Tina Turner once poignantly sang, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” and Karen Lorre has a rapid answer – Absolutely Everything! A healer, writer, and actress in Los Angeles, Karen may look familiar from her many television and film roles, including playing Tina Lord Roberts on the soap opera “One Life to Live.” But this insightful woman with her profound spirit of adventure – she sailed to Hawaii from California with a boyfriend, and trained at length on a trapeze in Paris – has for a long time been highly focused on writing, healing and spirituality. Her new book, “Chronic Pleasure,” is a testament to how love – particularly unconditional love – factors into everything we do, and everything we are, in every way.
A practitioner of the Law of Attraction, Karen describes how she went from such extreme illness that it contributed to ending her marriage to famed television sitcom creator Chuck Lorre, all the way forward to sterling health and well-being through unconditional love. With an endorsement from her friend, integrative medicine pioneer Deepak Chopra, Karen’s book is a fascinating and uplifting blend of the magical and the practical – she feels she didn’t so much write it as take dictation from the universe. Karen also created a series of guided meditations, each mastered in what is considered one of the planet’s “frequencies of love,” 432 MHz.
Karen is busy these days with her Los Angeles-based healing practice, and I was fortunate to catch her for a quick Q&A. Whether it relates to health, artistic, or spiritual matters, we covered quite a lot of “pleasurable” ground: love, happiness, being in the flow, and heartfull-ness!
Note: Karen very kindly offered a free pdf copy of "Chronic Pleasure" to Radio Gabriel readers by emailing her Here.
Karen Lorre on Insight Timer
RG: Karen, thank you for talking with me. You're a writer with a book coming out soon, ‘Chronic Pleasure.’ You're also an actress, a model, a healer, and a coach. Tell me first what chronic pleasure means to you.
KL: When I was sick I had narcolepsy, I had depleted adrenals, I had thyroid issues, my hair was falling out, my bones were thinning, my nails were thinning, I was feeling completely full of pain, chronic pain, and doctors couldn't figure it out. I had to find a way to transform every area of my life into something that felt amazing in order for me to heal.
RG: How did you start doing that? It's an easy thing to say you want to do but the undertaking of it is monumental.
KL: Yes. Doctors were saying I wouldn't be able to get cured, that there was no cure, that there's nothing they could do. I was just terrified about living in this terrible state of pain. I couldn’t make appointments, I couldn’t work, I couldn't do almost anything that I really wanted to do. I have a background in psychobiology, how the mind affects the body. That was something I was interested in from high school, I studied it in college and it was really fascinating for me. I studied epigenetics, which is how the mind affects the genetic expression, and then I also studied and was very fascinated with how the brain works. I've been meditating for 28 years, plus being an actress where you learn how to become a different person, kind of every week. All of that conspired or got conflated together to help me really have a spiritual awakening. It melded together in a way that caused me to start feeling better and better.
I took that understanding and I started to create. I got practices that downloaded from the 'inner-net,’ the universe. I started to practice these things and I got insight and clarity. I made a meditation for myself using my understanding of psychobiology and epigenetics and neuroscience and acting and meditation and spirituality all together and as I listened to the meditation and the practices, my body started to transform. It took time, but my body actually transformed and I was amazed. I was doing the practices and listening to the meditation for several months and then didn't do the meditation for awhile. I was out for a walk and thought, ‘Oh, I'll just listen to it,’ and while I was listening to it, I was like, 'Oh! That has healed, and that has healed, and that has healed, and that has healed, and that has healed! Oh my God!' Then I ended up offering it out to people and it just started to snowball.
Chronic pleasure to me is like being in harmony in every area of my life, being in joy in every area of my life. Pleasure, joy, all of those things are tied in together with finances, with my work, with my body, with everything. I really had to investigate every area of my life and pay attention. I had been doing my own self hypnosis for years and I learned how to shift myself at a deeper level. It's not really hypnosis, it's just deep relaxation but it's shifting people. To rewrite the past I had to rewrite my own past. I watched my body thriving more and more as I was doing all of these different things.
RG: I'm curious about this idea of pleasure because in your book you describe the narcolepsy as so severe that you went to an audition and you fell asleep while the camera was rolling. When someone's in pain and has so many symptoms and issues, the concept of pleasure is very far out there. Could you even conceive that you could one day have any pleasure again?
KL: No. I didn't realize that pleasure was the path. I didn't realize it at all at that time. It's just that it started happening naturally. As I was finding this greater freedom in every area of my life, my pleasure started to increase. It was funny because I had gone to get cranial sacral work, and I loved it, it was really relaxing. But then while I was relaxed, the practitioner started talking about something negative that was going on in her life and I didn't want that going into my brain when I'm in that receptive state. I went home and was talking to a friend and I said I would really love to have cranial sacral therapy every day in my own home so I didn't have to drive afterward, and only with only somebody who's really understanding how you want to have joy and love and harmony in every moment. Immediately I started to feel like I was being massaged in my brain, in the brain stem. I got off the phone and relaxed and let this sort of pleasurable massage happen and it kept happening. It literally rewrote my brain in a way that was amazing. Things that used to bother me just totally got ameliorated. I was amazed and started to recognize it was really this incredible pleasure I was feeling. It was rapturous – rapturous pleasure – and feels amazing!
RG: It's interesting how you use the word pleasure rather than happiness because it seems so many people are focused on the word happiness. But happiness and pleasure are very different. As I was reading your book I could easily conceive what pleasure meant. Happiness is kind of nebulous and comes and goes.
KL: I feel like happiness is our natural state. I don't feel it has to come and go. I define happiness as being satisfied and content and feeling good and enjoying the moment. In my experience that doesn't come and go anymore. It used to, but now it really is consistent. I could literally write books on chronic happiness, chronic joyful relationships, chronic abundance, chronic freedom.
RG: There's a whole series coming!
KL: There really is because in order for me to really be in this state that I wanted to be in I had to do those things. I had to find my balance in all those ways. I would say that I'm definitely happy all the time and the happiness is a pleasure in itself.
RG: There are very few people, I think, certainly these days, who would say that they're happy all the time. So to me this is an extraordinary thing for anyone to feel that way.
KL: I feel extremely blessed and that's why I think so many people are so eager to work with me. My clients might not know that that's possible but once they start working with me they start feeling it more and more consistently. It's amazing how people can transform feeling happiness and pleasure and understanding things about the universe that really can give them a new freedom. Also it really helps to be able to transmute those old experiences that we've all got that were traumatic and I can help people with that in a way that really serves them.
RG: Would you talk about how the epiphany happened for you? In the book you talk about being home one night, kind of at wit's end, and you were drawn to a book on the shelf that you didn't even know was there.
KL: I was supposed to meet with my ex-husband, and I still loved him, and he forgot. I didn't know he forgot but he wasn't showing up and I was so depressed and didn't have any energy to text him and say, 'Hey, did you forget?' I was devastated and I felt a string, like it was literally coming from my heart pulling me to my bookshelf and when I got to the bookshelf my hand went right to this one book that I didn't know I had. I later realized I had been in Australia and a friend of mine worked for Hay House. I had been really depressed and he had me come to his work and said, 'Let me send you some books.’ I had too much luggage to carry them so he shipped them to me. I didn't even know what books he got. It was a sweet gift. My husband and I had separated but when I moved into my own place everybody was helping me unpack. It was the book 'The Law of Attraction' by Jerry and Esther Hicks and Abraham, and the minute I read it I had an awakening of how every time I had been having fun, playing, being childlike, doing things I loved, I was healthy and happy and things were working out for me.
Every time I had been complaining or afraid or resentful or hurt, or I was not having as much fun. I saw it in a really huge way because as an actress you can play different characters. I have played people who were victims, I've played people that were strong and confident. As you play different characters, your physiology shifts and your experience of the world shifts. That was kind of the spiritual awakening I got where I saw how what I'd been studying all my life, psychobiology, was now making sense through the acting and I realized acting was the perfect Petri dish for my psychobiological studies. I was getting such a visceral, physical and life experience effect from being all these different people. When you're a Russian spy and running with an AK-47, it changes what kinds of things your body experiences. That’s kind of where the awakening came as I understood the Law of Attraction more. All of my life made sense in an instant. I started to realize I’d been focused on the lack of everything. I was just practicing it to get my husband back, which did not happen. But what I got back was something even better, because what I got back was a connection with myself and with my spirit that is unshakable and that is beyond anything that I even dreamt was possible.
RG: I've read a lot about the Law of Attraction over the years and you seem to be using it a little bit differently. It's not just that you have a thought and attempt to get something. You said in the book that there's a paradox that you can't directly do something to get something. You have to do it because it feels amazing, and then maybe you get the thing, maybe you don't get the thing, but you get to feel great. Is that accurate?
KL: That's my experience, yes. ‘If I'm trying to fix a problem, I'm focused on the problem.’ So many people are in that situation where they're just focused in a way that they're actually causing themselves to be sick, and that's what I had done. That's a big reason why my husband and I didn't get back together. I was trying to get him to come back to me and you can't do that. It just isn’t the way the universe works.
RG: What do you do now when you have negative thoughts? Do you ever have negative thoughts anymore?
KL: I do, but I am so present. Like my client yesterday said, 'Oh my God, you're like a thousand percent present.' That's funny because I used to also have something called dissociation where you're not present at all. So it's been a big shift. I feel my emotions but they're gone within a moment. I just recognize it and that's what I teach people how to do. Most people aren't even aware when they've jumped into a negative thing. It's an unconscious pattern that they're sinking into, but I can really help them see where they're doing it and help them shift it so now those things don't even come up.
RG: How do you help them do that?
KL: It's a real process. It's basically rewriting the subconscious mind so that it serves you, so the subconscious mind is doing the work. I do things to maintain my happiness but I'm not trying to be happy. It's just that my brain is naturally that way now, really happy. Every once in awhile I'll say, 'OK, I want to be happier,' so that's something I've worked with. It's something you have to experience.
RG: Was there a moment in your own evolution where you realized that pleasure and happiness were happening a whole lot more than the pain, and that you were in a state of pleasure most of the time?
KL: Yes. It was one day where because of my focus I could really feel the difference in what was happening in my body. It was a day where I recognized I had real unconscious negative thoughts about a particular situation. I could feel the tightness in my body and I was getting super tired. I heard the universe say, basically, 'Take a nap, just relax, you're doing everything right.' So I took this nap and when I woke up I started to do one of the practices that I have and I literally felt my body shift. I started doing this over and over again. Even things like my computer. My computer used to always mess up and then I started to recognize wow, my computer is affected by how I feel. I started to change my vibration and as I changed my vibration, my computer would fix itself. It happens with my car, it happens with all sorts of things and I started to realize that this is really key, you've got to be clear of everything. If that sounds like a lot of pressure, it's not pressure. It's just if you really want to flow in your life and flow in every way, there's so much that needs to be done to allow that to happen.
RG: That’s one of the things with the Law of Attraction that people talk about it, that it puts so much pressure on them. If somebody's sick, that they should be able to correct the condition, and then they get upset when they can't and it snowballs. Your book struck a different chord for me. More things felt possible with what you're doing. It's like you're taking the fork in the road, so to speak, and saying to follow what feels good and then maybe things get fixed, maybe they don’t, but you're just following what feels good.
KL: There's more to it than that, but yes.
RG: I'm trying to simplify since we don't have a lot of time! Would you tell the story of your melanoma? You had a melanoma and basically within 24 hours you made it disappear.
KL: Yes. I got diagnosed by my dermatologist and she said she was super busy and couldn't work with me until the following Tuesday. I was in a grocery store a couple of days later and ran into a friend of mine. My girlfriend was dating this doctor and we'd all had dinner a couple months before. He looked at me and said, 'You have a melanoma.' I said I know, and he said, 'You've got to get that removed.' I said I'm going on Tuesday. He said, 'You can't wait that long, come tomorrow to my office, I'll do it for you for free. I just need you to get it done right away.' He scared me. I didn't know anything about the Law of Attraction or anything like that at the time. But he scared me and I understood about psychobiology that when you're stressed out you're affecting your body in a negative way.
I just went home and meditated on something that felt super soothing to me and I just kept meditating and meditating. I went to the grocery store at like 11 in the morning and then meditated all that day. If I woke up at night I meditated. In the morning, my skin was completely clear. I couldn’t believe it! It looked like the melanoma had never existed. I called him and said, 'It's gone,' and he said, 'What do you mean it's gone?' I said, 'It's gone, it's not there.' He said, 'I don't believe you, come in anyway.' I walked into his office and he said, 'Jesus Christ, I've never seen anything like this before in my life!' You can take the swear words out, but they’re what he said. He was blown away by it. I was trying to understand it but I didn't have the missing piece, the missing links, that I have now that makes it make total sense.
RG: You've had lots of things like this happen for you. When you're meditating, for example, you're not thinking about the melanoma, you're thinking about something else.
KL: Right. At the time I used to think about God and God is in nature. So I would see nature and find what is Godlike from nature. One of the things I saw in nature all the time is beauty. That beauty is a part of nature and it's in the sky, it's in trees, it's in flowers, it's in animals, it's in people, it's in everything! Everything must be important to God because it's a part of it. It's on my face, and you know, actress, model, you want beauty. So I just started to use the word beauty as if it were the light of the sun, like the energy of beauty shining on my face. Actually this was something I normally would do, focus on this theory of beauty. Beauty looking out over a cliff on the ocean, or that kind of epic beauty. Looking out over some beautiful trees or a ladybug or butterfly. Just getting that feeling, sort of, and focusing on it. I would do this beauty meditation just because it would make me feel good. One time I had gone to a healer and when I was at the door he said, 'Wow, you're glowing! You must be using some really amazing face creams!' And I never put on face creams. I shouldn't say never but hardly ever. I didn't say anything, and while he was working on me I was doing that beauty imaging or energy thing and he said, 'Holy moly, you're glowing! More than even when you walked in! You're radiating! I've got to tell my wife about this, what is it you're using?’ It's not a cream, and he was so disappointed!
RG: Do you think about unconditional love all the time?
KL: I don't think about it but I feel it.
RG: Does it ebb and flow and weave in and out or is it pretty consistent?
KL: It's getting stronger and better and more palpable every day.
RG: I read somewhere recently that Oliver Sachs (noted neurologist and writer) said we should stop building hospitals and start building gardens, and that if every sick person went to a garden instead they would get healed.
KL: I love that idea, thanks for saying that. That feels really beautiful!
RG: Were you raised with a spiritual practice?
KL: No. My Mom was super brilliant. My Mom was Greek and my Dad was Catholic and so they just said forget it, we're not going to make them go to any church. I guess they both had had enough. But I went to a youth group with some friends, a Methodist church group, and there was spirituality there. The minister also happened to be a pedophile. But there were a lot of good spiritual things there too and it sort of opened me up. As a little girl I was fascinated with love. In Greek there's three different types of love. There's Agape, which is spiritual love, or Jesus' love. There's Eros, which is sexual love, and Phileo, which is brotherly love and where we get, in America, the word Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love. I learned that when I was like three and got kind of obsessed with what is love. I would ask all my friends if I could go to their church. I would ask my Mom. It was a focus for me even as I was just a little girl, like 6, 7, 8. I was going to other people's churches. I thought they were going to teach me about love or God. I was trying to find out what is God, what is love. And I never got it. I never heard it in any of the churches, or I just didn't know how to hear it at the time. That's probably more accurate.
RG: I did a lot of online reading about you, and as you're talking about this I'm getting even more of an impression of you as quite an explorer. You grew up in California and have a wonderfully unusual background. Tell me if any of this is untrue. For starters, you sailed with a boyfriend to Hawaii from California. You went to college in Hawaii and you were a pre-med major.
KL: I also went to college at UC Irvine.
RG: You were a gymnast and trained on a trapeze in Paris.
KL: I did trapeze for seven years.
RG: You learned sign language. You were a 'Playboy' Playmate. And the thing that was the most fascinating to me is that you were a panelist on ‘The Match Game!’
KL: Hahaha! Yes!
RG: These are far-reaching experiences. It occurs to me that you are a bit of a Renaissance woman in any case but this idea of exploring, you've done it in your life and also spiritually and all of this led to where you are now.
KL: That spirit of adventure and exploration is something that has been just really a high value for me all my life. When I work with clients I bring that energy and even if they don't have it, they start to access it. They start to have a really fun time because adventure and exploration is super fun. It's something that people, even if they don't have it, catch once they start to work with me.
RG: You've done a lot creatively, including having written this book, and you've been an actress for a very long time. Are you still acting?
KL: Yes, although I've been so fulfilled and gratified with what I'm doing with the book and with clients that I haven't gone out as much.
RG: You've done a ton of TV and commercials, you were in the soap opera ‘One Life to Live’ for many years playing Tina Lord Roberts, you did a bevy of sitcoms and a variety of other things. I was thinking about the difference in your acting then versus your acting now, this idea of unconditional love and pleasure and whether it makes you a better actor. Does it help you tap into that creativity differently than before?
KL: That's a good question. One thing is I'm more discerning about what I want to happen, so I'm not taking jobs that I might have taken before. The other thing is that as I stay in that place of love, I can find the energy, if you will, of the character and just kind of tune to it, to learn how to really change a thing. I can tune to it in a really interesting, fun way so that feels like the creativity is accessed. I've had it with acting where the creativity feels like I have an inner director happening and it's not me. It's guiding me in every moment to be able to express and embody the truth of that character and that circumstance. You tap into something where you're literally hearing, 'Look this way.' This emotion comes up that is automatic emotion, like you didn't even think it, and it's right there. That's what I love. With writing, I did a flow test before I started. They said test yourself writing for half an hour and then time it times two and you get the words per hour. I timed it and they said if you're in flow, you're typing at least 2000 words an hour. I was typing 3400 words an hour. When I wrote my book, I was literally taking dictation. I didn't ‘write’ my book.
RG: Is it fair to say it was channeled?
KL: I don't use that term. I just feel like I took dictation.
RG: And it's coming from the universe, or however you describe it?
KL: That's what it felt like. It literally felt like I was being given everything to say. I did do some work with a wonderful writing mentor, Dr. Angela Lauria, who is just genius, and her team asked questions that caused me to receive clarity that transported me.
RG: They were prompts to lead you down the path of where you needed to go?
KL: They asked the questions and then I'd go sit down to write and I would just feel the flow of how to write it. I was feeling it. I didn't think much, I more received. I love my brain but it's really better at receiving than it is at thinking. I'm a bright person, I'm intelligent, but my brain is really very receptive.
RG: Something opened up for you differently in a major way.
KL: Yes. I feel beyond blessed.
RG: Do you still listen to your own meditations? I should say you have a site called Yummy Meditations. I've been listening to some of them and one on the app Insight Timer. I also read that you mastered them in what is considered one the frequencies of love, 432 MHz. I understand 528 MHz is another one. They’re considered by some to be healing and kind of the earth's heartbeat. So you're listening to love in the frequency of love in your meditations.
KL: That's what I do! I only do the meditations in a state of love and then I master it. The only reason I do 432 versus 528 is when I tried to master it in 528 it didn't sound as good and in 432 you can feel there is something different to it.
RG: For your clients you create their own personal meditation.
KL: It depends on what's going on, but I can create a guided meditation for people that is specific to what we spoke about in the session and it makes whatever we were talking about super easy for them to allow in. You asked if I listen to my own meditation, and I'll say that I didn't listen for about two years and then recently I felt like I'm ready to expand in a whole new way.
RG: There is something hypnotic about your meditations and I can't quite figure out if it's your voice or the words that you're using or if it's the love behind it or the intention behind it, but I feel differently.
KL: I am so practiced at meditation that I can go very deep, and meditation and hypnosis are very similar the way the brain waves work. I go into that state to do the recordings most of the time. I know about entrainment because it's something that happens with music, you put five guitars in a room and you hit the A string on one guitar and all the guitars start to vibrate in A. That understanding caused me to want to bring that energy in myself. I get super relaxed when I'm doing the meditation and I think people are getting entrained with me when they listen.
RG: I could definitely see that, because I've been meditating since I was 15 and have listened to a lot of guided meditations. I was totally receptive to yours. I do feel differently and that was extraordinary to me.
KL: Thank you for saying that, that feels really wonderful.
RG: It feels really wonderful on this side, too. This idea of tapping into your heart and unconditional love, is it fair to say that's the primary thing we need to be headed toward at a time when it seems like everyone else is talking about mindfulness? You're proposing heartfull-ness!
KL: Well for me, when my heart is full of love, which is what I practice, that's when everything started to shift and so that is the practice for me. It's one of the keys. I mean there are so many things. If you have an understanding of how the mind affects the body and how things affect epigenetic expression, there are a bunch of different things kind of essential to understand. If you can understand those, it makes it really easy to be in that state of unconditional love. I didn't try to be in a state of unconditional love. It's that I recognized that when I was feeling it, my body felt better.
RG: Got it. I think there are a lot more books coming for you!
KL: I do too!
RG: Do you know when your book ‘Chronic Pleasure’ is going to be published?
KL: People can find it on Kindle now, or if they want to send an email I will send them a free book (pdf). I'm doing the audio book right now, and it’s coming out in hardback (before Christmas). I'm so excited!
RG: Karen, thank you, I'm incredibly grateful to talk to you.
KL: Thank you so much Kathryn, this really feels beautiful!
This conversation has been edited and condensed.