Raj Girn: My guest today is Winnie Wang, a trauma-informed licensed acupuncturist, shadow worker Reiki and intuitive healer, and a professor of acupuncture at Alhambra Medical University. She also co-wrote a book entitled Honoring Darkness: Embrace Shadow Work To Nourish And Grow Your Power. What a title. I don’t want to even waste a moment here, guys. So let’s just jump right in.
Here is our conversation:
Raj Girn: I want to, first of all, welcome the fabulous Winnie Wang to the show. Welcome, dear lady. I have been waiting to chat with you.
Winnie Wang: Hello, everybody. I’m so excited that everybody’s tuning in.
This is going to be so much fun. I want to begin assuming that people don’t know some of the modalities that you are an expert in Winnie. So let’s begin by outlining some fundamentals before we dive in, for anyone not familiar with some of the things that you do. The first thing I want to touch base on is what is acupuncture and how is it used in trauma-related work? Let’s start there.
I’m just going to backpedal a little bit, because some of the work that I do is esoteric. But what I want to say is I actually have four science degrees to from MIT. I have a degree in computer science and finance and marketing. And my last degree is in medicine.
Yeah. And I actually happen to be the valedictorian of my med school. So know that when I go into the spiritual realm, a lot of people are like “Winnie if you’re all in on science, then why are you also always talking about spirituality and God?” And what I want to say is, it really comes from my heart, because so many patients come into my clinic . . .
For example, my first year as an acupuncturist, there was this one lady, she was getting breast cancer for the fifth time. She would do chemo. And then it would come back and then chemo and then it would come back. I know I’m not God. And I know I cannot save everybody. But, maybe because my first degree from MIT was computer science and I’m really nerdy and I’m an engineer, so I want to solve this problem. I want to get to the root of why do people get cancer in the first place?
And I also want to answer the question of why two people will get breast cancer, two people get chemo, but one doesn’t come back, and one comes back. So this is why I would like to set the tone for the rest of this podcast. I don’t know if you’ve ever had this experience, but you can’t quite remember the password for this particular account.
Happens to me all the time. I’m in menopause sweetheart, like brain fog.
So the way that I approach medicine or every patient that will walk through my door is there is a password that can unlock everybody’s light or confidence if you will. So I kind of look at myself as a video gamer. I just type another password, another password, another password until there’s a password that can unlock your light and your confidence.
“The way that I approach medicine or every patient that will walk through my door is there is a password that can unlock everybody’s light or confidence if you will.” ~Winnie Wang
Oh my gosh, I love that.
So now to answer a little bit about what acupuncture is. And so very simply, when there is a blockage, there is pain. It doesn’t matter if it’s lower back pain, or maybe you’re hung up on that breakup with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or maybe you live paycheck to paycheck, whatever, you have a blockage, you experience pain.
Acupuncture is basically a way of diagnosing where the blockages are. So for example, anger is stored in the liver. And for example, fear is stored in the kidney. This is the traditional Chinese medicine mapping system.
So, when somebody comes to me, and let’s say, they have difficult eyesight problem. This literally happened to me. They found me on Yelp, and they’re like, “Hey, can acupuncture, restore my eyesight?” And I’m like, “Well, I don’t know if acupuncture alone can restore your eyesight. But you come to my office and see what we can do together.”
And so in traditional Chinese medicine, it says that anger is stored in the liver and the liver opens in the eyes. So then I said, “How long have you had this condition?” And she told me three months. I said, “Okay, girl, you have got to tell me, three months ago, what was the thing that pissed you off the most.” And she said, “You know, three months ago, I got into a fight with my sister. And then she set boundaries with me. And then she cut me off. And I’m angry because I feel abandoned.”
And I said, “Bingo! Okay, girlfriend, here’s the thing, you can be right, that your sister set boundaries, and you feel abandoned, or you can forgive her. And by the way, forgive you because you must have said something that triggered her. And then you can have your eyesight back. Which one are you going to choose?” She said, “I choose to forgive her and forgive me and have my eyesight back.” I said, “Good choice.”
And then we performed acupuncture to soothe the liver. Basically, the way to think about acupuncture is like there’s a road that has congestion. And then the traffic cop comes and says “Go here, go there.” So instead of a traffic jam, now the roads are moving again.
I love that. What a great analogy. I want to also touch base on something else before we actually discuss this in a bit more of a deeper manner. So we’ve just established acupuncture, and truly what it is and its true use and some of the science behind it.
And I just love the fact that you come from such a multidimensional background from an education perspective, as well as a cultural perspective. All of these things really align with some of the things that you have been talking about in your book as well, which we’ll also get to. But before we do, there’s one other thing that I want to talk about. We talked about almost like the church, which is kind of the science of acupuncture, as well as kind of the spirituality of acupuncture, if I may.
The other side that I’d like to touch base on, because this is now going to state. So we’ve got church and state, and this is, what is shadow work? And what are its benefits? Because you just rightfully already mentioned that you come from all of these multidimensional perspectives, whether it’s education, whether it’s culture, etc.
And here you are, you’re sitting with the world of acupuncture, you’re sitting with the world of shadow work. First of all, I want to establish for anyone that doesn’t know what shadow work is what that is, and second, what is that connection right there? Let’s talk about this.
Shadow work is the process where you are meeting the deepest, darkest parts of yourself. For example, with that client example, is where she is taking responsibility of the way that she showed up in her relationship with her sister.
Because it is easy to point the finger at the sister and say, “You did this wrong.” It’s very difficult to point the finger at ourselves and look at where we did wrong. It’s really funny because my teacher used to say, “If you point one finger at somebody, look at how many fingers are pointing at yourself.” I wrote this book after a divorce. Basically, I was with a man for 19 years. And during that time, I didn’t do a lot of shadow work. And I used to blame everything that went wrong on my ex-husband.
In fact, I think, if I were to write a list, he is selfish and he is negative, he’s critical, he’s narcissistic, and he’s judgmental, and he’s manipulative. He always wants to get what he wants. And the list just goes on and on and on. And he has anger issues, and he needs to do more healing on his mother wound and father wound and all of these things. And it’s really funny, because, at that time, when the divorce happened, I had already been a healer for a couple years. So I had been channeling love and light.
And it was like, bam, my ego got crushed, because I thought that I was better than my ex-husband. I was like, “He doesn’t chant mantras, he doesn’t meditate, and he doesn’t do all this self-improvement work that I do, and he has all of these things.” But it turns out, I did this exercise where I took the long list of things I don’t like about him. I crossed out all the “he” and I put “I”. So it became I am selfish. It became I am manipulative. It became I have anger issues. I am critical. I am judgmental. Because everyone is our mirror, whatever triggers us about the other person is actually like a report card. It’s like the mirror that says, “That’s me right there.”
“Because everyone is our mirror, whatever triggers us about the other person is actually like a report card. It’s like the mirror that says, ‘That’s me right there.'” ~Winnie Wang
Absolutely. You were honest with yourself. You allowed yourself, in a safe place, to say that I can have this discussion with myself. And that’s a discussion a lot of people aren’t having, which I feel is also part and parcel of why trauma exists within a person is that you can’t be honest with yourself. Even to at least explore the possibility that, perhaps there is another way of looking at this, that may get me to the answer, make me help me get to Nirvana.
Yes. It’s so funny because on this show we talk about confidence, we cannot have authentic confidence unless we really know who we are. Unless we really love who we are. Until we accept the totality of who we are and the totality of who we are, which includes both how we look, our skills, but it also includes our anger and our fear. In the spiritual realm, we would call this the light within or the higher self. So it includes our ego, but then it also includes this beautiful spiritual being that we are.
And so it’s funny because I’m actually writing a second book called Unlocking Light. It’s this process, we need to take responsibility of who we are. Because there’s no bypassing it, unfortunately. We can’t just say love and light, love and light, love and light and then become love and light. We’ve get to look at some of our shadow and form it and that is where the true confidence comes in.
I love that Winnie and it leads to this whole thought process that I just had now, and it reminded me of something that you stated. You said that most people reside in the realm of either unworthiness or arrogance. Can you explain this?
So there’s this keyword called humility. And a lot of people don’t understand that word. Humility means that I am divine and you are divine and I see everyone as a divine creation. So when we see that we’re divine and everyone is divine, there is no room for unworthiness, which is feeling like I’m not good enough.
And there’s no room for arrogance, which is, I’m prettier than she is, or I have more money than she is or I’m more skilled than she is. Basically, humility is where we stop playing the competition and comparison game because it doesn’t matter what she is wearing, it doesn’t matter how many followers she has on Instagram, it doesn’t matter what she’s doing.
As Brené Brown calls this in her book, I’m swimming in my own lane. It doesn’t matter if Michael Phelps is swimming in the lane next to me, I’m swimming one stroke at a time in my lane. Other people are in their lane. And when I stop comparing how I’m swimming to how other people are swimming, then I’m just in my own lane.
But you know what the big fundamental piece here is in what you’re sharing here, Winnie? This whole idea of how do I find my lane? And it’s similar to what you said, you can say love and light. But if you don’t know how to channel it, if you don’t know what it feels like, when it’s there, if you don’t know how to harness it, and nurture it . . .
That’s the part I think that people find hardest to do. So I want to ask you this. Where do you feel people need to be? Where is that place? And you talk about unworthiness and arrogance and humility. Humility, that’s a place right. A perfect place. Share a little bit more about that.
So the question is, how do we find our lane? How do we know if we’re supposed to swim freestyle? Or breaststroke? Or backstroke? How do we know? What is our zone of genius?
This is why I collaborated on the book Unlocking Light with four other authors.
May I just say one thing about that? Folks, I want to actually give you the full title. Because this title is dope. Honoring Darkness: Embrace Shadow Work To Nourish And Grow Your Power. It’s a whole process. Let’s talk about that right now. I had to cut you off for a minute because I just need people to know the full title because the title in and by itself as a journey. Let’s talk about that journey Winnie.
Yeah, so nature is like a clock. We have night time and we have daytime. So sometimes we do the shadow work, where we dive into our fears and our anger, our shame and go into the dark. And then sometimes we go into the light and we focus on what is our sole purpose, what are we here to do? And if you ask me, because the show is about confidence, the single one word key to unlocking your confidence and also figuring out what your lane or stroke is, is to figure out your service.
“Nature is like a clock. We have night time and we have daytime. So sometimes we do the shadow work, where we dive into our fears and our anger, our shame and go into the dark. And then sometimes we go into the light and we focus on what is our sole purpose, what are we here to do?” ~Winnie Wang
Ah, there it is, right there.
Because I used to go in front of an audience of people and I have what I call performance anxiety, and some people might have anxiety attacks in social situations, and the reason why we have anxiety is because our brain is asking the question, how will I look? But when we’re service, the question is not how will I look? How will other people judge me?
But when we have service, then it’s how can I serve you? So now the focus is not on the ego, but it’s on you. So when we figure out the service, we will never again have so many doubts because our heart is filled with service. And we just dive in. That’s it.
I love that. There’s a bunch of modalities that you utilize that we haven’t touched upon like the rear key aspect that you also use as part of what you do. How do you know what you should be doing?
So in other words, what I mean by that, because I think I feel this is very important for our audience that’s watching, listening and reading this. When do I know that Reiki is what I need to do, or shadow work is what I need to do, or I need to go figure out the acupuncture piece, because where it is showing up in my body will give me some insights into what’s actually going on? Talk to me a little bit about this so we can help people know how to make the right decision here.
I love this question. I’m going to give this an analogy to dating and using a dating app. We don’t really want to waste our time on dating. We’re like, hey, universe, just send me the right one. I don’t want to waste my time and date a bunch of guys that are not going to work out.
But nothing is wasted. We need to learn the lessons that we learn from dating boyfriend number one, two, three and four until number five comes along, and then aha we finally find the one. Sometimes you try this modality and that modality and it’s like swipe left, not this one, not this one. And then you go to this one modality and you’re like, yes, this is it. This is the modality I love. So Honoring Darkness is my first book.
The second book, Unlocking Light, I collaborate with four other people. Because precisely I want to give you like a flipchart experience where you sample many different things. And we run workshops, because I may not be your cup of tea. And my ego is not in it. You don’t want to work with me, it’s fine. Check out these other people. And what I really want to say is there is a modality out there that is going to vibrate with your body that makes your body sing and feel so good.
So one of my passions in life is to help connect people to many different healers. In fact, I want to become Oprah Winfrey, where I have my own TV show and I interview all these different healers so that you can be like, “Oh, I really liked this person.” And then you go pursue that person. And so actually just last month, I’m like, well, why do I have to wait to become Oprah Winfrey? YouTube is free so I can already interview other people, much like you’re having a podcast and interviewing a lot of people.
I can interview all these healers and my listeners can tune into my show and pick and choose the healer that they feel really resonates. So it’s kind of like a dating app where you can check out a bunch of people. You can come on to my TV channel and I find the one that works for you.
I love it. So I want to ask you this. I want to loop back to the title. I’m just going to remind everyone what it is: When will it be time for me to heal? This a lot of guilt we hold Winnie in wanting to be selfish because that word has connotations that are negative, right? Selfish to our needs.
But Mother Teresa, for example, I remember reading something where she said the purpose of life isn’t for you to serve others actually, it is actually to serve your relationship with self and the divine. And whatever that looks like for you is actually what people term as service, whether it’s to others like she did, or whether it’s service to self.
So I want to ask you this, because this is something that especially amongst certain types of stronger cultures, my culture, of course, your culture, as well, many cultures, actually, they find it very difficult to be able to put themselves first, because we’re taught that it needs to be about everyone else for many reasons. And that goes times 10 if you’re a woman. Help us unpack this a little bit for the audience.
How can they get themselves past this because I find especially in my conversations and the work that I do with my clients, the number one fundamental roadblock for them to actually be able to step into their authentic life is allowing them themselves the permission to do so and saying, I deserve to spend time on me. Let’s address that.
Very good question. So I’m in my 40s and I have a mom, I have a dad and I have two teenage daughters. I have people who I work for in a team organization. And I also have people who work for me. And being in the middle, and feeling like this person wants this from me, my mom wants me to do this. And then my daughter wants me to do this. And then my pastor and the Church wants me to do this. And then my sister needs this from me. The trouble we create for ourselves, is when we think that we are separate from others.
Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
So because I’m a doctor, basically, in Buddhist teaching, they say that all physical pain and suffering comes from three things. It comes from greed, which is I want what I want, and I don’t want what I don’t want. I want it my way. I want it like this. If you like it, I want it my way. That’s great.
You just dated yourself, girlfriend. I know that song.
The second is hatred. Hatred is where, I don’t like you when you do this. Or I don’t like me when I do this. For example, I don’t like me when I leave dirty dishes in the sink. Are you judging yourself? Are you judging others? Judgement leads to hatred.
And the third root of evil is the delusion that we’re separate. The reality is we all drink from the same river. So if I clean the river, everyone drinks cleaner water. And if I put poison into the river, everyone is drinking water that has poison. So what that means is, first and foremost, I get to vibrate love.
So taking care of myself is number one, because if I am not love, I have no love to give to my mom, my dad and my two daughters. I have no love to bring to my church. I have no love to bring to my assistants or my clients. Instead of calling it self care where we can feel selfish, I like to just delete the word self and just put in the word love.
So the question I asked is not okay. Do I need to go get a massage right now? It’s because if I asked that question of selfcare prioritizing myself, in the back of my mind, I might feel like, Oh, I’m guilty. All these people want something from me, I have 10,000 emails to write, but I’m taking time out for me. But instead of asking that question I just asked, what would create the most love in this moment for the entire universe? And the answer might be rejuvenating my body, which is a temple.
It’s like we’ve got to charge the iPhone. So that has juice to us. So when we ask the question, what will create the most love, peace and harmony in the universe? Then the answer might naturally lead to getting a massage. Or it might lead to, I need to write that email for Pastor Peter. It might lead to I need to call my mom right now. But instead of coming from obligation, it comes from this is going to bring the most love to the universe.
“When we ask the question, what will create the most love, peace and harmony in the universe? Then the answer might naturally lead to getting a massage. Or it might lead to, I need to write that email for Pastor Peter. It might lead to I need to call my mom right now. But instead of coming from obligation, it comes from this is going to bring the most love to the universe.” ~Winnie Wang
I love that. Let me ask you this. What type of person would be your client? Because there’s so many things that you do.
It’s a really great question. My client is somebody who wants to have a lot of joy, fun, and just wake up every day feeling hope, and who is really curious about all the love that they’re going to be shown that day.
“My client is somebody who wants to have a lot of joy, fun, and just wake up every day feeling hope, and who is really curious about all the love that they’re going to be shown that day.” ~Winnie Wang
Because beyond modality, beyond whether you come see me as a private client, or group class, or read my book, or watch my TV channel, what you’re really getting is my vibration of fun and hope and trust, and love. So it’s really anybody who wants to receive that transmission.
Because words are only 20 per cent and the vibration is actually 80 per cent of the communication. If you feel really good listening to this podcast, then maybe you want to tune in and listen to other podcasts. On my website, I have a page of podcasts that I go on.
Let’s share that. And let’s share every place that people can go. First of all, let’s start with your website, that’s telling every one where they can go find more information about some of these things that you do.
My website is called mindfulhealingheart.com. And that’s also my social media handle, YouTube handle. And from there, you can click on book, and you can find my first and second book. You can click on course and find this really fun, traditional Chinese medicine, five elements course. And you can find out about the church or any charity that I do all of these things. And there’s also a tab on podcasts. So whenever we go live, I will put a link to this podcast on my podcast page. It’s just a really fun way for you to explore. It’s like a shopping mall.
I love you and your analogies because you are able to just fundamentally make things more accessible to the way that you explain them, like things that ordinarily people would think are complicated ideologies, you just really simplified it.
So I thank you for coming on to help people align with why it’s important for them to factor in many different things and not just stay in one lane. There are multiple things that they need to look at in order to make sure that they are actually checking in with themselves. And they’re trying different modalities in order to fix or elevate whatever the case may be, whatever’s going on.
Before I let you go Winnie, I want to ask you something that your two books seem to be very on purpose, because one is talking about embracing the shadow side, the darkness. And the other one is talking about expanding the light, right? I feel that we need to send people to go get both these books. Can you tell everyone fundamentally what the big idea is respective to each of these books?
If you’re very new to self help, then the Unlocking Light is better. I call it the vanilla ice cream. The vanilla ice cream is suitable for anybody because it’s really an introduction to many different modalities. It’s like a very introductory level book where you can get touched, moved and inspired to then go explore and heal yourself.
So the book that is called Honoring Darkness is actually for, I would say, pretty advanced people. Either you’ve been on the spiritual path for a while, or you’ve gone to talk therapy for many years, or you’ve already done a lot of work. And then you want to actually have an awakening experience where you want to really own your source power and really know who you are. So this work is not easy.
So you either want to take this book to a talk therapist and work it out with a talk therapist, or you want to be part of a group coaching program. Because when you navigate the darkness, you can get lost. So basically, you want somebody to be holding the light and then holding your hand be like, I promised to hold your hand no matter how dark you get and I’m going to carry the light so you don’t get lost.
Let’s talk about that a little bit before we let you go Winnie. Do you have programs? Is there anything that people can tap into outside of your work as a doctor? Because not everyone can come to you for that?
Yes I have group classes. So if you go onto courses, you’ll be able to find more information.
Okay, I love that. There you go guys. You just need to go head on over to the website. Let’s have the website URL again Winnie.
I love it. And I have got to ask you this for all the people that are the naysayers, people who are not bought into the discussion that we’ve had today, what would you say to them?
I can tell you how amazing ice cream is. But words are just empty. It’s just like a sales pitch. Even until your tongue has actually licked the ice cream. There are no words in my the world that can describe the experience of licking the ice cream. But once you’ve actually tasted the ice cream, then you’re like, Oh, this is good stuff.
So my recommendation, and that’s why I said check out the book Unlocking Light, because maybe I’m not your cup of tea. But I’m only 20 per cent of the book. So maybe somebody else is your cup of tea. So it’s really coming from the place that maybe you don’t like ice cream. Maybe you’d like a brownie. And that’s okay. You don’t like ice cream? Go for a brownie.
I love it. Any final words around when will it be time for me to heal? Any final words you want to leave everyone with?
The more that I heal myself and other people, the more I realize truly everything I need to heal is here, so I don’t need to wait another hour. This very moment. Even before the end of this podcast. You know everything that I need is already given and coming from this place. It’s just so magical everything begins to unfold.
And I’m going to tell everybody one last secret, which is I used to cry three hours a day, sometimes twice a day in severe anxiety and depression. I was physically and emotionally beaten as a child. I was raped. I had a divorce, I had parental alienation. I’m basically a refugee. I have had a life full of every reason why I should cry every day.
And in the middle of my pain, I used to go on Instagram, and I would look at all these happy smiley people. And I’ll be like, why are these people looking so happy? They shouldn’t be allowed to look so happy because look, I’m in so much pain. And what I realized and that’s why the full title of the second book is Unlocking Light: Receive Help to Discover Your Original Wholeness, which is like imagine that I have a candle and you have a candle. You don’t have a light on your candle but if you say Winnie can you light my candle? And I lean my candle into your candle. Now your candle has a flame.
And so unlocking light could be as simple as opening your heart and raising your hand and asking for help and saying I want to receive joy, I want to receive hope. And so that is something that I eventually transformed. And in the old days when I’d go on Instagram, I would get jealous. I’m like, all these people are smiling, what’s wrong with them? But now I realize if I want to be smiling, let me open my heart. Let me walk up to that person and ask them for help. So I do this all the time.
And what I find is the more I ask people for help, the more I receive their positive vibration and I received their light. It’s like trick or treating. I go to this house, I get a candy. I go to that house I get a candy. So what I realized is well, I can be full and abundant if I go knock on every door and collect the candy from everybody. That’s why I do this YouTube channel. If you tune in every week you have a different healer. It’s like every week you walk away with a nugget and it’s free.
“The more I ask people for help, the more I receive their positive vibration and I receive their light. It’s like trick or treating. I go to this house, I get a candy. I go to that house, I get a candy. So what I realized is well, I can be full and abundant if I go knock on every door and collect the candy from everybody.” ~Winnie Wang
Absolutely. I loved our conversation. I feel like we’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg of the discussion but so much wisdom has come out of it has poured out of this. Thank you so much. I want to ask you, if there’s any final words that you’d like to leave everyone with?
Yes. I’d like to offer everyone a song blessing. So if you will close your eyes if you’re not driving, allow yourself to be loved.
I love you. I love you. Ah my love here I love you. I love you. Yay.
Oh my god, I adore you, lady. I thank you so much for honoring us and for blessing us with your wisdom and for giving us that little moment of healing right there. I really hope that this is something that everybody out there is going to take and be thankful for, be appreciative for and live in the here and now guys. That’s all we have. Thank you so much Winnie for coming on and sharing your wisdom.
I offer a blessing every Wednesday. It’s called wholesome Wednesday. So if you like the singing and you want you can follow on YouTube.
Fabulous. Thank you, sweetheart. Thank you so much for coming on, folks, if you like what we were talking about, and you want to learn more about what we were just basically touching upon, I really encourage you to head on over to join all things Winnie Wang and mindful healing heart.
And as usual guys, I really hope that you got some real value from today’s show and will share it with everyone you know who you feel needs today’s insights. And I feel that it really is like most of us, right guys, it really is. I also hope that you’ll subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the notification button. I ask you every single week at The Open Chests Confidence Academy, so that you’ll never miss an episode whenever we drop them on Wednesdays. You can also download The Transform Your Confidence Show on podcast platforms for those of you who prefer to listen, which is great when you’re cooking, you’re driving and there’s other things going on.
It’s really great to be able to absorb words and the vibration that comes with that. And I also would love for you guys to do something for me. If you like what we talk about if you feel it’s valuable and if you’re getting some really good nuggets of wisdom that you can then action into your life and action up into your life, give this show a five-star rating. I would sincerely appreciate you for that. Then if you feel that it’s a valuable resource for assisting your journey to empower your confidence with actionable insights, I’ve done my job and that makes me really happy.
And then the final thing as I always say guys, because not everybody likes to listen or to view things. We also transcribe the podcast at our blog. And that is theopenchestconfidenceacademy.com/media/ podcast. I’ll see you all next week guys for another invaluable episode packed with insights and learnings like this one, to help you empower your work, your life and your spirit.
Take care of yourselves and I’ll see you next time.