I was raised in a middle class household by Asian parents who never made me feel like I was good enough.
My sister would say I turned out “stronger” because they were tougher on me than her.
I married a man who showed me a “richer” life.
Though I loved him, during this time I developed allergies for the first time in my life, and I was diagnosed with clinical depression and sent off with a prescription of Prozac followed by many years of therapy.
I divorced when my children were 4 and 1 years old. Over the next few years, we lost all of our assets built up over 14 years, followed by nearly a decade of having barely enough to pay for basics, a lot of boundary setting and negotiating.
I was never more creative in my life. Never more grateful. I found my work and my people. I learned to ask for help, which I used to think was weakness, and during this time I got to learn that no one does anything… no one succeeds… on their own. No one. I learned that the right kind of community and friendship is vital for sustaining oneself as a human. I was full; wanted for nothing. My allergies disappeared early on. The body doesn’t take long to respond in kind.
Today, I have the privilege of co-owning a studio and all of the challenges and rewards that come with it, creating a community that I love, and continuing to witness my children grow into adults. I have a partner with whom I have been lucky enough to have traveled to 10 countries in 3 years, and who is also so different than me. This presents itself as both delights and challenges.
I learned that it takes a lot of intention and commitment to tame the afflictions that come with affluenza (my allergies came back a little bit…). I learned that it’s much easier to be exclusively liberal (or conservative) than inclusively human. Lots of internal tantrums ensue as I learn what it means to be inclusive and compassionate in action rather than swaddled in the comforts of my choir. I also have children who show me what both sides look like as they each reflect the different parts of me.
Also, while traveling is wonderful, the activity I found to broaden the mind, offer the greatest sense of peace and understanding, and open up access to metacognition is the travel that one does from the inside: from the navel center to the heart, and through honest, devotional meditation. It takes you everywhere you need to go without limits. No external resources necessary. Highest yield ever.