How did you get to where you are now? How did you start this process?
A.Keep in mind that the path will be unique for everyone, so my journey is just one example of how it might look.
I had a very strong personality and even friends described me as ‘a bull in a china shop.’ I was very goal-driven (as a result of feeling the need to be perfect, so I could be ‘good enough’), and I was highly critical (mostly of myself, but also of others).
Although I had a big heart, I wasn’t good at showing it and often came across as tough or demanding. Let’s just say my personality had quite a few rough edges!
After having difficulties with several bosses, I decided to go into therapy (I wanted to figure out what I was doing wrong so I could move up the corporate ladder). Much to my surprise, I discovered that issues with work were the least of my problems. I was in therapy regularly for about seven years, and during that time, I developed tremendous compassion for others and myself.
I took an honest appraisal of my personality traits and decided what to keep and what to get rid of. It was a painful process, but I was determined to learn how to express the depth of my heart to others, to stop coming across harshly, and to learn how to be happy.
There were times in that process when I had gotten rid of so many unwanted qualities and characteristics, yet still hadn’t figured out new ways of being – I found myself in a very ‘mushy’ state, much like the caterpillar must feel inside the chrysalis. I had no idea who I was becoming – only who I was no longer willing to be.
Then one day, I realized that therapy had taken me as far as it could. Now it was time to move on – to find a way to feel fulfilled and joyful about my life. It was then that I began reading books on spirituality and taking classes, attending retreats, talking to people who were living joyfully, and investigating anything else I could think of to learn the secret to a happy life.
‘The compassion, guidance and knowledge you passed on to me during our sessions got me to where I am today and I wanted to say thank you as I have reached another level in life’s travels.’
I’ve spent the past 12 years on this spiritual path, evolving over and over through many different iterations of self; each time becoming more and more aligned with my essential nature, my divine essence. And while it sounds like it took a long time, these years of exploration and discovery have been wonderful.
It is truly the process of life that is most enjoyable. After all, there is no ‘there’ to get to!
Would you say that this spiritual journey has been an easy one?
A. At times it has been; but there have been many times when I was brought to a precipice and had to either take a huge leap of faith (which was overwhelmingly frightening) or stay safely where I was.
My theory has always been to face the fear and do it anyway. I’ve found that unfaced fears become monsters, while fears that I look squarely in the eye dissolve. So each time I found myself at the edge, I ultimately chose to leap.
I would not describe any of these leaps of faith as easy – and although they got easier over time, each one required a deeper level of trust in my inner knowing and in life.
Did you have a vision of where you were headed? Did you know you’d write a book, coach and speak?
A. Absolutely not. I still don’t know where I’m headed. I live completely from inspiration — I follow my inner knowing and let it guide me. That’s why I changed careers, in ways that others might have viewed as odd or unusual and with seemingly little logic to the changes.
I’ve found that when I live from inspiration, life works. But that doesn’t mean it will always be easy and smooth! It just means that I will experience exactly what is right for me in each moment.
‘I appreciate Elise’s guidance through the path of self understanding and the insight into my life’s twists and turns. She has the ability to see the whole picture and show you how to let go of the unimportant.’
– Rhonda McFadzen, Business Owner, Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer
So are you saying that you still have difficulties and challenges in life?
A. Yes and no.
Yes, in the sense that I experience all the same things that everyone else does – my internet connection will fail when I’m working on a tight deadline, my dog will get sick when money is tight, my water pump will break when I’m out of town, etc.
No, because while these things still happen in my life, how I perceive and interpret them makes them much easier to deal with. I’ve learned to see all experiences as just that – neutral experiences. They aren’t inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ They just are.
When we get to the place of welcoming every experience in our lives, including the challenging ones, then life becomes peaceful and joyful no matter what is happening.
It sounds like you live in a really expansive state. How can you relate to others who are experiencing pain and drama?
A. It’s only over the past decade that I’ve learned to live happily and peacefully regardless of what is happening in my life, and even that has been a gradual process. A great number of my life experiences were painful, dramatic and traumatic for me, just like life is, or has been, for many others.
I walked a very painful and challenging road in life, but as a result of it, I am able to empathize with what others are going through. Clients tell me they immediately pick up on the fact that ‘I’ve been there.’
In fact, having experienced a great deal of trauma in my life has uniquely prepared me to help others. As a result of my experiences, I know that it is possible for anyone (no matter how challenging their path) to transform their life.
‘If you choose to work with Elise, you will find yourself powerfully touched, inspired and stimulated to grow in ways that you probably didn’t expect.’
– Bill Bauman, co-founder, Center for Soulful Living
What would you say is your mission or purpose in life?
A. From the time I was a little girl, I always wanted to help others. Today I’m really clear that I’m here to not only model how anyone (even someone who had a very painful, difficult life) can live happily and peacefully, but also to teach and guide others on how to ‘do life’ successfully.
It is my joy to help you transform your life, step into your fullest and most powerful self, and discover your passion, so that you too can experience the fun and joy of life on Earth, and ultimately touch the lives of others and make a difference in the world.