“Each of us in an artist of our days. The greater our integrity and awareness, the more original and creative our time will become.” - John O’Donohue
My life’s passion is to elevate individuals to live authentically and powerfully: living our best lives as our best versions; fully leveraging the parts of us that are unique to us – the core DNA of who we were born to become; the pure, untainted version of ourselves devoid of external obligations, benchmarks and societal pressures (real or imagined). Yes, living your life authentically and powerfully is not only doable but it is also highly recommended. This is the state when you experience freedom as you have never experienced it: freedom to fully express who you are unencumbered, unafraid, boldly.
The thing is this: there is no playbook for being yourself. Most of us have been doused with messages of how our life ‘should’ look. We internalize what we should do for work; the person we should marry; the type of house we should live in; the dog we should have to play with; pretty much everything.
I grew up in Boston and had a very strict, traditional Asian upbringing. A majority of my Asian-American friends and I ‘learned’ to put our
heads down, work hard, make a decent living and, above all, not to embarrass or disappoint our families, which is the ultimate failure in our culture of honor. I know a thing or two about the
journey to coming into my own. It is not an easy or straight path. I had to shed many thick layers and meet head on negative emotions and thoughts that were holding me back. Trying to reverse
what you have internalized for decades is not an easy endeavor. We all have blind spots. Seek professional guidance.
In order to deep dive and figure out who you are at the core, your authentic self, you must practice “radical self-inquiry.” Living authentically requires many steps. Chief among them is figuring out the ‘why’ of your life not just the ‘what.’ The ‘what’ is easy to navigate but if you’re not clear on the ‘why,’ then you’re living your life on autopilot. I would also venture to guess that you haven’t taken the necessary inventory of your life or what has or hasn’t really worked for you; what's holding you back: fear; unresolved feelings; limited beliefs; comfort or money as trade offs. By the way, by all societal measures, you could appear to be living and doing quite well. I’m not talking about that. When you figure out who you are at the core, what your true passions and gifts are, how you can live with integrity, honoring your core values, self-respect and trust – trust in yourself and trust in knowing that the world is conspiring on your behalf – then you will start to blossom into who you were meant to be. The journey is not a sprint; it's a marathon. You must take your first step. Every Day.
If you remember nothing else from this blog, remember this: the narrative you tell yourself matters. Your inner world will determine your outer life.
Learn to navigate uncomfortable feelings, not by pushing them aside but by working through them. What we don’t resolve will keep showing up. I promise you that.
Question your assumptions. Your assumptions were most likely formed during the first 18 years of imprinting. We spend most of our adulthood seeking what is familiar to us emotionally (even if it’s negative) and paying attention only to what aligns with what we learned to believe as children. As long as it fits into our views of the world, our paradigm, we’re good, right?
Go to the unknown. Strive for continual growth. What scares us is often the first step toward something greater.
Learn to get quiet and be still. In the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, especially in a place like NYC, it’s easy to always be on the go. When do you take the time to be still? It is in the quiet that our intuitions ring loudest and truest.
I share this with you because I truly believe that each of us has the capacity to be great and by great I mean our most authentic and powerful selves. There is no greater crime, in my view, than to willingly stunt the development of our craft, passions, calling, and our authentic selves. To live as half of the person we could have been is the ultimate waste of the beautiful gift we call life.
Make time to figure out who you were meant to be, what your purpose in life is, how you can contribute significantly, and get closer to living as that person each and every day. You won't regret it. But you must do the work.
P.S. Did you enjoy this blog? If so, follow me on Instagram (IG: artofdatingnyc) for thoughtful and insightful content on
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