Are you a self-development junkie too? Have you signed up for every retreat that sparked your soul, every workshop that tickled your mind, and every healing modality that soothed your heart? I have...
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.
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.
When I updated this blog series from 2017 in 2021, I realized that 28 of those original 36 memories had vanished. Even under hypnotherapy, I wouldn't have remembered them. They no longer carried any emotional charge. And that is what I call freedom!
Asking an overachiever to be patient is is like asking a bowling ball to float. Because we are super-doers, we think we can out-do the Universe. Ha! Purging negative memories is a journey of healing, forgiveness and surrendering to the grand unfolding of our lives.
An emotionally charged money incident can scar or even traumatize a child. Just because our body has aged chronologically, it doesn't mean that inner child has recovered. How do we unwire and rewire our fear and scarcity circuitries?
With every client who has money gremlins, we do a "Negative Money Memory Purge." It helps pull whatever guilt, hurt, shame, anxiety, or fear associated with money out of their psyche. Then we burn the paper(s) 🔥 to free the mind, heart and body.
Are you The Humanitarian, activist, unsung hero, and neighbor? Do you believe that you matter and in loving thy neighbor? Read on and take the quiz to find out!
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...
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?”
🌀 Always say yes and take on more than I can handle, stressing self to the max. 🌀 Hide or fall off the face of the earth when I start to notice that I can’t meet all my promises. 🌀 Chronically procrastinate, poor follow-through (eg. missed deadlines, late fees).
🌀 Present self as having it all together and don’t need anything from anyone. 🌀 Be a know-it-all, constantly correcting others with unsolicited advice, closed off to new insights, lessons, or perspectives. 🌀 Uncomfortable in a room if not holding a position of power or importance (usually the leader, rarely the follower).
🌀 Extremely high expectations of self/others to be good, perfect, altruistic at all times. 🌀 Vacillate between extreme perfectionism and extreme rebellion/non-conformity. 🌀 Take on others’ poor behavior as my own fault, enabling them to avoid personal responsibility and accountability.
🌀 Give away my resources (time, energy, money, body, services, etc.) for free or for very little, as if they were disposable. 🌀 Chronically borrow against my own security and well being, thus perpetually feeling depleted, indebted and/or in survival mode. 🌀 Overstay miserable relationships and/or flee at the first sign of conflict.
🌀 Constantly misunderstood and told to calm down, be quiet and/or stop moving. 🌀 Others are intimidated / overwhelmed by the bigness of my ambition, energy, speed, creative pursuits, voice, etc. 🌀 Chronically repress my needs / desires, never asking for their fulfillment, fearing that they are “too much” for others.
🌀 Design my entire life inside chronic self-sufficiency and/or addictions (eg. workaholism), thus further isolating myself. 🌀 Contort self to be what others want, so to be loved, accepted and/or validated. 🌀 Overstay relationships that I’ve long outgrown because I can’t bear ending up alone and/or abandoning others.
🌀 Stay small and mousy, so not to make noise, make waves or bother anyone. 🌀 Extraordinarily capable and self-reliant, rarely creating support systems that allow others to give to me, thus feeling alone and isolated (curse of self-sufficiency). 🌀 Feel obligated to jump in and rescue / fix everything that is wrong, unable not to.
🌀 Feel like the black sheep of the family, never really fitting in anywhere, and longing for true belonging. 🌀 Carry heavy false belief that life is lonely, unkind or not made for people like me. 🌀 Suffer from severe self-doubt and/or self-hatred due to lack of loving recognition, by self and/or others, of my unique gifts.
🌀 Live in chronic stress / fear that it’s dangerous to be seen (eg. I’ll be burnt at the stake or hacked down to size). 🌀 Shy, always redirect focus on others to hide true self, worth, and/or power. 🌀 Unable not to give to others, even if at my own expense, exhaustion or annihilation.
🌀 Carry the false belief that it’s evil to have (money, love, joy, pleasure), that I need to be poor to be good. 🌀 Chronically borrow against my own well being by over-working and under-earning. 🌀 Crushed under the weight of scarcity, with never enough time, money, opportunities, support, love to go around.
🌀 Rarely content because life is ruled by impossibly high standards of perfection. 🌀 Chronically over-give, over-do and over-compensate just to get the same success and/or validation as everyone else. 🌀 Organize life around duty and survival (eg. debt, clutter, barren home) rather than thriving (eg. beauty, joy, pleasure).
🌀 Suffer from hyper-vigilance, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. 🌀 Overly naïve and trusting, thus attracting narcissists, sociopaths and/or con artists. 🌀 Take a lot of uncalculated risks, living close to the edge, with few safety nets.
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!
Sometimes, the heart needs balm that only poems and prayers can provide. May these favourites help you remember what the soul already knew.