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 💙 namaste 

The Wythe Hotel 

Another hipster hot spot. Gorgeous views, expensive snack with tiny portions. The caramel popcorn below was $6. Pretty good, plus my stomach has more room to eat and try other places. 😆

Devoción Coffee Adventures 

“Many have said of alchemy, that it is for the making of gold and silver. For me such is not the aim. But to consider only what virtue and power may lie in coffee” – Paracelsus 

Hipsters can be found at this boutique coffee shop. The coffee is imported from Columbia and brewed by the fine people in Brooklyn New York. Latte was bold and full of flavor. Nice people. Descent bathrooms. 

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.


World Vegan Day

Today is world vegan day! In celebration, I have prepared a dish that includes delicious local produce that can be found at any farmers market (see below).

During my YTT, many of my classmates were vegan and we had a whole class on yoga diet. Some may automatically assume that yogis are all vegan because vegans practice abstaining from the use of any animal products, particularly in diet. However yogis back in the day were vegetarian.

“These are ingredients that enhance clarity and lightness, keeping the body light and nourished and the mind clear,” Gary Kraftsow, founder of the American Viniyoga Institute. In other words, a diet that offers your body a great basis for practice—or encourages the same effects as practice—makes for a great yogic diet.  

Some yogis even ate meat, but very rarely. To learn more check this article out on yogic diet. Full disclosure: I am not a vegan but I try to eat a plant-based diet. 

Zucchini Stir Fry
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 locally grown zucchini
  • 1 pack of Hamakua mushrooms
  • 4 small sweet peppers
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • a pinch of Hawaiian salt
  • a pinch of pepper


  • Chop up the zucchini, mushrooms, and sweet peppers
  • Heat frying pan to medium heat and add olive oil
  • Add in all ingredients and stir around for 5 minutes
  • Add in salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Cook for another 3 minutes – and BAM! Done!

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Halloween Costume Fail

Today I dressed up as a lumberjack for Halloween and everyone thought it was my regular work attire. Perhaps there are two things going on:

  1. Everyone at work is awesome and is open to people dressing up OR-
  2. I need to dress more professionally at work

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I think it might be the second one and I am working on that. I was once told “You should dress for the job you want, not the job that you have”. Guess I will be wearing my lumberjack outfit everyday! Or yoga athletic wear – that works too! Have a very Happy Halloween everyone! Make healthy choices!

Letting Go the Ego

I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.
– Ellen DeGeneres

There will be times when you may find yourself in situations where you wonder why is something happening to you and not someone else. Or maybe even the opposite of why does someone else have something and you do not. Either way, take a deep breath, step back, and remind yourself, to let go of the ego.

During one of our Yoga Teacher Training courses, Laura Mary mentioned the book, Ego is the Enemy. I have not read the book but but intend to. I bring this up because a mentor of mine once told me “Let Go the Ego”. He would say this to me quite often and as a young 20-something I remember feeling that it was not me – it was them. Whoever I was frustrated at, it was them that had the problem, not me.

As I have gotten wiser and gotten some more life experience, I’ve learned that things happen for you and not to you. Thinking this way has helped me let go of my own ego. This might not work for everyone but letting go and taking myself out of the equation has helped me get through tough times. Perhaps next time you are in a frustrating situation – try taking yourself out of the equation. Try to see if there is another way to look at the situation and if there are solutions to make it better for both parties.

“Virtue begins with understanding and is fulfilled by courage” – Aristotle

Below is a video that sums it up. It is a great intro to understanding about the ego and how ego is the enemy. Lead more with love and forgiveness. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Namaste

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


9/26 Monday
8:15PM  – Shelby’s Class
Felt stronger. Wanted to die holding Warrior III
9/27 Tuesday
8:15PM – Laura Mary’s Class
9/29 Thursday
5:30PM – Laura Mary’s Class
9/23 Friday
6:30PM – Laura Mary’s Class
10/1 Sunday
11:00AM – Laura Mary’s Class
6:00PM  – Derek’s Class