Be Unstoppable

mommyandw

This post is part of YummyMummyClub.ca‘s support of the Dove® Unstoppable Moms for Unstoppable Girls Contest. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors. Go to www.UnstoppableMoms.ca to enter by sharing how you inspire girls to reach their full potential.

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You know it’s that time of year again.

Swimsuit season.

Ugh. Right?

When Dove asked me; “Have you ever stopped doing what you love because of how you feel about your body?” The first thing that popped in my head was this;

I have.

I stopped going to the pool with my kids.

My soon-to-be-5-year-old son keeps asking me to go to the pool, and I keep procrastinating actually taking him. Because I can’t fit into my swimsuit.

I’m sure lots of women go through this same agony during swimsuit season.

I actually love swimming pool. Who doesn’t, really. My son loves swimming, both my kids do – my older one is 15 and he will be training for Bronze Cross for lifesaving soon.

My younger son goes to swimming lessons with his daycare, and occasionally goes to the pool with his dad, too. But he wants to go to the pool WITH ME too.

His wish is completely valid, and I WANT to go to the pool with him too. How fun would it be! But I am hesitant because I can’t fit into my swimsuit, darn it.

When Dove asked the question above, I really had to think, Why? Why am I so reluctant to go to the pool, and why do I care so much about how I look?

I always, always strive to be a good role model for younger people. Especially for girls. I’m a huge advocate for putting yourself out there. I even jokingly call myself Fearless Peerless.

What kind of message I will be sending out to young girls if I stop doing what I love to do, because of what way I feel about my body?

So I promise here. I will start going to the pool with my son. I will not worry about how I look and I am going to enjoy the time I have with my kids. Because you know what? Life is too short. I should enjoy the time I have with my son while he still wants to hang out with me. 😉

I also strive to be the person who walks the talk. I strive to be fearless. And I strive to be Unstoppable. Then I shall not worry about my body.

I dare you to be Unstoppable too.

Unstoppable Moms for Unstoppable Girls Contest: Share how you inspire girls to reach their full potential.

Did you know 6 out of 10 girls avoid activities because they feel badly about the way they look? However, when girls have a role model at home, they are less likely to let anxiety about their looks hold them back.

More often than not, this role model is Mom.

Long before peer pressure kicks in, Mom’s behavior shapes who their daughters are and who she will become.

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Are you an unstoppable mom? Share YOUR story about a time when you thought about quitting an activity you loved because of how you felt about your body and let them know how you think moms/role models can better support girls to participate in activities. You have until June 13, 2013 to enter. You could win $2,500 for yourself and $2,500 will be donated to help raise a girl’s self-esteem.

Check out more stories on YummyMummyClub.ca about amazing unstoppable moms:

http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/family/mummy/unstoppable-moms-for-unstoppable-girls 

Let the light get in

Light

(Photo credit:  Family O’Abé)

First month of 2013 is more than half way over.
2013 is going to be a great year for me. I just know it.

I didn’t do official “resolution post” here, but what I want to be mindful of this year is to practice Wholehearted Living. I read Daring Greatlyby Brené Brown last year and I can say it was one of the most important books I have ever read.

Living wholeheartedly means leaning into fear and discomfort, believing that you are worthy of love and belonging, and embracing vulnerability. Seriously, if you haven’t read the book, you should.

I had one of those “bad day” yesterday. I was tired, and despite my effort to live every day being kind to others and let go of controlling anything, some people got on my nerves. My resentment to others got the best of me and I slipped off from being Wholehearted.  I even bitched on social media—bitching on social media is equivalent of drunken phone calls in the 90’s—it seems like a good idea at the time, but the next day you just want to bury yourself. Then my great friend Raul messaged me. Basically he said “I saw what happened online. The person you dealt with is in a lot of pain. If you can find in your heart to forgive them…” His message brought me back to the wholehearted mindfullness again.

When people rash out or say mean things, it’s often because they are in pain. I’ve been there. And I forgot. And Raul reminded me. Thank you, Raul.

Then this morning, I just read Brené’s latest blog post “Light, Love and Martin Luther King, Jr.” I love this quote — “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, Only love can do that.”— that is also mentioned in the book.

And what she says here, is exactly what happened to me last night;

When there is darkness in the world, I can slip into the dark place. I can start rehearsing tragedy and let my fear take over. I can turn to blame even though I know that blaming is simply a way to discharge pain and discomfort and has nothing to do with holding people accountable.

One of the many important things I learned from Daring Greatly on living Wholehearted Life is, to be kind to yourself. It’s about letting go of perfectionism and telling myself that I am enough. I slipped, but I’m only human, and all I can do is to own it, and not to make the same mistake again.
My other favourite quote in the book is by Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem” that goes like this;

There’s crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

We are enough. Let’s let the light get in.

 

20 Thoughts on life

(Updated on Feb 21, 2016)

1. Be careful when you are giving advice. Most people will ask for your advice and never follow it. You can’t control what they take away from you and/or if they take anything away at all.

2. Your thoughts become your reality. I always thought I would live overseas. I don’t know why. I just wanted to. I didn’t know how I’d do it, but now I’ve been living in Canada for close to 20 years.

3. I have so many people I like who cannot do anything for me, yet I would do anything for them. It’s not that they worked hard to be liked by me. I just like them. To be liked genuinely is a powerful thing.

4. Raising a bilingual child is extremely difficult. It’s a lifetime commitment.

5. Think with your own head. But in this socially connected world, sometimes you can fall into trap by asking for people’s opinion. I’m guilty of this too. Similarly: Ask questions.

6. Connect with at least one person daily in a meaningful way. I write down every day who I’ve connected with that day in my day planner.

7. I am a woman before I am a mother. And I am proud of it.

8. What doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. It’s true.

9. It’s OK to show your weakness. I mean it. In other word, if you act like you are perfect and strong, not many people will feel connected to you. It’s OK to be human.

10. If you are not learning from your mistakes, you are not really living. Read:If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules

11. Grow a thick skin. I have always been the “nail that sticks out”(Japanese proverb) and been called names or spoken ill of. Feel sorry for those who have to speak behind others’ backs. What others think of you is none of your business.

12. Habit is a scary thing. I remember my elementary school teacher saying this. I’ve only lived in Canada for 17 years, but I say “Excuse me” in English when my shoulder touches other people in Japan. Weirdly, I say “Ouch” when I hurt myself. Getting used to things desensitize you. This is seriously frightening.

13. Treat children with respect. They are sensitive and they remember more than you know. I still remember things my mom taught me when I was 3 or 4 – never  waste any grain of rice, never wear a plastic bag in your head, how to crack an egg, and so on.

14. Japan has so many signs everywhere telling you to do/not to do stuff. “Please do not smoke” “Please stay inside the line” “Please do not use your cell phone” “Please keep your voice down”  I think this is really messed up. One of the reasons I cannot live there any more.

15. Don’t misunderstand your self-worth within the context of people you hang out with. Just because you hang out with “famous/important” people, doesn’t mean that you are.

16. Show up for your friends.  People will always remember that you were there for their special moments.

17. Hone your BS meter. Just because your friends say something/someone is amazing doesn’t mean you should follow suit.

18. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” – C.S. Lewis

19. Use your imagination. Imagination = thoughtfulness, kindness, generosity and more.

20. Be fearless.

 

This post was inspired by Craig McBreen and Julien Smith. Thank you.

One year…


One year from the biggest earthquake and Tsunami in Japanese history.
Where were you last March 11, 2011?

I was here, in Victoria. That day, I went to see my son play in school musical. He did so well. I came out from the theatre, so proud, when I looked at my phone. I found several tweets from my friends talking about big earthquake in Japan. Some tweeted to me asking if my family was OK.

What earthquake? Where?

I got home and turned the TV on. What I saw there was devastating footage of Japan’s Tohoku area being destroyed by Tsunami.

It is hard for me to describe the feeling and sensation I felt while I was watching all the coverage. Have you ever experienced the fear of your home country being destroyed? The terror of mother nature. Big buildings and cars, swallowed by giant waves within seconds.

The helplessness. Hopelessness. Guilt. That overwhelming sadness.

It was stressful enough for me, who was merely watching it on TV, in a country 7500km away. Imagine what it’s like to be there. Your family, your house, your friends, your pets….all gone.

Last night, I watched a special TV program on 311 on TV Japan. On the show, they were reporting updates of each municipalities. Nothing, almost nothing is back to normal. The debris are still there in most of the municipalities because there are no means to clean them,  and so much empty lot there, as nobody wants live in fear of another Tsunami, and/or because the foundation there is not strong enough to build anything on. Many people are moving up on the hills, but there are not enough housings, and of course there are so many delicate and complicated issues such as needs of elderly, schooling, small businesses, etc.

Since 311, several friends and I put together Hope Love Japan fundraiser here in Victoria and we raised $14,000 CDN. I’ve also joined Tasukeai Japan to help with translation.

And now, it’s been a year.

Just like any other disasters, I know this has literally become “Last year’s news” to some of you.

Yuuki, my friend from Tasukeai Japan (Tasukeai means Supporting Each Other), who’s been to Tohoku to help out, said to me;

“For the people in Tohoku, what they fear most is to be forgotten.”

How do we keep it from withering away?

Tasukeai Japan and their amazing volunteers created the video above to send the messages from Japan to the world.

330,000 people are still displaced. 3,000 people are still missing. This is far from over.

Please share the video. We want any people as possible to see it.

Thank you for sharing. Thank you for supporting. Thank you for remembering.

Special Thank You to Daisuke Yamamoto who created the video!