A New Day: My Story of Broken to Healed

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Less than 3 years ago I was sitting in a hostel in Barcelona in a bunkbed.

I had a dream that I was to quit real estate, like not actively participate in it anymore. I had just carried a duffel across western Europe and little did I know how much that experience would change my life. It was also on that bed that I first saw Toure Roberts speak via youtube. Up until then my relationship with God was outside of institutions because well I had let go of a really closed minded institution. I grew up going to church and I didn’t realize how legalistic most churches were until I finally left 6 plus years ago.

And I saw God like I never saw Him before. Gracious, fatherly, loving, generous, slow to anger, quick to love, quick to extend a hand. 

Then like a snake, I shed everything. I shed my career, I shed my relationship, I shed some friendships, I shed my apartment, I shed my prized super comfy sofa that I really loved, I shed almost everything, the forks and plates.

I had built my life on a lie, that I wasn’t enough. 

And God would speak into those insecurities and continue to speak “you are enough right here and right now” in the next days, next year, and so forth.

I learned to love myself in the darkest places of my heart. I learned to be okay with emotions, you know the ugly ones…emotions like “Hey you hurt me” or “hey that hurt, I mind that you said that”. I learned to VALUE my voice. 

Because even now when I tell people what I’m going through they quickly remark “you are victorious” instead of being there with me in the pain. I have learned that not many people are comfortable with facing their place of pain. Reading “No More Faking Fine” has taught me to lament, to struggle with God in the pain, to be okay not being okay.  

And obviously we all hate it when people complain too much or dwell on their pain 24 hours, we hate it…yah, that’s another issue, but some of us, like me, never learned to lament.

In the months and year of feeling like “nothing was happening” God was actually healing me and replacing the lie of “I’m not enough” to “I belong, I am enough. I am loved and accepted right here and right now”. 

And in doing so, I no longer needed the attention of people…of men, or the desire to need to be wanted or chased by potential partners. I no longer needed acceptance from people. And yah, I still have insecurities here and there but I feel different, I feel at peace with who I am now. 

No longer chasing things, opportunities, friends, potential friends, potential mates…I sunk deeper into God’s unconditional love for me. 

I would no longer be defined by my accomplishments and accolades but by the tiny and still voice of “enough” and “love”.

I found God’s love to be deeply captivating, deeply protective, silently powerful. 

The breakthrough is here. The breakthrough is you. The breakthrough is YOU knowing who you really truly are.

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Discern The Times

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Not every season is a season to fight.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3

Though you may not be in a season of laughing and dancing, know that there is a season for everything. Embrace the tears if that is your season. Embrace the solitude if that is your season. Embrace your soul if that is your season.

I know that it is hard to wait and be still when you see others thriving in certain areas. Perhaps in the areas of career, love, travel. Maybe you want to date, but you are not ready, you cannot force yourself to be ready. Maybe you see other people traveling, but you are not, remember your time will come.

My relationship with God has helped me to discern the times, to sit and listen and sometimes to run and listen. I will hear “not now”, I have heard that for awhile now, I obey, submitting to a higher knowledge. I trust the timing. I also know that God knows my heart and whether I am ready for something. 

Have you discerned your season?

If you believe then God has already gone before you to pave the road. Just receive.

 

Life can fuck you up

“Just warning you, there is an F word, the third word”.

“Okay….Life can fuck you up….what does fuck you up mean?” – mom.

“Um. Just read the whole thing.”

This is what I told her to read, my facebook status.

“Life can fuck you up. It can leave you jaded. It is like an earthquake happened and the building fell on you. It is God’s job to pick up the pieces that fell on you if you ask, if you let Him. Every piece is like a piece of your heart and He examines what was broken and pieces it back together.
It is heavy as fuck in the process. Your heart feels heavy, your body feels heavy. You do not have the energy to do much.
But when your conscious self sees each piece, brought to reality, brought to light, you dismantle the lie that came with the rubble.

When that piece fell on you you thought “I must not be enough”.
When another piece fell on you you thought “I never win”.
When yet another piece fell on you you thought “nobody loves me, I am a burden”.
But God wants to heal you, He says you are a gift, not a burden, you are enough, you are loved, you are a winner.
This has been my journey.”

Why are there so many “you you”? -mom

Sigh.

I had a dream last night that revealed to my conscious being what I was truly feeling. I was suppressing a lot of emotions because I was taught growing up that I shouldn’t cry. But in reality, I was feeling some despair. I’m tired of waiting, and I often ask, for what. But God has told me, wait upon me. Sometimes I wonder, what am I waiting for. But maybe I’m not waiting, I’m just healing.

I know that sometimes we want to rush the healing process and “get on” with life, but maybe true living means loving the process, loving the season we are in, being honest about how we feel, even if we are frustrated, sad, confused, angry, but simply embracing those emotions instead of pushing them away.

 

 

Follow Your Curiosity: Moulin Rouge

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I think Elizabeth Gilbert once gave a speech about this.

There are things in my life that I never thought I’d get to do. If I had followed my plan for success as a young girl, I would have never dreamed of dancing at the Moulin Rouge…but somehow after talking to the producer for months, this dream came true. I flew to Paris and danced there.

Watch the Moulin Rouge episode here, remember you need to download the go90 app to watch the whole thing.

But I never thought I’d have the courage to do some of the things I’ve done…or to even be interested in doing it. Most of the things I did because I thought it would be fun.

Here’s a list:

  1. After I quit my job, I started selling jewelry because I liked jewelry. And also I saw some vendors selling jewelry on the streets in Australia when I was traveling.
  2. When money started running dry, I wrote down a list of things I was good at and started teaching them via craigslist. I had two senior aged students. I fell in love with old people then.
  3. When I was looking for places to rent, I met a realtor and thought gosh I could be a realtor, this looks fun. So I became a realtor. I walked in obedience to the calling I felt to serve people wherever I am, but when God finally said to let go, I let go. When the joy ran out and it became a source of strife, that’s when you know “this season is over”.
  4. I really needed to laugh more, so I took a comedy improv class. The teacher told me “I have a face for commercial acting”…I followed the lead. I took the commercial acting class, got a bunch of headshots, got an agent even, worked my butt off….and that curiosity actually led me to reality shows. Not commercials. In fact going to auditions was actually God’s way of solidifying my identity in Him. 
  5. My curiosity to like find my life partner (dating) got me on a show that was about dating, so I thought, but then it was actually Married By Mom and Dad. After I prayed about it and heard God say “don’t worry you won’t get picked” I decided to go for it, trusting that God would protect me. Yes, I wanted to get married, but to the right person, and this was believing that what God said to me was true.
  6. I didn’t get married. Thank God. Now my curiosity said “I’ve been wanting to go to Thailand for a few years”. I booked a one way and that curiosity took me all over Southeast Asia.

These curiosities are interests. Passions, perhaps. But what you do doesn’t define who you are, it actually just grows you more, gives you riches in the heart, makes you who you are in the end, gives you stories to tell, gives you friends that last a whole lifetime and more. The difficulties makes you persevere, it teaches you about your heart. 

I bet you have questions…like but what’s your compass? My compass is the God who created me. I talk and converse with God every day, moment even. He gives me wisdom about what direction to go, sometimes He trusts me to make the decision, but sometimes I ask for reassurance. Some decisions and directions are pretty straight forward- like if the person who is offering the opportunity has no integrity, the opportunity feels like striving instead of abiding, I have no joy or interest in it. But the point and the goal is to live with God. Really, to learn what freedom is.

Oprah said “what is your intention?” and I ask myself this when I go about doing anything.  I trust the holy spirit to guide me through desire…for example, yesterday I didn’t plan anything for Halloween but I didn’t want to sit at home all night. I took the bus to Pasadena and went trick or treating. Yes, as an adult. And you know what, I HAD SO MUCH FUN. And I went by myself! Gosh, I forgot HOW MUCH I LOVE CANDY! But it was just fun meeting strangers. I do this kind of thing. Because knowing God is with me, I can do what I want without fear.

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That’s me in the Mario mask and some stranger’s kid. LOL.

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.

“How I Left a Lifetime of Expectations to Pursue a Lifestyle that I Love”-Dream Interview Justine TF

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REBEKKA LIEN x JUSTINE TF

Dream Catcher Interview

This is a new segment on my blog about people who conquer all odds to live an unconventional life and dream that is unique to who they are. My first interviewee is Justine TF, a lifelong friend I’ve known for over 14 years.

Enjoy and please check out her work!

R- Tell us about who you are, your story and how you came to live your dreams? (How you quit dental school, etc…what was your process, what spurred on the idea).

J- My parents were both born and raised in Taiwan in the 1950’s in poverty and as adults moved to the U.S. to start a new life. Given that there were so many opportunities compared to anything they’d seen back home, it was paramount that I take advantage and study everything, get the best grades, go to the top schools, and secure a great future. They came from very little, and so their vision for us was to become ridiculously financially wealthy, but not without reason. Our stipulation was to do good for others in a respectable career, and so medicine was the most logical route.

I studied my ass off. As a kid, I rarely had free time. My mom was constantly shuffling us to extracurriculars and after school classes. In middle school, I took my first SAT class. In high school, I took a bunch of AP’s. I got into UCSD, one of the top science universities, and majored with honors in biochemistry. Clearly, and thankfully, I had the brains to do all of it, but whatever it was that was missing didn’t become apparent until I was already half way deep into a doctor of dental surgery program.

I remember the first time I felt a calling to be an artist was in high school. I was watching Heidi Klum’s Project Runway with my cousins and announced, “I want to do that. I want to just make stuff.” I didn’t know how significant that statement was then, but before that, I had always been a very creative child. Almost too creative. Notebooks and art supplies were my favorite presents as a kid, and I would immediately fill my notebooks with doodles, plans, and short stories. My parents were terrified of letting me explore creative avenues, and I remember having to hide my notebooks. Yes, I would get in trouble. And yes, I would get beat for “wasting my time”.

In college, I doodled in just about every notebook I had. Other people’s notebooks, too. I filled every inch of every wall in my apartment with my own art and even painted a mural. My creativity was really starting to overflow and I needed somewhere to channel it, so I started a shiny new Tumblr blog called “Doodles and Things” (which is probably someone else’s username/domain now). Tumblr was very new then. I posted my doodles and illustrations everyday and built a portfolio of thousands of images. From there, I was able to obtain some freelance work as an illustrator for music albums, a book cover, and local newspapers.

Keep in mind, I was still on my way to becoming a doctor. My view around making art for a living was so skewed by the way I was raised, that when people were throwing money my way for me to make art for them, I would see it as just a temporary favor. Never once did it occur to me that, “Hey, I never took an art class, but I’m still making art. I must be an artist.” Nope.

I remember very distinctly in an MCAT class once, I had just had enough of the bullshit. This was when I was still on my way to going to medical school before I diverted – not far enough – toward dental school instead. As the teacher droned on about test taking techniques, I took out a red pen and just started drawing all over my workbook. It was quite obnoxious, but it felt so good to just be free in the moment.

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Anyway, this is a loaded question. Where was I…?

Oh yeah, How I Quit Dental School:

I was depressed and felt out of place as all hell in dental school, but I pushed through because I believed what everyone else said – after the first year, which is heavily didactic, things should get better. It didn’t get better for me. In fact, when I got into the clinic, things got worse. Even though I had the hand skills to work in millimeters, I just couldn’t see myself working on another person’s tooth for the rest of my life. I needed a canvas. I wanted to paint walls.

It took a lot of guts to leave, for sure, but so many more nights of insomnia, feelings of hopelessness, and pure exhaustion from trying to convince myself to do something I didn’t want to do.

Thankfully, through working with my school counselor and amazing clinic professor (who are now both good friends of mine), I was able to systematically withdraw from my program without making a scene. Most people in my class who found out were surprised by my leaving. I didn’t tell anyone until after I left.

Leading up to that point, as I said, I was depressed as all hell. I had already been practicing yoga everyday, but my counselor recommended that I try meditation as well. One night, I was so tired of feeling so impotent as a dental student whose future was grim and set, that I simply imagined what it would be like to be something else, anything else. Immediately, the fog cleared within me and in that instant, I knew another life was possible. Such was the real opportunity my parents had given me.

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R- What were some of your challenges? How did people respond to you wanting to pursue your passions?

J- The biggest challenge was to not succumb to the pressure to stay. So many people were terrified for me. Many asked if I was sure I wasn’t going to regret it. But I had prepared myself for these naysayers. They weren’t not believing in me, they were just trying to look out for me. No one had the vision I had for myself the way that I had seen it in my own head. I mean, duh. It’s my life! I had to do what I had to do.

R- What keeps you going?

J- I’m committed to exploring this inner psychology that I have as a human being and communicating that with others through my artwork. Part of the reason that art is so powerful is that it represents things and ideas that words alone could never do justice. It’s an amorphous language all on its own. I think through the practice of yoga, where so much internally is explored, I’ve really discovered what I could do with art. It’s truly a special form of communication. What is communicated in my work is the recognition of internal human experiences that exist universally.

Similarly, with yoga, I’m committed to assisting others with the exploration of their own internal journey. I have learned so much through my own practice, and want for others to see for themselves!

R- What inspires you?

J- Nature for its insistent stride in the cycle of birth, growth, death, and re-birth again. Nature is such a great teacher.

R- Who has been supportive and encouraging in your walk?

J- Thankfully – my mom, my brother, and lots of friends and family. But my therapist is the real the MVP. Love you, Monica!

 

R- Love that artwork- trust the process- can you explain why you created that piece?

J- I made that on a whim, like most of my pieces are, because human experiences are equally fleeting. I was feeling antsy about not knowing what to make next, so I just sat down and let the words come to me. All I could think of that evening was to just trust the process, since I’ve learned from so many pieces before that the end products never turn out to be the way I imagine. And in fact, they almost always surprise me in a good way. So, I dipped my brush into ink and made my first stroke, which ended up being the top of the first T.

6R- What do you envision for 2016 or even the rest of your life?

J- For 2016, I’d like to really learn how to run a business. For the rest of my life, I’ll probably be making art! Hopefully write a book. Publish a coloring book.

R- And feel free to add anything you’d like to tell the readers about following their dreams!

J- If you have a dream, what’s the very next step you need to take to make it a reality? Figure it out and do it. Then repeat. That’s it! It really is that simple. We often see living our dreams as this giant mountain that we can never get to the top of, but while the grand view is daunting, all you can do right now is the next step anyway. So what’s the first next step? Figure out a way to do that and do it. Then ask yourself: What’s the next step?

 

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS!

Black Friday deals ends December 1! 

Hello friends! I’m sitting here in Florence, Italy and am heading to Barcelona tomorrow. In Europe, I have come up with many ideas that were inspired by the road. One of my inventions here was the lifestyle brand Smartspiritualsexy, inspired when I was walking on the streets in Paris. A few ideas came to my mind, I decided to continue teaching Yoga and Meditation for the months of January and February. In late March, I’ll be moving to West Hollywood, hola everyone!!! We’re introducing a speaker’s series and I’ll even throw a FREE EVENT to help inspire people who want to grow in their entrepreneur endeavors.

I’m throwing deals out so YOU can benefit from my travels and inspirations!! 

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 How To Make Money Doing What You Love, Retails $24.99, now for only $10. 

+ Learn how you can build a business around what you love

+ Practical steps to making a profit from your hobbies NOW!

+ Learn how I grew my business from $60.16 in the bank

Buy NOW! CLICK HERE 🙂  

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The universe is moved by your meditation. 

1 hour of meditation is worth more than 7 hours of physical labor. 

What I mean by that is that your inner life and intentions form your reality. Your thoughts are things. What you are, you manifest. I’ve learned this from the past 3 years being self-employed. I had to let go and reprogram my mind to succeed. You see, growing up I was constantly sent the message that I wasn’t enough. I had low self-worth and didn’t feel like I deserved much in life, especially in my finance. Later on, I studied up on law of attraction and attended many conferences, such as Tony Robbin’s. I realized that my finance was heavily linked to what I thought I was worth. 

Are YOU ready to become who you really are? 

You see, our spirits are constantly battling with reality. Our spirit knows who we really are, but sometimes our reality does not match up to who we really are and we question our worth. If you are ready to become greater, better, more AT PEACE with yourself and manifest your dream life…..EASILY and GRACEFULLY, without any work on your part…simply by committing to one hour of yoga and meditation per week, you’ll start to see a shift in your consciousness and reality. 

You’ll see that your spirit will start to match with your reality. You’re meant for greatness.

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The Yoga and Meditation Course takes place in San Marino (Los Angeles) and begins January 10, 2014, every Saturday 7-8pm. Register now for only $89 per month (deal ends December 1, 2014). Invite your friends!

Your Entrepreneur Coach, Manifest Your Dreams With Ease and Grace 

Rebekka Lien Headshot