More About Me 🦋
the previous My Story page was much abridged - and this one still is!
But if you'd like to know more about my WHY
And how I got here ...
Here's a potted version 🌈💖🎶
in the barns ... where the swallows nest 🦋
I'm a heartful, badass, unconventional, out-of-the-box, life and leadership coach.
Like one of my clients said, I transform people’s lives.
I do this with a whole cupboard full of tools garnered from …
20 years in corporate finance and software design in the UK Ministry of Defence.
30+ years of my own Transpersonal psychotherapy and coaching practice.
Plus a lifetime of very wide-ranging experience!
I've always been a Wild Woman – so before starting my first degree in Dance, Drama & Art at Exeter University, I went of to the USA for four months gadding about with pen-friends in Chicago, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado, riding bareback and doing dressage with no saddle or bridle! During and after my degree I spent summers back-packing down through France, Greece, Israel and across to to Afghanistan, coming back with one of thos gorgeous but stinking Afghan goatskin coats! My parents were thrilled!
How it was in Kabul back in the day ...
Boot Camp -through the water tunnel ...
Me & the Royal Marines
After that, I took a temporary job sorting out the filing system for the Devon Fire Brigade HQ, and got a chance to have a go at some of their training including doing the “Smoke Room”. If you really want to be scared see if you can have a go! It was terrifying!
Then I decided to go work for the Ministry of Defence at the Royal Marine Commando Training Centre in Devon, in charge of their admin. More incredible experiences with amazing and lovely people! Everyone, from colonels to squaddies were so honest, forthright and vulnerable – yes, vulnerable! If you can’t admit you’re scared, afraid to say you don’t feel up for it, then nobody in their right mind would dare go into battle with you. You just can’t fake it when the bullets are flying!
This is War!
I moved on to learn software and became a senior software designer and project manager for converting the whole Defence Sales system from paper to computer. That was so much fun! And getting to know the XOs at British Aerospace and Rolls Royce, having a tour of a nuclear sub, and going to the air shows at Farnborough.
Yet another scary-thrilling experience (yes! I do love those!) was going to the military demonstrations for foreign powers who wanted to buy our kit. It felt quite surreal being amidst eastern, middle eastern, American and European arms buyers – very James Bond!
Fastest time of my Life!
I got promoted and moved to London, firstly working in personnel policy management, then finance for jet engines followed by the management team for the new jet fighter trainer being built at that time. I went down to the military aircraft Test & Evaluation centre at Boscombe Down every other week for finance and project meetings, and managed to cadge myself a ride in a Hawk jet trainer. I caught up with my stomach when we landed after the fastest fifteen minutes of my life! Wow! You can keep zip-lines after that!
But the real thrill was the demos
The air demos, of planes demolishing old tanks and lorries and armoured cars was impressive, especially the US A10 Warthog.The pilots flew the two planes at about 30ft over our heads. Everybody ducked! And then the gatling guns started firing at three rusty old tanks a mile away across the plain.
There was nothing left except a cloud of dust!
The finale was stunning.
Did you ever sit on a tall platform with a Chieftain FV4201 main battle tank underneath you?
Then the BBC-voiced commentator advises us all to put our ear defenders on.
Then the tank – right underneath us – fires a huge shell! The noise was incredible! And the gunners had made sure the smoke emitted from the enormous barrel was red, white and blue!
Needless to say, everyone was very pleased to be escorted to the Mess and given a nice drink!
Before I moved up to London I split up (very amicably) with my first husband (Bob) and took off with my second (Paul). Paul was yet another source of amazing experiences. He’s an ex-particle physicist from Rutherford High Energy Labs in Oxford, and some of his experience was with the very early stages of nuclear fusion development. Consequently, I’ve had quantum with the cornflakes for most of my life! It’s great though as Paul can tell me the concepts in cat-sat-on-the-mat language. And finally, in 2017, I was able to go to the Culham Centre for Nuclear Fusion summer school to mingle with and learn from cutting-edge experts.
Hi-Fi & Computers
Apart from physics, Paul’s major hobby-cum-Why was sound recording. He been part of a specialist recording company who recorded people like Yehudi Menuhin so really knew his stuff. He was also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) so we used to hang out with all the top recoding and hi-fi companies in London.
After we moved to London Paul became a computer hardware boffin, being the “fixer” for successive American companies and getting to travel round Europe and the Middle East, as well as often being called in to big City stockbrokers to fix their systems. He even got called in to some the MOD bases in the UK.
Me, modelling in the 80s
In 1991 I was medically retired from the MOD with rheumatoid arthritis. It was an awful shock, literally came on overnight. I couldn’t walk, move and for a couple of days my jaw got stuck and I could hardly swallow – that was terrifying.
And … and this was the worst – I’d been dancing for Arlene Phillips, as one of her trainers at Pineapple Studios, for several years. Now I would never dance like that again. I was heartbroken.
But I’m not one to crawl away into a corner and give up.
I’d done some quite deep psychology as part of my first degree – called the Laban Technique, it’s a deep way of understanding body language. I went to a lecture by Ian Gordon-Brown, one of the founders in Britain of the Transpersonal. Instantly, I knew I had to do this, signed up and three years later began my own practice. Ian was one of the (many) amazing people I met through my life, and one who helped set me on the path I now enjoy.
Apart from all the other exhilarating experiences, I claim bragging rights that I’ve been kissed by Mick Jagger! He was a friend of a long-ago boyfriend who was at London Imperial college. Mick was at the LSE at the time and just starting the Rolling Stones. They used to paly at the Station Hotel in Richmond and we used to go down there to listen!
So … I’ve had a wild and eventful life. It’s given me a huge fund of experience and the wisdom that comes from that, often from accidents, daring to ask for something, making cockups of things, and living life to the full.
Now, I love inspiring and enabling people to live their lives to the full. Sharing my experience with them, and offering them their own experiential ways of finding their own stories is exhilarating. For me … and for them.
So when my lovely client, Brian McGuire, says “Elen literally changes people lives. I have known her now for over 20 years and she has been a huge influence on my life and how I now see the world through a positive outlook.” it makes me feel humble and valued, and so thrilled to have been of service.
I was born and brought up on the moors of Devon in the south-west of the UK, in a family of centuries of witchy ancestry.
Now, I live in a quirky old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, on the Long Mynd in Shropshire. I share it with my black witchy cat, my husband, Paul, and a host of wildlife. So Wild Child is still in my bones!
I love cats, eat paleo-keto, and my motto is, If the cat and the boyfriend don’t agree, get rid of the boyfriend!