Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Most Powerful Thing We Can Do For Ourselves and Others

Heart_HolliMargellHow many of us pay attention to our emotions and feelings as much as we do our diet and exercise? As we rush around to keep up with life these days and getting to the gym or pick up our kids from soccer practice, we need to take a few minutes to realize how we feel and how we’re treating others.

Last month was a hard one for me emotionally. I had the chance to visit a family member I love dearly and tell her how much I love her and will miss her when she passes away. This was the very same week when a random stranger shot several students at Seattle Pacific University. I have several friends who are Alumni at that University and had spent many hours on campus with them hanging out or working on projects with them. So, the tragedy hit close to my heart. Two big emotionally rough incidents in one day was overwhelming. I found myself crying while driving in the car when a song came on that reminded me of each tragedy. But, I had to juggle taking care of my kids and volunteering at their school.
Thankfully, I had an appointment with Juli, and although our visits don’t usually cover topics of the heart, she really spoke to me in a way that helped calm me down. She said that I was strong, and that it’s okay to grieve. I was reminded that I had to be kind to myself. I needed to let the tears flow instead of trying to hold them inside. As the week went on, and I read more about the shooting, I realized we all need kindness in our lives. As we hear more and more about senseless violence happening or experience losing a loved one, we can choose to be kind.
A good example of practicing kindness everyday is my friend, Nathan. He is a bus driver in a rough part of Seattle. He makes a point of smiling and greeting everyone who gets onto his bus no matter how they look. More often than not, they return the kindness and treat him with respect.
I’ve reflected a lot this past month about how kindness is powerful no matter whom we share it with – from ourselves to strangers. So, I think the most powerful thing we can do for ourselves, and others is to practice kindness every day. You never know how your actions will make a difference.

Warmly, Holli Margell, Editor

One Thing You Must Remember If You Want To Succeed In Life: A Lesson You Can Learn From Ivanka Trump

I must say, Ivanka Trump is a one heck of a beautiful lady. If you think she looks great on TV or the cover of a magazine, you should wait until you see her up close in person. She is flawless and stunningly beautiful from every angle. And she is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Just the fact she came from one of the very wealthiest American families, may make you assume she is a typical spoiled arrogant girl who knows nothing about values or respect for others. But no, no, no. She is the complete opposite of the stereotype.  She is very confident and yet elegant and graceful in every possible way. You simply cannot take your eyes off of her.  And she is very friendly and approachable. She greeted everyone at the event with a genuine smile (not one of those fake celebrity smiles, if you know what I mean). She is kind of person who really cares about you as a person.

For example, when it was Juliana’s turn to do a photo shoot with Ivanka, Juli told her how her kid’s were really looking forward to seeing the picture of mommy with Ivanka. So she asked, “How many kids do you have?” Juliana replied, “I have four.” Then Ivanka responded with, “WOW you have FOUR KIDS? You look GREAT!!!” And they laughed and hugged each other.

Juliana and Ivanka

Juliana and Ivanka

In her speech, Ivanka talked about how she got started in the Trump organization. Everyone who watches the show “Apprentice” knows Ivanka plays a key role in her father’s business. And I know many people think that she was given a high position just because she was the daughter of Donald Trump. However, the truth is that she had to fight and prove her competence every step of the way to get to where she is now. She said when she started, her father would not simply give her a job, so she started cleaning the office, taking trash out and pick up the projects nobody wanted to do. Along the way she gained the trust of her colleagues and her father. Slowly but surely, she was given higher responsibilities and became indispensable to the organization. She did not whine or complain about her situation. She just proved to everyone that she can take on any responsibilities and complete the job better than anyone else. She deserve to be on the judge side of the table along with her father Donald in the show “Apprentice”.

In Japan, where I grew up, “apprenticeship” carries a much deeper and heavier meaning. If you really want to master a certain art, you must go through many years of  apprenticeship before the master permits you to learn the first set of skills to master the art. Apprenticeship usually begins at young age of around 15 years old. Traditionally, board and meals are provided for an apprentice in exchange for the labor without any pay. In the beginning you must go through the phases of performing the tasks that has nothing to do with acquiring the skills to master the art. If you want to learn the art of sushi for example, and if you are accepted by a master, you would probably spend first 2-3 years mopping the floor of the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, washing the dishes and utensils, or even doing dirty laundry. It is common to see the master smacking the apprentice hard on his head and repeatedly yelling at him in a menacing way when seemingly minor mistakes are made. It is because a true master never accepts anything less than perfect. And, he demands the same level of perfection from an apprentice in everything he does. So the first phase of apprenticeship seems meaningless in terms of learning actual skills and even abusive to many, however it is a necessary filtering process to find only the most dedicated apprentice, who is determined to become the master himself. After all, if he can’t even perform a mundane task (like mopping floors) perfectly every single time better than anyone else, how could he expect to acquire the skills to become a master of the art? Once he truly understand the master’s real intention and prove his ability to perform even trivial or unimportant tasks perfectly with dedication every single day without a fail during the first phase of the apprenticeship, he earns the trust of the master. And slowly he will be given more important responsibilities and not to mention, the opportunity to learn the critical skills to master the art.

So my message to you, especially younger generation, is this: Never, ever complain or whine about anything or any situation you are currently in. Feeling sorry for yourself or playing the role of victim does not get you anywhere. If you burn you lips at McDonalds, because the coffee was too hot, do not blame them or even think about suing them. It’s your fault. You and ONLY YOU are responsible for your burn. A burn could be easily avoided if you are careful enough to check how hot the coffee is before you take a sip.

If you were late for work because the bus didn’t come on time, or maybe you got caught in a bad traffic, you and ONLY YOU are responsible for the tardiness. Neither the bus driver or bad traffic is responsible. Make sure to leave the house extra early every day to make it to work on time instead. If you catch a cold or flu from someone at work, do not blame him. You and ONLY YOU are responsible for catching a cold. You could have build a healthy body with strong immune system to ward off bacteria and viruses to prevent a cold. Once you learn to accept idea that the current condition or situations you are in are the direct result of your own thought and actions, everything else falls into place and opens up many more doors to opportunities for you to succeed in life. So stop whining and complaining. Instead start doing something productive.


Kaz Isogai

Learning How To Be The Best Me

The fear to reach the unexpected is living without boundaries. To go within yourself to find the strength and fight that fear and live. If I hadn’t gone beyond my comfort zone, I wouldn’t be who I am.

When I was little, I had lots of questions of who I am: Am I good enough to take on Dad’s practice? I asked my Dad, he said, “It is repetition, dedication and at the end of the day ask yourself if you did your best.” That was it, I only had to respond to myself and not strangle myself that tight on the way there. It is ok to make a fool out of yourself once in a while, because you’ll look back and do better.

My trip to New York City was amazing. I met this hair stylist that was from Europe, and she has lived in New York for 2 years. She loves it in New York, because there all you need is to work a little harder and the possibility of extraordinary is attainable. Asians and many people from Europe tend to work hard and play hard, we don’t take things for granted. When doing yoga, the first hour you will find your inner strength of the mind and body, the last 1/2 hour laying on the mat you feel alive more then ever. That is living without boundaries.

Meeting Ivanka Trump was amazing. She was so beautiful, and best of all was her speech. Ivanka spoke highly of her father, Donald Trump. How he expected such a high standard for all of his work and the people around him. That is why all his real estate projects are known to be premium pricing, not cheap and very expensive. It takes a strong leader with high views to make it to the top – very inspirational.

My 10 minute speech was the scariest event for me, especially standing on stage in front of the video crew with the lights shining on me. Kaz was very supportive. I guess he was more stressed then I was. Thankfully I didn’t faint on stage and made it through still alive.

When it is available online, watch it and tell me what you think. My heart is still beating very fast. I did it and dad you would be proud that Traditional Chinese Medicine is not a lost art and that we are continuing to strive and to heal.

Love, Juli