by Transcendental Meditation for Women website blog by Janet Hoffman
4 August 2020
Multimedia artist YiZhou was born in China, raised in Rome, studied in Paris and London, and now lives in Los Angeles. An energetic and prolifically creative talent with degrees in political science and economics, YiZhou is an artist whose short films have been shown at the Shanghai Biennale, Venice Biennale, Sundance Film Festival, and Cannes Film Festival.
She’s a philanthropist and public speaker with entrepreneurial achievements including YiZhou Studio, Global Intuition, and Rouge Dragon Media. She’s currently developing and directing her first feature film Stars and Scars.
YiZhou is super busy but takes time out daily for the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. We are honored that she granted an interview with TM for Women.
JH: Please tell us how the geographical and cultural transitions in your life influenced the direction you’ve taken in your career.
YiZhou: Geography has a huge impact on my life and inspiration. Having grown up on five different continents and being fluid in many languages I feel freedom in my mind. Especially, pre-COVID, when I used to go to the airport on a regular basis, I was always astonished that I could walk through different terminals and listen and grasp words here and there in all languages. It often felt like being in an ad or some sort of trailer of some sci-fi movie. Talking about sci-fi, the script of the movie I wrote for my movie entitled Stars and Scars is centered on this cultural contamination—from memories and imagination from many countries—that inspired me.
JH: How would you describe your “vision” and what other influences inspired it?
YiZhou: I am inspired by endless ideas and visions generated in my mind, sometimes even for 12 hours on a plane ride. I have an overload of ideas so I need to type them all or record them all before I forget because of the succession of newer visions and ideas. I learned to radically accept myself and my own mistakes and others’, as we all have some sort of psychological traces from OCD, BPT, ADHD etc. to some extent in different degrees—some more intense traces, some lighter.
JH: Does your academic background serve you now in your work, especially as an entrepreneur?
YiZhou: Yes, I use my academic background for all I do. It helps me to better use language and diplomacy. It’s all about time management, team management and working with EQ (emotional intelligence) and selecting the right people for the right project to keep a certain consistency and team in the long run.
JH: Although you achieve success in different modalities, do you have an overriding or unifying goal in life?
YiZhou: Haha, I wish to continue to investigate and realize unexplored territories of creativity in my mind. And to be happier in my personal life—as much as I am in my professional life.
JH: Many people learn TM to reduce stress, enhance health, and enjoy spiritual development. What motivated you to learn the Transcendental Meditation technique?
YiZhou: A certified Transcendental Meditation teacher in Los Angeles taught me TM. I wanted to learn meditation other than in yoga classes. I felt the need for something more profound than the post-yoga breath in-and-out method. So I had the chance to be taught TM and my teacher is an amazing source of inspiration.
JH: Has TM resulted in benefits to your work? And to your health and well-being?
YiZhou: I feel more grounded and less triggered by fight or flight mode, as one of the benefits of TM is to calm the amygdala. I feel more lucid and crisper in my mind thanks to TM.
JH: Do you recommend that women embarking on a career or struggling to achieve in their chosen career take the TM course of instruction?
YiZhou: Yes, I feel TM is beneficial for all ages. And the younger we start then the longer we can benefit from its benefits, mental health-wise.
JH: What other advice do you have for “the next generation” that will help them find fulfillment and make the world a better place?
YiZhou: Embracing more equality, sharing, and compassion.
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