A kind way to take a break from a relationship going sour.

“Let’s take a break from this relationship?”

You have been there, either as the one who pulls the plug or the one who’s left aghast in that painful declaration.

Especially if you believe in some slight hope that a relationship can work out, not now but some points in the future where people feel better, then this post may help.

But first, let me tell you my story.

I’m one of those who gain control by withdrawing in relationships. I remember a moment where my former partner was in the mood for love and asked me so sweetly “My dear…


On Waking Up and Loving the Dream

(a famous scene in the Japanese anime, Spirited Away, where the dragon-horse is a spiritual being who eventually takes the form of a handsome man)

This week’s inquiry begins with a quote that has struck me since the very first time I encountered it as a 20-year-old seeker.

“We are not a human being having spiritual experience. We are a spiritual being having a human experience”Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

For some, this makes no sense. For others, this may mean the world. Let me explain.

A common phrase in some spiritual circles I hang out with is “waking up”. For the “spiritual” folks, it is waking up from the dream that we think is this life with all its personal stories and dramas…


Context: this is part of a series on some useful distinctions that have made a difference in my life. I hope it will help you too.

PC

Expectation

To expect something is to tie our state of being on an external event. It’s the self-made contract “I will not be contented until this happens” (or won’t happen, in the case of a negative expectation).
As an example, I expect you to show up for the meeting, and when you don’t, I will not be contented. I will be upset or sad or thrown off. …


A small change that makes a big difference

From “Have To” to “Get To”

A while ago, I did a little experiment. Instead of my To Do list, I call it Get To Do list.

I didn’t expect such a minor tweak to have such a big impact. Yet it was the beginning of a shift from being a victim of life to taking some responsibility and even co-creating with life.

That shift stemmed from my continuous surprise and sometimes frustration at how the freedom that many freelancers or solopreneurs like me seek does not seem to be that “free” after all. …


Some gems along the journey

Context: It’s my 27th birthday, and I’m entertaining myself by pretending that I actually have something worth saying. Would you like to join me to see the show?

My favorite villain character in games, Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII). His theme song is One-Winged Angel.

“The angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly.” G.K. Chesterton

Light and death

Lightness is the wing we need to fly into grave matters. Like death.

We all know the bad news: we will all going to die. Most don’t know the good news though. It is that you could experience the untethering freedom of death by contemplating it today.

The best time to contemplate death is at someone’s funeral. The second best…


An anti-productive productive trick

*That’s me. And maybe you too.

Are you finding yourself not quite productive at this time of staying home? I hear you. I’m struggling with that too.

I have always been quite neurotic. Since a few crises about time management and self-improvement, I’ve become more spontaneous and being able to enjoy the moments a lot more, but boy, I’m still very much a self-control freak.

My former self-improvement junkie self is drawn to solutions to this perennial problem, while my recently wiser self who knows that it never works to try to fix myself (which is the reason all the change efforts have been meager in…


A eulogy for a fellow pilgrim

PC Unsplash

Today, I woke up to the news that someone I knew decided to take their life.

(They wished to be called “they”, switching from “he” to “she” and perhaps many more interim pronouns in their trying to make sense of themselves)

I hesitated to call them a friend, for we weren’t that close in order to deserve such a title. Partly because I’m afraid of the burden of being a friend and the guilt that would come upon hearing such news.

But we did dance with each other plenty of times. We both enjoyed acrobatic types of move and often…


“In the bodily pain of aloneness is the first step to understanding how far we are from a real friendship, from a proper work or a long sought love. […] To make aloneness a friend is to apprentice ourselves to the foundation from which we make invitations to others. — David Whyte

Sometimes that acute sense of loneliness comes at the most unexpected tiny moment as a gift to our relationship with life. Here is a short story recalling such an encounter.

An unexpected aloneness

“What is the tiny part of you that you’ve been ignoring in order to be strong, productive, useful…


A brief meditation on the Inner Critic

“Looking like an idiot shouldn’t be a risk: it’s the point.” — Photo from workshop

Movement classes (and particularly Contact Improv) make for a fertile ground to explore how we live. People often express to me how much that what shows up in the movement class is a reflection of their life outside. I think we got it rather backward. How we are in life is a reflection of how we are in our movements.

Last week, I got a chance to teach a workshop in Da Lat, Vietnam. Despite my lofty ideal of “let’s learn all these cool moves”, it turned out to be mostly about helping people be comfortable dancing silly in front…


The Messy Nobility of Turning Down a Love Interest

No, not this. PC: Unsplash

A friend of mine, a successful, wildly wildly attractive woman who is living the dream life of so many people including myself — location independent, making great income doing what she loves — has a challenge that many people will also dream of having.

So many guys are after her that she doesn’t know how to turn those down both kindly and also effectively.

The most recent tricky case is a man she sees as a friend and almost a mentor who expresses his interest in becoming her romantic partner.

She knows he gives her extra attention, but still was…

Khuyen Bui

I write to 1) con-fuse, or “mingle together” stories & storytellers 2) surprise myself 3) make meaningful distinctions. bit.ly/enzymeforthoughts-archive

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