Here is Part II of the conversation that I had with the lovely Mia Mitchell! Last week she shared the heartfelt story of her darkest hour - loss of a best friend, the downfall of a marriage and contemplation of a life not worth living. In essence, Mia's story is a powerful voice for mental health awareness. With time, Mia healed and now has a successful essential oils business where she helps others in their own healing journey. In Part II of our conversation, we focus on the thing that helped her recover: Essential Oils! How they help, how to use them (ie. on chakra points) and Mia'a top 10 favorite oils for healing.
Self-doubt creeps in from time to time and it's probably never going to fully go away. Everybody experiences this feeling, even millionaires and world renowned self-help experts. Even with their major successes, they still get a niggle of this self-doubt from time to time. If even proven successes don't prevent self-doubt from coming back ever again, then we must learn to navigate this feeling.
I've been going through a bout of imposter syndrome myself. I was trucking along all fine and dandy then Bam! It just hit me - an overwhelming feeling that I knew nothing at all and a major questioning of what the !@#$ I'm doing at all. I sat with this for many days before I realized that the culprit was a hefty dose of self-doubt (that's the thing about feelings - if you're not paying attention you just fall into it). Apparently I needed it as a very important reminder of how perfect everything already is....of how perfect I already am. Listen in to hear what I learned!
Mia Mitchell is a beacon of light who works to guide others into a life they love by using essential oils as her trusted tool. This lovely Australian lady’s heart centered essential oils business stems from a reason more deep-seated than passion if you can imagine. I dare say (after hearing her story) that this is the truest form of expression of herself. A manifestation of her soul’s purpose, born from her darkest hour.
I suspected that Mia had an incredible story to tell and this suspicion was confirmed just a few minutes into our conversation. What I planned to talk to Mia about was essential oils and how they can help us in our yoga practice and everyday lives. And we did talk about that! ...Eventually. Unbeknownst to me at the time, a hidden gem of a story was waiting to be revealed. When I asked Mia about how she came to find her love of essential oils, it turns out that it started from a dark place. A place of anxiety, depression, and very, very, very difficult experiences (I put a “very” in for each of the obstacles she shared) including the loss of a loved one to suicide. It was clear that beyond which essential oils are best for meditation or giving you energy, there was a strong message to be shared. Mia’s story is a powerful voice for the awareness of mental health issues. Her messages are clear and true as can be
“It’s okay to not be okay”
“In every moment you have a choice. While making a choice might be hard, you still have one”
You’ve probably caught on by now that this interview went for much longer than anticipated! I’ve split it into two parts for you. Today, I present to you PART I where you’ll hear Mia’s story about mental health. Next week I’ll release PART II where we tap into her expertise on essential oils.
In the last episode of Bite Sized I talked about the importance of knowing when to quit and how it can be just as important as the power of perseverance. The wisdom is in knowing when to do which. In this episode I talk about what to do with that information. So you have an inkling that you need to quit something in your life. Now what? Where do you even go from here? I've been there many times - not ready to actually take the leap because I haven't got the slightest idea of where to place my foot. I've reflected on my personal experiences and lessons to distill 5 action steps that can help you reset your compass so that you have at least a little bit of idea which direction to go.
Thank you for tuning into the final episode of launch week for my new segment, BITE SIZED! Today I answer the question that I ask all of the guests I interview: What Is The Biggest Lesson That You've Learned Along the Way?
My biggest lesson is that
QUITTING is just as important as PERSEVERING and takes just as much courage. The wisdom is in knowing which is which.
Quitting has such a negative connotation attached to it and it basically equates with failure if you decide to give up. But is it really that bad? If you think about it, sometimes the resistance to quit stems from the same reason that we resist to persevere: The Fear of Failure. Before you make a judgement on whether to quit or persevere, you need a few more pieces of information.
I share my personal story of the trials and tribulations it took for me to learn this lesson (it got handed to me a few times before I totally understood). In reflecting on my experience, I found 5 signs that suggest it's probably time to quit; and of course, I share them with you!
So, what'd you think of this episode?? Let me know in the comments below or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the very second episode of BITE SIZED!
Transitions are never easy even if it's a change for the better. Career change, ending a relationship, starting a new endeavor....it's scary to take a leap of faith! But once you hear what your heart truly desires, you can't really go back. Today I talk about how to keep going even when it's scary and I share with you my two greatest pieces of inspiration that kept me (and still keeps me) going when that low vibe self-doubt starts to kick in.
I'm adding to the goodness with a new segment called BITE SIZED. In these short 15-20 minute episodes I go solo and completely candid to deliver a dose of inspiration, knowledge or sum up golden nuggets from past episodes. It's my way of amplifying the good vibes :) I haven't reached enlightenment or anything like that yet but hey! I've picked up a few nuggets of wisdom on my very own journey and I want to let you in on it.
Bite Sized episodes will be hot and ready for you at the beginning of every week (still deciding on an exact date...maybe Tuesdays??); and don't worry, the longer interview episodes are still happening! There's so much knowledge and experience to learn from each other, I can't see it stopping. You can still expect the interviews at the end of the week.
I really, really, super really want this to be valuable for you. It's my deepest intention to inspire you, spark a transformation within you or give you that second wind when you don’t think that you can keep going. I'm going to keep trying to keep delivering value but I also need your help! Please let me know what you think of these episodes by leaving a comment below or email@example.com. And if you really love what you hear, please give me some big love by leaving an itunes review.
As I keep saying, we have so much to learn from each other that can help us along our own paths. This journey is your own but you're not alone!
Rachel Scott is a yoga teacher trainer, instructional designer, and writer. She regularly contributes to Yoga International and is the author of Wit and Wisdom from the Yoga Mat and A Yogi's Guide to Dating. With over 4000 hours as a yoga teacher trainer, her passion for helping yoga educators create excellent trainings certainly shows through. I am so grateful to have Rachel and her captivating energy on this episode! You've probably guessed by now that the topic is all about Yoga Teacher Training. In specific, Rachel helps us understand what separates an exceptional training from a disappointing one. You're going to want to listen in whether you're considering taking your first yoga teacher training, continuing yoga education or playing around with the idea of being a teacher trainer yourself. Rachel breaks down the reason why sometimes amazing yoga teachers deliver a less than satisfying training, prepares you with pertinent questions to ask if you're looking into taking a training, and lays out what makes a remarkable teacher training (spoiler alert: part of it falls on the responsibility of the student).
I wish I could tell the whole wide world about this one because so many people struggle to find a good yoga teacher training. It's not something that you'd want to roll the dice on either, seeing as how each training is thousands of dollars. Rachel's advice is worth its weight in gold! So if you know somebody who would benefit from this info, keep the good vibes going and SHARE THIS EPISODE!
Many thanks to you for joining me. Now, plug in those headphones and listen away!
Anne Douglas of Episode 30: Messages from Our Bodies and How Anahata Yoga Can Help You Listen is back on the show and this time she's here to talk yoga philosophy. Perhaps you'd really like to understand the philosophy of yoga but words like "vedic" "samkhya" and dates older than 1995 makes your brain want to take a nap. Sanskrit and history are not your forte. No problemo, start here! Who better to explain this stuff than a patient, knowledgeable teacher who happens to be passionate about how yoga philosophies help us resolve suffering. In this episode, Anne helpfully explains the two major schools of thought in yoga philosophy: dualism versus non dualism. Basically, are we one with nature or are we separate with nature? Depends. We go into depth to understand what these two philosophies mean in the bigger picture as well as to how we relate to life individually. By the end of the episode, you'll be cooing about purusha and prakriti like it ain't no thing. This episode is loaded so buckle in and get your learnin' on!
"There is no one straight path"
This nugget of insight seems to be a recurring theme throughout the conversations that I have with my marvelous guests. Their paths are colorfully weaved with discovery and changes. For the most part, their stories don't follow a linear trajectory. In fact, it's the dynamic quality that brings so much inspiration and aliveness! Restaurant owner turned yoga teacher, engineer turned yoga studio owner, law professional turned shaman....
I think what's so alluring about these stories is that these people stopped to ask themselves somewhere along the way "what do I truly want in life?" and then mustered the courage to try and figure it out! "What do I truly want in life?" and "How can I be happy?" are questions that we eventually ponder. Growing up, we're taught to pave our lives out in one straight path and to fear the unknown, but the heart desires truth and purpose, and those things might not be on the pretty paved road. That's why stories of daring leaps perk us up.
With the last few interviews, there seems to be another layer emerging. That is:
"What you desire can change."
Ah yes, life likes to keep it exciting doesn't it! Just when we think we've figured it all out, the tides turn. The key is to continue tuning in and pivoting as needed.
In this episode, we get to hear about just that as Andrea Catherine opens up candidly about her next leap in life. Andrea is currently a yoga teacher, yoga health coach, Ayurvedic health counsellor and host of the podcast, Fearless Self Love. Her new calling is calling though and she's in flux to move toward her dream of creating a space that's a destination for travelers, locals and folks in transition. We also talk about self-love - what it means, how to do it, and how the practice of it has helped Andrea arrive at where she's at today.
Elizabeth Nguyen is a yoga teacher and founder of Yoga Boss Babe, a subscription box to help yoga teachers grow a thriving business. This girl works with a stunning amount of dedication, authenticity and passion! She is in love with her business and life today but like all great creators, there was quite a bit of travelling to get to this leg of the journey. In fact, the first business she ever created was one that she didn't totally love. She eventually went with her gut feeling and searched for an idea that made her feel excited and passionate. One thing led to another and she came up with YBB! There are so many rich lessons in Liz's story including how to know when an idea is truly for you, what challenges to expect when you pursue what you love and what it takes to succeed. Plug in those headphones and get the idea juices flowing!
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – inspired Liz to slow down and come up with more of a mindful response vs a reactive response; and to let go when it doesn’t matter enough.
She means business by Carrie Green – the book that helped Liz come up with the idea for Yoga Boss Babe
Episodes referred to (create hyperlink)
Like Liz, Alison was interested in helping people via the healthcare system. And like Liz, she started to wonder if there was a natural remedy that could alleviate the number of pills that patients ended up relying on. Listen to Alison's story of how she went from pharm tech to massage therapist to yoga teacher and to sound bath healer.
There are so many paths that you can take your yoga career. Like Liz, Amanda is also helping yoga teachers flourish via their own unique path. Listen to this episode for the three key items that you need to have for a successful yoga career.
Awilda Rivera is a yoga teacher, spiritual advisor and success coach who has dedicated her life to help empower others to succeed. She’s navigated a few twists and turns in her own life as she transitioned from being a law professional and into the world of spirituality and wellness.
A cardiac episode in her late 20's brought Awilda to face a very real truth in her life. Ever since the age of ten she’d been committed to becoming a lawyer. She took a sense of responsibility in being the first person in her family to go to college and held high expectations of herself to not disappoint. Yet as she lay there in the hospital bed, with only one and half years of law school before graduation, she could no longer deny that this wasn’t what she wanted anymore.
The question that surfaced after admitting this to herself was “what intention do I want to live my life with? What kind of intention do I want my work grounded in?” She pinpointed that her passion was to help others. The journey that ensued was onerous, messy and wonderful. By following the thread of "wanting to help people" Awilda was able to hone into exactly how she could help. Today, she’s not only living her dream by helping other people live their dreams, but she’s also an inspiration for the multi-passionate soul who loves more than one thing and wonders how it could possibly come together.
Tune in to hear the rest of her story! In this grounded conversation Awilda shares valuable wisdom about pursuing what you love and how to manifest it to life including mantras and mudras that you can use.
Book to learn more about mudras
Melanie Klein is an empowerment coach, professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Moorpark Collect in Venura County, California, speaker, writer and thought leader in the areas of body confidence, authentic empowerment and visibility. In addition to many other books she’s also the editor of the recently released, Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body. She is passionate about the topic of contemporary body image politics and is making waves in creating a healthier, more positive perception of our body image. She's been featured several times on Yoga International to talk about this topic and co-founded the Yoga and Body Image Coalition in 2014. YBI strives to provide accessible, body-positive yoga and reflects the full range of human diversity.
What an absolute thrill to talk to Melanie!! This conversation expanded my understanding of how I relate to myself and I even had a breakthrough Aha moment (you'll definitely recognize when this is as you listen...I was ecstatic :) ). I used to think of body image as a social issue and never considered its relation to yoga. If I practice yoga, mindfulness and acceptance then surely I have a healthy body image right? No need to extricate this one specific thing from the big picture of accepting the whole self....right? Turns out I was wrong. Our body image is not only an outcome of our internal relationship with self but is also a product of the society, politics and history that shapes us. It's so powerful that it dictates our self-worth. It can even hold us back from reaching our full potential. Yoga can be one of the most powerful tools to help us disentangle our distorted body image from our identities. In this episode, Melanie and dig further in-depth into the topic of contemporary body image politics - what it is, how it affects all of us and what we can do about it, including how an authentic yoga practice can free us from the war we wage against our bodies. Buckle in. This one's a good one.
Marla Meenakshi Joy, Owner and Director of Downward Dog Yoga Centre, spent years in the Himalayas studying Meditation, Sanskrit and Yoga Philosophy. She’s been studying meditation and the philosophy of the Vedas since 1988. She began teaching in 1999 in Teacher Training programs across Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia, as a teacher of Philosophy and Sanskrit, Chanting and Meditation, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga, and Restorative Yoga. Wait, there’s more! She’s also a celebrated song-stress and leads Kirtan with her band SWAHA.
What a pleasure it was to have a conversation with this soul that’s been steeping in the wisdom of yoga, continuing to expand her growth year after year. What’s really interesting is hearing what the yoga scene was like 30 years ago. In this episode, Marla shares her yoga journey from being a young 19 year old who went off to the Himalayas and finally found “home” in her yoga practice to the influential teacher/yoga studio owner/songstress that she is today. We catch tidbits of her wisdom along the way as we take dips into understanding ashtanga vinyasa yoga, the Vedas, Kirtan and more. Amongst the tools she shares are mantras to help clear the way, remove fear and reconnect to your true nature.
Books recommended by Marla:
- Knowledge on Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
- Understand the cleansing process in the body as a result of practicing this type of yoga
- Marla’s mantra recommendations:
- To Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. Use this to clear the way for your day: “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha”
- To Durga, the protectress goddess. Use this to help remove fear: “Om dum durgayei namaha”
- An abstract mantra that’s not associated with any deity or any form. A universal mantra – the mantra of the breath. It repeats itself on every inhalation and exhalation naturally. Use this one to be reminded of your true nature and reality: "So Hum" Translated, it means “all that there is, is me or I am all that there is”
- Inhale: SO
- Exhale: HUM
This soul searching business isn’t easy! As we travel this journey to the heart, we're asked to take leaps, look fear in the eyes and move with great courage and unfold into who we really are. Stories from each other can hearten this experience - the mere fact of knowing that we're not alone and that somebody else has done it too is uplifting. In this week’s episode Anna Lundberg shares her story of breaking through - from neatly living the life that she was expected to (being a “good girl”), to busting into the success coach/author/business strategist lady boss that she is today. There are so many golden nuggets of wisdom as we talk about shedding external expectations, finding success for ourselves and trialing the many different paths to figure out how what we truly want from life. Anna shares her Guiding Star model that can help you figure out what you want, or if you already know, can help you stay on track to get it!
Before we dive in, a little bit more about Anna - Anna is a success coach and business strategist who helps people create businesses and build a lifestyle that allows them an unimagined sense of freedom, flexibility and fulfilment. She works individually with a select number of clients to help them reimagine success in their personal and professional lives and runs a group programme that helps people take their ‘One Step Outside the 9 to 5’.
Stacey Irvine is a yoga teacher and registered nurse at the Alberta Children's Hospital. Her yoga journey began ten years ago when she experienced injuries as a triathlete. Unable to continue with her regular workouts with the sustained injuries, she was encouraged to practice yoga to rehabilitate. She quickly fell in love - at first with the physical practice and then eventually realized that is also a great form of self development and self inquiry. Yoga became a haven as she worked through anxiety and an eating disorder. Soon, she dived into further learning by taking her first yoga teacher training.
A number of years later, Stacey found herself in another challenging situation when her father and grandfather got into a tragic car accident. This marked the first time she experienced going through the traditional healthcare system. In doing so, she noticed some gaps. The system didn't seem to take the human into consideration. Yes, it healed the body but in addition to that her father was in need of somebody to hear him, hold space for him and help with the emotional side of recuperation. That's where her passion for advocating for a more integrative healthcare system (between Western and Alternative medicines) was born. In this episode Stacey gives us further insight on this as well as dives deeper into her story of her journey with yoga.
This one is for everyone who is trying to start something out there! A movement, a business, a whole new life....
Robindra Mohar is an Edmonton based educator + festival producer + DJ. He and his wife Myrah are the creators of the Canada based It’s Time To Bloom Festival and Together We Bloom Society. He is also the catalyst for Yogi Entrepreneur School where he helps entrepreneurs design heart led businesses. He himself has been an entrepreneur for almost two decades. Aside from allll of that, he's also a new dad, chef, yogi, chai & music lover. What a multifaceted fellow!
In this episode, Robindra gives his insights on the importance of creating from a place of dharma (calling) and shares his story on what it was like to create a nationwide festival - challenges, rewards and lessons learned.
Kelsey Delane is a Yoga Mentor & Reiki Master who guides fellow Yogis & Yoga Teachers toward more sustained joy. She has completed an impressive 1,000 hours of yoga training ranging from kids yoga, to trauma informed yoga, to Yoga Philosophy. Her most passionate subject is the teachings of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. She shares this knowledge through one on one mentorship, online platforms and in-person workshops. Kelsey also shares her love of Yoga by training upcoming teachers throughout Orange County, and working with teen girls through the UPLIFT Yoga Foundation.
Kelsey has a radiant and serene way about her, and it's hard not to absorb some of that goodness when talking to her. In this episode we talk about how yoga transformed her from a distraught college student with severe chronic anxiety and depression into a radiant being who enjoys a strong and peaceful relationship with her inner world. Of course, we also dive into her area of expertise - The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. She gives us some tips on how to learn the teachings and how we can use them to become co-creators of our lives.
In this episode, we get to talk about a topic that I've been long intrigued by - AYURVEDA!
Susan Weis-Bohlen is an Ayurvedic expert and author the book Beginner's Guide to Ayurveda: Essential Ayurvedic Principles & Practices to Balance & Heal Naturally. On the Ayurvedic side, she's officially a Chopra Center Certified Ayurvedic Consultant; but she's also a meditation teacher, vegetarian cooking teacher and leads sacred site tours around the world. Oh yea, she also owns a quaint bookstore cafe in Baltimore, Maryland. While there is much wisdom to be shared, we focus on Ayurveda in this episode.
Ayurveda is considered to be the world's oldest medical system, dating back to be 5,000-10,000 years old. I gravitate toward it because it's a holistic approach to health - mind, body and spirit. It’s an intelligent system that leverages our natural functions to balance and heal rather than using force to create desired outcomes. But it’s also a complex system that has many layers to it. Traditionally the knowledge has been passed down by song and word of mouth. Understanding it can be difficult and for me, it was hard to know where to even start. That's why this conversation with Susan is sooooo good! She shares the basic essential concepts that you need to know so that you can start applying concepts of Ayurveda to your benefit right away. To name a few nuggets, we go over the framework of the constituents (doshas - kapha, pitta, vata) that rule this practice, how our doshas affect what foods are right for us, and guidelines for Ayurvedic eating that is beneficial for everybody.
Jeff Mah is an engineer turned yoga teacher and yoga studio owner. He and his wife owns the ever so popular The Yoga Lounge in the mountain city of Canmore, Alberta. His journey has been a series of unexpected twists and surprises, at one point being an engineer and then later considering to maybe even do his MCAT to become a doctor. In this episode, Jeff shares his story with yoga and what finally inspired him to leap into an unconventional (at the time) career path because it truly resonated with him. And of course I had to get the scoop on what it's like to own a yoga studio! Jeff gives us a glimpse by sharing the challenges, rewards and the hard work behind the scenes.