We had the good fortune of connecting with Jen Cui and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jen, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I feel most balanced when I’m acting in alignment with my values. Because I’m a mindfulness based health & life coach, this means I need to show up for myself in my wellness so I can show up authentically and fully for my clients.
I found in myself that anytime I felt like I was struggling with finding balance, it was because I was neglecting one or more areas of my life (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual, etc.), All I had to do was learn to watch and listen to signs of my body and mind when giving me. For example, feeling anxious, having insomnia, chronic fatigue, depression, lack of clarity, acting out of character, frequent miscommunication etc.
But don’t get me wrong, that wasn’t easy. In fact, it took me a decade of ups and downs until I finally started to shift my beliefs of what a balanced life looks like.
Growing up, the idea of “work-life balance” was non-existent because I only ever saw both my parents working very hard. Whether it was my dad going to work every day and coming back to work more at night, or my mom caring for my whole family without any outside support.
I associated success and being a hard-worker with always working and always being busy.
I would sacrifice sleep and hobbies to get homework done and do more things that I thought would help me be successful. I prioritized productivity, high performance, money, and career success over self-care which ironically made me less productive because I was constantly reaching burnout and I lacked purpose.
When I started my business, I realized I had built so many limiting beliefs around what it meant to be successful.
I had to work through the guilt and shame that I experienced when I took time to do (what I perceived as) unproductive things, like going out with friends to get ice cream or sleeping. Yup. I felt guilty for SLEEPING. I also had to work on my fear of failing, fear of being judged, fear of falling behind or not doing enough. And at the end of all of it, what I learned what all it took was for me to stop waiting for someone to give me permission to live a balanced life, and just allow myself to do it.
Here are the 5 steps I took to find balance in my life (and how I coach my clients to do the same):
Get crystal clear on your core values. What motivates you, what is important to you, what is the foundation of your character built upon?
Make room for your feelings and just observe what comes up for you. I highly recommend meditation and journaling for this.
Create goals that are in alignment with your values and your highest self. Visualize your ideal day-in-your-life and don’t let anything get in the way of you achieving it.
Determine the smallest step forward. Make this super simple and achievable- like making your bed or writing one thing you’re grateful for every day.
Set boundaries and stick to them. Remember that your actions are a reflection of your values, so breaking these boundaries means acting out of alignment with your values.
I believe balance only exists when you have a trusting relationship with yourself so you can lean into your intuition of what you should do next.
Now, I simply work on being in harmony with my highest self. I know I have the tools and resources to keep my mind in a positive space, and I walk the walk by serving myself daily (especially in my morning routine) before I serve others. I trust that when I’m in alignment with myself, I stay grateful, grounded, and uplifted so I can be more productive and more helpful to others.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Definitely would start with brunch at Flore Vegan and then go for a hike up Griffith Park to the observatory to see some city and valley views. In the afternoon, head to Little Tokyo to visit Rice & Nori for a lunch set of onigiri and visit Fugetsu-do (a 110+ year old Japanese confectionary!) for the most incredible hand-made mochi. On another day, I’d bum out at El Matador Beach in Malibu with a picnic. Of course, then you need post-sunset dinner at Shojin, or Purgatory Pizza before getting soft-serve from Magpies.
As you can see, I’m all about the food, and being vegan, there’s some incredible options in LA (even during COVID).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Jen Cui Health (JCH) is a wellness company whose mission is to empower people to live a healthy lifestyle that is authentic to them. JCH services individuals looking to uplevel their quality of life through powerful holistic life coaching so they can have unshakable self-confidence to create the relationship, career, and body they’ve always wanted. Visit jencui.com and follow Jen on Instagram @jencuihealth to see how hundreds of women and men have found their freedom in life, and how you can create sustainable change in their life and wellness.
Sam Pareti, Jen Cui