Here’s Love, Kindness, and My Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Hey, how’s it going? As we finally begin to recover from the Omicron wave, another contender for “2020-too” approached us this month with an absolutely unnecessary war. I don’t know nearly enough to talk global politics, but I do hope things will improve soon as the ones most affected in wars are not the rich and powerful, but the everyday people (regardless of sides). As I learned in my meditation practice — may all be healthy, happy, and at peace…

Speaking of, while meditation isn’t new for me, for some reason it’s really been vibing with me this month. I can’t quite put the experience to words, but by setting aside time to “let things be” — quite a few realizations came atop my mind during some of the better sessions. (I still fall asleep in the other, not-as-productive, sessions, of course.)

Here are some of the things I did this month:

  • 📱 I created a new, public Instagram account, where I’ve been posting my poems and photos on a weekly basis! It’s been a good way to send out good vibes into the world. Please like and share if you like any of them! (My personal account will remain active, but private.)
  • 🏃‍♂️ I ran 32.2 miles (average 2.92 miles per run) this month, up from 16.25 in January.
  • 🧘🏻‍♂️ I meditated 24 days in February (average 21 minutes per session), up from 12 days in January.
  • 🕰 I restarted my intermittent fasting habit, starting with an easy 13 hours fasting period (7pm-8am). It’s not always fun, but does help curb my overeating tendency and give my body a chance to reset.
  • 📷 Here are some photos I took in February (link should be viewable in any browser)

Social Gatherings:

  • Lunch & Surprise Bday Party with Travis
  • Picnic & Walk with Becky
  • Brunch with Chris
  • (Separate) Zoom time with Sylvia, Kathleen, and my family

Here are the things I enjoyed and would recommend this month:

  • 🎬 Movie: Swan Song (Apple TV). Is a ship still considered original when every part of it has since been replaced? This movie takes this existential question further, and gave it a futuristic, sci-fi spin. Similar to Her or Ex Machina, Swan Song places emphasis on emotions over surprises and will leave you to ponder: If an actual choice is given, how much can you let go of your own life for the sake of your loved ones?
  • 🎤 Podcast: LGBTQ&A (Web). Things have changed drastically since the early days of Will & Grace, and we all need a refresher (if not a full education) on everything LGBTQ+. As gender, sexuality, and even romance, are understood today to consist not as binary switches but in spectrums, we all need to level up our understanding (and language!) in order to better express our authentic selves. This podcast offers just that through interviews with some of today’s most fascinating people from the LGBTQ+ community.
  • 📺 TV: Abbott Elementary (Hulu). It’s no secret to those who know me that teachers hold a very prestige place in my heart. I basically fell in love with this sitcom the second a classroom bell rang in this show. But fear not, this “Parks & Recs, but with teachers” sitcom is also hilarious and heart warming. They do Jim the camera a little bit too much though.
  • 📗 Book: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (Wikipedia). Came highly recommended by my friend Bruce and also NPR, Kindred tells a story where Dana, the Black female protagonist, is transported back to 1815 at a Maryland plantation every time a boy is in danger. While it’s one thing to read and know that “slavery = bad!”, Kindred places you in the center of that experience via Dana’s modern perspective. Just as you see her daily struggles to survive when she’s as powerless as the slaves around her, there’s also lies a complicated kinship and family between her, the slaves, and even with the white plantation family. A truly great book.
  • 🎧 Music: From Chris (YouTube Playlist). My friend Chris recently sent over a playlist of some French songs he’s been digging lately, so I’ve been listening to it as I reminisce our friendship and time together. It’s been forever since my last trip to France and until we can meet again in person, this playlist helps me feel connected with him and his husband Florent.
  • ▶️ YouTube Sundries:

My next book will be Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu, recommended by Book of the Month Club (a bday gift from my friend Rebecca). Please reply and LMK if you have a book recommendation for me! I’m currently trying to read more fiction.

🤔 A Moment Worth Pondering: What if you are already enough? What will you stop waiting, chasing, or otherwise leave behind, and what will you act on and start doing instead?

And that’s about it for the month of February! I hope it’s interesting for you as it was nice for me to recap for the month. With so much happening around the world, and at such fast pace, it’s more important than ever to truly be kind to yourself and others. It’s the one, active thing we can all do for the world. In the mean time, let me know what you’ve been up to please — it seriously makes my day 🙂

Please also share this newsletter if you think other people can benefit from it! They can also subscribe to the newsletters directly below.

Love wins

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