Oct 132015

These past almost two weeks have really given me a sense of peace and calm. I have also discovered a new direction for my life as long as I keep working my energies towards that path.

One thing that has really come out of this mindfulness training is the discovery of other people who believe in the power of humans. I’ve never been able to buy into a religion and have always just tried to explain myself as ‘spiritual’, but as Sam Harris’s talk points out, it’s a lame statement.

The truth is that I am a humanist. I believe in the power of human beings and that we are amazing beings on this earth, but do not live up to our greatest potential as a whole nor as individuals. The greatest realizationΒ of mindfulness has been the spreading and believing in compassion and love starting within the self and then passing it on to others. With love and compassion, we can achieve just about anything we set our minds to on this earth.

Now, there is a lot of talk of Buddhism and even some sprinkles of Christianity or Islam, but for me none of these connections are important. Rather, I want to focus in on what can we learn about human potential and how can we develop our individual potential in order to contribute to the development of potential as a society on a local, national and global scale?

So, as I delve into these thoughts, my new path reveals itself more clearly! It’s all very exciting!!! πŸ˜€


Mar 222015

The way that I manage to get a lot of reading done aside from a few pages before bed is by exercising on the treadmill. Lately, the weather has been rather grey and windy as the heat slowly moves into the city, so I’ve been back on the ‘mill to burn off the days’ tensions. Although I was just doing yoga twice a week and it seemed enough, I’ve realized that isn’t actually the case. I need to both distract my mind and burn off steam daily. Yoga brings me some quiet, but it’s not enough release of the buzz of my brain – especially on busy or stressful days. Usually, swimming is a good alternative as well, but since the weather has been ‘cool’ I haven’t quite got back into that routine yet. Thus, I’m on the ‘mill.

So, I’m reading this book called The In-Between by Jeff Goins (read him before and a write-up of this one to come when I finish). In the chapter I read today, he talks about how he realized his calling to write – which led to the question of whether or not one is gifted with certain predilections for life than others. As Goins writes, he knew that he was meant to write early on, I knew I was meant for writing when I was eight. There was absolutely no reason for me to feel this way, but something inside of me said that I needed to write – to share my life stories.

What is interesting about this is that just like when I do not exercise, when I do not write I feel tense and un-grounded. I lack focus when I haven’t written in my journal or had a blog post. It seems to be the one way that I can express myself clearly without fear of being misunderstood or censored for my words. It’s the one way that I am taken seriously without offense or interruption to be told that I am wrong for my thoughts. It’s the one way that I am heard. And, I am satisfied.

Although I have swayed like an out-of-sync pendulum back and forth on whether or not writing is really a part of my life, I need to truly come to terms with this reality – I AM A WRITER. I need it to write like I need to breathe. I need to write to exist. This is my calling above all other things that draw my attention or offer unknown even unreal promises. This is my calling.

Now, if only I had a clearer idea of how to make this central rather than peripheral to my life….(guess that’s another post!).

~T πŸ˜€

Aug 072014

If we know anything about Tara, we know that she likes her routines. It’s taking a bit of time to adjust back into one, BUT, it seems that we are getting there. πŸ˜€

Some changes were needed to be made, though…
*Deleted Candy Crush from all mobile devices
*Setting boundaries on checking FB and emails

At the moment, the routine that is working for me is:
*Get up and ready for the day
*Work out (alternate between swimming and treadmill run with weights) + yoga stretching
*Shower and have breakfast
*Computer time [includes dissertation work usually started off with FB, emails and other Internet activites]
*Break for lunch/snack
*Focus again
*Rest/relax or go out of the house
*Dinner and TV or something

Now, Candy Crush wasΒ starting to take over my productivity as well as focus on relaxation in more ‘useful’ areas. Not to say that playing a bit of CC now and then is a big deal, but it was actually stressing me out! So, it seemed okay to let it go. Instead, I hope to use the time for reading or actually talking to the people around me. πŸ˜›

My checking of FB and emails has always been something I fluctuate with in terms of frequency, but I read yesterday about using our time well and realized that I really do NOT need to be constantly checking either one of these things. So, I will return to my previous assignation of morning and evening times for checking these, leaving the rest of the day free from their brain-sucking claws! πŸ˜‰

Of course, I still have Messenger for FB as an app that alerts me if someone wants to chat and can be connected regularly if need be. However, as I try to focus on truly finishing up the dissertation and just having better balance, I will try to maintain these ways for now. πŸ˜€

More to come,



Feb 062014

Blogs, blogs and more blogs! As if I don’t have enough to do with myself and all my free time. πŸ˜€

Well, when I was doing my life coaching with Karen, I decided to start a new blog. Originally, I wanted to focus on travel writing and sharing my experiences as a non-Asian Asian traveling around and coping with issues of identity. Plus, some of my travel stories are unique because of my Asian appearance, but Western ways.

However, once I got it all set up pretty and how I like it, I never got started on posting. Something did not yet feel right about my focus for it. So, I waited.

Then, I started to think about using a blog for life coaching as well and wondered if there was a way to combine my blog ideas somehow. During my time away and through a couple of friends starting their own blogs, I realized that The Universal Asian could become just that. Thus, today it has been officially launched complete with its own FB page.

So, I am hoping to combine my coaching ideas and stories with identity and travels in one place. We will see how it goes! πŸ™‚

-T πŸ˜€

Jan 262014

CTI banner


Doing life coaching sessions with Karen really turned me on to the idea that it is something I could actually do as well.

People have told me that I’m a good listener and that I often have wise/good advice to give when asked.

So, when a friend of mine said he was taking coaching classes in Dubai, I became curious! After looking at the CTI site for Dubai and thinking for a while, I decided to go for it. It’s a bit of an investment and given that I’m still paying for my PhD, it’s a little crazy; however, I didn’t want to wait until I finish the PhD to get started. My thinking is that I will be finished with both around the same time and that will fortify my qualifications in the direction of leadership, leadership training and possibly executive coaching.

It is a 5-course program with an opportunity to get certified through a 6-month long certification process at the end. So, it’s a ‘long-ish’ journey, but if the beginning is anything like the rest of it – it’s going to be A-mazing!

The first course happened this past weekend (thus, no posts), and was an intense 2.5 days. The other courses are 3 full days. So, I headed to Dubai on Thursday afternoon and got started on the Fundamentals course.

It is hard to describe it in its entirety, but there were 23 other participants, two leaders and two assistants. By the time we finished on Saturday, it was as if we had all become family and connected on a level that usually takes years to develop between friends. I actually cried in front of these people!!! What, the what?! πŸ˜‰

On top of the bond, I learned sooooooo much. Even though I am a good listener and can give wise advice, this is such a small part of the entire idea of coaching. Most people, like me, went in thinking coaching was all about me and how I can help others through me. However, it’s not about me at all! We learned just the beginning of skills that focus all attention on the other person (client) and how to help him or her to reach his/her own amazing potential and to see/own it for themselves. This is empowerment.

There’s so much more to learn and develop, but mostly I need practice! Good thing I’ve got a few people lined up, which I feel quite blessed about.


Our model is called Co-Active. This means that doing ‘both/and’ being as a person work together to make us whole, alive in the now, sees all as natural, creative, resourceful and whole and evokes transformation (did that sentence make sense?).

For me, holding people as “BIG” (sees all as …) was the most challenging given how much I tend to dislike or trust people. However, I was reminded of the feelings I get when I see people unite, like in standing ovations, and it is this amazing feeling that I need to hold for all people. With that belief and attitude, my perspective changes and I can see each person as beautiful, amazing and full of wonderful potential.

So, in a way, it’s like a spiritual awakening, but one that is not about me at all. It’s all about the people in this world, which is going to take some time to sink in fully.

My next course isn’t until April due to scheduling and my breaks, but I can’t wait! I’m also thinking about so many possibilities with this. πŸ˜€


Dec 032013

It dawned on me the other day that I cannot remember the last time that I felt so good physically and even mentally. I think I am probably in better shape now than I was in my 20s and I really feel good.

The Paleo diet has made a huge difference in my physical appearance and energy level. Although I am not drastically thin like I was back in NYC, I have lost quite a bit of my hip and bum fat. My stomach is flatter from not being bloated all the time. Besides that, I only work out a few days a week for about 30 minutes instead of being crazy and going every day for an hour. Though I am not 100% strict with the Paleo, I do notice a difference, which makes it worth it.

Coaching sessions with Karen have really affected my mental state. Unfortunately, today will be my last session with her for financial reasons, but I cannot discount the help she has given me to feel more confident, proud of myself and content with where I am at now while looking toward the future. I feel as if my mind has really shifted and so now I realize I do not worry so much about things or let stress build up in me like I did before.

Also, starting with last night’s pills, I am slowly weaning myself off the Cipralex to see how I feel not taking them anymore. I started by decreasing from 20mg to 15mg. I will do this for a week and then go to 10mg and finally to 5mg. My plan is that it will hit most over the winter break so I can see how my mind reacts when I do not have to be ‘on’ for work each day. If I feel okay, then I will try my best to stay off of them. If I cannot keep a handle on things, then I will go back on in a month or so. However, I am hoping that with the new eating style and settled mind, I can manage. So, no doubt there will be regular updates here. πŸ˜‰

So, our short week begins!

-T πŸ˜€

Nov 262013

Phew, last night was a toughy and I am not sure how much detail I will write as it focused a lot on love.

There were two events yesterday that sort of opened my eyes wider to my relationship causing me to think more deeply about what I want and, more importantly, what I deserve.

We went back to the J-days in college and how my heart still aches for him. Of course, we have both moved on, but we still care for each other deeply. Therefore, Karen told me to “get complete” with it as I am not taking responsibility fully for why I ended the relationship back then. At first, I was a bit peeved about this since I do feel as if he knows why it ended and how. However, when she switched the perspective from him to me, it became easier to see that it has not really been completed. In doing so, she stated that I will gain the transformation I need to ‘source’ someone who is worthy of me and available to be with me on an equal level.

So, what does this all mean? I am not quite sure just yet, but some movement is happening in my heart and mind. All is still well, but it will be even better in time as I continue to take action for me in my life. πŸ˜€


Nov 192013

So I am a little behind in updating on the coaching sessions. I am continuing although I do sometimes go back and forth on whether or not I should due to costs. However, as I often say to people there is no price limit for mental health and stability. Plus, Karen is good at reminding me how without the coaching my subconscious mind will continue to win over the conscious one. πŸ˜‰

In session 8 we addressed some of my issues with Halloween and dressing up in costumes. I had been feeling like it was time for me to admit that my hatred for the silly holiday was imbedded in other issues. In talking about how I dislike pretending to be something that I am not even for a day, we discovered that there are a couple of incidences: “The left-handed incident” and “The China-doll incident”.

“The left-handed incident” is about me being punished for being left-handed when I was in my second adopted family. I was told that the reason I was bad because of something that is natural. They would tie my hand behind my back so that I could not use it. From this I began to believe that I was bad and that there was something wrong with the natural me. Once removed from that I determined that I would no longer be anything but me – ie no costumes!

“The China-doll incident” is about when I first moved to the Bilyeus and my mom thought it would be a nice costume for me to dress up as a China-doll. I remember not being wholly into it in the first place, but then after going to houses and having to explain myself I felt awful. Besides that, I’m not even Chinese! Thus, I again reaffirmed that no one was going to get me into another costume or force me to be something I am not.

In fact, I often think other people are crazy to want to enjoy Halloween or dressing up. So, the separation of truth and fact is that no where has it been said that I cannot be me or that the natural me is bad. People dress up for fun and to enjoy themselves, so I should be happy for them with confidence in the fact that I can choose not to participate for equal reasons. πŸ˜‰

Session 9 was last night as I chose to skip last week due to feeling stressed out and worried about the Apple training. Karen wanted to focus on that as she felt that my fatigue was coming from a ‘virus’.

Seems she was not wrong! Although the Apple training is definitely a great opportunity, a part of me feels torn about it because my true love is writing. While I would love to move into consulting rather than doing what I do now, it is still not the answer to following my dreams. So, I struggle with the idea that I need to make money and a belief that I cannot do it by writing. Where did that idea come from?

From the time I was eight-years-old I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I remember a conversation with my dad about it and him telling me that it was not a bad dream, but that I should look for something that makes money. That practical and guiding statement crushed my eight-year-old dream. It was not intentional by any means; but how did I know that I could not make money writing? I did not. However, I told myself this by letting that statement block me from pursuing a future in writing for real.

When this came out, I felt a little sad. It almost feels as if I have been wasting my life…. Of course, I do not regret or discount what I have accomplished in my life. Yet, I could have been making good money writing for a living had I not let myself believe that it was not a viable option for my future. However, now I can make that dream into reality. So, that is the focus of my future now.

Although I felt quite tired when I first began the 9th session with Karen, by the end I definitely felt better and more inspired to look at ways to put my dream plan into action. Thus, credit must be given to this coaching process!

-T πŸ˜€

Nov 012013

Last night was another session with Karen. We did agree to try to make the coaching continue by doing once a week rather than twice a week; thus making the cost half what it is now. I should be able to make this work if I continue to be responsible with my money. πŸ˜‰

So, last night we worked on how to make writing my profession and what might be stopping me from doing it.

One of the things I dislike most in the world is being told what to do when it comes to how I express myself. Writing is a form in which I truly express who I am. Therefore, when I have to meet particular demands I tend to drift away from the person or task that sources a sense of ‘trapping’ me into a mold, pattern, or expectation.

We went back to the “Snow Incident” and how the incident began my tape recorder playing that I was no in control, not important enough, not worthy, not heard, etc. So, by not feeling in control of my circumstances, I have put myself into a position where they do, in fact, control me by my feelings overpowering the truth.

When I think of things in this way, I can see how it would not be hard for me to put in the effort and time to be a writer. With small steps and positive actions I can begin writing for pay very soon. So, that’s what I’m doing!

It makes me feel lighter and happier. I’m excited about this possibility because it’s a real, tangible and meaningful step towards doing what I love. So…we shall see how things go, but I feel good.

I’m contemplating starting a new blog for writing only – which focuses on my travels since that is the niche that I want to focus upon. Just trying to think of a good name…. πŸ˜‰

-T πŸ˜€

Oct 302013

On Monday, I had my sixth session with Karen, which left me feeling really excited and inspired to focus my attention on a few matters.

Our talk centered around my perceptions of debt. While I generally don’t stress about my debt because I just don’t really think about it, it does always linger in the back of my mind and causes me to feel a certain negative way.

We looked at it as perhaps starting somewhere in foster family 2 when I was first introduced to religion in a traumatic way and started to feel as if I should feel as if I owed them something for taking me in. When I think about owing somebody anything it upsets me because I start to feel trapped. I also feel as if something is being taken from me whether it is my dignity, identity or something physical.

This “tape recorder” then repeats itself as I continue to stay in debt. My sense of owing forever is confirmed by the financial debt that I continue to accrue.

Therefore, the goal is for me to believe that I am free despite my circumstances, whether it is money, debt or location. I always have choices and always have the ability to change the circumstances as long as I do not let my mind continue to entrap me into thinking I do not.

Karen called it a “prison wheel”, which is a good one. This is one wheel where I have a lot of paths that lead to it. πŸ™

In any case, the end result is to “Be responsible for who I am being!” and “Don’t put off fulfilling my purpose.”

This led me to really think about pursuing writing more. I need to get myself more disciplined again towards writing, but I think it is definitely something I can do.

The final thought for this is that I have two more sessions left before I decide to continue or take a break until my finances are settled. I haven’t come to a decision just yet, but will have to soon….

-T πŸ˜€