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  • On Couple's Therapy

    We’ve been going to couples therapy since the beginning of the year. Once every two weeks… and it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We rarely fight, in fact we used to wonder if it’s odd that we don’t argue much as a couple. Even now that we do 11 years on, they tend not to be serious or important enough that they get swept under the rug when the next trip or the next family occasion comes. I hear this can be a common experience of long term relationships, where the perpetual cycle of small matters can risk building up towards resentment. Going to therapy together (and having a queer therapist) made us communicate in a way we never have before as a queer ESEA couple. We were asked questions we haven’t considered asking each other. “I hadn’t realised you felt that way” was a common response we shared upon discovering where our orbits of awareness had yet intertwined in all its complexities. Tears were definitely shed on occasion, as well as moments of silence, frustration, anger and everything in between. But we’ve promised each other we will always come out of every session with a long hug. No words exchanged. Just us holding each other, in gratitude of the effort we continue to put in towards us. Over time, the sessions became a way of carving out time to check in on our relationship, to practice more intentionally being curious about each other as we ourselves continue to grow and change. Our therapist shared it’s like tidying a knot regularly instead of seeking help only when a relationship is down to its last thread. These knots I hope we will continue to tend to over the next 11 years. I’ve always been an advocate of mental health, so I wanted to share a different angle on #mentalhealthawarenessweek. Mental wellbeing can feel mostly like a private and personal journey, but there are also beautiful opportunities for collective healing in these settings as well as circles. Collective care starts from the ones closest to us after all. And this relationship is for sure my biggest teacher of unconditional love, whether receiving or giving. Here's where we found our therapist. : #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealth #loveislove #collectivecare #lgbtq+ #queerasiansexuality

  • Between feeling & recognising

    I found it really refreshing the other day when a dear friend of mine nonchalantly expressed that he was sad. He said it in such a way that it seemed he did not need to know why he was sad. He just leaned in and allowed himself to feel. I never realised that was a possibility. Whenever I feel something, I almost immediately prescribe the cause of my feeling. Maybe I've worked too hard, accomplished too little. It might be that I've not been sleeping well. That weird dish I made for dinner. Or something he said. Perhaps the anxiety about getting back to 'normal' and what that means. No it's most definitely because of the nagging pain in my hips... The reality is that it might be all of that entangled within a singular feeling we particularly relate to for a brief moment. Or none of it. It's almost as if my friend recognised this truth and simply acknowledged his feeling, trusting whatever comes will also pass. This space between feeling and recognising is something I am presently pondering upon, in an attempt to untangle the immediacy of labelling. We are a web of wonder after all, from our ocean of thoughts to our complex and layered physiological self.

  • Upon Spring

    A selection of Chinese proverbs I think of upon spring and my personal take on them at present... Remember the source of your joy, abundance or success. Every season has its unique charms, as does every person. Take time to recognise this. Unconditional love and kindness cannot be repaid, but can be embodied in gratitude. When beauty or inspiration blooms in abundance, ushering vibrance with a new wave of energy. Let your senses guide you through the experience of time and change. Do you have a favourite? Would love to learn any other beautiful sayings you know of and especially interested in how different cultures depict spring. Please do share!

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