular. Not knowing is so unpopular, there is an answer for everything. But I don’t always know what is going on and I’m okay with it. God’s got it, God has it figured out, He knew me before I was born.

I might not know where I’m going geographically even in the next month, and it upsets people. They want to make plans with me, but I can’t. My loyalty isn’t to them. My loyalty is to God. Make plans with me in the next week, but after that, I don’t know where I’m going. If I feel RIGHT about something, I will commit to doing it, but if I don’t feel RIGHT in my heart about it, I won’t. I have an inner compass. Being loyal to your vision makes you uncontrollable, free. 

So don’t feel bad that life didn’t go the way you predicted, perhaps your get married by 30 plan, career plan, etc. Life is better in a daily act of surrender. Surrender never felt so sweet.

(pic above is in SF, my mom and I went on a last minute trip).

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Purple Weed Cake

My craziest, well, I’ve HAD A LOT OF CRAZY travel experiences as a solo backpacker, but the weed cake in Amsterdam was PRETTY crazy.

I am not a drug user, I’ve never tried any hardcore drugs. I’ve only drank. And smoked weed (socially). But THE WEED CAKE from Amsterdam did me in. I only planned 2-3 nights there because the hostels were really expensive compared to the rates I was paying in other cities. After a 9 hour bus ride from London (in 2014), I got picked up from the bus station by a friend I met at King King (LA), which used to play really cool house music, but it is unfortunately now CLOSED. I used to go to King King with my older friends (well, not much older…haha, like 2-3 years older). My younger friends didn’t really understand what the heck it was about, you see it was about the MUSIC and the DANCING, not instagram.

Anyways, we had a meal, caught up and I went up.

It was the cheapest hostel in Amsterdam, which meant you literally lived across a 24 hour club banging loud music….I don’t know how I fell asleep at all. 

But you know being semi- adventurous, I met some random friend in the lounge the next day, which happens to be purple, and he was like “hey, I heard there’s this really good weed cake, want to split one?” We found the cafe, owned by Armenians, I think, and we bought the famous weed cake he was talking about.

Anyways, we split it. We actually split it.

The last time I ate weed was when my friend made a cookie, I only ate a bit of it and when I was trying to drift off to sleep, I felt like there was a bug crawling in my stomach. Talk about paranoid.

Anyways, nothing happened.

But then I got really hungry and went to the only place I could afford with my budget, Burger King. Stupidly, I got a freaken coffee! And a meal. I devoured the load.

The coffee came sweeping up on me like a explosion of heartbeats and stars. I remembered my friend Munir told me not to drink coffee.

I was NOT okay.

I had to lie down fast or I was going to faint or have an epileptic attack.

I walked to my hostel mixed dorm room and climbed up to my bunk bed. I don’t know how much time past, but I literally saw my hand shaking. I called my boyfriend at the time, who I met in London, I said “I’m going to die, I’m dying”. He said “you sound okay to me”.

No really I’m dying.

I don’t know how much time past, but I kept staring at the clock scared that I would miss my bus tomorrow. I climbed down once, threw up, stared at the mirror, my eyes bloodshot. Was I dreaming? I climbed up again, how did I manage not to fall. I was not used to be out of control. I was a control freak really, I mean how else could I backpack on my own and not get kidnapped?

I projectile vomited a few times, one time I couldn’t hold it in and sort of sprayed into some of those Australian mates’ massive pile of stinky clothes and bags, there was even a doll in there. Like what?

The worse was when the purple swirly Victorian style wallpaper turned into Buddha. My heart was racing and this nice Samaritan gave me a drink of her water. 

Later we would bump into each other in Berlin. 

It was in the afternoon. I found myself playing worship music and praying in tongues. I forgave all my enemies and asked God to forgive me for hating on people.

I got my heart right somehow, I don’t know why, but I felt that if I died in that Amsterdam bunk bed, next to filthy stinky shit that belonged to these filthy mates, I’d be okay. Apparently, I even talked to some people, but half way I’d stop.

“where are you from?” – said stranger.

“I’m from LA”- Said me.

“How long are you traveling for?”

me- “uhhhh”. Blank out, I’m dying, I think.

Ran to bathroom, throw up, stare at mirror, ran back to bunk bed, am I alive, am I in some sort of Tom Cruise movie? Everything was like seconds of a film, it was a movie.

This is what came of that day.

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You can order your own print here: https://society6.com/product/amsterdam-wz8_print#s6-2691391p4a1v45

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The sketch, the cafe, and the hostel cat and I recovering.

I’ll always have stories to tell. Moral of the story, some good art might come from a horrific experience, and sometimes they wake us up to a spiritual reality.

Stop Pimping Yourself Out

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(that’s a really ripe banana)

Wisdom always comes descending into my mind in the most inconvenient times like at 2am, 4 am. But then I am an alien so I have to be mindful of these downloads and know that this is why I’m on earth, to spread the wisdom of light.

This time I am confronted with the fact that I have let things distract me.

Which makes sense because God even spoke to me through a tattoo a few months ago. The tattoo said “focus”. 

Which brings me back to the fact that yes, I can blame people or specifically for my mom for being a distraction, always asking me to go out, go eat, go shopping, go somewhere with her…or I can simple learn to say no….that for once, in this time of INSPIRATION, this season where I don’t need to MIND anything but CREATION, CREATING, WRITING, DRAWING, CREATING as I have set my mind to do for the last year.

Originally my dream was basically to have non-distracted time to focus on my dream, which is the dream to create and do what I was born to do. 

So my logic started to beat myself up “dude, remember you wasted so much time putting others first?” I’m like SHUT UP.

Anyways, grace.

Then it dawned on me, I must VALUE myself and my time first before anyone else can VALUE ME. I must MASSIVELY value my talent and skills so I can massively impact the world for change. Don’t mind the money, don’t mind what’s going on in the world.

OUR JOB as artists, writers, musicians, creators is to create out of that secret place only we can….to bring fresh perspective, to be a vessel for which God creates through and with us. 

We must be creators….not constantly consuming the random streams of entertainment on facebook or social media, we must be INTENTIONAL about how we spend our time….because as creators, WE are the change. 

Living an intentional life seems to be impossible. Everyone is just responding to messages, staring at their phones, glued to present events instead of forecasting the future, dreaming, going about their dreams.

That is why I’m committing myself this day 8/18/2016 to be intentional about putting MYSELF first in this creating process so I can CREATE out of a space of health and freedom, instead of submitting to the urgency of other people around me. 

Sign- me.

Some people are so weirded out about the term “love yourself” but really it is just “valuing yourself”. Value your time, value your time.

Stop pimping yourself out. You don’t need to fix peoples’ lives, focus on creating so that you can have greater impact in this world. Sometimes codependent people are just a distraction so that you won’t write that book, create that podcast, write that article that millions and billions of people can be impact by.

I realize that by putting myself first, choosing my own well-being, health, sanity, I am loving the world at the same time. I am choosing the best for the world and I.

How about you? 

I would like to value myself more by: 

Fill in the blanks. Such as, “by not picking up my phone when I’m creating art” 

“Not taking on opportunities that don’t pay”

“Saying no and I don’t want to”

“Saying yes to my soul and what makes my spirit sing!”

PS- I’d like to add that the term starving artist has a connotation. Only when we are willing to starve as artists for the uncompromising truth of our soul will we then have massive impact. Because it is basically saying “I am SO passionate, I’d do anything for it”. When is the last time you felt that passionate about something? I believe it’s there, you have it within you.