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Blossom Your Awesome Episode #31 - Triumphant With Michelle Kuei

by Sue Dhillon
February 9th 2022

On episode # 31 of the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast I am talking to visibility and confidence coach Michelle Kuei. 

Michelle is a remarkable light who is teaching people how to overcome ob... More

Hello and welcome to the blossom, your awesome podcast episode number 31 today on the show, we have got confidence and leadership coach Michelle Quay Michelle is an incredible woman who triumphed over tragedy after a car accident at a young age left her with a permanent disability. She now teaches people how to bounce back from hardship and find purpose and every challenge. She is a true inspiration and light in this world and I am so honored and delighted to have her hair with us sharing her wisdom, love and insights. Michelle, thank you so much. Welcome to the show, thank you so much for having me, it's a pleasure. Oh I'm so excited to have you here and I'm gonna say we jump right in, give us a little of your background, you are now a visibility coach, I just loved that, but how did you get here?

Oh my gosh, it's a lifelong journey, where do I even begin and I think this is something that a lot of um you know women coaches and just people in general struggle, how do I describe my life in just 30 minutes or 15 minutes or three minutes, you know, so to shorten it, I was born in Taiwan, I am an immigrant to America, I didn't come to this country until when I was 15, so prior to 2 15, I was living in uh Taiwan and when I was 11, basically my journey began and this is something that I described, there's a story that I often share about how there's a, there's a, there's a temple of golden buddha in Thailand and with the story of the temple of the temple of the golden buddha. It began where a monk was sitting on a stone buddha. And one day this monk discovered that what he said on is actually it's not a stone buddha, but rather a golden buddha And from that moment on it's a journey of discovery, more gold.

So my journey began when I was 11 after a car accident that causes a permanent damage on my leg. And ever since then my life journey has been trying to uncover that goal that was sitting right inside of me the whole entire time. So there's a lot of um, you know, growing up, there's a lot of challenges. I had to learn how to walk, how to stand and even how to use the apparatus that they were giving me. Um when I left the hospital having to bring those apparatus to come with me um, in America and going into high school. Oh my gosh, that's another story just in itself where I was doing a lot of self criticism and body shaming all you name it. I've gone through it and, and that pretty much speaks about majority of my life. Yeah, I hope that answered my question, hey, where do you begin? You know, it does.

And let me say Michelle, I just honor you and respect you and admire you because already what you've shared is so powerful like, so here's what I'm getting from you that You know at 11 years old, you have this life changing thing. But even at that moment you're looking for the golden that you're saying, Okay, there's more to this, why did this happen to me? Yes. And and a lot of it, you know, initially it's funny because when we first see that crack on the stone buddha, when we first see that crack in our life, usually it's not something that's very positive. It's more like, oh my gosh, you know, this is broken, I am broken. And so immediately we go into self criticism and thinking that you know, things happen to us rather than happened for us. And I think the Canadian uh comedian, comedian uh jim Carey Actually talked about this in one of his speech at a school, He talked about how there's a lot of things that happen to us.

It doesn't happen to us. But it happened for us. So there's actually that grain grant scheme of design that somehow out in the universe. It was just already prepared. But in your job you and I our job is to go onto that journey and just trusting that you know, things will work out the way it should, it needs to be mm hmm I I just Oh I love this Michelle. I really do Because yeah, You know, I'm on the same page with you. Like I just admire people like you who can use hardship as a lesson and as a means to kind of catapult yourself to this higher place. And I just admire you so much for that. So, that's beautiful. Thank you so much. It wasn't easy. A lot of people think that oh, you know, she's so positive and she must be always be positive. And And it's a lot of work and I'm not gonna deny that.

And and it doesn't happen just overnight. It didn't happen. Just wake up in the morning and you feel okay. You know, I got this and I can do a lot of different things. It took place slow slowly. And with each person that I interact with, with all the life experiences that that comes afterwards. You know, going into relationship, finding a new job, you know, just to give you a visual, I'm only 44 inches tall. And I still walk with crutches. So looking at this way, going to a job interview or going on to a dating dating website or actually go into a date on a date. That was something completely out of my control. I would never know how the other person would respond. And so for me, it's a lot of preparation. I'm trying to be someone else in order to please them in order to be liked in order to be loved. And so, I was doing a lot of things.

You know, crazy stuff that just doesn't serve me very well mm hmm. But you know just the courage because a lot of people in that situation wouldn't even have the courage. And I think that's where the power is. Is that courage to say, okay, I don't know how this person is going to react or are they gonna judge me or this and that? But I'm gonna go for it. Mm hmm. Yeah. You know what it reminds me of is the Disney cartoon Little mermaid. You know how little mermaid was uh you know deep in the blue sea. She has beautiful voice And suddenly she saw this prince you know on this outstanding and on the seashore and she wants to be loved. She wants love. And what does she give away? She gave away her voice and to me that that was like a really to the moral of the story where when we are trying to please someone else, we're actually giving away our our greatest power, Our most valuable gifts.

Mm hmm Yeah. Now let me ask you, Michelle. So you know at 11 years old you have this and you kind of you're on a different level because you have this kind of deeper understanding. But then of course, right? Like you say you you're come to the states or your hair and then these challenges and fear of judgment and things from people going through school. But was there it seems like there was a part of you even despite that right? You had something extra, you have this deeper understanding that kind of helped you get through that. Is that true or help us understand that? I feel every single one of us has the ability to overcome a challenge, overcome an obstacle. It's that inner strength that we all have and all available to us. But a lot of time we allow the external distraction to to blur our vision of what is really seeded deep inside of us.

You know you and I are flour and I think this is so true and I love your podcast named blossom, right? You and I are flowers seeds and long ago this beautiful seed was planted inside of us and we, our job is to make it blossom. But a lot of time, you know, we allow these obstacles and challenges to blur our vision and it's step into the way of what, what really, really what we are here to do. So I do believe, you know there's that saying of do you believe people are basically good or do you believe people are basically you know evil and I truly believe that people are basically good because you and I have sitting right here, we already have that strength to persevere to stand tall and thinking big and and doing more that's already there. But what's causing us distracting us are all these limitations and depending on the culture that we brought up with, the societal status that we believe that we need to accomplish or all these boundaries that we set up for ourselves, those are the things that's stopping us from seeing what truly is beautiful within the same thing like the temple of the golden buddha.

The golden buddha has always been golden. So you are golden. There's undeniably you are strong, same thing, you are here to meant to blossom, you are here to meant to shine. But when there's things that's happening around us, we start to protect ourselves by creating this concrete that surrounds us that covers us that disguises to become this stone buddha. And the point is that are you happy to remain as a stone buddha or do you rather shatter everything and risking saying yes to what you fear the most and start really uncovering that gold and the choice is really up to you right? So you can continue to high and not do anything and not to have the courage to face your worst fear. Or you can actually be curious and say you know what I do believe that courage is inside of us.

I do believe that courage is already there available. I don't have to take the whole stair step. I just need to make a step. That's all I need to do to see it. Mm that is beautiful. That is really beautiful Michelle. Now you know, talk to us about trauma. I know this is one of the things you work with people on getting over trauma and self judgment and all of that. So now what, you know, because we all have that victim something happens, life is hard, right? We've all been through just so much, but some of us more than others really can be victims or find a way to feel really sorry for ourselves in a way where it just makes us stuck right? So how do we, what is a powerful way? What is your advice for getting over trauma and hardship? There's two things actually, I believe that you know someone who's going through trauma and someone who is recovering from a traumatic life experience.

Um number one is to have self compassion and I think a lot of people have talked about this self compassion, how do you how do you love yourself? How do you that self love and and making sure that yourself is protected, you are safe. So having that sense of security, something that you feel that you're not completely exposed to being being vulnerable and you know sometimes vulnerability, you will create a lot of negativity for people who have gone through the trauma. Um so I think number one is really self compassion and number two, the really key um ingredient to actually get someone out of their victim mind is to surrender surrender. I think it's the biggest biggest and hardest lessons to learn for someone who's going through trauma or or trying to heal from or recover from a traumatic experience. Um surrender doesn't mean that you just give up.

It just means that you're not fighting it anymore. You're not fighting that feeling of you need to be strong. I have seen people who had really severe childhood trauma where they were sexually abused and you know, growing up they thought that they had recovered from it. But in reality they still carry a piece of it and they're still fighting that that experience and it's something that's still holding them back. And when you surrender, you're basically saying you're accepting that this is part of me, This is part of my life experience and we're all just human humans um human body here with life experience. And so you when you start to accept that this is just part of the life experience it immediately. You feel light weighted. It doesn't mean that you just drop the whole weight but you feel okay. You know, there's actually a little tiny bit of strength that I can, I can move forward.

That's okay. And and just by taking baby steps when you surrender when you do the acceptance, you open up the door to possibility. Mm hmm That is beautiful. That is so powerful. Now. You know, So are you saying like in the surrender? Because I think there's like we're fighting these hard feelings but then we're also in denial, right? There's both of those things are going on. Yes. Yes. And a lot of times it makes sense, right? Because someone who's victim, someone who has been victimized. Um or in that victim space, the next thing that they would do is typically, you know, in that anger in that anger mode, whether it's towards someone else or towards the event that had happened or towards themselves. I shouldn't I shouldn't have done this, I shouldn't be there. I was there at the wrong time, wrong place and where maybe, you know, in my case I kept thinking I was in the wrong body. You know, had I had I reincarnate or coming out from another when I when I first landed in this Earth place from my from my spaceship, maybe I could have chose a different body then I wouldn't feel so stuck.

So there's that anger, whether it's towards someone else some events or towards yourself. It's that resistance of fighting and wanting to fight. And sometimes that fighting mode is what gets us out of the bed going through the routine. But eventually that fight and flight mode, it just doesn't work anymore. So you go on to the next step, which is you start to putting up with things, you start tolerating things. You start you know accepting for the things well I can't do anything about it. So I'm just going to play my part and call it a day and just move on and slowly you move into different levels. So there's total of seven different level or perception of how we can look at a traumatic experience. So we talked about the victim mind, we also talked about the fight and flight where you start you know fighting back or you know you start getting angry about the events and the next level would be something about tolerance. You know you start putting up with things because there's no no other way to change it so just suck it up and deal with it.

So that's the next level. Now the following level is the number four level which is love and compassion. There's a couple of ways that you can take yourself out of this victim mind um doing community service, connecting with people who have also had a traumatic experience someone who has some hardship in their life and as you're connecting with that individual you start to um practice your empathy, you understand that oh that person had gone through similar experiences I did and so it started taking your mind off to you know how how terrible things have happened to you and going into that service mind what we can do to help each other, how can I support each other because we have similar experience. So so a lot of times you see people going to the support group which is great because then you're connecting with someone else who have similar experience. Then you can go on to the next level which is opportunity, opportunity is where you start seeing the fact that this life experience can actually turn into something more beautiful, something more positive, Maybe you decided you become a coach which is a lot of, a lot of the coaches that I work with, they themselves have a lot of that traumatic experience or they have gone through their own share of tests and an obstacle and challenges and now they are here because they see it as an opportunity of how they can bring their life experience and share it with more people.

So that's an opportunity in itself and they become entrepreneur. So going from a victim to an entrepreneur that is a big step but it's happening, it is happening and it will happen as long as you open up yourself to see the possibility there's two other um to other perspectives of how someone can go from a victim thinking to something that's even higher level of thinking. Um so there's number six is actually co creation. So we're here because we're co creating a podcast. We're co creating a uh community. So I can start creating a community of people who are healing with trauma and that will bring more people to come in and we're going to create a community that we're, we invite everyone who share the same life experience. So they find support, they found accountability, they find ways to help each other and serve each other and understanding each other and relate each other.

The ultimate number seven way of thinking a traumatic life experience is um this level called wisdom. So earlier we had talked about, you know, the the statue the golden buddha. The idea behind the moral behind the golden buddha is that things happen just the way it is and it is the external view of how we perceive things, changes the way that we behave in this world. So a tree is just simply a tree. A car is just simply a car that's passing by their season to the changes. So level seven the seven way of of seeing the things is that you take things as it is. No no judgment, no labels, you're accepting things as it is. There's no external attachment which is a lot of times, it's very difficult for someone to, to to do. And so many people, we don't go into the level of you know, this is what it is and and we actually feel uh that enormous joy and abundance to it.

Does that mean that nobody go into that level? No, because you and I when we feel the joy when we feel the love, that unconditional love, maybe it's from our fur babies. You know, I have a cat and I love my cat that unconditional loving feeling. That is the the perfect symbol for the level seven that unconditional love, no matter what happened to you, you are unconditionally loving to yourself. So those are the seven ways of seeing a seam a traumatic and difficult life experience, wow, that was so powerful Michelle. Now I'm really uh it's just amazing and here's I'll just say what I love about your philosophy is you know, there's that philosophy of therapy and accepting the hardship and getting over it and learning to heal and recover from that, but we're taking it to a next level here or you are in this philosophy and I love this uh you know, like okay turning this hardship into an opportunity for growth and advancement and deeper wisdom and that is just the most amazing thing you can do.

So, so just a quick disclaimer, I didn't come up with this concept, the the the concept actually came from the creator or the founder of ipad coaching. His name is Bruce Schneider, and so he's the founder of the ipad coaching and I graduated from ipad coaching and that is the tool that we use for our clients to get them to see the opportunity or the option is really the options that we're allowing people who had um you know, experiences trauma in the past to see, give them the tool and the language so that they can understand I have the choice, you know, just because something happened to me, I can still choose how I want to show up every single day. And one of the analogy I love to use with my client is that just imagine you're going into an elevator and there you are, you are you have seven different button to choose from and depending on which number that you pay the door is going to open and you're going to have, you're going to see a different view kind of like a matrix kind of movie.

You know, you press it, you press it, you go to the victim mind and things will be very different as if you were to open up a different door. If you choose five, which is opportunity, then it's going to open up for you and you're going to see the possibility of how to move forward and step forward. So, um I didn't invent the the principal or the concept but yeah, it's a great, really great powerful to ipad coaching um the founder Bruce Schneider created it. Mm hmm. Yeah. And it just, you know, this philosophy is kind of one based in kind of Eastern ideology of, you know, that karma and all of those things. Right? And what's so I just it's so interesting this conversation because just this morning I was reading about perception and so I think it's so serendipitous because I literally was reading and then about to start writing about that where it is so much of how things turn out for us because we all have bad things happen to us, right?

That's just a part of life. But so much of it is based in choice and how we choose to see that thing. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, it's funny how perception, you know really comes into play in terms of how we see things and how we behave and the way that we think and and there's another other underlying piece which is personality, right? Because you and I have different personality. So when we use the the perception or sometimes it's called Attitudinal assessment, uh something that has to do with your attitude. When we pair that without personality, it just opens up the whole entire door to how we can be just being, You know, humans are being how we can be in this world without attaching having the need to attach label onto each other without having to attach any judgments against ourselves or compare ourselves and thinking that we're not good enough.

So it opens up the door to all these beautiful things and you can finally blossom. Mm hmm. Yes. Yes. Because that's what we're doing. And um yeah, that is amazing. Michelle Now, You know, another thing I want to touch on that you uh number six this co creating. Which I just it talked to me from, you know, your own standpoint kind of the power of us working together coming together connecting in this powerful way. Like what that's like for you and why it's so powerful for us to be doing that. So the co creation comes in because every single one of us are very different. Like you sue, you are very different and I'm very different. You know, we each bring in our awesomeness into the things that we do, you're a writer and I was a pharmacist. So I've been a pharmacist for the last 20 years, so I'm like I have my O.

C. D. In the way that I want to do things and you as a writer, you have your way of you want to do things. Now. The beauty of us coming together to co create is that you and I will bring our best, our strength onto the table. You're really good with writing. I'm really good with organizing and together we can create something even better. Right? So maybe we're creating a podcast let's say for example and you're really good with writing and I'm really good with organizing so I can help organizing and planning ahead. I'm a huge planner addiction. I have, I'm going to admit that I have planner addiction, I love to plan, I love to organize. So, you know, every single one of us have different personality to bring onto the table. We had underlying that personality. We have different gifts and talents which was already given to us years before. Right? So these are patterns that we see from traditionally and carl young actually talked about it that this inherent human gifts that have been passing down uh in the unconscious world for years and years and years and we start as human when we were born we were born into it.

So each individual have specific talents and, and goals and admission of why we need to come together. So the society as a whole are meant to create something even more beautiful. And that's our mission together. Mm Yes, it is. And um it truly is so powerful when two positive people come together and um just have a beautiful conversation like this. It's really, it's so amazing. Just because it's all, you know, I'm an energy worker. That's one of the other things I do and it really does just boil down to energy right? Like when I'm excited or inspired and then I'm talking to you and you're excited and positive and inspired and it's like, wow, we're just exciting each other, you know, and like bringing that amplifying that love and power and positivity. Mm hmm. The the energy is contagious. Like right now you and I are really pumped.

We're talking about this. And it's gonna get one of the listeners who feel really pumped and they're they're energized and so they feel inspired. So they're gonna go out there and talk to someone else who feel inspired whom they can inspire. And and it's just kind of like a something that that's spread is contagious. Yes. Yeah. And uh, for those listeners who were getting excited, That's amazing because that's why we're here. I know they are, they're getting so excited right now. Yeah. Because it's just it is all energy Michelle and you have such a great positive vibration and that's so beautiful. And I just love that. So, um, thank you for the work you're doing and you're such a light in the world. Now, let me ask you about the power because this is something that people we all struggle with self love. Talk to us about that. Why that is so important and so valuable. Oh my gosh! It's the, the hardest and the longest lesson that I had to learn.

And it was not an easy lesson to learn. Um, I think growing up, there's a lot of limiting beliefs that we were brought up with and you know, their standards, their social boundaries, uh, in terms of how women should be or what should you look like and what, what, what degree should you be getting from school, all these external limitation that we're pressing upon us. It was not something, it was not something that was giving you to choose. It was more like here you go. Take it and believe that this is your box and you're gonna be growing inside this box. Um, so I think self love is really important because until you find your own gold, a lot of time you're just going to follow what other people do and, and you know, we follow a pattern. We follow, uh different standards, but we lose is that self authenticity a lot.

So the self love comes in because in order to um to serve and to do all these things. Amazing things that we've talked about. You have to find yourself first when people would say, oh I lost everything. No, you didn't. You didn't lose everything. At least you didn't lose yourself. Right? So everything comes down to yourself. If you don't love yourself, how how is there anything else to give? And that's where I was. You know, I wasn't loving myself. So I didn't have anything else to offer. I didn't have anything to to give. So South wealth is important because you know, you need to have a full A. T. M. Machine first before people can cash it out. Right? So if you're a T. M. Machine is not full. There is no cash for people to cash out. Mm hmm. That's a really very practical analogy. But for people who struggle with that it's just you know, it's like yeah, I mean when your heart is full and that's one of those things, that's when you're younger, it you know, you can't love anyone until you love yourself.

And you don't really understand that when you know when you just kind of blindly love someone. But it's like but no, you really can't right until your heart is full. You can't give in a powerful way. You can put that out there. So that's beautiful. Michelle now. You know tell us self talk self talk. I feel like self love and self talk they're, they're kind of like going hand to hand together because self talk is where, you know, it's that it's in that voice that we hear a lot of times. Sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's bad most of the time it's more negative, right? More more negative than knots. Um, so the self talk is usually the voice that's telling us, hey, maybe you're not, you're not smart enough because look at all these other people are, you know, creating your business. They're writing, they're writing amazingly. And so the self talk comes in when we're critically judging ourselves because we're trying to match up to a standard, that imaginary standard or the standard that we believe that we need to strive and, and live for.

So the south tower comes in usually in the form of, I'm not good enough, I'm not pretty enough. I'm not tall enough, I'm not slender enough. There's a lot of not enough. And so the way the way that I've been, uh, it's, it's a battle. I was constantly on the battlefield battling with myself talk. So what really helped me, um, to address the self talk was, I started to keep a judgment journal. I know it sounds so, so we're right people, yeah, people keep gratitude journal, but some judgment journal. What is that? So basically the self, the judgment journal involves you taking down a mental brain dump of all the things that you have said critically about yourself throughout the day. So if you notice that you are judging yourself or not good enough, you write it down in a journal and you come up with two different ways of saying and seeing that again.

So let's say it's a new job or a new position that you're going into. And suddenly you're like, I'm not good enough for this position. Well that stand back and look at how we can think of it again. Right. So the number one first wait, is that you can think about it as well. This is a new position. I have never never done anything like this before. And I'm new to this. Of course I'm learning right. So instead of saying I'm not good enough you start saying I'm new to this and I can learn. Mm hmm. So that's one way of looking at it. And the other way that you can look at, I'm not good enough. Is that well, you know, this is a new process and I have no doubt if you give me more time, I just need to learn how to do the steps. I would I would be able to do this in no time. So you start seeing more positive way of how you can say I'm not good enough. Mm hmm mm hmm mm hmm. And um I think that's amazing. It's interesting because yeah, we all hear about the gratitude journal.

But I think you know writing everything Journaling just in general, right? You don't really realize the self talk. I think it I could see how it would be so powerful to write down those judgments because you see it in a different way then. Yeah, yeah, I I spent a lot of time when I was doing that healing process, I spent a lot of time just writing and and like you said generally is a great way to really have an outlet of your emotion and sometimes we don't feel when when we're vulnerable, we don't want to share with even our closest family member or someone that the closest friend, but we feel comfortable in sharing in the journal because no nobody needs to know. So I remember when I was going through that healing process, I started to do blogging and it really helped me in terms of now I'm doing marketing. It really helped me to understand the process of how do you write the blog and how do you push out and how do you get seen? So it's interesting how a lot of life experience, even though at the time we saw it as negative and and back in the old day I would sit down in front of computer and as I was writing I would start crying and that to me was was a huge transformational healing process where I was, you know, blogging became my emotional outlet.

I was just dumping out there into the world, I didn't care who see it. I just want an outlet to dump my things. I'm somewhere, wow. And and how powerful and transformative just to get it off your chest. You know, wow, this has been amazing, Michelle Now I am going to ask you in closing. I first of all, I just want to say thank you so much for your time. I think you're such a light and your story and the way you're moving this forward is so powerful and loving and you're just a light in the world. So thank you for what you're up to. Thank you so much for having me. It's it's a pleasure. You're awesome. Thank you so much. Michelle. That means so much to me. So in closing what is, let's have you leave us here with some wisdom guidance. What is your message that you want to share with the world courage. So, I often leave my audience with the courage card today.

I am giving you the permission to say yes to one thing that you've been scared to do? Maybe you were afraid to do. I'm giving you the courage card to say yes to it. So what is that one thing that you want to say yes to and go for it? Uh that is awesome. Oh my God, I love it. We're gonna close with that. That was amazing. Michelle, thank you so much. Thank you. Mhm Thanks. Mhm mm hmm. Mhm Yeah. Mhm Oh and mm hmm

Blossom Your Awesome Episode #31 - Triumphant With Michelle Kuei
Blossom Your Awesome Episode #31 - Triumphant With Michelle Kuei
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