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Birthday Reflections - On Success and Life

35 year old. I had a grandeur idea that I would invite all my friends and family, all coming together to celebrate life, friendship and love.
While this did not manage to take place, I do feel my birthday today is a very special day - it is also Thanksgiving Day.
5 years ago, I was not in a good place. Climbing the career ladder, I was highly insecure, eager to please, lonely and unhappy. I was living in fear, afraid others may find out what a fraud I was, if I did not do well or "looked successful". I was burnt out.
I reflect on the things I learned that are not true growing up.
1. Do not show your weakness to others
I am so grateful along the way, I learned to open my heart. To accept I am imperfect, and through that process, learn to be accepting of others' imperfection as well. To learn that by showing my vulnerability, others feel safe to open themselves up.
2. Success is achieving more, travelling around the world and looking good
The biggest shift was to redefine what "success" mean to me.
"Success" to me is no longer achieving more. "Success" is the quality of relationships around me. --> So I invested time and love - in my marriage, family (parent, siblings, cousins, aunts, in-law), friends, community.
3. I do not belong

Relationship building takes courage, vulnerability, patience and love. When doing so, I learned to give without expectations. I learned to be authentic - If I do have expectations, felt unfulfilled, I ARTICULATE it. Remember, no one can read your mind.

I also learned to listen with my heart and not my mind. In the past, going out with old and new friends were demoralising. The more I seeked out for similarities, the more I felt I could not connect because "we were so different"/ "we were growing apart!!". By listening to others with our heart, we honor their lives, their different experiences and perspectives. Now, I find conversations engaging, learning about others exciting.
4. Things are not going my way
This leads to my next point - There is no ONE truth, or ONE way of doing things.
There is our truth, AND also their truth. I can be right, AND you can also be right. By learning to LET GO of a fixed mindset, we start to realise we can rewrite the "stories" we tell ourselves. We also turn conflicts to collaboration. This totally transformed how I work and how I love.
My husband used to be a terrible husband because he does not fulfill my criterias of X, Y, Z (so I told myself). Today, I am so lucky that I am more in love with him than ever, in the decade we have been together.
My mother is not a great mother because she did not fit the "traditional role model of a mother" (so I told myself). Today, I love her so much, and think she is the coolest mother one could have. In both instances, both my mom and my husband did not change. They kept their pet peeves, but I changed my pair of lenses, of how I view the world.
Summary
I learned to be authentic and also connect with others deeper than before. I welcome and honor difficult emotions and differences. I check my assumptions and expectations. Authentic relating changed my life. When your relationships work, you find yourself thriving, waking up in bliss. 

As such, I will continue to share RAW principles with as many people as possible, and build my tribe of soul-based, nurturing, beautiful people who connect and light up the world.

I bow in deep appreciation for every single one of you who left me a note, sang me a song, and dropped me messages either on social media or privately.

Just because we kept our hearts opened, I am honored you gave me a chance and the most magical connections happened.

I thank my mom and dad for giving me life. Thank you so much for your well wishes.

 "As I grow in love and compassion, I naturally reflect the light of these energies around me." 

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