Back to top

Be brave, run into the red light!

Am writing to you from my beautiful, sunny home in Málaga, Spain! After a month of siestas, tapas, siestas, long walks by the sea, siestas, Latin eye-candy, and siestas, I'm feeling quite Spanish, and very much at home.

A story of courage

Yesterday, I had to sort out my Spanish ID card and learned it was a bank holiday. Everything would be closed, my brain knew that. But I felt so compelled to go to the Foreign Embassy anyways. Try my luck, since their website said they were open.

On my way there, I saw a young woman dressed as a clown on the street corner. At every red light, she ran into the middle of the big boulevard and performed some high kicks and juggling tricks. She then went car to car asking for donations.

I stood there in awe, witnessing her courage. Red light, after red light, after red light, she ran into the boulevard, and performed with the enthusiasm of New Year's Eve fireworks. Being brave took on a whole new meaning.

A story of sisterhood

While she waited for the next red light, I tapped her shoulder, told her, "You are so brave," and handed her 5€. She looked shocked and in awe. For a micro moment, time stood still: the awe I saw in her got mirrored back to her: she saw her own courage. And her eyes glistened with awe, which mirrored back to me my own courage and awe.

I leaned in to hug her and she pulled me in, hugged me really tight, for 65 whole seconds (the street light had a timer). We stood there, holding each other, perfect strangers, on the street corner.

She said my gift had solved all her problems. She thought it was going to be a hard day. And now, it's not. She thanked me profusely for being a sister. She took one of the puffy red flowers off her costume and handed it me. She wanted me to remember how much this moment meant to her.

She had no idea that she gifted me far, far more. My brain knew it was a bank holiday and everything was indeed closed. But my heart knew it needed to go to the Foreign Embassy anyways. It needed to meet her, fellow soul sister, because she confirmed for me, once and for all, that my heart is, indeed, clairvoyant.

A story of trust

She didn't cry, but I did! I sat on a bench in a nearby park for hours, pondering:

1. It is true what they say about following your heart, not your head.

2. When you feel compelled to do something, even though it doesn't make any logical sense, do it!

3. It takes time (in my case 27 years) to trust your natural talent/gift (in my case clairvoyance) because our baby-brain (aka saboteur brain) made us believe that being different = there's something wrong with us. When in truth, being different is our greatest gift.

4. True giving does not leave you exhausted and depleted (if it does, it's sacrificial giving, not true soul-to-soul giving).

A story of freedom

How much a teeny tiny encounter can teach us!! So I reverse engineered my steps from there. What lead me here... what brought me to this very moment, when I could have taken another street, at another time, on another day, or I could have walked right by her.

As far as I can remember, aside from a few toys I wanted when I was 7 and 8, all I ever wanted was to be free. To be free of filial piety [the sacrificial duties of the eldest son] and the shame of not being born male in an Asian family. To do what I want, to go where I please, without the string of guilt tugging at my ankles.

As I grew, I wanted to be free of incompetent teachers who thought they knew best, academic institutions who taught us to sit at a desk and die, incompetent bosses who made it there because they are male, and corporate institutions who ensured we sit at a desk and die.

If there was a "Least likely to succeed as an entrepreneur" award, I'd win it. But I embraced entrepreneurship anyways, because it's the ONLY way to be free. Truly free: free to live and work anywhere, free to design my life, free to set my own schedule so I can visit any friend or attend any workshop at anytime, free to prioritize health and friendship over burn out and isolation.

A story of Exquisite Freedom

So in 2015, I went on 16 country Around-the-World tour, living in a different country every week, looking for my new home.

Along the way, of all the plentiful options in Spain, I visited my friend Maria in Málaga where her parents had retired. We'd worked together, but had never met in person. She flew in from France, I flew in from Morocco, we ate delicious tapas, laughed a ton and took walks by the deep blue see. It was sunny and warm and February!

But I hadn't felt it. You know, the "it" that you feel in your bones when something is just right? So I went on another Around-the-World tour in 2016... this time to 50+ countries to see which glass slipper fit best.

Following the breadcrumbs

After trying on 104 countries, the top runner-ups were: Argentina, Portugal, and Spain. When you've lived and worked from 104 countries, you too will have developed a sharp decisiveness that can split a hair in two.

My brain declared that it couldn't handle a 7th language, so it ruled out Portugal. Done. Even though I looked at real estate in Argentina, its economy concerned me. Ruled out, done. So Spain it was! It only took 104 countries to reach this decision, ha! :P

Along my travels, I tried Barcelona, which felt too busy. I've lived in NYC, Hong Kong, Singapore and I'm done with wearing busyness as a badge of worthiness. I also tried some of the Spanish islands, but felt much more grounded on the continent.

Along my "hummingbirding" through these 104 countries, I met a soulmate friend who used to live in Spain. He read people very well and declared, "I see you in Málaga" when I never even mentioned that city!

When I reconnected with my friend Maria to ask more about Málaga, where we met in person almost a year ago, she said she just moved to Málaga!! What were the chances?!? A few hilarious emails later, we are now sharing her flat. I mean, seriously, no human could have manifested all this serendipity!!!

It's like The Universe orchestrated a magical plan for me and laid out breadcrumbs for me to follow!

Follow the breadcrumbs

These serendipity threads, interwoven in a way that our human brains often can't comprehend, are mysterious at the beginning, torturous in the middle, and magical in the end. It really is like playing chess with the Grand Master Universe. Your move, my move. Your move, my move.

Take away lesson:

  1. Pay attention to the breadcrumbs.
  2. Follow the breadcrumbs the Universe has laid out for us.
  3. Listen to our bones for when something feels right.
  4. Listen to our gut for when something feels wrong.
  5. And, sprinkle of pinch of time, a dash of space, and a spoonful of patience.

And, don't choke on the spoon trying to outdo patience. You can't win that one ;)

Last time you asked...

  • I've updated the 5 best-selling modules from my Six-figure Simplified Program and made them available to you! Graduates of the program said these modules were the most transformational toward their entrepreneurial freedom.

If you any trouble accessing this community vault, reply to this e-mail and Jaime will give you a login.

Would you have the courage to run into the boulevard at every red light, and perform your heart out for what you needed? 

xo, Ella