Gabrielle McClinton

Unplug Meditation

Gabrielle McClinton

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to Unplug Meditation. My best girlfriend/soul sister happened to be working at this brand new, "what's it all about" studio.  I had recently returned to Los Angeles to get away from the hustle and bustle of New York City.  My mind needed a break and I needed a change of scenery.  At first, I was definitely skeptical of the studio and of meditation in general. I've had the experience of sitting down and breathing for five minutes or so but the thought of sitting down for 30-45 minutes in complete silence or worse imagining someone guiding me down some magical path terrified me. The thought of my mind being completely still or giving control to someone else was unsettling.

Eventually I dragged myself to the studio and started taking some classes. At first, I'd go to class maybe once a month because it was still  daunting. Lord knows I did NOT want to release control but nothing worth it is ever easy at first, right?  I remember feeling anxious because I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It all felt completely unknown which was the hardest part for me and what made me feel anxious.

Speaking of anxiety, it's something I've struggled with and a big reason why I thought exploring meditation would be worthwhile. As I got over my fear, I loosened up a bit. Things sometimes get worse before they get better. The idea of process over result  finally clicked in for me. For a beginner, this was all extremely normal. I eventually got over the hump and kept returning to meditation. Certain classes worked better for me than others but that's what’s great about Unplug. The studio provides an array of teachers and classes and you get to decide what works. I ended up liking it so much and I’m not gonna lie, I needed to make that COIN so I interviewed to work the front desk.  Needless to say, I got the job and haven't looked back ever since.  Now, I can't imagine a day in my life without meditation.  These sessions have opened up my life. Focusing on my breathing, through meditation, has actually allowed me to live more presently, something that seems so easy but can be difficult.

Suze Yalof Schwartz.

Suze is the owner of Unplug Meditation. Suze is a spectacular woman. We instantly clicked, and I felt safe and comfortable knowing that I was working for an amazing woman and group of mindful people. 

From there, my life began to evolve. I met an array of special people who will now always be in my life. I felt supported during a tough time and now when I look back, I feel grateful and full of joy because that's when I experienced the most growth.  

Suze opened Unplug, the world's first secular drop-in meditation studio, in Los Angeles in 2015 and now she's written a book called, "Unplug A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers." I had the privilege of going to her book launch at a pop up Aerie store in Soho recently. Not only was I happy that my friend flew across the country to promote her new book, but I was thrilled that I could share that moment with her and many important people in my life. 

If you're new to meditation, I hope you are encouraged by this post. I was new to meditation two years ago and I'm astonished at the gifts that have come into my life and how different I now feel. Meditation has truly transformed my life. It hasn't made my life perfect. I still have the same struggles, but I now have a new killer toolbox.  Suze's book is literally for the "skeptic."  It's for everyone who needs or wants to begin but doesn't know where to start. It's for YOU!  


Meditation is a practice that teaches you to unplug form distraction and experience the present moment
— Suze Yalof Schwartz