Michelle Kuei is a certified transition life coach who helps negative self-talkers to discover inner strength and beauty by overcoming the fear of judgments. She is the author of the new memoir, Perfectly Normal- an immigrant’s story of making it in America. She is a board member of the United Nations Association of the USA and a Clinical Pharmacist at USC’s Keck Medical Center. Michelle was born in Taiwan and grew up in New York, but today she lives in Los Angeles with a short-haired brown tabby cat named Buster. If you’re looking for her, odds are good you’ll find her at the gym.
Perhaps many people today have ever heard of the word “Inner Critics”? “negative self-talk”? or “Impostor Syndrome”?
My name is Michelle and I am a transition coach and an author of a new memoir call “Perfectly Normal: an immigrant’s story of making it in America” I work with clients experiencing life changes to overcome the fear for judgments by providing them with skills and inspirations they need to discover inner strength and beauty that allows them to be heard, seen and known.
For many years, I allowed many of my negative beliefs about myself rule. The idea of loving myself felt strange to me. I was afraid to be seen and known. In order to be seen and known, I would need to tell you about myself. Authenticity means being honest with ourselves and being honest with everyone else.
My journey began when I was 11 years old. one day after school, my mom was running late a little bit that day to pick me up. Far away, I saw her coming riding on her motorbike. I got up from my seat to meet her on the other side of the street. I across the street. It was at that moment, as I stood in the middle of the road, I heard people shouting. I saw my best friend stood up from her seat and she was waving at me. She Shouted “Stop! Stop!” I smell the burning rubber, I heard a loud screeching sound, I saw a taxi coming towards me on a full-speed driving recklessly. And then, everything went black.
I woke up in a hospital with my parents next to me talking to a doctor. I was lying in bed. My body in excruciating pain. I remember I could not move. I looked down at my waist, my hip, my knee, and my angle. I was encapsulated with plaster wrapped around my body.
I was trapped.
As a matter of fact, we are all trapped. We are trapped by the expectations of others. We are trapped by social standards. We are trapped by our own feelings and thoughts. We are trapped by generations and generations of beliefs, assumptions, and judgments.
By my junior year in college, I have started to notice my walking postures were all wrong and as a result of that my legs gradually became disfigured. By the time I graduated from college, I was no longer able to walk long distances without assistance. And by the end of my graduate school, I started to use these arm crutches.
Growing up in a society and culture where beauty is weighted heavily on the appearance, the stories that I was telling myself were harsh, brutal, and cruel. “why me?” “Why am I the one going through this pain and suffering?” “Why am I here if I don’t look like everyone else?”
To be brave and step into the true essence of yourself doesn’t take much. Even just a little bit is good enough. Through my journey, the most profound thing I have learned is that there is no escape from my own judgments, fear, and criticism. Bravery requires endurance. It requires persistence and perseverance. We experience change through adversity and challenges in order to rise to a higher functioning state. Behind every trauma, there is an untold story. It is the untold story of adversity and resilience—the heroic, powerful, lifelong journey.
My story is one of courage, determination, and vulnerability. But more importantly, it is about having the confidence to face fear in everyday life. Facing our own worst enemy, facing our own judgments and harsh criticism.
By letting go of my own judgments, I allow who I am to flow freely. I allow me to accept me with unconditional love. I accept myself for all the strength, beauty and flaws. I accept I am not in the perfect hourglass shape and I accept me just the way I am no matter how others see me.
There was always that part of me inside that wanted to be seen and to be heard. I live to inspire and teach others to do the same. I have walked through the battle to be here with you and I came to give that light to you. Why? Because we do not have to fight this battle alone.
PREVIOUS SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS & LIVE EVENTS
- April 2019 Matador Performance Center, Pasadena California. Sales & Marketing Strategy
- May 2019 Women’s City Club of Pasadena, Pasadena California. Time Management
- June 2019 Women’s City Club of Pasadena, Pasadena California. Wine & Vision Board
- August 2019 Northshore Event Center, Benton Harbor Michigan. Perfectly Beautiful
- September 2019 Myrtle Tree Cafe, Monrovia California. Perfectly Normal
- September 2019 Kaiser Permanent, Toastmasters Pasadena Project Master. Perfectly Beautiful
- October 2019 Pine Grove Healthcare & Wellness Center. Perfectly Normal
Founder, Elevate July 2018- Present
Board Member, UNA USA Pasadena Chapter Jan 2019-Present
Clinical Pharmacist, Keck USC Medical Center, July 2003-present
Founding Member, World without Borders May 2019-present
Member, National Speakers Association GLAC June 2019-present
Member, Toastmasters San Gabriel Valley Wine & Dine 2018-present
IPEC Coaching: CPC, ELI-MP
St. John’s University: Pharm.D.
SUNY-Stony Brook: B.S. Pharmacology; Chemistry.
2019 Gloria Gartz Award Committee
2019 UNA-USA Pasadena International Women’s Day Co-Chair
2019 UNA-USA Pasadena UN Day Co-chair