Posts tagged The Voice
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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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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
As I woke up at 4:00am on October 14th, sweating and tearing, I became completely engulfed by fear.
Can I finish my book?
Can I accomplish this task?
Oh, God what am I going to do?
I am frustrated as what is coming!
The book proposal.
Will I finish in time? I have no confidence now.
I feel like giving up.
For I do not know what to do.
Woke up at 4:00am, so I could catch the most creative mind to work on my book.
Why is it that you fill me with fear?
Nothing but fear, worries and frustration?
Where is my faith?
I question, I wonder…
Why do you wake me up in the time that is most close to divinity?
To fill me with negativity,
Instead of positivity…creativity…
You told Annette of Montebello to tell me last Friday,
“You are a champion, run your race.”
But I felt I have no strength.
I have no energy.
Help me to empty myself,
Help me to clean my soul, my heart, my mind and my body,
So I become nothing but empty.
You let the fear, worries, and frustration come to me,
So I can understand the feeling of all that negativity.
They occupy my body and my mind, they even touch my soul.
It goes so deep.
Now You can uproot it all.
So I am able to run this race,
To win the race,
To receive the Medal from You,
To be a real Champion.
Not only in the eyes of human but also in the eyes of our God, our Lord.
It all started with a friend on Facebook when we entered into a discussion about creativity. Knowing that I was writing this book, she shared the most interesting and insightful piece of information with me. She told me that our creativity is most active between the hours of 3-4am when the sun and moon are 60 degrees in relation to one another. This is when we have the strongest connection to divinity.
Sunrise in Honolulu
I appreciated this wonderful information, and when I got to thinking about it, I remembered that the most insightful messages I received from “The Voice” were delivered at around 4:00am when I found myself naturally waking up many years ago. I hadn’t done this in a long time, so I decided I would change my schedule to go to bed at 10:00pm and wake up around 4:00am, all without the aid of an alarm clock. I failed for the first two or three days, but at 4:00am on October 14th, I woke up crying and in a pool of my own sweat. I knew that it was time to get up, so I tried to quiet myself down as I walked into my home office. I took a deep breath and tried to approach my writing with optimism, but instead I felt suffocated by fear, worry and frustration. All of this negativity that I had been suppressing came rushing to the surface to the point where I couldn’t breathe. So, I decided to write a poem to help me sort out why this was happening. Instead of becoming a more creative being, my emotions were only fueled with negative thoughts.
As I was writing the poem, I knew deep inside that these fears, worries and frustrations were hiding behind a happy and carefree façade. If I could look upbeat to others, then they would accept my constant encouragement of them. But as I kept crying and sweating I realized that I, too, had negative thoughts bubbling deep inside me. I let these feelings go unaddressed for so long, that I had falsely come to believe that they did not exist within me. Yet, at 4:00am that morning, God, the Divine or the Universe – whatever you identify most with – began the excavation process by physically forcing this negativity from my body via my own sweat and tears. In doing so, I was being drained of negativity so that I could be free to receive inspiration, creativity, and enlightenment from above. As I wrote, I felt a sense of relief, a burden lifted from my shoulders. I knew that it was this process of cleansing that would help me to move on.
Birds in Legg Lake
After emailing the poem to my editor, I dozed off, unused to this new sleeping schedule. Around 7:30am, one of my friends called out of nowhere, offering to take me to the park with him. On the way there, he stopped by the grocery store to pick up two loaves of bread. Thinking everything happened for a reason, I didn’t ask why he needed two loaves of bread and just went along with it. As we approached the entrance of Legg Lake located in the city of South El Monte, California, I was overwhelmed to see at least two or three hundred birds.
My friend handed me a loaf of bread. I started to crumble it in my hands, throwing each piece out to the hungry birds. Seeing them living so simply within the present moment caused me to take a deep breath and reflect on the beauty of life. Feeding the birds brought me such peace and enjoyment, and the experience was made even more perfect when I was able to share my bread with a family that had come to witness the interaction between me and the birds. Together, and with my friend, we were able to exchange smiles and laughter in this special place and time.
Images of a beautiful bird
Even when I was so down and so empty, God had given me a new experience and these birds plentiful food. As frustrating and miserable as my day started off, several tiny miracles had made their way into my life by the end. When I wanted to reach a more serene state, I was forced to cleanse my body and my mind in order to become an empty vessel for purity and spirituality to flow through me.
There is a saying in Chinese that whenever one comes to the end of the road, they only arrive at the beginning of paradise. My friend’s advice had helped me to reach the end of a road that had grown sheltered by grey clouds and self-doubt. Also through her advice, I discovered that my journey is far from over. Instead, I’ve begun to travel a road full of sunshine and the kind of promise that only self-renewal can provide. Who would have thought I would receive such miracles through such simple advice?
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When I told my friend, Monica, about a conversation I had with the Voice, she looked at me disbelievingly and asked: “Did the Voice actually tell you that he would serve as a replacement for your deceased husband?” I confidently looked her in the eye and said, “Yes, this is what I heard.”
She took a deep breath and said, “well, if the Voice is able to provide you with the necessities of life, then I’ll be convinced that you heard was indeed Him.” Seeing the puzzlement in my eyes, she explained that the necessities of life include food, clothing, shelter and mobility. She continued, “your husband provided you with those things, didn’t he?”
I thought to myself, she has a point.
I started to think about life’s necessities, and I immediately remembered that He had definitely provided me with shelter – as you may remember from my blog posts about the miraculous houses. Yet, I hadn’t given much thought to the other necessities and whether or not he was responsible for them. Had he provided me with mobility, so that I could get to where I needed to get each day?
What about my car? Of course, The Voice was even involved in the purchase of my car. I remember several years before my husband’s passing, we went to Chinatown to distribute gospel tracts around Chinese New Year. We were careful to park just outside of Chinatown, as we were told that there were many car thieves inside the town itself. I persuaded my husband to come along with me to preach. He did.
We spent two hours talking to people and handing out flyers. After finishing, we walked back where we had parked our car – only it wasn’t there. We searched the neighborhood high and low, but our car was nowhere to be found. Then it dawned on us: The car had been stolen.
We immediately contacted the Insurance Company to help take care of the matter and they settled our claim, submitting prompt reimbursement for our loss. Only they didn’t quite send us enough to replace our car with the same make and model that we had before.
Instead of having to stress about buying a new car, my brother generously stepped in to help by giving us one of his old cars. It wasn’t the most reliable set of wheels, as it would oftentimes break down. In fact, when we moved down from Los Angeles to Orange County, my daughter stopped me from taking the car out of the fear that I may not make it all the way to our new house.
After we settled in our Orange County house, we decided to begin looking for a new car. We had heard that Mercedes-Benz was well known for their safety standards. So, we went to a local dealer to take a look. All of the cars were incredibly nice, and the salesperson was extraordinary friendly. He was so sly that before we knew it, I had written him a check for the deposit of the car. Everything went so smoothly, it seemed that we would get the car right there and right then.
But wait…they did not have the color that I liked. This dealership only had black and white color cars, but I insisted on buying one that was metallic red. The salesperson had no choice but to locate the exact car that I wanted from another dealership. He told us to come back the next day and he would have our car for us.
Once we got home later that day, I heard The Voice whisper to me: “Think it over.” In other words, He was suggesting that I shouldn’t buy the car. I did not know why but I felt uneasy the whole night. After giving it much thought, I decided to follow The Voice’s advice and not purchase the car the next day.
Early the next morning, I went back to the car dealer and told the salesperson, “I’m not going to buy the car. Please give me my deposit back.”
Of course he didn’t want to give up his sale, so he told me that I would change my mind once I saw the car. He took me to the car and asked me to drive around for a while. But I knew I shouldn’t buy the car. So I refused. Then he called the manager and other people to come in and bombard me to persuade me to purchase the car. I kept telling them “no.”
By that time, my daughter had already gone to Pasadena and checked the dealership there. She was shocked to find out that we had been charged seven thousand dollars over that dealer’s price. The other dealership told us that according to state law, we could cancel the sale as long as I did not drive the car off their lot within three days. This filled me with confidence in my decision to abort the purchase of this car.
On my way out, the salesperson chased after me and said that I had to purchase the car, as I had already signed the agreement. Naturally, they did not want to give me back my deposit. Thanks to the advice I received from The Voice, I was able to avoid buying a car from a dishonest dealer.
Later on, my son called the dealership and told them that they could not cash our deposit because they did not deliver the goods. Hearing a man’s voice, they quickly agreed to forfeit the deposit, saying that we could come pick up the check from them. Eventually I did purchase my car from the more honest dealer that my daughter had found.
The Voice has taught me to be patient. During the times I’ve needed Him most, He has been there – even if I didn’t call upon Him for help. Although what He says isn’t exactly what I always want to hear, I know that He only wants what’s best for me…all I have to do is listen.
Nightingale – Yanni
I usually wake up early in the morning and pray. One morning, as I sat down to pray, I heard a chorus of many birds singing the most captivating tune. Each bird had a distinctly different sound, leading me to believe that they were of different species. The different voices provided a beautiful, harmonious sound. It was quite soothing and left me feeling rejuvenated and ready to begin my day.
Talking about bird singing, I remembered my favorite song written and performed by Yanni. The song is called Nightingale, and during a performance at Forbidden City, China, he explained to the audience that he drew inspiration for the song from a bird that sung by his window every sunset during a stay in Venice, Italy.
The bird, so joyously and peacefully sang her song for him every night, leaving him completely mesmerized. During his performance he said that birds have a tremendous vocabulary, succinct rhythms and engaging melodies. His only wish was that we were able to communicate or speak each other’s language.
Image is from www.romanrivervalley.co.uk
Luckily, many years later, he came across the Chinese Flute. He found this high-pitched instrument to be a perfect tool to use to express the song that the bird sang for him. Then the beautiful Nightingale was born.
I often visualize this beautiful scene of the nightingale singing whenever I listened to Yanni’s song. Never would I expect a similar occurrence happening to me. In my case, it wasn’t just one bird, there were many. They were all singing in unison, and it was perfect. Once they showed up for their first performance they kept reappearing every time I prayed, no matter what time I prayed and no matter where I prayed. Whether it was 1:00, 2:00 or 4:00 in the morning, at home in California or during a visit to Tokyo, they were always there. I was pleasantly surprised by their presence and comforted by their company. Yet. I wondered, what were they singing?
Image is from hotchpotching.wordpress.com
I began to think more deeply about this question early one morning during prayer: What were they singing? Were they trying to convey a particular message? Then all of a sudden, “The Voice” said, “I love you.” I was overjoyed and overwhelmed. This message touched me so deeply that my eyes began to flood with tears. From that day forward, each time I heard the birds singing their song, I was reminded of His love. His message has provided me with tremendous strength during times of sorrow and loneliness. When I feel sad or discouraged, all I have to do is remember to listen to the birds and I am able to move on fearlessly in life.
“I love you,” these three little words keep ringing my ears every time I hear the bird’s singing. It fills my body with His love. The energy of love flows through me, and it is so abundant that I can’t keep it all inside. I have to share it with the world: I love you all, too.