Nov 29, 2012/04:43 PM

Welcoming a New GenUp Team Member

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Hey beautiful, waking up world!

I am ecstatic and truly blessed to be joining the GenUp Team as the Administrator Extraordinaire to help bring about light and love to a planet deeply in need of a transformation. After a wild year of exploring the unknown and deepening my connection to this world, I have returned to the Bay Area to share this energy with my friends, family, and local community. Unknowingly, Generation Waking Up has been doing this work for the last two years and I am incredibly grateful to be working alongside them with this timely mission.

During my yearlong hiatus, I’ve come to learn that the meanings of living vs. being alive are two very different concepts. Being alive is courageously living your truth while balancing the illusions of the matrix. While living, as I’ve done in my past 24 years prior to my adventure, was more or less a charade of social conditioning and conforming to social norms.

As an Asian American growing up in the city of San Francisco, I was introduced to privilege and wealth disparity at a young age when my parents found success as small business owners. As immigrants from Vietnam and Laos during the reign of Communism, they were grateful to make it in America, blessing Capitalism for their success. This context along with my cultural identity greatly shaped my life as I was conditioned to be an obedient, respectful, and success-driven, productive member of society.

When growing up in the heart of downtown San Francisco with its cold, gray, concrete sidewalks and shadows, I seriously lacked the connection with an organic, vibrant, natural world. It wasn’t until my first introduction to science camp at CYO Caritas Creek that I really felt something magical as I listened and pulsated with the natural world for the first time. This stirring sense of wonder and curiosity sparked my environmental interest and led me to long for a deeper understanding and connection to the world. There was something much BIGGER and BETTER to this life that someone wasn’t telling me!

Energized and alive!

As life continued to ebb and flow into my adult years, the echoes and hints of a truthful and conscious reality were continually ignored, dismissed, and buried by my social conditioning and privilege. It wasn’t until May 2009 that the biggest Wake Up call snapped me back to what was real and most important when my mom suddenly passed away from a stroke. Following a time of painful grieving, stress, and fears of the future, I lost my dad a year and a half later to liver cancer. Life changing events, such as these, are lessons learned that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and a reminder that each day is a blessing.

After graduating college, I worked at three part time jobs that I thought were meaningful opportunities to continue my mission in social change and sustainability advocacy. I interned at a marketing and research company for anti-tobacco, provided business development opportunities to inventors of energy efficient and renewable energy efforts, and assisted in creating a faculty development program for Vietnamese faculty members.

In the illusion of being successful and making my parents proud, I put all of my energy into seemingly meaningful projects and organizations. What I found after a year of working, building my career, and having financial stability was that I was not happy. I was living a successfully mundane and obedient existence, but I was not alive.

My belongings packed tightly into my car!

This understanding led me to finally listen to my soul’s whispers. I quit my three jobs, packed up my life into my Hyundai Sante Fe and took off into the unknown. The shedding of material things was truly liberating. It was amazing to see the accumulation of stuff and junk needed to make one feel safe, at home, valuable and stable.

Donating my furniture...There's no turning back now!

Getting rid of the material baggage allowed me to see that I needed first to find comfort in my own abilities and find peace within myself.

My goals for this abrupt, life changing event were exploration, adventure, and self discovery – to relearn all the social conditioning that took place in my 24 years on earth. I traveled up the coast of California and visited national parks and Occupy encampments in various cities. I found myself in the magical forests of the Pacific Northwest and the rural village of Bondo, Kenya, listening (for the first time in so long) to the sounds of nature. Along the way to self (re)discovering, I dabbled in various styles of yoga and meditation, reawakened my love for art making, rock climbing, shadow dancing and opened myself to participate in a mystic meditation women’s circle. Most importantly, I rekindled a deep seeded connection to myself, my local and global community, and to Pachamama herself.

A honey mural another intern and I painted in Kenya for a new NGO, Grow Strong.

As I begin my journey with Generation Waking Up, I invite my new friends to follow your soul’s whisper – to wake up to your heart’s desires – to broaden your perspectives – to invite lightness into our lives. Shake yourself from the roles of who you think you are and finally realize who you truly are. We are co-creators of this tiny planet in this gargantuan universe.

We create our own reality.

Perspective is reality

So the question is, do you want to live or be ALIVE?


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