Photography by Erin Turner
By Allyson Sutton
You’ve probably read your fair share of articles touting the benefits of mindfulness, heard celebrities like Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow talk about enlightenment or tested out a handful of meditation apps. But in our fast-paced daily lives – screaming kids, buzzing cell phones, busy work calendars – quieting the mind can feel harder than ever.
Lyn Tally and Hallie Buchanan want to change that.
After connecting through Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, a mind-body healing methodology in which they’re both trained, the two were inspired to launch a business together.
“I had always had a vision of opening a wellness center, and we were both seeking partnership in our work,” Hallie says.
In 2013, they formed Charleston Wellness Group, a holistic practice offering health coaching, yoga therapy and counseling. But it wasn’t quite what they hoped it would be.
“We quickly realized it wasn’t accomplishing what we wanted it to – not from a business standpoint but from a desire standpoint,” says Hallie. “It was a construct of individual services rather than a team approach.”
As they contemplated more impactful ways to collaborate, Hallie and Lyn shifted their sights toward meditation. Both had experienced the transformative power of the practice in their lives – Lyn as a former professional ballerina turned corporate wellness entrepreneur and Hallie as a licensed professional counselor.
Over the course of two years, they created The Deliberate Method, a group coaching program centered on mindfulness and meditation.
“So many people feel like they don’t have control over their mind when they’re struggling or feeling stuck,” Hallie says. “Mindfulness is about shifting your focus, getting to the core of what’s really happening and changing those patterns so you can have better influence over your emotions, reactions and how you navigate life.”
Blending yoga principles, cognitive counseling and their experiences with self-reflection, the two developed “Mindful Shift,” a three-month virtual training program that uses weekly calls, videos, guided audios and group support to educate participants on meditation and provide real-life techniques to create a consistent, daily practice.
“We want to debunk the idea that you have to be a certain kind of person to experience meditation,” Hallie says. “There’s this misconception that you have to be into yoga, eat a certain way or already be a calm, spiritual person. A lot of people think that your mind has to be wired a certain way for mindfulness to work for you, and that’s not the case.”
The program goes beyond guided meditations, diving into what Hallie and Lyn call “mindfulness in real life.”
“We want people to be able to access mindfulness on command because real life is going to bring you out of that state,” Lyn says. “If you’re driving kids around or in a stressful meeting, you won’t be able to tune into a guided app on your headphones. You need techniques to reach that desired state unassisted.”
Their clients are typically people with “very full lives,” Lyn says. Folks who have felt stressed, tired or overwhelmed and have tried external fixes like “new ways to write a to-do list or manage time, added protein powder or supplements.”
“We get awry a lot because we focus on external things to find internal change,” she adds. “Hallie and I try to help people shift that, working on the internal first so they can get to that next level of really feeling good in the life they’re in.”
Angela Vaughan – a Nashville-based educator, behavior analyst, wife, and mom of a toddler – sought out The Deliberate Method to better navigate her busy life.
“Because of the gentle guidance of Hallie and Lyn, I am much more self-aware and I have a method (and lots of great tools and resources) to navigate feelings of anxiety and busy-ness,” Angela says. “Their meditation practice has provided me with an incredible sense of freedom and confidence across all areas of my life.”
It’s these results that push Lyn and Hallie to continue their work.
Says Lyn, “It’s really inspiring to see folks connect with themselves in a deeper way and then have this ripple effect on their kids and the people around them.”
Ultimately, the duo hope to demystify meditation, offering tools to transition mindfulness from a trendy buzzword to a tangible and approachable life skill.
“We really try to educate people on the neuroscience of meditation and the process of moving into calmer brain states so it’s less about ‘how long is this going to take,’ and more about knowing what to expect and how each state might feel,” Hallie says.
“It’s like any new habit you try to form,” Lyn adds. “At first, it’s uncomfortable. You might fidget, get distracted or feel like it’s not working. But when you understand what your brain is doing, you can sit through it and know that you’ll get to the next state.”
Whether running a program, offering consultations or chatting with new friends who are curious about meditation and mindfulness, Hallie and Lyn always emphasize patience, balance and using these methodologies to unlock joy.
“You don’t have to get it right immediately,” Hallie says. “Take baby steps. Nothing needs to happen right away. Trust yourself and your journey with it. Be easy about it. Have fun with it.”
The Deliberate Method’s next program launches in the spring. To learn more, visit deliberatemethod.com or listen to the “UNSNUCKed” podcast, where they take real people through the steps toward successful mindfulness.