Maude Hirst Q&A

Maude Hirst Q&A

Maude Hirst is an actor turned meditation facilitator, on a mission to make meditation accessible to everyone. Since discovering the healing powers of meditation and yoga, and how they changed her life for the better, Maude wants to facilitate others in slowing down, turning inward and incorporating these practices into their daily ritual.

Maude now enjoys a fulfilling career driven by passion and purpose. She is trained in meditation, yoga, intuitive movement meditation and Theta healing. She runs EnergyRise - an online global wellness space offering mentorships and guided meditations. Maude also runs popular retreats where she facilitates wellness practices such as breath work. 


Mindfulness, in all its forms, allows you to become the detective in your individual story” - Maude

Questions



Maude, it seems you've undergone a transformative journey that brought you to change careers, reevaluate your life and embrace a path of spirituality and healing. From actor to meditation facilitator what led you on to this path?

My journey into transformation and meditation began around 6 years ago after going through a traumatic break-up that left me questioning a lot of parts of my life. I started meditating for my own mental health and found it to be an incredibly powerful tool that brought me a calm, clarity and confidence that I had never experienced before. After experiencing this for myself, I became passionate about sharing these tools with everyone I could reach, as I feel it is needed now in society more than ever before. I don’t think I ever made a conscious choice to stop acting, it has been a gradual transition as my passion for sharing meditation overtook my desire to act.

 

And what changes in your physical and mental health have you observed since walking this path, inviting in more mindfulness, and establishing a consistent meditation and yoga practice?

I have noticed so many changes across all areas of my health. The biggest change has been re-establishing a healthier and kinder relationship with myself. Connecting back to my intuition and learning to live my life guided from that place, rather than what I felt was expected of me. Mentally I feel calmer and more confident with who I am and physically I feel stronger and able to adapt to situations much quicker than I used to. 

 

 


At Ancient + Brave we are passionate about the transformative potential of rituals. Rituals have been embraced in cultures across history as a means to anchor us in the here and now. Whether this is enjoying the sounds of birds out on a walk, or taking a moment to pause and savour the taste and smells of a Cacao + Collagen brew. What would you say are your favourite morning rituals?

My favourite morning rituals are a 15 minute morning meditation before I do anything else, this always sets me up for the day. Then a cup of tea in the garden (when it’s warm enough) to listen to the birds and be in some natural light.

 

The ancient practice of meditation, which is rooted in a deep cultural history, has grown from a religious idea to a mainstream, popular practice. We know there are so many benefits, but there are still many roadblocks people come up against when wanting to implement meditation into their daily rituals. For example, the belief that to benefit from meditation you need to be sat cross legged for an hour a day. What advice would you offer for beginners on where to start? 

Firstly that there are many different types of meditation, from traditional seated, to movement, to chanting, to visualisation, to breathing techniques to name but a few. If you have tried one that didn’t work for you, keep looking around as there will be something that does work. Secondly start short, there is research that shows 10 minutes a day of meditation can have a profound impact on your mental health. We might not all have an hour to find in our schedules but 10 minutes we all have.

And what advice would you offer for those who find they often fall off the bandwagon and struggle to be consistent with their meditation practice?

Be gentle with yourselves and just keep coming back to it over and over again. They say it takes 21 days to build a habit, so for the first 21 days, it can feel like a struggle but once you get past those initial days and you feel the incredible benefits of a regular practice, it becomes easier and easier to come back to it. After a while your meditation practice becomes like an internal best friend, you will want to keep coming back to it. 

 


 

For many, daily life can feel like a whirlwind with demands and distractions pulling is in all different directions. This can leave us feeling rather unsettled and quite frankly - exhausted! For the busy individual who enjoys the hustle and bustle, what are your top tips or favourite practices for keeping grounded and avoiding burnout? 

There are two practices I would suggest to avoid burnout. 

1 - A short morning meditation that allows you to check in with yourself and how you are feeling. This allows you to become aware of any changes that are happening within you so you can make the changes needed daily to bring yourself back into balance before hitting burnout. 

2 - Breath Awareness. How you breathe is how you feel. Often when we are rushing around and feeling exhausted or anxious we are forgetting to breathe properly. The breath will often be short and shallow. Becoming aware of your breath and slowing it down to 6 seconds inhaling through the nose and 6 seconds exhaling through the nose can bring back a feeling of calm through the body.


Do you believe that meditation can also be active? Such as a mindful walk or those who find some tasks mediative. Or is it best practised in stillness? 

I believe you can be mindful when doing activities throughout the day but for me meditation is a practice of going inwards to yourself and often when we are walking and doing tasks the focus is still outwards. I don’t think meditation has to be totally still and do often encourage people to move during meditations if their body wants to intuitively. However, I think stillness is a big part of meditation as I think we are so busy in today’s society that encouraging moments of stillness is really important.


When the inevitable stressors of life do arise for you, how do you handle them now compared to how you managed them years ago?

I used to be unaware of my response to stressors years ago, often using alcohol or pushing feelings away to try and cope. However, I have now learnt tools through having a regular meditation and breath practice, that allow me to be able to feel into stressful situations when they arise and understand what happens in my body so I can navigate them in a much more conscious way, which often feels a lot calmer than it used to. 

 

Can you share any success stories or transformations you've witnessed in any students you have worked with? 

Yes so many. It is the most beautiful experience to observe people transform through this work. I have witnessed someone who felt unlovable, finding a path back to loving themselves which led to them meeting a partner. I have seen someone unhappy in their career, connecting to their passion and starting their own thriving business. I have witnessed someone clearing their limiting beliefs around worth, to now living from a place of confidence in all aspects of their lives. 

Getting to know ourselves on a deep level through inner practices is the most incredible gift we can do for ourselves. It can truly transform all parts of our lives.

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