Highlighting Our Students: Angela Rees
Meet one of our current students, Angela Rees. Angela plans to use her meditation and mindfulness certification in the most wonderful ways, to assist women, children and families. Please read on to discover more about her learning journey.
Hi Angela. We are excited to learn more about you! Please tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Angela, my greatest passion in life is helping mothers, babies, family units to have the best start to life they can- to feel supported, nurtured, informed and empowered in mind and body. For me, life is about family and the people we connect with. It’s so important for our society as a whole to take care of all people from the start, as babies.
The beautiful coastal town of Port Macquarie my home, which I consider a sanctuary with all the ocean and bushland a girl could hope for! I work at a hospital as a midwife and from home I provide massage therapy for pregnant women and postnatal mums. I love going for walks, splashing in the surf, playing tennis, relaxing with a book and spending time with loved ones.
What attracted you to become to study with ACMM?
I completed an Honours Midwifery research project and published the paper Exploring the Impacts of Mindfulness and Yoga upon Childbirth Outcomes and Maternal Health: An Integrative Review. This project involved delving deep into research literature around the benefits of meditation for women having babies and the evidence is clear: Women who practise meditation have reduced anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the postnatal period; feel greater self-confidence towards birth and less fear of birth.
Furthermore, women appreciate spending time with other childbearing women in a supportive group environment. In my clinical practise as a midwife I meet many women who suffer anxiety and/or depression. These unfortunate health conditions can impact significantly upon the individual woman, her baby and her family unit. I decided to put the research evidence into practise by becoming a certified meditation teacher, so I am able to offer this form of empowerment to childbearing women in my community.
How has meditation impacted you on a personal level?
Regular meditation practise has impacted me deeply. I have felt myself change and have even been tentative about these changes as new ways of thinking can be daunting. And I have noticed more subtle changes in myself over time as well. I first engaged in meditation by accident, during a yoga class. I was going through an emotionally challenging time and I found the meditation practise to be really helpful. It was a particularly painful meditation session that day, but it came alongside a feeling of healing and acceptance. I continued to practise on and off over the years and now commit to it on a daily basis. Partly for my own self-care and partly to ‘walk the talk’.
I truly believe meditation can really help women to reduce stress, which could lead to healthy outcomes for mums and bubs. Yet, meditation has done so much more than stress regulation for me. There are so many factors which I did not consider thoughtfully. Meditation has increased something for me- my inner peace; resilience; self-acceptance, and self-love. With regular practise, it has actually been transformational. If these are just my personal outcomes, I have to wonder if it could help others too.
What does your personal meditation practise look like? What styles or types of meditation do you enjoy?
I work shifts with varying start and finish times so I like to practise each day either in the morning before work or in the evening after work, but there is no set time. I have found some of my most blissful weeks were when I practised for an hour each day. However mostly I will practise anywhere between 20-40 mins and there are days where all I can manage is 3-5 mins. I think the commitment and intention to centre myself is what counts most. I most enjoy grounding, focusing on my breath, loving-kindness and one seat meditations. If I’m having a hard day, I find movement meditations such as walking or dancing to be brilliant for shifting difficult energy.
Do you have your own meditation business, or plans to start one? If so tell us about it and how meditation is a part of this.
Yes I do have plans and I am so excited! I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and I am passionate about thorough and helpful education for expecting families. Currently, I am in the process of creating a service which brings together breastfeeding support, pregnancy and postnatal massage, meditation practise, and short educational videos for expecting parents. I would like to create a meditation space weekly where childbearing women can come together to learn how to practise meditation and experience the benefits, while also meeting other like-minded women who are sharing the same life stage and can offer group support.
There is a lot of truth in the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” and I would like to facilitate women in creating support networks. This service aims to provide holistic care for mums catering for their needs in body and mind- massage therapy, breastfeeding support, antenatal and postnatal online education, and meditation circles with other mums. I will soon be introducing ‘Maternal Bloom: Caring for Mums”, and I can’t wait!!
Children are precious and they are our future. I believe parents need to be supported in the hard work and the essential work of parenting. To me, this is the most important job! And so it has become my life work to support new families, offering ways to optimise the healthiest and happiest beginnings!
What are you enjoying about studying with ACMM?
It’s been a journey! I’ve learnt a lot (even more about the research evidence), about myself as well and about the many different styles and strategies of meditation that can be applied for people’s unique and varying needs. This course is broad and comprehensive. I’ve gained a lot through the one on one coaching service as well. My coach Lauren has allowed me to share personal and embarrassing thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Without judgement, Lauren has provided me acceptance, understanding and compassion. Discussions with my coach Lauren and seeing her as a role model has definitely been a highlight but my own personal development throughout this course has been unmatched.
We really enjoy hearing about how our students plan to take their amazing teaching skills out into the world.. If you would like to hear from other current students, check out our interviews; Meet Stacey, Meet Teresa.
If you are inspired to learn more about becoming a meditation teacher, please see our helpful article The Definitive Guide to Becoming a Meditation Teacher. If you’d like to learn more about the courses we offer, please visit our Courses page.