Attention

Attention all followers of So This Is Now. Please visit: http://www.theroadtoutopiashow.com – So This Is Now will be deleted May 1st. Thank you for everything!

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My Wants (In Poem/Lyric Form)

I want people to know I have lived a full life and intend to continue to do so.
I am a thrill-seeker, a peace maker, a dreamer, always readjusting my flow.

People are incredible – they know deep down what they want.
The ones that are scared, don’t participate in the hunt.

The ones that are free, roam their world with ease.
Always looking within and striving and fine-tuning what they can be.

We forget that we are the masters of our fate,
And the power we hold when we meditate.

The trick is to face all hints of doubt,
And forget the things that we’re not about.

What do I want? For people to live their own full life.
Always searching for growth and welcoming strife.

Strife makes us strong, it makes us learn no matter how hard it is.
I want us all to live in a world filled with compassion, love, empathy and bliss.

Should You Live For Your Resume … Or Your Eulogy?

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I vow to find a balance between Adam I and Adam II.

I Have Found What I Am Looking For – A Yoga Journey Story

I was fired from my job, my car was stolen, my best friend (who was my roommate at the time) and I had a falling out and I had come to a dead end in my road. I was lost, I was defensive, and felt the world had dealt me its worst. I had no savings, no income, felt my security and dignity had been robbed from me and I felt like an overall horrible person. During this time, I felt I was in a deep well (I’m thinking “The Ring” style), grasping at the brick crevices inside trying to escape. I felt that I had failed as a person, was constantly negative and feeling victim of life’s wrath, and all hope was lost. You know that song: “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” by Eric Clapton? Yeah, that was me. It took an honest friend to serve me a reality check that my attitude and perspective needed adjustment. I realized I, myself, do not like to associate with people who have negative outlooks. So, how did I become one? In what seemed like overnight? I had to make a conscious, active change.
I mentioned casually to my boyfriend that I wanted to undergo yoga teacher training. I felt the time was right, I didn’t know who I was, what direction my life was taking me, and I felt it would be a good time as any to focus on myself. 

It was the best decision I ever made.

My boyfriend, being my saving grace, took the liberty to fund this interest. At first, he questioned my objective: “Do you plan to teach? How much do teachers make? Will you do that full-time?” And I just wanted to dive right in and stop thinking about the “What will I do when I am done?” So I did. 

I dove into Black Swan Yoga Teacher Training in September 2013. I broke down during every class – emotionally and physically. It was tough; I had a lot of baggage to unpack but I felt safe because the group of people that went through training had evolved into much more than just a group of people. They had become friends and contacts I will have throughout my life. And that is what it was – it was a community of people who had similar life focuses of improvement. 
Throughout training, I had a tough time. I was not sure teaching was what I truly wanted. I wondered if it was just a “filler” to what I “should” be doing and the added pressure of self-expectation and self-doubt. That fear and anxiety surfaced toward the 8-week course coming to a close and the pressure of what to do next. I sought solace to a wise friend of mine who reinforced the benefits. I am glad she did. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. My course ended in October 2013 and my dear friend called me to inform me she was going through training. I was ecstatic; she wanted to stop. I shared her my story and told her that whatever decision she came to was the right one for her at that time. It is funny how life works in waves and loops.

During the last day of training, everyone sat in a circle and one person would sit in the core center and everyone at the perimeter would say something about/to that person. One of the students told me: “You will find what you are looking for.” I completely lost it and still reference that moment. How did he know? How could he have been so sure? 

Well, he knew I would and I am here to attest that I have. That thing I was looking for was the love I hold for myself that I was giving away to everyone else and resenting. I have found the core answer to who I am and what I want. It feels incredible. And now that I have it, I can provide outward love to others without holding it over their head, without the expectation of it coming back in the form that I want it, without the act draining me because I would feel let down when it wasn’t returned (in the timely fashion that I wanted); I let go of my obsession of what love meant to me and how I understood it and just gave love away willingly without any doubt and without conditions, trusting that my own internal love could supplement when I felt rundown. It improved my relationships, it changed how I viewed love and I noticed more people responded positively to the free love that was being given rather than the “love” I thought I was giving with strings attached overhead. I realized that I did not expect people to return my love, for I did not need to it to value my self-worth. I read this quote and it made me smile because I finally understood it: “You can’t just sit there and put everyone’s life (and opinions) ahead of yours and think that counts as love.” – Perks of Being a Wallflower

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I wanted to share that story to encourage people to keep searching for what makes them them. Because once you nail, anchor, root those aspects down, the path of creativity, passion, and road to happiness becomes clear. It is almost as if clouds part and the yellow-brick road shines brightly. It is now your decision where to take that road. And if it is with love, the road will definitely lead you home with more friends and experiences than you could ever possibly imagine.

Be well, give thanks, share the love and realize that you are beautiful and made of stardust. So, shine on because even if people squint, they can feel the goodness radiating. And that’s all anyone could ever ask for. 

 

And Here I Go…

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For those of you who do not know me (yet), my name is Julia. I have been living from the backseat of my life. I have allowed others, society and my fears to dictate how to live. I spent a lot of my life being afraid of fundamental fears, such as: being insignificant, feeling lost, feeling neglected and failing; always looking to other exterior sources to provide me security. People say that the first two years of a child’s life is formidable to their growth and outlook on their world. I agree. I was adopted when I was eighteen months from Seoul, Korea. I was picked up, placed in a new country with parents who did not look like me, think like me or understand my culture. The first morning in my new home, I stabbed my brother, with the fork I was eating breakfast with, when he tried to hug me good morning. It shocked my parents but it proved that survival instincts ran deep, for I was protecting my food and, what I believed to be, my livelihood. Along the way, I lost a bit of that survival mode that made me who I was. I have become a “pleaser” who put other people’s values, opinions, and ways of approaching life before my own. That has, ultimately, led me down a perpetual path of turmoil and boredom.

I am making a radical shift. I notice I get bored and restless, or peak, when its other people’s mountains I am scaling and think to myself, “I want to venture off and find uncharted territory; do things that many are too scared to do and make my own mountains.” And in that way, I feel like I am becoming a philosophical and experiential maven.

From self-reflection, I have deduced the following: the time has come for me to live for me. “Why now?” you might ask. And here’s my philosophy:

  • When I was younger, I enjoyed learning, I enjoyed being out in nature and I enjoyed being around people.
  • When I was younger, I also, cared and sought after affirmations to ensure what I was learning was “right”.
  • When I was younger, I slowly allowed other people’s perspectives and feelings affect and influence my own.
  • When I was younger, I thought I had to venture down the typical path of: “school, college, job, family, death”.
  • None of those things I resonated with – besides family (and even now, we don’t see eye-to-eye and I have accepted it and still love them as I do with the “family” of people I have met throughout my life) and death (which I have acknowledged happens to every person and so it has loosened its grip on me).

So, again, “why now?”

  • I have always been a “giver” (and there is a difference between a “pleaser” and a “giver”) and I want to give my TIME to people.
  • I also want to give my time back to ME; to what I want to do with it.
  • I am taking back ownership of my time, my resources and my opportunities, my life.
  • I want to provide myself this opportunity so I can teach my children that when their “dreams” and “desires” surface, to not be afraid of them or create excuses to why they are unattainable.

How?

  • I resigned from my full-time job.
  • Selling most all of my belongings: my car, some other furniture, my beloved typewriter, 80% of my clothes, and downsizing to 1 suitcase + 1 backpack of stuff. I plan to save 3 small boxes of sentimental memories, 2 boxes of clothes and that’s it.
  • Paying off my $10k of debt that I accumulated in college – when I did not have any motivation or direction and thought debt was just “what everyone had”. I also used money as an escape: to not face the issue that I felt unfulfilled and needed other people’s opinions of “what cool was” to get by.
  • Buying a used, but operable, car, a computer and a camera to film a documentary “The Road to Utopia” to ask random people all across the US these 4 questions:
  1. Why do you do what you do?
  2. What inspires you?
  3. How would you spend your time if you had 1 month to live? 1 week? 1 day?
  4. What does freedom mean to you?

People become inspired when they are led by example versus told what to do. And by doing, I hope to inspire those I encounter, those who read this blog and think to themselves, “I can’t do that,” and push them to ask themselves, “why?” and hopefully encourage people to do the things they love. If everyone started making what they loved a priority, they would become more fulfilled which would cause their fulfillment to overflow into enriching other people’s lives. I truly believe that we all can build “The Road to Utopia” by encouraging and giving the attention to people who are making active changes, pressing the envelope, not being afraid to conform to what society deems as “right,” and funding a movement of authentically happy and fulfilled individuals.

Without your thoughts, support, donations and sponsorship, and encouragement, my efforts will go unnoticed, unrecognized and it allows this mentality that all the “should’s” in life are “right”. And when that happens, collaboration diminishes, growth and openness is deterred and everyone becomes a drone of a reality that other people have drawn for them. I want to change that. I want to write my own script, my own life, my own reality and I hope you will join me in this journey and embark on one for yourself as well.

Please reach out to me if you would like to offer help in any way – it can range from a place to stay (that will help me map out my journey), a contact, a suggested landmark to money, buying my handmade jewelry, or investing time by sharing my efforts.

Thank you for everything you do because when you do it with love, it is truly extraordinary.

So, get out there, give love, receive love, be love.

Be well,
Julia

The Truth Will Set You Free

I have been toying with the thought: “How do I prioritize when I feel EVERYTHING is important and relevant?” When I say, “everything,” I mean: “I am in love with everything in my life and I am eager to get out there and explore and share this love.” I feel like a modern-day Alice in Wonderland and I am about to travel down the rabbit hole. I believe, the answer to my initial question is finding out what is important to you.

What is important to you?

For me, I am passionate about connection, about exploring, about leading. Did I just write: “leading”? It is true. I have always reveled being the FIRST person to hear of the newest band, the FIRST person to go to introduce people to restaurants, the FIRST person to try something new. And why is that – ego?

I watched this:

And I realized: I wanted a clean slate. People tell me what I can and cannot do. I want to write my own script, my own playlist and inspire people and be continually adaptable. I have realized that “things” grant us security – not happiness – but experiences grant us true happiness and thus, I realize the opportunity is for me to pay off my debt, interact with people, blog about it and be a PATH MAKER (forget being first, because that, I am not. And now that it comes down to it, it wasn’t the “first” feeling, it was the “connection and learning” feeling). So, here I go, armed with truth, passion, ideas, a weight being lifted off my shoulders and the attitude and trust that MY truth will set me free.

What Unites Us

As of late, I have been spouting out quotes of remaining positive and trusting what life has in store for you.

It is much harder when things in your life test this mentality. Like when you get rejected, you loose someone close to you, you feel scared or nervous about money, stability, trust, yourself.

People have  told me that I own my vulnerability and it is the one the I have that I am most brave about.  I write this post today to share my story of vulnerability and hopefully to slowly change the societal perspective so that people start viewing being vulnerable as okay, even cherished.

I was adopted when I was around 18 months from Seoul, Korea. I am in the midst of beginning a book titled, “The Birthday Girl” because I do not have any records of when my actual birthday is; the story goes that I was found in a cardboard box next to a man’s apartment and then surrendered to the orphanage. The adoption agency/orphanage assigned me July 6th, which I am totally fine with. But when I say that perspective is everything, I mean it deep down into my soul. I believe that if I sat down and thought about all the different channels my life could have ended up as, I would dive deep into the hole of hypotheticals and never fully live my life. It would be so easy to be a “victim” to view life as this happenstance, random series of events and to damn every hardship that came my way. And trust me, I did that for awhile, a long time, in fact.

I  now revel when things get challenging. I never knew this bit about me until recently. I kept asking myself, “Why am I in this predicament, how do I learn? How could this happen? Why do I perpetually feel like I am stuck in a rut?” And the answer is finally clear: because that is how I learn. I learn that when things get rough because it serves as a test to the things I have learned about myself before. And I used to hate tests, I used to hate challenges (unless I initiated them), I used to hate feeling raw and vulnerable. Now, I am owning it. Because challenges, feeling tested, feeling raw and vulnerable is what unites us. We all have experienced loss, being scared, being afraid and feeling inadequate. But we’re not, we were born with all the things we need to navigate through this life – ourselves.

When things get rough, it causes us to reflect, to dig deep into our souls and ask, “What inspires me? Why am I here? Who cares about me?” And the answer should always be: “ME”. It sounds counter-intuitive, not very generous and almost self-righteous but if you think about it – if more people worked on improving themselves, being self-compassionate, being more gentle and understanding to their own process; the ultimate response is to outwardly demonstrate that to others. This mentality eliminates the desire to judge other people, manipulate, and naturally lash out irrationally. And how can we help others, if we ourselves are broken/damaged? The outcome would to expect that that they can help us, heal us, mend us back to being… complete? Restored? When instead, if you already knew you were everything you needed, the expectation of something in return would diminish and the joy of connecting would be replaced.

I will share now why today has been tough: I got turned down from a job that I had my dreams on ever since I graduated from college – to work at my high school, St. Stephen’s Episcopal High School. It had been a dream for me because, I felt, it fully encapsulated how I felt about life, it supported me, it allowed me to feel free, I believed it allowed me to venture down a path of self-discovery. I, now, realize that I had romanticized an experience; as many of us often do. That positive experience can be duplicated by manifesting your own passions and trusting that the world will provide you with the tools you need at the moment you receive them. And when things get rough: the trick is to not give up, trust  that things will be okay (because they will), and to make minor adjustments. Trusting is hard, because it relinquishes control, but then again, what is there that we really have to control? The only answer is just: ourselves.

 

The Road To Utopia

I don’t believe in coincidences. I have these goals to take a continental US road trip for 2-3 months to interview people all around the US. I have been toying with this idea for a couple of weeks and am eager to get started. I went to Maiko, found a business card of a gentleman who is a photographer and am friends with a fabulous videographer. Now starts the planning of the potential trek of the 3,200 miles of the Oregon Trail and considering couch surfing and getting to know hundreds of people across the country. This is a rough draft but the first step is to just begin and so now starts the planning.

What I am trying to achieve: we are all people, floating around and trying to figure it out. We are all here on this earth and my goal is to demonstrate that we are all connected. I am curious to find out peoples’ stories. I am curious to understand why people do what they do. What moves them? Why are they here, what is their “calling,” what inspires them and how do they learn? I am on this kick and understand that this life I live is a lesson and why not bring this theme to people so it can inspire, motivate and convey that anything they want is possible. I am driven by this insatiable desire to share my story, discover others, learn how others learn, and utilize my connections I have now. I hope by me “walking the walk” inspires others to do the same and not let their own fears and inhibitions hold them back. The time is now – so this is now and we can collaborate and join our energy to make this world a better place. I truly believe that people want to make the world a better place; they just don’t know how, don’t feel passionate by the things they are involved in currently, and feel somewhat insignificant. I want to prove that we are all beacons of power, we all have something to offer and why not better depict this by doing something I have always wanted to do but have allowed fear and judgement hold me back. So with that said, I would love your support, your donations, your positive thoughts and your emails to inquire more in how you can get involved. For once this is accomplished, I truly believe it will open the eyes and encourage people to go out there and do what moves them – to live their life with passion, enthusiasm, to venture off the beaten path and to inspire others to do the same.

Thank you for everything, everyone. For we all are on our journey to find what we can add to this world. I want to add connection, love, generosity, and exposure to peoples’ dreams and inspirations.

Be well,

Julia

Philosophy For A Happy Life

I came across this incredible video by TEDx featuring Sam Berns a couple of months ago. After watching it, I immediately thought about the perspective, gratitude and love this young man had for his life. It made me look at things differently, feel differently, and approach people differently. I just thought about him recently, re-watched the video, and then began to research him. I just realized that he passed away almost 1 month after the publication of the TEDx video. Sam was only 17 and I am in awe about how much he did in his life to shed light on his condition, his life view, and inspiring many across the world.

It makes me wonder: what would you do? If you knew you only had one more year, month, day to live? How would you live it and would you be satisfied with you life thus far? What would you change? Who would you call? Who would you tell that you loved them and thought about them often?
Personally, I would want the world to know – we all are wonderful beings, we all live in a world of a field of potential. When we get down on ourselves, on our situations, on our experiences, we lose sight of the beauty that is always around us. And when we realize the beauty that resides in this world, in every human and living spirit, it is easier to respect and want to preserve the world we live in.

I came to the realization recently, “People forget that our life purpose is to have fun, to learn more about what is fun to us, and to appreciate the people who we connect with. The world is our playground, and when we fall off the monkey bars, or off the see saw, or marry-go-round, we forget to look up and realize we’re in this beautiful playground; we tend focus on our scars and on our wounds and are scared to get back up and play. It sometimes is easier to surround ourselves with the people that have lost that perspective that the world is great – misery loves company. But I want it to be easier to inspire, to believe, and to love the life you live, so I am going to remember to always brush myself off and encourage you to do the same.”

 

Life Surfer

We all are life surfers. Whether you are waiting to catch the next wave and staying in the low tides, or feeling the momentum of the wave pushing you toward something great. How does it feel, what is your vantage point right now? Either way, beginning to love the wave of life and realize that even when you’re coming down, or after a crash, getting back on your board and knowing another strong, exhilarating wave is coming, is what keeps you surfing. So stay afloat, my friends. Know we’re all on different waves and love the high and low tides.

#keepridingthosewaves #love