Thrive 5//

The “Thrive 5” Podcast: Sara Auster on Forging Her Unexpected Career Path and the Power of Mindfulness During the Pandemic

The sound therapist and meditation teacher is all about tuning inward and listening to your inner guidance.

Deneka Peniston / 2015
Deneka Peniston / 2015

In every episode of the “Thrive 5” podcast, we talk to notable women about how they’re thriving — especially during this tumultuous year — and explore how taking care of our well-being is linked to greater resilience.

This week, host Clarice Metzger chats with Sara Auster, who, up until the pandemic, led sound bath and meditation experiences IRL. But when “social distancing” became two of the most commonly used words in our lexicon this year, she had to take her practice online, in the form of Instagram Live sound bath experiences. Here, “Thrive 5” host Clarice Metzger talks to Sara about the practices that keep her grounded, a pre-bedtime ritual she shares with her husband, and how she found her calling.

Here’s a little of what Sara had to say…

On having the courage to forge your own path of success:

I had this idea of a trajectory of my career, and because I kept staying true to myself and doing what felt right to me and good to me, things started to open up, to flow. Ifyou have a strong feeling or a strong connection to something, you really have to lean into it and ride that wave and not be distracted by what other people are saying and thinking. Seven or eight years ago when I started facilitating sound baths, I had to explain every little thing; you couldn’t even say the term ‘sound bath’ or anything like that. And now I tell people what I do and they say, ‘Oh, my gosh, I love sound baths.’ So, it’s about pursuing what feels true to you, and not being afraid to go all in and just put one foot in front of the other.”

On how to shift your perspective to increase your empathy:

“The truth is we all have pretty bad things happen to us. And especially now, we’re moving through some difficult times. And if we can all acknowledge that — that my traumatic incident is no worse or more important or impactful than your traumatic experience — then you start to see the human connection. You start to feel empathy and that’s how we can all really open up to each other.”

On the importance of slowing down and tuning inward:

“My motto has been slow down, check in, rest, get so quiet. This year, my feeling around that hasn’t changed — it’s only that we’ve been presented with circumstances that are forcing us into it. It’s not a choice anymore. You have to make rest the priority. You have to take breaks from your phone and the news. You have to check in with your feelings so that you can have compassion, understanding, and empathy to reach out to a friend and check in to see how they’re doing. I mean, none of that is negotiable now.”

On her evening routines and gratitude practice:

“I try to have boundaries around technology. From 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., I’m allowed to use my phone. Then I put my phone on Do Not Disturb. I usually try to do at least an hour of no screens before bed, and that includes all screens. So it’s not like I’m watching Netflix for two hours before I pass out. No screens, no stimulation — that’s really, really important to me. I also have a gratitude practice that I do with my husband. We share three things that we’re grateful for. People who do those kinds of practices often like doing it in the morning, but I think it’s a really great way to seal the day and reflect.”

To hear more from Sara, listen to her full podcast episode. “Thrive 5” is available on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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