Self Love

I’m facilitating a writing group called “Manifesting your Dreams.” I create the prompts as well as respond to them. Here is my response to the second prompt.

Write for at least 5 minutes about this question:
What do you love about yourself? In other words, what are your talents and strengths?

I decided to do it in list format, because I’m a virgo and I love lists.

Name: Amberly Young
Age: 23
Favorite Colors: Yellow, White, Red, and Turquoise
Occupation: World Traveler, Writer, Musician, Artist, Teacher, Philanthropist… but I don’t want to shut any doors, so my occupation is Student and Teacher of Life! Anything and everything.
Interests: Freedom, Generosity, Ultimate Frisbee, Swing Dancing, Healthy Eating, Spirituality, Goal Setting, List Making, Reading, Writing, Drawing, Painting, Talking to Strangers, Yoga and Meditation, Practicing Infinite Love! Everything.
Right now: Wearing fuzzy maroon bathrobe, in the living room of my parents house where I grew up in. Maple the lovable yellow lab maple is snoring.

My Talents and Strengths:

1. Courage. To travel, talk to strangers, to be free, to have no inhibitions. To teach and to be taught. I regained my innate child-like total freedom feeling recently, at the raw food yoga detox center I lived at for 2 months the Philippines. I am turning back into a child! YES! This comes in handy, and is connected to everything.

2. Creativity. In everything I do: Art Cooking Music Daily Life, it just exudes out of me. I can’t help it. I play piano, guitar, flute, drums a little, and I sing A LOT. I know that I am capable of any creative project I set my mind to. Same with sports or anything expressive. Recently I’ve been trying to apply this attitude to everything, such as math and science, which are subjects which intimidated me in the past. Now I know I can do anything.

3. Enthusiasm!!! I throw myself into things one hundred percent without holding back. In the Philippines I had a spiritual awakening because I was SO OPEN and eager to learn everything. Sometimes my friends and family warn me to be more cautious. While I value their input, I think this quality has taken me very, very far in life so far.

Lots of people warned me not to do a solo motorbike trip in Taiwan, and that was such a life changing experience. For 5 days I zoomed down the coastal highway,  finding my way in a country where there are no signs in English – without a smartphone! I had written down names and phone number of places to stay, and miraculously I made it!

There’s a difference between careful and paranoid, and I think I’ve proven I can take care of myself. I do want to be cautious, maybe, but not paranoid! Read my article about traveling alone as a woman for more info about this.

4. Organization. I am all about making lists (as you can tell) and manifesting my dreams via writing, art, music, and with a calendar. I’m all about TAKING ACTION!! I have a pen and paper wherever I go, and I always carry business cards – I had 1000 made in the Philippines for $25! I am excellent at networking and keeping track of the people I’ve met abroad.

5. Love. I love everyone. I love everything. In this moment my love for the world is so powerful it hurts, sometimes its too much. It’s hard for me to hear about all the wars and violence in the world, so I don’t watch the news much. I’m inspired by more positive stories, as my friends volunteering in the Philippines doing permaculture in a tiny village, watch the video here. Like them, I want to spread joy and light to the world! The next step to this is unconditional love for myself.

One final question: How do I do all of this and be empty and nothingness at the same time? I am everything but I am nothing. Or am I? I feel all powerful, with moments of nothingness sprinkled in between. Any advice? Comments? Critique?

Feel free to do this writing prompt on your own, and if you feel inspired you can email it to me! I’ll respond.

Thanks for reading.

Bucket List

I’m sitting in the dining room of the house I grew up in. My parents and sister are asleep, and I’m bundled in a fuzzy bathrobe, listening to my dog snoring, drinking Trader Joe’s peppermint tea, and rewriting my bucket list.

I’ve been staying up late recently, partly because of the jetlag but mostly because I’m seeking alone time. As it gets later and later, I feel more and more creative. My eyes start to droop, but my fingers move faster and faster across the keyboard. As my body and mind slowly go to sleep, my soul comes to life.

After 28 months of travel, it’s a huge relief to finally be home again. I’ve been dreaming about seeing these people – friends, family, and even the homeless people on State Street. Now that they are here next to me, its a relief – but it’s also not what I expected.

I feel pulled in many directions by many different people. My sister is only in town for 10 days so she is a priority, but there are also lots of friends to see and parties to attend. And when is the quiet time for myself? I have been doing yoga and making a green smoothie every morning, which is grounding, but it is not enough.

Now, in the dark hours of the night, when I am on the brink of sleep, I can tap into a part of my unconscious that is reserved for dreams and soul travel. It is the upper chakras, it is the throat, the third eye, and the crown. Something is speaking and it is not my mind.

Meanwhile, my bucket list is rational and linear. I have a plan, and I’m not afraid to achieve it. At the same time, I know that if I don’t accomplish every single item on the list, I will not be angry or sad. I will accept what is, no matter what. However, I know I have the power to do it.  And I will.

I’m healing myself. By organizing my dreams, I am manifesting my future.

So take a look at my new bucket list, and let me know what you think.

Manila

Normally I skip big cities, but fate had me stuck in Manila for 5 days. While I had to endure the pollution and traffic, lucky for me I got to visit my good friend from home. Sajira is doing her Master’s Degree on the urban poor in Manila. Her two-year program has her volunteering, studying, and living in an actual slum all at the same time. I’m so proud of her!

She showed me around her neighborhood in Quezon City in the outskirts of Manila. To get there, I took a jeepney to the metro, crowded into the women only carriage for an hour, and met her at a shopping mall. We hopped on a rickety tricycle to her neighbourhood. She has her own tiny room and shares the communal space with an older couple and their 3 daughters.

In my short visit, I thought the slum looked quite clean and comfortable, perhaps just a bit noisy and crowded. Sajira told me it is one of the nicest ones in Manila.  It didn’t seem dirty, and has electricity and running water.

In these communities, people really know each other and are prepared to help their neighbors. Kids play in the street with sticks, which in my opinion is better than the plastic toys we have in western culture. Visiting the slum definitely made me aware of how I define happiness, and how it compares to a ‘poorer’ perspective. Does money have any relationship with happiness? I’m beginning to doubt it.

I stayed at a great hostel called Our Melting Pot in Makati, the business district. There I met Jordana, an adventurous Canadian traveling solo who became a good friend. We climbed a volcano, went out for karaoke  and got foot massages together. She is one of those people who I know I will be in touch with for life.

Thanks, Manila, for an interesting yet smoggy 5 days. I will be back when I fly home in a few weeks… See you then!