Teacher Series: Ellie
Tell us about your work helping people avoid burnout – why is this such an important topic right now?
I’m really passion about helping people avoid burnout because, actually according to a Marketing Study done last year, 3/4 women report burnout in their lives. That’s crazy. I think it involves just the pace of life we have right now, even as we’re sheltering in place or however things are looking for different people in different parts of the world.
And so, as someone who has gone through that experience– of pushing myself, pushing myself, going way too hard and then kind of feeling like ‘what’s the point of all this hard work if I feel terrible in the process of it?’ I’ve had that experience, and so I really care about showing people tools and resources and even breaking up some patterns of thought that aren’t working for them so that they can feel more worthy, more capable, happier right now when they’re going after the things that they want in life. Or even just trying to keep the plates spinning, and have some fulfillment even in those moments of challenge.
How has your writing and coaching helped inform your meditation practice and teaching?
So, my writing and coaching has helped inform my practice probably mostly through the use of metaphor. Our brains are really visual for the most part, so if I use metaphor like something involving swimming or being in the forest, or something like that, it helps the person who’s meditating have this really strong visual in their head. And then since throughout class we’ve been creating meaning and attributing it to that metaphor, similar to what I do in coaching, it will hopefully create some sort of ‘ah-ha’ moment for them.
Why is mindfulness important to you personally?
Well, mindfulness is the most important thing to me personally in my life. Life is only happening in this moment, and the more often I can really be present– even when I’m turning a handle on a door, even when I’m washing the dishes, even when I’m going just for a walk, that’s life! Mindfulness has helped me differentiate between what’s really going on in life vs. the story I’m putting on top of it vs. the worries in my head that are fundamentally not real, at all. I love getting to share that with other people.
Mindfulness has also helped me get free from anxious feelings and general stress. For a long time I was the victim of those things, I was like ‘The world is just stressful… this is just the way it is’ and then through mindfulness I was able to see the separation between what’s going on in the world and my thoughts about it. And I have control over my thoughts about it. And that starts for me– that’s rooted in just being aware and present here. Getting to see what is really right here in front of me, and then accepting and embracing it as it is.
What do you love about Chorus and the Chorus Method?
So the first time I took a Chorus class, I remember Ali wanted me to come check it out and see what the class is like, and I was like ‘Oh, I’ve meditated for forever, I’m sure it’ll be fine.. It will be a meditation class’ but when I went to my first Chorus class, I was stunned. I was– as I tell students who come to my class and people in the community– it was like the brain exploding emoji. I loved it so much. I felt this sense of connection with myself that I didn’t know I was missing and that I sorely needed. Even now, I take Chorus for this sense of connection I feel in myself, this sense of like inner integrity and wholeness and I also take classes for creativity. Chorus helps me be more creative. The mindfulness practices, the breathing, the music even, the teacher’s guidance, they help me create more and be more creative from that place of wholeness and unity.
So I love the combination of the meditation I’ve known for a long time– as some of you know I started meditating when I was 14, so I’ve been really used to the like cut-and-dry of ‘let go of your thoughts, stare at a wall’ stuff like that, and mixing that with this sense of fun and enjoyment, which is what I try to bring into my classes because I really enjoy this method.
How would you describe your teaching style?
My teaching style is a combination of loving, and calming, and stress-free judgement-free zone with the sense of fun and play, and I like to pick music that makes me feel happy, and kinda like you want to dance to it. Honestly, sometimes when I take Chorus classes, I will move my body to the music in a way that makes me feel really good. So, it’s a combination of the two– calmness and the sense of being held, with this feeling of ‘Oh, this is fun to do. I get to enjoy my practice and my life.’
Watch the video of Ellie’s interview below:
Follow along with Ellie:
Now…let’s see what she’s talking about!
See you in class.