Your Path to Purpose Interview Series - Mish Schaffer
Today I'm writing to you from a lovely coworking space which I am sharing with a friend working for a startup in Paris, and I'm so thrilled to introduce you a new interview series that will run on the blog for the next few months all about the Path to Purpose.
Yes the path, because the final destination, the big passion we're looking for that gives purpose to our life, it's just an excuse to live the path! And in this journey there are inevitable moments of transition that are there to teach us something and clarify the direction we're going.
It's exciting , isn't it? But also deeply stressful and destabilizing and sometimes it can feel lonely and confusing, that's why I decided to interview some wonderful inspiring people to let you know that you're not alone and that what you're feeling in this very moment is totally ok.
The first interview on the series is with Mish from Meditation with Mish and I'm so excited to have her on board , she's an amazing lady but I let her explain us a little more about who she is and share her beautiful mission !
First of all tell us a little about who you are.
Hello I’m Mish. It’s always funny when I get asked this question that my first urge is to tell you about what I do rather than who I am. I mean that’s a big question isn’t it. Who are you? It’s easier to tell you things I’ve done. So who am I? I am an ever changing, constantly perceiving and experiencing being, as are you!
Right at this moment in life I am practicing being with, through my senses, every experience that comes along to be experienced. It’s easy to do with the “good feeling” experiences and pretty challenging to do when I experience something that feels uncomfortable emotionally or physically. But I’ve had glimpses of being in this state of non-resistance, through Meditation, where I stop judging what I’m feeling & experiencing as good or bad, comfortable or uncomfortable, and I just experience it.
There’s a deep peace that arises and then my life is able to flow. So that’s who I am. A being practicing peace. Imperfectly ;-) And I like to teach others how they can do the same, through Meditation. Allow life to be how it is, without judgement. So what I do is Teach Meditation, Spiritually Mentor Women one-on-one and run Meditation & Spiritual Transformative Retreats.
How did you get to where you are now? In particular if you can tell us about a life or career transition that really affected who you are today.
So my most significant life and career transition has been moving states from inner city Melbourne Victoria to the South Coast of New South Wales (in Australia), away from all of my family and friends and everything that I knew.
I had a very hectic, social, expensive and fun at times, life in Melbourne in my late 20s. My phone was glued to my head, in constant communication, never in silence, always out and about doing something, meeting someone and really, to be honest, running from my feelings.
In the silence I felt anxious and so rather than feel that, rather than allow myself to experience anxiety, I kept very, very, busy. I was afraid to feel.
But at this time I was also introduced to my Meditation Teacher and started sitting in silence and growing courage to feel. I was also finishing my studies as a Naturopath and wrote my major assignment on the healing power of the mind and truly transformative visualisation techniques, literally to rewire the brain.
So anxious and busy but touching into silence & transformation, I began yearning to slow down.
To create a life with more space. With daily walks on the beach in a green lush paradise. Helping others with their emotions and how to truly change their relationship to them. I wasn’t sure how yet or where but this desire was building and so I used visualisation techniques to get really clear on the ideal life I wanted to lead.
Fast forward one year, and I had attracted opportunities to move from Melbourne to the South Coast of New South Wales, by the beach in lush green paradise, and began my Meditation Teaching Training & Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training.
Since then, I have added mountains and valleys of depth to my practice of flowing with life, I work full time in my business Meditation with Mish, I get to choose what I do with my time every single day, I break for lunch to go and have a swim in the ocean pool which is 2 minutes walk from my gorgeous little cottage amongst the trees. I have craters and craters of space & silence and have cultivated a capacity to feel and experience life’s inevitable ups and downs with courage and openness.
What were the fears that came up in that moment?
Oh man, fears that I had throughout that whole journey, really at the most deepest level was the fear to feel. Like I mentioned, I was okay to feel the good stuff, the times when I felt happy about life and good about myself, but if I felt anxious or doubted myself, I didn’t want to go there.
I would use personal development as a way to avoid feeling ha! So at first Meditation was the tool to help me “fix” my “bad” feelings, as were affirmations and journaling and endless spiritual reading. What I realised in the process was that “bad” feelings are inevitable in life, its actually how it’s designed so we know the difference between anger and calm. But we judge one as wrong and the other as right. One as good and the other as bad. And this is actually where the true pain comes from, not from the feeling itself.
So really I was afraid of feeling fear. I was anxious about feeling anxious.
How did you overcome them?
I didn’t so much overcome them, as fear will always be there until the day I die, what I did was made peace with them. I practiced Meditation regularly to just be with myself as I was at that particular moment. If that meant I was feeling anxious, then I would just feel it. If that meant feeling afraid, then I would just feel that too. If that meant feeling joyous, then I would be with that.
Rather than try to overcome or fix anything, I fully accepted my experience as it was, even welcomed it, and once I did that, then I didn’t need to overcome anything!
I no longer felt afraid of feeling fear and no longer was anxious about feeling anxious. If I felt that way, I felt that way. If I didn’t, I didn’t. I stopped making a problem out of my feelings. I allowed my experience to just be how it was, and subsequently, allowed myself to just be how I was. This is true unconditional love. No conditions on what you feel or experience. This is true peace.
What was the biggest lesson you got out of the experience?
For me it was that life is a continual journey of ups and downs. You actually never get to some eternal happy place. From this moment, to the moment you die you will experience a bunch of inevitable good feelings & experiences and you’re going to experience a bunch of inevitable bad feelings & experiences.
I was like, okay if that is true and good & bad are both inevitable, now what? And so I decided to flow with it. To accept it. To make peace with that truth and not to add additional pain by being afraid to feel fear or anxious about feeling anxiety.
I know they are inevitable so why fight them? Why get myself all flustered trying to fix and change them? Why not just feel them when they’re there, eventually they will pass, and the next feeling will arise.
Now I don’t stop myself from making decisions or taking action in my life to avoid feeling fear or feeling anxious or lonely or sad or embarrassed or stupid. I make the choices I want, I take the action I want, and whatever I feel along the journey I know I’ll be able to feel through that too.
What advice would you share to someone going through a similar transition?
Meditate. Don’t expect to feel good. Welcome feeling really afraid. Welcome feeling really doubtful. Welcome it all. I know you can already feel in your body how freeing that is.
Do you have any rituals or routines that support you during times of change?
Meditation. And I do often ask myself the question “What do I believe about life?” Usually that question reminds me of the inevitable ups and downs of life and so I instantly let go of resistance. That question also reminds me that I believe we live in a vibratory universe and brings back all of my memories of how I have created my life with the power of my mind and intention, which is a whole other conversation to be had perhaps in another blog.
What are the things that light you up in life at the moment?
Coffee. Alias Grace on Netflix. My house plants. Summer is coming in the Southern Hemisphere. Swimming in the Ocean. My boyfriend always cooking for me. Connecting with other online business women like you Alessia. The Parrot that sits on my balcony every afternoon wanting nuts and if I ignore him he walks through my back door and sits on the lounge next to me. My new ceramic water filter because it’s duck egg green. My little cottage. Writing this answer xx
what does living a life on purpose looks like for you today?
I recently wrote a social media post on what I think our purpose is here on earth, and as you can imagine it’s a little different but very simple. It involves purely experiencing life through the senses and breathing. That’s all I think we are here to do. We’ve been given everything we need to succeed from the time we were born. You’re given the ability to fulfil your purpose whether you’re a “good” or “bad” person. There is no judgement from the Universe.
So if I’m experiencing life through my senses and breathing moment to moment then that’s me living a life on purpose.
The rest is all made up! We love to give lots of meaning to our “purpose”, not sure if it’s because we don’t feel all that “worthwhile” if we are just experiencing life and breathing, I’m not sure? But I’ve never seen anyone having some “required, mandatory purpose” imposed on them by the Universe. We all get to breathe and experience life regardless of our backgrounds, our beliefs or our actions.
For me that’s really freeing. I can either stress myself out with what I decide “my purpose” is or I could offer myself a purpose of ease and grace. Just to breathe and experience. Then the rest becomes a fun game to play.
FINALLY, CAN YOU SHARE WHAT'S NEXT INTO YOUR WORK AND HOW PEOPLE CAN GET INVOLVED?
I have my Online Meditation Classes & Mentoring. Registration closes on the 10th of January so soon!
I have a Meditation Retreat that I'm facilitating in April of 2018 in Australia called "Permission to Pause" and one coming up at the end of August 2018 in Bali (details are yet to be released but will be soon).
I also have One-on-One 5 Month Spiritual Mentorship Programs that I'm releasing shortly around Emotional Mastery, Relationship Transformation and Leaping with Faith over Fear.
What do you think about this woman's wisdom and view on life? I absolutely loved her answers and I read them again and again while preparing this article to soak in all the wisdom I could !
I particularly loved her transformation from a busy city girl to choosing to live a simpler life, connected to nature and to the natural rhythms of life , as well as her vision of what our purpose actually is. I'm heading to meditate to implement it all.
Connect with Mish on social media :
WEBSITE : www.meditationwithmish.com