Hi, I’m Olivia. Here’s the story of how I got where I am today.

The short version (in the form of an official bio):

Olivia LaBarre is a Reiki Master, Animal Communicator, editor, writer, and founder of Reiki Healing Works. She left the corporate life and a 15-year career in digital publishing and marketing to fulfill her lifelong dream of helping people. Through her Reiki practice, she’s grateful to help people who aren’t happy with aspects of themselves or their lives find clarity and peace. She also helps people better connect and care for their pets with her animal communication and healing services.

When she’s not in healing sessions or talking with animals, you can find Olivia hanging out in Brooklyn with her two dogs, Lucy and Milo, and singing in The Brooklynite Choir and karaoke nights around the city. Visit Reiki Healing Works to learn more about Olivia and how you can work with her.

The longer (and hopefully more entertaining) version, which needs to be updated because so much more has happened:

I knew that I was meant to help people ever since I was a little kid. When I was 9 years old, that looked like this:


Later on, helping people looked more like becoming a nurse or doctor — until I got sick while dissecting the uterus of a pregnant cow in biology class and realized I did NOT want to go through medical school.

Then, becoming a psychologist seemed like it could be a good fit, but there were some things about it that didn’t sit well with me, like diagnosis and dealing with insurance companies.

I went to college confused and without declaring a major. I loved reading and writing, so I settled on being an English writing and literature major. That led to becoming a proofreader and copyeditor, which ultimately led to a 15-year career in digital publishing and marketing as a writer, editor, and content strategist.

I was “successful” by society’s standards. I moved up in status and title with each position I took, and I eventually shifted into making six figures doing marketing and content strategy for Fortune 500 companies. But that didn’t matter. I wasn’t happy with my career.

I was tired of working to make money for big corporations whose values didn’t align with mine. I felt like my soul was hurting. I was volunteering here and there, but I just wanted to make a living by helping people and making a positive difference in the world. I just still had no idea what that would be.

Then, I did something that truly changed my life.

My Epiphany

I decided to try Reiki almost as an act of desperation. Therapy, meditation, exercise—all of the tools I had used to try and manage anxiety and depression—just weren’t doing the job anymore. I needed something else to get through life—something to lift the fog I felt surrounding me. And oh, did that fog lift.

Reiki not only helped me find inner peace and balance more often, but it opened my eyes to possibilities and started me on the path to building my own business. It helped me get out of my own way.

After my first session, I knew I wanted to become a Reiki practitioner. I took Usui Reiki Ryoho I and II training with Kristin Reed at Healing Reiki Brooklyn. After practicing on myself, family, and friends, I started my own professional Reiki practice. I also completed advanced, master-level training at MINKA Brooklyn with Manu del Prete and Aki Hirata Baker. (Note: I still practice self Reiki every day.)

Now, I not only help people for a living as a Reiki practitioner, but I also help animals through Reiki and communication (more on that to come). That’s a lot of helping! The 9-year-old me is rejoicing.

I’m so grateful for these gifts, and I’m so happy to share them with you.

Are you still reading? Thank you! Here are some other juicy little facts about me:

Fun Bonus Facts About Me

  • I used to be a competitive figure skater. (If you scroll through my Instagram page you’ll see a picture of a much younger me with much longer hair in a skating outfit.)

  • My nicknames include Livers, O-Dawg, Liv, and Livy.

  • I have about 26 houseplants (and counting), but I admit that they’re alive mostly because of my boyfriend.

  • I love singing karaoke, and I’m a tenor in The Brooklynite Choir.

  • Nerd alert! I participated in Odyssey of the Mind for many years when I was in school, and even volunteered as a judge for several years after I graduated from high school. (Are there any other OMers in the house?)

  • I already mentioned that I have two dogs named Milo (the black one) and Lucy (the other one). But it’s way better when the mention comes with pictures, right? Aren’t they cute?