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Finding Myself: Why I’m Quitting My Job

Photo by Eduardoizq
Editor’s Note

This is the 3rd version of an intimate and insightful story from Cat. I highly recommend reading it. I hope something in this speaks to you as it has for me. And before you go, please help me wish Cat a beautiful journey in this new life chapter by leaving a quick comment at the end of this article.

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards. They try to have more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You first must be who you are, then love what you do, in order to have what you want. ~Margaret Young

I started my banking career 10 years ago out of convenience.

“My mom had worked in the industry, banking appears to be a respectable living, and I like money.”— That was the entirety of the thought process behind my career choice.

With a secure paycheck and material comfort as my guiding life force, I would spend most of my 20’s crafting my external life.

How to Lose Weight Fast

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Editor’s Note

This article details my recent adventure into how to lose weight fast. Even if you are not interested in losing weight, check it out. There are some useful thoughts on the power of self image embedded within.

Losing weight is hard.” ~me “Anything worth having in life is hard.” ~my husband

I admit it. I am not the most active person. I sit for more than 8 hours a day, and actually prefer to sit than stand, and drive rather than walk. To say that I am adverse to exercise is an understatement. In fact, the last time I visited a gym was over three years ago, for a burst of about 5 days, around New Years.

I always took for granted the gift of my tiny frame, Asian genes and fast metabolism. I was, for most of my life, naturally skinny. To the outside, my body gave the illusion that I was fit.

Discover Your Personal Values

Photo by Lisa Devlin of Gala Darling
Editor’s Note

When Cat introduced me to Leah earlier this year, she said "Leah is one of the most mindful people I've ever spoken with". After experiencing her work—both written and drawn—I agreed. Take the time to read the story below. It's worth it. One of the most conscious piece of writing I've read. Enjoy!

“At the end of your life” a friend once asked, “What do you hope to have happened?”

I thought it was a great question and decided to give him a thoughtful answer, so I pocketed it for later and bought myself a month for the assignment.

For a while my mind flooded with questions of plot. Will I fall in love? Will I have kids? Will I know passion in my work? Will I touch lives? Will I change the world for the better? What will my regrets be? Where will I have traveled? Where will I have lived?

Will I have really traveled? Will I have really lived?

How to Ignite Personal Change

Photo by Vanessa Paxton
The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs. ~James Allen

The first step to create personal change is to recognize the reoccurring patterns in our life that no longer serve us. Lately, I started to see that such a pattern surfacing in my life story.

The first time I took on an assignment for a newspaper, one whose readership was larger than most of the blogs I had been writing for, I was terrified.

I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to properly pronounce the subject’s name, that I wouldn’t be taken seriously because of my inability to look older than 21, that I wouldn’t be able to write fast enough to take down the most pertinent details.

But more importantly, I was afraid that I wasn’t a journalist and I would never be recognized as one.

9 Ways to Overcome Negative Emotions

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All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

My teenage years were difficult ones because I got bullied all the time.

The bullies called me names. They made fun of me. They spread rumors about me. They took my belongings and refused to return them to me. They once locked me in a classroom.

Not surprisingly, I became angry, resentful, fearful and depressed. I would cry myself to sleep, and I would dread the thought of having to face the bullies in school the following day.

Moreover, I developed a short temper and I’d react violently whenever I was provoked. I even allowed my emotions to overwhelm me to the point where I stopped talking.

Gift Ideas that Inspire

A few years ago, when I first started this site, I used to do posts on gift ideas around Christmas time (like this one and this one). I haven’t done another post like that, mainly because the gifts I like to give are quite boring (to the outside) and are usually non-fiction, inspirational type books.

Maybe it’s a personal preference, but I feel that “things” don’t last, but books do. A good book will move us, it will motivate us to take different action, and it will inspire us to see the world differently. In essence, a good book will change us.

If you’re been reading this Blog for awhile, you’ve probably already head of me recommending “The Power of Now“, which I believe it’s a must read for everyone (the audio book doesn’t count). That book changed my life and was the basis upon which this site got started, but that was over four years ago.

Since then, there are other books I’ve fallen in love with and do highly recommend. I thought to share some of them with you, just in case you were curious and/or was looking for gift ideas.

How to Stop Negative Self Talk

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Do you know what makes life difficult?

The answer is simple: it’s us. :)

It is us, and that large and complex brain of ours that seem to seek out drama, repeat negative self-talk, create false illusions of fear, and generally makes our life difficult in almost all situations. Seriously.

Every single struggle we experience on a daily basis; every complaint, every dissatisfaction, every problem can be drilled down into a single source of root cause: our brain and the stories it tell us.

Because our brain’s job is to keep us safe, it is constantly acting from a place of fear. Its job is to ensure our survival. As such, its job is not to ensure that we have a blissful experience while we are alive.

The Story of Expanded Awareness

Photo by Anna Gay
Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter. ~Brad Henry

There’s a vase full of roses on our dining table. Each week it’s a different color or a new variety. The first time I had the roses there, as soon as they turned slightly droopy I threw them out. Why not, right? I mean they weren’t doing anyone any good, looking so old.

One day, instead of throwing them out, I trimmed them a little bit and put them in a smaller vase. They perked right up and thrived for quite a while before it was time to throw them out.

As time went by, I got wiser. As the roses aged, I found a smaller vase to fit the trimmed stems. Then later transferred them into a mini vase. Finally I floated the blossoms alone, minus the stems, in a large white bowl to accentuate their beauty.

How Great Leaders Inspire Action

I just got back from Marie Forleo‘s business conference in New York, during which I experienced THE MOST inspiring talk I’ve ever heard: Start With Why by Simon Sinek.

It’s kind of hard to express in words why it was so moving, other than to say that by the time Simon finished his sermon, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Everyone had tears in their eyes.

Perhaps it’s true, as Simon explains, that the part of our brain that control emotions doesn’t control speech. Thus, when we truly feel something that clicks with our hearts, it’s hard to justify in words, or finding words that accurately expresses how we feel.

How to Face Adversity – Art of Moving Forward

Photo by Anna Gay
Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. ~Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

Have you ever faced the kind of adversity that crushed you to your soul and left you feeling paralyzed and numb?  Have you ever felt so lost that it seemed as if there was no way out of the darkness?

I thought that I have faced adversity and overcome it.  In my life I have battled illness, financial loss and relationship trouble and yet I endured to be strong, healthy, financially stable and loved.  It wasn’t until several months ago that my biggest challenge was about to stare me straight in the eyes and make me buckle at the knees.

Half way through November of last year I lost the most influential person in my life—my mother.  She was not only my Mom, but my best friend, my business partner and my soul mate.

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