Thursday, October 2, 2014
I experience anxiety intermittently throughout the day. I have good days and not-so-good days, but a few days ago, I discovered a really effective antidote to anxiety. Drum roll please~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The cure for anxiety is: gratitude! Before you roll your eyes and say, “Oh, I’ve heard that before. Gratitude doesn’t really work for me,” hear me out, because I used to be one of those people who thought gratitude was overrated.
I was listening to the Hay House radio on Saturday and learned of a Harvard-trained, medical scientist named Joan Borysenko. She spoke about how we can create a neural circuit of gratitude in our brain by practicing the feeling of gratitude everyday. I am sure we all have done something like keeping a gratitude journal or listing on Facebook the three things we were grateful for that day. I kept a gratitude list using an app on my phone and wrote down 3-4 things everyday for about a couple of months.
The result? Nothing. I didn’t feel any more grateful than I was two months ago.
Then, Dr. Borysenko said something that made a light bulb go off in my head. She said in order to create and strengthen the neural circuit of gratitude, we have to infuse it with the true feeling of gratitude—not just with thoughts about what weshould be grateful for—and strengthen it with daily practice. That’s when I realized why the gratitude app didn’t work for me; the practice was just a chore, something I needed to check off before the end of the day.
After listening to her on the radio, I immediately sat down and thought of one thing I was deeply, truly grateful for. I had attended an event to commemorate Korean War veterans earlier that day, and as I watched the footage of the war, I felt a heartfelt thanks to those who had sacrificed their lives while fighting in the war. So, I said to my self, “I am deeply grateful for the veterans,” and repeated for several minutes while feeling the feeling of gratitude.
Amazingly, when I awoke the next morning, instead of anxiety rising up with the thought of what I needed to do that day, I felt grateful. I was grateful that I was given another day, another chance to be better. So, I took advantage of that feeling and stayed with it for a few minutes, creating a momentum and strengthening my neural circuit. It’s only been a few days, but I already feel better. Whenever anxiety rises, I look for something to be deeply grateful for and give my thanks.
I realized that in order to weaken my habitual feeling of anxiety (or whatever negative emotion ails you), I needed to let its neural circuit wither by not reinforcing it. And to do that, I needed to divert my energy to something else—in this case, to gratitude—before it gains momentum. By deliberately choosing gratitude over anxiety, I can choose my daily reality. This will take time and commitment, but I think it will be a worthwhile investment.
So, I will let you know how this goes. Better yet, you can try it with me, and tell me how it went for you! I will keep you posted!
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Two years ago, I embarked on an intense spiritual journey that included leaving the religion I was brought up in, mustering up the courage to pursue my dream, and healing from my past. Although I have much more work to do, I have experienced a monumental shift in the way I look at life. I’ve learned many lessons along the way, but as I look back on the journey, I keep coming back to this one truth: everything I want and need are in the present moment. This deceptively simple truth aligns me to a power greater than myself, as it allows me to become more receptive to inspiration, miracles, and love.
So, what I strive for these days is not so much how many gigs I land, or how much money I make, but how aligned I feel with God, the Universe, the Infinite. I have learned that one of the most important lessons we can learn in this life is to learn how to receive God’s unconditional love, which is the same thing as loving ourselves unconditionally. This also means forgiving ourselves over and over and over again for not measuring up and falling off the wagon. When I realized this, I changed my internal dialogue from, “Oh, you are feeling anxious again! When will you learn that fear is only an illusion!” to “I love you even though you are feeling anxious.” These loving, forgiving thoughts have changed my internal state completely. I have learned that when we feed our negative emotion with resistance and self-judgment, we strengthen the very negative emotion we are trying to eradicate, creating more resistance and becoming enslaved to the vicious cycle. But when we step out of the cycle, we feel whole.
Now, I gauge my daily success based on these two questions: How do I feel about myself, and do I feel grateful? I know I am off God’s grid if I am experiencing fear and anxiety and judging myself for feeling that way. But when I am aligned with God, I experience internal abundance, and love and gratitude flow easily. And from this place, I receive guidance to navigate the seemingly complicated labyrinth of life. But in moments of clarity, I know that each step is a destination and in each moment, I am standing on holy ground.
Monday, May 20, 2013
I interviewed Travis Johnson on how to get started in the music business. The questions we covered are:
- How do you build a fan base?
- How do you market and brand your group?
- Which marketing strategies work best?
- How do you fund your marketing campaigns?
- How do you go about booking tours in areas you have no contact in?
- How can you make sure that I or my group turns a profit when we perform?
Friday, May 10, 2013
Here is our second episode of the Virtual Recital Series. We have some fun stuff going on at the end so make sure to watch the last 6 minutes!
You can read the artist bio and the program at www.virtualrecital.org
You can read the artist bio and the program at www.virtualrecital.org
Friday, May 3, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I had this idea swimming in my head about using the Hangouts feature on Google+ to share music with a greater number of audience. The Google Hangouts feature is a video chat that allows up to 10 people to chat together. Google recently came out with a "studio mode" for musicians to share music online. Even though only a limited number of people can be in this chat, the performances can be streamed live to Youtube and is automatically recorded for later view.
So I am in the process of launching a project called Hannah and Friends: Virtual Recital Series. Every Saturday, I will be singing and inviting my performing artist friends from all over the US and other parts of the world to come to this cyber space to share their talents with you. The genres will include (but not limited to) western and eastern classical, crossovers, jazz, pop, indie, comedy, theater, folk, and other types of world music. We will be sharing the Youtube video on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media sites to reach as many viewers as possible. Audiences and communities have become very insular to their niche and I wanted to create a platform where people can discover something new. It is my hope that this project will also provide opportunities for different types of artists to come together to create an online and offline community that unites all races, cultures, and people of various socio-economic backgrounds.
The launch date for this project is Saturday, April 4 at 3pm pst. I have some amazingly talented friends who will be performing so you don't want to miss out! The website for this project is almost complete and I will be posting it on here and everywhere when it's done. You can preview the profiles of the artists there.
More than anything, I am really excited to share the talents of my ridiculously gifted friends. I think you will really enjoy watching! Stay tuned!
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Thursday, April 18, 2013
A newly edited video of Schubert's "Ave Maria" is coming soon! Also I will be recording some new songs in a couple of weeks so stay tuned for more music! There is another exciting project I am planning on launching in the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled for some fun news!
Sunday, April 14, 2013
About a year ago, I hit rock bottom. I was completely depleted of energy, had no motivation and was physically weak. I felt anxious, afraid, and hopeless. But the good news about hitting rock bottom is that there is no where to go but up. And luckily I had enough strength to pull myself out of it step by step.
One thing I realized during this process of pulling myself out of the emotionally gutter was that the level of our physical vibration and energy mattered. As a matter of fact, if we don't understand how our energy works, we won't know how to move out of the state of fear, anxiety, and hopelessness. So, here are some things I have done to boost my energy level and increase my vibration: exercise, meditation, tapping, and practicing the breath of fire.
I didn't like to exercise. I hated running, lifting weights, and being out of breath. But I knew it was crucial to bring my energy up. Running seemed too strenuous so I started walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes a day while watching my favorite Korean TV show for about a month. I didn't push myself. I didn't want to hate the process, so I let myself do what I wanted to do. Watching my favorite Korean TV show made me look forward to the experience. After about a month, I decided to run a little bit. So I did that for about a week. Run a little and as soon as I felt a hint of fatigue, I stopped and just walked. Then, I started running non-stop for 35 minutes. And guess what? I loved it! I never thought I'd say this but I love running now. So, I run 5-6 times a week. The important thing is to keep yourself entertained and provide a fun experience for yourself so your brain can link the experience with pleasure, not pain.
While exercising boosted my energy, meditation saved my mental and emotional well-being. It helped me forgive myself, stay aligned with the Divine, and live in the present moment without resistance. Of course, this is an on-going process and I am still learning a lot about what all this is. Most importantly, it calmed me down and helped me look at life from a bigger perspective. Also reading books on spirituality played a huge role. A couple of books I recommend are A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. I have also been listening to Igniting Boundless Receiving by Panache Desai. These are my Bible for life.
Some of you may think this is "woo woo," but I recently discovered Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or more commonly known as "tapping." I have heard of tapping before but never looked into it because it sounded silly. But after reading a few endorsements from trustworthy sources, I decided to give it a try. I looked up tapping on Youtube and there are thousands of videos that teach you how to tap for specific problems you have. So, I tried a video on anxiety, and like a miracle, the anxiety disappeared within minutes. The anxiety came back after two days but much lighter in density. I used to wake up feeling anxious and dreadful but I have been surprised to wake up peacefully. I have been tapping for about a week now and the anxiety has decreased about 70%. Not a bad deal.
Another method I discovered to increase motivation and confidence is to practice the breath of fire. It's a type of Kundalini yoga breathing that stimulates the solar plexus area (the pit of your stomach). If your solar plexus area is energetically blocked, you feel timid, scared, unmotivated, hopeless and depressed. The fastest way to feel yourself out of these negative emotions is to do the breath of fire for a few minutes. You will automatically feel more confident and in charge of your life. Keep doing this for a month and see how you change and how much guts you actually have!