Part of the most beautiful thing that has come from my move to Shanghai and my own desires is that I have made time to pursue lots of my own passions. Through my daytime job as a teacher I have been able to become a student (again). I would hope that we all want to be lifelong students, but dedicating the time to learn and explore can be challenging when our lives seem like they are going a million miles an hour. Creativity has always been such a huge part of my life and something I use as an outlet for stress, place to find serenity and for pure fun too! Fun and silliness is so important.
“Some people feel more alive when they travel and visit unfamiliar places or foreign countries because at those times sense perception-experiencing-takes up more of their consciousness than thinking.”
I have finished two phenomenal books both by the author and renowned spiritual leader, Eckhart Tolle. I finished his first book, The Power of Now, several weeks ago and completed the sequel, A New Earth, just the other day over a bowl of noodles before work! Both books are so beautiful, inspiring and if you are open to the ideas can really transform the small and large concepts and moments in life. The second book took me longer to read as I wanted to soak in the words as much as I could. I have a notebook where I write down all the quotes I highlight while reading to refresh my brain on words that moved me and to keep them all tucked away. Both books are so powerful and I read them in the right time at my life. I can’t say that I would have been as receptive to the messages in the books at past moments in my life given my circumstances and state of mind.
“Satori is a moment of Presence, a brief stepping out of the voice in your head, the thought processes, and their reflection in the body as emotion.”
The quote I started the post with is one of my favorite and so deeply resonated with me when I read it. I have always loved traveling so much with a huge reason being how I felt traveling. I could never really put it into words that fully expressed how I felt. But I always felt so alive. And many people resonate with this feeling of “aliveness” while on the road. Tolle puts is so eloquently; the aliveness we often feel when traveling is because our senses are on overload and often superior to our thinking and mental state that creates anxiety, stress…etc. In a sense, I don’t feel as though I am traveling here in Shanghai. I very much live here in Shanghai and while I do travel around China, it is quite different living in Shanghai opposed to visiting for a week or a few.
“There are no random events, nor are there events or things that exist by and for themselves, in isolation.”
I do feel very much alive here in Shanghai. But not on overdrive, a very balanced sense of being that I haven’t always had, especially consistently. Another huge theme in both of Tolle’s book is relationships; those with other people, yourself and the world. Relationships really are the fundamental core of life and Tolle does a beautiful job of highlighting how everything is connected. The other major theme is the ego in relation to self and how it effects your existence. Everyone has an ego, but there are healthy and unhealthy ways to manage this beast!
“It is not easy to live with an enlightened person, or rather it is so easy that the ego finds it extremely threatening.”
“Another word for non-reaction is forgiveness. To forgive is to overlook, or rather to look through.”
Let me know if you love Eckhart Tolle too and the best messages that resonated with you.
“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.”
One of my goals post-college and moving to Shanghai is to read more books. I have always loved reading, but college took it’s toll on my personal reading given I had dozens of books and textbooks to read every semester (especially when I had an English class which was often). The first week I was in Shanghai, I found a great foreign book store near People’s Square and have frequented it numerous times since. Sometimes I just go and read a book in the store, however I have splurged on four books so far, one of which I have completely finished and ADORE. The latest book that I finished is “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanith which is about Paul’s journey as neurosurgeon who is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Paul wrote this book as he was dying and it is filled with such profound lessons about life, love and following your passions. I had not doubt in my mind that I would move to China and teach English. However, I would recently learn that this decision I made would come with unexpected heartbreaks.
“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”
Hello long-lost friends! It is often too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, the routine we all can find ourselves settling into. I have neglected this blog much to my dismay! I wish I could blame it on a crazy schedule (true), need to use every spare moment to catch up on sleep (true) or a million other reasons, but excuses don’t really do much of good for anyone. It has been a crazy month since coming home from Bolivia almost a month ago and I still like I have barely had a moment to breathe and process it all. With a new job, another summer class and weekend excursions with friends, I have been one busy bee. I just got back from a weekend road trip back from Texas where I flew down to help a friend drive her car back to Boulder. We spent 48 hours straight together in a car in mostly the middle of nowhere and still are friends!
“Life is Brutiful.”
I am not sure how I stumbled across the brilliant human that is Glennon Doyle Melton, however I know that my life has changed because of the words of this wise and wonderful woman. I know that I first watched her TED talk titled “Lessons from the Mental Hospital” and absolutely loved it. She is honest, real, hilarious and is one of those people you know that the world is better because of. She talks about being honest, leaving our shame at the door and how sharing our secrets and stories to the world is what possibly may change it forever. She is perhaps known best for starting her blog, momestary, which turned into a book Carry On, Warrior and it’s sequel that is on my list, Love Warrior. #IWantToBeGlennonWhenIGrowUp
“You change your life by changing your heart.”
I haven’t done a type of this post as often as I would like to; however there is no better time to start than the present! Life lately has been fairly wonderful. I know I have said this before…but there is something about this time of the year that is so magical, but with that magic also comes a lot of change.
“Sitting up in bed, I had the strange sensation that it was no longer important that a dream isn’t real. Being awake is more real than a dream only because we have agreed that it is.”
I recently finished a deeply insightful book called The Book of Secrets by Deepak Chopra. I loved every page and gave it to a dear friend to read it after I finished it. That is the beauty of a physical book (opposed to a Kindle), you can hold it in your hands, read it by the pool, in the bathtub and flip the pages one by one, savoring the text. This book reminded me a lot of Radical Acceptance (which I have yet to finish)…only way more enjoyable…hence I finished it. Everything is so connected in this life and this book helped put it all in perspective.