2011 Twenty Questions Interviews : Denise Wong Farah
20 Questions Interview
with Denise Wong Farah
Creativity and Life Coach, Artist, Writer
1. What's your name?
Denise Wong Farah
2. Where are you from?
Born in Vietnam, grew up in Canada, now living in Hong Kong.
3. Who are you today?
A creativity and life coach, a workshop designer and facilitator, a mom and good cook, an aspiring photographer, writer, and computer artist.
4. What do you do? (Elevator speech)
I help people think better, and offer effective & practical support for realizing ideas, creative goals, or being more creative at work and in one's personal life.
5. What's your story (how did you get here)?
It's been quite the adventure. A very happy childhood in Vietnam, which effectively ended with profound experience as a refugee in camps in Indonesia during the 80's, followed by settlement and integration into a western lifestyle. Led by the urge to return to Asia, I sought after opportunities to go abroad and got involved in projects in rural China, which afforded me (again) profound insights into people's lives.
This time, led by the desire to be more skilled, I joined multinationals to pursue some sort of career, with the idea of raising to a certain level for the pleasure of being able to give it up and walk away, and I did that 2 years ago when something else started to call out very loudly. During those years prior, I worked and travelled in quite a number of countries and had the international travelling career that I dreamt of. "Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake." Thoreau. I can honestly say I have done and am doing that, in parts, even if not in full.
6. Why is creativity important
I think some of us get to a stage in life where external successes and accomplishments start to have less importance. For me, creativity and spirituality go together. Sometimes there is little distinction between the two. So creativity becomes a way of being and seeing. I see everything through the creative process now and can be so much more compassionate towards myself and other people who want to realize an idea or dream and encounter frustration or doubts, etc.
7. When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
About 3 years ago, I felt an increasing need to express myself and to bring to life certain ideas, but had no opportunity to do so in my work environment at the time. There was much pinned
up frustration and a need to search for something better. I also noticed my growing resistance towards the structured life I was living, and a part of me was really begging to break free. I got
tired of leading with my head as well. And so I followed all these urges and leapt (literally).
8. How did you embrace it?
By keeping going forward without turning back even though it's tempting at times. This is a path of uncertainty and discovery, and it's what I wanted for myself.
9. How did that feel?
In allowing myself to follow my heart, it was enormously validating. I felt completely exposed on the stage that is my own view of myself, and I felt a sense of acceptance for myself.
10. Where has your journey taken you?
I've had a child, which was unexpected, and is probably the most creative act that one can do. I really believe this happened only because I followed my heart and left my corporate life I used to lead. I'm creating something each day and love that I have the freedom to do so. My inner life is much richer. I am able to see my old self in other people, and this is a sure sign that I'm grown from where I was. A lot of the principles I used to uphold have started to soften, giving way to more compassion, enjoyment and love.
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