An Interview With Ursula Griffen - Founder of REMiND
Ursula is Co-Founder of REMiND - an education company on a mission to make meditation accessible and engaging.
Ursula believes and practices so many of the messages we communicate at Videris; self-awareness, self-love, and self-reflection. We talk about the importnace of mindfulness, her love of nature, running and her family. To know her is to know her wicked laugh, her loyalty to friends and her passion for her work.
Photographed my Ophelia Mikkelson Jones in a friend's incredible wildflower garden, meet Ursula.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I'm born-and-raised in Tāmaki, coming from a big, dynamic family. My mum is an artist and biz woman, and my dad is an entrepreneur, so growing up, we always had interesting conversations around the dinner table. My siblings are all in creative industries. I myself am building REMiND, alongside Charlotte Ritchie. It is an education company on a mission to make meditation accessible and engaging for modern practitioners using a science-based approach.
Why did you start REMiND and why is mindfulness so important to you?
I have always worked in industries that have an impact. Whether it be environmental, climate change or wellness. After working in environmental communications, I noticed a lot of conversations about ‘mindset’. I was reading reports about the importance of mindset in managing our resources and ecosystems sustainably. As my personal meditation practice deepened and I completed a Regenerative Practitioner training. I decided to change my approach to ‘saving the world’. It became much more indirect. If I could support people with meditation, they are more likely to respect their places and find their unique role in an ecosystem. This is part of my why, Charlotte has her own unique why, and together it became REMiND.
I am also obsessed with branding and the creative development of ideas. This married well to the complicated task of bringing meditation into modern lifestyle and culture.
We want our customers to find a moment of mindfulness in choosing their lingerie. Do you think attaching practice to day-to-day tasks is effective?
Absolutely, you can do anything with a mindful presence, so putting on your lingerie can be a meditation. Notice the feeling of the knickers as you pull them up your legs, the fabric as it cups your boobs, and the sound of the straps as you tighten them. Mindfulness is being aware of the present moment without judgment, simply experiencing the sensations or the sounds of right now.
So, of course, putting on your lingerie can be a sacred and present moment for anyone.
How has practising mindfulness helped you also practice self-love?
It's a great way to improve your clarity of thought. So by paying attention to your thoughts, you can learn to distinguish your "better self" from your "inner critic." The inner critic can be harsh, picking on your body or behaviour. But, it's important to remember that the inner critic is often misguided and may be based on outdated societal norms or past experiences. Through meditation and mindfulness, you can develop a relationship with your inner critic and learn to tell it to "be quiet, not helpful" - especially regarding your body. This can help you accept yourself for who you are and not believe your thoughts.
Of course, it's not always easy to love and accept yourself because society has strict ideas about what is considered beautiful or acceptable. But, with ongoing practice, you can become more aware of these influences and learn to love and accept yourself just as you are.
What would be your message to your younger self?
Believe in yourself, babe. Share your creations, and trust your voice and intuition above all.
What brings you joy?
Many things! Writing, singing and dancing like nobody's watching, but if you are, you're welcome. I love seeing my friends and family succeed, it brings me to happy tears sometimes. My little niece and nephew, Nico and Ruby, are so damn sweet. I froth taking ideas and designing into creation, especially in collaboration with others. Having meaningful conversations. Running, moving my body, journalling, jumping in Coromandel rivers, being in ancient forests, the Southern Alps, a hot cup of cacao and dining at a lit restaurant with my friends.
What's next for you and ReMind and where can we find more of your work?
It is a really exciting time for REMiND; there’s a lot in the pipeline. We are expanding to Europe too! We are running another Practice Presence course in June and have a corporate programme launching later this year. If you are interested in joining our community, find us on Instagram. If you are interested in mindfulness for your workplace, check out remind.nz or email us.