Mala Collective
Courtney Romano by Craig Hanson Photography

How did you choose your mala? Was there a certain intention you were looking to bring into your life?

I'm in a big period of creative transformation (writing my first book on what it takes to build a lifelong career as an artist) and I wanted to use my meditation practice to provide clarity and strength to my work. This book is the largest creative undertaking I have ever pursued and I knew I needed to add a meditative dose of mojo to my daily practice. 

When I was sifting through all the beautiful choices, I kept being drawn to malas with Amazonite, which helps connect with your inner power. The Mountain Top mala has Amazonite and was described as helping reach your highest potential. That sounded right up my alley. So I grabbed it up!

You are a life coach and trainer. What drew you to this service? What is one thing you have learned about yourself while supporting others?

I have always loved connecting with others. My parents are both teachers so I suppose there is an aspect of it that comes naturally to me. But what draws me toward it the most is that life is simply extraordinary. I feel so enamored and awestruck by it. (Granted, many days I just want to lay on the couch and eat guacamole, but generally speaking I'm enamored.) Every day holds this radioactive potential for mass amounts of goodness and drawing enthusiasm out of others while helping them tap their own potential is the ultimate reward.

"Life is simply extraordinary. I feel so enamoured and awestruck by it." 

One thing supporting others has taught me is how to ask for help. I will go, go, go until I'm exhausted, tapped out, down for the count. I used to handle everything myself, take on all of the grunt work, not reach out to anyone when I was feeling down because I thought this was generosity. I didn't want to be a bother. When I realized that truly being generous meant acknowledging loved ones' support and allowing myself to be held up by their energy, I realized how much generosity I had been hoarding. There was this unreal support system in my life and I was ignoring it to prove I was superwoman. From being that support for others, I've realized how good it feels to hear, thank you, and when I wasn't letting myself be helped, I wasn't able to give thanks where loads of it was due.

What is your favorite way to take a moment for yourself each day?

My husband and I live in New York City so space is limited and the volume is always turned up. But somehow, the real estate gods descended upon us a few years ago and granted us an apartment with this tiny little balcony overlooking a garden in the back. It's quiet, there are lots of birds - once I saw a raccoon back there! Sitting out there with a cup of coffee, my journal and my mala beads early in the morning is one of my favorite ways to ground myself.

Do you have a favorite mantra or intention to meditate with? 
I generally want my mantras to remind myself that any creative breakthrough, emotional resilience or generosity of spirit I'm searching for already exists within me. For that I use Om Namah Shivaya (I honor the divinity within me) or I Am Love.
Any tips for people looking to add meditation in to their daily routine?
Don't worry about doing it right. Just get your butt in the chair. Even sitting down quietly for five minutes in a day that is packed with hustle will make a difference. Meditation can be the most productive thing you do for yourself, so don't think too much about it. Just start.
Courtney Romano is first and foremost an artist. More specifically, she is an actress, writer, and NASM-certified fitness trainer at The Bari Studio, where she heads the coaching program. She writes for The Bari Blog, Lifehack, Medium, and her own blog Words In Progress. Courtney is writing her first book and lives in NYC with her husband Craig. For more information, visit her website:
July 27, 2014 by Ashley Wray

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