Mind Map: Asian Female Identity

I just published a new podcast episode on The Soul’s Work Podcast, which is on a topic that I’ve really wanted to talk about for a while now: on the experience of identifying as an Asian female.

It’s a pretty complex subject, and it’s not like I have it all figured out. But what I do know for sure is how damaging the dominant representations of Asian women in media can be on individuals such as myself.

I know what kind of stereotypes exist out there about human beings who look like me. And I know how that can impact the way people perceive Asian women, as well as how Asian women can come to see themselves.

This post isn’t to rehash everything I said in the episode. (You can listen to the whole conversation here). Rather, I just needed to decompress here a bit, because thinking and reading about this topic leads to me feeling a really heavy weight in my heart.

It’s like the emotional turmoil I knew I’d have to go through writing my #metoo post. And it’s that feeling I get when having to digest anything about social injustice and oppression.

It’s not just because I am an empath who FEELS A LOT and feels the pain of others. But it’s also that I have been at the bottom end of that oppression many times over in my life.

So, it’s kind of having to reliving the sadness, resentment, and feelings of shame and low self-worth that all go along with those experiences.

Because, let’s face it, a lot of stereotypes and expectations about Asian women are not uplifting or empowering.

Regardless, my soul is calling me to speak on this, and so I will. We have a lot of work to do in changing the script. Let’s keep this conversation open. Let’s keep talking.

Lots of love & self-love,
Janice ❤

Honesty + Courage = Freedom

I have this life formula for myself, which is Honesty + Courage = Freedom.

So, first getting really honest with myself regarding what I want in life, what I don’t want, who or what is bringing me negative energy, and so on.

And then, secondly, summoning up that courage to take the oftentimes scary step of putting that honest revelation into action.

And I have always found, that no matter what the result or the outcome, letting go of that fear and taking the brave step makes me feel FREE.

With that in mind, I think it’s really worthwhile to explore fear. Because fear is often what keeps us trapped inside a box, held down, and restrained from doing the things that are actually what would bring fulfillment to our lives.

(Side note: Exploring fear is exactly what we did in Episode 3: Courage (& Fear) of The Soul’s Work Podcast! Listen here.)

And the crazy thing that always blows my mind, when I think about it, is that maybe at first it’s more so the external world — society and people outside of us — who are the ones trying to restrict us inside this little box.

Perhaps, they tell us: You should be this way. You shouldn’t do that. Don’t go for that dream, because it won’t get you anywhere. Blah, blah, blah …

And I liken it to them throwing us into a jail cell. (Not to be overly dramatic, but that’s gonna be our metaphor for today, okay?).

So, they’ve thrown us into this metaphorical jail cell, and they’ve locked the door behind us with one of those giant, old school jail keys. That’s the picture in my mind.

But as time goes by, we start to internalize those beliefs that the external world has been bombarding us with.

We no longer need anyone else feeding us those perceptions anymore (although, of course, that external pressure lives on!).

Because, for a lot of us, we’ve gotten to the point where we’ve taken ownership of those fearful beliefs.

They’ve become so internalized, ingrained within us, that we hold onto those self-limiting beliefs as our own thoughts.

And that, to me, is the worst kind of loss of freedom. It’s like when you’re in a mental prison inside your own head.

And so, even if our jail keeper slipped us the key through the bars and walked away from guard duty, we might just stay sitting in that cell.

Because we’ve been in there for so long, and we’ve come to believe that that’s where we should be, that’s all we know.

And it doesn’t matter that we’re now holding the key right in the palm of our hand.

Because we’ve become afraid of what will happen should we unlock that cell door, and walk out into what has now become an unknown and uncertain world beyond our little box.

So, I think that honesty is about coming to the realization that we do want more and deserve more than just staying in that little box.

And courage is like the next step, where we find the strength — despite how fearful we are of that unknown world beyond the jail cell — to take that key, unlock the cell door, swing it wide open, and walk out of that box, free.

So, Honesty + Courage = Freedom

And the good news — the amazingly fantastic news — is that we absolutely do hold that key in our hand.

Lots of love and self-love,
Janice ❤

P.S. Listen to “Episode 2: Honesty” of The Soul’s Work Podcast here. Then, follow up with “Episode 3: Courage (& Fear)” here!