“I will not accept half-fulfillment in life.”
Why compromise on achieving your dreams? As a chiropractor and a business, life and relationship coach, Cynthia Chan merges two distinct skillsets and brings her own guiding principle into reality.
Cynthia is a practitioner and co-owner of King West Chiropractic, with an established mission of excellence in overcoming injury, achieving optimal performance and sustaining wellness.
In addition to her training as a chiropractor, Cynthia holds life coach certification from the Centre for Applied Neuroscience and recently added CRR Global’s Organization and Relationship System Coaching (ORSC™) to her professional arsenal.
In this conversation, Cynthia describes making a shift in her professional life, her keen interest in helping clients to achieve balance and avoid burnout, and the value she’s found in the ORSC training and community.
When she is most on purpose
As a mom and a busy working woman trying to keep her head above water, and as someone who’s been through the trenches in terms of trying to keep a small business survive – I can empathize and understand with what my clients are going through and what they’re trying to achieve.
One reason why coaching is part of my purpose is about how I feel after a session with a client. I feel energized, like I’m really tapping into what I can offer.
In true coaching, you’re not giving advice or trying to be too directive. When I really feel like it’s a good fit between myself and the client in terms of what they’re trying to achieve, I’m in the zone.
It’s about being in flow – being able to be really present and knowing i’ve been able to help as best as I can. Presence with the other person and presence with myself.
If she were to name a superpower, it would be:
I have a fairly large capacity to handle a lot of things at the same time. I run my chiropractic business, develop my coaching and run a family business with my husband. Hopefully I am a present loving mother. I’m able to keep a lot of balls in the air, as long as I am passionate about all the different balls!
On blending coaching with her career as a chiropractor
Coaching is a new career for me. It’s happening alongside my original career, which is as a doctor of chiropractic. I’ve been slowly building up my coaching practice alongside managing my clinic.
My life pre-COVID looked very different. I was managing a large multi-disciplinary clinic right in downtown Toronto with four administrative staff and up to 12 different practitioners, including ourselves – chiropractors, naturopaths, osteopaths and massage therapists. So pre-COVID, my life was being a chiropractor managing a busy clinic, and building my coaching practice alongside all of that. I’m married and I have a son who’s very active in elite sports, so I spent a lot of time driving around to practices and seeing games, which I love.
On what provoked her interest in ORSC
Taking the ORSC courses has really opened up a whole other world in terms of coaching couples and partnerships and teams.
When I got into coaching, I wasn’t really sure who my clients were going to be. I think I thought that I would focus on coaching chiropractors and healthcare practitioners, but my coaching practice has really evolved over the last two and a half years.
Just recently, I’ve changed my title to business, life and relationship coach. It feels right. Based on the experience that I’ve had coaching over the last three years, it really reflects my experience as a small business owner. I still want to work with healthcare practitioners in their small business setups. It’s life coaching, helping people achieve their goals and get through obstacles.
A mentor had told me about his experience with CRR Global and systems coaching. I decided to take the first course, Fundamentals, in person in February 2020. Then the world shut down. I’m now enrolled in a virtual version of the last course, Systems Integration.
I’ve learned a lot from each successive module, and want to keep learning. Knowing my learning style, I wanted to practice with the tools, so we created a practice group and have been practicing diligently once a month, which is great.
I really love and am committed to staying part of the ORSC community.
On her favourite Relationship Systems Intelligence (RSI™) concepts
The system is always changing. That idea has provided me with some solace and comfort, given everything that’s happened in the pandemic. The principle that challenges me the most is that every person in the system has a voice.
In terms of tools, the simplicity and the profound nature of the Designed Team Alliance (DTA) – it’s so interesting how much ground you can cover with that first tool. I’m actually being coached right now. A friend started certification and needed more people to work with, so my business partner and I signed up. Doing the DTA at the beginning was really powerful. It’s something that we probably should have done in 1999 when we first became partners. So much was revealed, even just talking about what do we do when things get difficult, how do we want this to feel.
It’s a really powerful tool, and very revealing.
On what is lighting her up right now
I’ve created a three-month coaching program to help people avoid burnout and balance work and life, which includes modules on boundaries and scheduling. I’m obsessed with those ideas right now.
I have a very large group of friends. Once I see someone as a good friend, then I accept that any of them are going to need various amounts of help. Many friends are struggling right now, as a lot of people are during the pandemic. The people that I’m trying to keep an eye out for are specifically friends who are single, living alone for 13 months during COVID.
Another friend has a fundamentally different sort of way of letting people in. She has a busy job and very little capacity left after her professional responsibilities. She prioritizes family and has a small group of friends because she knows that otherwise she would disappoint people.
I’ve been thinking about being accountable to all of the different people in my life.
On the inspiration for her guiding principle
An easy one is a poem that my very good friend Meredith spoke at my wedding. It’s a Russian poet, and the first line is – I will not take half. I will not accept half-fulfillment in life. I want everything. I want the stars and the moon.
I actually put that poem, titled as Inspiration, on my coaching website.
No, I’ll not take the half…
No, I’ll not take the half of anything!
Give me the whole sky! The far-flung earth!
Seas and rivers and mountain avalanches—
All these are mine! I’ll accept no less!
No, life, you cannot woo me with a part.
Let it be all or nothing! I can shoulder that!
I don’t want happiness by halves,
Nor is half of sorrow what I want.
Yet there’s a pillow I would share,
Where gently pressed against a cheek,
Like a helpless star, a falling star,
A ring glimmers on a finger of your hand.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko translated by George Reavey
Some of my patients have become coaching clients, it’s a natural transition. I have a Russian-Canadian patient who was considering coaching with me. I sent him to my website so he could do a bit of research. He said that poem is by his mother’s favourite poet. That’s what clinched it for him.
That poem is a source of inspiration to me because that’s at the crux. I’m trying to help people with coaching tools so that they feel liberated to not settle for half – to settle for less than their whole dream. To be able to achieve what they dream and desire.
Cynthia’s Resource List
Richard Powers | The Overstory
Min Jim Lee | Panchinko
Robert Kolker | Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family
Matthew Walker | Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
Malcolm Gladwell | Revisionist History
Rich Roll | The Rich Roll Podcast
Want to learn more about what RSI and ORSC can do for you?
Join Kerry Woodcock in a free Zoom session to discover what Relationship Systems Intelligence training accomplishes and how the program works.