Perfectly Imperfect- Friend With The Homeless

I’m not perfect. And I’m learning to love myself as I am.

Also I have a few quirks about me. I don’t like dirt, I hate seeing dirt under people’s nails, but sometimes I have a dirty mouth. I like to cuss. However, some conservatives don’t like that, they tell me to watch my language.

I realize that when people don’t like something that is “bad” sometimes it’s because they can’t accept that you are not perfect. The cussing represents a real part of me that might be ugly. And people don’t want to also see that they have some ugly parts of them.

Today after watching a movie, Keeping Up With The Jonesses (very good, highly recommend it even though online reviews have been negative…but trust me it’s funny), I walked to my bus stop. I was walking and suddenly saw a homeless guy with a 99 cents bag looking in each trash can for cans. 

Maybe because of the sake I drank, I actually was not so afraid to pull out a 5 to give him. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood. I was genuinely shocked by how friendly he was. He said that a month ago Gloria, which means Glory to God, gave him a new pair of Nikes. Well, he told me all about his life story….from living in Alhambra to becoming a drug addict, to being sent off to Berkeley to live on the streets since the center that was helping him stave off drugs did not house people.

I didn’t say much. I felt that this time he just needed a listening ear. He walked me a few blocks and then we shook hands twice to say bye.

I got to tell you, there was dirt on his hands. 

I did glance at it. But I got in there, hands in. I faced the dirt.

While we were walking people would glance at us.

And it’s true, the looks. Ugly ones.

I wonder how we bubble wrap our lives so we never have to see the dirt, other people, the homeless, the handicapped, the poor, the broken, the outcasted….but maybe by ignoring it, we could ignore our own dirt…..you know….maybe the ugly parts of our hearts that is addicted to approval, attention….the parts ourselves we whore out to have someone say “you are worth it” even though we flashed our tits to get it, or maybe dolled out our whole paycheck to please the woman in our life who didn’t really love us anyway, or the part of us that wants to control other people because it makes us feel like we are powerful, in control.

Or the part of us that posts a sexy selfie hoping that even the most creepy perverted guy would just LIKE it.

We can pretend like we are better than other people, because you know “I earned my living, I’m a responsible citizen, I do the right things”…but really we all have dirt.

But you know most of all, this man touched my heart by having such an open heart. He willingly opened up his heart and told me his story.

And then yes, I was thinking about washing my hands. But perhaps this little moment in my life touched me more than the ones I plan for myself. It’s those divine encounters that hook my heart to more divine love.

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Souk Shawarma {Restaurant Review}

“If you find yourself in a foreign land for the first time, and want to learn about the culture and the people, find you way to the local market and you will expose yourself to the food and culture of that foreign land in the best possible way.”– Matt , Celebrity Chef and Avid Traveler.

As a traveler myself I had to try the newest Middle Eastern foodie paradise, Souk Shawarma (opened on November 30, 2015) . The restaurant is located in Downtown on 1111 Wilshire Blvd, close to the neck of K-town.

What is unique about Souk Shawarma is that the owners/chef are passionate about the food they create. As a 20 year expert chef, Matt has lived and traveled in the Caribbean and all over the middle east. His co-founder is Andrew, also a chef and food enthusiast. The delectable dishes are inspired by tastes of Eastern Mediterranean, North African, Moroccan and the Gulf Region (duck) and flavors from Lebanon (chicken) and Turkey (beef).

“It is a journey home for those with childhood memories laced with family trips down to the souk, you eagerly await the meat as it is shaved and layered into piping hot pita bread, topped with chopped salad, tahini, fries, pickles. It is a trip inside your scrapbook for the traveler, the explorer who took a moment to rest and refuel, while navigating the never-ending maze of the souk, and the tried shawarma for the first time. It is the perfect balance of timeless tradition and modern fare for those experiencing the flavor of the Middle East for the first time, just a small window into the vast culture and the flavorful cuisine of the region.”

After 4 years of planning, Andrew and Matt successfully founded and opened a restaurant with delicious and savory shawarma, meat roasted over open fire, wood-fired oak.

When I visited, there was a huge line of people.

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http://www.soukshawarma.com/

1111 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 104
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 935-8373

 

 

 

Tabbouleh- tomato, parsley, mint, scallions, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, spices. My favorite. Fresh salad sides are ready to go and are a great refreshing side to the shawarmas.

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Popcorn Fallafel image2

Hummus

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Shawarma fries, this is one of my favorite dishes, green onions, your choice of shawarma and some cheese with their signature sauce. image5

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Different meats with signature sauces and grilled veggies, remember only Souk Shawarma actually roasts meat over open fire created by oak wood, while most restaurants use gas. The fire creates a special chewy texture which makes the meat even more tasty and adds to the unique spices. A + for making my stomach happy and my taste buds fired with love.

“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?

 

Whiskey Wednesday @ Next Door Lounge {Restaurant Review} 

If you have never been to a speakeasy, Next Door Lounge (on Highland in Hollywood) is a great spot to get your whiskey on on a Wednesday.  

“Next Door Lounge embraces LA’s revered cocktail culture without the velvet rope policy and funny mustaches. Our award-winning venue hosts weekly events for all the senses, from intimate whiskey tastings and food pairings to live musical performances. We like to keep it interesting and hit on all sixes.” – Next door lounge 

 
Fried spaghetti and radishes to entice you. 

I was given a password and upon entering around 7:30pm, was embraced with live jazz by a spectacular band. 

 
4 different whiskeys to pair with a main dish and a desser.  Larceny was my favorite because of the tingly undertones. A bit of spice.
  The calamari is off the charts delicious
Avocado pizza, crusty but chewy crust made for a perfect combination.   
  The burger. Wow. 

Not so heavy that you need to sleep after. Actually it was light because the patty had bacon mixed into it. 

 
Cheesecake and chocolate

Check out Next Door Lounge, founded by a family man with a great heart for great food. 

Tuesday to Thursday

5:00 pm to 12:00 am

Friday: 5:00 pm to 2:00 am

Saturday: 7:00 pm to 2:00 am

Sunday — Closed

Monday — Closed

1154 North Highland Ave

Hollywood, CA 90038

(323)465-5505

info@nextdoorhollywood.com

NDL DRESS CODE: Casual Chic, Men, please no shorts, flip-flops, baggy pants, or baseball caps.

Mint Leaf – Exquisite Indian Cuisine In Pasadena {Restaurant Review}

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Pasadena is rated one of the snobbiest mid-sized cities in America, according to Movoto.com. I happen to have lived in Pasadena for almost 4 years and even grew up taking college courses at the Pasadena Community College. So basically I know the city like the back of my hand, or eye to be more exact. I know almost every retailer and restaurant in Pasadena, I am also personally friends with people who work at the best bars and clothing stores in Old Town (and if I’m not, then I’ll make sure I become friends with any and everybody!)

AND I LOVE PASADENA!!!!! It’s a cross between hipster, new money and old money.

When I heard about Mint Leaf, I was flabbergasted that I (THE PASADENA QUEEN) did not know about an exquisite Indian restaurant. 

First off, it was probably because I rarely visit the Altadena and Washington cross section. There is a Mcdonald’s, Pasadena’s best ice cream (Carmela Ice Cream), and various local cafes.

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The Interior is like being in an Indian Palace and the waiters are like your humble servants (well, this is what Santos told me, he is so kind and attentive to all his guests). The exterior is unpresumptuous, you wouldn’t know the interior is like a palace for queens and kings like you. But don’t be deceived, you must enter to be knighted. Only insiders know just how lovely Mint Leaf is.
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Menu Bio:

Mint Leaf is intended as an experience for all diners – from ardent Indian food-lovers to first-time explorers. The lunch and dinner menus offer an array of rich traditional favorites like Lamb Saag and Chicken Korma and a wide variety of vegan and vegetarian options including Dal Makhni and Tofu Vindaloo alongside fresh and lighter takes on classic Indian recipes such as the Classic Paneer Tikka Wrap.
 
“Indian cuisine is built around magnificent spices, which lend themselves beautifully to dishes that are simple and light yet still flavorful,” said Executive Chef Jayanta K. Paul. “We want Mint Leaf to be a place where guests can enjoy a quick, healthy and vibrant lunch or dig in for a more classic, indulgent dinner of full-bodied sauces, meats, vegetables and more.”

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The feast consisting of everything from Tiki Masalas to Curries, Paneer and Jumbo shrimps. The Mango lassi is refreshing, rich and creamy (but without any milk products in it). Make sure you save your stomach for the rest, sip slowly.

Any of their shrimp dishes are thumbs up because I have never eaten SHRIMPS that juicy and fresh! Biting into one of their shrimps makes you feel like a hero on a yacht, looking into the bright blue ocean and knowing that THAT shrimp was fresh out of the ocean. Remember none of their ingredients are frozen, everything is fresh from the farm or sea. The shrimp tikka masala is Tandoor roasted shrimp in their classic and creamy tomato curry sauce.

Let me tell you- any of their Tandoor dishes will melt your heart.

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For a vegetarian favorite, try Paneer Tikka Masala- Tandoor-roasted paneer pieces in their classic and creamy tomato curry sauce. You can never go wrong, but their peas seem to be extra delicious and fresh. Every ingredient they use is fresh and organic, NOTHING FROZEN! 

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THE WINNER?

Tandoor-roasted chicken breast pieces in their classic and creamy tomato curry sauce. It has a savory sweet and salty taste that transports you to modern day India, if you close your eyes long enough. The rice is to die for too!

Raised flour bread with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves….I don’t know about you, but I AM A FAN OF CHEESE!!! CHEESE STICKS anyone? Well, now you get to MIX AND MINGLE your favorite NAAN with CHEESE. AND HOLY COW, biting into this cheese filled naan is like heaven. The cheese naan is thicker than your average naan, but has the perfect consistency plus fresh organic basil to fill your senses (smell and taste it).

What I loved most about the restaurant was that I was able to meet the owner. He said that “this area is so underserved, everyone needs to go to Old Town for date night, why not around the corner?” As a local Pasadenian, he has fought to open this restaurant for many years (Pasadena has many regulations and rules for new businesses) and alas, it has become a local favorite. If you are looking for a classy and peaceful restaurant to chit chat with your girlfriends, or you are looking for a romantic locale to bring your loved one to, Mint Leaf is your GO TO! 

Check out Mint Leaf:

http://mintleafpasadena.com

Address: 2535 East Washington Dr.
Altadena/Pasadena, California 91107
Telephone: 626.460.8776
E-mail: mintleafpasadena@gmail.com
Hours: Monday – Sunday
11am – 2pm   |   5pm – 10pm

More Photos From The Gallery!

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Who Does God Say You Are?

A lot of people have messed up views about who God is. I don’t claim to be all knowing of who God is, but I know that I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for God. I converse with this mystical force that people think is this old bearded man who is super mad all the freaken time. I think of God as love, as beauty, as all knowing, as brilliant, bright, loving, all encompassing, non-judgemental, gentle, funny, light-hearted, truthful, definitely not what people have portrayed him as….he definitely does not hate gay people, I don’t know who the hell made that up.

Anyways, on a more serious note, I’m sure that as 2015 has already progressed into 12 days….many of you are already failing, maybe frustrated that you haven’t seen any breakthroughs. As I was dancing this super fast piece at dance rehearsal, I heard this annoying voice “just leave, you can’t do it”. That’s the voice of darkness. I literally wanted to leave because I was so tired, but something in me told me that I needed to PUSH.

I believe it IS the PUSH season. You need to hold onto who God says you are. Well, your thoughts of who God is maybe already tainted….but let’s just say it’s not…let’s just say that you are starting to get to know a totally loving God, who God totally is….God would say:

You’re awesome, you’ve already overcome, you are my brightest star, you are more than a conqueror, you win, you always win in your own competition…” etc. Think positive affirmations, but these things are true about you.

As I was dancing, I kept thinking about my moves…omg. I’m totally messing up. The more I thought about my every move, the more I messed up. So I just said “Let’s dance in flow, let the spirit lead”, and in doing so I felt that I started to dance with more expression, more FUN. 

So maybe your resolutions haven’t come true, but don’t give up on who God says you are…..an overcomer, a CEO, boss.

Now you may need help along the way, especially if you are surrounded by negative people…you need a cheerleader, a healer, a life coach to guide you. If you feel it in your heart and spirit that I can offer you the help you need— Do not hesitate one minute to book your coaching session RIGHT NOW. I believe that the calling I have on my life, the BOMB digity rewards and breakthrough that are coming are WAY above anything I can imagine…and when you are mentored by me, you will get the same rewards I’ve already received in the spirit. 

CLICK NOW and BOOK it, it says that many seeds are planted in a human heart, but not everyone of them grows because some are taken away from negative thinking….will you obey the URGING in your heart? 

THE NEW YEARS OFFER of 3 SESSIONS for $149….6 for $299, etc. Is ENDING JANUARY 31, 2015. This is a 3 for 1 deal that will not last. Why is it SO CHEAP? Because I know you’re scared, I know you don’t think you have money, or perhaps you’re too good for this…EVERY limitation outside of you starts from within. So do it. 

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Did You Register For The Vision Board Workshop? It’s TOMORROW!

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Did you sign up yet?

Limited spots, it is an intimate setting where you can talk openly and be part of the conversation and transformation.
Address will be emailed to you after registration on paypal. Located in Pasadena, California.

When: January 10, 2015 from 2-5pm

The Author of How To Make Money Doing What You Love, Rebekka Lien & Smart Spiritual Sexy hosts the first EVER Vision Board Workshop.
1. Learn practical steps and tips to live your 2015 with ease, grace and flow
2. Learn how to access your inner success, love, life and worth NOW
3. Set your intentions and WHAT IS ALREADY TRUE for 2015!
4. Create AMAZING vision boards with AMAZING people

Supplies, Magazines and YUMMY Refreshments included, but you can bring your own magazines if you like. 🙂

This is a laid back vision board workshop with 3 hours of motivational and practical learning + Practical Application that will transform your life.

***Register before January 1, 2015 to receive a FREE 1 year magazine subscription (most select titles)!
Register today for only $45: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=_yWszCucK0690gokqnCe1bLCyDidCKc8cml46cKsZau991XC0HGJSbv9ITG&dispatch=50a222a57771920b6a3d7b606239e4d529b525e0b7e69bf0224adecfb0124e9b61f737ba21b08198d8562aa8a3da7ac30bbfba73b3e80dcc

XOXO, BEX
http://www.Rebekkalien.com
The Book of Self-Employment- http://payhip.com/b/6zoT
Location will be emailed to attendees.

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