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Emotional Intelligence Is The Key To A Happier Life

With Anne Beaulieu

Published on: Mar 1, 2019

As a child growing up on farmland, emotional intelligence coach Anne Beaulieu always wanted to go to China. Anne had a clinically psychotic mother and a sociopathic father. China, for her, represented a sense of family, a sense of honor, and a sense that people cared for each other. That day came when she moved to China at 25 and married a Chinese. Anne talks about her role as a woman and a mother marrying into a different culture, raising three children with an absent father, divorcing, and building her own business. She shares how she found strength in her vulnerability to build a phenomenal business.

Emotional Intelligence Is The Key To A Happier Life with Anne Beaulieu

I like to read one review. This one is from CW Janke with the title, Relevant to Today, “Kimchi Chow has put together a solid program to help not just Asian women, but for anyone who wants to understand the struggles and concerns of Asian women. As a healthcare professional myself, I appreciate the honest window into a culture of people I serve routinely in the working world. This is a very well-framed show that can seriously help our perspective and awareness.” Thank you for your kind acknowledgment, CW Janke. I want this podcast to be the bridge to connect Western and Eastern cultures so that we can have more compassion in the world. Please keep reading and sharing this podcast. We appreciate your support and review. Join me in welcoming our guest.

With me here is Anne Beaulieu from Canada. Anne is the Founder of Walking Inside Resources Inc. She is an emotional intelligence coach, speaker and the author of The Emotionally Intelligent Way, a book series that assists us in becoming more emotionally intelligent in all areas of our lives, both personal and business. She serves her clients globally in English, French and Chinese Mandarin. She also held a Bachelor’s degree in Translation, a Master’s degree in Economics and she was a Chartered Financial Analyst. Her website is www.WalkingInside.com. Please help me welcome, Anne Beaulieu.

Thank you, Kimchi. That was a wonderful introduction. It’s my pleasure to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

You are welcome. It’s my pleasure. Anne, what was your life like before you moved to China?

When I was a small child, I grew up on farmland. I remember being seven or eight years old. I had a shovel. I was digging a hole in the earth. My brother was about five years older than me, came to see me and he asked me like, “What are you doing? I am digging a hole to China because I had heard it’s cool that opposite to Canada if I were to dig a hole straight down that I would go to China.” In my child’s mind, I wanted to go to China. I said to him, “One day, I will go to China. I will live in China.” He looked at me like I was this idiot and he was like, “Look around you. It’s farmland. It’s a forest. It’s cows and horses. How will that be possible?” because I grew up in a small town of 3,600 people. I was determined that one day I would be in China. That day came when I was 25 years old, I moved to China. I married a Chinese.

You learned French and English when you grew up in Canada, correct?

I grew up completely French. I have two sisters and three brothers. We’re six children. Everything was in French. No members of my family speak English to this day. They stumble in English. Everything is in French. The TV was in French. The radio was in French. It was a completely white bastion you could say little town, like completely white folks. I learned English when I was eighteen years old. That’s when I started and I struggled. When I landed my first job after graduating with my Master’s degree, that’s where I met my husband-to-be. I was hired by the province of New Brunswick, which is a bilingual province, French and English in Canada to work for the Treasury Department as a Finance Economist. My English was poor. It was limited. I was expected to deliver in both languages. I learned really fast.

That’s very interesting that you had a dream. There’s something inside you that you connected to China. 

Maybe it was because of what was promoted outside China, for me represented family, a sense of family, a sense of honor and a sense where people took care of each other. You might ask yourself like, “Why would a child living thousands of kilometers away dream of living in China?” That was because my reality where I grew up was horrific. It was anything you can ever imagine has happened to me in the past. For me, China represented safety. That’s why one day, I wanted to go live there because I felt somehow that I would be protected in that country.

That’s another book for you to write.

For the True Love of the Game: A Glimpse of My Life Story

I have written it actually. I’ve written a book called For the True Love of the Game. It’s a glimpse into my life story. I’ve shared it on stage. I’ve been very open about what I’ve gone through in the past because I never want anyone else to ever go through what I’ve gone through. I became open. I became vulnerable. If I could assist one more person or wake up one more person, that’s what I wanted to do. I have already written that book. It’s published on Amazon.

You met your husband in Canada. Did you communicate with him in English or in French?

In English. His French was minimal. By that time, he was a student in Canada. He is a Chinese from Shanghai. He grew up in China under the Communist regime. He told me he was the kid who had this little red book and he sang revolutionary songs on stage. He was born in the ‘60s. He came to Canada after he had a Master’s degree. He got a scholarship. In 1989, when Tiananmen Square happened, Canada opened its doors to Chinese students so that they could apply for citizenship. He applied to become a Canadian citizen. When I met him, he was already well on his way to become a Canadian citizen. He was already working. He was finishing another Master’s degree at the same time. For us, we communicated in English. I was learning English from him actually.

When did you move to China?

We were friends for two years and then we started dating. I was dating somebody else at the time. He thought that everything was going well. He thought that he would never interfere in that relationship. When that relationship ended, that’s when he came and said that he always had feelings for me. If I would entertain those feelings and I did. Within a year, we were engaged. Within another year, we were married. That was back in 1993. If you remember in 1992, Deng Xiaoping said, “It didn’t matter which color the cat was, as long as it could catch mice.”

Basically, China was opening its doors to foreign investments. Since both he and I were in high finance, he thought, “Why don’t we move to Hong Kong first. It will be less of a culture shock for you maybe. I’m going to go to work for an international bank.” At the time, our son, our firstborn was six weeks old when I moved to China. I had no friends. I knew no one. I had given up an Assistant Vice President job. That’s how much I love my husband at that time. I had given up my whole career. I was on a fast track in Canada. I was like, “Let’s do this. This is my opportunity. Let’s move to China.” We moved in 1993.

When you married your husband, did you ever consider the cultural differences between Chinese and Canadian?

I did not. I was in love. Love, the blinders and everything. I was young and naïve. It’s like I worship the ground he walked upon. My family though did. My oldest sister walked up to me and she said, “Hide your passport.” I was like, “What?” She was like, “Hide your passport. He’s marrying you for Canadian citizenship. He doesn’t love you. He is marrying you for your passport.” Many people over the years have asked me, “Did he marry you for your passport?” I would look at these people shocked and just go like, “No. He was already a permanent resident when I met him.” Their next question became, “Then why did he marry you?”

It was very interesting in that regard. My mother was different. She was more intrigued as to who he was. She thought he was polite. He was respectful. He was educated and well-mannered. There was a bit of everything. As for his family, they were very happy even though it created some problems for them because they were not many white people when I moved to Shanghai in their tiny little flats. Among 25,000 people, I was the only white. I had to report. They had to report weekly to the police bureau as to my activities. It was vastly different. It was because I was white. They wanted to make sure maybe I did not corrupt their mind. I don’t know. It was something that could add aggravation. Think about it, if you have to go report to the police every week, what did she do? What did she say? What did you talk about? All that stuff. Our whole family was open for scrutiny because their son had married a white.

What about your husband that made you feel that he is the right partner for you?

At that time, it took me decades to understand this. I’m so educated. I entered university at sixteen years old. For me, education was a way to get away from my family, to escape. If I could graduate early, I was free. It wasn’t about building a future. It was a way to build freedom. I have over eighteen degrees and certifications. I only gave you three. People laugh when they find out, they tell me I make them dizzy. Though I was intellectually brilliant, I was emotionally ignorant. For me, what I looked for back in those days, my mentality, which is less funny, was that, “If I am smarter than you, then I can overpower you and you will never hurt me.”

That was where I went with education. When I met him, it wasn’t, “Do I love him?” He was the smartest man I had ever met. By the age of 28 years old, he had already five university degrees. He was a genius. He was brilliant. He became one of the three forefathers who brought China to the world of finance. He was the head of Hong Kong, China and Taiwan for Swiss Bank. He was the head of all the derivatives market. He accomplished that within five years of working for the bank from coming in as a junior and nobody to making it to the top. He was the most brilliant man I had ever met. If you had asked him the question, he would have said to you, “She was the most brilliant woman I had ever met.” Looking back, one might ask, “What did love have to do with it?”

Probably you see from each other, you admire the brilliance from each other and that’s why you say, “I want to be associated with that person.” He speaks your language and you’re speaking his language, his intellectual intelligence.

He was highly rational. For me, I crave that. At that time, I crave that because if he was rational, he could rationalize everything. What I did not know is when we would have an argument, he would outsmart me because he would rationalize everything while I was more emotional. He wanted emotions. Often what we love in someone or what attracts us in them, later on, it turns out to be something that we dislike.

When you moved to China, did you experience any discrimination or did you receive better treatment because you are white?

When I moved to China, the main reason was I needed to learn Mandarin. If I wanted to compete in Hong Kong and finance, if I wanted to go back to work, I needed to speak Mandarin. I needed to read and write. The only way I could do that was by going to a university. I went to Fudan University in Shanghai. I took my eight-months-old son, gave him to my mother-in-law for safekeeping. During the week, Monday to Friday, I went to school. Saturday and Sunday, I went back home for the weekend. Right there, I was breaching many rules because China was allowing for the first-time foreigners to come in and study Mandarin. We were in a compound by ourselves. It was guarded. It wasn’t that we could come out, visit and whatever we wanted to do. There was no such thing. I had to report to the police bureau every week. When I wanted to go see my son, I needed to ask permission to go see my son because foreigners were not allowed out of the compound because we might corrupt minds or something. It was brand new.

The Chinese government was very keen on what we were saying, what we were doing, even the way we were dressing. Our clothes were different. Our haircuts were different. Our hair color was different. People who had come deep from the mainland back in those days, there was no such thing as TV or a lot of foreigners. We were stared at a lot. Leaving the country, if I wanted to go back to Hong Kong because at the time my husband worked in Hong Kong, so I would go back and forth. I needed permission. I needed a special visa because it was a student visa. If I left the country, that visa would be annulled. I would have to reapply every time I wanted to see my husband and if I wanted to see my son. It was trying to find a way to be able to do that. The way that I’ve found was Marlboro cigarettes and a Montblanc pen.

Did you bribe them?

I had to because I told my husband, “What the heck?” He was like, “Here are your cigarettes and here’s a Montblanc pen.” The cigarettes, I never understood why. Apparently, the nicotine level in the Chinese cigarette is very low. Westerner cigarettes, they have a higher level of nicotine. It was very well-praised. I got trained into how many cigarettes to give for what. If I wanted a pass somewhere, it might be two or three cigarettes or it might be ten cigarettes or a whole pack. When I got my student visa with an F visa, which was a business visa that was worth a Montblanc pen. I learned to navigate all those things.

Where did you get those things, those supplies?

My husband would give them to me because he knew. He grew up on the Mainland. He knew what would work. There was always a carton where we were allowed to bring certain things as long as we declare them. It was for, you could say, personal consumption, but it wasn’t really so I could bring them in. I have to ration basically, I had to be sure that I have enough for the time when I brought things, even alcohol. I remember alcohol like Blue Label. It was a world I knew nothing about.

He got it from Hong Kong. Every time you go to visit him from Hong Kong, you brought back all these things so that you can prepare for the next trip?

Yes, so I could buy these privileges.

When you lived in China, what did you learn about the people and culture there especially about the role of a woman?

The role of a woman was submissive. It was very interesting because I would observe my parents-in-law. They were both teachers. My mother-in-law controlled the finances. She controlled the bank accounts. She controls all the payments, everything. In my relationship with my husband, I controlled the finances. We had a joint account. I was responsible to make sure that all the bills got paid. That looks like women have power. You’re going, “No, it was a joke,” because women had no power. I watched my sister-in-law who had to obey. She was 33 years old when we met. She was not allowed to pierce her ears without her father’s approval. She wasn’t allowed to date without her father’s approval. It was no different for me. All of a sudden, I was thrown in a culture where women could be seen but not heard, where we were expected to do as we’re told. Being rebellious and having seen all that crap growing up where my father rules supreme, where my mother controlled the finances, all a bunch of victims, I had just exchanged one environment for the other. It clashed massively because I was a lot more outspoken as a foreigner.

How did you express the disagreement?

In Mandarin, there are words like, “Wǒ tīng de dǒng,” is “I understand what you are saying.” “Wǒ míngbái” is “I comprehend.” When my mother would ask me to do something that I disagreed with, I would say to her, “Wǒ bùxiǎng,” which means, “I don’t want to.” She would get angry because she was the mother-in-law, like what they call the Chinese Dragon. She had to be obeyed. I would turn to the language and say, “Wǒ tīng de dǒng.” I would switch gears. I would say, “Wǒ bù lǐjiě,” and that is, “I don’t comprehend.” She would say, “Nǐ bùxiǎng zhèyàng zuò, which is, “You don’t want to do it.” I said, “Nǐ zhīdào wǒ bùxiǎng zhèyàng zuò,” which means, “You know I don’t want to do it.” “Nǐ wèishéme yào wǒ zhèyàng zuò,” which means, “Why are you asking me to do that?”

There would be all this clashing like using language as a tool like, “I don’t understand what you want. I don’t want to do what you want.” Then she would do like what many mothers-in-law did in those days. She would go to my husband. Men like him were called the sandwich man because they were caught between their mothers and their wives. What he would say to her was, “Did you look at her? She is white. She is not Chinese. If you keep doing this, it’s going to turn really bad. She will leave, then how will you see your grandchildren?” Because at the time, we had already two children. She wanted to see them as much as possible, which was another thing too. The firstborn was a son. They were ecstatic. I could not understand what was it about a boy that could be so magical? That was another culture shock. The kid was healthy, that’s all that matters. They were like, “He’s a boy. He’s going to carry the family name.”

Emotional Intelligence: I was thrown in a culture where women could be seen but not heard, where we were expected to do as we’re told.

My parents-in-law came and they wanted to choose his name because that’s a tradition as well, that the father-in-law would name the children. They didn’t even ask me what I thought. They just went to work. At some point, my son had an English name, his name is Alex. They gave him a Chinese name, which was Han. They did ask me if I agreed and I did. I asked to be explained what Han meant. It’s Han, the Sundance sway and the character. It shows the Han dynasty. It was to show that my son was a Chinese descendant of the Han dynasty. They wanted for them since he was a mix that it would be a great name. At the time our last name was Chen, Fu Chen money. His name was Chen Han. While we lived in China, he was Chen Han. They were super happy with the first boy. He walked on water. Everything was great. My children’s first words were not in French. They were not in English. They were in Shanghainese. He spoke Shanghainese and he spoke Mandarin. When I got pregnant for my second child, you would think they would be thrilled. They were like, “Why? You already have a son. Why another kid?” That was like, “Huh,” another culture shock.

When she was born, she became Chen Ching. By the time the third child was born, when I told my mother-in-law that I was pregnant with the third child, she was like, “Why? Do you have any idea? It costs money, education. You already have two, one of each. Why did you want more?” That is not something we might hear in the white culture. First, when I got pregnant, I was quite sad with the third one because it was like that child wouldn’t be as welcome. She did become welcome because as soon as they saw her, they were deeply in love with her. It was interesting all those different perceptions based on gender and rank in the family.

Based on your experience in the Asian culture, Asian family, the father-in-law have the utmost power, next is the mother in law and then next would be your husband?

It was very interesting. Technically what you are saying, yes, but my husband was a country head. He was the head of Hong Kong, China and Taiwan for an international bank. He made a lot of money. He was a very high-rank official obviously. Therefore, my parents-in-law worshiped the ground that he walked upon. Even though my husband was obedient to his parents, the relationship was twisted because he made more money than them and provided them financially. Whoever holds the strength purses becomes a master of the house. He was the master of all these houses because we own multiple houses. He bought his parents a house. He made sure that they live comfortably.

Therefore, they bent over backward to please him. When he wasn’t around, it was my mother-in-law, because I talk most to my mother-in-law because it was woman to woman. At the same time, if my father-in-law put his foot down on something, if he became angry and threw a fit, the women did not dare to go against his wishes. It was very different. There were a lot of fights for power within the family as to who would lead. The name of my husband was Chao Min. When Chao Min was in town, he ruled. For me, it was witnessing all of this and navigating those power struggles.

I thought that because of your parents-in-law respect or yield to their son, they would not do anything that might hurt your feeling because they need to be careful because you are the wife. You can tell your husband cut off the supplies and things like that.

It did not work like that. A lot of it was unconscious. For example, when my daughter was born, I was doing my CFA at the time to become a Chartered Financial Analyst. It’s an international designation. It’s very difficult. The passing rate is 20% worldwide per year. It’s a three-year course. My mother-in-law wanted to help me. I was breastfeeding and my son was less than two. I had a newborn baby. For her, she went to my husband and said, “I want to help Anne. I’m going to take Alex and she can keep the baby.” That is the Chinese culture, many people expect that the grandparents come in and will do everything in their power to help.

For me it was like, “What do you mean you’re going to take my baby from me? It’s my son. I’m the mother. I go wherever my son goes, he needs me. I’m his mother.” It was vastly different. A lot of it was unconscious. For example, if I wanted to clean something and I used the wrong rag, I may not know this that there was a rag for the kitchen counter, a rag for the table, a rag for the bathroom, all these little things. Instead of my mother-in-law coming to me and talking to me about it, she would go to my husband and talk to him so he would talk to me in ways that I would understand how things were done. A lot of the time, it didn’t go well.

Share with us your journey in your marriage. How long did it last?

Our marriage lasted fifteen years. When we got married, the years we had together as a couple, as a family, two years. I was on the Mainland and he was in Hong Kong and he came to visit. By the time, five years into the marriage, I wanted to divorce. I was in China. I had no money because I had three young children. My youngest was six months old. I was like, “I cannot take it anymore. I want to leave.” I remember, the nanny because we had maids and things like that. She was a friend. I befriended the maids, which was something you don’t do in China. She was like, “You’re a fool. You are so foolish. Everything is joint. If you leave, you never leave a Chinese. You will pay.” There were all these things. In 2002, I waited for another year. We decided to work on our marriage. It was best if I moved to Canada with the children and he remained in China. We would see each other every three months or so. Every three, four months he would come, stay two or three weeks and then leave and go back to work in China. I became one of these Chinese women basically with the husband on the Mainland while I am in North America. It was vastly different than the white women here who had a husband, a father coming home at night to their children.

That lasted for another six to seven years. What we would do is he would say to me, “Give me two years, I’ll come back. I’ll stay with you with the children.” When the two years were up, “Give me two more years, I’ll come back, I’ll stay with you with the children.” It came three times, six years went by. When that two years, a third, because the third contract of two years was done because he was an expat. I said to him, “Are you coming home?” He got offered a job to be the head of IMG International. That was big. I said to him, “How much money do you need? Do you think we need? Because I grew up dirt poor. He gave me a number and I just shook my head.

I said to him, “Are you going to come home? I’m so tired. I’m raising three young children under eight years old.” Unbeknownst to me, I was so depressed because I was always alone with three kids. It didn’t matter that I had the white picket fence, the beautiful million-dollar home. I was alone. I had to live alone. When I went to bed at night, so exhausted because I played mother and I played father, all of it. The children missed their dad. In 2007, when he got the job offer, I said to him, “Are you going to come home?” He said to me, “In life, we do what we can, not what we want.” I realize at that moment how low of a priority I was on his list. I was a business asset. I took care of things. I said to him, “I’ve been patient. If you don’t come back, I will file for divorce.” He never believed me. Within four months, I filed.

I see that a lot and I experienced it as well in my own marriage. As a wife, it seems that we are the bottom of the priority list. Sometimes we’re not even on the list. Most of the time it would be their career, their parents or their children. Some responsible father would consider the children as their top three, top five priorities. If the wife is competent, she can take care of herself, most of the time the wife would not be on his priority list to care for, to take care of. I experienced the same way. I understand what you’ve been through.

At the time, it took me a lot of digging deep to understand what happened back in those days because after I found that saying that “You don’t divorce a Chinese, you don’t leave.” It was like my beautiful fairy tale, you could say it in a way, came to a halt. At the sound of midnight, I went from the princess to the evil witch. All the accounts were closed. There was no access to anything. The children became a bargaining chip. He wanted the children to move to China to go to school, even though they had been in Canada for quite a few years. They were westernized by then. He wanted the children to do schooling, two years in China, two years in Canada.

Emotional Intelligence: You don’t divorce a Chinese; you don’t leave.

It was ugly. It was an international divorce. It was like two wounded titans who went at each other intellectually instead of leading from the heart. It had devastating consequences on the children. Those were dark days because they witnessed how he was treating me. Even though I was saying to him, “I’m the mother of your children, please remember this.” He was wounded. It took us ten years before we talked about what happened in those days. We went to the bottom of it. I do want to say that he has become a very good friend.

It took ten years to get the paperwork done?

It took us a year and a half, like two years. Within two years we were officially divorced because you filed. It goes through the courts. After the divorce, it took three years for me to even allow him to set foot on the property because I was so angry. Within five years, we could be cordial. We could be polite. We could attend because the children asked us, “Please be civil. Let’s go to birthday dinners. One day we’ll get married. It would be nice to have my father and mother in the same room without them throwing knives at each other.” We weren’t that divorced couple. We became quite amicable. He had met someone. He had been with her eight years. What happened was she left him. He really loved her and I loved her too. She left him the same way that I had left him.

Is she white or is she Asian?

She was Chinese. He came to me and he asked me, “I’ve made many mistakes in my life. I see with time as ten years had passed and I see how I could have treated you better.” He says, “She left me the same way that you left me, therefore it’s me. I’m the common denominator. The problem is with me.” I said to him, “I cannot help you with her. It’s your relationship with her. We can certainly talk about what happened during our fifteen-year marriage,” and we did. It took probably a month. Every day we would talk for one to two hours. We made amends. We said sorry to each other for what we had done wrong. We talked about the things, the events that deeply hurt us and how it had affected our lives. One day we both decided that, “Is there anything else between us that needs resolution?” We were like, “Nope. From this day forward, none of us can ever bring that thing back up.” We became very good friends. I can call him in the middle of the night and he will come and vice versa. We’re here for each other. It took us a long time to have a united front with the children.

Is he in Canada now?

Yes, he is. He came back to Canada. When our son was sixteen, he decided that our son would go to a university because he went to a university early as well. He was accepted in Waterloo University, that he would live in Toronto for a year to help with the transition. He ended up staying two years with Alex making sure that he was okay. I was building my business. Things had changed. He was like, “You build the business, I will step up.” For all those years that he hadn’t stepped up as a father, he was now stepping up. He was present in Alex’s Life. When our daughter was accepted in the University of Victoria, he moved to Victoria. He bought a house there and for all her years of schooling, she just graduated in December. He saw her through. Our youngest got a scholarship. She’s now in California in a top school. He’s making sure that for the next four years she has everything that she needs financially. He visits her often. He does all that stuff now. As this one is well on their way, now he’s looking back to come out of retirement because he’s a financial trader. Some big royal bank and all these big banks, they’re looking at him to sit on their board. For him, the children became a priority.

Knowing things that you know now, what would you do things differently?

The one thing that I wish I had known was we refuse to look at versus. Remember when I said at the beginning that I look at education as a way out, a way to escape, to flee my environment. I thought that if I became educated, people would like me more. I thought that if I was smart, people would accept me more. I thought that I would become somebody. I keep saying, “I thought.” I thought a lot, but I felt little. When I said that I was emotionally ignorant, it’s true. I was this amazingly intellectually gifted woman, but who was an empty shell inside because what I had seen as a child had traumatized me so much that I ejected very early.

I did not know that I wasn’t feeling, I thought I was feeling. What that would look like for your audience would be, I might walk on the street and see a homeless shooting drugs, for example. I would just walk by. There would be very little empathy for that person. A lot of judgment with very little empathy. I was emotionally disconnected massively. I did not know it. That was because I refused to look at my past. I thought that if I reinvented myself, I was home free. Now, I know I am the common denominator with every experience in my life, the good, the bad and the ugly. If I want to create good, I must be aware of where I have been so I can change the programming that does not work for me.

May I ask, what did you see when you were young?

I will give you a brief summary. My mother was clinically psychotic. Psychosis is a disease of the mind. It’s an obsession on two things. It’s either on the person or religion. My mother’s psychosis was on religion. My whole childhood, she was pregnant with the child of Jesus Christ, fathered by the Holy Spirit. Imagine being a child and your mother has these ghost pregnancies. You think you’re competing with your siblings and with your father and mother’s attention, I was competing with God himself. I was competing with ghost children.

A moment when she would have her episodes, she would get locked up in a mental hospital. She’d be there one morning. Imagine you’re five years old, you get up in the morning and your mother is gone. You don’t know when you’re going to see her next. You just don’t know. That went on throughout my whole childhood. I’ve seen many of episodes where people came in and what you see in the movies where they pinned her down, literally grownups pinning her down physically so they could give her a sedative because she completely went nuts and take her away. That was one thing.

Her husband, my father was a sociopath. I used to thank that my father had the heart of stone. He was one of the hardest men I had ever seen. I remember at seven years old saying no to my baby brother who was his favorite. My father was so angry that I had made his favorite cry, the seven years old. He came to me calling me all kinds of names. He raised a pine chair, a chair that’s solid wood. He lifted across above his head to smash it onto my back. Looking at this man, all I could think was, one, “Am I going to die?” Two, “If I die, please make it quick or how many bones are going to break? Is it going to hurt? That’s one thing.

My father one day had a brilliant idea to sit in his garage and he took a winter tire. Have you ever seen a winter tire? Maybe you’ve had some on your cars, a winter tire of a car. A winter tire, they’re thicker and they have more threads. They’re deeper threads so they can grip on the snow better. My father sat in his garage and carved a whip in the winter tire so that he could break the will of his children. If you’ve ever seen the movie Roots, I don’t know if you ever saw that movie is I tell people I don’t have to see that movie. I know the sound of a whip. I know the feel of a whip on the body when the flesh gets swollen.

Asian’s Glass Ceiling: What you know is important because it’s what you do.

Do you think that’s bad? I was sexually abused by my father, my mother’s father. I was gang-molested by a group of fifteen-year-old teenagers. It was six of them. I was six years old. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Do you understand why in my world, I have eighteen degrees and certifications? It took me to meet my mentor, Dov Baron, before I started making sense of all this. I realized that I was thinking instead of feeling. That my smartness was a survival mechanism instead of something genuine, it was like, “I’m going to become smart. It was a skill. I’m going to hone that to protect myself.” How I had lived my whole life externally focused on others. Basically looking at the world like, “Are they going to hurt me?” Because to me, the world was a bad place instead of being loving and compassionate. Compassion, feeling, loving, kindness and empathy were qualities that I knew very little off. I had to learn how to feel if that makes any sense to you.

It does make sense. I understand that part. I think most of us, we use the intellect to cover the emotional part because we think that if you show your emotion you are weak. That perception still exists until now. That’s why you seldom see men cry, particularly Asian men cry. Thank you for sharing that. It must be very painful moments.

I used to be the wound, meaning that when I will talk about it, I would collapse and cry and feel a full victim. Now, everything that’s ever happened to me and I have been very public about it because I realized that my vulnerability was my strength. That if I became vulnerable, I could inspire people to stop doing that thing and stuff that’s hurting us and that we could all inspire one another to do differently. It’s like I took my anger and I turned it into this crystal fuel. In my openness, I built a phenomenal business. I would share posts. I was just beginning. I was nobody. People were coming in like five requests on Facebook a day, 10, 15, 25, 100 and I would tell my mentor why? Why are people following me? Why do they want to befriend me? Don’t they see I’m hurt? Don’t they see I’m screwed up?

He was like, “No, you are real. They can relate to you.” People were sharing their story. What was really sad was that my story as horrific as it was, was the story of millions and billions of people on this planet. When I understood that, I became a writer. I wrote 25 books on The Emotionally Intelligent Way series to assist people. I developed my coaching business. I have platforms where I share my articles. There are a million views a month. People understand. I now understand the power that we have to change our lives. We get to choose. We can hide. Asian men don’t cry. My ex-husband used to be like that, but I have seen him cry. In him crying, it brought everyone closer. Even he understood the power of vulnerability. It’s what sets us free. In our vulnerability, we feel our truths. We feel our purpose. We need to feel in order to know what we’re here for.

What is a healthy relationship? How can someone tell if they don’t have a healthy relationship?

First of all, people think that our relationship is with others, it’s not. We have one relationship, only one. It’s the relationship that we have with ourselves. That relationship is a vessel that we use with others. Our relationship with every single person is a different depth in that vessel. That’s determined by emotional boundaries. If you think, for example, if you can treat others better than you treat yourself, that’s what I used to think, I am here to say, “BS.” What we do is what we do everywhere. When I understood that a healthy relationship is an aware relationship, awareness of self.

When we are aware of our feelings and emotions, where they come from, who they remind us of, the past and things, then we use this awareness to develop a relationship with ourselves. From this awareness that we have with ourselves, we get to develop a relationship and awareness of others. Everything, every healthy relationship stems from our level of awareness. The more aware we are of who we are and what we do and why we do it, the healthier our relationship will be with others. There is zero blaming, zero shaming, zero finger pointing and zero guilt tripping. We are 100% responsible for each result in our relationships. I am an emotional intelligence coach.

I’ve learned about that too, but I don’t call it emotional intelligence. I’m sensing it that says about you cannot love anybody if you don’t love yourself. How did you develop emotional intelligence? Who needs it?

We all need it. We have skin and bones, so we all need it. I have this quote “IQ may get you a foot in the door.” You can’t land a job with your IQ but it is EQ, your emotional intelligence that will decide and determine whether you’re invited to stay. It is true. We may open our door to people, but if you see they are morons and they do things that we don’t like, it’s time to go now. How do we become emotionally intelligent? It’s awareness. It’s reuniting with the wounds within. It’s what we call the wounded child. It’s what happens in our childhood that hurt us. For me, I had to feel everything that had happened to me as a child.

When I did that, for a whole year I cried solid. If you had met me, I looked like I had stage four cancer. I had lost 25 pounds on this frame. I just kept crying like all my sorrow was coming out. On all that sorrow, there was anger, there was sadness, there was resentment. It had to be processed because it’s inside of us. If it stays there, then it festers. The wound needs to be cleaned and that’s the awareness. As I became more aware, I started developing empathy and compassion. Instead of resenting my father, I asked myself, “What happened to this man to become the way he is? When he was born, did he decide at two years old, I’m going to be a man with a heart?” No. My mother, was she born thinking, “When I am 30 years old, I’m going to go completely nuts.” No. What happened to them? As I went digging into their past to understand myself, I realize that my father was born right before World War II. They were ten children in his family and his father died when he was seven years old. He only has a grade four education. He was sent to work very early to feed his family at nine years old. He went to work in a logging place. Can you imagine a nine-year-old kid logging woods in 1940, 1945? My mother grew up in a family of twenty children. She was number four. She saw a lot of horrific things. Her best friend had been raped by her father, gotten pregnant and she died during delivery.

Nobody believed my mother when she would tell that story. Every episode she would bring her friend backup until one day even I went like, “This is a true story.” This was this woman who wanted the world to know what had truly happened to her friend. Because back in those days, in the 30s, 40s, they would hide that shame. They would hide the women. All these dirty family secrets would be hidden away. When I started understanding these things, as I was developing compassion for myself, I became genuinely curious about what happened to them, what makes them do what they do. I got to understand why I did what I did. It’s how the cycle of abuse gets perpetuated. As I became more aware, then that’s when things started changing.

What came to your mind when you heard your mentor, Dov Baron, asked you the question, “Who are you hurting by playing small?”

Back in those days, I was completely disconnected, but there was something in the way he said it. It gripped me. I went home that night. I started crying. For days and weeks, there was something awakening within me. I did not know what it was. I needed mentoring. I started asking around, who would mentor me, who could help me because I was afraid of going to him directly because I had heard that his BS meter was off the charts and I was full of crap. I was like, “Oh my goodness.” Lo and behold, he was offering a speaking program. You could become a speaker, a speaker training, an authentic speaker training, a speaker from the heart.

I was like, “I’m going to apply.” I started mentoring with him. During our first boot camp, he had asked each of us to share an event that had deeply hurt us as a kid. I went inside my head and I thought, “What am I going to say? Which one? What are they going to say?” I shared my event. I chose the one with the chair because it seemed better than many other options. People were looking at me shocked. I became very wounded. I was just like, “There it is. I share something and they’re looking at me.” I wasn’t realizing I was rejecting myself at the time. I was projecting onto others what I thought. With time, I realized the level of shock was not because of the story, it was because of my lack of feeling.

I had zero or little compassion for that child who went through that. It was like I was telling this story like reading a menu at a restaurant. I’m going to have chicken. Dov at that moment walked up to me. His eyes were so blue like the bluest I had ever seen. I saw the pain in his eyes. I saw something that I was unfamiliar with. It was compassion. He came at me. He knew that in order to make a crack in this thick skull of mine and that thick armor that he would have to have me spinning emotionally. I had to lose all the right answers because I was very quick with the right answers.

I was intellectual. I love being right. Think of FBID programming. It took about two and a half days of him nonstop talking about my marriage, talking about my children, talking about me, micromanaging my children, my impact on my children and my impact on my marriage. I went spinning and it became like, “I have no idea what was Earth, what was heaven, what was ground.” I became so confused because all the right answers were leaving. He would keep asking questions. I’m like spinning. At one point, I went, I said, “Whatever’s going on, I’m going to let go. Just one moment, surrender one moment.” That moment, that’s when the light, you could say there’s a crack in the head for the light to come out. I thought, “Whatever’s going on, I’ll be okay.”

That was the beginning because all my rage came out, everything that I had not felt came out. People that I thought were my friends walked away. People who I thought were not my friends stayed. There was so much. The whole time he walked by my side. He’s been my mentor for five years. I see him weekly. It’s phenomenal. That playing small to this day still applies. I asked him I want to hire him for a two-year contract weekly, two years. I said to him, “I went from a nobody to an international business. I am taking it global and I want you to help me lead the way.” He was like, “Okay.” Because playing small is never what we came here to do. We came here to make a positive difference in people’s life. Each of us each came here with a purpose. I am fully convinced of this and playing small serves no one but our ego.

Thank you for sharing that. It’s a privilege to find a mentor that you are looking up to that can guide you to do the place where you want to go. The mentor that you will be authentic with. You will be open completely. It’s wonderful. It’s a great experience to find that person. Congratulations.

There are many people. They say, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” That’s an old saying. He modeled for me what was being a great coach, a great mentor, what it’s like. I do the same for my clients. One thing that Dov gave me right from the start was undivided attention. I have never had undivided attention. All of a sudden, I had someone who could mirror back compassion. No matter what I said, I received compassion in return. It allows me the safety to feel safe, to look at all the past and everything and change. This was like redoing the puzzle.

Safety is something that I also provide with my clients and trust is a huge one. I remember back in the early days, Dov is international. He’s one of the top 100 speakers to hear in your lifetime. I remember back in the days, we’re at the beginning of the probably second sessions, he asked me, “How much do you trust me on a scale of 0 to 100?” I was like, “Holy crap.” I said I couldn’t BS him. I said 10%. I thought he’s going to tell me to get out of this office, to leave. Do you know what he did? I never forgot. He looked at me and he put both of his hands together and he says, “But that 10%, I know how hard it’s been for you so I’m deeply honored with this 10%.” I was like, “Wow.” All it was coming from a place of honoring. It taught me a lot about coaching, how to give undivided attention and how to build faith and trust in my clients and for themselves.

I noticed that your website has both English and Mandarin Chinese. Who are your primary clients, men or women, Canadian or Chinese-Canadian?

Women, Chinese and white. The Chinese women, they’re the first generation of born and raised in North America. Their parents have been raised on the Mainland. These children are very much bananas. They’re yellow on the outside and they’re white on the inside. They have Western values. They grew up with Adventure Time and Reddit. They’re very educated. They’re very aware of what’s happening in the world. They have Chinese parents who grew up on the Mainland or whatever else in Asia like they’re Asians. There’s a cultural clash. They’re what I called the Heritage Clash. They want to respect their elders, but they find it very difficult because they don’t have the same value. When they come to see me, it’s often they’re at the end of their rope with their mothers or they’re seeing their fathers do behaviors that hurt them, like fathers having mistresses. They realize things into their parents’ relationship that’s highly dysfunctional, that they wonder, “How am I perpetuating that? I grew up with that.” That’s when they come to see me.

They want to make peace and develop a healthy relationship with their parents. They realize that their relationship with themselves is unhealthy because they lack emotional boundaries. That’s the Chinese women. The white women are mainly women in business. They’re women in business, small to midsize and midsize up to $25 million in sales, who want to build thriving sales department. They want to build genuine relationships because in this digital age, what will allow anyone to come to the sale, not once that’s IQ but multiple times, that’s EQ, requires building genuine relationship. It requires emotional intelligence. When they come to see me is they want to incorporate emotional intelligence into every aspect of their business.

How do you want others to get in touch with you?

People can contact me on my website. It’s WalkingInside.com. There’s a contact form there that they can use. I am on LinkedIn and on Facebook. You can email me at [email protected]. If you go on my website, there’s a wheel that you can spin and that will allow a free book. Someone can win a free book. They will be downloaded in their mailbox.

Thank you for your gifts. Thank you so much for being on the Asian Women of Power podcast. I know that your story and your journey will touch the heart of the Asian community. I hope that they learned some valuable lessons here. Best of luck on your next journey, Anne. Thank you.

Thank you so much for having me on the show. It’s been a pleasure, Kimchi.

Links Mentioned:


Episode Quotes :

"I was intellectually brilliant, but emotionally broke."

"Chinese women could be seen but not heard."

"My husband was a sandwich man; caught between his mother and his wife."

"In life, we do what we can but not what we want."

"In our vulnerability, we feel our truths and we feel our purpose. We need to feel in order to know what we're here for."

"Playing small is never what we came here to do. We came here to make a positive difference in people's life."


About Anne Beaulieu

Anne is the founder of Walking Inside Resources Inc. She is an Emotional Intelligence Coach, Speaker, and the Author of TheEmotionally Intelligent Way©, a book series that assist us in becoming more emotionally intelligent in all areas of our lives, both personal and business. She serves her clientele globally in English, French, and Chinese mandarin. She also held a bachelor’s degree in Translation, a master’s degree in Economics and she was a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Anne’s website is www.walkinginside.com

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