Self Talk: I wish I wasnt…

May 6, 2008 at 12:23 pm (Blogroll, observation, Personal, self)

This past weekend I noticed something interesting, people say the darndest thing when they have alcohol flowing through their veins but interesting nevertheless. I have heard ‘I wish I wasn’t Gay,’ ‘I wish I wasn’t mix breed,’ ‘I wish I was a man,’ and the list goes on. Basically the theme was ‘I wish I wasn’t.’ I really didn’t have a thought but I did feel a feeling, which was sadness. So I have been trying to decipher what the feeling meant for the past few days.

I realized that I felt sad because I can empathize. I grew up wishing I wasn’t Korean, a lot of my defective thoughts that caused a lot of defective results growing up was a result of living in a absolutist conservative Korean inner environment but living in non-conservative outer environment. And I had a curiosity that may have killed a cat but I believed that satisfaction would have brought me back. I was constantly blocked. And growing up I blamed being Korean and had no desire to learn about my ethnicity. This is when I didn’t know any better.

Being Korean with a multi cultural cognitive process is still challenging since I am actually living in Korea and working in an environment that is backdated, oh yeah double whammy, I am a female as well. Although I never wish I was anything other than female but sometimes, for the sake of satisfying company objective, I did wish I was a guy, it would be so much easier. I know better now so I don’t blame the culture, instead I accept everything as is and have to work extra hard to get extra creative in reaching my work goals. Not easy.

I am also sad because I also know that when you live life not liking part of who you are, you don’t evolve properly. It’s like you know a cactus don’t need a lot of water but you feed it a lot of water because it’s weird that a plant needs so little water so you give it anyways, the cactus won’t flourish, it would get sick because you are going against what the cactus is. Maybe this is not the best metaphor but the point is, our body, mind and spirit are set to evolve the way God intended and how we evolve depends on what we feed it. Part of that is being honest about who we are and accepting it, unconditional self acceptance. It’s weird but if you don’t do this, you can’t evolve. I am not sure how it works technically but it’s a fact like we need oxygen.

I believe that it’s human to not like something or feel crappy, and there is nothing wrong with that. But what makes the difference between a person who evolves positive or negatively is what you do with that thought. Do you allow yourself to get sucked into it? Or do you find a way to rise above it? The process can be erratic as hell, it’s what you do at the end of the day that counts. I think this is why they say a mistake is never a mistake if you learn from them, what you do at the end of the day can negate what happened before.

A couple of years ago I read one of Tony Robbin’s book, can’t remember what it is called but out of the 500 odd pages I read the only thing I got out of it was the Pain and Pleasure Principle. This principle states that people basically avoid pain and want to gain pleasure. The Quality of life depends on the formula you follow. There is gaining immediate pleasure to end up in long term pain and there is overcoming the immediate pain to gain long term pleasure. For e.g I am overweight, it would be easier not to work out (immediate pleasure) but in the end I will feel crappy of being overweight(long term pain). As opposed to I am overweight and it’s so hard to work out but I do it anyways (immediate pain) and in the end I feel and look good (long term pleasure).Addictive personalities always follow the immediate pleasure and long term pain. And because it’s painful again, they try to gain the pleasure fast as possible, it becomes a revolving cycle. In order to evolve positively, guess which formula you have to follow?

Blogging about this makes me think of the movie Shawshenk Redemption. Tim Robbins went through so much, but he didn’t get sucked into it. He accepted his environment regardless of what he felt, he planned and went through 10 football fields worth of shit to attain his goal. I got goosebumps during that part of the movie by the way.

I think it is such a defeat when you hide from who you are because it’s harder to live life or get sucked into judgments of society and become a product of your environment. The root of you is you, and self acceptance and self love needs to start there which then will have a ripple effect towards your external self. Because I think the worst thing in life is looking in the mirror and feeling crappy about yourself regardless of all the superficial success. I am not sure why I noticed all the ‘I wish I wasn’t…’ talks this past weekend. But I did, and it made me sad. I guess it’s good that I noticed because it means my awareness is expanding, but it doesn’t negate the sadness. Let me go have a couple of shots of whiskey and get back to you…lol.. NOT.

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Life Talk: Cracking the Value Code

April 24, 2008 at 8:39 pm (Blogroll, Personal)

I have been combating with burnout for awhile now and as I was walking around my office whilst waiting for one of my staff to finish writing out something for me I noticed a quote today which I have stuck on my computer “Our values drives our choices and actions.” You would think because I have that stuck on my computer it would be something I look at every day and recite to myself like a mantra but nope, even though it was in plain sight somehow at some point I stopped noticing it, hence the statement “I noticed a quote today.”

Anyways, coming back to topic, looking at the quote suddenly jolted me to look up the word which is defined and I quote “Definition: Values are deeply held beliefs about what is good, right, and appropriate. Values are deep-seated and remain constant over time. We accumulate our values from childhood based on teachings and observations of our parents, teachers, religious leaders, and other influential and powerful people.” So I percolate. So I look in my figurative mirror.

Does that mean if I decide to fore go my health plan because I am stressed mean I have a value that is being flaky? Does that mean if I decide to procrastinate mean I have a value that is being weak? If I have a spazz attack does that mean I am my MOTHER!! *hyperventilates*I hate that mirror. It’s making me question every reaction of my self. So I have to sort. Damn it.

The thing about values is that I think a lot of times we are not aware of it unless we choose to look into it. There are some values we are aware of like, being clean or being honest or being hardworking but then there are the other times where we have no idea and only when we experience a set back we notice. Obviously that choice is up to you. Some people just decide to be a product of their environment. Like how I can tell what is wrong with the process from a defective result (Quality related work :P), I can tell what type of values a person have by the way a person handles themselves or how a person reacts to something. (It’s always easier to see others than thyself :P) But when I am in a setback, after being sucked in the moment for awhile I start to see my environment and see how I got there.

I definitely became the product of my environment hence the burnout. The scary part is, I was sort of stuck in it. Like it felt good to just give in instead of fighting, I thought I was resting but only now I realized I am a result of the chaos of 2007 which goes back to the question “Does that mean I am weak or lazy?” Or whatever.

Then I read my all time favorite article about going through changes “Growing Wings” By Martha Becks

http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/200401/omag_200401_beck.jhtml

I realize that I am not perfect. That there are many layers of my self that I am not even aware of and through adversities is when I can discover them. And it’s ok to dwell in the sadness or feel through the feelings caused by a situation, it’s actually good to feel through the feelings (this part is not easy) because only then you see what you have to learn and actually feel the need to learn from it. This is what progress is about, no progress has ever occurred in a linear fashion, it occurs through setbacks, feeling through the feelings and taking accountability.

So here I am finally looking in my figurative mirror and seeing some of the non effective values I didn’t realize I had, for the type of situations I have found myself in, which is opening the gateway of evaluation of everything from what could have started this snowball effect to burn out oblivion to what I could have done differently to prevent the burn out process to what I would have to do to get out of it. *groan* The getting out part is going to be a bitch because what I feel and what I know I have to do is so far apart, how the heck am I going to coax the two to coincide? That’s another story. So I am taking inventory of my current values based on the results of now and assessing on what to throw out and what to keep and what to adopt. All this from a quote I had the whole time but only noticed now. See how awing our mind is? It lets you see what you need to see when you need it. Obviously this applies to those who are in touch with themselves…if you suppress or be in denial, God could blow up the message in your face and you still probably won’t notice which is how you become a product of your environment.

Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.” – Stephen Covey

I remember reading the 7 habits for highly Effective people by Stephen Covey when I was like 20 I think in my junior or senior year of college. I took the class as an elective and it was a bird course, thought I would just fly right through it with an A in my beak. I didn’t really get the depth of what he was trying to say when I read it during my reading assignments. What the fish is a Value, what is the difference between character and personality, P/PC huh? Egg what? %$!$%^%$#. It was like I understood it but I didn’t. But what I read popped up sporadically as the years went by and it hits me now. Damn I am slow. But I did get an A in the class though. 😛 PS. Stephen Covey is awesome 🙂

I think the most important thing is if I can look in the mirror and respect myself. Sure I can fall, make stupid choices, be lazy, be weak or discover I have values that I may not be proud of but it’s what I do at the end of the day that counts. And knowing this makes me feel a whole lot better even though I still feel shitty.

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LDR Talk: To All the LDR couples around the world

February 3, 2008 at 5:40 pm (Blogroll, Personal, relationship) (, )

ldr-pic-1.jpgIt’s a quiet Sunday afternoon and for the first time since my boyfriend left I am able to transmute all the emotions that came from separation anxiety to something constructive which is writing this blog. Like how Isaac Newton realized gravity from a bonk of an apple, I realized that I am not alone walking this journey of long distance relationships (LDR), knowing this and expressing empathy through words is a great way to not get sucked into the negative facets (which I will talk about in later blogs) of LDRs.
I found out that out of an approximate global population of 6,602,224,175, over 10 million couples are in LDRs, so if you find comfort in numbers, this little bit of information should let you know that you are not alone in the struggles and you are not alone in trying to make a LDR work.

Anyone in an LDR can tell you that the separation anxiety when parting ways can knock the wind out of you. I know it did for me. One moment I was in love, then in another I found myself in this passage of LDR which from where I was standing looked really scary. Most people don’t realize this but when a human goes through change our “self” goes through a metamorphosis and if you don’t realize the phases of human metamorphosis, adjusting to the change can be very uncomfortable and if not careful, you can end you up at a worst place. Falling in love is a change, deciding to commit to an LDR is a change and the actual parting of ways is a change. I read this article a few years ago about human metamorphosis by Martha Beck and after reading this article it definitely helped me not go crazy whenever I felt like I was out of character.

Whenever I feel imbalanced and not my usual self, sure enough, I was going through some kind of change (yes, sometimes it can be PMS :P). You’d be surprised how many are not aware. And I think the root cause of all problems that seem to nest in the corners of our minds is not being aware…how are you going to solve a problem if you are not aware? You need to be aware, identify then acknowledge in order for you to come up with a constructive gameplan to be proactive. This is a general rule of thumb to deal with all kinds of problems but today the focus will be on changes. So take some time to read this article.

http://www2.oprah.com/omagazine/200401/omag_200401_beck.jhtml

I am doing a lot of research on managing LDRs which I will be writing blogs about subsequently but on a personal note this is what I have realized so far.

I think communication is key factor in the success of any relationships. What would that entail? Technically it would be to express yourself and to listen. These functions of communication seem like it would be easy but it’s a lot trickier than you think, because there is a difference between communication and effective communication. I took communication 101 and 201 classes because of my major and what I learned is when you speak you have the responsibility to make sure that the message that you convey is understood by the listener. Most people think that to express ends with just words coming out of your mouth but its not true. Two people speaking the same language can misunderstand each other because our forms of expressions are shaped by the way we grew up, the kind of communication we grew up in, how our parents communicated with us etc can differ. So how you say it is just as important as what you say.

Listening is the same, we receive information and translate the meaning in our heads based on what we know, and we digest the meaning accordingly, so just as the communicator has the responsibility of conveying the message until the listener understands their point of view, the listener also has the responsibility of being aware enough to ask questions to understand if in case the message conveyed doesn’t seem right to the situation. The following link I think explains better than I can about listening but I want to quote the definition of active listening a.k.a listening to understand from the exerpt

Active or Reflective Listening is the single most useful and important listening skill. In active listening we are also genuinely interested in understanding what the other person is thinking, feeling, wanting or what the message means, and we are active in checking out our understanding before we respond with our own new message. We restate or paraphrase our understanding of their message and reflect it back to the sender for verification. This verification or feedback process is what distinguishes active listening and makes it effective.”

http://www.drnadig.com/listening.htm

So effective communication is two people interacting with these two functions gracefully like ballroom dancing.

I didn’t know this until I took those classes by the way. And since then, I always notice how people communicate. It’s quite interesting actually. I also notice how I communicate…as they say Knowledge is Power.

I tried to find a good definition of effective speaking but could not find one that says it all, it’s interesting to see how there are many for listening but not an exact one for speaking.

These very basic functions of communication are necessities for all relationships, whether is friendships, relationships, work, etc…but I think it becomes extra needed when you are in a LDR. Because communication is the only thing that keeps two people who are separated geographically to be a part of each other’s lives. Since the physical aspect is taken away from the relationships, couples in LDRs have to find a way to remain close mentally, spiritually and emotionally with only one main mode…communication and thank god we are in the 21st century because now we have many mediums to communicate. Establishing this is not as easy as you think but you should be armored with tenacity to make effective communication happen because the root cause of all failing relationships would be ineffective communication.ldr-pic-2-kissing.jpg

I think being able to authentically love is such an amazing gift. So that we are clear there is a difference between authentic love to needy love or dysfunctional love. And to be honest I was an avid anti-LDR person until this relationship. Learning to believe, trust, hope and have faith is something that I only recently re-learned and being in this relationship is really testing my threshold to believe, trust, hope and have faith. And its truly scary for a chick like me who was one step away from being jaded and skeptical. But the love that I have for my man is nothing like I have ever experienced which keeps me going even when I get so freaked out that I want to run sometimes. I am sure all those who knows how we became one step away from being jaded and skeptical understand what a feat it is to be in a LDR.

So to all the LDR couples around the world, I salute you for being brave and for really allowing yourself to love someone. Because if we can become better individuals and become a stronger couple through LDR, when we cross that finish line…it’s going to feel Oh-S0-Good.

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Anti-Smoking Diaries: Pre-Beginning

September 25, 2007 at 2:34 am (Health, Personal)

Smoking…a process that has been around since 5000 B.C in all parts of the world and was even seen as ritualistic. But now the concept of smoking cigarettes is transforming into a social stigma. So much so that now there is a more distinct line between the smokers and non-smokers. This distinction used to be classified with preferences but now can be identified locationally. In some states in the US like California and various spots in New York, you can’t even smoke in bars or clubs. God, alcohol and cigarettes go sooooooo well together like milk and cookies.

I remember my first cigarette. I was hanging out with a friend, and she said to try it because it’s cool. Mind you, I have been moving a lot, my English was not that good and I was quite socially inept so for someone to tell me that I would be cool if I smoked when I usually always felt like an outsider was like a light shining in the end of this dark daunting tunnel of puberty. I remember coughing and thought I was about to vomit my lungs out but with teary eyes I tried to stand tall and look “cool.”

It seemed like the “cool” people were smoking behind the scenes and somehow I found a way to see smoking as some sort of means to liberate myself from the confusions I was shackled in. I stood up for smoking regardless of the beat down I have received, and this is not your cane on your calves kind of beat down, I was BEAT DOWN to the pulp with a much bigger object with no limit to the hits. I got expelled because of smoking. I would walk in the streets of a culture that looked down on women smoking in public and I would do exactly that with my head held up high. I guess if you try to find the positive in my behaviour, it reflects my tenacity when it comes to something I believe in even if what I believed in was not exactly logical or rational. But in my pubescent world, it made sense.

Smoking became as normal as breathing. Didn’t think much about it. I was too busy getting lost in my world of tumult which kept going until my adulthood and smoking became my ally. Everything kept changing around me but smoking always remained the same. It never changed except for maybe the brand but in the midst of noisiness lighting a cigarette and inhaling the smoke that encircled and embraced the little branches in my lungs brought me solace.

The thing about reaching awareness is that, it is not a selective process. It influences all areas of your life including your knowledge which made me finally realize what “Ignorance is Bliss” means. I remember seeing that quote and thinking to myself how daft that quote was but really, like an epiphany, it hits me. When you know, it’s hard to ignore the ugly facts. And when you are faced with the facts you see all that is related and there is nothing you can do about it. And if you go into Denial mode, you will eventually become imbalanced again which can turn into a negative vortex.

These facts came to me in tiny spurts which has now magnified into huge spurts and it is getting big enough to connect to each other. I suddenly have more friends that don’t smoke. I love reading about health but always avoided any topics relating to lungs but lately notice here and there statements on effects of smoking, which in turn make me feel guilty when I see my room filled with smoke and I see my cats running around in it. It even made me think about the apartment I was living in before where all my smoking friends will come over for a get together and I realized how much my pets must have suffered. Especially during winter. When you make a commitment with yourself that you want to preserve your brain, you realize how smoking constricts the capillaries in your brain and your body starts over producing red blood cells to make up for the lack of oxygen residing through your body. I was so stressed with work and family that I didn’t work out for one year and when I do finally get back to it, I feel the weight of my lungs and I realize the length of time it takes for my heart to go back to normal resting rate after a vigorous work out. And now, when I light a cigarette, instead of solace I feel frustration because what I knew before and what I know now is battling but what I knew before is debating more influentially because of the long history.

All my efforts to overcome and persevere through all the different bullshit I was splatted in because I was a nomad with conservative parents is continous but I have stopped in my treks, lit a cigarette an am wondering if I feel the same. But as irrational as it is for someone to need a security blanket to go to sleep or someone who needs to wash their hands a few times before feeling clean, I have had a relationship with cigarettes for over 15 years. It is the longest relationship I ever had and it never left me or screwed me over (ok emotionally not physically). It was there for me during my darkest hours. Even though I know it is bad for me intellectually but emotionally I am having a hard time letting go.

The fact that I have started an Anti-Smoking Diary can be seen as it being equivalent to making a minuscule gesture towards the right direction. Let’s see how it goes and where I end up because there are days where the part of my brain that is Pro-Smoking makes a very tugging speech and I take one step back.

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Random Talk: Autumn’s shift

September 9, 2007 at 12:39 pm (Personal)

autumn-road-cognac-region-france-small.jpg

The Heat,

without clear blue waters

without the sweet smell of salty air

 

the heat felt heavy on my shoulders

The breeze had no life,

smelt like death .

So still everything was,leavepreview.jpg

so sluggish,

claustrophobic.

Days seem endless.

 

Today

Something shifted.

Something is different.

The breeze bore life,

it Showers me,

my skin embraces,autumn-small.jpg

I sigh,

I feel the weight rising from my shoulders

Dead Life walking

Now with bounce

I hear Life sigh

Sounds relieved

I hear rustling

Autumn is dancing

I felt the shift

10_autumn_rainbowb.jpg

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The Beginning…

August 9, 2007 at 3:20 am (Personal)

standing-under-all-the-wishes.jpgI have made attempts to delve into blogging but am always getting distracted, I even have a friend, who is a fervent blogger, make me a blog page with a title and everything so I can get the momentum of my writing going but the wind never came. Or was I not letting the wind pick me up? Oh whatever, the point is I am finally ready to use this part of my brain.I know this, I know that I really want to do this because I have noticed my sudden need for using parts of my brain that doesn’t require statistical analysis or problem solving of a process or product…my job is so serious…I love my job and the career I am percolating in but being isolated with no outlet for the lighter side of me, the concept of fun is slowly fading. I have to attach fun to some activities before I turn into those individuals that only knows work and nothing else…gosh…I don’t want to be that person…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Anyhoos…I haven’t decided on what kind of theme I want my blogs to follow…but I think this is one area I am able to flow with the wind rather than to make sure I have a direction and to trudge forward…awesome…

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