Becoming me on Kauai.

I figured out what it is. What’s making part of this transition here to Kauai more challenging than I thought.

I’ve found high school all over again.

This is a small island and there are cliques of all sorts. There are the people who party, the hippies, the [fill-in-the-blank].

The story in my head, about how moving here was going to be, is different than the way that it’s panning out and that’s probably very good for me, because it’s giving me a chance to see who I am and reminding me that I have the power to change and choose.

Because I HATED high school. I used to cry every day my sophomore year, since I went to a school I wasn’t even supposed to go to. Beverly Hills High needed more Chinese kids to up their minority quota, so they came to my junior high, which was out of their district, to recruit. And, being that my parents were very much into academics as many traditional Chinese parents are, there was no question that I would be going.

Yes, Beverly was a great academic environment. Socially, mentally, emotionally, socio-economically, and even physically, it was brutal. I was a total loser. At least, that’s what I thought about myself.

I felt completely unattractive and was perpetually dealing with a family environment that broke me more and more each day. My mother used to drive me to school berating me the entire 14-minute car ride every morning, so by the time I got there, I was frequently on the brink of tears. But, since I had learned from a young age that “saving face” was of utmost importance, I swallowed everything I felt in the moment, so that I could present the person I thought I was supposed to be: happy Judy.

The instant I saw one of the few friendly faces I knew, I smiled and pretended like everything was all right. Inside, I felt anything but okay, yet didn’t know how to be honest and say, “I need help. Please help me, I’m hurting.”

This is how it went, day in and day out every academic year until I graduated. I was extremely self-conscious, shrinking in comparison to the kids who had money, the kids who seemed like their lives were so golden they were almost shiny when I looked at them. I was awkward and not at all sure how to fit in other than to watch the good life happening from afar. I was, in a lot of ways, very depressed.

It’s no wonder then, that over the past couple of weeks since I’ve been here, I’ve suddenly felt lost and afloat. I can’t find my groove or the group of friends where I fit in. I feel like the new girl in school who came in a year after the freshmen started together, and I’m scrambling to figure out where my classes are, what’s going on, and how to be “cool.” I don’t have the right whatever-it-is, and fairly often, I just want to cry.

When I started at Beverly, my parents wouldn’t listen to my pleading to transfer to the local high school I was supposed to go to, the one where all the friends I’d grown up with since elementary school were going. My mother and father were hard-edged, toed the line, and I hated them for it. I wouldn’t say that high school ever got any better. I just found other ways to adapt, like developing an eating disorder.

Then today, I realized that this doesn’t have to be a duplicate of those very difficult years — I can be a better parent to myself; I can be who I wished I were back then.

I remember hearing years ago that when we feel insecure, we go back to that point in our lives (usually junior high or high school) when we felt the most uncertain about ourselves, and then all that old drama gets relived.

Well, screw that.

I’m not a scared teenager who’s too naive to figure out when people aren’t being kind and then too polite not to do anything about it. I’m the woman who’s worked my ass off to be here, the one who had the guts in every single way to do what I needed to do not only to survive, but to more importantly thrive — mentally, emotionally, financially, intellectually, physically, and spiritually.

Despite my own greatest efforts at sabotage, I’ve made real connections along the way. I’ve found love when it didn’t get modeled for me very well growing up. I keep showing up in extremely vulnerable and courageous ways, because I believe there are a lot of truths worth sharing that help us feel less alone in the world and more okay with exactly where we are.

And, I overcame an eating disorder that was absolutely taking away everything in my life, which for those of you who’ve ever battled addictions or been close witness to anyone who has, you know how desperately hopeless and bitterly painful such battles can be. Those life experiences, and then some, are what enable me to be an incredibly thoughtful writer, a wonderful yoga teacher, and a powerful Reiki practitioner. I have the privilege and the blessing to support and inspire other amazing souls to thrive.

That’s what’s real. Not any high school bullshit. So, fuck high school. Forget all the kids who put on a good show, yet actually don’t feel very good about themselves. Screw the pretenses and the popularity contests; the ideas of who I think I should be in order to fit in. Turns out, I’ve never actually wanted to fit in. I’ve always wanted to be different.

This time around, I chose to be here. I’ve always wanted to live in Hawaii and this IS my dream come true. I didn’t get bussed in because of my race, though my ethnicity can be to my advantage this time and not someone else’s. I didn’t get to say how I felt back then to anyone, I let myself be taken for granted, and now, I get to be as honest as I’d like, however and whenever I want. I’m not afraid anymore. I get to do everything differently than before and the more I embrace this truth, then the more I become a fuller expression of me.

This island IS magical. I asked to come to write my book, and Kauai is providing one opportunity after the other to generate meaningful content. If our souls continue to gravitate towards situations that are designed for our greatest healing, then in every way, from men to money to wounds that still need mending, that’s what she’s doing for me.

Since arriving, I’ve been told not to talk about money, because people might take advantage of me; how this is indeed like a foreign country, so there is a definite sense of culture shock for those who’ve arrived. I’m told that there can be extremes of separations from the locals versus the haoles. And, that the men here act like boys when it comes to dating, whether coming from enhanced machismo or juvenile deflection of how they really feel. I’ll take it all into consideration, and keep showing up as me.

Because this version of me, two decades after I first started high school, is who I’ve always wanted to become. Sure, there are parts of me I’m still working on, but if there weren’t, then I wouldn’t be alive or growing.

And, at the end of the day, with all of my darkness and light and the beauty in in between, I might be pretty damn cool after all.

This energy about me.

Gary used to frequently say, “You’re one of the most powerful energies I’ve ever had on my table. I have no doubt that one day, you’ll be on this end here, sitting and talking to a client who needs your help, just like I’m doing with you now.”

When we worked together, he had such profound experiences, that he’d share it was why he got into this work in the first place. And then, before I left, Ryan asked, “Do people tell you that you have a special energy about you? Because, I noticed it right away.”

And even with Jesse, when he said that from the moment he hugged me, he could feel my power and presence as a woman, and that it actually caused him to have to take a few moments afterward to re-center himself for the breathwork workshop. What’s more, even that day, with my feelings and thoughts of food, it permeated other people’s consciousness — that’s how much power I have.

When it comes to Reiki, how I teach, the impact upon the people I meet, everyone says that it’s palpable and frequently profound. So what’s my hesitation? Why am I having such a hard time allowing for this to be my truth?

There are parts of my brain still rooted in old beliefs, still thinking that I have to be humble and small, because that’s the Chinese way. We’re not allowed to be boastful, we have to save face. Pride is one of the biggest vices an Asian person could have, it’s an ugly quality. Coupled with cultural obstacles, there is also the feeling that my family was unhealthy in the sense that we weren’t supportive of one another. My aunts and uncle would tear each down, as they came from hollow places of insecurities and a poverty consciousness, rather than believing that love and happiness is abundant. There was the idea that if you had it, you took it away from me, instead of believing that it’s all around us and we can all have our own experience of this.

If I were to be big, it would make everyone else feel small, and instead of joining me in becoming uplifted and more aware, they’d rather criticize me and tell me all the ways in which I couldn’t rise above them. They’d rather we all drown than float to paradise together.

Do you know what it feels like to be completely comfortable in my skin, both physically and soulfully? To think that everything I’m doing is okay and whole and that there’s nothing wrong with it, as the judgments I’d placed on myself for so long?

I’ve wanted to do cleanses (and have tried), subsequently investing a lot of time, money, energy, and effort into things that simply didn’t work to rid myself of the toxic thinking that led to my belief I had to do that in the first place. If I loved myself enough, then I would choose better when it came to nourishing my body. I would listen to myself when I needed to move, and when I needed rest. I would find joy and playfulness in every moment, rather than being a self-appointed dictator about all the regimented things I needed to do to be beautiful/whole/accepted/loved/desired.

That desire one, that’s a big one I’m working through right now. It’s me coming into my femininity and my power, which as my mentors had said before I moved here, that it’s happening, whether I can see it or not. Everyone else can, so it’s time I get on board with that.

This morning, I stood while eating a few bites of cereal, and part of me was saying, “You should sit down! This is unhealthy eating disordered behavior!” and then I realized, “NO! The unhealthy eating disordered behavior is not accepting that I’m doing whatever I want without judgment, that there’s a ‘should’ or ‘better’ way of being and doing that I’m needing to adhere to in some way.” I allowed myself to do what I was already doing and not to feel like there was anything wrong with it, and then the power of that voice and that old patterning just went away.

It became, “Who cares?”

And yesterday, before my shift at Art Cafe Hemingway, when I had about 20 minutes before I was supposed to be there, and walked to the water to enjoy a bit of meditation on a long-petrified log sitting on top of the water, as I was bundled up in my rain-proof army-fatigued patterned windbreaker, I just felt so cozy in being me. In mis-matched clothes and walking across the street in my TOMS, and it was just such a quiet feeling of freedom. I’m very grateful that it’s coming to me more and more, and growing louder and louder.

This is what I’ve been waiting for. This is the person I’ve always dreamed of becoming, the person who values herself and her needs, speaks up, shares truths, and just loves herself/myself completely. It’s part of the “just do it” mentality that my coach has encouraged in our recent calls, whenever I feel hesitant about putting my writing out there or saying anything in particular.

I just listened to Anita Moorjani’s excerpt, and it’s exactly what I needed to hear. That we are here to live fully, and that this is what we chose, this is our nirvana. Not trying to be perfect for some place after we depart, but here and now. This is changing everything for me. Absolutely everything.

It’s a cresendo-ing “ohmigod” moment, it feels. I am *this* much closer to Truth and living what I’ve always believed, and it’s absolutely wonderful, amazing, nervous-making, exciting, and incredible to experience feeling…

 

“What if all our goals are the wrong way around? What if Heaven or Nirvana is actually here in the physical expression and not there in the afterlife? I sense that we choose to incarnate into a physical body in order to express love, passion, and the full range of other human emotions not available to us separately in the state of pure awareness and oneness. What if this life on this planet is the main show, where the action is, and where we wanted to be? 

This reality is a playground of expression. It looks as though we aren’t here to learn or gather experiences for the afterlife. There doesn’t seem to be much purpose in that, because we don’t need any of it there. Rather, we’re here to experience and evolve this physical universe and our own lives within it. I made my decision to return when I realized life here is the most desirable state for me at this time.

We don’t have to wait until we die to experience nirvana. Our true magnificence exists right now. The reason why humans are so vulnerable and fearful around this subject is because we create our ideas of the afterlife and our gods in human terms. We assign to these concepts the same physical properties and fallible values that we possess, and are vulnerable to. Values such as fear, retribution, judgment, and punishment, and then we project all our strength and power onto our own creations. 

But if all time and experience exist right now and we’re simply moving through it as we express our magnificence in a physical world, then we have nothing to fear. We don’t have to live in anxiety about what comes next. We can recognize the energy that we’re already a part of, and we can be love in every aspect of our lives. 

It’s unfortunate that we keep searching outside ourselves for answers, in religions, medicines, scientific studies, books, and other people. We think the truth is somewhere out there, still elusive, yet by doing this, we’re only getting more and more lost, appearing to move away from who we truly are. 

The entire Universe is within us. My answers are inside of me and yours lie within you, too. Everything that’s seemingly happening externally is happening in order to trigger something within us, to expand us and take us back to who we truly are.”

~@Anita Anita Moorjani in Dying to Be Me. Hearing this right now is profoundly shifting my reality, and just goes to show that we learn, access, and accept what we need to when we’re ready to… I’m breathing in and out at how substantial this learning is for me at this moment.

More separation…

“Words, they take you home.” ~A Hawaiian

I want to learn about Hawaiian culture here, study the language, be immersed in the environment I came to embrace. And, I don’t want to simply be “taking,” but to also give back in a meaningful way.

What’s been surprising to me is that I thought I would come here and find a sense of home, that after not fitting in growing up in a mostly Caucasian neighborhood and not being accepted when I was living in China, because I wasn’t raised there either, that I would now be in a place where Asians aligned with my beliefs are who I’d encounter everywhere I go. I assumed there’d be much more inclusiveness than in other places I’ve lived and yet, that’s not quite true or accurate.

There’s still a sense of divide and separation here. There are the people who’ve come to live in the magic of this place; there are those who have been born and raised here, yet feel they need to fall in line with the tourist industry (as Chris said, “prostitute the land”); and then there are those who live like they have for generations.

“Learning Hawaiian requires a shift in perception,” reads a line from the incredible book I’m reading, “The Sacred Power of Huna: Spirituality and Shamanism in Hawai’i.” The Hawaiian language reveals the understanding that nothing exists that could be separate from us. “Hua ‘olelo” means “words bear fruit,” because every word and syllable has seeds of change in it.

I thought I would come here and find that sense of wholeness, but everything from unhealthy eating patterns to defeating thoughts about myself exist in paradise as much as they have when I was in my personal pit of hell in Shanghai.

I did put Kauai on a pedestal. I have approached it like I’m not worthy, and on the outside, both as someone who’s coming to live on this magnificent land and someone who’s not a local. I want to find the place where I am at home, but it’s becoming more apparent that that place truly is within me.

It’s going to be the abode I create, the place where I feel like it’s home sweet home. It’s not going to come from outside of me, and it’s likely not going to come from outside of myself in the form of a partner, either. I don’t think that’s how my soul wants to evolve. I feel like my soul has wanted to, from the outset, be independent and know that I can do everything on my own.

I want the love and affection, and at the same time, I don’t want to be reliant upon it, dependent upon it, need it in any way. Other people might find their sense of home in another, in their mate, and while I am a romantic at heart, I think that the more and more I come to my own divine wisdom, the more I see that the path I have chosen to walk is sometimes a lonely one, at times a very challenging one, and at the end of my lifetime, a very worthwhile one.

But, who knows, this is all in my limited consciousness. There’s so much more out there, which I have absolutely no idea about. And this is likely why I’m so fascinated by near death experiences — I desperately want to experience that unconditional loving force and energy beyond anything I’ve ever felt here on this plane. I just don’t want to die to do so. I’d like to merge my consciousness with the divinity that already exists around me, and much like Flossie says that Gary is her understanding of a hint of that love on earth, I feel like that’s what Moto has been to me. The crying that happened on the plane to get here was based on the fact that I have sought this type of affection and attention since I was young, and here is this person offering it to me purely.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with him. It just breaks me to know that it exists and I’ve been putting up defenses to keep the struggle as my reality rather than letting it in. Rather than surrendering into that kind of goodness and care. Rather than believing that I am as amazing as he’s said I am.

As I realized today on the beach earlier, as Anita Moorjani has been saying in her book:

I bow to the divinity that exists within me.

I’m learning what that really means, how to feel this connection to Source, how to practice copious amounts of self-love, because in the end, I realize the person I am having the hardest time with is myself.

That’s who I’m looking to seek and offer forgiveness.

That’s who needs my attention and care.

That’s who needs soothing and affection and sweetness.

That’s who is looking to be reassured that being me, that surrendering and being sometimes sloppy and imperfect, are as divine as when everything goes right.

In coming to greet this day, I see how this moment and every one after can be an experience of falling in love with myself. Whole-heartedly, unabashedly, romantically, passionately, absolutely.

This self-love, this is where home is… isn’t it.

I don’t know where to put all my writing…

I’ve written in so many places. It started with my Xanga blog, then my Hawk and Lily Facebook page, my personal Facebook page, my Blogger blog, my editorial pieces on MindBodyGreen. I don’t know how I’m going to cultivate it all into one place, and feel very scattered.

I want instantaneous relief, which is likely why I write pieces and post them in a public forum or format. It’s very much like the bingeing and purging behavior, where I just need to get it out and be done with it. I’m learning more and more how to sit with my feelings. Turns out that writing is another minor distraction from being in the thick of it. The hard parts of being me in the midst of fear and confusion and hurt feelings.

And, some of it really is hard to write about. It’s a kind of vulnerability that I’m reconciling. But, I feel like I can keep writing about it. Somehow, some way, that’ll all have purpose and continue to place me on my path. I’ll figure things out for myself, I may help others, and I’ll just keep putting one finger on the keys after another until a memoir emerges.

Men & money — what does this say about me?

I started to wonder if maybe I should’ve finished that work with Barry, but that’s okay for me to wonder. It didn’t fit anymore, and sure, maybe there was a part of me that was deeply resistant, hence the fact that I’m still repeating patterns right now.

Yet, there was a part of Barry that felt “vulturistic,” the way that Jocie pointed out she picked up on during my bon voyage party. Apparently, I have been doing this thing about keeping men around me who I’m smart enough to know are interested in me, but who I’d never contemplate getting into a relationship. Then, the ones I do always seem to have some sort of monetary deficiency — I’m not a gold digger by any means, but I’ve found long-term boyfriends who’ve filed for bankruptcy, are in large amounts of debt, haven’t paid their taxes in years, and so on.

What does it say about me that I’m continually putting myself in these familiar situations? Yes, I understand that when I grew up, my parents were/are perpetually in debt. That sense of poverty consciousness loomed large, and after awhile, every sentence that came out of my mother’s mouth centered around the cost of whatever subject lay at hand.

Am I used to the struggle?

Do I not feel worthy of being with someone who has the means and the resources to help take care of me, as much as I am willing to contribute?

Or, even when there is a lack of funds, the more important part of these scenarios is that their attention has followed suit, so there was often a debt I seemed to suffer in repayment, when it came to caring for my well-being and contentment as much as theirs.

If others are mirrors to me, if my soul continues to seek situations until I’ve learned specific lessons, then have I been placing myself in experiences where I always feel that I am not worth the investment?

Recently, I came across another situation where I’m noticing that this newfound friend specifically treats me differently than the other women in his life — and not in a good way. With me, he’s hard and unsympathetic, not at all physically affectionate. With others I’ve watched him interact with, he’s hugging, profuse with compliments and care. Rather than walk away from this situation, I keep wanting to figure out why, what the meaning behind it is, and how to get him to come around when I’m not even sure what I want, other than knowing that I want to win the challenge, just because I can. (It’s a great distraction from everything else I’ve set out to do here.) What’s more, he has also said that he has no money to speak of.

I have a choice. I can choose to approach this experience with all the knowledge and wisdom that I’ve cultivated over my 35 years, or I can choose to move forward from that part of me that is still hurting, that younger and vulnerable little girl part of me that’s still seeking a daddy figure, which will never appear — at least not in a healthy way.

But first, I have to lean into the hard part for me, which is feeling the feelings that I’d like to wish weren’t there. I feel disappointed and confused. Humiliated and hurt. I feel sadness and sorrow for myself, that I’m in a similar learning moment right now, and vulnerable in putting myself out there in what I would call quietly desperate ways, although they may not seem so on the surface, the energy is definitely there. I’m surrendering into the tears rising behind my eyes for all the times that I’ve been hurt before, for feeling so much in need of attention from the people in my life who were meant to give it to me, but who never did. I’m letting in the familiar worry of being forgotten, of feeling not good enough, of never being important enough to lavish in attention, money, or love.

“I felt it,” Jocie told me about my bon voyage party. “You had mentioned before that you have an issue with men and the moment I walked into the cafe, I noticed it. I couldn’t put my finger on it, and I’ve been thinking about it since, but it was absolutely palpable and proved to me what you were already aware of.”

“What do you think it was?” I asked her, for clarification and edification of my soul, so that I don’t continue to make the same mistakes.

“I feel like… what I noticed most was after you said you weren’t feeling well, that immediately, all of these guys were vying to help take care of you. It was almost like they were vultures descending on prey, and jockeying amongst themselves for position. And, there were a couple of people who I really questioned, so I wanted to stay to make sure that you got home okay with the right friends to care for you.”

“Do you think I’ve surrounded myself by men who I know are interested in me, but who I wouldn’t be with, because it’s nice to have those around?”

“Yes!” she exclaims. “A couple of them, I was truly surprised that you have in your life. They don’t vibe with you at all, and they’re almost manipulative or menacing.”

I created this. And I don’t want to create it again, here in Kauai. I can see that I’m already starting to do so. I’m worth more than this. I’m much more valuable beyond anything that money could ever buy. I’m tired, truly tired from the depths of my soul, for investing in situations that don’t bring any sort of payback and only elicit substantial amounts of grief. I no longer want to feel like I can’t make ends meet, like I can’t enjoy myself for worry of the debt that will ensue. I can’t go on like this.

If awareness is the first step, then the next is a change in behavior, a different course of action. Money has never been my strong suit, in terms of feeling comfortable with it, but it’s time to change things around. There are plenty of areas in my life where I already feel wealthy, and many more areas I’m ready to cultivate in the same way.

The most important of which is love — both for myself and in a relationship with a truly amazing partner.

Quotes on writing… Dani Shapiro

What is it about writing that makes it—for some of us — as necessary as breathing? It is in the thousands of days of trying, failing, sitting, thinking, resisting, dreaming, raveling, unraveling that we are at our most engaged, alert, and alive. Time slips away. The body becomes irrelevant. We are as close to consciousness itself as we will ever be. This begins in the darkness. Beneath the frozen ground, buried deep below anything we can see, something may be taking root. Stay there, if you can. Don’t resist. Don’t force it, but don’t run away. Endure. Be patient. The rewards cannot be measured. Not now. But whatever happens, any writer will tell you: This is the best part.

 

The full moon.

“U see the moon?” I get as a text message from Makana, Taj’s daughter’s boyfriend who’s picking up their dog in the evenings after work.

I turn to the guest, Maria, who’s staying at the B&B as I’m caretaking it now while Taj and her partner are in the Big Island to celebrate her birthday. I suggest we look outside on the lanai towards the sky, as I recall that earlier this morning, my friend Robyn pointed out that it’s extra powerful this cycle, echoed by my best friend Willow, who says that this moon is about feminine power.

We step outside and see how hugely brilliant the moon is, especially meaningful, because we’re on an island that follows the moon’s cycles more than other places around the world. Clouds streak across it in loose formation, and the effect is one of majesty.

Release. That’s what full moons are about. New moons are to create fresh intentions and beginnings, while the full moon is to let go and surrender anything that’s not serving you.

“Would you like to write things down and read it to the moon?” Maria asks, a visitor from Switzerland who’s Italian and speaks fluent German. She also does energy work and shiatsu, and it just so happens that we’re here together, in this house, the only two tonight. She’s in her early 40s and has beautiful eyes and a kind, observant heart, and has gladly volunteered to teach me how to drive stick shift. I’m extremely grateful for it, and had no idea that my lesson would ultimately come from a woman.

But, of course it would.

I have to say that I want to write. I just want to write. And this island also knows exactly what I want, how I needed friends today, needed to believe I could create my own sense of ohana and community here today, which is why Jim and Robyn’s visit was perfectly timed, all the way down to going to Common Ground for an amazing breakfast and getting to go to the beach. Mama Kauai knows that I need space and openness now, that I need to feel in charge of something, that I need to be reminded of how divinely feminine I am.

One of the things I’d like to release this full moon is anything that’s holding me back from writing and being published, as well as from enjoying being a whole woman. I am a woman.

Maria and I talked about a lot of things today that I know I’ll be writing about. One of those things is how we were different when we were younger, that when we enter a room, we call for attention, and how those around us growing up wanted to keep us small for the jealousy they felt.

It’s why my mother and my relatives treated me the way that they did. At first, I used to believe that it was because the spiteful things they said were true. Now, I see that what was true was how they couldn’t handle me, and did everything they could to tear me down.

It’s why I was born premature — I no longer wanted to be in my mother’s womb. It’s why I was depressed until I was graduating from high school, always feeling like I didn’t belong at home as the whipping post or at school being Asian when all I wanted to be was white. These days, it’s feeling like the biggest woman in the group. I was different and rather than being celebrated for it, rather than having guides in my life until I sought them out myself to help light my way, I was confused, imploding, and through the eating disorder, exploding.

I don’t know if I’ve ever said this out loud. Or written it in plain sight. I’ve been told these things a lot, but have never in full living color said it because I’ve believed these things to be true.

As I write these sentences now, it’s because they’re genuine as far as my consciousness to this moment knows them to be true, and on this day of divine feminine energy, they need to be out in the open:

I am beautiful.

I’m not just beautiful in a typical way. I’m beautiful from the depths of the core of my being to every cell of my body to every fiber of my clothing to every aspect of my aura. I am beautiful.

I am a goddess. I am Kwan Yin. I am Parvati. I am Shakti. I am the Divine Feminine.

I am a force to be reckoned with. There is nothing that stands in my way between who I am and my purpose on this planet. There is no one who can come into my field doing wrong by me. Everything is a lesson and I learn them quickly, and if anyone ever comes at me with ill intentions, it comes back to them in exponential amounts. I am powerful for what I think, what I believe, what I can manifest, how I can impact the world. I have darkness as much as light, I have brawn as much as boldness, I have courage as much as moxie. I have it all. And I know it, I always have. I’ve simply lived behind a shield of insecurities and false misperceptions, because it’s what I needed to break through to arrive where I am now — no longer in practice or a trial run, but actually living my truth.

I am psychic and intuitive and have a wisdom that goes beyond this lifetime.

I am boundless.

I deserve the absolute very best, because I put my very best heart and intention forward in all that I do, all the connections I make, all the experiences I have and share with others.

I have the kind of love people dream about, people hope and yearn for, people write stories and novels and personal essays about. I have it in all ways and I am learning now how to have fun with it and find it with potential partners, suitors, lovers, and friends.

I am fucking awesome. I really, truly am. It has taken me 35 years and multiple lifetimes to arrive at this point, but here’s where I am. Finally. I’m a natural born leader, a change maker, a creator, an iconoclast, and an inspiration. And I am here on Kauai to live all of me to the fullest of my ability.

Most importantly, I’m ready. With the power of Source and Love, angels and archangels, God and Goddess, I show up with openness and willingness to be of service and a devoted heart to All That Is — the rest is up to the Divine.

Thank You for creating me, for my soul, and for ever-expanding awareness of what is and is not. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Becoming a woman & Jedi master.

I love my coach. He’s friggin’ awesome.

Upon asking how I go about getting over any lingering fears about putting my writing out there in the world and, just as close to home, simply loving all of physical/mental/emotional self, he says to me:

“Y’know, I keep getting this awareness that you don’t need anymore practice, Judy. You just go and do it, be it, and be with yourself as it’s happening.”

Basically, in a very kind way, he’s telling me to “JUST DO IT ALREADY!!”

“That’s how you move through it. You just do it. I feel like you have this story, that you’re an untrained Jedi Master wanting to join the force. But, you’re already there. The fact that you exist means you’re already in the force.

There are thousands of words that mean, ‘I’m still in training’ which is all filler for the real thing. You living in Kauai? That’s the real thing! Your yet-to-be-expressed beautiful womanhood is the real thing.”

He’s echoing what my newfound friend said to me yesterday, about how my picking up to move my life to a rock in the middle of the ocean means that I’ve not only got courage, but I’m doing the thing that I said I would do — I’m living my life. That’s partly what makes being here a bit daunting.

I’ve removed every obstacle and excuse I can think of to avoid writing. As one of my mentors told me before I moved, “Living on an island, you’re going to face all of yourself. Anything you’ve ever tried to run away from, parts of yourself you thought you knew or didn’t, everything’s going to be reflected right back to you.”

My coach shares with me a couple of key things going on in his life, which is wonderful, because the energy he’s experiencing is rippling on to me and uplifting our entire exchange. “I’m giving myself permission to be joyful, to be full of life and love and joy, like RIGHT NOW. This is fun, this joy project, and it makes it so that all I can see is what’s true in you. It’s like someone’s turned all the other stuff off, like ‘Whatever, that’s not important anymore.’

When I first met you at that breath work workshop I hosted and you gave me a hug, I felt this energy come over me — I got this real dose of woman and power. It’s no wonder that people are clingy hanger-onners to your energy and want to tap into it.

You already have it. Be in it. Say ‘no’ when your intuition tells you to say ‘no.’ There’s really nothing you need, it’s all already there.”

I tell him that in working with clients, a lot of the times what I’m doing is holding sacred space for them to fully express their truths and giving them permission to do so, as though a timid part of ourselves is just waiting for clear approval or a supportive go-ahead from an outside force.

“I’m giving you full approval. You can create any major, get any grades you want. If anyone gives you shit, send them to me, and I’ll explain how you’ve been given special approval to live your life how you want to live it. I’ll get it notarized.

“And,” he continues, “from a purely selfish standpoint, I want to read your books. I want to give them to my clients. I want to hear all about it. I want you to write your own version of Anita Moorjani’s story — I can’t wait!”

A truck and a body.

There are times, when I’m talking to my coach Jesse, that I absolutely love and appreciate, because he pauses to ask the deeper questions. What’s more, as he’s evolving through his own journey, he shares personal insights and experiences that further everyone along. I’m very grateful to have him in my life.

Right now, as I type this, I’m on the verge of tears. There’s a sense of loneliness, confusion, questioning — and while it seemingly has to do with a truck, it has to do with so much more than that. Dependence, the ability to trust that someone else has my best interests at heart. What it keeps me coming back to is the fact that I have a connection to Source and in that, everything is perfect. No matter what I choose or what I do, as long as I approach it with integrity and the greatest consciousness I can access, I feel that it’ll be okay. What I’m learning to surrender into is the idea that even if I didn’t do my best, that it would still be plenty okay.

Anita Moorjani’s book, Dying to Be Me, is having a huge impact on my life right now. There are things that she says, realizations she came to when she was in the space between living and dying, which I’m folding into my own life in ways that are helping me along. Things like how I’m meant to be precisely who I am and not aim to conform to anyone else’s standards, otherwise I would not be the unique thread in the tapestry we’re all a part of. The fact that no matter what happens, there’s an unconditional love and everything is perfect. The ways she’s simply telling her story, and knowing that just by doing so, that will be enough to shine more light in the world as she impacts a greater number of people.

The truck, Jesse says, just give it a few days. There are voices from Justin, my landlord’s boyfriend, which calls into question the person’s character who’s selling it to me and whether the investment will actually be a worthwhile one or a sinking pit of money. I can see how there’s this tug to have independence, to be able to go roam free in the wild out here, and I miss having a car for the independence to do that. I appreciate the bus system, learning how to get around in this way and seeing different parts of the country, but I also want freedom and my car has always been a big conduit for that. I also don’t want to be duped and played for a fool. Since this is something I don’t know what to do with, I keep surrendering it over to Source, keep asking for help in taking care of this and teaching me how to drive a manual truck with a kind teacher. I don’t know the details of how it’ll all happen, but I’m placing my faith and trust in something beyond the people I know. As Jesse always says, “You already know the answer within you. You have all the tools and resources to move ahead.”

But the truck is both a lesson and a distraction. Bigger questions are — can I trust the people I’m here with, without knowing them? Will I get involved in the right people, or will I be judged for the company I keep? What are people’s intentions? How do I know I’m investing my money in the right way (and of course, when it comes to money, there is always a big emotionally vibrating question mark associated with it). Ultimately, can I trust myself?

I’m scared. I’ll admit that I’m scared. I’m afraid not so much of making the wrong decision, but all the trouble that would come of it for “not being smarter,” as my mother would often goad. We had to predict the right answer, before the question was even asked, and up until now, it’s caused so much terror and fear inside the little girl within to think that I might make a misstep. Maybe this truck is a lesson in being okay with making mistakes, if it is indeed one, with taking chances, with negotiating for what I want and taking a breath and standing up for myself. I just got hit with this realization that when Marc comes back, I’ll just look him square in the eye and say, “I need a truck that’ll last me for awhile and be a good investment of my money. Would you say, knowing everything you know about this truck, that it’ll be good to me? Because I’m trusting you.”

In addition to learning also to trust myself and my intuition, maybe it’s a lesson in being okay with no knowing what the future will hold and not trying to manage every possible outcome or eventuality. Maybe it’s an opportunity for me to ask for help — and to choose wisely who I depend upon — because while I think this will make me stronger and more independent, I’m plenty of those attributes already, so how about leaning into others?

I don’t know. Perhaps those are the hardest words of all to say.

What I do know is that in the course of our conversation today, I brought up being a woman and feeling sexy in my skin and loving my body, as it pertains to my eating disordered past and the women I’m meeting currently. He pauses and asks, “Do you really not love your body?”

This touched upon truths I’ve been feeling, but have been too shy to say. I’ve been surmising lately that I do actually already know the answers, that I feel more emboldened to be me than ever. What I think I’ve needed is someone to give me permission, the way that I offer it to my clients to support them, and Jesse picked upon that. It’s what he did for me today.

“I’m giving you full approval,” he champions, “to create any major, to get any grades you want. If anyone gives you shit, send them to me, and I’ll explain how you’ve been given special approval to live your life how you want to live it. I’ll get it notarized.”

I keep seeing sequences of numbers and feel that they’re showing up as reminders that I am indeed being watched out for, even if I don’t know the answers right now. I pause every time I see the same number repeated on the clock, as a moment to feel that angels are watching over me and to place my hand over my heart, that everything’s okay. While it hasn’t always felt like it, it actually has been and always will be. It’s a big step forward not to write everything down that Jesse and I talk about, to be fully present absorbing the experience as it is. My brain, especially through social media, has been trained to want to share immediately what I’m experiencing to support another on their journey or simply have a voice be heard, but this is also previous eating disordered behavior. Of taking in and then trying to get out as quickly as possible. What if I were to digest everything for awhile instead? Take in the nutrients, then release the toxins?

I want to revel in my womanhood, to become the feminine figure that I’ve looked up to in tribal cultures and stories and fables. I want to feel good about feeling good, to enjoy myself and sensuality, to have the freedom to say, “No thank you” and not feel guilty about it (which happened today, when I declined the opportunity to join my landlord’s Vision Quest group). I want to feel okay about being sexy, about being lavished upon with love and affection and attention. I want to be unapologetic in this.

When it comes to the truck, I’ve already come so far with not caring about how others see me based on what I’m driving. When I first got my Audi, it was an outward expression of the attributes I wanted to embody — sexiness, strength, power, status, allure, adventure. Trisha, the owner of the Soul of Yoga who’d been one of my mentors, said, “The Masters are happy with what you’ve chosen as a car.” I had her blessing, and it was indeed what I needed at the time, but I’ve transitioned beyond that. In the end, the car became a burden, and do I want to repeat the same lesson again?

What’s changed is that this time, I don’t care about the outside appearances of the car. I want something cheap to get me from Point A to Point Whatever-Letter-Comes-Up, and the reason I’m able to be here is because I did the hard work that needed to happen for me to feel comfortable inside rather than being based on the outsides.

And now, I want to enjoy both.

 

When I step back, I move away from the worry that the doubt about the truck has caused in me. I feel that I could either see it as a test of, “Do you trust yourself?” or I could see it as Divine Intervention of, “I’m guiding you not to buy this truck and be patient.” Most of all, when I take a much broader view of everything, I know that it’ll be okay. I have to keep reminding myself of that, of many lessons actually.

“I just envision it as a cup, and you just keep pouring into the cup with all your lessons. There’s a natural ebb and flow,” and in my mind now, I conjure it as a vision of my Higher Self drinking from it, then having it be replenished with more life, drinking from it, then having it fill up again with either beverages I’ve enjoyed or tastes I’m still curious about or ones I’ve never even had.

When I think about too much, I still get overwhelmed, and I have to pull myself in. I worry about how this is all going to happen, my book, my life, but it’s an adventure and it’s meant to be enjoyed, just like Anita Moorjani said. “We are meant to live with reckless joyful abandon.”

“In my own world,” Jesse shares with me today, “I have the permission to be joyful, full of life and love and joy. Like RIGHT NOW. I can feel that pulsing through my body, and I feel, ‘Ah yeah, this is fun.’  All I can see is what’s true in you. Someone’s just turned over all the other stuff off, and it’s like, ‘Whatever.’ All I see is what’s real in you. From a purely selfish standpoint, I want to read your books! I want to give them to my clients! I want to hear all about it! I want your version of Anita Moorjani’s book. I can’t wait! And, the only thing you can do is to do it. That’s all there is. Just do it already!”

In what we talked about today, we broached not only “just doing it” with writing, but also with loving my body. Being a woman.

“You already are a woman,” he says. “In every way. I could feel it when you gave me a hug, it’s pouring out of you. When we did that breath work workshop, I had to take a moment and re-center myself, because your feminine energy is that powerful and palpable. It’s one of the biggest things I know about you.”

I believe him. Even more so, I feel I believe me.

Body dysmorphia — how I really see myself

It’s been about five years since I last engaged in any eating disordered type of behavior. That’s a big deal after fighting with bulimia, compulsive overeating/exercising, and anorexia on-and-off in numerous stages for about 13 years. But, despite my triumphs over the worst parts of it, I still feel a little stuck in an element of eating disorders that seems to be the most bullish part of my fight to heal.

Body dysmorphia.

What is this? What do those two scientifically-sounding words mean? How many of us suffer from this, especially in a society that advocates one-size-fits-all-beauty rather than my-size-fits-me-gorgeousness?

To me, “body dysmorphia” has meant a hell of a lot of pain and suffering.

As I’ve experienced it, body dysmorphia is this inability to see myself as I truly am. How I view my reflection in the mirror rarely ever syncs up with how my friends, family, colleagues, and lovers see me. They look at me with love and support, while what I see is an inflated version of who I am, one where my mind adds pounds that don’t exist and hateful thoughts making me believe they do.

Rather than feeling good about how healthy I am now, how my body takes me on incredible adventures and opportunities to play, how it does thousands of things right every second to keep my lungs breathing and my heart beating and bad bacteria at bay, all I’ve seen up until now are the ways in which I feel like it’s failing me, by not matching up to the “perfect” vision of who I thought I needed to be. I created this furious end game over a decade ago, based on completely unrealistic and actually unattractive ideas, then didn’t stop to see that there wasn’t ever a fair referee in this ridiculous match.

My projected ideas of what pretty is are, well, pretty skewed. The other day, I walked into a restaurant where I saw familiar faces, one of whom told me a short while later than upon first seeing me, her friend nudges her and says, “Who’s that girl? She’s stupid pretty — in a very good way.”

I laughed it off and told her how much I appreciated the compliment. But, the thing is, it doesn’t matter how many of these positive comments I get, because until I see myself with real eyes and a gaze that looks inward and outward with compassionate care, all I’m ever going to see is a perspective that’s not only inaccurate, it’s downright mean.

I’m 35 now, well into my years of being a woman, and I’m ready to embrace who I’ve always wanted to be. I don’t want to look back one day and wonder why I didn’t appreciate amazingly good years of my life and especially the people in it, why I didn’t feel sexy in my skin or relish my innate sensuality, why I didn’t love who I am when who I am right now is already phenomenal.

In my years of battling myself, my eating behaviors, my body, I came away with a lot of expertise in a multitude of healing modalities. What I’ve learned is that all of my experiences have been guiding me to an innate and divine wisdom that’s been there all along, waiting for me to connect with it.

What works for me may or may not work for someone else, but that’s the beauty of this journey of growing into ourselves — we get to learn what is right for our own souls and what resonates with our own hearts. In the midst of this, just by becoming who we already are, we radiate in ways that inspire others along their own uniquely resonant journeys.

So, if you’d like to join me in a bit of exploration, I’m taking the next 30 days (and beyond!) to celebrate why I LOVE my body rather than loathe it. Similar to the gratitude lists I used to keep daily, which were extremely helpful in completely shifting the way that I looked at my life, I’m honoring all the ways in which my body is a blessing NOT a curse.

Come play with me via InstagramTwitter, and Facebook by hashtagging #ilovemybodybecause. Let’s support one another in creating a new way of seeing ourselves and others, one that’s inspired by kindness. I believe the more genuine we can become, the more we’ll see the truth that we are wonderfully whole just as we are right now.

Body dysmorphia be damned.