Who I am

May of 2015: I have completed the second most dramatic move of my life. The first being Seoul, Korea to Detroit, Michigan, this one being from Manhattan, NY to Hendersonville, NC.I was born and raised in Korea. I have been a big city girl all my life. However, my early childhood outings to the countryside, outside of Seoul, left me longing to live with nature, and not just visit. Now, instead of viewing the Empire State Building from my bedroom window, I am looking at the trees, a small lake, and listening to birds. I call this new location my “third act.” Growing up in Korea under my parents was my first.

I came to the US in 1971 as a registered pharmacist to pursue graduate work in medicinal chemistry. I became a research chemist for a major pharmaceutical company, and later served as a health science public policy analyst at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Although I valued my work as a scientist and enjoyed the intellectual discipline and rational thinking that were crucial for research, the dancer and poet I had hoped to become, led me to leave behind my “first” career in 1989. I moved to Manhattan, and was fortunate enough to be able to spend more than two decades developing my “second” career. I dedicated myself to the study of what I had missed while being a scientist: poetry, writing, dance, painting, psychology, Buddhism, yoga, life coaching, and teaching English as a Second Language. I was lucky to have the most respected teachers and universities in the city available to me.

Between the early 90s and the mid 2000s, a lot of life was lived: the gift of my second child, my son, 13 years after my first child, a girl, I experienced the tragic sudden death of my husband before our son had reached 6 years old, and also during that decade I met a new life partner who helped my children and I to continue to live our dreams. I was blessed to focus myself on developing my creative vision, finding my voice as an artist, poet and dancer while raising children and managing family.

One of the most significant achievements during that time period was performing Funk Jazz dance on stage with dancers, most of who were a third of my age, at the Broadway Dance Center in Manhattan. I was in my late 50s at the time, but finally my childhood dream became a reality.

I started dance lessons during my early childhood, and was determined to be a Martha Graham’s dancer. I was living in Korea then. However, my father’s vision for me diverted to a financially independent professional. This dream was interrupted at age 11. He called me into his study and said, “I have no doubt that you will be a successful dancer, but you will not marry nor have a family. You will be alone just dancing. That is not a desirable life.” All my life I had secretly suffered from the pain of my lost dream until I found private ballet lessons at 46, and then moved on to studying and performing Funk Jazz.

At that time I thought that if I didn’t act upon my inner most desire, even at that late age, I would never be happy. I saw clearly that I needed to take action. Without such a decisive, transformative moment, I would have not experienced such a glorious, triumphant moment and the healing of a deep wound. I was my own healer.

Also between the early 90s and the mid 2000s I often found myself in the company of a friend who had turned to me as a safe place to share and unburden her thoughts and worries. At the time I did not think much of it. It came naturally to me to offer a non-judgmental environment where a friend could find comfort and talk through the tangle of life-circumstances that they found themselves in. In these instances, I discovered I was able to provide a sounding board that allowed my friends to find their way through challenging circumstance, to offer a hand to guide them to the other side. And, without realizing it, I found myself offering this type of assistance, a kind of coaching, for two other friends, all three of who would often return to me for the environment and guiding principles they perceived that I offered.

This went on for many years, and then, an odd thing happened, something that struck me as an omen, a message from my destiny that I could not ignore.

In September of 2006, I had three calls in one week from these same three whom I had coached through their life changing processes, and all three said the same thing: “You are a born life coach. There are certificate programs. You can actually charge for your services.” I surfed around on the Internet to learn what it was about. New York University invited people to an informational session for life coaching certification the following week. So, I showed up, and realized that what they were teaching I had been doing in one-way or another, all my life. Without hesitation, I enrolled in the program, double majoring in Personal and Executive/Business Life Coaching.

I have also added the study of many other modalities to my coaching practice, such as: Neuro-Linguistic Programming, NLP (trained in London), Buddhism, Yoga, Meditation, The Three Principles, by Sydney Banks, coupled with creative processes based on the dynamics found in my artistic practice, along with my own life experiences, which have added a more practical wisdom to my coaching. Higher Brain Living Mastery Facilitator Certification, and The Spirituality of the Enneagram Certification are the latest studies that I have explored to enhance my skills and academic understanding for the human potential development.

I have lived in Seoul, Detroit, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Manhattan. I also have gone through an annulment, a divorce and the deaths of two wonderful husbands, and one life partner. I have raised my two children together, alone and with fathers other than their own. These life experiences have been my most valuable teachers for learning what life is. And I continue to learn more every day. I am honored and delighted to be an accredited teacher of T’ai Chi Chih® after 2.5 years of practice.

I am delighted to have this opportunity to share my lifetime endeavors. I want to bring Higher Brain Living to Western North Carolina residents first, as the facilitation needs to be performed at my office. I am so looking forward to my pioneering endeavor. My life coaching and consulting conversations can be extended to anyone who speaks English or Korean over the phone or other media.