Khuyen’s Personal Updates, July 2018,

Khuyen Bui
Draft · 5 min read

Hello mentors, friends and people who care about me,

Thank you for being you and your generous support in every way you have. I’m writing to share some overall updates about my life in case you want to know where physically and mentally I have been to.

It’s almost half a year as I got back to Vietnam. I’m really thankful that I’ve got a wonderful buffer (cheap rent, cheap food) to bootstrap my startup life / gift-delivery system for the world. It’s exciting to choose a life of engaged contemplation like this. After quitting 6 internships in the span of 4 school years, I’m officially declared incompetent to join any established organizations or companies. I can’t work for other people. I can only work with them. I don’t encourage anyone to be this way, but it works for me for now.

I just relocated to Ho Chi Minh city, a quick decision that I made with ease. I just knew that my time in Hanoi was over, and I would feel more alive in HCMC. There are only three reasons to move to a new city 1) some work to do 2) somebody 3) run away from something. My answer has all three, and I will spare you the details unless you ask. 😉

Anyway, here are some main updates.

Writing

  • I am enjoying more soulful poetry these days, which deepened my writing also changed. It’s a very interesting process of consciously being influenced by many authors with distinctly different voices and points of view while synthesizing my own.
  • I’m developing a knack for illuminating in details the inner life, which have and hopefully will help more people. My writing is mostly here on Medium.

Work

  • I accidentally became a coach / guide after a friend told me “you have always been coaching me anyway, why don’t we do it more formally?” It’s also a great opportunity to experiment living in the gift economy.
  • It turned out that I’m quite suited for this work too. I can ask question, listen and help people make sense of this messy existence. I can also occasionally drop wisdom bombs and act like a trickster in necessary times. The conversation also gives me stuff to write about too, which satisfies my researcher’s curiosity.
  • I’m continuously surprised (for good or bad) that my tendency for introspection is not something many people do… Most don’t even dare to sit down and have a dialog with oneself. To put in a cheeky & sexy way, what I really do is to give people permission to undress, revel in their nakedness and then maybe put on a new set of clothes.
  • Bonus: somehow people who find me useful are gravitating towards career & impact-driven women with reasonable existing success. I’m wonder what the attraction is. Maybe they find me very amusing and philosophical for my age. I do speak some business theories as well as puns, seem harmless and look interesting enough…
  • I’m also starting a new “organizational becoming” (to use Adam Kahane’s term) consulting team called Naked Work with my friend Gioel in Colombia & Christy in South Africa. It’s amazing that we never met each other yet our connection is strong enough to collaborate on something as real as this.
  • The focus is on critical connection rather than critical mass. Since SEALNet time, quality always trumps quantity when it comes to relationships, for they are the soil on which any good work can grow.
  • These two quotes help me a lot.

“How do you know if you are on the right path?
Because the path disappears.
How do you know if you are really doing something new?
Because you can’t see where you are going.”

Relationships

  • Family: My mom just visit me 2 weeks ago and we had a good chat about our roles as mother and son in this life and reincarnation. Now we are going on different spiritual paths.
  • Relationships has been tricky, thrilling and fulfilling. I’m recently falling into a love triangle and again dancing with porous permeable boundaries. I’ve been making love, a lot of it.
    Long gone was this inexperienced, “pure” philosophical boy. Now he has dabbled in the messy world of love and romance and sex. One must do philosophy not only with the mind but also the flesh. There is this carnal body that desires other bodies…

Plans

  • I was planning to go to Montreal for a residential program I help my friend Gioel and her nonprofit to organize, but my visa got rejected TWICE AGAIN. I had no idea why. I was sad, my dear friend Gioel was sad… ah.
  • Hopefully I’ll be in Europe for 2 months in December & Jan 2019. since I got reinvited to the Drucker Forum, and I’ll figure I will travel in Europe to see old & new friends, dance and be of service to the world.
  • I hope to be back to visit America within the next few years. People have planned with me about Burning Man 2020 so we’ll see.
  • I’m doing an Open Master: designing my own learning journey and finding people to collaborate and celebrate with. I chose it because its approach resonates with me, as seen by this beautiful quote.

Deeper Purpose

  • I went for a vision quest end of last year and discovered a tree that brought me to tears. I’ve wrote about it here in Finding and Making a Place.
Redrawn of the tree that hints at my deeper purpose.
  • It whispered to me a luminous message which I interpreted as my life will not be straightforward if viewed directly from the outside, but if you look at it from the inside, it makes a lot of sense.
  • Two parallel components of my life will be 1) storytelling/theorizing/philosophizing 2) starting a bunch of exploration with people, probably through invention of new methodologies, organizations, experiences etc..
  • It also reveals an important role I will play: as a beloved trusted friend who accompanies individuals, organizations and communities to go through time of trial and transformation.
  • It brings such a deep satisfaction to catch a glimpse of a larger story that my life can play out. Upon the realization, I remember both a feeling of hesitation (this is a lot of responsibilities…) and privilege (I’m so grateful I’ve got to do this work in the world). It’s an achievement to know this about oneself.

Thank you for your ongoing support and curiosity so far, and I wish you a life full of joy, love and learning too, wherever you are.

Khuyen