Gratitude

“The beautiful thing about the mind is that we can always change it.” – Lisa Guyman

It has been a pretty long time since I’ve posted, and really because I didn’t really feel there was anything to post for a while. I found myself wondering about what I would post if I were to post, and I come back to gratitude. I feel like it’s really all you ever really need to figure it out, as most anything I write about is related to gratitude in some way.

I used to do gratitude in an extremely egotistical way. Not because I was a nasty person or anything, I was just insecure about myself and felt that this was how to gain confidence. I would write things that I was grateful for that were very judgmental and hinged on the fact that others did not have the same privileges and advantages as I did. Which, I suppose, is a step up from complaining about everything. I also didn’t really do it so consistently. Sometimes whenever I sat down to ‘do gratitude’ it was kind of like a gratitude purge – just get it all out because everything is points. (I started doing gratitude after hearing it being touted by so many personal development programs as the way to bring more in your life and manifest your desires, and ooo boy did I want to bring more STUFF in my life, so I better get going on this gratitude stuff!)

Of course that never lasts. For me it lasted a little less than two months before the blowing event hit the fan, then I had to reconstitute the shattered little parts of me together again. But during that time, it was a constant stress and struggle of how to get the best be the best do the best best best best best best..all just based on how far I could see. I thought that I would have to get the best in the environment I’m in now, then jump to the next group and get the best in that, then jump to the next group until I got to the top. Well I’m genuinely grateful things don’t work out that way!

I started doing a gratitude journal seriously for the first time when I arrived in Milan two years ago. I had been trying to do it for a while, but something magical about being in Milan helped me that time. It wasn’t just because I was in Milan. A large part of it was that, but in actuality, it was how much I had yearned, really yearned, from a young age to be in Europe and see Europe that it instantly shifted me into a more genuine grateful attitude. The other thing was I had no distractions. I didn’t feel pressure in any of the ways I used to – no friends/social pressure, no family pressure. I was in a different place and living with a different family, making it a lot easier for me to focus on gratitude and appreciation. Of course, I could have chosen the route to attempt to keep up with the new social group obsessively and complain about the family I was living with, but thanks to the blowing event that hit the fan, I didn’t take that path.

The gratitude journal entries I did during that time still inspire me when I read them. I got a little wacky and out there, but all for fun. I was also using it as an affirmation and I gave thanks for a lot of things that had not yet come to pass, notably a romantic relationship based on my own self-love and feminine energy.

Here is an example of an entry I had:

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As you can see, even though that day I wasn’t having the best day and apparently had a lot of feelings of neediness, I was practicing an art – an art of self-love, an art of appreciating who and where I am no matter where that may be. Because we’re never going to get it done, so at any given point there can be a comparison where in some way it may seem like something negative. But that doesn’t mean it is, and it definitely doesn’t mean the mind needs to get caught onto it. I love the quote from Kamal Ravikant’s book Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, where he says something along the lines of “It’s your mind. You can do whatever you want with it.”

In my experience, gratitude is the first step in improving your life, getting into spirituality, upgrading your attitude, or whatever positive change it is you seek to create. Think about it – can anything be positive if you’re not grateful for it? The thing about gratitude is it’s really like magic – better things start happening to you. And that’s not because the same crap happens to you and you learn to see it in a different way. That’s part of it, but it’s more of the ripple effect of where you choose to put your attention. There are crappy things you can put your attention on and there are wonderful things you can put your attention on. When you put your attention on the wonderful things, yes you start seeing the crappy things in a better light, but more wonderful things start moving towards you. It’s magic!

It may take a while, but if you’re in the ready space to do it, you get the feeling, you invite it in daily…I guarantee you that it will change you and your life forever.

Why not start a gratitude journal yourself today?

 

Grateful for you,

Catt

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The Grass is Always Greener..Where You Water It!

I’ve talked to a lot of people in the past few years I’ve been traveling a lot. No matter where I go, someone is jealous about somewhere I’ve been. It’s true – travel has been a big part of my life. And not just travel, I’ve lived in some of these amazing places for periods of time. It’s actually kind of funny for me because it’s not a big deal for me to travel and “see the world,” but I always find myself in amazing places people dream of traveling to.

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Tuscan vineyard

Taipei city at night

Taipei city at night

I grew up in Taiwan, but always identified myself as more of an American when I was growing up, and wished I lived in the US instead. The worst part was that I read Seventeen magazine, and all those products and outfits that made the girls so pretty were…only available in North America. I’d try to find a replacement products, but smoothing serum and 3-way colour smear was just not a thing in Taiwan at the time. I was a typical sucker for marketing and what’s worse (or probably good when I look back) was that everything was 10,000 kilometres away from me.

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street food, the best food 🙂

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Southern California

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Jiu Fen in Taiwan

Even though I’ve weaned off those needs, I still find myself wishing I had certain things that aren’t available where I am, no matter where I am. When I am in Taiwan, like I said, shopping for products and outfits isn’t so easy, nor are accessories that are popular in the US, like bose headsets or whatever. When I am in the US, I wish I had the food and the public transportation in Taiwan and Italy, and little products in Taiwan that make things so wonderful, like authentic teas and can openers that make sense. And I can’t forget how cheap and available everything at the computer market in Taiwan is, and how much easier that makes my life. Cooking also isn’t as exciting in the US as it is in Italy; I’m not sure why but pasta I cook always tastes better in Italy, even when I bring it from Italy to the US. When I’m in Italy, I find that the fresh produce selection for my juicing and blending is not as wide and varied as in the US or in Taiwan, and there’s no Trader Joe’s, the saddest part about anywhere that doesn’t have Trader Joe’s.

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I love Italian balconies

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delicious street foods from Taiwan

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Aosta valley in Italy

The grass seems always greener on the other side because when we’re on this side, it’s our vantage point and our perspective. But as I’ve experienced, the grass is really never greener on the other side. Maybe in some ways it can be, and it’s definitely a personal preference thing, but it’s never actually greener. What’s greener is what you water.

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When I was in Italy the first time, I didn’t notice that I didn’t have kale and hearts of romaine lettuce. I was noticing that the buildings were the most gigantic gorgeous structures I’ve seen in my entire life! And the food – the food! I’d always been spoiled with amazingly good food in Taiwan, but this was the best food from a totally different cuisine that was just to live for. I loved hearing Italian. It was music to my ears, and the best part was I couldn’t understand it so I couldn’t understand whether someone was complaining and stomping on beautiful Italian grass or not – it all sounded great to me!

The only time I really changed and really felt true pure joy in my life wasn’t from moving to another perfect place and then bam everything fell in place for me. It was the first time I was in Italy, where I was constantly watering and my grass was growing so green, so lush, so abundantly wonderful. I finally “got” the Law of Attraction and experienced it positively firsthand. Everything I was thinking and desiring was coming into my reality in a matter of minutes, and I remember the exhilaration of being so in tune with what the world was offering me because I had (semi-)consciously and deliberately tuned myself to that which I love and appreciate. The grass is always greener where you water it, I know it to be true from my personal experience. And what is the water? I think it’s best described as appreciation, which I achieved through the conscious practice of gratitude. It’s definitely a concept that is worth thinking about and that changed my life, because it’s never greener on the other side – only where you decide to water it. My wish is for me and everyone else to experience the appreciation we innately have of the world and experience what magic that can do for our lives, and that everyone may see how much there really is out there to explore and experience.

Happy Watering,

Catt xxx

Evidence of Appreciation and Positive Energy

I’ve been wanting to write this post since it happened, which now is around a month ago!

The first time I heard about words affecting our wellbeing and physiology was when I was 16 years old. I was an intern at the headquarters of Starbucks on the Operations/Customer Service department in Taiwan. It was the classic “Dr. Masaru Emoto” water crystals thing everyone keeps bringing up as “proof” of the Law of Attraction or whatever they’re trying to prove about energy affecting us.

If you don’t know what it is, briefly, Dr. Masaru Emoto took very pure water from clear springs or double distilled water, froze it, and took pictures of the crystals they formed. He then started exposing them to various things, including words, photographs, and music. The crystals that were formed were different based on what they were exposed to. Here are some of them (you can also go see them on Dr. Masaru Emoto’s Website):
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I saw an interview of Dr. Masaru Emoto and the interviewer gave an example you could try at home, filling jars with cooked rice and water and taping “love” on one and “hate” on the other and visiting it everyday sending the jars the respective energies (so on the love jar, you tell it how much you love it, the hate one you judge and criticize). I never wanted to try this experiment not because I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t imagine the things growing in those jars and the thought of cleaning it up after made it not worth it for me lol (maybe get my fiance’ to do it? 😀 Honey!!!).

Well one morning I woke up a few days after my monthiversary with my fiance and he sends me gorgeous flowers every month. 🙂 These were the lovely March flowers:

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I had been practicing myself into a feeling good place especially every morning, as I mentioned in the last blogpost on setting the vibrational tone for your day, and this morning I woke up and started flowing appreciation to one of the daisies. I remember it very clearly, remember exactly which daisy it was, and I definitely “knew” that this “experiment” was going to work because I trust the power of energy and words and etc. I must have sat there in straight appreciation without entertaining anything else for three minutes straight. It was a powerful meditation for me because I was feeling so good after that, and I felt so much love for the beauty of this daisy!

I didn’t do anything special to these flowers, they all got the same amount of water (all the stems were in the water), they sat on my windowsill and had the same amount of sun..besides they’re kind of cut already so they’re just decaying anyways. This is what happened a few weeks later.

15 days later:

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The daisy I flowed appreciation to is thriving while the other roses, carnations, fern, and other daisies are wilting.

18 days later, at noon:

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This is where I was starting to be like “whoa!!” This is so clear!! The other daisies are like so sad and it’s still going well!

Same day (18 days later), in the evening:

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This is a photo of the entire bouquet, the whole vase. The other flowers are clearly not doing as well as the appreciated flower.

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And here I took a photo upclose of the other daisies versus the daisy I flowed appreciation to.

I love this stuff! I love how words and emotions affect us and we can even play these energy games like this!

So much fun.

 

The takeaway? Think, Talk, Act only on what you desire and what feels good! Feel good! That is always the bottom line. I loved this “energy experiment” because I didn’t babble about what is right and whether Dr. Masaru Emoto did the “correct” scientific procedures etc, it’s just something I did myself and I know how well it works! It gives me a lot of trust and peace in the Universe and knowing that this is where I want to be.

Happy Appreciating!

-Catt xxx