Today we’d like to introduce you to Lynda Nguyen.
Hi Lynda, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Are you familiar with Lynda Carter and the 1980’s Wonder Woman? Well, that’s kind of where it all started for me. Imagine a three years old, refugee, Vietnamese girl in 1981… utterly obsessed with the television show! I was spellbound by that golden lasso of truth and the boldness that this Goddess archetype inspired. I literally spun around atop our dining room table every time the theme song would play… Transformed… So much that when the preschool suggested I changed my (hard to pronounce) Vietnamese name to an Anglicized one (Ahh, yes, the soft prejudices of the 80’s; but that’s another article)… I requested it be Wonder Woman Nguyen. Of course, through negotiations and compromise with my wonderful Mother, we agreed on Lynda’ (after Lynda Carter). I was overjoyed.
Who would’ve known, though, that I would eventually see my own professional goals and soul calling to be, surprisingly, aligned with that of my super hero’s? It wasn’t planned out. I didn’t hang any posters on my wall. Far from it. In fact, albeit I was a brave little kid, I quickly turned into a self-deprecating, scared teenager and 20 something adult. It wasn’t until my late 20’s, my Saturn’s return, that I remembered my truths! Isn’t that always the case? So… had you told me in my early 20’s to hang tight (that the best is yet to come)… That there would surely be unimaginable twists and turns, deep loves, great losses, heartbreaks, a remarkable coaching profession I’d pivot to and be so passionate about, travels and adventures that would open my dear heart and soul connections that would save me along the way… I wouldn’t have believed you. That said, to any 20 something young girls reading this now… “Do hang tight… The best is yet to come. And trust me, you are powerful, you are ENOUGH.”
Most of all, I wouldn’t have believed you if you had told me years ago that the burning WHY I live by today is to work towards “truth-telling”… “truth-telling and freedom” always (similar to Wonder Woman). Hah. Whatever position, platform, role, or play I play, from year to year… My work’ is to advocate for truth. That’s the thread. And for me, this includes the breaking of all taboos and shame to get to the truth, the unlearning and training to support one another and our truths, the protecting and fighting for the most vulnerable and their truths, and the courage and love to always speak my own truth (whatever it may be in each new moment). Truth-telling, you see… will create the real kinds of authentic leadership, safety and freedom we all deserve to know.
Needless to say, leaning into the tender vulnerability and compassion that it requires takes deep heart work…
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It’s been a wild road, a heartbreaking road, a heart-opening road, and a blessed road… It was not smooth, by any means. I’ve learned to forgive mistakes by team members and connections, and I’ve also learned to ask for the same forgiveness too. There have been many nights when I would struggle with the business, the loans and the bills… Like anyone else. All startup/business owners get this! Trying to build a brand, a business and a vision takes to heart. One’s WHY needs to be strong. And, surely, I’ve taken some detours, through my own missteps, however, only circling back and/or creating new paths, with a wiser, clearer and even stronger mission-driven fire…
Then, of course, there were the many other times when my hard work and long nights would pay off… When my counsel, service and truth-telling to the leaders and teams created an impact that rippled… That made it all worth it!! To know we’ve contributed to freer and more empowering cultures. Right? Additionally, I’m always especially proud of the heart-intelligent leadership workshops I am to able to deliver with the executives and teams I work with… Coaching leaders on strategies to meet the bottom line while improving the morale of the team through authenticity and compassion is inspiring work (a privilege, indeed). Recently, this October 2021′, I released a few meditation albums on all the streaming sites — all about “Conscious Leadership”… Partnering up with a dear friend and Grammy-nominated Steven Halpern for the music. You might enjoy it…
When a creative dream I have (a dream that holds my deepest WHYs) would manifest… All my perceived challenges would feel like building blocks instead of obstacles. For example, in 2018, I was able to gather 20 diverse and phenomenal women together within a year — we released a gorgeous book, in light of #metoo, about truth-telling and freedom! You can find it on Amazon Kindle “Freedom and Feminism”. A lot of emotions. A lot of vulnerability. Especially during such an intense time in our personal and collective political history. Or, the nonprofit I launched that year as well, honoring the many trauma clients I’ve worked with and loved ones too who all deserved so much better (delivering comprehensive SexEd and EQ training to the schools and community) — which I am still working on (slowly, with the new Covid situation). I wouldn’t have had it any other way… This windy path, the broken heart, all brought me to this purpose, creativity, and truth…The compassion and connection I’ve discovered (possibly, because of the young ego and its mess ups) broke me wide open to a more expansive worldview. The heart-rendering stories I’ve been trusted with (through the cases and clients) have allowed me to live so many more lives…
I am grateful.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I specialize in the work of truth-telling and freedom… This work requires leadership development skills, emotional intelligence, courage and a conscious understanding of self and others.
This calling of mine can be seen through my work in the corporate world, supporting leaders to increase their EQ and heart intelligence while improving their team-building processes, negotiations, inclusion/diversity trainings, safety (sexual harassment/anti-bullying) workshops, sales readiness and performance trainings, etc. The legal studies I’m working on will add to my skill set and vision, helping with this truth-telling work as well…
This work is also seen in the activism work I do, the talks I deliver, workshops, books, meditation albums, music, movies, etc., that I create… Whatever medium I’m able to express my message through, I will gratefully maximize and share my energy with the world (to encourage more honesty and healing, which is not always butterflies and rainbows). Our society needs more space for all the hard conversations too (bypassing and/or chanting light and love, without clear action steps to help the most vulnerable, will not serve anyone).
I envision I’ll continue to do my best to create spaces where we can explore all the challenging issues together — with empathy, kindness, perspective, and the willingness to stay and listen. The last several years, especially, have been incredibly divided, and we’ve all dehumanized one another so quickly. My vision is to do better than that, to model a way forward where we can come together and explore our love, our loss, and the viable solutions within this political/societal framework, where we can change the system and we can all be heard and supported. Despite my own very open liberal leanings, I believe that we’re all more alike than we are different.
We’re all doing our best for our families, and WE MUST FIND A WAY (as messy, confusing, terrifying, exhausting, it may be) TO NORMALIZE COMING TOGETHER, to tackle the differences, to meet each other in the middle…
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
The Covid Crisis has reminded me that life is precious and nothing is promised. Never in our previous lifetimes (PreCovid) would we have imagined such a surreal 2020 — with BLM and the horrific police brutality, the Covid crisis and lives lost, the misinformation left and right, the wild elections, the Capitol Insurrection, etc. The world, specifically our beautiful country has been hurting and in pain for too long.
At the end of the day, we can only control ourselves, right? We can work on our leadership skills, and we can show up as clear and kind as we can for our community and connections. We can do so much, so worrying excessively will only make us sick. On the other hand, we can do sooo much… We can use our voice, whatever platform we’re given, whatever air time we have, to send messages of solidarity, support and awareness for the people and causes who don’t have a voice (or who need us to join the movement, to show up as allies, etc.).
Most importantly, these last year’s crises has urged us all to train ourselves to be better critical thinkers and to advocate for more critical thinking courses in the HS, colleges and career training… Wherever possible, let’s slide these skills into the curriculum. The state of critical thinking has been in a dangerous decline… This must be our priority for the sake of the next generations and our very democracy.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Other: LinkTree: https://linktr.ee/coachlyndanguyen