self care

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 🌹

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 

YOU ARE ACCEPTABLE.

Wherever you are. Whatever you’re gong through, you are acceptable.

You don’t need to do anything to be acceptable. You don’t need to change anything to be acceptable. You existing makes you acceptable.

Acceptable is the state of being accepted, the root word in Latin is “accepto” meaning to receive something willingly.

Being human in a world full of what feels like endless pressure and illusion isn’t easy. We get caught up in our own neurosis or others and think there is something "wrong" with us. We experience a breakdown and we feel we are not strong enough, not smart enough, or some form of not good enough and that is just not true.

But it’s hard to receive that message willingly when you’re struggling and life can feel fucking hard. Even the lives that appear the “most exciting” have their shadows. Facebook posts are only the tip of the iceberg. Often even the most open people are hiding in plain sight or only showing the first layer of their Russian dolls.

Mental, emotional, and spiritual health is an ongoing practice. The return to love is an everlasting journey.

We all need support, someone to care, someone to ask us how we’re REALLY doing when we automatically say “I’m good!” too fast.

Are you really good?

Well maybe you’re not “bad” and you didn’t think anyone had time to listen to how you feel or maybe you haven’t even had your own time to ask yourself how you feel. It seems the train keeps moving regardless of our emotional state. We think “sucking it up” builds resilience but it really just puts up walls and barriers to the heart.

It’s difficult to be honest and even more so to be vulnerable. I’ll speak for myself, I’m actively creating a life I've dreamed of, working and traveling in Southeast Asia and Australia. It’s been amazing but it’s also been exhausting. I feel deep sadness and wild aliveness, I feel liberated and displaced, clear and confused, on fire and flirting with burnout. I feel like I have no idea how I’m going to deliver on all of my commitments. I often feel stretched to my limits.

My emotional range is vast; I feel many things. We all do, some just have an easier time articulating it. But feeling these things and the ebbs and flows of life doesn’t necessarily mean something is “wrong”.

Why are we conditioned to believe that everything other than rosy is wrong? It’s the critical flaw of the dualistic mind and conditioned self (and that’s a whole other topic, see Samadhi: Part 1: Maya, The Illusion of Self).

I believe we have the capacity to hold space for our emotional range and those of others. I believe we have the capacity to love and be loved in our entirety. I believe we are all acceptable and that to feel that way we need support, love, and a sense of belonging.

To experience acceptance of oneself is an active practice of self-compassion, forgiveness, and loving kindness. To share this with another is to give and receive grace.

So may this serve as reminder that you are loved and you are accepted, just as you are.

And that the person next to you or far from you or that you've thought about but haven't reached out to yet may need this reminder too <3.

With love and kindness,

Lotus

Self-care tips for the road less traveled.

“Life is complex. Each one of us must make their own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another...The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness.”
― M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth

For many dreamers and doers, the focus is chiefly on others — what are you doing for your community? how are you being of service? what about WE?

While that is needed and important, how are we expected to serve the world, if we don’t first learn how to serve and care for ourselves? Prompted after a 30-day journey that included 8 Flights, 4 States, 7 Workshops I co-facilitated, 1 Wedding, and 1 Crazy Ass Election, this is a reminder to put your own oxygen mask on first.

Top 3 lessons learned:

  1. Pay Attention. When you’re in an airport, get off your phone. Get yourself situated. Your social life will be there. Make sure you’re in the right gate at the right time. Give yourself plenty of time to make it to the airport. Make sure if you’re traveling internationally that your passport is good for 3+ more months (most countries won’t let you travel if your passport expires in anything less than 3 months) and that you arrive two hours early.

  2. Be Present. Be conscious of those around you. You never know who you will meet and what they will share with you or how they might help you. Many of the most interesting people I’ve met have been on planes or in transit. Being in motion is magic, you’re there for a reason, look up, look around, be here now.

  3. Take care of yourself. This is the most important lesson I’ve learned on this trip. It seems very obvious, but the truth is the only person really looking out for you is you. You have to be your own advocate, best friend, and life coach. If you choose the road less traveled, you’ve got to learn to take exceptional care of yourself because even if you’re young and think you’re super human, you’re human. Investing in yourself is the best investment you could ever make.

Master list of Travel Pro-Tips:

"Early to bed and early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise."
— Benjamin Franklin

While jet-lag and once-in-a-lifetime adventures don’t always allow you to be early to bed and early to rise, this Master List is designed for the healthy, wealthy, and wise.

I. HEALTHY (caring for your body + soul)

Every BODY is different. These are some ways I love my body while on the road.

  1. Splurge on massages – I think it’s so important you ease out the tension your body accumulates from long plane flights and new sleeping arrangements every few days. If I have a multiple leg trip I book a massage at least once. I find massage therapists on Yelp or Trip Advisor. Another nice option is a good friend and some massage oil. Take turns and help each other unwind!

  2. Soak in a hot tub - this is a great way to unwind and heal your body. The body is 90% water and loves being in it! I sneak into hotels or Yelp/Google/Trip Advisor search hot tubs for rent. There are places where you can rent for $20-$25 an hour. You get a nice private cedar hot tub, sauna, and shower. The price is way better than an upscale spa but if you can afford the splurge, go for it!  

  3. Bring your own mini-pharmacy to keep your immune system strong. Mine includes:  

    1. Tea - Throat Coat tea with Echinacea and Green Tea

    2. Vitamin C packets and/or Airborne

    3. Green Vibrance - Contains over 70 ingredients, 25 billion probiotics, enzymes, fruits & vegetables, liver support, vitamins, trace minerals, skeletal support, and adaptogens.

    4. Digestive Enzymes - aids digestion especially if you have an adventurous palate like me!

    5. Gaba and/or Melatonin - Gaba helps your brain relax, Melatonin helps you sleep and adjust to time difference (less jet lag!)

  4. Be hyper-vigilant about healthy eating habits - this sounds obvious but is easy to ignore while traveling. A few of mine:

    1. Spinach every day - or as often as possible 

    2. Cut back on sugar, caffeine (besides tea), and fried foods

    3. Reduce gluten (bread, pasta, etc.)

    4. Bring healthy snacks – I like plantain chips, avocados, fruit, and superfood bars.

The SOUL is the ship, the body is the passenger.

  1. Create a grounding ritual that centers you no matter where you are. I recommend an "Hour of Power". I usually do 10 minutes of stretching in the morning, 10-15 minutes of meditation, and 20+ minutes of yoga or a run. I also keep my phone on airplane mode when I sleep and play atmospheric instrumental music when I rise.

  2. Make yourself at home. When you check-in to wherever you’re staying, set your belongings and ground the space so it feels like yours, as much as it can be. Integrate your energy into the space, when you come back you will feel more at home.

  3. Bring something that reminds you of home. For me, that’s scent, I love lavender so I bring a little pillow (size of my palm) that has lavender in it. I also have a few oils (peppermint and lavender) and sprays (palo santo + rosewood). 

II. WEALTHY

ACCOMMODATIONS

  1. Community networks – this totally depends on the community you’ve built but you’d be surprised how interconnected we all are and HOW WILLING people are to host you. Put it out in your Facebook groups or on any of the social channels that you use that you’re looking for a place to stay and people will reach out their community tentacles to help you.

  2. Couchsurfing – I haven’t done this in a while but it was my go-to during my 3 month Euro-backpacking trip. I’ve had really positive experiences. I used the filters to filter what I felt comfortable with and also intently read the profiles of the potential hosts. When I reached out, I wrote very personalized messages. I noted things we shared in common, shared my intention for the trip, and made the ask. I aim to be as gracious and grateful as possible in all my communication.

  3. Airbnb – I love Airbnb. It’s brilliantly designed. Like Couchsurfing I aim to be very personable, gracious, and clear in my request. When I have a positive experience (and so far it’s all been very positive!), I make it a point to leave a glowing review, it’s good karma, the hosts really appreciate it.

FLIGHTS

  1. Stand-By Buddy Passes – if you have a friend or family member who works for an airline, they may be able to hook you up with a Buddy Pass. These are like Guest Passes that cost way less like $200 roundtrip but you fly standby meaning you are the least important person to get on the plane. If you’re strapped for cash and have the time, go for it. Otherwise, it can be very frustrating. I’ve used United and Southwest buddy passes.

  2. Bring food to the airport – a lot of people don’t know that you can have food through security. Airport food is often disappointing and expensive. I like to bring apples, chips, hummus, avocados, anything really.

  3. TSA pre or Global Reserve – only $100 and saves you a ton of time not having to go through security

CREATE A BUDGET!

  1. Work with a Financial Advisor to set yourself up for the year. If you know you want to/are going to travel, plan for it. I plan for at least six personal trips/year and am on the road for client work 50% time. 

  2. Keep track of your expenses. I use Mint and a Google Excel to organize my expenses month by month.

  3. Get a good credit card – rack up those points for Cashback and Flyer Miles! I use Chase Sapphire Reserve.

III. WISE (work smarter not harder)

PACKING

  1. Build a pack list – cuts down on pack time and makes you a prepped pro. Here’s mine in Google Excel.

  2. Organize your clothing like file folders – use big zip lock bags, space saver bags, or packing containers. I separate my things (casual, business casual, going out, formal etc.).

  3. Earplugs on the airplane. You can still hear everything but it cuts down on the engine noise during flight, which subtly reduces stress.

  4. Keep shoes in bags – they can get dirty and cross contaminate the suitcase

  5. When I pack I lay out outfits and then mix and match by adding one item. Then I can stop myself from over packing and eliminating clothes that can’t be used more than once. A good go to are simple solid colors which you can add pops of color to with scarves.

  6. Separate wet and dry toiletries. Oils always leak – eventually they need separate bags in toiletries

To conclude, on the road less traveled, it is easy to find yourself feeling lost, uncertain, burnt-out, and overwhelmed along the way.

Just remember, to be easy on yourself and take your time. 

And if at any moment you freak out and don’t know what to do, Be Still. You are wise beyond your years. The Universe supports you in all ways. Take deep breaths to slow down time, listen deeply and the answer will come.

Your air mask on first. 

Safe travels!

With love x light,

Lotus

p.s. got your own self-care pro tips to share? Comment below!