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One Mindful Tribe: Q&A with Lori Mihalich-Levin

Grab a cup of tea, read on, and learn from this wise, inspiring woman.

The lowdown:

Lori K. Mihalich-Levin, JD, is the founder of Mindful Return, author of Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave, and creator of the Mindful Return E-Course. A health care partner in the health care practice of a global law firm, she also is mama to two beautiful red-headed boys. Lori holds a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and completed her undergraduate studies at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

What does the word empower mean to you?

The ability to tune into your own body, needs, feelings and desires. And to summon the courage to show up exactly as the wise and beautiful person you are.

In what way(s) do you empower yourself? Others?

15-minute yoga and meditation ritual empowers me every morning before breakfast. I do a grounding visualization (taught to me by Sara Avant Stover) and take the time to summon my strength for the day.

I empower others by showing up and listening. Whether it’s in person or through the online course I teach, I want people to bring themselves –fears, joys, and all, to the table.

What is your favorite way to be mindful?

Simply watching my boys, who are 5 and 7, observe the world. The other day, my 5-year old found a giant ant carrying a dead bee. We watched the ant haul that bee across the sidewalk and up a grassy hill for a good 20 minutes. It’s a sight I never would have seen otherwise.

What’s your go-to phrase/mantra for empowering yourself?

I am enough.

Who are your role models?

My amazing husband. A wonderful woman named Barbara who has been a long-time mentor and now adoptive mom to me. My children. Sara Avant Stover. The mamas in my e-course.

What’s your superpower?

My ability to focus. I don’t get distracted easily.

What advice would you give to your younger self/someone just starting out?

Be gentle with yourself, sweetie!! It will all work out, whether you stew or ruminate about any of it.

How do you deal with fear?

The most important thing I’ve learned to do is simply to recognize that it’s there. Look at it. Give it a hug. Let it know I’m here for it. And eventually, it moves on.

What would your favorite day look like?

I’d wake up alone in a quiet, clean house. Spend time doing yoga, journaling, reading, and eating a delicious breakfast. My kids and husband would come in and we’d play for a few hours. Then my husband and I would go out and have a romantic evening together!

What trips you up the most and how do you deal with it?

Anxiety trips me up the most. I’ve learned to breathe into things, to move the anxious energy more, to seek help from professionals, and to remember I can always press reset and start over.

What does your future self want you to remember/know?

Wow – a tough one! That I have always been loved, and so deeply. That all the “doing” doesn’t matter. It’s the “being” and the people around me who do.

What books were life changing for you?

These!! Really, anything by Brené Brown, especially Daring Greatly.

What are you working on now that thrills you the most?

I am in the midst of planning a day-long retreat for my Mindful Return Alumnae. I’ve gotten to know these women online and am thrilled to be preparing to spend time with them in person!

Favorite quote?

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” SO important as a working mother.

What would others be surprised to know about you?

Perhaps that I hate potatoes. Of all varieties (including French Fries).

Thank you, Lori, for taking the time to share your wisdom with us!


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