Last fall I started a series of interviews, called The Essential Interviews.
So, I thought I’d continue it this year. (Last year I interviewed Sandra Hjort, blogger and DIY-queen as well as Rania Rönntoft, photographer. )
But this year I had the idea (an idea that led to unexpected outcomes, but more on that later on) of interviewing Liselotte Ellegaard, mindfulness coach and entrepreneur.
The first time I met her, was before embarking on a three month program in the US Virgin Islands with HöjskolenDK, where she was one of the instructors (in a personal development-themed course). And when I met her I instantly felt a connection; she’s one of these people who gives off a bright light, makes you feel welcome, at home and at ease. So – without further ado, I give the word to Liselotte.
Please share your thoughts on the meaning of creativity and of the meaning of art (i.e. what is creativity/art to you?).
The meaning of creativity and art is very dear to me. Actually, my whole business is based on the power of creativity and art.
To me, creativity is about dropping your head for a moment.
In the western culture we cultivate a very logical and intellectual approach to life which is of course important too, but when this is the only way of living it feels like life itself is dried out.
So in my business I help women to go from burn-out and bored in their job to brilliance in business.
When someone is stressed out or feel burn-out in her job there has been an misuse of brain- and intellectual powers.
And it means that you can’t relax, enjoy the moment, feel love, find what your purpose is because you have lost the connection to your own feelings and senses.
There is a deep longing for women to be able to use their creativity in their work lives. And that is very different from woman to woman what that is.For some creativity is finding a new solution for an IT problem in a big corporation, to others it is painting and to others again it is all about dancing or doing fun marketing.
Scientific research proves that creative thinking is one of the most important parameters for happiness in work life, no matter what kind of job or career you have.
So… how can you become more creative in your work life? is a question you need to ask yourself if you feel a lack of joy, energy and happiness.
How do you express your creativity?
I express my creativity through different wheels.
I have decided some years ago that I wanted to become financially free in a freedom based business where I could use my creative skills as I want to.
In my business, creativity means to write and create beautiful posts on social media platforms, with a meaningful message that fits my brand and what I want to teach and coach people on.My creativity is also about designing the work life you love to wake up to every morning.
In my free time I paint and sing. I have now started to see an opportunity to use my music and painting in my business. I have written a song and created a melody.
When I’m ready I can use it as an underlying inspiration in one of my videos or audios.
Do you have any thoughts on being a woman and a creative being/artist?
There is something deeply feminine in creativity. You let go of the brain and follow your heart and intuition. This shift gives the woman a balance in her life, especially if she has been taught to always be nice, cute, sweet, polite or intellectual.
It seems like there is a major shift going on in the world in general towards a more feminine awakening in the human being.
This is happening both in the woman and in the man. You can see that in new businesses that are more aligned to social projects, empathy, oneness and consciousness. In the old paradigm it was more ego, over-doing, competition, money and power over others.
With this shift we are now able to create financial freedom from a heart based way of working and creating.
There is something in the creativity that also connect us to a higher realm which is why I believe it is so important that we express ourselves and our creativity as if this is actually a bridge between heart and head…heaven and earth…intuition and intellect…I truly believe this and have seen many examples of that in my business. When you use your creative skills you become happier.
What has been the most challenging experience in regards to finding or expressing your creativity and how did you get through it?
To create a work life that truly fits me has been the biggest challenge in my life. Because I have had so many creative ways of expressing myself like acting, dancing, painting, writing and singing and yet I didn’t want a career only in doing one of the things.
It has been very painful for me to find my place in the world, because the freedom and the art made me happy in my heart, but I did not only want to make a living from that.
There was something more. And it was a crisis that made me finally realize what I was meant to do.
When I was 18 years old I had a horrible job. I had this inner voice constantly telling me that I would never be happy with my work life because this is all there is.
So I tried to fit in and to become something better. I worked as an accountant assistant in the corporate world but I was sooooo bored in that job and it was so not me.
Actually the fit was so bad that I was even criticized for the way I put stamps on envelopes. One day when I couldn’t take it anymore I went to the boss and said:
”If I stay here one more day I will fade away like that wilted plant over there”.
Finally, that very day, I quit!!
After that I started to work in a kindergarten, and I loved the kids. But something was stirred in me – it was something way bigger that I wanted to do.
I just didn’t know what it was yet.
So it took a crisis to wake me up!
On a sunny day in 1994 I was walking down the street with my friend, going to buy groceries, when suddenly I felt disoriented. My thoughts were racing and I was totally out of the present moment.
My breathing got out of rhythm and I felt dizzy and anxious.
Suddenly I had to drop down to the grass below.
All I could hear was my friend saying something like “Breathe all the way down to your belly!”.
At that moment it felt like a meaningless advice. But she was right.
When I became mindfully aware of my breathing, I suddenly became relaxed, present and everything was calm for a moment.
No fear. No stress. No problems.
The freedom only lasted for a moment and my anxiety came right back.
I panicked all the way home and decided from that state of mind to unplug myself from the world. For 3 months I was at home. I didn’t have any education or a job and I was miserable.
During this time I thought, I was going to either die or go mad. I had no idea what was going on with me.
Spontaneously, I started to meditate and to challenge myself in new ways.
Two things I would never do before and actually I didn’t know that what I was doing was called mindfulness training and self coaching. I found out later in my psychology study.
Step by step, I forced myself to face my fears and anxieties.
Out of the chaos a new desire and vision was born.
I desired to travel. Not only that, I desired a freedom based work life with lots of time to travel and do what I want whenever I want. Do you think that people judged me for that attitude? Oh, yes. But I also judged myself, and that was the only thing that held me back. I longed for a meaningful, healthy and purposeful career where I could do transformational work. No matter what.
These desires made me decide to specialize on mindfulness coaching in my educational psychologist study and in my work as a mindfulness instructor, coach, and psychotherapist.
I knew I was going to be an entrepreneur and not have an ordinary day job, so I needed to educate myself in the field that would be of value when I was going to be a self employed.
My visions gradually grew bigger and bigger. The time came when I wanted to build a national and international business around my expertise.
Who would have known that? I surprised myself even.
This international call was a seed that I had nursed for so many years that it was now ready to sprout and bloom.
I just didn’t know how to make a living from it and earn money as a business woman.
I started to build my business and did it alone for a period. I thought that a website was what I needed and that I should describe my products there. If I had known how little that website meant for my business compared to what I got from it and how much wasted time I spent on building and changing it, I wouldn’t have!
I did hit 10 k twice. And that was it.
Finally, I realized my income was never going to be consistent with the belief system I had and with my lack of implementing structures in my business.
I was so tired of playing the heroine who can handle everything alone. Not only that, I was beating myself up for not being able to do the whole business thing alone.
I had to change that, if I was going to become financially free and follow my calling.
This acknowledgement made me decide to get a business coach.
But even at this point I was so fearful that I was convinced that the business coaches and marketers I was listening to were frauds.
I also had a belief around money that you can’t learn how to grow rich. So when the marketers talked about learning it, I felt like a teenager who doesn’t believe in Santa Clause anymore.
One day after an intense visualization on attracting the right support, I got an email.
It was from one of the few marketers I trusted.
In this newsletter, I was presented to my mentor, who apparently was someone that combined lifestyle, travelling and coaching in a big way.
I clicked the link and listened.
I cried tears of recognition.
Finally, I found the answer. I found out that I wanted to make a bigger difference than what I would be able to do through acting or painting or being an author who often is more isolated.
I love to write and at the same time I also feel a desire to be connected to many people and be in the room with them to share my direct teachings. Heart to heart.
I have now created a 1 year education for entrepreneurs who love to facilitate personal development and become financially free doing so.
I have had to learn to speak to people before writing a book.
I have had this deep longing to get my book out and it seems like life wants me to be visible and to speak. I’m still writing and have 4 books waiting for me on my pc.
All the books make much more sense now because I now know the target market I’m writing to.
What are you most grateful for?
I’m very grateful for my work life which is driven by passion and my core values. One of my most important core values is freedom. And now that I have gained this freedom inside out I can also travel the world with my business which is something I have felt called to do. I’m very grateful that now I can teach others to do the same.
If you could have a conversation with any being, dead or alive, with whom or what would it be and what would you discuss?
I’d love to talk to Barbara Marx Hubbard who is alive. I want to thank her for having found these two words:
Vocational arousal means to have a burning desire to work with what you feel called to do. And it also means “joining genius”. This is me in a nut shell.
Do you have anyone who are an inspiration to you? Please share.
Yes, Gina Devee inspires me because she has this fierceness around her. She is doing what she feels called to do “no matter what”. I love that she takes a stand for womens freedom.
And what is your next project? (If you don’t mind sharing…)
It is to make an international version of my mindfulness master coach entrepreneur program.
I want to add, that only you can fulfill your very special vocation so be very mindful not to take other people’s doubtful questions on you. Follow what feels right in your work life.
Thank you , Liselotte, for this very inspiring interview! I saw myself in many of your words – and following up on ”ending up at unexpected places”,, I’ve decided to join Liselottes Mindfulness Master Coach Entrepreneur Program. I start on Thursday!! Yea!!!
If you’d like to know more about Liselotte and her offerings, there are a couple of links below you can explore: