Is that my meditation teacher on the dancefloor?


As I sit and write this, I have just spent the weekend at a SPLORE. A festival with a deep connection with the environment and spirituality, filled with food and drink vendors, craft stalls, musicians and art. It is a place where all of you is welcome and where all of you can be expressed just as you are.

But what I really want to talk about is my journey as a mindfulness teacher who also likes to party. You might be wondering what the connection is between this and SPLORE, but stick with me, and it'll all become clear.

 Girls at Splore

I have always liked to party. I love the excitement and connection with others it brings, and I like to dance and listen to music. I have always liked the freedom you feel, the presence you enter, and the thoughts and worries that subside. But I'll be honest with you, my relationship with alcohol hasn't always been the best. After spending years in Dunedin with alcohol as the centre of nightlife, on too many occasions, I found myself overindulging and waking up with a nasty case of hang-xiety.
As I navigated the early years of my adulthood, I became increasingly aware of my own mental state. For a period of time, it seemed like more often than not days were clouded by anxiety, sadness, or regret, and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't seem to shake the weight of my past. But then, through a series of events I stumbled across mindfulness meditation and was drawn to practice.
I realized that this wasn't just some woo-woo new age trend - this was science. I learned about the intricate inner workings of my own brain, and I discovered practical tools that would change the way I thought and felt. It wasn't just some abstract theory - it was a lived experience that transformed the very core of who I was.

And so, I made a decision. I quit my job, returned to university, and devoted my life to researching the incredible impacts of mindfulness within the educational system. It wasn't just a personal journey anymore - it was a mission to help others find the same transformative power that had changed my life so completely.
This started my journey in teaching. I was so passionate about the practice that I started to share my story and learnings with people. However, I did still like to party.
During this time in my life, I struggled with identity. How could I be a mindfulness meditation teacher and still party? I felt worried about what people would think about me, and at times I felt guilt for still drinking while on a journey of deeply connecting to my spiritual self. Eventually, I went sober. I stopped drinking and tried to be whom I thought I needed to be.
Going sober was extremely rewarding and positively changed my relationship with alcohol. The reckless, wild nights out had lost their appeal, and I found great enjoyment in being sober at parties. However, I did learn during this period that it does not have to be all or nothing. You do not need to give anything up to meditate, it is not an all-or-nothing practice, it is here to support you and the lifestyle you live.
I remember one day telling my mentor that I didn't feel spiritual enough to attend a certain event, that I didn't fit in. His response was powerful and it's stayed with me ever since. He told me that he never liked the saying, "fake it till you make it," because if you're doing it, then you're not faking it. If you are standing up on a stage teaching mindfulness meditation, that is who you are.



This business, which was once called Conscious Minds, transitioned into REMiND with its main purpose and goal to make the practice accessible to everyone. You don't have to be a hippy to practice, nor do you need to dedicate your life to it. You can show up as you are and be proud of your practice, just like physical exercise, a daily gym class, or a run outside. In the world we're living in today, we all need this
I have reintroduced alcohol back into my life and still, enjoy a night out. Partying still has a place in my life. However, the practice has made me more mindful of my drinking. The big nights are far less often and now with much more sleep and control. Through my journey, I have found balance, but more importantly, I have found acceptance for who I am.

 Charlotte Ritchie and Ursula Griffen

As I sat down with my business partner to discuss our experience at SPLORE, I expressed that everything makes sense there. The idea of living in separate worlds no longer exists for me. I connected with many spiritual individuals who practice breath-work during the day and can be found on the dance floor at 7 am. These worlds can coexist together, and I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude, love, and acceptance from my time at SPLORE.


This has been my journey, this has been the journey of REMiND, and now more than ever, I have complete confidence in who I am, what I teach, and what my purpose is.


With love, Char x