Strength — Empowerment — Self Love
A long time ago, women were assumed to become wives, mothers, homemakers — there was no adventure or real choice. Though we are far from equal in society, today we have the platform to voice that. The expectations and stereotypes women face are tremendous. We have assumed roles and standards in society — our family, jobs, friends, and even in our own thoughts, we too, have preconceived expectations of ourselves.
Growing up an an Asian-American girl had its many conflicts. With immigrant parents who spoke broken English, who didn’t understand American culture, and seldom took to new traditions, I felt different from my friends and everyone around us.
My father was emotionally unavailable. My mother was stern, unforgiving, and struggled with her own complex emotions and imbalances. The times I struggled through puberty, my first kiss, and failing school, I felt alone. My parents insisted my falling short of their expectation was laziness. After a while I believed them. I would later find out I had severe anxiety and was prone to depression, that was dated back to elementary school. Feelings of inadequacy, ugliness, and self-loathing — emotions I couldn’t comprehend as a child.
As a teen I was reckless and daring. I sought out to live in the moment and was excited at the thought of failing in love. I wanted the rush and the utopia of it all. Being young and carefree felt like endorphins overflowing. I allowed boys to use me and I allowed friends to take advantage of me. I was lost.
It’s not such a rarity to be confused when you’re young. This is the time we make mistakes and learn. I would say, though, I felt much more weak than strong. And it wasn’t until well into adulthood after becoming a mom for the second time, when I struggled through postpartum depression, that I found the pillars of happiness.
‘The Three Pillars’
The basis of my theory is that strength is the foundation to a healthy mind and body connection. Building a strong core, leads to a strong body, and building self esteem builds a powerful yet humble perspective, which can take on the weight of negativity that we face from outside influences. Strength leads to empowerment and self love. When we feel strong from the inside it builds a sense of worth, we no longer allow others to dictate who we are or to make decisions for us. We create a safe space and take care of ourselves.
The balance I have found in creating these three pillars for myself has allowed me to be the best version of myself. I connect more deeply with others, I am happier, and I feel more fulfilled. I used to allow the way others viewed me and material things define me. Today, it is only me that can actualize my reality.
Some things that have helped me get here —
Acceptance — for the things I can not control
Change — for the things I am responsible for
Honesty — to myself about my downfalls and my capabilities
Minimalism — to encourage life experiences over material things, exchanging “stuff” for substance
Inventory — of the things that I want to be my legacy – how do I want to be remembered?
Positivity — making the choice to live the way I want to live, today, and surrounding myself with others that are excited about life
Spiritual — finding what moves me – for me it’s heavy lifting, yoga, and creativity – I asked myself: what fuels this soul?
No bullshit — from anyone, anything – immediately cutting ties with negativity, toxic people, and walking away from scenarios that don’t allow me to be authentically me
I hope this has been inspiring to you. To know that health is not just waking up in the morning and working out the body, but also the mind, has been life changing for me. Much love and hope to you and the betterment of life each day.