lotus awakens

The Shadow Side of Living an Intentional Life

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The Shadow Side of Living an Intentional Life (for me) is this...🌓
- feeling exhausted from all your #innerwork
- seeing your unconscious tendencies for what they are
- owning your projections and stories
- taking radical responsibility for yourself, your feelings, your needs
- no more hiding or spiritual bypassing, being seen 🙈
- inviting in and sitting with all your emotions 🙇🏻‍♀️
- being honest, anxious, lonely, afraid, angry, frustrated, sad, empty
- losing your way and forgetting who you are
- working 3-10x as hard as those who took the prescribed path (not fact checked, just a feeling)
- not having enough time or energy for all the things, ever
- recognizing your limitations and that you're not in control
- constantly forgiving yourself for not being perfect
- being vulnerable, squishy, soft
- practicing love sometimes gracefully, sometimes not
- begging for mercy, surrendering to the One

The list goes on. I write this, not to create a sob story, whine or throw a pity party for myself 🥳 but rather to be real about what’s behind the mask. There’s always more to the story than what we see on social media or even when we meet face to face.

One spiritual teacher said, “if people really knew what the path of truth entailed, they wouldn’t do it”. Because it’s not all roses 🌹, there’s hella thorns. Ego death is a painful process and anyway, for me, it seems to just reassert itself and dress up in new clothes 👗👘👖. And yet as my past love said, “it’s a one way ticket to wholeness, we can take pauses along the way but this is it.”

In Buddhism, dukkha (suffering) is seen as a fundamental part of the monotony of life, it's a given, and yet I also want to paint a full picture and give it up to the great nectar of life 🍑, Divine Love 💗 in all its sweetness. Sometimes it’s hard to see but it’s always there in everything, our pain is our medicine, our triggers are our teachers, our conflicts are our healing. We are complete.

So here I am, human and divine, visible and invisible, beauty and beast, in all my imperfection, all my flaws...trying to make sense of this thing called life 🤷🏻‍♀️.

People say I’m wise but I’m not sure I have a clue...I just keep walking until I come to love my light and my shadow, my mud and my lotus, until perhaps there is no me at all 🌑.

Much love + respect for y’all on the path ✊🏽. It ain’t always easy to live in #truth #yearofdivinelove #shadow #realness #itwasalladream

Lotus

LOVE LINES

LOVE LINES ⭕️❌⭕️
I don’t want to cut my love lines
The men I’ve loved in my lifetime

My first love was a fly guy named Freddy 🙋🏻‍♂️
We met at a party and started going steady ❤️
French Portuguese, he had so much depth
Even in college rocked an Om round his neck 🕉
After surviving that heartbreak I fell for Max 🦹🏻‍♂️
We would have tea time before English class 🍵🍵
He showed me the world like a real life Aladdin 🙌🏽
Modern day explorer, his spirit animal, a dragon 🐉
From there I fell for a well-groomed gentleman named Feliciano 🤵🏻🌹
We met in downtown PHX where the season is always Verano ☀️
Spread our wings to the diversity of Oakland 🌳
Rode bikes 🚲 🚲 sailed the seas hand in hand ⛵️ Then set off to explore Southeast Asia 🌏
Met an Aussie named Daniel, I can only describe as Fantasia ✨🤸🏻‍♂️🔮
Lived in a mini van drove up the West coast 🚌
Hiked in Taiwan, Meditated the utmost 🧘🏻‍♂️🧘🏻‍♀️ And now my heart’s set on this earthchild JJ 👨🏾🌿
When I’m with him I feel like the luckiest laday 🥰
First date set in the green jungle of Thailand 🇹🇭 Yosemite, NOLA, I’m so lit up he’s my man 💋

Love lines crisscrossing my heart so wildly
Know God’s watching over cuz it never loves mildly
Some people say you can’t be friends with your ❌’s
But cutting people out is only for T-Rex’s 🏃🏾‍♂️🦖 😝Thank you to all those who have loved me 🙏🏽
Especially the one who watches above me 😇

Don’t cut your love lines or burn bridges if you don’t have to
Forgiveness and healing will flood that love right back to you 🌊💞🌊
#lovelines #lovepoem #forgiveness #healing #partners #heartners 💌 #lovers #yearofdivinelove 📸 @jaspher.diz @pradofarms 🌿 #phillipines

I AM AS I AM

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I AM AS I AM.

Six years ago, I was gifted the name “Lotus” 🌸by a past love . He was my reason for going to Burning Man 🔥 and in that magical desert I found Lotus for myself. 

Lotus is a Heroine, an Adventuress, a symbol of rebirth and transformation I had never seen before. Living into her name and spirit helped me expand, deepen and open a wild world of magic, wonder, and possibility I hadn’t seen before 🌈🔮📿. I felt the unlimited love flowing through her veins. She set my soul on fire. We joined forces. We became one.🌛🦋🌜

But in becoming her, I began to deny me. I didn’t like the name “Kelsey”, I didn’t appreciate who I was, where I came from, nothing was good enough, I wanted and expected more. I feared being ordinary and became greedy thinking I had to be better. Traveling across the world searching for more.

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Today, through working with my coach, I revealed the truth. I saw the delusion I’ve been living in. The mind’s projection, a duality and unacceptance of self. My coach said, “I understand you want to grow but I don’t understand what was so wrong with who you were?”

And while everything in my path has been meaningful, beautiful, and I have no regrets. I see that in my urgent quest for reinvention and rebirth, I lost who I am.

So rather than striving for perfection I am choosing acceptance and realness. To accept myself for who I am as I am in this moment now. Who am I? I am that I am. I am free flowing universal love. What I wear, where I live, what I do, that will all change but love, love is eternal. Love is totality. Love has no bounds. Love is the present moment. Love is being happy, healthy, and fully alive. Love is all embracing, all encompassing, all loving no matter what.

So today, I ask the Divine for forgiveness for denying the perfection of its creation. I forgive myself for expecting more and loving less. And I accept my ordinary extraordinary ness as it is. I am as I am. And I’m happy with that. 😊🙃

May you be at peace and ENJOY🐛YOUR 🦋SELF exactly as you are. Perfectly imperfect, it’s all okay.

With light, love, and liberation,

Kelsey 🌸 Wong

Photography skills: Jamen Percy

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HEAVY RAIN & ROSE WATER: ADVENTURES & SELF-CARE IN TAIPEI

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Today it rained in Taipei. Hard.

I got swept up in the rain, soaked after getting lost on the train and having a fight with my partner.

It has been a long week and an intense month living in Taipei for the first time. We came here on nearly blind faith, offering ourselves to the Universe. Six months ago we had hatched an idea with another client friend who wanted to introduce us to their friends and potential partners in Taiwan.

After three and a half months of attending a yoga, meditation, and spirituality in Oaxaca, Mexico our hearts and calendars were so open we decided, why not?

Mazunte, Oaxaca, Mexico | Photography: Sabina Mac

Mazunte, Oaxaca, Mexico | Photography: Sabina Mac

Arriving in Taipei, the culture shock was real. Going from living in a tiny coastal town in Oaxaca where the farthest we traveled was 1km to and from the yoga school to living in a bustling city in Taipei was startling. We had spent three and half months getting grounded, increasing our awareness and sensitivities and then BOOM! Another country, another language, another culture, and way of doing things.

Welcome to Taiwan.

You could say we were naïve and a little unprepared. We had no idea what was in store.

Songshan District, Taipei, Taiwan 

Songshan District, Taipei, Taiwan 

And yet for all the challenges of city life and the identity confusion for me of being Chinese yet still a foreigner, Taiwan has been amazing. I love the people who for the most part have been so kind, generous and willing to help. The city is incredibly clean and well-designed. The train stations are spotless. I love the food, lots of traditional dumplings, scallion pancakes, and steaming hot pot. The island is full of lush green mountains and tea gardens just outside the city center. And more than anything there’s this air of peacefulness and this love for family and a good, simple life I appreciate so much. 

Wisteria Tea House, Taipei, Taiwan 

Wisteria Tea House, Taipei, Taiwan 

Taiwan has never been on my radar and I knew very little about the country before I came but the explosion of creativity and richness of culture here is astounding. The cultural history dates back to the prehistoric Stone Age when many aboriginal tribes lived here. During war times in China, much of the art and culture was destroyed. However, what was preserved still exists in Taiwan and to add to the mix, Taiwan has a true melting pot with Taiwanese, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, American, Portuguese, and Spanish influences.

Jiufen, Taipei, Taiwan 🇹🇼 

Jiufen, Taipei, Taiwan 🇹🇼 

But even with all this cultural wealth, the metropolitan area of New Taipei City is not immune to the struggles of city life. The air quality isn’t great with lots of noisy cars and pollution. Like most modern-day cities, many people you see are glued to their screens. This is the power of technology; it holds within it both the seeds of creation/innovation and destruction. When we lock our attention on it, our minds fall under a collective hypnosis. We lose ourselves.

Taipei, Taiwan 

Taipei, Taiwan 

That includes me. It’s been a mental, emotional, physical rollercoaster. Trying to work fulltime again and navigate my way in a busy new city. I thought I’d moved beyond “living for the weekend” but wow, I’m thankful it’s Saturday and I have a night to myself. A night to go IN.

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I’ve drawn a bath for myself, a salt bath of rose water. I’ve lit candles and diffused some essential oils. I’m drinking creamy honey in my rose tea. Listening to the soul-caressing sacred songs of Peia's album "Four Great Winds" and the heart-moving mighty ballads of the new album "High As Hope" by Florence + The Machine.

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There’s something so feminine about being in the water. A beautiful bathtub that makes even a busy city feel like home. Back to the mother, back to the womb. It’s so comforting, I feel so held. Slowly but surely I begin to relax, the suit of armor that I unconsciously wear to protect myself comes off. I peel back the layers and reveal my still beating heart. I breathe in deeply, filling my lungs with the scent of rose.

In this moment I wash away the rains from the day, the month, the year and I let myself be my own inner mother. Held closely and intimately by my self.

Wherever you are, I wish you some nourishing “you time” soon. It’s a wild world out there. Take care of yourself.

With love and gratitude,

Lotus

Da’an Park, Taipei, Taiwan 

Da’an Park, Taipei, Taiwan 

STEPPING INTO STILLNESS | 17 DIAS EN SILENCIO

“Be quiet in your mind, quiet in your senses, and also quiet in your body. Then, when all these are quiet, don’t do anything. In that state, truth will reveal itself to you.” — Kabir

Tomorrow, I begin 17 days of silence as a part of a silent meditation retreat at Hridaya Yoga in Oaxaca, Mexico.

While I mostly feel open, willing and ready to step into stillness, I also feel scared.

It’s amazing to paint yourself up to be this strong, capable, trail-blazing woman who of all things, is scared of silence and sitting still.

In the yogic tradition, realized beings transcended themselves and surrendered to something much greater. They sat in silence and meditated in caves for days, months, even years, reaching states of Samadhi (ecstasy, absorption in the essence of reality) and Nirvana (ultimate bliss) that most of us could never imagine.

While I won’t be sitting in a cave, I will be journeying inside into my innermost chambers, where I hope to come into deep resonance and intimacy with self (and Self). It is there that I also hope to engage in a process of discernment.

You see, while I know I have the gift of “a voice”, I also recognize I’ve accumulated many perspectives over the years, countless stories, media, messages, and loads of social and cultural conditioning. And while I accept and embrace all of this as a part of my karma, I also understand that the mind, even a beautiful mind, can be a prison.

Yogic sage and mystic, Ramana Maharashi says, “Your own self-realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”

I dedicate this time in silence and this lifetime as a whole in service of That.

100 blessings to you and see you on the other side.

xx,
Lotus

#heroinesjourney #yearofsurrender

SWAN DIVE. HEART FIRST.

“We are of the same drop. A multitude of droplets made into the whole.” As channeled by Anne Koller as part of  Follow the Water  | Captured by Zanette Johnson

“We are of the same drop. A multitude of droplets made into the whole.” As channeled by Anne Koller as part of Follow the Water | Captured by Zanette Johnson

I find myself at another turning point, completing another cycle of letting go. 

On the outside, it looks like one big adventure but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. 

There is far more beneath the surface. There are tidal waves in these waters. It’s emotional. 

I’ve spent the last year “Completing the Hero’s Journey” (<-- see blog post), answering the call to adventure and charging into the unknown. Over the course of the last month and a half, I've been making the return journey down memory lane in a live-in van to see the people and places I’ve called home. 

And as this sun sets, another sun rises on the next stage called the Heroine’s Journey (<-- not the same as a female Hero's Journey, read Maureen Murdock's article). It is here that I take the plunge, diving deeper into my inner chambers and subconscious on a quest for healing and wholeness. 

As I take steps into this new realm I often feel clumsy, messy, unruly, flawed, and unacceptable. Combine this with full-time travel, balancing work and relationships and all of a sudden you unearth trigger after trigger. Connected to a host of untrue stories, hidden insecurities, fears, and worries. 

I have insecurities about the "imperfections" of my body, the frenetic tendencies of my mind, the restlessness of my spirit, and the sensitive unpredictability of my heart.

I fear I am an imposter. I fear that I don’t know what I’m doing. I fear that I can’t take care of myself. 

I worry I’m too much. I worry I’m not good enough. I worry I’m not worthy of love.

At the temple at Burning Man this year I read one message I hope to never forget. It was a tribute to an amazing man named Robert. On the back of his memorial program, it said,  “Thank you to Robert who taught me that fear is just a lack of faith and worry is a misuse of imagination.”

Such a good reminder to get out of my head and return to the heart. Still, sometimes I feel completely mad like I am on the brink of schizophrenia.  

One recent discovery that has provided support was found on a hypnojourney (small group healing hypnosis experience, a bit of a mix between meditation and visualization, which I plan to write about in full soon!). The theme of the hypnojourney was "Tending the Inner Garden" where we were led on an inner voyage to discover our Creative Muse.

As we were guided into our inner gardens, we were led by our spirit guides (mine is a Cheetah) to meet our potential muses. The first one I met was a blossoming flowering Earth Goddess. I was ecstatic to meet her and was certain she was my muse! She embodied my ideal vision of a Creatrix with all of her colorful, flowing vibrancy and fertility. In the hypnojourney we were asked to send light from our hearts to the being and if the light was returned then they were our muse. 

As I beamed my light to her with immense joy, she did not beam back. 

I waited and waited to see if it was really true.

Nothing.

Disappointed and confused, I finally accepted that perhaps she and I might have a different relationship but that she was not my Creative Muse. I carried on and after a while, my spirit guide brought me to a dark forest.

In the forest I saw a lake surrounded by lush trees. It was a bit spooky. But then I saw a Swan gliding silently beneath the luminescence of the moon. This is when I truly became hypnotized, I watched as the Swan glided effortless with ease and grace in an infinity-shaped loop.

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My next reaction after seeing this exquisite creature was, she’s not my muse. She’s too elegant and I’m too messy. It can’t be her. I tried to leave and move on to another area but she kept presenting herself in my consciousness. Enchanting me.

As the hypnotherapist had instructed, I sent a light beam from my heart to her and to my surprise, she received it. What she did next astonished me. She responded by beaming her light and creating a golden orb beneath the water that radiated into ripples. 

From there, we were encouraged to offer our muse a gift. I thought what can I possibly give a swan? The hypnotherapist said, "Whatever it is that comes to you first, go with it." So I offered her an eternal rose. When she accepted the rose it was enveloped by her white feathers and left a trail of rose petals behind as she glided.

She offered me a gift in return, a thin golden vile with an elixir to transcend time (WOW).

The last thing I heard before I woke from the hypnojourney were two words, “Swan Dive”. 

I didn’t know what a Swan Dive was so after waking I asked my friend Harper who said, “A swan dive is standing on the edge and leaping into the darkness.”

And that’s exactly how this next stage feels. 

Follow the Water  presents "H2Flow: A Sunset Water Dance" | Captured by Zanette Johnson

Follow the Water presents "H2Flow: A Sunset Water Dance" | Captured by Zanette Johnson

The journey continues! The very next day, I attended "H2Flow: A Sunset Water Dance" at Alameda Beach where these photos were taken. Together, we sat in a circle and offered our intention and prayer. When it was my turn I offered my surrender with the intention of a "Swan Dive Into the Darkness". After we danced, a soul sister and one of the hosts of the evening, Anne said, “Lotus are you ready for your Swan Dive?” 

Hand in hand, step-by-step we journeyed into the cold ocean water towards the setting sun. This moment was overwhelming, I was brimming with joy and tears. 

Letting go is a mostly difficult and very necessary thing to do. That evening I saw how Mother Earth so graciously let's go of the sun. With love trusting that it will return the next day. 

And so I must summon my willpower to surrender too. 

It's going to be a windy journey with plenty of up's and downs. But I'm no longer running and hiding, I’m ready to go all in.

Swan Dive. Heart First. 

xx,
Lotus

P.S. Join Follow the Water for more "H2Flow: Sunset Water Dance" in Alameda, California. If you're curious to learn more about Healing Hypnosis or want to schedule a virtual hypnosis session, email me hi@kelseykwong.com and I'll put you in touch. 

Follow the Water  presents "H2Flow: A Sunset Water Dance" | Captured by Zanette Johnson

Follow the Water presents "H2Flow: A Sunset Water Dance" | Captured by Zanette Johnson