When I first met Laura, owner of two businesses – The Hummingbird Life and Secret Sunrise Singapore – I could practically feel joy oozing out of her personality – she truly has so much passion for life. Since this interview, I’ve spent a lot more time with Laura because I’ve joined her and the other Secret Sunrise Joy Ambassadors in facilitating Secret Sunrise sessions in Singapore. This was something which I had yet to come across – a tribe of truly heart-led people who demonstrate how being heart led can really bring you into a state of flow and abundance. The abundant state wasn’t always there for Laura though, so this is the story of her journey of seeking balance between two very different worlds, until the time came when she made a choice to commit to a more authentic life. I also took Laura through some career profiling aspects of her chart to help her understand the nature of her personality and some of the challenges she went through.
Below is the transcript of our conversation .
Tonya: Hello. Hi, Laura.
Laura: Hello. Hi.
Tonya: Nice to see you today.
Laura: Yeah, thanks for having me. Good to see you.
Tonya: Thank you for coming. I’m looking forward to this interview and have been looking for it for a long time.
Laura: <Laugh>, it’s taken a while. <Laugh>.
Tonya: Yeah. So Laura, can you tell us the name of your business or your businesses?
Laura: Yes. So I have two businesses. One is The Hummingbird Life and the other one is Secret Sunrise Singapore.
Tonya: And what do you do at The Hummingbird Life?
Laura: The Hummingbird Life is basically how I share joy with the world. So the hummingbird flies from flower to flower, sharing the sweetness of life. And around that, I basically, I offer Shamanic Cacao ceremonies. These are deep processes for women and men to go within and listen to the whispers of their own hearts. I also teach mindfulness meditation, in corporate settings, so there’s the scientific approach behind it, and I teach meditation and do Reiki and one-on-one healing for people.
Tonya: Wow. Yeah. And what about Secret Sunrise? What’s that all about?
Laura: That is a global movement to share joy with the world. It started in South Africa and I brought it to Singapore. So essentially I own the franchise of it in Singapore. And basically it’s a whole joy tribe of facilitators. And we do sessions at sunrise and sunset using wireless headsets, and we take people on this beautiful journey of stillness, movement, dance, unleashing themselves into freedom through music, movement, and connection. So it’s really good fun, just sparking joy wherever we go.
Tonya: That sounds really amazing. I tried one or two of the sessions and I really enjoyed it. So it’s a little bit like a silent disco sort of thing going on as well, right?
Laura: The headsets are similar, like that’s what people associate, but obviously the process is very, very different. We’re a no alcohol movement, and it’s also all about the facilitation and taking people on a journey in this safe space in order to unleash themselves.
Tonya: How long have you been doing the whole business, with The Hummingbird Life?
Laura: On and off pretty much my whole life. <Laugh>, I guess. But throughout – I used to be an accountant, so I had a corporate career, but alongside that corporate career, I always taught yoga or somatic dance, called Nia alongside this corporate career and as well as meditation. But about six years ago, I stepped out of the corporate world completely. And then I did a lot of, hosted a lot of yoga retreats focused a lot more on yoga. And then about five years ago, I got into cacao ceremonies, and so that became a big focus of mine, as well as then the mindfulness meditation. I’ve always taught meditation, but learning the science behind it. I launched that in 2019. So everything’s been happening in the last five to six years.
Laura: I feel like it was a big change in 2016 and then a big change for me in 2019. Those have been like almost in term of three year shifts, a lot. So those are some big changes for me. And then I moved to Singapore in 2020, so basically launched The Hummingbird Life and Secret Sunrise, both in Singapore in those years.
Tonya: Coming back to the big changes in your life in 2016. You said you’ve always had it parallel. What made you decide that you wanted to focus more on this other side of you?
Laura: I’ve probably had this the inkling and the calling to do it for quite a while, but I didn’t listen to it very well. It was mainly my mental health struggle in corporate that really pushed me out of it. In 2012 or 2013, I actually was hospitalized for burnout and anxiety. And depression as a result of pushing myself too hard in the corporate world. But still, I recovered from that and then went back into corporate and carried on and constantly did these parallel things. I was always dabbling on the side on something creative. But in 2016, I realized that my deep connection to nature was missing by working in the corporate world and being in the city. So I left corporate and we actually moved to a farm and took over family business for a while. And alongside that, I really got more involved into teaching yoga and meditation.
Tonya: Oh wow. You moved to a farm?
Laura: Yes. I moved back to my family farm. <Laugh>. I’ve always been trying different things. And then in 2019 we left the farm and I then went a hundred percent into only doing what I do now.
Tonya: So I guess it doesn’t seem like you actually enjoy the accounting career at all.
Tonya: What made you choose the accounting career in the first place?
Laura: A big reason was actually a personal one from seeing my mom not being financially independent from my dad and not being able to leave her marriage. In fact, I wanted to be independent and not rely on anyone financially. I also am very good with numbers, and it came easily to me. So studying it was very easy, and it was an easy thing to choose from that perspective. Even during my studies between my third year and my honors year, I started questioning whether I wanted do that, and I actually took some time off. <Laugh> Throughout my career, I have taken these gaps where I have stopped and gone, is this really what I wanna do? And the easy route had always gone to go back into that.
Tonya: Yeah. Always like the easiest.
Laura: Yes. But I am a very creative and deeply spiritual person, and especially I have a deep connection to nature, and I constantly felt like I was out of alignment doing accounting. To be honest, even running my own business, <laugh>, I’ve put accounting off until the last minute, but it is something that comes easily, But it does not bring me joy at all. And I do feel like especially when I was in corporate, I was completely out of alignment with my feminine energy. I pretty much felt like I was telling people, being someone who I am not, and I did not feel authentic at all.
Tonya: And is authenticity very important to you?
Tonya: Like, since you were young? Or is it something that just evolved over the years?
Laura: I think it’s always been an undercurrent, but my awareness of it has come in the last 10 years. So I do think if I look back at my behavior of certain things, authenticity has been a driving force, but in the last 10 years, I’ve really been aware of how important it is to me.
In a natal chart, everyone’s got 12 houses, much like a pie chart – each one of them representing an area of your life. So for example, house number 1 represents the way you present yourself to the world, your initial contact, the way you look at the world as well, and say, house number 6 is what you do on a daily basis, your work, your working environment, and so on. All these symbols that you see here are actually represented by a planet. So this is like a snapshot of what the sky looked like when you were born. The planets, each one of them also falls into a particular constellation. For example, Pluto in the constellation of Libra, this is Uranus in Scorpio, and so on and so forth. By interpreting someone’s chart, I usually take the three factors, the area of life, the slices of the pie that you see. The second thing is I look at the planet and I also read into what the energy of the planet is like, which is by looking at the constellation, or what you call a horoscope as well. Based on her birth date, Laura is actually a Taurus. Right. This means that she has Taurus Sun, depicted by the circular symbol with a dot in the 6th house above.
Uranus has a strong influence on Laura’s life, based on her natal chart. Uranus is all about being different, questioning the status quo, the rebel, a person who likes to be different and authentic, and there’s a very strong humanitarian streak here. Uranus is very strong in the 12th and 1st houses. So it might have taken Laura awhile to get in contact with that, because the 12th house is about secrets, something that’s hidden. The 12th house is also about mental health. So this little rebel (Uranus) here probably wanted to get out and had difficulty getting out. And so that was like the Universe telling Laura, Hey, you gotta do something with your life, you know, you gotta get out. Kind of, you know, that that’s probably why it took her awhile as well to find this path.
The thing is, there’s always been a war of two worlds, two sides of Laura, because I’m just looking at these 2 planets that are 180 degrees apart. So there’s the Sun which is in Taurus, and there is Uranus which is in Scorpio. There are two sides of her that are complete opposites. A Taurus of course is the very practical, the very earthy person who goes like, okay, where are the numbers, is this making sense? Is there a return on this investment? I don’t wanna be not making money on this, this venture. And this is in the house of work. What you do on a daily basis. So maybe there’s still a part of Laura that is very practical, that wants to make sure that whatever she does makes practical sense. However, there’s another part of her that still wants go out there and, and be that rebel and question the status quo. And there’s also that spiritual side of her.
Laura: That sounds spot on. Definitely something, the rebel part. Always going against the status quo. And in the humanitarian thing, definitely I feel only in the last 10 years has that really evolved. Me being comfortable with being a rebel and being different really took awhile. I had a very strong need for belonging and fitting in. But now I don’t care. <Laugh> That feels like that’s my lesson in life is this constant pursuit of balance. And I’m always swinging from one to the other, like an inner turmoil.
Tonya: That’s so interesting. How was it for you as, as an entrepreneur, was it a smooth journey for you? Did you have to plan things ahead? How did it happen?
Laura: Originally things had to be perfect before I could start. Even during my corporate career, I baked novelty cakes on the side for quite a few years. I’ve always tried my creative side of things. And only when I finally surrendered into trust and allow, instead of needing all my ducks in a row being practical, did things actually eventually flow better. As an entrepreneur, when I’m doing things from the heart and with the purest intention and in a more trusting organic way, things do flow better. But I have that side of me that goes, okay, I need to be more disciplined. I need to have more structure. And I often actually think that gets in the way. I know I need it, and I know I need some the discipline, but I often feel that it gets, energetically gets in the way of my flow of what I offer people and even the income coming in, which is quite interesting. I’m always at loggerheads with myself about when to be practical and when to just organically let things flow.
Tonya: You always have to find balance, it’s like weighing scales, basically.
Laura: <Laugh>. Yeah, exactly. So throughout whenever I’ve dabbled in things, it has been a struggle. Only until probably the last five years where I’ve really just let go and that now entrepreneurially things have been a lot easier, now that I’m not trying to be so practical. But I do get in my own way.
Tonya: <Laugh>. Yeah. I do too. I know the feeling <laugh>, it takes you a while to realize that and take a step back! Did it take you like five years to build up your business from part-time to full-time?
Laura: No, I pretty much had six months of lockdown in Melbourne where I wasn’t allowed to work. In the meantime, I did a lot of work setting up the businesses in Singapore, and then as soon as I got here and had the correct work permits, I got started. I’d got to a stage about two years before that where I was like, I can’t go back (to corporate). The only way is forward. I couldn’t actually do things side by side anymore. I had to actually just trust, full blown into what my heart wanted to do and share. It took a giant leap of faith, and actually a lot – that’s where the mental health challenge from about four years ago came in. I told myself that something really has to change completely now. I can’t keep this one foot in one door, and one foot in the other.
Tonya: I guess it’s a case of… Where you’re not fully committed to one thing. And therefore, if you don’t put that energy into that one thing that you really want to do, then it’s kind of half-hearted, right?
Laura: Yeah. And it’s almost like when you don’t trust yourself, because you always have a little something to fall back on.
Tonya: What’s the point of Plan A if you always have Plan B in the back your pocket, right?
Laura: Yeah, exactly. I think if we are really doing something from the heart and if this comes from a pure intention, it’s going to work.
Tonya: Cool. But how, did you realize that it’s really the intention that’s coming from the heart?
Laura: It’s a lot of self-discovery to be honest. Along with my mental health journey, I’m always learning. I’m always doing more courses and doing new things. As a reiki practitioner I really learned to trust my intuition a lot. I think it’s just been the experience of when I’ve followed my heart and it’s worked. Over the years of my spiritual practice deepening through yoga or shamanic rituals, breathwork practices or reiki, I’ve done some really deep, deep work for myself. And through that I’ve got to a stage where I’ve noticed when I do things from the heart, I know the energy that flows versus when I do things from my head <laugh>.
If I look at the second house, it relates to resources as in money, time, physical resources, also your attitudes towards money, how you spend, how you earn. Beyond money, because we know that money is also a commodity: It just follows where the energy goes. So the energy behind the money is also your perception of value, your perception of your self, self-worth. Laura’s second house has got the energy of Sagittarius, and Sagittarius is the explorer, the experimenter, the person who goes out there, not actually studying things and learning things from books. It’s the complete opposite. It’s actually going out there to explore, to learn, and to experience. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter. How Laura is going to earn money and spend money really well is by using Jupiter, Usually, I’d say this is the kind of value that one brings to the world. Jupiter is the planet of learning, abundance, expansion. And also the teacher.
Tonya: Yeah. So that kind of matches with the meditation thing that you’re doing and the cacao ceremonies. If I’m not mistaken, you’re still teaching and you’re still leading people along in their journeys right? And this is in the 10th house. The 10th house also represents people who are authority figures, people who are bosses, or people who are concerned with their social standing in life, or people who want to know what their calling in life is. What goes through your mind as I’m telling you this?
Laura: This so interesting with the financial part in terms of the value. I think I’ve led a very fortunate life and, but I do often underestimate the value of what my experience can bring to the table and how much I can share. I know I often don’t charge my value (entrepreneurially). The interesting thing is with the learning. Yes, I have learned a lot through experience, but I don’t value it as much as I should, which I think is quite interesting.
Human Design Profiling :
Tonya: Yeah, that’s quite interesting because I took a quick peek at your Human Design profile as well. You’ve got something called a line 6/2. The line 6 is actually the role model. This is the person who’s gone through life hitting a lot of road bumps, knocked their head several times, and they’ve learned a lot of things along the way. And their role in life is really to show and to share their experience with people so that they can learn from them. (On a separate note, I didn’t tell Laura is that the line 2 also shows that she has natural talent which is not obvious to her, but is obvious to other people around her).
Laura: That makes sense. Because a few years ago I was actually in India and I started a blog and it was literally just sharing from my heart and sharing my experiences. So many people came to me afterwards and were inspired by it. I feel that when I do, that is when my abundance flows. When I’ve been in leadership, I wouldn’t say leadership roles, but it is that sharing with the world and sharing the wisdom and experience exactly.
Tonya: I can see that with Jupiter as the teacher, you’re going out there in the world, sitting at the top and just sharing your experience from that point.
Laura: I think that’s where my business, The Hummingbird Life is. I feel like I’m always experiencing and experimenting with different things, I just want to share it, like the hummingbird shares the sweetness of life from flower to flower. I get so excited when I learn things through experience that I wanna share it with the world.
Tonya: Laura also has the planet Neptune in her 2nd house. What Laura wants to also experience as far as her value is concerned is to give her audience inspiration. Neptune is about dreams and inspiration as well. It’s really like painting that wonderful picture, a romantic picture of what life can possibly be for someone if they follow their heart, if they follow their joy.
Laura: That makes sense. When I do that from the heart, that is when my abundance flows, I just then end up questioning myself. Then I get it my own way again. <Laugh> I start questioning, well, who would even want to listen?
Tonya: I know someone else who is also a line 6/2 as well, like you and she has quite a lot of difficulty acknowledging her gifts. So other people can see it very well, but she just can’t see it properly herself.
Laura: Sounds right. <Laugh>. The stuff I get told by people is different to what I believe about myself.
Tonya: So now we just move on to a little bit more about what Laura’s 6th house is all about – it is all about her work, what she do on a daily basis, the people that she serve. And it’s ruled by the sign of Aries, which is a very fiery, enthusiastic, passionate sign. And Aries is actually ruled by the planet Mars, which is in a very public house. Laura can actually be working with big corporations very well because they’re perceived as authority figures. There’s a certain level of social status that these big companies have. Mars is also about being passionate about igniting your flame, about self-assertion.
Laura: I feel like I’m sometimes in a bad way, a very fiery person, but I’m also a very passionate person. If there’s something I’m passionate about, I will put my heart into it and I’ll go all out. So that makes sense for me – my purpose needs to be driven by passion. As for the authorities and the corporates, it’s interesting because I have a love-hate relationship with that. Having come from there, I have a really deep passion and desire to help the people that are in it. And be the person that I wish I had met 20 years ago, <laugh>, if that makes sense.
Tonya: Yes. That makes sense. Because if I look at these two planets next to each other, one is Jupiter, the other one is Mars. Put those two together and you become the advocate. You have a very strong drive, and there’s a certain theme that you will feel strongly about and wanna fight for it. And it’s all in the 10th house.
Laura: That makes sense. And that’s a big thing with me in terms of mental health and wellness and corporate. It’s because of my personal experience in it. I have a lot to say about it. <Laugh>
Tonya: I’m usually so amazed when I start interviewing you guys because you’re following your path already. When I talk about it just makes so much sense to you. You are already doing that, you’re following your heart, you’re following your joy.
Laura: Yeah. But it’s interesting that this is where it is. Whereas if you had told me this 10, 12 years ago, I would’ve been in a very different position – not following my joy. And that shows why I was so out of alignment and why I struggled so much with my health, because I wasn’t doing this and I wasn’t following passion and the joy.
Tonya: I guess it’s only when you’re ready, then you’re open to the right path for yourself.
Tonya: Leo is the ruler of Laura’s career house, Leo, is again, very fiery, but a very creative sign. It is very enthusiastic, very dramatic and has full of creative energy in it. And that’s the kind of career that she can have. Leo is ruled by the sun, and the sun is here in the 6th house or work, working environments, what you do on a daily basis, health. So the sun is about individuality, about vitality, about self-expression. So I can see how something like Secret Sunrise actually is your calling because you are helping them to like express themselves. In a more creative way, and really truly enjoy the whole dance and fully express themselves.
Laura: Yeah, that makes sense. And it’s about inspiring people to spot that passion within themselves through the creativity and self-expression <laugh>.
Tonya: One more thing wanted to share with you was a bit of more of an analysis that I did, which actually talks about Laura’s top psychological profile. Based on my calculations, Uranus and the Moon actually have a good and strong influence on her vocation as well. So what the Moon-Uranus archetype is called is The Individualist. The person who wants to be different.
The Moon represents how you nurture and how you take care of people. But it being in the sign of Aquarius means that its not exactly a lovey dovey sort of expression, but it’s one she’s probably logical about how she cares and connects, she may prefer to care at a distance. Maybe it is not so important to her to have to care for people in a motherly traditional way, but it’s more like, “I care for a cause, and how I’m going care for you is I care for that cause and I’m going to make sure that cause happens for you.” These causes are usually humanitarian in nature.
Laura: That makes sense. I think I do sometimes get too involved in caring too much for individuals and for me that drains me a lot. But when you say it like that, I think that is a more energetic way of caring for people for me. So that makes, that makes sense.
Tonya: You don’t have to necessarily connect on a one-to-one basis actually. What you can do much better is, care from a distance and really be that person who talks to like this big crowd of people. And that’s how you care for them.
Laura: Good thing I’m doing keynote speaking <laugh>
Tonya: Yeah. Or, Secret Sunrise or facilitating sessions. It’s not like you have to, do one-on-one sessions all the time. I think if you do, if you did group sessions, it will probably be better for you.
Laura: That really makes sense because I also love the energy of group sessions. And I almost feel like then we’re all there to mirror each other and help each other, so that makes sense.
Tonya: All right. So did you have any other questions around your chart?
Laura: I feel like I’ve got a lot of questions now. <Laugh>, it’s like you’ve opened up Pandora’s box. I really have actually been thinking about where to put my energy into which offerings and where do I receive my energy back. Not just in financial abundance, but also just in terms of how I hold my energy. So I think you’ve given me a lot to think about in terms of where my chart is. Like even from an admin perspective, should I be doing the part of running the business, the practical side, I know I’m a Taurean, but it kills me, you know? So there’s the question of whether I should get someone else to do it so that I can focus on the joy and the inspiration and facilitation.
Tonya: It really does sound like there’s so much of the bigger group facilitation that you can focus on and like what we say right in human design is really to follow your joy. If you don’t like doing something, then give it to someone else to do
Laura: <Laugh> Yeah. And let’s stick with what we are good at. That’s really interesting. It think you’ve really given me a lot to think about.
Tonya: Good! I’m really happy. I’m really amazed by, a lot of people like you, you’ve like taken that conventional route at first and then kind of discovered through some event or something like that, and for you, I guess it was mental illness… And then you get into mental wellness. I do hope that this story inspires more people to take the unconventional route just like you did.
Laura: Thank you. I hope so too. So often we try to do things to fit in or to please other people, or just doing what we have convinced ourselves is the right path. But I feel like when things aren’t, when life isn’t flowing at ease, that it’s a sure sign that something needs to shift within us, or we need to shift something in our lives.
Tonya: That’s a really good one. I’ll put that as a quote from Laura
Laura: <Laugh>. Yeah.
Tonya: Okay. Laura, I’m gonna stop the recording now, thank you so much for your time.
Laura: You’re welcome. Thank you. I’ve really enjoyed that and it’s been so interesting. I’m feeling inspired.
Tonya: Thank you.