Highlighting Our Graduates: Ashleigh Marlow
2 min read. This month we say Hello to Ashleigh. She is an ACMM graduate and meditation teacher based on the Mornington Peninsula. Ashleigh chats to us about how she integrates her meditation teaching qualification within her beautiful holistic wellness business.
Welcome Ashleigh! Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I live on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, on the land of traditional owners, the Bunurong and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin nation. The area is surrounded by nature birds, beautiful old trees and beaches. I love exploring the area, finding secret waterfalls and rock pools, whistling back to the birds and making friends with magpies. Animals mean so much to me. I’m passionate about protecting their home and ecosystems which is why I volunteer in a local environment and non-violent activist group such as Extinction Rebellion. I’ve been a vegetarian for 13 years, and I run a cruelty-free, eco-conscious apothecary making soaps and mood-enhancing essential oil blends with my Mum. I love art so much that once upon a time, I studied design and textiles, and now I occasionally help people with their websites and graphics. I create illustrations and collages for fun.
What attracted you to become a meditation teacher and study with ACMM?
I’ve always known that my role on Earth was to support others, but first I had to learn to do that for myself. Meditation helped to support me through difficult times, by connecting with myself, overcoming rumination and finding moments of peace. I wanted to share the tools I’m so passionate about, so I took a leap of faith and followed my gut to begin studying with ACMM. It meant a lot to me that ACMM was recognised by the Meditation Association of Australia, because I value thorough education and training.
Along the way, my own meditation practice strengthened, as did my ability to stay grounded and regulate my thoughts and emotions. Meditation Teacher Training laid a sturdy foundation for me to build upon, as someone caring for myself and as a facilitator of safe spaces for healing.
How has meditation impacted you on a personal level – what are the benefits you have seen?
Almost a decade ago, I became ill with chronic migraines and fatigue. Without any certainty or diagnosis, I struggled with anxiety and grief over my changing physical health. Unable to continue my yoga practice, I began trying different meditation techniques on YouTube. I found them to be so reenergizing that I started skipping naps and I noticed my mood lifting. With meditation, I found hope and peace. As various mindfulness techniques became my critical coping skills and a staple of my self-care routine, my self-awareness naturally developed. It’s thanks to mindfulness that I became more aware of my physical sensations, my thoughts and emotions. With this information, I learned how to hold boundaries and care for myself in a way that has positively changed my health and my entire life.
What does your personal meditation practice look like? What styles or types of meditation do you enjoy?
Firstly, my favourite way to experience meditation is actually through guiding aloud. When I first began my training, I never thought I’d be saying those words. I’m usually shy, but since studying with ACMM, I’ve found this technique to be the most immersive. Even when I’m alone, I’ll guide my experience out loud. It helps me to focus on the experience and not attach to other thoughts which may present themselves.
Secondly, I love anything with a really long and thorough grounding. It is such a joy to centre deeply into my body. From this space, I can go anywhere and manifest anything. I focus on gratitude, love and connection because they make me smile, they remind me of our strength as humans and creators. Experiencing an abundant forest shows me what is possible again, and where we are headed.
I practice a form of meditation or mindfulness every single day, because it’s become a part of me now.
Tell us about your wonderful business, and how you incorporate meditation.
While studying meditation teaching, I also trained as an Arts Therapist and EFT facilitator. I launched Loving Lightwork in 2019 and incorporate all the powerful healing tools into my 1:1 sessions. Around this time, I visited the sacred Djab Wurrung birthing trees, with my dear friend and plant music facilitator, Regina Orchard. We were inspired to begin a weekly meditation circle with the intention to manifest abundance and healing for our Mother Earth, in solidarity with the many incredible protectors around the world.
In my future, I have many exciting plans I’m bursting to share, such as workshops for manifesting, emotional healing and self-esteem. For now, I’m thrilled to be sharing tools via social media. People can stay up to date with events via my Facebook page and on my website, www.lovingbotanica.com
Can you describe your client base?
I attract a lot of inspiring people who are changing the world around us or the world within themselves. It really is an honour to work with so many strong people who are ready to face their shadow aspects and bring light in. A lot of my clients are creatives, healers, and people working in care industries. So, it’s incredible to support them as they support others.
As the work can be facilitated online, I attract people from around the world. Although, I’m missing the hugs and energy I receive from in-person groups and sessions.
Do you have any events, workshops or classes coming up in the next few months? We’d love to hear about them!
Over the next few months, I’ll be offering more opportunities for people to meditate and tap from home, with live videos and events which will be posted to my Facebook page. Regina and I have considered launching a second plant music earth circle if the interest is there.
In the works at the moment is an EFT support group for those who have lost loved ones to Covid19. We plan to offer 1:1 support for those experiencing grief during these trying times, especially fellow Victorians.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a meditation teacher?
Absolutely, you must do it! The skills you learn during the course are life long self-care tools for yourself, your family and friends. They’re skills everyone can benefit from. I hope to see the day that mindfulness and meditation are taught in schools, and common practice in every home. And we’ll need a tonne of teachers to get this ball rolling.
What have you enjoyed about studying with ACMM?
There was so much joy in the sessions, playing with different techniques and experiencing new teachers. Reconnecting with my inner child and having my curiosity reinvigorated again, has been the most delightful take home.
Morgan, my ACMM coach, offered me a wealth of wisdom and support, at a time when I really needed that kind of compassionate presence. The knowledge and depth of the sessions was really rewarding. I felt so confident and equipped, heading into the world as a meditation teacher. ACMM doesn’t just offer you the route to becoming a teacher, it holds your hand every step of the journey until you grow into that role. And I’m so grateful for this experience.
It brings us great joy to highlight the amazing paths of our graduates. They are so inspiring, and really illustrate the huge amount of doors a qualification in meditation teaching opens. Here are some other graduates we have spoken to recently: Meet Caitlin, Meet Miranda, Meet Kate, Meet Tirrell