Ashley: I am so excited today I have Miri Rodriguez joining me. She is a holistic wellbeing expert, bestselling author, brand storyteller, and founder of Be Mindful Be Happy. Thank you for joining me today.

Miri: Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to chat with you.

A: Can you tell everybody what Be Mindful Be Happy is?

M: Yes, absolutely. It’s a community for holistic wellness, where I’m trying to do is bring people together to learn more about what that means. And essentially learning more about the idea that spirit, body, and soul are interconnected. If one area of our body or our spirit or our soul is not doing well, all of us is not doing well. That also combined with the idea that we are all one, so we’re not only are we interconnected in spirit but with each other. So there’s this holistic wellness that we need to have in order to truly heal all parts of who we are and collectively as a human race.

A: I feel like more now than ever. We are so disconnected and there’s more health concerns and there’s more depression and anxiety and all of that, that I love that it’s such a simple concept of just having that oneness. I love that your website brings everybody together and it’s also in a way that it’s fun. It’s easy to use it. Isn’t. Too complicated where sometimes it can get really like deep and it makes it so that if. Don’t understand it off the bat, then it’s like confusing and hard to wanna ask and jump into it. So I do love the fact that your website is positive, easy to use and has a ton of great information.

How Meditation Can Help

M: Thank you. Yeah. The idea is to get people curious about what that is and inform people, bringing resources together. I have experts in Fields around, mental health, mental wellness, trauma. And so that’s also available to them and we also have, supportive resources in terms. Clothing. if you wanna get into meditation, we offer free meditation resources as well. So this is really around gathering people to learn more, to educate themselves. I’ve been talking to a lot of wellness experts or even health experts. I arrive at a conclusion that a lot of people in the mental health field look at mental health as a journey and, almost like, okay, when do you really heal? What does healing mean? Yeah. And, and I don’t think we’ve actually asked that question. So I I’m coming to the conclusion more and more that healing when we actually begin to heal, we’re getting back to our inner child. We’re getting back to that state where I don’t know if you remember this, you know, whatever age you were, where there was magic. There was wonder there. No racism. There was no limitations. There was creativity. All of that. We can go back to that and we should go back to that when we begin to heal. I think talking about that makes more sense than just talking about mental health or wellness in general. What is the outcome? The outcome is it’s getting back to our inner magic inner child in that healing process.

A: Find that joy, because it is one of those things, like when do we stop playing? When do we stop looking for that? I feel like it happens earlier and earlier I have a 15 year old daughter and I feel like she’s already cynical and stressed and all of these things. But I do think that it just, it happens too fast to us. Yes. And then it feels like the real world kind of hits us where it doesn’t need to be this big, heavy, horrible thing.

M: Agree and, you’re right. I can think back of, you know, when I was eight years old, for example, and that magic existed and it was stress free. It was worry free , and the world was a playground. I’ve been experiencing more of that lately in my own journey, as, you know, be mindful, be happy was born out of my own. Medical journey that I encountered last year. This was where I put to the test. A lot of these theories around meditation, mindfulness and what it can do truly not only to your brain, but to your body, to your relationships. There is so much to unpack there. There’s a death of awareness and awakening that we can uncover and get back to that inner child that is, you know, that healing process.

A: Do you mind telling us a little bit about your health journey and sort of what you’re talking about there?

How Being Diagnosed With BRCA Gene Changed Everything

M: Yeah, absolutely. Last year I was diagnosed with BRCA one gene mutation. So for those of our listeners who do not know what BRCA is, BRCA it stands for BR CA BR being breast CA cancer. And it’s actually the BRCA gene. We all have it unless you don’t have it because you have a mutation like me. This is typically genetics. So basically doesn’t skip generations. It comes from mom or dad famous people that have had it, and they have been public with it. Angelina Jolie is one of them, Christina Applegate and they’ve chosen a very, very aggressive preventative measures, such as a double mastectomy, for example, or Toro hysterectomy. When I found out, and this was totally by chance, I would not say it’s by chance now because the universe always orchestrates these things. But when I found out you know, I was doing all the right things holistically. I meditate. I work out I do yoga. So nothing that I would’ve, under my control, which we think we have I thought that I was doing all the right things. And then this diagnosis happened and I was just, I was so upset. I was like, you know, how could this be? How can I have inherited this thing? And so I did go out to do all those things and preventatively, get a total hysterectomy and double mastectomy. In that process, they did find. Some precancer in both my breasts. So this became an actual reactive process which I’m now almost done with. I’ve had four surgeries so far and it will be, actually coming up in July. So I’m almost done with the process and what this taught me was. How out of control. I really was when I thought I was in control and in the meditation and the mindfulness and the awareness and the holistic health approach was there were days where I was physically. Okay. But I was not mentally. Okay. There were days where I was mourning my body. There were days where I was, you know, mentally. Okay. And then physically not. Okay. So I was not okay. a third of me was not okay. Which means I was not. Okay. So really living that process kind of put it all to the test, these theories that we talk about these ideas of holistic health. I was kind of living like life had tested me to say, does this really work? It did for me and I, was able to. Really you know, test ideas, for example, about meditating for pain management. I was out of surgeries, you know, two really major surgeries, a total hysterectomy and a lumpectomy. And three days after, I was not on my pain medication anymore. So these things were like, Me really putting to the test, these ideas and their work. I mean, to me, it was like, I gotta tell everybody about this because this is working. This is real.

A: I love the fact that you are here to share this with us today. And that it is one of those things where we do really. Have this myth that we have such control of our day to day life. I know, and that we, just go about living and whatever we want to happen will happen. It is really unfortunate sometimes when life kind of hits you down in a very abrupt way to be like, no, no, no, just kidding.

M: We get that reminder, you know, it’s a reminder. Yes.

A: But I do think that it is really important to realize, especially when we think of. Health as far as, you know, Western medication, when we mm-hmm , you know, go to a doctor, go to a hospital, get pain medicine, all this kind of stuff. That really is just one part of it. That there is really so many other factors that come into wellness and that if we just focus on the one, we really do it ourselves, a disservice and sometimes. As fantastic as all these medications can be. It also can lead to a lot of negative side effects or other things like, I know I am six weeks out. I just got my breast implants removed. So I had a breast implant removal. I had my breast lift and I had a little bit of side Lippo. So I know even for me, my. Being on T3’s or being on medication for like a week. I ended up with like a tinnitus for almost a month in my ear, but it’s just weird that all of the different things are connected. So it’s like you almost wanna look for other solutions, I guess, is a long way of me saying it of things that you don’t necessarily have to be tied to an expensive medication with lots of side effects. When we can look at more holistic. Easier to use solutions a hundred percent.

M: One thing that for me was also a big lesson in this holistic health and wellness approach. Is that as we learn more about ourselves, because we each are in our own space individuals and we have our individual needs. I learned so much that I am the expert of my body. My doctor’s not they’re the expert in medicine. Yeah. But I’m the expert of my body. And so advocating for myself was so important in this. Space as a Latina woman, for example, culturally, I’m taught, you know, we’re hierarchical in nature. So we see a man in a white coat and immediately, yes, yes, yes. I’m gonna do what you say yet. I was intuitively asking questions. I began to actually interview my doctors. I had lists of, questions to ask. You know, four and five and six opinions. One of the questions I asked each of those doctors that I came to was if this was, when they offered the, treatment plan I said, okay, if this is your mom or your daughter or your wife, would you tell them this is what you’re gonna do to them? And sometimes they got hit with that. So there is this empowerment that we get when we enter this space of ownership of who we are and that ownership is also holistic Ashley, because we own all our parts of who we are, the dark and the light and everything in between without a shame, you know, it’s who we are, we own it. We empower ourselves with it to be able to advocate for ourself and in turn for our families and for whoever surrounds us. So we own our story and that is so important. It became so important to me to know that I had that power and that if I’m in control of something, it’s in control of my body, of my thoughts and I’m in control of that. And so not a lot of control of anything else, but that’s the one thing. And that’s so empowering to know that we have that kind of control.

Interview Your Potential Doctors and Surgeons

A: That’s such a great reminder for people that we should be interviewing our service providers. Like it isn’t a one mold fits. You’re totally so right. I do hope that people listening realize, like you’re not being rude, you’re not being like whatever. And I feel like a lot of time, generally speaking, women are conditioned to, you know, fall in line and do all the different things and all the time. So many say specific, even just women’s issues, doctors aren’t educated on them enough, or they’re told, throw birth control at it or whatever the case may be. That I think it is really important if it was your mom, if it was your sister, if it was your wife, are these the same ways that you would talk to them? Is this the same treatment plan? So I love that. I love the idea of interviewing service providers and advocating for yourself because it isn’t always the easiest to do.

M: It isn’t, but again, it is part of that, when you empower yourself and give yourself that voice that is part of that mental health and that mental wellness that gives you, a platform for you to continue in this path of self-empowerment of self assurance, and also open up to intuition a lot of times, especially as women, we tell that voice to shut up. We think somebody else knows better. We question our intuition and I have to tell you in this entire journey, my intuition was never wrong. I was initially the doctor that gave me that diagnosed me was an OB GYN. A regular OB GYN. Once the diagnosis happened, she referred me to oncologist OB GYN and obviously a colleague, someone, she knew someone she trusted. So that team of doctors, it was a team of four doctors. One of them was the reconstruction surgeon. and I asked those questions and to me it was important, aesthetics was important. You just came out of the, same process. It is important for women to feel good about themselves after a process like this. This doctor was actually a chief of surgery and a lot of accolades, all kinds of great reviews online and very well known. I asked the question. He didn’t know how to answer the question. He’s like, well, I don’t know. And I was like, “well then you’re not my doctor. Sorry, I fire you. And I fire the whole team”, and I went another, another team and again, it’s me owning my voice, owning my power and owning my journey. That is also part of that, of centering yourself to own your story, which is very, important.

A: You made a really good point intuition. Isn’t gonna lead us down the wrong path. Like it’s always going to take us to where we’re supposed to be always. I do think that we do need to be less critical of that voice and trust ourselves more so that we are finding the right people and the more that we’re our authentic self, the more we’re gonna attract and be able to help other people around us to be able to feel more comfortable for them to be their authentic self.

M: Exactly. And that’s where for me, mindfulness and meditation came in. What was the path to get there? How can I be more in tune with that voice? How can I give it a mic and not shut it down and make sure that, when it’s happening, when I hear my voice. I lean into that first, before anything else, even if all the rest of the things are telling me otherwise mindfulness have helped me. Being centered, being grounded, taking time every day to just be present and enjoy the moment and enjoy, a meal and be centered in the moment. So many times we are thinking of happiness as a journey and as a destination. When I get there, when I hit the milestone then I’ll be happy when I do this, then I’ll be happy when happiness is now, happiness is how you enjoy the moment today. The small things, the little things that are the big things in the end. And so that has really helped. It’s been for me, the discipline that has absolutely changed my life and changed the way I look at life. It’s been, so empowering in so many ways.

Trying To Find Mindfulness

A: That’s awesome. For somebody who is brand new to mindfulness, what are some easy ways that you could recommend for them to get started?

M: Yeah, and it can be overwhelming at first people think it’s like, oh, I have to go be a guru and sit for two hours and meditate. No, no, no, no. Mindfulness is, as simple as waking up in the morning and literally giving yourself two minutes in the morning to be grateful for. the day just saying I’m grateful that I woke up today. So many people didn’t, I’m grateful for the sun shining in my face today. I’m grateful that I’m able to breathe. That is mindfulness. It’s you taking two minutes and then challenging yourself to the next step of, can I do five minutes? Can I sit here for five minutes and be grateful about something else? There’s many things every day to be grateful for, and then you can actually intuitively by the way. So it’s a very, it’s not a one size fits all because I hate these apps and things. They are helpful, but it’s almost like, it’s a one size fits all it isn’t we are all navigating this journey and we all have a intuition that is unique to all of us. So let your intuition guide to the next step. Mindfulness is be really about being present. What does that mean to you? While you’re eating, just pause for a moment and just. Act like this is the first time you have that meal. This is the first time you taste, rice or lettuce or a fruit. And just explore the fruit in front of you. Explore the colors. What does it remind you of? So really getting, getting back to that child, that curious child that doesn’t know everything yet and is trying to figure out life, go outside and spend two minutes in nature and breathe at fresh air. Look at the trees and just feel the tree move. That’s the kind of thing that mindfulness is about and that leads you to the next step. And so, yes, there’s mindfulness meditation practices, which again, in my website, you can find ’em anywhere. There’s great apps. But before you even get into that, it’s about creating a habit to give yourself a small space in your day, two minutes, not even five, two minutes. To just center yourself and be grateful for something, or just enjoy the moment, look at something with this, a fresh pair of eyes with wonder, get back to your child and, and have curiosity and wonder about what’s around you. And you’ll find so many great things

A: I love that. It’s the idea that it doesn’t have to be the same thing every day. Like it really, whatever your day has in store for you, like just enter it with eyes wide open, basically, and really. I think too many of us, and I’m totally guilty of this too. Will start our day by scrolling on our phone or yes, that we almost wake up and then go into, go, go, go mode. But who doesn’t have two minutes to just go, right? I’m just gonna be awake in my body for a couple minutes. Before I fully, start scrolling and go about my day and do everything else, I love the idea of giving yourself that gift. First thing in the morning to just start your day outright or start your evening outright, depending on what time of day you decide to do it.

M: Anytime. At night it’s also even better because you’ve had an entire day to reflect on and go, wow, what went wrong? What went well? And what can I be grateful for? I’m still here. I’ve survived a hundred percent of the day and the days before me, I’m still here. And it’s so there’s always an opportunity. Gratitude is a great place to be. Another one is it is definitely reflection. So you don’t okay. Maybe it was a really bad day reflect on that. What did it teach you? What lessons are you learning? What is the universe telling you today that you can grow from? So there’s so much that we can do for me. One of the biggest lessons is the machine, the miraculous machine. That is my body. I mean, I can just sit here and, two minutes and always just worship the idea that my body can bounce back from this thing that just happened to me and, being grateful for my feet. Some people don’t have them being grateful for my hands. They work, the things that I have that I just, we take for granted, the miracle that we are is we can sit here for a long time and really be grateful about just our bodies. Right?

Smiling Woman

A: Yeah. That is so true. We take it for granted so much of it’s like, we just, it doesn’t even occur to us a lot of the times. We are so fortunate that we get to experience this life. And I think you know, not to bash other eras, but I feel like we’re very lucky to grow up in the era that we are now, where we have everything at our fingertips. If we wanted it, we have the ability to roam and explore, you know, this whole entire world it is a really fantastic time to be alive.

M: It is and I’m gonna plug in, you know, the name of your podcast Filled Up Cup because it is about filling up your cup. It’s about centering yourself in a way that doesn’t depend on other people to fill it up for you or material things. We do that so much. I’m guilty of that. I’ve done that. It’s that kind of filling up. It’s limited. It doesn’t really ever fill it up. It gets to a point where it’s like almost there, but not really. But we have that power with our own mindfulness to fill that cup ourselves. We can do that. Nobody else can do that. We get to do that and we get to reflect and really fill our cups every single day. Start with a fresh cup of gratitude and then coffee, if that’s your thing or tea.

A: I think a lot of the times we rely on our spouse or we rely on our family or, and I’m guilty of it too. Retail therapy, and those things really can only help us so much. If we already feel whole within ourself, we’re never gonna be looking for other people to do that for us.

M: Absolutely. There’s also a danger in that because we become codependent. Yes. Takes people into things into those, addictions that become addictions, because we think those are the things that are filling up our cup. Ironically, it’s not an empty cup. It keeps draining every so often. So it is, again, the empowerment here of meditation and mindfulness is that we get to do that. We depend on no one. It comes to a point where if you really practice a lot it’s overflowing and now you’re giving more, you have more to give to other people, the things that you do with your podcast. You’re sharing this with platform, with people that are listening to us right now, that’s you giving back that’s you, overflowing content and overflowing gifts to give to people. That’s where it’s at. Don’t we all wanna do that. Don’t we all wanna help others and then motorize ourselves with that.

A: Well, thank you. I really do hope that; people listening are connecting with this and really are finding something that is beneficial to them and does help them sort of adjust maybe a tough time that they’re going through. Now. I know one thing on your website that you were talking about is mantras. What is something if somebody has never tried to come up with one by themselves, what is something simple that you would recommend for somebody to introduce this practice?

The Importance Of Mantras

M: Yeah, I love that. So mantras really are about affirmations that you can either borrow , from people from sources or create for yourself. There’s there’s a couple of ’em that I recommend that you start and it’s actually for yourself. Why because again, this practice is about introspection. It’s about getting to know yourself before you depend on outside sources. That’s why I’m not keen to being like go on my website. Don’t go to my website yet, start this on your own first. This is your process, your journey. You get to start it and you get to own it. And so this is about you taking an introspective journey and assessment of where you are and saying, okay, where am I right now? Where do I wanna go? How do I get there? What are the contracts I’m going to make with myself, mantras are self contracts that you’re going to make with yourself and not break. That’s really important. These are things that you’re gonna say that you’re gonna tell yourself that you’re gonna do engagement rules work rules, life balance, whatever those things are. You write them down and you say, okay. My contract with myself is that I’m going to be better; physically I’m gonna start eating better. I’m gonna start going to the gym, to start reading more books. I’m gonna start solving some interpersonal relationships whatever that contract is with yourself. Then the, how you’re gonna get there? Well, what is it gonna take for me to be a more empathetic person? For example, what’s it gonna take for me, to be more resilient? My mantra is I’m gonna become more resilient today and that’s the affirmation. So it’s really a self-talk approach. It’s this idea that you are your thoughts and that you control your thoughts and you can take those. Thoughts captive to be able to drive and direct them where they need to go. There’s a combination of what you’re directing and then what’s coming at you because we’re having so many other thoughts that are inflicting this task. So you get to look at them from outside and get to say, “okay, does this thought serve me? Is it driving me the direction that I need to go?” If I’m having a bad day… probably not. If I’m getting depressed, probably not. So you’re able to really objectively look at the thoughts and say, this is not serving me today I’m gonna put it aside. I acknowledge it, but it’s not going to drive, you know, the direction that I’m going. So mantras really are about those affirmations that you create yourself. There’s a lot of resources out there, free resources, also on my website. But really it’s about contracts that you are willing to create and also align with people. So these can become boundaries also with people, engagement, connection; boundaries that are healthy for you. If one of your mantras is: to stay positive, for example, and you are depressed, cause you can be depressive at times, or people depress you. Then you start to remove or create boundaries around those things to be able to control that environment. So that’s gonna change some of your relationships. That’s fine. That’s part of the process I’ve had that happen to me and I’m okay with that. It’s really about prioritizing your health, prioritizing your wellbeing and truly making contracts that you’re not willing to break

A: I never ever thought of it like that. I always kind of thought of it as like you stand in front of the mirror and it’s. Whatever I’m gonna be positive. I’m gonna be happy today, but it is a really interesting way of looking at it as it is kinda setting that boundary. I love the fact that it’s changing really what you are willing to do going forward or willing to like put up from other people. It really does tie into that mindfulness. Yes. And I guess I never in my brain really tied it in the same way, but I love that.

M: Yeah. When, it’s about empowerment again, because you’re doing that. You’re driving that for yourself and you’re teaching people how to treat you you’re teaching processes, how to treat you you’re teaching. The environment, the universe you’re teaching, you’re standing up in your own space and saying, this is who I am. This is where I’m going. This is the boundaries. And this is where you stop right here, because I’m going this way. And that’s so empowering. A lot of people think, oh, it has to be positive. Like I have to be like, oh, today I’m gonna love myself forever. No, it can be not negative, but it could be today. I’m not going to allow this to happen or today I am not going to. So it doesn’t, you know, the way you frame it, it’s really what makes sense to you. Again, it’s not one size fits all. It is. You intuitively driving that mantra and driving the contracts with yourself.

A: See, I love that. I love the fact that it’s re-shifting it because I think sometimes. Positivity in the way that it is sold to us be, is really toxic. It can become this, you know, everything will work out and everything’s fantastic. And, and while that may be the case, it doesn’t always feel like that on the journey. So it really is acknowledging every single step in acknowledging that it can be different day by day. And it’s okay to let yourself off the hook if it isn’t a hundred percent positive all the time.

M: let’s also acknowledge, Ashley, that growth is painful yes. If we’re growing it’s not always happiness, it can be a painful process. We are getting rid of parts of ourselves. There’s loss. There could be loss of relationships. There could be loss of yourself. I mean, there’s so much that goes with growth. And so it’s not, you know, rainbows and butterflies. It’s certainly something that , you’re experiencing and you’re going through and it’s not easy. So it’s not about happiness. It’s about growth and it’s about you owning that growth and embracing that growth and mantras really help us embrace the impermanence of things. Right. Understand that everything’s always changing. We attach ourselves to things that are, oh, we don’t want change, but everything is consistently changing including ourselves. I mean, we should be changing. And so that helps us kind of frame ourselves into this space of growth and change and pain, but it’s good pain because it’s leading to a better self it’s. Leading to challenges. We challenge our ourselves for a better future.

A: I think to become this whole person, we really do have to lean into, anger and grief and joy and sadness. I feel like we wanna get through all the ones that aren’t happiness and just kind of pretend that they’re not there. But it’s like, unless we combine them all kind of as like a bouquet of flowers and make it so that we’re dealing with all of them at the same time; we’re just gonna avoid it. Which won’t move us forward and won’t get us to the actually bigger happiness spot that we wanna get to anyways.

Photo by Antoni Shkraba

M: Absolutely. And another truth is, are we ever truly a hundred percent happy or a hundred percent sad? There’s a rainbow of emotions happening in a given day in a given week in a given month in a given year. In a given lifetime. There are times in the day where we’re super happy. There’s a happy moment happening a phone call we can get. And it’s a sad moment in the same day. So this idea, again, of when we think of happiness as a destination and arrival, it isn’t that it’s, it’s us creating and embracing what’s happening, embracing the impermanence and embracing the emotions that come with each of these shifts that happen on a, you know, given day.

Emotions Are A Spectrum

A: Which I love that. I think more people need to understand that and let themselves off the hook. Yes. That it isn’t like, I don’t remember maybe as a small child, but I don’t remember ever being like, this is the best day ever, right. all 24 hours of the day, 24 hours. Not, it’s just not like that.

M: Right. Right. It’s okay because that’s the human condition that is the human journey. Another part of mindfulness that has taught me is. Emotions are not good or bad, they just are, right. Sadness is an emotion that just is, and it’s part of the human journey, how beautiful it is that we get to experience sadness and loss. That means we cared. That means something was important to us. That means that means we were intimately involved with something that was part of us and we lost it. Wow, what a beautiful thing. So really reframing the way we look at emotions and reflecting on that from a perspective. The cycle of life and the cycle of humanity are all being part of the beautiful process that it is to be alive and to be human.

A: It is one of those things like grief as terrible as it is. It is also one of, like you said that most beautiful thing of going. I loved so deeply that it literally broke my heart.

M: That’s right. I mean, that’s how deep it was that it broke my heart. That’s how much I’m capable of loving what a beautiful sentiment that we have this feeling of love that, you know, when it’s not there anymore, we feel such, such grief and such loss.

A: Thinking about your website, and I know that we had touched on sort of the shopping aspect of it. Yeah. Can you let me know, what are some of your favorite wellness products right now?

M: Yeah, absolutely. So I did talk a little, little bit about the e-commerce part of that. For me it was this idea of also integrating. Some organic accessories and clothing just to bring it all into one umbrella of wellness, again is we are all connected. So my site offers a hundred percent organic, ethical, sustainable products. We cut no corners, we pay our factories, living wages. I work in tech as well. So I work for Microsoft. And so being in this space, being there for so long, I’ve been in tech for over 15 years. In at Microsoft for a 10. I understand the promises that companies today make. I’m also a marketer or a storyteller. It’s now cool to be sustainable and it’s now cool to be green. That’s the thing in the promise that a lot of brands are making today. There’s a lot of green washing happening. That means that they’re making these promises. Nobody’s keeping them accountable. You know, everybody’s saying, oh, by 2035, we’re gonna be net zero. What does that even mean? What are you doing to do that? When we’re here and we say, “did you arrive at net zero?” “Oh, we’re still working on it.” There’s the empty promises being made. So I really intentionally built this brand to actually model what this, this supposed to be. There’s an intention here to say we are a hundred percent ethical environmentally eco-friendly organic. Every time you order something, we plant a tree on your behalf, every order plants, a tree. And I know, I know. And so the shopping piece is a combination of organic accessories and then the clothing. Again, a hundred percent certified cotton t-shirts and sweatshirts that talk about and have these empowering messages. So messages to remind you that we are connected, that we are one, you know writing the wave of emotions, just these positive affirmations those mantras that are mine to be able. To share with people and you can wear it and talk about that and say: “Hey, this is the mantra that I resonate with and talks to me.” They’re all, gender neutral and, they’re all handcrafted. So they’re all handmade products. I’m really proud, not a lot of margin to be made, but that’s okay because it’s not about that. You are wearing something that, you know, it means something to you, it spoke to you and it’s where you are to be able to share that message. And so on the mindfulness success rate, the same thing. I offer yoga products and the meditation cushions and mala beads, prayer beads so it’s really just a quick reminder of like, “Hey, pause for a moment”, wear something that makes someone smile or fit in your space and meditate for five seconds. It’s really, it’s encouraging people to get into the space and learning more.

A: I love what you had mentioned too, about how sustainability is cool, but in a lot of cases, it isn’t even regulated. Like something could go, oh, it’s natural. Yeah, it isn’t. like…

M: No, it isn’t. Or there’s they say it’s organic. It’s really not organic. They only have like, One part of the ingredient or the fabric was organic and they can call it organic. So there’s a lot of ways to get around that idea. But I am, again, everything in my shop is a hundred percent organic, one of my favorite, what is the favorite products? One of mine is a t-shirt it’s a signature t-shirt and the message is the plants. Will save us. I think it’s really cool for summer because a lot of people get outdoor. They go camping or it’s this time where we get kind of reconnect with nature. And for me, you know, the more that we spend time in nature, the more we get back to centering ourselves and the plants, not only will it save us because they help us in the environment, but truly. Take the time to just observe a flower during summer. I mean, what a miraculous beautiful thing it is, the colors, they save us on so many levels emotionally, holistically, right? And, in our aura, in our environment, physically, we can just be there and center ourselves. So I love that shirt. It’s again, a hundred percent certified organic cotton. It comes in a range of different sizes.

A: I love that you pay people fair wages. I love the fact that people know that if they’re shopping on your site, that it is not just, you know, Natural quote unquote, but actually organic products. I love that. It’s a one stop shop and again, it can be as simple as seeing something positive on somebody’s clothing can go; “oh yeah, wait today. Isn’t that bad.”

M: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, for me, when I made the decision to open up, be mindful, be happy out of my recovery it was tough. It was during COVID and the prices literally had gone up on everything. I mean, just like not even doubled, like tripled on everything on shipping, on manufacturing. So my products come from India. These manufacturers in India that I talked to these amazing people. The beads, they are they’re handpicked. These stones are handpicked. So the stones mean something. Every one of the stones that are on my site for the Mala beads are handpicked by people that go out there and they actually shape them. So you know that these are again, no t-shirt is the same. No product is the same. It’s really, they’re all handcrafted with a lot of love. And I can tell you. I’ve seen the videos of the people in the factories are incredible families that are doing this with so much love. So there is a lot of love in these products. There really is. There really is.

A: I think that as consumers, that really should be a bigger part of like our shopping journey. Yes. It’s like, do you really wanna, you know, buy something that you’re helping a billionaire spend an extra week on his yacht? Or do you wanna go and spend, and help that family that took time to hand pick the most beautiful jewelry. Now you’re putting a beautiful meal on their plate or whatever the case may be. I just think that hundred percent better to get down to people versus you know; supporting large corporations.

M: Yeah, and I love that. Thank you Ashley, for saying that it’s so true because before I opened be mindful, be happy. I was that consumer. I was like, oh, I need a new clothes immediately. The fast fashion you get into it. I mean, that’s what we do. But as I became more mindful it’s almost like it’s its a byproduct of that. But being more mindful you become more mindful of yourself, of others, of environments and you become more empathetic towards it you recognize that we are one. I affect you, you affect me. And so yeah, you wanna help that family, you wanna be able to help the environment. I mean, when you think about ethical fashion and no throw away, slow fashion when you use something like organic cotton, it’s the washing and the keeping of it, it lasts longer, right? Because it’s organic and the fabric is good. So you have a product that will last a long time. And so you don’t have to continuously buy new ones. There’s also that aspect of our environment and what it does for the environment. Everything is biodegradable. So that also, all the products that you buy from my site, they go back to the earth, and that that’s a great thing.

How Fast Fashion Effects Us All

A: The conversation about fast fashion needs to be happening so much more. I did do an episode a while ago with Jen Pistor and it was like eye opening because a lot of the times we just don’t necessarily think about where our products are coming from the journey. Where were they? Yes, the journey that it took from them to get to wherever the manufacturer was to us, are they flying to us? Are they driving to us? What’s the carbon footprint there. A lot of times, I think, especially in Western culture, we think, okay, well we’ll just donate it to a thrift store, but we don’t understand too, that thrift store. Can either just be throwing our donations out or mailing them to a different country. Yes. So that our trash is not only polluting, the world as it travels, but then is a different problem for a different country to solve. Yes. So there’s all these other things about fast fashion that really is so horrific.

M: Yeah. I was asked by the associated press to do an opinion article on fast fashion. So I was doing some research and it was outstanding. The information I found was just mind blowing. First of all, the fashion industry in the world today is the second most destructive to the planet. Technology being number one by the way. With that in mind, after the Paris agreement, which was in 2018 There was another addendum that was added specifically to the fashion industry, which was asking brands all over the world to come in and really create this organization where they would come together. And they would agree on as individual brands come together and agree on some specific actions that they would take collectively to reduce, the impacts of the planet out of all the brands in the world. Guess how many signed up for.

A: I’d guess under 20, 130 worldwide.

M: Okay. There is 96,000. Yeah. Fashion brands in the us alone 96,000 in the us alone, 130 worldwide signed up that tells you what the lies are around how they truly care, what they truly care about. It’s really not our planet. It’s not about me and you, because if they don’t care about the planet, they don’t care about me and you. So what are we doing? Why are we funding this is my question. So really this is all mindfulness brings us to this idea. Collective human race responsibility. What are we leaving for our children? What are we leaving as a legacy? It’s really something that we need to think about.

A: It is so horrific and frustrating that big corporations that do make the most impact to our planet. Yes. It seems like it is put on the consumers instead of the corporations. It really is just so frustrating that profit margins, I guess matter more. But at the end of the day in, 50 years, when we all have to have gas mask to go outside, how much is your money gonna matter then?

M: Right. Right. And then let’s talk about, okay, you became a billionaire because you had a fast fashion e-commerce. Now back to happiness? Are you happy? Is at the cost and, you know, ethically, what you’re doing, are you really happy? Is that truly, did you achieve happiness? So that’s back to, you know, full circle. We have to create contracts with ourselves that we’re gonna go live a certain way, that we’re gonna do business a certain way. There’s an integrity factor happiness, by the way. For those people that are listening there’s a psychology of happiness. Is that. You know, 50% of our happiness is genetic actually. So there’s people that are born happy and there’s people that are not the other 40% is your environment so, whatever is happening around you does affect your happiness 10%. It’s actually, you can do something about it. However, psychologists are learning that you can change that. And then the mindfulness, it retrains your brain in a way you actually change the gray matter. You’re able to actually train your brain to a way that you make yourself happy, that you understand that you can be happy against all circumstances of whatever’s happening around you. And it’s not positively. That’s not about being positive. It’s about you taking where you are giving yourself purpose and saying wow, this is happening to me. What am I learning from here? How am I growing from here? What can I do with this? How do I overcome this and give yourself grace in the process. And then when you overcome it, you are grateful to yourself that you overcame that because that’s what we do. We overcome things. That’s why we’re still here. There’s this mindset that we give ourselves and that is true happiness. That is something that nobody can take away from.

Photo by Pixabay

A: I really appreciate that your brand and that you specifically are helping. Educate people on this, that they have the ability and have all the answers themselves and that they just need to essentially look within. I do think it’s so important for people to understand that you can re-shift your focus on things. You can re-shift your thoughts. You don’t have to feel like you’re stuck because nothing is permanent. And even if you are in the best place in your life, just even hold onto that joyful moment so that when you are in your worst then, you know, I have the ability to get back here, just cause I’m here. I just, love the message that you’re sharing with us.

M: Thank you, Ashley. I love what you do and thank you for the platform to share more again, for me, it’s truly about that message. I want to educate people. It’s one of those things that when mental health becomes mainstream, everybody talks about it and then you gotta get confused about what it truly is or how I can really become, healthy mentally. So for me, it’s educating people about you have this power within, you don’t need an. You don’t need resources. If you want them go to my website, they’re free. But you it’s really it’s it’s you, you have that voice inside you that is guiding you back to that inner child to that inner magic. It’s all inside of us. We have that cosmic power and it’s all in you. It’s truly about relearning and reminding ourselves.

How To Find Miri

A: For anybody looking for your website or looking for you online, can you let us know where we can find you?

M: Absolutely. So my website is you learn more about me there. I also have a personal website, which tells you a little bit more about my own story. M I R I R O D. Dot com and you can connect with me on also social channels as well. Miri Rod you’ll find me there. Be mindful, be happy on Instagram. . You can always connect. I also have some experts that you can connect with for free consultations. The trauma. EMDR techniques. I’m so happy to also say my entire team is all women. So Latina and women owned and women operated. Yes. And so these are women who are personal friends of mine that agree to. Partner with me and offer people help. I’ve known them for years and I know how much they love people. So if you are seeking help please visit the website and , scroll all the way down, meet our experts and connect with one of them. Anything that you connect with them is theirs. It’s their business. I’m not profiting anything at all from that is truly to be able to help you and make that connection as well. We are intending on a 2.0 once I come back for my surgeries to build an exclusive community. I’m actually looking at doing a wellness retreat in Italy. Oh, that yes. Yes. So it’s gonna encompass a lot of creative thought creative process creative wellbeing and really just discovering the child, the inner child again within us.

A: Well, I look forward to seeing everything that you do and best of luck in your next surgery.

M: Thank you so much ending with you with your recovery. You look great, and I hope you thank you. Continue to recover and do well by everyone with your platform.