The Lifestyle of “The Unknown”

Laying on the soft korean mat, I tried to fall asleep…but all I could hear was the construction outside or the tv.

My thoughts drifted to last year when I had spent a night here- Jet lagged from 4 months of traveling in Southeast Asia. That is how I feel today having woken up at 5am.

I remember pushing a huge brown suitcase (because I acquired it at my last stop in
Taiwan) and my backpacking bag on 6th street.

For some reason I did not feel compelled to make plans. God had told me to trust Him and follow the spirit.

I landed at LAX and I don’t think anyone knew I was back. I didn’t have a sim card. Yes, I was hesitant, maybe a little anxious, wondering what I was doing back home and in the grand scheme, what was my purpose on earth.

The way I traveled in Southeast Asia was following the words that the spirit put on my heart. I would be in Vietnam wondering where I was going next and I would hear the next place. Sometimes I was at one city for a long time. But then I would meet the person I knew I was there for.

That is how I have lived my life for the last 6 years but even more so in the last 2 years.

I went from having a one bedroom apartment to selling all my furniture, every last bit of my spoons and forks. Sell everything and follow me, I heard.

One night I would question where I was going to be and the next I would be living with a friend. God orchestrated everything to force me, in a good way, to rely on and trust Him.

I obeyed not because I was forced to, but because I lived my own way for a long time. I would make plans and ask God to bless it. But I did not know what I actually needed. What I thought I needed was the outward appearance of success, but what I needed was healing in my heart, forgiveness, love, the ability to receive love and give love…so God went to work for me. 

Eventually I said I want to write, I have always written, but I want to focus on my dreams, on empowering people, on creating my own projects. I must not hesitate to go all in.

I eventually, though with much trepidation moved back to my mom’s house. After 6 years of living on my own, the thought of being in the same space with my mom frightened me.

But as I sit here writing this at Grand Spa, I think to myself…wow, I am a different person. My relationship with my mom has drastically improved as we learned to communicate with more compassion…Asians have issues with that.

I am solid in my identity, having gone through the whirlwind of trying to be like the world and eventually coming to terms with my unusual lifestyle and unconventional self.

The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis

Sometimes and most of the time we must go into the unknown to birth our dreams. After awhile you get used to being different and then you start to lead others into the unknown.

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Be Here Now

I love my travel friends, those I meet at hostels, at their homes, at pubs, at cafes, on trains, on planes…..in crossroads, at intersections, in transitions.

Even though they may be concerned about the future, they are often more in the moment.

They understand it is about the moment. One moment we are journaling, then the next jumping onto a moped and looking over the mountains overseeing the ocean, blue and crisp.

But we cant always be traveling, sometimes we need roots, sometimes we need to be still.

Why is it harder to be happy with the moment now when we are home? When life seems normal, stale even?

These moments forces us to notice small things, small moments.

Like when I was doing hot yoga next to a man who had a bible verse tattooed on his side. And this thought, oh wow, I am doing yoga and reading the bible at the same time, I laugh.

Or when we binge watch a netflix series and think, this show is so great.

In a year of sabbatical, some people ask me, are you in school or are you working? It seems we are always going somewhere, getting somewhere, trying to achieve the next…

We are uncomfortable with not knowing, we want to be single or married, we are not comfortable with unknown complications. We want to be in school or working, we want to have goals, we want to achieve….

But what if we were happy now.

Believing we are enough now.

Human ambition is a beautiful thing. I used to be a workaholic. But it can drain you, especially when you never feel like you are enough. What if ambition came from inspiration, not from a place of trying to prove your worth? What if creating came from rest and not from striving.

 

 

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.

 

The Greatest Thing You Can Do Is To Disappoint People

Sitting on the bus, staring out the window, I realized dang life is cray. When I was in high school I thought that life would be a, b, to c. Little did I know that life is much more flavorful and full. I wanted to be a fashion designer, my mom intitally wanted me to be a pianist or pharmacist since my grandad owned a pharmacy, and well when I actually entered the fashion industry I hated it with severe hatred.

My life became a whirlwind after I quit my full time job. From backpacking Australia, starting a jewelry business, expanding out to teaching English to two 70 year olds, to dating, to falling into a long term relationship, to moving, to meeting relatives for the first time, to backpacking in Europe, South America, etc..coaching…to becoming a realtor to quitting to entering the entertainment industry…to purely writing.

Of course a series of “disappointing people” events seem to mark my last 6 years.

First disappointing people who you worked with, a series of quitting, and starting…

And disappointing my mom. Yes, she could no longer boast about her daughter because she couldn’t say I was taking care of her or even that I had any kind of stable lifestyle or work.

When I started to come into my own and owning the life I wanted, I started saying no more and more. 

No I don’t want to hang out with you.

No I don’t want to go there.

No I don’t want to be your friend.

No I don’t want to go out with you.

It was freeing. Exhilarating. Relieving. I realized after hanging up the phone with a person who didn’t agree with my choices that I could never please everyone and its freeing.

When you disappoint people they should realize they had expectations of you that were marked by their own prejeduice and judgement about who you should be. That’s control.

And when you disappoint them it shows them that they had false expectations of who they should be too. You show them its okay to make their own mistakes and to be their own selves, not to please others but to live authentically.

I hope that I continue to shockingly disappoint people. 

Because I want to live in complete freedom and authenticity. Is it hard to face people who reject you because of your decisions? Yes, I’ve struggled and brooded in shame and guilt, but when I finally came to terms with the fact that I am my own person and I am Fucking perfect in my own way…and God made me this way, I am freed to live my life.

People will always have an opinion, but it is those ones that allow you to be yourself that are your true friends.

Ps…I just wanted to say when I realize my purpose wasn’t to please people, it allowed people like my mom to live her own freedom…it gave people freedom to see that they could live a free life too.

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. 

 

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).

God-employed

My conversations with God are often in moments of frustration, probably because I have been practicing patience all my life. I am like a jack in the box that has been kept in the box for too long.

But even then I know God is strengthening me for the path ahead. A lot of people have asked me about my “self employed lifestyle”. Honestly I am not self employed, I am God employed.

I CANNOT EVEN IMAGINE HOW I COULD HAVE SURVIVED WITH MY Sanity attached all these years without God.

Because entrepreneurship was more about just learning to converse with God and to build this trust relationship with Him.

Entrepreneurship divorced from God is like unimaginable to me.

Only last year did I basically let go of full control and let God take over, up until then I was still asking God to bless my plans. I thought that in order to do good in the world, I had to first be like Tony Robbins. Little did I realize that things spark fire in brokenness. In our inability, God does what humans cant.

I call this grace.

So yes I managed to survive and sometimes thrive, but it was when God told me to sell everything and follow Him that I totally let go of my fear of not having enough, not being enough, not trusting him basically to take care of me.

I let go of my apartment, I let go of my new car that was leased, I let go of my credit (it plummetted), I let go of the lifestyle I was trying to sustain, when in actuality it was a huge facade of the shit that was inside my heart.

I was so tired.

I had lost friends. Family had spewed accusations at me, I had just gotten out of a codependent, unhealthy relationship where I felt like I completely lost myself.

When I lost everything I actually found myself.

I found my sweet authentic self at the core of my tears and brokenness.

So began my rebuilding of my dreams, my heart.

It was at that moment that I felt I would do anything for what I really wanted out of life, even if I had no food or shelter. I SAID God anywhere, anything, I am willing.

That is when grace filled in the gap. GOD CAME.

I got opportunities to be on 3 tv shows within a year. I stayed with my friend for a few months, ended up booking a one way ticket to Thailand.

I traveled with the spirit, not knowing where I would go next. How?

Everyone asks how. But few actually believe. You cannot do great things without first stepping out in faith. God just showed up in so many ways, sometimes through strangers, sometimes through divine encounters.

What has this year been about for me?

1. Learning to stay in faith when hardships come

2. Restoring and reconciling my relationship with my mother. When I was living alone, I had a huge motivation to prove her wrong. My family basically thought I had gone rogue and was screwing up my life by following my dreams. I remember going to Europe for 2 months and actually blocking her number because I needed space.

As an asian dsughter, I had to really speak up for myself. OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS IMPROVED DRAMATICALLY. I think it was at that moment when I was crying my eyes out because she wasnt happy for me when I told her I got this huge opporunity…..that I realize, yes she loves me, but when will I stop living for her approval??

Many of us are waiting for someone to be proud of us, to tell us, you are enough……but God showed me, I am enough for Him.

3. Breaking out of the world’s system of success

4. Living in freedom

Xoxo Rebekka