I’m Ellen Bard, And This Is My Dharma
Chiang Mai, Thailand (though I come from London, in the UK, and I spend about half my time on the road – this year I’ve worked in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Dubai, Egypt, Qatar and China amongst others!)
Bio and mission:
My mission is to help clients shine more brightly in their work and life, whether I do that in person as a consultant, or through my website, ellenbard.com. I’m a work psychologist by profession, and I share research-backed, practical and actionable tips that you can apply in your day-to-day life.
I blend tips on self-compassion and kindness with those on productivity and habits.
I’m all about incremental improvements, and I share realistic development ideas that you can really implement, for example in my free cheat sheet 5 Unusual Ways to Take Care of Yourself (http://ellenbard.com/self-care-cheatsheet/).
What’s your offering to the world:
I want people to take better care of themselves in all aspects of their work and life, and to be kind to themselves and others, because I think this has a knock-on effect on the world as a whole. My website, ellenbard.com shares the importance of self-care and self-compassion, whilst also helping with topics around productivity and interacting with others.
I spend about half my time consulting for large organisations around the world (hence all the travel). The consulting means I can share my expertise with a smaller number of people in business face to face, whereas the website gives me an opportunity to reach a wider audience through digital courses and information.
In another vein, I’ve also just published my first novel (http://ellenbardauthor.com/book/blaize-and-the-maven/), a paranormal romance with magic based on the Chakra system. The book is fun and sexy, and provides entertainment, as well as introducing people gently to yoga in a novel way (forgive the pun!).
Your Personal or Professional Goals:
- Grow the audience for the message of self-compassion and personal growth through writing and courses.
- Write and publish the rest of the novels in my Energetics Series (the paranormal romances). I hope to have books 2 and 3 out in 2016. (Readers might enjoy my light-hearted Chakra quiz to see which energies they would have from the books here http://ellenbardauthor.com/chakra-quiz/ )
- Develop my skills as a writer of fiction and non-fiction.
- After a car accident 10 years ago left me with chronic pain, and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease a few years ago, optimum health has been a personal goal of mine. I’ve spent two seasons at a yoga school on the island of Koh Phangan, and I try to incorporate yoga practice into my life, as well as healthy eating (I’ve been a vegetarian for 22 years), and other forms of exercise and self-care, such as mindfulness. This is definitely a long-term rather than short-term goal.
- I’m having Thai lessons (as I’m based in Thailand), and one day I hope to be able to speak conversational Thai (not sure how likely that is though!).
Over and above all of these is my ongoing goal to develop myself into the best version of me that I can be.
That involves getting to know myself better, understanding my own reactions and psychology, developing my emotional intelligence, going deeply into relationships with friends, family and lovers, and attempting to be in integrity with my deeds and words.
I’m a work in progress!
Who/What Inspires You:
Chiang Mai is full of digital entrepreneurs and people interested in personal growth, and it’s a wonderful environment to be in. I meet unconventional people with fascinating stories every day.
I love reading (I read 100+ books a year) and I always have a personal development book or two on the go. Recently I’ve loved Brene Brown’s work, and I’m a big fan of Gretchen Rubin.
I listen to a lot of podcasts (for example, the Self-Publishing Podcast, The Creative Penn, This American Life, Savage Lovecast, The Tim Ferris Show, the Abroad Podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin and The Good Life Project, to name a few).
I try to take inspiration from everything around me – writing fiction and non-fiction I have found I draw on examples and ideas from all aspects of life, from coffee shop people watching to TED talks, from a piece of graffiti to a heated discussion with a friend.
I think being a psychologist helps – curiosity is one of my core traits and it serves me well!
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” Buddha.
“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be sure of improving, and that’s your own self.” Aldous Huxley
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle.
I’ve been through some pretty radical change in the last few years – I went from being a management consultant working for huge international clients in a 9-5 (7-7 rather!) job in London, to being a digital nomad who has a diverse set of interests and portfolio of work.
My biggest lesson has been that all of us have a choice, in every moment, every day. Sometimes it’s a tough choice, or a choice between two seemingly horrible options, but the very act of choosing one of these and then working with the choice we made rather than regretting it, is incredibly empowering.
I always encourage people to make conscious choices in their lives, and to take ownership of their actions. I think it’s a huge step on the path to a happy and fulfilled life.
The other life lesson I’d share is to experiment with lots of different things. On a small scale, I always thought I didn’t like avocados, but I’d never really tried them. When I did, I realised I loved them!
On a bigger scale, I always said I wasn’t a creative person before leaving the UK. I did the (amazing) course that’s outlined in the book
The Artist’s Way, and it completely changed my perspective on what creativity is, as well as being one of the reasons I would now consider myself a writer. I even tried art classes – which weren’t for me! – But I was glad I’d tried them.
Make small experiments, and try things before you decide you don’t like them/ can’t do them. You may surprise yourself…
Online and Social Sites:
Website URL: http://ellenbard.com
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