I’d like to inspire a movement of living from the heart and sharing compassion with ourselves and our world every day, in every way we can. Every day provides an opportunity to open our hearts. Every interaction offers an opportunity to show that we care. If everyone on earth felt cared for by someone, even a stranger, each day how would our world be different?
I had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Leigh Mercree bestselling author, media personality, and medical intuitive. Mercree teaches internationally sharing Mindfulness Meditation, Medicine Woman Bootcamp, Heart Shamanism, and Goddess Shamanism classes. Mercree is the author of “The Spiritual Girl’s Guide to Dating,” “A Little Bit of Chakras,” “Joyful Living,” “The Chakras and Crystals Cookbook,” “The Compassion Revolution,” “A Little Bit of Meditation,” “Essential Oils Handbook,” “Apple Cider Vinegar Handbook,” “A Little Bit of Mindfulness,” and “The Mood Book: Crystals, Oils, and Rituals to Elevate Your Spirit.”
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
In grade school, I was diagnosed with learning disabilities. As a result, I wasn’t like other kids. My handwriting was completely illegible and I honestly could not physically help it. The way I perceived the world was different than most. Perhaps because my mind was wired a little bit differently than some others. Over time and with lots of self acceptance and educating myself, I discovered that all of my unique gifts translated into a high aptitude for heart based entrepreneurship. My differences paved the path for my success today. That is why I became an author and medical intuitive.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
There are so many interesting stories from which to choose. It is hard to pick just one. I’ve had the privilege of as a medical intuitive of witnessing the journeys and healing processes of many hundreds of people. One really interesting one was with a client in 2008. She had really severe PMDD which is basically an incredibly acute form of PMS with a lot of painful cramping. And she came to my medical intuitive practice for relief because she hadn’t found any solutions using conventional means. So, as we looked into her energy and what was happening it came to light that there had been a curse placed upon an ancestor of hers and it had rippled through the genetics that had been passed down through her family and caused this physical result. So, we did a protocol that unraveled that curse. She called me a couple months later and said she had the first cycles of her entire life with no symptoms. And I’ve been touch with her in the last few years and it has remained that way. That was a really pivotal story and experience for me because it gave me tangible proof that we can change our physiology through the mechanics of energy, thoughts, and emotion and the way that they interact.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
As an entrepreneur, I think I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I have a friend whose father used to say that every mistake we made and dollar we lost as business owners was still less than the tuition would’ve cost if we had gotten an MBA. A mistake I made that isn’t necessarily funny but that I wish I had more information to avoid involved shopping a draft of one of my novels before I completely understood the way the fiction publishing industry worked. Because I did that I sort of wasted a chance where I could have potentially gotten the result I wanted if I had had more information and been better prepared. But that’s how we learn. And I embrace those mistakes because it means that I have that much more understanding and knowledge to do better the next time and it also provides an opportunity for self-reflection and new levels of self-acceptance. So, even a loss can be a win.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
As an author, a lot of times I find myself in 2 to 3 different modes. Right now I’m in two of those modes. Mode one is publicity. I have a book that is coming out November 6 called A Little Bit of Mindfulness. Which I am enjoying sharing. I have another book coming out at the beginning of March called The Mood Book: Crystals, Oils, and Rituals to Elevate Your Spirit. I’m really excited to publicize that book as well. At the same time, I’m also in pitch mode with my literary agent which I actually love the most because it’s all about ideas. So, I have three different potential ideas that are getting considered for publication. And that is the most exciting part of my job because I love ideas. And when an idea that I have gotten the privilege to put together sparks interest and starts the process towards fruition that results in a book I am in my happy place.
Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?
Watching the Inner Show
As you begin to live a mindful lifestyle, you may become aware of the most entertaining soap opera you have ever witnessed — right inside of your own mind. Each moment of every day we are barraged by an inner monologue narrating what’s happening to us in the present moment. But the thing about this inner narrator is she or he gets easily distracted. So, let’s say she tastes a food that reminds her of a family dinner five years before. Then she begins thinking about that and how at that dinner there was a big disagreement and it was stressful. It’s as if she’s re-experiencing it in the present moment. Even if just for a few seconds. How and why do our minds jump around? Why are we narrating our everyday experience and punctuating it with drama?
For example, perhaps this same woman hears a song the next evening that reminds her of a past love. Maybe it brings her mind down a train of thought all about how that relationship didn’t work and she begins replaying scenes from it in her mind. She feels the emotions again. She has the thoughts again and then adds to them. She takes up a lot of mental and emotional space thinking and feeling about the past. But is it at the expense of experiencing the present?
When we think about something our brain and body do much of what they would do if we were actually experiencing. So, we release the same or similar chemical messengers to tell us what to feel. When you think about an embarrassing situation where your face turned bright red and you started sweating does your body start sweating and does your face turn red? Just by thinking about it? Often times it does. Chemical messengers similar to those released when you actually had the experience are racing through your bloodstream and giving your body direction how to physiologically react.
Every day, we watch an inner show of ups and downs, highs and lows, joys and turmoil. It’s an endless dance of existence. I’d love to suggest that we bring a little mindfulness into this dance. What if we were simply present to these ups and downs and highs and lows? Especially since the majority of them are self-generated within the mind. What if we brought our attention to our inner witness instead of staying on the internal emotional roller coaster?
The inner witness is a part of us that sits behind all of the drama. It observes our personality self with detachment. Please do not mistake detachment for lack of care. Because our inner witness observes us with unconditional love and acceptance. But it is not attached to outcomes in this world. Instead it sits quietly being present and simply is. It is the part of us that is able to just be.
So, what if you could relax your heart and quiet your mind enough to lean back into the awareness of that inner witness? Perhaps you could slide back out of the drama for a few seconds. Might that be a relief at times?
If you practice mindfulness you can extend those times and their frequency. Being present to your inner witness simply requires a shift in your attention. It’s kind of like changing the lens with which you view the world. For example, right now you’re reading these words. And in your mind, they’re being narrated by your inner voice. Notice that right now as your reading. That’s the voice in your head! That’s the voice that generates all of the drama. It’s the voice that says, “Did I remember to turn off the stove?” “Did I remember to add laundry detergent when I started the washing machine?” “I hope Jennifer didn’t take what I said out of context.”
What you want to do is get behind and watch it instead of feeling like you’re living it in and it is your only experience. Because it’s just a portion of the vast collection of parts that make up your complete being. Yes, your personality self is in there. And try as it might it cannot monopolize all of your attention if you don’t let it. Its job is to make your world understandable. As a result, it’s going to try to compare and contrast every experience to every other experience you’ve had. It’s going to try to categorize what you’re doing as positive or negative.
It’s your personality self when you pass judgment on what you liked and didn’t like about what happened on any given day. By nature, it wants to control your experience to make it more pleasant and less dangerous.
It likely originated as we evolved as a species. Because we were under greater strain and our survival was threatened more frequently, we developed a willful brain that would try its hardest to minimize risk and increase reward.
But, for many of us in the Western world we are not as likely to be under attack at any given moment. And we’re not in competition that is as aggressive for resources either. Most of us have what we need. Therefore, the personality develops in different ways but with the same impetus. One of how to be most secure whether it’s physically, emotionally, mentally, or even spiritually. That might translate into ways that you choose to guard your heart and emotions in romantic relationships. Or it might translate into unconscious competitive feelings with coworkers.
Sometimes our personality self is very helpful. It’s something that we need. The way we are as individuals is part of why we are successful, and why we have formed the relationships we have. But, since it isn’t the only part of you then why should it be the only part of your experience?
You are a vast being. And, yes, you have a personality self in this body within this construct of time and space. But you also have many other parts that are infinite. One of these is your inner witness.
When you are busy, just noticing that fact is an act of mindfulness. and your inner witness is the one who allows you to be mindful. She sits behind the chatter and the day-to-day activity and simply observes. When you sit in meditation you can allow yourself to relax more deeply and let your mind chatter subside. Then if you just sit back in yourself a little bit you can begin to feel what’s behind your personality self. Relax your heart and feel that behind all of the mind chatter is your silent inner witness presence. It is pure peace and it is your divine soul. That part of you that is eternally mindful. It is eternally present. It is the part of you that existed before you entered the body you are inhabiting and it will exist after you exit that body. When you meditate and slow down your mind you give yourself opportunities to rest a little further back in your consciousness and experience the awareness of your inner witness. Let a mindful life spring forth from the part of your that simply witnesses your life without judgement.
What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?
After my readers read A Little Bit of Mindfulness, I want them to deeply understand that they are the captain at the helm of their mental ship. And with intention, commitment, and consciousness they have the power to control their stress level and experience of life. I want my readers to understand that pharmaceutical remedies that treat symptoms are just a Band-Aid over a condition that may never heal. But getting to the root cause of stress, the way we look at the world, the way we cope with the world, and empowering ourselves instead of relying on an outside side authority figure is the way to live a healthy lifestyle and thrive
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
I’m inspired by feminists, scientists, great thinkers. I have been a long term fan of Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart, Naomi Wolf, Einstein, Richard Fenymen, Stephen Hawking.
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
I’m an imaginative person so I enjoy all forms of light fiction. Not a big fan of things that are frightening or violent. I don’t find that entertaining. Firing up my imagination inspires me. I’m a massive fan of quantum physics. And books about chemistry always excite me. And I am also a big fan of the natural sciences. I like to read books that help me identify plants and animals in interesting locales that I visit. Finding rare plants in a remote jungle is one of my favorite things. I love to travel.
How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?
I hope my writing makes an impact that shares that kindness and compassion are powerful. I want my readers to know that they matter, each and every one of them. Sometimes, we feel small and insignificant and every book I write is a love letter to my readers to tell them that they matter to me. I want them to be healthy and happy because I care.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?
Study the industry. And look at people who are doing what you want to do. From there reverse engineer the process. That’s what I do to solve most problems in business. Reverse engineer them.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My book The Compassion Revolution is all about this very thing. And it’s the same movement I want to keep furthering. A movement of living from the heart and sharing compassion with ourselves and our world every day, in every way we can. Every day provides an opportunity to open our hearts. Every interaction offers an opportunity to show that we care. If everyone on earth felt cared for by someone, even a stranger, each day how would our world be different?
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1) Let go of mistakes. — I used to perspirate when I made a small mistake. That time could’ve been better spent moving forward.
2) Invest time in building social networks when they first develop. — On all the popular networks it was easier to get traction when they were new. Of course the trick is figuring out which ones will stick. 🙂
3) Don’t listen to naysayers. — Nowadays, I almost think it’s good to try to be impervious to the people who try to influence you to stay smaller. And they probably are doing it from a completely benevolent place but blocking out that noise and staying true to yourself is crucial. It took me a while to understand this.
4) Believe in your vision. — In 2002 and I started the first project that would eventually become a book. I felt so far from where I am today. But part of me always pictured it. It’s been 16 years. It took a long time. And I’m still on this journey and progressing. But over the years when things didn’t work out I would get discouraged if I had been able to believe in myself more perhaps things would’ve gone more quickly.
5) Celebrate.- Celebrate each win and celebrate life. It took me a long time to realize that it’s important to enjoy life on a deeper level. Take the time to take amazing vacations and have peak experiences. It was a shift in thinking for me to really get that peak performance is not only about tangible results it’s about experience. Because in the end all we really have is our experiences. It doesn’t matter how much wealth we acquire or status we gain. It’s what we did. What did we do in this life that gave us joy and that enhanced us?
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
What a fun question! Gloria Steinem because she is the face of feminism and a courageous pioneer. I’d want to hear her reflections on life and the world and also ask her how she thinks I can be of greatest service.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
@amyleighmercree on all channels. I am especially active on Instagram.