Marion Miller: The Founding Story
Founder | Holistic Counsellor, Leadership & Life Coach & MBSR Teacher
I am the spirited daughter of German immigrant from Hamburg and a farmer from King Island. My life begun on the land in country Tasmania before moving to Melbourne during childhood. I have always had a curious mind, a love of nature & been a seeker of wisdom. As a child I loved making art, poetry, dance & performing & immersed myself in creativity. I grew up in the world of mindfulness in Melbourne (before it became popular). By the time I was twenty years old I was attending mindfulness workshops with my mum, meditating regularly and beginning to ask some deeper questions that inspired me to eventually take on formal studies.
Life has thrown me some curveballs, like my parents splitting up when we moved to the city, an abusive step father coming into my life, losing my dear mum to suicide in 1999 and the end of my marriage years later. I am grateful to my late mother for sharing with me the gift of mindfulness in my late teens and early adulthood as it's had a profound impact on my whole life. Gratitude to my father for instilling in me early on a deep love & connection with nature which has been my saving grace.
I've had significant cultural life experiences that have shaped me; like a road trip around Australia for 9 months and spending time in indigenous communities, living and teaching kinder class in a Buddhist temple in Japan and visiting Hamburg; the home of my mothers ancestors. The birthing rite of passage & raising four incredible daughters, returning to University, travel adventures and meeting my partner and best friend have been extraordinary blessings.
I walk my talk, having made big life changes and taking risks that have seen me chase my dreams and lean into new and exciting adventure - including travelling alone to big cities like New York, Tokyo and Rome. I enjoyed starting a creative street photography project to meet more people from different walks of life and sharing serendipitous moments with complete strangers in Manhattan. I've learned to sail at RMYS and helped charter a yacht with my partner for 9 days in the Whitsundays with kids. In have snowboarded the Gifu mountains in Japan and hiked the Grampians and Fuji overnight for sunrise on the summit! I love the wilderness, adventure, creativity and travel; I'm passionate about protecting the earth's wild places & living in harmony with our authentic nature.
I founded my first coaching business over 15 years ago and its evolved to what my practice is today. I believe with the right skills, support and attitude you can create an authentic life and career pathway that is sustaining, meaningful and fulfilling. Drawing from a long career, extensive professional learning and development and unique life experiences, I have created effective coaching programs and provided several organisations with wellbeing, leadership and culture development programs. In 2021 I have taken on a part time, internal role as a workplace wellbeing facilitator at Smiling Mind working with leadership in the education sector across Victoria.
I am an artist, writer and published author. I create original coaching, counselling and mindfulness content across multiple platforms, host a video series called On the Cushion and a write for several publications. I am a featured mindfulness teacher on the Insight Timer app and share meditations with millions of users online. I am an advocate of LGBTIQ+, feminism, environmental & ethical technology. I am passionate about helping people overcome setbacks, facilitate change & discover their authentic potential. When I'm not working I'm spending time with my four daughters, partner & fur babies. I love travelling the world, bush walking, sailing, gardening, painting, retreats & dance.
My Professional education and mindfulness training includes:
• Coaching Diploma in Career, Business and Life Coaching from The Coaching Institute of Australia, 2015.
• Meditation Teacher Training, Melbourne Meditation Centre with Matt Young, 2009.
• MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy), Mindfulness Training Institute Australia, 2015.
• Mindful Leadership, Compassion Masterclass with Emiliana Simon Thomas PhD, 2016.
• 3rd year student of Bachelor of Counselling (Coaching), Australian Colleague of Applied Psychology, 2016- on-going.
• Mindful Self-Compassion Core Skills with Christopher Germer, PhD. & Kathleen Cator, 2017.
• Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness online: Theory and skills to make meditation safe and effective for trauma survivors with David Trevelen PhD, 2019.
• Introduction to Eco-Therapy - Online, Wilderness Reflections, 2020.
• Dance For Life Arts and Yoga Trance Dance Teacher Immersion, Sumudra School of Living Yoga Online with Shiva Rae, 2020.
Mentors who have influenced me:
Teachers I have sat with on mindfulness retreats:
• Insight Day Retreat, Recollective Awareness, Jason Siff, 2010.
• Insight Meditation 7 day silent Retreat: How the Dharma Informs Mindfulness-Based Approaches, Bob Stahl and Timothea Goddard, NSW, 2016.
• Insight Meditation Retreat, Open Heart, Open Mind 7 day silent retreat, Subhana Barzaghi and Carol Perry, Victoria, 2017.
• Insight Meditation day retreat, Equanimity: Finding Balance in our practice, James and Jane Baraz, 2018.
• Insight Meditation 3 day Silent Retreat, Opening Heart, Anton Eastick, 2018.
• Insight & Eco-Dharma retreat: Earth in Mind, Robyn Gibson and Rupert Marques 2019.
• Insight Retreat: New Years Retreat, Anton Eastick and Neli Martin, 2019.
Humans who have inspired my work:
• Jon Kabat-Zinn
• Chogyam Trungpa
• Gabrielle Roth
• Carl Jung
• Tara Brach
Models that Inform my Approach:
Solution Focussed Approach, Attachment theory, Trauma-informed Counselling, Positive Psychology, Systems Thinking, Person-Centred Coaching, Narrative Approach, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), Buddhist Psychology, Authentic Leadership, Organisational Theory, Psychodynamic Counselling, Dance, Art Therapy, Hakomi & Eco-Therapy.