be THAT girl who is self-aware

the start of all growth is the introduction of higher states of conscious awareness…

Leo Tolstoy

Something I’ve learned on my own journey of self-growth is that in order to begin we need to understand what it means to be self-aware. That self-awareness allows us to pivot onto a path of self discovery that we should all be working towards.

Yesterday’s lesson and today’s lesson go hand in hand so I wanted to make sure I had covered both topics before I posted about each one of them. Yesterday we discussed self-awareness and today we built upon that and discussed self-management.

SELF-AWARENESS is the ability to focus on how our thoughts, emotions and actions align with our core values. If you haven’t had a chance to write down your top 10 core values from most important to you and so on (not that any aren’t important), then refer back to my previous post about that. When we are self-aware, we focus on the reality of our behaviour versus the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Basically we stop trying to convince ourselves that we are someone we’re not. One way to help become more self-aware is to pretend you are looking at yourself through someone else’s eyes. Really look in the mirror and study what you actually see. We all have our own self-image of ourselves but it is not always the reality of the situation. For example…we might call ourselves OCD when it comes to cleaning our house but in reality, we live in chaos. Don’t be fooled by the image of yourself that you have convinced yourself of being. This is a time to get really honest with ourselves and become better aware of our reality.

Another step to becoming more self-aware is to not ignore our feelings or intuition. The more we ignore that feeling the more anxious and stressed out we become which causes us to feel stuck. I spoke about feeling our feelings a few posts back. If we do not acknowledge those feelings they will not go away. We can learn to repress them but they will resurface at a later time and may become increasingly difficult to deal with causing a major reaction that is hazardous to our health.

We asked our kids to help us list some ways that can help us to become more self-aware

  • Journaling our feelings multiple times a day
    • making sure we journal how we are feeling throughout the day Noticing positive, negative and meh feelings
    • ask yourself, where is this feeling coming from?
  • Recognize when our energy is high, low or meh
    • most likely it will coincide with our feelings and emotions

Once we become more self-aware, we can start to work on our self-management. We begin by taking responsibility of our own behaviour and well-being. One thing that I have learned and live by is, responsibility breeds empowerment. I know we all love that feeling of being empowered to do something. This is why finding balance in my life has been so important to me. Now, when I say find balance that doesn’t mean that each part of my life is going to get equal attention. That is IMPOSSIBLE!! It just simply means that I acknowledge the 4 cornerstones of MY life. Spiritual, Physical, Mental and Social. If I can do one thing a day in each one of these “bubbles” then I feel like I have some balance happening. That is going to look different for all of us.

Again, we asked our kids to give us an example of something that may help them manage themselves….they came up with…

  • Create a Routine
    • having a routine is definitely a key element in helping us create good healthy habits
  • Consistency
    • being consistent is what we, as humans, crave. We are built for boundaries and thrive when we have them.

As much as this situation isn’t ideal, I enjoying the time we have to reconnect with each other. Life get’s so busy and full of “schedules” that sometimes we forget to say NO to things. This has been a great reminder that we could be better at creating a routine where connection is more present.

I hope you are all hanging in there! Keep your heads up and search for the silver lining because there is one friends. Stay safe and Stay home.

be THAT human…

Racism is the refuge for the IGNORANTS

Changing it up today. be THAT human.

I have to address a problem that is happening in our own neck of the woods friends. I spoke with a friend the other day about an incident that happened to her 19 year old daughter while working in a coffee shop….

A gentleman, who really doesn’t deserve this name but that’s what I’ll call him, goes into his regular coffee shop where he orders a coffee made by one of the sweetest young ladies I know. In previous encounters, they have had great conversations but that day he was different. As she hands him his coffee he says to her, “this is all your fucking fault…your people brought this virus into our country” and then proceeded to leave. The young girl is Asian.

As an Asian girl myself who grew up in a small community where the Asian population was less than 1%, if that, I know all too well what it feels like to be discriminated against. I remember hating my ethnicity and just wanted to be the same race as the majority. That way I wouldn’t stick out and then no one would tease me about my eyes or the colour of my skin. (As a child that made perfect sense to me) After I graduated and moved forward with my life, I embraced all of me that was different and I was grateful for my heritage.

To me, racist comments like the one that was thrown at my dear friend are considered hate crimes. What was said was uncalled for, hurtful and just downright ignorant. THIS IS NOT OKAY!!! EVER!!! EVER!!! EVER!!! It is not okay to shame an innocent young girl that is just trying to do her job and brighten someone’s day. WE ARE A HUMAN RACE made up of all sorts of colour, shapes, & sizes. Should we not be holding space for everyone? Should we not be showing as much kindness and compassion towards our fellow humans? Should we not be lifting each other during such an uncertain whirlwind of emotions? Should we not be comforting those that truly need it? YES WE SHOULD! These are unprecedented times where we need to all stand together UNITED!!

STOP with the name calling! STOP with the vandalism to businesses because they employ Asians! We all bleed the same colour. We all have a heart. We are all the same species. We are all in this together. I know the anger is fueled by fear. It’s okay to be afraid. I think it’s safe to say that we all feel it. So instead of lashing out and hurting others with your words or your fists, remember that HUMANITY IS OUR RACE.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

Be the change. Be the human that people respect. Be the human that shows acceptance. Be the human that doesn’t see colour. Be the human that your kids can be proud of. Be THAT human.

be THAT girl that feels the feelings

feel the feeling but don’t become the emotion. acknowledge it, allow it, & release it….

I am writing this on day 4 or quarantine…I’m sure we are all at the point where we have been feeling extremely emotional saying goodbye to our former normal. I know it has been for me and for most of my family & friends. In these uncertain times we start to let our emotions take over which does not serve us, or the people around us, well if we don’t know how to release those emotions. Let’s all be mindful that we need to feel the feelings but becoming the emotion is hazardous to our own health and well-being. Most of us have learned how to suppress our emotions from a very young age. We learn to “get over it” and not deal with that emotion which will absolutely resurface at a later time where we will repeat the same reaction of suppression.

Learning how to process the emotion while feeling the feelings is something that I am still working on. In fact…it’s something that I had to do today. I’m not an expert….let’s just state that fact….but I feel the need to share with my friends what works for me. Take it or leave it. I won’t be offended.

If there is one thing that I have learned over the years…feel your feelings. You hear people say that all the time. What does that mean? To me, it means that whatever feeling arises, I need to honor it and just let it take over my body for a while. Let that feeling come over you like a huge wave and feel it. It will be painful and it will make you ugly cry….well, at least it makes me ugly cry. Like I legit look like an Asian Yoda with tears. And even when I’m all cried out then I look like Hulk Hogan took a few rounds outta me and left me with a very swollen face. (I’m sure you get the picture) When we deny our feelings that can cause us to choose undesired or harmful behavior. Which is never good for any of us.

Once we learn to feel those feelings, we need to acknowledge where those feelings are being stored. For example, some feel tension in our muscles, some feel a sharp pain in an undesired place, some eat, some feel it in the gut and some just feel that “heavy” feeling everywhere. For myself, it us usually a heavy feeling felt in my gut or tension in my muscles. This feeling has caused many sleepless nights. Did you know that motion unwinds emotion? For myself, getting myself in the gym and working out has been the best way for me to unwind. I first started hitting the gym to lose weight but soon realized that it was serving my mental and emotional health far beyond my physical health. Some days when I feel especially emotional, I lay on my yoga mat and meditate after my workout. I turn down the lights, lay on my back comfortably, take really deep breaths and I focus on the inhale and exhale. I think about what emotion I am feeling…I acknowledge it, and then in my mind say…”thank you (emotion…whatever it is) good-bye” and I visualize the word of that emotion actually being blown out with each exhale. I can’t explain the peace I feel after I have let go of those pent up emotions. When we are unbalanced it will cause us to be in a very negative mindset which isn’t good for any of us.

I know this all may sound completely silly but I’m just sharing what works for myself. I’m curious what works for you? Feel free to share your ideas…no judgement on my part but I’d love to hear.

Hang in there friends! I will be posting more and more since I have a little more time on my hands. Haha! We are all in this together.

be THAT girl that doesn’t stress over things she cannot change

don’t stress yourself out with things you can’t control or change…

Well friends….I don’t know about you but I am still trying to wrap my head around our new normal. I think what is so difficult to process is the fact that this is uncharted territory for everyone. No one really knows how to move forward in the midst of this chaos. That can be a very scary time for all of us. So, here are my thoughts on the whole thing. STAY CALM.

A lot has happened in the last week alone and there is still more change coming. We can choose to lose our damn minds and let our thoughts spiral us into a tailspin of panic and depression OR we can calm the fuck down and process what our new normal is going to look like. I feel like this is the time to settle in…work together as a human race and as indivuduals. We are all in this together. We are more than just ourselves, we are a community that spans the earth. We need to be asking ourselves what we can do for each other. How can we help each other get through this epidemic as best we can? What does that look like to you? We can all play a part in the prevention and spread of this virus.

I read a beautiful statement by Kitty O’Meara that made me really think about how I’m going to handle this situation…..

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art and played games and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

Friends, we cannot change what is happening, but we can sure as hell control our actions moving forward as a human race navigating our new normal. What that looks like is completely up to you. For myself and my family, we will do our part in taking the recommended precautions to help aid in not spreading the virus. We will take this time to connect with each other, to strengthen each other and to support one another. There is strength in UNITY…which begins with U!

be THAT girl who knows she’s a good mama

it’s like no one in my family appreciates that I stayed up all night overthinking them…

This is gonna be a long one friends so get cozy….

We have raised each of these incredible humans basically the same and they are all so very different. They each came with their own personalities which is what I absolutely love about them. Life would be so boring if we were all the same. Because we are not all the same and none of our kiddos came with a user manual, we are not going to know how to raise them the “right” way. We will make mistakes. We will not always know the answer. But one thing is for sure…we will do our very best!

I remember when Awesome and I were dating and we had the discussion about kids…you know…the one where you decide how many kids you want to have. I only wanted 2 kids. Awesome wanted lots. Almost a deal breaker but I was far too attracted to his hot legs to give a shit so I brushed it off and figured I would get my way regardless cause I am the girl. Haha! Soon after we were married and I wanted to start having babies, I quickly changed my mind on how many littles I actually wanted. I loved the thought of a big family, maybe not as big as his but bigger than mine. I don’t think we were ever set on a specific number we just figured we’d just know. Each one of our babes were planned…well, except one but that ended in a miscarriage. That’s another story for another day. I remember having number 5 and thinking to myself…can I do this again? Let me just say…do not decide that right after you pushed that watermelon out of your pinhole with no drugs.

Now, our number 5 was not an easy baby. In fact, I’m pretty sure I nicknamed him Satan. LOL! He was the worst sleeper EVER!! Picture this, Awesome’s last year of University (his 9th year). I birth a baby. One week later Awesome begins his last year of dental school. I’m up every hour to feed Satan. I have 4 other kiddos that need me all day (Kato had just turned 7, Kami was 5, Mari was 3, Mak was 1 1/2). By the time the hubby got home, I was ready for a nap. I clearly couldn’t keep functioning like this. I was on the verge of a break-down. So, Awesome being his awesome self, he offered to sleep on the couch with Satan every other night so that at least one of us was getting a good night’s sleep and could recharge. Oh….In case you are wondering….I was not nursing. We put a stop to me nursing when I had the first one. It did not work for us. Anyhoo, after about 4 months of “shift work” for us, he finally started to sleep a few hours at a time so we could get back to a “normal” sleeping schedule.

I remember when number 5 was about 3 years old, I begged Awesome for another baby. I knew that we were supposed to have one more. I just never felt complete even though my sleep deprivation could’ve been the one making the decision….who knows. He was a definite “HELL NO!” At about year 7 of bugging him, I finally accepted the fact that we would not adding another little Aneca to the bunch. Plus I started to do the math and figured that I was getting to old to be a mom. Keep in mind, I started at the ripe old age of 22. I was now 36…obviously too old right? (face in palm)

Well, as you all know, number six found his way into our family when I was 39. Ya…a story for another day but just like I knew, we were not complete until our little Daisuke (Dice) joined us. As hard as it all was to wrap our heads around the idea of a baby 10 years later, he has been the biggest blessing we could’ve asked for. He is such a good mix of all of us combined. He is definitely the center of our universe.

We have been through some really significant changes in our home in the last 4 years. We had a baby and left a religion that basically outlined our existence and purpose. No big deal right? LOL! Needless to say, as our family has grown up and moved forward, we have been through some major speed bumps. Through all of this change we have tried to do our very best in parenting our children with a new set of guidelines that we are still navigating. If there is one thing I know, it’s that in every decision and choice we have made, we have done it because we love our crew so fiercely and want them to succeed in life. Are we the perfect parents? NO! Are we fucking up? ABSOLUTELY! Will we continue to make mistakes? YOU KNOW IT! None of us are getting it right…in fact, I would say that it’s basically a crap-shoot.

So mamas….give yourself some grace. Believe that you are doing a good job and keep trying. That’s all you can do. I see you. I understand hard days….trust me I do. I have a teenage adult. I GET IT! I have those days too where I feel like an absolute failure as a mom. I have those days where I wonder where I went wrong. I have those days where I cry and make it about me. But I also have those days when those little shits hug me, text me, write me notes or even just smile at me, where I know I’ve done something right. Relish in those moments. Allow yourself to take some credit for the good things that they do or say. What I’ve learned is that I can’t control their choices but I can control my choices and how I am going to handle each situation that doesn’t go my way. Just like I need them to be patient with me, I need to be patient with them as they make mistakes and grow. Is it painful to watch them do that? ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY!! It has brought me to tears on multiple occasions but I keep going back to the fact that I know I’ve done my very best and that’s all I can do.

No judgement here Mamas! You go this.

P.S. Number 5 is no longer Satan….he is the kindest, sweetest, funny and quiet child ever!

be THAT girl that let’s go of shit that doesn’t matter

Stop getting upset over things that don’t matter with the people that do matter….

I don’t know about you but I know for myself, I am givin all the gratitudes I can to God to the Universe to whoever I need to, to show my appreciation for these people right here. The people in my life that matter. And in case no one has told you today….YOU ALL MATTER, to me, to your family and hopefully to yourself. I’ll tell ya what… I am holdin these people a little closer with the recent tragedy that has rocked our world. One minute they’re here, the next minute they’re gone. It happens that fast.

Trust me when I say….it is not easy to let shit go. These people right here are my why, they are the one’s that fulfill me the most yet these are the one’s that can hurt me the most because I have so much LOVE for each and every one of them. There are days when I’ve said or done things to them, either on purpose or by mistake, that I regret and wish I could take back and vice versa. But, at the end of the day, what really matters? I’ll tell you what matters…YOUR HUMANS, YOUR PEOPLE. You know, the one’s that you would give your life for…like jump in front of a train for. I’ve really been thinking a lot today about how fast my reality could change if something were to happen to any of my humans. Life can change in an instant friends.

So, keep this in mind when they leave your side in the morning….did you hug them? And not a quick little “routine” hug, I’m talking a big ass bear hug. What is the last thing you said to them before they left? Were you upset at each other? Or did you let them know just how much you love them? Or if you didn’t get to see them off, did you text them to tell them how much you appreciate and love them? If not….DO IT!! I always have the best intentions to do this but some days I definitely fall short because I think I have time. Well…I’m wrong. “We have time” is a lie we tell ourselves so we don’t feel the guilt. The only moment we know we have for sure is right now. Don’t waste it holding grudges and getting upset about shit that doesn’t really matter. Let it go and hold those precious moments close with your people. THAT, you will never regret.

be THAT girl who keeps a promise to herself & others

People with good intentions make promises, but people with good character keep them…

Oh promises, promises, promises…..I can literally hear my mama saying these words to me. I don’t even remember what I did (probably nothing because I was an absolute angel. wink wink.), but those words stuck with me and now I use those exact same words in the exact same voice to my very own “perfect” teenagers. Uggghhh. I swore I would never make my kids feel the guilt but guess what…I DO! It is the only way to get shit across to them. Am I right? What I do know, which isn’t much, is that I put a lot of value on keeping a promise. Which is why, I am very intentional about the promises I do make. But when I do, you can count on me keeping it. Nothing chaps my ass more than a broken promise and especially by my loved ones (family or friend). I do have to admit, I am a complete sucker though. When people say sorry, I typically believe them over and over and over. I love to give people the benefit of the doubt. Is that the easier route? Yes. Is it taxing on your mental health? Yes. Should I change my ways…probably.

Nothing feels better though, than being able to keep a promise. To actually follow through when you commit to something. Not only when I follow through for others but also when I follow through for myself. Gosh…now THAT is good for the mental health I tell ya! The more we keep those promises we make to ourselves the better we will feel mentally! Friends, it won’t fix our mental health completely but it can definitely help. I definitely feel like I’m moving forward in the right direction.

So, I decided back in September to stop drinking diet colas. Now that may not seem like a big deal to some of you but that was a huge decision on my part. I’m talking 3-4 Diet Dr. Pepper’s a DAY, sometimes more! I don’t think I need to explain just how bad that was for me. I also decided to start exercising at least 30 minutes 4-5 days a week. That in itself was hard AF! I hated physical activity unless it included wine and some booty shakin with my girl gang. Well….I haven’t had even a sip of cola AND I have up’d my game and am now working out 7 days a week! I started January 2nd with healthier eating, exercise everyday, drinking half my body weight in oz. of water, reading and writing for 15 minutes each a day. FRIENDS!!! I have kept this promise to myself for 23 days so far and it feels soooo good! I feel as though my physical health, mental health and gut health are all aligning. Sure I have days where it’s a struggle…in fact…most days are a struggle to get to all the things but it all comes down to how bad do I want to keep that promise to myself. Prove it to yourself that you can!! Give yourself permission to say NO to things that aren’t getting you closer to your goals!

Like our favouite little ginger badass boss Rachel Hollis says….“What if I just don’t break this promise to myself?” And maybe let’s go a little bit farther with that and say, “What if I just don’t break this promise to myself and to the people that I care about?” Value yourself and others enough to show your good character and don’t break your promise.