We had the good fortune of connecting with Cathleen Elle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cathleen, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The secret to the success of my business is right out in the open: I am living my heart’s calling.
In March 2010, my world fell apart when I lost my son to suicide. Through that shattering experience, I uncovered a powerful sense of self and a connection to the divine that motivated me to redesign my life — and to guide others in doing the same.
Every day, I find such joy and fulfillment in helping those struggling with grief or deep-seated trauma to move through their pain and discover their inner strength and light. Together, we create new, beautiful stories around the intense tragedies that they have endured so that they can move forward with peace and purpose. It is the authenticity of what I do and the compassion with which I do it that fuels my achievements. The fact that sharing my work with others is part of the process makes it all the more meaningful.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
For more than twenty-five years, I served as a political leader in Vermont, working both alongside the governor and as a four-term elected legislator. During that time, I addressed the National Congress of Brazil on women and minorities serving in government, and the Israeli Knesset on behalf of a young political leaders group. I was also, amongst other things, involved in the landmark “Civil Union” legislation. I then went on to lobby for and lead the Associated General Contractors of Vermont as executive vice president for nine years.
As proud as I am of all those achievements (especially given that I entered into political service with no college degree and zero relevant experience), nothing has been more rewarding for me than the work I have done since I lost my son. Each day since his transition has been a lesson, and no part of the process has been easy. That, however, is exactly what makes my “job” — or, more accurately, my “purpose” — so powerful.
Speaking publicly on suicide prevention and loss, leading transformational grief support groups, assisting individual clients to move through pain and trauma, writing about my experiences in order to guide others through their own healing journeys — all of the things that now make up my daily life are so meaningful to me that I find gratitude and fulfillment in every moment. And this is the message that I most want to share with the world: From great tragedy can come great beauty, joy, serenity, and love. I am living proof of this, and for anyone struggling to find a path forward following a life-shattering change, I am here to lend a helping hand.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Given an entire week with a dear friend, I’d probably make a vacay out of it. Currently, I live in Charlotte, NC, so I’d want to get away from the city and create our own little nature retreat. We might rent a cabin near a lake and mountains (I LOVE mountains!), and make that our home base. From there, we’d go hiking, have bonfires every night, practice outdoor yoga every morning… I’m enjoying the experience already!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Many people assisted me through my journey, and I wouldn’t do anybody justice by pointing out only one. I would love to honor my cognitive thought therapist, Brooke; my teachers over the course of the past eleven years, including Jack Canfield, Dr. Deborah Sandella (creator of the Regenerating Images in Memory, or RIM, healing modality), Colette Baron-Ried, and members of the indigenous community for shemanic practices and plant medicine; and my son, Logan, and daughter, Ashley. Of course, I’d also like to honor myself for having the courage to move through my intense healing journey.
Credit to Cathleen Elle