Like the rest of the world, we’ve been sheltering in place for over a week now. I felt tossed about in the storm, and overrun with fear. Where do I go from here?
Back in January, I asked God what He had in store for me this year. And the theme He showed me was “Upgrade.” Sure enough, the last 8 months have been full of changes that turned out to be upgrades. Continue reading
“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
When tragedy happens, we ask why. The reporters and social media flood us with various theories and responses. Why did it happen? How can someone commit such inhumane acts. We attribute the cause to religion, prejudice, advanced weaponry… looking for any and every external factor that could have culminated in the horrific events. But, I feel like there is one factor that we are afraid to really look into – our own human nature. Continue reading
Many years ago, there’s a really popular worship song called “Open the Eyes of My Heart.” One day, after service, a friend asked me “What are the ‘eyes of my heart’? The heart has no eyes?!” It stopped me dead in my tracks. I can see he was serious. Completely serious and baffled. To him, the heart was an organ in his body. It’s function was to pump blood through his veins. His heart had chambers, but it surely had no eyes. Continue reading
Have you ever felt like there’s something gnawing at you, but you just don’t know what it’s about? Well, that’s how I’ve been feeling this whole week. There was a heaviness on my heart, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t figure out what it’s about. For some reason, God was present, but quiet. And that almost made me more nervous. I knew He has a message for me, but I just couldn’t decode it…
Some days I miss being back in school. Don’t get me wrong. I definitely don’t miss those all night lab sessions or studying for exams. It is great to have a set schedule though. The school year starts in September and ends in May or June, and we move on to the next level at the end of that term. The transitions are clearly defined and it’s easy to track your progress. Real life, however, is not set up that way. Life flows in seasons instead of semesters.
Recently, I wrote an article about my journey into the contemplative tradition. I’m grateful that this article is now a guest post on Abbey of the Arts – a website that integrates contemplative practices and creative expressions.
Here’s a snippet from my article…
“Helpful Tips from the Recovering Perfectionist*
When I started practicing contemplative spirituality, I faced quite a culture shock. Being from the Silicon Valley, I was task oriented, perfectionistic, and goal driven… everything the contemplative ways are not. Where were the deadlines and checklists I’m so familiar with? It took quite a while for me to understand and adapt to this new and curious lifestyle.
The contemplative traditions are more “organic”. You can follow a plan and do the exercises, but the results are not so concrete. It’s more like watching plants grow. From day to day, the growth are so minuscule that they are barely noticeable. Similarly, when I started meditating and going on walks, I couldn’t really see where all these changes would take me. What would really come of just ten minutes of being quiet? Then, little by little, the peace and quiet from the few minutes spilled into the rest of my day. The changes didn’t come overnight, but they did come.
* Thanks to my friend Liwen Ho for introducing me to the phrase “recovering perfectionist.” 🙂
When I was young, our church hosted a summer camp every year. There’s usually a great speaker and we head home feeling really excited about our faith and God. However, after a few weeks, that excitement waned and our attentions were soon diverted back to the daily grind in life and ministry. Eventually, after a few years of this cycle, we began to wonder if our summer camp was really effective. It’s great to feel the conviction and initial excitement. If only we can keep the momentum going.
For a long time, I found it difficult to admit to my Christian friends that I didn’t really feel that God loves me. Continue reading
So I was watching this “makeover” show on TV tonite. And they’re trying to change an Asian-American college student from a “sportsy tom boy” into a more outgoing, assertive, sexy gal. They did everything from cleaning up her bedroom, giving her a brand new wardrobe, and making her jump out of air planes, just to get her out of her comfort zone.
They gave her a new hair style, make up and a new wardrobe. At the end of the show, she looked stunning. But, behind all that glamour still stands a shy little girl. They, and even her self tried with all of their effort to become an Adult. But I think what she really needed to do was to be more confident about herself. To achieve that, changing your look will only go so far. She will need to truly grow up on the inside. To become the fullness of who she is without trying to please others or be apologetic about it. To enjoy her strengths while working through her weakness. To know that the value of who she is does not depend on the opinion of society or family or a man. To become a woman uniquely her own – now that’s Beautiful.