Descendant of King Sejong the Great of the Joseon Dynasty and the Shilla Dynasty


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One of my mission is to help corporate workers worldwide reduce stress by providing strategies for enhancing their wellbeing on every level: soul, body, and mind.   Life OF Emerald is a social impact-driven company.

– Kate Lee 이, CEO

Q: How did you learn about your royal lineage?

My dad mentioned it when I was 33 and it prompted me to learn more about my family tree books in the library. When we dissect the last name in Korean culture, we can know its origin. My last name is Lee 이. When we then break it down by looking at the Chinese character 李, it traces back to the Joseon Dynasty 1392-1897 AD. The fourth king of the dynasty is King Se Jong. He reigned between 1397 to 1450 AD and had 6 wives on record. The first wife is considered a queen. Her name was So Han Wang, and had eight sons and two daughters. The first wife’s children are called Prince and princesses, and the other wives’ kids aren’t called that. My lineage comes from the eighth son of the first wife of King Sejong, Prince Young Eung Dae Gun. He’s known to be the King’s favourite son. 

My mom’s last name is Kim 김 (Korean) 金 (Chinese) from Gyeongju province. The last name comes from the Shila dynasty. Her ancestors were Kings of the Shila dynasty 57 BC – 935 AD. In the Joseon Dynasty, Shila ancestors were the Prime Minister class and they were scholars.  

Family tree of Lee 이 (Jeonju)


Q: Once you learnt you descended from royalty, how do you feel that shifted how you viewed and showed up in the world? 

Not knowing how sacred my lineage is, I had unknowingly allowed others to trample over me for years.

At 29, I was working at a financial district in Seoul, teaching corporate students how to speak fluent English. Around that time, I knew that I was suppressing painful emotions, and that manifested as workaholism. I finally built the courage to resign, then booked a flight to San Francisco to meet my friends. On the journey, I checked into a haunted hotel in San Francisco. I was so frightened that I called my ex-boyfriend, who I was supposed to meet up with him in Washington, DC, for President Obama’s inauguration. I told him about my ghost experience on the phone and he recommended I speak to his mom who was a psychologist. I trusted that she could help me. I told her the story, and the first and only thing she says is: “You’re crazy. Go back to your country.” I was beyond shocked and returned to Korea. A psychologist cannot call someone who seeks their help crazy. So I realised this was a matter of abusing power and sadly, racism.  Read here

When I returned to Seoul, I started blogging about dating that guy and said the experience was the worst mistake of my life. I took responsibility for that. Lo and behold, many people commented negatively and cyberbullying happened. I bullied back and fast forward 3 weeks, I had an out-of-body experience due to dehydration and shock. I called my soul back: “No, I’m not ready to go yet. Come back to me.” Then, I checked into a mental hospital for three months. That was 2009. Fast forward to 2015 and beginning to learn about my lineage, I began respecting myself more and shifting my story to one of inner resilience, and peace. That period of my life was my version of the“Spiritual awakening” that all healers go through. So it was a gift in disguise. That’s the hero’s journey I’ve won.


Q. When you think about power in the sense of a Queen or King ruling over a country, how do you think that translates into the kind of power that people can exercise in their day-to-day life? 

The more power you have, the more responsibility you have to walk an ethical path. This is one of the greatest lessons I learned from the book, The Just King.  

No one is perfect, including me. And by knowing that I can wisely wield this power that I have, from my lineage and the horrific incidents that happened to me. One of the ways I do that is prayer. The spiritual realm is real, as much as the practical realm is real. Everyone has the freedom to connect and consult the supreme beings before making any decisions and honestly reflect on our behaviour and intentions towards others. 

Q. When you learnt about the Joseon Dynasty Legacy, do you ever feel any type of pressure to continue the legacy in any way? 

That’s an interesting angle. I don’t feel pressure necessarily, in continuing the legacy. However, I feel fueled and passionate about reconnecting what was beautiful in ancient times in the Joseon Dynasty before it was annihilated by the Japanese to modern Korea. That’s a fun project that I’m brainstorming within my social impact company, LIFE OF EMERALD. But I’m not centralized to just Korea; I care about humanity on a global scale. Would love to film ancient sites of the world and give them life.


Q. Knowing what King Se Jong stood for in history and how you’re trying to invigorate that into modern times, do you feel like you ever gravitate towards some of the things that were left behind in that era? 

Absolutely. One famous thing King Se Jong did for Korea was to create the language. 

When we compare his contribution, I’d like to create a system that benefits humanity with my network of scholars from the Stanford Graduate School of Business LEAD program. One that helps people respect and love one another, bring harmony and prosperity, and be self-motivated to do good in society so that people can thrive in balance all over the world. I think that’s what we’re lacking right now. Through us all respecting our bodies as a sacred sanctuary, we can co-create a global sanctuary together where everyone feels dignified. The country’s health is connected to global health. This is the mission of LIFE OF EMERALD- empower humanity. Emerald symbolically means healing, spiritual awareness, protection, wisdom, compassion, and unconditional love. So it’s all in line.


Q. What’s the most impactful self-discovery tool that you’ve used and feel would help people alleviate their suffering and live a happier life? 

After 11 years of spiritual practice and self-inquiry, my favourite tool recommendations are:

  1. Carl Jung’s Shadow Work: It teaches how to view challenges as an opportunity to heal what’s unresolved inside and take responsibility for your actions without blaming external factors. 

  2. Soul Retrieval Meditation: It helps one to reclaim their sovereignty. Since using it, I feel more empowered to do what I want to do and care less about criticism. I’m content knowing that helping just one person thrive is a satisfying benchmark.


Q. Are there any royal beauty traditions that have been passed down through the generations from King Sejong’s Queen, that your family still practices today? 

For outer beauty, in the royal family, they wore traditional Korean cloth called Hanbok. We no longer have a monarchy but some of us continue to humbly celebrate New Years’ and Thanksgiving in Hanbok. 

For inner beauty traditions, examples are being respectful with words, bowing to elders, and showing gestures of gratitude like buying gifts to loved ones and friends around me.  And being considerate of other’s wellness.


Q. Lastly, what’s one piece of ancient wisdom that you’ve come to learn and feel everyone should know? 

The concept of life happens for us. When we surrender our desires through prayer and meditation, we’re always reminded just to trust, we don’t need to worry about tomorrow; tomorrow takes care of itself. That helps cultivate inner peace that allows us to always stay centered. Make a decision that you’re worthy and entitled to serenity. The journey can take some time, but the first step is deciding that you want and deserve it.



Photo 1] Gate in the Palace courtyard (I’m standing in the outer Palace courtyard. This door is the entry to the inner palace). Upon entering, there is another door that leads to King’s chamber.



Photo 2] Gyeonghoeru (경회루; 慶會樓), also known as Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, is a hall used to hold important and special state banquets during the Joseon Dynasty. It’s registered as Korea’s National Treasure No. 224 on January 8, 1985.


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    Dr. Fred Luskin, Ph.D., is the director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects, a senior consultant in health promotion at Stanford University, and a professor at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, as well as an affiliate faculty member of the Greater Good Science Center. He is the author of Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness (HarperSanFrancisco, 2001) and Stress Free for Good: Ten Proven Life Skills for Health and Happiness (HarperSanFrancisco, 2005), with Kenneth Pelletier, Ph.D.   Dr. Fred has completed extensive research on the training and measurement of forgiveness therapy. His research demonstrates that learning forgiveness leads to increased physical vitality, hope, greater self–efficacy, enhanced optimism, and conflict resolution skills. It also shows that forgiveness lessens the physical and emotional toll of stress, and decreases hurt, anger depression, and blood pressure.
    For more on Dr. Fred, visit

    Dr. Narjes Gorjizadeh is a PhD research scientist, international author, certified meditation and mindfulness coach, and global speaker. She received her PhD degree in materials science from Tohoku University in Japan. As a research scientist, she spent nearly two decades exploring the science of materials. At a crossroads in her personal and professional life, she encountered meditation and the science of the mind and has spent the past ten years studying both to create a unique model for achieving a happy and fulfilling life. Bridging the gap between ancient wisdom and modern science, her innovative strategies and unique teaching style promote peace and positivity in mind and clarity, focus, and greater success in life. Dr. Narjes is the creator of the GROW program. She has been featured in several international magazines on wellness and personal growth around the world. She conducts classes and workshops on how to reduce stress, increase happiness, increase productivity and improve well-being. Her book is under publication now and will be released in 2021. Dr. Narjes offers private coaching for individuals and companies. Her mission is to empower every person with the wisdom and techniques to create their best life.
    For more on Dr. Narjes, visit her website

    Currently, Edward Anthony is employed as a Performance Improvement “Trusted” Advisor at Stanford Children’s Health (SCH) – Center for Pediatric and Maternal Value.  Annually, he has presented at Stanford Symposiums for nursing, quality management, and improvement sciences. Edward received a BS in Business Management, a Masters degree in International Business Administration & Masters in Montessori Primary and Secondary Education.  He is Certified as an Advanced Hatha Yoga Instructor (Archaya).  Currently, as a follower of The Way with Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha, he has received certifications as a Master Tao Calligraphy practitioner; Tao Song / Tao Dance Master practitioner; Divine Healing Hands and Tao Hands; and is Guan Yin Lineage Holder, the Compassion Bodhisattva. In the Taoist realm, Edward received certifications as an Advanced Medical Qigong Therapist and was granted the Instructor level for the ‘Art of Neigong and Yi Quan Neigong’ styles.  Over the past 25 years, Edward’s meditation practices include Tibetan Buddhist, Taoist, Vipassana, Raja, and Transcendental Meditation.   Daily he practices Tai Ji, Qigong, as well as Yoga Asanas and Meditation as a means to cultivate an open heart for service.
    For more on Edward, visit his website

    Kate Lee
    Kate is the CEO of Life OF Emerald.  LOE is a spiritual organization empowering all people to stand (wake) up to the universal truth grounded in oneness with creation based on love, peace, and harmony.  (Be true to yourself).   Sacred Healing Institute is a highly conscious digital platform focused on emotional intelligence, depth psychology, and spirituality for female CEOs, C-suit level leaders.  The Sacred Healing Summit is a monthly public meet-up bringing together world-class leaders in psychology, business, medicine, governance, and spirituality.  Her educational background includes psychology, international education, business, urban planning, philosophy, astrology, and spirituality.  She loves studying, walking in nature, playing with dogs, and teaching while traveling the world.  A humanitarian at heart, she guides people by living an exemplary life based on the principles of love, authenticity, truth, and spiritual practices.  Kate has 15 years of teaching experience, including educating STEM college graduates sponsored by the South Korean government.  She is an alumnus of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Corporate Innovation LEAD program and is currently enrolled in InnerMBA with New York University sponsored by the Soundstrue organization on scholarship.