I may not have deeply struggled or been diagnosed by anxiety or depression, but coming from someone who’s recently struggled with anxiety, I know the feeling where no matter how much you explain the situation, people won’t truly get it. I know the feeling where you wake up in the morning and you are already finding it hard to breath. I know the feeling where sleep didn’t really give you rest.
But as my mind looped around worries and doubts, the people around me pointed me back to where my heart and soul can find an escape. Along with their advice of seeking professional help, they also led my heart to The One who is bigger than my anxiety. And He is not scared of your questions, gal.
You can cast your worries, doubts, anxiety, depression, or severe pain on Him. Trust me, He will not push you away. He will draw you even closer.
Do you ever have those times when you are just going about your day and your mind suddenly gives you a thought that makes you think about your whole life as you wait in line at the bank?
That was me this morning! As I was grabbing some documents from the bank to head over to my next appointment, my mind sneakily slipped a thought and said, “man, why does it feel like you are starting from scratch?” And now, here I am waiting in the queue, thinking where my life is at and where I am in relation to where I want to be.
As I pondered and wondered about the “meaning of life,” I turned to a trusted friend to vent out. And as they asked me questions to help me unpack my current thought life, I was reminded of an exercise that I did a couple of weeks back…
…because at that time, I had the same thought and I addressed it better that I did this morning. Because instead of feeling sorry for myself, I immediately grabbed my journal and wrote ALL the things I’ve done and accomplished in the past year.
I wrote down my accomplishments with Her Progress, where I am career wise, what my relationship looks like now, who my amazing friends are, and how loving my family is. I listed each one of them in great detail and it gave me a new perspective. And I know for a fact that this is something that I need to do AGAIN.
As much as we plan and be expectant of the best days to come, we also must look behind us and recognise how far we have come and the great things that has happened in our lives. Sometimes, it is in looking back that we regain the perspective that we need to press on and own our everyday lives.
As I go back to my journal and reflect on the past year and months, how about you give yourself some time today to do the same and really dig deep to celebrate on the great blessings and miracles you have today that you now pass as mundane or the past?
Power of Words
You don’t have to be a writer, a speaker, or an author to know that words are powerful. Words have the power to build someone up or tear someone down. Words have the power to bring life out of or speak poison into someone. Put together consciously or unconsciously to inflict hurt or to bring hope, it has a lasting impact to its recipient.
So here’s a reminder for you and me today: be careful of the words that you let out. Think before you speak. Practice the power of “um” or silence before uttering a word. Speak from a place of love. Speak to build, to mend, and to heal.
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” - Proverbs 31:26
“It is foolish to belittle a neighbour; a person with good sense remains silent.” - Proverbs 11:12
“Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” - Proverbs 15:4
What type of words do you choose to speak out today?
“Though her leaves wither and die, her beauty remains in people’s minds.” - v.c.
Of all the seasons, I am a big fan of autumn. It’s not too cold but also not too warm. You can still rock that gorgeous summer dress of yours paired with a decent denim jacket. Sunsets get more orange-y and pinkish. You still get to enjoy the long nights. But of all these things, I love autumn because of the withering leaves.
As they fall off the tree with their reddish hue, what usually seems like a loss is now seen as beautiful. This bittersweet goodbye of the warm sunny days remind me of closed chapters in life. It reminds me of my recent transition from a founder of Her Progress to managing my own personal brand.
As many of you know, two months ago, I’ve decided to transform Her Progress into a personal brand, and as of last week, I’ve officially completed its transition. While I was closing off and tying loose ends, it got me thinking of my journey with Her Progress — how much it shaped me to who I am today. I’ve learned so much about myself, learned new skills, achieved milestones, and founded a community that continues to support me throughout the way (you guys and gals are the real MVPs — thank you so much!).
Although Her Progress is now officially a closed chapter of my life, what it has accomplished and how it has molded me to who I am today will always be something I will cherish and never forget. Like the autumn, it’s journey, impact, and the difference it made will forever have a home in my heart and mind.
“What? It’s August already? Where did the time go?”
Something that is usually said in passing can sometimes be a heartfelt cry of “have I really done something that is worth remembering?” And I feel you!
As you get on your 9-5 job, run your side hustles, catch up with friends, go on holidays, and all the other fun stuff we get to do, life can be ran in autopilot. You try and remember whether you’ve actually done your New Year’s resolution or you’ve kept with the goals you’ve set from this time last year. And it can get a bit down when you dwell on the very ‘what ifs’ that you’ve been sitting on for months and realise that things can be too late.
But here’s the good news: it is never too late. It’s never too late to start going to the gym again. It’s never too late to start the business that you’ve been wanting. It’s never too late to get back on your passion project. It’s never too late to change careers. It’s never too late do your overseas experience. It’s never too late to start again.
August is not just another month. August presents more opportunities, new beginnings, and rekindled dreams than July could have.
START TODAY! Because if you don’t start now, then when? And if not you, then who?
~ excerpt from Press On.
Your Story Matters
Over the past few days, one thing has been in the forefront of my mind and that is your story matters.
Personally, it is still crazy to think and sometimes hard to fathom how much your life — what you are going through, who helped you along the way, how you overcame — could impact someone else’s life. It is amazing (and sometimes scary) to think that as we live our lives in the ways that we do, our stories are being used as part of someone else’s survival guide.
And I think the very moment that we realise that we always have a part to play in each other’s lives, we stop thinking more about ourselves but more on how can our lives be of service to others.
No wonder we are all connected. One way or another, either by blood, by choice or by our stories, we are all here to be there for one another.
ps: Speaking of story, in the next few days, I will be releasing an article about a story of mine that I’ve really kept close — more like hidden if I’m being honest. But, I think it is something that a lot of people are struggling with and I am praying that it will help and bless you as you read it. So watch this space!
Lost In Your Presence
Just this weekend, I attended ARISE Conference 2019.
And honestly, I am still processing on what God has done in my life in a span of two days and a night (which I will be sharing some of my insights here in the next few days).
But there was one thing that stood out the most like a sore thumb in the midst of all the Jesus party and the slap-in-the-face sermons, and it was worship.
On the first night of the conference, I couldn’t keep my eyes closed during worship, and for every single time I find them open, I would urge to shut them again. But time and time again, my eyes would open and wander in the room.
It wasn’t until the first session of the next day that I’ve realized what God was trying to make me see. Once again, my eyes were compelled to open and then I finally saw what I needed to see. I fell back in love again to where I am.
I fell back in love in worship. It was a moment of clarity. It was a moment of pure connection. It was a moment of unity.
In His presence, I found myself undone and vulnerable, broken once again. Yet, at the same place of brokenness, I found myself remoulded, restored, and made anew.
There is something so resoundingly powerful and intimate being in this act of love.
It’s in these times that I strongly hear His voice of peace. It’s in these moments that I am filled again with strength and grace. It’s in these breathtaking minutes that I’m restored with what’s lost and released to where I needed to go.
It’s a place that I cannot fully understand its breadth and its depth, but I know that the only thing I need to grasp here is His presence. And that’s all I need.
Lord, I Need You
Two weeks ago, I went to a lifegroup (young adults group night) at a friend’s house, and to study God’s word, everyone in the group wrote questions on a piece of paper and placed them in a vase.
One by one, each of us picked up a paper and read the question to answer before the rest of the group shares their stories and perspectives.
We went around in a circle and one question took me aback: who in your life needs God right now?
Silence fell over the room…until I was stirred by what my heart was yearning and said,
“honestly, to me, I think the person who needs God in my life right now is me.I need God more today than I did yesterday.”
Probably not the usual answer to this question, but one that even I myself couldn’t believe I’ve said out loud.
Sometimes, it is easy to pinpoint the people in our lives “who need God more,” with us failing to see that the very reason we are in this walk of faith is because we need more of God each and every day.
My past has been a living proof that I cannot do life alone. Not without the help of God whose grace, joy, love, and peace sustains me in my everyday.
Sure, there are more people beyond our circle that need to hear and be transformed by God’s love for them, but I know for a fact that if I do not seek God continually and relentlessly, I would lose my awe of Him. I would sight of Him and his direction, and will put me back to “square one.”
So, before I look around for a speck on other people’s eyes, I felt the Holy Spirit remind me that I need to look after and deal with the speck of my own (Matthew 7:3) before helping those around me.
It is through my changed life that I’m able to welcome others in and show God’s love that’s always available for the taking.
Celebrate Your Victories
Today I came across a question that hit straight home, “what is an area in your life that you need to increase your faith in?”
For the whole time, I thought I had enough faith for all the areas of my life, but I was awakened to the truth that after all the tumbles and trials, I’ve slowly lost faith on certain parts.
And the first things I thought was my belief in myself and my work.
I enjoy writing. I love uplifting and encouraging others. I have a great passion to build a community for women to feel at home with. I remember fondly when I just started blogging for Her Progress, my passion for all these things were at its maximum.
I would be proud of every article I wrote. I would be excited to release something to the world. I would stay up late at night to come up with new ways and ideas to flourish the platform. I was a force to be reckoned with. Back then, I was unstoppable.
But something changed over the years.
Time gaps between article releases got bigger and bigger. Enjoyment of the projects was fleeting. Being proud of what this has become was non-existent.
And as I came across the question above, I was consumed by the amount of praises I would receive and use it as a reason for celebrations — to be proud of my work.
So today, as I am turning a new leaf with Her Progress (and other areas of my life), I am re-learning how to celebrate my victories whether big or small. I am re-learning that numbers, likes, or praises are not the prerequisites to my celebrations, but it is simply doing the work with every thing I have.
I really hope and pray that this keeps going. That I will continue to remember to celebrate what I’ve done and am doing regardless whether someone parties with me or not.