We recently connected with Melinda Rhoden and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Melinda, thanks for joining us today. How did you get your first job in the field that you practice in today?
I had just finished yoga teacher training, and one of my classmates was a therapist and said that her office manager was looking for a yoga teacher. They wanted to offer other healing modalities as options for their clients. I could have never imagined I’d get a gig so fast and work in a mental health office. I knew that yoga had changed my life and that it had helped me with my own emotions and mental illnesses, but to be able to do this for work, it was perfect and right in alignment with the type of yoga I wanted to teach.
I was so inspired I decided to study yoga therapy to get more training and add more resources to my tool belt. And this really took me to the next level. Here I was fresh out of school and helping people heal not only physically but emotionally and mentally, as well. I have struggled with depression in the past, and I know first hand how yoga has helped me manage it. And I felt honored to be able to offer yoga as an option, and to be able to provide a safe place for others to release the baggage that holds them back from living a full life.
This also led to me creating a workshop for Women Of Color (WOC). The owner wanted to be able to offer something to WOC during a time when racism was the topic on everyone’s mind. This was shortly after George Floyd was murdered, and if you were Black in America, you felt the tension of being Black in America. So, I created a workshop called Stress Management for WOC that was four weeks long. I was humbled and honored to be able to hold space for these women; it was healing for me as well.
Melinda, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
When I was studying to become a life coach, I decided to take a yoga nidra course. Yoga Nidra is guided meditation that takes your brain from very active to the delta state, where we normally get deep restorative sleep. Many of us have such a busy mind that we don’t often reach delta when we sleep. Well after the first few sessions of yoga nidra, I fell in love. I was awed by how much baggage I released during my own training. I knew I needed to share this gift with others. And I knew I needed to learn more about yoga, so I went through yoga teacher training, and then studied yoga therapy.
I didn’t mean to become a yoga teacher. I knew I wanted to become a life coach. Helping people on their life path has always been something I did. When I worked in corporate America, I worked in human resources, and I helped people on the professional path. In fact when I started my business, I started out as a career coach. But I knew that I needed to help people on their life path. And as I began to shift and grow spiritually, I knew I needed to help people on their spiritual path as well.
The majority of my clients are a previous version of myself. I remember when I started to awaken and ask questions, like ‘Who am I?’ ‘What am I meant to do?’ and ‘Is this it?’ or ‘Is there more to life?’. So I recognize the signs when someone is beginning to awaken. I reassure my clients they are not crazy for wanting to quit their job and find something more fulfilling. I help them see that the spiritual gifts they have been keeping on the down low are crying out to be released. And that the constant repeating numbers, and the ability to clearly know the future is not just their imagination. I help them see how all the pain from their past is for a purpose, and how it can lead them to their destiny.
Of all the services I offer, yoga, yoga nidra, yoga retreats to Costa Rica and spiritual life coaching, my most popular is soul contract readings. All of my coaching clients start here. This type of reading uses your birth name, Hebrew numerology, astrology and tarot. In these sessions, clients often respond that this has affirmed who they always thought themselves to be. They feel seen, heard, and understood. And at the end of the session, they are given a personalized spiritual map that guides them directly to their purpose.
If you could go back, would you choose the same profession, specialty, etc.?
If I could go back I would have chosen this profession a long time ago. This is like my third career, and this feels more aligned with what I’ve always thought I should be doing. I just never imagined I’d actually be doing it, and affecting people’s lives at this level. I am constantly humbled and honored to be able to do this work.
Other than training/knowledge, what do you think is most helpful for succeeding in your field?
Running a business has been a learning experience. I studied communications in college, maybe I should have studied business. I’ve taken several courses after the fact, but nothing really prepares you for the emotional turmoil and personal growth of running your own business.
I am in the health and wellness field, so I eat personal development for breakfast, but I still struggle at times with doubt, fear and imposter syndrome. This is like the next level of growth. There will be good times, and there will be bad times, and then there will be moments like a pandemic that shifts the whole way you do business, and nothing prepares you for that.
You just have to adjust and keep going, or get swallowed up by negative emotions and circumstances, jump ship and go back to a “normal” job. And whenever I have those thoughts, and sometimes I do, there’s usually a client that comes along and thanks me for sharing my gifts with the world.