Fun fact: I met Laura Chung in January, the week I broke up with my ex-boyfriend. I attended a reiki healing event with her, and was speaking with her afterwards when this break-up came up. It may have been a combination of having just felt her healing energy, being in the company of amazing women that night, and knowing in my bones that the break-up was the right thing to do, but I specifically remember Laura looking me in the eyes and telling me how happy she thought I seemed. She was right.
In all honestly, that was my very first contact with reiki, and it was a small exposure to boot. However, in the subsequent weeks and months, I found my mind wandering back to it, and seeking more information. Especially during times of fear and uncertainty this year, as I’ve turned inwards constantly for reflection, I’ve thought about how I could potentially benefit from this mysterious practice, and the knowledge surrounding it. Re-enter from stage left: Laura Chung.
I reached out to Laura, a NYC-based spiritual teacher, recently because I felt as though we could all benefit from a deep dive into her beautiful heart and mind (and selfishly I was incredibly interested in what she had to say myself, and with all featured interviews on Caro’s City!). She actually has her Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, but quit her corporate job in 2017 to travel the world in pursuit of meaning and knowledge. Along the way, she became a certified Kundalini yoga teacher in India, worked with shamans, astrologers, energy healers, and sages, and eventually became a Reiki Master herself. Here in NYC, you can find her as Kumi Dreams, hosting the Awaken and Align podcast, and teaching virtual reiki. I sometimes feel as though her Instagram is getting me through the day, too.
Somewhere along both her and inner and outer journey, Laura realized that the secret to life is within you. We all have the power to create the life of our dreams. I sat down with Laura to talk about what reiki really means, how we can understand and work with our own energy, and a little known thing called Jupiter Thursdays.
- Your journey, which I relate to so much, starts with you working up the career ladder in corporate America. “Expected” “aspirational” “status quo” are all phrases that come to mind when I think about that ladder. Today, you work for yourself as an energy worker, a healer, and so much more. What was your journey like coming into this new and fully realized version of yourself?
The words that come to mind when I think about my journey are “winding path.” It was not a linear journey whatsoever, and I really don’t believe it’s supposed to be. I believe you’re always on your path, and you get off of it once in a while to learn something or gain knowledge. I believe every relationship and experience teaches you something that prepares you for your destiny.
I also believe that you’re at the right place at the right time – always. So I needed to go through certain things to fully realize myself. For me, I was just at a point where I said to myself, if you don’t quit this job and find what you REALLY are meant for, then you never will.
- So, what is exactly that you do? How do you work with people? What does “hiring you” look like?
Ultimately, I’m a teacher. I don’t actually like the word healer because that implies I’m the one healing someone, when really I’m just the guide and channel. However, I have to be searchable so I use that term 🙂
This might be an esoteric answer, but I help people awaken to who they really are and align themselves to their own truth and frequency. We are more than physical beings; we are energetic beings with a specific mission here on earth. I help people open up their energy centers and heal from the past.
I help people to see another possibility to life, that you don’t have to live a life of “shoulds” and the life that is programmed into us to pursue. I teach online courses, I offer distance reiki, I am a speaker, I collaborate with brands to either share my story, teach a class, or lead meditations. I’m also venturing into the corporate world. Helping leaders incorporate more feminine energy into their structures is one example.
- So much of what you talk about is energy-related. Can you help us to understand what energy is, how it impacts us, and how we manifest the energy that we need, both internally and externally?
I love this quote by Nikola Tesla, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
You have to first understand that everything in the universe is made of energy. We are physical beings, but we are made up of concentrated energy particles. We look physical because the energy particles are dense and close together. Each of us has our own energetic field. In science, it’s called the Torus field. In yogic science, it’s the aura.
This energy field holds information that’s transmitted out into the world, and we receive information in return. Because we are energetic beings, we vibrate at a specific frequency and how high or low our frequency determines what we manifest into our physical reality. You can say, I want to manifest $1 million dollars but if your frequency doesn’t match that of the frequency of the money then you won’t receive it into your field. That’s why understanding your own energy is so important with everything in your life. Because, just imagine what information you’re sending out into the quantum field.
- Reiki is an area that I know woefully little about, and my only experience of it was with you, at the beginning of 2020. What is reiki, what can we use it for, and how can it integrate into our daily lives?
Reiki is a form of energy healing. I love it because it’s gentle, loving, and you just feel so relaxed. The Reiki practitioner channels Reiki and transmits it into the person through his/her hands. It’s used to de-stress, balance energy centers, calm the mind and body, and have more emotional awareness.
I reiki myself everyday because it’s important to clear our energy. Whenever you go out or have an interaction with someone, you pick up energy along the way. Reiki is like taking an energy shower and allowing you to only connect to your own energy.
- As a fellow female founder and entrepreneur, I’d love to dig a bit deeper into your entrepreneur story. How has this business shifted as we’ve all been confined to the home as of late?
My business went from 95% in person events and healings to completely transitioned online. I guess I’m lucky because I’m pretty savvy with technology and I pivot easily. I did have an initial fear-based moment of “oh crap, my next 2 months of business was canceled,” but I moved all my healings and events to be virtual. It’s actually worked out even better than in person because I don’t have to travel back and forth to the city. It’s allowed me to have more time to prepare instead of scrambling to get to locations. The key is to be flexible and not let fear get in the way of thinking on your feet in the present moment.
- Speaking of the pandemic, let’s talk about it from an energy perspective. How can we feel connected to ourselves and others during this time, especially without access to the healing power of touch?
First rule I tell my clients is be aware of what’s going on, but don’t spend all day watching the news and social media. The pandemic and how it’s portrayed in the media induces fear and fear suppresses our immune system and doesn’t allow our minds to think creatively. I believe fear is the deadliest disease we have to combat. It’s being aware of what we feed our minds, bodies, and souls during times of uncertainty. This is the best time to learn meditation if you haven’t already to ground yourself and get centered. It’s free to meditate and it’s literally the most powerful tool we have. Pranaym (breathwork) is so powerful to pump prana or lifeforce energy into your body. There are so many free resources on YouTube and Instagram. Try to get outside into nature as much as you can, too.
- I noticed on your website that you do Jupiter Thursdays… what is this exactly? And what do the planets and astrology have to do with our energy?
The first thing you learn in yoga is that yoga means unity. It’s that concept of oneness that we are a part of everything; the universe, earth, each other. We have the entire universe and the energies of the universe within us. Each of our fingers corresponds to a planet and energy. Jupiter is the planet of expansion, knowledge, opportunity, and higher learning. Thursdays are ruled by Jupiter, so I wanted to offer some words of wisdom every Thursday to help people. Every day of the week corresponds to a different energy. Mondays for example have the energy of the Moon (MOONday) which is our emotions and subconscious so Mondays are good days to rest, journal, self-care, and be easy on ourselves. It’s so counterintuitive to our Western cultural ideals of hustle, Monday motivation, and get after it mentality.
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