Is it a coincidence, luck, a big break or what ?

Yasha Ebi cropped.png

Is it a coincidence, luck, a big break or what ?

(Written for Quora)

Judging from my personal experience, it appears to me in hindsight, that the good things in my life were never mere coincidences or sheer luck. In fact they seemed to have been masterfully orchestrated.

Although I can’t count the instances that could support this truth in my life, the greatest of all might be — my decision to study the Japanese language at the age of 19.

What I didn’t know, when I enrolled into the language that boasted being the hardest of all, (at the “Università Orientale di Napoli”), is that some day (shortly after) I would land in Tokyo, Japan.

With hardly any money in my pocket and not knowing anyone but my Japanese teacher, (who was going to be there for a week or so, visiting his family), I somehow made it to the land of the rising sun.

Side note: my Japanese teacher was also the one who lent me the money to buy a ticket there.

Thank you Mr. Nakazawa-san, wherever you are for believing in me!

There, in a world and language so far from my native ones, I would pursue and conquer the career of my dreams. My life would take a course that no one could ever possibly have imagined or believed for me.

(All cast reunion for YAN YAN Utau Sutajo, an SNL style comedy & music program)

(All cast reunion for YAN YAN Utau Sutajo, an SNL style comedy & music program)

When something you really wanted comes to you, or when you’re in the right place at the right time, when the stars align or whatever you want to call it — this is what I believe really happens:

A bunch of “coincidences” lead up to a final stroke of “luck” and then everything begins to make sense. The puzzle pieces finally come together, but the picture was there from the start, just invisible to us.

And that is the hard part of our life journey — trying to navigate through it without a map.

Figuring out where we are coming from, and where we are going, is no easy task.

So while we might feel as we are in control, we actually have very little control over building our life — as it is impossible for us to see the full picture from where we are at.

(Side note: this would explain why the most asked questions on Quora revolve around the meaning of life, why we’re here, and what’s the point of it all).

We can follow our instincts, we can follow our hearts, we can do our best, but at the end of the day, we are at the mercy of those “coincidences and luck”.

But are they really just coincidences and luck?

#coincidence #luck #bigbreak


Are you still hungry?

This “CAN MONEY BUY YOU LOVE?” huge banner on the Beverly Center in Los Angeles reminds us that all we want is love… but is buying stuff or wishing we could buy stuff going to really buy us love? Is it going to ever compensate for the love that we can’t give or receive? Things can make us feel temporarily happy, as they help us look and feel good about ourselves, they even buy us admiration… But is that the love that we all long for? Is there enough “stuff” in the world to really fill the human heart?)

What would happen if you never or… barely ever ate?

Or if you were having a giant stomachache and ate a big fat helping of fast food on top? You would slowly die of malnutrition or continue to feel worse and worse. We are trained to think that we need to nourish our bodies and eat nutritious foods on a regular basis to be strong and healthy.

Yet because we separate our physical bodies from our inner being we focus only on food and physical exercise, neglecting our emotional and spiritual health.

In Japanese to say “I’m hungry”, we say “onaka ga sukimashita” (or “suita” for a shorter, more casual version). That literally means “my belly became empty”. I believe that in reality, although invisible, our inner being is greater than our outer one, and therefore hungrier. Yet we don’t walk around saying: “My soul is empty, it’s time to fill it up”. 

Eastern medicine teaches us that when our inner self is hurting our physical body is deeply affected.

Psychological, emotional, and spiritual pain can lead to physical illness and suffering. If we don’t recognize our inner hunger and do not acknowledge our need for emotional/spiritual care and nourishment, we destroy our potential for a truly fulfilling life.

When we fail to “feed” our hearts, minds and spirits, we jeopardize our precious health, live in survival mode, and are never satisfied.

What’s more is that our insatiable inner hunger makes us dangerously vulnerable to surrogate and toxic “fast foods”, which, while providing temporary relief, ultimately only lead to the overall lack of wellbeing, energy and happiness.

Just as with physical food that appears and tastes good, but leads to illness with time, we can medicate and find quick relief for our emotional needs and pain in remedies that do not truly heal or free us.

We can distinguish true life giving nourishment from toxic “fast food” in the aftermath results, particularly long term aftermath results.

True nourishment destroys shame and heals chronic destructive guilt, producing inner peace, confidence, and authenticity. It enables us to become comfortable with vulnerability and to connect with others.

Temporary relief or “fast emotional food”, on the other hand, feeds and perpetuates guilt and shame, producing self disapproval, discouragement, anxiety, and depression. Anger, frustration, and loneliness make their home in us, leaving us in painful and relentless need. Emotional/spiritual hunger and the need to feel/prove that we are good enough effect how we perceive and receive communication from others, as well as how we respond and give of ourselves to them.

We can only thrive when healthy. Our relationships and our productivity depend on our emotional health. True strength and empowerment are available to us organically just like healing foods are available in nature.

It is time to realize that just like the body dies without food, without feeding our spirit we die inside.

Food for thought:

Is my soul hungry?


1) Close your eyes, take a deep breath and some time to look inside yourself. What are you really hungry for? Make one decision about setting a moment in your day for your heart to get what it needs. In your new simple routine always start from looking inside first to bring out the simplest truth about how you REALLY feel: tired, confused, sad, angry, disappointed, stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, unmotivated, stuck? 

If any of the above, ask yourself why. Is this feeling connected to more than what's triggering it right now? 

Whether your answer is yes or no, give yourself complete permission to feel ALL that you feel FULLY and with NO judgment. 

2) What would help heal or satisfy your need? Express it freely to yourself in whichever way comes easiest and most natural to you, i.e. in a prayer, writing poetry or in a journal, or perhaps telling someone you feel comfortable with.

3) If you can identify a tool that would help you getting that need met, make it your top priority to reach for it, i.e. a spiritual book, a self help or poetry book, a video, podcast or blog, spending time with a friend or family member, a therapy session, a yoga class, visiting a museum, going to the theater, reviving a hobby or passion of yours, a spiritual gathering, etc.

4) When you feel better, allow the sensation to fill your heart with delight, self respect and gratitude.





The New American Dream

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The New american Dream

Living in Hollywood, where image is everything, and coming from a background of glamour and success at a very young age, I understand the pressure and the desire for a flawless, youthful appearance as well as an impressive lifestyle. A stressful, life-stealing real battle that magnifies with the passing of time and the clock of life ticking.

In a world that glorifies  physical strength and beauty for the gain of fame, success, money, youth, I share my paradoxical story. A story of success and the loss of success…. for the gain of True Success. The kind that has not produced money, fame or adoration, but has brought me the real happiness which I could only wish for in my younger years and even at the peak of my earlier career. This authentic and worthy type of success has earned every ounce of my respect, along with a life-giving gratitude.

I share my story, my journey and my heart as I am passionate about our world waking up to a New Dream, one that values and desires truth, inner strength and true beauty.  The kind of beauty that does not diminish, but intensifies and grows with time. I call this dream The New American Dream, one that pursues the wellbeing of the heart above the worship of what satisfies and glorifies the body, and even the mind. A worthy dream and the only dream that has the power to achieve a rich, exhilarating, fulfilling life. A life bursting with purpose, energy, passion, and a real, lasting happiness.

Food for thought:

What am I dreaming and why?


- Take the time throughout the day to notice what brings the most joy to my heart and allow myself to breath it all in with deep appreciation and gratitude.




Why Diamond Epiphanies

Why Diamond Epiphanies

(When life finally starts making sense)

Temporary fixes, splurges, pursuing and accumulating material riches, "impressive stuff", fame and success, and even “relationships” do not help us find our sense of worth. They do not heal or fulfill our soul.

Instead, realizing our own real beauty and value, not one based on youth and perfection, or even talents, but the beauty that only comes from the wisdom of experience and resilience can empower and free us to truly love and feel loved. 

Emotional wellbeing is crucial to our all around health. I believe in nurturing, nourishing, and strengthening our emotional health because everything depends on it. Our body, our love life, our career and success, our friendships and relationships, our purpose and contribution to the world, and, last but not least, our true peace and contentment.

Imagine your life journey as a glass staircase to heaven. Fragile, scary and beautiful at the same time. As you climb, the most terrifying moments are when you see a broken glass step in front of you… you feel completely overwhelmed, frightened and paralyzed.

Just as you think, "I am stuck, I can't go any further", the broken glass step in front of you turns into an unbreakable diamond step that makes it not only possible for you to keep going, but it is all yours to keep. No one could ever take it away from you and yet you are free to give it away to anyone and as many as you want to, without ever losing it. 

I call these shining, glorious moments “Diamond Epiphanies”.

Diamond Epiphanies are precious, ordinary, yet extraordinary real life moments, simply because the eyes of our hearts have opened to see beyond our circumstances. Each one is your reward for having come this far, as well as the encouragement and inspiration you need to keep going. 

Diamond Epiphanies are a divine gift, shedding light, guidance and understanding over the unfathomable mystery of life. They are those truth revealing moments that make life exciting and worth living.