Wise Women Wednesday: Stephany McMillan

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Q. Who are you? What is your background? 
A. I am Stephany McMillan, a sister, friend, dog mom and yogi! I am a firm believer in my dharma work to provide mindfulness to all bodies and all beings in our community. At a young age I enjoyed being the teammate on athletic teams as the MVP of sportsmanship and admired the fearless woman that paved the roads for other females to rock the world too. So, basically, I’m cheering all of us phenomenal ladies on!!!! I loved earthy scents, natural remedies, essential oils, holistic medical treatments, and mellow music – all at a young age. And, here I am today, obsessing over those same beautiful things.

As my life unveiled itself, I became drawn to yoga and its many teachings. My parent’s raised me with the mindset to “treat others the same way that I would wish to be treated.” That quote is an integral part of my personal brand and business. We can learn so much from others; culture, food, traditions and lifestyles; we must be open to listen and try!

I grew up in Raleigh, NC. My education took me to UNC-Charlotte, where I graduated with a degree in International Public Relations and a minor in Spanish. Post-college, I migrated to High Point, where I finally decided to call this sweet southern town, home.

I’m a dreamer, a doer and a thinker! I see possibility everywhere and have high hopes for health and wellness to change large parts of the world today. I consider my mistakes, experiences, and allow my passions to drive my goals. But most importantly, I love people. There is a story within us all; yoga has this amazing way of connecting energies, how cool is that? Community, peace and balance – all foundations of who I am today.

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Q. What is your work?
A. I own Rise and Flow, a mindfulness boutique in Greensboro, NC. The studio is located directly across from the Greensboro Coliseum. I have wonderful neighbors and I am rewarded everyday with the beautiful Rise and Flow family, kids and students that participate in classes, workshops and events. My mission is to provide mindfulness in its simplest form to encourage people to live a full and healthy life on and off the mat. The studio serves the community through yoga, mediation, workshops and health and wellness education. As the owner, I am also the only instructor; I am an RYT-200 and enjoy teaching all types of yoga classes serving our bodies in multifaceted ways.

Our classes cater to beginners providing targeted intentions during all class types. The goal is to provide tips for students to incorporate in their day-to-day like breathing in the car, shower or at work. I firmly believe that, “everything you need is already within.” When you can find stillness in the mind, you have found your inner strength. And intuitive peace is so powerful. That’s what I do – I help our people find community, balance and peace, because mindfulness must start somewhere, and why not within.  It doesn’t mean completely emptying out or clearing the mind, it simply means understanding how to navigate through the tough and easy times with the same breath, the same amount of love and care for our bodies.

Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. I thrive on being innovative and a trailblazer in my niche. Rise and Flow is launching a new payment platform that allows our students to be provided with a holistic idea of participating at a studio. Instead of using MindBody we are using Patreon. The goal is to create community through conversation, online studio access for the busy souls, and packages to use yoga and educational workshops as more of a lifestyle rather than a task that begins and ends at the studio. I’m excited to provide this awesome plan for students near and far.

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Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. The biggest leap of faith began with opening Rise and Flow. We are just 2 months in and I love the strides that we are taking within the community. It was a scary challenge at first but I have recognized that the journey will continue to evolve, the smile that studio brings to my face will continue to last and together, the studio and I, will grow.

Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it?  If not why not what's stopping you? 
A. I want to travel more and spread the word about yoga, mindfulness, peace and community! Through the studio I plan to continue venturing on this journey and with time I know that the right people will enter my life at the right time, and I will be in the right place for it all to happen. Every season has a purpose, and I’m walking in it right now!

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Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Continue being you! No matter how behind the scenes you are right now, the world will see you and hear your voice sooner than you think. Make every word matter and always walk in your purpose. Your flaws will be your greatest asset and will inspire all that you encounter.

Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. “Everything you need is already within you.” Continue breathing life to the light that is within you. Even when that light goes dim inside of you, you always have the chance to make it brighter, warmer and extend that light to all of those around you.

Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. The fact that there is a need for health and wellness education in our communities near and far keeps me creating and evolving. The gentle reminders and the light touch of knowledge are so needed in our world today! The chaos of our world and communities drive me to find innovative ways to reach all bodies. People will continue entering this world, the learning shouldn’t stop and it just can’t stop, not until we all know peace.  

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Q. What's your favorite yoga pose? 
A. Mountain pose – a pose of strength, engaged core and legs, active fingers and hands yet the mind is never wandering or drifting and the shoulders are softened. Our body is standing tall, firm and soft!

Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. Every day is a day to be the best me. I live my life through kindness, sharing is caring, trying new things, learning from others and I am always myself in any situation.

Best example: I was at a fast food drive-thru recently ecstatic to grab my favorite drink (Cheerwine). A lady cut in front of me and the 3 other vehicles behind me in the drive-thru line. I didn’t get upset; honk my horn or act out of character. Instead I took deep breaths and laughed thinking to myself man, this person must be hungry! The cashier at the window extended the “line skipper’s” apology and guess what? The “line skipper” paid for my drink!

I also take time to learn from my fur baby, Camille. She is wise, kind and fearless, all traits that I want to embody myself. She is my right-hand girl and fills up my world!

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