Sponsored by: Carolyn Wong
February was a month of confirmation. When I interviewed for this six month scholarship, I wasn’t entirely certain that I would be in Hawaii for the following six months, but over the course of the month, my husband signed a contract, and our course is set! He starts his new position on 9/1, and I will be here to write my August/Final reflection. Taking these classes is helping me to stay anchored to my personal journey and strengths through this transition.
Rachel Macy Stafford wrote, “Remember the deepest desire of the human heart is to belong … to be welcomed … to know you are seen and worthy of kindness.” As someone who spends much of her time cultivating possibilities for others, and helping them to sense more comfort and ease in movement, and connection in their lives, I appreciate the opportunity to be welcomed into a community of growth, happiness, and acceptance at this transitional moment for me. This opportunity to be a part of the Happiness U community is a call to stay focused on my own happiness throughout this change process. As my husband formulates his plan of action for life after his phD, I get to keep creating the life that I want to live, in this moment and planning for our future.
This month, I’ve made a habit of making more space for activities that help me to care for myself. I really appreciated thinking about creating my own boundaries and rules more carefully after taking the space holding class. I’ve made more time for classes, conversations, movement (bellydance classes and walks with friends) and even trading bodywork sessions with colleagues this month. Taking care of myself by allowing myself the opportunity to feel inspired by others, and to just rest in someone else’s care has been such a treat this month. Managing my energy helps me to be a better person for others. Recognizing that I need my time to restore myself, I’ve been allowing myself the space to make social plans with people who inspire me and have been taking the time to listen for the lessons I am meant to learn from these guides. I feel so grounded in the network of connections that is here to support me in this moment.
This month, I have also spent time reflecting on how hard the idea of loneliness is for me. Transitions are often lonely times, and I am feeling extra grateful for opportunities to connect with others and to dream about building communities around myself after my move. I visited a Rotary Club this past month, and love the idea of joining a community of service-driven leaders here, and then being able to transfer my membership when I move into a new community. It feels incredibly satisfying to take an action while I’m in Honolulu to set myself up for more friendship and fellowship when I move. I’ve had some great conversations with members of the Happiness U community this month too, and look forward to more opportunities to reflect and grow! =)
Starting March off with Life Book class was such an affirming process! WOW! While writing my biography, I was reminded of who I am, of what brings me joy, of all the experiences that have brought me into alignment with my ideals and my passions. This month, I started dancing again. I have been swing dancing since the late 90s, but stopped going consistently when I was pregnant. Since then, I average about once every few months. During March, I was invited to teach two workshops at Punahou School out of the blue, and I also invited friends to come out and swing dance with me who had never been before. I was reminded that I love being a dance ambassador, and that while I’m still in Honolulu, I have the opportunity to bridge any gap that someone might feel in wanting to join the dance community. I found it delightfully easy to be a part of a community that I no longer have any obligation toward–no organizing responsibilities, no long-term commitment, just so much love to share around a hobby that has given me direction, friendships and so many opportunities for growth. I could just be present with the people there, embrace those that I have history with, and just enjoy the new people, music, and venue. It was a refreshing reminder that I still love to dance, and that I still love to share this experience with others. It gives me so much hope that when I move to Austin, I’ll find community within the dance community, and that I’ll always be able to connect to an inner sense of joy through dance, no matter how long it’s been that I’ve been away from it!
This month, I’ve spent time thinking about what makes my heart sing. I was reminded of my Enneagram path this month through Alice’s course. I am a 7 and have embraced the ways that my “Enthusiast” self has become more focused in recent years. I love reflecting back on the experiences, like dancing, which have helped me to focus my life and given me direction, while also providing new and stimulating experiences. I love being able to celebrate my energetic, multi-faceted self, and the way that I can cross fertilize and connect from diverse areas of my experiences. Dancing is a cornerstone for me, but so is watching my daughter’s independence grow, sharing food, connecting with other women, helping others to sense possibility in their lives through movement and expanding their perspectives, and loving my husband. I’ve felt so deeply grounded in the knowing of my purpose, and so grateful for the experiences that have allowed me to share my joy and make meaningful contributions to my community. I’ve been more and more excited about the possibilities that Austin holds for me!
I finally had a chance to explore taking the online courses and am looking forward to delving into this format more in the next months. Looking at my financial picture this month, it’s been such a joy to see the ways that wealth manifests in my life, even if it hasn’t always been so obvious in a financial sense. I love thinking about being able to translate my wealth of social connections and knowledge and being able to expand that into my financial picture. I’ve taken steps toward valuing the time that I spend organizing women’s board game nights after reflection during Life book class, and within my Feldenkrais practice, just because I was starting to feel like it was time to raise my rates, and to feel more comfortable with new rates. There is less guilt around charging for my time, services, and the energy spent with others, and raising my rate for new clients feels right at the moment. It feels great to acknowledge my financial picture with a deeper sense of my own worth.
Mostly, I’m excited to have my chart read my Alice! I think I finally have a chance to learn more about that this coming month! I also feel so much more focused on my own personal growth, and all the ways that I can use my down-time for reflection on questions from life book and from the activities from the online courses. It’s keeping me inspired and busy in a nicely focused way!
This month has been filled with learning opportunities, and I am grateful to be a scholarship recipient and to have the requirements to keep me grounded in my own personal growth. Making space and time for Happiness U classes has shown me some pockets of time in my day where I can devote more time to learning. I listened to a webinar where a Feldenkrais practitioner named Larry Goldfarb said that “Unless we keep learning, we are trapped in what we’ve already learned.” This reminded me of the lessons that Alice has been sharing about how to shift paradigms. I was invited to attend a talk given to successful entrepreneurs and could feel how small my belief system was in comparison to the others in the room. It was eye-opening. I’m starting to sense a new paradigm, and I’m excited to be pushing against a border in my own belief systems about my finances and how I value my time.
More and more, I’m starting to notice the quiet moments where intuition steps in and helps to guide me. I really enjoyed learning about Intuition from Alice this month. It helped me to make more space for quiet self-reflection and to take more notes when I hear those little inner voices. I love the idea that listening to intuition allows me to make the right choice for my soul to evolve, instead of choosing from the fear of making the wrong choice. I love being reminded that there is no wrong choice. I love the reminder to ask often for signs when I have questions I am sitting with.
This month, I was invited to write a blog for a company that I adore. While I still find myself procrastinating, I have been getting many quiet prompts in my downtime that will be the seeds of inspiration when I actually take the time to write! Opportunities are everywhere and listening to intuition has helped guide me toward WomanSpeak. This month, I applied and was approved as a trainee to eventually lead WomanSpeak Circles. It feels resonant with my other interests and the signs have been steering me in this new and complementary direction!
This month, I started tackling the clutter in my purse, and found the time well-spent. I’m feeling more focused about the connections that I would like to make, as well as the ones that I would like to maintain. It’s helped me to be more responsive to others, and to create more opportunities for meaningful connection this month. It was nice to be reminded that clutter causes a feeling that there are more obstacles, which can cause an energy drain and stagnation, frustration and stress. Clearing out my purse and wallet definitely felt like a step toward freedom and organization this month!
More and more, I’ve been able to acknowledge the perfection of the moment, holding space for what feels positive and negative. This afternoon, I was lying on a hammock, under the shade of two mango trees in a friend’s backyard and could also take in the experience of the mosquitos swarming around me. These are precious moments — my last mango season in Hawaii for a while, and it was funny to see mangos in my friend’s rain gutter…. a Hawaii problem! I was also able to turn a feeling of dread/embarrassment about asking to redeem a gift certificate that’s over 7 years old into an opportunity to connect with someone who I respect a great deal, and whom I now have an opportunity to learn from next week! He could feel my enthusiasm for redeeming the certificate and I think that my passion for what he has to share also filled his spirit for the evening. The exchange of energy was exhilarating, and in such contrast to the dread I felt before making the call.
I loved hearing Alice say “Our nature is to grow–challenge is going to come externally or internally”. It was such a healthy reminder that challenge is part of human experience that we’re meant to experience as we grow. One of my favorite moments from the month was bringing my daughter to a Rotary service project and after struggling with her for the first few hours to help and be involved in the project, she finally found a way to make what we were all working toward something enjoyable for herself. She spent the rest of the afternoon working- pulling wagonloads of weeds, asking adults for help, and accomplishing LOTS. It was amazing to see the work she was willing to put in after the initial resistance. It was such a good reminder that my own inner toddler resists challenge in a similar way, and how impactful my focus and sense of purpose can be in guiding me toward productivity and results!