Sunday, January 14, 2018


The world is your oyster… or so it is said. Dare I ask… IS IT?  

My hope is that you will say in unison with me… YES, IT IS.

Okay… you can do better than that. Let’s try this again…

Is the world your oyster?

“YES. IT. IS!” 

Good job, everybody!  

A regular indulgence necessity of mine is to feed my body with something to recharge my human and feed my mind with something to reignite my soul.  Sometimes, my punny inner dork dares to take it LITERALLY... and when the two happen at the same time in the same place, well... that's just serendipity and magic from the Universe. 

This weekend, I was in need of this after a blessed start to this year with an abundance of work projects, for which I am grateful. I needed to 'unplug' and re-center myself.

Since I walk my talk for my own health, sanity, whole-being well-being, particularly in doing the work I do as a life and business coach… this mini excursion was only ten minutes away. 

It was here that I walked in to see this chalkboard  ...

“The world is your oyster, but you still have to shuck it.”

Hmm… so true about life.   

But my friends… there is GLORY IN THAT.  

You know how they say victory is sweeter when you work hard for it?  

Yes, it is so.  

If you’ve done the uphill climb all of your life, investing your blood, sweat and tears in everything you do, then of course you can come from a deeper place of gratitude to APPRECIATE AND RESPECT EVERYTHING…and I do mean EVERYTHING. 

  • ·         Is this the place where you currently sit? 

  • ·         Or are you still grinding away, grumbling and mumbling as you go through what you are going through?

Life may not be easy, however … it is what you make it after you LEARN FROM IT.

Yes… this world of oysters is always here for us.

But you may not see it that way until you overcome adversity, swim upstream or overcome massive obstacles and challenges so that those experiences can actually MAKE YOU WHO YOU ARE.

Sit with that for a minute as I slurp an oyster (toasting your shell to mine… Cheers!)

That’s right… it is in the challenges WE SEE MORE OF WHO WE CAN BE and more importantly what we  can OVERCOME. 

In my 20s and 30s I was running on fumes, working 18 hour days, juggling three full-time careers, eating in my car on the freeway, or sometimes not at all. As some of you may know, I paid a hefty price for this lifestyle, nearly dying from my chaotic incline treadmill of my life as I was trying to ‘get somewhere I thought I had to go.’ 

Granted, it wasn’t all of my fault I had believed this false premise sold as some bill of goods to “see the future, work hard now," which was drilled in the heads of all students from middle school on through to college. 

This is also part society, and part of that funky end-of-high school pre-SAT prep motivational rah-rah that tells you to take the test as if you are looking at your future and where you want to be.

What doesn’t help is the template post H.S. question employers ask “Where do you see yourself in five years?”  

My inner sarcastic rebel child quietly and privately in my head said, “ME? Where do YOU see YOURSELF in five years… hopefully not still sitting at this particle board desk asking people like ME this question.” 

Hehe. Laugh, dear human… because I know like me, you THOUGHT IT, but also like me you knew better than to say that aloud.   High-five. If my mother knew I actually thought it back then, she might have scolded me (and like a mischievous rebel hell cat, privately giggled herself). 

Being goal-oriented is good. Being overly ambitious and an over-achiever…fabulous. Pushing yourself to do better, be better, grow and expand.... Awesome.  Being a dreamer who wants to “Go Big or Go Home?” --- Right on.  

“Dream it, do it, move mountains, go through it… “  Rah-rah, sis, boom-bah. 

I believed it. Still do… because anything is possible. For some, it may appear saccharine gag-worthy to think I am happily optimistic, and forever the “cheerleader” from my yell-leader days reaching the top of the bleachers with this message.  Perhaps it is downright… B-A-N-A-N-A-S (shout out to sistah-OC homegirl, Gwen).  

But there is something I want to pass along to you….SOMETHING THAT WAS MISSING from “see the future, work hard now” philosophy….


YOUR WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER NOW… it’s is not something you obtain later.

Please re-read that.

While it is good to keep your eyes on your so called goal-oriented future prize, what good is it if you are missing out on living now?  

And whether or not you shuck your oysters or merely keep diving for your life pearls…
Trust me when I say – you need to appreciate the pearls you’ve got and the oysters you savor, because THIS IS YOUR LIFE…IN THIS PRESENT MOMENT.

This is where the “where do you see yourself in five years” – is really as not as important as enjoying your oysters NOW because you don’t know if you’re going to be alive in five years to keep looking for them or diving for the pearls you think you don’t have.

In essence, you have your pearls right now… seriously, YOU DO. You have something that you’ve learned which has helped you acquire wisdom. 

The average pearl in an oyster in nature takes about 10-12 years to form!  You have to have patience. But let’s honor the idea that IN ALL OF THAT TIME, for that pearl to form, wisdom is acquired IN EVERY MOMENT. 

Wisdom is within you – whatever is acquired from EVERYTHING YOU WORK HARD FOR RIGHT NOW, can be used, passed on - and yes, self-applied to appreciate within at this moment. It really has nothing to do with how long you've been on this planet. 

While I have hand scrubbed green mussels and removed beards to cook at home (so much work), I can honestly say I have never shucked an oyster.  Perhaps, I saw too many gory bloody movies in my youth. I do cringe at the thought of the knife slipping and slicing my hand open… or worse my wrist, unless I wore metal shark tank type mesh gloves or something.  

Oysters are the one thing I will happily go out to enjoy where I don’t have the need to conquer having prepared them myself to cross off any bucket list, to appreciate them.  

Amen. That is not to say that I have not worked my fingers to the bone to dive for my own life pearls all along my entire journey. 

My point is that you do not have to self-torture in order to feel as if you deserve to treat yourself well, nor turn a blind eye to the life pearls from your world of oysters now either.

Let me explain.

There is this thing in Japanese culture called “enyo”… whereby one denies one’s self their true desires to put everything (people, work, school, anything actually) ahead of one’s own self to deliberately forfeit some kind of joy which seems selfish instead of understanding the power as an act toward making one more ‘selfless.”  

It took me a long time to comprehend how this was a detriment to my being, because I respected my culture…but in honoring it, somehow, I was putting myself on the back burner.

I was programmed to believe putting myself last was a kind and respectful thing to do, honorable and noble. However, in the interim, it denied me of living and I was merely existing within the context of respecting a cultural transference which did not serve me well in my youth. 

Thus, I had to de-program in order to learn how to receive so the full circle cycle of giving-receiving had its own ceremony in creating Universal ‘flow.’ 

Perhaps, it was also part of World War II generation parenting I had to RESPECT, UNDERSTAND, PROCESS, DISSECT, SHUCK, LOOK DEEPER, SEE AND TASTE hard work, know the value of hard work, the integrity of character built from overcoming obstacles, but also knowing BALANCE was LIVING… because only working is just EXISTING.

However, I will say....

Survival mode is handy… and I have acquired much wisdom about survival mode in order to be an artist and cater to my creative soul, live within my means, squeeze blood from a nickel and like a squirrel store for winter for famine. 

Work ethic passed generation to generation is beautiful, too. Diving in, working hard, getting calluses, bruises and battle scars are part of the process… but it does not mean you can never enjoy the pleasure of having someone shuck your oyster occasionally, too.  

One of the greatest lessons you can learn about life is through death and understanding that life is indeed short and that many people on their death beds regret not living fully or more… or shall we say, seeing the world as their oyster. 

It is here we have to respect the wisdom you can learn from a life lived… AS YOU ARE LIVING IT. 

You can say THANK YOU for having it and respect it, because you know it is not easy.  You have done other hard work yourself to appreciate it. 

Being selfless is noble, and altruistic… so you can still be this.  Heck, I am still this and this is something that will never be removed from my human or my soul, because it is part of who I am and I embrace this part of who I am.  However, ‘putting off joy?”  Shuck NO. 

You do not need to put yourself LAST to where you deny yourself the simple joys of life lived NOW.

Still with me?

Life pearls of wisdom, life pearls of joy, life pearls of being are a treasure for your life.
Moreover, it is within every oyster, we can appreciate the value of what is, and still work hard for what will be.

But we cannot only focus on the future life and miss out on the present life, nor can we deny self-love, self-care, knowing what it is you need to feed your mind, body, soul and spirit along the arduous trek of your journey. 

As a purist, I eat my raw oysters plain to detect whether they are sweet or briny and savor the decadent oyster liquor, which is like liquid gold transporting me to the sea of wherever they made their journey from, East Coast or Pacific Northwest.  

Watching other people smother them beyond recognition with accoutrements, I smile in amusement – particularly for first timers who are squeamishly holding their nose (why do people do this?) before they swallow actually believing they are ‘boogers from the sea.’ 

My father used to call everything a delicacy.  He believed oysters were one of them and he was correct.  Although laughably he was not correct about liver or burnt toast in a strategic creative ploy to lure me to eat it, but oysters, oh yes… he was right on.

The one thing I have learned, overcome and celebrate daily is to dare to make the world my oyster and yes, find precious life pearls in all that I experience in every single minute and moment.

My hope is that you do too.  If you have not… perhaps now is the time to start. 

You deserve it. It is time to say ‘What the SHUCK’ about how you are delaying your joy and understand you can enjoy your pearls of wisdom to appreciate the joy within and live it now.