Fear not the flames. You are the fire.
May these stories of freedom and reclamation inspire you to navigate identity, creativity and freedompreneurship, gracefully and joyfully. xo Ellany
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The Universe pumped adventure into my lungs, but clipped my canary wings. The Universe encoded freedom into my soul, but shackled every limb with gender, filial piety, birth order, personality, cultural, and social chains.
Filial Piety & Overcompensation • Why Skyholders, Money Trees and Immigrant Children Are So Burnt Out
Ever since I was little, I was called a "money tree" as a term of endearment. You shake it and money is supposed to fall out. It wasn't until I realized the insidious role of "filial piety" that I understood what drives overachievers and immigrants to burnout.
Mama Bear always looked at me with a sparkle of "You. Are. A. Bringer. Of. Joy." Me, joy? As if. But after 5 degrees of mirroring, I couldn't deny it anymore. They didn't see joy in me. They saw me as joy. I was the joy. Could it be?
While handgliding, I felt an invisible force that I couldn't name. Then during a 56-countries-in-52-weeks trip that I did NOT plan or see coming, I felt it again, like a sidekick with a headset that guided me, as I James Bond-ed through that year.
During a healing session in Bali, I couldn't perceive or discern my left foot from my right ear. I couldn't feel myself... as if... I had... no self. Through Fields of Gold, my body cried marble tears and felt joy for the very first time.
I was once asked, "What's your capacity for Stuwvyxz?" I don't know. What's Stuwvyxz? I tossed that inquiry in the junk drawer of "Things I Never Knew Existed". Thanks to a rom-com, my mind eventually figured out what Stuwvyxz is.
I spent months uneasy with the diagnosis of PTSD. In my ego-construct, PTSD was exclusively reserved for war veterans, refugees, and car crash and assault victims. It turns out, shame had me believe that I wasn't worthy of the PTSD diagnosis, ie of its healing...
Our wounds from our Family of Origin are often not about the parent or the perpetrator, but a window into larger forces at play: Sacred Contracts and karmic agreements. There is no overnight healing, but you can get your hands on a "Get Out of Jail Free" card from systemic patriarchy.
Ever come home from school with a 99% and had your Asian parent ask you where the 1% went? How about coming home with 109% and still being asked there the 1% went. When the voice of "You're not enough!" are internalized, it turns to shame. Then under the magnifying glass of filial piety, it turns to self-hatred.
Do you have Shiny Object Syndrome, aka ADD / ADHD, aka as Squirrel!!! 🐿🐿 🐿 Have you ever been over-zealous, saw something shiny, touched it then got burned?
I once stumbled upon an e-course called "Create your Damn E-course" and it made me chuckle because without even realizing it, people were damning their own e-courses right from the beginning. No wonder they never finished the e-course, didn't launch it, or launched it but made no money.
This week, doing the right things in the right order is the focus. You must know your ideal client before you tailor your curriculum to their deepest needs.You must build a dream team (even if it just starts with one, plus you) before you dive into recording/editing or you won't make it to the finish line...
There is faaaaaar too much hype around "Make $90,000 in 90 Days!", "Be Famous in Five Minutes!", "Six weeks to Six-figures!", or "11 Day E-course Challenge". I'm not saying that those claims don't work. I'm saying that it's not the full picture. I'm saying what they're not saying...
All these spiritual flues, energetic ascensions, and mystical experiences, I never asked for any of them. Did I? I feel like I made a heap of choices before coming to Earth, but I can't remember most of them. Would I have lived differently if I remembered those choices?
Midway through my certification, I developed the ability to feel what my clients were feeling, but 2-3 days before they felt it. Hearts were cracked open and mended with grace. But just because you can, doesn't mean you should...
I literally smacked into this career identity, which would lead to a love at first sight partnership 6 years later. The studio was up and running in 3 weeks time! But it's true what they say: if you're gonna fail, fail fast. But first, try everything 3 times.
I could have coasted through this semi-retirement lifestyle for decades, but my soul yearned and cried for deeper meaning and broader contribution. "F*ck you, soul! Why can't you just be content?!?" Ah, but a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor...
For the first time in my life, I felt seen for who I am, not for what I'd achieved. I had no idea that I had walked into the alchemical fire that would forge me from a freedom seeker into a liberator. All triggered by a date who stood me up!
This career identity took twice as long to let go than to build. I resented the Universe for calling me onto a new path, which I didn't even ask for it, and for making something I adored feel like such a drag.
This career was dreamier than the previous dream career. If I let it go there will be nothing left. It'd be years before I'd know that when you reach the end of your rope, the Universe intervenes. Not to hand you a new rope (that would be too easy), but to...
I lined up 5 interviews in 5 days in New York City, got on a plane, got a job offer and apartment on Day 6, flew home on Day 7 to pack and moved my entire life to NYC on Day 8. That is what "all in" looked like.
For the first time in my life I followed my heart, not what was demanded of me. I decided I wanted to do good as a career, it was destined for me. I would learn the hard way that destiny is not a destination.
Go ahead, put on the golden shackles, I am ready to become the work ox and ATM machine I was born to be. It be another 12 years before I'd learn about "spiritual aridity" and how the cost of misery is too high a price to pay.
I felt mad making a career 180 and starting over from scratch at this point. Who walks away from job offers and amazing female mentors?!? It'd be another 9 years before I discerned: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
Someone out there is able to study the cosmos thanks to aerospace telescope parts that I made with my two bare hands. But keeping the awe of the cosmos in my heart isn't the same as spending an entire career climbing uphill toward an impenetrable "Boys Club."
I did a career 180 when I went into banking, thinking I'd finally become the best white man and eldest son I was supposed to be. Ha! In the end, only three things matter: one of them is letting go of things not meant for you.
I had never touched any kind of industrial machinery before, but my aluminum coupling turned out better than my mentor's. But that career would have been an over-compensation for the career that my dad loss.
I made websites just because, out of pure joy, pure curiosity, pure creativity. Then people started paying me for it. Who knew that would happen?!? But with every gain, there is great loss...
Navigating identity crisis, non-conformity and freedom requires a soul with stamina. "The price is high, the reward is great." May these stories of my 16 career identity re-inventions inspire you to make brave leaps of faith, examine your choices with awe, and surrender to the unfolding of your unique path.
Leena creates product suites and marketing materials for the travel industry. She’s a free spirit and citizen of the world. She moved 11 timezones in pursuit of career opportunities, which came knocking from London to Singapore, from Dubai to Sydney. To her surprise...
Whether it's a workshop, a virtual training or something in between, your masterclass, your life's masterpiece, can be created the hard way or the graceful way
Who knew that "failing" at a ropes course would lead to my hyperachiever saboteur's RIP funeral. And the moment my feet touched the ground, a lightning bolt of truth shot through the back of my head, neck and shoulder blades, “How have I never mattered before? How is this the first time?”
A Vipassana 10-day silent meditation retreat is like elective surgery. You know you don't absolutely need it, but you also know that it could significantly enhance your quality of life. Yes, there will likely be pain, but there will also be freedom.
At Guide to Grace, we hold and guide women on their leap from solopreneur to entrepreneur or from entrepreneur to freedompreneur.
Writing for years has helped me see that I can only go as fast as the slowest part of me. My book will take as long as it takes. I cannot rush the alchemy of "pain juice" into gold.
I once went sunset paddle boarding off the pristine beaches of Boracay, in the Philippines. I had my shiny new iPhone sealed in a high grade water proof case, clipped around my neck. As I was mesmerized by the sunset, I felt like a dip so jumped into the ocean for a swim...
Nothing can prepare you for the rupture of betrayal. Nobody can prepare you for the inconvenience of spiritual awakening. One gnarly knot in my spine woke me up to what betrayal truly unveils.
Never even heard of the term 'narcissist' before. Five months I heard of 'HSP.' Four months later, I learned of 'empath.' Three years and 8 months later, I learned about the empath-narcissist trap. Seven 7 months after that is when I realized I had a spiritual awakening... 6 years and 4 months ago.
Even though I had a near breaking point when I had to poop in a plastic bag inside my tent, I felt invincible because: no one can offload their shit onto me, no one could steal my joy. No one. And that is the kind of invincibility I wish for you.
My knew about herding time block to free up my time. My heart knew the joy and abundance of time. Even my soul knew The Void and no-time. But my body didn't yet know until that night how to halt time to near infinite.
There's no way to know the intricacies of the unfolding of our sacred contracts, which our soul signed before incarnating on earth. Even though we often feel like blind leading the blind, it is only in retrospect that we can connect the dots of all that we have reclaimed and see the bigger picture of our destiny.
Back in 2013, I bought Jack Canfield's “how to write a bestseller” program and decided that by the end of that year, my bestseller would be complete. LOL! #hownaive #universedoesnotworkthatway
At this point on my globetrotting journeys, I mastered being a digital nomad, traveling 20 countries in 16 weeks. So I figured, why stop? I always wanted to visit Argentina, which didn't make it onto Around-the-World 2005 trip because Star Alliance didn't have an airline partner down there...
At the end of my work term in Rwanda, I didn't have the chance to visit the Virunga Mountain Gorillas, which I had diligently saved up for, because the ministry that issued work permits held my passport until, and I only got it back the Friday before I left the country the next morning.
I was once interviewed by my friend Ric at Counting Countries and asked if I always dreamed of visiting every country in the world. "Not at all!", was my answer...
Human language is so limited to describe the mystical experience. Even so, the soul residing in human flesh can't help but try anyway.
From the day I stumbled upon Brené Brown's TED talk back in 2012, where she was the first person to make me feel like I was enough, I've read every word in every book she's written, watched every video she's ever appeared in, enrolled in every certification she's offered and followed her like her #1 Raving Fan!