Working with my seamstress and sewers I get to hear all the touching “Coming To America” stories of women escaping persecution to come and build a better life here in America. Some of these women left Iraq, traveling through Africa to get to the United States. Some are immigrants, some are direct refugees. I want to high-five them for their courage, while secretly wiping away the tears that start to choke me up.
These woman are so grateful for all that they have — and yet compared to how most of us live – it still is a far cry from the “golden dream”. These women live in small apartments deep on the west side and sit on the bus for over an hour to get to work. And yet, they don’t complain, they don’t whine, they simply show up and work. They are moving towards a better life, all while being so thankful for no longer being in their old countries. There is no jealousy, no coveting the wealthy, just sincere appreciation for having escaped their former way of life.
Their stories remind me of my father who left Thailand in the ’70s. My dad wanted to get his Master’s degree in architecture from PRATT in New York City but his father wanted him to enter into the family’s “black market business”. I always laugh that I have a bit of mafia connections coming down from both sides of my family — my mother is second generation Italian, and my Italian grandfather most definitely had connections to the racketeer! My Thai grandmother was the personal chef to the Royal Family of Thailand, traveling with the queen and overseeing all her meals.
However, my father had a burning dream for a vastly different life than the one he had in Thailand. And he listened to his own soul and made that dream happen! He came to the states speaking no English, had only $500 in his pocket, and no knowledge of how to navigate through the craziness of New York City. But he did it; he lived with 10 other guys in a crammed Brooklyn apartment, worked multiple jobs at a time, and never stopped believing in himself in order to fulfill his goal of graduating from PRATT with a Master’s degree in architecture.
My father’s parents did not support his decision, and growing up we had very little contact with them. And yet, deep within my father’s soul he knew goal coming to America was the life for him and he did not cave to what I always call the “white noise”. My mother’s family did not even want my parent’s to marry due to the cultural differences. But my parents followed their soul’s prodding, not their parent’s wishes and desires, and this of course directly impacted the fact that I even exist.
The concept of journey is so fascinating to me. I have been talking to David and Ryan at The Family Vibe about how we incorporate this concept into Soul Carrier’s branding.
Any journey starts with looking deep into your soul and figuring out WHAT YOU WANT, WHERE YOU WANT TO GO and understanding that true peace + happiness comes when you are in alignment with your soul and you can openly and honestly answer “What lights me up!? And can I be authentic to what that journey will consist of even if EVERYONE ELSE DISAGREES or is disappointed in me?”
Friends often come to me and ask “What do you think? What should I do?” I have been very conscious of this lately, and I don’t like to give them the answers. We all need to figure out these questions on our own. We can seek counsel and advice, but at the end of the day, all the answers we need are already inside of us. But in order to find the answers – we really have to tune into our own intuition and soul, before letting the world spoon feed us what it thinks it is right for us. And by me, offering my version of the answer, I am just adding to the “white noise” — everyone’s soul comes pre-equipped with the exact answers that are right for them.
I downloaded Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” last week — I have already listened to it over 100x!!! This songs says everything! “Feeling my way through the darkness, GUIDED by a beating heart…I can’t tell where the journey will end. But I know where to start…Life is a game made for everyone and LOVE is the prize….”
To the journey! To loving yourself enough you listen to your OWN SOUL!