Sophie is an ‘Alchemist,’ Creative Director and Personal Coach based in Los Angeles.


Say hello!

Hi. I’m Sophie. I’m really happy I meditated this morning. What did you have for lunch today? 

 

Tell us something you believe in…

You are 1 in 7,800,000,000. Dare to be distinct. Dare to be Your Self.

 

Tell us about the city where you live. What makes it feel like home? What are your favourite spots in this city?

I adore LA. The beautiful year round weather, the abundance of incredible fresh produce (esp. from local specialty farmers), the access to nature & culture, it’s ever growing creative design communities and delicious food scene. It’s a city of diversity and neighborhoods to be discovered. As trashy, healthy, transformative as your expectations. It’s a place of re/invention, where you can be, live however you please and no one judges or bats an eye. 

It’s a city of mirrors… it is what you make it out to be. 

Republique is my go to cafe restaurant, where the pastries are divine and the food is always pristine and heart warming. Roaming the gourmet aisles at Eataly & browsing specialty boutiques such as GARDE & ScentBar. Exhibitions at Los Angeles County Museum of Art when it was still open (now temporarily closed due to COVID-19). 

 

If we were to visit your city for the first time, what’s the one place we should visit that we wouldn’t find in a guide book?

A walking stroll around the Lake Shrine garden at the Self Realization Fellowship Temple in Pacific Palisades. A welcoming peaceful place for all faiths to recharge and contemplate. Do a walking meditation through the lovingly manicured garden, sit amongst the various stone seats throughout and see if you can catch their pair of swans frolicking in the lake. 

Followed by grabbing lunch from Erewhon Market. Yes I am recommending a grocery market, because it will change your idea of what a grocery store can be. Where the hot foods bar feels restaurant grade, insane-combo-of-herbs elixirs on offer at the tonic bar, and every experimental food trends can be found or debuts here. After all, their tagline is “If it’s here it’s good for you.”

Erewhon epitomizes LA: the healthy hipster stereotype, but more substantive than you had imagined. It’s a fun bougie place to explore, look at packaging, feel the vibe of new brands, eat healthy, drink something new and fun people oogling. 

Sit outside the market at the open tables and enjoy the special lunch combo you got at the hot foods bar. While savoring the sugarless raw matcha cheesecake made with coconut butter, paired with the green goddess superfood smoothie, feeling the light afternoon freeze, you just may start to ponder if it’s time to move to LA. 

 

What has impacted the direction of your life the most? What are the key moments or breakthroughs that define your life journey so far.

I grew up internationally between Taiwan, Chile, Brussels and finally LA when I was 10. Being exposed to different cultures and ways of living from infancy, it prepped me to befriend and celebrate diversity. I spent a lot of time alone, in my own internal world. What challenged me was my constantly changing homes or schools, I’d make friends and lose them yearly, as I’d move again. My father loved the arts so I associate my childhood with attending operas, visiting museums and listening to Classical music exclusively at home, until I started to explore other genres on my own in high school. I lived a very sheltered concrete jungle city life, rarely connecting with nature, without much religious influence. My conservative Taiwanese family didn’t know how to deal with my creative independent spirit so I went into stealth mode. 

Attending art college and discovering the rave/Moontribe/Integral Gathering scene in 1997 was my saving grace and for the first time I felt a sense of connection and belonging. Learning art and design on weekdays and dancing under the desert night to EDM on weekends with a bunch of creative open individuals were more healing than I’d fully realize. Listening to Psychedelic trance, drum n bass, breakbeat opened my mind, my soul and a gateway into the spiritual, invisible, energetic realm.

In retrospect I realize how incredibly developmental my path is. Each seemingly dreadful job, each encounter and relationship professional & personal, refined my skills, my eye, enriched my soul. My last boyfriend and I were creative twins. He’s a titan of his industry, where he created mindblowing lighting design and concert productions for the world’s top artists. His brilliant creativity shed light on the potential impact for mine. He showed me through his art and the way he lived, how much more I can open up and share what I love. He believed and encouraged me to express my creativity & magic. 

Life is an ever evolving dance, direction constantly in shift. I hold a vision for my future, with my internal compass pointed toward truth & beauty, all the while being open, flexible and present to the ebb and flow of this creative adventure called life.

 

You are more than your job title… tell us about your side hustles, wildest dreams or vision for the future.

Wise teachers have said our pains are ours to alchemize into our gifts to offer the world. The years of feeling creatively lost, has sensitized me to be perceptive to what makes someone and something distinct, what their unique essence is. I began to merge my spirituality of perception with my design practice. Where I incorporate the spirit of the person/project and design from the inside out. When I help my clients embrace themselves and claim their special something, there’s new sparkle in their eyes and I am deeply motivated and fulfilled.

I am obsessed and love the Japanese culture. When I learned about the meaning of Geisha (gei: art, sha: person who does), and their devotion to embody beauty as a way of life, it sparked my internal fire. To not only be creative at my job for few hours a day, but to attend to all forms of beauty in life… to be walking art. 

Now, I’m deeply invested in staying true to myself, to live my creative life beautifully, my way. To practice what I call, the Art of Exquisite Living.

 

All journeys in life have their ups and downs. Tell us about a time that you felt uncertain about the future. How did you overcome and deal with this situation?

Fast forward a decade in the working world… whether it’s social conditioning to belong and get on well with others (especially in Asian culture), or through the cumulative effect of little compromises, I found myself mindlessly flowing in life. I designed Barbie at Mattel, handbags in Taiwan, women’s athleisure, luxury sales at Stuart Weitzman…I was a Jill of all trades, master of none. Granted life was comfortable on the outside, but it felt lukewarm and lacked the sense of aliveness and purpose I longed to feel. Somewhere along the way, I lost my voice and connection with myself. I doubted myself often, whether I should focus on one thing, how to choose one, when I am interested in so many things.

Though a random dinner conversation with friends, they briefly mentioned a friend of theirs went to a Vipassana meditation retreat. That planted a seed and I looked into it after I got home and signed up for a 10 day silent retreat. There, at the Northfork Vipassana center, I met and witnessed my monkey mind. Initiated into how to observe myself, how to listen to my internal dialogue in neutral, and feel into my relationship in and with the world. 

While working as a visual merchandiser for Lululemon in SF, I was offered to attend Landmark Education. From that I learned the power of integrity and commitment. To be intentional, mindful, give my 100%.

The capacity to be self aware and reflect, laid the groundwork for me to rediscover through subsequent years, my own unique path and my ever evolving voice. 

 

What inspires and motivates you to do what you do? What keeps you going? What challenges do you need to regularly overcome? Do you have any rituals?

I’m deeply fascinated by the holographic universe, the power of human consciousness, and what it means to be co-creator in life. I’m constantly learning from the School of YouTube, scanning instagram & Pinterest for inspiration, observing, reflecting, alchemizing multiple teachings, being present and observant of life internally & externally. Regularly peruse for anything that rings my internal bell. Fashion, music, perfumes, incense, cocktails, food, pastries, chocolates, art, design, makeup, animals, nature, quantum physics, writings, poetry… anything that triggers an internal resonance of devotion to craft and beauty.

I am still strengthening my muscle to be my own champion, to be as encouraging to myself as I am with others, to no longer hide, to be vulnerable and share my perspective, to believe in myself and that it’s worthwhile to share my story.

I meditate everyday when I wake up. Some days it’s sitting quietly for 15 mins listening to the room’s hum, guided meditation from Dr. Joe Dispenza, or Abraham Hicks talks. The days I find the time to do this, I feel supercharged tapped into the field of possibilities. Sometimes creative ideas pop into my head, inspired actions flash in and/or I feel energized for the day.

 

If you could ask The Sense Network to help you to change one thing in the world for the better, what would you change and why?

Empathy & compassion. When we understand our interconnectedness, to each other  and all of life, we can rebuild our broken systems together to create sustainable solutions that honor the whole.

 

Hello World. Put yourself out there…

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