Ever catch yourself being hard on yourself? Expecting you have done more, better, different? Feeling like you “should” be elsewhere instead of where you are right now?
I think it’s a common thing for people because despite my knowing better, I still experience it in my life. And with that knowing that we are exactly where we need to be, my mindset shifts and has been shifting lately in discovering the body of work I have done in my life time. And trust me, it is a body of work, I am not being pretentious.
You see, before I became a US citizen last year, and a legal resident in 2011, I have been struggling to belong living in New York and doing all kinds things to make my way through college, graduate school, leadership programs, spiritual work: Reiki Master program, Vipassana mediation retreats, Sivananda Yoga… I have been continuing my education just so that I can live here and have been told by so many kind older people that there was a light in me I often failed to see myself. Somehow not having my green card in my hands, money in my account or anything published except for my Master Thesis, made me feel that none of the work I’ve done mattered.
Unlike today where we can zip everything into a digital file and have virtual instead of physical clutter, I carried some of my drawings, video tapes, keyboard and art supplies wherever I went. At some point, in my anger around things not working the way I wanted them to work, I even burned all my journals I have been writing since I was 8. Also, the pictures from Disneyland from when I first came to USA as an exchange student where I was 30-40 pounds heavier than now (and heavier than when I was pregnant with either of my children), were lit on fire, because I didn’t want to remember myself in that way. In short, I stripped all the fat from what I was doing so that I can be free to live and move and make sense of who I was and what I was doing next.
I look at people who are influencers nowdays, and ,without calling any names because I believe it is their right to do as they please, I wonder, why is so much of what I see created today lacking real substance and real content. We didn’t have access to internet and technology that allows you to make a movie on your actual cellphone, so even praciting our craft was far more expensive than it is today. Which meant, we were often silent unless there was something important we wanted to say.
That said, I do think there is a beauty in the way we grew up. I think that my generation and those who came before us are here to preserve the soul of humanity. As much as everything is moving to this work on a fly and embracing our imperfections, I think people are having a harder time creating a real connection and anxiety is running rampant. You have to be able to create connection in reality and be at peace with yourself before you can ever do that online. Nothing will ever come ahead of human touch, ability to be with another, enjoying the nature and experiencing real peace.
And while I look through all my work that has survived my moves, decluttering frenzies, self-criticism and just mere convenience, I am certainly reminded that I carry a message for people who are still able to appreciate the work I do with each person individually. I think there is a lot for us to learn and I am a fan of technology but I definitely believe that we need to continually work on our relationship with ourselves and connection with others.