Interview with Nina Yau, Truth-seeker from Castles In The Air

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Wassup guys,

This is an all-exclusive interview I had with Nina Yau, from Castles in The Air. She is a truth-seeker who writes about spirituality and issues with the human mind, body and soul. She is also a passionate yoga instructor who helps others discover their own truths, literally starting with their own bodies.

Check out this interview for a clear voice on the human soul and body. Women can definitely relate as Nina represents the modern female figure. Above all else, anyone seeking encouragement, clearer distinctions in life and ultimately their own truths may find it from her. Enjoy!

Hi Nina! Thanks for taking the time for this interview. 

Thanks for having me, Alden! 

Castles in the Air started on the side while I was working a full-time corporate 9-to-5. This was back in April 2010. I had been dabbling in writing again (after having paused for many years) and had always been drawn to share my thoughts online. If it benefited and inspired others, then even better! But it all started in a pursuit of re-discovering what really made me happy, what really caused me to stop and reflect. Writing my thoughts on life, philosophy, minimalism, travel, etc., simply helped my impressions surface.

Can you describe what “living in truth” really entails?

Honestly, it’s a very personal thing and will vary according to the person herself as well as where she’s at in this particular chapter in life. For me, living in Truth means embracing the real me and not being afraid of what this may seem like to other folks. Other people are on their own agenda and will evolve accordingly. There’s no need to compare, for aren’t we all on our own idiosyncratic journey anyhow?

What kind of emotional and spiritual obstacles did you have to overcome? 

 I’m still coming to terms with my own personal demons no matter how much I’ve grown and how much I’ve let go of. I think that that’s just a part of being human. We’re never going to get to a certain point of perfection, where we feel that our ideal selves are represented exactly as we’ve envisioned it to be. Perhaps we’re already perfect, as we are, flaws, talents and everything in between.

 Do you have any regrets in life?

 There are certainly some things I’ve said and done that I have been ashamed of. And I’ll still say and do things in the future that I won’t be very proud of. What I really want to remain aware of are my attitudes, intentions, and purposes of why I do what I do and what I’m saying/doing/being and how that not only affects me but others around me. So long as I’m conscious of these thought patterns and actions of mine, I’ll be doing my best in having less feelings of shame or regret.

 What do you think of the way most people live their lives today? You know, people who just go to work, earn a living, get some money and think that’s all to it in life.

What everyone believes to be a valid, worthwhile life is truth to them. And I honestly don’t have a right to say otherwise. Do I live in their skin? Do I feel what they feel? Have I grown up in the same childhood upbringings as they have? Am I gifted with their unique talents or burdened with their traumas and past experiences? The bottom-line answer is no. No, I haven’t experienced what they’ve experienced, and that’s why I’m not them and they aren’t me. I will say I’ve been quick to dole out sure-fire advice and tips on how to live the best life ever but the reality and truth of the matter is, as long as the person is happy regardless of what they are doing and how they are living as compared to what I think is a better way to live life, then that’s really all that matters.

I heard you are a yoga instructor. Can you tell us in detail on the physical body is related to our spirituality? How can we actually achieve true happiness with our physical self?

 In Yoga, we guide our consciousness to places where we have never guided it before. We tune into our higher selves by first tuning into our physical bodies. For many, unity with our true spirit and higher self is mind boggling. What does that even mean? they may wonder. So we start with the familiar. And the familiar is what we can sense and that is bound to this world. For one, that is our bodies. We start with our bodies because we cannot train the mind to quiet if we cannot even train our bodies to stop fidgeting and to stop worrying.

There are many paths to spiritual enlightenment and what many believe to be true happiness. One of the paths, for me at least, is non-attachment to what we cannot control and what we cannot control is everything outside of ourselves. Other folks’ opinions about the world, about ourselves, this we cannot control. Other people’s notions on what is Truth, what is reality, what is meditation, what is Yoga, what is joy, these are their views and it’s as simple as that. What’s theirs is theirs, what’s ours is ours. Real happiness begins when we can start to realize this truth.

 In your book, Bitch Please! The Modern Woman’s No-Nonsense Guide to Kicking Ass in Life, you talk about the many facets and challenges women have to face in life. What do you think are the challenges women face today? And what do you think most women need to do to really step up in life?

 Today’s women are incredibly powerful. This isn’t to say they weren’t a hundred years ago; they were powerful, just in different ways. Today’s women are thought-leaders, pioneers, revolutionists, inventors, entrepreneurs, spiritual guides, mothers, wives, sisters, aunts, nieces, daughters. They are everything what women were in the last century, just with better health access, educational opportunities, channels to voice their ideas and opinions, and so forth. I think a real challenge many women (and really, in the end, it isn’t gender-based, it’s humanity-based) face today is a fundamental sense of who they really are, connecting their core essence to the fabric of the universe. We can get so caught up in starting new businesses, getting the next promotion, completing our next master’s or doctoral program, raising children and having a successful marriage and career all the while, that the relationship will the self begins to suffer and deteriorate. It’s not to say this always happens but it happens more often than not. Being mired in the go-go-go mindset really begins to take its toll upon our soul. And you don’t have to be a woman to experience this.

Lastly, tell us something encouraging for the rest of us who are still struggling within and looking to be happy.

Three words I leave you with: be your Truth. Make no apologies for who you really are. You are important and beautiful and are a very integral part of this world. If you are here, you need not look to create yourself in order to be somebody. If you are here, you already are somebody.

 

7 Comments

What a great interview Alden! I like how you brought out the best in Nina and her answers were spot on. We all got their own way of getting-into-the-zone before getting into "go-go-go" mode, and when peeps take the time to rock that, life goes easy, money flows easily and people rock life. Nina does it through Yoga and connecting with her higher spiritual self, how do you get into the zone to produce such great writing Alden?

  • alden
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  • 6:28 am on March 17, 2012
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Thanks man! I am still learning how to conduct interviews though. For me? Nothing much really. I believe as long as you look deep into yourself and write solely based on your feelings, you will be able to write something good. That's a step ahead of, "Penning your thoughts down". Look deep inside, check how you feel, and just write it out in SIMPLE words. It's this formula which will bring out the power of authenticity and anyone will be able to relate to it.

This is a great reply... and... wait a minute - hold on - let me look DEEP inside myself ;) I know we all do it, but you seem super aware of it. Thanks for the reminder!

  • alden
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  • 8:15 pm on March 21, 2012
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No problem!


(From your interview) Lastly, tell us something encouraging for the rest of us who are still struggling within and looking to be happy. Three words I leave you with: be your Truth. Make no apologies for who you really are. You are important and beautiful and are a very integral part of this world. If you are here, you need not look to create yourself in order to be somebody. If you are here, you already are somebody. (From your interview) That was the most powerful part of the interview for me. Its an incredibly powerful few words that everyone on this Earth should hear. Great interview. Great blog you have here. Keep up the good work.

  • alden
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  • 6:30 am on March 17, 2012
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Thanks Jimmy. Glad it helped you in some way. I love the, "Make no apologies for who you really are" part too. I think all too often we are constantly trying to live up to others' expectations, so much so we forget about believing in ourselves.


  • richard
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  • 8:17 am on October 29, 2012
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Be your truth ,wow those 3 words have more deapth than we may realise ,"so what is your truth richard " I as myself ,not what I think sounds good ,my real trouth ,that comes from my very soul,how am i living this today Is the tiredness,the sickness,the frustration that comes and goes due to me not living my truth,putting it on hold 3 words a great interview no less


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