Mistress of the Mix: Breathe

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I’ve known Caroline since we were both student volunteers at Jefferson Public Radio back in the 80’s. While I continued to stay on the radio path, Caroline has gone on to accomplish pretty much everything she’s ever set her mind to, which – after a stint working in radio – has included a career as a corporate jet pilot, achieving a masters degree in Business Administration, renovating a house and publishing two children’s books while raising a couple of children on her own. In fact she did all that at the same time.

If she sounds familiar to you, it might because I’ve written about her before. More than once. I think that’s because of all the people I know, Caroline is the one who isn’t afraid to take the bull by the horns, assess the situation when things aren’t going as expected, chart a new course and then set sail, pretty much always ending up at her destination using her own self-propelled steamroller. Goals achieved. So you can see why I have mad respect for this woman (and the parents who raised her, God bless ’em).

Caroline at her previous job. Holding on, and holding her breath.

Caroline at her previous job. Holding on, and holding her breath.

The only thing is, she forgot to breathe.  Or just never had time. Until now. And now, she has become an expert in just letting go.

For the first time as long as I’ve known her – for more than thirty years – Caroline is unemployed. And loving it.  Her kids may be loving it even more than she is, because finally, for the first time in their lives, they’ve got a full time mom. She’s there every night to tuck her seven year old daughter into bed and kiss her good night in person. Instead of packing her suitcase every couple of weeks to fly off to Africa or Australia, this mom is packing the car with her son’s musical equipment to take him to open mic night to help not only encourage his artistic passion, but to be a part of it.

The whole family gets into the open mic night at Creek Monkey Taphouse.

The whole family gets into the open mic night at Creek Monkey Taphouse.

She’s also breathing. Which is a major part of letting go. Or, as Caroline says, “enjoying the ride.” And it’s not that my friend has stopped setting goals for herself. She’s just charted a course that is completely unlike any other journey she’s been on in her life, and it’s all about healing her Chakra, letting go, stretching her boundaries and her body, and getting her OM on.

The first thing my friend did after ditching the corporate jet pilot gig that left her life “a little bit crazier and more unpredictable every day” was to sign up for Yoga House Co.’s 200 hour Yoga teacher training course in Benicia, CA. She says she did it because she thought it would be a good way to transition from that two decade corporate jet pilot career to her next educational goal, going back to school to get another Master’s degree and a whole new career as a Counseling Psychologist.  “Yep, it’s an odd path for sure,” she says, “but going through an intense Yoga training course is the perfect antidote to the stresses of life.”


From here on out, I’m just going to let Caroline tell you – in her own words – about the brain and body bending journey that her Yoga teacher training course took her on, and let her introduce today’s relaxing yet invigorating playlist that she put together.

“The whole experience turned out to be one of the most beautiful, lovely, and mind expanding things I have ever done for myself.  I formed deep friendships with several of my classmates.  I was able to see life from new perspectives, and practice approaching the ups and downs of life with more ease and equanimity.  And it whipped my physical body into shape. So many gifts have come my way through this training over the past three months!

One of the parts I enjoyed the most as I was preparing to teach my hour long Vinyasa Yoga class was creating a playlist.  It brought me back to my roots, as a DJ during college at Jefferson Public Radio – spinning New Age hits before and after the Hearts of Space feed on Sunday evenings and as a World Music show host on Fridays.  It’s so interesting how these old skills (and my love for music) came back into use again as I pursue an entirely different direction – 20 years later.

So, I invite you to take a time out this weekend. Sit back and relax, or get your OM on as you listen to some of my favorite tunes to support a Yoga practice.  Move with the ones that move you, or just sit and chill out to a few of these tunes this weekend.  However you use them, I hope that this music brings you a little bit of peace and happiness.  It probably goes without saying that we could all use more of those two feelings today — and every day!”

And don’t forget to breathe! Press the play arrow below or click here to access Caroline’s Breathe Playlist on Spotify, and let me know what tunes help you relax or heal your mind and body in the comments section below.Namaste!

Valerie Ing
Valerie Ing-Miller has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for 14 years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She and her husband are parents to a couple of college students and a pair of West Highland Terriers, and Valerie can’t imagine life without them or music. The Mistress of the Mix wakes up every day with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.
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7 Responses

  1. Thank you, Val, and thank you, Caroline. I’m sitting here eating breakfast with my sister; windows open, with this playlist in the background. What a nice way to start the day.

    (All the best to you, Caroline. I know you’ll create a joyful, creative new chapter.)

    • Mistress of the Mix says:

      I’ve found myself listening to this playlist a couple of times over the past few days, because right now, more than ever, I just need to hit the pause button and breathe.

  2. kirsten says:

    Caroline: you are an inspiration to us all and ESPECIALLY to young women everywhere. See you in Benicia!

  3. Sandy says:

    Thank you Val for Sptlighting Caroline. She really is an amazing person and you told her story spot on. Caroline I’m so happy you are enjoying life on your terms. You are a wonderful mother and beautiful person. I love you my friend

  4. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    Wow, what a fascinating life.

    (Thanks for mentioning her family’s visit to the open mic at the Creek Monkey Taphouse. I listed it with openmikes.org, a great resource for finding open mics.)

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