A Powerful all Hmong Women Collective Story-Telling

parksquarehmongwomen.jpg2Since February, I’ve had the pleasure to work with four wonderful Hmong women  to rehearse for our show, Face to Face: Hmong Women’s Experiences with Park Square Theatre. It’s amazing to commune with women who share the same identity as me, but see that we carry ourselves in our own unique and powerful way, but can still come together to create an amazing team.

Through our collective story telling, we address topics including mental health and depression, bullying, domestic and sexual violence, gender identity, beauty standards and more; real stories that many of us in our community also have experienced.

I’ve also had the pleasure to work closely with the writers Katie Ka Vang and Sarah Zatz, and our wonderful stage manager Ashley Raper.

hmongwomenparksquare
Photo Credits to fellow performer Pang Foua Xiong

It’s been a healing and truly re-energizing experience to be in a space where our stories are honored, welcomed, and received.

I’m excited to share that our show is coming up next week and would love to have you come support!

Especially my Hmong brothers and sisters. I would love to see you there. Purchase your ticket below.

  Peace and Love

Wabi Sabi

Ticket Link

Parking Info

Bald Asian Women Project: Empowerment Photo shoot & more

DAM* YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL CREATIVE EMPOWERMENT PHOTO SHOOT- Calling for Bald Asian Women/who want/plan to go bald of all SHAPES, SIZES, TEXTURES, AND SPICES!

dsc05176-1.jpg

No need to be a America’s Next Top Model. I want you as you come. ❤ 

In part of Wabi Sabi’s Dam* You’re Beautiful movement, I am calling out to current bald Asian women, or women who want or plan to go bald between the months of Jan-Feb 2020.

Project description

Location

This project is based in the Twin-cities, MN, but is open to anyone who may want to participate. The Photo shoot will most likely take place in a studio. Video may take place in other places outside of studio. TBD

WHO Can Participate?

5-6 bald/close shaven Asian women will be chosen for this creative empowerment project. Bald women of all ages, sizes, Asian ethnicities and abilities are encouraged to participate! I am striving for all different types of beauty to be highlighted.

What the Project will entail

Women who are chosen for the project will participate in a photo shoot, and be open to share their story behind their decision to go bald. They may be interviewed and videoed and be asked to participate in a short creative video project as well. There may be some additional meeting sessions before the photo shoot to gather with all women to share stories and get to know one another.

Photo shoot will consist of the women in nude under garments and holding the Dam* You’re Beautiful sign. Nice Clean and Simple. ❤

This will be a non-paid participation project, but models will be given a free DYB T-shirt and socks.

Photo shoot date, meeting times are TBD. More information will be posted later.

Purpose:

  • To empower Asian women to embrace their authentic beauty inside and out.
  • To capture the essence and story behind each woman’s decision to be a beautiful bald Asian woman
  • To question the idea of beauty in mainstream USA AND ASIAN beauty standards

dsc05167.jpg

If you are interested in participating or know someone who may be perfect for this creative project please contact on one of the mediums below. Peace and Love ❤

Email: wabisabic.y.s@gmail.com

Facebook: Wabi Sabi

Instagram: WabiSabi_Cys

Peace and Love

Wabi Sabi

DAM_ YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL EMPOWERMENT PHOTOSHOOT- Calling for Bald Asian Women! Or Women wanting_planning to go bald.jpg

Cydi Ywj Siab Yang created the blog Wabi Sabi to share her writing and art pieces to promote healing, positivity, triumph, growth, and self-love. It is an empowering blog that also encourages imperfect beauty. To find perfection in the imperfection. To reveal to the beautiful women of this world, how perfect they are in the eyes of the universe, with every unique flaw they hold on their bodies and soul. Wabi Sabi exists to show every women and girl their already perfect selves in their imperfect selves, and to empower them to use their natural born gifts to pursue their passion and purpose to reach the highest, best version of themselves.

DAM* YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL strives to encourage women to tell one another DAM* YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL! But in order for this to happen, each individual woman has to tell that to herself and see her own authentic unique beauty she holds within. Once she discovers her true beauty, we then can commune as women to encourage one another to see ourselves as imperfect beautiful beings.

Follow my FacebookInstagramTwitter and Youtube

 

It will not take only 1 Day, 1 Week, or 1 Year to Let go of Someone you Love

 

This is for the person I love. The person I have to let go. This is for the person I fought to show my love to, and wanted to be loved by so badly. It will not take only 1 day, 1 week, or 1 year to let you go.

Two years ago, when I walked away, I thought it would be easy, because of all the stress you put me under. But, it’s been two years, and I still cannot forget you.

77028822_444785346445187_7940757427740213248_n
“Contemplating”

I constantly compare how others make me feel to how you make me feel. I constantly compare how other’s touch is like to yours; compare the laughter I share with others, with the laughter I shared with you.

The sweetest moments I miss are the ones when I’m sleeping on your chest or when we are sleeping turning away from one another but you turn over and pull me into your arms in the middle of the night like a little child needing his teddy bear;

or when we’d drink coffee and stay up all night until 4:00 am, scheming our future plans about opening a restaurant together, and all the different types of dishes we’d serve there. It wouldn’t be just an ordinary type of place to enjoy. It would be filled with excitement, and our love.

76783693_532987440586812_1318349179398914048_n
“Grasping for you. Please Take my Hand”

I wanted to love you. I wanted to protect you. I wanted to be everything you never had, because you were everything I never had.

You were the mother’s encouragement I never received.

A brother’s protection I never felt.

A sister’s listening ear I never knew of.

A father’s warm hug I stopped receiving.

 

Watching you grow and learn how to navigate the world was a joy to me. I know you and I weren’t perfect, but I knew we loved each other.

I know I’m imperfect, but you saw that in me, and saw me worthy to love. Even at my lowest points, you still looked at me with joyful eyes, always telling me I was enough. But as we separated, you changed. Your feelings changed. You don’t love me the same way. You don’t see me the same way.

76689010_479590882912184_4635760834834857984_n
“Can’t Help but to keep looking back to you”

I still yearn to hold you, touch you, kiss you, be around your warm presence, but the side you’ll never show me holds you back from ever being present with me.

You strive to be something, to mean something to the world, but I want you to know, that you meant something to me. You were something to me.

I ask you, why can’t you just spend time with me without asking me to do something for you. I wondered all along from the beginning, if what you felt for me was ever real, or were you just using me to fill the darkness inside you, the lack that you could not fill yourself.

76717453_2673617459361174_6458273852626567168_n
“Bending over Backwards for You”

You used me in every way. And yet, I still love you I forgive you, and I still cannot forget the way your hands feel on my thigh, the way your face brushes against my cheek, the way your splooshy lips kiss me softly on every part of my body.

My skin loves to stick to you.

All I can do is love you, and maybe that is not enough for you. And you will continue to search for the thing that you don’t have. But once you get there, hopefully you don’t look back to see that you lost someone who loved you deeply.

Maybe you don’t love me. Maybe you did just use me because I gave so much to you. But I can’t help but still love you. But I know. I have to let you go. Wash you away from my skin, day by day, until I can look forward and not yearn for your presence, or daydream about going somewhere tropical with you, because your presence warms me like Hawaii.

I have to let you go love.

76997207_884129708648353_793545897140027392_n
“Looking Forward”

Wishing you only Peace and Love.

Wabi Sabi

 

DYB Workshop #3: Transcending Negative Self-Talk

Hello Beautifuls. Since we were not able to discuss Negative Self-Talk in the last workshop, we are going to have one full workshop on this!
Negative self-talk is detrimental to our growth and well-being. We have to wonder, when did this negative belief of ourselves sprout? Did we believe this when we were born, or did someone plant it into our minds? For this workshop, we are going to break down the root of negative self-talk, help each individual understand the negative self-perception is not you, and how can we turn it into a positive view of ourselves. I am so excited for this workshop!
DYB3.jpg
Time: 6-8pm
location: Amherst Wilder Foundation, Meeting Room 2510, 451 Lexington Pkwy N, St Paul, MN 55104
What you can bring: You’re own pillow, blanket, Journal
Things to Expect at the workshop:
Vulnerability, openness, and being Hella Real ❤
We will have a quick 5 minute meditation session either at the beginning or at the end of the workshop.
There will always be discussion groups where we can discuss with small groups on the specific topic.
Also expect to be interactive, reflective, and enjoy it.
Light snacks will be provided.
Please reserve your spot by clicking HERE.
Check out my
FACEBOOK: WABI SABI
INSTAGRAM: WABISABI_CYS
YOUTUBE: WABI SABI
Peace and Love.
Wabi Sabi

Why Do We Live With Blind Folds Covering our Eyes from the Truth?

DSC00600-Edit
Cydi (me) and Sumalee performing “Let’s Talk About” at Concordia CHUSA’s Ua Ntsaug Night (Photo Credits to Allen Vang Photography/Visual)

Maybe some people don’t want to know the truth. Maybe some want to live in this world unaware of issues and problems that we face. Though we all may not face it directly day to day, know that when it impacts a part of a community far from us, from another part of the world even, realize that it will eventually reach us and impact us in some way. When one community is hurting, so are we.

 

My cousin Sumalee and I performed a spoken word called “Let’s Talk About” utilizing blindfolds to cover our eyes to communicate an intentional message to our audience. It references our Hmong community’s blind eye, or lack of knowledge about mental health, and this prolonged issue that has impacted our community.

This unspoken pain we hold within us. These feelings of “worthlessness,” “not being good enough.” These traumas we carry around on our shoulders, the pain and suffering we endure to hold a family together, putting on a smile to let our family, and friends know we are okay, when our hearts are telling us the truth. Because our community has the inability or lack the knowledge to deal with these intense emotions, the raw and sometimes ugly truth about our innate nature of being a human being, we are taught as a community to mask ourselves in order to in-authentically thrive among our people.

This right here is the root to all our problems. This masking and veiling our eyes to the truth of ourselves and the problems that arise around us. If we begin to open our hearts, ask the right questions, and act with love and empathy, this hole we’ve created within our community could slowly heal.

Sometimes, someone who is hurting just needs to know someone cares that they EXIST; someone to just act in kindness and give them a little push to keep moving forward towards their best life.

Our Hmong parents who were born of the older generation are wonderful and we understand through their sacrifices that they love us, but they sometimes are not the best at showing and expressing their love and appreciation, which in turn, strains our relationship. Who do we go to, when high expectations are put on us to be perfect and to always put on your best face and be respectful to others even when we may feel highly uncomfortable or feeling so much emotions inside?

Some people want to live with blindfolds on. But, if we continue to walk around unaware of our true reality, someone will force those blindfolds off and rip our eyes out to truly strip away our choice to acknowledge the truth. Scary isn’t it?

Since we still have eyes, and this metaphor isn’t necessarily stating our physical eyes, but our consciousness to our reality and issues, and the ability to see the truth and work together towards a more positive and pro-active way to take on mental health, why not do it? We cannot lose another Hmong brother or Hmong sister to mental health issues that could have been prevented, if they got proper help, or someone reached out to them.

We cannot lose another Hmong brother or Hmong sister to mental health issues that formed from low self-confidence, high pressures to save face, being limited with a few choices on how to take their path in life, or feeling like there is or was a lack of love.

This lack of direction, love, and not being seen or understood drives many people to end their lives, because they see themselves of no worth and value.

But life is beautiful, precious, and limited. We are put here to live out our best selves, and we have to create more spaces to commune and talk. Really. Just talk. Talk about real stuff, and real issues that we deal with daily, that stops us from being a good mother, good brother, or good friend. We have to be able to take off the blindfolds, and deal with our problems. When we don’t work through our own problems, we cannot help others work through theirs.

So I say, let’s take off our blindfolds, and accept the truth as it is, and work towards a reality with happier and healthier individuals who are able to handle their emotions and the flows of life.

Wabi Sabi

DYB WORKSHOP #2: UNDERSTANDING TRIGGERS & TRANSCENDING SELF-TALK

We sometimes don’t know it, but we act through past traumas that still have a hold on us. Do you sometimes wonder why you get so triggered by a certain smell, comment, or action? It sometimes ruins your mood for the whole day? What is the root of this?

For me, I get deeply triggered by bad energy. People who are mean, disruptive, confrontational, or rude. My heart starts beating really quickly, and I shrivel. Through a period of reflection and increasing positive energy into my life, I’ve learned how to handle triggering situations.

If you want to overcome your triggers, let’s start somewhere.

*NOTE* LOCATION HAS CHANGED FROM THE FLYER. LOCATION IS IN STATEMENT BELOW.

Dam* you’re Beautiful’s second workshop will be held next Wednesday Nov. 6th at The Center for Hmong Studies on Concordia University’s Campus. 

It’s all positive vibes and all about reflecting on yourself in order to understand yourself deeper. Let’s works towards our best selves.

Reserve your spot by clicking Here.

Check out the Facebook Event Link Here.

Here’s the link to DYB inital movement.

Dam You’re Beautiful Initiative!

 

Peace and Love

❤ Wabi Sabi

dyb2.jpg

Dam* You’re Beautiful: Be Bare. Be Authentic. Be Imperfect.

 As a baby, when placed in front of a mirror, we giggle and smile at the sight of our reflection. So much joy It gave us to look at ourselves.

A woman who attended my self-love workshop last week shared this insight with our group. She shared about how when they placed a mirror in front of a baby at the children’s hospital she worked at, the babies would beam and smile at the sight of themselves, this showing total love for oneself. But, somehow as we blossom into this world, we somehow lose this self-love we once had. We begin to dread looking in the mirror, because we don’t like what we see. 

DSC04908

I remember how alien I felt to be surrounded by other girls whose breasts were forming, and mines were just mosquito bites, or how I was constantly getting fed negative comments that placed such a great emphasis on external beauty from my loved ones.

“Cydi, you have the perfect body, but only if you’re boobs were bigger.” “You’re a man.” “Why are you so hairy?”

This feeling as if I was never enough. This feeling of never looking beautiful enough for anyone to like me. This feeling of being born in a body not meant for me.

DSC05078

Since I was a little girl, I was always made fun of because I was too skinny, I was too hairy, I had small boobs, and my brothers always told me I looked like a man. For the longest time, I believed that this made me un-womanly, and I never believed myself to be beautiful. I’ve always been insecure about being skinny, because I grew up believing being too skinny was deemed unattractive, and so I grew up hating what I saw in the mirror. This got me searching for validation from people, especially boys, who would tell me I’m beautiful, I’m enough, I’m worthy. Yet, I was never able to see it for myself. Anger welled up inside of me, but I was unable to express myself, unable to process the uncomfortable heaviness in my heart and my throat. This caused me to have unstable emotional breakdowns and bursts of anger that would come out during small altercations.

Even to this day, I stare at myself in the mirror wondering if I am what a woman should be? Though people compliment me, the negative comments are so ingrained in me, that it still eats at me.

DSC05167

Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace my beauty, accept myself as I come, and fight the constant negative comments that my loved ones and others have conditioned my mind to perceive me. 

On this journey to self-love, the more I make the effort to build a relationship with myself, the greater self-love I feel, and the gentler I am with my feelings, my failures, and triumphs. The more I stare at myself in the mirror, the more beautiful I become. I’m sexy dangggggg! This feeling of total love for the self, overcomes me. But this doesn’t happen overnight. It’s years of reflection and unlearning all the negative self-talk and replacing it with an abundance of love for myself.

This is a statement to the world, that I am not afraid to be bare, to show you my insecurities. I will always believe in myself. I will always see my worth, and I will be the one to tell me, that I’m beautiful. I am afraid to peel off the layers that protects my innermost self, in fear that you will reject me or see me unworthy, but I realize now, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It doesn’t matter how society tells people to see me. I see me. I know me. I see my value, my beauty, and my worth.

No one can take this away from me, but myself.

This movement is to tell my fellow women to own your body, own your beauty, and encourage one another to do so. Women are the ones to lift women up. True beauty is having the courage to accept yourself as you come, and embark on your journey to become the best version of yourself. Be Bare. Be Authentic. Be Imperfect. Dare to be seen. Your beauty vibrates into the world as it illuminates from within you.

Just remember to look at that beautiful woman in the mirror and tell her, Dam* You’re Beautiful.

Wabi Sabi

DSC05176

 

DAM* You’re Beautiful’s First Ever Workshop

Dam_ You're BeautifulIn three day’s I will be hosting my first ever Dam* You’re Beautiful (DYB) Workshop: Working Toward’s Self-Love. DYB was first initiated in Oct 2018, to encourage women to empower one another and acknowledge one another’s unique beauty. We are all different, with different talents, personalities, and physicality. There really isn’t ONE beauty. And that’s what DYB tries to promote. Every one is beautiful.

This first workshop will center around discussion on Self-Love, what does it mean to love yourself, and how can you embark on your journey to practice real-self love.

I am so excited to share the space soon with beautiful women!

I’m hoping this movement can move mountains and shake the world into positivity, and work towards a world where women will look in the mirror and see a wonderful work of art. To all my beautiful ladies.

Click here to register for the event.

FB link below.

Dam* You’re Beautiful Event Link

Here’s link to DYB inital movement

Dam You’re Beautiful Initiative!

IMG_4826

When in a Toxic Relationship: Reflect

suma

“This beautiful toxic love of mine .”

When you find yourself in a toxic relationship where you always feel like your holding your breath, there’s no space to breathe, there are no boundaries, and you cry more than you smile, ask yourself why you’re enduring this? 

 

 

Of course, there are beautiful moments and beautiful feelings that come with the negativity, but at the end of the day, you know in your heart, a healthy relationship should not be this way.

I always say, reflect on your past, and your childhood. There was something you learned, something you experienced as a child that told you this was okay. Relationships in general stems from how you felt and how you were treated as a child. When you were young, you were still trying to understand the world and learn what is true and  what is not. Sometimes you experience great trauma, and believe that this injustice done to you is your norm after you grow accustomed to it. Then it carries over into your relationships.

Reflect deeply and ponder on these questions to make the connections you need to help you move forward from toxicity. 

Who did not love you that you wanted to be loved and seen by?

blog2

Most of the time we seek and fall into a toxic relationship because we were once starved of feeling loved and seen, most likely by parents. Oh beautiful girl, you wanted to be seen, and told you were beautiful, and just enough as you are. Remember as a child, you  sought for an older role-model to copy and follow. We seek love in others when we do not have it in the home. Human beings seek this great love, but truthfully, we may not even love ourselves, so we want someone to fill that empty space, yet it could never be filled.  You would just drain that other person because you are in need of so much love that only you can give to yourself.

 

Who took away your power? Who took away your voice?

People who fall into mentally or physically abusive relationships were once stripped away from being their own person or silenced as a child. Did someone scare you as a child? Do you still hold that fear now every time you try to speak your mind? And when you do speak your mind and it’s not heard, do you get frustrated and uncontrollably angry? Are you trying to hide behind someone? Even though your voicing what you want no one seems to care about your thoughts. So you think you don’t matter. Who took your voice? How can you regain it?

Why do you care so much about how others see you?

Who put you down as a child? Doesn’t it feel horrible to be picked out? You never want to feel like that again. So you always have to make sure you are perfect so no one can say anything about you. You are so afraid to be yourself, because being yourself may cause people to repel from you. Who told you that you are not good enough? Why listen to them. You have always been perfect the way you are. Just because one person is treating you horribly, who says you still need to continue to please them and make them love you? If you love yourself enough, you’d bring yourself to the light in this situation.

You run back to the person that you hurt you because:

  1.     You rather have someone than be alone and hurting on your own. But you’re still unhappy and will still be in pain. It won’t go away because you are with the person that is causing it. Yet if you were alone, it’ll hurt badly but time will make things better.
  2.     You’ve become addicted to this person like a drug because though they don’t fulfill the most important A, but they fulfill the y and z that makes you feel a little better.
  3.     They are your only support. Though you have family, you  may not be close or open to them to share your true self and your struggles.

suma4.jpgReflection is the key to growing and becoming your true self. Reflect on why you are making unhealthy decisions for yourself. Why do you have such a great need to hold onto this person that’s causing you immense pain? Maybe you’d rather feel pain than nothing at all. At least you feel something right? But, would it be so bad to let go? Would it be so bad to build happiness in yourself? To achieve how you feel with this toxic lover when you are with You? What is he doing that is filling you up? Are you truly just searching for that within yourself? Reflection.

 

Wabi Sabi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirituality and Purpose: What it Means to Me

Since Fall of 2017, I’ve embarked on this deep spiritual journey to connect back to my roots. The roots that made me. Me. Not the Cydi that was created by the beliefs of my culture, what my parents told me, or the negative messages from my surroundings and society.

I had to re-discover the Cydi who was swayed to hide and wear a mask to fit in.

I had to connect to the Cydi within. The Cydi that’s been hiding, afraid of coming out to the light. As I consistently tried to build a relationship with her, she slowly started to come out. I cut off toxic relationships, and intentionally isolated myself to reflect. This was the beginning of my journey.

spirit4

I spewed out these questions to the Universe.

What is my purpose?

Who Am I?

oprahquote3Oprah showed me the way to strengthening my connection to my inner spirit. I listened to her podcast Super Soul Sunday and many of her motivational videos. She helped me realize this.

Our purpose on earth is really to become the Highest, Best, Version of ourselves.

We have to envision the Grandest, Best Life for ourselves in order for it manifest into our reality.

Life isn’t perfect, but it never is. So, how can we make the best of it?

I began to meditate.

spirtuality

I got involved in a Buddhist Organization, where I gathered with others who sought to bring out happiness from within; wonderful beings.

My daily ritual is to sit on my yellow square cushion, in front of my mirror. I chant, then I thank the Universe, Ancestors, Protectors, and Spirit Guides, all bright and good beings that have paved the way and whom continues to guide me. I then speak about the things I need guidance on, and I ask them to continue to guide me to my purpose.

tarot

I began reading tarot cards to strengthen my intuition. This has been such an amazing experience and a great tool for me to learn about people and their struggles. Through tarot readings, I am able to help people find clarity, and give them some relief to voice out their troubles. I realize, I’m not the only one seeking.  

As a freshman in high school, my mom urged me to start thinking about what I wanted to do after college.

I told her “I don’t know, but I just know, I want to help people.”

I always had a knowing. A knowing that I was here to help uplift people in some way. I just never knew quite what medium I was supposed to use.  I knew I loved people and had a great compassion for them, especially a deep love for my Hmong people. Even in my darkest times, the only thing that kept me going was this strong sense of purpose. I knew the Universe brought me here for a great purpose. And if I give up now, I would not fulfill it. So I continued through the heaviness.

In times of darkness and suicidal tendencies, I also thought about the young girls in my life. How would my death affect them? Negatively. I had to continue living for them.

I truly live for others. I truly live through others, like a channel. I realized that.

The only reason I work on myself, is because in the end, I want to be able to help others.

People may cringe at the idea of spirituality and connecting something we cannot see with our eyes, but I believe, however you call this Higher Power, there is a Higher Power, that connects us all; the trees, the animals, and every group of people.

Duality, and labels have left us divided, but I believe this is all a big test for the human race to come together and love one another, and break this cycle of violence, war, and hate we put onto each other.

For me, Spirituality means the ability to connect yourself to the Source that powers our whole universe. And that starts within. The ability to connect to yourself, because we all have divinity within us. We were born with it. That bright divine light will always shine within us.

What the Universe truly wants for every human being is for us to find happiness on earth and live out our happiest best life. No one is better than the other.

Today, no matter how bad your situation is, know you were brought here for a specific purpose. Do not let the outside world tell you who you are. You are beautiful, vibrant, and you will persevere through. You will find happiness, only if you give yourself permission to attain it. Happy journeying.

Sending only Peace and Love

❤ Cydi-Wabi Sabi