“I don’t try to stay positive all the time – that’s my favorite way to stay positive sometimes. In fact, meditation has really helped me learn how to be ok with experiencing strong emotions like discomfort, sadness, anger or anxiety – you know, the kind of emotions we wish we didn’t have to feel….ever.” -Ellie Burrows Gluck
A wellness journey, although a path towards self-discovery and inner balance is not always an easy one. It sometimes takes hitting walls, facing disappointments and struggles, but it all ends up being worth it in the end. Well Ellie Burrows Gluck, the co-founder of MNDFL meditation studios is no stranger to this. For her it took facing these little obstacles and fully accepting them to reach this inner balance and find a new path for herself which was in fact MNDFL. Ellie’s, MNDFL exists to enable humans to feel good and we all need a little bit of this at the moment. Ellie was kind enough to share some of her meditation and mindfulness tips along with a little bit of her story with sundays. We recommend you take a nice cup of tea and light a candle and enjoy reading up on Ellie’s tips.
When did you start your business and what inspired you?
I had a little health scare in 2008, which landed me in the office of Dr. Frank Lipman, a wonderful integrative and functional medicine doctor in the city. I was struggling with my practice and I was finding it incredibly hard to meditate in my own home. I wanted to meditate in a space that wasn’t religious and didn’t involve a weekend-long commitment, a space I could drop into with a community that was interested in exploring meditation in a contemporary context. I had no idea I would go from medi-curious to meditation teacher in a decade, but alas, here we are.
What is your favorite advice you would tell your “younger self”?
You don’t have to have it all figured out! It took me a third of a lifetime to find my way to meditation and MNDFL. If you have the privilege to use your young years as a time to really explore yourself, do it. And if you begin to show yourself compassion and patience during those years, there will be much ripening to be had.
“I also like to practice self-forgiveness and self-compassion – you don’t have to go anywhere for that. It’s in you.”
What are some small things that the sundays community can do to take care of their mental health at home?
Obviously meditation is the tool I use most to support my own mental health, so I would recommend that! Excuse my shameless plug, but we just launched MNDFL TV so you can meditate with all of our expert teachers from the comfort of your own home. I also like to practice self-forgiveness and self-compassion – you don’t have to go anywhere for that. It’s in you. Sometimes we have a laundry list of to do’s that we think would be the answer to all of discomfort. The truth is that even if we can remember to do just one thing a day for ourselves without beating ourself up for not doing the rest, that’s a big win for our mental health.
How do you personally practice wellness, both physically and mentally?
My friend Sophia Roe once shared a post on the important distinction between “self-optimization and self-care”” in the context of wellness and I think it was brilliant because there is a real difference. Self-optimization might look like a paleo diet while self-care looks like a deep breath or a nap. If you are healthy and have the funds to be able to make optimization a priority, then I would urge you to also share your resources with someone who could benefit from them that isn’t you. We shouldn’t hoard well-being, we should share it because we’re all going to meet the same end in the end, you know what I mean? This is probably my favorite way to practice wellness – share it.
What is your favorite way to stay positive?
I don’t try to stay positive all the time – that’s my favorite way to stay positive sometimes. In fact, meditation has really helped me learn how to be ok with experiencing strong emotions like discomfort, sadness, anger or anxiety – you know, the kind of emotions we wish we didn’t have to feel….ever. One of my favorite ways to enjoy positivity is to not hold myself to a standard that I need to be feeling positive all the time – that way, when I am feeling positive, I can really savor it and be in that moment knowing that life is messy and there are so many twists and turns and it won’t always feel like that.
Describe your ideal “self-care” self-care sundays:
some meditation, some movement, nourishing meal, not responding to emails and spending the morning in bed with my husband.
Favorite affirmation? That which you put your attention upon grows.
Favorite book? Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe by Yumi Sakugawa or The Course of Love by Alain de Botton
Favorite good vibes song? Try a Little Tenderness
As gathering physically for group meditation is no longer feasible, MNDFL knows how important a consistent meditation practice is to support stress reduction and improve overall health. So they found ways to give you and their community access to online meditation classes. They found MNDFL TV, where you can get monthly or daily access to relevant meditation content that is affordable, accessible and quite honestly, alleviating. They offer everything from live classes, to Q+A with expert teachers and access to a diverse online community of meditators
Thank you for reading Ellie’s mindfulness tips. We hope that you enjoyed and that it made your day a little brighter. We felt that it would be a nice way to get your mind off things and help you focus on yourself and maybe ask yourself the same questions; how do I practice mindfulness, what makes me feel relaxed? At this moment we all have an opportunity to think about finding an inner balance and embark on a wellness journey, so we hope that Ellie’s advice helps you find your own path. We would love to hear your wellness stories or help answer any questions you may have. Please don’t be hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected].
Sending positive energy and support.
-Amy and sundays family.