Category Archives: personal growth


Today we were given our assignment to create a one-minute video promoting the Jacob’s Institute. Below is a a quick recap (and my humble attempt to use what I learned).

Visual Storytelling: Day 1

This week I’m attending Berkeley’s Visual Storytelling class. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with some really talented people. Today’s top three take aways were:

  • How to prepare for an interview and how to interview
  • How to produce quality audio in any situation
  • How to shoot quality videos

I am vlogging my experience and something I learned in class – it takes time to plan, shoot and edit video. More to come!

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. May you and your loved ones experience more love, happiness and laughter. Speaking of laughter, I hope you can enjoy this short video I put together about a dancing carrot. The carrot is locally grown by Kahumana Organic Farm & Cafe and was distributed by Oahu Fresh. Two awesome companies helping to feed Hawaii.

New Year, New Goals
I am learning how to film and edit video for my personal and professional growth. The video is a little shaky to me – and I am working on trying to fix that. Feel free to give feedback below – would love to get your thoughts!

with an open mind and heart

At the beginning of each day, I like to take time to set an intention. This helps me focus my thoughts and energy throughout the day. At the end of the day, I’ll reflect upon how well I was able to focus on the intention. What went well, what did not. 

Today’s intention: to have an open mind and heart. Taking everything in with an open mind and heart in New York is truly eye opening. So many people with so many interesting stories. Everyone is rushing and has some place to be. The best way to see someone’s true character is when we are in traffic. We caught four Ubers and each driver had their own way of dealing with traffic. Some got mad, some were chill, others were calmly breathing through the whole time. 

My biggest take away today: to listen more, smile more and practice forgiveness. We all could be more open and show more compassion. 

Tomorrow, set an  intention and review how your day went. Would love to hear your story, please comment below or talk story with me on Twitter @jlieu! with love and aloha đź’™ namaste 

Now What?

The election happened and now what? Everyone is handling the news in their own way – some are happy, sad, angry, and the list goes on. If anything, yoga has taught me that what we practice on the mat, is just as important when we apply our practice off the mat. We cannot change things that we cannot control. We can control ourselves and inspire others through our actions and words. Breathe with intention and speak with intention. Treat each day as a gift. Life is short and we never know what will happen. Right now it might be a good time for you to unplug.

When I took a break from social media, I learned a lot about myself – who I was and who I want to be. Don’t let one day or one person make/break you. Be the best version of you. Sometimes finding that best version means taking time for yourself and remembering why you do what you do for work, family and friends.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs


Photo Credit: Moana Lani Spa 


5 Podcasts for adulting

jlieu fact #286 – I absolutely love listening to podcasts. Of course I subscribe to the usual shows like Freakonomics, This American Life etc however, below are my top five recommendations to help with #adulting. Whenever I am done listening to an episode, I feel super inspired.

Feelings include: YES! Let me save more money! YES! I can be a better leader! (you get it)

Hope you check out the list below and  get inspired to take on the adulting challenges in your life too!

  • Paychecks and Balances: C.R.E.A.M. Need to get your finances in check? These guys give practical advice and make saving seem fun and easy. As I age into my mid-thirties, everything here seems more and more relevant.
  • The Longest Shortest Time: I am not a parent but absolutely enjoy listening to how parents deal with the good, bad and everything in between. If you are thinking about starting a family, listen to this podcast for tips on to do and what not to do. Funny, clever and makes me happy I don’t have kids of my own. Not yet anyways.
    (If my husband is reading this, I am kidding about the last sentence.)
  • Manager Tools: Difficult or challenging situation at work? Turn to Mark and Mike for advice. They run through all sorts of scenarios of what could happen at work – and give options on how to solve your problems! What is the difference between asking Mark and Mike opposed to your friends? These guys have coached managers from Apple and FedEx. Learn more about them here from the Wall Street Journal.
  • The Hidden Brain: What do you get when you add science plus amazing story telling? Yep. The Hidden Brain! This podcast opens up my mind and understand how things work together. Interesting stories that inspire!
  • Modern Love: Single? Dating? Married? Somewhere in between? Modern Love is well put together podcast, sharing stories about about all things regarding love.


9 Weeks Offline

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Photo credit: Moana Lani Spa

I’m baaaccckk! After a 9 week break off social media, I am excited to be online. During this time, I focused on training to become a yoga teacher. The course was intense consisting of practicing yoga with a senior yoga instructor five times a week, two days of lecture per week and one hour of meditation per week. This did not include time to study and practice teaching. There was not a whole lot of time for socializing outside of the yoga circle. This was not a bad thing, in fact it was probably one of the most memorable and exciting times of my life.

During my time away, I focused on my physical and mental practice. Many times you don’t realize what you are capable of. Laura Mary led my YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) and four other students (now teachers) joined me on this adventure. I have made lifelong friends and am so blessed to have a great group. We laughed, cried, and shared many wonderful experiences together.

In the beginning I was blogging my adventure, and as time went on, it got harder and harder to keep up with the blog, practice, work, etc. During YTT we kept a journal and I wrote pretty frequently. I recently reread my first journal entry about what I was hoping to gain from class and I can confidently say that I have gotten so much more. Reading about the first time I taught, being so shy, crying and feeling I was horrible and would never be able to pass, it makes me smile to know I have come so far!

Now, I have subbed two classes, several private classes and plan to teach more in December. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from Laura Mary and my classmates. YTT is really life changing. You learn a lot about yourself, and have the chance to deepen your practice. If you were ever thinking about taking YTT – I would say, do it.
If you want to sweat with me, let me know when you are free here!

Oh – and I forgot to mention why I was offline. When you take YTT, we followed Patanjali’s 8-limbed path. Pratyahara, the fifth limb, means withdrawal or sensory transcendence. It is during this stage that we make the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli. This included staying off social media, TV, etc. Some may wonder – how did you do this when your job is mainly social media?

Answer: I did my job, I stayed present. I did what I needed to do and focused my energy on social media that was relevant to work. There were many times I was tempted to look at my friends page or look up videos but I had to resist. It was hard but at the same time, I felt so free. I was able to read more and focus on my personal growth and journey. That does not mean I am abandoning social media forever. I am back, and still love following everyone’s journey, just with a bit more balance. Namaste

Photo Credit: Laura Mary Flynn


9/19 Monday
8:15PM  – Shelby’s Class

Wow. This class is tough! She kept it real – slow and intentional movements. We held poses super long and I know Kellie loved it. Tulsi and I were dying but overall it helped me go to bed.

9/20 Tuesday
8:15PM – Laura Mary’s Class 
YAY. Vinyasa is most def my style. I love the way class flows and that it is like a song…. you have a strong build up and then let the beat drop. Super fun stuff!

9/21 Wednesday
Fun day – went to pau hana with a good friend.
Note to self – I need to make more friends that are single.

9/22 Thursday
FARM FIT! I think if more people farmed – they would not have to go to places like cross fit. It would be duo purpose – make healthy food and then get a work out. Win/Win!

9/23 Friday 
6:30PM – Laura Mary’s Class 

I really needed yoga today – the flow had the perfect make up of core and yet feel good basics.

9/24 Saturday
11:00AM – Yoga Business
Today’s lecture was super exciting. I am looking forward to plan my vision and mission not just for yoga but for life!

9/25 Sunday 
11:00AM – Missed class
So sad. I know I missed a good one

12:00PM – Yoga Ethics
Make good decisions and just stick to yoga!

6:00PM  – Derek’s Class
Today’s class was a killer core class. Tonight he led us into peacock pose and from class – I am not ready. Meditation was a great one. We did a brief vision/goals meditation and really envisioned what we want our life to look like in the future. I see yoga, art and family in my future. So exciting stuff!


9/5 Monday
Today I held three yoga practices and as I taught each student, I learned something new each time!

9/6  Tuesday
8:15PM – Laura Mary’s Class

Today was a super fun and exciting class because I was able to accomplish Astavakrasana – kind of. It is not 100% perfect but almost! I am one of those people that when I just do something – and don’t think too much, I can accomplish more. The moment I know I am doing well – it all falls apart.

Perhaps when I am in yoga, I am relaxed and I let go which is why I was able to accomplish this. On another note – I am getting better with my glasses. Getting to a point where I am able to focus on the cues and listening to my body. This YTT has been amazing. I say this over and over but the feeling is indescribable.

9/8 Thursday – 2:30PM
I am so excited for 5:30PM class today! I need some vitamin sea! Ala Moana Beach Park – while is not the prettiest, I think people take it for granted. YTT has helped me appreciate and find beauty in almost everything.

5:30PM – Laura Mary’s Class
YAS!!!! That sunset never gets old!

9/9 Friday – 6:00AM
It was a great day! I started off my day teaching a friend at 6:00AM. Feedback consisted of practicing the Sanskrit names but other than that – a good flow. I felt good, and am excited to share this with the group on Saturday. Tonight I will be attending Laura Mary’s Friday Fun night! Can’t wait!

6:30PM – Laura Mary’s Class
Tonight was FUN!!! – awesome music, friends and yoga. I could not ask for anything more. Today was the first night (from last week Wednesday) I was able to wear my contacts to class. I felt strong and energized. I excited and motivated to teach tomorrow. In class I am now more aware of the pace and listening to how cues are said – as the inhale and exhale breaths are not cued every single time. Oh – and small wins, I was able to get into hurdlers for a hot min. Next time I need to engage more to stay longer in the pose. WOOT WOOT!

9/10 Saturday – 11:00AM
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”—Christopher Robin to Pooh, A.A. Milne

Looking back at today’s lecture there were a lot of feelings. Today we presented our sequence/flow. Everyone seemed to have one with a specific intention and had designed flows that had advanced asanas. I was up next – I started to feel super small and felt that the flow I wrote was too basic and started to feel embarrassed. I started to breakdown. My whole week of practice went down the drain. First we verbally talked about it and there were some places where I needed to improve. Next we demonstrated the flow to our partner. My partner was our instructor, Laura Mary. I was already nervous and this made me super duper nervous. I don’t know why – and I blanked out. It was one of those school moments where you know all the answers to the test but then freeze. I had the hardest time getting the words out and I know Laura Mary tried to reassure me that I was doing okay and I just needed to practice a bit. Overall, I felt super low but I know that this will make me stronger. Her tips will guide me be a better teacher. Trying to stay strong.

9/11 Sunday
11:00AM – Laura Mary’s Class

The more I go to yoga, it is like reading a good book, each time I pick up the book, I learn something new and I don’t want to stop. Today, I felt like I read 4-5 chapters. I am so happy to have taken the chance to invest in myself.

Received some really difficult news. I don’t want to write too much about it but in short – sometimes, letting go can be hard to do but it is also the right thing to do. If someone or something is not serving you in a positive way and it harmful – it is better to let it go.

6:00PM – Derek’s Class
Note to self. Do not eat chili right before going to a yoga class. I was all amped from YTT and wanted to help balance out my vatta dosha with chili but no Jenn. Not right before class! We had many opportunities for inversions and that dreaded dolphin pose but I felt so sick, I took it easy. Afterwards, we had very deep meditation. We reflected on some of Buddha’s teachings – some examples are to accept that we own nothing and can only control ourselves. Things that make sense and then there were some topics that were tough to think about such as losing our loved ones. Our homework this week to do have a 3 second hugging meditation with someone we love and to hold on tight. Not to take the people we love for granted. This is very fitting as it has been a very tough day.