“Wait, your name is Kyla too?” My hair stylist looked confused. “Her name is Chyla…it’s spelled differently but it’s pronounced the same,” she explained referring to her previous client. Later on during our therapy-esque chat session (you know the one where your hair stylist asks all about you), my hair stylist told me that Chyla was doing similar work. What a coincidence. Feeling shiny and new, I walked out of the hair salon and Yelped a coffee shop nearby. Walking in I noticed Chyla sitting down journaling—she was hard to miss—think if Jessica Chastain had a twin sister with a glow to her. We ended up talking non-stop for the next 1.5 hours, until we were basically kicked out of the coffee shop. I found out that this Chyla ran online programs for the group she founded called Female Rebels. She was moving into creating an even more inclusive community of women, especially for soon-to-be-moms. So cool. We said good bye to each other basking in the glow of what was possible for both of us as we moved forward in our own fementrepreneur lives. Just when things couldn’t get more sparkly Chyla goes, “Ummm…I’m totally coming to your retreat in October!” Whaaaattt?! In the afterglow of my GirlCrush coffee date WITH Chyla, I couldn’t help but wonder, why don’t I say “I love you, Kyla” more often?

Because it sure felt damn good hearing it from Chyla. And maybe I should get my hair cut more than once a year too?!


“It’s kind of like what I went through with my tattoos. Once I accepted the pain, it almost felt like not orgasmic, but pretty close.” Wil looked at me without judgment after I had just told him I was extremely adverse to pain and even feared it. I had chased him down on Airbnb after a search under “San Diego” and “Experiences” revealed that he was offering 3-hour “High-Vibe Personal Growth Adventures.” He had just come back from attending an LGBTQ retreat on the east coast and kindly fit me into his busy schedule. We met at one of those amazing vegan coffee shops that can only be found in California.

“So what can you replace with the statement of ‘I fear pain’?” Gosh, every coach loves a good coach question, but this one had me stumped, and I hadn’t even thought of replacing my limiting belief statement. Even though that’s essentially what I do in the Theta state for my own ThetaHealing® clients. Whoa. “Gosh, I think, maybe…I can be WITH my pain?” I answered hesitantly. Please be the right answer, please be the right answer. “How about I will be WITH my pain?” Thanks for adding the WILL, Wil.


“That’s so cool you get to coach Hollywood A-listers…” I was star struck by her association to stars.

“Girl, you know, they’re actually more messed up than the rest of us. Their whole happiness is based on whether or not they’re in the lime light. And when they’re not…” she breathed a deep sigh.

I was sitting down for coffee with a friend of a friend who had been in the personal growth industry since she was 18 years old. As she was talking about how the Crazy Rich Asians movie has put us Asian women on the map, I thought, how ironic…most of us are actually star stuck, more than star struck: we spend time wanting to be like certain stars (definitely Taylor Swift for me) but then in reality, it’s like that section in People or In Touch magazines entitled “They’re Just Like Us.” They’re dealing WITH the same issues we are. Nothing to be star stuck about. Or anyone on social media for that matter.

At dinner with two old college buddies who are now four with their two daughters who are 9 and 10 years old, my friend (the mom) said, “You know, I know my girls are still only 9 and 10, but I tell them not to be followers. I tell them to make decisions for themselves on their own terms. I don’t want them to just follow their friends mindlessly because of peer pressure or whatever.” Well said, Mama.

And if you’re curious about what makes people really happy (relationships) versus the life goals of 50% or more of Millennials these days (being rich and famous), check out this TED Talk about the longest running study on happiness out of Harvard.


  • Kyla Mitsunaga

    Global Happiness Coach | ThetaHealing® Coach | Author of WITH vs AT: Two Prepositions That Changed My Life

    KYLA MITSUNAGA is a Global Happiness Coach/ThetaHealing® Coach/Speaker/Award-Winning Professor/Founder of WITH Warriors LLC. She realized her true calling and passion for helping others when she won her first teaching award at Harvard. She went on to teach at Yonsei University in Seoul for 7 years creating unique and innovative content for classes such as Career Development, Global Issues, Cross-Cultural Communication. She even created a course on Happiness for Freshman and won multiple teaching awards. In 2012, she was invited to be a TED@Seoul speaker. She recently trademarked her TED Talk title WITH vs AT and turned it into a book as well as a retreat. In 2017, she embarked on a healing journey working WITH her depression. She decided to take the year out to finish her book, start a pop-up cafe in her apartment (serving no-salt dishes and no-sugar desserts), become a certified life coach, become a certified happiness coach, and most recently a certified ThetaHealing® practitioner. She has now realized that in order to become happy, we must first heal from WITHin. She has delivered innovative and dynamic corporate workshops as well as practiced one-on-one coaching all over the globe. When not speaking or workshopping globally, you can find Kyla swimming, baking (without processed sugar), writing, finding the best eats in Korea, and mulling over women’s rights. Kyla has traveled to 49 countries, delivered workshops in 16, and calls 5 countries “home.”