Thursday, December 30, 2010


How do you define fear? Do you fear fear? Or do you befriend it? Work alongside it?

I feared fear. It still creeps up once in while when I encounter things that are new, that requires me to step out of my comfort zone. But it does not paralyze me anymore. I'll tell you a story of when I saw fear's face. At least in my own imagination.

It was a few years ago in an acting class. We were given a choice between a few classical poems. I don't even remember what I chose. We only used it for that particular class. Anyhow, we were asked to read it a few times, just connect with it on a rudimentary level and understand what it means to us. Then we were asked to choose a word, any word from there, that stuck out at us. I chose F-E-A-R. I think on some level, I knew I had to face my own fears and so I was drawn to it.

The exercise was done in pairs. One person was the speaker and the other just a neutral support. We had to be connected, sometimes physically, sometimes just spiritually by our presence and focus on that person. I was the speaker at the time and my job was to break down the word "fear" to its smallest components, by each letter. I started with speaking the letter "F" and letting it affect my body, my movements, my gestures. I couldn't over think it, just follow my impulse. I have to say that this was an advanced class where everyone there was just as focused, committed and supportive as I was.

There was no right or wrong with this exercise. The only guidelines were what I described above. At times, I felt my partner placing their hand on my back or hand, where ever their impulse was leading them, based on what I was doing. This is why connection between partners is crucial. You are speaking to one another without words. After having gone through all the letters separately, I placed them back together again and said "fear". The word had never connected with me on such a deep level as this. My breath changed, my body changed, my whole being changed and continued to change until I was finished. I felt in my soul I was really facing it by evoking it within myself with the act of speaking. It haunted me, frightened me, threatened me, seduced me... until I stood up to it and grew larger than it. Suddenly, it had left my body and I saw it for what it was. Just a manifestation created from my mind. And it wasn't scary anymore. It didn't bother me anymore. In fact, I felt a sense of relief and release at the end. I had a great partner who supported me and followed my movements. At one point, his arms were wrapped around, as if to comfort and protect me from the fear. This work is done in a space of complete trust, just to let you know. At the end, we ended up on the floor, back to back. My breath had dropped. I felt light, open, determined- fearless. I had fought my internal battle.

We all have fear of some sort.
Fear of taking risks, fear of looking stupid, fear of sounding stupid, fear of commitment, fear of love, fear of being alone, fear of failure (that's a HUGE one), but it's what we choose to do with that fear that matters. People who become aware of their reason for the fear and then work with it from there are the successful ones. I believe fear is a gift in that it gives us the opportunity to grow and shift our own paradigms once we pass it. Most people fall back into their old paradigms to relieve the fear. That would be the easiest way. "I'll stay home and continue to watch T.V because it's reliable and safe, rather than go out and seek a better and more fulfilling job." They settle. But fear is the threshold that brings us closer to reaching, living and being our greater potential.

Now, I'm not saying I want to live without fear completely. On the contrary. It is what gives me the indication that something great is about to happen. It is an indication that I am about to grow a step closer into my true self.

Alright, side story. Today, during my lunch time at work, I took a chance to go up to an executive suite and speak with a man I met yesterday. I know he is very connected with the right people in fields I want to explore. During my elevator ride, there was a tingling feeling in my belly and my heart pumped faster. It was fear knocking on my door. And when the elevator door opened, I was literally open up the door to that fear. And there was no one there! It was a beautiful, lavish office with a receptionist desk but no receptionist. It was quite warm and inviting. The suite was shared between many companies. There were instructions there to call whoever you needed to call. I sat down, found the man's name and dialed. I was prepared to talk to him but not to leave a message. So I didn't. Maybe I should of, but eh- the past is the past. But I sat in that office for a few moments and just took it is. And it felt great. I felt like I belonged there and I know I'll be back. The moment was not then for us to meet.

So you see? What I thought was going to be scary and intimidating turned out to be a beautiful and inviting space. And I know in my heart that I belong there. I am worthy it of it. I think maybe that's the key to working with fear. Believing we are worth what we want.

And those are my thought...
Day 8.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Those little "coincidences"

Just a few hours ago, I was sitting behind a counter, playing the role of a teller at the bank. In the past, the mere idea that I was there, not doing what I really wanted to do; perform, write, paint, sew...; made me feel defeated. I looked at my present situation and thought I had failed. I've graduated 3 years ago already, shouldn't I be doing what I want to by now? And I am now beginning to understand that it is that exact act of looking at my present moment  and feeling trapped that was the problem. It was not the situation itself, but my attitude towards it. Yes, I know I should feel lucky I even have a job. And I do now. There are those less fortunate but I don't like to think of them to make myself feel better.

I've been reading a lot about the power of our thoughts, our mind and the images we hold within ourselves, whether conscious or subconscious and the impact that has on our reality. I've started studying "The Science of Being Rich". Think what you will, but it is freakin' awesome. It is pretty much the extension (and a much more full and much less cheesy) of "The Secret". It is mainly narrated by Bob Proctor and he says that most people look at their present circumstances and feel defeated or guilty or sad or whatever may be. What they don't realize is that their present state is only the result of their past actions, it is not who they are NOW and who they can become. And if people keep looking at their present state and feel trapped by it, they will remain in their present state and wonder why nothing changes. It is only until we begin to live larger than our present selves will we grow and evolve and achieve what we truly want.

I started doing that. I am forcing myself to change my perspective anytime I am aware of a negative thought or feeling. And that simple act is changing things for me. Not only am I happier and feel more fulfilled, I feel inspired when I look around. This of course, puts me in a state of gratitude (hence, my first blog and the reason I started it). And it is gratitude that will begin to attract things I want to me and I to it. This is not to mean that effective action is not needed. Of course it is! We can't just sit and dream about big things without moving our asses towards it. That wouldn't be fair. And now that I have started to do these little things, small things are manifesting, kind of like these doors I never knew existed began to show up in my life. They have shown themselves and cracked themselves open and it is up to me whether I want to open the door and walk through it.

Just last week, I was working at a branch downtown (I move around to different branches around the city) and served two customers who came together. They were both musicians. Being an artist, I've gotten into the habit of networking and so that's what I did. I told them about my one-woman show and some initiatives I have for it. I said that I am in the middle of adapting the script to fit radio and long and behold! One of them worked for CBC Radio as a host. She mentioned I had a great voice and I should get in contact with them to do some work. The other musician, also a producer and composer, gave me his contact as well and mentioned he could introduce me to people who could help me towards my goal. I'll be having coffee with him very soon.

Now just today, I worked at another branch. A customer came in for a deposit. It was a business account and I asked what kind of business. Turns out he works as a recruiter for film, television and theatre and is very active in those communities, working as a director on boards and such. I of course, pitched myself again and talked about my play and intentions with it. I looked down at his cheque and it was from CBC Radio!!!

Coincidence? Luck? I choose to call it fate. I really believe things happen for a reason and I feel myself aligning with some sort of force that's working with me. I believe every person we meet as something to teach us and we to them. But these can only happen if we are open to these moments of alignment.

It takes work. It really does. To stay positive, to be grateful, to stay open, genuine, connected to one's purpose, to stay focused... I struggle with it every day. Another reason why I started this blog. To force myself to take a moment, just a moment to be present and reflective with my thoughts until it becomes a habit.

Did you know it takes 30 days, 30 consecutive days of doing the same thing, before it becomes habit???
This is day 7 for me. For what, you ask? For studying "The Science of Getting Rich" and the laws of the Universe. Looking forward to day 30.

And those are my thoughts tonight :)

Monday, December 27, 2010


I sit here at a local Starbuck's Coffee shop with an childhood friend, writing my first blog. Need I say more?

I live in a peaceful country (no, it's not perfect but I still love it), I have a laptop I can write on, I have delicious food everyday, wonderful friends who support and challenge me everyday, who love me for who I am, family who pushes me to reach my potential, a brilliant little brother (I call him my little genius brother)... I live in abundance.

Now here's my situation...

I grew up at Jane and Finch, Toronto. This neighbourhood is known for drugs, gangs and shootings. I left to study theatre and acting at Concordia University and stayed in Montreal there for 8 years, mainly to continue to work on my one-woman show, but undoubtedly, to avoid moving back home and looking like a big loser to the rest of my community there. I wasn't about to hear the "I told you so" from my parents and have the elders in my community look at me with judgement. I am Asian. Khmer-Krom to  be specific. We are the indigenous peoples of the Mekong Delta, what is now known as the South of Vietnam. So community is extremely important in my mind, whether I like it or not.

Then after having exerted almost all my finances living on my own and realizing I am not getting any younger, I decided to make the "adult" choice and move back home. WITH MY PARENTS! I know a lot of people do that. But I have to admit, I am a very proud person. (Must be an Asian pride thing.) It hurts my ego to move back and it took me awhile to suck it up and not be ashamed of it, to embrace it as an opportunity to get to know my family on a different level, as Chantria now, not Chantria then. And I see them also adjusting to the new me. I have always rejected the idea of confining myself in a "perfect Cambodian girl" image. That is NOT me. I grew up feeling guilty about it, ashamed I couldn't speak my language, wondered why I was more attracted to Black men and not Asian men, hated cooking and washing the dishes because according to my mother, "It is practice for when you get married and you must serve your husband." I have always said this and will still say it now.... That is a load of crap. But I am no longer angry about it. My beliefs have not changed, just my understanding and approach to things. I am grateful for those moments now, because I understand my mother and my culture a little bit more for it.

So here I am. Back at Jane and Finch, Toronto.
I have to admit, I love seeing people's reactions when I say I live there. Most try to stay reserved and pretend they are not afraid of the area but I can see right through that. I can hear what they really think in their voices. Others, the ones I really admire, are straight up and say "Holy shit! You live there? Aren't you scared?" It makes me laugh. And the answer is no. I am not scared. It is my neighbourhood as much as it is others who live here.

In fact, I will go as far as to say I am grateful for it. It has made me who I am today. And you know what? I love me! Think what you will. But I love me. That's right! I said it!

This is all to say that I am extremely grateful for my life, for LIFE!
People!!! We are alive! Let's make the most of it. Let's live it the way WE want to. There is so much beauty in the world, so much opportunity. It is a matter of what perspective with which you CHOOSE to walk upon this precious Earth.

I am grateful for this blog, where I am express my most deepest thoughts without persecution or judgement. And I thank you, whoever you are, for reading this :)

And those are my thoughts right now...
Until next time.