Hello beautiful goddess
This week, I am so excited to introduce you to the soulful and down to earth Erin Kyna, Life Coach and Meditation Teacher.
I’ve personally experienced Erin’s magnetism and passion at her Manifestation Academy workshop earlier this year. She is someone who truly walks her talk and thrives off inspiring others to achieve their dreams.
The stars were aligned when I came across her initially in an issue of Inspired Coach magazine, as I now call her a co-collaborator and co-conspirator in all things wellness!
We sat down and had a delicious chat about how to start a meditation practice, married life and the importance of self love.
TNG: What inspired you to become a Life Coach & Meditation Teacher?
EK: I feel like Life Coaching found me! I had a chance meeting with another Life Coach, while I was a flight attendant living in London. I didn't even know what coaching was at that point, but something inside me lit up! She generously offered to gift me with coaching, and my life has not been the same since. The three months that I worked with her drastically changed my life, more quickly and radically than any other type of help or development I had tried, and I had tried a lot! I knew when I returned to Australia that I wanted to continue being coached, so I figured, if I did some coach training, I could coach myself. It doesn't quite work like that! Through coaching, I came to realise this was my greatest gift, and that in essence I had always been coaching people anyway. It has been the best journey of my life.
Meditation teaching on the other hand was born quite naturally from my love of the practice, and a desire to share it with others. It started with leading two girls from my work through a guided meditation at home. I now hold weekly classes of 20-30 people, as well as meditation for public figures and community events, and having my recorded meditations featured on Virgin Australia's In Flight Entertainment system. I love how meditation is really losing its stigma and coming into the mainstream more and more. I also love weaving Life Coaching and Meditation together. All of my coaching is blended with Meditation, and all of my Meditations are blended with Life Coaching. It's a powerful mix to allow people to gain so much insight into themselves, and so much peace.
TNG: What advice do you have for someone who would love to start meditating, but simply cannot find the time or head space?
EK: Drop the expectations. Meditation does not have to be about sitting in silence for 20 minutes a day without distractions. Meditation can be incorporated into your everyday life, without any extra burden. Rather than aiming for 20 uninterrupted minutes, I recommend my clients start with twenty 1 minute 'meditative moments' throughout the day. Can they take 1 minute to centre themselves, become fully present with their breath and their body, 20 times throughout the day? While they are waiting for the kettle to boil, while they are waiting for the red light to go green, while they are showering, while they are waiting for their computer to open in the morning, before they go to sleep at night?
Where can you find 1 minute of time throughout your day that you can choose to be present and centred? Once that becomes easy, move up in time from there.
I'm passionate about making meditation transferrable to all areas of life, so we can receive the benefits at any time, any place. Let go of the idea it has to be a certain way, and that you are aiming for no thoughts. I guarantee you will not achieve ‘no thoughts’! Accept that your mind thinks and will always think, and aim for it to be focused thought, rather than no thought. Choose a single pointed focus and sit with it for 1 minute. You could choose your breath, a mantra, a sensation in the body (water over your skin in the shower). Remember not to put yourself under any pressure.
TNG: That is an incredibly practical way to incorporate meditation into daily life! How do you balance time between nurturing your marriage and nourishing yourself?
EK: This is a great question, and in many ways my ideas about this are unconventional. I actually believe that nourishing myself IS nourishing to my marriage, and must come first in order for my marriage to flourish.
If we are experiencing any difficulties in our marriage, and find ourselves pointing the finger at the other, or blaming the other, we know this is ALWAYS about us. You can't wait for someone else to change in order for you to be happy. When we are not happy within ourselves, we blame the world outside. When we are completely happy within ourselves, we are completely happy with the world. I always look within first to see how I can change to improve things, and what is being triggered within me.
In my marriage we have made a firm commitment to ALWAYS do the inner work. When we get complacent or have stopped growing, is when we have difficulties.
We prioritise time for us as individuals, and prioritise time for each other. We love sharing fun activities together, like yoga, meditation, being in nature, travelling, exploring.
When I nourish myself, no one misses out, everyone gains more of me as a result.
TNG: Honestly, couldn’t have said it better myself Erin! Do you have any favourite self-care rituals, to inspire others?
EK: I have a body love ritual I use every time I moisturise my body. As I lovingly apply it, I thank that part of my body and tell it why I love it. “Thank you arms for allowing me to hug the people I love today" etc.
When I find myself caught in old patterns of beating myself up or judging myself, I will meditate to help move that energy out of my body.
I also ask myself: if my body was to look like this every day for the rest of my life, and I couldn't change a single thing, how could I still love myself? This question brings me back to the present and stops me thinking that my self love is tied up in something in the future or how my body looks.
Self love is about self acceptance, as I am. And making right choices for my body, here in the present moment.
I have learnt to love my body for its functionality, its strength, its flexibility, not how skinny it might be or how it looks. I am grateful that I have a body that works and allows me to practice yoga and teach my passions, experience love and emotions, express my creativity, and dance to music. (I love you, body!)
TNG: I love that ritual… how beautiful! When you find yourself becoming stressed and irritated, do you have any techniques or tools that bring you back to a place of grace?
EK: A centring breath. Exhaling all the bullshit I am holding onto. As many breaths as I need to come back home, to my heart.
I also ask myself some powerful questions, including: How is this about me? Whenever we find ourselves focused on what is wrong in the outside world, we are distracting ourselves from the work that needs to happen in our inner world. Why am I stressed or irritated in this situation? If the situation was to blame, then every single person in this situation right now would be having exactly the same reaction, and they don't. They all react differently, because of what is going on inside us.
So if I am stressed or irritated, that shows me there is work to do inside, something I need to find peace with or integrate within me. Then I can address the situation and take action from a peaceful, loving place, rather than a stressed or frustrated one.
My heart exists in eternal grace - my mind and my ego take me away. All I need to do is come back home to my heart, and tap into that bottomless well of grace that exists at the core of all of us.
You can find out more about Erin over at her site: http://www.erinkyna.com/
Now over to you, beautiful goddess. I would love to hear your thoughts on our interview in the comments below. Have you recently begun a meditation practice? What self care rituals do you have in your life? You never know, what you ask or comment on may completely change another sista’s life!
In love and gratitude