Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Hunt.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 1992, long before yoga studios lived on every block, I took my first yoga class. We met in an elementary school classroom. Before class, we had to push the desks and paint easels aside to make room for our mats.
I wish I could say I was seeking some greater purpose, but all I really wanted was a beach-ready body. My girlfriends needed an extra college unit. They enrolled in a semester-long yoga class hoping they could nap in the back of a dark room (laughing). There was no chance of dozing off. Instead, after a few weeks of intense yoga, they looked beautiful and lean. I wanted that.
I found a public community class and immediately loved the movement and poses. I got the physical results I had hoped for. And for many years, yoga was my primary physical fitness activity. (I admit this very embarrassingly now). But over time, I started to notice the deeper benefits of yoga. I felt different after each class – better. My young, temperamental emotions seemed to stabilize. I was doing well in school and my mood improved.
I grew curious about the mindfulness aspects of yoga. I talked to teachers, read books and went to a few meditation classes, but I couldn’t find stillness. My thoughts were crazy. It wasn’t fun. I felt like a failure.
People tried all different angles and examples to teach me how to meditate: watch your thoughts as if they are clouds passing by and disappearing; when you find yourself dwelling in the past or anticipating the future, come back to conscious breathing; observe your thoughts instead of analyzing them; use present moment awareness to strengthen your attention muscle; or don’t take it so seriously and just rest in your thoughts until you see them change.
One person explained the process like a party searchlight: Before your thoughts take you miles away, like a searchlight attracts a crowd, draw your attention back to the original spotlight. I gave up.
On April 26, 2015, the light bulb went on. Deepak Chopra said, “Thoughts during meditation are not obstacles. They are a sign that stress has been released.” That simple statement transformed my life. I embraced thoughts. I understood they are a part of me. I began to accept that thought was an important part of the stress release process – which they are. I stopped beating myself up for thinking, worrying or getting distracted during meditation.
I’ve meditated every day since then. I never imagined I’d spend one hour a day in silent meditation. And I seriously doubt anyone who knew me back then would have guessed I’d become a meditation teacher. Yet, here I am!
My personal mission is to obliterate the sentence, I can’t meditate. It is my deep desire that every person on the planet who has ever been curious about meditation or has thought, “I should meditate,” understand the simple process of meditation and feels 100% certain they are doing it correctly. If I can meditate, anyone can meditate!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, there were a lot of ups and downs.
My life has been quite the roller coaster, but all of it ultimately led me to where I am today. I’m incredibly grateful for the dark times that led to greater awareness. Now, I get to do what I love every day: help others discover who they are and find their inner purpose.
Two years ago, I was taken by complete surprise when I found out I no longer had the job of my dreams. I was devastated. I gave my landlord 30-day notice, purged everything except what would fit in my two-door car, bought myself a new winter coat, all-season tires and drove from San Diego to Philadelphia to start over and reunite with the man I loved – only to realize he didn’t want to be with me.
The difficult times force us to look at the world differently. I had no other choice, but to look within and start asking deeper questions. I couldn’t fully embrace it at the time, but looking back, the reality of the situation was that the universe had delivered the incredible gift of infinite possibilities. Everything was uncertain and anything was possible. (We live in this state of infinite possibilities every day, but the stress of life fools us into believing otherwise).
Every challenge and obstacle in my life has led me to something greater. I developed inner strengths. I am a much stronger person. It was worth it, but I want people to know that life doesn’t have to fall apart before it gets put back together. You can find your inner purpose and live the life of your dreams without everything around you collapsing.
The journey is still an adventure. It has its ups and downs, but it’s full of clarity, connection, joy and a lot more self-compassion on my part.
a little meditation – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My specialty and first love is teaching silent based mantra meditation called Primordial Sound Meditation. Its ancient origins and modern-day simplicity make it incredibly effective and easy to learn. It is near and dear to my heart because it is the first style of meditation that I actually felt like I could do.
Primordial Sound Meditation is a technique revitalized by Deepak Chopra. It is a personalized style of meditation that uses an individually selected sound, known as a mantra. The mantra is based on the vibration of the universe at the moment of your birth. Essentially, it is a de-stressing program that takes you beyond everyday activities and limiting labels to reveal your true essence.
I believe that knowing your true nature is the foundation to living the life of your dreams. It is also the key to making the world a kinder place. Primordial Sound Meditation allows you to discover who you are and experience the freedom to be that person.
I teach Primordial Sound Meditation workshops and retreats in Carlsbad and on the east coast. What’s different about these events is that they are personalized. No two people are alike, so the practical points are unique to each individual. Whether you want to receive your personal mantra, enjoy a much-needed weekend getaway or check out for a full-week cleanse reboot, each experience is uniquely designed to support the person’s mind-body type using the tools of meditation, Ayurveda and yoga.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
It might sound odd, but I’m so proud of how the business has shifted from individual meditation instruction to community building. We need each other. The one thing we all have in common is that we want to be seen and loved. Two of the populations I’m passionate about helping and ones I think need this most are youth and incarcerated individuals.
Life is not a solo act. And studies are showing that quality relationships are as important to health as avoiding cigarettes. Technology makes it easier for us to connect, but at the same time, the rate of isolation and loneliness is increasing. I’d like to see this change. I hope to build a strong and loving community of people who actually increase one another’s longevity and certainly bring more compassion, fun and joy.
I’m honored to have the opportunity to share my personal story. I hope it’s of value and that people feel inspired to embrace the tools of meditation and discover on a deeper level who they really are.
- Personalized Retreat Experience to Explore Meditation: Closes with a guided meditation at the Chopra Center $40
- Website: www.alittlemeditation.com
- Phone: 323-457-4645
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juliehuntk/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alittlemeditation/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliehuntk
- Other: https://alittlemeditation.com/free-journey/