self inquiry

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


WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Empress Falls, Blue Mountains, Australia |  Jamen Percy Photography

Empress Falls, Blue Mountains, Australia | Jamen Percy Photography

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

It’s both incredibly important what we name ourselves and it’s also just a label.

In Buddhism, when we chant, we see the power of words, which when repeated over and over become well-worn grooves that carry our prayers to the eternal.

In the Kabbalah faith, they believe your name becomes your destiny. That it is already written.

And in Numerology, it is your name that determines your soul’s urge and life path.

Practically, we use our names nearly every day, it’s usually the first thing people ask us, “What’s your name?”. And because that name means “me” it typically becomes one of our favorite words consciously or unconsciously.  

The Power and Significance of Your Name says that:

“The one defining characteristic we all share, the one unique and profound element of each and everyone of us is the name we are given. From the reason to why we were given such a name to the historical lineage and significance of what a name has come to represent, our name, beyond it’s objective purpose, encompasses what and who each of us is. It’s essence is at the very heart of our existence.

It signified what tribe you came from. It represented the language and dialect you spoke. It made others aware of the region you came from. And grew into characterizing the nationality you came from. It effectively describes us in a manner more than we truly understand or choose to realize. It was the mark you put down when coming to the New World, the signature that made your home and the last thing that is ever read in a letter by the one you love. Your name is utterly more powerful and significant than simply the characters that represent it.”

And yet, words are linear. They are carriers of energy but they don’t come close to encapsulating the dynamic aliveness of what they describe.

I think it’s interesting that we have a practice of picking out names for our children before they are born. How can we chose that without knowing who that little soul will be? Is it the name that writes the destiny or the person who makes the name? 

I’d say both.

Lotus pond | National Palace Museum, Taiwan

Lotus pond | National Palace Museum, Taiwan

It’s a rare thing but I recently met someone who chose to wait for 3 months before naming his daughter, Lotus.

While there was a lot of outside pressure, he and his partner decided they wanted to see/feel/know more of who their daughter was before making such an important decision.

I love that.

So what happens when we choose our name or when it chooses us?

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Over the past four to five years, I’ve been experimenting with receiving a new name, “Lotus”.

My dear friend and past love, Max, used to call me “Divine Lotus Butterfly” and when he passed away, I went to the Temple at Burning Man to honor him. After the ceremony, I went adventuring into the night and climbed a big art sculpture. It was there that I saw a massive Lotus art car that transformed its colors from purple to fuchsia to red to blue roaming across the desert into the deep playa. I felt my heart swell and I heard a whisper, “Lotus”.

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I’ve been testing the waters of becoming Lotus ever since.

Two years ago when I journeyed to the East, I shed my Western identity and became Lotus. I found a spaciousness from self and the rise of another aspect of my being. More yin, spiritual, graceful like a crane or swan.

I also discovered that the Lotus is highly revered as a natural phenomena.

One of the most ancient and deepest symbols of our planet is the lotus flower. This flower has the ability to grow in muddy water and rise above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty AND no evidence of the mud...as if untouched by the impurity. Because of this, the lotus flower often represents purity of the heart, body and mind.

As Thich Naht Hanh says, “No mud. No lotus.”  

The Lotus represents transformation and rebirth.  

The perfect theme for my own personal transformation.

Empress Falls, Blue Mountains, Australia |  Jamen Percy Photography

Empress Falls, Blue Mountains, Australia | Jamen Percy Photography

And now as I return to the West, I am Kelsey. My mind knows this is my name but it hasn’t been resonating strongly. Almost foreign. It feels like a label.  

Today, my coach asked me, what is the meaning of Kelsey?

I hadn’t ever asked myself this question. After all this soul diving, spiritual seeking, and meaning making, I hadn’t ever looked up the meaning of my own name.

So I did. According to SheKnows:

  • The name Kelsey is an Irish baby name. In Irish the meaning of the name Kelsey is: Brave.

  • Norse Meaning: The name Kelsey is a Norse baby name. In Norse the meaning of the name Kelsey is: From the ship's island.

  • American Meaning: The name Kelsey is an American baby name. In American the meaning of the name Kelsey is: Brave.

Numerology

Soul Urge Number: 1

People with this name have a deep inner desire to use their abilities in leadership, and to have personal independence. They would rather focus on large, important issues, and delegate the details.

Expression Number: 5

People with this name are excited by change, adventure, and excitement. They are dynamic, visionary and versatile, able to make constructive use of freedom. They fight being restricted by rules and conventions. They tend to be optimistic, energetic, intelligent, and to make friends easily. They may be changeable, restless, untidy, and rebellious.

Empress Falls, Blue Mountains, Australia |  Jamen Percy Photography

Empress Falls, Blue Mountains, Australia | Jamen Percy Photography

Wow…

KELSEY LOTUS

BRAVE TRANSFORMATION

BRAVE REBIRTH

All this time, 29 years, I took Kelsey at face value. Thought it was dull and never inquired more deeply.

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How often do we do this to ourselves and others? Live on the surface of things. Judge a book by its cover. Pass by ourselves without noticing.

It makes me think of a poem by St. Augustine…

What a beautiful lesson to see that the ordinary is extraordinary and the extraordinary is ordinary.

As humans we have the ability to use our awareness and perspective to see the realness behind things. However, as humans we often get confused or stuck in the mud and miss the point.

But that is our nature and that is our opportunity to learn and grow.

I believe as human beings we are both human and divine (being).

Our humanness allows us to make meaning, connect to ourselves and one another in a profound way. It allows us to chart our destiny and become masters of our ships, all the while knowing there’s a cosmic orchestration at play.

Our divinity, reminds us that we are also part of this grand eternal mystery that is unchanging, immovable, destined to be. It came before us, lives on after us, it is ever present in both its darkness and luminosity.

In Eastern tradition they call this the “Tao”

“Tao is the nameless beginning of things, the universal principle underlying everything, the supreme ultimate pattern and the principle of growth.” ~ Bruce Lee, Artist of Life

In other words, “the truth”.

So whatever is your truth, whether it be in your name, your voice, your identity, your history, your work in the world. I encourage you to explore yourself, make it a self-study.

Inquire deeply into the nature of who you truly are.

“To know yourself takes a lifetime.” ~ Bruce Lee, Artist of Life |  Jamen Percy Photography

“To know yourself takes a lifetime.” ~ Bruce Lee, Artist of Life | Jamen Percy Photography

Enjoy the journey!

With love, light, and curiosity,

Kelsey Lotus Wong

p.s. you have to be Brave.