Monday, October 28, 2013

Enlightenment in Español

Summer is over.
Fall is here.

My body handles this transition the worst out of all the seasons. Nature slows and draws inward during this transition to winter. Since we are part of nature, our bodies do as well!
I've noticed over the past few years that my "draw inward" always progresses in eight stages.

They are as follows:

  • Stage 1: I have so much to do! --> 
  • Stage 2: I'm tired. --> 
  • Stage 3: I don't want to do anything. --> 
  • Stage 4: I'm not getting stuff done. --> 
  • Stage 5: I have no motivation. --> 
  • Stage 6: I feel blah. --> 
  • STAGE 7: **EPIPHANY!!!!! It's just the season change, be gentle to your body and listen to what it needs!!! -->
  • Stage 8: Ok! I got this! :)

Does this all sound familiar to you?? When you get stuck in a rut (stages 3-6 above), it feels so permanent, right! Like it will last FOREVER!

Last week in Spanish class I was smack dab the middle of stage 6. I felt overwhelmed with all that I have going on with school, work, the future move, and just life in general.

So as I sat there in Spanish class with a thousand things running through my mind- the teacher announced that today we would study the "Be" verbs.  For those of you not familiar with Spanish, these verbs in English translate to- "I AM", "You are", "She is", "They are", etc.

She explained that in Spanish there are two very distinctive phrases that mean "to be".

They are the words "ser" and "estar".

She briefly described the differences like this:

"We use 'ser' to talk about who or what we are." This doesn't typically change with time.

    • For example-
                   "I am a woman.", "I am American.", "I am a lawyer.".
                    You will basically always be these things!

"But we use 'estar' to talk about our feeling at the moment."

    •  For example-
                  "I am sad.", "I am happy.", "I am depressed." or "I am stupid.".


 "If you are sad, you aren't going to be sad forever! It's impossible, right?"

Now, I'm a big fan of Eckhart Tolle, and I've read books upon books that stress the importance of always acknowledging how you are at the moment is NOT who you really are.

This means even if you are something positive- like "happy" or "successful" or "in love" these are all fleeting. Emphasis should never be placed to heavily on these temporary states- good or bad.

But during this particular class, at this particular moment... I felt like I was hearing it for the FIRST TIME!

Not only was I being TOLD the difference, I was being taught to CHANGE vocabulary depending on which "I am" I was referring to! What a way to really "practice what you preach".

I mean, it's one thing to SAY you are keeping who you and your temporary feelings separate- but putting it into action with your language takes it to a totally new level of being.

Below is an example of our lesson for those interested:

Estamos Contentas= We are happy. (temporary feeling)

Yo soy americana= I am American. (permanent)     Yo soy espanola.= I am Spanish. (permanent)
Our lovely Spanish teacher Ana and me! 

Estamos tristes= We are sad. (temporary)

Yo soy americano.= I am American. (permanent)         Yo soy coreano. = I am Korean. (permanent)
Dave and his Korean teacher, who just so happens to date our Spanish teacher. Cute, right?

Separating the different "I am"s is very POWERFUL, don't you think? Words are powerful. The words


are the most powerful of all! Even if you don't speak Spanish, I challenge you to RE-THINK the meanings of these very important words.

I think we would all be much better if we carefully watched the words we said to ourselves. Don't you? Watch your words. They shape your reality.

I hope you all are having a wonderful start to your Fall season. I encourage you to slow down and ask yourself what it is that you really need to inwardly focus on. It isn't selfish, it's necessary, if you refuse to slow down during this transition your body will FORCE you to- this usually will manifest as a cold... ain't nobody got time for colds!

Have any of you Spanish speakers out there found such power in the "Be verbs"? What were your experiences?

Change your thoughts-
Change your words-

Live your life,
The Empowered Way


PS- If you are interested in language lessons in Busan, we really recommend our teachers!
For Spanish lessons you can contact Ana Porcel at
For Korean lessons you can contact Jitae Kim at

PSS- Fall recipes on the way soon! I can't wait to tell you all about our wonderful Fall potluck!