Recognizing Love–Wherever, Whenever, Whomever.

“Love is always coming at us, in one form or another—sometimes from friends, sometimes from family, sometimes from strangers we may only know in passing…

The only question is whether or not we’re also able to recognize and really receive it.” – Lori Deschene

For the longest time in my life, I was not able to recognize Love. I could only define it within the context of a relationship, between a boy and a girl. This limited scope of love was not only unhealthy and untrue, it was crippling–both to myself and the person I was in a relationship with.

It’s like living with blindness and being confined to a small space.

So imagine waking up one day, suddenly able to see and set free!

The situation that forced me to wake up and see was a heartbreaking one. But in hindsight, it was an absolutely necessary one, and about time.

I will never forget that day. It was the night of Christmas, 2010. As my aunt held my hands in silence, I rested my head on her shoulders and cried. As the tears flowed, it began to wash the veil off my eyes.

After all those years of not seeing, I was finally recognizing Love, in all the ways Love could look like–not just how I thought it should be. I was receiving Love, in every way it was coming at me–not just through a boy.

It was in the midst of a heart break, that True Love found its way through. That crack became the door way, for Love Unconditional.

It was  a pure moment of liberation and light. The best gift I ever received–and I am still unwrapping it, day after day after day.

Just this morning, I received Love, in liquid form.

All that was requested was a pot of porridge. My grandmother’s remedy of calming the stomache by drinking porridge water worked the last time.

It was a big surprise then, when Y came upstairs, with a jug filled with porridge water, and an empty glass. “Ini air dia, kak,” she said to me.

Meaning, “Here’s the water, Kak.” (Kak means elder sister in Indonesian and Bahasa Melayu, but it is also a respectful way of addressing another.)

How sweet! I did not ask that of her. I would’ve done it myself. But as always, every now and then, she Gifts us what is unexpected of her. And that is what Love is. It comes to you, freely, willingly, unexpectedly.

So to me, this morning, “Ini air dia, kak,” means I Love You.

How nice it is, to be able to hear I Love You, in all the ways that it’s being said, without the limitation of those three words. The world–our experience of it and the people in it–is far more wonder-full for it!

And perhaps in the end, part of our recovery lies not so much in the remedies, but in the extra loving we receive during such a time.

The question is, have we been recognizing Love–wherever, whenever, whomever?

If not, perhaps this quote by Rumi will come in as a good reminder: “Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” 

ps: My kind of love song! “When the love in you brings out the love in me, I want to thank you for who you choose to be.” – Avasa & Matty Love




“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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Daring Greatly Begins With Daring NOT To Be Great

Knocking on doors. Sharing my life’s work. Opening myself up to criticism. Stepping out of my comfort zone. Not hiding. Sending out emails and realizing later there were typo errors, things that could’ve been worded differently or best left unsaid. All of that, left me feeling the fear, uncertainty and discomfort of Vulnerability.

To allow myself to be in that Vulnerable place, has not been easy. I am scared. But I am also curious enough. However the response pans out, for better or worse, I know in the least I gave myself that chance by taking the first step. Now, I get to see what’s next.

Meanwhile, I get to wait.

And it is in the midst of waiting, that I am learning more about what it means to be Vulnerable. My inner critic is saying, “Look at your mistakes! It would’ve been better if you kept quiet. Or waited. Or perfected. Anything but doing what you did!” But my inner best friend is quoting Maya Angelou, “I did then what I know how. When I know better, I do better, that’s all.” So my inner best friend is cheering me on for trying.

Today, I wanted to understand more about Vulnerability.

What is its role in our life, our work and in our success?

So I looked up Brené Brown and came across a vid of her talking about Daring Greatly. I am resonating so much with everything she shared!

“I was in an incredibly difficult place. I was trying to show up in my work, and put myself out there. I was writing a lot and talking a lot about my research. And I felt like the more I did that, the more exposed I felt, the more afraid I felt and the more I was constantly ducking… criticism.

And I come across this quote by Theodore Roosevelt.

“It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deed could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who’s actually in the arena, who’s face is marred by dust and blood and sweat, who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes up short again and again. 

Who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement. 

Who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

I know that there’s a myth that vulnerability is weakness. But it’s not. To show up, to let ourselves be seen. To try. To put ourselves out there when we’re not sure we’re going to succeed. That’s vulnerability. And that’s daring greatly. 

To bust through the fear of not being enough. 
Of not being perfect enough. Of not being bullet proof enough. 
Of the fear of failing… 

…The question is, what’s worth doing, even if I fail?” – Rene Brown, author of Daring Greatly.

Thinking these two words over and over again. Daring greatly. Daring greatly. Daring greatly. I began to realize that daring greatly begins with daring to NOT be great.

Daring to be imperfect. Daring to be seen, flaws and all. Daring to put yourself out there.

The hope is in not having to go through this alone.

“(It’s) Very necessary to have people in our lives, who, when we’re vulnerable, when we try something new, and it doesn’t work out, and it comes out short, who are willing to look at us and say, that you were brave,” Brené Brown, The Power of Being Vulnerable. 

“A group of people who… made an agreement… that we would be vulnerable and brave together… we would create a space where we never have to shrink. Who are really proud of what we’re doing and our successes. And we would never have to puff up when we’re feeling small and ashamed. That we were all going to be brave together…” Brené Brown

Do you have people in your life, who you can be vulnerable and brave with? Can others be vulnerable and brave, with you?

Lastly, a good reminder:

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” – Brené Brown




“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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Super Typhoon Haiyan’s Big Wake Up Call To All Of Humanity: Life passes us by like a storm in the night. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Live Now. Love Now.

“The world has not seen a storm like this before,” Senen Mangalile, Philippines Consul General to the UK, on Super Typhoon Haiyan.

But now that we have, what are we really seeing?




Entire villages wiped from the Earth




Missing families




10,000 could be dead








‘Like the end of the world’

Aren’t we all a part of this human experience? Aren’t we all connected in our Pain and Struggle?

Super Typhoon Haiyan is a big wake up call to the things that really matter in this lifetime…

… love

… life

… family

… friends

But overtime, we forget…

Use it to remember.

Also remember the ones who are fighting to survive right now. There are many ways you can lend a hand, if you want to.

And then, as a friend said to me on November 9, Berlin,

“Live your life.

Live your love.

Live. Your. Love.”

Life passes us by like a storm in the night–on super hyper speed. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Live Now. Love Now. While you still can.




“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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