How have you changed in the past year? In what ways did you grow and what lessons did you learn? I thought I’d open up the question to see what everyone has been learning about themselves. It’s so interesting to reflect and see how much we’ve grown and how different our lives can be in just a year. It can be motivating or eye opening; if we haven’t changed much, that’s a sign that we need to make change happen. Here’s my tidbit on how I’ve grown as a performer. Let me know if you guys would like to see more reflection videos in other areas of life. Sharing is caring. Wishing you all the best in your journeys <3
This past weekend I had one of those long late night talks about everything with my friend Christina—I want to share a bit of that conversation with you all on the topic of self love. She asked: What does it mean to love yourself? How can we love ourselves better? I’ve given it some thought; the following is what self love looks like to me and how we can love ourselves better:
1. Accept and embrace everything that you are.
You have to love every part of yourself: your strengths and weaknesses, your best and your worst, flaws and all. It’s about embracing who you are, owning it, and not wanting to be anyone else but yourself. Love is unconditional, so you should be able to love yourself no matter what.
2. Learn to forgive.
a) Forgive yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you mess up, don’t dwell on it; acknowledge it, learn from it, and move on.
b) Forgive others who have hurt you, even if they haven’t apologized or if they don’t deserve it. This is difficult, but if you can do it, then it’s extremely powerful. When you have an a grudge or unsettled situation with someone, it occupies a space in your mind and causes negative energy to linger in your life. You want to learn to forgive others, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because you love yourself too much to let yourself continue hurting over what happened. Forgive them in your mind, simply so that you can have inner peace and continue moving forward with your life.
3. Take time to listen to yourself and do what’s best for you.
I do this through writing; I’m a huge fan of stream of consciousness writing, so I’ll pull out my notebook and write continuously until honesty flows out. It can take a while to peel off the layers of what’s on the surface, but if I keep writing and keep digging, I’ll reach the core of my true self. Through writing, I learn more about myself and better understand what I really feel and what I really need.
Self love is a journey, and perhaps all of our journeys to self love are different. I wonder, what does self love look like to you? Please do share in the comments!
Your body language shapes who you are. I did this happy power pose exercise at a show this past weekend so I thought it would be fun to share it with the rest of the Internets! Try this out & let me know how it goes. Likes, comments, shares much appreciated!
My friend Jason sent me this refreshing video on why “follow your passion” is bad advice. Cal Newport breaks down the message that Steve Jobs presents in his popular 2005 Stanford Commencement Address and then shows us case studies on successful people who love what they do, and how they really got there. His message? “Do as Steve Jobs did, not as he said.”
- “Follow your passion” is too simplistic
- Instead, build up a skill until you’re really good at it
- Your passion grows as you get better at something
- Make time for “deep work”—focusing persistently and without distraction on a cognitively demanding and valuable task
- Build a system of habits around your “deep work” to make sure you’re working on improving your focus & skill
- Later, use that developed skill for leverage to do what you want to do, to get into areas that you are passionate about
In deciding on what skill(s) to hone, I believe it should be a sweet spot between what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing. Whatever skill that is, it’s your tool to take you where you want to go in the future, so choose wisely. Once you decide what skills to hone, the rest is sheer work, practice, repetition. You can’t cheat work—you have to grind it out until you get better at it. Once you have it, nobody can take that away from you.
I thought it would be cool to show you guys how I prepare for a show, so here’s my vlog on my House of Blues show that was on 7/9. See how I prepare for a performance, my singing essentials, what I pack, and more. Then check out some clips from my performance at House of Blues’ Foundation Room that night! It was a last minute show, but totally worth it because of the people who came out to support. I’m so grateful to have such wonderful supporters and I look forward to playing more shows this summer!
Shop: Pai Yi Kaw Loquat Syrup (Amazon)
I had the opportunity to perform at Anime Expo this year with the dance project Chemical X! We performed the halftime show of Masquerade, the main cosplay event at Anime Expo. It was my first time, and it was crazy. I had so much fun and it was really cool to be surrounded by people who are so passionate about anime. The energy was real.
In the beginning of the year, I had filled out this Amazing Year Workbook for 2014. One of the exercises in the workbook was to plan a creative retreat for yourself, so back in January, I thought about when I would probably need a creative retreat the most and what I would want to do. I knew that I would be busy with working night market events all summer/fall starting in May, so I decided to plan my creative retreat at the end of June as a breather after completing our second event. I chose to go to the OC Art Museum (which I had never heard of, but just searched online to see if it existed—and it did!) and then the beach to write my heart out. I wanted to go someplace quiet and peaceful, where I could hear my thoughts. I knew that I definitely didn’t want to head towards LA, even if the museums are better, because I did not want to deal with the traffic. Nope, LA traffic will not be part of my creative retreat, thank you very much.
So I slept in and got a late start to my day, but it all worked out because the OC Art Museum was smaller than I had expected, so I spent less time there than I had planned. (P.S. I wouldn’t recommend making a trip out there to see it if you’re not already in OC. I also think that I’m spoiled by the Mets and the Louvres of the world.) After leaving the art museum, I did a quick tour of Balboa Island because I’ve actually never seen the place in the day. Then headed to the beach to walk around, people watch, film, and write until the sun set. It was nice to see so many people gather on the hilltop above the beach to watch the sunset. Like we were all attracted to this glorious beauty that we couldn’t take our eyes off of. It’s amazing how something that happens routinely everyday can still be just as fresh and beautiful each time.
Anyway, I’m so glad that I planned this little field trip for myself. It reminded me that I have the freedom to explore that which is around me; I don’t need to have a reason to go someplace, I can go there simply because I feel like it. And I can go alone, if I feel like it. Because beauty is everywhere, and everyday we have an opportunity to find it.
Ask and you shall receive: you’ve heard it before, but it’s easier said than done. People are generally afraid to ask for things. Why? We’re afraid to look needy or stupid, or we’re just afraid of getting rejected. Learning to ask and being shameless about it is something I want to improve on, and I think it’s something that could help a lot of people out there.
The reality is, when you are too afraid to ask, then you’ve already determined the outcome for yourself—it’s going to be a NO. You already lose if you don’t try asking. If you ask, then there will be at least be a chance that that person will say yes and help you out. What we don’t realize is that most people are actually willing to help when others ask of it. It’s funny because we like to assume that nobody wants to help us when people generally like to help. So, instead of wasting our time speculating on what that person would say or think, the only way to really find out is to simply ask.
How Ask For What You Want
(From The Success Principles)
1. Ask as if you expect to get it
Ask with a positive expectation. Positive vibes lead to more positive vibes. So if you ask as if the answer will be yes, then that’s what’s likely going to happen.
2. Assume you can get it
Don’t start with the assumption that you can’t get it. You have to believe that it is possible to get whatever it is you’re asking for.
3. Ask someone who can give it to you
Make sure this person is qualified to give you what you’re asking for. You don’t want to waste time asking the wrong person. Go straight to the source.
4. Be clear and specific about what you want
It’s so important that your requests are as specific as possible. Vague requests produce vague results. Give specific amounts, a specific date and time, so that everybody is on the same page.
5. Ask repeatedly.
Persistence is key. Someone may turn you down, and it could be because they were busy or had other priorities. It’s not a reflection of you. Keep asking because somebody else (or even the same person on a different day or in a better mood,) will eventually say yes.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking. So simply start asking! Make a list of things you want but are afraid to ask for at home, school, or work. Ask yourself, what is your fear that stops you from asking? Then, write down what it’s costing you not to ask. And finally, write down what benefit you would get if you were to ask. You’ll find that the benefits almost always outweigh the costs. Give it a try, because you may just get what you ask for!