What is Inner Wisdom?
Now that all events have become digital events and I was delighted to be invited by my friend Diana Britt to participate in a fireside chat for an online Google Cloud Event for APAC Women. I opened up in this interview with a bit more of my childhood upbringing and lessons that my heritage has brought me. I hope you’ll enjoy reading and discovering as much as I enjoyed sharing my journey.
What is Inner Wisdom for you?
For me, the ability to self-reflect, have an understanding of my emotions, triggers, and perceptual lenses that create my worldly experiences. In other words, to understand my inner world and have a grasp on how that affects my outer world is inner wisdom to me.
What advice do you have for our community forum to use this on a daily basis?
From my personal experience, the catalyst for my personal growth and understanding was bundled into the pursuit of self-realization. I have been a longtime yoga practitioner, so through regular self-practice, I have been gradually becoming more sensitive and self-aware. A good place to start is practicing self-love. I don’t mean narcissism or vanity, but rather cultivating a love for oneself in accepting yourself fully, your likes dislikes, and treating yourself first and foremost with kindness and respect.
The first place to understand whether you have a grasp on self-love is in monitoring your self-talk. We all have an inner monologue or script going on in our heads at all times. These thoughts capture our mind, attention, and shape our world. To practice listening in and to tune our thoughts onto the positive is a daily practice that has made me a happier more well-adjusted individual overall.
What is the best and worst decision you’ve ever made?
Oh my gosh, I would say “going to University”. I went to Temple University Japan Campus because I was actually home-schooled as a child. It was a good experience because I wanted to be in a classroom and have classmates, but I didn’t end up using my degree and I didn’t have a student visa in Japan either, so it was a kind of a waste of money. The only good thing is that I did study Japanese and can still speak and work in Japanese.
How have you taken charge of your career?
I have never worked in a traditional 9-5 or in an office, so I only know what it’s like to work independently. Being in control of my career at all times also comes with the huge responsibility of getting yourself work-visas, incorporation, taxes, etc., and. I do not come from a well-to-do family. I support my parents, so there is no buffer for failure. The risks of completely owning your brand mean that you are self-reliant, but you also get to be exactly who you want to be and do what you want to do. For example, I am extremely passionate about the environment, and yet in the yogic tradition, they do not teach about the importance of nature in relation to self in its practices. Yes, yogis are not all environmentally conscious.
What does speaking up for yourself look like?
I took it upon myself to incorporate it into my message, actions, and my teachings. As an ambassador for The Royal Foundation, WWF, and Nat Geo Planet or Plastics campaign I have put eco practices in place within my business – implementing a no plastics or disposables policy in FitSphere events and producing the Spheres with natural ingredients, removing plastic packaging altogether. I also launched an anti-plastic petition on Earth Day that is still garnering signatures.
What are some of the challenges you have experienced as an entrepreneur especially during Covid-19?
I do believe we all went through our own unique challenges during Covid-19. While I cannot even begin to fathom the immense pain and suffering globally I can appreciate the changes it has brought about for me personally. When Covid-19 spread to the US, I was traveling back and forth from Asia every 2 weeks both for TV hosting gigs, events, and to see my family and husband. As soon as lockdown happened I couldn’t continue to work overseas, but I did suddenly see the advantages of my 3 years of work prior come to fruition. As I had already produced my own workout platform there was suddenly a huge demand for at-home workout programs and products. I had to hire a team in the US just to cope. The global pandemic gave us major shipping issues the likes of which do not seem to be changing anytime soon so as a result, I have had to shift strategies in licensing my programs to become an app to provide even more workout opportunities for my customers and to stop selling the Spheres (our weighted balls) until we can find a good business model.
How this made you more resilient or focus on inner wisdom?
For me, being inside more meant I had to be still more and gave me the opportunity to develop emotional intelligence. In the beginning, I definitely had breakdown moments, but in those moments I had the opportunity to rebuild myself. I made use of time indoors to study online, taking a course to become a breathwork facilitator which is an offering that is not only tremendously self-healing but also strengthening of the lungs and immunity – something we all need more of because of Covid-19 attack on the lungs. I did another 30day meditation focusing on practices to usher in ease & luck, something which really helped me to transition during this period.
You are transitioning FitSphere to be more than just a workout – what’s next?
FitSphere workouts are a culmination of my life’s work. My experience with television, teaching, modeling, and past yoga businesses all came together to become a business that I fully owned and operated. Now, in tuning into my inner wisdom I know that another transformation is taking place. FitSphere is rebranding as NEOU, an app with a catalog of thousands of videos for any device. The website will become a content forward platform that is a mouth-piece for my learnings.
What woman inspires you and why?
Tsai Ing-Wen, our Taiwan president. Princess Diana. Female scientists, epidemiologists, environmental activists like Jane Goodal and Greta Thurnburg, and also everyday women who are friends and are making an impact in their workplace or sphere of influence to raise the global vibration of consciousness.
How has your mixed-heritage changed how you view yourself?
Being of mixed heritage Italian/Taiwanese I never felt at home or accepted anywhere. Not only did it push me toward independence and self-acceptance, but it made me extremely global in my point of view. If you look into your own personal heritage and ancestry you’ll find that we are all not really from a singular place rather, we are all mixed, immigrants, from some other place, living abroad, so bearing this in mind I hope we can all have more tolerance for others complexities and not look at race as a blanket statement, rather see ourselves in every race and every culture.
What advice would you give to women trying to break into entrepreneurship?
Now is the time! In this lifetime and generations to come, we are given so many more opportunities than the last through the brave men and women who have changed laws and keep pushing for equality and women’s rights. Your imagination, your beliefs, your children are what change the world, and if a business backs that up then go for it! Take the first steps knowing that you have the love and support of the divine feminine and all the women in the world.
What are some books that have transformed your life and career?
- Who Moved my Cheese – Dr. Spencer Johnson, Is a book written in 1998 – an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life, for example, a good job, a loving relationship, money or possessions, health, or spiritual peace of mind.
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad – a 1997 book written by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It advocates the importance of financial literacy, financial independence, and building wealth through investing in assets, real estate investing, starting and owning businesses, as well as increasing one’s financial intelligence.
- Emotional Intimacy by Robert Masters – teaches about emotional intelligence and how to become better acquainted with our own and others.
- The 4 Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom is a self-help book by bestselling author Don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills. The book offers a code of conduct based on ancient Toltec wisdom that advocates freedom from self-limiting beliefs that may cause suffering and limitation in a person’s life.