Marion Miller: My Founding Story
Founder | Leadership & Life Coach , Holistic Counsellor & 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, love of nature and presence. 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 about the pathway of life that inspired me to eventually take on formal study.
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 forever grateful and humble for my late mother introducing me to the mindfulness pathway when I became an adult.
I have also has some incredible cultural adventures that have helped heal my soul & shape 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. After birthing and having the privilege of raising four daughters and meeting my partner and best friend, my life has blossomed.
I walk the talk, having made big life changes that have seen me chase my dreams and lean into adventure - including travelling alone to big cities like New York, Tokyo and Rome. I enjoyed starting a street photography project to meet more people from different walks of life and experience serendipitous moments with complete strangers. I've learned to sail at RMYS and helped charter a yacht for 9 days in the Whitsundays, snowboarded the Gifu mountains in Japan and hiked the Grampians and Fuji overnight for sunrise on the summit!
I founded my first coaching business over 15 years ago and its evolved to what my business is today. I believe with the right skills, support and principles you can craft an authentic life and career pathway that is meaningful and fulfilling. Drawing from a long career, extensive professional learning and development and unique life experience, I have created effective coaching programs and provided several organisations with wellbeing, leadership and culture development pathways. In 2021 I have taken on a part time, internal role as a workplace wellbeing facilitator at Smiling Mind.
I am an artist, writer and published author. I create original coaching, counselling and mindfulness content across multiple platforms, host a regular video series on social media and a write for several publications. I am a featured mindfulness teacher on the Insight Timer app. I am a LGBTIQ+ advocate, feminist, activist & nature lover. I am passionate about helping people overcome setbacks, discover "the authentic pathway" and realise their potential to live in flow. When I'm not working I'm spending time with my four daughters, partner, dog and cat. I enjoy travelling the world, bush walking, sailing, gardening, painting, retreats, yoga & 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 retreat:
• 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
Approaches that have influenced me:
Solution Focussed Approach, Attachment theory, Trauma-informed Counselling, Positive Psychology, Person-Centred Coaching, Narrative Approach, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), Insight, Tibetan & Zen Buddhism, Authentic Leadership, Organisational Theory, Psychodynamic Counselling, Dance, Art Therapy, Hakomi & Eco-Therapy.