Saturday, September 24, 2011

When reality matches what's inside...

Last Thursday, I had to go pick up my dad to the airport. I hadn't been in SFO since last year and little did I know, I was up for a surprise. As I was getting to the airport, I took the wrong turn and got off one exit before I was supposed to. As I was turning around and looking at the clock, I noticed I only had a few minutes to park the car and find the gate. I got to the parking lot and started going around to find a place to park, I went around a few times and I could not find the American Airlines name on any of the column and most of the place was full so I decided to park where I used to park in the past. Nobody would think that everything has changed since the last time!!! When I got to the terminals, everything was new. I could not find American Airlines. I started walking fast concerned that my dad would be worried that nothing looked the same. I run for almost 20 minutes until I found the gate. I was so stressed out. I never felt that lost before and I could feel my anxiety level raising as I feared I would not find my way. I got to the gate 1 minute before my dad got out. Thank Goddess!! While we were walking to take the air train, my dad kept saying how everything looked different and how he was concerned we would not find each other. As I got on the train, I realized I was on the wrong line so we got off and took the other one. We got off the train on the wrong terminal so we had to get back on again. By then we have been going around in circles for almost one hour. It seemed like I could not find my way, I was lost and filled with anxiety. Now it was not only me lost, but my dad was following. I found the car after all and we started our way home but by then, I was exhausted after running around and feeling completely lost. I started wondering why it felt like Mercury was retrograde when it was not. Why I felt so hopeless and lost. Is that how I am feeling now? There are times when I feel lost and I am not sure where I am going. In the past, I was always convinced that I wanted to be a career woman but now that I look at my career, I realize that I don't feel I am a career woman and I am not a mother so the question becomes who I am and where I am going.

Three weeks ago, I saw a praying mantis for the first time in my life. I was swimming in the pool and this insect was swimming towards me. It looked scary and ugly. A week later, I saw another one while doing a BBQ with some friend. Last but not least, I was walking one evening and one flew by me. After seeing this insect three times in a period or three weeks. I realized that there was some kind of meaning to this event since I've never seen the insect before. When I started reading about this insect and it's symbolism, I found the following:


The mantis never makes a move unless she is 100% positive it is the right thing for her to do. This is a message to us to contemplate and be sure our minds and souls all agree together about the choices we are making in our lives.


When I read these phrases, I couldn't help but think how busy I have kept myself lately and how it may be time to find my stillness and balance. I need to sit in the silence, avoid the busyness, and try to calm down so I can see things clearly so I don't get lost.

When I read about being 100% positive that a decision is right before moving, I thought about how at times we may get paralized because we think we may make a mistake and we don't act. Sometimes, we have to jump. Sometimes, we have to take a risk. It is good to evaluate a decision but in the end, sometimes we may just go round and round and get lost in the middle. Have you ever taken too long to decide and then the thing you wanted was gone? Was it worth to wait and think and evaluate to lose everything in the end? It is up to us to find our stillness and make sure we evaluate our options, but in the end, sometimes we just need to take a risk and jump.

Lately, I feel reality matches what's inside....

Blessings )0(

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Labels and Words

The more I study languages, the more I realize the power of words and how we may interpret words differently and assign different meanings. Language is arbitrary. I was reading the book Language and Symbolic Systems by Yuen Ren Chao and he introduced this concept in his book. He said "Language is a form of communication (in the widest sense) is entirely arbitrary in its relation to what is communicated. Before the establishment of a convention, any word could mean anything." This phrase really resonated with me since I started wondering why some words may have a negative connotation while others would have a positive one. For example, if I say "she is different" some people may understand that as rude while other people may think that I am meaning she does not conform with the norm. The same happens when somebody says "she is beautiful" and to some people standards a person may be pretty while for others she may be ugly. Like one of my English teachers used to say "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." We can apply this concept to words and say that "the meaning of words is in the intention of the communicator." The communicator may intend the message to be different from the message understood by the listener so it is important to make sure when we listen, we listen with empathy and try to understand what the speaker is trying to say with the meaning he or she is trying to convey. That's why reflective listening is so important. Even though it may seem we are repeating what the other person says, we should make sure we understood the message the way it was intended.

Words have power. They can create or they can destroy. Words spoken at the wrong time can bring war as well as words spoken at the right time can bring peace. Friendships can be made or break by the use of words. People can thrive or fail by using words. We use words in so many ways that we lose our awareness of the power words have and how we use them for our gain or loss.

When I think of words, I think of the words that have gained a negative meaning with time and how we can revert it. I think about the word witch and how it has become a negative label when once it used to mean "wise one." I think of the word magic and I see that now it has a meaning of something that is not real when it used to be connected with the power of intent. How many words have lost their original meaning since people feared their power? How many words we have added a negative meaning to deny reality? How many words have become numb because we used them so much and have lost the original power? How many words have their power diluted?

When I think of words, I think of labels as well. Labels are words that define us but in a sense, do they really define us? Do we want to be trapped by their meaning? When I think of labels, I think of what Johnny Deep said "They stick you with those names, those labels-”rebel” or whatever; whatever they like to use. Because they need a label they need a name. They need something to put the price tag on the back of.” Do we really need to structure ourselves with labels? Do we need to say we are this or that? Our labels are usually related to our roles but they don't define who we are. When somebody asks us who we are, we usually define ourselves as a role such as teacher, mother, sister, etc. There are so many roles. We hardly ever describe who we are, we describe what we do, what our actions are. When I describe myself I usually say I am a powerful, beautiful, intelligent, healthy and strong woman. I may change some of the adjectives but I usually don't describe myself as a Compliance Specialist or a wife. Words have power and labels have structure. Don't let the words and labels of the world define who you are, just write your own story, create your own words, make your own labels and don't let other decide for you.

Blessings )0(

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lost and Found

Every year, as my birthday gets closer, I start thinking about all the things that have taken place during the past year and take inventory of what I've done and what I would like to accomplish in the next year. This process helps me see whether there are patterns in my life I need to change, patterns I need to incorporate, and things I need to let go of because they no longer serve me.

While taking inventory, this year I realized that I got lost in the woods for a while. It feels like some areas of my life have become dormant or were put on the back burner while I was coping with some situations that took precedence. Looking back, I can see my spiritual path was put on stand by while my Chinese journey took off. Somehow, a part of me feels that when I commit to something, I have to give that thing 101% and everything else needs to drop off because I have to devote my full attention to that thing that has become the focus of interest. Being aware of that, I know I can get consumed by an idea, a relationship, or a thing and lose sight of the big picture. Since the last New Moon in Virgo, I started realizing that I needed to bring more balance in my life. That even though I love Chinese, I need to bring my spirituality back into my life and find a way to live a more harmonious life instead of all my energies being tied into one thing. It was as if the Goddess have come back into my life and said "Daughter, I have let you wander in the woods, get lost in the mists for a while, but it is time to come back now, it's time to wake up and get back on the path - you can't be lost forever, you have to find your way back."

In the book Tao of Womanhood, Diane Dreher says "The wisdom of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is, "a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away." I know the time has come for me to find balance. I think the scarcity mentality has led me to believe I don't have enough time to study Chinese, be a Priestess, and have a fulfilled life. Now it is time for me to realize that I can find a way to do the things I love and lead a whole and healthy life.

In her book, Diane Dreher also talks about the honorable closure and says "We don't want to be quitters, so we stay involved with unwanted commitments, dead-end jobs, or unhealthy relationships instead of moving on." Knowing when to let go and move on is a skill not many of us have developed. Many times we stick with things just because we are unable to accept the time has come to move on, that what it was great yesterday, it may not be as good today. What was perfect ten years ago may have become obsolete now. It's up to us to be able to determine where our energies are tied and whether we need to say goodbye to a person, change jobs or change a behavior because the old is not fulfilling anymore.

I think I've been lost for a while but now it's time to come back to life and back to my journey. I do feel as if I am "lost and found."

Blessings )0(