Arrah Karigan: Meditation Coach

Arrah Karigan of Higher State Consulting is on a one-woman mission to bring meditation and mindfulness to anyone who is willing to put in the work. After spending several hours with her including in the yoga room, count me in. To listen to our StoryCorps interview, click READ MORE and then click here: Arrah Karigan: Meditation Coach – StoryCorps Archive

I first met Arrah at a First Friday coffee for the West County Chamber of Commerce at Higher Focus Photography in Wildwood. Listening to Arrah as we introduced ourselves and how we help people, I knew immediately I wanted to know more. It just so happened that my sister was traveling that very day and the evening before she was having flight anxiety. As soon as the meeting broke for us to network I made a beeline for Arrah.

There was a reason that Arrah and I were in the same place at the same time. I asked if she could help my sister with flight anxiety and without hesitation, Arrah said, “Yes!”

That is our origin story. And I have to say, I hope that as time goes on, we will have the opportunity to create, use our gifts and work together.

Arrah is originally from Louisiana. I love the way she speaks, and her willingness to gently share her knowledge. We laugh a lot and have fun. She is incredibly engaging, and you can feel her beauty within. I am also greatly impressed with her communication skills.

One of Array’s mantras: “You are strong, you are important, you matter. The work that you do is important. The work that you do on yourself is a huge gift to everyone single person you run into!” I loved this! Who couldn’t use more positive input?

Upon hearing my thoughts, Arrah suggested that we attend her Saturday morning yoga class in which she utilizes the practice of yoga to help people meditate.

It was one of the best classes I have had the opportunity to attend.

 

I’ve practiced quite a bit of yoga in my time, and I enjoy the meditation/mindfulness aspects of it. Arrah’s class begins with a suggestion/story as she moves the class through different yoga poses. She uses yoga poses to teach and encourage meditation.

The class was relaxing, challenging and yes, I was able to meditate.

 

It was from this starting point that Arrah and I decided I needed to know more about meditation.

On a beautiful spring afternoon Arrah began teaching, using her curriculum that she uses for clients about meditation, including the preparation, breath practices and guidelines for building my practice. I enjoy moving meditation by walking and yoga classes. Twice Arrah demonstrated breathing exercises leading me through meditations. The second one included chanting and music. After both sessions, I was energized and relaxed.

Arrah says, “With meditation, you are energized and recharged! It’s both calming and energizing. A complete juxtaposition of those two states, and not normally what you expect, but is lovely to find.”

Yes, sounds contradictory-however, I was energized while relaxed. I felt amazing. It was during this session that Arrah reminded me: If you get discombobulated: breathe, reorganize, and come back.

Good life advice, too.

When we sat down to talk, we began by talking about all the ways meditation coaching can help each of us. We’ve become good friends and live right around the corner from one another.

Asking Arrah how to begin, she answered, “This is an issue for everyone! The debate about meditation is over-it IS useful and helpful. Most people know this. However, the next step: HOW do I start confounds everyone. The field is wide and deep. There are so many ways to meditate. My feeling is: As long as you are showing up and giving it a go, you are meditating. When I first got into this, I knew I needed to try meditating and the first time I tried, it was a mess. So many people have told me this.”

At some point, Arrah had the opportunity to work with a skilled instructor. “It was amazing, and it changed my life! I am objective and scientific, fact, rule and routine based. If someone had told me this “woo woo practice” would change my life, I wouldn’t have believed them. Over time, I knew this was correct for me and meant to be shared!”

Arrah’s journey to meditation coach is windy and straight forward.

“I’ve been a yogi for 21 years. It originally started as a form of exercise for me. I knew it was enormously helpful for your body. The studio had teacher training, and I’m a hobby learner. I decided I’m going to take it. I had no idea how wide this subject was! I wanted to expand my knowledge, not necessarily teach.”

Connecting with my friend Sabina, they found a teacher they both loved. By then, Arrah had been a yogi for 10 years, with a 200-hour yoga certification. This instructor is an international teacher, so she understood she would have to travel to train with her.

“When Sabina asked, ‘Do you want to get your yoga 500-hour certification?’…it sounded like a lot of work! Then, Sabina asked, ‘Want to go to India with me?’

“Sure! I’ll go to India with you,” and her fate was sealed.

“Spending ten days in India about seven or eight years ago, it was the most profound experience to intensely work with the teacher we both loved. She is so skilled. It was more of an incubator/retreat and a safe space where things can generate. From that moment, I knew this was going to be important to my life. And I knew I would finish this training with her, though I never intended to do this. While I knew this was going to be important; it was also a knowing for me.”

“This taught me that the things you think are important. I used to think I could think whatever I want. I can’t make anyone think any way I want them to. I learned that WHAT you think matters. Every thought you have goes somewhere. Thoughts are energy you are broadcasting out. They are wonderful or negative thoughts. There’s something to this. We need to weed the garden…don’t let them grow.”

Arrah is receiving valuable feedback from yoga students, often telling her, “I have your voice in my head!” Her students who regularly attend class, eventually end up getting her entire curriculum 5 minutes at a time.

As for corporate and wellness work, Arrah told me, “One of the reasons I’ve focused on the corporate and wellness side is that there is a rampant amount of burnout rate and poor corporate culture. Burn out and wellness is contagious. So is positive wellness: Bringing compassion into the workplace in the forms of helpfulness, healthy communication and positive engagement is mirrored back!”

“I’m also a parent of young children. I understand what it is like for a parent not to have time for wellness. Everyone knows how important it is to take care of ourselves. We have real things to do. It’s pie in the sky and naïve that a corporate wellness administrator offers to pay for a gym membership. Corporations need to offer wellness during the workday. If we offer learning and meditation right before lunch, it will work. I can bring this to them. If one way doesn’t work, a different type of meditation will. It’s giving people the time and space and permission to include this in their days. Over time, these skills help bring us into a more cohesive state. A more stable state long-term. Work-life balance. Company wellness will change the culture.”

“For me, I naturally bring this into my life. Because I am a meditator and have been doing it for so long, my fuse is pretty long. I don’t always take the “bait” of provocation with little kids. My kids know this and often get a laugh when they know they are pushing too hard. Once you begin mediating and working on the process of it, you will notice the subtle changes. One day you will receive an invitation to a conflict, and you have developed that moment of pause, and you won’t jump in. You just have to develop that moment. Tell yourself: I’m not going to respond in that way. I’m going to choose a different way-I’m not going to respond to my conditioning.”

“With my young daughter, who never takes a day off, when she hears that big inhale and pause, she’s reached the end of the line with me! Her eyes get big. I’m reaching down into the reserves, trying to calm my nervous system. And I don’t respond. She knows. Even at a young age!”

Arrah recommends, “Recognizing your internal state: HALT. Most adults aren’t minding their internal state-much less kids! Know yourself and your internal regulation. Teach kids about this-what happens when you don’t eat protein? You will cry! What will happen if you don’t sleep? You will cry. My daughter knows to take a big breath and re-set. I am helping her to develop these knowings. It is making her a better person.”

Peace and ease.

“Another reason I wanted to start doing meditations is because most people intuitively, know moving through the world anxious, angry, scared, controlling, suffering, that’s probably not correct. However, you have to first acknowledge that what is going on isn’t healthy. Most people don’t know if there’s another way or how to get to the other side of this. There are many ways to do this. Skill of meditation is one way-depending on your mix of wellness needs.”

“Meditation can pierce your veil of condition. Marianne Williamson in Courage to Change talks about the saran wrap between us and what’s supposed to be. Theres something fuzzy and we are experiencing anxiety, over-achievement and ego run rampant, a conditioning, we’ve all decided that is fine. It’s not fine. If you decide this is fine, you are ok with where you are. If not, you then need to decide what you are going to do about this.

When you are feeling…I’m just not okay. Then what? Then we have to do something about it.

This is the place that I help bring in one of the ways-the physical piece in the body and sit and be quiet. Face things that you’ve been putting off/move through some of these things.”

Arrah strongly believes and lives with this message: Peace and Ease are your birthright. This is one of the ways we are meant to move through the world. Even in the midst of challenges. We can find peace and ease. The comfort of knowing, “I’m okay.”

Asked about her legacy: “One of the things that’s important to remind myself: and I remind my students: I can teach cognitively and not internalize it. There is always so much more to know. We are all going through the process”.

Goodness ripples out.

What does it matter? I’m just one person. “I’m just me.”  The work that I do, the work that everybody does is rippling out into the world around them. This impacts interactions with everyone in your world. Your family, yourself. You can interact authentically and in a loving way. The people that we love are the reason we are doing this. Look for GOOD. Make a difference.

I want other people to learn how to help others! It’s not about me. This is not about me saving the world. It’s about me blooming where I’m planted. I’m here to show people one of the ways…”

Thank you, Arrah, for your time, energy, positive thoughts and teaching me more about meditation. Make sure you read her blogs on her website. She is an amazing writer!

It’s good to be able to give a pep talk and have someone, in turn, give me a pep talk! Stay tuned…we will regroup…lots of new ideas. It’s a knowing!

Expect Good. Sparkle on. Defy Gravity. Meditate.

For more information on Arrah and Higher State Consulting:

https://higherstateconsulting.com/

(33) Arrah Karigan | LinkedIn

For more StoryCorps interviews, personal narratives, travel blogs and how I empower people to find and use their voice through writing and storytelling as well as information about Whole Brain Thinking, visit my website: https://wilsonmentoringwriting.com

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https://www.facebook.com/wilsonwriting/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pam-wilson-115668228/

Arrah’s 4 tricks for successful meditation:

  1. Drop all the expectations of how it should be. This is not another opportunity for perfection.
  2. Do a brain dump before you start.
  3. Move your body-anything vigorous, even for a minute.
  4. Don’t let “great” be the enemy of “good.” A minute or two a day is a win. Don’t let the perfectionist mindset get in the way of you showing up.

 

 

 

 

About Pam Wilson

I've been writing since I can remember. At heart, I am a story-teller; making sense of my world, finding humor and light through writing. Now I help clients to write their own stories. As I continue my own writing journey, my passion is to help clients write their own stories.

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