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I tell stories about long-distance relationships, yoga, travel, and living simply. |

It’s impossible to stay connected, but there are a few that stand out.

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I have wondered if it’s possible to find a genuine relationship while traveling despite the tight schedules, the constant coming and going, and plane rides that never end.

When away from reality, can one make a sound decision to pursue a proper relationship or not? When on vacation, can one think straight — disregard the boring stuff of life, like the office job, chores at home, and routine?

During my past trips, I met people of different backgrounds, races, and religions. Most turned into social media contacts. Others became acquaintances, very few became lifelong friends. …

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‘There’s something special about this. Let’s not hold back.’

This is what he said to me as we were chatting to get to know each other using Whatsapp. A couple of months later, I flew from Manila to Seattle to meet him. We sealed it and we became a couple.

It was easy.

Talking for at least one hour each day, opening up my entire life to him bit by bit, and relieving me of my worry that he is ‘just another guy’ was easy.

For the simple reason that love doesn’t have to hurt. It doesn’t have to come with pain and drama. It doesn’t have to feel…

For now, we enjoy this stage we’re in.

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After years of dating, I finally view settling down as a good thing.

It’s draining to have to introduce yourself to a new person every 3 months. Integrating someone else’s life into yours takes energy and effort. It gets old at some point.

I met someone online who captured my attention in ways that no one else has.

A couple of months after, we decided to meet in Washington State. Here’s our story.

I was nervous as hell minutes before I finally saw his face when he picked me up at the airport. …

I’m guilty of a few of them.

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‘Is this worth it?’

‘Am I better off dating my neighbor instead?’

‘How long do we have to wait?’

Long-distance relationships are tough to navigate. Yes, we have Zoom, Telegram, Whatsapp and Skype but these online platforms can never make up for physical presence.

I’ve been in one for over 2 years. The longer we’re together, the more I see how relationships like ours fade away so quickly. It already sucks as it is, and it sucks even more if it’s a relationship you don’t want to be in.

We all have habits we bring with us in our relationships…

Just a few weeks ago, I was too weak to even bathe myself.

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It was an early morning in July when I visited my OB-Gynecologist. A bump has been growing in my belly for months.

I’m a perfectly healthy 35-year-old working (at home) professional based in Manila.

I’m physically active. Every morning, I go to the market for hot bread, fruits, or vegetables. Then, I walk the dogs around our neighborhood. In the afternoon, I practice yoga for an hour or more. My diet is mostly plant-based.

When that bump started growing, I worried about how it might affect my plan to get pregnant. What if I had cancer? …

I'm happy to be part of the list. Thank you, Illumination, and congrats to all the writers!

Finally, no one is worried about my health anymore.

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It’s been almost four weeks since I went through a myomectomy. No one would have expected that I’d be admitted to a hospital for surgery; I’m a perfectly healthy girl.

Since my 20s, I’ve always been active. Hiking, wall climbing, freediving, scuba diving, working out at the gym — I’ve tried all of them.

In recent years, I’ve done my best to keep myself in shape.

I choose healthier options for food and drinks. Save for that one time I had a hangover and skipped a yoga workshop (don’t tell my teacher), my alcohol consumption is negligible. I don’t smoke.

Make it attractive.

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Remember the first day you took a yoga class?

It was a day when you walked out of the studio with the perfect glow. The day you thought, ‘I’m going to practice yoga 4x a week… no, every day is better.’

The experience is exhilarating; the practice, uplifting. It moves and transforms most students that try. It builds a desire to continue practicing. The benefits of yoga are innumerable: mental clarity, focus, awareness, strength, flexibility.

Weeks after that first class, reality sets in. You don’t have the time anymore. You’d rather do something else. A new workout becomes more interesting.

Keep your thoughts in check.

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On August 12, I was admitted to the hospital for the first time for a major surgery. My OB-Gynecologist found a mass in my body that needs to be removed as soon as possible.

The entire ordeal gave me reasons to fear.

How painful will this be? What if I had cancer? Can we afford cancer treatments? What if the surgery causes complications? Can I still have kids afterward?

I was afraid of my uncertain future. Unfortunately, the surgery was something I could not escape.

Aside from knowing that my family is with me in this battle, being prepared kept…

The biggest obstacle for any beginner is starting.

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The first yoga class always brings excitement.

There’s a thrill in trying something new. It makes you say, ‘I’m going to keep doing this because I love how it feels. It makes me feel strong. It makes me happy!’

Then the pause. Work commitments, home life, and medical conditions sometimes impede students from attending class or self-practice.

But there are students who stay with it.

After 3 years of practicing consistently, I realized it’s not about the poses. It’s not about flexibility. It’s not about making friends with teachers and classmates either.

It’s about showing up whatever the day felt…


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