Creating Connections: Feed Your Soul with Jennifer Ka
Cambodian-American Jennifer Ka has much to teach the world about taking care of the soul. Jennifer is a HuffPost writer, performance artist, educator, and queen of her own soul. Her website, Queen of the Soul, is a manifestation of her plans to share her visions, insights, and her love with others in order to help others heal themselves as she has healed herself where she shares her wisdom on topics such as healing trauma from war, Cambodia, healing wisdom, ecological healing, and the re-evaluation of benefits. Having experienced death at a young age, Jennifer has been and is still on a journey of figuring out what it is that will make her soul tick; what will bring her out of the pain and into the bright and shining world she loves to live in. Deeply connected to her Cambodian roots, Jennifer has worked in Cambodia as a writer and a journalist at the request of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, to interview and connect with survivors of genocide and explore and immerse herself in the history and culture of her family's country. Jennifer is the perfect source of inspiration when figuring out how to feed one's soul...she feeds her own soul with exploring ways to heal it and make it shiny again. Oh and with dancing, acting, and writing, too!
Are there any consistent activities or rituals you do to maintain a sense of inner peace? "Lots of things! When I wake up I try to pray to the universe. I set an intention for the day of how I want to feel and what I want to do. And then I meditate for at least 10 minutes just to connect to myself and connect to my own vibes and connect to every part of myself to find that peace. It really does change my day a lot to connect deeply with myself everyday and I feel like I’m always in the spiritual center of myself all the time. I also try to do yoga every day or go running to connect to my breath. That all really helps me connect to my inner peace.”
Do you ever miss doing these one day and notice that it changes the outcome of your day? "(laughs) You know I get emotional or irritable but I especially do when I don’t, like, get in the zone. I’m a cancer so I’m really moody and have to work with it. I understand myself and know that I have to go to my tools, meditation or whatever it is, to go back to that space...but I have compassion for myself and I know that I’m not perfect and I know that it happens. There’s something really comforting when you know that if the energy isn’t coming from within then you know that the energy is coming from outside of you – by studying astrology I can look at my astrology calendar and be like, 'ohhh that makes sense! No wonder I’ve been acting crazy today!' I actually feel more connected to everyone when I read astrology I really love it."
Before beginning a creative process, what type of preparation do you normally undertake? “I am a performance artist as well, so I do spoken word, monologue, I act and I dance, I do enigmatic dance, which is like transcendental dancing…what I do is just connect to my soul but also my pain. I like to express my pain through art and use it to feel my power inside of myself. So I can do this by meditating or by calling different archetypes. I actually use astrology too...calling on different planets to fuel me and to manifest creativity through me and knowing it’s not me doing it - it’s a manifestation through the universe. The universe is everything and I go to it for it. So perspective helps me get into the zone."
When you are in an emotional rut, what are your go to ways to bring yourself out of that feeling? I’ve been doing a lot of healing work for the past three and half years, and recently something triggered me. I tend to have codependent patterns. When I get into a relationship or something I get fixated; I start going back into my inner child. That happened recently and I realized I needed to be with that child and I needed to comfort her and parent her the way that my parents couldn’t do for me. And then I sought out support from my sister and she helped council me and she allowed me to cry and heal. So I think every time I go through an emotional rut or something happens, it’s there for a reason. For us to heal it; for us to change our emotion and transform the energy into something better. I feel like everything that is painful is there for us to release."
Do you have any favorite movies that always revive your spirit? "Every movie that I watch I get something little from and then that reflects upon me who I am. I don’t have a movie that I always go to."
Is there a particular genre of music that brings you calm? "I like trance music. I also like the XX – it really puts me in a space of transcendence…like in another world. Since I’m a dancer I freestyle, kind of like ecstatic dance…its just me doing my own thing and me and my body figure it out."
What is the most inspiring book you have ever read? "I read one that really helped me when I was in a lot of pain. It's called, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. I remember I was going through this healing and letting go process and I wanted close my heart. Someone I work with lives in a tree house north of San Francisco, and I was there alone with this book; it was my only companion. It told me that no matter what just open your heart and let it in, always open your heart no matter how painful it is. Just be with it all. And I was like 'oh shit, okay I’ll do that. I’ll open my heart…' So since then every time I’m hurt I’m going to open my heart. Because when we close it it creates a disconnect from the universe and everyone else."
Do you meditate? If so, how did you learn and what methods do you use often? "I graduated with my Masters in East-West Psychology in 2013 and I was living in SF. And there there’s that culture of new age. In my classes we would meditate or my school would have yoga classes or tai chi, and that’s when I started getting into yoga. Then I wanted to understand the spiritual part of yoga, because I wanted more meaning to it rather than just exercise. It took me a while to understand yoga…the breath is so important and to align with my body and all my chakras is too…and then I continued to take classes and now I do it on my own with my own routine for like 15 minutes. I started running when my grandmother passed away, and my sister and I decided to run a marathon. We wanted to run off all of the pain. It was so hard to deal with the death of my father and grandmother. We wanted to start anew and run this half marathon to prove to ourselves that we are fighters and we are survivors and we can do what we put our minds into. So since then I’ve been running; I run at least 2 miles a day just to feel good."
What's your favorite motivational YouTube or Netflix video? “I really like Leo King. He knows astrology, but he does it in his own particular way. I always feel like whatever he’s saying is what I’m going through. It might not work for everyone but I love it. I go to Mystic Mamma to check on updates a lot, it’s just useful reports."
Who is the most inspirational person you have ever met and what did they reveal to you that will never leave you? “I always say everyone is inspiring to me and I get something from everyone I meet. If I had to choose, it would probably be my mother. She doesn’t have too much of a rational mind; she is just a being person. She's here in the moment and she's going to give me what she can. She represents a lot to me as a mother who sacrifices a lot for her family. Her strengths remind me of my relatives and their ancestry and their strengths and what they’ve been through. She reminds me to be loving and patient and helpful to others. She doesn’t get angry much either, she is very patient. That’s a quality I want in myself."
Also, if you are interested in supporting Jennifer's journey in Cambodia be sure to donate to her GoFundMe campaign.
Written by Katie Girouard.