yoga

074 | Yoga, Psychology & Permission to Be You with Ashley Turner

 
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What an honor it is to welcome Ashley Turner to the Rising Women Leaders podcast!

Ashley didn’t shy away from any of the questions I asked, including several personal questions — how her wounds of being rejected in college became her medicine & opportunity to teach, what she’s currently learning & how she’s growing in her relationship, the inherent vulnerability of leadership, what she does when she feels triggered by comparing herself to other women, and how she’s navigated her own blind spots around the conversation of white supremacy. We covered everything from trauma healing, the rise of the feminine, priestess work, love and activism in this conversation…it is rich with insight & wisdom for you.

In this episode we discussed:

  • How Ashley found yoga and decided to become a teacher 

  • What being a Priestess looks like in Ashley’s life

  • The rise of the feminine & what’s happening right now in the collective consciousness

  • How Ashley blends psychology into her yoga & mindfulness work 

  • Finding your authentic voice in a saturated field of work

  • Her practices and tools for healing trauma 

  • Her journey of educating herself in the world of race & activism

  • The vulnerability of leadership and being a public figure

  • Love & relationships, what we can learn from our soul contracts


Stay in Touch with Ashley:


Elevating personal growth as a lifestyle, Ashley Turner  is a yoga/meditation teacher, Licensed Marriage + Family Therapist (#98598), facilitator, writer and Priestess.

Ashley Turner is an acclaimed yoga–meditation instructor, Licensed Psychotherapist, writer, Priestess and facilitator.

She is the founder of Yoga Psyche Soul, an innovative Yoga Psychology training program for teachers, clinicians and dedicated students fusing yoga, depth psychology, mindfulness and neuroscience. She is the creator of 10 best-selling yoga DVDs and co-author of Aroma Yoga.

Ashley has graced such lists as:

  • 100 Women in Wellness to Watch’ ~ MindBodyGreen

  • 100 Most Influential Yoga Teachers in the US – Sonima

  • Top 100 Psychotherapy Blogs – FeedSpot

Known for her charisma, depth and ability to turn complex theories into accessible, real-life tools, Ashley is a sought after speaker, facilitator and presenter at conferences and events worldwide.

She works with therapy and coaching clients via Skype and leads transformative events to power points around the globe. Ashley lives by the ocean in Venice Beach, CA.


 

071 | Yoga, Believing in Yourself & Finding Your Authentic Voice with Kelly Smith

 
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Many of us can easily get lost in self-doubt and “what-if’s” when we take a step into unfamiliar territory. Kelly Smith was no different when she was faced with a decision to move from a progressive city to a small town in Missouri with her husband while he finished medical school. She knew she was faced a choice - either she could be a victim to her circumstances and let her inner critic voices get the best of her, or she could make something truly amazing from the experience she had been given. 

Kelly went on to start the first yoga studio in the small town where many thought yoga was against their religion. She was able to rise up in spite of adversity and create a thriving space for people to align their mind, bodies and hearts. And most importantly, along the way, she learned to believe in herself as a teacher.

In this episode Kelly shares how to move beyond fear and doubt to truly believe in yourself, your gifts and what it is you are here to share.

In this episode we discussed: 

  • Kelly’s story of starting her own yoga studio at 22 years old and her journey of learning to believe in herself as a leader and teacher 

  • How to get out of your own way and stop holding yourself back 

  • How to quiet your “inner mean girl” with meditation 

  • Finding your authentic voice as a teacher 

  • What to do if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and how to use meditation to help 

Stay in Touch with Kelly:


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Kelly Smith is the founder of Yoga For You yoga method and school and a master trainer. She is also a podcaster herself (she has a guided meditation podcast) and she started her first business when she was 23 years old. 

She works with empowering women and helping people become the best versions of themselves through yoga. She believes the mind is the most powerful thing you possess and there is nothing in this world holding you back except for you! After a life time of telling herself lies and believing that she wasn't good enough, smart enough, talented enough, special enough, thin enough, or just plain enough, she took a long hard look in the mirror and in her heart and decided it was time she connected with who she truly was, got out of her own way and started to finally live. Through yoga and meditation she got a glimpse of who she truly was, and it changed everything.

She has dedicated her life to teaching soul-searchers how to master their minds and connect with their true selves so they can live an abundant and authentic life. 


 

047 | Yoga & Social Justice with Michelle Johnson

 
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The truth is racism still exists. It exists in our subconscious - as a memory in our bodies from our ancestry. It exists from past traumas of our ancestors still yearning to be healed. It exists in our conditioning, our society and how many of us were raised...

Many people have been in denial of its existence, but with Trump taking office, what has seemed to be under the surface for many has only become more and more real. People of color have seen and experienced it all along, and thankfully, more and more of us have been waking up to this truth.

Not long after I set the intention to further educate myself about white privilege and racism, I received an email out of the blue from a friend I haven't talked to in years ...connecting me to Michelle and her work.

So what can we do? I sat down to talk with Michelle Johnson to learn more about privilege, oppression and racism and her unique approach of integrating the teachings of yoga with social justice. I am so grateful to share her wisdom with you all today.  

“Racism is not just impacting people of color. The system of oppression is not just harming people of color, it's harming all of us because we are connected. We’re just not conditioned to see that connection.”

In this episode we discussed:

  • Michelle's story: What it was like growing up and feeling different and not fitting in
  • Michelle's definitions of privilege and oppression
  • How Michelle integrates healing and embodiment into anti-racism trainings
  • How to approach the discomfort, fear and emotional charge of race conversations
  • About Michelle's new book, Skill in Action
  • Actual steps we can take to create change in our world and way of being
  • The role of speaking up on behalf of everyone even when we ourselves are not the oppressed
  • Michelle's vision of hope and how she stays motivated in a world where there is still so much suffering and injustice

“One must be connected with their breath to feel their body. A connection to the body allows one to feel their heart. A connection with the heart allows one to become clear about their values so that they may connect with their humanity. When one sees their own humanity and realizes that others are suffering around them they have the opportunity to connect with the oneness of all beings and our shared humanity. From the breath, body, heart and awareness of humanity, one must take action. No one can exist without taking action. Skill in Action.”

~ from Michelle's Book, Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World

Links in this episode:


From Michelle:

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I have a deep understanding of how trauma impacts the mind, body, spirit and heart. My awareness of the world through my experience as a black woman allows me to know, first hand how privilege and power operate. I understand the toll that oppression can take on individuals and the collective physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

I am a social justice warrior, empath, yoga teacher and practitioner and an intuitive healer. Whether in an anti-oppression training, yoga space, individual or group intuitive healing session, healing and wholeness are at the center of how I approach all of my work in the world. I've spent many years on the front lines of justice movements craving a space for healing through ritual, ceremony and sacred practice. While working in many non-profits with missions focused on justice I didn't find a space that centered healing as a tool to create justice. So, I created my own space and way of working.

I create healing spaces in many different ways working with individuals and groups. I lead anti-racism trainings, yoga workshops focused on the intersection of justice and yoga and I offer intuitive healing sessions to support social justice workers, healers and activists who are on the front lines and struggling with how to sustain themselves as they do their good work in the world.

I have a background as a licensed clinical social worker and I have been teaching yoga for ten years. I began my own teacher training in 2014 and recently wrote a book about yoga and justice, Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World. I inspire change that allows people to stand in their humanity and wholeness in a world that fragments most of us. There are myriad of ways to work with me. I hope to support you on your healing journey and path towards wholeness in whatever capacity allows you to live your fullest life.

 

037 | Kundalini Yoga & The Magic of Motherhood with Myrah Peñaloza

 
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"As mothers, we are the baseline frequency of the nation. I strongly believe that everything that is conceived of on planet Earth is because of the mother."

I'm so grateful to introduce you today to Myrah Peñaloza, clothing designer, mother, and Kundalini yoga teacher.  I first discovered Myrah on instagram @myrahpenaloza and quickly fell in love with the intention, beauty and authenticity of her posts. 

I followed along on the journey of her pregnancy and excitedly read her birth story after her daughter Soleil was born. 

Myrah reminds us of the power we have to create change in the world as women and mothers and I'm excited to share her wisdom with you all today. 

"Becoming a mother showed me what a BIG responsibility we have on planet Earth."

In the episode we discuss:

  • How Myrah found kundalini yoga and how it changed her life
  • The importance of personal practice as a yoga teacher
  • What Myrah learned from her teacher Gurumukh
  • The biggest lesson Myrah has learned from becoming a mother
  • Balancing having a biz and a new baby
  • How she navigated post-partum depression
  • What women’s circles have brought to her life
  • What's coming in her new line of  Kundalini yoga gowns

Stay in touch with Myrah:

Websites:

Social:


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Myrah recently followed her heart from California to Canada. She is a Clothing designer, Kundalini Yoga lover & educator, she is obsessed with banana pancakes, sharing tea, her 7 month old (on the 20th) daughter Soleil & women's circles. Myrah is the co-founder of  Edmonton, AB based BLOOM Festival which is celebrating its 5th Annual production October 5th-8th. Her Kundalini Yoga inspired clothing line has been adorned by woman across the entire globe. She has also founded a women’s circle network that is in 5 different countries called La Luna Social. Myrah has been teaching Kundalini Yoga for close to 10 years and has taken over 900hrs of Yoga Teacher Training. She has led retreats around the world and is currently planning a retreat in Spain called The Bloom Retreat in February 2017. Her mission is to create space, opportunities and experiences to empower woman. 

 

You're Invited to a Nourishing Spring Retreat

 
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When I feel agitated, frustrated, have pain in my body, or am experiencing difficult emotions, I show up to my yoga mat.

That is when I receive all my best insights.

That is where I am able to tap back into what's really important, make decisions about my business, and receive guidance when I feel at a loss at what to do.

I believe our body is full with wisdom.

We all have a 'highest self' inside who knows the answers.  However,  we can only access this wisdom when our mind is quiet enough to tune into intuition.

It's so important to listen to what our body is telling us, but often we get distracted.  To-do lists, obligations, work, kids, and a busy mind can crowd out the wise-self we all have inside.

That's why Karen Prosen and I decided to devote a whole day to help those ready to tap back into this wisdom.

We want you to reconnect to that wise, centered part of yourself.  The part of yourself that already knows all the answers. 

We also want to honor and welcome the new season of spring.  This is a time to start fresh and release old patterns that are no longer serving us. This is a time to step into a new way of being and living in the world.

We have rented a gorgeous yurt in Occidental, CA for a one-day retreat in honor of our body's wisdom and the new season on Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 10 am - 5 pm.

We are creating an intentional space for an intimate group.  I'll be teaching gentle yoga, breathing and voice exercises.

Karen will lead us through meditation and yoga nidra to recede into rest and we will end the day in celebration with kirtan chanting.

For lunch, we have invited Camina Gillotti to prepare an ayurvedic lunch with locally harvested foods.

If you are in need of nourishment, of rest, of community and reconnection to your body's wisdom, I invite you to join us.

The investment is $108 when reserved by March 18, or $188 when you reserve for two.

You can read more about the day and reserve your space here.

And if you're unavailable, or don't live locally, please take a moment to ask yourself, "Do I know anyone in the Bay Area in need of this kind of nourishment?"  I invite you to forward this message to him or her.

In love and service, Meredith (and Karen) <3

 

027 | Medicine For Your Spirit with Vyana Ma

 

Today we are lucky to receive a transmission from Vyana Ma on the Rising Women Leaders Podcast. Vyana is another soul sister I first met through the world of instagram where we soon connected, met in person, and I learned of her work as an energy medicine teacher, devotee, musician and activist. 

I sat down to speak with her a couple months ago for the podcast when she had just come back from a bhakti yoga immersion in Mexico and was making a plan to travel to Standing Rock.  

I re-listened to this episode on my birthday in the bathtub and as soon as I heard her soothing voice, I knew there was no where else I would rather be. Her words brought me right back to my truth, reminding me of the power of being, loving and giving to ourselves in order to give back as teachers and healers, and the profound impact forgiveness can have on our lives. 

Re-listening to her story of healing from childhood abuse to become such a compassionate and strong woman leader helps me remember what I know in the core of my being - that really, anything is possible. 

"Humility and gratitude give us the freedom to experience the divinity that we are."

"...And if we always return to these principles of being and humbling ourselves and being grateful for what we have we will never be lost, no matter how confusing or painful it may feel. When we come back to humility and gratitude we will always find our way." ~Vyana Ma

In this episode you’ll learn about:

  • When to listen to the inner call - letting go of what “makes sense” to the rational mind in order to follow the heart
  • Vyana’s travels through Mexico and beyond
  • Her story of finding balance between giving and receiving as a healer and teacher
  • Her sadhana practice and experience with the Gayatri Mantra 
  • How she moves through resistance to spiritual practice 
  • Vyana’s story of awakening, rising above and healing childhood abuse to heal herself and others
  • Vyana's story of sharing her voice as a singer and teacher
  • Her experience of opening the portal to become a mother 
  • How we can open to forgiveness and the difference between 'letting go' and 'letting live'

Links in this episode:


Vyana Ma is a woman who lives on the earth and breathes the air. 

She is also an international energy medicine teacher & speaker based out of Ojai, Ca. She blends her journey through childhood sexual & physical abuse, addiction, and self abuse with trainings in Eastern & Western healing modalities. Using these tools, Vyana guides her clients & students through the shadowed and disempowered aspects of themselves to reach a place of trust and truth.

 

013 | Uninhibited Leadership & the Queen Archetype with Ashley Burnett

 

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Last week I sat down with another Rising Woman Leader,  Ashley Burnett, to talk about her journey to uninhibited leadership.  

One of the things I love about Ashley is that she can have a fierce get-stuff-done attitude at the same time as embracing everyone around her with so much love. 

I've been honored to get to know her over the past few months since she moved from SF to the countryside in Petaluma, CA and I can't wait for you to get to know her through today's show!

"Dance is my lifeline."

Here's what you'll find in today's episode:

  • How Ashley healed a Gallbladder disease through diet change and embracing her emotional landscape
  • How to release our attachments when manifesting new visionary ideas and desires
  • How dance and movement has informed Ashley's life and work
  • What is uninhibited leadership? How to fully embrace yourself and your ideas.
  • The meditation Ashley uses on a daily basis
  • The archetype of the Queen - what it is and how you can use it to build more self-confidence and self-love
  • Unleashing your voice 
  • Ashley's upcoming UNLEASH retreat happening in Sonoma County September 21 - 25, 2016.  It looks absolutely AMAZING...so be sure to check it out.

I would LOVE to hear what insights you gained from the episode and how you will use the archetype of the QUEEN to live and love more fully in your life. Let me know in the comments below...

With love, 
Meredith

Women’s leadership coach, professional dancer, speaker, retreat facilitator and creative muse, Ashley Burnett is dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs heighten their visibility, embody their missions, deepen their facilitation & leadership skills, and speak up for their life's work with confidence. She's been teaching and leading groups for over 15 years and running her own business for 13. Ashley has facilitated hundreds of classes, workshops, events and retreats, and has led thousands of women from over 60 different countries in building their businesses and expanding their leadership. She lives in San Francisco Bay Area Wine Country with her husband David, and has the pleasure of running her retreats and workshops at her workshop space on 22 acres of expansive land. Visit www.strongbodylove.com to learn more about her work.

 

Read the Transcript:

Meredith Rom:

Welcome to the Rising Women Leaders Podcast. We are a sisterhood of women stepping into courage, self-love, and feminine leadership. I'm your host, Meredith Rom, and here I'll be sharing personal insights as well as interviews with inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs, so you can create more daily magic in your life and also grow your business without losing sight of spiritual values as a rising woman leader.

 

If you like this podcast, use our hashtag #RisingWomenLeaders, follow me on Instagram @meredithrom, and sign up for email updates at risingwomenleaders.com. You'll receive all the new and inspiring content, including insights I only share on email. Now get cozy with a cup of tea, light a candle, and grab a journal to listen to this week's magical radio podcast.

 

Hey, everyone. I have an awesome podcast to share with you today from Ashley Burnett. This episode is full with wisdom about being a visionary person, the archetype of the Queen, and how you can use that in your life, as well as how to let go of inhibitions that may be holding you back from showing up as your fullest self in the world.

 

I have a couple of announcements before we dive in. The first is that I'm really proud to share that I have recently completed writing a book. It's all about synchronicity, self-love, and my travels through India. This whole project began about five years ago, when a very influential man in my life handed me this beautiful, hand-woven notebook when I was in India. He said, "Meredith, you're going to write a book one day. I got this for you to start."

 

At first I didn't believe him, and I thought the idea was impossible, but then the more and more that I traveled and I met spiritual teachers and I learned how to really listen to my intuition then I started having these magical situations and occurrences where I just was showing up at the right place at the right time. The more it became clear to me that even if it felt impossible, I just needed to start writing down these stories and ideas.

 

I began writing, but there actually came a time a couple years ago when it just felt too hard and I stopped altogether. I needed to put my energy into finding a stable home, starting my career. I just put the whole project aside. It sat on my desktop for almost three years. It wasn't until I had this dream one night, when in the dream I opened this drawer and inside there is this book. I'm flipping through the pages of the book. There's a beautiful image on the cover, and I realized it was a story of a woman's travels. I thought, "Oh, my God. This was the book that I was supposed to write. I gave that up."

 

When I woke up the next morning, I knew that I needed to complete that project. I had no idea how it was going to happen. I didn't know, but I just sat down and I prayed. I said a really clear intention. I just said to the universe, "I don't know how this is going to happen, but I promised to show up for my part and to at least sit down at the computer and give it my best and see what happens."

 

Two months later, I met a woman who was just finishing her book. She had been working with an editor and a writing coach. She was like, "Oh, yeah. It's helpful to just have support through the process." I was like, "I'm ready for that." She connected me with that woman, and we started working together. For about 13 months, I wrote 5,000 words every two weeks. That's about 20 double-spaced pages. It really helped to have that accountability, that support along the way to actually complete this project. Just a few months ago, I've completed the manuscript.

 

I tell this to you because I want to invite you to think about any places in your life, any dreams that maybe you have pushed aside, felt like, "Oh, my God. That's impossible. How could I ever do that?" and to really think about, yes, you can do that if you set a really clear intention and if you're willing to trust in the universe that the very next step will be shown to you.

 

I'm now at the phase of having a couple other people read it and making more edits, but next month I'll be starting the process of publishing it. I'm really excited to share it with you. I have some awesome opportunities for you to get involved in the process, including an opportunity to actually pre-order an early copy of the book. I'd love to share just what's happening behind the scenes as they go through this process. You can go to my website, meredithrom.com. There you'll be prompted where you can sign up to stay involved and to get to hear all about the details of the release of this book that I wrote.

 

I'm so grateful to have you here listening to the podcast. If you've been enjoying the show, I'd love to hear. You can leave us a review on iTunes. Without further ado, I hope you enjoy today's episode.

 

Welcome back. This is Meredith Rom. I'm so grateful to have my friend, Ashley Burnett, on the podcast today. Ashley is a women's leadership coach, a professional dancer, a speaker, retreat facilitator, and creative muse. She's dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs heighten their visibility, embody their missions, deepen their facilitation and leadership skills, and speak up for their life's work with confidence.

 

I had been hearing about Ashley from a few other entrepreneurial women friends for probably a few months before she actually came into my field and we got to meet. I was lucky enough that she moved from San Francisco to Petaluma, where I live. We got to have dinner together and, since then, just been having some really sweet visits in each other's homes, and really glad to have her here and just to talk about uninhibited leadership and a lot of other great topics. Thanks, Ashley.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yay! I'm so excited to be here, Meredith. I'm just stoked to have this conversation with you and all the women that are listening today.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. I would love to just dive in and talk a little bit about how you came to be doing this work. I know that you had studied dance for a long time in your life and you had been a professional dancer. I'm curiously particular about that transition of how dance evolved into what you believe in now and how you're serving women in leadership.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yes, I grew up in a fairly small town in Illinois, Quincy, Illinois in the Midwest. My mom was my dance teacher and my dad was my theater director. I was born into the arts. My mother ran a dance studio for years, and her mother was also an entrepreneur as well. In terms of entrepreneurship, that has just been embedded in my blood for lifelines, I think, for a long time.

 

In terms of dancing, I ended up majoring in dance in college at the University of Illinois. I went on to dance professionally for about 10 years after graduating and was running a massage therapy practice at the time also. I think there was a moment of just not feeling that my body could physically sustain those two careers for a long, long time.

 

Hence, a few years ago, when I was also getting into health and wellness and really wanting to heal my body, because I was also, when I was 28, diagnosed with hereditary gallbladder disease, which also was in that long lineage of women entrepreneurs. There was that gallbladder disease. My mom and her mom and her mom and my aunt and everyone had been diagnosed with that.

 

I was actually on the table at San Francisco General Hospital to get it taken out. I had a change of heart at the last minute, jumped up off the table, said, "I can't do this. I want to heal it naturally with diet and lifestyle shifts." I haven't had a gallbladder attack in nearly eight years now.

 

That was the catalyst for me to go back to school to become a health coach, which got me into the coaching industry. Once I got into the wellness industry and the health industry and started health coaching, pretty soon thereafter, people started coming to me to ask me how did I build this business, "How did you do this? How are you getting out there so quickly and doing your work?" It started to organically shift into this business in leadership coaching work.

 

I was really understanding that because of my long lineage of entrepreneurship that this was really where I was being called to be. However, to come back to the dance piece, I let go of that. I think there was a correlation between the gallbladder. Part of my healing was to slow down and to go inward. So much of my dancing was always an external process with performance and things like that. There was a lot of inner processing as well in the studio, but there was part of me that felt like I had to step away from that for a little bit to heal, at least to heal the way that I was dancing at the time.

 

Then, in addition to that, there was also this piece of I really need to focus on one thing for a little bit because, for so long, I had been doing massage, creating a jewelry line, dancing professionally and creating dances and producing shows, and I had a company and also is dancing for other people, and starting a coaching business. There was this moment where it was like I've got to just yank everything out and just focus on this coaching business.

 

It was something I needed to do for a while, but about two to three years into that sabbatical, I was really understanding that that wasn't an option for me, that dance is one of my most strongest lifelines. I have been blessed with this ability to express myself through movement, and I need to honor that. I don't feel like myself when I'm not doing that.

 

Not only in this year of moving to Petaluma, where now I have this really beautiful thousand-square-foot workshop studio space attached to the house that we're living on, where I get to share my retreats and workshops and things like that, but I'm healing myself side that workshop and out on this sacred land, channeling movement here again. That feels really important. I'm channeling that work, that movement into the work that I do.

 

Teaching always, when I start a retreat, which is something that I ... I just love retreats. They're like my jam. Always starting that retreat after a meditation and intention setting always with movement. I really believe that the body is the shortcut to moving through fear and self-doubt and limiting beliefs and for us to get into our intuitive state. When we're disconnected to the body, we can't get out there, channel the information that we need to get out there in a flowing way. That's the way that I always start my work and start my days really.

 

Once we get into that then with my clients, I also weave in a lot of leadership embodiment work that helps to boost confidence. The body is a huge integral part of the work that I do with all of this leadership work. It feels good now to be able to put all these pieces together and to be able to teach these yoga dance fusion classes, as well as then as I'm teaching curriculum to then, in between, get them up, teach them these leadership embodiment practices which still draw on the body to help them to step into larger visibility platforms with confidence, and get out there and hold space for groups and speak onstage and all the things that people that are in leadership roles are wanting to do either on a small scale or a large scale, but being able to do that with a sense of trust in one's self.

 

Meredith Rom:

I agree that the body is the ... It's really the vehicle to connect to our intuition to know what steps to take next in our life. It sounds like this gallbladder disease that came at that time, it was like you had been really outward and giving of yourself in dance and massage therapy. It sounds like that was a time your body was asking you to tune inward and to be a little bit more there for yourself and that healing. Then again the dance came back in later.

 

I'm curious just a little more about the gallbladder disease that came up. I'm curious about what emotions do you think it was related to and what really did catapult that healing at that time for you?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. Obviously, I have a little frog in my throat, so I apologize. To be completely honest, I think what really was going on, and I'm so glad that you asked this question because I want to stress that while I am so passionate about leadership and business, work for entrepreneurs, a huge part of the work that I do is all based on fiercely prioritizing self-care and really paying attention to the signals of the body.

 

At the time, I was about 28. My parents got divorced in my very early 20s. I had been super close with my family and attached to that unit. When that broke off later in life, not early childhood, the rug was pulled from underneath me and I fell on my face. I didn't have any of the tools really at that time to deal with my anger around that.

 

Right after that happened, I graduated college, I moved to Chicago. In Chicago, I was there from 20 to 25. I was really angry. I was really. really angry and sad and frustrated. I didn't really process it and I don't think that until I moved to San Francisco, I spent a few years learning massage therapy and continuing to self-teach myself on health and holistic healing and all of that, that really I think what happened was that it was manifesting as anger in the body. It ended up residing in that gallbladder area because the liver and those areas are really representative of anger.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah, I know that, too, in my practice of yin yoga, which brings in the Chinese medicine system, that the liver, gallbladder can ... It's where we hold unexpressed anger, emotions like that.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. There was that piece and the energetic piece. Then there was just a dietary piece that was definitely there. I, at the time also, was going to a little more extremes, drinking a little bit more coffee a couple of times a day, a bar of dark chocolate a day, just things that I, at the time, was like, "Oh, yeah. This is totally fine," but it was overkill.

 

When I decided to jump off of that table and heal this thing naturally, there was the process of going on a fairly strict gallbladder diet for a year. If anyone that's listening to this interview has had gallbladder stuff, gallbladderattack.com was the site that was like my Bible. It helped me so much in terms of diet, but the reality is that now I can eat all of those things, I just do so really in moderation. Most importantly, I've gone inward and I've expressed ... I've deeply worked on my issues around my parents' divorce and other things that were coming up that I think were really energetically causing the gallbladder to spasm out.

 

Meredith Rom:

Right. I have a question that came to my mind, which you've partly answered, but you've gained so many tools since that time. If you were to look back on that woman, just finding out this disease and feeling out of balance, what would be some of the first things you would tell her, where to start, and how to begin that healing process?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah, it's such a good question. It's really letting her know that it's okay, that starting to understand that people's existence, that you're not responsible for other people's existence, coming to be in process around understanding that life isn't permanent and moving through our attachments and releasing those.

 

I think that I would have potentially told her to start going to Spirit Rock and meditating a lot sooner than she had, really dropping inward. I think I was reaching, I think I was grasping a lot at that time. I was also going through my Saturn returns. It was very intense emotionally. I had also met my now husband, who was living in Omaha at the time and I was living in San Francisco. We were having this two-year, long-distance romance, which was also a very grasping time. There was always this wanting of wanting to see someone.

 

I think if I could tell her anything, it would be to just really try to practice presence. That's something that's coming up for me really strongly right now of just trying our best to be in the present moment to really see the buds on the trees, to really smell, use our senses of where we're at right now. We've gone so far away from this with technology. I think it's really important for us to just come back to really being where we are in that moment and being okay with ourselves.

 

I probably would have done myself healing work earlier, too, but now that I'm saying that, it's like I was always doing self-healing, but the thing was I wasn't getting support. If I could also tell her anything, it would be go get some support. You don't have to do everything yourself. You don't have to read self-help books and read nutrition books, and that's the only thing that you do and try to hold the space for yourself all the time. It's okay to be held by other people.

 

That's coming in very strongly also right now, and I'm sure you feel this as also a leadership coach and holding space for others quite frequently, that, as people in roles of leadership, we've got to learn how to have the space held for us. We cannot be giving, giving, giving and holding the space for others all the time and then not having that space be held for ourselves and giving back to ourselves. Long-winded answer to your question, that's probably what I would talk to her about now.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. I love all of those. Those are so integral to just how I live my life and how I've been teaching others. That piece about support, a blog post that I wrote a few months ago was about this idea of even if we are just leaning on one person for support, that's usually not enough. We need layers of support around us.

 

I had my friend, Kevin. He was visiting me for a few days while Michael, my boyfriend, was away. I have been going through a challenging time. I was feeling like, "Wow! My partner, who I rely so much on, he's away for two weeks." I was telling him about that challenge. He was like, "Yeah. If you're just relying on one person for most of your needs, it's like standing on top of a flagpole."

 

Ashley Burnett:

Totally.

 

Meredith Rom:

It can get pretty shaky up there if that person just moves a little bit to the right or to the left. He says, "Instead, if you can think of becoming a spider and having eight legs holding you up and you have your friends and you maybe have a coach or a massage therapist or a therapist, and just like lots of people that are there supporting you." That was a huge light bulb moment for me. I immediately went into just cultivating that support around myself so deeply.

 

Ashley Burnett:

I love that. Yeah, community is key, what I like to call your support power posse. It's like having that and determining who is that. Yeah, exactly. If you're just looking for your partner to fill that space or just one coach or something like that, I feel like it is. It can be completely overwhelming. We've got to create other built-in support networks for ourselves. Yeah, I love the spider analogy, too. It's great.

 

Meredith Rom:

Definitely. I had a couple other questions come up when you were speaking earlier. One was around ... I know that you're a very visionary person, I'm a very visionary person, and sometimes I get these huge ideas or downloads and I'm like, "Oh, my God. Everything needs to change right now. I need everything to be different."

 

Part of the practice of being with these big ideas that sometimes come in that I want to take action on is that non-attachment and that, okay, coming back to the present moment, being gratitude. I'm curious how you handle this, what you do for yourself to be in that practice of non-attachment? I think it'd be useful for me in particular, but anyone listening who has a visionary mind.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. I mean when you're in a leadership role and you're a visionary and/or an entrepreneur, I mean it's the entrepreneurial mind to have all of these ideas that come up, and we want to take action on them and we want them to happen overnight. There's an impatient nature that happens.

 

There's also this grasping of, "If I don't get it out now, someone else is going to take that idea and run with it. I won't be able to do it." There is this idea of, "Yeah, it's already going to be done. I need to do it right now." This brings me into the idea of uninhibited leadership, if you're interested in going there.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah.

 

Ashley Burnett:

This is the idea of understanding that even if you have an idea that comes up and you sit with that for a while, and then you see someone else do something similar to that idea and get it out there, the reality is that no one else on the face of the planet can execute and deliver an idea the same way that you can.

 

Your thoughts, philosophies, and ideas don't have to be the same. They can be the same as someone else, but the way that you are going to actually deliver those is what makes it unique. When you can really drop into that idea, that's when you can relax, we can relax, and just completely owned who we are, which is my really definition of an uninhibited leadership. It's like allowing yourself to completely be yourself in your leadership and to, what I like to say, let your freak flag fly.

 

You can get out there and be your wild, crazy self in a way that still has dignity and integrity and ground, but that's the idea. It's really about understanding and owning that no one else on the face of the planet is you or is going to deliver anything else like you. You can have very similar thoughts, philosophies, and ideas and visionary programs or anything else, but that person is going to deliver it in a completely different way than the other person is. It's going to resonate with certain people. That's how we can get out of that compare and despair syndrome, too.

 

The other piece is that it's not a sprint. Life is not a sprint and neither is your journey of entrepreneurship or whatever kind of leadership you're in. It's not a sprint to the finish line. This is a marathon. This is a lifelong marathon, and your ideas do not have to happen and they're not going to happen overnight.

 

I think a lot of people that identify themselves as light workers and visionaries, there's this idea of like, "But we've got to do this now. We've got to do this now because the world needs us and we need to do it." I get that. I really get that desire.

 

The fast-paced franticness of that is not going to help anything. We have so much of this fast-paced, frantic energy going around us, swirling at all times, the technology and, "I've got to change my printing ink," and "I've got to check that email," and "I've got to write that blog post," "I need to ... " I mean it's out of control. "I've got to do this Instagram thing. I've got to write on Twitter. I've got to ... " Then it's like, "Oh, I need to actually be present and look at a flower for a second, an actual living thing that has a higher vibration."

 

I think there's this level of actually when we release that attachment to have to having something done really quickly or doing it now that we give the opportunity space to flow. We give ourselves space to flow. I've learned how to stop pushing so hard. I'm not perfect with this all the time. In fact, just a few months ago, I did a huge conference that I felt like I was pushing again. I was like, "I don't like how this feels."

 

I think it's really important in this process to ask yourself, "How is this feeling to me right now? Do I want to feel like this? Do I want to feel in this frantic push, push, push, push place, or do I want this to feel more spacious? Do I want this to feel like there's more pleasure involved and more flow and connection and trusting that this process is going to unravel itself because I'm holding this intention, I'm starting to take maybe some action towards it, but I'm letting it to unravel itself instead of me forcing it to happen?"

 

Meredith Rom:

I had an insight recently. I was doing this exercise I learned from a book around I'm writing a letter to God, spirit, universe, just getting out any challenges you're facing, and then to end the letter with, "Please, right through my pen, guide me." I was writing, just connecting to that intuitive state of what would this greater presence say to me.

 

One of the things that was said was, "Meredith, sometimes the best thing about having a desire is it's just having that thing to look forward to and having something that is in the anticipation phase of having it," so learning to enjoy that. I wanted to touch on what you said before this piece around if you have an idea that is similar to what someone else has already done in the world, that you should go right ahead and do it because no one will receive it the way that you're going to share it.

 

That reminds me of something that ... I've been listening a lot to KC Baker, as you know, this woman who share so much about your messaging and your speaking. She had this idea around it's okay to not be original as long as you're authentic. That was very freeing for me to hear, like, "Oh, okay. Yes, my ideas may be similar to what other people are sharing, but I have my own stories to add to them. If it's really true for me then, yes, I should go ahead and share it, of course."

 

Ashley Burnett:

Totally, yeah. I couldn't agree more.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. One other thought around that timeline of I recently watched Tony Robbins' film, I'm Not Your Guru. Have you seen that?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. I just saw it, yeah.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. Something that he says is like we usually overestimate what we can get done in a year, but we greatly underestimate what we can get done in 10 years. It's like that idea of what you said at the marathon. Let's look at our life in the bigger picture here and find the ease in that process.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Right, yeah. I think he's right, where it's like then we think it's too hard. It's like an extreme. It's either one thing or the other, where we might think it's too hard and then we just don't go ahead and move forward with that dream at all. A lot of dreams are just released because they tried for a few months and it was hard. Then it felt like it was too hard, so, "I quit. I'm done. I'm done. I'm not going to try to become an entrepreneur anymore," or whatever it is. "I'm not going to try to build that app," or whatever it is.

 

Again, yeah, it takes time. The process doesn't happen overnight. If I could say anything to anyone, it would be stop trying to be Oprah when you're first starting out, or just stop trying to be Oprah all together. It's like just be yourself. Trust this process. Understand it takes time get support. It's going to happen.

 

Meredith Rom:

When it starts feeling hard, unconsciously it's usually when we are trying to be something else or we saw something and, "Oh, I want to try and be like that." Then it gets hard and sticky, and it doesn't feel good. Always coming back.

 

I'm curious about ... You mentioned Spirit Rock before. I know that you recently wrote a blog post about going there. What have you been learning there? What has that been like for you?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. I mean I've just, in the last ... Again, as someone who is constantly producing new things as an entrepreneur and visionary, that I was really feeling this calling in the last few months to start really going inward a little bit more than I normally do. I talk a lot about self-care even in the midst of launches.

 

I know it's hard, and I don't even have a kid yet. I have a primary relationship, I have tons of friendships that I'm navigating, and a big, big business where I'm holding space for my clients. Then also when I was launching that conference, we had gathered 1500 people together from all over the world for that. That was a lot of space to hold for people. I tried my best to take care of myself and take [babs 40:43] and meditate here and there, morning and night, and do my movement. It was clear it was still too much and not enough focus on going inward and rebalancing and being supported and being held.

 

I really was being called the Spirit Rock because I felt like this space could hold me. There's that piece. I have meditated myself for years and years and years, but I've never been formally trained. It's been cool to be taking real time out and learning more about the process of non-attachment and releasing that ... I think desire is good in a lot of ways, but I think there's a lot of unhealthy ways that it comes in and takes us away from the present moment.

 

It's really one of my favorite practices I just learned, and I had been doing it myself without knowing that's what I was doing for a while, but is the love and kindness meditation. Some of you probably know it and others of you maybe have never done this before, but it's really sitting, finding a place, finding a comfortable seat, closing your eyes, and then starting with yourself, repeating the mantras, "May I be safe, may I be healthy, may I be happy, may I be able to support myself with ease," and you can change these words up. It could be, "May I be filled with love and kindness, may I be filled with peace," starting with yourself and repeating each mantra a few times until it really sinks in to your being.

 

Then moving on to the next one silently to yourself. Then moving it towards someone else that you care about, that you want to hold in that space, and then moving it outward even further to maybe your greater community, or eventually you can get it to where you're holding that space for the whole world or that intention for the whole world.

 

Then, lastly, the most difficult for a lot of people ... I'll say the most difficult for some people would be doing it towards yourself. In fact, when we were holding that practice at Spirit Rock, one of the people was expressing that they were like ... Or actually the teacher was, when he first started doing this 30 years ago or however long, he was fine with doing it for other people, but then as soon as it came to himself, he hit a wall.

 

Also, it could be very difficult for people to do it towards people who have really triggered you in the past or are very challenging for you, or even with the state of the world that we're in right now, people who actually cause harm and suffering to others and actually trying to hold them in that light. That's been pretty profound to me. I've been doing that morning and night every day, or if I'm laying in, getting acupuncture, I'll do the love and kindness meditation, or if I'm taking a bath or something like that, I've been doing it. It really helps me to get out of my head and just really drop into myself and just understand there is nothing else but this present moment.

 

That's the other thing that I really ... I talk about presence, but, having gone to Spirit Rock a few times now, really honing in on they talk so much about the present moment that there's nothing else but this moment right here. If we're somewhere else, we're in the future or the past, we're never actually getting the present moment. We're never experiencing it. It's huge. It's really huge. That's where I'm focusing my energy right now.

 

It's tough when you are a visionary because we're always looking forward towards the next thing, but I think it's really important as visionaries. This whole past month of August, I've been super internal, not trying to produce other things. I've got a retreat coming up at the end of next month that I'm looking forward to, but I'm not creating that curriculum yet. I have the intention for it, but this month of August has really been about just letting it be, giving myself a break from producing anything new.

 

The other thing I want to say about that is I took a ritual training program a few years ago, and I teach ritual in my work also. There's this idea of never really being able to relish in the harvest. If we are constantly looking to the next thing ... It's like this idea my coach, Joanna Lindenbaum, who originally taught me this idea, was if we're constantly climbing up the mountain and we get to the top of the mountain, then we get up there and then we just see this other peak and we're like, "Okay, we've got to climb that mountain now." We never take in the view. We never actually relish in the harvest of what it is that we've just accomplished.

 

I think for a lot of entrepreneurs and visionaries, it's like an illness. We just keep going to the next thing and we never actually get to soak in and celebrate what we've really accomplished.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah, that's so important. I think that's a lot of what can be hard or challenging in our culture is there is so much just people achieving and what's next?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Right.

 

Meredith Rom:

It's hard work. It's the piece about slowing down, looking at what we have done, feeling grateful for that.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Totally.

 

Meredith Rom:

Love and kindness, too. It's been a big piece. I really like how when I first learned sending that love into every cell of your body first, and then from that place, sending it out, really nourishing.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah, because really you can't show up in the way that you need to as a leader or partner or mother or father if you don't start with loving yourself first. I really strongly believe that they're going to feel that energy. Your clients, your kids, your colleagues, they're going to feel that energy of you not really being connected to yourself. That will affect everything. I think it's imperative that we begin with ourselves and move outward from there so that we can give in just a much more fully aligned way.

 

Meredith Rom:

That's so true. This actually I think relates to the archetype of the Queen. I know that you've been bringing that into your work, and the Queen being someone who can hold space for that and really be of service, but I'm wondering if you could share more about the Queen and how that's been coming to play in your life and work.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah, I'd love to. It's been interesting, this journey with the Queen. Back at that ritual training, we looked at different archetypes. Mostly at those, we were just looking at Maiden, Mother, Queen, and Crone. I don't know, it was this interesting thing where the women who identified with the Queen stage of their life were asked to stand up.

 

I don't know what it was, but I just broke down in tears. It was so powerful to have these women stand up. I didn't stand up because I don't identify with being in that stage of my life right now necessarily. I definitely resonate with the Mother stage, but, I don't know, it just struck me that here's this idea of someone really, really knowing themselves and really owning who they are and being comfortable in their own skin. There was that that happened, and then I don't know exactly what else happened, but recently I led a retreat where we focused ... I'm not exactly sure where the inspiration came from other than that, to start working with the Queen. It really organically came in.

 

Then I started going back and watching old dance videos that I had created six, seven years ago. I was realizing, "Oh, my God. I was working with this Queen energy back there and I didn't even know it." I was doing very esoteric modern dance and having this one character like come forward and pins this banana peel to her head and she just claimed all the space. I was like, "Oh, my God. I'm watching this. I was working with the Queen energy back then and I didn't know it."

 

It's interesting. I've been playing with it for a while. Now it's really an integral part of the work that I'm doing. The reason being is that if there's one major piece that I could say that my clients walk away with, it's that it's not that they get to a place of never having fear or doubt or any of that again, but they are so much more self-confident in themselves, much more self-loving, have so much more trust in themselves after they get out of a program. I really feel that working with this Queen energy is helping them to truly embody that.

 

The idea of working with the Queen is ... And it's not this idea of this big Queen presence that is full of ego. It's not about that, it's about the Queen who fully owns her value and embraces all of her unique skills and her life experiences and her talents and her challenges and everything that really makes up who she is, and that she's not afraid to weave her uniqueness and her unique qualities into the work that she's doing to help shift the world for the better.

 

It's this idea of the Queen who can sit on her throne and take up space without questioning her right to take up that space, because one of the things that I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with and a lot of visionaries struggle with is they have these ideas, they want to do this work, and then they're so engulfed by fear and self-doubt that they don't do it. They don't end up holding space for people, they don't end up having that women's circle or doing that retreat because they're scared that they're going to look stupid or they're not going to know enough, or they haven't had enough training to do that, or they aren't going to fill it and no one's going to come to their party, so they just don't do it, or they don't do it because they feel like they're going to take up space from someone else.

 

The Queen doesn't question our right to take up space because she knows that when she does, she actually won't be taking anything away from you or anyone else. In fact, the contrary actually happens. She is giving you permission to step into your confidence and shine and do your great work.

 

The Queen also knows she's not perfect. She has released this idea and the myth of perfectionism, and she owns her mistakes and she cultivates the courage to voice those mistakes humbly and learn from them. I can't tell you how many mistakes I have done and created and made over this journey of 15 years of entrepreneurship, but I do voice when I make a mistake to my clients, to my communities, to my people and apologize for that and try to learn from it.

 

Meredith Rom:

That's so beautiful. That's so freeing. It's so freeing to know that on an entrepreneurial path, or really any path, mistakes, we all make them, and it's okay. We can learn from them and to think of that as part of the Queen, something that maybe many of us look up to, is very freeing.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah, this idea of there is really no such thing as failure, only feedback and that when we make a mistake, it's another opportunity for ourselves to learn and grow. We can't grow the way that we really want to if we don't make mistakes. We just stay in this little comfortable place.

 

A couple other pieces of the Queen that I really work with and the work that I do is talking about, again, self-care. It's like the Queen, the archetype of the Queen. We're not necessarily talking about actual Queens right now, we're talking about the idea and the archetype of the Queen, but she loves herself and she really cares for herself just as much she cares for and loves others. She really values her self-care, she really practices it diligently, and she works on loving all of the parts of who she is, even the dark shadowy parts that bug the shit out of her, excuse me, for lack of better words right now, but that trigger her.

 

There's so many pieces of myself that trigger me, too. I have to learn how to embrace that's part of myself. I can work on this. It's not perfect. I will continue to work on this, but I have to have compassion for that part of myself that triggers me.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. There's the meditation piece coming back in, going to give love to myself even in those times that trigger, even those parts I don't want to accept on the surface. That's true. True work, inner work.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah, and it's hard. It's hard to look at the parts of ourselves that we don't like. They're dead in the eye, and then tell them, "It's okay. I understand you've been trying to keep me safe. You have a positive intention for me," and then working with it and seeing how we can start to shift it.

 

Also, one of the ideas of the Queen that I like to do to embody, especially in the leadership embodiment work that I talked about, is leading with a combination of warmth and compassion and ground and strength. Some of the best leaders are really people who emulate these two and really embody these two qualities. It's learning how to lead with that ground and that fierceness and that strength, but with compassion and love and warmth always at the forefront. Some of the best, best leaders that have been out there, Gandhi and Maya Angelou, Mother Theresa, people who have really just done huge work in their lives, they lead with that combination.

 

The idea of the Queen, it's leading with that idea of warmth and compassion and ground and strength, and then leading without ego, not letting her fear, shame, guilt, doubt define her and/or slow her down from actually putting herself out there because the mission is stronger than that fear and doubt and shame and guilt. The mission of why they're doing what they're doing, why we're doing what we're doing, it takes precedence over that fear. The Queen is not afraid to speak the truth and vulnerably use her voice to create positive social change for the greater good of humanity through the work that she does.

 

Those are really the elements that I like to work with. I think once we start to work with these and embody it through a ritual that people begin to really feel that Queen energy in themselves. Then they can draw on that experience when they do go out and hold space for groups or retreats or giving a talk on stage or doing events or workshops, or holding space for even just one client. I'm going to be working a lot with this in my upcoming retreat late September, but I think throughout all the work that I do now, it's really working with this archetype.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yes. I have a couple more questions for you. One thing you just mentioned was the voice and the Queen using her voice and speaking up in the world. I'm curious if you could touch for a minute just what that journey's been like for you and if you have any advice for women that are on the brink of wanting to share their voice. Maybe they're feeling the fear or the self-doubt come up, anything you would say to them.

 

Ashley Burnett:

It was interesting. I started out again in dance and theatre and performance and was on all these stages from a very young age. I mean I did my first musical at age five. By the time I had gone to college, I had already done, I don't know, probably ... I can't even ... performed on a hundred different stages.

 

Performance was my life. I was always using my voice, whether that'd be dancing or actually speaking, doing a play in that way. I had that upbringing. That's part of ... In a way I wasn't as scared of the stage because of that, but then I went to the opposite extreme and started this massage therapy practice when I lived in San Francisco, and have that running for 10 years. It was quite an interesting thing to just get quiet and go inward and basically communicate with someone through touch and through the body.

 

About halfway into that experience, I was really realizing like, "Wow! I have something to say here, and I want to say it on a larger scale and on a larger platform and it's not just behind a massage table." There was this feeling of hiding at one point that was happening.

 

I think I needed it. Also, there was healing, and I just needed to go inward in that way, but then I just felt like there was a bigger message that I needed to share.

 

Really, it was interesting because when I started coaching, I was just doing one-on-one coaching mostly. I had started to lead some online group programming, but where I flourish and where my passion is is in-person with people, holding events and retreats and workshops and creating experiences for people that they can viscerally feel and experience in-person.

 

I started to lead experiential day retreats in the city. That was when I really felt like I could start to really speak my truth. I had done some telecalls, but there was still this idea of hiding behind the computer, and so I started to get out and really create the vision for those retreats. Now it's like that's what we're doing here and that's what this upcoming retreat that I have at the end of September is really focused on helping people to do.

 

I think in terms of what I would say now, again, it's these elements of perfectionism doesn't exist. We have to release the myth of perfectionism. Stephen Hawking, the great scientist, said that after the Big Bang, if the particles would have not gone in odd directions and everything would have just expanded perfectly, we wouldn't be here. Matter would never have been created and we wouldn't be here.

 

Perfectionism does not exist in our universe. We can't continue to buy into that myth anymore. It doesn't mean just like throw something together absent-mindedly and then try to put it out there. That's not what it means. It just means that it's not going to be perfect and we need to start getting our work out there because the world needs it.

 

The biggest thing is to continue to connect to your why, continue to connect to the bigger mission of why you're doing what you're doing if you really have the desire to help people get healthy or help people live a more peaceful life through meditation or to help someone to feel more confident in their style, if you're a personal stylist. I've worked with stylists before. If you're someone who wants to help someone to dance again and get back into their body in that way, if you're someone who wants to help them to move forward into their leadership and get over their fear of public speaking, that your fears that come up around doing that work and putting it out there, those are what's holding you back from actually getting the people that need your message the help that they need.

 

If we can start to really connect into that why and really think about our community that we want to serve and really connecting with that, that can help us to release this idea of perfectionism and help us to actually get the good work out there, and the work with the body and learning different strategies on how to build more confidence in the body through simple movements that actually help to diminish cortisol levels and boost testosterone and oxytocin which slashes those cortisol levels, which is a lot of the work that I teach in the experiential retreats that I do, that can actually help us to feel more in our strength and in our power even before our mind feels that way. It's like we want to play with boosting the oxytocin and testosterone in the bodies that we can slash out those cortisol levels, which we can do through movement technique.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. I like what you said. I've thought that before. On the other side of your fear is someone who genuinely needs your help, and if you can continue to come back to that. It really helps to be with whatever intensity of sensation that might be there.

 

I'm curious, I'd love to hear a little bit more about ... You have a retreat coming up the end of September. Tell us more about what that's going to be about and how people can find that.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. I'm super excited about it. It is called the Unleash Retreat. You can find out more about it at unleashretreat.splashthat.com. Unleashretreat.splashthat.com. Really, it's for any woman who identifies as a leader of some sort or an entrepreneur who feels like they're ready to expand their leadership and their business and their visibility and to scale their good work through strengthening their facilitation skills, as they lead classes and workshops and events and retreats.

 

We're going to focus on group programming. This can also be online or offline, because I've done such an array of both work, and the skills that we're going to be learning or things that you can apply if you're creating an online virtual circle or group program, or if you're doing something in-person with people, or a combination of both, but we're going to focus on developing advanced skills to create safe containers to really build trust with your attendees and your clients as soon as they come into your radar and walk in the door, and help build a really sacred container for that work to be done in.

 

Then to weave powerful ritual. We're going to look at some different rituals that you can do to really help embody the work that you're doing, help your clients really embody the work that you're doing. We're going to start looking at that.

 

We're going to talk about confidence skills, like how to start building that confidence while facilitating, because I know a lot of times people just won't even ... They can't even think about leading a group because of that fear. For other people, it's like they feel very confident holding space for groups, but they just want to take this work to the next level and they want to learn some new skills and advance their facilitation skills.

 

Really, it's for both people who are maybe beginning an entrepreneurship, as well as people who have been in it for a while and just want to take their skills to the next level, as well as people who actually aren't entrepreneurs. I have a couple of people coming who are in higher up positions at corporations who are leading teams and things like that that are coming as well.

 

We're also going to talk about, for those that are in entrepreneurial roles or are holding events and things like that, how to create lasting transformation for the clients, how to bring more income flow into the business from those retreats and events, and actually how to fill those retreats and events, too.

 

That's some of the main focus, but we're also going to be working a lot with that Queen archetypal energy to help just boost confidence in ourselves in general as well as while we're facilitating and really drop into the body and healing the body through movement, self-care, nature, ritual, and coming together in sisterhood. I think it's so important to be able to come together in community and, again, like we talked about at the beginning of this conversation, allow ourselves to be held and not always have to be in that facilitator role and to be able to really be held by a safe and sacred circle of women who are like-minded and who are getting out there and doing great work in the world and holding space for others.

 

It's going to be super awesome. The first night is on the autumn equinox on September 22nd. It's the 22nd through the 25th. We're holding a powerful autumn equinox ritual to help restore balance and ground and strength as leaders, because if we don't have that balance, we can't get out there and give. It's going to be a really beautiful opportunity to restore balance in ourselves before we even get into the work of learning new skills and things like that.

 

I live out here in Petaluma, California on 22 acres of beautiful, sacred Native American land. We'll be gathering here during the days, and folks will stay in the charming town of Petaluma at night. It's just going to be a really beautiful opportunity to grow and expand and really get centered before we dive into fall and winter. I am really, really excited about it.

 

If people have questions, they can find me personally at ashley@strongbodylove.com, or at strongbodylove.com, on Instagram or Facebook. You can also, again, go to unleashretreat.splashthat.com to learn more.

 

I'm happy just for your community, Meredith, because I love you and I love this community that you're gathering together to offer a really beautiful discount to your community for this retreat, too. If people want to ...

 

Meredith Rom:

Yay!

 

Ashley Burnett:

... learn more, the best way is to just shoot me an email and we can hop on the phone together and chat about it.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yay! Oh, my God. It sounds incredible. I have a big smile on my face as you're sharing because I can feel so deeply your passion about this work. It is really needed. It is going to help so many people. I'm very excited for you. I will-

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. The last thing I'll say about it is my friend, my dearest friend, one of my dear, dear friends, Monica Lucero, who you know, will be acting as retreat doula a.k.a really holding the space throughout the entire retreat and clearing the energy and making sure that when things come up, because when we're doing this deep work, it's really intense, but that we acknowledge when stuff comes up that we can look at it, explore it, clear it so that we can continue to move forward and do the great work that we need to do.

 

Moni also clears my energy and she clears the space energetically beforehand, so it really feels like a safe and sacred container for us. She'll be part of that as well. Then I'm going to have a couple of other guests that will come weaving in and out of it, too. It's going to be awesome. I'm super excited.

 

Meredith Rom:

Wow! That's so wonderful. I will include, too, the links in the blog post and the show notes so people can take a look at everything that's there.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Thank you. I appreciate that so much.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. So much of what we shared today I feel like was what I needed to hear. I know that it's going to really resonate out in all the people who got to listen to this. I would love to just close this call today with so much gratitude. Thank you, Ashley, for being here. Do you have any closing words before I say a little prayer for the call?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Mostly to just thank you so much for having me on the show. I love you and I love the work that you're doing and the energy that you bring to everything. It's been just so great to get to know you over the last year. I look forward to more.

 

I want to thank everyone who has listened to this interview and just for your presence and being here. I hope to get to connect in with you personally at some point. I'm sending you all just so much love. Just remember presence, presence, presence and trust and slow down. Those are the three biggest pieces that are coming to me right now.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah, that's so key. Let's ground back into our breath, just reflecting on all that has been shared. For those of you listening, you can tune into the space of your heart to see what comes to your mind, what you're going to take into your life, all this information that was shared today, and the action steps you might want to take, any insights that you're going to carry, maybe share with someone you know. Just hold that gem in your hearts. I'm going to bring my hands to my heart center and bow. Thank You, Ashley. Thank you. Thank you to everyone listening. Namaste.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Thank you.

011 | 4 Keys to Feminine Leadership with Meredith Rom

 

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A few months ago I sat down to be interviewed by Luna Love, the host of the  Ladies Who Lead Podcast.  I had a great time sharing about my personal story of how I came to do the work I am doing today.  

I talked with Luna about growing up in New York, what inspired me to take a leap to move to California after college, become a yoga teacher, travel to India and eventually start my own business.  

I decided to share this interview on the  Rising Women Leaders Podcast  so you can hear about  my  "4 Keys to Feminine Leadership"  as well as the women who have inspired me most over recent years.

"When you share your fear, it starts to lose its charge."

Here's what else you'll find in this  episode:

  • My personal process of how I execute my creative ideas
  • How I let go of "distractions" of alcohol, sugar, and busy-ness in my life to listen to my body's wisdom and needs 
  • How I moved from a fear of self-expression and being seen to becoming a yoga teacher and entrepreneur
  • My dark night of the soul  - how I knew I reached my breaking point where I needed to make a big shift in my life 
  • How I discovered yoga  and met my first spiritual teacher, Amma

"If I feel fear, but even just a little bit of excitement, I know that's a good sign for me to walk closer to it..."

  • How I handle my inner critic voice and limiting beliefs
  • Practices to listen to your body wisdom, face your fears, and create layers of support in your life 
  • The story of what happened when I shared my first song on the harmonium 
  • How I call  upon a higher power to manifest my desires
  • The women who have inspired me the most in business and life
  • A sneak preview of details about the book  I've been writing for the last year about my travels in India

Did you enjoy this episode?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Love, 
Meredith

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Have you ever dreamed of going to Bali?

 
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I have some exciting news for you today!

Behind the scenes of my business I've been busy dreaming up 2016.  It's been a patient process, requiring time to vision and reflect as well as gain clear focus and take consistent action.

Now, those dreams are manifesting.

I knew it was time create an in-person experience for women to come together in sisterhood, face their fears, tune into their intuition and manifest their wildest dreams for 2016.

As the idea for a retreat took shape, it became clear the focus would be yoga, ritual and self-expression.

It also became clear we would meet in one of the most beautiful places in the world:  Bali.  

Announcing:  The Rising Women Leaders Bali Retreat

May 5 - 11, 2016

We will be exploring expression through yoga, writing, ritual, singing, speaking and dance as a way to step into courage, self-love and leadership.

Do you want to be one of 13 women joining me in Bali?

Get ready for the magic...

Learn more and apply here.

With love,

Meredith

P.S.  If you missed the free online class to Live Your Vision, you can now sign up for it and  download my free guide on the Bali page!

 

Live Your Vision ~ New Teleclass

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Are you the kind of person who likes to get stuff done?

I know I am. When I have an idea, I spring into action.

But I've also seen if I try to push before I'm ready, whatever I do will feel like a struggle.

Over the last few months I have taken special care to achieve a balance between visioning and taking action, being courageous and also resting into self-love.

My desire is for you to take action and face your fears to manifest your dreams, but also to feel ease and grace throughout your days.  If this sounds appealing, then I designed this new teleclass just for you...

Live Your Vision As A Rising Woman Leader

In this 1-hour Teleclass Event I'll be sharing my 8 Spiritual and Practical Tools to: - Move Past Fear and Blocks - Tap into Intuition and Open to Guidance - Achieve Divine Balance to Manifest Your Dreams and Live Your Visions

I'll also be sharing more about how I found my voice and stepped into the role as a teacher and leader.

This class is perfect for you if: - You’re full with creative ideas and new projects - You feel a calling to give back and help others - You’re ready to share your voice - You want to feel vibrant and alive

It will be particularly helpful if: - You’ve had trouble fully expressing yourself - You’re feeling held back by fear or self-doubt - You want to implement a self-care routine to avoid burning out - You’re curious about teaching and running your own business OR - You would like to rise into new forms of leadership in your current career

Even if you can't make the live call, when you sign up you will receive the call recording and pdf design guide in your inbox the next day.

Sign up for the call details here.

With love,

Meredith

The Power of Ritual

 
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Last September I sat in a yurt near Yosemite sitting at an altar in each of the four directions with the question, "How do I fully express myself? I was at Erica Jago's EARTH retreat where Erica had just taught us a powerful exercise from the Native American tradition about how to use the 4 directions to gain more clarity in our lives.

Through the exercise, I answered questions like, "What was I like as a child?"  "What am I grateful for?" "What wisdom have I gained?" "What brings me joy?" and "What are the new possibilities for my life?"  I drew a card from the tarot for each direction, sat, wrote, and meditated on these questions.

The whole process took about an hour, and afterwards I left with a map of exactly what I needed to do over the next year to fully express myself.

I knew I needed to sing, dance, write, and speak in front of large groups.  However, I had so much fear even just thinking about it.  Erica then placed an empty glass jar in the center of the room and said, "Now, write your fears on a piece of paper and place them in the jar.  On the Full moon we are going to burn them."

Through the exercise, I discovered I needed to meet monthly with other women on the full or new moons as a space to be vulnerable so that I could gather strength and courage.  I knew I needed to join the public speaking group I was avoiding because it would give me the space to practice, and I knew I needed to start singing, dancing and playing kirtan in front of others.

On the Full moon, Erica held a powerful ritual.  Each person shared the art they had created over the week, the insights they had gained and released their fears, and their art in the fire.

One by one, we shared the insights we had gained over the weekend - what we were releasing and what we were stepping into.

I had my harmonium with me, and I knew it was time to play it in front of the group.  I openly shared my fears and blocks I have had around self-expression.  As I did, tears streamed down my face as I imagined the little girl inside myself who had been closed down for so long.

Then, I sang the mantra, Aad Guray Nameh, The Mangala Charan, a mantra to help us all overcome self-doubt and create a protective field of light.

Everyone sang with me.

In that moment I was witnessed in releasing a deep rooted fear, and for the first time, was fully witnessed in sharing my singing voice.  That moment carried so much power and healing.

A ritual is a space to be witnessed in your truth and supported by your sisters.  It is a space to honor the rites of passage in your life.

Rituals infuse magic, intention and sacredness into our daily lives.  A ritual can turn a mundane act done without awareness into a sacred act with clarity and purpose.  Slowing down to say a blessing before a meal changes the experience.  Meditation, singing, or lighting a candle imbues a moment of peace and serenity into a busy day.

Ritual can also be this healing space where women come together to honor a specific purpose.   These rituals may honor transitions, letting go, grieving, the lunar cycle or the change of seasons. 

Participating in ritual has been one of the most healing ways to mark a big transition in my life.  Ritual has provided a space for me to be fully seen, acknowledged and supported.  After participating in ritual, I feel more confident and courageous to share myself with the world.

I had no idea the kind of transformation that would take place over the next year.  I went home, with a map in my hands, knowing exactly what I needed to do to fully express myself.

Without that ritual, I don't know if I would have had the courage to go on my first teaching and singing tour, to join a public speaking group, deliver toasts and speeches, dance without self-consciousness, and devote myself to writing and art.

Ritual helped me release my fears and feel supported in taking action towards my dreams.  It was a way to mark a new beginning and enter into a new way of living.

 
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I am excited to participate in Erica's EARTH retreat again this September, and this time, I will also be sharing as a teacher.

I'll be teaching two workshops - one an intuitive goddess collage art session to connect to your archetypes and another a vision & voice offering to open to your life's dreams and visions as we sing with the harmonium.

I know this year is going to be another intimate and sacred community.  I'd love to share this experience with you, so if you feel called, click here for the full retreat details.

Now I'd love to hear:

What rites of passage have you gone through that you would like to honor?  

What fears are you ready to release and what new beginning are you stepping into?  Share with us in the comments.

I encourage you to create your own ritual, or join us at EARTH this Fall to create one with us there.

With love, Meredith

Creating magic in the redwoods

 
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A few days after the New Year, I got together with mystical artist and photographer Jasmine Amara in the redwoods of Occidental for a portrait session. I first met Jasmine before she joined my group coaching program, "Let go, Vision Transform."   Jasmine knew she was passionate about dreams, water, and photography, but didn't fully believe she could support herself through those passions.

Over the course of the six-month program, she came up with an exciting idea for a photography exhibit.  With some encouragement from me and the women in the group, she began taking photos for her series "Dreaming Awake" creating lucid imagery through double exposures.  When I first saw the images I acknowledged her for how unique and powerful they were.

Over the months that followed, Jasmine began to create a business for herself doing what she loved.  When she announced her offering of Visionary Portraits, I was inspired to participate.

Leading up to my portrait session, she asked me a series of questions..  One of those questions was, "What is your deepest desire?"  

I sat with that question for a few days, and eventually wrote this piece, (Which I sent to you a few weeks ago.)   It was about the feminine rising, women stepping up to take supreme care of themselves, to face their fears, and develop the courage to take care of the world.

Before our session, she asked me to read my deepest desire.  She created a sacred space with flowers, dreamcatchers, and sipping chocolate (ceremonial cacao from her travels in Guatemala).

Being witnessed in sharing my deepest desires in such a sacred and intimate space was a powerful experience.

Then, she took these photos.

 
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Images by Jasmine Amara Photography

To have this moment captured through photography was invaluable. When I saw the beauty and magic we created in the photographs, I was in awe.

After seeing the images I thought, "If Jasmine had never taken the steps to believe in her art, these images wouldn't even exist!"  

So today, I invite you to look through the images, and to ask yourself, "What gifts am I hiding from the world?  How could I be of higher service to others through my gifts and talents?"

It's time to honor whatever hidden creative potential lies inside of you, ready to rise to the surface.  Do you know what it is?  I'd love to hear in the comments.

Love, Meredith

P.S.  My next free teleclass series is filling up.  I'd love to share my latest insights with you, over the phone, or through the recordings. Find Your Glow As a Feminine Leader:Just sign up here.

How I Found My Glow As A Feminine Leader

 
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I was recently thinking back to when I first started teaching yoga.

I went a whole year after my training before I started teaching. I used the excuse, "I don't know enough yet" and I went to find more trainings.

But really, I was afraid of being seen as a teacher or a leader.

I felt insecure, my skin was breaking out and I wasn't eating well. However, I didn't know any better. I was eating lots of sugar, dairy and flour while I travelled India going to meditation retreats and trainings.

When I returned home, the thought of being in front of my friends, let alone a group of students at the front of the room teaching, felt terrifying.

Because I didn't feel good in my body, I didn't have the confidence to stand in front of the room as a teacher. I didn't have the courage to lead.

Luckily around that time, I started learning about nutrition, and how what I was eating was affecting my body. I read the book, 12 Steps to Raw Foods, by Victoria Boutenko and decided to try eating raw foods for a few weeks to cleanse my body of all the toxins I had accumulated from a poor diet.

My acne slowly began to clear up and I discovered an inner and outer glow I hadn't had before.  I saw that

The more you take care of yourself from the inside, the more confidence you have on the outside. {tweet it}

The better I felt in my body, the more courage I had to take risks and lead from my heart.

The last few years I immersed myself into books, programs and school to learn more about nutrition, how to clear my skin, and develop more confidence from the inside out.

Many of my clients have had similar challenges when it comes to sugar cravings, imbalanced hormones, mood swings and cystic acne. I see many women trying to reconnect to the rhythms of their body, but not sure where to start.

I decided it was time for me to share this knowledge. I created a teleclass series, Find Your Glow As A Feminine Leader. to share the steps I used to clear my skin, nutrition tips to balance hormones naturally, sync with your cycle and tap into feminine energy to develop a fearless inner confidence to become a leader and a teacher.

I am overflowing with information on this topic, way more than I could share in a blog post or email, so I created the teleclass series for those of you ready to go deeper and learn more.  If you feel called, sign up here!

Love, Meredith

_____

About the Author:

Meredith Rom empowers women to access self-love and divine feminine wisdom through yoga, coaching, and writing.

 

How to handle any difficult situation with ease and grace

 
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When I first started doing yoga, I noticed I slowly became less reactive.

If something happened that would usually make me sad, angry or frustrated, instead of blowing up at the situation, I was able to find an inner calmness to process my emotions.

One of the most valuable tools for me has been Tonglen meditation.  I learned Tonglen from one of my mentors, Kimber Simpkins in a yoga training.  It is a Buddhist practice to lessen our reactivity and hold a space of compassion for ourselves, and all beings.

It goes like this:

Breathing in, I allow myself to feel exactly what I'm feeling. 

Breathing out, spaciousness and compassion for myself. 

Breathing in, I know I am not alone.  I remember so many other beings have experienced and have felt what I am experiencing and feeling right now. 

Breathing out, spaciousness and compassion for all those other beings.  

This meditation helps me realize I am not alone in my reactions and emotions.  It reminds me that actually so many other people have experienced this before, and instead of being caught up in my emotions, I can hold a space of compassion, knowing I am now experiencing something so many other beings have experienced before.

I created this guided meditation video for you to follow along and embody the practice. Click below to watch:

[av_video src='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQy1iheyf8U' format='16-9' width='16' height='9']

And the next time you feel you're about to blow up in a difficult situation, try it.  Let me know how it goes for you in the comments below.

Love, Meredith

PS. You can also view my other yoga and meditation videos here. 

 

Why I am choosing life

 
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On Friday, a new woman came to my gentle flow and restorative yoga classes in Santa Rosa.  She was the first person there, so I introduced myself and asked the usual question, "Do you have any injuries I should know about?" 
She replied, "Many. I'm recovering from surgery and my second round of breast cancer treatments.  This time, the doctors had to do several surgeries and I have scar tissue on the front of my body." I was shocked.  Here I was, in my own bubble all week, spending time on emails and to-do lists, thinking about my own little problems.
All my problems suddenly seemed so small. 
More people trickled into the room and laid out their mats while I was still processing what this new student had just told me.As the other students sat down, I asked, "Would you share with us any insights you've been learning and how you have changed your approach to life?" She said, "After I found out I had cancer the second time, it was hard, but I had a distinct moment where I told myself, 'I choose life' and that pulled me through."  I thought about the times in my life when I had sank into feelings of meaninglessness and looked back at this courageous woman sitting in front of me.

It takes courage to choose life. {tweet it}

I realized I had never had that distinct moment of "I choose life" like this woman had.  She reminded me that my life is a gift.  Every moment is a gift, and everyday we have the choice to truly live.  In that moment, I chose life, inspired by her courage.

She went on to say, "I now choose to do something that makes me happy, everyday.  That's why I'm here at yoga."

So today, I simply want to remind you: You are the owner of your time.  You are choosing how you spend it.  

And I'd like to ask you a few questions:

  • What could you do today that brings you more joy?
  • What does 'choosing life' look like to you?
  • Is it different than how you are living right now?  If so, what is one step you can take to change it?

I'd love to hear in the comments below.

Your life is a gift.  Claim it.  Live it.

Love,

Meredith
_____
About the Author:
Meredith Rom facilitates women's empowerment work, teaches yoga, and is the author of the "4 Day Self-care Reset." 
 

My secret to staying calm and getting stuff done.

 
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Last week I made the time to take a morning off and drive down to Marin to take a yoga class with my friend Tara. Afterwards we were eating lunch and I was telling her about all the things that were on my plate and what I was working on for VISION.  She looked at me and asked, "Meredith, how do you get so much done and still have the time to come meet me for yoga on a weekday??"

I thought about it, and remembered back to the time I was living in New York City and would sometimes spend 8+ hours a day in front of a computer.  I always felt like I was in a rush, behind schedule, and that there was never enough time to get everything done.  I had chronic headaches and jaw tension and began to see the link between spending so much time in front of the computer with my stress levels and the pain in my body.

Today, I work on my business 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday (during a program launch it may be more) and spend between two and four hours at the computer on a workday.  On Mondays I work on the marketing side of my business - writing blog posts and corresponding with administrative tasks, then I see clients in three timeslots over the phone Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. That's it.

In my free time I go to yoga classes, I take an hour and a half to make a delicious lunch and on Fridays I meet with girlfriends for tea, yoga, or I go to a cafe to write in my journal or to write the next chapters in my book.

My schedule may seem relaxed, but behind the scenes I am loving up my eight one-on-one clients, having client consultations over the phone and skype, and am putting tons of energy into enrolling my online group program.  I am also an active member of my local toastmasters chapter where I have to prepare 10 speeches over the next few months, I make time to lead workshops and one-day retreats, I create teleclasses, I show up for biweekly meetings with my mastermind group, oh and I teach yoga classes!

Because I am so sensitive to spending too much time on the computer, I know I need to focus in order to make the most of my time and actually get things done.  

Here are a few of my secrets:

I Start My Day With A Run

I've been working to raise up the heat levels in my body (I'm generally very cold) so I have been doing more cardio exercise.  In the last month, 2-3 days a week I will wake up, grab my ipod and go outside for a run.  It takes 30 minutes out of my day, I run down the road outside my house for one mile and run or walk the mile back.  Starting the day with the fresh air and moving my body energizes me for the rest of the day and connects me to my intuition and priorities.

I feel more focused and productive from the start.

I Eat More Protein

Since I started my business I have had to learn how to hustle and feed my body in the best way to provide me with the energy I need.  I remember being in nutrition school and listening to founder Joshua Rosenthall share about how he started his nutrition school.  He ate a macrobiotic diet for most of his life, and then when he was creating his school, he actually started eating more protein and occasional meat at that time.

He was building an empire, and his body needed more protein to push through.  As I have been creating my online program and enrolling for it, I have been feeding my body more protein - sunflower seeds, kale, fish, tempeh, beans, and most recently bone broth.  Having this extra protein in my diet gives me the energy and sustenance to BUILD all I want to create.

I Ask For Support 

Last Monday I sat down with my partner and said, "Michael, for the next two weeks I need your support.

I am going to put EVERYTHING into enrolling for this program, because it is so important to me that these values and teachings reach more women.  

Just for these two weeks, I need more support.  I am not going to be doing the laundry, tidying up the house, making meals or doing the dishes as much as I usually do.  

I need to devote my time and energy into my business right now and I am asking that you step up and support me during this time."  Michael saw how important it was for me to step up for myself, my business and the women who will be joining me in my program, so he gladly said, "Yes, I'm here to help." 

I Take Baths 

Now, more than ever, I see the importance of my own self-care.  I know I can't be telling my clients to go to yoga, take baths, or take time to cook organic homemade meals if I am not doing it myself.

Every time I take a bath or do something loving for myself, I think of the women I teach and know that I am a living example of my teachings.

Every time I take a bath, I feel any stress from the day melt off my body and I sleep more soundly through the night.

I Meditate

Meditation is my time to connect to my WHY.  Why am I doing what I am doing?  Why is it important for me to reach out to these women?  Why is it important for me to create this program?

When I connected to my mission in this life, I realized, "There is no time to waste."

I need to show up for myself, because I care so deeply about teaching women how to step into courage and self-love to honor their bodies and live their passions.  I feel it is so important to join together in sisterhood to gain the strength for us all to elevate the consciousness of the world.

When I remember that, I push through my fears and blocks and get things done.  In VISION I will be teaching my personal meditation practice for manifestation, and we will be supporting each other through 40-days of daily devotion and meditation.

I Follow Time Mastery Tools 

I work with a number of tools including batching and bookending that allow me to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time.  I use spreadsheets, I have financial tracking systems in place, and I use an online scheduler.

Being efficient with my time has been KEY to getting things done without wasting time at the computer.

In VISION I will be teaching the tools I use as part of the week on "Grounded Action."  We will be taking our dreams and visions, and actually putting them in the calendar.  We are going to create a roadmap of the entire year ahead.

I Created My Ideal Schedule 

"You are the owner of your time and you choose how to spend it."  When I learned this statement at the Live Free retreat I attended in October, I took the time to sit down and map out everything that needs to happen in my week.  I created my personal and business goals for the year and then I put them into my weekly schedule so I knew my goals and ambitions would have the spaciousness in my schedule to actually happen.

In manifestation, we sometimes think we can just wait for everything to come to us, when in reality we need to take action.

I will be guiding the women in VISION to create their ideal weekly schedule to find the time to "fit it all in."

If you are ready to step up for yourself and be held accountable for making your dreams a reality this year, I invite you to join VISION.

It is time to step up, face your fears and take action towards your dreams.

There are 4.5 days left to enroll, and only a few spots available.  If you are ready to take grounded actions toward your visions, and honor your body and spirit in the process, I highly recommend you join us. 

Deep down you know if this is the right next step for you to take.  Don't waste any time and miss this opportunity, enroll now. 

Love, Meredith

P.S. On Wednesday night I am leading a Storytime Q&A teleclass.  You can ask me ANYTHING - questions about how I run my business, how I make time for it all, questions about VISION, my meditation practice, etc.  I will be sharing a few personal stories of synchronicity and manifestation - how I fell in love, how I found my home, and how I created relationships to take my career to the next level.  You can sign up and submit a question in advance here.  All sign ups will be sent a recording the following day.  See you there!

 
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About the Author:

Meredith Rom helps women find the balance between divine feminine and masculine energy to manifest their dreams and live their visions.  She helps women tap into self love and create a life full of magic through her writing, coaching, and yoga retreats.

My story of transformation

 
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In 2011 I started writing a book about synchronicity, the chain of events that links one thing to another in an almost too perfect way.  

I had just come back from six months traveling in India visiting spiritual teachers, living in ashrams and attending meditation retreats.  I was full with stories that seemed almost "too crazy to be true," so I sat down and started writing them.

Unfortunately, a few months later I got swept up in the need to earn money and find a place to live in the Bay Area housing scene.

My writing was pushed to the side...Until two months ago.

I woke up from a dream, where I found a book in a drawer, and was flipping through the beautiful pages - of what happened to be - another woman's travels!  There were photographs, beautiful designs and stories woven throughout.  I woke up and thought, "That was supposed to be the book, I wrote.  I need to do this." 

Moments like this, of synchronicity, have always brought me back to feeling like life has more meaning.  These moments have helped me believe there really is something more out there, linking us all to each other and to something greater...

But a few years ago I didn't know what synchronicity was or even fully believe miracles could be real...

At the time I was applying for jobs I didn't want, had chronic pain in my body and my skin was constantly breaking out.  I felt stressed and insecure - physically and emotionally.

One night, I was riding a subway alone in New York City feeling so depressed.  I went to a party looking for connection, but all I found was beer and small talk.  I felt alone and lost.

I sat and looked at the woman sitting across from me in the subway.  She was overweight, looked like she had just gotten off work in the subway system, and seemed equally exhausted, stressed out, and depressed.

I started thinking "What is the point? What is the point in living a life just to earn money and feed into a system that makes me feel like I'm not enough?  So that I spend more money, and need to earn more money working at a computer all day at a job I hate?  So I continue to have terrible chronic pain in my body and feel the need to numb myself out all the time??"

I went home that night and cried, feeling all the pain that arose from asking those questions.

Luckily, around this same time, a friend brought me to my first yoga class.

I remember lying in pigeon pose and realizing that instead of resisting all the pain in my body and my life, I could just be with it.  And in that willingness to be with it, I began to find release. 

I learned, that instead of trying to distract myself from my problems by going to food, to sugar, to alcohol, or to the pills the doctors gave me, I could be present with my body and ask what it was trying to tell me.

I see now, everything I have gone through, from the chronic aches and pains, the acne, the headaches and the jaw clenching, it has all been telling me, "Look at the root of the problem. What needs to change in your life?"

That was when I began to truly take care of myself. 

I started paying attention to what I ate.  I spent less time on the computer, took baths, went to yoga classes, and began addressing this pain I was trying to push away.

 I started loving my body, even with all its aches and its pains.  

And in that presence, in the willingness to just "be with it" instead of numbing myself out with food, sugar, alcohol, or the pills the doctors gave me, I was granted access to my intuition.  I was granted access to my body's wisdom.

That intuition told me to go to San Francisco, and a few months later, I did.  I moved on a total whim, not knowing anyone in the city and found a sublet on craigslist in an artist collective.

When I moved, I made a vow to start following my intuition and listen to my body.

Just days later a man came up to me in a park and said, "I'm going to meet a saint this weekend, and I think you're supposed to come..."  I listened.  

I started seeing visions of India in my meditations.  I listened.   I woke up one day with the strong urge to become a yoga teacher.  I listened.  

My intuition opened me to new visions, my path, my purpose, and my passions.

When I started following these passions, I quickly saw I needed to face my fears.  Thoughts like, "But how will I speak in front of a group?  How will I find the money to go to a teacher training?  How can I go to India by myself without a plan?  People will think I'm crazy!"  played over in my mind.

But I took action anyway.

I knew I needed to step outside my comfort zone to manifest my visions.

Up to now I've stood for courage and self-love. All along I've known, courage and self-love were key -- but for what?

I'm seeing now, courage and self-love are key for synchronicity...

As I meditated yesterday, these words dropped into my mind:

"When you love your body and live your passions life becomes full of magic."

"Oh," I thought to myself.  "That's it."

I am here to love my body, even with all the symptoms, aches and pains it sometimes shows me.  I am here to live my passions, because when I do, I open myself to synchronicity, joy, love, and ultimately, a more meaningful life.

And now, I am here to help you shift your thoughts, your beliefs and your reality.

When I started loving my body and living my passions, it all clicked.  I tapped into synchronicity.  Life had meaning again.  My life became magical.  

And I believe so can yours.

So today, in service to you, your body, and your passions, I ask, "What would a magical life look like to you?  How would you feel?  How would you treat your body?  and What passions would you be living?"

I would love to hear, in the comments below.

In service to you, sister.

May you love your body. May you live your passions. May you tap into a magical life full with love, joy, and synchronicity.

With love,

Meredith

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About the Author:

Meredith Rom is a spiritual activist who’s work has been empowering women since 2010. She helps women tap into self love and a life full of magic through her writing, coaching, and yoga retreats.

 

Yin yoga to access your intuition (new video)

 
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I just arrived back from nine beautiful days in Hawaii.  I was blessed to co-teach a class with Erica Jago while I was there.  

We designed a class blending two of my favorite styles of yoga ~ kundalini and yin.  I taught the yin poses while Erica taught kundalini.  We were joined with live music by our partners - both named Michael (hehe).  I even brought my harmonium with me (it folds down to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane!) and we sang and sang. And today, I'm happy to share with you a short yin yoga practice video you can do at home.  

Yin yoga is where the poses are held longer, 3 - 5 minutes, and the muscles are soft.  When we hold the poses longer, we begin to stretch the connective tissues, the tougher ligaments that join the bones together.  This is thought to be where the meridian system is held.

Yin yoga not only balances the body on the physical level, but brings balance on an emotional and energetic level by harmonizing the meridians.

It is a practice to be present with your edge - the edge that may not always be so comfortable, however in my life, I have found when I am willing to be with the difficult sensations or emotions, I discover so much growth.  And even more than this:

When we are willing to be with all aspects of the human experience, the good, the hard, the beautiful and the ugly, we have greater access to our intuition and the wisdom of our body.

So I invite you to set aside some time this evening to do this practice with me.  Be in the silence, with your body, however it feels in that moment, and see what wisdom, guidance or intuition arises.

And if you are local, join me at The dhyana Center in Sebastopol for my Yin Yoga & Harmonium series.  The theme tonight is, "Cultivate Patience, Release Anger: Yin postures for the liver and gallbladder meridian."

Love, Meredith

Some photos from my trip....see more on instagram @meredithrom

 
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The # 1 block of miracles in your life

 
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Stress!

When you are stressed out, you miss out on powerful opportunities to bring you exactly what you need.  {tweet it}

I recently read a book by Deepak Chopra where he shared:

"Stress is a form of anxiety.  If you're stressed, then you can't even begin to think about synchronicity.  Synchronicity is a means of getting in touch with God.  It's a path to meaning and purpose in your life.  It's a means of having the experience of love and compassion.  It's a means of connecting to the nonlocal intelligence of the universe.  If my attention is on situations that generate stress, then it is difficult to access synchronicity.  To do so effectively you have to have an attitude of surrender to the universal domain, which is much grander than anything you could imagine.  Surrender requires a leap of faith, a jump into the unknown...and if you take this leap of faith you will be richly rewarded."  ~Deepak Chopra

Think about it - songs, books, and breakthrough ideas do not come through us when we are in a state of anxiety and stress.

We need to create the space for these miracles to occur in our lives.

I receive all my best intuition and creative ideas when I create the space to just BE.

So when I start to feel overwhelmed, here are my go to steps to drop the stress:

1.  Move your body - Wisdom lives in your BODY not your mind.  Get out for a run, go to yoga class, or dance!

2.  Get a good night's rest - turn off the cell phones and computers early, make yourself a hot cup of tea, read a book and go to bed!

3. Be creative - Here are some images of my most recent creative ventures inspired by the retreat I went to last weekend.  Try making a collage, an earth mandala, make a painting or sing a song.

 
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When we lessen the chatter of our mind we create space for creativity, intuition and insight.

If you're local,  and feel like life is pulling you in different directions, I invite you to my Yin & Harmonium Yoga Series starting on Monday September 22.

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Each class will be a deeply nourishing and relaxing yoga practice to release stress and open to new insights about your life.

Take a moment to slow down, breathe, and try to incorporate the above steps to let go of stress in your life.  Because only when we create the space to let ourselves rest, do we open up to receive miracles...

Much love,

Meredith

Sync with the moon

 
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Since last Wednesday I have been sleeping outside in a tent watching as the moon grew full over the horizon.  I drove from my home in Sonoma County, CA up to Mount Shasta and to Oregon for a music festival.  (check out some photos from my travels here).  Sleeping outside on the land, watching the moon brighten to its fullness and start to wane again has made me think about the connection between our bodies and nature. You may notice you feel more social during the full moon and more introverted with the new moon.  The moon pulls the tides and can also sync with the woman's body during her menstrual cycle.  Traditionally, women would menstruate with the new moon and ovulate with the full moon.  The new moon energy of drawing inward would coincide with the woman's time to rest.  The energy of the full moon would energize the woman during ovulation and nature would optimize the conditions for her to find a mate.

Unfortunately, with so much artificial light both inside and outside our homes, many women have lost their connection to the moon.  So today, in honor of last weekend's full moon, I have a few tips for you to harmonize with nature and sync with the cycles of the moon.

4 tips to sync with the moon:

1. Sleep in total darkness during the new moon and allow light to come in through your window during the full moon

The body will attune to the moon the way women did in ancient times sleeping outside with the moonlight.  Make sure there are no digital lights in your room when you sleep and do your best to turn off all technology.  Leave your blinds open during the full moon so the moonlight can seep in.  Your body will begin to naturally sync your menstrual cycle with the cycles of the moon.

2. Rest during your menstrual cycle and save times of rigorous exercise, movement, dancing and socializing during ovulation

The menstrual cycle is a time to focus on intuition and listen to the body's subtle messages.  It is a great time for gentle yoga, journaling, and reflection.  During ovulation, the body will have much more energy to be social and active.  See if you can sync with your body's natural rhythm.  If you are not sure when you ovulate, count 14 days after the first day of your period.  Plus or minus 3 days of this time will most likely be when you ovulate.

3.  Eat foods to support your own moon cycle

Did you know certain foods are beneficial during the woman's menstrual cycle?  The best foods to integrate into your diet at this time are dark leafy greens, like dino kale, beets, and sea vegetables like kelp.  Try adding a few kelp leaves to the mix when you cook brown rice.  These nutrient dense foods will replenish the body during the depleting time of menstruation.

4.  Practice these restorative yoga poses during menstruation to relieve low back aches and menstrual cramps

This sequence of poses was adapted from the Iyengar moon cycle series for women.  The poses support the downward flow of energy during the woman's moon cycle.  I used this sequence just a few weeks ago during my own cycle when I woke up in the night with aches.  After twenty minutes, I felt relief and was able to fall back asleep.

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Have you ever thought about connecting to the moon?  Let me know what you think of these tips in the comments below.  Try out these poses the next time you're on your "moon" and let me know how it goes!

With love, Meredith

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About the Author:

Meredith Rom is a women's leadership coach,  yoga teacher, and group facilitator.  She helps women tap into intuition and manifest their dreams through yoga, writing and retreats.