About Elisabeth’s Past
Looking back at my childhood, I only realize now, that the only person I have always been intimate with and could rely on, was myself. This was not always easy and not always understood. It also meant, that I have sometimes been alone, walking my path. I grew up in a small Bavarian town in an old farmhouse. There were five children working from an early age on, making hay on steep hills, and raising a few cows, sheep, pigs and chickens. My strong connection to nature and the earth may have arisen from those times of helping in the woods, fields, flower and vegetable garden. Since there was always more work than “workforce”, I always felt like a girl/woman can do anything. Really there was no alternative.
My parents supplemented my father’s income by installing running water, adding bedrooms and remodeling other rooms in our house to rent out space to visitors. My mom created over the years a flourishing B&B business, sharing our home and family with strangers. It was described on postcards as a “Fremdenheim” (stranger’s home). Although I was not always happy when our kitchen and living room was ruled by strangers, and I had to accept double standards. The guest kids could trample up and down the stairs, while I wasn’t allowed to own clogs since they made noise. I did learn though, through the interaction with the foreigners that there was a big-wide world out there with infinite possibilities. Although our mom needed the physical help of myself and my siblings to run the farm and the B&B, she also made sure we took school seriously. She was denied access to higher education by her parents; since she was a farmer’s daughter, what would she need an education for?
Death came far too early into my life, when my mom died when I was 19 years old. I had just left for college and was studying Education and Early Child Development. I interrupted my studies for one year to return home to help my father run the business and to take care of my two younger siblings. Although I had no problem stepping into my mother’s shoes, it became clear to me, that this wasn’t the life I wanted to live. I also learned it was truly the energy of my mother, who built this special holiday place where our guests had a break from their work and everyday lives. My father could not take my mom’s place. Something in me said, ‘This is not the life I am meant to live’. It wasn’t an easy decision, and very difficult to explain, but I went back to school. It was painful to watch how our home lost its soul, yet I also knew I would lose my soul if I stayed. I came home every weekend, to help out and to encourage my younger siblings to stay focused on high school. I went on to study social work, though I dreamed of studying psychology. After taking a few psychology courses at the university, I was disappointed about the integrity of the professors. I was brought up to walk your talk.
So, after graduation, instead of studying psychology, I started a hand-weaving apprenticeship with a master weaver and ended up running the textile department in an Arts and Craft Center for the American Forces who were living and visiting Europe. Little did I know that I was providing therapy to Vietnam-war soldiers and their spouses, who were on leave. The work fulfilled both the need to create with my hands and with my heart, practice what I learned about the human psyche while being in my hometown and able to see my younger siblings finish high school. I also taught skiing to supplement my income and kept my needs, for being in the outdoors satisfied.
I met my husband while he was passing through my hometown on his search for his purpose in life. I joined him and we traveled together for a year in a Volkswagen camper-van. Traveling and seeing the world was my dream. I was inspired by all the guests in my parent’s home who had seen the world. Even after we came to the United States and got married, we took off again for a year of backpacking-travels around the world on a shoe-string budget. As you can see, I didn’t follow the conventional route of the Bavarian nor American dream. I guess you could say, I followed my soul, or essence. Not everyone has understood me and I am not a millionaire, nor famous. Yet, I learned that there is lots of beauty and ugliness all over the world. I learned something which cannot be measured in dollars or fame, which was beginning to understand that every human being has the same wish: to live a safe, free, happy and purposeful life. And that deep down we have all much more in common then we have differences, no matter where in the world we call home.
Meanwhile, I raised my own family with Robb my husband and two boys in the U.S. Grief and sorrow reached me again, when two of my brothers passed away suddenly, neither having reached age 50. Yes, I am very familiar with birth and death and what it means to be alive. Truly alive, to live the only life, or as Mary Oliver says so well: “determined to save the only life that you could save”. (From the poem, The Journey).
Like all of us, I’ve had my ups and my downs. I’ve learned some lessons, while always still learning. Fortunately, I can call myself, my very own best friend and trust my inner teacher and wisdom. After two near-death experiences, I feel more alive than ever. Treasuring every day. Starting with Thich Nathan’s gata: “Waking up I smile, twenty-four brand new hours are before me; I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion”.
I am realizing that I am at a point in my life when it is time to share the “wisdom” which I have gained throughout my life–how to overcome and transform and grow, by staying present in the most devastating moments. In the last 10 years, I have learned to express that deeply rooted trust; I have sought education and counsel. I have had the good fortune to meet very wise teachers along the way, who pointed me in different, though appropriate, directions. I studied intensely and have opened, thanks to the encouragement of a student, a small studio space in my home where I guide a body-mind balanced, mindful-movement therapy, which brings people in touch with their subtle energies. The body never lies and is always present.
Since our two sons are now in college, I took this summer off to go into silence, to take workshops, to listen and to integrate. This website is my first step to let all of you know I am here. I have created a safe space for you to explore your deep sources of wisdom and intuition. I am here to coach and assist you on your journey to yourself. It takes courage to feel alive, to act and to bring that precious self of yours into the world. I invite you to shine a light on your conditioning, belief systems and old patterns. Starting with one breath at a time. Just consider the alternative!
For more information, contact Elisabeth.