Over winter break, I got to spend blissful, uninterrupted, magical time WITH my 5 year-old niece Gelly (her nickname) and my sister Miu (her nickname). There was one particular magical afternoon around 4PM. We all decided to go ice-skating in a tiny outdoor rink made for beginners. As we skated around--the first time I had skated since I was a kid, and I tried my darndest with this clunky red skating aid, something absolutely magical happened:
It started to snow.
Then I thought back: I actually hadn't wanted to come, because I don't really like ice-skating. My hubby has asked me on countless occasions to go WITH him, and I have declined much to his dismay. Ok, I'm more of a four-wheeler old skool roller-skating gal myself. But imagine if I had said "no" to Gelly and hadn't come or sat on the sidelines?
Ok, so we've heard that when you assume things, you make an ASS out of U and ME. I think that's quite a clever mnemonic device. But back to assumptions, one thing we do before we create any kind of change is we assume things: Oh, it's going to be hard, it's going to suck, and then we don't even start. As we approach the Lunar New Year, when I usually start thinking about that 6-letter word in terms of New Year's Resolutions, perhaps just simply beginning WITH this question could be a first step in the right direction: Am I making an ASS out of me? Or someone else?
SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE SIZE
Some of the only Cantonese words Miu knows are small, medium, and large size. At school in Hong Kong, she had to learn how to bargain for clothes: sai ma, jung ma, dai ma. I can almost hear her say these words exactly as she did when she was in middle school. Cracks me up. The other thing that is challenging about CHANGE is that big ol' grand gestures generally don't work to impress it. You gotta start witih sai ma (small size). Once you get comfortable WITH your sai ma change, work on a jung ma one, and then when you're super ready, get that dai ma one going. Oh, and you're welcome for teaching you some Cantonese, so the next time you're bargaining for clothes in Hong Kong, you're ready!
THE PATH OF MOST RESISTANCE
In a phone call WITH my spiritual South African friend Chris, we were getting into some deep stuff about how you know you're on the right path of growth. What does it feel like? How do you know? I mean, there's so much chatter and distraction out there and in your head--not to mention that next Netflix show to binge watch. I told Chris, "To me, it feels like the path of most resistance. It's easy to distract myself by not working on myself, or watching Ellen on YouTube, but the real work...well, it's tough and feels like the path of most resistance."
EGO DOESN'T LIKE CHANGE
At the retreat I went to a few weekends ago, (you can read about it here) one of the many mind-blowing epiphanies I had was when Bruce, one of the trainers said, "Your ego wants you to hold on to guilt and all of those challenging emotions, because who will you be without it? You'll have to actually change and go towards uncovering your true self." Whoa. That's why change is so hard, because your ego likes things to stay the same.
MIU AS A MOM
After Miu had put Gelly to bed, we would usually have conversations over tea in the living room or watch a show on Netflix together. Then we would head upstairs and brush our teeth together in the bathroom, like we did when we were kids. That night, after I had my first fight with Gelly ever, I apologized to Miu. We both started crying and I told her, "I am so incredibly proud of who you have become as a mother. You are such an amazing, patient person. You never yell at Gelly. You're a total WITH Parent." In response, Miu said, "You know, if you ever have a kid, that kid will be lucky to have you as his/her mom." It's been incredible to see my sister CHANGE.
BE A HAPPY PIG
This Lunar New Year, it's the year of the pig. My mom was born in the year of the pig. And as her dementia is progressing, she is in this sweet spot of staying in the moment, not holding on to grudges, sharing her gratitude, and appreciating every single moment she has WITH us. See, change is not so bad after all, right?
*Dedicated to + Inspired by Miu + Gelly*