MEET THE INSTRUCTOR
Where Madeleine Finds Inspiration
March 12, 2017
ADELEINE STARKEY reveals one of her most trusted sources of inspiration...
Teaching SoulCycle requires, in my experience, being so lit up, so passionate, that you can't help but rub off on the people who ride in your class. To be able to inspire, I have to believe so deeply, so thoroughly, in what it is I'm saying that it's as though I can't contain it and have no choice but to pass it on to other people.
And that, my friends, is a tall order!
Because I believe life is about balance, about high-low, about yin-yang, I manifest inspiration in a variety of settings that ranges from reading philosophical spiritual texts to going to the beach and actively choosing to ignore my phone for an hour. Inspiration is the recognition that life is a terribly beautifully complicated thing, and being okay with that. Sometimes this requires a very critical thought process, while other times all I have to do is roll the windows down, turn the volume up and drive.
There is infinite inspiration possible in the ordinary, mundane, day-to-day, but I'm going to focus on the more intellectual sources of inspiration in my life. I've found invaluable guidance and comfort and power in the teachings of a woman named Tara Brach. If you've ever talked to me about spirituality, you've heard me praise this woman!
I listen to Tara’s lectures and follow her guided meditations via podcast, day in and day out. Essentially, Tara blends eastern spiritual practices (e.g. Buddhism) with more western approaches to our internal lives. She is trained in psychotherapy and Buddhist meditation. She breaks down meditation and mindfulness practices and makes them digestible for a culture (ours) that is skewed as far away from mindfulness as possible. She wrote her PhD on the benefits of meditation practices as a way to treat addiction, and I believe that that Western culture is mired in addictions. The most obvious instances are, of course, alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc. but there are many, far less obvious, instances that we might not realize: the needs for external validation, our phones (!), money, etc.
Tara Brach's teachings are inspiring to me because they contextualize mindfulness in a way that is super accessible and I can then apply them in my own life and call on them when teaching my SoulCycle classes. Check her out at tarabrach.com.