Happy Soul Podcast
Episode #4: Coming Home to Your True Essence through Mindfulness: Interview Special with Adriane David
[00:00:00.550] – Corina Holzapfel
Hello, beautiful soul! I’m so glad that you’re here today listening to my Happy Soul podcast again.
Today I’ve got a very, very special treat for you.
[00:00:11.880] – Corina Holzapfel
What if you could finally stop all the crazy mind chatter that goes on all day long? And what if you
could find that little place inside yourself where you are just yourself, where you are totally accepting
of what is and where you are able to love yourself just the way you are; the place where there is peace
and love and acceptance and just being. I think that place is called mindfulness. And today I’m
interviewing the wonderful Adriane David. Adriane is not only a speaker and a workshop facilitator,
but she’s also a mindfulness coach, helping people to calm their mind chatter; to get out of their fixed
mindsets and create more peaceful and happier lives for themselves.
[00:01:01.540] – Corina Holzapfel
Adriane has had a mindfulness meditation practice for several years and she has extensive training in
the field; such as certification in the Foundations of Applied Mindfulness Meditation from the
University of Toronto. And she’s done many silent retreats and studied MBCT and intensive mindful
self-compassion program with Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, just to name a few of the many areas
she’s trained in. She’s very passionate about what she’s teaching. She’s very down to earth and she
shares about her own journey of transformation from a type-A personality; from being always on the
go to totally changing her life through mindfulness meditation.
[00:01:45.530] – Corina Holzapfel
I’m so excited to share this wonderful and authentic conversation with all of you today, and I hope it
inspires you to start your own mindfulness journey as well. Adriane, I’m so happy to have you here
today on my show. I’m so glad you could make it. Welcome to the show.
[00:02:07.270] – Adriane David
Oh, thank you so much for having me. I am delighted to be here.
[00:02:12.690] – Adriane David
Since we met first time, and that was during our certificate course in positive psychology, I noticed
right from the beginning that there is this like, you know, this little sparkle in your voice and there is
this kind of like energy around you that makes you feel like this woman has so much wisdom to
share. And I really, really appreciated your authenticity when you talked about your mindfulness
journey and how you’re still struggling yourself….and on your website you write: “We teach best what
we most need to learn” – a quote by Richard Bach which I read from you. So, would you please tell us a
little bit about your journey, how you became interested in studying mindfulness and how this had an
impact on you and how it has changed your life.
[00:03:06.600] – Adriane David
Wow, that’s a that’s a big question. So do you want, like, the two minute answer or the 20 minute
answer? Because, I could go either way.
[00:03:14.610] – Corina Holzapfel
We won’t have 20 minutes. But, yeah. If you really could tell us the essence of what it has done to you
since you started all this.
[00:03:24.930] – Adriane David
Well, OK, so to answer the first part of your question, you know why or when. And I would say that for
a really long time, most of my adult life actually, I was always seeking something. I didn’t know what. I
was raised Catholic, but that didn’t really resonate with me. But I knew I wanted and needed to belong
to something bigger than just me.
[00:03:49.440] – Adriane David
And I didn’t necessarily know where to look or what to try. And, you know, I dabbled in yoga, but that
really didn’t do it for me either. And then about six and a half, seven years ago, my personal life kind of
imploded. All sorts of things were going on that were a little bit overwhelming. And I got through it.
But I knew as I was going through it that once I got through it, I was going to need to refill the tank, if
you will, and on a total whim, very, very unlike a typical type A personality, I signed up for a yoga and
meditation retreat in Costa Rica.
[00:04:25.650] – Corina Holzapfel
That sounds fun.
[00:04:28.220] – Adriane David
Yeah, it was. I mean, it was a totally life changing experience. But I have to tell you, before I went, like
anyone that knew me, that knew I was going was like what you? You’re going to die. Like you can’t be
quiet and still for a week. Like what? You know, but I went and was introduced to my very first
mindfulness meditation teacher, and my life was forever changed. I wanted what he had.
[00:04:53.430] – Adriane David
He just…He embodied serenity and equanimity and all these fancy words that really just distilled
down to… There was just an aura of absolute peace around him. And I was so in and again,
overachiever, highly driven. I literally cornered him and said, I need a three day intensive one on one.
And so I actually traveled out to Colorado where he lives, and I spent three days in the mountains with
him trying to learn everything I could. And that was the start of my journey.
[00:05:23.460] – Adriane David
And he… He told me, you need to practice every single day. And for him, that meant actually sitting in
meditation. And I resisted. I resisted. I didn’t want to do it. I found every excuse in the book. I was too
busy. I couldn’t be bothered. My you know, my mind was too chattery. There was a thousand reasons
that I couldn’t or didn’t want to do it.
[00:05:45.300] – Adriane David
And but he… I was committed. I was like, OK, I’m going to force myself. And he said, just trust me, just
force it even if it’s just ten minutes a day. So I did. And and it wasn’t, you know, first few months, I’m
not going to lie. It was I was like, why am I doing this? Every time I sat down, I was, why am I doing
[00:06:03.620] – Adriane David
And then something shifted. And I can’t …I can’t even I can’t necessarily pinpoint like the exact
amount of time it was after, but I remember the feeling of being separate from myself when… When
something happened. And it was a situation that typically would have triggered me to being irritated
or reactive. And I wasn’t.
[00:06:29.480] – Adriane David
I was actually able to separate myself from the situation and look at it for what it was and not get
caught up in it; not… Not go down that path of judgment and blame and accusation and like, you
know, that mental chatter that happened so, so readily.
[00:06:48.020] – Adriane David
And so I was like it was a total aha moment because I thought, wow, this actually works.
[00:06:54.510] – Corina Holzapfel
And that was the moment that you finally realized that that, which you’re doing is really, really helpful,
because I know so many people who start or try to start meditation and they just give up after the first
few times because they… they don’t notice any difference, you know.
[00:07:13.890] – Adriane David
Yeah, for sure, it’s not a …You know, it’s not the practice is just that it’s a practice. It’s not like… It’s not
unlike going to the gym. You can’t go to the gym once and expect that you’re going to see results.
[00:07:25.280] – Adriane David
And the first time you go, it’s going to be hard. And the second time you go, it’s going to be hard. But if
you keep at it, it gets easier and you get stronger and you don’t just get stronger when you’re at the
gym. You get stronger in the whole rest of your life as well. So, you know, you keep doing that bicep
curl. You’re going to be able to pick things up more easily, like in the rest of your life as well.
[00:07:46.490] – Adriane David
And that’s not… That’s not unlike having a regular mindfulness practice, is that you’re going to realize
that it’s not just in that ten minutes a day that you’re sitting, it’s in the rest of your life as well. You
actually…You’re able to be more present to your life. And that… That has been, you know, as well as
the lessened reactivity. I think that has been such a beautiful gift in making this regular practice.
[00:08:10.220] – Corina Holzapfel
Yeah. And this totally resonates with me too what you just said, that it takes a while, but then you
finally notice how things change in your… in your day to day life when you keep doing it. Although, I
feel like in my life, even though I studied yoga and meditation and mindfulness like 10 years, 15 years
ago with my yoga teacher, who is actually Buddhist trained, and he went to India and did lots of
Buddhism training. And so I came in contact with mindfulness really early and I even taught yoga and
[00:08:50.420] – Corina Holzapfel
But still, there was this resistance that I kept feeling towards sitting on my cushion and really doing it.
I always had this thought in my mind, I should do something else now. I don’t have the time and all
these excuses that come up in your mind. And for me, it was not until I,… I had a really, really
challenging health situation that had forced me to sit down and be mindful because that was the only
place where I was not in pain.
[00:09:24.650] – Corina Holzapfel
That was the only place where I could find a little bit of peace. And for me, it was as if life would
finally, like, shake me and say, like, if you don’t do it now, when … When do you want to do it? So I
actually personally had to be forced to …To really dive totally into it because I feel like I had been
kidding myself for a long time, you know, that teaching it and kind of doing it, but not really diving
totally into it and really allowing myself to… to get all the benefits from it.
[00:10:03.640] – Adriane David
So I don’t… I don’t think that your experience prior to coming to a place in your life where you needed
it is unusual. And I think that that resistance is… is about your ego and your… There’s a struggle that
happens when you sit in silence that that, you know, I should be doing something else. I could be
doing something else. You’re constantly being distracted. Our …Our egos, which, you know, we need
them, thank God for our egos or we wouldn’t be able to survive.
[00:10:30.430] – Adriane David
But they… They get very threatened if we start to sink down and tap into something that is beyond it.
So that’s where the resistance and the struggle comes in. It’s the…It’s that ego mind wants control.
[00:10:43.630] – Adriane David
That illusion of control is like, no, I will not let you sit and discover something other than the constant
go, go, go busyness, chatter, chatter like it’s so the resistance is very common. And, you know, I’ve
had a regular practice for seven years and I still struggle with it like it’s not….I’d be lying if I said I
could just sit in total serenity without that chattering mind, but I’m able to notice it. And instead of
getting caught up in it and believing in a story as it’s telling me, I’m just kind of like, so, there you are.
[00:11:14.030] – Adriane David
There you are, your little storyteller.Thanks for being…
[00:11:16.350] – Corina Holzapfel
I really appreciate you being so honest about your life and yourself and how you still struggle with it,
because, I mean, in the very end, we’re human. We all live on planet Earth. Right. And I read on your
website and that is something that… that really caught my attention. And I got so curious to learn
more about it. You write there that it is an increased awareness of the spaces between life and the
business of mind.
[00:11:43.930] – Corina Holzapfel
What do you mean by that? And how can this be helpful for women seeking to find their true essence?
[00:11:53.080] – Adriane David
OK, so that’s a two part question, so let me get to the first one first. So I’ve had teachers, you know, it
has been brought to my attention that the beauty in life is actually in the stillness and in the silence
between things. And so if you …To bring that to life, if you think about music. It’s not necessarily the
notes or …Or the silence between the notes is every bit as important as the notes themselves.
[00:12:20.800] – Adriane David
If all the notes played at the same time, it would just sound like noise. Same thing as…as as a book.
When you look at letters on the page, they only makes sense because of the space between them. If
you put all the letters on top of each other, it wouldn’t make any sense. So… so life is very busy. But if
you can… if you can take.. If you can appreciate the little pauses, the little spaces, like even when you
breathe, if you pay attention to your breath, like there’s an inhale and exhale. For me, at the bottom of
my exhale, there’s a tiny little pause before I inhale again.
[00:12:57.580] – Adriane David
And it’s that pause… like…. I can find peace in that pause. And it’s a nanosecond; it’s not a long pause,
but it’s there. And it’s… I think it’s in those little tiny moments as if we can find those gaps and that
space. That’s where pieces… That’s …That’s where we get beyond the noise. So in terms of your
second …The second part of your question, like how do women tap into their essence? Is that how
you put it?
[00:13:21.380] – Corina Holzapfel
[00:13:21.860] – Corina Holzapfel
How can like finding this pause? How can this be helpful for women who want to find, like, their true
essence, who want to find themselves? I think there’s so much power in…in this stillness.
[00:13:35.350] – Adriane David
Mm. Well, I think you just answered your own question. I think that it’s if… If… If we can learn to be
comfortable in stillness. We can find… That’s where our essence is. And again, our ego is going to try
to keep us from that right, like we have, we play all these roles. We were all these hats. And, you know,
we wear business like it’s a badge of honour.
[00:13:59.900] – Adriane David
But it isn’t… like at the end of the day, those who I think feel the most amount of peace are those who
are able to just be and again, trust me, type A overdriven personality over here, I get the notion of
being really uncomfortable with just being. I’m like, well, what do you mean there’s so much to do. I
can’t just be, but it’s in the being not the doing that your real self exists.
[00:14:26.180] – Corina Holzapfel
That makes so much sense.
[00:14:27.710] – Corina Holzapfel
And now I’m thinking about that. All my listeners are really busy women. Some have families to take
care of and others are really busy in their jobs. And… And it’s just so hard for these women to …to find
the time for themselves or allow themselves to actually …this is a part of life is a big part of self-care.
Right. To really be there for yourself and allow yourself this time where you maybe sit down and just
even if it’s just five minutes…right. And allow yourself to just experience stillness and just not take
care of anybody or anything else.
[00:15:11.190] – Corina Holzapfel
So what would you suggest for a woman if she wants to start her mindfulness practice? What is the
easiest way to start with this?
[00:15:22.340] – Adriane David
Great question. Honestly, it’s just a start. Just do something. And I think there’s a huge misperception
that in order to have a mindfulness practice, you need to sit on a meditation cushion for 40 minutes
every day. You don’t. You can do anything mindfully so you can even be doing and be mindful about it.
So, washing your hands, being completely present to the experience of washing your hands; the the
feeling of the soap; the temperature of the water; you know, the noticing, the, …the lather, the smell of
[00:15:59.040] – Adriane David
Being completely engaged with an everyday task is an act of mindfulness. You know, setting …one of
the things that I’ve done recently, actually, just because I think this Covid crazy, you know, ramps
things up even more in terms of tension and stress and anxiety….and so one of the things that I’ve
actually done recently is I have an alarm set four times a day at, you know, three or four-hour intervals
[00:16:21.000] – Adriane David
And that little chime…it’s not an obnoxious alarm. It’s a little chime. That little chime reminds me to
pay attention to what my thoughts are doing. So it’s just a quick: hey, Adrian, where’s your… where’s
your head at right now? And invariably, it’s escaped me. And so it’s just a quick opportunity to bring it
back and say, OK, is that thought pattern serving me? And if it is… great, carry on and if it isn’t change
[00:16:45.690] – Corina Holzapfel
But even just that suggestion, yeah.
[00:16:49.870] – Corina Holzapfel
I actually caught myself now that I have done that in the past, but I really also just like it slipped away
from me. I haven’t done it lately. So and it’s not that we need, like, a time or anything. Right. You can
just use our phones or, you know, they’re just like or even… even we can connect these things to
activities that we do in our lives. Right.
[00:17:14.550] – Corina Holzapfel
And if it’s just like doing it after brushing your teeth or…. or just when you wake up, put your feet on
the ground and just take a couple mindful breaths.
[00:17:26.740] – Adriane David
One hundred percent. Mhm, yeah.
[00:17:29.430] – Corina Holzapfel
I think it’s it’s become… It became really clear through what you said that we don’t have to sit down on
our cushion. Right. We don’t have to make this a formal practice. We can really connect this to… into
our everyday activities in tiny steps.
[00:17:45.990] – Corina Holzapfel
And I think the tiny steps is where there is the most potential for us to make it a habit in the future.
[00:17:54.760] – Adriane David
Absolutely, and I would also say if there is going to be a more quote on quote formal practice… and I
am a big fan of the formal practice, because I do believe that, as my gym analogy stated if you make it
a regular practice in a formal way, it ends up impacting the whole rest of your day as well.
[00:18:13.060] – Adriane David
But it’s… I think that the trick is to really picking a time that you can commit to. So just like anything
else, I know, for me it has to be first thing in the morning. If I don’t get a workout and or a meditation
in first thing in the morning, it’s… it’s less and less likely to happen as the day goes by. So if that
means setting my alarm 10 minutes earlier than I usually do, so be it.
[00:18:34.150] – Adriane David
Those 10 minutes are actually so much more restorative than the extra 10 minutes of sleep would
[00:18:40.000] – Adriane David
So it’s worth it.
[00:18:41.260] – Corina Holzapfel
[00:18:41.680] – Corina Holzapfel
And so that’s how we’re all different, right? We’ve had this discussion in our family a lot, and I’ve had
this discussion with my yoga teacher back then, too, because they’re all kind of doing all these things
in the morning, like waking up early, sitting, doing your meditation, doing some inspiring reading all
this kind of stuff. And I have never been this person, you know, and it took a while until I finally noticed
that when I tried to force myself to go up earlier and meditate.
[00:19:10.780] – Corina Holzapfel
I don’t feel good. I just I need to do this in the afternoon, like later in the afternoon, because in the
morning I’m so full of energy. I want to do things and I have to honour that. And it always has felt
better to me to really get my things done. And then after …Afterwards, maybe after four or five, to sit
down and just like be with myself. And that’s also the time where I do my exercise.
[00:19:39.400] – Corina Holzapfel
So, yeah, we have to honour that everybody is so different. And it’s not that we can suggest the same
thing to everybody
[00:19:48.140] – Adriane David
[00:19:48.730] – Adriane David
Find. What feels good.
[00:19:50.150] – Corina Holzapfel
Yeah, right. OK, thank you so much, Adriane. That was so helpful to me and I’m feeling really inspired
now to start to…like to sit down and meditate, you know, even if it’s for me now. And I’m pretty sure
that inspires all of our listeners to… to just like take this first step and just start somewhere because
like, this busy mind that is that chattering with us all day long….and I believe we have, like they say,
between 50 and eighty thousand thoughts per day.
[00:20:23.410] – Corina Holzapfel
And, you know, like when the mind is not controlled, the life can be very, very stressful.
[00:20:31.300] – Adriane David
Yeah. Hundred percent.
[00:20:31.950] – Corina Holzapfel
And so let us… let us close here. I would like to ask you about your favourite mindfulness quote.
Maybe you can say what that is for you and why you picked this one.
[00:20:45.240] – Adriane David
[00:20:46.150] – Adriane David
So how long has Covid been going on? For now? I think I’ve posted a mindfulness quote every day for
the last like six or eight months.
[00:20:53.750] – Corina Holzapfel
Yeah. I’ve been reading it and I really enjoy reading it every day. It’s so grounding.
[00:21:00.430] – Adriane David
And this one I actually haven’t posted and I don’t know, maybe maybe I will, but it’s sort of been close
to my own, my own heart, especially recently. And it’s a quote by John Kabat-Zinn. And it says,
Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.
[00:21:18.730] – Corina Holzapfel
Yeah, that that makes me get chills
[00:21:21.730] – Adriane David
[00:21:22.380] – Corina Holzapfel
Now…so it’s so it feels like something just put a warm blanket over me if I hear this, you know,
befriending ourselves. I love that.
[00:21:32.320] – Adriane David
And our experience. Yeah. And I think especially today, it is so important to realize that there’s like
resisting what is… Is just going to cause suffering. So if we can befriend it and lean into it and accept
that it is what it is,…. that’s that’s also a place to offer a little bit more peace.
[00:21:53.610] – Corina Holzapfel
[00:21:53.920] – Corina Holzapfel
Thank you so much for this warm and comforting words. And I think that brings…. can bring a lot of
hope to people listening to what you just said and just reading these quotes and… and just like… I feel
like there’s a lot of peacefulness in what you just said.
[00:22:13.850] – Corina Holzapfel
So, for my listeners, if you’re interested in what Adrian is doing, she’s offering so many great things,
she’s not only working with corporate people and in terms of workshops and she’s giving speeches,
but she’s also working one on one with people, helping them to calm their mind chatter and changing
their mindset from fixedto growth mindset, for example.
[00:22:38.720] – Corina Holzapfel
She’s using positive psychology techniques and she’s using all of her wisdom in terms of mindfulness
and how this can help you change your life for the better. If you’re curious, check out her website at
www.mindfullyyours.ca. I will put also this link into the show notes for this episode if you want to find
[00:23:01.040] – Corina Holzapfel
Yeah, thanks so much, Adriane. It was a pleasure to have you here today, and I really, really appreciate
[00:23:07.200] – Adriane David
Thank you so much and thank you so much for doing what you’re doing. Corina, women need it. We
all need to band together as much as possible these days. So, namaste to you. I appreciate everything
you’re doing as well.
[00:23:18.420] – Corina Holzapfel
Thank you so much, Adriane. Take care.
[00:23:21.030] – Adriane David
[00:23:23.840] – Corina Holzapfel
Hey, beautiful soul….thanks so much for tuning in today. I hope today’s show had great insights, soul
nuggets and wisdom for you.
[00:23:33.140] – Corina Holzapfel
I would love to stay connected with you. I invite you to head on over to Apple podcast. Go ahead and
click subscribe there to the show, so you can be first to know when the new content and episodes go
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women will actually find it.
[00:24:02.500] – Corina Holzapfel
And I’m also happy to receive your feedback and showcase it in future episodes.
[00:24:07.990] – Corina Holzapfel
So that’s it from me, my loves.
[00:24:10.060] – Corina Holzapfel
Feel free to connect with me on social media also, if you like. You can find me on Instagram under
@CorinaHolzapfel and on Facebook as @CoachCorinaHolzapfel. So let’s have some soul
conversations there about today’s show.
[00:24:24.490] – Corina Holzapfel
And if you feel that your friends will benefit from listening to today’s show as well, feel free to share it
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you do as well. Thanks again for tuning in and I look forward to staying connected to you.