We had the good fortune of connecting with Mel Afflerbach and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mel, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The idea of risk taking to me always had some sort of fearful and negative connotation around it. There were always consequences with a risk, right? The risk of loosing, getting hurt, or the feeling of regret. What if “risk” meant opportunity. I had to reprogram my brain that taking risks were exciting and could create some amazing opportunities. We get to a crossroad of “do I stay where I’m at in my life even if that means I am unhappy or feel stuck,” OR “do I rip this security ban aide off and jump into this next chapter?” That crossroad seems risky, right? The average, grounded person probably isn’t going to just jump in. So, I created some tools to help reprogram my thoughts around risks and those tools helped me create big and successful changes in my life, my relationships, and my career.
One word, MANIFEST. Seems “woo-woo,” I know. I am a firm believer whatever energy you put out into the universe, you will get it right back. If you’re fearful or angry…. guess what? That energy is going to magnetize to you in all facets of your life. Manifesting is risky, but risk is opportunity. ( That was my mantra for many years.) Before I manifest this new change, what do I want? I want to live in mountains. I want to create a community of people around me who loves to travel, practice yoga, and inspire to be openminded. I want financial stability. I want a career where I can help wellness businesses thrive. I want to travel for a living. I want my kids to feel heard and understood. — see, when you write down or say out loud what you want, that’s manifesting. Try it. Do it every morning. Manifest your opportunities each morning as you set the tone and intention for the day. ( and take deep breaths, too).

I took a BIG risk this past year during the pandemic. My husband and I are pretty in sync with goals and executing those goals as a partnership. Our entire 16 years together, we’ve gotten pretty much what we wanted….working hard together to get there and manifesting our next steps in life. We realized we weren’t happy in parts of our lives this past year. Where we lived. The people we were surrounding ourselves. My job. Our constant reaction to saying yes to things that we intended to say “no.”

One morning, I woke up and said to myself, “What makes our family happy?” The mountains. We all LOVE to be outside. We thrive being in a slower vibrational community (this is “woo-woo”.).. we all struggle with anxiety… being in a city that isn’t so “go-go” and busy feels grounding to us. So, what did we do? We took a HUGE risk, We sold our house. I quit my 10 jobs ( teaching yoga, owning and running a yoga studio, starting a start-up tech company, managing projects, reiki, consulting.) We packed up our entire life with our two dogs and our two kids and left for Colorado. We had no plan but the 6 weeks in front of us. Let’s just say, a year later, we’re living in our dream home in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado, working the parts of my career that I love, financially the most successful we’ve ever been, but most importunely, we’re happy and were OK.

Risk can absolutely be scary, folks, but you have to re-train your thoughts on what risk can be for you. It’s an opportunity. Guess what? Worse case scenario. You can always go back. You’re never stuck.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When someone asks me what I do for a living, I always pause and ask myself, ” which job should I tell them I have…why do I wear so many hats?!” I usually respond with….” I wear a lot of hats!” I am in the world of all things wellness with a splash of professionalism. I fell into the career of yoga, first. I took a class. It changed my life. When things “change my life” I want to share and teach others to do the same. I’ve been teaching yoga over 15 years. Whether I am teaching it or practicing it, yoga will be part of my life until the end. Teaching yoga these days is a hard career… the truth of it, people do not teach yoga to make a ton of money, they teach it because they love it. That statement is true, however, I was not about to believe that. I wanted to grow my yoga business and make more financially. I also loved to travel and I like nice things. I’m definitely a “booshy-hippie.” I’ll mediate in an ashram and hike some rural destination, but ya’ll, I like a 5 star accommodation and eat amazing food and nice stuff. With that, I created a luxury retreat business. I wanted folks to change their lives using yoga, reiki and healing tools but be comfortable doing it. Listen, I’ve sat in a sweat lodge (a.k.a. temazcal) for 45 minutes in a 130 degree brick pizza oven in pure darkness with a shaman chanting so loudly I couldn’t even hear my thoughts. That was NOT comfortable nor life changing for me, and now I’m forever claustrophobic from it. Not everything painful can be healing. My retreats are in some of the most luxuriously places in the world like Positano, Italy….Cassis, France…. Maui, Hawaii… Tulum, Mexico. I wanted to travel and do the thing I love to do and make more than $25 a class. My business is 8 years old and its still growing strong.

With my experience in the wellness industry…. co-owning and running a studio, growing a retreat business, teaching all forms of yoga + reiki + Ayurvedic nutrition…. I get asked A LOT, ” How do you do it? Can I do it with you?”

I recently created my wellness consulting business this past year. Being in the industry of yoga, you are truly at the hands of your employer. Whatever they can afford to pay you, is what you have to value yourself at. Im saying “NO.” You need to value your worth, your time, and your experience. You need to charge more and there are facets in the business you can be part of and create where you can feel that value and worth. I want to help people get there. I’ve been in this industry a long time. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I also found ways to help my business ,and even the studios I’ve been part of, GROW and be successful. This is the foundation of my consulting business. Discovering your worth and steps on how to expand your wellness business.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I moved to Boulder, Co about a year ago from Austin, TX. I’ve had a lot of my texan friends and family come to visit already…. they want to see mountains, eat good food, and feel that grounding, “I can breath again” feeling. This would be my itinerary visiting Colorado. Being that most folks come from sea level, I typically plan the first day with an easier hike like Chautauqua Park, drive to some sight-seeing spots like Boulder Falls, Flatirons and maybe a drive up Flagstaff road. After hiking grabbing a local beer or cider and eat at our favorite sandwich spot, Snarfs. That first evening I always plan to stay home so our guest can enjoy our mountain views with a charcuterie board and a glass of wine.
Some of our favorite restaurants in Boulder are Corrida, The Kitchen, and Rossetta hall. We like good food, creative cocktails and a view. Day trips are always on the agenda. Hiking Eldorado State Park or driving over to Estes Park to see the Rocky Mountain National Park. If they haven’t been to Denver, we love to hit up the art museum or science and nature museum. We have kiddos so we try to incorporate experiences they will enjoy. We are HUGE concert goers. If we can score tickets or time it right when folks visit, a trip to the Red Rocks Amphitheater is amazing. BEST spot to see a concert.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh, wow. I have some amazing humans in my life that have supported me and loved me through all my crazy ideas and life changes. When I go back to the “growth spurts” of my life, my one consistent supporter is my husband. He’s been the person who always tells me to take the risk, that he will always be here to support me and cheer me on, and he has. I also have a pretty amazing group of women around me, always supporting me, and listening to all my crazy ideas. I am grateful to my sisters, my dear mentors ( Heather + Nani), my girlfriends, and my grandmother. These gals have always been there for me.

Website: www.melafflerbachyoga.com

Instagram: @melyogamama

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mel-afflerbach-7282831b/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mel_yogamama?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melissa.christopherafflerbach

Other: Podcast – Green Juice + Tequila https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/green-juice-tequila-podcast/id1484196798

Image Credits
Laura Morsman – LauraMorsmanPhotography

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