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How Transformational Coaching Can Heal Generational Trauma with Amy Lee

February 25, 2023

In this episode of Waking Up With Melissa Ruiz, I sit down with my good friend Amy Lee, a transformational life coach who helps the Next Generation take charge and become the architects of their own lives. Raised by Korean immigrants, she knows exactly what it’s like to feel shackled by cultural and societal expectations. As a recovered PTSD survivor with generalized anxiety disorder, Amy coaches young people through comprehensive trauma-informed education, practical strategy, and spiritual energetics to guide them to become the most empowered, joyful versions of themselves.


[00:46] Social media as a breeding ground for mental illness

[11:38] From YouTube content creator to transformational coach

[16:06] The importance of internal transformation

[20:21] Growing up with immigrant parents as an entrepreneur

[31:31] Being the first in your family to heal from generational trauma

Tell me about your journey to getting to this point in your career. What shifted for you when you decided to become a coach?

Amy Lee: I started out as a YouTube content creator when I was 17 and did that for almost two decades before I decided to become a coach, which I felt was more aligned with who I am. While I experience viral growth as a content creator, there wasn’t much in the way of mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. As a gentle person, it sucked my soul! But it was a gradual process—a slow death. I lived a whole glamorous life as a content creator, so I have more gratitude now that I’m not in it. At the same time, the expectations that come with being on social media makes it a perfect storm for a lot of mental illnesses. I have high-functioning anxiety. I’m not sure if social media is the culprit, but it definitely didn’t help! I loved it for a time, but the passion started draining later on. Social media isn’t bad on its own, but if you have a people-pleasing problem, it only gets amplified online!

If you had to do social media again, what would you do differently?

Amy Lee: I wouldn’t do anything differently, but social media brings society and depression to everybody. That’s why Gen-Z is one of the most emotionally-troubled generations. We never needed this much technology. A lot of good has come out of the internet; but, I just think there has to be more parameters and regulation around how we use it and how we show up. Social media amplifies only the good parts. Honestly, I have no regrets. I loved it, rocked it out, and now I’m good!

Why did you decide to become a transformational coach?

Amy Lee: I honestly think it’s divinely inspired because I have no idea how I got here! I got out of an abusive relationship at 22 and that was the catalyst for a lot of my interest in spirituality. I loved sharing what I was learning along this journey. I thought that if talking about my issues and my pain could help someone else skip a few steps, it would be worth it. So, I started a new YouTube channel where I talked about the mother’s wound and narcissistic abuse. I followed this business coach on Instagram who was an ex-therapist. I signed up for her program and had no idea what I was even doing. But I was getting exposed to this whole world I didn’t know about, and I just felt so late to the club! I joined Melissa’s psychedelics program in Tulum and got inspired to launch my own program. Now, I’m trying to discover the next evolution in my life and business!

What’s your vision-mission?

Amy Lee: The most powerful medicine is to walk the talk and not just rely on reading books and listening to podcasts or going through programs. How you show up and the rings of fire you go through is what truly defines you. I became a transformational coach because I transformed myself—growing up on the internet and learning to find myself. I want people to come to me and know that, if they’re at Point A and want to get to Point Z, they have the power to get through the middle parts. But it’s more about the internal transformation than the external: mindset, trauma, limiting beliefs, spiritual energetics. I want you to feel good about yourself—what I call “transformational self-esteem”. With high self-esteem, you can show up any which way. You can have your dream life, but if you still have unresolved trauma or you’re doing it for external validation, you’re just building a bigger hole for yourself. The transformation has to be internal, and it has to feel good!

How did growing up with immigrant parents impact your journey as an entrepreneur?

Amy Lee: As with most Asian-Americans with immigrant parents, there were so many expectations placed on me, and I had to look at getting rid of that tendency to work to the bone all the time. It’s like having myself in a chokehold, to do-or-die. Now, working hard is beautiful if it feels empowering and in alignment with what you desire. I love giving 200% to what I do. But I used to vomit or get really sick from overworking myself because of low self-esteem and feeling that I didn’t deserve rest. I wrote the affirmation: “My success has nothing to do with working long hours or trying to be the best at something. My success has everything to do with operating in BALANCE with presence and from intuition in complete alignment with my values.” I had five other affirmations taped to my wall, but I thought, “Girl, you only need one. Fold the rest away and put them in your journal!” At Melissa’s suggestion, I took a break for two months to rest and recharge, and it was the hardest two months of my life! But once I accepted that I wouldn’t want the money that came with working myself to death, the switch flipped and I enjoyed my vacation! It was a lot for me to learn how to relax, but I’m way better off now than when I first met Melissa!

What is it like to help clients of diverse backgrounds heal from generational trauma?

Amy Lee: Most of my clients have first- or second-generation parents from Nigeria, Russia, Korea, and many others. I feel that they’re pretty much a reflection of me. They’ve been through so much trauma and inherited so many limiting beliefs about money, creativity, career, and relationships. I try to be conscious about the women leaders I support in this space and apply their approaches to spiritual coaching in my own work. That’s not to say I only work with women of color. I work with so many different people, and we’re all more connected than we think!

Connect with Amy Lee

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An entrepreneur by heart, Melissa helps other women start and scale their business, while keeping their spirits aligned and embracing new challenges.

Melissa Ruiz

Hi humans I'm Melissa