19 Photos that Truly Exemplify Love

Love is

Spending birthdays together.

Going on road trips anywhere with each other.

Always being willing to dance in the night light.

Being willing to cook to keep each other nourished.

Finding happiness in the little (sometimes unexpected) treats.

Sharing coffee...

... and dessert.

Planting our footsteps together.

Going on hikes just to get away together.

Playing nicely.

Being nerdy with each other.

Taking leisurely walks in the park.

Aimlessly browsing through art walks.

Being perfectly fine with watching the sunset together.

Enjoying every night in each other's company.

Supporting each other during every cloudy day.

Being able to stop and smell the flowers with each other.

Building a family.

Taking every step through life together.


How I Motivate Myself Mentally

No more.  I'm done with playing small.  I'm finished with trying to hide how amazing I could actually be.  I'm tired of being afraid to risk.  I'm tired of thinking about trying. Procrastination is my adversary.  I no longer want a life left so unsatisfied.

Now is the time to pull myself together.  Right now is when I'm going to push myself to be who I always tell myself I am and do what I need to do to get there. This is when I stop making excuses for myself. I'm done with replaying the same old story in my head of why I'm not as successful as I want to be. Now is when I start doing something about it. 

Just go and get started now. That's something I should tattoo on my arm to remind myself to jump into action. My experience has taught me that getting started is arguably the hardest part of accomplishing any goal. 

Even if I start, mess up, and have to try again, so be it. I'll try again, but wiser and more experienced. My sense of determination is the key to succeeding. Persistence is precious; so is patience. 

Now is the time to get started. Now is the time to get things done. Later isn't soon enough. 


Dear Friend: "Don't Forget That You're Awesome."

Dear Friend,

Sometimes we forget how awesome we really are. We all need a reminder once in a while (sometimes more often than others). Take it from me: you are AWESOME.

Love naturally flows though your body and practically glows from your pores. Honesty is a great policy. It builds bonds between people that lasts a lifetime. Confidence is all about knowing who you are, what you want, and doing what you know you need to so in order to get there. These are the better parts of you. 

Don't ever forget to believe in yourself. I know sometimes it's really easy to forget. You are a loving, honest, and confident person; I suggest you keep it that way. 




I Did This in 1 Minute. Everyone Can Too.

Practicing gratitude is probably the best way to be reminded of the fortunes we have instead of being unsatisfied for the ones we don't. It's something I've been told to practice every day. With life keeping me adventurously busy, I decided that I would take a minute out of my day to practice gratitude. I wanted to see what I would come up with.

So here is my gratitude list that I took no longer than a minute to write this morning while taking an outdoor walk with my son:

  • I'm thankful for my family. They motivate me every day.
  • I'm thankful for my fantastic friends
  • I'm thankful for waking up healthy, not everyone is afforded this privilege.
  • I'm thankful for being in the crew that makes me happy and fulfilled. 
  • I'm thankful for being able to have enough; I have everything I need.
  • I'm thankful for calm mornings.
  • I'm thankful for sunshine. 
  • I'm thankful for beautiful things to remind me that this world is full of beauty. 

I was surprised how easy it was for me to do. From now on, I'll put extra effort into taking a minute to be grateful for the wonderful life I've been given.


Parenting is Overwhelming. This is Why I Keep Going.

I mustn't stop. I must keep going. I HAVE to keep going. Even if I want to give up, I can't. Like Dory said, "Just keep swimming." 

It's past 11pm and I'm still putting my toddler to bed. 

Parenting is tough. Now that I have a two year old toddler and a three week old newborn, it 'a been a beautiful challenge. Having one kid was wonderful and tiring; having two is both exponentially amazing and tiring. My spouse and family are adjusting to our new lives and developing a routine that works for us. 

Nap time. Bed time. Potty training.  Temper tantrums. Couple time with the spouse. Endless diaper changes. Waking up every couple hours. Feeding the family. Dishes. Laundry. Clean up whenever I can. Errands. Doctor appointments. Make/find time for myself if possible. 

As I sit here waiting for my toddler to fall asleep (it's almost midnight), I can't help but think how lucky the newborn is to be sleeping right now. Even when I feel tired and overwhelmed, I absolutely love being a dad. I could write forever about the inherent happiness fatherhood gives me. 

That's what keeps me going, especially when I'm physically and mentally tired. No matter how drained I feel, I need-to/have-to/must keep going.


On H.A.T.E. (Hurtful Attitude Towards EVERYONE)

Hate is an ugly four-letter word. I used to think that hating bad things was good, now I realize that as well-intentioned as I was, I was misguided. I hated ignorance, discrimination, and injustice. I used to "hate hate," but that showed to be futile. I'm tired of hate in my life. I've spent countless hours throughout my life in periods of hate. Those are moments I'll never get back. 

I don't regret what happened in the past. What happened needed to happen in order for me to learn valuable life lessons. I'm still learning them, but I do know that hate doesn't bring anything valuable to my life. 

Spending time hating someone or something seems like a huge waste of time to me now. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, the ideas of revenge or seeing bad things happen to hurtful people doesn't interest me anymore. Hating anyone who has hurt me in any way puts a burdening weight on my body. I believe it's not worth it to hate anyone; it doesn't make me feel any better and I deserve to move on. 

Hate doesn't solve any problems; it just makes things worse. Hate brings unnecessary toxic waste into our bodies that influence our mood and daily choices. It taints how we act, react, and interact with other people. 

We all deserve to live life without this burden. Hate can't dissolve hate, only love, friendship, and compassion can do that. 


Why I Can't Hate Fred Phelps

This poem was written in response to learning that Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, died yesterday. He has been painted as a hateful man whose homophobic teachings and anti-gay protests turned people away from religion. Although I don't agree with any of his actions, I can't rejoice in his passing. It's still not the end of homophobia. I saw him as a lost soul who desperately needed help. Hopefully he made peace before his passing. 

Love > Hate

I can't hate those who hate. 
It doesn't diminish the problems;
just makes them escalate. 

I could forgive those who hate. 
By my example 
       they could learn kindness,
Wouldn't that be great?

I should love all,
      especially those who hate. 
Hate and love are choices;
it's not sealed by fate. 


Infinite Choices

Profoundly make a choice
to always choose wisely.

We could choose to be angry
at the hurt we've been given.
Or we could choose to be happy
and let others be forgiven.

We could choose love over pain,
exercise gratitude/humility,
and choose less to complain.

I can't control everything,
but I can choose
      my attitude,
      my perspective,
      and how I react.

This is my daily strategy
to keep my life intact.


What Can BuzzFeed Quizzes Tell Me About Me?

I think I have a pretty good idea of who I am. I'm a young adult, born and raised in Southern California, who likes books, fantastic food, and currently interested in Doctor Who. 

Currently, BuzzFeed quizzes have been exponentially increasing in popularity. On my Facebook news feed, I usually see friends posting their results of a "Which _______ are you? Quiz" with an invitation to take it yourself. 

Just out of curiosity, I want to see what these BuzzFeed quizzes have to say about me. 

According to BuzzFeed...

I actually should be living in Bern.

If I was a U.S. President, my face would be on the 2 dollar bill.

I'm my all-time favorite Disneyland ride.

I should name my child after an herb.

My super power packs a lot of horsepower.

Wil Wheaton should play me on television.

I should be driving the Batmobile.

I'm not my favorite cookie.

And everything overall is pretty damn good.

These silly quizzes are just for amusement and really shouldn't be taken too seriously.  Even though the descriptions are flattering, they are (mostly) true since they are general enough to be true for most of the world's population.  These quizzes are like online fortune cookies.

Life is a process of self-discovery.  Who we are evolves through time. Other people may influence us, but ultimately it is us who we define who we are.


Why Coffee and Sleep are "Frenemies" with Each Other

Sleep and coffee are like my two best friends who don't get along with each other.  They both keep me sane. They both keep me awake during the day. I love them both, but in different ways. It's unfortunate I can't have them both simultaneously, unless one day I learn to drink coffee while sleeping. 

As a kid, I used to hate naps; I thought of it as a waste of daytime; (I could be playing instead). Now, as a father of two, it's all I want. Sleep is what refreshes my mind. If I get enough of it, the day goes by more smoothly because I'm more energetic, focused, and productive. 

Coffee is sometimes considered my "life liquid." I do have a reputation among my peers of being a conscious coffee consumer. (I actually bring my French press to work.) I use it as a morning jump start, an afternoon boost, and an occasional treat. 

Unfortunately, the more coffee I drink, the less sleep I can get and vice versa. Like all things in life, it's all about balance. 


Pupil's Perspective

Teach me to learn, so that I may open my eyes. 

Teach me to think, so that I will open up my mind. 

Teach me to love, so that I might be loved.

Teach me to give, so that the best of this world may surround me. 

Teach me to be graceful, so that I will live every day as a dance. 

Teach me peace, so that I may win without violence. 

Teach me how to live, not to prevent death, but to make a life. 


The Simple Power of Being Abundant

There's definitely enough love in the world for everyone. Somewhere along the way, we as a society started to place limits on ourselves. Through our upbringing, we misguidedly learn to think we have physical limits. We assume that there's only so much to our brilliance.  Placing limits on ourselves is an utter disservice to our character. It's an insult to our potential and our humanity. 

One of my favorite concepts is abundance. It's value is a concept I've been learning my whole life. The more I experience life, the more deeply I understand abundance. 

The human spirit has the potential of immeasurable abundance. I believe that's why say the only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves. Or is no limit to the amount of love we can give. There is no limitation to the amount of friendship we can extend to other people. Choose to be either limited or abundant with others. 

Being abundant with my time, energy, and resources is a daily challenge for me. There is always something more I can do. There will always be something more I can give. I have an unlimited source of abundance in my heart that I'm still learning to tap into.