Here's an interview that I did with Central Embassy for The Journal #10 in their "People" section. They interviewed a rapper, a chef, an artist, a healer (me!) about how we processed the past few months and what the "New Normal" means to us.
Lesson from the Lockdown
“Surrender became my best friend. Being able to see what was happening from a place of peace and presence took practice, but is becoming my most valuable tool during these times.”
Issued at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Thailand, the official lockdown was a forced pause on life as we knew it. Some welcomed the solitude and reprieve from their overly busied schedules; for others, the loss of routines, jobs, and in-person intimacy triggered a cascade of mental health concerns, ranging from low-grade anxiety to severe depression. Spikes in Thailand’s suicide rates during this isolation period pointed to the painful truth of just how many of our fellow humans felt unseen, helpless, and worthless. Cat Lau is all too familiar with this self-destructive narrative. As a holistic healer, she has regularly witnessed the ravages of unprocessed stress and trauma on one’s body, mind, and spirit. More often than not, her clients, almost all of whom are women, seek her counsel during seasons of difficult transitions and emotional distress. In response, Cat provides them with a safe space—both in-person and now fully online—wherein their feelings, particularly the taboo ones, can be freely expressed and explored. Through Reiki, life coaching, yin yoga, or a combination of the three, she empowers women to be their own healers, equipping them with self-regulating tools essential for their ongoing journey.
Lessons from Going Inwards
“These times are bringing up emotions that we have tried to numb in our pre-Covid lives. So much time to observe ourselves can stir things up. Fear can trigger these emotions that have been buried in the body, and because emotion is energy in motion, I teach how to connect with and release them. I also encourage my students to connect with their heart energy through guided meditations to access inner wisdom and peace. This helps them to return to a place of trust and love immediately, taking them out of fear and anxiety.
Personally, I was experiencing every emotion under the sky; being able to live out each one brought me to a raw and spiritual place. I had to give myself permission to fully live these emotions to connect with the changing world around me.”
Lessons from Going Outwards
“This was a time to return to what makes us human: connecting with our emotions and caring for our communities. I understand that for many, it brought them to a place of survival, which made me ask myself, “What can I do to serve?” I started offering virtual weekly donation-based yin yoga classes and we created a giving circle by re-donating the money made to Covid Relief Bangkok. A big heart goes a long way, especially during times of need, and there were so many initiatives that popped up.”
Lessons from Going Online
“I actually love the online space and have connected with more people than I would have met if I didn’t move my practice online. Of course, we can’t replace human touch with a computer screen, but I have found that energy can transcend space and time, which is why we can still meet virtually. I feel humbled that people have reached out with so much vulnerability and trust in me during these times.”
Lessons for Growing Forward
“I think it is wonderful that the holistic wellness scene in Bangkok is growing. I hope that going to a healer or life coach to tend to your emotional and mental wellbeing will be as routine and widespread as going to the gym to take care of your physical health.
With that said, I always share with my students to stay curious and choose practitioners, healers, teachers, or spiritual practices from a place of security and empowerment instead of fear and desperation. There are so many options out there that can support you along your journey, and at the end of the day you are your own healer and know what is best for you.”
Lessons for Central Embassy
“I would love each level of Central Embassy to correlate to our seven energy centres. Each level would embody emotions that relate to each chakra (Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye, Crown). This could be an interesting experience that brings people into both familiar and unfamiliar emotions, some comfortable and others maybe even emotions that we avoid or suppress. The experience can be self-guided, like a museum of emotions for people to discover more facets of themselves as they wander and wonder.”