Meet Ellen Sichel
Here’s a juicy fact about me. I am a recovering control freak, Type A+++ personality. Ask anyone who knew me and they will heartily agree. That leaves me wondering how I ended up teaching stress and pain management solutions. Crazy, huh? I was a business woman, an overachiever sales person and if you would have told me that I would be passionate about helping people deal with stress, pain, and illness, I would have taken you to your local psyche ward!
So what happened? Life happened.
There were enough twists and turns in my life to make anyone feel nauseated. After the first two weeks of life, I was placed in an orphanage and adopted a year later. I guess that accounts for my struggle with waiting! That journey is too long to cover here. There were more big events that ensued, but I will skip to my adult life.
Big Event #1: I have what???
I worked hard to have my life under control and was quite successful. I was working hard, happily married, raising a child, juggling it all until after the birth of my second daughter. Then the s**t hit the fan. I could barely walk up the stairs and I hurt. I was told no-I did not push too hard, what I had was Lupus. Really???
This type A+++ did not want to slow down one bit, but my body was imploding on me. I was determined to find some help and it was suggested I try gentle yoga. I hated it- boring and slow. However, I was in a conundrum- my body loved it. It helped me feel better. What would any type A+++ do? You got it- Not only do you go to classes, you go for teacher training and become an advanced gentle yoga teacher, meditation teacher, and open a yoga studio.
I had a very deep yoga/meditation practice, was down to a type A- personality, and had life back on an even keel. Did I say even keel? Not for long.
Big Event #2: My daughter has what???
When my younger daughter turned nine, I watched her stumble on the bases in little league. Something was not right. After many doctors, she was diagnosed with a form of Muscular Dystrophy. It is one thing for my body to implode, but my child? This threw me into a tailspin of denial, frustration, sadness-trying to control a situation that was out of my control. I wanted to take my daughters pain away and make up time with my older daughter, and a great wife, yoga teacher, business owner, daughter- you get the picture.
The deep meditation/yoga practice that once sustained me was not practical. I could not hide out in the yoga room, massage table, or anything else I did to escape my emotional struggle. Who had the time? Sooner or later I had to deal with life on life’s terms and life’s terms stunk. I see this with so many people and I knew for me, there had to be a better way to exist.
Big event #3: The Game Changer!
There was something important missing from the extensive training I had taken. The focus was on getting relief or fixing the situation, rather than skills to embrace life on life’s terms.
I searched for the solution and I found it. Rather than trying to change, avoid, and resist what was happening, I took training in how to stay present to what is happening, without layering my opinions or judgments. I needed this and so did my clients. This was a game changer, but there was a problem. Every technique I studied, took 30 minutes or more to practice. Not so practical, especially when dealing with a full day of stress. My clients would run me out of the room if I told them to practice daily for 30-45 minutes. They barely have time to pee!
Then the light bulb went off. I already had extensive training in gentle yoga mindfulness, and meditation, along with life experiences. Why not integrate it all into my own program? Who better to help others than someone who lives and breathes what they were teaching? I love this work so much, I wrote an awesome, upbeat book (in my free time)- Splash Into Calm.
That was the birth of Custom Calm, Ltd. A company offering practical, on-the-spot solutions to live life while going though challenges. Not only did I want to help individuals, but companies who are dealing with employee burnout; especially healthcare companies. Everything I teach is designed to be practical, relatable, effective, and easy to incorporate into daily life. It’s that simple.
Today, I am still dealing with autoimmune diseases and physical discomfort, but that does not define me or stop me from enjoying life. I live in Atlanta with my husband and quirky dog. My kids are busy living their lives. One of my passions is educating women about health and well being. I do this through my service work as President of Hadassah Health Professionals group. I love laughing and uplifting others.
I can say this with total honesty. If this uptight, type A+, southern New York transplant can live this way, so can you!
If you are curious about my work, feel free to schedule a call to find out more. We can see if we are a fit. Looking forward to chatting soon!
To hear Ellen live on a radio interview, click the play button below: