3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Feeling Depressed


It was this week three years ago I treated myself to my first week-long yoga retreat in Costa Rica.

The retreat was lovely - I ate delicious food, practiced yoga with my teacher, and had wonderful conversations with great people.

But there was one night, near the end of the trip where I started feeling depressed. I felt really off, like something was missing. When I tuned in to feel the feeling it felt like this deep unknown hole of sadness inside of me and I had no idea what it was about.

Everything on the surface was great. I was in a beautiful tropical location. I was surrounded by loving people. I just didn’t know what it was.

Then, the next day in my yoga practice, I had a realization, “I haven’t been sharing my gifts!” A week had passed without writing a blog post, or leading a group coaching call, connecting with a client, giving a speech, singing or teaching a yoga class.

I realized the sadness that was setting in was simply a sign showing me it was time to be of service, and share my gifts.

Depression and sadness have been a real teacher for me - as a watery Pisces (my birthday is this Thursday!) - I feel a lot, and I’m sure many of you can relate.

And now I know when I start to feel this way, I can at least first ask myself, “How can I connect more deeply to my community and be of service?”

Over time I’ve discovered it’s that place of authentic sharing, space-holding and teaching, that I feel most ALIVE, JOYFUL and present in the moment.

I believe that for those of us that have a deep soul calling to be teachers, healers and space-holders in this life, we are going to start to feel pretty miserable if we are not fulfilling that mission.

Do you feel like you have a soul contract to help and uplift others? If so, jumping in and saying YES to that mission is going to deeply impact your sense of well-being.

So the next time you are feeling sad, try asking yourself these simple questions:

1. How can I share my gifts?

Find small ways to give back, right now.

  • Is there a friend in need?

  • A way you can start that healing practice?

  • Someone you can be a coach or a guide to right now?

Sometimes we feel like we need to have it “all together” before we can start helping people.

And it’s not the case! You don’t need the perfect website. Or social media brand. Or the big email list. You can start helping people right now!

The world needs you! And the truth is:

You only need to be one small step ahead of the person you are helping.

So how can you put yourself out there? Teach that class or workshop? or reach out to someone in need? It may not look the way you thought it would at first, but the simple act of giving will bring so much joy and meaning to your life.

2. Am I balancing “input” with “output”?

While going to retreats and trainings are great (and taking time off is pretty essential to reconnect with your creative flow) if you are only signing up for trainings, courses and retreats without sharing or putting anything out into the world, it can start to feel pretty imbalanced.

I call this balancing your “input” with “output.”

How much information are you consuming on a daily basis? How many online trainings or retreats did you sign up for in the last year? And how often were you releasing content, and digesting that information into something that could be of service in the world?

I’m careful now to not take on too much “input” so I can always be in balance with how much I am releasing “output,” or creatively sharing with others.

3. What fears am I ready to face?

It’s through doing the work, that you are going to gain confidence, and it’s the work that is going to fill the void you may be feeling from not fully sharing your gifts.

And often we need to take a step before we feel ready. To take authentic action. To pick up the phone. To have the conversation. To put the workshop on the calendar. To practice the free consultation. To teach the yoga class. To have the art show. To give the speech. To write the post. To share your story….

So today I encourage you to face the fears. To put yourself out there. To help someone in need. Because the truth is, everyone benefits when we ask the simple question, “How can I be of service today?”

Want to join the conversation? In the comments I’d love to hear: How will you share your gifts this coming month?



A Day Inside the Rising Women Leaders Bali Retreat

woman on beach-bali-explore-self expression

For the last few weeks I have been busy reviewing applications and having phone calls with women excited about the retreat I will be leading in Bali next May.

I wanted to share with you a taste of what will be happening in the 7 days and 6 nights we will join together, so I wrote "A Day in Bali" an insider's look at the Rising Women Leaders Bali Retreat.

 Applications for early pricing ($200 off) are available until December 1.  If you're at all interested in joining us, I encourage you to apply now to be eligible for the discount.

A Day in Bali...

Imagine arriving at the airport with your new girlfriend (I'm helping women in the group connect in advance to make travel plans) and being met by a kind, Balinese driver.

The air is warm and you immediately notice ritual and spirituality are everywhere - people praying in temples, altars on the street, and there are even deities on your driver's dashboard.

You arrive at our retreat center Desa Seni,  (watch a video of the landscape here) and are immediately blown away by the kindness of the people who greet you.  I see you arriving, run up and give you a big hug, so excited to meet you in person after connecting on facebook and in our sisterhood coaching call before the retreat.


I introduce you to your roommates, and even though you were a little nervous about meeting new people, you immediately feel at home.  These women are kind, sweet and sensitive, just like you, and share how they were just as nervous as you were to be with a whole group of new people.

When you see your room, your jaw drops - it's the canopy bed you have always dreamed of.  Traditional antique furniture, and finely hand carved adornments.


For the next few hours you take time to rest (everyday includes several hours of free time to just be - visit the beach, read your book, lounge by the salt water pool).

We meet for our first dinner - the food is organic, grown on the property and you get to try delicious, traditional Balinesian dishes.  You find you have so much in common with the other women through your conversations, and you find yourself immediately stepping into your voice, sharing stories and enjoying the company of the other women.

You go to bed early and wake up with the sunrise.  You fill your mug with warm lemon water and begin the day with meditation in the garden.

We then meet for restorative yin yoga in the pavilion to ground to the Earth.  Michael Zeligs is there to play guitar and sing for us.  His angelic voice provides the perfect space to just be and melt away any stiffness from your flight.


After breakfast, we meet for one of our morning workshops, this morning we begin with a satya circle.  Satya means truth - and it is a space to authentically share your truth.  It's also a space to improve your active listening and authentic communication skills.

Tears come up from several of the women in the group as they share from their heart, what led them to this retreat and any challenges they had been going through.  Your heart opens as you relate to the women who share, and feel more comfortable sharing from your heart.  After you share, you feel a weight lift from you and already feel intimately connected to the other women in this circle.

We move on to writing and partner sharing to identify limiting beliefs we have been carrying and I share my process of how to reframe them.

After lunch, the afternoon is yours to swim in the ocean, get a smoothie or lounge by the pool.

In the evening, we meet for an hour of opening the voice with kirtan before a luxurious dinner and bedtime.


Throughout the week we step more and more into our authentic self-expression, courage and self-love through the workshops.  Some highlights include:

  • Morning Yin, Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga
  • Healing through Emotional Freedom Technique with Michael
  • Sacred Cacao Ceremony
  • Vision + Voice Workshop
  • Design Your Dream Life Workshop
  • Q + A on Courage + Self-love
  • Visit to the Sacred Tanah Lot Temple
  • New Moon Manifestation Ritual
  • Q + A on Love + Relationships
  • Self-expression through Dance with Michael
  • Closing Ceremony to Step into Your Authentic Voice

If this sounds like a dream you'd like to manifest for 2016, I invite you to apply now. 

With love, Meredith

P.S.  I've been sharing more details about the retreat on instagram and in a private facebook group I created for the women interested to connect with each other and hear more about the retreat.  If you're interested in joining the facebook group, request to join here. 


A New Moon Holiday

new moon-yoga and meditation-vision-self expression-self devotion

A couple weekends ago I went to a moon ceremony.

We were led through a meditation, remembering what happened during each month of the last year. At the end, we were asked to imagine and share what the essence of the last year was for us.

I was thinking back through each of the months, and realized the values I had been holding in my yoga teaching and my coaching practice - the values of courage and self-love were exactly what I was living in 2014.

The essence of my 2014 was stepping into courage and self-love.

This was the year I stepped up to invest in myself and my business - with both financial resources and time. This is the year I began to see significant returns in my investments...and I've been seeing my clients face their fears and fall in love with themselves.

I've been seeing more and more how I can fully and abundantly support myself doing what I love.

This year I began sharing my voice in a much bigger way, both through singing and through speaking.

Some highlights of the year included giving my first talk, leading a workshop in Hawaii with Erica Jago, signing on international clients including amazing women in Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, and Brazil.

I led three group programs, including my women's yoga sangha with 10 beautiful ladies for 3 months that began last January, my 6-month group coaching program for five goddesses, that lasted from May to November and most recently, VISION, my latest group coaching program and meditation course that will last for six more weeks through the new year with over twenty beautiful ladies.

This year I went through four dedicated 40-day practices, the first one beginning in January.

I fully stepped into living from a place of self-devotion rather than self-discipline.

I saw working on my business as a devotion. I saw waking up to meditate as a devotion. I saw taking care of myself as a devotion.

Through this devotion, I am seeing my message reach farther, and I am grateful. It is a time to celebrate.

This Sunday marks the Winter Solstice which also happens to land on a new moon.

This is an auspicious time to reflect on the year past, create and share new prayers and visions for the future.

I will be holding space for the women in my VISION program to share their highest intentions for themselves in a ceremony this Sunday.

In the evening I will be attending The dhyana Center and will be singing and playing harmonium in a ceremony led by the founder, DeAnna.  It will be a free event, so if you are local, I'd love to see you there.

Now take a moment to think of all YOU have accomplished in the past year.

Take some time to journal what you remember from each month.  If you wrote down intentions last January, take some time to revisit them.  CELEBRATE YOU and all you have done.

Then ask yourself, "How will I live in devotion in 2015?  How will I be devoted to myself?  What will I devote myself to?  What will daily devotion look like to me?"

I'd love to hear in the comments below.

May the coming year provide you with all the tools you need to take leaps into courage and self-love.

In celebration & gratitude, Meredith


Are you afraid to share your voice?

courage-comfort zone-self expression

For years I felt a block around sharing my voice. I thought I was a terrible singer and had trouble speaking up in groups.  It's hard to say when it began, but small experiences throughout my life added up to a huge block of self-expression.  By the time I got to college, I felt so terrified of public speaking that I avoided it at all costs and would never for a second consider myself a singer.

I eventually went to a counselor at my school because I realized I couldn't live my life without speaking up, and I was ready to do what I needed to move on with my life.  However, the response the counselor gave me was not what I was expecting, "I think you should try voice lessons."

"Voice lessons?  Me?  I'm not a singer!" I thought.  He reassured me the voice teacher he knew would help me with my breath and speaking voice so I could feel confident speaking in my classes.

So, I took his advice and the next week arranged a series of lessons with Caroline, my voice teacher.  I remember so much emotion and fear came up at my first lesson.  I broke down in tears as I started to open up because I had so much self-criticism about my voice.

So, for the first month, all I worked on with Caroline was the breath.  She guided me to breathe all the way down into my lower back and fill my body with breath to strengthen my voice.  She guided me to clear out my nasal passages and expand the space inside my body for breath to move more freely.  Those lessons made a world of difference for me and laid a foundation for me to further explore my voice when I later became a yoga teacher.

In summer of 2010, I moved to San Francisco and bought a tiny ukulele.  I had done my lessons and wanted to keep using my voice.  I would shut myself in my room for hours, practicing where no one could hear.  But eventually, the ukulele led to the guitar and more songs, and I couldn't keep it all to myself, so shared a few songs with my housemates.

Then I discovered kirtan.

It was through devotional singing that I learned my voice was a tool to come into a deeper state of meditation.  As I used my breath and sang, more oxygen would fill my body and I felt a state of presence and stillness after each song.  I discovered:

When you focus on the breath and add intention from the heart, the voice becomes an expression of the soul.  {tweet it}

Since then, I've explored singing with guitar, ukulele, and most recently the harmonium.

I asked myself, "How can I share singing in a safe and exploratory way to encourage others to gain confidence using their voice?"  The answer came in a series of yoga classes with the harmonium.

If you are curious about using your voice through devotional song, I invite you to join me September 22 - November 3 for my Yin Yoga & Harmonium Series at The dhyana Center in Sebastopol.

And I would love to hear - What thoughts come up for you when you think about singing and sharing your voice?  Are you ready to break through those old fears?  I'd love to hear in the comments below.

With love, Meredith