My Life Story

Take a Break

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“Be renewed my children, for I am the everlasting God of mercy, and I will make every wrong right for you. That is my gift to you for your praise and worship for me.”

My youngest daughter and I recently traveled to San Francisco to visit my older daughter, who had just moved there from Hawaii. She was waiting to move into their newly purchased house. While waiting, they rented an apartment. Because there was not enough room to accommodate us, my daughter’s friend was gracious enough to offer their house for us to stay in.

IMG_0763The house was situated on a high hill, where you could see all the woods. It was such a serene scene; you felt as though you could touch the sky. My daughter’s friend offered me her daughter’s room. It was very comfortable; I was surprised to find the pattern of the comforter to be the design I picked for my blog’s background recently. I took that picture from the Los Angeles Airport a few years ago after a trip. I felt like somehow connected with that room.

The second night we were there, I had a very vivid dream. I dreamt that I was driving a car. All of a sudden, I did not have a brake. I knew that I would be in trouble without one, so I tried all means to stop the car. First, I attempted to hit the curb and use friction to stop the vehicle. That didn’t work, so I tried to crash into a pole. It didn’t work.IMG_1200

 

I was puzzled about why I was driving a car without a brake. I didn’t even know what kind of car I was driving. All of a sudden, I found myself driving into someone’s living room. A family was sitting there chatting. As I moved my eye to the front, I saw a big window, looked out, and saw the sea. I knew I was doomed. My car would just crash through the window and sink in the ocean. That would be the end of me.

 

Before I could picture the scene after we sank in the ocean, the car was put in reverse. I was out of danger in no time. I could not understand what happened. First, it was very odd to drive a car without a brake. Secondly, the emotion I felt when trying to stop was overwhelming. A voice inside kept screaming at me to brake. Lastly, even though I told myself I was doomed, I did not have that fear. As a mysterious force pulled me out of this situation, I thought it was natural.

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 I woke up. As I was eating my breakfast at my friend’s house, I suddenly understood why I had this dream. A couple of days before I came here, I had a prayer session with my friend Annette. She told me what she heard from the Voice – “Be renewed my children, for I am the everlasting God of mercy, and I will make every wrong right for you. That is my gift to you for your praise and worship for me.” Yes, he makes a wrong right for me. The divine comes from nowhere and he fixed it in an instant moment.

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What a blessing that we can hear the Voice from time to time. Not only does it reassure us, but it has also awakened me and reminded me to take a break. For so many years, I kept charging forward and forward. Sometimes, during our journey, we all need to rest, to pause and to stop. We need to clear our minds and then we can amend our mistakes along the way to improve our lives.

        

 

The Next Level (2)

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Recently, I went on a couple of auditions: one for a commercial and one for a short film.

I was excited to hear from my agent that I had gotten called back for both and, after the commercial callback, the producer told my agent to have me make sure I was available to shoot. The problem was that the callback day for the short film happened to fall on a day that I was traveling to San Francisco. I informed my agent that I would not be able to shoot the short film due to scheduling conflicts, and she told me it was okay because it was a low-budget student film and I would not have gotten paid for the shooting.

So I went to San Francisco and was enjoying myself. I got a call from my agent telling me I was still wanted for the short film without having to do a callback audition. They asked me to reconsider, but I still declined because I would not get paid. Half an hour later, my agent called me again. She said the person in charge of the production still wanted to book me. It was then that I could truly see their desire and passion for the project. It deeply moved me, so I agreed to film.

Typically, casting directors will choose two people for a role in case one actor has scheduling conflicts. They place you on avail, meaning you should clear your schedule for shooting. Three or four days later, after waiting for the commercial producer to send me the schedule for wardrobe and shooting, I did not receive their call. I realized they went with the other actress, and I was disappointed… I think the worst part is being picked, but only as the second choice. At the same time, the people from the short film wanted me to go in for rehearsal, so I went in to meet the producer.

The film was a brand-new project. They were young, ambitious and passionate. As I was sitting there practicing the dialogue, I felt a great need to help them out. How I wished they could achieve their dream with a little bit of my help! We all have to start somewhere. Before they conquered Hollywood, all the famous directors made student films.

The actor they paired me with for the audition had also received the role. However, he didn’t show up because the job offered no money. I can’t blame him – I had the same thought originally. But as I was driving home, I kept thinking back to this group of young people and the work we did that day. I felt great about being a part of a team that was pursuing their dream.  Suddenly I got it – it was a type of unconditional love.

This unconditional love is not difficult to reach; it does not only appear between families. You can attain it if you forsake things for your benefit and put others before yourself. That becomes unconditional love because you are only doing it to help others. Forget about money. I was so happy to be involved in this film because it allowed me to be aware… It was a passion-based project that I was grateful to participate in.

Sometimes we get wrapped up in things like money and ego, but there are other things that are far more important. I gained something special that day that I wouldn’t normally have if I didn’t want to help others. I was made aware of what love could do. I was so blessed to be around people who were passionate. I was blessed to be apart of something special. Through giving without thinking about receiving, I got to experience a feeling of joy that was completely unexpected. The insight I received that day helped me to become more aware of the power of unconditional love.  It was beautiful, and yet so simple. Go the extra mile to help others- you will probably help yourself along the way! And this is what the next level is all about.

The Next Level (1)

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Tai Chi is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits; it is known for its relatively slow movements.

A while ago, I auditioned for the role of “someone doing Tai Chi,” but I didn’t get it.  As a result, I became interested in learning, and I eventually joined a group where the Tai Chi master, Ms. Li, would teach us during the weekends.  In 3 years we have learned many different styles, getting to the point of mastery.  Recently, she decided to teach us Tai Chi with the use of a fan called “Tai Chi Fan” or “Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan.” We were so excited to be considered to learn this advanced form of Tai Chi, because it means, to some extent, that we are ready to move forward, that we are advancing to a higher level.

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Once we started to practice Tai Chi Fan, I constantly thought about the words “higher level.” One day, while meditating, I thought about how I could do the same in my life, on a spiritual level. When I thought about it, I imagined myself levitating from the ground, not physically but spiritually or mentally. As I searched, I heard **the Voice ask, “What is a higher level?” I responded by saying “The higher level as I imagine it would be free from the attachments that hold us back and prevent us from moving forward.”

“How?” the Voice continued to question. “How do you reach that?” I murmured, “It is from the love.” The Voice answered, “Yes, it is very simple. It comes from love. First, you love yourself. That is the first and the basic level. The next, you have to go beyond yourself and love others. Moreover, you put others ahead of yourself.” At that point, the Voice seemed to disappear. I didn’t understand it at that moment. I didn’t think about it much because I was making an herbal juice concoction for my children, who all have high cholesterol. I don’t want them to take medication if they don’t have to, so I make this juice for them by using a recipe that a friend had used, which helped her.

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That day, I was tired, but I knew that I only had an hour and a half to prepare the juice before I would see them. As mothers, we will do anything for our kids. So I gathered all the ingredients and went over the tedious procedure consisting hand squeezing lemons, chopping garlic and juicing ginger. I had finally finished, and I gave it to them before the end of the day. As soon as I got ready to bed, I could feel the soreness in my arm, a recurring injury from an old car accident because I had been laboring over the juice.

When I finally laid in bed, the pain was more than I could bear and I started to cry. While I was crying, it dawned on me what the Voice had said about putting others before myself. Yes, it took the unconditional love a mother has for her children to be able to do it. It is simple.  We just need to go an extra mile to give love to others. The pain I experienced helps me to understand how to reach this higher level…  I need to have this unconditional love for not just my children, but for others as well.

Yes, indeed, it is time to ascend to the next level. It will certainly make it easier if we know that we are all part of the universe. Everyone in this world is somehow related. If we regard everyone in need as our children, we can easily enlarge our love and put others ahead of ourselves thereby to bring us to a higher level.

“For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35

**http://loveneverending.com/the-voice-1-i-am-in-your-heart/

The Last Straw (2)

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Continue from The Last Straw (1)

As I finished “The Last Straw (1)” and typed the last sentence (“…tears of blessings that are to come”), I just posted it and closed my computer as though I was closing a chapter in my life. Little did I know that there was still much more to come. It was like a train stopping at a station, and then moving forward toward me to send me the blessings, one after another.

When I say there were many more blessings to come, I am not joking. A few days after writing “The Last Straw,” my agent called me to tell me I had booked an action-drama series. It was still new, but it was getting very popular. I was elated to find myself participating in this tv show because I wasn’t able to act much last year due to time conflicts. With this call at the beginning of the year, I was excited about what the rest of my year would hold for my acting career. It gave me so much hope for the future, and I saw it as a sign that I could do well this year in my acting career.

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When I first went in to shoot the episode, the hairdresser accompanied me to pick up my costume. I had three selections, and he told me, “You look so high-spirited that I’m going to pick this one for you!” But as he started to reach for a brightly-colored costume, the woman in charge of wardrobe exclaimed, “No, no, no! Her wardrobe needs to be darker,” and handed me a brown costume. She also instructed him to tell the makeup department to make me look “dirtier and poorer.” By the time they had finished, I had seemed like an entirely different person. Gone were the bright clothes and high spirits, replaced by a depressing and dirty costume. Understandably, my character was a poor woman. However, it didn’t seem to be enough, and a girl painted my sleeves and blouse dark brown. It looked like I had been rolling in mud.

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At that moment, I began to think about the words of the divinity. I had to know who I was, and what my position was. What was the purpose of writing a book? Who is the reason I am writing a book? “ Make sure you know what race you are running, who are your competitors and who is the reason you are running child,” I recall.

My character was the mother of a young man running an illegal operation. She was not a respectable person, as she had tried to survive by living a life of crime. I had to understand this position and put myself in the situation. Luckily, the director’s instructions to stay on set the whole day, even if we weren’t shooting, actually helped me get into character. I understood the mood of the show, and what the scene required from me. I noticed that the director never failed to start with “Thank you everyone” before the “3…2…1…action” countdown. As I was shooting this episode, I was reminded to be thankful for my environment, grateful for the opportunities, and appreciative for the challenges. This show was not just a chance for my acting career, but a rare opportunity that put me in a situation to make me think about who I am.

Life is like a play. At this time in my life, I play as a writer to fulfill my promise to the divinity, and it is a promise I intend to keep. However, I finally realized I was going about it in all the wrong ways. I was trying to finish it in a rush: it was like I was racing to finish a test and turn it into the teacher as soon as possible. It totally crushed my spirits when I found out that I did not win. It was not the money that came with winning but a book deal. Yes, a book contract to help me to publish next year is the key. I can have the book out by 2017. Then I am free because I fulfill my promise, and I will have freedom to go about my life.

After losing, I realized I was the actual winner, as the divinity put it. By losing, I learned what it means to be a writer. Shooting this TV episode was especially enlightening, giving insight about my position in this world. The Voice asked me who I was writing this book for. All this time I thought I was writing for him. It was for me. All this time, I figured I had written more than enough material for a book. I realized I had omitted many important parts. Healing was only part of it. The missing part was the growth. After healing, then we can continue to grow. I do not write for others, but for myself.

I finally see the blessings that are about to come are the continuous growing of the spirit in my life.

Reference:

The Last Straw (1)

 

The Last Straw (1)

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The moment before the scenes happened.

Hoping to win a writer’s competition held by a big publishing company, my editor and I spent more than a month finishing our book proposal. I was disappointed to find out that I was not one of the four winners selected from a total of 165 contestants. I started to cry my heart out. I did not know why I had such a response.

I decided to go to feed the birds that have made a happy home for themselves in Legg Lake (El Monte, California). I bought ten bags of bread and invited my friend Jessica to come along. It was so much fun to feed these birds. Not only had I made the birds (including ducks and geese) happy, but I had also cheered myself up a bit.

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Feeding the birds did help me for a couple of hours. But then I was still in tears; it continued the next day. I was frustrated because I did not know how to stop my tears. Sadly I went to bed and found myself having an inner monologue.

It has been a tough journey already.
It was your entrustment for me to write this book.
See, I did not win.
It was not easy to do this-
English is not my native language, and yet you want me to write in English.
I did not major in writing…
I had tried hard but to no avail.

Let me give up OK?
I’m so alone on this journey.
No one is there for me!
It was such a lonely journey.
Why me?
You see I lost the competition.
It made me sad.
I just felt lonely
All alone on this journey.

I found myself sobbing, asking, whining…

(Nothing but silence in the bedroom when I carried this dialogue)

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Four hours later, I meditated in my living room.
I heard the Voice-

Who was there for Jesus while He carried the cross?
Who was there for Jesus while He was nailed to the cross?
Who was there for Jesus while He bled, shed tears.
Yes, it was a lonely journey.
Even Jesus was weak, tired, and helpless.
To the extent that He too
Asked the father to remove his heavy burden.
But He carried on, according to his father’s will.
……………
I looked up and said, “Thank you, and I got it.”

One day later
Again, I heard the Voice.

Rejoice for I am here.
You are to follow me everywhere, rely on me and me only
Like the ducks: they know where to go to be fed.
……………………………………………
My child, you are a winner.
Only in losing, you understand what it is to win.
Be filled with my glory for the heavens open for your favor and your mercy, to fill you with love.
Often my children rely on believing I exist
Because of the acts and blessings they can see,
But they forget to be thankful for the ones they cannot.
Know that I know what is right for you.

Three days later
The Voice came again.
Rejoice for today is a celebration of life,
A celebration of the long way we have come.
The heavens celebrate for you, child. You are winning in every race.
Make sure you know what race you are running.
Who are your competitors and who is the reason you are running child?
Be true to yourself,
Your tears are for rejuvenation.
Your tears are for the blessings that are to come.

Finally, I got it. This competition seemed like the last straw for me. I did not win it because it was not the way it was supposed to be presented to the readers. Yes, by losing, I started to understand what it meant to win…These 165 contestants were not my competitors. Who are my competitors? It is none other than me, myself and I! It is a long journey, and somehow I fell off the track. I needed to come back to be true to myself. In other words, I had to let go in order to remember why I was writing the book in the first place. I needed to remember that hard work never comes easily, nor does success. But I needed to carry on to spread the Voice’s message to everyone.

No wonder I could not stop crying after the result of writer’s competition came out. What a miracle to find out those tears are for rejuvenation. Moreover, they are the tears of blessings that are to come.

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