Celebrate Ordinary Moments

Our lives are filled with ordinary and sometimes seemingly insignificant moments. 

We wait, for the big woohoo moments. Like when we meet our prince charming, when we get the big break, when we finally pay off our debt, when we have great sex, when become the lead actress in a movie, when we get the pay raise we know we deserve, etc….but most of our lives are just ordinary moments, or so we think. 

As I was sitting there eating french fries, I saw inked on the wall “no drinking on premises”, I found it charming. It was on the wall of a liquor store. I was eating quietly next to a retired old grandma who was wearing all orange, pants and shirt eating pastrami sandwich; a pumpkin on her shirt. I would say something like “did you know there is a great movie theater with deals on tuesday and sundays?” and we would converse. Then we would eat quietly again.

It’s ordinary, seemingly trivial moments like those that warm my heart. And of course being surrounded by the magnificent sky that remind me of how miraculous life is everyday. 

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You see…I walk everywhere. Otherwise I take public transportation.

My life was not always like this.

I was the fast paced career women who was total TYPE A. I was high strung, overly passionate about things that no one seemed to care about. I learned to slow down when the stress started killing my heart and health, and just all of who I was. I had to slow down.

After a year without a sim card and a car, I have really learned to be in the moment, present. 

I’ve made friends with dogs that are neglected by owners. There is this one dog that is tied to a pole fenced inside, everyday. He/she barks wildly at me when I walk in the alleys, I say hi to him/her through the little cracks of the white fence. I’ve decided his or her name is Danny.

I appreciate the sunset. I appreciate the skies that paint God’s love to me. Everyday I am in awe of the clouds, the sun that marks it’s joy in the blue skies.

Sometimes I see cars zoom wildly to their destinations. And I wonder, “what if they got there faster. Would it make a difference, would they feel more fulfilled, happier?” I see people showing off their new purchases and yet frustrated that they don’t have more.

It’s seemingly ordinary moments when we put down our own agendas and introduce ourselves to a stranger sitting next to us that we find the moments profound and beautiful. At first, I wanted to go straight home after buying my bottle of wine and fries, but something said “slow down”. There is beauty in slowing down.

When was the last time you truly slowed down and saw all the beauty around you? 

There are people around you that want to be loved by you, and people that want to love you.

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I’m adding this book review:

Falling Free, Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted- Shannan Martin

The title really struck me, the truth is everything Shannan talked about reflected my own experience of falling free….free of what we think we want. Her narrative is important in our cookie cutter society or perhaps religious institutions that want us to fit into everyone else’s idea of what we should want. I found the book refreshing and read every word to the end. The only thing I did not like in the beginning was perhaps her language, it was a little hard to understand. I’m used to conversational language and it was a bit flowery for my own taste, but nonetheless it was an excellent book. I give it a 4 out of 5.

This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. 

 

What Is Happiness?

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Catba Vietnam

10 years later I find myself sitting at the orthodontist and looks me straight in the eyes “wear your retainers 24/7”, I’m like are you serious? And then I get some hot cheetos, my favorite magnum ice cream and some horchata, none of which is that healthy, but enjoying these snacks while walking a mile home, I suddenly am filled with delight.

I was always easily amused growing up.

In fact, you could put me in my room and I’d play with my barbies with a whole day, making up stories and have them talk to each other. 

I could spend days on end imagining and living in my own world. I was happy.

Then all of a sudden, I found myself comparing my life with others. Well, they have a bigger house, oh I need a cell phone too? The truth was, I was already content because my mind was filled with fascinating delights. But as I got older, I started to see that “success”, you know by means of hustle was important to 99% of people. Though my mom encouraged the arts, teaching us piano, sending us to cello lessons, at the end of the month, the stress of bills seemed to outweigh the joy of creating.

I found myself wanting to help, to be independent. I worked all throughout college, my parents didn’t have to pay one cent of my college tuition. I climbed the corporate ladder, only to very fast, find out I hated it. And I hated structure because I needed my own space to create and to be myself. 

What frustrates me with human beings these days is that they see sitting at a desk, being unhappy a sign of productivity.

What frustrates me with human beings these days is that it never seems to be enough.

What frustrates me with human beings is that they (or I) often worry about tomorrow when today is just as beautiful and the human beings you love are right in front of you, while you are staring at your Iphone trying to figure out when your next client will call.

So in the midst of being a walking sage these days, I find myself saying hello to animals, plants, finding potholes, secret pathways, stairs, and I’m fascinated, I’m excited, I’m overwhelmed with the beauty that is all around me and I’m happy. 

What has it cost me to be happy?

  1. Getting rid of my car
  2. Not having a sim card
  3. Letting spirit lead.
  4. The need to control
  5. Having a lot of friends who don’t really know me.

It’s an act of returning to childlike joy, and though it cost me a great deal, reverting to who I am, a creative and joyful child, I am filled with the delight of God.

I can live without a man now, but I can’t live without a female friend.

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If I told my younger self that my life would look like what it looks like today, I would proudly look at myself and say “yah right”. In my mind, I would have imagined “success” as the typical goal…but I still remember that thought in my mind “I don’t want to live a boring life”. I saw too many adults slumping away in their dead end job and I knew I wanted something more.

One thing I would suggest to younger women is….

It is an absolute necessity that you find women you can feel safe with.

I am so strong on the inside because of the women in my life.

What does emotional safety look like?

When you are honest with your fears and vulnerability, the women in your life will choose to love and not judge.

I have lost many women friends because of their impatience and ego. Wisdom comes from discerning whether a moment is right to say what you think. Life is not about being right, it is about love. Love is not black and white, love is choosing to shut up when you see fear in someone, and learning to speak up when you know that’s what they really need. Love is wisdom.

Over the last few months, I have been hemmed in with amazing women. To be honest, I had lost so many friends that I closed my heart off to friendship. Losing a best female friend is worse than breaking up with a boyfriend, losing a best female friend feels like trust is lost forever.

When I walked through struggles in my life, I found myself surrounded by women who had gone through a lot more than I could have ever imagined walking through.

In front of me sat powerful women….not because of success in their careers, but because of their inner strength.

In front of me sat a dear friend who was homeless, who had gone through divorce…and a single mom of 2.

In front of me sat a heart disease surviver who was domestically abused by her very family, homeless at a young age for 5 years….yet somehow survived and continue to thrive.

In front of me sat a woman with beautiful dreams to start her own business, at the expense of being rejected by her friends and family.

These are some of the strongest women I know, not the CEO of big corporations or the billionaires…

These souls need to be celebrated and today I write about the women who gave me strength when I needed hope.

My mom is one of them. A single mom who immigrated to a new country, barely able to pay rent, yet here I am today, the best work any women can put out into this world. Perseverance, patience, strength. These are qualities we overlook but need to be celebrated.

You are beautiful and successful because of your spirit. Thank you for making me stronger everyday, thank you for giving me space to be me, to be free, to make mistakes and to love. To all the female friends that allow me to fail yet is always there to lift me up again.

Love, BEX

3 Reasons Why It’s Important To Become An Adult

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It’s important to separate yourself from your parents. This seems obvious, but for some families, especially Asian ones, it is not always easy to do so because you are expected to act like babies your whole life, or to heed the advice of your parents until you become an adult – and this adult phase only happens because you’re married.

It’s important to become intellectual adults that make decisions for yourself at one point in your life, like now….would be great.

It is amazing that even after being self-employed and pretty much fully supported yourself for years, people still have so many opinions about how you should live your life. Don’t cave in, remember stay true to your vision. At one point, you need to cut the ties. It might seem cruel at first, because of course I have no idea how it is to be a parent…however, I know that control is control, there is no way of putting it nicely.

Here are 3 reason why it is important to become an adult:

Whatever your definition of adult is, here’s mine – someone who is capable of making their own decisions and who takes full responsibility for their own lives.

Reason #1: You can fully function in the world, choose what you want in life, and live the life you have always dreamed of. Remember those dreams you had about becoming a world class pilot? Remember those dreams you had about becoming an actress? Oh remember those dreams you had about helping people in need?

Oh right, it all got squashed because your parents wanted you to go to the school they attended, become the person they never became, work the job they never succeeded in. Okay, wow, that sucks.

Yah, don’t give in. Love comes from freedom, not control. Love frees us, it does not suffocate. And just because some relative lived a shit life, it doesn’t mean you will too. Learn from people who became successful, not people who failed at life because they didn’t take ownership of their life….how about all the entrepreneurs who failed miserably, but became great successes because they didn’t give UP? 

Reason #2: No one likes a mama’s boy. 

I’m sorry, no one likes a mama’s boy. No woman. And for woman, well, no one likes a spoiled lady either. It’s all nice and dandy when you’re 16, but when you are 36 and still calls your mom to ask how to use the washer, um, yah, not going to work for many. If you are looking to partner up and settle down, become an adult first.

Reason #3: Freedom 

Freedom. If you are able to fend for yourself, without parents, without a partner, you can do anything in life. You can climb mountains in the jungles, hike up trails forbidden to mankind, and backpack in Europe for 4 months, why not? No one can say anything because well, you forgot to bring your phone and you actually don’t answer to anyone. And guess what, when you have reached the heights of goddesses, you have become like God, you are unique and an individual who doesn’t care about what people think.

This, is true greatness. And then you become attractive, you attract and inspire others who will in turn inspire you as well. 

And I say all this, the day before I go off to Europe….do I have it all together, no…but I’ve made it to step 65 of 100, I think I’ve gone a far ways from 2 months ago. Life can be incredible if we make enough space for our dreams.

Live on my friend!

If you haven’t bought this ebook, buy it now! Learn how YOU can make money doing what you love, because I sure have….as I share with you exactly HOW you can monetize ALL of your talents and skills 🙂 http://www.Rebekkalien.com/LoveMoneyWork

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At The End Of My Life…

At the end of my life, I want to say that I lived fearlessly. 

At the end of my life, I want to say that I grasped each moment with vigor.

I want to learn from each lesson and live with boldness so that I have tried all solutions, all desires, all impossible feats, I have tried. So that at the end of my life, I won’t be an old lady who sits at a chair and mopes about what I did not do and what I wish I had done.

No, I want to be a fire and life filled old lady with electric blue dyed hair who enjoys her beach side home hanging out on a hammock with live bands playing by the fireside. I don’t want to submit to the structure of this world, a script that I never wrote…I want to define each moment of my life so that I am living on my own terms and not on the words which bellows out of the lions’ den. 

I want to be good to myself, women- it’s a message for you. You put you first and the rest comes. If you are depending on other people to make you happy, forget about it. Your happiness is not going to last. 

At the end of my life, I want to say that I enjoyed every year of my life. Maybe I had really horrible years, but I learned to have fiestas with my circumstances. I learned to see the beauty in mistakes and pain. I don’t want to live in a bubble of plastic situations and man-made synthetic fabrication of “what should be” or “steps a, b, c” or “because he/she told me to”. Let my life be original….so that when someone writes about me or makes a movie about me, it is not identical to others, but uniquely me. 

At the end of my life, I want to say “I loved myself well” and because I loved myself well, I was able to give the gift of me to others, whole, 100% authentic me without BS. 

I want to have lived in the present, embracing wholly that which the moment gives, sound, light, color, energy, positivity. I let the negative feelings of bitterness, anger, sadness, guilt, shame….dissipate into the abyss. I let light seep into my every pore so I am entrenched and filled with liquid love. At the end of the day, you have you and you have love. And that, is really what matters. 

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If you were speaking to your inner child, what would you say to her or him? 

Are the things you say to yourself something you would never say to your own self when you were 3, 5, 10??? 

Would you say the same things to your own child?

If so, start speaking truth, love and hope into your inner child. These are words you should be speaking to yourself, because that is love. 

The Unstruggling Unstarving Artist

I admit, I couldn’t sleep because for 30 minutes this fiery, common thought came to my mind “I’m 24, I’ve worked hard, how come I’m not getting paid what I’m worth?”

2:11AM- my birthday (2.11).

My thoughts suddenly ran wild, sparked by the madness of  the question-“should I get paid minimum wage to work at a boba shop, something I’ve always wanted to do (work at a boba shop- NOT get paid minimum wage)?” This question trickled into the question of “wow, I paid $50 per hour for 10 years to learn the cello and then I paid another $23,000 times 4 to go to fashion design school”. What is my return on investment- I’m not sure…being under-appreciated, underpaid?

I decided to throw off my covers and blog before my thoughts drove me mad. Suddenly my body craves the coffee I didn’t drink during the day.

Let’s do a rundown of how much an artist would spend……

1. Cello lessons- $50 for 10 years. 48 weeks times $50 -$2,400 times 10 years= $24,000

2. fashion design College tuition- $23,000 times 4 years- $92,000

Of course you have to take into account all the gas and supplies. But $116,000 estimated in my case. Thank god I was a good writer, this got my tons of scholarships.

Proverbs 31:31 says-  “Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” 

I believe it’s time for artists, women to stop complaining and demand a fair wage, fair pay for their art which they have toiled and spent tremendous amount of money to develop. Thanks to a friend I recently met- he told me “I see a lot of talent in you, you need to capitalize on your strengths, you shouldn’t have to struggle”.

Nothing, nothing is impossible
No one can hold us down
We, Yeah we are unstoppable
Cause nothing is impossible
ohh ohh No nothing is impossible ohh ohh
oh nooo oh noo

If the door doesn’t open
Don’t wait use force to knock it down
Ain’t no time for mopping,
No, the moment is right now

Real talk you can touch the sky
Make no doubt about it noooo
Real talk you can sit pan high
make no doubt about it nooo
Real talk we do it for the youts, another generation
You are strong enough to meet your destiny say

Dreams, I Know About Dreams

 

Dreams.

Yah, I know about dreams. I dream about my dreams. I wake up with a story in my head, about my dreams.

I am a dreamer, I am a doer, I listen to my spirit and when the season says to wait, I wait. This is with extreme hardship of NOT getting off my ass and doing, cuz I’m a doer. Oh, I know about dreams. I know what it feels like to bleed for my dreams.

I know the discouragement and depression of jumping out the box, the norm of sanity.

Oh, I know about dreams. I know about insanity. I know how it feels like when people look at me with the expression of “she’s insane, why she be doing that?”, the feeling of being questioned, interrogated, misunderstood. Babe, don’t tell me I don’t know about dreams.

I know how it feels to bleed for my dreams. I know how it feels to work out of little resources, to feel the humiliation of not being able to afford food. To say “hold up”, I can’t meet up cuz I don’t have a penny to spare. Don’t tell me I don’t know about dreams.

I bleed for my dreams because I believe in it, I believe in myself and the potential my dreams have. I gave birth to them, everyday I am giving birth to new ideas and I aint letting them fade. I grab onto my ideas with my whole being, I may despair and lord knows (my friends) know my daily ups and downs, crying one minute, laughing another (the joy of being human- emotions).

I know about dreams, the world is so big inside my heart, it’s bursting forth, unable to contain itself. It’s creating worlds around me, atmospheres and people are influenced by them.

The seasons are changing and dreams are birthing, it was not an easy child birth- trust me.

I bled for them.

The best dreams are bled for, not handed to you. 

Thank you to all those that have supported me during this birthing stage. You will be blessed 10 fold, I promise- the child is a world changer.

Do you have any dreams that you are willing to sacrifice and bleed for? If so, what and what is stopping you? Remove all obstacles (fear).

When you are used to being the queen, it is hard to consider democracy replacing lone rule

Me in Germany

“when you are used to being the queen, it is hard to consider democracy replacing lone rule”- tracks

“For many outback people, the effect of almost total isolation coupled with that all-encompassing battle with the earth is so great that, when the prizes are won, they feel the need to build a psychological fortress around the knowledge and possessions they have broken their backs to obtain. That fiercely independent individualism was something akin to what I was feeling now- the stiffness, the inability to incorporate new people who hadn’t shared the same experience. I understood a facet of Alice Springs, and softened towards it, at that moment”- tracks

I tend to read books that happen to mirror my thoughts, my season of life. Robyn Davidson was a heroic woman who set out into the outbacks of Australia with camels by herself. I can’t tell you what happened in the desert yet because I’m only on page 75. However, the quotes above hit home for me. I live in this very environmental, hippie, vegan lifestyle, conserve everything neighborhood called Silverlake. I love meat and I don’t hug trees, but I have become used to living a communal lifestyle of sharing and living simply. Because I’ve started my own business and have to pay bills, I pretty much live month to month.

When I walk into grocery stores and shopping malls, I feel like a foreign alien. Some of my thoughts include “omg, why are people wasting money on nonsense?”, “I feel like an alien right now”, “so many people walking around”, “why do the same race congregate together”. I have slowly become some type of modern monk, but a woman. I haven’t bought groceries for 3 weeks and I borrow all my books.

Sometimes I feel myself relating to this: “That fiercely independent individualism was something akin to what I was feeling now- the stiffness, the inability to incorporate new people who hadn’t shared the same experience.”

But when I’m eating with friends that don’t live the same lifestyle, enjoying music, dancing to house music with them- I realize, we are all the same, just human with feelings and a spirit. You can choose to be prejudiced or you can choose to dance the music of life with people who are vastly different from you.

My 3-4 months of cleansing, building a new identity in being, and conversing with God has been taxing at times. Sometimes I find myself oversleeping, sometimes mad and impatient of waiting, sometimes bored, sometimes overwhelmed with my business, sometimes wishing my business was doing better, sometimes wishing I had no debt, sometimes worried and depressed from loneliness, yet…I know that nearing 24, this is a pivotal time in my life. This cleansing process is worth the journey. It is it’s own reward and hopefully (cross my fingers), next month I’ll be a better person, a more soul-filled, settled, rested, peaceful person who can love and BE better. I’ll be a better person for the world.

Insane Woman, Turned History Maker

I like to state my womanhood. I am a woman. I like to state it often because I embrace my womanhood.

They were, perfectly trimmed nails, manicured, perfectly waxed eyebrows, pssssttttt, seniorita, fake tanned, up-tities, gleaming lips with smack of lipgloss and perfect teeth with extra help. Fur lining their coat, fox, animal. Money blinging up and down from their toes, to their shoes, to their dresses, gleaming on their ears. Flash, choke, drown.

Drowning in luxury.

I was this ordinary woman sitting behind the booth watching as flocks and flocks of beautiful aged women walked in with their diamond rings and bags, swaying in their heels. Diamonds could not hide the wrinkles lining their eyes, their fingers, crispy and dried. I tried not to think about it, but suddenly my face froze and I zoned out.

“I can’t imagine being that woman when I’m 80 and I don’t want to be. If all our lives were…were about our outward appearance, and when I’m 70 I have perfect manicures, tattooed eyebrows, money to flood a nation….yet, no purpose, no meaning, no goals and passion…and all I did was get pedicures and have little lunch parties? and attend fundraisers (oh God bless fundraisers, without money we wouldn’t be able to fund many non-profits), but just in that moment, I zoned out and thought this…

I don’t want to be that, whatever that is.”

When I’m 70, I don’t want to spend money on all that. I want to have built orphanages with the money that could have gone to fox animal furs, diamonds, houses, rings…I want to have rescued kids from brothels, women from abuse, men from abuse…I want to have done something greater than just prove that ‘I made a lot of money in this lifetime’.

Later today, I bumped into several Hyatt hotel housekeepers. “I gotta go home now, and tomorrow I come again”- said this one cleaning person. I thought to myself, “to have the discipline and faithfulness to keep going even though you are doing mindless work…that is perseverance”. He helped me get my load off the elevator.

Suddenly, I was struck with a paradox. These well manicured, perfectly curled haired of a women would probably not raise a hand to help an ordinary woman unloading stuff off an elevator….but an ordinary, probably struggling housekeeper would find it easy to serve another human being. I was so struck with an epiphany, I almost zoned out again.

Having struggled for the past month, getting criticism about my choice of becoming a self-starter, shit from people I thought I trusted, eating ramen some days, denying my boba cravings, getting criticism from my buyers, etc….and just getting inundated with shit. I saw many things clearly.

It’s funny how we need to be drowned in dung, criticisms, hardships – to see life ever SO FREAKEN CLEARLY. 

I am so grateful for the hardships and tears I went through in the past month. So grateful. There were times I found myself doubting the inkling of my identity, times I cried while walking in downtown LA, calling a friend quick- “I’m in shit, can we talk?”.

Times I thought to myself, “what is the very purpose for which I’m created”.

Things have started to turn around, my 12 readers that do read my blog posts. Perseverance and prayers have paid off. Fate has claimed its way in my destiny. I’m victorious in my little, finding hope in the essence of love. I met people who reminded me of who I am…people who grabbed a hold of my vulnerable heart and whispered encouragement, spoke into it my deepest desires, and pushed me to get up even when blood was dripping out of my nose, my knees were wounded by rocks, back with layers of scabs, head almost insane from hunger and insanity, confusion at times. Some were close friends, some were new friends, but all were in tune with the desires of my soul. Rather than mock me for my insanity, which I am insane 99.9% of the time (1% of the time I’m sane when I listen to naysayers), they joined my insanity and became my risk-taking comrades.

We will destroy the system of conformity and complacency. We will form new beauty and create a society based on love, not profit. We will allow uniqueness to flourish and romance in the specialty of being an individual, yet conspire in being always together in our insanity. We will let the moment take us by the hand, feet with music, not by logic.

Because who said life was logical? In fact, some of the greatest history makers were insane in their own time.

Yes, if you didn’t know – you are reading a history makers’ blog.

It’s a big, huge, claim to make- maybe even a little narcissistic, but I’ve been through too much crap to give up making sense of this beautiful life. I claim what I claim because I know this is true.

What about you?

From the top of a hotel I stayed in Taiwan last year for a night. It was the best solid alone time I ever got.

Intuition told me this photo represents what I’m talking about- you can do the analyzing.

“Yourself” – A Beautiful Word

Self- Self is a beautiful thing.

Many people ask me in dismay “you travel by yourself?”

as though “yourself” is a despicable, ugly, loathed word, thing.

The word yourself can be taken apart to be “you R self”. To be able to to love yourself, you must know and understand self. Oftentimes we learn about ourselves by being in relationship with others…but only when you courageously spend time with yourself are you able to process who you are, in relation to your environment and community.

No. We are NEVER by ourself. The world is deeply connected at its core, we all have the same human anatomy, heart, brain, organs, desires…

to be loved, accepted, appreciated, known.

No. We are NEVER alone. Truly. I am deeply aware of my existence as a meaningful connection to those I meet.

As I travel, somewhere in time and location, I cross paths with another who is journeying as well. Our paths merge, or cross, but we were meant to meet. Some people call it an accident, I call it divine appointment. Some people are just delighted to find a friend, I see our souls commune, abstraction of spirits that words cannot suffice to explain.

We are not lovers, but when I look purposely into your eyes, gray, brown, blue, green, black- I am met with revelations of our common humanity.

If we could stop long enough in our busy lives to look deep into anothers’ eyes…we grasp and grip the essence of compassion lodged in a part of our heart for another being. Time becomes irrelevant. Plans fade. Agenda dissolves like tablets of nothing. Money, we could give it all. We would stop all mockery of the poor, the weak, the laughable beings of our current society. We would stoop low with the abandoned, we would wash the wounds of dying souls.

We would bravely smile back without a defensive heart. We would cease to protect self in fear, but boldly love the vastly different, the outcasts, we would treat others with dignity even if they no longer deserve it.

We all need a second chance, to mend our story, our past.