“As spiritual beings, we are on a temporary journey through this life, experiencing our human selves. This universe is a reflection of our souls. We always have the choice to focus on resilience and mindfulness, and these things give us the courage to do what our soul is calling us to do. When we release resistance from our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies, we can truly thrive.” — Farrah Miller
As a part of my series about “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Farrah Miller. Farrah is a health, nutrition, and life coach, speaker, and founder of FM Wellness. FM Wellness is an online platform dedicated to helping women heal their traumas, rewire limiting beliefs, and find freedom, peace, and their soul’s purpose. Farrah is deeply passionate about self-development and using a holistic mind-body-soul alignment to change one’s life. Through the FM Wellness platform, speaking engagements, and workshops, Farrah provides her audiences with the tools and resources that help with living an authentic, vibrant, abundant lifestyle. Farrah specializes in helping those struggling with chronic stress, anxiety, low self-worth, and body-image issues. She also helps those wanting to add whole foods to their diets and learn intuitive eating habits.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Struggling with low self-worth, limiting family and religious beliefs, and divorced at the age of 20, I was left with a heavy heart, stressed about my future, and feeling lost. I did not know my passions, purpose, and what a balanced lifestyle looked or felt like. Unfortunately, these things were not taught to me by my peers or in schools. I felt brain-fogged, low energy, and was developing body image issues keeping me from living my sacred essence. Somehow, I never felt like I could be enough.
Day by day my inner voice kept nagging me to make a change, not tomorrow but immediately, and suddenly I found myself taking the first courageous step to a new horizon. I moved to another city, not knowing a single soul or knowing what the future might hold, but I knew from intuition that it was the right choice for me. I believed that there was much more untapped potential in me, and that I must allow myself to explore who I was as a human being, a spiritual being, and as a creation of God. I went on a healing journey, and self-development became a huge part of my life. That is when I found my calling to pursue and teach holistic healing, wellness, mindfulness, and meditation to women like me. I realized my purpose was to help others to tap into their own inner voice, and master their well-being, align with their higher purpose, living in bliss and laughter.
I started reading books by extremely successful people and great teachers, and they opened my mind to many of life’s deepest questions. I believe that we are much more than what the media and our environment has led us to believe. I think many of us have been stripped of our real emotions, and have been sold terrifying fears and hatreds, so that we cannot possibly reach our highest potentials without intensive awakening and self-work.
Human beings are conscious beings, and we have control over our decisions, eating habits, and lifestyle choices. Today, we can choose to surround ourselves with the fears of failure or brilliant success stories, both of which will affect us deeply. We may need new opportunities and patterns of being with ourselves and with others.
We live in a society which often promotes commercial products by inflaming greed, fear, jealousy, bullying, and the desire for control. How then can a person look at the world each day with an open mind and still feel justly empowered, successful, and at peace? Only through self-examination and discipline.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Like many of us, my career started after college, and it was somewhat of an unguided career choice. I continued to work in the banking industry, leading a floor team and enjoying my path into management. At the time I did know how to sit with my passions in meditation and plan inspired action. However, my path in life eventually took me to where I was meant to be. Ten years in corporate finance flew by and I found myself a vice president at my bank, but not deeply fulfilled. I enjoyed numbers, people, and managing teams, but I knew that it was not my calling. One day I asked God to show me my true purpose. Why was I working so hard to be here? I knew I was meant to make a difference in the world.
I had started becoming aware of the global wellness movement around this time and I took a chance to join the IIN, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, for nutrition health coaching. The IIN is a global movement and school, empowering their students to take control of their health to reach their health goals — from weight loss to stress management to resolving chronic conditions through diet — and teach others how they can do the same. That is the IIN’s mission: spread health and happiness to the world and make an impact one person at a time. Now I help clients as a certified Beyond Quantum Healing practitioner, Reiki healer, and spiritual life coach.
After two years since my decision to pursue a holistic healing practice, I began hearing from a group of old friends who I had not seen in the past 10 years. Several of them had stories about leaving their marriages and developing worrying feelings of not being enough, negative body-image issues, and fears of failing in life. I was surprised that this group of peers who had seemed to have it all figured out was going through troubles very similar to my own and I had an “Aha Moment.” I knew I was destined to help women like them and this was my confirmation. I had figured out my own path to healing and self-realization and started observing many changes in my life. It was leading me to a better life experience.
Just like when someone gets sick and needs to go to a physical medicine specialist, helping people with their overall well-being, decision-making skills, and listening with love and compassion put me in my comfort zone. It has been a beautiful journey to experience connections with others who are feeling stuck, just like I was at one time of my life. Looking at someone’s bigger picture and filling in the gaps is something that comes natural to me.
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?
Compassion, kindness, and mutual respect are often missing in the corporate world. Today’s millennials understand the importance of these three concepts on a higher level than the last generation, and they are confused when they don’t find them in their careers. This is one reason they are called the “why” generation. The world’s corporate culture needs to be reformed into a much more caring, compassionate, and respectful society where employees are celebrated for their unique talents and gifts, rather than being pressed into wasteful competition and burn-out. According to Forbes, more than 70% of millennials aren’t engaged at their jobs, and 30% will quit due to dissatisfaction within 2 years.
Based on my own experiences and observations, emotional intelligence is sorely missing from all levels of corporate culture. Compassion is the art of being a good listener and having genuine concern about the employee’s development and progress, not simply creating an effective salesperson.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
I read The Essentials of Rumi in 2013 and Rumi philosophy really impacted my perceptions about life. Growing up I was not satisfied with the stories I was hearing from popular culture and in school as they did not resonate with my inner knowing. I believe we all have an inner-knowing and that we must listen carefully to it and ask ourselves more questions. Rumi’s teachings are soulful and help with connecting the dots. As a child I was curious about God and what the purpose of existence was, but I never received an answer which resonated with me at the core level. It was not until I read Rumi’s spiritual teachings that I developed a more open-minded approach to understanding why we are here and how we are uniquely loved by the Creator. Rumi really makes you think about life more subtly.
“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” -Rumi
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the focus of our interview. From your experience or research, how would you define and describe the state of being mindful?
Mindfulness is truly a game changer. Today we are learning more and more ways to tap into the power of our mind, and we are learning what a gift it truly is. Mindfulness helps you slow down and become a peaceful observer, instead of an agitated reactor. Our circumstances are not us, they are outside experiences like the weather, and when we understand that we can take the control in life that we are meant to have. That’s when the magic happens.
Mindfulness helps us become more tolerant, compassionate, and deft at balancing giving and receiving.
This is the path to becoming the highest version of ourselves. Human potential is so vast, and we are just starting to realize it.
One big part of mindfulness is being in the present moment. When the mind is chattering and overthinking about the future or past, we are not aligned with the harmony of the universe and with ourselves. Something that I have learned, experienced, and constantly teach my clients is that your mind is your gift and you must tend to it like a loved one.
This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to spell this out. Can you share with our readers a few of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of becoming mindful?
Mindfulness helps us realize the fact that life is not against us, it surrounds us, and we are to navigate it with the best of our developed capabilities.
The physical benefits include calming symptoms of disease, chronic pain, stress, blood pressure, and sleep. Helping ourselves deal with difficult symptoms allows our bodies to heal unobstructed. Mindfulness practices help create a heart-mind coherence which leads to better physical health through better healing conditions and can resolve many neurological issues taxing our energy and rest. Yoga for instance is a great way to practice mindfulness while soothing the body’s aches and pains, thus reinforcing that synergistic relationship.
Mental health is everything. I personally started practicing mindfulness techniques about 11 years ago and it started with rethinking a lot of what I had been taught by my environment. I gave myself permission to release many of the older cultural ways of thinking and living and began practicing mindfulness in each interaction with people and ideas. This brought an immense peace to my life which allowed me to concentrate more deeply on each of my passions and projects. Many Western psychotherapists have become more open to Eastern mindfulness techniques in recent years and add them to their practices as a helpful way patients can calm their anxieties and allow more clinical therapies to work. Calming a patient’s neurological state is especially helpful when treating typical issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, couple’s problems, drug abuse, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Mindfulness is helpful on its own as well as when combined with standard therapy treatments.
Emotionally mindfulness helps with releasing intense memories and removing harmful learned reactions. When we think calmly and clearly before we react, we can avoid unnecessary internal and external conflicts. Being mindful of our emotional health can help with balancing our internal world, which is the source of our daily inspiration and decision making. We learn to remain calm and capable in situations which must be resolved with a delicate approach. Many times, people fight and argue because they are not listening to understand but listening to respond, and that is often caused by unfamiliarity or fear of one’s own emotions. Emotional awareness and intelligence plays an important part in our life experiences, and mindfulness shows us the root causes of our emotions, allowing us to finally deal with them.
Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. The past 5 years have been filled with upheaval and political uncertainty. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to develop mindfulness during such uncertain times? Can you please share a story or example for each?
I know that these times are especially serious, and we have heard many stories about children losing their parents or spouses losing their partners. We can’t help but feel saddened and hurt for them. And we are all close to people who have lost their jobs, struggled financially, emotionally, or have lost some of their shine due to staying indoors for extended periods. I would recommend that we all practice the following techniques for peace, health, and joy. Health is wealth and when you take care of your wellbeing first, you can change the world.
Here are few ways to start to shift one’s perspective and become more positive and optimistic:
Create a sacred space: Start with having a sacred space in your house that is for your “self-discovery, self-love, and interruption-free” time. Pick any space that speaks to your heart. It can be your bubble bath or small area in your home dedicated and decorated for this purpose. It does not matter. What matters is that you create the space for your well-being, and you design it to be personal and soothing. You can practice your physical, mental, and emotional mindfulness techniques here.
Intentional mornings: Start the day with an intention. We choose many of our feelings, thoughts, and habits, and we can control what we give our attention to by creating a daily intention. Reaffirming the intention throughout the day helps us stay alert, mindful, and cultivate a consistent sense of well-being. I often start the day with the intention of letting go of any negative experiences which do not serve me.
Mindful Yoga: I love my yoga practice. It helps with calming the mind and reduces stress. It helps with releasing energy blocks in the body and regulates energy flow. Yoga has endless benefits:
- Helps with deep relaxation and chronic pain
- Helps with coping skills, acceptance, rest
- Helps build compassion and tolerance of self and others
- Helps with your visualization and meditation practice
Focus on breathing throughout the session, being fully present, and your balance. 15–25 minutes per day, preferably in the morning, is a great start. And don’t be afraid to start small, even 5 minutes a day will help you build this helpful habit.
Mindful Activities: These are simple practices which reinforce our mindfulness through physically and mentally stimulating projects.
- Gardening or watering your indoor plants
- Talking a walk
- Drawing or painting
- Reading a self-development book or memoir of your favorite person
- Walking barefoot, walking meditation
- Watching wildlife, birds, pets
- Sky watching, rain, and snow
- Uncluttering your home
Mindful Meditation: This may be the most important practice of all. Mindful meditation has helped me explore my true self and develop my inner wisdom. When we are in silence and breathing deeply, we are tapping into the part of us that easily aligns us with our environment to live in a controlled and effortless way. This meditation is a good place to start and involves sitting in a comfortable, sacred place, and focusing on breath, posture, and your “inner eye.” Visit mindful.org for more information.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
I believe that due to years of fear or flight behavioral programming, most of us are programmed to feel anxious, alone, and uncertain about the future, especially in macroscopically uncertain times. This buildup of nervous energy can lead to depression and more serious illness. However, we can help our friends, family, or even strangers with a few methods.
Educate yourself about the symptoms, causes, and behavioral attributes of anxiety first. This includes standard research practices and well as opening dialogues with peers who have been through or tried helping with these issues. Make sure to look at a wide spectrum of informational and personal sources to avoid developing early biases.
Understand that anxiety can manifest in many forms. Your loved ones may not complain of these issues, but you may be able to learn about them through careful listening. Some of the common physical symptoms are:
- Dry mouth
- Chest pains
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling out of control
- Feeling of pain, fear, or nervousness
- Compulsive overthinking
- Difficulty concentrating
- Constantly believing the worst will happen
- Problems falling or staying asleep
Then make sure you show up for them. Showing up for a friend or family member means being there for them when they need it, whether they are visibly hurting or not. Simply listening without judgement can make so much difference for people. It can deepen the relationships and create a sacred place for them to heal. As humans we want to be heard, cared for, understood, and to belong. When we show compassion and kindness, we create an environment for others to share their struggles and feel lighter.
Recommend further activities and practices that they can do on their own. Teach them methods of mindfulness and meditation that they can use when their pain is affecting their daily life. Practice these methods with them, both as instruction but also as your own personal practice. Meditating with others is a great way to complete the circle of internal and external self-work.
Lastly, follow up to make sure that they are improving and not giving in to despair. Sometimes we will find that a person has a problem they cannot fix on their own or with friends, and they must seek psychiatric help. Remind them that this additional work will help them grow in yet another dimension and is nothing to feel ashamed of. Many of our great pioneers and teachers have sought help throughout history, and their success shows us a path forward.
What are the best resources you would suggest for someone to learn how to be more mindful and serene in their everyday life?
I do a lot of self-discovery, and research to learn new ways to enhance life experiences for myself and my clients. I also write about mindfulness tools and practices which have helped me in my journey to self-realization and I read many books which are life changing. Today there are so many groups, organizations, movements sharing tools and practices to help empower people all over the world to become more mindful and realize their true potential.
Here are 7 resources that I recommend:
Happify (mobile app)
Headspace (mobile app)
Calm (mobile app)
Brain.FM (mobile app)
Mindfulness (mobile app)
Joyable (mobile app)
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein is one of my favorite gurus. Beyond the fact that he was a scientific genius, his open minded, childlike curiosity exemplifies an important key to success. I believe that success leaves clues, and he left so many for us with his witty quotes and written commentaries. Life experiences are our gems; we are to not be crushed by them but must use them as lessons which allow us to stand tall and walk with our heads held high. Why do we feel discouraged and fearful when we are born with the innate power to handle everything that comes at us? Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” I believe that the way to find the proper level to solve a difficult or chronic problem starts with mindful meditation and self-awareness, two momentous skills in life which take time and practice.
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. 🙂
Everybody has a greatness in them and a genius potential which just needs nurturing and tapping into. We are all filled with divine abilities; we can reach our heart’s true desires and create our best health, wealth, and fulfil our life’s purpose. No one must suffer. Suffering is a choice in many cases. Some of life’s situations are of course out of our control but many times we can make a subtle choice and change the direction of our lives. I might call my movement: “The Highest Version of HER,” because I want every woman in the world to thrive and get the best education, resources, and respect no matter where she lives. In many countries women are struggling, poor, victims of violence, or routinely talked down to. I want to see a change in these cultures and situations now. It is time that we understand that all humanity is connected, and when we thrive individually, we thrive together. We are the world we create, and mindfulness is the first step in that creative process.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!