Facilitator Interview: Minta Allred of Bellingham, WA
Who are you?
Aside from the numerous ways I feel drawn to answer this question spiritually, I see it like this — I am darkness. I am challenge. I am mistakes. I am experience. AND I am light. I am love. I am a healer. I am a channel of truth. Just as we all are. Everything in life thus far has set me up to uncover the truth that resides in each of us. And the number one motive to do so, is and always has been Love.
Tell us your finding ELM story
From the moment I decided to study yoga in college, I felt drawn to the correlation of yoga and body image health. Yoga had, without a doubt, been the defining factor in healing my personal body image issues. As my final term arrived, I started formulating my thesis and my senior project. Which evolved into a six week series for teenage girls on how yoga and mindfulness practices can help us work through the negative self-talk and image obsessed culture we live in today. I do not believe in coincidence, so rather, through divine intervention, I picked up a Yoga Journal magazine the summer before my final term and read an interview between the founder of ELM, Dr. Melody Moore and yoga activist and leader, Seane Corn. It was as if the pages were screaming at me “Read me! Read me!” because I had at that point rarely read through a YJ magazine. I immediately signed up the training. There was no question this path had already been written for me on a map. So I listened.
How do you EMBODY LOVE?
I embody love through remembering who I truly am. Remembering that I am not my thoughts, therefore, I am not the words that attach to them, the incessant dialogue, the “neurotic roommate” of our mind-workings. And when I remember this, I know that my true self is nothing but LOVE. And that as a channel of love, I am here to give AND receive love. I practice treating myself just as I would treat my dearest and most treasured friendship. I practice sitting with my Self, with curiosity and kindness. For me, Love and authenticity are one in the same. To be authentic, we are moving from love. And Love is not always positive. So rather than assume life should all be rainbows and butterflies because love exists, I try to remember that when it is NOT rainbows and butterflies, that love always remains. I can always return to Love. We can always return to Love.
What contribution are you making to the world?
As a facilitator and trainer for the nonprofit Embody Love Movement®, I provide space, guidance and resources for girls and women to transform habitual thought patterns that have lead to negative self-talk, damaging behavior towards themselves and others, and an often downplayed life. This work starts conversations and momentum. This work helps girls and women remember their worth before they were told they weren’t good enough. The goal is not only to help participants love themselves more fully and clearly, but rather to shift the global consciousness that has devoted so much time and energy towards insecurity and doubt. Through this work we focus greatly on how we are MIRRORS to one another. How we see and speak to ourselves, directly impacts how we see and speak to those around us. Our insecurities create the lens of perception that we look out into the world with. To realize that the ways in which we are hurtful and hard on ourselves impacts those we love, how available we are to love, this realization is where the magic happens. No matter how self-less we feel we are, until we see the light inside ourselves, we will be limited in seeing that light in others. Thus causing a divide, an inequality, and so forth. My vision aligns with the vision of ELM, to one day, raise a little girl in a world where she will never doubt her self-worth, let alone based on her waist size!
Minta is a Pacific Northwest island native who is moved to share her love for yoga with community. Whether in her home town on Orcas Island, in the mountains of Prescott, AZ (where she recently assisted a 200 Hour Foundational Yoga Teacher Training), or in her new stomping grounds of Bellingham, WA, she surrenders to the practice, sharing its brilliance every which way. She has studied with a variety of teachers covering a vast array of approaches to yoga.