Remember Your Way Into Your Promised Land

nature walk

Human beings have such amnesia. 

As I was taking a shower, I heard God say “remember my goodness”.

Remember how I delivered you from that broken heart,

remember how I provided for you in the waiting season,

remember how I kept you safe in your travels, when you were healed of deathly food poisoning.

Stop complaining, remember my goodness. 

Every time God delivered you, did you remember to thank Him or did you start focusing on what ELSE you didn’t have? When God kept you safe and healthy after a trip, did you realize that you could have been hurt but God delivered you from evil?

“Remember my goodness so that you can walk through the unknowns and into your promised land” says the Lord. 

I recently went to China and weird enough, after 3 weeks I forgot what God did for me. He sent me to China with 2 weeks notice, He paid for my trip, He delivered me from evil (this evil was manipulation from a salesperson), he kept me healthy on the trip, and He made sure my mom was safe when we separated on our trip and she went her own way.

Somehow my focus was already on what wasn’t happening next. 

Thank God before He delivers you, thank God before He provides, thank God before the door opens, thank God even when you see no progress, even when your child is still disobedient or hanging out with the wrong people, thank God even when your health seems worse than before, thank God before you find housing, thank God before that bill is paid, thank God before your relationships are restored, thank God before He brings your life partner, thank God before your book is published, thank God before you get that big paycheck, thank God before the door opens, thank God for the little because when you thank GOD for the little, He will multiply it. 

Nothing is impossible for God.

If you believe, share this post so the world can be reminded to live in remembrance of God’s goodness. 

Every negative word out of our mouths taints our hearts and digs our own graves. We can build a NEW and GOOD future by being thankful everyday.

It’s all perspective isn’t it? If you believe we are all connected, then one positive and thankful word, post, encouragement can be a catalyst for goodness in this world.

If we can remember what God has done for us before, we will remember “oh yah GOD is for me and not against me! He loves me and He IS a good Father….and all those other lies that are drifting in your mind will dissipate…like the lies that God has forgotten you or doesn’t care about you….they’re all lies!!!….Remember my goodness says the Lord!”

Share and like this post & don’t forget to subscribe on the right hand side of the blog- XOXO Love BEX

What’s Still Missing In Television for The Asian Narrative.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and my brain started dissecting the show “Friends From College”, a new netflix tv show about friends heading into their new life in their 40s.

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THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS POST.

Now the director is Nicholas Stoller, a British American filmmaker. So yes, he is white. But you know what, thanks for putting an Asian American into the mix. I really do appreciate that. Jae Suh Park, Marianne is an actress, artist who owns a rabbit in the tv show. She is a side kick, again not the main protagonist.

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As I was thinking about her role in the show, I started noticing a few things that are true about a few shows that contain Asian actors in. 

They are always a little off, like they are portrayed as sub-human, not human, quirky, has a strange or weird personality or they have to be really short and have an accent (Hans of 2 Broke Girls) and are constantly the butt of the jokes.

Han of 2 Broke Girls.

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Elliot Park (gay and flirty) from Young and Hungry- again he is not the protagonist and I get that because most writers are white….and directors are too, so they are telling their own narrative by making a white guy the protagonist and tell their VIEW and PERSPECTIVE of an Asian person.

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These characters seem to have to have some kind of quirk that makes them “not human”, making viewers laugh at them, unable to relate to them. They don’t have personal agency to their own emotions (their fears, hurt, anger, sadness), but instead have their emotions inserted through other peoples’ judgement towards them. 

They are often told by their white protagonists what to do or how to think.

The 2 broke girls often make fun of Han and tell him who to be and how to think. Elliott often makes a mess of things and is reprimanded for his actions and desires (corrected by the white man).

In Friends From College, Marianne is seen as incapable but repressed as you see her act in a play which all her friends doubt to be good. There is one scene in which she acts as the man and rapes a tall white man (who acts as a woman in a dress). This scene is a huge portrayal of the repressed Asian consciousness.

She is the responsible one as she drives the party bus for a “white man” who partakes of wine with the friend group and falls asleep even though it was his job to drive the bus.

For some reason, yet again, she does not seem to have her head on her shoulders, there is something off about her. Yet, the rest of the crew are portrayed as sane and knowledgeable even though they are having affairs with their best friends’ spouses, has drug problems but can somehow get away with it.

And of course she owns a cute rabbit because Asians own cute things like that.

But I notice all these things because I am Asian myself.

I want to see shows that portray who I am, human with real fears, emotions, vulnerabilities…but sane, not subhuman. I want to tell my own narrative and not be told to be a certain way because a white person (or any person) is telling me how to act or feel.

Until then, how can anyone take an person of Asian ethnicity serious if all they see is people who have no agency to their own emotions and personality? 

 

“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?

 

Why We Need To Protect The Dreams Our Youth Have

 

Growing up, I always considered myself unique and different.

My mother nurtured the creative gift in me and brought my brother and I to sketch at museums. We were well-cultured, attending classical concerts and also learning the gift of independent-thinking. I knew I was different and even more so when I moved to different countries where I didn’t know the language and had to learn to “be cool”.

One thing I am extremely grateful for was the MENTORS in my life that nurtured the WEIRD in me. They believed in me and thought my crazy dreams were special and needed to be protected. Of course, sometimes mentors don’t stay mentors forever and seasons in life brings them to stop believing in you or to be busy with their personal lives, these are all understandable situations.

I started working when I was just 14. Now, not many people were selling makeup at school, but I learned to find a way to make my own money. Fast forward, I am living my dreams with bamboos and orchids on my desk, typing away this blog post on my Mac. Has it been easy? Nope.

Sacrifice IS a must for entrepreneurs. 

If we teach our youth that they have to sacrifice their dreams for security, what are we really doing?

We are destroying their hearts.

Not every youth has a strong heart and is able to protect their dreams from their parents, peers, friends. Especially if the overriding message is  – “BE SECURE AND STABLE”.

Pursuing your DREAMS is not a secure and stable path. 

The sacrifices might include…..over the years of being self-employed, the beginning consisted of:

1. Sacrificing going out with friends and instead forcing myself to eat at home, and at times even being hungry

2. Using second best office supplies, sometimes found at yard sales

3. Bearing the judgements and rebukes of family and friends alike, even people you thought you trusted.

And the list goes on….Though…

The Benefits:

1. Creating exactly and however you want your dream life and career to look like

2. Creating your life based on your top values such as freedom, love, flexibility

3. Leaving town and working at the same time – being completely MOBILE.

4. In the beginning it can be difficult, but if you persevere, the results are amazing!

5. Taking naps when you feel like it.

6. Working from cafes and libraries, choosing beautiful environments to work in versus a cold ACed room with neon lights (ew).

If you would like to hear more, I invite you to join me as I help you map out your dreams to reality in just 2 DAYS here in Los Angeles: Register here: http://modestflyartgallery.com/workshops-seminars/ and see you August 4 at 10-12 noon.

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Rebekka’s Debut Art Show…Behind the Scenes & My Ecuador Trip

Come to my Debut Art Show- RSVP on Facebook

Rebekka Lien’s Debut Art Show – “The Reckoning”

Art sales/Rebekka Lien jewelry sales will fund her volunteer trip to see Marco, her sponsored child in Ecuador. To learn more/donate click: http://indiegogo.com/alien
+All regular-priced merchandise @ TaxiCDC will be 40% off. Night of only!
+Refreshments will be served!

“Yes, you need to be careful, don’t carry 20’s and hide your money in your shoes”- she said. I randomly met a girl who lived in Ecuador for four months. We talked about traveling solo as an Asian woman. It’s hard to believe, but from experience, being Asian (and traveling) is definitely different from being any other race. Traveling is another ball park, depending on where you are. If you’re in France, sometimes they start speaking Japanese to you (even though I’m Taiwanese). If you’re in China, but American Asian- they get totally confused. Some countries that stereotypically love Asian women, well, cat calling and stares are pretty typical.

As I’m preparing for the art show (above), I still haven’t booked my return flight. I’m not sure how everything will fall into place, I’m still waiting as you can see. I wanted to go to Brazil to cover their fashion industry, but after a few months, I still haven’t received a response.

A few people have urged me not to go out of safety, but now I am thinking of staying in Ecuador for a shorter time, and then flying to San Paulo. The only thing is that if I go to Brazil, I need to apply for my visa ASAP!

So all of this, up in the air……..everyday before the art show, I’m mentally focused on getting my art together. So much mental energy goes into an event. For example: getting fliers printed, inventory, marketing…my brain is spinning even though it may just be a two hour event. As an artist, I’m concerned about maximum turn out and maximum fundraising! Also, I really need to get my art done, framed, ready to sell. This all for the love of people and traveling.

Subscribe to my blog on the right for UPDATES on my South America trip!

Come to my Debut Art Show- RSVP on Facebook

To learn more about Ecuador & Marco or donate: http://indiegogo.com/alien