Monday, November 14, 2016

Post-Election 2016 Thoughts and Reflections

November 9, 2016

Dear American People:

From Tuesday till today, it feels like life has changed so much already since Tuesday’s election. This is a difficult transition. I wonder how this election will now affect us all personally.

Because of the negative language and rhetoric of hate and fear prevalent during the Trump campaign, I am observing that some people suddenly feel the freedom to express their prejudices or whatever hate they had been harboring in their hearts, which they have never done before.

I have been reflecting these last few days on my experiences in the past, growing up in Missouri, Ohio, New Jersey, and parts of Los Angeles in the 70’s through the 90’s, and thinking about my friends in school. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what was wrong in those relationships I had with them, and couldn’t quite pinpoint what was uncomfortable about it but I always had an uncertain feeling with some of them. I could sense they were feeling it too but they couldn’t express it. But I always felt like I didn’t quite fit in even if I was good friends with people who were not my ethnicity. I really tried, and worked really hard to try to fit in, but there was nothing I or my family could do to change the fact that we were Asian American (even if we were American citizens) or change people’s prejudices towards Asians that might’ve been engrained or passed down through generations. I don’t fault them as some people learn these prejudices from previous generations even if it’s not right. But I am saddened and yet enlightened even moreso by this realization now.

Because of social media and technology, I can see now that because of the negative vitriol and hateful language encouraged by Trump and his campaign as a tactic to win votes in key states, it has also given people, even people I’ve known before, permission to now express consciously or unconsciously their prejudices about people for the first time. People I would never expect are now showing their true selves. If this kind of negativity and hateful rhetoric is already happening, what will happen if and when Trump takes office?

I worry that people who have been harboring ill-will, a sense of entitlement, or prejudices will now feel the courage to express these prejudices and act on them without conscience or fear of the consequences. I am saddened by this and trying to gain a spiritual perspective so I may equip my daughter, my friends and family, clients and students, on what to say and how to proceed moving forward. My job as a hypnotherapist/life coach and spiritual teacher is to help people understand each other, find the lessons in everything, and see all sides of a person or situation. But to justify hateful rhetoric, bias, or promoting prejudice is not something I want my child or any child and any person to endure in our lifetime. It is not tolerable.

It was painful when I was little to hear people tell me that I couldn’t be friends with certain people because I was Asian. It was really hard to see racist letters strung up on the walls of some schools I attended asking us to go back to China even though we were American citizens. It was really difficult to know that we could only live in certain apartment buildings because we were people of color. Those were really hard times. It was really difficult to live in isolation, and to walk the streets with everyone staring at you because we were the only Asian people they had ever laid eyes on. I am sure it was a big surprise, and I could understand their curiosity. Some people were polite but never totally welcoming of us into their community. Those were really challenging times. We were like pilgrims in a new world.

I really hope people remember that we should always treat each other the way we want to be treated. That kindness and love and respect for your fellow man are the values of utmost importance that we want to teach our kids. We are role models for our children and how we want to live our lives and how we want to see the world. We are all a part of the human race.

God Bless America and ALL our people.


Panney Wei, C.Ht.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Conquering the Year: Part II By Panney Wei, C.Ht.

“In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud.
And yet the menace of the years finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”~ From Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Hello everyone! In the last article, I introduced some important tips that would help you tackle the New Year in part I of “Conquering the Year.” In this article, I’m introducing the last five tips from my own life experience that may inspire you to take your life and career to the next level!  

Tip #4: Don’t Waste Time
We’ve talked about filling your life with passion and purpose because time is limited. When I had my near death experience with my life threatening illness at age 20, I realized that time waits for no one, and your life is precious. When you also have children and you’re with them day in and day out like I am with my daughter and working with children, it really puts things in perspective on how fast time flies. Your youth is an asset. The sooner you can realize that and take control of your life and use time and your youth on your side, the better off you’ll be in the long run. It’s just plain simple facts. We live in a linear reality where day-by-day, time goes by, and death does not escape anyone. I learned that the hard way. It was through my illness and near death experience that I learned this valuable lesson. I chose life, and decided to not waste a minute living my life for someone else, or someone else’s dreams or expectations of me. That was one of the many gifts of overcoming my illness as well. So I would love to impart that wisdom to you. When you’re young, you have more time to cultivate your goals and make things happen. Everyone has dreams in their heart but many people lack the courage to act upon them. I encourage you to rise up and be a leader, be an inspiration and an example to others by acting on your dreams, desires, and goals. That kind of visionary action is inspiring. Ambition in its purest form and achieving goals with integrity, passion, hard work, and patience is the kind of life my family and I live. I see it when my husband produces his films and takes projects from beginning to end, building people, his company, their brands, etc., and working on the many projects present in his life. He recently produced the films Looper, Linsanity about NBA basketball player Jeremy Lin, Sneakerheadz, and his company is putting out the upcoming Snowden this year. Some projects take years to develop but he works on them each and every day, and I admire that kind of resilience and passion. He never wastes a minute in his life. He’s either nurturing his career or nurturing the people in his life.
I want all of you to live a life of passion so that when you wake up, you’re excited about achieving your goals and not wasting a minute! Having dreams is living a life of excellence and living up to your potential. There is nothing in your life that you can’t achieve without the power of your mind and belief in yourself. You might have many naysayers along the way, but as I mentioned before, it’s better to act on your dreams than to be a person who just daydreams and lives a life of regret. The experience and the journey is the goal in the end. No experience is ever wasted. The only thing you can ever waste is the time waiting for things to come to pass. The world needs people with grit, drive, vision, and love for what they do, and the depth of your dream often fuels the potential for your future. Don’t waste time. Take one day at a time to plug away at your goals. Break down your dream into baby steps that are achievable, and give it your attention each and every day.  Just like a baby does when they’re trying to walk. Or from my experience as a figure skater, whenever I wanted to accomplish a new jump, a new spin, or a new routine, I would break it down into pieces and practice every day until it became muscle memory and I accomplished my goal. If you don’t waste time worrying about your goals, but instead plug away at them each and every day, breaking the steps down little by little, you’ll find that you’ll reach your goal sooner than you think! You can do it! Think about the athlete that has dreams to compete in the Olympics. Their lifelong dream may take years to accomplish but they will accomplish it over time. Your attitude should be to go big or go home! That’s how I view my life and hope you do too.

Tip #5: Fill your Life with People You Care About and Are Worthy of Your Time
There are many steps in the journey of life as you climb up towards your goals. Nobody gets to the top without some assistance or encouragement from others. The climb can sometimes be tedious and treacherous. This applies to both your personal and professional lives.  There will be people who suck the life and energy out of you, and those who add value to your life. In order to maximize your time and potential, it’s best to surround yourself with people who are worthy of your time. These people are the ones who love you, support you, nurture you, elevate you, and raise you up. They believe in you or learn from you, or you learn from them. They are your mentors, your dearest friends, your trustworthy partners, the most intimate or loyal members of your family, and they are your teachers. If there’s anyone in your life that makes you feel less than yourself and less than your potential that you were born with, then it’s time to let him or her go. Only surround yourself with those individuals that are a true reflection of who you are. Because in business and your personal life, you are associated with whom you surround yourself with. So make sure to choose wisely.

Tip #6: Purge the Negative and Excess From Your Life
Being a success in life also means nurturing good, healthy relationships in both the personal and professional areas of your life. As your life expands and you become more successful, life gets busier, fuller, and it may be challenging at times to balance it all. You realize how valuable time is and there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. When you start feeling overwhelmed and wondering if you can do it all, that’s when you really should apply this sixth tip, which will help relieve stress and eliminate the things, or even people that might bring you down. It’s time to purge your closet of the negative and excessive things and situations you don’t need in your life so that you can make this year the best year yet! 
Just like we do spring cleaning in our homes, we have to do some spring-cleaning in our personal life as well. Once you figure out your passion and set a plan into motion to make it happen, tip #6 is to look at other areas of your life that might be taking too much time away from your goals. If you’ve taken the time to create a vision plan for yourself and done the soul-searching necessary to achieve that, now it’s time to cut out the excess that can be potentially harmful or impede you on the road to success. This means letting go of unnecessary people, commitments, things, and activities that don’t serve you anymore or add positive value to your life. If there are people in your life that are haters, keep them at a distance, and don’t make them your friend. If you have friends or relationships that aren’t mutually rewarding, look at that as well and see if they need nurturing or letting go. Look very closely and dig deep as to why you attract certain negative people in your life if you are surrounded by negativity in your personal life, and do your best to purge it from your life. Negative people, those who whine, disrespect, demean, complain, and gossip about others usually are not the most successful, and certainly not happy. If you have negative people in your social circle, they will only bring you down, both emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, where it will start negatively affecting the other aspects of your life. Do your best to avoid doing these negative behaviors as well, and associating with people who are always negative and exemplify this type of negative behavior. Just like purging your closet of things that don’t fit you anymore, it’s time to purge your spiritual, emotional closet as well so you leave room for better people to come into your life, more opportunities, and more time to nurture the healthy and good relationships you do have and most especially, your dreams. It’s one of the best things you can do to create the extra time that’s needed towards achieving the goals that are important to you, and nurturing and maintaining the relationships in your life that need nurturing as well.

Tip #7: Have Faith
Faith is one of the strongest virtues you can have when it comes to realizing your dreams. There will be ups and downs but having faith in yourself and your dreams will keep you in the game longer than your competitors. Life is full of tests. Many of these tests are there to determine your character. How you handle challenges, stress, and how you overcome them is a way to determine what kind of person you are. Do you give up easily or complain when the going gets rough? Or are you the type of person that will stay positive and rise to the occasion and power through?  What has worked for me for every obstacle I’ve ever had to face is staying positive, and having faith and endurance through all the good and the bad in life. I do believe that through faith and hard work, you will reach your dreams.

Tip #8: Keep Going, Don’t Give Up, and Believe in Yourself
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” On the journey towards reaching your goals, there are usually obstacles to overcome. Nothing good in life, and this is for anything comes with real ease. The goals you want to achieve in life are tough because they’re supposed to be. Overcoming obstacles helps to build the confidence necessary to achieve even greater things and when you are a leader, your challenges will be ever present so you can be a positive example to others. I’m not saying that life won’t have quiet times of respite or amazing moments of joy. But I’m reminding you that life has challenges and the challenges come so that when you overcome them and finally reach your dream or goal, the achievement will be that much sweeter and more amazing. Think about the years of training an athlete has to endure every four years so he can compete at his events and eventually the Olympics. It was the same mindset I had as a competitive figure skater and tennis player. It was that positive, strong mindset that I learned as an athlete that I apply to every area of my life. It’s helped me when I worked in business development, fundraising, getting through school, and goals in one’s personal or professional life. It’s the same attitude you can apply to any area of your life that seems difficult or insurmountable. I always love it when I see my clients, students, and colleagues continue to forge ahead despite naysayers and negative people. It’s important to keep going, stay persistent, and don’t give up. If you are loyal to your cause or your vision, you will eventually achieve your goal. I guarantee it. A good example of a person who did that was Steve Jobs who left an amazing legacy with his Apple products that we all enjoy today. When he first started, there weren’t a lot of people that believed in him. He had obstacles to overcome. But he had the foresight, vision, and insight that he anchored in his head, heart, and soul that fueled his every move and helped him stay the course. He wasn’t going to stop until he completed his mission and dream to change the world. That’s the kind of vision or passion you should have for everything in your life. It’s the type of vision that keeps you going. So keep going, believe in you, and don’t give up. You will make your dreams come true!

In Conclusion
My wish for all of you is to have a truly great rest of the year! It’s a lunar new year of the fire monkey and a time of movement, change, ambitions realized, and positive energy. I hope that the tips I’ve shared will help you get through any obstacles in life, inspire you to reach your goals, and elevate your dreams. There’s nothing you can’t achieve without the power of your mind. Remember, whatever your mind can see and believe, you can achieve!  Make this a great year and one to remember!

Warmest wishes,
Panney Wei, C.Ht.
CEO, See the Way Consulting

Host and Featured Spiritual Teacher, "Quantum Wisdom"
Host, "See the Way with Panney Wei" podcast

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Conquering the Year By Panney Wei, C.Ht.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

Hello friends! Life is full of ups and downs and fabulous moments in between. This is the lunar year of the Fire Monkey, so it’s a year of great movement and change, and hopefully like the monkey, full of surprises and a plethora of positivity that will boost your life to the next level! I am honored to be able to connect, communicate, and help you through this blog and truly hope it can inspire you and give you the courage to reach your dreams, your goals big or small, and achieve the life you’ve always imagined for yourself, your family, and your community, and pay it forward as well.  

In this first article, which will be featured in two parts, we will be talking about conquering this year with courage, vision, and confidence. I will be sharing with you several tips that will help you forge ahead, overcome obstacles, and take a leap towards your dreams or goals for the year.

Tip #1: Face your Challenges
When you’re faced with formidable obstacles and it seems like life has crashed down all around you, or you feel weak, and cannot see the light or breakthrough, remember that deep inside you, everyone has hidden reserves of energy, strength, and the determination to get through anything in your path. We are all faced with challenges in our life. Challenges exist because if we didn’t have them, we wouldn’t appreciate the good times, come to know the difference, and find the balance. I’m grateful for all the challenges in my life.  They have made me stronger, wiser, and a deeper and better human being. When I was in my late teens, I struggled with the life-threatening illness, bulimia. It was triggered by having to quit my skating career after skating for over eleven years competitively. It was my passion having devoted so much of my life to it, but my parents wanted me to forge a different path and so being under their roof and a minor and respecting and honoring their wishes, I had to comply. Because of the disappointment and other factors in my environment at the time, I fell into a depression, experiencing a loss of identity and self, and it was one of the darkest periods of my life. The depression triggered the illness that led to a near death experience that changed my life forever. This was a major challenge to overcome. The only way I could over come it was to change my circumstances, changing my mindset into one that was positive and one of strength, and using the power of my mind and complete belief in myself to scale these challenges and get my life to where I want it to be. It was probably the biggest ordeal I had to overcome at that point in my life. I took all of the wisdom and experience I gained from being a competitive figure skater and applied it to overcoming my illness, heal myself, and coming out a champion.  One of the tools I used was the power of my mind with hypnosis and meditation which allowed me to change the way I felt about myself, change my internal chemistry and physiology and make better choices in living a healthier, dynamic life. It took time, resilience, patience, and taking each day at a time to overcome my illness, but I plugged away at it each day until I reached my goal. This is what I want for you as well. Anytime you are faced with a challenge, the best thing to do is to set the goal in your mind, and apply every amount of fortitude each and every day to your goal. If it is a difficult challenge, it’s important to find teachers, hypnotherapists, therapists, mentors, or wisdom from friends, books, and anything that you can get your hands on to help you reach your goal. Go all in because you are worth it! Even though you must face and experience the challenge alone, you are not without guidance. There is help all around you if you look for it. I promise that over time, you will inevitably reach your goal. What has worked for me as I travel and advance in different areas in my life whether it’s personal or professional is to have a champion mindset. I tell myself I can accomplish anything I set my mind to, and that way, I’m able to face any obstacle with the courage and the motivation needed to transform any negative situation into a positive.

Tip #2: Dig Deeper, Recharge, and Set a Vision
The new year is a good time to dig deeper into the most important areas of your life especially the areas that you feel that have been lacking or not been given the right amount of time, energy, and care into. Whatever you put your mind, focus, and energy into, is where you’ll get the most results. What’s worked for me is setting a vision for the future.  Everything in life happens in moments and phases, seasons and reasons, and timing is a big part of it. But life is also being prepared for when the opportunities show up and give you an opening to boost up your life. You have to be ready for the opportunities. If you set a vision for yourself about what you want to achieve in the future, then you’ll plant a seed in your subconscious mind to know where you’re going and take steps to achieve it. So often people get caught in the rat race of working day in and day out but often forget to check in with themselves to make sure that what you’re doing every day and spending time on has meaning in your life. That’s why taking a moment to recharge is so important. Part of setting a vision for yourself is to allow yourself first to take a moment to regroup and do some self-reflection on the status of your life. Is your personal life to your satisfaction? Are you experiencing some career dissatisfaction or remorse or regret in any area of your life? Is there something missing in your life in any area? The areas that I focus on are areas in my life that add value, meaning, or purpose to my life. Those are: family, professional life, personal life (friendship, health, & community), and mentorship. At different phases in your life, these areas might shift. Perhaps you’re getting married, making a change to your personal life, wanting to date again or start a family, then the categories of your personal life or family will require more attention. If you’re starting a new job or changing career direction, then the area of your professional life will require more effort or attention. You get the picture. Take a moment to do some self-reflection and dig deep within your soul to see what makes you happy, what areas need extra work, love, and attention, and answer those questions I’ve shared here and anything else your heart desires. Meditation helps, journaling, and doing some goal-setting exercises. It’s in those quiet moments of reflection that inspiration hits. After taking time to recharge and do some self-reflection, the next step is to create a vision for the future. This can be simply what you’d like to accomplish 1, 5, 10, 15 years or more from now.  Set a trajectory for the year and an image of what it looks like, and write down your goals. In my experience as a hypnotherapist, research shows that planting a seed in your subconscious mind about the goals you want to reach both in the form of an image and feeling is most instrumental in goal-setting and helping you attain your goals. As I’ve learned being a former athlete, athletes use this technique for excellence in sports performance, and it’s the same technique you can apply to any dream or goal you want to achieve in life. What I’m teaching you here is that whatever your mind can see and believe, you will achieve. So go deep, set a goal, visualize it, and then achieve it!

Tip #3: Figure Out What You’re Passionate about
Shouldn’t everything you do in your life be worth it, worth your time, energy, focus, attention. Time is precious and if you haven’t felt excited or enthusiastic about your life, now is the time to change it! It’s the New Year and the lunar new year of the fire monkey. The element of fire in Chinese culture represents passion, energy, movement, and the fire monkey also represents ambition, adventure, and change. So keep that in mind as you re-focus your life and your goals. Think about your passions, hobbies, and things or causes that make you feel fulfilled and bring you satisfaction or joy. A meaningful life is a life well lived and one with a purpose. Take the time to figure out what you’re passionate about. It can be an organization you’d like to be a part of and contribute to, a cause you’re passionate about or believe in, a hobby or subject you enjoy, or a career or industry you’ve always wanted to embark on. You deserve to be happy and figuring out what you are excited about, gives your spirit energy, and your heart joy are some keys to figuring out what you’re passionate about. You don’t have to do it for a living, but you do have to feel alive, so engage in things and opportunities that add value to your life. Maybe it’s making a difference in another person’s life, lending to a cause you believe in, or balancing your work life with hobbies that nurture other parts of your personality. What works for me is making sure that I don’t take my time for granted. Time is a luxury and time is limited. At the age of 22, overcoming my life threatening illness and surviving my near death experience taught me the value of time, of living up to my potential, the importance of figuring out my life purpose and passion, and having the courage to do it. There is a quote I’d like to share that sums up what I feel about living one’s life at this moment, “No matter what one does, regardless of failure or success, the experience is a form of success in itself.” Life is about trying new things, figuring out what you’re passionate about, and doing your passion. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to what you were doing before. The experience is the gift; the journey is the destination, and the most important thing to do is to try new things and do things that give you LIFE, not take away from it. Now go for it!

Stay tuned to part two of this article on conquering the rest of the Year! In the meantime, try to apply tips one through three to your life, and see how things will change or shift in your life. Change might happen fast or slow, but it will happen if you set your mind and intention to it.  You have the power to change your life at any moment. Go for it!  

Warmest Wishes,

Warmest wishes,
Panney Wei, C.Ht.
CEO, See the Way Consulting

Host and Featured Spiritual Teacher, "Quantum Wisdom"
Host, "See the Way with Panney Wei" podcast

Monday, May 23, 2016

ALIST Magazine by the National Association of Asian American Professionals - Spotlight on NAAAP National Senior Advisor Panney Wei, C.Ht.


1. How do you see your role in changing the world?
I believe that everyone has a calling and a purpose that they must fulfill in this life. It may take some time to discover; it can be something powerful that will create a ripple effect in the world; it can be something big or small, but nevertheless it is for only you to fulfill. I believe my purpose and calling is to help change the world and make a difference by improving humanity in some way. I believe my calling is to help people transform their lives spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and achieve success and happiness in their personal and professional lives, and help those, whether it’s an organization or an individual person, achieve their greatest potential and the highest vision of themselves, and help them overcome obstacles in their environment or self-imposed, so they can create the life of their dreams. I was always taught that we should live a life of service or do something that will add value, inspiration, and meaning to the lives of others, something that will help your industry, community, or the world at large. My mother was a person who lived so artfully in the way she brought our home together and how she fashioned herself and filled her life with art and a passion for living. My father was someone who dedicated his life to helping others through his work as a physician specializing in cardiology and then internal medicine, and my maternal grandfather served as a Senator in Taiwan for many years. All of them influenced my life and were able to be of service to their community, family, or the world in a way that utilized their unique strengths. I also believe that when you endure hardship and struggle, the compassion you gain can often propel you into a life of service. Everyone has the capacity to change the world should they take on the calling and pursue it. Part of my role in changing the world is helping people to perceive things differently in their lives and create transformation. I believe that change in the world first begins with change in oneself. It’s like Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I’ve seen in the lives of my clients who I help that lasting change can occur in your environment as a direct result of changing oneself. This is because of the law of cause and effect. When you change your actions and reactions to people and challenging circumstances, and live with self-awareness, everything around you has to adapt and will therefore change as well. Sun-Tzu also says, “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”  When you live with self-awareness and know who you are, you will be grounded in any situation, and achieve more happiness in life, so ultimately my goal is to help people discover the truth of who they are so they can start living a purpose driven and conscious life.
On that note, I see much of my role in changing the world with the mission to help many people as possible transform their lives in as many platforms as possible, because the more people I reach, the more I can help, and the more I can help, the more I can make a difference in the world. Whether it’s through the media, my writing, podcast, See the Way with Panney Wei, doing sessions, speaking to people and running workshops, all of these outlets are ways where I can connect with my clients, listeners, and audience in a positive way where I can affect change in their lives and in the world. So I see my role in the world as a change agent, and it’s a role I take seriously in guiding people to take charge of their lives by living a life of self-awareness, break through obstacles, and live a life of their dreams.  Dreams take time and an incredible amount of patience, but you can make it happen. I love this quote by Harriet Tubman, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” It’s so true! Don’t give up and believe that you can be a person that will make a difference in the world!

2. What is your passion?
My passions are my family, my life purpose, shattering negative stereotypes of Asian Americans in our community through the media and other outlets, and making a difference in the world, and working with people, especially women, to live the life of their dreams. When I survived my near-death experience when I was about 20 and recovered from it, the lessons I learned was that life is short, that you should take time to discover what your passions are, and the time you live on earth is precious and should be well-spent. Take time to nurture your relationships, do some self-reflection, and find what you’re passionate about, and then go out in the world and just do it. Nothing is more important than living a life that has purpose and meaning to you. Because I’ve faced some injustice as an Asian American and as a woman in this lifetime and have had to overcome obstacles, it was important for me to do something about it and make a difference. That’s part of the reason why I founded and launched (as the first Founding National Director) in 2008, the women’s national leadership program, Women in NAAAP, which was recognized in Forbes Women. My intention and purpose was to support, educate, and empower women in various stages of life and career so they can achieve true success in their personal and professional lives. This has been a lifelong passion of mine. So even if you haven’t discovered your purpose or passion yet, take the time to reinvigorate or invite some passion into other areas of your life. It could be a hobby, a cause you believe in, or experiencing some aspect of culture through art. Life should be full of passion, and my mother was a good example of someone who did that. She always inspired me to live artfully and fill one’s life with beauty, art, culture, and passion.

3. What are some things that you can't leave the house without?
My IPhone, purse, pen and journal for ideas and notes, and lipstick.

4. Name 3 people you admire and why
My Father, Dr. John Wei, M.D.:
The first person I admire the most would be my father, who is one of the most reliable, kindest, brilliant, and most visionary man in my life. My father always had a dream in his heart to go to America and create a better life for us. He had a vision for our family and was brave enough to leave everything behind in order to take our young family from Taiwan to the United States in the late 1970’s to create better opportunities for us and achieve his dreams and a better future for our family. Even after he completed his medical school and residency in Taiwan, he chose to re-do his medical residency training in cardiology and internal medicine all over again to fit into the US’s requirements to practice medicine in the United States. That was a long hard road for him and required so much sacrifice to do an additional five to six years of schooling just to start a new life in the United States. But he did it and over the course of his professional life, rose to become Chief Resident in the hospital where he worked, then later Chief of Staff, among other accolades he received and was awarded during his career. When I look back at his life and how he barely spoke English when he came to America to becoming Chief of Staff at his hospital and then starting his own successful medical practice, I am humbled and impressed by his accomplishments. It was definitely not an easy feat. My early memories of living in in the East Coast as a kid were fraught with memories and moments of racism, discrimination, and hardship. I remember when we lived in Missouri; there were not a lot of Asian people in the city we lived in. We seemed to be the only ones around besides one other Chinese family that lived in our building. The housing provided by my dad’s employer was an apartment complex where all the minorities lived. Because of discrimination or blatant racism, minorities in our community were not allowed to live with white people. It was one apartment building full of people from all different cultures and ethnicities jammed into one building.  Even if the outside world was harsh, inside this apartment building, it was alive and buzzing with people from all walks of life, the smells of all different types of food cooking, the sounds of all the languages being spoken, and kids playing in the hallways. It was quite a colorful experience because no one spoke English well but yet we were all able to communicate with each other and be a community. Those were my early memories. Whatever small income my father made as a medical school resident and moonlighting at night, half of it went back to his parents in Taiwan, so we were a small family of five at the time living in very tough and meager circumstances, barely surviving. But I think back on what we overcame as a family and our humble beginnings in America, and I feel so proud of my father and my parents together as a team to create a better life and the life of their dreams. I remember finally leaving the cold of the east to move to Los Angeles, California to be near family, the warmth, and to seek better opportunities. My father worked so hard, working on his hospital salary by day and constantly on call whenever he could to make and save more money; he was saving for his dream of starting his own practice one day. One day that moment happened and I will never forget it. I was around nine years old, when my father came home ecstatic because his dream had finally come true! He was offered an opportunity to purchase his colleague’s medical practice and start his own clinic practicing internal medicine in Los Angeles.  He had the vision from the very beginning as an immigrant coming to America to start his own business. That was his American Dream and it may have taken many years, but he made it come true!  So as you can see, my father’s presence in my life has been an incredible example and influence on me of what it means to be a true success and a great leader: hard work, patience, resilience, strength to overcome obstacles like racism, injustice, humility, devotion to family, having the charisma and inspiration to elevate others and lead, and achieving the American Dream. So to me, my father is the person I most admire and honor. And my parents, I honor and respect them for giving us life itself. They made countless sacrifices as they cared for and led us through childhood, provided us with the necessities of life, through all the hardship, the moving from country to new country, home to new home, city to new city, starting over, as many times as it took until we found the right place to be to start our American Dream. I love my father and my mother too, and honor them with my life right now, living it the best way I can and being a reflection of all their lessons and sacrifice. I’m really proud to be their daughter and very proud to inherit so many of father’s physical traits, values, and morals, and to carry on our family legacy through service to others.

My maternal Grandfather, Senator Albert Liu:
The second person that I admire the most is my maternal grandfather, Senator Albert Liu, who served the Taiwanese government as a Senator for almost 30 years until his retirement. I’m so grateful I had the chance to have a relationship with him while he was living. He was a wonderful role model about living a life of service to his people, his community, and country. He was an eloquent, honorable, and wise man, and could hit a tennis ball like no other. I thank him and honor him for the life he gave my mother.  I have wonderful memories of playing tennis with him, listening to stories about all his travels, his politics, and learning about the history of China and Taiwan through his experiences in the Taiwan Senate and hearing stories about my mother’s family. He also inspired me to live a life with a consciousness of improving humanity, exposing me to the values of loyalty to one’s country, to bettering the life of others in our community and the world, and living a life of service. My grandfather was a great presence, calm, ambitious, and accomplished much in his life for his country that he loved dearly, while raising a family. He escaped China with his family, which included my mother at the time, in 1949 when the communists invaded China, and traveled to Taiwan by boat in order to give them a better life of freedom and new beginnings. I will always remember him and honor him and share his legacy to future generations including my daughter. It’s about building a greater foundation for each generation. That’s our job as parents and leaders, to take the best attributes of every generation and continue sharing the stories of the past, and incorporate them into our lives so they provide a stronger foundation for future generations and our descendants. There is power and strength in knowing one’s family history. It connects you to the past, so that you have the support and wings to fly as you move into the future. So I’m grateful for my grandfather, Senator Albert Liu, for his influence in my life. He was a true inspiration in mine!

My paternal Great-great Granduncle, General Tso Tsung-Tang:
The third person that I most admire and very influenced by is my paternal great-great granduncle, General Tso Tsung-Tang, who lived during the Qing dynasty and was best known as General Tso in the West and immortalized in popular culture and American Chinese cuisine with the famous dish, General Tso’s chicken, which was named in his honor. He was a visionary Chinese statesman and military leader and granted the titles of nobility, First Class Count Kejing and Second Class Marquis Kejing and later Wenxiang by the Qing imperial court. He was well-known for his military conquests, ending the Taiping rebellion which threatened to break up China, putting down another uprising, the Nian Rebellion, and most prominently, conquering the entire Xinjiang province for China. He was also a visionary leader and founded China’s first modern shipyard and naval academy in Fuzhou, which helped to increase trade and relations for China. I look at his legacy and see that he was peacemaker, and had a gift of communicating and leading people from all walks of life. He had an amazing way of connecting with anyone across his path, whether it was a person who lived in the villages and worked on the farms, to his soldiers who followed his lead, or communicating with the nobility in the Qing imperial court, all at the same time. He was really a leader of the people and that’s what I strive to be as well, to have that kind of connection where I can be of service to anyone I come across.  I think what I also gained from his legacy through the stories my father shared with me was that he was the epitome of a great leader: humble, strong, resilient, intelligent, a person of integrity and good values, poetic in heart, strong in spirit, one that like Alexander the Great, could empower his people to make change for themselves, and was inspiring. He improved the economic circumstances of the peasantry and believed traditional Chinese philosophy would help heal feelings of anxiety and unrest among his people, which ultimately led him to create more printing presses to publish the Chinese classics, an endeavor he’s credited for with inspiring later printing presses in China. He was a poet, a calligrapher, and led his people to peace and great victory in China, and served the Empress Dowager and Emperor very well during his time on Earth. He was a man of many talents and so what I took from his life was that it was important to live a rich life, experiencing it to the fullest, and the importance of pursuing all of your passions so you don’t have a bucket of regrets, but rather a bucket list that you’ve been able to accomplish. My ancestor also inspires and influences me to be a well-rounded person that has passion in many areas of life, because he was a person who used all of his talents in service to his people, to improving culture and society. That is what I strive for as well, to live a life rich and full of meaning, that I use all of my talents and abilities to enrich and enlighten the life of others, to live a life in service to others, to make a difference in this world, and leave a lasting legacy that I hope will be felt for many years to come.

5. Who has been the biggest influence on your life?  What lessons did that
person teach you? 
It’s not one person but truly one couple that has been the biggest influence in my life, and that one couple would be my parents, my father, Dr. John Wei, and my mother, Mrs. Annie Wei. Their partnership has been the most influential in my life. They were an example of real team and partnership, of sacrifice, vision, and working to make their dreams happen together. My father couldn’t pursue his passion and dreams without the support of my mother. She sacrificed a lot and gave up her career as a fashion designer and business owner in order to raise our family while my father could pursue his dreams, as so many mothers have done previously in our parent’s generation. That was something done back then. But now, women can have many different choices, and you don’t have to give up your identity or a career you love in order to raise a family. Women have the opportunity to decide what’s best for them in tandem with their partner and family. My parent’s presence in my life has influenced me to be a more compassionate person, more tolerant in my life towards difficulties and challenges, more patient when it comes to reaching my goals, and more resilient. They taught me to strive for excellence in all I do, and gave me opportunities through figure skating, sports, exposure to art, and other pursuits in my life to see what it takes and to develop the values, skills, the drive, and resilience necessary to make any of your dreams come true in any aspect of your life, whether personal or professional. I am most grateful for them for the opportunities they gave me, opportunities they did not have. They were tough and strict, and that toughness rubbed off on me in the best way. They may have brushed through certain areas and gave us just the Cliff notes of life, skimming the surface on some things, but looking on the bright side, at least they gave us some freedom to figure things out on our own. That has been a blessing. They taught me that life was tough, and that it wouldn’t be easy, and that goals in love, life, marriage, and personal dreams could take months and years to manifest. But they instilled in me the important values that I carry with me now as a parent, and values I now share as a leader; to always do the right thing, to have a good heart, integrity in all you do, to be a good person and example to others, to be respectful, kind in how you treat people, fair and firm if necessary, and if you need to part ways with people, always do it with class, and dignity, and self-respect. I wanted to share a quote from Nobel Prize winning Physicist Marie Curie that pretty much sums up their presence in my life and the essence of the lessons they shared with me, “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”  This is the essence of their partnership and influence of my parent’s life on me. I have so much love for them and all the lessons they instilled in me, which I now pass on to future generations, especially my daughter.

6. What traditions have been passed down in your family?
I think every family has its traditions that get passed down in a family. Ours has everything to do with our family. We like to have family reunions at every major holiday to keep in touch. We have a large family on both sides, so it’s important to stay connected. We place value on understanding the past and our family’s history to help us stay grounded and confident as we move forward in life and carry some of the family traditions and values to future generations. Being Chinese, my parents also recognize the day of someone’s death in the family, a time to recognize the life of the person and to celebrate their life and legacy. This is a tradition that occurs in many cultures including ours. But I would have to say family connection is of utmost importance and a tradition we maintain in our family. It takes effort but it’s worth it.

7. How has diversity changed in the last ten years?
If you’re referencing our culture and society, I think we have become a more inclusive and diverse culture over time, especially in the last 10 years. We’ve witnessed the nomination and election of our first African American president, President Barack Obama, and maybe in the near future, we will see the election of our first female president or even an Asian American president within our lifetime. These have been tremendous strides for our community, especially the collective consciousness of our world in moving towards a time where race and gender are always part of the conversation and an awareness of the necessity of creating a more equal and equitable society for all. But there are some areas of life and American society which racism or discrimination still occurs, such as what’s happening in the entertainment industry regarding the issue of opportunity and fair representation of society in the media and behind the screen. The “#OscarsSoWhite” issue that came up with our recent Academy Awards and the negative, unintelligent jokes that we were written and then delivered by Chris Rock were disappointing. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing at the awards show, and the discomfort for everyone in the room, especially for people of color, was palpable. Now, the issue is the whitewashing of Asian American faces in the media through the casting of Emma Stone in Aloha, Scarlett Johansson in Ghosts in the Shell, and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One in Dr. Strange. I almost think that whitewashing is worse than the lack of diversity and casting of Asian faces in more roles on TV and film. There is an awareness in certain industries and in the entertainment industry that diversity and inclusion is important however there is a lack of initiative or fear in making diversity and fair representation happen. I recently had the opportunity to speak with actor and activist, George Takei in my home, best known as Mr. Sulu in Star Trek, and he mentioned that stereotypes especially negative stereotypes of Asians can be very dangerous. Negative stereotypes that white people thought Asian people were like caused his family to be interned in prison camps as a Japanese American after the Second World War.  This had a life changing transformative effect in Takei’s life, so much so that he is an activist, and recently was part of the group of Asian American Academy members that wrote a letter to the Academy denigrating the outrageous stereotyping of Asian Americans during the Oscars, even to the point of using innocent children as the butt of their jokes. So this is a serious issue that affects all of us in the Asian Pacific community whether we like it or not. The reason why we must all support diversity in all industries, especially programming in TV and film, is because the media can be used as a powerful and influential tool for good or for evil. It can be used to perpetuate negative stereotypes into the collective unconscious and subconscious dialogue of society that will eventually affect the roles we play in our individual communities and industries we live and work in. It is one of the reasons why when I was a child, my family was placed in an apartment building full of other minorities because as Asians, we were not able or allowed to get housing with whites. This was in the 1970’s, but racism existed at that time and our society has gotten better and come a long way, but there is still so much work to be done in other areas that discrimination or a lack of inclusion is still felt.
So because of my life experience, I am very passionate about changing and breaking these negative stereotypes that exist and very active in my community as an activist to change things and make a difference in improving the lives of people in our community so we get a fair shot at the table. My husband and I are involved with fantastic groups like NAAAP, The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, APIA Vote, and other groups. Even in the work we do as individuals is all devoted to inspiring people and helping them change the way people perceive Asian Americans in society at large (my work as a hypnotherapist/motivational speaker/TV-radio host, and host of See the Way with Panney Wei and my husband, Christopher Chen’s work as a producer; many of his recent films, Year of the Yao, Linsanity, Sneakerheadz, and Looper help to defy negative stereotypes of Asian Americans and instead, elevate our community). My message to our community is that people may underestimate you in your lifetime, but if you have a humble heart, work hard, speak up, stay strong, and you bide your time, the truth will always be revealed. We, as a community, will rise!

BIO: Panney Wei is an award-winning writer, TV-Radio host, hypnotherapist, and motivational speaker on the power of the mind and achieving one’s potential, inspiring people to break through negative patterns, overcome obstacles, and achieve their dreams in their personal and professional lives. She is the recipient of the “Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business” award, The National Association of Asian MBA’s (now ASCEND) “Top 40 Global Emerging Leaders” award, an Honoree for the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women Making a Difference Awards and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Women in Business awards, and featured in the “First 100 People” project for Panney is the CEO of See the Way Consulting, giving individuals the tools, solutions, wisdom, both personally, professionally, and spiritually, to overcome life’s obstacles, achieve their potential, and manifest the life of their dreams. Panney has been featured on countless radio shows nationwide and provided trainings and worked with Fortune 500 companies such as McDonalds, NBA TV, OWN, Discovery Channel, Center for Nonprofit Success, Raytheon, Kimberly-Clark, Oracle, The Filipino Women’s Summit, Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, among others. Panney helps to identify the core issues and reasons for existing problems, and provide the insight, acknowledgement, and feedback clients desire, and the energy, inspiration, and the courage to manifest their dreams and to not only endure, but overcome their challenges, and thrive.  She is the producer and host of her podcast, “See the Way with Panney Wei”, featured on her website, and ITunes for your weekly dose of inspiration, positive messages, and interviews with some of the brightest minds, leaders in every industry, bestselling authors, and thought-leaders in our world. Granddaughter to Taiwan Senator Albert Liu and Great Grand-niece to one of China’s greatest statesmen, General Tso Tsung-Tang, famous for his dish “General Tso’s chicken”, Panney continues their legacy of activism and service in empowering organizations that are making a difference.  She holds the title of Honorary Goodwill Ambassador of California designated by former California Secretary of State March Fong Eu, and serves as State Secretary for the California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, Senior Advisor for the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), The National Asian Artist Project, NAAAP Orange County, Toronto, LA, and San Diego, and was the Founder and Founding National Director for Women in NAAAP (WIN!), a national women’s leadership program featured in Forbes Women and launched in 2008 to empower and develop female leaders in the Asian Pacific Islander community.  Panney is recently featured in the documentary film, Quantum Wisdom, (, as its host and one of the spiritual teachers, and is working on her first book on attracting the love of your life. She shares advice and stories on life, career, love, and motherhood through her newsletter, website, and blog, A Panney For Your Thoughts. Panney is married to Endgame Executive Vice President and Producer Christopher Chen (Looper, Linsanity, Year of the Yao, So Goes the Nation, Sneakerheadz, and Every Little Step, which was shortlisted for the Oscars) and has a daughter, Talia.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

What Does Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Mean to Me By Panney Wei, C.Ht.

--> What does API Heritage month mean to me? It means reminding us of our continuing influence, the growing potential of our community, and the power we have collectively as change agents in American society. Throughout American history, the Asian Pacific community has been attacked, disrespected, or even excluded (remember the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the internment of hundreds of Japanese Americans post World War II, and even what’s happening now, the controversy surrounding the #OscarsSoWhite and the deliberate whitewashing of Asian Americans in the media). But these challenges happen in life both individually and collectively as a community to make us stronger, bolder, and wiser. Stephen Covey once said, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” What happens to us as a community should not define us; instead it’s how we rise from these challenges in life that define who we are as a people and determines our character. We are incredibly resilient people. Let API Heritage Month be a lovely reminder that even if we are living in times where people are still being discriminated against, and we have survived the roles or rules of the circumstances we were born into or immigrated into and shaped by, that we can always change the course of our destiny, and break the chains of whatever’s holding us back around you, and continue to forge ahead and continue to make a difference in society. This is the time of the year where our community gathers together to embrace our culture, our values and virtues, and celebrate the achievements of all the amazing individuals and leaders in our community that have helped shape the fabric of society, made a difference in the world, and contributed to our community and our culture.  From the Chinese immigrants who laid down their lives to help build the transcontinental railroad to AIDs researcher, Dr. David Ho, who was TIME’s Man of the Year in 1996, to Ang Lee’s Oscar winning Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, to my husband, Christopher Chen’s film, Linsanity, which captured the journey of our friend, Jeremy Lin, on his road to the NBA, James Beard award winning Chef David Chang of Momofuku, Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Vietnam Veterans Memorial architect Maya Lin, author Amy Tan, or founder of Yahoo, Jerry Yang, we are prevalent and present in American society, included whether you like or not and inclusive, and there’s no stopping us. So let this month be a time of true celebration for our community, honoring our ancestors who paved the way, and the trailblazers who emblazoned them, and recognize the accomplishments of our fellow leaders in every industry. It’s because of all of our contributions and those before us that American culture is richer because of us, and better as well. That is the purpose of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage month to me! And as a parent, I feel it’s even more important now for my daughter to embrace how she looks, feels, and exists in the world as an Asian American and what that means, and for all of our children, descendants, and future generations, to understand their history, legacy, and where they came from. Knowledge is power and knowing one’s history provides purpose, stability, and the foundation necessary to keep you grounded as you spread your wings and embark on new passions, visions, and dreams for your future, for the Asian American community, and for all people, leaving a lasting legacy that will be enjoyed and cherished for years to come. Wishing everyone a Happy Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month from our family to yours!  

BIO: Panney Wei is an award-winning writer, TV-Radio host, hypnotherapist, and motivational speaker on the power of the mind and achieving one’s potential, inspiring people to break negative patterns and achieve their dreams in love and life. She is the recipient of the “Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business” award, The National Association of Asian MBA’s (now ASCEND) “Top 40 Global Emerging Leaders” award, an Honoree for the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women Making a Difference Awards and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Women in Business awards, and featured in the “First 100 People” project for Panney is the CEO of See the Way Consulting, giving people the tools, wisdom, personally, professionally, and spiritually, and the courage to overcome life’s obstacles, achieve their potential, and manifest the life of their dreams. As a mentor, coach, and guide to her clients, she helps to identify the core issues and reasons for existing problems, she is able to give them the solutions, insight, acknowledgement, and feedback they desire, and the energy, inspiration, and the courage to manifest their dreams and to not only endure, but overcome their challenges.  Panney is the host of “See the Way with Panney Wei” featured on her website, and ITunes for your weekly dose of inspiration and interviews with some of the brightest minds and bestselling authors and experts in our world. Granddaughter to Taiwan Senator Albert Liu and Great Grand-niece to one of China’s greatest statesmen, General Tso Tsung-Tang, famous for his dish “General Tso’s chicken”, Panney continues their legacy of service, serving as a Senior Advisor for the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), The National Asian Artist Project, and NAAAP Orange County, Toronto, LA, and San Diego, and Women in NAAAP (WIN!), a national women’s leadership she founded in 2008 to empower and develop female leaders featured in Forbes Women.  Panney is working on her first book on attracting the love of your life and shares her advice on life, career, love, and motherhood through her blog A Panney For Your Thoughts. She is married to Endgame Executive Vice President and Producer Christopher Chen (Looper, Linsanity, Year of the Yao, Sneakerheadz, and Every Little Step, which was shortlisted for the Oscars) and has a daughter, Talia.