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How Meditation Saved My Career

breathing habits meditation mindfulness present self improvement stress Apr 15, 2021

In 2007, when I started in the fitness industry at a gym in Alexandria, Virginia, I had been practicing yoga for about 5 years. I was all in for the sweat, the stretch, the laying down briefly at the end and the shift I couldn’t quite describe that always seemed to happen in there somewhere. It was readily apparent that something else was at work, but I wasn’t sure quite what.


My profession and my hobbies during that time consisted of : ignoring my body’s signals and brain’s output and do more.


Until about 2012, I escalated to training up to 30 clients/week while teaching spin classes, power yoga classes and boot camp classes; oh, and training for kettlebell certifications and endurance races. I learned how to PUSH. And ignored the fact that I couldn’t sleep, blew off the fact that I was in pain most of the time, and was in a marriage that was not healthy for either of us.


Then I went to Lake Tahoe for a weekend. And learned how to meditate. (click HERE to read the blog post)


Learning to meditate was - frankly - one of the most inconvenient things I’ve ever done. Once I learned to tune into my internal language … it wasn’t something I could just turn off. Suddenly there was a flood of information about myself that I’d been ignoring, pushing down or simply unaware of. And most of that information was NOT in line with the way I was living my life : constantly on the run to escape myself, my toxic relationship and my past.


Learning to meditate, among other things however, saved my career. At least once a month, I was looking for jobs in marketing ... administration… ANYTHING that wouldn’t take the toll on my body that I was exacting… and the cycle of exhaustion, seeking escape and doubling down was slowly pushing me off the path toward the work my heart needed to do in the world. The excruciating and incredible process of LISTENING to what was happening deep in my bones led me to do three things that kept me in the healing / helping field:



  • I learned to stop and listen. It’s a simple (not easy) act of closing off external stimulus for a bit, and watching the internal experiences that arise without judging or interacting with them. 
  • I learned to connect, ask and receive. This second step - after connecting to your internal experience - is a gentle inquiry of “what do you need?” Then you return to just listening.
  • I learned to envision and act. The last step is a bit of a departure, because you envision your experience moving forward. You bring in how you want to feel in the future, and commit to gentle action that is in alignment with the first two steps.



When I don’t want to work out … I follow these three steps again. 


PAUSE and listen.

Ask myself ‘What do you need?’ 

Imagine where I want this to take my body.

Take a step.


When I get stuck in business ownership, leadership and coaching, I follow them again. 


PAUSE and listen.

Ask myself ‘What do you need?’ 

Imagine where I want this company, staff member or client to be.

Take a step.


When I’m in pain, or struggling with insomnia (again) or frustrated or unsure of what direction to take … I follow them again and again. 


And you can too. It takes practice. OVER and over and over …


PAUSE and listen. 

ASK and receive. 

ENVISION and act.


When you feel stuck in your family life, personal life, career, physical fitness… go back to gentle meditation techniques that create a better language pathway between your thinking brain and your deeper processes. The answer is there.

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