FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE

WRITTEN FOUR YEARS AGO  on May 26, 2015

"Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

I was reminded that everyday is a choice. There are two fundamental approaches to take: one of love, abundance, and "I can", and the other of fear, scarcity and "I can't". Nine times out of ten I choose the former.

Last night, I got caught in the latter. Questioning my purpose, my work, my identity. Socrates said, "Question your most precious beliefs." And John Woodens says “it’s what you learn after [you think] you know it all that counts.”

The thing about me is, when I am very clear on my direction, I am hellbent on making it happen. I am unstoppable. Philosophically I embrace change, spiritually I embrace life as a universe of possibility, and those beliefs create my reality.

But I have doubts too. I have internal monkey mind chatter. I worry. I complain. I can be uncertain and unclear.

Up until now, my lowest lows have come from moments where I have felt directionless. It usually happens just before I take that next leap. I'm seeing now that when you leap there's that hang time- in that moment you feel both fundamental emotions: love AND fear. That must be what I'm experiencing now.

I am one day over the one year mark of pursuing my dream to live in the Bay Area. I've become clear that there's no going back. It's one month over the one year mark of another dream: to do work that I love and be paid to be myself at Delivering Happiness. I am now working on the one project I have wanted to work on since I started - to activate our community and reimagine the movement. There's no going back.

As I cross the chasm between my current reality to the next, I also see that there is room for new dreams and a next level vision. I have exited the kiddy pool of adolescence and am swimming through an ocean of self-realization. Soon I will be at the point where I am not just reaching for my potential but realizing it.

What will I do with my life then? Who will I serve? How will I serve? What will I be hellbent on making happen?

Oprah said one of the best compliments she ever received when she was coming up as a news anchor and then talk show host was, "You haven't changed, you've just become more of yourself".

I hope years from now, I will be courageous, bold, and inspirational. A beacon of beauty, truth, and vision. And a soul that keeps swimming."

#yearofdivinelove

Photography: John Harris JJTechboogie Media


ODE TO OAKLAND

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THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME...ODE TO OAKLAND.

After 2.5 years on the road less traveled, this free bird is ready to rest her wings. I've been in deep prayer for a sacred space, a sanctuary to come home to and those prayers have been answered!!!

It's a freaking MIRACLE. I'm OVERJOYED, GRATEFUL, BLESSED to have met Darrell Jones III, a fellow seeker on the path, and to be moving into his ZenDen Sanctuary in Oakland while he continues to journey.

What a cathartic moment. After all my seeking, exploring 10 countries, staying in over 150 places, I don’t need to travel anymore (though I still will some!) because I found the place I was looking for…home.

Coming back, I now know that home isn’t a single physical space, it’s an eternal place in the heart. The bridge between worlds - the cathedral of the soul.

And over the past two years, I’ve been going through a purification process which has been fucking bruta-ful (beautiful + brutal) to say the least.

But no mud no lotus. No rose without thorn.

And now I am experiencing so much grace, feeling how good it is to finally come home ❤

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WHY OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA?

Why the Bay Area? It’s soooo expensive, isn’t it? Haha, well short answer, yes! But why?

Because people want to be here. Because despite it’s high cost of living and fast pace of life, people feel a deep sense of belonging.

Though it’s not perfect by any means, this is a place that celebrates difference. Though much of the culture is threatened by gentrification, displacement, and mental/emotional illness, it is also ripe with diversity, creativity, and vibrance.

Oakland is a place of progress that inspires me. It’s a place where people are marching daily. It's a place with soul.

And the symbolism of the 🌳 Mighty Oak 🌳 is no mistake. The Oak tree is one of the most beloved trees in the world, and with good reason. It's a symbol of strength, morale, resistance and knowledge. The oak is considered a cosmic storehouse of wisdom embodied in its towering strength.

With that, I got a 2 bedroom spot in the heart of the city near Lake Merritt with LOTS OF SPACE. So come through! And if you live in the YAY AREA, expect an invite for a House Warming and future gatherings at the “ZenDen Lotus Pad” soon.

Beyond that, I would love to see you, reconnect with you and be a part of this community again.

Thank you for all of your support. It's so good to be home!

With gratitude,
Kelsey Lotus Wong

#cominghome #heroinesjourney #oakland #oaklandish #thatlakelife#yearofdivinelove

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POWER OF VOICE | FRANCE

Centre Artistique International ROY HART , Château de Malerargues

“We are not transforming. We are becoming more of who we truly are.” ~ ‎Alfred Wolfsohn, German Vocalizer

I am slowly coming off the acid trip, emotional rollercoaster, magical mysterious metamorphosis of a journey that is POWER OF VOICE at Centre Artistique International ROY HART with Midderigh Vox.

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What is Power of Voice? PoV is a leadership course of sorts that takes you into the deep unknown through the vehicle of voice.

For me, PoV has been exciting, terrifying, enlivening, exhausting, highly expressive, rejuvenating, fun and CHALLENGING all at the same time. A voyage of self-discovery that included: singing, storytelling, vocal exploration, voice coaching, theater improvisation, expanding of emotional range, somatic movement + embodiment practices and more!

Roy Hart Theater voice coaching!

Roy Hart Theater voice coaching!

Though the journey was intense, the scenery is revitalizing and inspiring. Set in a chateau amongst beautiful greenery and the rolling hills of southern France makes this an ideal setting to learn and grow.

What I find most fascinating about this place is its legendary origin story. In 1974, the Roy Hart Theatre was co-created by the blood, sweat and tears of 49 crazy souls from 15 countries who uprooted their lives to pursue an "IMPOSSIBLE DREAM”.

Some of the original founders of the Roy Hart Theater.

Some of the original founders of the Roy Hart Theater.

Their dream was to leave their day jobs and to live, work, and perform together full-time. After much searching, they were fortunate to find a chateau in ruin to rebuild and reform. They didn’t have much money so it took 25 years to pay off and even longer to put it together but today, the Roy Hart Theater has realized its dream and hosts workshops, courses, and performances throughout the year.

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Much loved by actors and artists for their unique method of voice coaching, the Roy Hart work is based on a history of more than 80 years of research, study and practice of the human voice without boundaries. The teachers have a special ability to help people to unlock the power in each person’s voice. Through this process of self-discovery people uncover more and more of not just their vocal range but of who they really are.

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And while I am still swimming in the echoes of this journey and soaking in the realization that I am a fully-flawed human being, I can say with absolute confidence that despite my resistance, kicking and screaming, I am glad I came.

Thank you to Siobhán McCann for bringing me here and for both your and Ivan Midderigh's guidance and energy. Though I knew very little up front, I am coming out with a renewed sense of self and a crystal clear recognition and respect for the Power of Voice.

Merci Beaucoup Mes Amies!

With love, 
Lotus

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LIBERATING STRUCTURES GLOBAL GATHERING | SEATTLE

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Gotta give a shout out to my PoC (People of Color) Caucus who I met through the "Liberating Structures Global Summit" in Seattle. While my intention was to practice + learn more about Liberating Structures, 33+ mico-techniques used in creative facilitation for opening up the wisdom in a room, I discovered so much more.

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I met a community and circle of new friends that are both REAL & WOKE, who are fighting for justice on the daily and teaching me what it means to SHOW UP for your people and the planet.

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The people who surround you matter, their presence has the capacity to elevate your awareness or keep you small. So watch the company you keep and be vigilant about your vibration, in other words...

YOUR VIBE ATTRACTS YOUR TRIBE!

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I also began to come more fully into my artistry. I did a few magical realism portraits for people and a full scale canvas style piece as a tribute to the Global Gathering as a whole.

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This is Carley, she laid down for a bit and I started drawing her with pastels. I encouraged her to share a message and hers was “I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad you’re here. I know what I know. I care about you.”

“You are more powerful than you think” ~ Nakia illustrated here as a mergoddess!

“You are more powerful than you think” ~ Nakia illustrated here as a mergoddess!

“ When you walk to the edge of all the light you  have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,  you  must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for  you  to stand upon or  you  will be taught to fly.” ~ Paul Overton

When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” ~ Paul Overton

Thank you to the organizers of the Liberating Structures Global Gathering for bringing us together and to all the beautiful people I came into contact with.

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Special gratitude to Nakia who introduced me to Adrienne Maree Brown's book “Emergent Strategy”, a radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help book designed to shape the futures we want to live in.

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I think this particular passage sums up our collective vision for a new world order and is something I invite you to tap into too:

"At a collective level, this is the invitation to practice the world we wish to see in the current landscape. Yes, resist the onslaught of oppression, but measure our success not just by what we stop, but by how many of us feel, and can say:

I am living a life I don’t regret. A life that will resonate with my ancestors and with as many generations forward as I can imagine, I am attending to the crises of my time with my best self, I am of communities that are doing our collective best to honor our ancestors and all humans to come.” ~ Adrienne Maree Brown

Amen to that 🙏🏽❤️✊🏾

#PoCCaucus #community #belonging #marchingdaily #emergentstrategy#justice #love #adriennemareebrown

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BE VIGILANT WITH YOUR VIBRATION

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Be Vigilant with Your Vibration 🙏🏽.


The latest pearl of wisdom 🐚 that Soul Sister, Goddess, and Guide, SheShe 💃🏽 shared with me, “You must be vigilant with your vibration”. As women we are taught to “be nice” and “play well with others” and while generally I am and I do, I also believe in setting clear boundaries. It’s something I’ve needed to learn over time and I’m still learning.

The more aware I become, the more I see the lack of consent in our culture. Not just when it gets physical #metoo but as women and human beings we often allow too many things to happen that we didn’t ask for or consent to.

I’m all about learning to let go and not sweat the small stuff but that small stuff adds up. Hurt people hurt people and blessed people bless people. Now we’ve all been hurt and have received blessings too. It’s neither fixed nor a label, but we need to be radically responsible for ourselves, our bodies, our emotions, our needs, and our energy.

We also need practical tools for healing. My practice is forgiveness work. I’ve been doing it for 10 years. It’s a universal tool that works wonders and I’ll be using it the rest of my life. Forgiveness work isn’t just for someone else, it’s for you to clean house & clear internally. That followed by blessings and gratitude turns a contraction into a gift and hurt into healing 💞. Full circle. Alchemy.

People often think I’m so positive and happy but yo I’m hella sensitive and I have my fair share of negativity to work through. Sometimes this inner work feels like sucking poison out of your heart or womb...like pricking your finger with a rose thorn. It hurts 🥀.

So as Shereen shared, be vigilant with your vibration. Do the work to take care of you. And when all else fails, rather than be hard, be soft on yourself. Be kind. Be true.

Love & blessings to all beings ✨.

With gratitude,

Lotus

#heroinesjourney #soulwisdom#sisterhood 👯‍♀️ #vigilance #vibration #forgiveness #selfcare #selflove#hurt #healing #blessings #boundaries#womyn #consent #gratitude#yearofdivinelove 🌹

HERSTORY: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

Her Place Is In . A Bay Area group of diverse women who came together to create a platform to inspire the world.

Her Place Is In. A Bay Area group of diverse women who came together to create a platform to inspire the world.

HERSTORY: From One International Woman to Another

I used to have a lot of judgments towards women who stayed home. Who chose to raise families. To give up their lives, their youth and their freedom for those they love.

Caregivers. Homemakers. Mothers. Grandmothers. Sisters.

I couldn’t see them or understand their choices, their struggles, their sacrifices, their pain.

Like many, I perceived passivity, softness, and sensitivity as weakness.

I wasn’t immune to social conditioning or sometimes so subtle most times blatant patriarchy.

With eyes of duality and difference, I went another way, I aimed to be a powerful woman who knew her worth. I aimed to break the notion of not enough-ness by being BRAVE and tapping into my spiritual awakening.

For 2.2 years I flew across the globe East to West and I met women from all walks of life. I heard so many stories. I thought I was courageous in leaving all my privilege for the unknown but I encountered women who’s COURAGE & BRAVERY far exceeded me. 

Her Place Is In . A Bay Area group of diverse women who came together to create a platform to inspire the world.

Her Place Is In. A Bay Area group of diverse women who came together to create a platform to inspire the world.

I met a Grandma in Thailand who had lost everything. Her husband, her children, her home. She spent many years living under bridges without running water or electricity. This woman wasn’t famous, she wasn’t world traveling but I’ll never forget her or her story, her soft yet resilient heart that has been through more than I can bear to imagine. Pain binds us and I felt so connected through her story. She held my hand, she didn’t judge or see difference, she smiled at me.

I met a young mother and entrepreneur in Cambodia who against all odds received scholarships for her education. While in school, she would ride her bike an hour each way to and from work on the night shift to make money to feed her family. She now works for a design agency, supports the orphanage where she once lived, helps her husband’s family financially, and is raising her own newborn. If that wasn’t enough, she’s starting a business to help women run their businesses legally, financially and sustainably. When I mapped out her life my jaw hit the fucking floor. But it’s not just what’s she’s doing, it’s who she’s BEING, she is one of the most humble and kind souls I’ve ever come across.

In my own life I have a brave mother, sister, soul godmother, aunties, cousins, mentors, guides, coaches, soul sisters, brothers, and allies. 

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And though I may live in a bubble, all over I see signs of LIFE...the Divine Feminine rising.

Women hosting sacred retreats, circles and workshops on every topic related to our Women’s health, wholeness and healing.

 Yes, the world is going through some crazy shit right now but this is also a RENAISSANCE of Divine Feminity.

 Femininity doesn’t just speak to women, it’s essence exists in all beings. Yin&Yang, Feminine&Masculine, Shiva&Shakti.

 And this isn’t a takeover or an overthrow, it’s a REBALANCING.

So let’s CELEBRATE. This is it loves! We’re here and we’re in it together. Let the bells sing!

Her Place Is In . A Bay Area group of diverse women who came together to create a platform to inspire the world.

Her Place Is In. A Bay Area group of diverse women who came together to create a platform to inspire the world.

Here’s to the women! May we know them. May we love them. May we BE them.

 INTERNATIONAL. INTERGALACTIC. OTHERWORLDLY.

 Happy International Women’s Day Global Family!

With love,
Kelsey Lotus Wong

 #internationalwomensday #heroinesjourney #togetherwerise

HER PLACE IS IN is an organization dedicated to social action through art.

Focused on building community, celebrating diversity and empowering femininity, we are committed to sharing stories, advancing social education, and creating spaces for conversations that lead to real change.