Inspired Women Rising: Meet Bernadette Clevenger


This blog series is about creating a sacred space for women to share their stories, advice, words of wisdom, and challenges to help inspires us all.

It’s about raising our global consciousness to unite and learn from each other as the beautiful women we are. Together, we create a tapestry of love, connection, and wisdom. It’s from this place where we shine.

Let me introduce,  Bernadette Clevenger

Location: St. Paul, MN

Position: I work as a family physician practicing integrative holistic medicine. I also have been babysitting my 2 month old grandson one day a week.

What else are you a part of: I am a member of a local yoga and Tibetan Bon Buddhist organizations. I also consider myself a member of Ecopolitan – an organization that supports schools and communities in Nepal. I have traveled to Nepal twice with this organization.

Where did you grow up? Tolland, Connecticut. A small town in the northeastern part of the state.

Tell me about your typical day.
I usually am up early – I like to have time to get ready for the day. I try to spend some time doing a spiritual practice, eat breakfast and get ready for the day. During the week, I am either seeing patients or doing administrative work. Most nights I try to cook a healthy dinner then spend the evening reading or catching up on things. I like to exercise outdoors and try to run/bike or walk at least 3-4 days a week.

What do you love the most about your job?
I have an opportunity to spend time with people of all ages and all walks of life. I get to partner with them to improve their health and also share their lives for a little while.

What do you do when you’re not working?
I love to garden in the spring and summer. I grow vegetables and herbs as well as keep up the perennials around our house. I love cooking – I like to start off with a recipe but modify the dish to be healthier, but still have a lot of flavor. Lately, I have been foraging in my yard and found some nettles that I made into a great soup.

IWR_PhotoBernadette1 IWR_PhotosBernadette3

What is on your bookshelf?
I have a lot of books about functional medicine, holistic health, mind-body medicine and spirituality. I also have a good collection of cookbooks.

What helps you stay inspired?
Nature always inspires me…and listening to my patient’s success stories.

When things don’t go as planned, what three things you do to bring you back to your center?
1. Connecting with my breath is probably the surest way to bring me back to center.
2. It helps to take a walk or run outdoors.
3. If all else fails, I go to bed early and get a good night’s rest. Everything is always better when you are rested.

What quote, saying or philosophy do you live by?
My husband found this quote and I think it is very valuable:
I have found this to be true. We never know what is going on inside someone’s head and most of us have to contend with a lot of negative self-talk not to mention other challenges.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken and what did you learn from it?
The biggest risk was going back to medical school in my late 20s after I decided to leave a career in geology. At the time I was working for an oil company in Louisiana and I got accepted at the University of Connecticut Medical School with the underlying condition that I would finish 2 semesters of organic chemistry during summer session before medical school started. I moved back home to Connecticut and spent the summer immersed in chemistry. I learned not to underestimate what is possible once setting a goal.

What is on your bucket list?
Travel mostly. There are many places I would love to see. Greece, Vietnam, Fiji, the list goes on and on…

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I love the advice the Dalai Lama gives when he speaks or writes- it is simple, to the point and very relevant.

How do you manage spending time with your family, your work, and time for yourself?
Time management is one of my biggest challenges. I try to listen to my body because it usually tells me when I need time for myself.

What accomplishments in your life are you most proud of?
I am most proud of having a strong loving connection to my family. I also am glad I pursued training in mind-body medicine because that has been very helpful for my patients.

What is one thing you wished you knew when you were younger?
Some of the mind-body practices I learned later in life including breath work, would have been very helpful meeting challenges when I was younger.

What do you want to tell the women of the world today?
Do not pay attention to the media. Go within to find your true purpose in life. Stay balanced.

IWR_PhotosBernadette2Bernadette Clevenger Grew up as the oldest of six children in a small town in Connecticut. Her first career was in geology spending 4 years working for an oil company in south Louisiana before she went back to school to study medicine. She met her husband in residency and we spent several years living on the Maine  coast, in northern Minnesota, and in western Wisconsin before coming back to the  Twin Cities to live. She has 2 step-daughters and 3 grandchildren with another on the way. She practices integrative holistic family medicine at the Health East  Grand Ave clinic in St. Paul, MN.

Bernadette has a few openings for new clients. Connect with her below: Location: Health East Clinic, Grand Ave. in St. Paul, MN
Phone: You can reach her at 651-326-5649

You can also sign up for her class series starting in September:
Dr. Clevenger also offers mind-body medicine skills development in a small group setting. The next group will be held Tuesdays for six weeks, beginning September 15 and running through October 20. Sessions will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Health East Grand Avenue Clinic. Cost for the six-week session is $210.

During these sessions, you will learn techniques to help reduce stress and develop greater self-awareness. As a participant, you will also be given the appropriate tools to aid in stress reduction, including biofeedback, meditation, guided imagery, mindfulness and other tools – all benefiting and improving your overall health and well-being.

The Inspired Women Rising blog interview series asks smart vibrant women to share their stories, words of advice, challenges, and more to help inspire other women. The first Sunday of every month, I’ll feature a new guest who will share their stories, wisdom, and tips that help them navigate modern life. Do you have someone you want featured? Email me. #sacredpresence #werisetogether

Graphics designed by Bonfires & Ukueles

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