Abundance in Time

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Time… is one-directional and a dimension that we can’t control in any way. Yet in our society, we try to obsessively “control” it and track it – with watches, clocks, phones, calendars, reservations, appointments, etc. etc… so that we can feel “safe” in the illusion that we have somewhat of a control over a dimension we don’t at all.

So what a precious experience it was to let go of theneed to track time completely this past weekend at Lightening in a Bottle… What a precious experience it was to feel abundant in time.

My days were long, filled with joy and adventures as I simply let my intuition and pure excitement guide me in the directions of the silent pulls I felt toward the places, people, ideas and adventures the universe wanted me to know. When I saw the sun started to go down, I found myself on this hill, as we all did, by this silent, yet extremely powerful, pull of the sun and its divine beauty. Witnessing this magical transition from day to night before our eyes, we made bubbles, we made music, we talked to and thanked the earth, the sun, the #Universe.

Letting go of needing to track and “control” time, I realized, was me saying to the world, “I #trust you. I let go of the need to control this #gift of time you have granted me because I trust that you will take me to where I need to be right at this moment and that’s all I need to know.”

Like a child playing outside without needing to know what time it is because you know your mom will call you in when you should be home… The Universe nurtured me with all its warmth that weekend and it felt good to #play in its #playground

Creative Ecstasy

I like the smell of the books that fills this room
Intoxicated off the sweet glass of poetry that swirls my heart
I melt into the creative flow between the rhythmic space between my canvass and the brush
My soul dances with the music you make for me
I can taste the sweetness of this very second on my tongue
Ecstasy overwhelms, this moment.

Helpless

If my tears could take away your pain

I’d cry forever

If my hugs could comfort you
I’d hug you forever

If my prayers could heal you
I’d pray forever

If my many sleepless nights will let you sleep better
I’d give up sleep forever

If my hope cheers you up
I’d be hopeful forever

If my love reminds you to keep fighting

Keep
Fighting

Because I’ll love you forever

No matter where you are and will be
You’re my father
And I’ll be your daughter forever

Fall in love with life…

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Fall in love with life; go on adventures; meet new people and experience new things with them; don’t be afraid to show who you are and befriend yourself; don’t ever ever forget to appreciate every moment that will never come back.

Tell people you love that you love them any chance you get; cherish the love you receive; forgive those who may have done you wrong out of their own insecurities; stay compassionate to all of us who are imperfect.

Now is all we will ever have and always be mindful that you only get one life to live. That way you won’t have regrets, because regrets are the empty traces of you not living to the fullest.

When things get hard, know that they will pass just as fast as any good times. And when things get good, know that you deserve it. Life is all but dull, so don’t forget to live colorfully, color life, color life!

What you say about people now is what you will become in your next life.

My mom’s advice from when I was very young…

“Imagine that in your next life, you will be everything that you ever said about other people whether it’s good or bad. Now tell me, do you want to call anyone ugly, fat or stupid, or whatever? Is that what you want to be? That makes you think twice about ever speaking badly about anyone, doesn’t it? …

Now imagine that in your next life you will be everything good that you ever said or noticed about other people: smart, beautiful, generous, and kind. Talk about people around you in only good ways and you will have all those traits in your next life. Practice noticing only the good in people, and it will become a part of you even in this life.”

My first lesson on empathy and positive thinking. Apparently started when I was very young. Thanks mom. 🙂 I must be getting older… I mean wiser 😉

YC

Aside

“I love gay people and pizza.”

Hi. I know. A weird title. Well I know that this would get your attention. That was my point. This subject requires your attention.

To start off, I am straight (sorry ladies…. just kidding..) But recently I have had a growing interest in the subject of human rights (or the lack of in some places) the LGBT community. It might have been those PRIDE events that gets me every time with their damn awesome rainbows and unicorns (I fucking love rainbows and unicorns) or maybe it is gay marriage articles that keep popping up on the news; or maybe it’s just that I have been learning more about this human rights issue a little bit more proactively. (For example, did you know that in Algeria, you can get stoned to death if you are gay and the law allows the people to do this? Or did you know that you can get a lifetime sentence in jail in Russia for being gay?)

Whatever the reason is that I am being more aware of this topic, the important thing is that an average American like me, is taking the issue more seriously, as we should have a long time ago.

Before I begin, I have to confess. As an adolescent growing up in a small town in Colorado, I have used terms such as “gay” or “fag” as derogatory terms. I thought it was “cool.” And to be quite honest, I didn’t even know what those words really meant nor how hurtful they can be.

But I was enlightened, and you can be too, if you are not already. This is part of growing up, getting educated, and figuring out what’s right and wrong, and taking a stand for what you believe to be right.

I recently watched a TedTalk by Andrew Solomon (and I’m mildly obsessed with this guy, in the non-creepy-wow-he-is-so-brilliant-and-awesome kind of way, and if you a re a friend of mine, you already know this because I have been talking about him and his work for several weeks now), and he talks about the prejudice that he faced as a gay American growing up and the hardships that came with it. But instead of letting those potentially negative experiences bring him down, he found a way to forge meaning and build his identity. He also talks about his experience of being a gay father and his unconditional love for his child, and what a blessing it is to experience that. I have watched this TedTalk at least like 20 times, and I tear up every time I watch it still because the way he depicts his “blessing” to marry his partner and to be a father, and his perspective on life are so amazingly beautiful. Anyways, this TedTalk really touched me deeply and the first night I watched it, I went on Amazon at 2 am and bought 3 of his books.

As I was having another one of my “oh my gosh you have to watch this TedTalk he is amazing” rants with one of my friends, she asked me, “Yuri, do tell me. I did watch it and I thought it was wonderful and powerful; but I was a little bit puzzled how MUCH you were affected by this guy and how much you can relate to his talk… you’re not gay after all.”

And I thought about her question for a few days. Why DID his talk impact me so much?

I think it is because we all have closets that we hide in, whether we are gay or not (and there is actually another wonderful TedTalk that explains this very well). And we all have a difficult time coming out of our own closets sometimes and be true to ourselves and fully accept our own identities. And I admire people who can come out of their closets, and fully embrace who they are, regardless of what others might think of it (honey badger don’t CARE attitude). I admire that he can appreciate and love himself for who he is and he tells his stories to create his identity. He also doesn’t take anything for granted, whether it is getting married to the love of his life, or having a family, or having a child which may seem like a “given privilege” to those who have not experienced his obstacles as a gay American. I love that he passionately stands up for what he believes in after he overcame his own hardships, and was able to turn that into a beautiful movement hoping to better lives for LGBT and in some countries, bring awareness to hopefully SAVE lives. That is just so awesome. I also love that he is a writer and he impacts people with his words, which is something I aspire to do. He inspired me to believe that everything happens for a reason, whether good or bad, and there IS always a way to make positive meaning out of each of those experiences.

When I was reading his bio, he too, had a mother who attempted suicide. This really made me think about my hardships that I have experienced in my life and my experience with almost losing my mother. I am not gay, but I definitely have faced difficult times in my life in different forms. I thought about what positive meaning I could make out of my own hardships in my life. And today, as I am typing this up, I am forming a group to do a walk this fall with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (and would be great if you want to join me or donate!). This is my way of turning my hardship into something positive. And Andrew Solomon inspired me to do this. Positivity is definitely infectious; and passionate positivity triggers positive actions that make this world a better place.

So anyways going back to the title, let me finally explain. I don’t love gay people BECAUSE they are gay; but I love gay people because they are people.

I hate broccoli, but I don’t hate people that like broccoli, although I don’t agree with them. I love pizza, and if you tried to hate me because I love pizza, you are probably a psycho. What I am saying is, if two people love and care for each other, that is a blessing, and no one should judge them for what their preference in life is, whether it is broccoli or pizza. And frankly, it does not affect you in any negative way. In fact, more people who are happy in this world because they get to embrace their broccoli or pizza liking will probably only impact you more positively in the end!

More happy people = Happier world.

So to end this note, I love gay people; and I love all straight people. And I love all people in between. I just love people, and I believe that everyone has the right to be happy. We should protect that beautiful fact.

And I hope that you impact at least one other person to spread the word that protecting the rights of all people’s happiness is important and that stopping the prejudice against LGBT is something that our generation needs to change in our life time. Whatever form you take to do this, whether you support the next PRIDE event with your own rainbows and unicorns, or you just simply take 5 minutes to educate yourself in this every few months, or you catch yourself using words like “gay” as a derogatory term, or share this blog with another friend, or become the next famous human rights activist (which would be awesome!) whatever it is, I invite you to join bringing awareness to this issue in your own way and in your own capacity.

Or maybe it doesn’t have to do a thing with LGBT – just take this opportunity to reflect on what negative things have happened in your life and how you can make positive meaning out of it for the world.

We have an opportunity to make a difference. You have the opportunity to make a difference. How wonderful is that? 🙂

And lastly, I invite all of you to watch his TedTalk. It will change your life for the better. Even if it is not as drastically as it did to me, but I promise you, it will make you better even just a slight bit.

Here is the link of Andrew Solmon’s talk:

This is Ash Beckham’s TedTalk on “coming out of the closets”:

OH and the honey badger don’t give a shit video for old time’s sake:

And PLEASE HELP AND SUPPORT and donate to my fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention here (Team Celebrate Life – YC) even if it is just a few dollars: http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=567889

Thank you!

And if you liked the article, and want to contribute in spreading the messages in this article, please share this post on Facebook or Twitter or other people!

Thank you and have a wonderful day!

– YC

I love gay people and pizza

Not Superstitious

I’m not superstitious but

I wash my clothes after a funeral

I’m not superstitious but

I buy lottery tickets after a good dream

I’m not superstitious but

I believe in good karma

I’m not superstitious but

I fall in love

I’m not superstitious but

I pray for strangers

I’m not superstitious but

I smile at every full moon for good luck

I’m not superstitious but

I kiss my grandma for her to live another healthy day

I’m not superstitious but

I throw pennies into fountains

I’m not superstitious but

I believe that all my good thoughts will one day,

benefit the corners of the world that I’ll never see

 

I’m not superstitious

I’m not superstitious

I swear to Buddha!

 

Have yourself a happy Wednesday!  🙂 You deserve it.

-YC

This Moment

The moment you realize no one is perfect you will
accept yourself
The moment you realize everyone struggles you will
connect with others
The moment you realize you are already more than enough you will
be content

The moment you realize the impermanence of life you will
let go
The moment you realize no one can guarantee your next breath you will
live to your fullest
The moment you realize today will never come back you will
appreciate the memories

The moment you help others you will
benefit more than anyone
The moment you expect nothing you will
gain everything
And the moment you realize you already have everything you will
be happy.

……………………….

Smile. Life is short 🙂 Enjoy each breath and everything you have.

-YC

Four Leaf Clovers: Abnormal is beautiful.

True artists are like four leaf clovers: they don’t fit in, they are different, and hard to find; and you will feel extremely lucky if you find them because they have this innate power to inspire you. The rest of the world glorifies them as they are special and unique when they are “discovered,” but until they are appreciated by the right people and environments, the reality is that they are often just written off as abnormal, weird, and deformed, even. But they they don’t care and that’s what makes them beautiful, and true artists.

The other day, I was walking to my parents’ place for lunch for my weekly visit, and I saw a cluster of three leaf clovers, and for some reason, I felt compelled to kneel down to the ground and look for this mythical four leaf clover in the grass. By the way, being content in your life brings many benefits, and one of them is that you start to feel your senses enhance and you feel more observant of your surroundings. It was one of those days, where I must have passed by these clusters of three leaf clovers many many times before, but that moment, I noticed how green the grass smelled, how blue and open the sky felt, and how interesting these clusters of three leaf clovers were.

So there I was, on the grass, with my work clothes and high heels and all (yes I wear high heels to work, don’t hate), kneeled on the grass because of this instant curiosity to see if I can find this four leaf clover.

And let me ask you this… when is the last time you took the time to really look at the three leaf clovers? Because I noticed something interesting… these three leaf clovers were actually really really pretty; They had these perfect little heart shaped leaves that fit perfectly to one another. I went through maybe 30 of these three leaf clovers, that looked identical to each other, as if they were flaunting their perfect conformity amongst other three leaf clovers. But despite their perfect shapes, and while I admired their unified beauty, I was uninterested in them – I wanted to find the lucky four. leaf. clover.

After 10 minutes or so of looking (one elderly lady stopped and looked at me weird, until I told her I was compelled to look for a four leaf clover, and she smiled brightly and told me, “you know they say they bring good luck!”), I found a four leaf clover…………

……but it was nothing like what I had imagined it to look like. I thought it would be a set of four symmetrical, perfectly heart shaped leaves complementing one leaf to another leaf in harmony, and I would pick it, I would take a picture of it, instagram it, all that crazy shit you would think you would do when you find a four leaf clover! Right? Well I didn’t do any of that. I was consumed by the beauty of the enlightenment it offered me.

So here was the reality… the four leaf clover was fragile, frail, and the leaves had yellow age marks on them. The leaves were nothing close to perfect hearts, but they were all asymmetrical and compared to all the other three leaf clovers, it was… rather not “pretty.”

Then I remembered something my mom had told me as a child… four leaf clovers are actually the “abnormal” three leaf clovers. And 20 some years later, I realized the beauty of this statement. One optimistic, artistic, poetic soul probably witnessed what I saw that moment (and maybe Irish, and had a keen fascination in stories involving pots of gold and midgets), how imperfect, how independent, and how different a four leaf clover was, and thought, why not glorify their uniqueness and call them the “lucky clovers”, rather than shun them for their deformity?

And whoever thought of that was probably a true artist. I remember learning about the definition of “art” in Anthropology in college and being very fascinated by its meaning. Art is something that is not only beautiful, but accepted to be beautiful by the majority.

But in my opinion true artists are people who create art not for the majority because they create without caring too much about what other people care to accept as beautiful or meaningful. They are often written off as different, weird, and even deformed, with their ideas, perspectives, and their creations. Remember van Gogh? His work wasn’t even glorified until after his death really. (And he was missing a f*ckin’ ear! He fits so perfectly to my four leaf clover metaphor!) But he was a true artist always. I hear about stories of even modern day artists and musicians too where they were often written off as the “weirdos” in their childhood or teenage years, and they become big stars when their unique qualities actually seem refreshing to the rest of the conformed world. And who are people who usually “discover” these talents? They are often also fellow artists who have the ability to find beauty in them.

This is what I will end this message on. Next time you see a person or encounter an idea that is out of your own comfort zone, whether it is because of the person’s beliefs, looks, backgrounds, or whatever makes the person or idea “abnormal” to you, remember that they could be your four leaf clover, and you may be extremely lucky to have met them or learned about them, if you look at it with an open mind and an optimistic set of eyes. Find the beauty in them. You have the power to do so. If it takes practice, practice.

Because the beauty you find in them reflects the beauty within yourself.

– YC

You are your own best catalyst.

Change is synonymous to hope, growth, and courage. It sometimes takes years and sometimes it is instantaneous, like a switch you remembered to turn on all of the sudden.

And your body is your mind’s best and longest friend and your mind is your body’s. When they start to truly appreciate and foster this friendship and truly respect each other, one’s confidence and self esteem grows for the synergy between the mind and body is strong and generous. Recognizing this helps you change and grow for the better.

Therefore, you are your own best catalyst. The moment you remember that you hold the switch to your own happiness, that’s when you will just be.

Oh and be Happy.