While my career may start with my formal training in psychology, my story and journey to this point starts long before that. Let's take it back to Chapter 1.
For years I’ve worked with individuals, couples, families, and groups that wanted to better understand how they arrived where they were and what they could do to reclaim more control over where they were heading.
I know that feeling myself as I’ve been through tough times and often felt lost.
Even when things were going well, I spent a lot of time searching for meaning and trying to figure out what I should do and how I could make a difference.
As a child, I was curious about many things and probably drove others crazy with all my questions. My first years working were divided between public relations, sales, and human resource management. As I struggled to find the right professional niche, my therapist encouraged me to think back to what I liked to do as a child. As children we can feel more connected to our true selves and remembering things about our young selves can help us find the right path.
I still have the “worksheets” I created to give to my younger sister as “homework”.
I also have the two “books” that I wrote and created, complete with illustrations and hardcovers made with cardboard and construction paper. I smile every time I read the last page, “About the Author”.
This search for explanations or understanding fueled a love of books. I found lots of comfort between the pages of picture books, memoirs, and a multitude of self-help books. For years I always had a bookcase close to my bed with books that contained content that satisfied my need to understand and soothed my nervous soul.
While my childhood memories are cloudy, I clearly remember being a curious kid and asking lots of questions. I was observant and noticed how others felt. I’d worry when someone was upset and I’d wonder what would help them feel better. When things seemed unfair, or someone was hurt, I felt anxious. I now realize that I tried to manage my stress by seeking answers.
The more I experienced the freedom that comes with greater awareness and knowledge, the more I wanted to share that knowledge with others. I know that when things don’t make sense, we struggle. And uncertainty creates levels of stress that wreaks havoc on our physical, emotional, and relational health. Teachers empower students when they bestow lessons, skills, and strategies based on the wisdom acquired through history and the insights generated through research.
That little girl that wanted to write a book published her first book in February 2022 and already has plans for the next one.
That wannabe teacher now offers an online course on meditation and speaks to organizations interested in learning about mindfulness and meditation.
That curious child found a way to spend every day asking questions, digging deep into new discoveries, and expanding her understanding of human nature.
My work involves listening to heartbreaking stories and witnessing the despair that accompanies our darkest moments. One of my goals is to create a safe enough environment for others to feel free to share things that are hard to talk about. I’m able to do this by remembering the benefits of my own therapy and meditation journey. I remind myself that being able to hear and understand difficult material provides relief to those that have the courage to open up. While I often have deep feelings, I am clear that managing my emotions, while remaining neutral and non-judgmental, is central to helping others heal and grow.
Working with others as a therapist or meditation mentor/teacher brings meaning to my life. It’s a privilege that I don’t take for granted.
Almost. I find that meditating first thing in the morning keeps my practice strong. On days when I have to leave my house before 8:00 am, I have to look for another time to sit. That doesn’t always happen and that’s ok. Meditation is a practice that requires consistency, not perfection.
That depends. I have a morning routine that takes 60 to 90 minutes which I adjust based on when I have my first appointment or meeting. I begin with 10-15 minutes of yoga as doing some movement and stretching helps me get present and connect with my body. I follow this with 15-20 minutes of reading or listening to an audio book or recorded mindfulness content (Insight Timer courses or other content online). Next I meditate and what that looks like varies based on what feels right. Some days I will listen to a guided meditation or recorded visualization exercise. I’m always exploring the content on Insight Timer and benefit from all the content available. Most days I end up sitting in silent meditation for 30 minutes and I always set aside at least 10 minutes to sit in silence. Lastly, I also try to do some journaling. This can be as simple as writing something in the Insight Timer journal which comes with a paid subscription and/or hand writing in one of my many journals. Over the years I have experimented with what feels right for me and I encourage others to do the same. How you meditate, when and where you meditate, or how long you meditate matters less than making the time to try something!
Well, I have a big sweet tooth and I usually like a little “treat” at the end of the day. I recently discovered the Yasso frozen yogurt bars and I usually have one after dinner. My favorites are the vanilla chocolate crunch and the fudge brownie bar. I also love Nature Valley Crunchy Oats 'N Dark Chocolate Granola Bars. I like to think that they’re “healthy” but a more mindful me knows better!
I also love to do the NY Times daily Wordle puzzle. I share my daily results with my daughters, daughter-in-law, and a close friend from graduate school. In addition, I do the mini crossword puzzle and, if I have time, the Tiles game. I’m one of those people that could get addicted to an app like candy crush so I appreciate how the NY Times daily puzzles are quick (and you only get one each day).
Yes and that message is inspired by both my experience with psychology and mindfulness meditation. Every day I tell others that they can reduce their stress by being kinder to themselves. That means, being aware of all the negative self-talk that causes us so much stress. If we can catch ourselves thinking, “I’m so stupid” (which we do when we drop something, lock ourselves out of the car/house, or say something we later regretted) or telling ourselves, “I’m not good at _______ (fill in the blank)” we can try to shift to more accurate and helpful messages. For example, “sometimes I make a mistake, just like everyone” or “I have a hard time with ________ (fill in the blank).
I could write a lot about this, however, I think you get the point. I’ve come to believe that one of the best ways to reduce stress, improve physical and mental health, and find more freedom and joy in life is to learn how to manage your mind (meditation anyone?) so you can manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
— Pam B., CT
I had wanted to learn meditation techniques so I could feel confident in my ability to practice it successfully. Elizabeth's teachings made me realize there is no wrong way to meditate and that roaming thoughts are normal and going to happen. The best way to become more confident in your practice is by continuing to do it.
— Krista W., NH
Working with Elizabeth allowed me to truly engage in a real meditation practice without feeling like I was doing it wrong. Having the ability to forgive yourself for not being perfect in the practice has made me have more patience for myself and others as a result. EVERYONE needs this and working with Elizabeth will get you started.
— Kristen W., MA
[Elizabeth] got me to make time for daily meditation much more frequently by demystifying the whole deal. I have my breath everywhere I go and there's nothing getting in the way of me taking 5 minutes multiple times a day to regain equilibrium. I don't have to have a cushion, I don't have to sit on the floor... I don't have to know anything except how to breath and how to return my thoughts to my breath. That's it. I don't have to be zen and enlightened to PRACTICE meditation every day. This class democratized meditation for me. It's mine as much as it's anyone’s.
— Anne C., VA
Taking this course really. Now I am really trying to pause more throughout the day and I’m better at slowing my mind. It was helpful that you blended the scientific information with wisdom teachings from the Buddha and used stories that made the teachings memorable. I would highly recommend this program to others as it will help you get started with meditation and learn how important it is to your mental health.
— Donna M., NY
After taking this program, I really feel like I have a better perspective. The guided meditations really helped me focus and practice settling my mind. I recommend this program as it will help you feel more calm and in control of your reactions to situations with which you are confronted. Elizabeth has a very calming and reassuring voice for the guided meditations which is really important.
Stop letting anxious thoughts or feelings run the show. With the right tools, life can feel as good as you want it to feel. I can show you how.
Mindfulness can be integrated into your life each and every day — and in each and every moment. Learn 9 specific practices that you can try at any time to support the experience of feeling present.