Founder at Medha
Hi Kelly, thanks for being here with me today. For those who don’t know, Kelly is the founder of Medha and her goal in life is to introduce yoga and wellness principles in the workplace to improve quality of life and performance.
Tell me a bit about yourself, how did your adventure with Medha start?
I lived in Colorado, most of my life, but as I mentioned to you, I have many homelands. I come from 16 different lineages, I’m a real melting pot of DNAs and this may be the reason behind certain character traits such as a fiery passion and an analytic mindset.
I spent most of my 25-years career in what I call risk management which is generally helping organizations navigate things that threaten their success and their viability. I wear different hats like an internal auditor and investigator and worked within finance and legal departments. They are a challenging and emotional jobs.
Adding to that, a few years back I had a challenging and risky pregnancy that required surgery. In fact, I was very fortunate that both my son and I are still here.
Recovering from that surgery AND working as a full-time mother in a very contentious role drove me to be physically and emotionally unbalanced.
Was at that point when I decided to lean into yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda for healing. I started to dedicate every day to some form of wellbeing and slowly over time, my body and my mind healed.
4 years ago I certified as a meditation instructor under Deepak Chopra, a pioneer of mind-body wellness who pursued the integration of Eastern philosophy and Western medicine.
The meditation I practice is called primordial sound meditation and is very similar to transcendental meditation. I have been teaching for several years to work professionals because anybody that has worked in a corporate environment knows how fast-paced and oftentimes toxic environment it is.
I still have a full-time job as director of governance and compliance, while in the meantime I’m building my meditation practice.
I’m curious to know which was the response from the business world. I picture the corporate as traditional and not too open to new, “hippyish” ideas. How was your experience?
This is a good question.
In general, you are right, but when I started talking to big organizations like JP Morgan it was during the pandemic. At that time, generally, people were very receptive to the idea of having meditation and yoga in the workspace.
But still, I have to communicate it as non-secular, in other words, keeping the spiritual part at the minimum. For example, I write articles for my organization and they’ve actually pulled me back on a couple of things like the law of attraction because they think it is too fluffy.
I have to keep it fact-based when I talk with these organizations. Benefit oriented.
So, do you believe Covid in some form helped people and companies to stop and rethink their priorities?
Right, I think many people got uncomfortable enough (sometimes desperate) and this pushed them to change. In the last 2 years, I held a weekly mindfulness session in the company where I’m employed and people are really perceptive and realize the results themselves.
In my experience, I found nonprofit organizations to be the most perceptive to those kinds of practices and techniques.
Is there a reason why it was so important for you to start Medha?
Yes, everything comes down to my personal experience when I found myself, I don’t want to say broken, but completely burned out. That was one of my lowest points in life and I knew that was in part due to the environment that I was in and the expectations there.
I wanted to help people like myself in the corporate world, taking what I had been through and what I learned and sharing it with others. And I think that meditation and yoga in the workplace can change a lot.
I’ve developed a system that can easily integrate into that kind of fast-paced, busy life. I’m excited to share that with other people because it worked for me.
What’s your secret power, when it comes to teaching meditation and yoga for the workplaces?
Well, I would say historically it’s been my attention to detail, my analytical mind. I’m very good at taking a lot of data and distilling it down to meaningful knowledge for people.
On my spiritual journey, after discovering yoga and meditation, I started coupling my analytical mind with my newborn awareness.
The result is what my executive leadership calls a machine because it can do things quickly, efficiently, and effectively. This is exactly what drove most of my successes because I can take on a lot and I can handle a lot.
So whether it’s a lot going on at my day job or having to deal with the Medha practice or being there for my family, I can juggle a lot. And I believe awareness and the sense of calm that comes with yoga and meditation, are keys to my superpower.
How do you define success?
As part of my morning meditation practice I ask myself, you know, some of these kinds of soul questions, who am I? What is it that I want? What am I grateful for?
And so when I ask myself what it is that I really want, I think of this blissful state. The more I can get to that state of true bliss, the more successful I would consider myself. My idea of success doesn’t necessarily involve money.
Some of my clients at Inner Light came to me with similar fears. Fears and limiting beliefs often disguise as a “reasonable voice” and tell us that we are not ready, that we should stay in our comfort zone.
Part of my job is to support my clients overcome their fears and confidently getting out there to share their gifts with the world.
No one is ever “fully ready” there is always a certain degree of uncertainty. As Seth Godin says,
If you wait until you are ready, it is almost certainly too late.–Seth Godin
That’s a good point, you know, working in risk management is my default mindset. Calculate and avoid risks as much as possible. But that’s a precious insight for me, definitely something I need to work on.
Founder at Medha
Kelly Arnold has spent most of her 25 plus year career helping organizations identify and manage things that threaten their success and viability. More recently, she added teaching stress management and productivity techniques to her risk mitigation toolset.
Trained in communication, risk management, and meditation, Kelly’s unique background is suited to help others improve and accelerate health, happiness, and performance through well-being.
Well into her career, Kelly found herself overwhelmed and depleted – chronic stress led to imbalance and illness. She leaned into the systems of Yoga and Ayurveda for healing, and by incorporating simple mindfulness and meditation techniques throughout most days, she cultivated inner peace and calm along with conscious choice making. From this place, happiness and health blossomed and balance was restored. Continuing to draw on the benefits of these techniques years later, she is committed to helping others to do the same, the Medha Way.
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17 years journey in a nutshell