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Moving On, My Life Awaits - My InstaReflection

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When was the last time you let go of something that had once been as precious as your own life? 

This something, could be anything -- memory, habit, romance or friendship -- it might have occupied your mental and physical space, and consumed your mental and physical energy for a significant period of time, and it had the power to make you feel grounded, needed, and loved.

It fuelled your happiness. 

Therefore, even when this something starts to take on a different shape, go a different direction, creates more doubt than affirmation, we often have trouble pushing it away.

The soft-hearted ones, may find it cruel to leave this something behind.

The sentimental ones, may find it difficult to part with all the memories shared.

To solve this dilemma, a pragmatic approach is necessary. 

We need to ask the question -- Is this something good for you? 

Not in the past or future tense, but the PRESENT.

For me, I kissed this something goodbye, with heart full of gratefulness and love. 

And to my biggest surprise -- I felt relieved. Overwhelmingly.

No sadness. No regret. Just the feeling of lightness when I tip over, and let this invisible weight that I had unconsciously carried, fall off my shoulders. 

Stay Tender, Dear 2018

What do you wish for in this new year?

In the beginning of 2017, I picked “Everything Is Connected” as my motto for the year. It was neither a statement nor a commitment, just a fact of life which I wanted to comprehend better.

Oh, did I! 

So for 2018, I’m choosing another phrase to guide me through the next four seasons.

It is: “Stay tender.” 

Tenderness is the feeling I get when something good and beautiful is reflected back at me; when my efforts are returned in equal measure or more; when I get something for nothing simply by being around inspiring people and positive energy.

It’s the feeling I get right now catching up on your Instagram updates, with my adorable family by my side.

#Tenderness. May it also be a part of your new year. 💛 .

True & Naive: My Puzzles of Happiness

This one is for you, my dear friends. 💙

(Jigsaw lovers pls skip to the bottom.)

A simple wooden puzzle of our beautiful Big Ben means something different for everyone. In my case, it encapsulates my current state of mind.

A buoyant sense of completeness has caught me by surprise since I started saying and doing only what I believe is true and right. It’s awesome being nice, optimistic and BS-free, and all it takes is to surround myself with likeminded people — such as you guys! 

I want to share the recipe of my elation with anyone who might want it. And this Big Ben puzzle is just the first ingredient in the pot — to build Patience.

You can find this puzzle and two other designs in my new shop @trueandnaive which is now in beta. Please use “FOLLOWTHATBUG” for 20% off your entire purchase.

If you’re based in London (zones 1-3) and would like some puzzles for Christmas, I’ll be making personal deliveries on Saturday DEC 23 for free. 😄🤶🏻❄️🎄☃️💖

#ThankYouForEverything

My Simple Secret to Happiness

Tilt up your head, and hold it there -- what do you see?

Close your eyes, and absorb a heavy breath all the way down to your tummy -- how do you feel?

Stand firm, wiggle those heels deeper into the ground, and just listen to your own voice coming from within.

🌿🌿🌿

This is what I like to tell people who ask me: "Eileen, how do you stay so happy and hopeful all the time?"

Some ask, because they find my outlook frustrating, unrealistic and even privileged.

"You don't have the baggage of ______ (children, family, bad job, discrimination, pressure from everywhere, etc.). That's why you can talk as if nothing weighs you down."

These people, in their minds, they've drawn the short straw in life, which is the one excuse they use for everything they believe they deserve but can't seem to achieve.

The truth is, we all have been one of these people at some point in our lives. Some of us may still be in this mindset, and some of us may return to it.

So what, if you feel bitter and unloved? It's nothing to be scared or ashamed of. It's a genuine feeling from within, so own it.

Then, use it as the ignition to drive you forward -- be honest with your fears, tackle them gently, and praise yourself along the way for having the courage to face the struggles head on, whatever the outcome.

As the title of this post says, this is my very simple secret to happiness! 

It is how I stay happy. And I am, truly.

Eileen xx

Autumn sky in London's St James's Park. © EIleen Hsieh/Follow That Bug // Cover photo by  Teddy Kelley  on Unsplash

Autumn sky in London's St James's Park. © EIleen Hsieh/Follow That Bug // Cover photo by Teddy Kelley on Unsplash

What Is Courage? - My InstaReflection

#COURAGE (noun) -- which one of these definitions do you agree with the most?

(1) The ability to do something that frightens one.

(2) Strength in the face of pain or grief.

(3) The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.

I pick 2, because if you can overcome the pain of fears or the grief of regrets, you will have gained the key to a whole new world. 

Eileen Hsieh Buckingham Palace sunset pastel sky followthatbug London England UK

Courage is:

📍 to let go of your ego, and act on this thought. 

📍 to own up to your shortcomings, recognise strengths in others, and learn to grow in a different and better direction.

📍 to ignore outside voices, and say and do things that you truly believe are right.

📍 to let go of your past, and start every new day learning to be the "you" that you would like to become.

Today I saw a flash of courage in someone, so I just want to throw this message out to the universe -- you can do it.

You may feel lonely, you may stumble, but there will always be people cheering you on, because we all wish we had a little bit more courage within ourselves.

Give Less, Give Smarter - My InstaReflection

Always be kind to yourself, and help others who deserve it.

But do not confuse being kind with giving unconditionally, because kindness - when presented to someone who doesn't want it - is wasted energy that could be used to empower someone else who truly desires it, or yourself. 

If you're reading this and thinking that I'm talking about you, you're mistaken. 😘

This question -- how to strike a happy medium between helping others deal with their struggles and focusing on my own challenges -- is one that I've been thinking about a lot lately. .
.

Lo and behold, while scrolling through my boring twitter feed earlier, I came upon this article called "Why I Stopped Helping People and You Should Too" by Cammi Pham (link in my insta stories), which gave me the reassurance I was looking for. 

It's time for me to give less, and give smarter. 🤓 💜

Eileen x

Little White Flowers - My InstaReflection

For you... just because. 🌼

Just because I want to say hello with these pretty little flowers.

And to thank you for sending over so much love and support for my #FTBTimeOfMyLife project. 
I write every entry on the day of post. Some take minutes to finish. Others take hours as I wade through decades of memories to identify the one single moment that helped shape me into the person I am today.

Coming up, as I enter a new chapter of life, the posts will be become darker, more complex, and possibly even difficult to digest. 

So you may find me sneaking snapshots that reflect my Present into those of my Past, just to break up the intense emotions that I know I'm about to trek through. 

So here they are, tiny little flowers, so perfect in their harmony, so consistent in their form, no matter how close you look. 

Eileen x

#thankyou 💛

P.S. This comment from viviennejlevick adds so much more meaning to this post:

Made me smile to notice that considering the context, you chose yarrow, achilliea millefolium, or 'soldiers woundwort' - used for centuries to help heal wounds xx

FTB Time of My Life is an exercise to celebrate the things that have shaped our lives. Click here for details on how to participate.

FTB: Time Of My Life

My birthday is coming up, and I want to mark the occasion by showing my love for... everything that matters to me.

So starting from June 15, my #FTBTimeOfMyLife project begins. Every day, for 40 days, I will be sharing a piece of my memory from the year in focus... that's quite a few years to flip through, and a lot of forgotten events to recollect! 

But this will be a beautiful exercise, and I hope you'll join me in going down the memory lane and sharing a piece of the puzzle that's shaped your life. 

You can share your thoughts in a few ways -- in post comments, on Instagram, or simply write them down in your private diary.

Now, let's go and explore the Time of Our Lives!

Eileen x

The Chocolate Box Life - My InstaReflection

A quaint 17th century thatched cottage near Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

I came, to find a quiet place to clear my mind.

I arrived, to find that I still quite like a mind brimming with thoughts, senses and fascination, except now the deafening sirens are replaced by chirping birds, the air is perfumed with wildflowers and horses instead of car fumes, and the skyline is embellished with not highrises but cottages and cattle.

Right now, I'm looking out from the bedroom window of this 17th century chocolate box cottage, watching the morning sunlight dance across the garden and turn a row of rose bushes into sparkly yellow diamonds under the gray sky. 

I'm in the home county of Buckinghamshire, and I feel home.