The “So Method” with Lillian So

Lillian is a facilitator of transformation. Not only is she a fitness professional, yoga therapist, and life coach, but she is certified in a dozen fitness and mind/body modalities, trained in Jungian psychology at the International School of Analytical Psychology Zurich and schooled in non-violent communication. A passionate community builder and entrepreneur, she is the founder of SOfit SF, Inc and the So Method, where she guides high performing individuals to living an easier, unlimited and fully rewarding life.

What brought you to be interested in this field?

It really starts with my childhood – being a daughter of Korean immigrant parents. In the Asian culture, they’re very blunt and hyper critical of many things.

My interest in fitness, wellness and dieting started at a very young age because I was hearing these criticisms at a very young age and it evolved to lots of different avenues from there.

I started to get into wanting to “fix” myself at a very young age and was very self conscious. I did go down some dark routes but eventually that route started to take a healthier and healthier turn. When I got into sports in high school and started to realize the health benefits like gaining strength, etc, I knew I wanted to explore more in this passion.

When I got into my 20’s I realized that people not only need help in fitness and nutrition but they also need help with their mental health and articulating their feelings and understanding what’s going on beyond fitness and nutrition.

What did you do?

I started understanding more mind and body stuff and all these things and was left with all this knowledge. When I realized everything needed to come together like fitness + yoga + nutrition, it was very overwhelming but I just started to take action.

I started by creating my company So Fit and had the tagline, “You are as physically fit as you are emotionally, mentally, spiritually.” I started by helping people who came to me wanting to get fit, not only get fit but also help in every other area and eventually came up with a 5-step process called the So Method.

The 5 Pillars of the So Method

  1. Biology – we are biological beings and we have cells, organs, etc.
  2. Our programming – what’s going on in our minds, how we’ve been raised, what we’ve taught, all of our belief systems. That shapes the way that we behave and decisions that we make.
  3. Your inner compass – your inner compass is what guides you inside like your gut feeling and intuition. I teach people how to dial in their inner compass.
  4. The 4th pillar is communication because so many of us are out here burned out, not getting what we want because we aren’t setting boundaries, not advocating for ourselves, and we don’t even know how to articulate what we feel and what we need. The reason people are out here people pleasing, taking on projects even they don’t want to is because they don’t know how to say, “no”.
  5. Manifesting is the 5th pillar because you may hear that you attract what you want though, I’m not much of a law of attraction person but I do genuinely believe that life is your design and we are in a lot more in control of our destiny and where we’re headed than we realize. I really teach my clients how to manifest the things they want in their life as well.

The thing is we have to have all of these parts moving together. We have to be taking care of our biology, we have to get into the right head space, we have to listen to our guts, be able to speak for ourself and then truly believe that what we want is truly possible for us.

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How to Eliminate the Never Ending To-Do List

All of my clients are over achievers and people pleasers and because of that, there is a never ending to-do list because not only do they have to take care of themselves, they’re taking care of everyone else. Without first taking care of themself, the to-do list takes over and before you know it they’re burnt out and feeling lost.

Once we start taking care of the 5 pillars mentioned they can start to realize what’s actually important. The to-do list might still be never ending but it feels less overwhelming and you’re not really burnt out from it anymore either.

Using Reflection in Meditation

I think reflection is everything to growth and development. If you don’t actually look back on what has happened – the highs and lows, you can’t grow and improve. Reflecting is such an important part of success that most people don’t take the time to do.

Without doing this we find ourselves just on the hamster wheel of life.

Good times to reflect is whenever you really have the time because we’re always being bombarded by information and stimulation so I think it’s great to schedule in regular reflection even daily if you can, even if it’s simply reflecting on a high and low.

Another time that’s good for reflection is when a trigger pops up. Triggers are really any time you feel a sensation. Some of us are so disconnected from our feelings that we don’t realize when we feel anything, good or bad, or we think the only time we feel anything is when we’re happy or angry but there’s so many sensations that are happening all the time. Any time you feel triggered, like you clenched up, anxiety, or a nervous butterfly in your stomach – those are all good times to pause for a second and ask yourself, “What’s going on right now? What am I feeling? What just happened? What do I need? Is this an opportunity for growth or do I need to do something differently right now?” We should be looking for triggers as they are just information being shown to us.

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Reframing Your Day

Rather of thinking of a day as a bad day or a good day, think of it as, every day has highs and lows. Some days there are no lows but even on the worst days you can always find a high point.

On a day that starts out on the wrong foot, rather than allowing that to take away your power and spiral, you can accept it and find a way to take care of yourself through the lows. If we can look at our days as a series of highs and lows and everything in between, it can give us a lot of perspective and keep up from really getting into this trap of “bad days” and “my life sucks”.

How to “treat your body like the fanciest dream house you’ve ever owned”!

The biggest thing I teach anyone no matter what their goal is, is that results vary. Every body comes with so many different things and different programing, history, etc. The person that is on cloud nine right now could plateau in 3 weeks while, the person that is struggling right now might hit an avalanche of results 3 weeks from now.

The number 1 thing I tell people is to show up, do the work, and truest the process. Rather than saying, “This isn’t working, this isn’t working…” Trust the process till the end.

The clients that get the best results are the ones who surrender and really trust the process they’re on. The clients who are so attached to an outcome, they are the ones who have a lot more friction and who are not letting the process actually happen and are holding themself back.

Pay Yourself First

I ended up dropping two books this year and the first book is called Fit CEO that I co-wrote with my co-author, Rebecca and she’s a former CEO of City Bank. I started out as her trainer 8 or 9 years ago and eventually our relationship evolved.

In the book I asked her for her piece of advice as a woman of banking and a successful woman in finance. What she said was, “Pay yourself first.” I don’t know why but when she said those 3 words everything clicked. It made so much sense financially but it also made so much sense to me emotionally, energetically, and from a fitness and health perspective too.

If I don’t pay myself first, if I don’t wake up and drink my water first, if I don’t wake up and do my meditation first, if I don’t do my exercise, and take care of health and fitness first, then everything else is going to fall apart anyways.

To me, that was such a simple but profound lesson that has applied to everything.


Websites Mentioned

Lillian So’s Website

So Empowered Book

Lillian So on Instagram 

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