In short, I couldn’t sleep until I started creating this website.
I simply had to follow my “soul urge.” The quiet stirring in my heart that grows the more I connect with my own heart.
And you know what, I don’t get many of these kinds of strong soul urges. But THIS was one of those strong urges. Whereby it kept calling and calling. And calling. Drove me nuts!
Actually, the idea came into my head before friends and clients I’d been working with suggested that I do. So you could say it was a “coincidence.” I feel the word “synchronistic” sits perfectly here.
I was even getting answers from an IT professional client who told me exactly the best platform to use. I had no clue what he was saying at the time, but somehow it sounded “right.”
And then soon after, another complete “stranger” I spoke with for only 10 minutes began telling me excitedly that I could start sharing with more people on something like Google Hangouts.
I was bewildered with all the “timely” advice I was getting.
It was a little struggle for me to say “Yes, I’m going to do this,” even though I was fully aware that was really my next step.
Because I wasn’t usually vocal. But the thing was, my soul wouldn’t let me sleep until I said, OK, I’ll do this and started taking action.
And then when I did make my first steps to create it, I stopped getting the nagging feeling to do it. My soul didn’t nudge me to do it anymore!
So back to why this website was born.
My innermost self (aka my soul, my inner being, the divinity within me that is the same as that within you … whatever you call it … ) wanted this website to be a true reflection of the journey I would like to express and share. It didn’t want me to put up a website “just coz.”
At my deepest core, I want to share what brought me true peace.
You see, from my earliest memories of my childhood, I felt really sad. Even when I wasn’t physically at home hearing and seeing my parents and the housekeeper fight louder and louder night after night, I replayed that familiar scene even when I wasn’t home.
Being an unhappy kid made other kids avoid me. It was pointless to share my feelings anyway, because no other kid seemed to have such an unhappy family. They were always finding something to play, something to have fun about. Not me. I was too sad to engage.
Plus it didn’t help when a kindergarten classmate at the time insisted that “God lived in that statue” and I replied, “God is in everyone.” She was angry at my answer and it just made me feel even more different and unloved.
Oh and I felt the worst on weekends because that’s when my working parents had time off (to quarrel even more!).
That craziness lasted for a good 11 years before I left Singapore to do my bachelor’s in the US.
I was so happy. I thought, “Here was my chance to leave all that misery behind.”
Besides, an in-depth reading of my birthdate and time with a top-notch astrologist overseas had reported that I would have a better fate in the US. I so wanted to believe that. I was desperate for it to come true.
Then, after completing my bachelor’s from Williams College (not in a happy state), I decided to take off again, because I still hung on to the hope that being overseas would bring me happiness.
This time, to Australia for a Master’s in biotechnology in one of the top universities, eventually topping my cohort. Of course, subconsciously it was my way of extending my running-away sabbatical, although I wouldn’t want to admit it to anyone at the time.
So towards the end of my Master’s course in Australia, I was presented with 2 choices. Either A) stay in Australia and find a job (easy!) and be a Permanent Resident (yay!). Or B) return to Singapore with a heavy heart and truly face whatever I’d been running away from (of which I didn’t really know but felt it was going to be a really hard).
Which would you have chosen?
Perhaps like you, I had this gnawing knowing that all I’d done by studying overseas was simply to run away from facing the misery inside. I played out the long-term scenarios of both option. I saw in my mind’s eye that I would be happy on the outset with A. But over the long run (pun coincidental), I would still be questioning why the heaviness in my heart is still there.
With option B, I would be miserable. After all, I was scared of not knowing what I had to face. I just knew I had to face something. But not knowing what that was terrified me. It felt like a black hole. Plus there wasn’t a real “guarantee” that I’d really get to the bottom of solving the mystery of my heavy heart. It could be a forever-never journey. With option A, at least I could have some fun and not HAVE to see the madness of my parents quarrel all the time.
After much agonizing, I bit the bullet and took on option B, and moved back to Singapore. Fortunately enough, I got a well-paying job in one of the top pharma companies.
It looked to most people that I was happy.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I made a lot of effort to project the image to just about everyone that everything was just fine in my life – after all, isn’t that what I’m supposed to be as an adult who’s been through the best educational institutions and now working for a Fortune 500 company? The truth was, I felt totally hopeless as I re-witnessed my parents’ hellish fights and the poor housekeeper suffering my mum’s vents, AND my own sea of emotions.
I was so dejected and embarrassed by my emotions that I sought the help of a therapist. I couldn’t believe her when she eventually concluded it was my childhood affecting me. Yet I could feel the truth of her words. I knew it was true that the ferocity of the fights were so deeply imprinted that it lurked and lived there even ’til adult life.
Before seeing this therapist, I’d always assumed that the one who caused all the misery in the whole household, was my mother. As such, I never let her get close to me for a good 20+ years of my life and piled hatred upon hatred against her. I called her “wicked” and “cruel” and used to tell my best friend in high school, all the nasty things she’d done to my father and how she mistreated each and every housekeeper. (I’ve lost count of how many worked and left.) I would push her hand away every time she wanted to give me a pat on my back. I was so angry and irritated with her.
I told that therapist the same thing. The most shocking thing was hearing the therapist say, “Their fighting has nothing to do with you. You can let that go.”
“Huh? Nothing to do with me? I can do nothing about it? I can’t help them?” I thought. That helplessness was precisely what was holding me back.
Or so I thought.
It took about 3 years for me to accept the wisdom of that therapist. At last, I was able to fully let go of the pain that I felt (turns out it was coupled with deeper emotional abuse that nobody consciously realized was happening, that’s a story for another time…). I finally came full circle within myself. I came to accept incrementally deeper and deeper, that I’m NOT my emotions, and I can let my thoughts be just thoughts. With this realization, the heaviness in my heart started softening, and eventually dissolving on its own. I began to feel freer and freer, and more and more at ease to express myself, and appreciate myself for who I am.
Taste of true peace at last. So much so that it didn’t bother me when my parents started their “rounds” anymore even when they reached their 60s.
And it didn’t bother me any more when other people had their own fights. I wouldn’t feel helpless around them or feel the need to fix the situation like I used to. Sure, I would feel compassion, and a readiness to lend a listening ear and offer my 2 cents, but only when I felt he / she was ready to hear a different perspective.
Since the turnaround, I found I could talk to my mother and say wholeheartedly to her that I love her for who she is. I even see her as really adorable and kind. Except when she’s blinded by false beliefs, like any regular human being. I can accept her in all her colors just as I’ve accepted mine, and accept the motherly love from her that I’d hurtfully rejected in my younger days. I remember her tearing when I gave her a hug, as she knew I had finally accepted her touch, when before, I saw every single attempt as a nuisance.
Some of my closest friends who have known me since I was a kid have been surprised at the complete turnaround.
I am eternally grateful for the whole journey that brought me to this point. Grateful to myself as well for following my knowing to choose Option B. I only say Thank You to all who have guided me and Thank You to all the experiences that I have been through that led me to this point.
Looking back, there wasn’t just 1 turning point. There were actually several pivotal turning points. Actually, I had been seeking and apprenticing with masters all over the world since I was a child. I experienced blissful peace both through arduous ascetic practices sitting cross-legged with my eyes and ears closed over thousands of hours cumulatively. And I’ve also experienced similar profound peace through gentle, peaceful means under “normal” ordinary life conditions.
All the different approaches led to one common realization that, to this day, keeps deepening and expanding me and my life. That is, when I finally realized (repeatedly) that I wasn’t broken to begin with, that I am already complete. That there was no need to search for peace. That I can grow peace within me, simply by opening my inner eyes and recognize that the peace I seek is already present around and within me. That I don’t need to fix anything outside of me to be at peace with myself and the world.
After recognizing the truth surrounding that we’re all perfect and whole to begin with, my outer reality started changing spontaneously in kind. In addition to reconciling finally with my mum, a strange rheumatism that I started noticing in my teens left my body. My work performance improved. I made new, supportive friends. People started feeling closer to me, and me to them as well. Unexpectedly as well, I met my absolutely loving husband. Or rather, I wasn’t looking – it just happened without my having any intention to look!
Sure, there are many times when action is called for in order to make an outcome more harmonious. But basically, I realized that, when we ourselves come to a place of peace first, and then act from there, it is way more peaceful than relying solely on physical action or other people’s behavior in order to produce a desired outcome. And far more efficient too!
So my soul has given me “Soul Powered Peace” as the name for this website to describe what I can share of my own journey – the kind of peace that lasts independently of what others do (or not). Peace, as powered by the Soul. The kind of peace that is already rooted deeply within ourselves. It’s already there, waiting to be uncovered. It tends to gets covered by overthinking. But it comes back and draws us in unexpectedly.
You know, like when we walk along a river, and hear the gentle gurgling of the brook… or when we hear the waves lapping on the shore… or when we find ourselves mesmerized looking at a sunset, and the experience takes us away spontaneously to a totally different place even though we haven’t teleported ourselves … when all of a sudden, for a split second, our mind chattering stops, we are taken over by a feeling of pure beauty, of peace in our hearts… and for those few seconds that feels like there is no time, All is truly Well.
So here in this virtual home and at talks I’m going to give in person in Toronto, I’ll share my journey of coming to a place of inner peace and the biggest takeaways. In time, you’ll see it doesn’t take much to experience your own fountainhead of ever lasting peace.
Let me end with this quote that I believe is from a Sufi master but the essence of which you might have seen expressed similarly from other sages. For it sums up the journey that I’ve taken and perhaps you’d like to hop on board and experience as well …
“To Love unconditionally means to have the courage and perseverance, to SEE your self, as you are. In the deep knowledge that everything is perfect in its existence. To walk the path of Love, means to start on the journey to your Self.”