I am a Full-Time Human

"My name is Milena. I'm an artist / inspirer / entrepreneur. But that's just what I do part-time. Above all, I am a Full-Time Human." I introduce myself this afternoon at an event where I guest-speak. Smiling on my face, I watch the amazement in the eyes of the audience - highschool and university students, a crowd close to 100...

Yes. I am. 24/7. This work needs no day-off. Here's the Sunday of a Full-Time Human.

2016-01-10 15.09.23-2
2016-01-10 15.09.23-2

kissed by sunlight

The moment I woke up, before I open my eyes, I breathe deeply into my chest and I ask my heart: "What would you have me do?" The answer comes: "Love". Roger that! Let's go!

At 8AM my yoga class starts at the park. On Sunday I bring students here to experience outdoor yoga, connect with nature. "Inhale and smell the wind... Feel your body deeply... Lift your head, gaze up to the green leaves, feel happy... Smiling on your face, enjoy this moment..." I instruct, as we move through the yoga sequences.

We release tensions and gain energy through yoga postures. After one hour, comes the final pose: Savasana - Death Body - the most important pose of yoga. We lie down on our back; we relax, let go of control. Let go of our body, let go of the breath. In a way, we die...

After Savasana, we sit up with eyes closed, body relaxed. To feel and honor the present. This moment is magic.

We just die and now reborn.

Afresh. Anew. Raw. Real. Naked.

Today in that magic moment, the sun comes out of the cloud and shines on us.

"With eyes closed, swipe your arms out around and up. Touch the palms at the top. Keep the palms above your head. Peace for your Body. Palms down to your forehead. Peace for your Mind. Palms down by the chest. Peace for your Soul." I say.

The ray of sunlight touches my eyes-lashes and the tiny hairs on my forearms. It touches the back of my neck as we all bow down to each other; we whisper: "Namaste".

Namaste. I honor the light within you. Because it is also within me. Because it is also the light that shines upon us in this very moment.

I open my eyes, knowing that what I will find is the thing I love to see most in the world: the naked face of other human beings.

No mask. With all of their beauty, and scars, and freckles.

Being kissed by the sunlight.


broken, wounded, and singing 

Around 10, a friend is coming to see me at my studio Soulful Garden. She has recently suffered from chronic depression. I knew about this. So I was prepared. "If her wound bleeds, I'll wipe the blood, get the bandage, give anti-infection... I'll stay calm, grounded, and empathetic." I thought to myself.

10:30 she shows up at the door laughing with a huge guitar behind her back. Then she gives me cookies and apple pie. We sit down, drink tea, eat pie. We talk. She told me she wrote new songs. I told her I'd love to hear them. I ask what inspired these songs, knowing already the answer: the heart-break.

This beautiful human being, broken, wounded. And what she does? She goes write a song about it.

She takes out her guitar and begins to play. The song is so sad, so sad. It's about losing someone. Her voice is deep, raspy, raw. Her lyrics spears through your heart with naked sorrow. She sings as if she is trying to show something to all of Life: to me, the sun, and the small cactus on my windowsill: "Can you hear this? This is what heartbreak tastes like in my eyes and ears and mouth."

I see tears rising up to the edge of her eyes. But they don't run down her cheeks. She breathes them in.

I think of my grandfather now. When I was small, he taught me poetry. The black ink smells bitter from his calligraphy brush. And right hand was swift with watercolor. Now his right hand no longer moves.

Hey. Tears. I breathe them in. But we both know.

She finishes the song. We stay silence for a moment. She says it is not a very happy song.

I say "It is beautiful. All true emotions are beautiful."

Then I watch sunlight enters the window, breathes shimmers on our green carpet, on her golden hair, her guitar, my half-finished apple pie, and the cactus on my windowsill.

see! crying can feel that good! 

(to be written)

Milena Nguyen