Life is returning to the Unity we began as

Tag: livingness

Let life be our art

IMG_3300A child can see and hear multitudinous more than a grown up, sometimes.  For we are all born with eyes and ears, nose, limbs and tongue, inside our hearts.

As a child I can feel so much going on, is not it.  It is not truth.  Simply because it does not feel right within my heart.  Yet, as a child, having such natural feelings can overwhelm, not so much because of feeling them, but more so how to communicate these feelings to a world, and be understood, when the world does not communicate in this way.  From very young, I have made up my mind, that no one would understand.

Yet, feeling I continued.

Growing up, my ears could hear so much more than what was spoken, all the honesty unexpressed, but niceties wrapped up in sugar and honey was how we communicated.  So I stopped speaking.  Because I do not know how to not speak truth–the truth of the reality that moment, and the truth which is absolute in my heart.

For many years I felt distraught, but never did I give up on the truth that my heart knows, although sometimes I chose to not heed it.  Not knowing how to otherwise, I began exploring this in art, (without studying it–my degree is in chinese studies) where possibilities are endless.  Art is an arena where beyond that of “reality” can be expressed freely, although, I was actually only wishing to express the reality that most have forgotten to be true.

I began taking pictures, from a second hand automatic camera.  I wrote and wrote and wrote to allow all the conflicts that I felt but have not expressed throughout the years to flow.  No coincidence that I got myself a job with no experience in photography or journalism, in a magazine publication.

I did not want to “create”.  I am not interested in making up something that I feel may be better.  I know there is a better.  And this better simply begins with being loving to every single being. I only wanted to express this in all ways possible with this vehicle.

And thus, life, has become my art and my medicine.


Speak with Love

IMG_3297Before we open our mouths to express love, what comes forth is already in the heart, when it is called for, our lips and tongue move so love takes shape and form in words and sounds in expression.

Love in expression does not always mean sweetness, and it never is the kind of sweetness that attaches like silly putty and does not come off.  But love in expression is always gentle and non-imposing.  Never is love something that is spoken in judgement.  Simply, expression in love is just stating what it truly is.

Sometimes love is a consistent firmness, not in resistance, but repetitively conveying in livingness of who we are, with words and beyond that of words.  We may have to repeatedly express, what is simple, perhaps sometimes too simple, for the mind to comprehend.

Recently, speaking with love is my learning, with family, with co-workers, with strangers.  Not shying from what wishes to truthfully express from the heart, is my first commitment in speaking with love.  Love speaks, not what society wishes to be pandered to, but how it truly is.

And it is amazing, how when love is spoken, it is unlike how poetry portrays it to be throughout the ages, that hearts are swooned and the senses are mesmerized; rather, to many, love sometimes stuns, and it becomes our choice to either feel in depth with self-honesty, or distract from it through a myriad of ways.

Love, though, is very patient.

I am a little boy with little boy feelings


From the very beginning, I had a knowingness that there was a path waiting for me to carve out that goes beyond what we recognize as our confined roles in life.  The “roles” in life appeared fluid to me rather than strictly inclusive.

You could say this was a chicken and egg story.  I became a single mom and so balancing family together with career as well as with one’s inner growth is an every single day exploration.  Being a parent as well as a friend was also a delicate endeavor.

This path of fluidity is not forged with force or the feelings of insufficiency.  Rather it has  been walked with joy and anticipation, most of the time.  It was all an exploration, but mostly, deep within I know the spherical nature of an exploration is much more natural to me than a box constructed with straight lines and impenetrable walls.  It was like seeing life with the eyes of a child, nothing is impossible, everything is an adventure.  And as I approached life with a wide-eyed wonder, life greets me back with many miracles.

As the boundaries blended within my life, such as, work is not just work, it was also work with parenting; and self growth was almost always done in tandem with my child, my child and I are always learning in each moment, how to balance our own roles.  If I am to be honest and gentle to myself, there was no way I can be a parent who always uphold an invincible shield.  There are times when I am fragile and these moments had to be honored too.

Therefore feeling my own fragility and that of my child also, recognizing them in full and accepting these are a part of life, that no matter what, will keep happening.  When I am too focused on a certain role, my boy would remind me in a myriad of ways to come back to harmony.

Yesterday, he did that by saying “Mommy, I am a little boy with little boy feelings.”  This simple statement had so much gentleness but also immense power in it, that I stopped completely, then and there.  This reflection was so poignant–that whatever I have been doing, I have not been gentle enough.  And so I was reminded to be more gentle, to the both of us.  But what touched me most, is the willingness of my little boy, who is now in the tender stage of growing up into a pre-adolescent, to express the fragility that he is feeling.  No matter how much he wants to mask this tenderness in many of the circumstances in life recently, his continued opening to acknowledging these feelings to someone he trusts, is truly beauty-full.

And it is with continued honesty to myself through the impulses in the heart, as well as the clear reflections from all around,  that renews every single day, my commitment to life.







The Sun


I accept my light in full.

The layers, the masks, slowly and gently falling away

Numerous and so well disguised

To be me.

The self-created me is there to hide the true me

When it cannot be hidden

How can light be hidden?

It can only be snubbed and snubbed again until

We think we have forgotten.

But how can the sun be perpetually veiled?

Sooner or later, through the thickest clouds and the foggiest grays

The sun, not through force, but with the most natural power–

Its light, shines through.

And this sun

Is forever within me and you.

The Ride of the Dragon

Exactly one year ago, when the Rabbit re-entered the Chinese calendar, my life completely turned around. That was the year when I had finally lost it. What I lost was the pride of my spirit.

It was a time of deep confusion and chaos, I felt the only navigation that has guided me throughout life, that which I believed to be love, had actually been a fake. I could not even begin to describe in words the intense feeling of betrayal and fear I was in. My life had been lived as an illusion up till now, and I was solely responsible for this mess.

The year leading up to the Rabbit, the incidents that lined up all allowed me to fall deeper into this abyss, until there was no more depth to fathom, I was swimming in the abuse and lovelessness I had allowed into my life and was simply choking in its toxicity. Throughout this year, spirit fought and fought, bouncing between the states of illusion and Love. This has not only caused great exhaustion, it has ushered me into a state of frozenness, I could not more forward, backward, left, right, up or down. I felt moving in any direction or degree, would put me in grave danger, spirit was truly mortified.

Yet, my heart knew I had to move. I needed to move and as there was no where to go externally, so I moved In, straight into my inner-heart. And a miracle happened.

In utter desolation, I had found the place which I had always known but had not lived. I had lost everything, but in-truth, those things had to be lost, I had to be lost, and especially the pride of the spirit had to be lost, for me to come face to face with my kingdom, which has always been there, right there within my heart.

I returned to Love.

This miracle is so subtle, it begged me to just be with it, without speaking, without doing, just being with it. For the entire year of the Rabbit, I was simply being with Love. I knew it in my heart, but I had yet to embody Love in livingness. Talking is one thing, walking one’s talk is completely another. If I walk my talk, every single breath inhaled is a moment to do so. And thus, the Rabbit dug up every hidden discrepancy burrowed, and made me look. Keeping it? Burying it back? Not a chance, sweetheart.

And thus, there was no fighting. What had to go, simply did. Without a whisper, without necessary explanations, without more. Any physical and emotional action that was lived in lovelessness, immediately affected and was literally released through the body. I came to a complete new honoring for this physical vehicle.

We are about to enter the Year of the Dragon, I am ready to take a break from the earthy burrowing of the rabbit and step on the dragon’s back, taking with me dirt and soil from every lesson and mistake in unawareness, and just ride from the depths of our hearts.

“Holding the dragon’s tail, he swings me half way in the air, closing my eyes I hung on with nothing but a brazen heart of trust. Thus so, I land, many fluffered, but not a hair less, hugging his heart.”*

Wishing all a fabulous ride of the Dragon.

With love.

*quote by me

One Love

I would not fight for any skin color anymore, I am certain I have righteously done so before.

I would not strive for any religion anymore, I am sure I have relentlessly killed for this cause before.

I would not uphold any group anymore, I am sure I have had to just to survive before.

I would not hang onto any ideals anymore, I know I have preferred them over Love before.

I would not hide anymore, I have perpetuated this illusion long enough.

I am here to live a one-unifed Love through One Brotherhood where every single Soul is precious and equal as who they are. I am here to express this Love, to allow it to be visible and accessible, so that any brother who feels inspired to walk this path of return, can do so. I am here to sing the heart song of the Mother, through her Stillness, that which is lived becomes the Father. I am here.

The Shirt and the Iron

For the last sixteen years, my work revolved around clothes and fashion.

But I have never acquired the love for ironing…at least not until today.

I have a great appreciation for clothing, both in its functional and aesthetic purposes.  But more so, it is the art of expression through clothing that I find intriguing.  I do not believe that clothing on their own have power.  They cannot, in essence, give us anything.  What the fashion industry sells, actually is not clothing, but branding and marketing.  What I know though, is when we begin to know who we truly are, the fire within us will fluidly translate and impress into everything we are, including what we wear or not wear.  Therefore, the reason I continue to work in fashion, is because this industry somehow has got it all reversed…yet I have digressed.

My dislike in ironing reflects my long time rebellion towards authority and perfection, I find anything too flawless, unnerving; and I certainly don’t like to be told what to do .  Starched, perfectly pressed white shirts represented a sort of acquiescence for me.  I much prefer denim shirts, with their worn out softness and fading color.  Livingness is the preciousness in life for me.

Today I am preparing for a styling job–the wardrobe consisted of 5 cotton dress shirts and several jackets.  If there is one insufficiency of garment steamers, it would be their inability to provide a well-pressed shirt.  Dress shirts and irons are definitely a complementary match.  I prepared to plug in the iron and wait for the ironing experience to begin.

Due to my general distaste and lack of patience for ironing, never have I taken this responsibility seriously.  When I was young, I had burned clothes and burned myself–until a few years ago, the triangular-shaped iron burn I left on my right inner wrist was still visible.  The photo shoot to be commenced this afternoon requires close up shots, the product being sold is high-end and elegant, so the shirts had to be impeccable.

So ironing I began.  And ironing I continued.  For one shirt I ironed forever, experimenting, experiencing, exploring…ironing in circular motions, straight lines, horizontally; without water, with water or steam; digging into the nooks and crannies around the particularly stubborn areas of creases; figuring out the ways to alleviate issues caused by over-spraying or stray-spraying of  water droplets; laying out the shirt in particular ways and developing a personal sequence of ironing order of shirt parts and so forth.

A lot of time has passed.  I finally finished ironing the 5 shirts.  And realized that it is not necessary anymore to resist what was purely my perception and projection of authority.  I no longer needed to fight against what I have always felt was absurd or clearly ridiculous.  What is life opened up in grand proportions and ease when the need to have something my way disappears.  Suddenly I felt like I have grown up.

And more importantly, I had enjoyed the ironing.

Photo: UN Workshop