Recently, I went on an unexpected trip to China. The way it transpired was nothing short of a miracle. All I knew was that I was longing to travel and go somewhere I’ve never been before. Since I’ve been stuck in my home office, sitting on my chair for hours in a day, I was so hungry to explore the world and get on my feet.
As an entrepreneur, I realize how hard it is to leave everything behind to go on a vacation (let alone a last minute one!). The idea of dropping the ball on so many projects was scary to me. But the universe was on my side and was not going to let that happen! All I had to do was trust and receive this beautiful gift!
See, after one year of being an inactive performer, I was granted this amazing opportunity to travel to China and dance on a popular TV show. Not only that, I got to do it with 3 of my closest girlfriends! Though I’d like to think that this opportunity happened out of nowhere, I believe that it happened for a reason and came at a perfect time.
And because I love finding lessons that are aligned with the all the aspects of life, business and living with purpose, I would like to share with you 5 lessons I learned from this experience and hope they can inspire you to receive the gifts in life that you so deserve!
Lesson 1: Take action with intention
One month ago, I was strolling on Venice Beach boulevard with my S.O. , feeling inspired by the artwork, street performances and unique shops. We came upon this one shop that sold travel pouches. One of the pouches caught my eye because it was so darn sweet! You can wear it over your shoulder or wrap it around your waist. And so I purchased one with the intention that someday, I will travel with this bag.
Next to this shop, was a man selling bracelets. Nothing caught my eye except this bracelet with Chinese coins dangling around it. And so I purchased this too.
Less than one month later, I find myself in a plane on the way to Hunan, China.
I’m still so dumbfounded at how fast this dream of mine manifested! But at the same time, I knew in my heart that I made the intention to travel. It was just a matter of seeing the opportunity and taking action.
This small action to make my travel dream come true reaffirmed me that every little action made towards making your dream a reality counts!
And so as I sit down each day to work on my dream business, I think about the intention that I have with each task. I give meaning to the opportunities that present themselves and navigate a clear path to where I want to go.
Lesson 2: Respond to the calling
I’m not going to lie, I DID have resistance saying yes to this trip. I had so many doubts that crossed my mind…
“Do I even deserve this?” “Who am I to dance on this TV show?!” “What about my projects and clients??!!”
But then, I remembered something that Steven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art, said about resistance: “Where there is a Dream, there is resistance.”
And this resistance felt oh so familiar to me, because I felt it when I first left my full time job to build my own business. It’s the feeling of “not-enough-ness” and fear of change.
So I meditated and pondered on this some more and observed the areas where I felt resistance. I came up with practical solutions and I surrendered to the process – a mixture of taking fast action and having faith.
Because I had this strong feeling in my gut that it was meant to be, I said YES to the opportunity and it felt SOOOO right!
Which leads me to the next lesson…
Lesson 3: Have Faith
As if my resistance was not enough to complicate things, 3 days before departing, I find out that my passport was about to expire. I had 3 months left, but apparently, you need a buffer of 6 months before your expiration date to travel internationally. (Who knew!) Well, definitely not me!
So the girls and I were put in a very stressful situation. If I didn’t renew my passport on time, I couldn’t go and who knew what would have happened to the contract. This one thing could have messed everything up for everyone and I felt terrible about it!
Luckily, one of the girls, a frequent traveler, has been in a similar situation and was able to guide me through the process of getting a new passport in a short amount of time. She was calm, collective and took the right actions. After we did all we could, we just needed to have faith that everything will work out.
Thankfully, everything did work out, just in the nick of time! (Thank you universe and my angel, Emiko!) I picked up my passport in the morning and went straight to the airport.
The lesson learned here was that there’s no use crying or stressing over something you can’t control. All you can do is show up, do your part and have faith that things will unfold the way they need to.
Lesson 4: Be flexible
Once we got to Hunan, China, we had to get to work right away. We barely had sleep as it was very difficult to sleep comfortably on the plane. The time difference didn’t help either. We lost a day and after landing at 1am in the morning at the airport, we went straight to the tv studio to rehearse until 4 am.
On top of the sleep deprivation, we found out we needed to make last minute changes to our routines. At 2:30 in the morning, we were trying to figure out how to cater to the show’s needs as well as communicate our needs to get rest. It was pretty stressful for everyone involved especially because of the language differences too.
The next day (as in, a few hours) we were at the studio from 9 am. We rehearsed, got our make up and hair done, put on our costumes and recorded the show. By the time we got out of the studio it was 12 hours later.
It was very hard to enjoy some of the moments when you’re being tossed a new challenge at surprising times, but even weekly tv shows will have these last minute changes and you just have to try to be professional and be flexible.
With this experience, I learned a very valuable lesson. Sometimes you won’t know how reality will actually look like until you get there. You can’t expect things to happen as planned and if they don’t, you must be willing to improvise on the spot. Do your best to show up anyways and remain positive!
Lesson 5: Enjoy the surprises
After our dance gig in Hunan, we traveled to Shanghai to officially start our vacation. We were so excited to explore and visit the recommendations that our friends and families shared with us!
One day, we got totally lost as we traveled the city on foot, asking for directions from numerous people, trying to find one location to visit. Luckily, one of the other girls could speak some Cantonese and was able to guide us, but we still couldn’t find the exact location and everyone was pointing us different directions, causing us to walk in circles for 2 hours.
We decided to just surrender looking and ended up going into one fancy looking hotel to have dinner and drinks. We went to the restaurant and bar, which was located at the top floor of the hotel, which gave us the best view of the city. Not only that, we were able to have some martinis that we were craving. We found everything we wanted and more at this hotel!
Which goes to show that sometimes, you can plan all you want, but the path will take you to unexpected places that may delight and surprise you!
This trip taught me that all that life is one BIG adventure. And it can be a fun one if you allow it to be. There will be twists and turns, there will be unexpected challenges and as many once in a lifetime opportunities. We have to be courageous enough to open the door to see what’s on the other side… see where the adventures will take us on this journey to find our freedom to self express and live an authentic life!
Now it’s your turn!
How has a new experience taught you a great lesson about life, business and living your purpose? I’d love to hear about them below!