The Power of Duality

Find Balance in Duality

You can’t have kindness without cruelty, day without night, peace without war, and love without hate. Life is about duality. You can’t appreciate one until you’ve experienced the other.

Whenever you’re going through hard times remember there’s a light you need to appreciate and that is why you are going through what you are going through. One can argue and say but I’ve always known the struggle. When is it my time to be happy? Well life has a dual nature and when we experience the dark side of life that is the Universe giving us our cocoon in life to make us stronger and more resilient.

All those times you’ve struggled in life was when you were in your cocoon. Learning, falling, making mistakes, and training for the next chapter in your life. You may still be in your cocoon.  Keep in mind there will be many cocoons in your life that you will experience.  Some lessons will be repeated until you’ve fully learned the many dimensions of the lesson.

I’ve endured many losses in my life. I’ve lost over half of my immediate family by age 30. Since I’ve experienced this loss I appreciate my family more and I truly understand the power of time and appreciate every moment I share with others. I know those moments will never be repeated and it may be the last time I see that person. 

I was also bullied as a child growing up because I was only one of three Asians in my school in a predominantly Caucasian community.  I now know that I’ve experienced this to learn to appreciate myself and my differences and to realize that I have a uniqueness to offer the world.  Experiencing bullying also helped me know what it’s like to be the outsider. Now in life, I want to hangout with the strange, unusual, and always want to include them because I know what it’s like to be the Unicorn in a field full of horses.

As you can see from what I’ve learned, I appreciate the light because I’ve endured the darkness. What darkness have you endured? Perhaps you are still working through it. Wherever you are in life understand it’s the power of duality that moves you forward. Keep going. Your darkness is your springboard towards the light. Be kind to yourself always.

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Reinforce What You Want

Reinforce What You Want

Tony Gaskins once said, “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.” I used to be bothered by this quote because I always thought you shouldn’t have to teach people to respect you and be kind to you. I believed everyone should already know common courtesy and should already know how to treat you right. But then I realized everyone has a different definition of kindness, respect, and common courtesy. So now I know my level of kindness and respect towards myself must be taught to others.

I’ve spent over 20 years in the field of behaviorism and I know all about positive reinforcement, behavioral trends, and reinforcing replacement behaviors. The thing is along the way in my personal life I forgot to reinforce others on how to treat me right. I’m just now realizing that I have the power to reinforce how I want to be treated. It all starts and ends with me.

When you feel disrespected you have to stop and review how you’ve allowed others to treat you. Ask yourself, what did you reinforce? Did you encourage (allow) them to treat you a certain way? Examine your own behavior trends. What have you allowed? This will tell you why people treat you the way they do. It’s simply because you allowed it.

Do yourself a favor and today start reinforcing others on how you want to be treated. If they treat you with a level of respect and kindness that you like then thank them and let them know you appreciate this. However, if they are disrespecting you or are not treating you with a level of kindness you know you deserve then simply tell them this so they can learn how you want to be treated. If they still don’t learn and change from their mistakes then it’s time to move on. Not everyone is ready for the lesson you are giving them and you shouldn’t have to be the opportunity for others to eventually get it right at your own expense. Your time is precious just as much as everyone’s else is.

Know your worth and train others how to treat you. It all starts and ends with you.

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One Step at a Time

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step ~ Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu once wrote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. This is true for anything you want to do in life. All it takes is for you to begin your first step.

When I was going for my undergrad in Theater we performed “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” a musical play by Frank Loesser. I remember performing the song, “Brotherhood of Man” as part of an ensemble song and dance routine. We spent many days and nights learning that choreographed routine. We didn’t all get it right away at first but as we each learned our parts it all eventually came together beautifully. The point is we succeeded because we learned the routine one step at a time.

That’s really how life is actually. You have to take it one step at a time. Any goal you set for yourself, it all starts with one step and then the next step and then the next. Soon you will be amazed at how far you’ve come.

Here’s another example. I wasn’t always a runner. I began walking around my neighborhood. Then I started something I like to call, “Wogging”. I would walk then jog then walk then jog. Now I run at least 3 miles a day and some days I do more than 3 miles. On top of that, one of my friends wants me to run a marathon with her in the Spring. So as you can see, what started out as me just simply walking eventually turned into me running and possibly participating in a marathon someday.

I hope this inspires you to start creating your journey of a thousand miles. All you have to do is just take that first step. So get steppin’!

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Get Off the Merry-Go-Round

Stepping off the merry-go-round to become the change you want to see in your world

Today I want to talk about getting off the merry-go-round. You know that cycle part of your life where everything becomes routine, the same ole same, different day but same thing? It’s time you do yourself a favor and step off that circular ride, especially the one that no longer thrills you.

I’ve lived through many merry-go-rounds in my life. I’ve noticed I’ve succumbed to the routine of things in life to point of stagnation and familiarity. Once that stalemate sets in it’s hard to leave and I start to go on auto-pilot. The thing about routine is that you have to notice it is happening and then realize what part of it is not pushing you forward. I’ve found that’s the key to avoiding stagnation.

If you’re not moving forward then you’re not going anywhere. You got to keep challenging yourself and keep making new routines. Find out what part of the merry-go-round is no longer exciting you in life. If it bores you or brings you down in anyway then that’s a sure sign to step off that part of the merry-go-round cycle.

Keep shuffling your routine, change it up to avoid the ruts, and be sure your challenging yourself so you’re still moving forward. May you find the exits of your merry-go-rounds in life to become the change you want to be in your world.

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Setting Boundaries

Set Boundaries to Place Yourself Higher

Learning to create boundaries is tough. It’s even tougher when you once allowed something to happen for so long and then you realize you don’t want to allow that to happen anymore. People get angry when you create a new boundary or move the boundary line. Don’t worry about those people. They will eventually get over it.

I’m starting to create boundaries and moving the boundary line up to create a more positive, healthy space for me because I know I’m worth it. This isn’t about power tripping either. It’s about self-empowerment tripping. There’s a difference.

I’m finding my foundation and standing my ground. It’s about making me important and showing others I matter and I value me, my time, and my energy.

As I continue on this journey towards finding myself I’m discovering that boundaries matter. I need to always be aware of them and know when to use them so people know I value myself.

If you don’t value yourself, your energy, your time no one else will. So start setting your boundaries now to raise your self higher and show everyone else how valuable you are.

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Staying in My Cocoon

Stay in Your Cocoon
as Long as You Need to.

Today I’d like to talk about the importance of healing. We often move from one scenario to the next or from one relationship to the next. We never give ourselves enough time to heal and fully process what we endured. We can not completely fly until our wings are fully mended.

I’ve endured my share of heartaches. Some of them were romantic losses and some of them were losses of loved ones. With every loss I’ve endured I never gave myself time to fully heal from those losses. My romantic losses were often quickly replaced with new romantic interests. The grief over my lost loved ones was immediately replaced by diverting my attention on my career or my college studies. In all of these instant replacements I never allowed myself to process what happened to me and give myself the adequate time to heal.

Being able to heal is a large part of growth. I limited my healing time because I was afraid to face the emotions and all the negative baggage that comes with feelings. By doing this I became stuck.

In every serious romantic relationship I’ve experienced was a similarity of the one before and the one before that one and even the one before that one. They were all the same type of relationships because I didn’t allow myself to heal and grow beyond what I was used to. Realizing this was a huge awakening for me.

I do not want the same type of relationship as the one before. It didn’t work out for a reason. I need to allow myself to heal so I can figure out who I am so I can be capable of finding the right person for me. Someone who values me but I first need to learn to value myself. This is where I begin to heal.

My grief over losing my family was not fully expressed until I stopped diverting my attention away from my feelings of loss. I began to heal once I started focusing on me and my feelings related to my losses. This is an eye opener because without the focus on the losses I would continually be stuck in my grief.

At this time I’m still healing. I am grateful for realizing this and the importance of staying in my cocoon until my wings are ready to fly.

Perhaps you need time to heal too. Take the time to contemplate your losses and review your lessons. What you did right, what you did wrong, and more importantly, what you’re going to do next time. I hope in the end you choose you. Be patient and gentle with yourself. There’s a reason the caterpillar rests in its cocoon. To grow and mature. May you stay in your cocoon as long as you need to.

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The Power of Forgiveness

I’ve struggled with forgiveness all my life. Being unforgiving is like hitting your head with a hammer thinking you’re hurting the person who did you wrong. Let it go!

I know forgiveness seems like you are telling that person it’s okay the way they treated you when it was entirely uncalled for on what they did. How dare they, right? But in the end, forgiveness is really not about that person. There’s a life lesson regarding those who did you wrong and your journey towards forgiveness.

Hurt people hurt people.  That’s one of the reasons why you need to forgive them. Doesn’t mean you are allowing them to hurt you and saying it was okay for them to do what they did to you.  I’m just saying they did what they did because they didn’t know any better.

We often easily forgive children for making mistakes but why is it difficult to forgive adults for their mistakes.  We assume they should know better, right? But what if that adult was once that little child who was abused and neglected during his or her childhood and that child who made all of those bad mistakes that you easily forgave grew up to be the adult you are interacting with now? That child, now adult, never learned from their mistakes.  They used poor coping skills for most of their lives and never learned any new, positive ones. That is one of the reasons why we have to forgive them. They just don’t know any better.

But the most important reason to forgive is for your own healing. Hurt people hurt people and we always hurt the ones closest to us. By not forgiving you are hurting yourself (the one closest to you). So forgive, not for those that hurt you, although they didn’t know any better, but for you so you can move on and heal.

The longer you hold onto that anger the longer you are allowing that situation to control you. Do not let the past dictate your present state of mind or it will fester into your future. Just let it go!

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