We had the good fortune of connecting with Eleanor (Hooper) Medina and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eleanor, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
When I first started The Makaranda Method, my therapy private practice, I worked all the time. I didn’t give myselves weekends off because I was hustling to connect with people and share about my wholistic work. Now that I am 3 years in, before I reached the point of burn out, I started taking weekends off and limiting my hours during the week from 10-7pm. This shift was HUGELY helpful for me and now I have so much more energy during the week to dedicate to my work.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The Makaranda Method is a psychotherapy modality that addresses clients’ mindset, movement, nutrition, and nature. It is growing rapidly because I do things in the way that I want to do them, not the way anyone else does. I aim to be myself fully in this work because that is what I am asking from my clients. I trust intuition and I am building a brand that I personally connect with! I ask myself, “What have I done that makes me feel connected and whole? What if I gave myself the space to do all the practices I give my clients? What more can I do to get to know myself and how can this translate into practices I teach? What books do I love? What podcast inspire me? I share these resources openly. I do not “put on” my therapy hat, I am a therapist, always. It is not seperate from me. In sessions, I am fully myself so my clients can learn how to find that within themselves. I love my brand because it is me!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend (Julie) were visiting: We would meditate each morning at my alter and drink coffee and warm lemon water, moving slowly as we wake with the sun. We would go to Everland, an immersive art park about an hour south of Denver, where I used to live. We would spend time outside listening to the birds and playing in the sunshine, enjoying long walks together. We would go to my favorite restaurant where I used to work while I was in grad school, El Camino Community Tavern in the Highlands. We would also go to Natural Grocers and do a lot of cooking at home. I love to cook and eat organic fruits, veggies and meats! We would go shopping on Tennyson Street in the Highlands at my favorite second hand shop called Second Love & the Yogi Exchange. We would water my plants and tend to our garden. We would do a cold plunge in the creek in Golden and we would sit in our sauna for an evening meditation after a dinner with a few close friends.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
After I graduated from Regis University with a Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy, I knew I wanted to start my own private practice. I wanted to work wholistically. I did NOT want to work in a hospital or clinic that requires a diagnosis for treatment. I believe it is important to see people as whole, and I believe diagnosing sees people as broken. I wanted to work with my clients in nature. The most healing place of all. I wanted to work with people using non-ordinary states of consciousness, so we could see the thought patterns and re-write them. I wanted to dance with clients to help them move energy. I wanted to have clients exercise, breathe deeply and eat well; the basics of a healthly life. I wanted clients to see themselves fully by accessing calm and clarity within their psyches. I wondered if anyone else wanted to do work in this way, so I started asking around. A friend of mine knew a therapist who worked just like this and connected me with her. She goes by Tiame. Tiame took me under her wing and she taught me everything she knew. From time to time I would take on other people’s pain and one day she said, “How is your meditation practice?” I responded that it was nonexistent. I practiced yoga (asana) but that was about it. She responded, “Look, if you are not sitting with your thoughts, how are you going to know which thoughts are yours and which are not? If we are going to work together, you need to sit every day in silent meditation for one hour to become clear.” I did want to work together, so I sat; every day for an hour. At first, it was challenging and my legs fell asleep and I was fidgety. Over time, I didn’t need to move as much and I started looking forward to my meditations. My mind began to calm. One day about a month into this practice, I remember driving in my car and my mind and my body were in the same place at the same time. I felt my hands on the steering wheel and I watched the cars and trees as I drove. “This was it,” I thought. I felt so good. This is what so many teachers talked about when they said, “Be here now.” I was hooked. Now, 3 years later, I no longer wonder what is my clients and what is mine. It is so clear now. I am so clear now. I am so grateful for Tiame for introducing me to this grounding practice of compassion and love. It has simply changed everything for me and everyone I come into contact with.
Jeff Jones Photography