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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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.

2019: YEAR OF DIVINE

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“The problem is not in your being. The problem is in your seeing.” ~ Hareesh

Every year I chose an intention that defines the year. It began with Year of Courage in 2016. Year of Lotus in 2017. And Year of Surrender in 2018.

 And finally this year has revealed itself as Year of Divine.

This clarity came from a personal experience that led me to see that there is no greater power.

Something happened that showed me the power of the Human Spirit…the power of the Divine, the unrelenting, unstoppable power of Love.

It begins with a simple story, for the third time in the last two years, I lost my passport traveling in a foreign country. Not once, not twice, but THREE times I’ve lost my passport!

First in Mexico, then in Vietnam and today in Thailand.

Each of these are developing countries that many people from my own country have told me are unsafe to travel in. And yet each time, without fail, it has been ordinary people, like you and me, who went through extraordinary feats to bring it back, just in time, so I could go fly back home.

One shipped it from Costa Rica after finding it in a seat back pocket.

Another expedited it from a hotel in Hanoi through busy city streets to the airport.

And finally, today, the cabin crew discovered it in a seat back pocket in Bangkok before my flight home.

While part of me shakes my head and says “Pay Attention. Be more responsible!” I also see the beauty of each of these moments.

Each time, it was returned with haste, not for a reward or for any kind of fame and definitely not out of convenience but out of the pureness of their hearts.  

This isn’t the only mishap I’ve had while traveling. I nearly missed my flight from South Korea to Vietnam and they held the plane for me. I lost my iPhone in Prague and a family went out of their way to find the only Czech number in my phone and contacted them before I planned to leave for Spain the next day.

Time after time the generosity of the human spirit and our divine nature prevails!

But it’s not just these individuals who have offered me their love. Country after country I have visited has welcomed me with open arms. I’ve always been greeted with kindness, generosity, understanding, respect, and love.

When I gratefully received my passport back today I looked more deeply at its contents…

Issued by the United States of America…

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Prosperity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

“We have a great dream. It started way back in 1776 and God grant that America will be true to her dream. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, or a party or a class – it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity. ~ Anna Julia Cooper

“Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds…to look out from a higher plateau than the last generations.” ~ Ellison S. Onizuka

 Have you ever looked in detail at your passport? The tributes that line the pages of the USA passport speak to a vision that goes beyond individual gain, they speak in reverence towards the Greater Good.

And while I have some resistance towards and I acknowledge the pain of many people particularly indigenous and immigrants who have suffered under the oppression of this countries past and present leaders, in this moment, I feel proud.

I feel proud to be an American. I feel grateful for my great grandparents who braved dark times and rough seas to start a new life in this country. For better or for worse, without clear certainty, they journeyed forth and I am the living manifestation of the future they could only dream of.

I see that I have enormous privilege and that I am the fruit of their labor.  

And from all of that hard work and sacrifice comes a little booklet that gives me access to the whole world.  

As I flipped through the pages of my passport, I saw stamps and stamps and stamps, almost all from Asia.

  • Thailand

  • Vietnam

  • Cambodia

  • Malaysia

  • China

  • Taiwan

  • Phillipines

  • Indonesia

Seeking, searching, exploring, trying desperately to find my roots. To belong.

Looking at my passport in full, I saw myself.

Western on the inside.

Eastern on the outside.

Eastern on the inside.

Western on the inside.

 In that moment, I no longer saw Asian or American. I saw both and neither and both.

 All I saw was Divine Union. Completeness. Whole.

 I felt I could finally integrate the parts of me that seemed at war with each other.

What does it even mean to be Asian American? What’s our story? With two years of traveling outside the U.S., I’m only beginning to find out. 

But I just want to say…these divisions we create between ourselves, between others, between country, culture , and creed,  between sexual orientation, gender, class, and everything else, I believe that God doesn’t make mistakes.

The way I see it is we all come from and dissolve into the same source. And it is from that eternal source that we come to exist in infinite forms.

You are not simply a human having a (spiritual) life. Or a spirit having a human life.

 You are both.

 And it is only the confusion of separateness that creates our suffering.

 Separation from others is separation from ourselves. Division within is division without.

In the tantric view, the core of the teachings is to see the world through the eyes of non-duality and to see the Divine in all beings.

“The problem is not in your being. The problem is in your seeing.”

And it is only when you can align your seeing with your being that you can truly cut through the veils of separation and come into the fullness of your own Humanity and your own Godliness.

Final words that my Soul Godmother and Coach said to me after I got my passport back.

“In my life, I have found walking in the Divine is probably the most mysterious journey in life. Safe travels and don’t forget to say thank you to the Divine. Stay in gratitude and I will do the same.” ~ Sally 

So what better way to honor this year than with that.

With divine love and gratitude,

Kelsey Lotus Wong

2 YEAR TRAVEL ANNIVERSARY

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Today is my 2 year Travel Anniversary 🙌🏽

730 days ago, I packed my bags, put my stuff in storage, and left the life I knew for some unknown but remarkable life.

There were many things that led to this choice but there’s only ever one choice, to follow your conditioning or your own true heart.

The poet Boris Pasternak once said, “When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss.”

This knock came loudly and softly all at once. Through people, places, signs, feelings, whispers, shouts, all pointing to the moon. After so many unmistakable knocks, I finally answered my soul’s call.

On the outside, it looks like one big adventure. An around the world traveler, digital nomad, modern day gypsy and that is true. But that’s only about 10% of the story.

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The Hero’s Journey within a Heroine’s Journey. An Adventure of a Lifetime within a Greater Quest for Healing, Wholeness, and Truth.

To know myself. To trust myself. To love myself.

As I am, completely.

Bruce Lee says, “to know yourself takes a lifetime.”

I would add, “to love yourself takes a lifetime.”

Who knew in my quest to love myself, I would fall in love with God.

And in doing so, I would discover there is no difference. Our essence is the same. Our essential nature is love.

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What is God? What is Love?

God is the name we give to the Nameless. God is the invisible that loves the visible. God is the formless that manifests in all forms.

God is Love and Love is God.

You may call it the Universe, Life, Truth, Karma, the Mystery, Spirit, the Divine, Atman, anything you like. Or maybe nothing at all. It doesn’t matter. It is eternal, everlasting, omnipresent whether we acknowledge it or not.

Above thoughts and feelings, goals and ambitions, ego and personality, values and beliefs, there is something stronger and that is faith.

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Faith moves mountains. Faith makes miracles. Faith leads you beyond possible.

And I don’t just believe this to be true, I know it in my heart from direct experience as the single truth.

That there is a source that which all life is a stage. There is a background of stillness from which all beings sing. As humans, we experience this phenomena through our senses, the sound of birds chirping, the crashing of waves, and most of all in silence. Such a divine gift.

And after experiencing sensory experience after experience, staying in over 150 places and 10 countries, I see there is one thread that weaves together all of existence. Upon this realization, I slow down, sit still, stop fighting, and find a place to rest my head.

On God’s pillow 🙂

I feel myself opening in a deep surrender, finally coming home to myself. To my heart. To my own true nature.

And once you taste this honey, this freedom radiating from your heart, you never go back!

So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this journey.

These two years on the road less traveled. This opportunity to fly fly fly! And thank you to the catalysts who made it possible Vickie Lau for bringing me to Thailand and Vietnam, Daniel Mullerworth for loving me and sharing this adventure of the heart, Max Mendoza for believing in me, Troy Swanson for kicking my ass out the door, my family for their unconditional love, trust and support Audrey Huie de MondetJustin WongLauren A. Wong...and many many many more...thank you!!!

“Love says. 'I am everything'. Wisdoms says, 'I am nothing'. Between the two my life flows.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

With love,

Kelsey Lotus Wong

ONE-WAY STREET TO WHOLENESS

Insight on why "releasing feelings" doesn’t work and how to accept what comes no matter what.

Written by Daniel Mullerworth with love and support from Kelsey 'Lotus' Wong.

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Sometimes we get triggered. We feel hurt, or angry, or sad. And maybe many other things too. Understanding what’s going on can be like trying to pick up soup with chopsticks. Confusing and frustrating.  

Moreover, very often it’s the same pattern playing out, the same old trigger. Just dressed up in a different set of circumstances and pretending to be a completely different problem.

Often people talk about how we should “release” such feelings. As a result we may feel we have to act, to do something special to get rid unwanted of feelings so they never come up again.

This language of releasing is such a distraction. We tie ourselves in knots searching for some way to “do releasing”.

How does it play out? We go to a therapist, or a workshop, or give ourselves some special experience in the hope of shedding whatever feelings we don’t like. Afterwards, if we feel better we may say to a friend “Oh my God, it was so powerful, I had such a release!”

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Such experiences can be cathartic, and that feels great. But at some point that pattern reasserts itself and those feelings reappear.

Or if we don’t feel better, we may tell a different story about failing to release. About  being impossible. About being a failure.

The truth is that the idea of releasing is all back-to-front. There’s no option to remove aspects that we don’t like. There’s no garbage heap for unwanted feelings.

We’re on a one-way street to wholeness. There is no separating our self from our self; we can’t go the other way.

We have just two options:

  1. We can try to get on with life and leave those feelings for another time.

  2. Or we can make space to integrate them into our being.

 This is the whole menu that we get to choose from.

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The first is like hitting the pause button. There are times when we really need a rest. We need a breather and some space to get our shit together and come back to ourselves. In those times taking a break is the healthy thing to do.  

Pauses are good and pauses can be really important and helpful, but pauses are temporary.  

Unfortunately, taking a break can become a strategy for hiding from the feeling. Then it becomes a subtle - or not so subtle - form of self-rejection. We tell a story that makes it easier to get by. Yet it includes pushing away the aspect of self that is having a problem. Essentially we are saying to that part, “Shut up, your feelings are not important”. So, we hear that our feelings are not important. That hurts.

The second option is the only clear direction we can take, which is to integrate what we have inside. This means coming to peace with the plain fact that these feelings exist. It means accepting them as part of ourselves and treating our whole self with kindness.

It’s the inner recognition that, “OK, so there’s no releasing. And my choice is Wholeness Now (integrate), or Wholeness Later (pause). How do I integrate?”

We must show ourselves that we are willing to sit with the feelings even if they last forever.

San Mateo Mountains, Oaxaca, Mexico

San Mateo Mountains, Oaxaca, Mexico

Imagine a little girl who has no friends in school. She just doesn’t believe that anyone could ever like her - so much so she won’t try to make friends. She may even sabotage relationships just to prove she’s right. She believes she needs to protect herself from rejection, and it’s going to take quite some convincing for her to change her mind. 

In the same way, we may need quite some convincing. Especially if we already have years of experiencing self-rejection.

The convincing happens only if we become big enough to always offer space to ourselves. Over and over again. Your feelings are always invited; you’re always invited.

That’s it. There’s no lightning bolt of release. Just gently applied love.

If you practice this, maybe the feelings will dissolve this time, or maybe they won’t. Maybe they never will.

This is a practice of self-love. And the thing about love is that it is its own reason for being. Love doesn’t need a result, ever.

"Love says I am everything. Wisdom says I am nothing. Between the two my life flows.”   ~ Nisagaratha Maharaj

"Love says I am everything. Wisdom says I am nothing. Between the two my life flows.” ~ Nisagaratha Maharaj

Sitting with the feelings just as they are in this present moment. Inviting ourselves in with a feeling of patience and kindness and welcoming.

Then, and only then, is that little person free to let go of their fear and come to the party.

"Love says I am everything. Wisdom says I am nothing. Between the two my life flows.” ~ Nisagaratha Maharaj 

If you can’t practice self-love in this moment, practice self-acceptance.   

Ask yourself, “Can I accept this feeling?”

If your honest answer is “No", ask instead, “Can I accept that I can’t accept this feeling?”

If again you get a “No", ask, “Can I accept that I can’t accept that I can’t accept this feeling?”

Eventually, you’ll receive a “Yes”

This is the real release. Through acknowledgment and acceptance, we allow our feelings to be present but not to run the show. You ride the wave instead of letting the wave ride you.

There is always an opportunity to accept. And as you exercise your acceptance muscle it will become so strong that you eventually you will be able to accept anything that comes.

What could be more powerful and liberating than that?

San Mateo Mountains, Oaxaca, Mexico

San Mateo Mountains, Oaxaca, Mexico

Daniel Mullerworth is a transpersonal hypnotherapist and former Buddhist monk. Daniel's passionate curiosity is helping people come into greater resonance with dharma - finding alignment with self, in relationships and the natural world.