My mom had spoken about an four-year girl who had traveled over 3,000 miles in China to avoid political persecution during the spring of 1948.  At the time, China was still recovering from the previous 10 years Sino-Japanese war that had caused an estimated 6 million lives.

Shortly after the Japanese leaving China, a civil war broke out in which the country had suffered another 5 million lives in approximate. It was the Nationalist, KMT, against the Communist and created havoc within the nation. Many of the KMT fled to Taiwan for safety, including this little girl and her family.

When her family realized that the Communist was overtaking the country, they began to escape starting from the northern part of China, Nanjing province, to the southern part of China, Guangdong province. During the 3,000 miles of treacherous terrain, the family went from having everything – wealth, status, and three generations of family members – to having nothing. Overnight, all of the real estates they own and the acres of land across multiple provinces where all gone. The Communist had torn up all the deeds and occupied the properties with guns. Worst of all, the family of three generations were separated. Some were able to flee to Taiwan. Many stayed in China and were either tortured or starved to death.

The family had no change of clothes by midway of the trip because they had to give up everything to travel light. It was all about survival at that point. They wore the same clothes day after day. They had no change of dry clothing after the many rain. When the rain stopped, they just wore the same cold and sodden clothes until it dried on their bodies.

When they finally reached Guandong, the Communist scouts captured her family and put everyone in a concentration camp. In the camp, the Communist leaders segregated everyone into three groups, men, women, and elders with kids. The men were force into conscription. The women cooked and did laundry. The elders looked after the kids. Even at night, the families were not allowed to stay together as everyone was mandated to sleep in their own designated groups.

Fortunately this family had a very smart uncle. Under the darkness, somehow he found everyone in the camp and quietly sneaked everyone out of the compound by bribing the Communist guards with 5 ounces of gold bullions. They quickly left the camp under the moonless night and ascended a near by mountain. The dad was afraid of losing the little girl in the darkness so he tethered her with a 5-foot rope.

“What happened next is what no four years old girl should ever experience in her life time,” as my mom sighed and continued with the story.

While walking in the darkness, they smelled a horrific stench in the air. As they ascended up the mountain trail, the decaying smell, the sweet flesh scent, became stronger and stronger. In pitch black, the little girl kept tripping over what seemed to be logs everywhere on the ground. She quickly realized that it wasn’t the logs that she was tripping over. They were dead people she was stepping on. The family had walked into an open grave full of dead people that were executed by the Communist soldiers not too long ago.

She would carefully walk over the dead bodies but often times she would step on dead carcasses. The blood from the body would splash all over her hair, her face, her chest, her arms and all over her small body.

The escape seemed forever as they walked all night in the mountain to escape from hell. When the sun came up in the distant horizon, they realized that they had walked in a full circle. The family had walked back to where they had started in the first place. The Communist soldiers saw them through the binoculars and recaptured them back to the concentration camp.

The uncle did not give up. He would gather the family at night again and bribed the Communist guards with gold bullions to get out of the camp. This time however, the guards pocketed the gold, walked them out of the camp just to redirect them back into the camp. They were separated into three groups, men, women, elder with children again.

The uncle finally found a reliable source, his old army friend that was a Nationalist before switching side to become a Communist. He bribed them in gold and the family was able to finally escape. From Guandong, they traveled by boats from Hainan Island, Hong Kong, and finally settled in Taiwan.

My mom said, “They walked into the concentration camp – three times in, and three times out in search of freedom.”

That little girl vividly recalls every detail of that night. That little girl is my mother and she can recall everything even after sixty-four years later.

“Things like that you can never forget,” she said.

Before my uncle passed away fifteen years ago, he asked me to take care of my mom.

“Take care of your mom when you grow up because she has gone through a lot in her life,” my uncle told me.

I have never forgotten about that conversation and I am proudly supporting both my mom and my dad. For me, family comes first.

For this Mother’s day, share with your mom with your heart by telling her how much you appreciate what she has done for you because chances are she too had suffered much in life.

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P.S.The picture above was taken on March 2012 and was my grand father’s land before the Communist took over in 1948.

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Let’s pretend for a moment that you are a millionaire. How would you feel? Would you think you might be happier if you had a million dollars? Perhaps some of us are not happy with being a millionaire by today’s monetary standards. Instead, “I want to be a Billionaire so freakin bad…” according to a song from a popular pop artist.

Last night, I felt like a millionaire. I had $1.8 million cash on hand. No joke! “No”, I was not in Vegas, and “No” I was not trafficking drugs. I pulled the money straight from an ATM machine. For a brief moment, I felt like I was on the top of the world. I felt financially secured and happy. I felt like I didn’t have to worry about money for a long time. I was in heaven. “Yes,” that was my ego mind thinking.

I also thought about how I could serve and help people with that money. I started to dream of doing endless philanthropy work, serving those that are in need and reaching out to different parts of the world one person at a time. A wealthy person once told me that, “Money is nothing more than a form of energy. You can always receive and give more energy than one will ever need.”

Some people believe that money is scarce so they hoard money. They believe that they will never have enough money so they keep trying to fill this bottomless pit with their desire and ambition for money. There is term in Chinese called, “The Hungry Ghost.” This Hungry Ghost has a stomach that is enlarged like a huge terracotta drum with a neck as thin as a needle. The ghost has a ferocious appetite, but he can barely swallow anything down his thin needle neck. He suffers much as his life never seems fulfilling and he constantly wants more and more. He is perpetually hungry.

Money is more like oxygen. There isn’t a lack of money as if there is a lack of oxygen. Air will always be there as long as take care of our mother earth. Money will be there as long as we take care of ourselves – mentally, spiritually, physically, and serving others. I choose to live in a world of abundance, not scarcity.

Yes I did have $1.8 million last night, although I’m down to $1.2 million today. How did I spend $600K in one day you ask? I went out with my friends and had a few nice meals through out the day. I had filled up the empty gas tank in my rented Honda scooter. I had bought an Om symbol t-shirt from a yoga boutique shop. I also had a 1.5 hour Esalen massage, the kind without happy endings thank you very much.

By the way, $1.8 million in Bali Rupee is roughly about $200 USD. My point is that we can all feel like millionaires by feeling contempt, and grateful even without the money. Money is important to survive. How we serve with that money I believe is even more important.

Use this energy well, my friends.

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Live.Love.Journey!

 

2011 has been a crazy year for me. I had flown over 80,000 miles and had logged in more than 75+ hotel nights for work. It was also an action packed year full of adrenaline chasing, helicopter flying, rock climbing, white water rafting, racing car driving, visiting Japan and on and on.

To some people, it seemed like I was having the time of my life and that I was “Living it up.” But for me, I was trying to re-spark my passion in life because I knew I was heading towards depression, a dark and lonely place. At the end of the year, I ran empty and felt very hollow inside as if I had almost lost the meaning of my life. I had forgotten all about my passion, to spread love and joy though yoga, when I started teaching yoga part-time two years ago.

Towards the end of 2011, my work at a Silicon Valley company was in limbo, and my serious relationship was broken at best. I had learned a few months ago that one of my favorite Yoga Teachers, Mark Tanaka, started teaching at Breathe. I decide to come over in search of my heart, pick up the remaining broken pieces of it, and to forgive.

I would have easily gone down the route of drinking alcohol until I pass out, and/or do drugs to escape from these excruciating pains. Unfortunately or fortunately, I never had a taste for any of those substances as I always had to face my pain head on. Basically I had to take all the emotional traumas up the chin and I have nowhere to hide or to run away from in this lifetime. During one of the darkest times of my life, I turn to yoga and meditation for prayers and answers.

About a few weeks ago, I decided to crash Marti Foster’s class at 7:00 PM on a Friday night. Typically I would attend my routine martial arts class, but that day I was physically in pain. My lower back was all knotted up and I can feel like I had a pinch nerve in my left lower spinal column. I thought yoga might be a better route of self-healing instead of going to my usual Wing Tsun class that night.

Upon unrolling my thick black mat in the back of the room, Marti greeted me with “Hello” and proceeded to tell everyone the theme to class. During that moment, I felt a strong connection with Marti and that I was in the right place and at the right time even though I don’t know her.

“This is the year of the Water Dragon, so let’s start awakening our inner Dragon by breathing deeply and exhaling fully. Breathe as if something extraordinary is going to happen this year,” as Marti instructed the class.

I could have sworn she was talking to me, but I know I was only one of the 30+ people in class.

As I exhaled louder and louder from my Ujjayi breath from the back of the room, Marti said, “Yes, now that how dragons breathe!”

As the class progressed, I felt like Marti was unfolding new chapters of my journey.

“Let your wings spread and fly, Dragons” while we were in Shalabasana (locust) as she instructed.

During this moment, I felt like I had regained focus in my life and had taken control. When I had taken control, I felt a sense of serendipity in my heart that many great events and opportunities will unfold for me this year.

“Have faith, Allan. Good things will come to you this year. Have faith!!!” My heart tells me.

Next, Marti had us move into Eka Pada Baddha Konasana (single leg cobbler) with our hands on the mat.

“Imagined you are at the edge of the cliff and about to jump off. Look at the end of the cliff and just imagine,” as Marti suggested.

During this moment, I had realized that it took me over two years to take this leap of faith and to jump off this 100 feet corporate ladder that I had been climbing so hard at. As I looked down the edge of the building, I was no longer afraid. I was even waiting for Marti to tell us to “Jump off the cliff” and I would have done it!

During this moment, someone from our class left the room and my mind wandered off unintentionally. The focus that I had been building for the last 45 minutes had suddenly dissipated.

Within a few seconds of mental drift, Marti gently guided us back to the present with ‘“Slowly bring your dragon awareness back into this room.”

“You got to be kidding me. How did she know my mind was drifting off?” I thought to myself.

I swore I’m not the only one who lost focus in the room and surly she can’t be talking to me. Nevertheless, I had a smirk in my heart that she was indeed speaking to me.

As I refocused, I felt the flow, once again in my body, my mind, and my soul. I was surfing this healing energy and loving it.

Just when I thought Marti was done talking to me telepathically, she said, “You guys are like the dragons from the movie Avatar!”

I literally almost fell off my Utkatsasan (chair) pose. No pun intended. I knew I had to talk to Marti after class because I was here that day for a reason.

Afterwards I approached Marti and told her about my journey that came into full circle that night.

I said to Marti, “I went to Fiji about two years ago for a health seminar and I taught yoga to my friends at 5:30 AM every morning. On the fourth day of my yoga practice, asked my friends at the end of the class to help me set an intent for the next chapter of my life. Meanwhile, I played the soundtrack from Avatar, Jake’s First Flight, as a metaphor for a leap of faith. Afterwards, we got into a group hug and I thanked them for their support and I parted them to attend my scheduled Colonics appointment.”

“Here comes the part that baffles me even to this date.” I paused for a second before explaining what happened next.

The Colonics Specialist guided me into room number 3 and said, “I’m going to put on a movie for you to watch. Just relax and enjoy the ride and the movie.”

Guess which movie came on?”

“Avatar was released on December 18, 2009 and it was still showing in IMAX 3D theaters. It has not come out on video yet and somehow Fiji has a copy of Avatar. Hmmm…”

“Avatar is about three hours long and guess which part the DVD played?”

“Jake takes his first flight… It was surreal.”

“First thing I did after coming back to Fiji was to get my 200 hours yoga teacher certification. I was committed to teaching yoga.”

“I had signed up at a studio in Palo Alto and I immediately started my training at the end of Feb. During the second week of yoga teacher training, I’ve noticed something different about this studio. Not all yoga studio carries water but this one did.”

“Guess which brand of water this yoga studio carried?”

“Fiji Water…”

I said to Marti, “I felt like you were talking directly to me this entire class but I wasn’t sure if you were really talking to me.” However when you said, “You guys are like the dragons from the movie Avatar.” “I knew it was a sign that I need to talk to you about something. I don’t know what yet, but I need to talk to you…”

I then proceeded with, “Marti, I don’t know if you remember me, but I had met you about a year ago at another yoga studio in San Jose. I wanted to take your class through a friend’s recommendation but it turned out that I had misread the class schedule. I didn’t realize that you were teaching a pre-natal yoga class that Thursday night. I jocularly said, “I would be happy to crash your class and pretend to be pregnant. You had laughed hysterically at my comment. I was up for that experience that night but I didn’t want to disturb the harmonious feminine energy so I left the studio.”

“About a month ago, I saw your name on the Breathe class schedule, so I thought I would try again. Turns out that you were at a retreat and Joanne took over as a sub. She did an awesome job but I have still yet to take your class.”

Marti and I parted with a big hug and Nameste that night and Allan is ready to takes his first flight.

Had I not been able to let go of the corporate world, I would not have opened up my heart and mind. That is probably why it took Marti and I to cross path a year later.

Everything happens for a reason. In the quote of Dr. Brian Weiss, “Patience and timing . . . everything comes when it must come.”

“Have faith, Allan. Good things will come to you this year. Have faith,” as my heart tells me once again as I left Breathe Studio with a giddy smile.

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Live.Love.Journey!

 

*Picture courtesy of Avatar.

I had attended one of Jennifer Prugh’s Foundation of Flow/Meditation class recently and the theme to her class was to dedicate the practice to someone we know who is suffering and to wish them well.

I had asked my heart to whom I should dedicate this session to and he reminded me of a recent road rage incident. Gordo, a nickname whom I have given to the middle age Mexican man, taught me a life lesson about compassion and forgiveness.

A few weeks ago, I was driving my Nissan, “The Un-Prius,” as I called my 15 miles per gallon V8 truck, on the freeway heading going home. I usually have the music blasting to the tunes of my favorite Black Eye Peas songs while driving. However, I wanted some peace and quiet that day because I was really angry. I wanted to calm my mind through silence and breathing and that was when my rage boomerang back at me.

As I exited off the freeway, I looked up my rear view mirror and noticed a dinged up 1975 silver Toyota Celica fast approaching me. When he came close enough for me to see his face, I saw a Hispanic man in his early 40s screaming and waving his arms ecstatically and yelling at me.

My first thought was, “Is he trying to warn me that there is something wrong with my vehicle because I have a flat tire?”

I had ignored him and continue to drive after the light turned green. At the second stop light, I saw the mid age man screaming at me again and now I know for sure he was upset at me.

I thought to myself, “What the heck did I do to you? I was minding my own business. Truly you got the wrong person. So what gives?”

When we both came to a full stop at the red light, Gordo got out of his car, started to run towards me with his large belly giggling up and down. He got right next to my car door and started screaming something in Spanish as he stood in the middle of the street. I told him, “I do not understand what you are saying and if I cut you off, I’m really sorry.”

Gordo did not care what I had to say even if he could understand me. Just then he wound up his left arm getting ready to punch me through the driver window. During that split second, I wanted to punch him first to protect myself. However, for some reason, my heart told me not to extend my arm because he wasn’t angry. He was just really hurt inside.

Something strange happened. He unwound his fist, withdrew his anger, and walked back to his car. When the light turned green, I drove off and continued to send thoughts of compassion and forgiveness to him.

Before Jennifer’s class, I didn’t understand why Gordo was so upset at me other than I might have cut him off on the freeway. After the meditation session, I had another prospective where that Toyota might have been Gordo’s only transportation, and he might not have auto insurance let alone medical insurance. If one does not have auto insurance in California, the driver is at fault and will also lose his driver’s license.

If Gordo had gotten into a car accident, he would have lost his driving privilege by three years, and not have the money to repair his car. If he was hurt from the accident, he won’t be able to cover his medical expenses. More importantly, he may be the only breadwinner in his family supporting his wife and three kids. If he is injured, who will be supporting his family?

I realized that underneath the anger, he was really afraid and hurt. Everyone has his or her own suffering underneath it all. Often times we use anger as a façade to protect ourselves as a form of self-defense mechanism.

When we are in an angry state, we are walking through life as if we have blinds covering the side of our eyes like the horses pulling the carriage in New York’s Central Park. We only see what is wrong with our lives and what is wrong with others and nothing else.

When we’re in that un-resourceful state, we blind ourselves from gratitude, compassion and forgiveness that empower us. The feeling of hate just makes us bitter in life, a life that hurts everyone around us, and even random strangers.

“Choose gratitude, compassion and forgiveness,” my heart says.

Spread Love, Joy, and…Peace.

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Live.Love.Journey!

There is an old fable about a young fisherman named Captain Jace who lived in Piraeus, a city south west of Athens 1000 B.C. ago. His philosophy in life was ahead of its time as he focused on living life instead of avoiding death because he believes that everyone has their time on earth.

“Anyone can die anytime, at any second, and even choke to death from a sip of water. If it’s not time to die, it is not time to go,” he always says.

Many wise elders thought he was purposely chasing after death.

His response to them was, “I am living life! What are you doing wasting yours?”

Although Jace seemed confident on the outside, he did have a dark side to him. He drank mead as if it was water. In his mind, bliss was getting drunk so that he can escape to another world, another dimension of “made up” happiness, because he was in so much pain. It did not bother him if he would wake up face down on the cobble stones in an alley somewhere next morning after drinking all night. He thought he can drink away his pain so that he can forget about the loss of his parents to the Mediterranean Sea when he was eight years old.

When Jace was in his early twenties, he had a very successful fishing business and all the locals wanted their hands on his catch because he would always bring the best seafood. He would voyage to parts of the dangerous sea, strong currents and hidden corals, where no other fisherman would risk their lives to go to find the catch. A few others have tried to compete with him only to have drowned.

“You won’t die as long as you stick with me. It’s not time for me to go yet. Therefore it’s not time for you to go either!” as he boasts to his First Mate, Matthias and his crew.

One autumn day while he is singing his same usual tunes coming back to port, a beautiful blond woman at the port caught his attention. Elena was a tall and slender 5’8” sixteen year old with bluish green mesmerizing eyes to match the color of her dress. Without hesitation, he approached her like as if he had approached many other women before. Except this time, he knew she has caught his heart. They quickly got married within the few weeks of meeting each other despite of Elena parents’ disapproval. She was madly in love with him and there was nothing her parents could do to talk her out of it.

Life was splendor for the first few years of the marriage and his business quadrupled. Elena even convinced him to stop drinking as well. Since his business was doing well, he and Elena lived comfortably where he had a choice to retire to stay home with her.

Instead, he tells her, “I love the sea too much and I don’t want to give it up.”

For him, it is always a hunt, a conquering of man against nature, and to test his immortality against the angry seas so he thought. Deep down inside, he was really looking for his lost mom and dad all these years who’s ship capsized somewhere around the north of the Cyclades Islands.

Elena would always wait for him at the dock on the days of his return except for this one day in summer. When Jace did not see his wife, he went into a fury, a rage that no one can control him or calm him down. He kicked every wooden boxes, woven baskets and barrels that were in his path as he walked on to the dock. After he was done kicking, he ran back to his fishing boat, grabbed all of the twenty two baskets of fresh catch and tossed all of them overboard. No one was able to stop him, not even Mathias.

On the sprint home, past arguments with Elena and negative images of his wife flashes before him. In one scene, he re-lived the event where she yelled at him about how she haven’t felt love from him for a long time.

“All you care about is your fishing expeditions,” she screams.

He yelled back, “I’m trying to provide you a comfortable living. How can you say such things? Why can’t you just appreciate what I’m doing for you?”

In another scene, he imagined her cheating on him with another man in his bed. The more he visualized them together, the more exacerbated he became.

“How could she cheat on me after I risk my life providing food on the table?” he had thought.

These negative thoughts kept stacking one on top of another as he ran towards home.

When he arrived in front of his house, he kicked the front door open with such immense force that doors just parted and fell into pieces. His three servants quickly ran to the side of the house as they know his temper well. They did not want to be in the path of destruction. He searched every room to find Elena but she was not home. He grabbed everything that was breakable in the house and smashed them all on the ground. His was so focused on his rampage that he didn’t notice the shrapnel from the porcelain vases and pieces of limestone from statues on the floor had lacerated multiple places of his feet. He picked up all of the fifteen bottles of mead in his house and left alone with a trail of bloody foot prints towards his boat, alone in the dark.

Within an hour of his departure, dark clouds rolled into the port of Piraeus. The storm brought with a heavy down pour and thunderbolts lit up the sky as if it was day time. Under normal circumstances, even Jace would think twice before sailing out in such foul weather, but he did not care whether he lived or not. His intent was to drink every bottle dry. Jace was in so much pain that he just wanted to be somewhere else but here.

The storm progressively picked up and a fierce gust of wind snapped the main mast in half as if it was a thin twig from a tree branch. The break of the mast did not even flinch him at all. Jace was determined to drink his pain away. The large waves continued to pound his ship over and over as if a blacksmith was trying to shape an amber sword with a mallet. The final wave, a 55 footer, came in and smashed the boat into multiple pieces. Captain Jace went overboard and was sucked into the turbulent wave. The last thing he saw before leaving this world was the dark blue color of water as he slowly drifted to the bottom of the Aegean Sea.

Elena was supposed to come to the port that afternoon but she had lost track of time while praying at the temple. The night before Jace’s return, she had a nightmare that her husband was swallowed by the sea. She went to the temple that morning to pray to the Gods for her husband’s safe journey home. By the time she was ready to leave, the heavy rain blocked her path from returning to her home safely.

After the storm passed later that night, she hurried home next morning to find Jace’s best friend inside her house.

Matthias said, “Where have you been? I have been looking all over for you.”

He told her that he was not able to find Jace and the only things he could recover were the remains of his boat washed ashore. Elena’s heart dropped and broke into pieces like the shattered porcelain and limestone on the floor.

Even though many years have passed since Jace’s death, Elena had always felt his presence around her as she aged into her twilight years. She always felt that he was there to protect her as a guardian angel. Elena could still feel Jace’s presence at the side of the dock where she would always wait for his return.

Jace has been chasing after the past, the lost love of his parents. He never realized that love has always been in front of him and within him. If we constantly chase after what we think is missing in life, we would miss out on what we already have right in front of us.

Had Jace took the time to appreciate Elena’s love, would this story have unfolded differently? Had Jace stopped blaming God for taking his parents away at a young age, would he be able to see that God was trying to teach him a lesson of independence?

– If today was your last day on earth, what would you do or say to the people that you love or had loved?

– Would you still hold your grudges against them?

– Would you still yell at them?

– Would you forgive them and send love and light their way?

– How would you live if today was the last day of your life?

– What if we were to try and live like this everyday?

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Live.Love.Journey!

Thank you Katy Perry for inspiring me to write this story.

 

I was walking to a local 7 Eleven near my house a few weeks ago with my yellow Labrador, Tiger, to buy my winning lottery ticket. During my journey, I bumped into an interesting mid-twenty years old man. He wore a gray beanie with snowflake print, a black jacket, and a satchel from Symantec. He greeted me with a smile and said, “Hello, I like your doggie. I used to have a golden retriever.”

I smiled back and went on with my mission into 7 Eleven (I’ll talk about my mission of starting a nonprofit company at another day) and handed one dollar to the clerk for a lottery ticket. Before the clerk gave me my lottery ticket, he said to me, “I will only give you the winning lottery ticket if you smile.” I smile and kindly received the ticket and said “Thank you!”

As I walked out of the store, Mr. Beanie approached me for some help with his current monetary situation. He asked for a cup of coffee and I told him that I was happy to buy him one. “Would you like anything else, like a doughnut?”, I asked and he said, “No, I am just happy with coffee.” I can tell from his demeanor that he wanted both, but also he did not want to impose or project that he’s greedy. I knew Mr. Beanie was of a different person so I was determined to help him.

I said, “Instead of coffee and doughnuts, would you like Subway instead?” He gave me the gesture of unsureness with his should up to his ear and he mumbled “I haven’t had Subway for awhile.” I said, “C’mon, let’s get you some food” and the three of us walked into Subway. The clerk said “What would you like to order today?” as I look at Mr. Beanie to see what he would like. “Ham and cheese please,” he said.

While the clerk was making the 12 inches sandwich, I asked Mr. Beanie if he had enough money for a bus ride. He took about .85 cents in change out of his pocket and said, “Probably not.” I reached in my pocket and gave him what was left in my wallet and said “Here, please take this for your bus ride.” He hesitated for a few seconds, dropped his head and started sniffling. I had to admit, he got me teary eyed as well at that moment. Just then, he gave me one of the warmest hugs I have ever felt in my life. I could feel how much he was in pain as I said to him, “Everything will be alright. Everything will be alright.” Afterwards, he thanked me and we parted.

I cried the whole way driving to the office later that day, and I couldn’t figure why. “Was I sad for Mr. Beanie or was I touched by his genuine gratitude from his heart?” I had pondered for answers but none came to me.

The answer came to me a few weeks later during my meditation practice. I realized that he and I are not very different from one another. We both are going through a winter season of our lives as we walk in the path of darkness. When I helped Mr. Beanie that day, I had offered a flame of hope to ignite his own torch so that he knows he is not alone in this world. On the same token, I could not have done this without the help of my yoga teachers, friends and family in lighting my own internal flame.

It takes a huge amount of courage to ask for help. Showing our vulnerability does not mean we are weak. We are all human and we all need help at different times of our lives.

As I continue this journey inward of the human experience, I am seeking for answers to my own question – “What is the meaning of my life?”

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Live.Love.Journey!

 

Before coming to yoga class today, I was in a state of despair and sadness.

My career is not where it’s headed, and my relationship of one year ended before Thanksgiving.

I had multiple questions on my mind, but I wasn’t sure what that main issue was. I just couldn’t narrow it down to what really bothered me.

Upon settling down in class, by unrolling my red thick yoga mat, something jumped out in front of me.

It was a small look-alike apple seed sitting on my mat, just blatantly staring at me.

Curiously, I picked it up to have a closer look and wondered how it could have journeyed on to my mat.

Then, another thought came to mind and I asked myself, “What does this mean?”

I mean I usually find brown lint from wool blankets, or flocks of some blond girl’s hair on my yoga mat. You don’t typically find a seed on a yoga mat every day, at least not on mine anyway.

As I pondered for a deeper meaning in all of this, I came to a certain conclusion.

I remember that not long ago, one of my favorite yoga teachers said “If you are not happy with your life and are not getting the things you want out of life, pay close attention to the things you have been planting.

Be aware of the problem “seeds” and understand why you have been planting those seeds. Once you are aware, you have the option to plant better seeds in life.”

I came to the realization that the act of planting an individual seed carefully requires placing the palms face down, or metaphorically, employing the gesture that represents giving.

Planting great seeds is not a process that entails having your palms face the sky, in anticipation of receiving. “If you want love, GIVE LOVE!

If you want happiness, then help others without any expectation of return,” is what my heart told me in that moment.

The seed reminded me to have the courage to give even during times of despair and sadness. I now have the seed in a make shift petri dish and wonder what will come of it as I patiently wait and observe.

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The picture above was the seed on my mat.

I was working from my home on 12/22/11 and at about 3:20 PM my door bell rung.

Every time my door bell rings, Tiger, my yellow Lab, goes bonkers.

Tiger barked and barked as I tried to calm him down.

Mean while I was thinking to my head, it’s probably a solicitor of some type. We normally get donation seekers, selling newspaper sales people of some type from time to time.

I slow opened the door and saw two little boys at my door with a silver Razor scooter laid flat on my front porch.

Two thoughts came to my mind. One thought was if they were lost because they had this confusion look and second was I thought they’re going to sell me some cookies of some sort to fund raise for their Boy Scout event…

Instead, I was greeted by, “Hi, We wanted to sing Christmas Carol to you” in a little kids voice.

I was baffled and dumbfounded.

I was thinking in my head “Okay boys, what’s the catch here?” I mean I’ll support your cause just because you guys look like angels and are very sincere and honest.

The boys counted together “One, two, three” and started singing Jingle Bells. They were adorable. When they were done with Jingle Bells, they counted once again “One, two, three” and start singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

When they were done, I asked them their names, age and why did they go from house to house to sing Christmas Carols. The older seven year old said, “Because it’s fun!” while the five year old nodded his head.

I said, “Would you kids like some candy?” thinking this is like “Trick or Treat” except it’s Christmas, and the boys nodded their heads.

I also ask them if I could take a picture of them because they looked like Angels and they agreed. When I gave them the mint chocolates, they were so happy that they ran off forgetting about their the scooter on my front porch. That reminded a lot of me when I was a kid always losing my jackets so I laughed and called, “You forgot your scooter!”

If little kids can brighten our day without asking for anything in return, maybe we as adults can do the same.

Let’s all spread random acts of kindness during this holiday season!

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Live.Love.Journey!

The picture above were the two Angels at my front door…

 

Many people in this world seek things that are external to us – money, power, trophy wives/husbands, social ranking, who’s got the fastest cars, who’s got the biggest diamonds, who’s got the most friends on FB. Many of us also judge one’s success purely based on those possessions and/or status. I am not here to judge their desires as I too have more possessions than I ever really need or deemed as necessity.

While we look for external items to keep our minds occupied, how many of us realize that we will never be able to hold on to any of these material possessions/status when we leave this world? Is it possible to say that we chase after these possessions/status all of our lives just to lose them all when we die? If so, then why do the most of us compromise our health, our heart, our integrity, our family/friends, and our happiness just to secure these possessions/status?

I have been looking for answers for a few years now and I know for a fact that having the possessions/status have made me temporary happy, but I was always perpetually hungry as I always wanted “one up” the last achievement. “Happiness moments” so I thought, were short-lived followed by more desires, and more hunger.

Since I started this yoga journey more than six years ago, I began to look inward and started looking for answers to my questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Why am I here?
  • Why do I see so many successful people so unhappy?
  • What do I want to do with the next chapter of my life?
  • What do I want to get out of my life?
  • What truly makes me happy?

One of my Yogini friends, a true inspiration to me, suggested that I start blogging. I thought to myself, “I’m not a writer. English is my second language. My grammar is not the best. My friends think I tell the worst jokes. I can’t possibly write and so on and so on…” I figure I’m just going to write from my heart.

Now, I’m going to let the next chapter of my life unfold and I would like to invite you to explore with me the journey inward… Nameste

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Live.Love.Journey!