I’m Alice Chen
I’VE NEVER FIT EASILY INTO A BOX.
I am many things all at once, and who I am evolves as I experience life and as life experiences me. Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace the totality of life and to give myself permission to live in fluid and convergent waters. I’ve come to see myself as…
- An omni citizen. I’m the composite of many different cultural influences, social forces & practical experiences, and all of these things shape what I believe, how I think, act, communicate and am in the world. I grew up in a multi racial Chinese American family at the intersection of East Asian and white cultural values. I speak multiple languages and have participated in diverse religious & spiritual traditions. I’ve lived, worked, & traveled extensively here in the United States and across the world. From Hawai’i to Arkansas to New Zealand, Bosnia, Peru – the people, places and cultures that have shaped me are vast and diverse. Instead of seeking to belong fully to one thing, I embrace a multiplicity of belonging.
- A multipotentialite. My friends tell me that I’ve lived “many lives in this life,” and it’s true. I’ve seen that there are lots of personal and professional avenues that put my skills to use and bring me joy. I’ve done the traditional corporate nine to five. I’ve also taught elementary school, run an art gallery, started a jewelry line, worked in indigenous activism, designed and led leadership fellowships, led dive tours on the Great Barrier Reef and run the supplements department at Whole Foods. Rather than looking for “the path,” I look for “the next path that feels right for me.” And rather than existing within a frame that says “I must advance perpetually along one professional path,” I focus on creating a portfolio of work, experiences, & contributions that feel full and aligned and that financially sustain me.
- An epicure. My interests are broad and my hobby list is extensive. Check out my bookshelf and you’ll see books like The Creative Act (Rick Rubin), Emergent Strategy (adrienne marie brown), Coaching for Equity (Elena Aguilar), 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership (Conscious Leadership Group), Wayfinding Leadership (Chellie Spillar), and How to Be Anti-Racist (Ibram X. Kendi). You’ll also see a plethora of plays, young adult fantasy, and indigenous art books. Check out my playlists on Spotify and you’ll hear Lizzo alongside of Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra, ASTRO & AKMU alongside of Sam Cooke & Etta James, Randy Travis alongside Broadway show tunes. Check out my Netflix account and you’ll largely see Chinese and Korean dramas, Bollywood movies, and a lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Ask me what I’m doing on a weekend and I might be sewing or knitting a handmade wardrobe, foraging for mushrooms in the mountains, surfing, handbuilding pottery, singing at a local cabaret club, studying Korean, or taking a stir fry class. I love discovering wisdom in one arena and applying it in adjacent spaces!
- An explorer. To me, life is an adventure – full of incredible vistas for sure and also lots of uncharted territory and uphill climbs. I see the world as my classroom, the people I met as my guides & teachers, the situations I’m in as my practice arenas, and the choices I make as experiments that teach me who I am & what I’m meant for. Orienting to my experiences in this way has helped me access inner resilience & optimism in the face of the loss, tragedies, depression & violence I’ve experienced. And this has brought me into deep relationship with my own sense of trust, purpose, joy, & aliveness.
- A “yes, and-er.” I’m a dreamer and a doer. An artist and an activist. I’m creative and practical, visionary and strategic. I rely on logic and intuition to take me forward. I draw on wisdom traditions and hard science to guide me. I sit with things to digest them, and I take action. I make plans and I live in the emergence of those things unfolding. In decision making, I think people, process and outcomes matter. I believe in honoring myself and being mindful of those around me. I generally follow the philosophy of “Follow your heart, and take your brain with you.” I believe in “following your bliss” and “being in your flow,” and I also know that sometimes we have to temporarily walk a path that doesn’t feel “blissful” and “in flow” to make bliss and flow possible.
Rigor & Joy: I believe we can do hard things and have fun in the process. I believe that rest & play help us access creative solutions to challenges.
Creative Evolution: I believe in trying things on for size, learning what works, iterating over time to evolve & optimize and letting go when the time is right. I believe that life is not a line & that living is a creative act.
Interconnectedness: I believe that we are all connected and that it is our responsibility to make choices with future generations in mind.
Relationships: I believe that people matter, that humanity matters, and that we access our best selves in community & collaboration with others.
Craftsmanship & Artistry: I believe in the power of beauty, precision, excellence, & a job well done. I believe that our lives are works of art and that we are all artists whether we know ourselves to be so or not.
Liberation: I believe that there are many systems in this world that are designed to keep us small, separate, & scared and that no individual is responsible for or capable of transforming these systems alone. I also believe that social liberation & systems transformation requires each of us to grapple with and heal from internalized shame & oppression and to grow in our consciousnesses and empathy towards ourselves & our fellow humans.
B.A. Wellesley College, History and Geology
MEd.T. University of Hawaii, Elementary Education
Coach Training: Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching
Professional Coach Certification (PCC): International Coaching Federation
Yoga Teacher Certification: Southtown Yoga Loft (San Antonio, TX)
Other Certifications: Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, StrengthsFinder, Immunity to Change, Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness, Maturity Coaching
Previous Professional Roles: Curriculum Designer, Instructional Coach, Managing Director of Leadership Development, Public School Teacher