Unicorns and Beaches

Welcome to my blog!!  One Hot Empowered Mess is a complete unveiling of what’s behind the curtain!!  The good, ugly, and the honest truth!!  So join me on this messy journey as I truly learn to honor myself, hold boundaries with love, and be completely raw and vulnerable to the world!!  It won’t always be pretty, but I’m hell bent on healing and following my heart!!  And I hope that you are, too!!  And hopefully I inspire someone to be truly authentic and love themselves enough to speak their truth, too!!  💜💪💜💪💜

With Grace & Grit,

Be aware of what season you are in and give yourself the grace to be there.
— Kristen Dalton

November 12, 2018

I was in the shower and realized I was frustrated that I wasn’t as efficient as I used to be.  My new normal was seriously lazy compared to my old super efficient self!!  But then I realized how there was a season for everything and I was in a season of deep healing.  I could feel that I was going to start beasting it out and getting back to super efficient soon, but my season at that moment was to let the deep healing happen so I’d be ready for beast mode and doing things out of love instead of spite.  Doing things out of love was a weak muscle and I had to heal a lot of old programming to strengthen the self love muscle!!

So don’t stress out or beat yourself up when you aren’t your “old self”!!  Honor the season you’re in, love the shit out of your current self, and let your path unfold like our creator and your genius soul decided on!!  Forward movement is forward movement, regardless of your speed!!

And maybe honoring your season and loving yourself exactly where you’re at is what it takes to get back into beast mode!!  Because unconditionally loving and accepting yourself seems to be the answer to almost everything!! 💜💪💜💪💜

With Grace & Grit,

The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity for growth
— Unknown
Level Up.jpg

September 24, 2018

Congratulations!!  You’ve leveled up!!

Ever have a time when you know you’re on the right track, but things are going against you?!?  You are making progress, on your path, but nothing is going your way?!?  Or maybe even repeating old issues that you’ve already dealt with?!?  Guess what?!?  You’ve mastered the last level and now you’ve leveled up!!

Life works FOR you at all times!!  Never against you!!  But just like a video game or exercise program, once you’ve mastered where you’re at, you get to go to the next level.  And when you pick up those heavier weights, it’s really hard!!  You have to conscientiously use effort now!!  No more auto pilot here!!  You have to be aware, Use effort, make sure you’re in proper form.  Same in life!!  You mastered that level and got comfortable.  Great!!  Now it’s time to get uncomfortable again and grow some more!!  And how amazing that you’ve mastered that level!!  That’s something to celebrate!!  And since you’ve mastered that level, it’s only a matter of time that you master your current level, then level up again!!  How amazing is that?!?  Now stop feeling sorry for yourself, celebrate the fuck out of the fact that you mastered your last level, and say “bring it” to your new level with a wink!! 💜💪💜💪💜

With Grace & Grit,

Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.
— The Perks of Being a Wallflower
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September 17, 2018

It can get weird when you show up differently... You know some people that are very comfortable with who you used to be and really want you to stay that way.  There’s nothing wrong with them, they just love the old you.  And it can get weird when you show up differently!!

Went out with 2 old friends that I haven’t seen since making major life changes.  One is always competing with everyone and the other is pretty open and happy.  When we had dinner, the competitive one immediately started talking about how her diet was much better than mine (she was Keto at that point and I had just started plant based) and didn’t include me or my opinions in the conversation.  The open and happy one was deeply in love and gushing how much she loved her man.  They had kept in touch with each other more and almost the entire conversation was between them two.

Nothing was wrong with them, I just used to be very comfortable not being seen and heard.  When I showed up expecting to be seen and heard, it was weird.  So I was trying to jump into the conversation, but at that point, I couldn’t relate.  I saw the world so differently.  I was completely into leaning into problems and triggers and would sometimes interject when one was complaining about something, then justify it.  And if a person isn’t at a point where they’re leaning into issues/triggers, they’re probably not open and receptive to it. 

So it was a forced and awkward feeling dinner and I personally reached out to the open and happy one that night to make sure she knew that I was in support of her.  Her response was that she was worried about me, I seemed like I was going through some shit.  Which was really funny to me since I was doing so well at that time.  She picked up on my annoyance with being ignored and mistook it for me having issues and being unhappy. 

Again, nothing wrong with these ladies!!  They’d each known me for over 6 years at that point and were used to me being happy observing their conversation and supporting their stances regardless.  I was the quiet, introverted one that was dependable and supportive.  So the open and happy one was genuinely worried about me when I showed up differently and showed my frustration at not being included. 

Especially for those that want you to stay the same, haven’t been around you when you have major life changes, or like to compete with you to feel better about themselves...  it might get weird when you spend time together.  It’s okay!!  Celebrate how far you’ve come and dwell in the evidence of all your hard work!!  Love them for where they are and you keep going!!  As you change and evolve, you’ll attract people to you!!  You don’t have to leave people behind, but it’s totally okay to be who you genuinely are!!  Not who you were before or who they’re expecting you to be!!  Trust that everything unfolds exactly how it’s supposed to and that that weirdness was supposed to happen!!  Who knows, you might even write a chapter about it!! 💜💪💜💪💜

With Grace & Grit,

Do what you love, take care of others, enjoy life, create a legacy, give back
— Lesson from Bill
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August 20, 2018

Bill is a dear friend that I worked with when I was a Family Readiness Officer (FRO) taking care of military families.  He’s a kind, caring man that worked as a Military Family Life Counselor, helping Marines and their families when I was a FRO.  We worked together on multiple occasions and he was always incredibly supportive and let me vent when I had rough days.

We met up for lunch in February when he was on vacation in Hawaii and we got to chat, update each other on how much had changed in our lives, and celebrate our friendship.  He’s retired and talked about his and his wife's adventures exploring the world and shared his knowledge on how to get affordable cruises.  It was an amazing lunch with a dear friend!!

One thing that stuck out from our conversation was his outlook of enjoying life and doing things he and his wife have always wanted to do.  They weren't taking life for granted and were creating a life of adventure, joy, and peace.  This is a couple that lived their life in service of others (his wife headed another program focused on serving military families) and had finally slowed down.  What amazing examples of lives well spent!!  💜💪💜💪💜

With Grace & Grit,

What lie have you been told, that you still believe?
— Charles Hew-Len
Photo by Warren Wong

August 6, 2018

Sooooo, I have an amazing coach!!  She’s loving and nurturing and helps me push past my fears and limiting beliefs.  Working with her, I realized that I believed that life was pain.  Growing up, my mom would always tell me that life was pain, but I thought I rejected that belief.  Imagine how shocked I was to realize that I actually believed her?!?  

I’ve also been blessed to have amazing people work beside me for greater good.  Charles Hew-Len is an amazing inspiration and publicly speaks to inspire people to see themselves as more as then they currently are...  to see their potential, realize they want to grow, and decide to choose themselves and personally grow and get uncomfortable!!  I asked him to speak at an event targeting some amazing middle and high school girls that had already seen a lot of life.  When he opened up, got vulnerable, and spoke from his heart, he knocked all the girls’ walls down!!  He spoke of a story where his grandma told him he’d amount to nothing and now he’s a multi millionaire with a huge dream of making Waianae the most beautiful part of Oahu...  And he’s helping the homeless...  And he’s a humble, hard working father proud of his kids and inspiring so, so many!!  

So!!  What lie have you been told that you still believe?!?  And what can you accomplish when you stop believing that lie?!?  💜💪💜💪💜

With Grace & Grit,

Who gives a shit if they wobble?!? I should be proud of my arms and everything they’ve done for me!!
— Gloria Payoyo
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July 7, 2018

I was pretty insecure about my upper arms.  You know, the part that likes to wobble even on fit women...  Until I had an epiphany!!  

These arms have done soooo much for me!!  They’ve carried my daughter when she was a baby, held everything together the numerous times my husband was deployed, held my girlfriends up when they needed a little support, pulled the truth out into the open, drove myself to the hospital with a thrown out back, saved my dog from being attacked, held back verbal attacks from my mother, wrapped around myself during deep healing, saved a 200+ pound man from falling, planned out many events to empower and lift others, rejoiced in dancing, prayed my deepest wishes, and so much more!!  

Who gives a shit if they wobble?!?  I should be proud of my arms and everything they’ve done for me!!  Fuck the lies I’ve been told of how I’m supposed to look perfect!!  Forget trying to be perfect!!  Forget being ashamed of parts of me that have served me so, so much!!  

Like most women, and especially daughters of narcissists, we were taught a standard of beauty that’s unattainable!!  We were taught to hate ourselves because we couldn’t be the most beautiful, most fit, smartest, most creative, friendliest, and all the other bullshit things we’re “supposed” to be!!  I believed that I was never going to look like those models or however my mother expected me to look!!  And I was absolutely right!!  Those models don’t even actually look like that since they’re airbrushed!!  That standard of beauty is impossible!!  And my mom’s expectations of me were hers, NOT mine!!  

So let’s be renegades!!  Let’s be true to ourselves, celebrate exactly how we are made, accept and love ourselves unconditionally, and rock our damn arms!!  Fuck the ideal standard of beauty!!  You are beautiful just as you were made!!  So rock that shit!!  💜💪💜💪💜

With Grace & Grit,

In all events, however, the success of the recovery works rests entirely with you, the daughter. Let go of the belief that your mother can or will be different, and will ever be able to give you the love you deserve.
— Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride, Ph.D.

June 30, 2018

I so have a version of who I want my mom to be and am waiting for her to show up.  And she’s given me tons of evidence that she never will…  In fact, she freaked out about me not acknowledging my most recent step-dad on my anniversary (literally 13 days ago) and I texted her that our relationship wasn’t working for me.  And until she could/would answer me with compassion and love that I didn’t have time or space for her.  English is her second language so she wanted to meet in person to talk.  And the conversation (4 days ago) started with her wanting to know what my problem was.  Then went into the 3 things I needed to change about myself for her.  I held my boundary and told her that she needed to love me and accept me for who I am, not who she thinks I should be.  But she just can’t.  She held to her 3 things and wouldn’t budge.  And couldn’t answer me when I asked her why she would choose to be right over having a good relationship with her daughter.  And I still found myself in denial.  Even now.  Acceptance is really hard for me.  How do I let go of my version of a loving and supportive mother?  How do I accept that the woman that lovingly brushed my hair and simultaneously told me that if I divorced my husband that I’d be on my own is all I’ll ever get from her?  How do I let her go especially now that she’s only 60, in the worst health of her life, only getting worse, and reveling in it?!? 

I find myself feeling guilty, after all, I was raised to serve her and not have my own needs.  So how do I release all attachments of who I should be for her and really stand in my own place?  As sick as it sounds, there’s some comfort in her being a little in my spot.  I get to be a victim and stay angry.  The anger that I deny exists because it isn’t pretty and doesn’t fit into my pretty little box that I’ve existed in. 

And the guilt.  I’m half Asian (if you know, you know what this means) and my mom is the only person that “raised” me.  I mean, I really raised myself, but it looked like she did to the outside world.  And how do I abandon the only person that financially supported me until I was an adult?  Because in reality, that’s all she did.  Mostly, how do I walk away knowing that she’s only getting sicker and at a rapid pace?!?

And then there’s anger…  Sooooo much anger!!  Why am I still here to serve her?  Why do I think it’s my fault if she gets sicker?  Why do I still have a sick sense of being responsible for her?!?  Why do I still have to carry so many of her burdens?!?  Why can’t I just do what I came to earth to do?!?  My mission is full of love, light, and healing for so many!!  So why do I have to stop and take care of her, fit into her pretty but everchanging box that I’ll never fit into?!?  I’ve played that game my whole life.  At 40 years old, I know I’ll never win.  If I change the 3 things she’s currently asking for, approval and love don’t follow...  Instead, I get 3 more things to change.  I know this game and I’m done playing it.

I’m stuck on acceptance because I don’t know how to give up on her.  How do I truly accept that the human that brought me into this world truly isn’t capable of real love and empathy?  And that I was truly on my own from a young child to now?  How do I release my responsibility to her and accept that if she’s hell bent on being sick and getting sicker, that’s her choice?  And what a selfish choice!!  To make sure we are all watching her and being there for her, she’ll just keep getting worse.  I mean, how manipulative and shitty is that?!?  So instead of dealing with her demons and healing, she’ll just waste away and die at a young age.  Fuck that there are a few people that truly love her.  Soooo much anger!! 

So how do I detach and accept her for who she truly is?  A toxic mother that always finds fault in me?  Always withholds her love and approval for when I get it all right?  And constantly changes the rules so I never get it all right?  How do I just accept that that’s all she can give to her only child and let that sit in my heart?  That all I can expect from her is a woman that cares more about what the outside world sees than what is actually happening with her daughter and granddaughter?  That she’s doing her best with what she has, and can’t grow into forgiveness and love?  And that I deserve to be who I came here to be regardless of whether or not she thinks that person is worthy… 

This is a hard one for me…  But I know that I’m brave, strong, and capable!!  I’ve had to be my whole life, so brave and strong are easy for me.  But vulnerable and admitting when I’m being a victim come harder.  So today I choose to allow myself to be vulnerable and a victim.  If only just for today.  Truly loving all of me is hard, especially those pieces that don’t fit nicely in my pretty box, but today I choose to love all of me.  And let everything be okay.  I have faith in divine timing and know that everything is unraveling as it should.  And today I choose to accept how I show up to all of it!!  And hopefully through loving myself and trusting myself, I can truly open up and accept that I never had and never will have the loving, supportive mother I’ve always deserved…  💜💪💜💪💜

With Grace & Grit,

All that glitters ain’t gold
— Prince

June 20, 2018

Sooooo I have OCD and a HUGE fear of roaches!!  To me, they epitomize everything that is gross, dirty, and germy!!  And for someone with OCD, they’re terrifying!!

One day I opened my cupboard and a small roach ran across my plates!!  I was too afraid to catch it and possibly touch it, so it got away.  I washed everything in that section of the cupboard and wiped the cupboard out with Lysol wipes.

About a week later I was using the bathroom and when I turned around to flush, another roach was hanging out on my wall.  I was trying to muster the courage to kill him, but my phone buzzed and he got away.  I did catch him a couple of days later when something told me to look behind the door and there he was!!

I was pretty traumatized by these little incidents and started to “see” roaches behind my shower walls.  Which is really weird since my bathroom is one of my sacred spaces.  I started to imagine being in the shower and huge roaches would start falling into the shower from behind the walls.  I kept trying to clear my head of these thoughts, but they kept coming back...

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Then less than a week later, a HUGE flying roach got into the house when we were moving stuff outside into a trailer (I sell clothes and store racks in there).  I was paralyzed in fear and told my 14 year old daughter she had to kill it with the vacuum.  It stopped flying around and hid somewhere and we went back to moving clothes from portable racks to permanent racks.  And as I was moving a section of shirts, it was right there!!  And huge!!  And I ran away and made my poor kid vacuum it up!!  

Then the very next morning I kept “seeing” those big roaches crawling all over me when I was in my bathroom.  It really disturbed me since I am normally so at peace in my bathroom and get so much inspiration and ideas in the shower. 

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks!!  The reason I kept seeing roaches in real life or in my mind was because something wasn’t right!!  Kind of like when you see a beautiful picture or painting but something’s askewed.  

So I stayed with it and what came up was people have told me that I have a perfect life.  I’ve accomplished so much, my husband always kisses me hello and goodbye, our daughter excels at school/sports/anything she wants to dominate, and I have seriously the cutest and sassiest dog you’ve ever seen!!  I’ve created a very close and loving relationship with my daughter, we have a nice townhouse in Hawaii, I drive a limited SUV...  from the outside, things look perfect!!  But something’s not right, if you look close enough, you’ll see the picture’s askewed.  

So that’s what this blog is!!  A complete unveiling of what’s behind the curtain.  The good, ugly, and the honest truth...  growing up I learned that being vulnerable was weak!!  Strength was holding it all together, self sacrificing for the greater good, and enduring all pain that came my way.  But now I know better!!  Being vulnerable is strength!!  To step into something that every part of my body and mind screams no to, but choosing to follow my heart, takes all the courage and strength I have to muster.  So join me on this messy journey as I truly learn to honor myself, hold boundaries with love, and be completely raw and vulnerable to the world!!  It won’t always be pretty, but I’m hell bent on healing and following my heart!!  And I hope that you are, too!!  And hopefully I inspire someone to be truly authentic and love themselves enough to speak their word, too!!  💜💪💜💪💜

With Grace & Grit,

One Hot Empowered Mess                                                                                                    June 20, 2018