Note & Disclaimer: This is an elaboration on what was originally an Instagram post. As with anything that I share or write, take what resonates, leave behind the rest. I stand for consensual consumption of content and do not impose my views or lived experience on folks who do not want to receive them.

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Photo credit: Morgan Housel

As I have been embracing my value for social justice and integrating anti-oppression into my therapy practice, I have also been reflecting on my own personal experiences and listening to clients’ stories of how mainstream Western counselling psychology continues to harm Black, Indigenous, People Of Colour…

Last year, I traveled all around Europe for the month of August.

Sounds wonderful, right?

I was with a group of 6 other people ranging from ages 12 to 58 and we reached 13 different countries within 30 days.

It was wonderful… and also incredibly overwhelming.

Whether you’re traveling alone or in a group, to one destination or a string of locations, it is undeniable that traveling can be stressful.

I’ve been supporting Global Degree Academy’s students’ wellness for two semesters now and the energetic challenges of travel are undeniable — physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually. And with those challenges come an undeniable need for self-care.

Let’s say you’re exploring the world.

You’re in Guatemala. Last week, you…

Note: Take what serves/resonates with you. Leave behind the rest.

This past week, I’ve been feeling lethargic, gloomy… and dread.

For many of us, fall can be a season of shedding, reflection, and… S.A.D. Especially when the Vancouver rain starts coming in. This is a shoutout to those who feel the gloomy feels as summer comes to an end. I see you. And I feel you. At the same time, I don’t want to be stuck in dread, or in bed over things I can’t control. This past year, I’ve started to actively shift my mindset around things I don’t like.

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Instead of seeing rain as an obstacle to sunbaths…

September is coming. You know what that means.

Transitions in school, work and feels.

I too am feeling a lot right now. Because I work mostly with university students, I’m hosting more workshops and taking on new clients. And… I’m also planning on starting school FT for a coaching diploma (maybe more on that later).

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If my life was a video game, this is me upleveling onto the next new realm.

The skills and knowledge that I’ve acquired will be tested. And I’m looking forward to the challenge, to see how I respond. I know I’ll do well. At the same time, I’m definitely feeling the stress, anxiety…

Note: Notice any discomfort that may come up. I encourage you to sit with it. Growth does not happen in comfortable mediocrity.

My journey has taken quite a few drastic (and wild) turns.

I went from a pre-med student to a college dropout, to a personal coach. It’s been terrifying, exhilarating, and liberating. If you’re a university student and are feeling a little stuck or confused about your path moving forward (especially with a new school year coming up), read on.

Predictions vs. reality

My Korean-Canadian family doctor is such a badass woman, proactively monitoring my cholesterol levels every 6 months (since I was 7 years old) while holding space for my emotional and…

Note: Take what serves/resonates with you. Leave behind the rest. Challenge yourself to grow.

I really don’t want to write this blog post right now.

But I wasn’t able to publish one last week due to life’s lemons and I committed to writing one per week. So here I am, starting to write 500 crappy words on not wanting to do things but doing them — for my self-esteem.

Personally, I’m not really into the concept of feel-good motivation. Rarely do I actually get sh*t done because I feel inspired and motivated. This seems to be a common challenge since I hear a lot of “I just don’t have the discipline”

Note: Notice any discomfort that may come up. I encourage you to sit with it. Growth does not happen in comfortable mediocrity.

Too many people are running on empty. What about you?

We’ve read about overworked leaders and all-stars who faint and get hauled to the hospital. We’ve seen our friends emotionally or mentally break down from chronic stress. We’re well aware of the signs and consequences of burnout. And yet we continue to lie to ourselves, “no, not me. I can handle this.”

This is the superhuman syndrome.

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I’m going to be real with you here. Chances are, you’re not a superhuman with superpowers. You’re a human just like…

I joke that seeking spirituality requires a lot of desperation with a hint of curiosity.

For many of us, we have to reach a certain tipping point in order to be willing to let go of control and certainty. We have to reach a point desperate enough where we feel like we’ve dug through all of the options, and so the only option that’s left is to look up and wonder what else could be out there.

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I reached this point doing activism work. Many people stayed apathetic and passive as I tried to explain the significance of shared humanity and understandably, I became very disappointed, frustrated, and angry. I realized that I couldn’t continue…

This body is our one body, the one vessel that allows us to navigate the world around us.

Yet we knowingly treat it with disrespect. We deprive our body of restful nights. We eat excessively with unnourishing foods. We hunch over laptops for hours and stiffen our joints. We know how to treat our body well but we don’t. Because common sense is not common practice.

This disregard leaves us constantly feeling tense, heavy, and sluggish. Then add a constant stream of materialistic and consumerist messages promoting quick fixes for us to feel better. Get six-pack abs with this quick 15-minute workout! Kickstart your day with this ultimate super strength smoothie! …

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I often used to complain, “I just can’t focus.”

As if ‘focus’ is something that should just naturally come to you, as soon as you sit down to start work.

In a society of information overload, so many things are grabbing for our attention. So if we want to focus when we need to, we need to take active responsibility for building and maintaining our focus, every day. Willpower is not enough. It takes practice and training.

I wake up every morning and my mind is usually a little scattered. Add a side of emotional distress once in a while and the mind is buzzing. So in optimizing my…

Ji-Youn Kim

anti-oppressive coach & counsellor | she/her | #ProcessingRage

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