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About Me

About Me

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Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. These are the best years of your life and you deserve to be FREE! 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for 5.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York in 2013. You can read my full story here. I’m now living my dream, settled in Bali, Indonesia, fully independent and working happily on projects that support my deepest passion! 

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I now make my living helping others break out of ordinary living and get clear on their mission in life. I get paid to help people MANIFEST THEIR DREAMS like I did — how cool is that?  

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’ve always done things a bit differently and I think there are SO many feasible ways for people to live “off the beaten path”. I hope my blog lets you see what’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Drop me a line at elaina@lifebefore30.com or apply to work with me directly! 

How I Cope with My Negativity

Posted on April 6th, 2016

I pouted, pleaded, whined, and argued, but nothing was getting me into the meditation chamber.

The middle-aged Indian man with a formidable mustache and topaz eyes, the guardian of Auroville’s famous Matrimandir and my current adversary, was not budging.

“You can come back on Tuesday morning between 10 and 11am and book an appointment. Now please step aside.”

Tears burned in my eyes and my cheeks flushed as I realized a line of other yogis, hippies, and those truly holier than me had overheard the petty conflict over the literal location of where my concentration on becoming a better person was supposed to take place.

I was in the wrong. To access one of India’s most unique and, in my opinion, powerful places of meditation, there were some basic rules to follow. But I was trying to talk my way out of those rules, essentially declaring myself to be above everyone else and worthy of a huge exception. I became angry and defensive when I wasn’t granted that exception, when someone had the audacity to put me in my rightful place alongside everybody else.

And I desperately didn’t want to be an “everybody else.”

I ached with the kind of acute self-hatred that can only arise from an equally acute self-awareness, questioning why was someone like me in Auroville anyway. To contaminate a community of people so much farther ahead in this practice of spiritual awakening than I was? How could I be such a hypocrite?

I always tell myself that nothing is good or bad, just opportunities to learn. As it turns out, it took me experiencing the utter lunacy of arguing over access to a meditation chamber to realize I had some issues with how I used negativity in my life. And the more I thought about it, I realized I’m not the only one.

For many of us, negativity is a tool of manipulation wielded by an unconscious belief that this negativity will somehow change the unpleasant circumstances we face. We think the universe will yield to us in our angry, hurt, fearful, agitated states, that it will feel pity for us and make things just a little bit easier. Deep down, it’s about pride, stubbornness, and control, a gross superiority complex that declares: I should always be able to win, no matter how ugly I get.

I had no idea my relationship with negativity had become so perverse.

But mistakes make things clearer, and what I’m learning from repeatedly falling into these bouts of frustration, anger, irritation, backlash, revenge, complaining, pettiness, misery, and fear is how to eliminate them. How to recognize that emotions such as these do not actually exist. They have no physical form in the body. I create them and then I become possessed by them. How crazy is that? We think other people cause us to feel negative, but it’s our own internal reaction to things happening outside of us (things that don’t happen to align with what we want since we’re the center of our own universe, another perversion).

We’re the perpetrator and the victim.

Because I know I’m the first and primary victim of my own negativity, and because I know feelings of negativity don’t actually exist, the only way to eliminate them is to…simply drop them. In the same way I would if I accidentally picked up a hot coal.

This is the beauty of moment-to-moment awareness. We may allow ourselves to be angry in one moment, but we are literally reborn into a new consciousness in the following moment and we can forget we were ever angry, because that was from a past moment. If we’re experiencing negativity, it means we’re dragging the past into each new, beautiful present moment, and it must stop. It’s as simple as that.

When I don’t feel capable enough to drop it, or I forget to drop it and I’m wallowing in self-generated negativity, I follow the wise recommendations of Eckhart Tolle: I forgive myself. Because only when we can be at peace with not being at peace can we transform. So I accept that I’m not at peace in the moment, and by virtue of that, I eliminate additional self-hatred that comes from being angry at the fact that I’m being angry. And I get better.

And I begin to realize the truth of the situation like the one I faced in Auroville that day. I look back and see a gentle Indian man who simply had a job to do in a community founded on the principle of human unity, who probably felt bad for the bratty American girl who was being negative because she unconsciously wanted to be told, in one way or another, that she was special, deserving, and loved. He knew that negativity is fundamentally just fear, and she was afraid.

Funny enough, she already is special, deserving, and loved, as are all of us, and she can work to overcome her instinctive reactions, misuse of negativity, and clinging to false pride and sense of self. She can choose her feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions, and make her way in the world using love, compassion, humility, and empathy alone. She’s just still learning.

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About Me

About Me

IMG_5937

Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. These are the best years of your life and you deserve to be FREE! 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for 5.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York in 2013. You can read my full story here. I’m now living my dream, settled in Bali, Indonesia, fully independent and working happily on projects that support my deepest passion! 

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I now make my living helping others break out of ordinary living and get clear on their mission in life. I get paid to help people MANIFEST THEIR DREAMS like I did — how cool is that?  

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’ve always done things a bit differently and I think there are SO many feasible ways for people to live “off the beaten path”. I hope my blog lets you see what’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Drop me a line at elaina@lifebefore30.com or apply to work with me directly! 

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Currently in: Bali

 

Previously in: India

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Hey friend, thanks for finding me!

 

I’m sure there’s a reason you landed here. Maybe we’re meant to work together and your whole life is about to flip upside down… That tends to happen with my clients as they transform from the inside out.

 

I work with extraordinary, brave, and self-inquiring souls who are ready to do the inner work required to launch them into the next huge chapter of their life. I work with people who are willing and ready to wake up and become more alive and aligned than ever before! 

 

Does any of this sound like you?

  • Successful on paper but not fulfilled inside
  • Feeling like you’re working so hard but not getting anywhere
  • Knowing you’re destined to do

Read more

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Follow me on twitter

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