Treat everyone you meet as if they were you

A common remark most people make about me is, “You’re too nice.”

It’s an odd statement to process. I never grew up thinking there was such a thing as too nice. Although I have had met my share of some incredibly shitty people, I learned this: 

Not everyone may deserve my kindness. However, I do not have the right to not act when there is an opportunity to do good for others. I treat others as I would treat myself, with an immense amount of thoughtfulness and love. My actions are a direct reflection of me. I love myself. I am love.

It holds true that our actions are a direct reflection of how we view ourselves. I often have to wonder though, are people taken aback by kindness because they lack kindness or forgiveness within themselves? 


Change, whether good or bad, always seems to come unannounced. For the sake of maintaining homeostasis, we all try to plan for change, but ultimately we are never ready.

Knowing this, it only makes sense to not resist change. Resisting it only creates more stress, more anxiety, but it will not stop what is already in motion. Go with the flow – all will be as

I am W.O.M.A.N.

I am wonderful.
I am open minded.
I am mature.
I am affable.
I am nurturing.

I am thirty, and it is true that I really have a grasp of what makes me a woman. I’ve never been more happy to be the skin I’m in, and life has never made so much sense. I’ve embraced my flaws, and I am living as my authentic self.

Happy belated New Year

I know, I know… I’m a few months late, but better late than never.

On my quest of ૐ शान्ति: शान्ति: शान्ति:, I’ve realized one of the most important things – none of it is possible unless I make a commitment to myself. This commitment requires a lot of significant change… change that I know at times will make me uncomfortable, but it is so necessary.

The biggest obstacle of finding peace within the reality that I live in, I honestly need to learn to love all the things in my life… good and bad. I’ve spent a lot of my time only letting people see the happy me, that I’ve neglected the darker parts of my life. The constant portrayal that my life is superb is honestly far from the truth. I have moments in the dark (granted not often). The lack of transparency to me as a whole person has made me a tad resentful, and lately, sad. I find that when I allow myself to be vulnerable, weak, down, dark in the presence of others, I am given my own advice… to just work through it. However, repressing my vulnerability is also repressing a part of me as a whole person.

I often feel like lonely because I do not have many, including my closest friends, are so used to me always getting back on my feet with a perma-grin. Some moments though, I just want to be like everyone else: to be able to feel all emotions, not just the positive ones. I want to be able to cry and have a shoulder to cry on. I want to be able to vent when I have a bad day. I want to laugh because I feel like laughing. I want to smile because I feel like smiling. I just want to be human.

When on a path to be fulfilled, yes we do need to learn to let go… but what is there to let go when we don’t allow ourselves to experience life? Yes, life is beautiful – but it also has its moments of melancholy. It’s those moments of darkness that make the light that much brighter.

Today, I want to make a commitment to myself to allow myself to experience the HUMAN experience.

Om shanti shanti shanti ૐ

For the last few years, I have dedicated a few hours of my time on Christmas Day to set my intentions for the year. This year, my focus will be simple: ૐ शान्ति: शान्ति: शान्ति: – om shanti shanti shanti. Om is the universal sound that represents the universe, the sound from which all sounds are formed. It encompasses the past, present, future. More importantly, it is the symbol for reality. Shanti simply means peace. When the mantra om shanti shanti shanti is recited and reflected on, it is an invocation for peace within all realms of the universe, and more importantly in the reality of the self in body, speech, and mind.

For the upcoming new year, I want all of the intentions I set in place to give me peace in the realities that encompass my physical living.

  • I intend to invest more time, money, and energy towards improving my health. I am healthy and I make consciously make decisions to improve my health every day.
  • I intend to think and speak with positive intention. My thoughts and words have a positive impact on those that I encounter everywhere.
  • I intend to act with love and care. I am human filled with love and light. My actions bring light to those I encounter.

I genuinely believe that if we all set our intentions for peace within ourselves, we can better provide peace in the universe on person at a time.

What are the intentions that you will set for the new year?

Be open to kindness

Something that I talk and write about often is kindness. Be kind to yourself and others. (Y’all can check out my previous posts by clicking the links here and here.) The reason why I bring this up often is because there truly isn’t enough kindness or love in this world. Not only is kindness lacking… when kindness is offered, it is often rejected or accepted with a large amount of skepticism.

Growing up, my parents set a wonderful example of how to be kind and good to others. I was taught to always give when I can, be thoughtful, and truly treat others the way I would like to be treated. However, as the older I get, the less and less my kindness is willing to be received. More often than not, people constantly question my intentions. I’ve given my long sought after wool coat to a homeless man battling the elements. I always buy thoughtful gifts just because, I always invite people to shows and concerts with the ticket paid for, and I don’t mind being someone’s driver if it means I get to spend time with them. To me, “going out of my way” is first nature. I just want to see a smile on that person’s face, create and share a few memories, and I can only hope that I made a difference for a few moments in someone’s life. Those little things bring me an immense amount of joy.

Although many of us have been screwed over by the ill intentions of others. Do not discount those who are truly trying to be kind. Is there that risk of being hurt? Of course. However, you will never know the true intentions of the person until you are open to accepting the love and kindness stemming from their hearts. The world seems like a jaded place because many people are unable to open the door to something truly good.

Today, be open and receptive of all the good things that come your way. Let love and kindness in.

The road less traveled

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– Excerpt from The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Over the course of the last few years, I made a very big decision to chase happiness, not paper. I left the security and predictability of corporate America, and ventured on my own to discovering my purpose: yoga, writing, and art.
We are all given a choice of how we will lead our lives. However, is the path that everyone else we know right for us? I walked away from a steady paycheck to pursue my dreams. This is something HIGHLY frowned upon with my Asian upbringing. My entire life, I was reminded by extended family about the struggles that my family endured to have the “American Dream.” The only thing that mattered to them was that I was financially successful. It didn’t matter if I was happy or not. Many of my friends have their careers, but most of them truly wished they took the road less traveled to pursue their dreams.
Thankfully, I do have an amazing family that is supportive of my detour in life. Yes, it does make them worry if I can make rent at the end of the day or if I have food in my fridge – but they do understand that I could not live with myself if I continued on a path of unhappiness and regret.
The greatest gift this past birthday came from my sister. It wasn’t tangible, but it meant the world to me when she said, “Elle – I never thought I’d say this… but I’m thankful you are always open minded to trying new things, taking risks I could only dream of doing for myself. There’s nothing you’re afraid of.”
Her saying those words also reminded me of something my father told me growing up:
They say the grass is greener on the other side. The only way to know is to hop the fence.
Many of people will take the beaten path that many have traveled. However, how many of them will regret not taking the road less traveled? Society will encourage you to follow its blueprint of how it believes where you should be, who you are with, and how you should go about doing it. If you are tempted to hop the fence, here are a few words of advice:
1. With great risk, there’s great reward.
Every decision we embark on holds some risk. However, the bigger chances we take will lead us to the bigger payout we can only dream of. Sure, I have no clue how things will work out and how ends will meet at times, however, the reward of my own happiness trumps ANY stress that comes my way.
2. Someone will ALWAYS have an opinion about you chasing your dreams, good or bad.
When you take the road less traveled, there will always be that family member, friend or significant other that has their opinion about what you’re doing. Take into consideration what they say, but at the end of the day, you are responsible for the life that you live and the regrets you have to live with. They will never be in your shoes, make decisions that help you towards your own happiness.
3. Doing something outside of your comfort zone helps you figure out who you really are.
It’s the risks that we take that we come to realize how much we can deal with and what truly is a priority. It wasn’t until I stepped away from my cushy job that I realized money is a very small motivating factor on how I will live my life. It changed my priorities and values. For some, it’s the struggle that makes them realize it plays a bigger role in their life. You truly won’t know until you do it.
4. If things aren’t what you expected, you can always rewind and go back.
Enough said.
Today, take a chance. Do something different. Drive a different path to work.

Another year, another journey

I usually write a long, handwritten letter to myself on my birthday – but this year, I’ve decided to write it publicly. My birthday just passed, and I am more thankful than ever for another year to put under my belt. Many young people are so terrified of embarking into their late twenties, their thirties, any age past twenty-one. This post is for all of you.

There is nothing terrifying about getting old. The only terrifying part of aging is simply this: We are all afraid of not meeting some sort of societal standard dictated by our age, or we try to maintain a standard of who we used to be by living in the past. Fear of aging is simply the suffering caused by wanting to maintain something we once had, or wanting something we haven’t yet achieved.

Every moment we wake up on the right side of the dirt – that is our opportunity to grow, have more experiences, and work towards all the things that we want for ourselves. There are just some things that we can’t possibly learn until we have experienced life and its simply this:

  1. We learn to love ourselves despite what others think. Naturally, we want to be accepted. We all have done some incredibly stupid things to fit in. It isn’t until we grow into our skin and realize we are good enough just the way we are, what we don’t like we CAN change, and we can be surrounded by people who accept us.
  2. There are no regrets in life. We are human, we make mistakes, and whatever mistakes we have made… it’s ok. Why? Because at that very moment in time, that is what we wanted to do. The timelines that other people lived – it worked for them, and by no means should we EVER compare our own life to someone else. We will never walk in that exact path with their exact pair of shoes. Don’t beat yourself up for not graduating when everyone else did, or the fact that you’re single and everyone else isn’t. It’s all OK!
  3. Stretch marks and wrinkles – don’t stress over them! They are the battle scars of how far we all have come along in this life! Some were made in happiness, others in time of distress, but all of them have made us to who we are today!
  4. There’s beauty in the breakdown. Frou Frou said it best, and it’s so true. It’s the difficult parts of life that we learn to cope and deal with that make the sweetest moments in life that much more sweet.
  5. We learn to set boundaries in all aspects of life. We don’t really learn how to set boundaries until we experience life. I’m telling all of y’all right now – it’s OK to do so. It’s ok to say what you will and won’t put up with. It’s ok to ditch anything or anyone that doesn’t serve your goals to be happy and healthy.
  6. We learn to enjoy our own companyIt took me a bit of time to reach this point, and I honestly can’t believe I didn’t learn this sooner. It’s ok to go to the movie theater alone, or have a “me” day without having company. It is when we are truly alone that we learn how much we are worth as human beings, and we learn what it is that truly makes us who we are. There are no clouded judgements and outside opinions when we are alone. We can embrace our uniqueness and thoughts and go into the world with everything we know we have to offer.
  7. We learn to cope with life, let go, and move forward. No one can ever teach you how to deal with a breakup, getting fired, losing a loved one. When things get difficult, we know there is light on the other side. We only suffer from the couldashouldawouldas when we hold stop holding onto good moments in life and we fail to embark new chapters of our life. Do I wish I still have my figure when I was in highschool? Sure. Do I wish that I had a different financial situation? Sure. But I am learning to deal with all of my insecurities and find every new day as an opportunity to build something new. What has happened, happened – and I move forward. Life isn’t always daisies and unicorns, but I learned to let go of how things used to be, and I embrace what will be.
  8. We learn to be a better judge of character. Fitting in is usually the primary goal when we are young. However, for the sake of fitting in, many of us at one point or another surround ourselves with people that aren’t good for us. We let people into our lives that are toxic. It isn’t until we encounter these people that we learn all of the “red flags” of people we need to avoid. We start to consciously choose the people we want to be around that let us grow. We start surrounding people that are good for us at every level of existence.

Next time y’all start stressing over age – just remember, you’ve made it this far, and you’ve made it this far for a reason. Not only have you aged, but you have gained so much wisdom that could not have happened without age.


Treasured and not played with

When I was a little girl, my dad took me the park every day to play with the other kids in the neighborhood. Often times, many of the kids didn’t want to play with me. The few girls that did play with me always had their dolls to play with. One day, they decided we were going to have a tea party, and we would select a doll that resembled us to be our guest. Unfortunately, none of the dolls looked like me. I didn’t have blonde hair, blue eyes, and the brunette dolls all had colored eyes. None of them were tan. None of them had almond shaped eyes. I remember asking, “Why don’t you have a doll that looks like me?”

Then, the girls all answered, “It’s because you’re not pretty enough to have a doll like you. Only pretty people have dolls that looked like them.”

I quickly got up, and ran to my father crying. “Daddy, why am I ugly? Why don’t they make dolls that look like me?”
My father shook his head in disapproval at the parents of those girls. He picked me up, and I sat on his lap, rested my head on his chest and wailed. He wiped away my tears and said:

Pretty things can be toys and played with. And no, you’re not pretty. You’re beautiful. Beautiful things are not toys to be played with. Beautiful things are treasures that people cherish and adore, not something you play and throw away later.

Beautiful things make your heart smile,  and little one, you make so many people smile.

Lately, I have been feeling physically inadequate. Much of this stems from my dating life in which guys leave me for prettier, thinner girls. My father’s birthday was a few days ago… and as I was driving home from work,  I felt his presence,  and I remembered those beautiful words he told me when I was a little girl. Although many may not believe I am pretty, I have to remind myself I am beautiful. I am beautiful and I am worth treasuring. I am not a pretty toy that can be thrown away later when I am tarnished and worn out.

Today, remind yourself that you are a beautiful treasure.

Mirrors and reflections

You look at me and you see what I see
Because your looking in the mirror
When your with me there’s no use in hiding
Because you’re looking in the mirror

I had a friendship end recently, and this person… parts of him mirrored who I was, but he had negative traits that I did not want to mirror or have in my life. I did not want a flaky friend. I did not want a “friend” that only contacted me when they felt like it or when they needed a favor. The more I spoke to this person, the more disingenuous I found him to be. After countless arguments and my refusal to enable poor behavior, we stopped being friends. Before ending the friendship, I do recall him telling me that his friends were the same way, or that his friends didn’t care that he acted this way. The people he surrounds himself with are a reflection of who he is. I am unwilling to reflect such behavior or traits.

We were created in such a way that we cannot look at ourselves without the assistance of an object or person. Even with all the soul searching that we do within ourselves, there is that part of us that subconsciously wants to physically see our innermost characteristics and traits among those we spend time with. Have you ever noticed that people who are negative and dramatic often have friends and company that are negative and dramatic? Or how successful people have successful friends? Our souls tend to want to gather and group among others who are like us physically, spiritually, and mentally.

Today, look at all the people in your life. They carry energy that is representative of who you are, where you are, and where you will eventually be. If the people you associate with have traits and behaviors that you dislike, chances are, you have those traits too. Work towards making the necessary changes to be around those who are representative of you.