Who am I?

Soul Symphony

Glitching and Shifting Through My Many Sides.

WELCOME TO

All Sides Of Me Are Fine

A heartfelt space where I share my transformative journey towards healing and self-discovery. I invite you to explore the different facets of my life, shaped by challenges, growth, and the pursuit of authenticity.

I grew up facing the trials of rheumatoid arthritis, which significantly affected my physical and emotional well-being. Through it all, I've navigated a world of pain and judgment, striving to find harmony within myself and the outside world.

My path to healing led me to embrace various practices, including arts and dance, Tai Chi, Vipassana, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy), and IFS (Internal Family Systems Therapy). Each experience brought me closer to understanding my inner selves and facilitated profound personal growth.

IFS stands out to me to be the most compassionate psychotherapy modality that resonates deeply with the spiritual wisdom I had spent many years seeking, and more importantly, my own direct experience with parts.

The Moment When My Burdens Fall Away

IFS Helps Me Understand
That I Have A Collection Of Parts

Discovering Authenticity

Meet Some Of My Other Parts

Dear Parts, Thank You

I needed you to survive

For as long as I can remember, there was a sense of disappointment surrounding my birth. My dad's family had wanted a boy, but I am as girly as can be.
I think mom loved me, but she had a very strong opinion how a "good girl" should behave, so I never felt comfortable enough to fully express myself, for fear of being rejected.
Slowly I learnt to suppress my needs for others, because it made them happy; and to be fair, the cheerful part in me loves to see others happy. Was I ever angry?
Days went by, I started noticing a lot of pain in my body. The mornings became unbearable, every joint swollen & inflamed. They diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis. Grade 4, I was not able to attend school anymore; mom needed to care for my every step. The cheerful girl could no longer help me. I needed someone stronger! A warrior (Valor Strongheart) was born. She taught me to push through pain to walk again, to play again, to go back to school again.
Yet I had another problem. The medication I was prescribed resulted in a significant weight gain, which made the whole walking business even harder than it already was. Friends and strangers started laughing at the way I walked. Hmm...I really didn't like that at all, so I learnt another strategy called "masking". I became skilled at hiding my pain, thanks to Ave Winter (my manager part). Ave Winter was extremely talented at making sure my imperfections would not get found out, and she is still very good at it.
This also means that I never talked to anyone about all the guilt and shame I felt even though I didn't do anything wrong. I just numbed everything down because it helped me move forward in life. Mom told me I must be strong, so I was. Even when dad passed away, I still managed my pain pretty well - nothing numbing can't do right? Together, my firefighter girls Rosie Skye, Sakura Joy, Foggy Onyx & Yumi Allure kept me entertained and happy enough so I never paid attention to Luna & Fury Interno (my exiles).
Deep down though, Luna & Fury were always screaming to be heard. I ignored them as long as I could, so well I didn't know they existed. But I knew something was not quite right. I was not living, I was coasting through.
Luna Didn't Like Me

My first meeting with Luna

Anxiety & depression are nothing new to me. "Is there a purpose to my existence?", "What is reality?", "What is love?". For years I traveled to many places hoping answers would be found in foreign lands. At 28, I abandoned most of my worldly interests to pursue spiritual enlightenment. I read a lot of books, tried psychedelics, did a few wild things with earnest intention to connect with my Higher Self. Did I find something? Yes, I might have had glimpses into a Self-realized state, but anytime I was on the verge I'd run so fast in the opposite direction. Death is a scary thing!
One fine day I decided to learn Tai Chi. For 4 months my teacher taught me the forms and the wisdom of the art. It was boring at first, but I soon found that it's a very suitable practice for me. Sometimes the Qi would take over, and my body did the forms by itself. Depression became less intense. I was able to regulate my emotions better.
But practicing Tai Chi every day is not enough. I'm still triggered left and right in many situations. Towards the end of 2022, my anxiety level got so high I wondered if something was seriously wrong with me. My body started shaking, sometimes violently.
I must surrender! I had applied for a 10 day Vipassana course many times in the past, but was never able to get in. Not this time, I was accepted. Some time during the course I hated myself for it. Why on Earth would I open my wounds wide open like that? One good thing though? On day 5, I noticed my heart space was extremley hot, something was coming. That's when I met Luna version. 1, locked in a cage within my little heart for who knows how long. Oh my, she didn't like me. I must say I was a bit frightened, but very intriqued. There is obviously a connection between body parts and certain emotions. And the real question is: How many sides of me are there?
This eventually led me to explore therapy with a good friend I had met many years before. Her 12 year experience as a psychotherapist opened me up to a world of different healing modalities, with Internal Family Systems Therapy being my favorite. IFS gives me a framework to explore my inner world without having to fight my ego or my "shadows". I learn to have fun with my parts. And as I learn to love them, I learn to love myself.
Self

Who Am I

Therapy is not for the light-hearted. As I went forward with EMDR & IFS Parts work, I became vulnerable and confused.
Vulnerable because I have to muster the courage to revisit painful memories of the past, open them up again in order to find a way to heal my exiles. Confused because the deeper I dive, the more I am overwhelmed by the complexity of my psyche.
It is also a very lonely path, because not everybody is going to understand you. Sometimes I do question my sanity. Have I gone crazy?

Who Am I?

Again, this question arises. Who Am I?
Anyone who does deep introspection will see that their thoughts and emotions change all the time, at some point it almost doesn't matter what you think, because soon you might ponder about the complete opposite.
That is why "unattachment" is such an important concept in Buddhism. But it is easier said than done, especially for those who suffer from complex childhood traumas.
I've wished so many times to have had a different childhood, for my mother to change, for my father to live again. THEN I'd be happy!
Is there a point though? Reality is what it is. And why should my inner state be so dependent on the outer world? Why is it sometimes I am overtaken by extreme emotions like fear, anxiety, and despair?
If I am the "Observing Consciousness", unattached to all things, able to let things come when they come and let things go as they go, will I be FREE?
Who Am I?
To really answer this question, one must have Humility.

Humility

Life always seems to have so many lessons for me. When I'm sad, it lifts me up; when I'm arrogant, it crushes my pride.
Sometimes, the lessons life brings is beyond my ability to handle. I want to scream at it, why are you so hard on me?
But that itself is Love. Tough love. You can fool yourself, but you can never fool the Universe. If things aren't working out, you are the one that needs to change. Otherwise, harsh lessons will keep coming until one day you will submit and surrender to that love!
Seeking Clarity

What do I do
when I don't have Clarity?

I've been confused all my life. I would try a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Always a little skittish, scared of many things.
Yet there's this song from my favorite Chinese drama "Journey To The West" that's always with me. It's about 1 master and 3 disciples overcoming 81 hurdles to get to their goal. In the song there is this line:

I dare to ask where is the road?
The Road is underneath your feet .

Heck yeah! They must not have known what they were doing either for the most of it. They pushed through 81 hurdles anyways though, not without fighting and leaving each other then reunited again! So I guess the path unfolds when you start walking on it . I don't always need to know what I'm doing. It's a pathless path, at least for me.

Why is it Important to Unblend from Parts?

I made this website to honor my parts, to give them a place to be heard and seen, but I also know that I must be firm with them.
My parts are parentified children, created at the time when traumas happened to me. They love me and they'd do anything for me; for that I am forever grateful! However, they are not always right, and they also have the ability to take over my emotional states and my actions. I do need to gently remind them that we've journeyed into the year 2023, and our circumstances have changed.
I love the "Unblending Visualization" excercise that my therapist gave me. I find that if I could imagine all of us in a classroom, with me being in charge, they do listen to me more. The more boundaries I have with my parts, the clearer I see.

Tai Chi: A Dance with the Inner Adversary

I always love martial artists. They are the embodiment of the warrior spirit, so graceful and so powerful.
When I started Tai Chi, I did it to relax. Now I practice with a sense of purpose by considering my parts as my opponents . With time, my parts trust me more, that I will not abandon them. And I trust them more, that they will not overpower me.

Vipassana: Scan My Body to Meet the Inner Selves

Vipassana is like a voyage within my body. As I scan my body sensations, I get in touch with different parts, giving them a chance to come and converse with me.
When I stumble upon a sensation linked to a part, I don't rush away or try to change it. I simply acknowledge it, "Oh, there you are," and then move on. Sometimes I'd meet an exile, my compassion grows as I learn to understand her pain.
Here's a blog post I wrote about my recent Vipassana experience if you are interested.

Psychedelics: Getting Past some Gatekeepers

I don't use psychedelics anymore, but I do believe they can be a powerful tool for healing.
I did have one trip that showed me how frozen and tense my body was. Ah ha, must be the work of Ave Winter! I used to hate her. But now as I slowly get back to my body, I see why she had to numb me. I thanked her for it!

Dance & Trust Excercise: Building Trust with my Parts

Trust has never been easy for me. But I don't believe life abandons me. I just need to learn to trust again, in a safe place, with people I like, who must also like to dance. Dance styles like Lindy Hop and Charleston are very playful, which acts as an invitation to connect with my and my dance partners' inner children. Bachata and Tango help me practice boundaries with men and learn to say yes or no only when I feel like it.

Vision Board: A 3D Visual Reminder of My Goals

Being easily distracted, I was guided to create a 3D vison board of what feels good to me. It is actually quite fun to make. Putting sets of values, affirmations as well as pictures of your goals and desires onto a physical board that you can see everyday can be very helpful. It will pull you forward in the direction of your dreams or when you feel lost and confused.

Surrender My Emotions: Writing Morning Pages

Inspired by Julia Cameron's The Artist Way, I have been consistently writing my Morning Pages and going on Artist Dates. What I find interesting is that my handwriting could change depending on which part is writing. Sometimes I would naturally doodle messages that even now I'm still not quite sure what they mean. This is an effective tool for Parts work as well as creative discovery.

Attend Self Help Groups

I still haven't done this, but I think it might be good for me and my codependent part to attend Codependent Anonymous together.
Self Leadership

What Healing Means To Me

The moment I encountered the concept of Self-leadership, it was nothing short of a revelation. Could this be the 'I' I had been in search of all along? Was this the profound understanding that my Indian gurus had tried to impart? I'm still not sure, and there are still some parts in me resisting this idea. But I am willing to explore further.

Self-Leadership: Embracing the 8Cs

One of the best ways to understand self-leadership is through the 8Cs, a set of qualities that reflect the presence of the Self in IFS therapy. These 8Cs are Calmness, Curiosity, Clarity, Compassion, Confidence, Courage, Creativity, and Connectedness.
wheel
Source: Foundation IFS
All of that sound amazing. I don't know if I can embody all of the 8Cs. Within me, there are parts that are afraid of change, afraid of losing control. It's likely I'd run away sometimes but will crawl back in to bask in the goodness of LOVE. I trust that things will unfold in a timely manner.

A Journey, Not a Destination

I believe there is a spontaneous healing process that is always at work within us . I don't think I can ever be fully healed, but I can be more whole. I can be more aware of my parts, and become more compassionate towards them. I can forge a stronger connection with my body, treating it with the love it deserves. I can open myself up more to the experiences life offers and cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude for it. I'm not in a rush. I & my parts don't need to be fixed. All Sides Of Me Are Fine. ❤