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Leadership Manifesto

This was shared to me by one of my professors at USC. This is such a special reminder that the people we work with have a voice and wants to be heard, and have every right to have their needs met, and their strengths built upon so that they can also serve in their communities.

My experience at USC has been so meaningful, and a lot of it has to do with her guidance and classes that really focus on our strengths and empower us to be leaders and change agents in our society. She really challenged me to think about my conflicts and challenges I faced in different lights and perspectives, and continue to gently remind me to keep my actions in check and to strengthen my self-awareness.

I guess I’m feeling a bit sentimental at the moment because winding down my graduate career at USC. I’m about to graduate!


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My element. I’m not really one to follow zodiac signs, but I do find these traits and qualities very interesting and certainly very accurate. I’m not sure how they know, but I am water. I am Cancer.

853cd4c73b84b970e4c8b30177d8d126Water elements are most sensitive and intuitive. The element of water is in touch with the source of creation and can sense that we, too,  are a part of this divine birthplace. Water signs are incredibly empathic and can feel the emotions of others.

Water can also drown in another person’s emotional abyss if not careful because water has no boundaries. It soaks into us. Think about it. The element of Water can conform to the elements around it. When mixed with fire, it creates steam, with earth it creates mud and with air it creates rain.

Water has no shape or permanent ability to remain solid. For this reason, water functions at its best when allowed to remain fluid. In fact, the power of water should not be underestimated. Water can extinguish fire, wash away earth and saturate the atmosphere so completely that it stops wind in its tracks.

Water has unlimited emotional depth and is self-contained. Water is also self-protective. If provoked, it won’t lose a battle with any other element. It prefers to do whatever it takes to guard itself from outside influence. This guarantees a serene place for personal reflection and insight.

Cancer will express the element of water to pursue emotional security and to nurture and protect that which it feels most deeply connected to.

Cardinal Water – Ruled by the Moon – Rules the 4th House

Cancers are one of t6266a54d84ef0f6b87c848e6bf6d37ca.jpghe most intuitivesensitive signs of the zodiac. Their instincts are so acute, it’s sometimes downright eerie. Cancer can put into words what your’e feeling, when you don’t even realize what was going on deep down inside to begin with.

Razor sharp in their perception, yet tender and fragile in their self-protection, Cancers have been called the most creative sign, and also the most insecure. The creative potential and sensitivity in Cancer comes from the combination for the Moon’s rulership, but also the fact that Cancer is a water sign.

Cancer has this pattern of nurturing anything that isn’t capable of caring for itself with amazing tenderness and ambition. While it’s easy to picture a Cancerian around the home fires, don’t forget that Cancer is a Cardinal sign. This gives them incredible drive and leadership ability. You will find Cancer nurturing their career or a pet project, just as much as you might find them nurturing children, family, pets, or their infamous mood swings.

For all their capacity to nurture and care for others, Cancer has the life lessons of learning how to nurture without smothering and also how to nurture their own deep, sensitive soul.

[Source: and]

[Photo creds:]

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My Anthem

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

  • Anaïs Nin

This quote has so much meaning to me, it has become my anthem for life since high school.

[Original photo by me].

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Another reminder.

Do not resist your pain.

Surrender to the grief, despair, fear, loneliness, or whatever form the suffering takes. Witness it without labelling it mentally. Allow it to be there. Embrace it. Then see how the miracle of surrender transmutes deep suffering into deep peace.

  • Eckhard Tolle

[Original photo, Taiwan circa 2012]

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Life in My 30’s.

I’ve been struggling a lot with balancing finishing up grad school, working, interning, managing personal relationships and self-care.

It’s been a long journey, but I’m able to identify when my body needs rest. However, I riddle myself with guilt when I do take a break. Take tonight for example. I have a paper that’s due Tuesday. 3-5 pages, no big deal. I’ve slept most of the day, and forced myself to get up to start my paper, which became unproductive. I became unmotivated and dreading it. I managed to re-watch half of a video for my paper that I watched last week, and took notes. That’s all I could manage for today.

And now that I came back home and pampered myself, my brain is guilt tripping my for taking care of myself when I know that I needed it. I know that when I apply self-care, I am able to become productive. But my brain won’t let me rest.

My body and my mental health has been going through some changes lately. Life in general has been going full-speed ahead. It does not wait for me.

There are many positive changes. I’ve been been growing my tribe with more positive and like-minded people. Like-minded as in, we are on board with giving each other support and keep each other accountable, but if we have differences and misunderstandings, we learn how to work it out and we want to work it out. That’s what I mean. Like-minded. I’ve also been learning how to take care of myself, and asserting my needs and boundaries in my relationships.

I’ve just been hired to work per diem at the hospital I have been interning at. I’m finishing up my program @ USC, which I am so excited for. I’m taking care of myself more. I’ve met this wonderful man. He’s been incredibly supportive and positive about where I consider my deficits.

There are so many positive things going on for me. I am really blessed, but that does come with obstacles.

Since I’ve turned 30, my body has been through a lot of changes. For those of you who don’t know, I live with chronic Hepatitis B. My mother breast-fed me as an infant before I got my immunizations. (If you don’t know what that is, I would suggest looking it up).

Hepatitis B has left me chronically fatigued. Sometimes it’s hard to manage my medication, and I’ve been more mindful about taking them at the same time, every single day. I’ve discovered that I am more prone to joint pain and tendonitis. How do I do the activities that I love? I’ve had to work really hard to work around the disease. If I climb, I have to take longer breaks in between. I can’t go for more than 3 times a week. If I have a busy schedule, I tend to choose being by myself, rather than out with my friends because I need that time to recharge. If I’m working and interning consecutive days, I tend to spend my weekends sleeping…and sleeping.

I am in constant struggle with my diet. I know I have to eat healthy, but have poor impulse control because I’m so tired all the time. I eat everything in sight. I need to lose weight. But I’m stressed all the time and it’s so incredibly hard to eat right. I’ve started meal prepping, but life got in the way, and that’s temporarily on hold.  And don’t even talk to me about alcohol. I’ve discovered I’ve developed an allergy to beers. I get itchy and my limbs and fingers get so swollen, I can’t even peel my jeans off my legs.

I also have been recovering from severe tedonitis in my left foot. Although it’s been better, I have not been able to exercise for weeks now. I’ve become restless and moody, and I feel fat.

How I got through 2 years of grad school is beyond me. How I’ve been able to maintain my friendships and relationships is beyond me too. All I have to say is that I am so lucky to have really understanding friends, family, and coworkers. I’ve made my first appointment to see a therapist starting Monday, and I’m really looking forward to that. All I can tell myself is that it will get better. And it will.

Physical self-care. Mental self-care. Self-love. Empowerment.

That’s all the thoughts I have for tonight. Goodnight 🙂

[Original photo, Fremont circa 2015]