The fairy mother – Trust and Love in times of uncertainty

The fairy mother

When butterfly kisses the flower
She said
What’s the matter
You are weeping
Are you missing your mother?

And the honey bee
Buzzed by and said
She’s right there
Can’t you see? My dear?

“No”, weeping flower started wilting
She’s sad, swallowed up by despair
Drops of tear tricked down the rim of her petal
And as if by magic
Stayed as sparkling bubbles, reflecting the transient rainbow light. 

Hovering, pulsing,
Kind-hearted hummingbird gathered around the nectar
And smooch…
A kiss, an invisible kiss
On the weeping flower.

Love is sometimes invisible
My dear
But remember
And trust
That you are loved.

And I’ll always be there.

  • Poem written by Christy Choy in November 2018

Going through my notes on the phone and found this little poem I wrote back in November 2018.  I have forgotten about this. And these words, touches me in a very kind and gentle way today. 

This is a challenging, uncertain time on earth -our blue beautiful planet. Fears and panic spread through the ether, quicker than any viruses.  Perhaps we can’t help but breathe them in, and carry these energies in our system. 

Yet in times like these, it can be nourishing to close your eyes and sink into the heart space. And trust, and feel, and connect with the love – the gentle love of the mother that will always be there. Have faith and keep loving. Loving ourselves, and sending love, through our heart to others. 

Love has the power to transmute fears.

There is an invisible web of light in which we are all connected. 

Much love & blessings.  Sending protective energy to all. ❤ 

Love with Integrity – Speaking up for Justice with kindness and compassion

In moments of life when things seem to be getting chaotic, when I feel bombarded by challenges and chaos, when my world seems to be turning upside down, I would make space for solitude, to breathe, center myself and reflect, go for a walk, and allow nature to speak to me. And the universe would let me know , ” All is well.”

The universe speaks to you by metaphor, by energies, by the synchronistic magical moments, by the encounters of kind and compassionate beings who are really angels in human form – the earth angels surround us and providing what we need. Carl Jung says, ” In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorders a secret order.” This is a deeply felt experience that I have, when I swim in the chaotic water, uncovering the truths beneath ugly facade.  The seemingly random broken pieces would somehow fall into places, as if a puzzle being put together by unseen forces, while the hidden truth slowly reveal themselves – for those who have eyes to see, and ears to listen.

Changes do not scare, or upset me. As, I believe, changes is the constant – it is the law of the universe. But one thing I do value is integrity – to be truthful and honest in our words and our deeds. To follow through with one’s promises and be accountable for one’s responsibilities. To tell things as it is, as much as one’s able to, instead of making up stories in order to manipulate. Integrity is an important quality – of any human being, especially those who choose to live in collaboration with others. 

In Theravāda Buddhism, one of the 7 virtues is Sīla pāramī : virtue, morality, proper conduct. To me, having integrity – being kind and honest with others is good moral. And I guess, lately, I’ve discovered that there are people who have taken the bodhisattva vows – do not practice proper conduct and virtue in their daily lives. It honestly hurt my heart to realize this, but at the same time, I also understand that we are all doing the best we can, at this very moment.

I guess, this is lesson in life – in love and discernment. There are times in life when we have to speak up against injustice, when we have to confront people/organizations who are being unjust and dishonest. This is not done out of hatred or anger, but of love and compassion. For this life is a class, and  we are all learning with and from each other, in our interconnected web of fate that we weave each day.

 

I’ll finish with a poem I love. 

 

The Guest house – by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond. 

The Sacredness in Impermanence – love, life & relationships

It is interesting how life unfolds some time. We just never know what will happen in the next second, the next moment. We can never predict who will stay, and who will spiral away. 

The apparently random circumstances bring people together, forming little communities, or soul tribes – for a more sacred term. When we were younger, we are usually surrounded by our birth families, or whoever raised us when we were children.  Or perhaps we grew up in spiritual communities, where we were connected to each other, in the shared love and faith of the beyond. And as we got a little older, we somehow gathered with our special groups, in the purpose of learning life’s lessons. These special groups were brought together as we happened to go to the same school, or work at the same place.

Perhaps I am romanticizing, but I like to think of these groups of special people as little soul families. As if there was a hidden soul contract we have agreed upon, to serve as a certain role in each other’s life. As if we were caught by the web of fate and casted away in the succulent garden, playing out the game of life. 

Human beings are funny,  we just take ourselves so seriously some times. In the meetings and mingling with others, we could experience some very extreme emotions and feelings. Love, hate, jealousy, irritation, frustration, admiration, thoughts such as “I can’t believe you did this.” , or feelings such as “I just can’t deal with you anymore.” All the feels from love and adoration, to hate and disgust. It is in relationships that we feel the full range of human emotions. 

It is in relating to each other that we grow, as we get to know ourselves better in each other’s presence. We support and cheer on each other as we face challenges and become our better self. We goof around, laugh and have a good time. We create memories and take pictures that remind ourselves of the special connection we shared.

 Was it really coincidence that we happened to meet each other, and become schoolmates, friends, colleagues, or families? I don’t think so. These connections in life are just too special and specific, in my opinion. And in the ebb and flow of life, even the most special connections goes through the cycle of converging and diverging. I have come to realize that, it is okay to ride though the waves of life – the many endings and beginnings. For it is the law of the universe , where change is the constant. And I trust that if we are meant to meet again, we will. For our soul will be attracted to each other, and our sacred connections will take form.

In life, or in dreams.

 

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.”  – William Blake

 

 

The Power of Faith in times of Transition – a reflection on love, passion, and life’s journey.

It was about seventeen years ago when I left my birthplace – Hong Kong, and arrived at this country – the United States of America. I didn’t know a soul on this land, except my then boyfriend, whom I dated for a year when we met in Hong Kong. I didn’t have much money, no relatives, no connection, and I didn’t even know how to differentiate nickels and dimes. But I was brave, and I had no fear. 

I still remember moments during that long flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco. The flight was unusually empty because of the strike of the airline, and I had the entire aisle to myself. As if the universe was making space for me. It was perfect, for a long and emotional flight. Sitting on my lap was a box of sweet memories – the tokens of love from friends and family. The bittersweet parting gifts. As I looked out the window and glimpsed at the night view of this gorgeous city where I was born, I felt a sense of calm and serenity. A moment of grace and solitude came over me. Deep inside my soul, I knew this is the right path. Reading the words of my childhood friends, looking at the pictures, the gifts, reminiscing the moments of the last goodbye at the security gate; I slowly realized that I’ve made a significant and possibly life changing decision.

It all originated from this simple but strong desire in my heart – to cure my mom. As long as I could remember, my mother had always been in and out of hospitals, and her condition was only getting worse throughout the years. And as I got older, I was determined to help, to find out what was going on, or to at least alleviate her suffering.

The sight, smells, and sounds of the hospital came back to my senses as I recall this memory. I was sixteen years old then, sitting across from my mother’s psychiatrist in her office, attending a meeting about my mother’s condition. “How are you supposed to be able to help her when you only see her every two weeks for 10 minutes? ” I confronted the psychiatrist. I’ve been visiting the hospital every week and I tried to understand what kind of treatment they were providing. And the only “treatment”, it seemed to me, was prescribing and dispensing the meds.  “Well, that’s the way we do things here.” She got defensive, and probably feeling angry that me – a teenage girl was challenging her about her profession. “How about other countries, are there other ways?” I didn’t give up, I genuinely wanted to find out if there are alternative, better ways in treating these kinds of illness. “I don’t know anything about other countries.” She said and her body language told me that she wasn’t going to discuss treatment with me any further. Our conversation ended.

That was the moment, when the idea of studying “overseas” germinated in me. I was determined to find the answer, to search for the cure, for my mother, and for all who suffered from this daunting curse of mental illness. And as if by magic, things unfolded over the years. There were times that were challenging, difficult, confusing. But there were always help along the way – be it angels, friends, guides, or teachers. Life is strange, indeed. And I often found it such a blessings to be on this path, to live, love and work as a healer and a therapist. I just have to remember, to channel my younger self more often – the fierce, determined, passionate soul who seems to have such unwavering faith in life, who lives without fear.

Sometimes a seemingly hopeless situation aren’t in fact hopeless. Sometimes sorrow and tears can be transformed, to hope, healing, and a beautiful path. All we need is to have faith, and trust that there will always be a way. The passion in our heart will keep us warm ,the lights of hope will illuminate our path as we walked through the winding, shadowy road. And as we keep following our heart, keep listening to the little voice that speak to us in quiet moments, we will never truly be lost in the enormous jungle, even if at times, it feels like we are all alone. We will be fine, we will be safe, wherever we are.

I’ll leave you with a poem I love. 

 

The Journey 

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice – – –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations – – –
though their melancholy
was terrible.

It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,

determined to do
the only thing you could do 

determined to save
the only life you could save.

 

 

 

Stars of the Universe – Poem & Reflection

Stars of the Universe

 

We are the stars of the universe

Lost and scattered in random parts of the world

 

Broken in the process of becoming

Burning our edges in unbearable pain.

 

“Where are we?”

“I don’t know.”

 

Perhaps it doesn’t matter.

For in the process of self explosion.

We illuminate the darkest cloud

 

And we will find each other

Again and again

In the divine light.

Poem written by Christy Choy in 2015.

Ever since I was a child, when I was supposedly still in the stage of play and innocence, I questioned about the meaning of our existence. What are we doing here on earth? Why do we live the way we do? Why are bad things happening to human being, to our society, to the world? While some may argue that it is too early for a six years old to have these thoughts, they served me pretty well in coping with difficult life circumstances. I remembered comforting myself, in my little mind, that these crazy, bizarre, weird life circumstances must have a bigger reason to it. A reason that I could not possibly understand at that moment. I remembered reminding myself that a lot of extraordinary, famous, great people in the world had had a difficult childhood, too. I remembered staring at the starry sky with my mom, believing that my lost toy bunny was somehow living on the moon and if I squint my eyes I can possibly see it. Faith and imagination were my secret weapon.

Somehow, the existence of the stars, the moon, and the galaxy always comforted me. I feel less alone in my existence. Many years have gone by, and I am now living on the other side of planet earth. Perhaps many things have change since then, but that little soul of mine, that was holding me through all the adversities is still here. She is still the same, trusting and fierce. She is living in my core, in the middle of my heart center. I still hold the same thought, the faith that a bigger picture is in play, while living my beautiful and sometimes weird life. It serves me well in living and growing as a human being, and it certainly helps when I am working with the little children who experienced trauma, loss, and abandonment early in life. Still breaks my heart a little each time I feel them, but it helps to have a bigger perspective. I still stare at the sky at night, in awe with the magnificent beauty of it all and trust that all is well. Things will be all right. 

I believe that in our purest core, we are in fact, stars of the universe. We all have this innate soul center, inner compass that knows the deeper meaning of life, of existence. And life is a journey into the center of the self. Carl Jung wrote in his work Memories, Dreams, Reflection, “I began to understand the goal of psychic development is the self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumabulation of the self.” As if walking the labyrinth in the dark, we might stumble on the path, got lost in our egos, and coming back again and again to the core of our self, to our soul purpose. And perhaps, what is important in life is not the destination, not the egoistic distinction between what is right and what is wrong,  but the journey and the experience itself. 

Blessings to all.

 

 

Reference

Jung, C. G.  (1963). Memoriesdreamsreflections. New York: Pantheon Books.

 

Fallen – poem & reflections on grief & loss

Fallen

The leaves have fallen on the ground

The soul has spoken

In the cave of the heart angels cry

Absence melt into presence

The longing of the soul has never been so loud

But silence.

Poem written by Christy Choy, MFT on Oct 6 2017

 

Whether it is a painful break up with a lover, the death of a loved one by suicide, illness, or accident, a divorce after 19 years of marriage, or a little foster child saying goodbye to the birth parents ; the experiences of grief and loss are universal, and inevitable in life. It is as if each day, as we create a new self, when our body generate new cells; we are also shedding the old, the part of us that no longer resonate, little by little. 

Yet the experience of grief is cruel. As if a heart wrenching thief just went through every bit of our soul, sucked away every drop of joy and casted spider webs over the sweet memories. “For now they are gone, you will no longer have what you once have.” the thief exclaimed. And we are doomed, caved in by darkness, weighed down by heaviness. For how shall we live life again? 

When we are in relationship with others, whether it is a friend, lover, family,  our work, or even a school; we share a piece of our soul with them. The little stream of soulful energy, from the reservoirs of life, flow from our heart and mingle with others. In this exchange of life stream we create a sacred piece of artwork – the shared life experience. This piece of artwork often contain elements of both light and dark, as in all things of nature.  The laughter we shared while watching a silly TV show, the cake we baked and shared with others in a celebration, the precious moment when we looked into each others’ eyes and knew exactly what we wanted to say, or even the pain we suffered when we were hurt in the relationship. Sweet or sour, joyful or painful; these are the special moments in life that we shared, with our heart, with our life force, and our intention.

And when all is gone. It feels as if there is this deep hole in the heart, a strange sensation of emptiness in the chest. How could it be? And ah.. the excruciating feelings of heartache. These are all too painful to feel. And we escaped, we detached and ran away. Ran away from the pain but also, separated from our soul, our heart, our ever-flowing reservoir of life forces. We are rendered soul-less, living as a zombie, infected by the venom of life’s cruelty. 

Those were dark times, indeed. Having experienced a variety of sudden losses and endings in my life since childhood, I know it too well. I remembered wandering out and about in the city, frantically cleaning the bathroom inch by inch, work so diligently and “enthusiastically” at a job for over 12 hours a day.  I remembered how my 19-year-old self attempted to numb this excruciating pain, and cope with the catastrophic experience of a sudden loss. Or, perhaps unconsciously trying to find myself again. 

Many years have gone by and I have, inevitably, experienced other forms of loss. Some of them being more catastrophic then others. But I’ve learnt that, eventually, I seem to “recover” from the doomed experience in the process of creation. I write poems, I draw, I sing, and I create little tokens of memories. I might allow myself to sink into that deep hole of the broken heart, but then I picked myself up and kept going. Seek help, take care of my body, process, and create.

For it is by remembering that we grieve; and it is in deeply caring for ourselves that we continue to share our love with others. For life is a regenerating process. We are like snakes, shedding our old skins from time to time. And it is in the acceptance of this game of life that, we live and flourish.

 

Sweet nature – poem & reflection

Sweet nature 

The sweetness of nature fills my heart with desire
Each step renders a new adventure
– A new feeling when the sun beams on this soft human body. 

The synchronistic meeting of each soul 
fills my heart with laughter, tears, joy, and love
This richness of life isn’t found in the jungle, or the bedroom
It is in allowing this sore openness of the heart that abundance flows

For in this effortless being we let ourselves float 
While the salty water and the mischievous fishes carry us

Down the stream
To our destiny.

Written by Christy Choy on Nov 24,2017 at Lake Merritt, Oakland

When I was little, I wanted to become a writer, or a lawyer. A writer, because I loved to read and write. Books were the loyal friends that kept me company through the darkest hours. A lawyer, because I wanted to stand up against injustice, and speak for the one who cannot fight for themselves. I never would have thought of becoming a therapist ,living in California.

And then life happenedAs if carried by an invisible wave, my life took its twist and turns. The meetings of significant people : friends, lovers, mentors, teachers, the love and loss of loved ones, the miraculous encounters and spontaneous adventures, and the courageous decisions made at each intersection… This storybook of life,  filled with the sweet essence of life’s ups and downs and its mundane details, rest deep inside my soul.

Perhaps I am a writer after all. For I am writing my own story.  And aren’t we all? Each day, each moment, we are presented with a choice – to show up or to not show up? When we encounter another being, we have a choice in how we engage – to smile or not to smile, to express kindness or remain aloof? And when we are triggered by certain people or situation, we can react with quick anger and accusation, or take a moment to breathe, center, and choose our response differently. The small things we do matter, and it has a ripple effect that goes out far beyond what we can imagine.

Thus, it is often in the mundane, tedious details of life where it lies the most significant lesson. And life is an irony that riddles us into the whirlpool of our soul. What lies ahead in my path? I don’t know ,and I won’t know. I can only be here and be present. To strive and live each moment with love and integrity, to face each challenge with grace and persistency, to treat other beings with kindness and respect. Some days will be joyful, and some days might be hard and difficult. But the beauty of life, I believe, is in allowing our hearts to be touched in life’s ups and downs, our senses to be infused with scents and  sceneries, and our soul to be penetrated by the deep feeling, the abundant of emotions that life has to offer.

Cheers.

The Dharma Wheel -poem & reflection

The Dharma Wheel

 

In the heart of longing

In this life of being

What is really important?

In the darkest of hours

I prayed to God

God, grant me your mercy

Please, show me if this is the path

_

And here comes

The Dharma Wheel

Golden, magnificent

Spinning in my dream

_

As if holding by a spirit

The wheel keeps turning

_

Tears flow down my cheek

As I receive this gift

Stepping into uncertainties

It still feels scary

_

Yet I realize

This is but another turn around the wheel

There is nothing to worry about

_

Spinning through the dark forest

Takes me on a wild ride

To the past

Through the future

Allow me to embrace each moment

of pain and ignorance

_

Wheeling to the unknown

To the mystery

A life fulfilled with love and rain.

  • Poem written By Christy Choy, MA. MFT  in 2017

In the winter of 2017, I made a decision to leave my stable, well-paid job at UCSF. It was a risky decision, and a difficult one. For even though the work with the severely mentally ill, psychotic population was very challenging and draining, it was my life’s work for over seven years. It was, and still is, my passion. Ever since I graduated from college with my psychology degree, I’ve always worked in the field of community mental health, serving the severely mentally ill, psychotic population. I loved the early years of crisis work at Progress Foundation. I felt strangely at home among clients who are suffering from mental illness, heartbreaks, terminal illness, who are often using substances to numb their pain. And I often felt a sense of comradery with my colleagues as we managed to pull through days after days of the gruelling 12 hour shift, supporting the healing and recovery of clients who endured deep suffering, and managing the crisis situations which always manage to spike up our adrenaline and connect us deeper in a human, soul level. 

Yet, change is inherent in the process of growth. And though I left and came back to the field of community mental health, I knew that it was time for a change, again. It was scary. Being employed by an agency such as UCSF gives me a sense of safety, a feeling of security. It was as if my being was enveloped by this huge saturnian energy that is indestructible. All I needed to do was to swim in this field of muddy water in my day to day life, and survive. Even though the work was challenging and at times, dangerous; I was also safe, in terms of earthly, financial concerns. But I knew, I wasn’t thriving. 

Over the years, as I grew in my work and studies, and practice in spirituality, my senses had become more and more refined. Or perhaps, I have finally woken up and come to terms with the nature of my sensitivity. The constant bombardment of chaotic energy, without my having any control of, was too much for my soul. Even though my work was relatively well paid, I spent all my resources and time off recovering from the intensity of the work. My body spoke to me in various symptoms, getting sick often, having allergic skin reaction/eczema, stomachache. These are all signs of stress and overwhelm which I could not ignore any more. At that time, I was also deep in the studies of Archetypal Psychology while working full time. And I finally realized, and decided, that I needed a change. What I’ve been doing, for years, was an unconscious pattern stemming from childhood, family conditioning. As a child, I have had to overextend myself to care for others’ need to the point of exhaustion, often putting myself last or even neglecting my own needs. I was constantly swinging from high to low, from full of joy and energy to feeling depleted.  Its time to wake up, its time for a change.

So, I finally decided to leave the job. And I wrote the resignation letter. The night before I resign, before sleep, I prayed to God, ” God, please please let me know if this is the right decision, please let me know if this is the right thing to do.” I was terrified. Change is scary. And I felt I was walking on a suspended bridge, about to step forward mid-air, anticipating a free fall. That night, or, to be more precise, the next morning before dawn, I received a sign. I was in the dream state, just before waking up, when I suddenly saw a golden dharma wheel appeared from the left side right above my head. The magnificent, golden dharma wheel was turning, slowly but powerfully; as if it was held by some unseen being. I woke up in tears, my heart expanded and grateful. I realized that this job that I was so afraid to leave, was but a small part of my life’s work. And the dharma wheel will keep turning, as change is inherent in every moment of our life. It is safe to follow the soul’s calling, it is okay to take care of one self and leave a work environment that is too harsh for my sensitivity.

All is well, and life is sacred. 

 

 

 

 

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