Simple Steps for More Presence in Your Life

Ep: 196

With the holiday season in high gear, do you feel like you’re being pulled in 100 different directions?

At the center of all of your roles and responsibilities, there’s a person. Someone who dreams of having more space to just “be.” But, with so many things crowding your to-do list every day, it’s hard to find the space to breathe.

What if you could find more ease and feel more present in every moment of your life? What if there was a way to relieve yourself of all of that stress? What if you could tap into that passion and excitement you once had?

Today on The Bridge to Fulfillment, Blake welcomes Renee Metty, a co-contributor of the Ascend Community, a community for purpose-driven, high-achieving men and women looking to reduce stress and achieve goals with more ease and consistency. You can join us in the Ascend Community here:

Renee is also the founder of The Cove School, a mindfulness-based preschool and With Pause, a support network for leaders, educators, and parents, she’s spent over a decade helping people bridge gaps with ease. She expertly combines her entrepreneurial, educational, and corporate backgrounds with her formal training in mindfulness, body language, and emotional intelligence to help others architect successful futures.

In this episode, you’ll learn to dispel the misconception you might have about mindfulness and learn what it really is – and how it can help you reach your greatest potential. You’ll gain the tools to help you feel calmer and learn a few simple mindfulness exercises you can practice whenever you need grounding. And if this is the type of content that resonates, join us in the Ascend Community for more here:

A New Year is coming… 

If you want to reduce stress and friction in your life, achieve your goals with more ease, and cultivate greater peace of mind, then this episode is for you!

What You’ll Learn:

  • Renee’s bigger picture purpose (7:46)
  • What we think “mindfulness” is versus what it really means (11:24)
  • The misconception we have about multitasking (14:27)
  • How The Ascend Community was born and how it works (18:46)
  • The biggest lesson Blake learned this year (24:10)
  • How to center yourself right now (27:19)

Favorite Quotes:

  1. What I realized is that I create space for people to gather and love that’s inviting restoring and healing. And so whenever people ask me what I do, we, you know, I think most of us tend to say our role or what’s like the job we’re doing, but the bigger picture is, I am able to create space for people to allow them to unfold their journey. –Renee Metty
  2. Often we don’t realize the very people that are in our lives might be the people that completely change them. -Blake
  3. Exponential growth can’t be planned for, it’s not ever what you expect it to be. And if you try to engineer it, it’s like sand slipping through your fingers. –Blake
  4. I’ve come to find that mindfulness is simply put, just awareness. It is bringing awareness to your moment-to-moment experience. It’s just paying attention in a very different way. –Renee Metty
  5. We’re surrounded by people who are challenging us and showing us a better way, helping us find our way to create more extraordinary things in our lives and to actually reach our potential. –Blake

Additional Resources: 

Learn more about what Renee does here:

Want more content & expert advice like this? Join us in the Ascend Community, a community for purpose-driven, high-achieving men & women. Our focus on alignment, connection & empowered action reduces stress & enables you to achieve your goals with more ease & consistency in an environment where you are surrounded by people who hear, see & understand you.

You can sign up for a free account in Success Finder and join the Ascend Community here:


Renee Metty 0:04
Most people are flowing through life. Like just slightly off the ground. We don’t actually know what’s happening. We’re just going through the motions. So you’ll hear people call like automatic pilot or you’re on the hamster wheel, you’re doing the same thing over and over. So what I’ve come to find is that mindfulness is just, I mean, simply put, I say just awareness. It is bringing awareness to your moment and moment experience, we will often use the metaphor of like sitting on a riverbank, instead of being in the river and taken down stream, you’re just sitting on the riverbank, watching all the thoughts go by and actually choosing which one you want to attend to.

Blake Schofield 0:53
Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of The Bridge to Fulfillment, mom to three, USA Today top 10 professional coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand women’s perspectives and empower them to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is The Bridge to Fulfillment.

Blake Schofield 1:29
I couldn’t be more excited to welcome my special guest today on their bridge to fulfillment I’m introducing you to one of my closest friends, somebody who has such a rich depth of experience and knowledge, a huge heart and an ability to really make a significant difference to those around her. My guest today is Rene Mehdi. Rene specializes in bridging the gap from where you are to where you want to go without chaos. She built on over 25 years of experience from the entrepreneurial education and corporate backgrounds. She has a formal training in mindfulness, body language and emotional intelligence. She founded the cove School, which is the first Mindfulness Based preschool in the entire United States, as well as her coaching and training business with paws that allows her to support work with leaders, educators and parents. In a few minutes, I’ll introduce you to Rene and on this episode, I asked her to share a little bit about what mindfulness is, because it’s certainly something I think I didn’t know very much about I see a lot of people have misperceptions about what it is. But also, I wanted her to be able to share a few tools with you, things that you can take away today to feel more grounded and more present, to be able to enjoy the present moment that you’re in. And I can think of no better time to do that than right smack in the middle of the holiday season, when many of us can often feel pulled in 100 directions. Hey, I also wanted Renee here to share with you about an incredible venture that she and I started earlier this year, when we launched a brand new community called ascend. It’s a community for purpose driven high achieving men and women who want to create more alignment in their lives, reduce stress and friction and achieve their goals with more ease, consistency and peace of mind. We truly are creating a place to come home to. And we’ll share a little bit with you about that in the episode today. And if it’s something that you feel driven to, to join, or you know, somebody who you think could benefit from it, we’d love to see you there. But without further ado, I’d love to introduce you to my great friend Renee, and allow her to share with you a little bit about what mindfulness is and how you can put into place some really simple things, like I said to be more present and enjoy your life more on a day to day basis. Hello, and welcome to another episode of the bridge difficult moment, I could not be more excited to be sharing one of my closest friends with you today, Miss Renee Mehdi, and she’s gonna be able to share a little bit with you about her personal journey from type a perfectionist to one of the people that I know that leads a life of ease and flow. And a lot of things come to her without having to do a lot of work. And it’s really a result of all of the work that she’s put in to really create the life that she wants. And she’ll be able to share a little bit with us today about her mindfulness journey, and maybe break some myths for you about what that is and help you begin to see how you may be able to create a life with more ease, more consistency and more joy. So with that said, Welcome this morning.

Renee Metty 4:48
Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Blake Schofield 4:51
I’m so excited. We could do this together. We talk for those of you guys who don’t know, which is probably most of you, Renee and I talk at least once a week in person but then We’re constantly chatting with one another. And so misses sort of probably been long coming. But as always, it happens on perfect timing. So with that said, Renee, would you mind just introducing yourself and sharing a little bit about you and your journey?

Renee Metty 5:13
Yeah, my journey is long and varied, which in the beginning, I would have said, maybe felt a little like, I didn’t really know what I want. And everyone else had things figured out, but have come to realize that it’s the way I operate. I like variety. I like a lot of different things. So I started out with five years in corporate and I was volunteering quite a bit with kids in let’s see a child psychiatric unit, a locked unit, and then at a hospital with a lot of physical disabilities, and ended up, I don’t know, 15 hours a week volunteering on top of my corporate tech job, which was during the 90s. tech boom, which was a lot of fun, but a lot of hours. And so my thought back then was, well, I’m doing this 1520 hours a week, why don’t I get paid for it. So Transition to Teaching thinking that was, you know, that’s where the kiddos are, and quickly realized I was seven years in teaching everything from preschool to middle school kiddos with emotional behavioral disorders, which was my absolute favorite, but I absolutely hated teaching, because I really recognized that I did not care what kids learned, I cared how they learned. And I cared a whole lot about their social emotional well being. And 20 years ago, that wasn’t super supported. So I ended up leaving teaching, knowing that I always wanted to run my own business never knew what I wanted to do. And so knowing I wanted a family down the road, I launched a wedding an event planning business, I had that for about 10 years. And as my family was growing after the birth of my second kiddo, I launched an in home daycare so that I could create the program I wanted, I could vet the teachers so that I had time to work on the other business. Well, the daycare did really well. And I was also not a daycare person. And so what I realized was, I was not a traditionally thinking person. And so I ended up transitioning that to the first Mindfulness Based preschool in the country, which still exists today. And from that, because mindfulness was so new in education, particularly in the early childhood years, when I started, parents were really curious. And so I started doing more parenting workshops, which led them to ask me to go into their workplace, which I did. And so now I have the preschool. And it’s kind of come full circle, because I spend a lot of my time working with leaders and executives and tech coaching, consulting, small group coaching, and then met Blake, and now we do events together for high achieving purpose driven people. And what I realized is that I create space for people to gather and love that’s inviting restoring and healing. And so whenever people ask me what I do, we, you know, I think most of us tend to say our role or what’s like the job we’re doing, but the bigger picture is, I am able to create space for people to allow them to unfold their journey. And that’s my journey through mindfulness is really an ever evolving unfolding. Because if Blake had this conversation with me a year ago, would be quite different. If she has me on again, in six months, probably different as I get more information. As I open up my heart, as I bring more awareness, things just start evolving and unfolding.

Blake Schofield 8:28
Awesome. So I personally met Rene via zoom coaching call actually back, right, right before code like in 2013, and COVID. And one of the things I really appreciate it is our heart for kids and for giving kids the tools to be successful and giving parents the tools to be successful and raising their kids. And that was just kind of I was like, Oh, what a lovely woman. And I love what she’s doing in her passion for it. And then fast forward to January of 22, we ended up had a small event together in California, I mean, person, I’m a little under the weather, but we had a lovely conversation. It was nice. And then we kind of went about our way. And then we ended up back again at an event together in April. And that for me was sort of where everything shifted and changed. We just instantly connected. I think we probably spent 12 hours talking one on one at that event. And in that moment, I kind of knew like there’s deep significance in this relationship. And I think often we don’t realize the very people that are in our lives that might be the people that completely changed them. And I think it’s a really interesting and beautiful thing to think that that we had all of this time and we had talked here and there but it really wasn’t until we had some significant time together that we began to realize how much we shared values and experiences and while our lives have been very different, right mine was very planned very structured, even though I did do multiple a did have multiple careers in the same way that you did. It was Pharma. Linear farm restructured and obviously very heavily corporate, but hilarious. We both started out in retail, and have many of the same stories. And I think what has evolved since April, we’re sitting in November right now what has evolved in these last number of months has been beyond anything I could have ever imagined. And I think one of the things I’ve really come to learn and appreciate this year is that most of us think life is black and white and very linear, I do this and this outcome comes. But we don’t realize that exponential growth can’t be planned for, it’s not ever what you expect it to be. And if you try to engineer it, it’s like sand slipping through your fingers. And so what I love about having you here today is how many amazing things have transpired for both of us in these last number of months that we could have never in a million years planned. And yet, it’s so much better than we could have ever imagined. And I think that’s a lot of the work that we do together is to help people gain alignment, right truly green alignment with your purpose and your calling and the work you’re meant to be doing. And reduce that stress. And that friction in your life, which then in turn enables you to achieve your goals more consistently. And with more ease and more peace of mind in your life. And Brene. You’ve taught me so many amazing things. I didn’t know anything about mindfulness, really. I mean, like I think most people don’t, that aren’t in the mindfulness field and you’ve studied. So indebtedness for a very long time, I think my perspective of mindfulness was like yoga, or people that like sit in meditate in silence. And I really didn’t know anything beyond that I had been exposed a little bit to some breathwork. But I didn’t really understand what mindfulness was or how it might be able to help me it felt very sort of elusive. And I know when we did our first event together in late September, early October, you actually talked a little bit about that, like, what are people’s perceptions of mindfulness? And what is it really, would you mind sharing a little bit, because I think that the world needs a whole lot more of it. And I have seen, it makes such a huge impact for me and for our clients. And I’d love to be able to share that with, you know, my broader audience so that they can have some of the tools and understanding about how to create more peace and more space in your life.

Renee Metty 12:07
Yeah, I mean, I’ll preface it by saying I had the same misconceptions, yoga, I really just thought it was all hippie dippie stuff, and that I didn’t need it. So mindfulness came into my world as curriculum for kiddos. And then as I started learning more, I mean, a lot of the misperceptions are that if you’re struggling in your life, and it’s calming, the people that practice mindfulness, never get upset, they don’t feel the ups and downs of things in life that we all experienced as a human. There are a variety of forms of practicing mindfulness, both formal and informal. Some people think it’s a we get rid of all of our thoughts. And so what I’ve come to find that mindfulness is simply put, I say, just awareness, it is bringing awareness to your moment to moment experience. And it’s just paying attention in a very different way. And so when you look at an experience your life, most of us, sometimes I’ll feel like you ever walk into a room and it’s like, you can tell it feels like heavy, or you walk into a conversation, and it’s just kind of light hearted. Well, there’s this feeling I get. And I’ve told Blake this many times, like I wish people could draw what I see in my head. But it’s almost like most people are flowing through life, just slightly off the ground. We don’t actually know what’s happening. We’re just going through the motions. So you’ll hear people call like automatic pilot, or you’re on the hamster wheel, you’re doing the same thing over and over, or you’re driving on the road, to use some of Blake’s analogy with a car and you just get from point A to point B but you don’t actually know how you got there, especially if it’s just like a commute you’re doing day to day. And so what I found is once I started paying attention, there are many, many layers of this. So if you are for myself as a type A really had a hard time I realized prioritizing because to me, everything was a priority. And I had this story around, especially as an entrepreneur. And it does, it does all fall on me. I wore all the hats it was just, I was a solopreneur for a while. But what I recognized is that once I could start prioritizing, which I could only do when I created space in my life, instead of moving and taking action and going from the next thing like I’m a recovering perfectionist. I prided myself on multitasking. But the brain actually cannot focus on only one thing at a time. So you’re just context switching, which takes a huge cognitive burden and drain. And so one of the first steps I would say if you are new to mindfulness is that you just need more space, meaning you have to take things off your calendar, it cannot be this color coded like stacked Tetris puzzle of appointments and my parents are in town and it’s so funny because my mom is like, go go go go go and she like come Up the stairs this morning, and I’m just like sitting in the chair. And she’s like, I have to go make the coffee. And I have to all you know, go do this and like Mom, sit. She’s laughing because I do this to her a lot. And so I had her sit. And I was like, Okay, we have this amazing view. I’m like, look out the window. Then she’s laughing, and she looks out and I kid you not, I don’t even think she lasted 15 seconds. She’s like, Okay, I gotta go. And so it’s that kind of energy. And that kind of recognizing in your life, like, where does that seep in? We’re all going to have it at some point. So just starting to notice, where are you in your life? What are you spending your time and energy doing? And do you have any space at all to just sit down and sip your tea or your coffee or have a meal without thinking about the next thing that you’re going to do. And so what practicing mindfulness being intentional about bringing space into my life has done, you’re gonna have thoughts, but what you’re doing is you’re recognizing that the thoughts have taken you away. So we will often is the metaphor of like sitting on a riverbank, instead of being in the river and taken down stream by think of leaves falling are a little pieces of debris in there as every thought. And then we get attached to a particular thought. And we ruminate on it, we think on it, and like what if this, and what if that, and we think about the past, and we think about the future versus just sitting on the riverbank, watching all the thoughts go by and actually choosing which one you want to attend to. And so one of the things that you may start noticing is that I like to bring the science into it and our nervous system, our nervous system is jacked up when we have all that cortisol running through it. And we’re stressed as you start recognizing creating space, your nervous system will just settle. And while listen. And time becomes almost non existent when we’re stressed. And we’re trying to meet a deadline or trying to get something into someone doesn’t the time, just feel like it’s clicking away so fast. When you create that space, it’s almost like you have all the time in the world. And so there are so many different layers to this. And the first one, if you only have the perceptions of mindfulness, if you haven’t experienced it or haven’t even really looked into it is just start noticing where you’re at, just start noticing where all of the time and energy that you’re spending and like do you have a moment to yourself where you can just actually recognize what thoughts are in your mind? Or are they just racing. And then there’s some tangible things that you can do breathing helps activate the parasympathetic side of the nervous system, which is what they call your rest and digest. And so if you think of like waves, like going up and down, you have your sympathetic that’s going up, and that stress is neutral. So stress is rising, and there’s just enough stress to give you that challenge that’s motivating. And then if you watch the wave, it takes about 90 seconds for that energy wave to go down to the parasympathetic side. And so that’s why you’ll always hear when people are stressed, like just breathe, because the breathing is actually activating your rest and digest side. And so there are lots of different breathing exercises, but one of the ones I like is called Box breathing. And so you can trace the four sides of a box. And so you inhale on four, and then you hold for four, and then exhale for four, hold for four. And then you just repeat that a few times. And that’s a way that you can get started.

Blake Schofield 18:29
Thank you, Renee, I appreciate that. For those of you guys who are listening, I’ll give you a little bit of background. And I’ll share with you my experience in doing this work with Brene. Then how it’s impacted me how it’s impacted our clients. So as I said, in April, Renee and I were like, Oh, my goodness, what’s happening here? And for about two years, I was trying to figure out what was next after the bridge to fulfillment? How could I create a greater sense of community, and a place where people really continued that personal growth together through this journey of really looking at what was needed and what I wanted to do and how to bring that together, Renae sort of became a key piece of that for me. And so I said, Hey, you want to get on and launch this new community with me, where we expand beyond just helping corporate women who were unfulfilled in their career, that’s a specific challenge in a specific place in your life. But our community that we’ve launched is really focused on purpose driven high achieving men and women. And it’s really a community where you can truly feel seen, heard and understood our sweet word phrase. tagline Yes, is a place to come home to. And so in late August, we launched the ascent community. What we do is twice a month we come on and we have calls and we talk as a community and we share we learn together. And then we are also doing events where we have the opportunity for people to really experience this and experience transformation and growth together. And so we did our very we launched the community at the end of August. We had our very first event at the end of September. and incredible experience in Phoenix, Arizona and just this beautiful home such a perfect space for time together. And during that events, Rene shared a lot about mindfulness and was such a beautiful counterpoint to the work that I do and how I would describe that experience and what it taught me and I’ve done some breathing exercises, I’ve tried to do some meditation or some reflective work, what what we did together was very different in that the way that I describe what Renee really does is it sort of like if you think about the old radio stations, right with the knob, the like the am FM stuff that most of us are just operating, not on a channel, it’s like static, there’s a lot of static in our lives. And I think, you know, we talked about the hamster wheel, we could talk about just going through the motions, but I think that’s how most of us are living our lives. And so what Renee really does is teach you to sort of turn the dial and connect and tune into the right radio station. And in doing that work and learning how to become more present. In our day to day lives, what I really saw that happen for me is it sort of gave me an understanding of what it felt like to be centered and to be grounded and to be attuned and aligned with the right radio station. And so then when I got back to everyday life, I found myself just changing things that I had done before, I used to listen to the music all the time in the radio on my car. And now I really prefer to drive in silence. I like to be aware of what I’m hearing and seeing and feeling and smelling I like to truly be able to be much more present. And as a result of that what Renee said is really what I have found to be true, which is like time slows down. You have time to respond and see what’s coming and what’s happening. It’s allowed me opportunities that I would have missed connection, greater connection with my family, my friends, the people I really care about, and to be present in a way that I wasn’t able to be present before. And this is a process, it’s not something that happens overnight, especially if your entire life has been run on a hamster wheel. And and anytime you do have a free second, like a small, you’re like, Okay, I saw it done and I have all this stuff to do. Right, we have to learn to develop and peel back the layers. Like I often say we have to clean the windshield on the car, it’s like you’ve been driving for 20 years, and you never got a carwash to clean the windshield on the car. So you can see clearly, each one of these things, though layers upon themselves to be able to create a life where you’re more present, you have more gratitude and more joy, things come to you with more ease, you don’t have to work as hard. It’s such a powerful thing. And one of the things I really loved about the event is one of the women that was there, she said, I’m so grateful to be here because I feel it, I feel it. And so I know it’s true. And I think for most of us, we’re not in an environment. So we’re surrounded by people who are challenging us and showing us a better way, really helping us find our way to create more extraordinary things in our lives and to actually reach our potential. And so Renee, thank you so much for joining me today to share just a little bit about your journey and what you do. And thank you for being my partner in this amazing journey that we’ve started. That brings me to tears, because it’s such a joy to be able to do this work with you every day. And for those of you who are listening, who really feel like you want to learn more about how to do this in your world, right, you truly want to feel like that every day, you’re passionate and excited to do what you’re here to do. And you want to be able to create a life that’s easier, right? Where you consistently achieve your goals where you are present for the moments that matter. And where you really have peace of mind that you’re creating the life that you want with intention, I encourage you please feel free to join us, we’ll put the link in the show notes so that you can join us in the Ascent community, you can also find information in the link to join by just going to But I encourage you if this is really speaking to you, we’d love to have you be a part of the community, feel free to invite any friends, husbands, brothers, etc, that you think would really benefit from this because the work that we’re doing is really transformational. And I think from my heart, one of the biggest things that I learned this year is I really stepped back and said if money were no object, and I never had to make money again for the rest of my life, what would I do? How would I show up in service to people and what I really said was I would help people understand that much of what they’re suffering from they are the cause of and that they can change that. And that would help give them a map to be able to understand how to create a life of purpose and intention and ease and joy. And through that that’s really where ascend was formed from was that desire just to serve and help people and to be able to help them understand the lessons I’ve learned in these years that have completely transformed my life in so many amazing ways. And I’ve watched it transform hundreds of people that I’ve had the opportunity to work with and I watched that I’ve become even more exponential in the work that Renee and I do together. And so thank you, Renee, for just being you, thank you for showing up today to share a little bit of your genius. And thank you guys for being a part of this. We’re right in the crux of probably one of the most stressful times of the year with the holidays. And I think often we want to be present, but we struggled to do so we create so many lists of things that we should or have to do. We overfill and overstuff our calendars, and then we go through cycles where then we get sick, we get filled with guilt and frustration and cycles where we just don’t even have time to think. So I want to encourage you today, that this year, you can do it differently, that you can actually look at your list and and determine what is really necessary versus what you’re telling yourself you have to do that you can make an intention to be more present in your life with your family and the things that really matter to you. And I think often we get to the holiday season. And we think I have to put all this stuff aside and just do. But I would encourage you that maybe it’s the time to do the exact opposite. Maybe it’s the time to put down and stop doing all the stuff that you don’t need to do. And it’s the time to actually sit and think about how you can be more intentional and more present in your life. And you can begin it now you don’t have to wait till January, you can take the end of your year. Right is the beginning of an amazing year ahead. So thanks again for joining us. Again, if you’re interested in joining us in the Ascent community, you can either find it in the shownotes. Or you can go to scroll down and hit join the community. And again, thank you so much for joining Renee, is there anything last parting? Yeah, I have not asked you or that’s on your heart?

Renee Metty 26:44
The only thing I was going to ask slash add is if we could just give them an experience. Because what you said several times is the thing of like you feel it. And this is you can get off this, you know, stop listening to the podcast and look up mindfulness and Google it and read books, but you really have to feel it. And so I just wanted to leave them with a really brief experience of something that can take into the end of this year and maybe even kickoff 2023. So I we’re just going to take three conscious breaths. One of the misperceptions as you need this quiet space, like Blake said, like you go off and you do silent retreats or things like this. But the way you can just bring this into your everyday life is just start maybe scheduled three conscious breaths as soon as you wake up or before you send an email, or when you’re transitioning from the car into the office or home. And it just takes one conscious breath to presence. So finding your body, wherever you are right now, seeing if you can be comfortable, you don’t have to change too much or get stiff. Just notice where your body is start noticing your breath, you can close your eyes if that’s helpful, or you can keep your eyes open. And just notice the natural ebb and flow of your breathing. No need to change it. And then if it feels comfortable to you, bring all of your attention to your breathing.

Renee Metty 28:12
And just pay attention as you inhale. And exhale. Paying attention to the next inhale exhale and do one of those again at your own pace and the inhale and exhale. And then just bring your attention back to wherever you are right now. Opening up your eyes, maybe taking a look around the room. That took all of less than 15 seconds. So you can bring that into your day, once a day, 10 times a day. And that will start settling the nervous system and regulating the emotions.

Blake Schofield 29:03
Thank you, Renee, appreciate you. And thank you guys for joining us. Until next time, have a great one.

Blake Schofield 29:16
Thanks for joining me today. Rather than hope the grass will be greener identify what the right next step is. We can help you do just that. Get clarity on where you are in your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optimal paths to get there, and the right next step to take. Start your complimentary personalized career fulfillment plan at Again, you can get your personalized career fulfillment plan at Thanks again for joining and have a great week ahead.