Take Back Your Brain!
Body & Brain Coaching
Body & Brain Coaching is a collection of mindfulness training methods based on ancient Eastern energy practices, such as meridian stretching, breathing, Taichi and meditation, to improve focus, creativity, memory, confidence, stress management, and physical health.
I am an ICF (International Coach Federation) certified coach. I’ve been coaching since 2009.
I was born and raised in Taiwan, a subtropical island located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. My Chinese first name, Hsin-Yen, means “speaking from the heart” (心, Hsin = heart; 言, Yen = speaking or language). I grew up in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. Taipei is an energetic while crowded city. Very often we kids cannot wait to go out and play in the park. I remember playing volleyball, basketball and even baseball with my two brothers “at home”, i.e. “inside” of a 1,200 sq-ft condo on the top floor of a four-stories building. So fun. Strangely I don’t have much recollection about the glasses we broke and the troubles we got ourselves into. Just like most big cities, transportation has always been a nightmare in Taipei. For better mobility, I was a moped rider for six years in Taipei. Guess who took the picture of me on the moped? A policeman! Did you notice the loose strap on my helmet? The helmet didn’t count if the strap was not fastened. I received the picture along with a traffic ticket of NT$500 (New Taiwanese dollars), which was equivalent to $15 USD.
In 1999, I flew across the Pacific Ocean to US for graduate school. By December, I saw the “real snow” the very first time in my life. Snow is rare and considered good luck in Taiwan; when we have snow for a day or two on the top of the highest mountain, people believe the coming year will be a good year. I remember I was so excited, “Wow! How much luck I can stand for the coming year?!” Guess what, the following year, East Lansing had a snow storm bringing 18 inches of snow overnight. After spending 3 hours in the snow trying to dig out my little Toyota, my relationship with snow had gone sour…
I have lived in Michigan, Germany, New York and now in Chicago, IL. I speak fluent Mandarin Chinese, English, Taiwanese, very limited Japanese, and a few words in Thai (Chai, Mai Chai, Kup Koon Ka&SawatdeeKa!) and German (Ja, Nein, Danke&Guten Tag!). I am grateful for the multicultural experiences with my classmates, friends and co-workers in US, a wonderful melting pot. It never ceases to amaze me the differences between different cultures, and yet similarities show up at the most unexpected places.
In 2007, I walked into a Toastmaster club in the evening of Valentine’s day. Wishful thinking, but I did not fall in love with public speaking immediately. Facing a crowd of native English speakers, I was so intimidated. I waited for eight meetings to put myself together and give my first speech. The group (Extreme Toastmasters) was very welcoming. I was terrified but survived. One speech after another, gradually I polished my skills and gained more confidence in public speaking. In 2008, I participated in the Humorous speech contest (see video), something I wouldn’t even dream of doing just a few years ago. Result? I won second place and took a trophy home!
I stumbled into coaching a few years ago. At the time I was stressed out at work, beating myself up every day, and did not believe that the world can be a friendly place. As a first-generation immigrant in the US, I lost my inner compass. As a learner and an achiever (two of my Strengths Finder themes) I figured, “Let me learn this coach thing so I can dig myself out of the hole…” I was only half-correct: Coaching works, but it’s not about me finding the way out on my own. I was so much in pain, so blind such that I couldn’t see the path right in front of me. The shift did not happen until I hired a coach, who accepts me unconditionally, sees my passion and desires, helps me to clear road blocks, and challenge me to go after what I really want.
My life has changed drastically. I cannot wait to get out of bed for “most” mornings (there are still a few tough days…). I do yoga & Taichi everyday, lost some weight and quit drinking alcohol cold turkey. I enjoy juicing and raw food and was a vegetarian for over two years. I put myself out there and took classes on Improve and Stand up Comedy at Second City (and I discovered that my 3rd career as a comedian!)
In 2014, I walked away from my corporate job as a statistician, and opened a Body & Brain Yoga studio. It hasn’t been an easy journey, while for the first time in my life, I feel alive. Through mindfulness, I found my true essence in my brain. I am passionate in sharing this ancient Eastern mindfulness training methods with children and adults, for better health, happiness and peace.
- PhD, Packaging, Michigan State University
- MS, Statistics, Michigan State University
- MS, Food Science and Technology, National Taiwan University
- BS, Chemistry, National Taiwan University
- Core Essential Graduate (CEG), Coach University
- Corporate Coach University Graduate (CCUG), Corporate Coach University
- ADDCA Certified Coach Graduate (ACCG), ADD Coach Academy
- Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Bamboo Insights LLC (2009-present)
- Owner & Head Instructor, Body & Brain Yoga (2014-present)
- Statistician, Wrigley (2006-2014) and PepsiCo (2004-2006)
- Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation
- Certified Health Coach, Sedona Health Coaching, Institute of Brain Education
- Brain Management Consultant (BMC), International Brain Education Association
- Brain Education Leader (BEL), Power Brain Education
- NLP Master Practitioner, The Society of Neuro Linguistic Programming
- Design Human Engineer (DHE) Level 1, The Society of Neuro Linguistic Programming
- Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), Toastmasters International
What is Coaching?
If life is a road trip, a coach is your personal GPS. Driving can be a lot easier with a GPS. Life can be a lot easier with a coach.
- Tell a GPS where you want to go, it gets you there.
- If you have to take a detour, the GPS is with you and shows you the way back on track.
- You are the driver. You decide whether or not to follow what the GPS said.
- You discover new routes and fun places driving with a GPS.
The ICF (International Coach Federation), the certifying body for the coaching profession, defines coaching as “Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” (ICF Code of Ethics)
ADD Coach Academy defines coaching as “Built upon unconditional acceptance and a powerful appreciation of the client’s potential, uniqueness, strengths, capabilities, and wholeness. Coaching is an ongoing collaborative partnership created to facilitate personal growth and awareness that leads to conscious choice, focused action, and a meaningful, rewarding life.”
Paul McKenna said well in his book Change Your Life in Seven Days, “Our real selves are like diamonds, and as we grow up they get covered up in a lot of horseshit, so we put nail varnish on top of the horse shit to try and make ourselves more attractive to the world. But if we spent a little bit of time digging away at the horseshit, people would see that we’re really diamonds and we wouldn’t need any nail varnish!” As a coach, my mission is to partner with you to chip away the nail varnish, to bust through the horseshit, and to show the world (and to show yourself) the beautiful diamond inside.
How does it work?
Benefits of Coaching: Coaching is a way to create the highest performance through reflection, planned action, measured risk taking, and ongoing personal support. Some of the benefits of coaching include:
- Become clear about your vision, mission, objectives and priorities
- Learn and gain an empowering perspective on personal challenges and opportunities
- Enhance thinking and decision making skills
- Enhance interpersonal effectiveness
- Analyze, evaluate options and brainstorm solutions to challenges
- Make and stick with decisions and action plans
- Recognize and celebrate your own achievements
A coaching conversation is not much different from a regular conversation, except you are the one choosing the topic and the direction of the conversation, and take the responsibility and ownership of the results. My job as a coach is to hold a safe and supportive space for you by listening, observing, focusing & questioning, to co-create the awareness and solutions with you. If you are interested in learning more about what a credentialed coach does, you may refer to the list of ICF core competencies.
Individual coaching can take place in person, on the phone or on Skype. Most of my clients have their ongoing sessions over the phone or Skype because they like the privacy and convenience. Sessions generally last 30-60 minutes and take place 2-3 times per month. Between coaching sessions, you can take advantage of additional communication through email to support you and provide momentum and accountability.
Body & Brain
Body & Brain consists of physical, emotional, and cognitive exercises designed to improve focus, creativity, memory, confidence, stress management, and physical health. Training outcomes include significant positive changes in learning efficiency, motivation, self-esteem, peer relationships, anxiety, self-regulation, and stress management.
Overall health starts with a healthy brain, since it regulates all bodily functions, emotions, and thoughts. We utilize our own 5-step approach to activate the brain through a deep mind-body connection. Your brain is the key!
- Brain Sensitizing: This introductory step encourages brain awareness and awakens body and brain. It increases energy and blood flow to improve overall vitality and function of brain and body. It also helps you remain in the present moment and be aware of your five senses, plus be able to sense the energy of your body and environment. By doing this, you foster a stronger connection between body and brain, allowing your brain to better regulates your body function and overall health. You also better manage your response to stress.
- Brain Versatilizing: Once you are sensitized to what is going on within and around you, through physical and mental exercises, you can make your brain and body more flexible and free yourself from ingrained habits of thought and movement. You open yourself up to new possibilities as you learn to "think outside the box."
- Brain Refreshing: Refreshing your brain involves clearing out stored preconceived thoughts and emotions so you can make a fresh start. Negative thought patterns and emotions in particular block your potential. By becoming aware of them and releasing them, you leave room for developing a positive outlook and increasing your emotional intelligence so you can handle future challenges more effectively.
- Brain Integrating: The integration in this step is two-pronged. You integrate the different areas and functions of your brain in order to integrate new beliefs and habits. It recognizes that your beliefs about yourself and your view of the world are malleable and chosen by you; they are not the real you. By integrating your brain so that it works as a cohesive unit, you can uncover your life purpose and align all of your thoughts and actions with its achievement.
- Brain Mastering: This final step is a continuous application of the first four steps toward specific, concrete goals. As you achieve these goals by managing your energy, you actualize the life you want with joy, love and self-awareness.
Making these five steps a lifestyle gives you a systematic way to use your brain consciously and effectively while discovering your inherent serenity and creative potential.
Brain Operating System (BOS) is a term coined by Ilchi Lee to express the art of managing your brain and processing the information that you take in everyday. Ilchi Lee suggests 5 rules for making your BOS work efficiently and helping you become the best version of yourself.
- If you choose it, you can create it.
Everything starts with your conscious choice. If you tell your brain about your choice constantly and persistently, then your brain will find a way to make it happen.
- Good news makes a good brain.
Think positively on the path towards realizing your creation, turning obstacles into opportunities. Empower your brain with positive information.
- Pay attention!
Stay in the moment and pay attention, and your brain will become mindful and aware of what action you need to take for achieving your goal.
- Be master of time and space.
Time and space represent your circumstances. Train your brain to see opportunities in any situation and utilize all resources to realize the goal that you want to achieve.
- Design your environment.
Your environment is not you, but yours. You have the power to decide how to respond your circumstances in every moment and change your environment so that it works for you.