Meredith Nordhem Ewenson; her disposition is as rare as her hair color. She is positive, vibrant, and dynamic, working a full-time job (and then some) while still maintaining a presence. How does she do it?
“I think doing multiple things brings in energy from each thing.”
Many of you may know Meredith as the Marketing Director of newportFILM and have most likely seen her smiling face walking through the crowds of people at the newportFILM events over the last five years. While Meredith is passionate about her full-time job, she also carries with her many other passions. For this reason, my intention to interview her was to peel back some layers, if you will. What makes Meredith who she is and what is it that contributes to her success? How is she awesome at so many things? Essentially, I am asking for a cup of her Kool-Aid and I thought that some other people might also want a sip.
“Teaching yoga, health and wellness is who I am but what I have learned through newportFILM is that marketing is also who I am.”
Before meeting with Meredith, I Googled her – because, who doesn’t love a good engine search? Her website, www.bewellyogalifestyle.com was the first thing I saw, and I followed the link, naturally. In big bold letters, I read: “HEY THERE, how are you feeling today?”. This struck me, and I always ask how other people are feeling but I never really ask myself how I feel. An intriguing tagline, check. Wow, she is good at marketing.
Her website oozes positivity. If you’d like, you have the option to join Meredith’s mailing list, where she updates the recipients on how they can feel their ‘most awesome’ and all of a sudden I am craving green juice and a good yoga class. The focus of her site, from what I gathered, is on achievable lifestyle changes without the stress of striving for perfection. Like most yogis, Meredith gives off a strong, balancing vibe, focusing on a theme of action and intention. Basically, be deliberate.
Q: How did your career begin, with newportFILM, and otherwise?
A: “Actually, to be honest… I didn’t have any marketing experience! I started at about ten hours a week editing the press list, then became part time and then full time. A few years later I started teaching yoga as well, and now I educate about essential oils too. I have always been a creator. I love many things, but I don’t think of myself as someone that jumps from one thing to another. I need always to be learning and growing.”
Q: How do you marry your full-time job with other hobbies and interests, i.e. yoga, essential oils? Do you find it challenging?
A: “I feel like through newportFILM I have built relationships with people that carry into yoga, and other things, but also vice versa. In my yoga classes, people are always asking when our next film is and I am always so excited to talk about it.”
A solid example of why Meredith is an asset to the community. She meets someone at newportFILM and they are then encouraged to take a yoga class or an essential oils class, as well as the inverse scenario.
“This is a small town, and people don’t always do things because an ad in the newspaper says they should. They do things because of their friends, or people they like, suggest that they do it.”
Q: For someone who is an advocate for a yogic lifestyle but is also busy, how do you balance and how do you recommend someone balances?
A: “I think there are a lot of ways to balance. The first thing that came to mind actually is my essential oil blend called ‘balance’ which I always have with me. But I think sometimes it comes down to pausing & taking a few breaths. Whether that is sitting still for a minute and just being aware of the fact you need to come back to balance, going to a yoga class, or meditating; even for five minutes. Creating balance in your life is knowing what your reset button is & then using it. Essential oils are often what I use as a reset button.”
Q: And how do you use them?
A: “There are many ways to use essential oils, and a lot of people use them for emotional support. I kind of think of it as a choose your own adventure button. I need energy, and I need to relax, sleep, get little happier, there are oils to evoke those feelings. Sometimes I just gravitate towards one.
I had to ask Meredith to show me what these essential oils were all about; she pulled a cute canvas bag out of her purse and offered me a small trial run. Palms at the ready (but don’t get the oils on your fingers)!
“These are two of my faves.”
I could tell they were her favorite because they were almost empty. Her poison of choice? A collaboration of Peppermint and Wild Orange; a drop of each in your palms, rub together, close your eyes and take three deep breaths. I was already energized from my dark roast coffee (buzz, buzz, buzz) but breathing in these oils made my lungs feel cool, happy and awake. Any residual oil you have in your palms, you can use on the back of your neck. In this case, Peppermint is a perfect remedy for those hot summer days or to open up your sinuses in the colder months. Meredith calls Wild Orange her “happy making oil.” This experience is something she uses as a self-care practice. I hope you are all taking notes.
Q: How long have essential oils been part of your lifestyle?
A: “For a little less than a year, I have been learning and doing a lot with them. I mean, I have used essential oils for years but nothing more than lavender on my skin or tea tree oil in my hair, basic stuff. Recently I have become so much more involved in learning about them and how to use them for physical and emotional support.”
Q: Generally, are essential oils something that you tend to incorporate in your yoga classes?
A: “I try to keep my classes pretty neutral because people come for yoga and I do not want to throw too many things at them. I do usually make hand towels with lavender essential oil for over people’s eyes [to use during Savasana] and everyone seems to love that. I notice the vibe of everyone is different when I do that versus when I don’t. Most people that are usually fidgety are completely still if they are given the lavender towel. So, I know that it does help relax people. Savasana can be an anxious experience, and my yoga teacher has said that meditation, or being still, is like sitting in your own poopy diaper; it’s all your own stuff. You smell it, you’re dealing with it and you gotta just get through it, it can be tough sometimes!”
Meredith has run essential oil infused yoga classes, specifically, for those interested and hopes to run another in early December of 2016.
“Yoga & essential oils are an excellent blend. I like things to be dynamic, and I like to create experiences, and I like to be able to create experiences that elevate the vibe.”
Q: Do you teach yoga to members of your office during the workday? Do you do yoga at your desk?
A: “The last thing people want is a pushy yoga or essential oils teacher telling them, ‘do this’ but people ask me and I do offer to help if they are complaining about a certain thing. I am huge about neck and back health (she sprained her neck at yoga teacher training, having not realized she had chronic neck issues, to begin with). I am going on The Rhode Show to talk about “Tech Neck” and office yoga poses. I am constantly stretching at my desk. In the past, I have taught yoga classes in my office on Fridays that my coworkers would come to.”
Since we don’t all have the pleasure of working in the same office as Meredith, a full schedule of her yoga offerings can be found on her website. If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, Meredith will be hosting a class on Thursday, October 20th from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Kristin Coates Gallery on 57 America’s Cup Ave and another one on Friday, October 21st from 10a.m. until noon at the Station8 Firehouse located on 118 Prospect Hill Street. Admission is free, but space is limited so email or Ffacebook message her to RSVP – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for the wisdom, Meredith. Namas-GO.