Highlighting Our Graduates: Grace Guiliano
We chat to Grace Guiliano, a meditation teacher from Sydney who studied the Advanced Certificate in Meditation and Mindfulness Teaching at ACMM. She is exploring many ways to translate her skills and life experience into helping others along their journey.
Hi Grace. Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I live in Cammeray in Sydney. It’s a very beautiful leafy suburb surrounded by the harbour. I love walking in the bush nearby and going down to the park which has a little bay with a boat ramp. There a 3 pelicans that I see every time go down to the water. Pelicans are my spirit animal and in pelican symbolism when we see one ‘it reminds us that we need to take some time for ourselves and to go inward’.
I am married, 30 years this year and have a 20-year-old son. We have a cat called Devaki, who has just turned 16 years old. We all adore her and it brings us great joy to have her sharing her life with us.
I was born in Melbourne. I am the eldest of 2 children from Italian immigrants. I grew up in a very traditional Italian household.
In 1985 I began studying at Box Hill TAFE and became an Architectural Draftsperson. When I moved to Sydney in 1991, I began studying Architecture at UNSW. While working full time in an Architectural firm, I studied Remedial Massage in 1998 and ran a remedial massage business in my spare time until mid-2000. I became very interested in Steiner Education when my son started school and trained as a Steiner teacher in 2008. In 2011, I began working as a class assistant and learning support teacher in a Steiner school. Since leaving in mid-2017 I have been working as a nanny on a part-time basis.
I love music, we all love music. My husband is a composer and my son is currently studying a BMus in composition at USyd.
I first started singing in a community choir in 2015, which taught me the fundamentals of how to use my voice. My love for singing and music has led me to study Integral Sound Healing with SHA. I will be graduating this year. I intend to guide meditation with sound healing.
What attracted you to become a meditation teacher and study with ACMM?
I suffered with mental health, specifically depression and anxiety in 2017. I was unable to continue working. Something deep inside me was saying that meditation would help with inner healing. So, for six months I listened to guided meditations from a variety of online platforms which helped me a lot.
One day 6 months into my daily meditation practise, I had an insight. I saw myself teaching meditation. That’s when I started looking for places to get certified.
The ACMM website felt really authentic and I enrolled and the rest as they say ‘is history’.
How has meditation impacted you on a personal level?
Meditation has helped me in so many ways. I have learnt so much about myself and about how meditation can be used to help me navigate the difficult stuff in life. I have become less anxious and happier with who I am and my life in general. I have also become much more compassionate and tolerant towards myself and those around me.
What does your personal meditation practice look like? What styles or types of meditation do you enjoy?
I have meditated every day, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day depending on what I need, since beginning my studies with ACMM. I find meditating in the morning the best time for me.
When I get up I make a warm lemon drink and sit in stillness on my balcony for 10 minutes to watch the sunrise. I then do a self-guided meditation based on ‘self-inquiry’ to see what comes up for me ie what do I need for that day. I will then do some chanting for global peace and global healing. Then I’ll go for a walk. When I come home I’ll do some yoga and do some journaling after breakfast.
I really enjoy listening to recorded guided meditations for relaxation and guided visualisation meditations too.
Lately I’ve been delving deeply into guided meditations for pain relief and have been reading ‘You are not your Pain’ by Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman. This 8-week program includes daily guided meditations. These are based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s – Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program.
I have enjoyed learning all the many different styles of meditation offered by ACMM.
I incorporate Mindfulness, Meditation for relieving pain and Self Inquiry meditation into my regular practice as well as journaling.
Do you have your own meditation business? If so tell us about it and how meditation is a part of this.
My meditation business is called ‘A State of Grace Meditation & Sound Healing’.
This year I am intending to increase my social media presence by doing more live streaming to attract participants for future group sessions.
I will be using sound healing to complement my guided meditations.
Is there a particular audience you would like to work with?
I am happy to work with anyone who is wanting to learn to meditate, whether they are young or old! I am particularly interested in working with people who have ongoing pain issues. As someone who has had a great deal of pain throughout my life and have had a great deal of benefit using meditation, particularly body scan technique to moderate the intensity.
Do you have any events, workshops or classes coming up in the next few months?
Any upcoming events can be found on my social pages (see below). facebook page – A State of Grace Meditation & Sound Healing
I also have a complimentary introduction into meditation course on YouTube called ‘A 7 Day Journey into Meditation’
And I have created plenty of guided meditations on Insight Timer.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a meditation teacher?
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a meditation teacher, then the seed has already been planted. You probably have seen yourself guiding others in meditation and the only thing to do now is to find a course that will make your dream come true. So just do it, it will change your life!
‘Our capacity to make peace with another person and the world depends very much on our capacity to make peace with ourselves.’ Thich Nhat Hanh
What have you enjoyed about studying with ACMM?
I love the ACMM community. Lisa and all the coaches are such beautiful and caring souls.
When I received my textbook in the mail with a handwritten note from Lisa, it instantly felt inclusive and personal. I started studying with ACMM in early 2018 and really enjoyed the monthly catch-ups on Skype with my coach Helen and then with the other coaches as I completed electives. In September 2018 I attended my first face to face retreat in the Dandenong Ranges. To date, I have attended 3 face to face retreats and 2 online retreats! Retreats have provided an opportunity to connect with other students and all the coaches. Retreats are fun and can assist with enriching and deepening personal practise as well as crucial inner work in a supported environment. Life long bonds come out of these retreats and I highly recommend attending at least one.
We love 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 Stacey, Meet Ramona, Meet Ashleigh.