How Much I Love Old Town Alexandria

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I love praying and sitting in silence at Saint Mary’s in the afternoons.

There are so many reasons why I love living in the City of Alexandria and having a business right in Old Town. But here are some visual reasons why I just love being here.  From the architecture to the food choices and being near the waterfront, I could wander around all day and still discover something new and inspiring each time.

In fact, I am so passionate about where I live and work that I will be hosting our very first Nguyen family reunion ever! My family and relatives who had escaped Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon in 1975 will be coming in from all over the world and gathering here. Many of the different generations will be meeting each other for the very first time as well.

I will share more on that event with you soon, but for now, soak in the sun and fun of Alexandria.  I hope you will make the time and visit me at my goddess sanctuary and lifestyle boutique if you are ever in town for any reason.  And if you have any questions about the area or want advice on a restaurant, just let me know. 🙂

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A clean and quiet courtyard for your afternoon break!

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The homes are beautiful and have a European feel to them.

You can’t come to Old Town without visiting tu-anh goddess sanctuary!

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I can stretch and meditate anywhere at anytime!

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Resting my Goddess feet from a long walk and watching the sailboats go by is so therapeutic.

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St. Mary’s Catholic Church

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There is water and greenery!

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The colorful and cute homes!

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My favorites to eat at Brabo Tasting Room of The Lorien Hotel.

I can play Volleyball right by the water!

I can play Volleyball right by the water!

Secrets to a Harmonious Divorce

IMG_2724Divorce: A permanent separation or a formal ending of a marriage between two people who were once connected.

We have seen it, heard it, observed it, and perhaps even experienced it ourselves: how unpleasant, emotionally stressful, and mentally draining a divorce can be between two people who once were madly in love with each other. Do all divorces have to end so ugly? I do not believe so, and I am speaking from my own personal experience.

On my 42nd birthday almost two years ago, the court granted my request to divorce my best friend and soulmate.  Did our divorce end on bad terms? Certainly not, but that does not mean it was not stressful.

Many people were quite surprised. They thought that my ex and I were perfect for each other since we were both driven and outgoing entrepreneurs who also share similar values and upbringings. But that was not enough. When you have two passionate, impatient, driven, hot-headed, and equally strong-minded crazy entrepreneurs together…it equates to an explosion, an imbalance of yin and yang energy.

On paper and in photographs, it seemed perfect.  In reality, we both knew that we needed to be each other’s opposite balance, and that was quite difficult.  For almost two years, we sought coaching, couple’s therapy, retreats, prayers, and romantic getaways to make things work.  At one point, we even thought that perhaps having a baby would change it all, and thank goddess we did not go that route. It just was not in the stars for us to be together as a couple.

We both still love and respect each other very much; we are each other’s best friend and family. Don’t get me wrong: it was very emotionally stressful, and it felt like failure because we both do not give up that easily. But we did promise each other that we would work together to make it a harmonious and painless separation.  And we did so through honest communication. We stayed 100% open and upfront with each other the whole time even when it was difficult and confronting.

I have friends and clients who are going through nasty divorces that have been dragging on for years. It is even more difficult and complicated when children are involved.

While each journey is different, here are some things my ex and I did along the way that contributed to our divorce being harmonious and heartache-free:

  1. Honest and open communication.  During the whole journey, we stayed in communication and shared our thoughts openly, even when they were not so positive.  We knew where we stood with one another.  There was no guessing or playing of games or even walking on eggshells.
  2. Assume good intent. Even before we were married, we were partners in crime and we watched each other’s backs. In this situation we wanted the best for each other. I wanted him to be happy, and he the same for me.
  3. Respect.  What more can I say? The only reason why divorces end ugly is because the two people who were once madly in love have lost respect for one another.  In our case, we have always respected each others’ decisions, actions, opinions, and beliefs. 
  4. Treat it like business. You may not think this is romantic, but really, if you can put your emotions aside and treat your divorce like a business exchange (as you should all relationships to an extent), you both will be much happier.  Communicate, collaborate, prioritize, strategize, plan, and visualize a positive desired outcome. This will help tremendously.
  5. Speak your truths and express yourself.  Please listen to me: no matter how bad it is, speak your truth, even when you know the other person may not want to hear it.  By speaking your truth, you build trust with the other person so that they know you are not just putting up a front.  This will put them less on the defensive side and encourage them to share their truths with you as well.  Getting the unsaid said is the best thing you can do for any relationships.
  6. Lastly, take care of yourself, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically.  Seek help and support by talking to friends, family, a trusted advisor, or get professional counseling. Exercising and eating healthy, along with lots of sleep, really helped me with my emotional stress. Also, prayers, meditation, yoga, walking in nature, and spending time with my little nieces was oh so heart-healing and calming of the mind. But the biggest stress reliever for me was writing. I wrote in my journal a lot – some days, it was pages and pages of thoughts and emotions….and that is how this blog was born. It has been so therapeutic for me in my spiritual journey of self-discovery and awakening.

Currently, I am in a good place and ready to start a whole new life.  My ex and I are still best friends, and he is one of my biggest clients that I support and counsel. He is dating a wonderful goddess and has already moved on with his life. As for me, I am spending a lot of time getting to know myself and dating me for the first time. It’s actually quite fun and I am loving it! My whole life has been around others’ happiness before my own. Now it is time for me to rejuvenate and put myself first. It feels like being born again. The exciting part is I get to create and design the life I have always wanted. 🙂

Do I see myself being married again? Absolutely! Only this time, my recipe for a happy and long lasting marriage will be of my own, and not of my family, my friends, my culture, nor the Catholic church.  Are you going through a tough divorce right now? Please let me know if I can support you in any way.

Much Love Always,

tu-anh

Secrets to a Healthy Heart Chakra

I never start my day without my meditation, gratitude, and fresh green smoothie.

I never start my day without my meditation, gratitude, and fresh green smoothie.

In my last post, I shared with you the #1 Goddess Rule- Listen to Your Heart.  Interestingly, a few of you emailed me and said that you do not trust your heart.   I am guessing it is because your heart chakra must be blocked and out of balance. The heart chakra is where love, compassion, kindness, respect, and our deep connection with others are formed.  The way to a healthy and balanced heart chakra is living through love.  It is love that heals wounds and bring peace to the world around us. When we open our hearts to others, we open our hearts to life.  And when we live life to the fullest and with passion, we inspire others around us to do the same.  When we love unconditionally, the world will come together as one.  There are many things I do daily and weekly to keep my heart chakra balanced. Below are just some of them. I hope you find it helpful. Until next time…xoxo…tu-anh

I massage Earth Goddess all over me after a shower or bath daily.

I massage Earth Goddess all over me after a shower or bath daily.

Polishing my goddess sanctuary with garden beauties.

Polishing my goddess sanctuary with garden beauties.

Fresh from the garden is good for the heart.

Fresh from the garden is good for the heart.

One of my favorite heart healing music.

One of my favorite heart healing music.

They make me feel so loved.

They make me feel so loved.

Solitude by the water to recharge.

Solitude by the water to recharge.

My voluptuous Nini gives me unconditional love.

My voluptuous Nini gives me unconditional love.