Have you ever wondered how you can practice mindfulness in your life where it instills peace in your heart? In this episode, Camille welcomes Dr. Jenelle Kim, the founder and lead formulator of JBK Wellness Labs and the author of Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation. In her work, she is devoted to integrating the Eastern and Western medicine to touch and positively affect the lives of others.
Dr. Jenelle shares how she pivoted from studying Western medicine to seeing the positive effects of Eastern medicine and how she was able to find the balance in both practices. She also shares some of the tools and practices that you can use to live life intentionally through meditation, movement, and medicine.
If you’re looking for ways to bring peace into your life whether in your personal life or business, tune into this episode to hear Dr. Jenelle’s advice on how you can stay grounded, focus on your goals, and achieve success and balance.
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JENELLE KIM [0:00]
And the ultimate goal is to have flow because when we do not have proper flow in our body, in our skin, that’s how I formulate as well, that is where things start to become stagnant. And stagnant leads to all of the negative things that we can experience. So, when you quickly do movement, it quickly balances your system. It’s just like that. And I love explaining it in this way and my greatest wish is that it resonates with people and it just makes sense because that’s what I have appreciated. That is why I do what I do.
CAMILLE WALKER [0:35]
So, you want to make an impact. You’re thinking about starting a business sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We’ll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.
You all are in for a treat today because we have Dr. Jenelle Kim, who is one of the lead formulators in the country to help us establish natural wellness through herbs using Eastern medicine in a Western world. She is the owner and lead formulator of JBK Wellness Labs and author of Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation.
In the early 2000s, everyone she met told her that creating formulations based on Eastern medicine that prioritized natural ingredients was not the future, but she disagreed and kept forging forward and is now creating products on the shelves of Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Whole Foods, Target. And I promise you’re going to love her approach to life because it’s about mindful living every day all day, not just in the corner for 10 minutes in the morning. It’s about how do you create mindfulness in a way that instills peace in your heart when things get crazy? Because they always do. Let’s dive in.
Welcome back everyone to Call Me CEO. I am your host, Camille Walker. And today, we are learning about Myung Sung, the art of intentional living through meditation. Now, our guest here is Dr. Jenelle Kim and she is gorgeous. You guys, if you’re not watching the video right now, she is this beautiful woman and we just started talking. And I can just feel so much of that energy of who you are on the inside of just living, I look at you and I’m like she has peace.
I can sense things about people. I really feel like that is what you exude, which is amazing because looking at the list of all the things you’ve done, I’m like she is a go-getter, but she also has such a wonderful peace about her. So, thank you for being here. We are going to dive into how to create intentional living through meditation today and I’m so excited to get to know you and this topic better. Thank you so much for being here.
Thank you so much, Camille. That was such a beautiful introduction. I’m very grateful. And I’m so honored to be here and I cannot wait to dive in. I love that you shared that you have that intuition. I believe I do as well and the feeling is really mutual. And that doesn’t always happen in this way. So, I can’t wait.
Yeah, thanks. We’re just going to have a good time. So, as a listener, I hope you guys are ready to take some notes. We’re going to be talking specifically about how we can create more peace in our lives. But before we get there, I really want to hear about your personal journey because you have done so many incredible things and I think that understanding your journey and how you got to a place where you released this book, knowing that it was a piece of something you wanted to share with the world, tell us about yourself, your background, and how you got to where you are now.
Absolutely. Thank you, Camille. So, where do I begin in a nutshell? So, I actually really believe and know, forget believe, I know I was put on this earth to have the opportunity because everything in this life is a choice, but I had the opportunity to be able to a part of this new understanding. It’s not really new, but it’s different for us in this lifetime of East meets West, old and new.
And why I say that is you may not see me and even if you did, you may not know this, but I come from a father who was Korean, a mother who was American. My mom is blonde hair, brown eyes. When I was little, I was born in the mid-West and people thought I was adopted. And I was like, “Just tell me.” She’s like, “You aren’t adopted. I had you.” So, I don’t usually put the humor in, but it’s part of the whole understanding.
And so, the meaningful aspect of this to me is why I say I believe I was put on this earth with this opportunity is because I really was. I was put on this earth of this East and West. I come from a long lineage. I’m a ninth-generation doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, herbology. I’m a formulator. I come form a line of formulators, practitioners of martial arts, particularly focusing on Myung Sung, moving meditation, which is rooted in qigong practice and practitioner of the Tao, as I like to put it.
And so, if people don’t know what that means, the Tao, the Tao Te Ching, one of my absolute I think favorite rather and very famous book really, the Tao is the universe. And what I have really connected to my whole life, but didn’t necessarily know until I was in my early adulthood, I’ll go there briefly in a second, what I connect to is when you understand these ancient principles of the universe and when I say principle, it’s like universal truths.
I’m human. You’re human. Thousands of years ago, we were human. Thousands of years from now, hopefully, we will still be human. And I think that sometimes, we forget that. So, whether we are from Asia, whether we’re from the West, from Europe, no matter where, South America, no matter our gender, our ethnicity, our political beliefs, our religious beliefs and what we follow, all of it really comes down to at the core, we’re all human.
And the Tao to me and the principles and the teachings handed down in my lineage focus on that. And I think more than ever we live in a time right now where, I don’t always say things so strong, but I know this, we have to get back to that understanding. And I’m seeing so many more people now more than ever in 20 years of focusing on these aspects, bringing them to the modern understanding, I see people just hungry for that. And I’m grateful for that.
So, going back, so I was born into this lifestyle. Of course, I had the understanding of what I call the three pillars or the three Ms in the book. I mentioned this and it’s meditation, medicine, and movement. And the meditation I speak of is, of course, I’m a huge proponent of seated meditation techniques. The meditation I speak of, which is the title of the book, living meditation, it’s actually a lifestyle. There are habits, there are choices in the book.
I break it down into 8 keys. I don’t want to get too caught up in numbers right now, but there are 8 tools that we can constantly be aware of in any aspect of our life and how we can help to balance with that, whether it’s parenting, owning businesses, being married, in a relationship, with our community, friendships, all of the above.
So, since I was young, these were a part of my life. But I didn’t grow up where my father and my mother, for example, were telling me, “This is what you’re going to do.” I’m so grateful. Actually, I look back at the way, I even look at my 2 boys, 9 and 5 now, I think about that often, it was never pushed on me, but my father, for example, was such an amazing example of what it was to be a human being, compassionate, to devote his entire life to understanding the human mind, body, the conditions that we can create formulations to help people so that we can continue to share the philosophies that have been handed down.
And so, when it came to about 19 years old, I studied hard. I was a firstborn, so I lived a pretty traditional I would call it strict lifestyle. And I was on my way to actually study Western medicine. And then, when I was about 19 years old, it started to hit me and it was just like that, Camille. You hear people say this. And it was an experience of mine where a couple things happened in my personal life, I saw them happen around me, particularly with health, to be honest. And I saw what the formulas that I’ve grown up knowing of, but we didn’t necessarily put them out into the world in a big way as I am now, how they help people.
And I didn’t see anything else helping. And it was like that. I was in college, studying. And it was just a decision I knew I had made, either I step aside right now and commit to understanding the East Asian medical aspect of this or I keep going on my road. And I decided and my friends all thought I had lost my mind because it always seemed to them out of nowhere, but to me, of course, it was a big part of my life.
And I jumped into studying Eastern medicine. And so, long story short, for the last 20 years of my life, I really committed to that pillar, that M of medicine. I have a contract manufacturing lab called JBK Wellness Labs that my husband and I started in 2011 right before my first son was born. We’ll probably get into that and why that happened.
Prior to that, I formulated and helped build brands, some of the first in the natural products industry. We were at the forefront when people didn’t even recognize natural products or why they were so important as a whole like we see today, definitely on the forefront of East Asian herbal medicine and we started in the spa industries.
So, now, we create and focus on creating formulas around the world. We have labs in American, Europe, and we create products behind a fore brand I should say that are carried in Whole Foods, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom down to the luxury prestige departments now in CVS, Walgreens, which shows our world, how it’s moving. And so, for the last 20 years I did that, really special, still very focused on that medicine aspect.
About almost 7 years ago now, my father passed away. And so, no matter how many times I say it, it’s not an easy topic for me. He was my everything, my mentor beyond my everything. And when he passed away, I always knew I wanted to put this down in a book, I can’t even actually say that. I knew one day I would write a book, but it wasn’t even on the forefront of my mind to be honest.
But after he passed, it’s interesting for those who have lost a big part in your life and what you do when you’re grieving, and for some reason, I was very committed at that moment to putting out a book of all this philosophy. And it took me a couple years, even though I wanted to do it right then, but that certainly was a catalyst in putting this book out much sooner than I would have imagined in my life.
And then, the book came out. And then, one thing I speak of is that movement aspect. I’m going through all of this right now. So, I hope that’s okay. I’ll close it up. But the movement aspect is a big part because it’s all connected. That medicine, the formulations, but also the way that we eat, the meditation as I just mentioned and movement is that last piece. How important movement is in our life, which we’re all aware of, but particularly the internal arts, qigong practices to help us balance. And so, that started taking off too because I think the universe is looking for it. So, that’s a bit of in a nutshell, I suppose.
Just a few things to unpack. How do I break this down? Man, there are so many good things. And honestly, I feel like there has been an awakening to the benefit of Eastern and Western, that maybe we could do better practices if we brought it together. And isn’t it wonderful that we’re starting to understand more where I feel like we’ve made so much progression in technology and so many other things, but what about our health?
So, I love that you are drawn to that because I do think you have such a unique perspective to be able to bring that to this Western world where I think there is so much suffering because there has been disconnect between our mind, our body, and our soul in that way.
Yes, that’s a beautiful way of putting it. Yeah.
Thanks. Tell me a little bit about that. I’m really curious because I like to hear the little bit of that nitty gritty moment in college. What was that about health that you were like, “Put some breaks on here. I want to do this different?” What was happening?
Sure. So, I witnessed a few people around me have very severe digestive illnesses. I had someone who had their wisdom teeth pulled and was in so much pain. And it sounds like, what? But if anyone knows nerve pain in their mouth, it is debilitating. So, those two, just in this moment are something that I remember very vividly and nothing could help them.
The person who was having the nerve pain, no matter how many painkillers and no one could understand what was happening. And then, I saw some herbs applied and some hand acupuncture. And this person was out of pain. And the digestive disorders.
And again, I had seen this growing up. So, growing up, because I have this treasury at the time, I had not stepped up as let me be the custodian or the guardian of these formulas, but growing up, we had those in my lineage and doctors would call or around the nation that we know or people we knew and we would give out the formulas in that manner.
Another really important piece of this is there was a very, very amazing dermatologist who is an amazing woman and she was a part of this journey as well, of this decision because one of the things that we specialize in is skin care, body care. It’s so important. I had to speak around the world about how important it really is, even though we’re aware of it, to think about things that we put onto our body. Our skin is our largest organ, so it makes a difference.
But she was one who reached out to me also and said at the time, “I was studying for my master’s. Jenelle, you have to do something with this. It’s helping so many people.” And it’s funny because you can hear it so many times and sometimes, it’s that one person or that one situation and it was a combination of all the things I just shared. And so, that’s where I jumped in and while studying, all of a sudden, I found myself writing ingredient lists and creating formulas and it just took off, Camille.
And I do very much live by that, that we have to work hard. I tell my kids there’s no magic secret. You have to work hard and you have to have follow through and you have to be consistent if you want to succeed in life and I don’t just mean monetarily, I mean in your mission, in your purpose.
But also, I very much believe, in fact it’s key 8, as I mentioned, be like bamboo is my favorite. It’s a great visual, I think. But when it comes to life, particularly in business, in my experience, and parenting now that I say it fits everything, but if I did not pay attention and trust and have faith in the universe behind all of this, studying hard, not sleeping, doing all the things when you’re studying and working and building businesses, but also just trusting there’s something here. I don’t exactly know what it is and it wasn’t even exactly what I wanted to do, Camille, at the time.
When I started studying Eastern medicine, it resonated. This is exactly what I’m supposed to do and that’s part of this whole thing. And it made sense, of course. My whole life I grew up, everyone’s eating candy and I’m sneaking the herbs out of the herb chest to eat. Not a good idea, I’m kidding. But seriously, I loved it.
And when I went to school, I loved being with patients. So, really what I thought I would do is have clinics all over the world. In fact, our lab, my husband and mine, JBK is named after not myself, which people think. It’s not my style. It’s named after my great grandpa and he was an amazing practitioner in Korea treating patients. And I knew this is what I wanted to do.
So, I fought it a bit when the universe was pushing me towards what I now do for 20 years and will do for the rest of my life. I thought I’d be in clinic with patients. And all of a sudden, I found myself making formulas, making logos. I studied so hard at 3 in the morning. I’d have to make a logo and make a website. I certainly put my head down and do my work, but I fought it. I had a couple tears. This was not what I wanted to be doing, but I knew there was something to it.
And now, I look back and I’m grateful. I believe that this platform of sharing through the lab, through the book, through events that I do now, it’s almost like the world can be a clinic and I’m reaching people who do not know about this. And that means a lot to me.
Because had I just had a clinic, sure, let it be known, market as you will maybe is the proper word, I’m not sure to have people know that you exist, but now it’s like I’m able to reach people who had no idea to even look at Eastern medicine, to even realize the Eastern philosophy that exist, the movements that exist. So, that’s all very much a part of it.
I want to ask you a personal question about how you apply these practices into a day in the life of Jenelle Kim. What does that look like for you? What are you doing for your morning practice? What do you do for things you ingest and put on your body? This is personal, but it’s also I love that where I’m like how do we apply that where it feels doable to the person listening? Okay, but how does that look like? How do I live a life that incorporates the movement and the medicine and the practice of meditation?
I love that question. So, how do we live a life that incorporates the 3 Ms, the medicine, the movement, the meditation? And it is not always easy. I’ll be the first to tell you that. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to put it in a book and I’m here speaking with you, Camille, because I don’t want to make it seem like you just balance it and you go about the day. No, it’s a constant.
And I’ll explain that in a second, but when you start to incorporate these things in your life, you realize it’s always a balance. That’s for everything. We can’t avoid anything in this life. We really can’t. We can do things for a moment, but we’re going to get sick sometimes. Challenging situations are going to happen to us. What do we do when we’re in them? Do we crumble? Do we get anxious? Do we get uptight? Do we get sad or do we realize all those things are natural? How are we going to balance with whatever comes my way?
And it is very important. It is a lifestyle. And it’s always a choice. It always comes back to you and it’s the most empowering but also the scariest thing to know it really is up to me. What happens in my life? When you really look deep, so what does my life look like? I do. I sleep and I dream of these things. I’m really serious. If it’s work, if it’s parenting and raising my two boys, if it’s in my relationship with my husband who I work with and have worked with for 20 years of my life, my community.
Which is incredible.
It’s funny. It’s such a normal part of our existence together, but yes, I agree. It is. And that takes work too. And what that means is literally, what does this look like? I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do with usually my 5-year-old has jumped in bed with me, which secretly is one of my favorite things, so I do not try to stop it. He’s next to me and before I wake them up for school, I always take a few moments to talk, to talk to my father, when I say all the good things, all the positive energies, to God, and then to my angels, however it resonates with you.
But I take a moment, even a couple minutes to acknowledge, thank you, thank you for my life. I don’t usually talk about this, Camille. But thank you for my life. Thank you for the opportunities, for my children. I wish that I can achieve my purpose in this life. Please allow me to do everything I can in my power possible to bring more positivity into this world.
And so, that’s how I begin my day and that is very, very important to me. Right then and there, it is a moment that is just mine. And even if my son’s talking to me or emails are coming in, I close my eyes and I make sure to do that. And it sets my whole day on a different path because it does work that way.
And then, I will wake up. Usually, hopefully, my son hasn’t woken up and if he does, he waits for me. I do about 10-15 minutes of Myung Sung moving meditation, so some form of qigong, which includes breathing, some kind of form of movements that have been passed down throughout my lineage that is really what I focus on at this point of my life, grounding and balancing, getting me ready for the day.
And then, I get the kids ready, then the day starts. And we all understand, those who have young kids especially you hit the ground running, make sure I have what that looks like is a balanced breakfast. I often will cook eggs for my kids. I don’t know if you want this much detail, Camille.
No, I do. It’s fascinating. I’m like, what are you eating? What are you doing? Yeah.
Yes. They always have fruit because I know that’s the time that I can have that much more of an influence on what they’re doing because I don’t get to see them all day long. And they are human also. They make decisions. So, teaching them properly in that way. We have our herbs in the morning, our supplements, our greens, our vitamins, depending on, and I speak on this, what I know is good for us in the moment because just taking tons of vitamins all the time and not exactly know what the balance for your body.
What do you mean by herbs? When you say I take herbs, what does that mean?
Yes, okay. Thank you. It’s such a part of my life. So, obviously we create formulas so the formulas that I take and sometimes, I’ll do it at nighttime actually, not just during the day. What I will do is either in the morning time, if a herbal formulation that I create to boost immune system, that’s a huge one right now because we’re in that season with young kids especially. Sometimes, personally, actually to get a little bit more detailed, I will take certain formulations at night because it’s more important to take them at night so that when you’re sleeping, your body can heal and it’s like a calming mechanism as well. But I don’t want to confuse that.
So, is that like a vitamin that you’re taking?
It can be a vitamin. It can be a tincture, the very traditional way, which is the way my family and I do it, but we don’t always put them out into the world in this manner. It’s like a tea. It tastes really not so great, but that’s the way I do it and that’s the way I make my children do it. And so, when we’re putting it into the world to make it a little bit easier to take, taste, and efficiency if you will through capsules, through tinctures, through greens, powders, I mean. So, there’s many different forms, but ultimately, taking different herbal ingredients often combined with other vitamins and minerals and skin care, active ingredients, it’s all that balance. And so, I hope that answers the question. Yes, tell me.
Yeah. So, are these products that people listening could buy? Where are your tinctures and your vitamins?
Yeah. So, this is always the hardest question for me, which is why sometimes, I’m like, ugh, we’re going down this road. So, we have so many brands that we manufacture for, which I cannot necessarily sit here and tell you. However, they are found in Whole Foods. They are found even nowadays in your Neiman Marcus and your Nordstrom, which is amazing because remember, 20 years ago, we started giving internal supplements for beautiful skin and detoxifying and they thought I was crazy.
So, because you formulate for so many brands, you can’t say take this one over the other?
It’s exactly true and it’s also confidential, which is a shame. But it is out there and I hope to be a source in social media at least or on websites or events or whatever, here with you today, Camille. My wish is that I teach the principles of things. Yes, don’t just take a vitamin because it sounds good. Understand what it is for. When you put it into your body, pay attention when you introduce something new. Pay attention to how you feel in that next week because you’d be surprised.
The number one thing is we have to be aware of our own bodies because it goes back to that balance as I talked about. That is living meditation. Our bodies are constantly changing and our digestion is key. Eastern, Western, we all agree. The middle is of utmost importance. And so, just be aware whenever you take something, pay attention. If you start to feel a little sleepy, if your digestion feels a little off, some people don’t even notice. That is really not okay. You have to know if your digestion’s off. You have to know if you’re feeling more fatigue than normal, and then you have to think a step deeper.
Maybe it’s not just because you’re stressed. Stress plays a huge role, but maybe you incorporated a new supplement. Maybe you incorporated a new vitamin. Maybe it’s not absorbing properly by your body, and so these things are really important to be aware of just because now we’re getting to the medicine aspect, when I speak on is proper formulation is key. Synergy of ingredients is key. So, even if they say now, it’s just a big event in the panel, they talked about the TikTok trends and so much around us, which on one hand, sure is good, but you can’t just listen to everything if you watch this.
Right. It’s confusing. Yes, it’s so confusing.
Yes, or people come to table full of supplements and they’re like, “This is what I’m taking. Is this good for me?” And this is what I say, “Look at that table first. Does that seem balanced to you? Because it makes me sick in my stomach just looking at all of that and you’re putting that into your body.”
So, just be aware is number one. When it comes to any kind of herbal supplement, topical skincare, look at the source. Actually, who just said that? I was at a panel at an event and on the panel was actually the CEO of Olaplex and she was awesome. I really liked her. And she kept saying because she’s been in the beauty and wellness industry for a long time and she said it in a beautiful way as well, “Look for the source. Look who the company is, who is their formulator? If they don’t give that information, how do they formulate, it’s really important to do that.”
And then, it’s not like I’m giving you a million things to memorize or which companies to buy. Go out there, look into it a little bit deeper. Nowadays, the beautiful thing is versus 20 years ago when I first started, any good company, any company who is grounded in what is important for the body, for the skin, is going to provide this information. If they do not, it’s probably not a good sign to begin with, but they will give that explanation. So, that’s how I would recommend what herbs to take, which skincare to use in general.
Yeah. It’s hard because with FDA guidelines, it’s the Wild West a little bit where sometimes just the more trending thing that you’re like, I guess this is good because that’s the ad that keeps popping up in my feed, but that’s not necessarily the truth. So, I appreciate you giving that information because it can be confusing.
Absolutely because we live in a world that’s very overwhelming right now. It’s just the way it is. Yeah.
Yeah. For someone like me who knows nothing, I mean, I’ve done meditation, but I have never done the Tao or martial arts. I’m just like, I want to see you do that. Teach me. What would be a good resource for someone who wants to learn that type of movement for grounding for someone to learn that? What would you say for that?
Okay. So, that, I’m able to at this point, I’ve started to because so many people have communicated to me. Different courses that I’m doing, one with Meditation Magazine, a collaboration where they have some of the top meditation teachers and they put out a course. I’m offering a course finally on my website and I hope to do more.
And honestly, on social media, I give little tips, which I think are very helpful in my personal humble opinion. Yes, get the course. Do all the things, whichever because I find that I did this because it’s helpful. I’m seeing how much it’s truly helping people.
But sometimes, it’s the couple minutes through our idea. It’s our kids running around. We have a deadline for work. We’re supposed to make dinner, all the things, and you’re feeling anxious. You’re feeling uptight. You’re feeling like you’re tired. And movement can be one, in my experience. And what our ancient teachers taught us, in fact, I just did an event for Diane von Furstenberg and we worked, which was amazing.
And so, that’s also something I’m seeing more and more people are starting to put this out there. And we’re much more familiar with yoga in our life, which I would connect it. To me, yoga, traditional martial arts meaning qigong, tai chi type of movements where it really works with your body, your internal condition, not just your external condition. It’s coming out more and more.
Qigong, going back to what I was saying, I find is something very powerful because it combines movements that really do work with your internal organ systems, your muscles, your circulation. You don’t even have to know all this stuff. All you need to know as a person is you do a few of these movements, which I share. Like I said, go to social media or whatever works for you and it could be 3 minutes, 5 minutes. I do it in front of my kids sometimes. I joke around, but I’m very serious. And then, they go, “Oh my gosh, mommy’s serious. I better do my homework.”
Because you’ll find it immediately clears your mind. Movement is one of the fastest ways we can balance our body. Of course, live with certain habits, lifestyle, living meditation, the 8 keys. Those are all ways that we can incorporate into our daily life to balance whatever comes our way in our lifestyle, how we act, how we think, how we go about things. Medicine’s so important, the way we eat. We just covered that.
Movement is something that what I’m finding and why I’m doing it much sooner, teaching these methods much sooner than I ever imagined in all honesty, Camille, is because it’s happened to start naturally, I started to say that before, because it’s in the book. And so, people started asking, “Dr. Kim, can you share some of these?” I started doing a couple evens.
And I have to say this is the time where I do have much faith in the universe and I’m always open. Be like bamboo, being flexible to where the universe wishes for me to go and my purpose. And what I’m finding in the last 6 months since the book, maybe a little longer, January, the book launched, is that I’m having these events in promptu, these women, men are coming in and their lives, I can’t even tell you the difference. I know of this. I grew up seeing it, but it’s a very special thing.
So, you incorporate just a couple minutes of movement, getting back in conclusion, into your life no matter what you’re doing and you will immediately feel more grounded. You will immediately feel less anxious through breath work, through specific movements like hand positions, different movements with our arms, our legs, because what it does is it stimulates your whole meridian system, circulation, qi in blood.
That’s going to be a whole other podcast. It’s why I don’t want to go too far, but we get an idea. So, we are basically vessels that hold blood and qi. If you really want to break it down like Eastern medicine 101. There’s a lot more involved, body fluids, they broke it down. But it really comes down to qi in blood.
And the ultimate goal is to have flow because when we do not have proper flow in our body, in our skin, that’s how I formulate it as well, that is where things start to become stagnant. And stagnant leads to all of the negative things that we can experience. So, when you quickly do movement, it quickly balances your system. It’s just like that. And I love explaining it in this way and my greatest wish is that it resonates with people and it just makes sense because that’s what I’ve appreciated. That is why I do what I do.
You asked before, “Jenelle, why at 19 did you change your mind?” You know what, Camille? It made sense to me. As much as I am a deep person, I look for that faith. I look for connecting to the universe. I’m also very practical. I like it when things make sense. When you hear something, you’re like, yes, I totally see that that’s how my body works and I don’t need to know all of the details. I see it. And when yo’ure aware of it and it just makes sense and you can feel it, that means you can actually make it a part of your life. So, movement is one of those things. You feel it right away when it’s proper movements. It’s all very important where your source, where you get your information from.
I love that. I think that if there is anything that I’m seeing in need of more and more with people and with kids is the rise of anxiety and depression. And I think the combat for that, of course, there’s medications and therapies and everything else as well, but I think that movement piece is something we need to dive into more. Because I agree with that that it’s like the washing machine of the mind. It’s moving your body in a way that you can flush out that energy and start anew.
Yes, absolutely. And especially when you’re young, for kids because they’re naturally pure, they haven’t been on this earth for long enough to get that much more contaminated if you really want to put it direct, so I’ve always found that with kids, when it comes to treating with different medicine like herbal formulations or whatever it might be or movement or speaking to them, they’re like sponges. And because they’re so pure, they can change very quickly. It’s a beautiful thing where the older we get, the more we’re set in our ways. You can look at it that way. So, it’s a little harder. It’s certainly very doable, but it can be a little bit more challenging to change some of those habits, but not kids.
In your book, do you think that that’s something where say that someone was listening to this or me reading these 8 practices, is it something that as a parent, you think that you could adopt and then teach to your kids as you’re going along so that it becomes a lifestyle for them like it was for you as a kid?
Absolutely. It is vital, an intrical part of our lives. The way I speak to my children, even my 5-year-old, I came in the habit because of challenges and things that I saw growing up. One thing I remember being when I was young is always remembering I know what’s happening. No matter how young you are, it’s amazing how brilliant children are and for the reasons I just shared. Many more, but in general.
And so, when I had my boys, there are times where with my first, with my Vincey, I call him my Vince, 9 years old, he's very connected naturally. All kids have that. And so, ever since he was young, I found myself speaking to him because I remember promising myself that when I was little and my parents did communicate very well with me in that way. I grew up, you’re right, on these principles.
And so, I talk to him and my 5-year-old as well, probably a lot more of in an adult manner than one would think, but sharing these principles for sure for our every single day life, whether it’s something they saw happen at school, whether it’s a decision that they have to make, if they get in trouble for something, it is always surrounded by these principles.
For example, I know not everyone knows these principles, but this is more for adults, but one of the keys is stop being drunk on your own thoughts. Now, I don’t necessarily say that to my children and I made sure that it sounded that strong for us to read. And ultimately, what that means is it’s so important in life just like we can be intoxicated from substance and not see clearly our own thoughts can make us intoxicated and not see clearly.
We’re not aware of that, you don’t even have to tell anyone. But we have the choice to be aware of that as an individual and it’s very dangerous as we’re seeing in our world when you are so overcome by your own thoughts and you cannot put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you cannot broaden your perspective.
That is the exact opposite of being mindful. Living consciously, being connected to the universe. It is a disconnect. And that is a very important piece that I teach my children and think of all of the time. For example, you know what I mean? If they’re in a situation, we always go one step further and it takes a lot more as a parent. We’re working, we’re doing all the things, having to balance everything. It takes more time. I don’t just say no.
Sometimes, I do, of course. But when it’s an important teaching moment, I always take it. Just like my father did for me. When I was little, I used to think, why can’t I just get grounded? I would never say that out loud, but sometimes, I’m like, wow. I look back now, of course, and could not be more grateful because no matter what, he would always take the time to not just explain his thoughts, but principally, which is not so easy, it’s a responsibility.
It’s one of my greatest teaching moments is when I’m teaching my children because every word I say, every action I do, I take that very seriously. And I think I’m known to be fun and have that side of me, but I’m also known to be serious. I take it seriously. Here I am on this platform with you, Camille. I’m sharing these things. How I live my life, it is very important to me that I’m doing it with everyone. And that’s the same for my kids.
So, yes, I very much incorporate these principles. Stop being drunk on your own thoughts is a huge one. I think for us as individuals at this time in life, especially for our children, again, I don’t say it to them that way, but anytime we come into a situation where maybe they experience something at school, I always make them stop and reflect. Where did that other person stand? Do you think there was something else that could’ve been happening? And they usually answer me, beautiful, they’re so brilliant.
When you really give your children a chance and exercise in one way of putting it, that part of their mind and their heart, okay, I know you’re upset or they come back and they say something great, “Mom, this happened to this person and so I pulled them aside and I walked over and I made sure that they were okay.” We’ll take a moment on that.
And it’s a constant. You’re constantly going and thinking. It’s very active, why it’s living meditation. It’s very active. It never stops, but it does bring such a sense of peace in my life and when I see how it affects so many others that have come across these types of teachings and principles, I’m grateful that you started off our whole time together that way.
My greatest wish in life is peace. It is because when you come from a place of peace, you can’t be moved very easily. From that, we can have our health. We can have our happiness. We can have a life without many regrets. You know what I mean?
In fact, before my father passed away, I just felt I knew it. Somewhere deep down inside, he was as healthy as can be. In a very unselfish way, he left as we would wish for anyone, very quiet, calm, quick, no suffering. I don’t always discuss this, but it’s coming up right now. But before it happened, I just felt something in my gut. I always knew I had a limited amount of time with him.
And so, that’s one of the reasons this book exists. I sat with him for at least 10 years. I devoted my life to just spending as much time with him and one of the things just a few months before he passed, again, for no reason, I felt it deep inside and that is definitely a practice in my life. When I feel something like that, I’ll follow through because life is short. And I felt inside to tell him, “I’m so grateful for you as my father to give me this gift of peace.: And so, it’s so interesting when you said that to me when we first started because what’s more important than that? To be able to not let everything that happens to you in this life affect you because that’s where it can get hard. And I don’t think a lot of people, maybe I’m wrong, but in my experience, but I don’t think a lot of people come out and acknowledge that necessarily in that manner. It can be really challenging and it’s not always easy.
But guess what? We have all of the tools around us, all of the answers we look for in this life are within us and around us in nature. And we have to look inside of ourselves first, and then be rooted and grounded in that because if we keep going outside for our answers, that’s exactly what keeps happening. It becomes chaotic. It becomes uncertain. It becomes unstable and you don’t have that peace. So, I actually think peace is the number one most important thing that we could ever gift ourselves. So, that’s that.
Wow. I’m tearing up over here. I don’t know how the rest of you are feeling right now, but oh my gosh, what a beautiful gift that you were able to share these principles from the way you were raised. I agree with you is that I think so many of us and the way the media is is that we’re looking for outside validation, outside accolades, outside ambition.
And what I think is so beautiful about you is that you are obviously a very successful ambitious giving person and you also have that peace. I could just sense that with you. I’m like you just exude peace. And I’m curious. What do you think your father’s reaction would be to your book? What do you hope or think that he might be thinking about this beautiful book that you’ve created?
No one’s ever asked me that. First of all, thank you, Camille, for your words just now. What would I think? The best way I can answer that is, of course, I can say on one hand, would he be proud? Because these are the words that come up at least in our part of the world, maybe not so much in Asia. We don’t say this out loud, “I’m proud of her.”
So, sure, of course, all those things, but my biggest wish every day is speaking to my father, speaking to all of those who came before me, it’s my greatest wish to continue in this legacy of bringing this positivity.
And it is my belief that life no matter what we visualize that as or create it as extends beyond this life. And that is certainly a very important huge box to open right now as we’re probably concluding. But to me, even more than what he would say to me is knowing that everything he dedicated his life to, my wish and I know I’m able to do that to some extent, hopefully a bigger extent, continuing that because that makes his life continue, that makes everyone who came before us continue.
Bringing that positive, it’s like this never-ending connection. In fact, one of the things I put in the book and something I think often is one day, maybe no one will remember my face, maybe one day, no one will remember my name, but it is my wish that I leave something behind on this earth that will bring positivity, that will plant seeds that will make it better for anyone who comes after including my children, the next generation, so on and so forth. That I know that that was the most important thing to him as well.
So, I do think that he’s very happy and I do think that he is closer to me maybe now than ever. I know it, I don’t think it, along this path with me. And so, I actually feel very connected to him. It’s a very interesting thing. It’s as close as we were before he left. So, thank you for that. No one’s ever asked me that.
You’re welcome. It’s just beautiful. Thank you for being vulnerable with me and for sharing so much about this beautiful book. I hope everyone listening is like, “I need a copy of this right now.” And again, the name of it is Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation. And we will, of course, link to that in the description below, but please tell everyone where they can find you and connect with you and learn more from you.
Thank you, Camille. Yes, you can find me, I have a website, www.jenellekim.com, J-E-N-E-L-L-E Kim dot com. I am active on social media. It’s something I really put my mind into, especially Instagram. That’s like you have to choose one at least in my humble opinion when you’re balancing a lot of things. So, I’m on Instagram pretty frequently. And I hope to constantly provide good information like we talked about today in short clips that can be helpful in any moment of our life and I do get that feedback. So, I’m really happy.
And then, of course, the book, Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation. Honestly, if you just look up living meditation because it’s quite a mouthful, I will pop up. And so, yes, I just hope it’s helpful. That’s what I care the most about. And I love hearing how it is, if it is helping. So, yes.
Yeah, awesome. I learned a lot and I think that anyone listening is feeling the same way. So, thank you so much for being on the show today. I really appreciate it.
Thank you for having me, Camille. Thank you, everyone.
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