The sudden death of Janet Ellis’ only sister in 1998 brought her to her knees and was the catalyst that ultimately brought her to Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). “When I am emerging from a crisis, my usual response is to embark on some learning journey. In December 2006, I was completing what I thought would be my last semester at ASU. I had earned a bachelor’s degree in Family and Human Development and a minor in Psychology and Gender Studies. I then decided that I wanted to apply to their Marriage & Family Therapy program,” said Janet.
While her application was being processed, Janet decided to indulge her curiosity and find out what SWIHA was all about. The school had a great reputation for powerful classes with great experiences, and she had a personal interest in the newly formed Life Coaching program. One evening in January 2006, Janet attended a Gifts & Graces, facilitated by KC Miller. Janet said, “That experience so powerfully confirmed what I felt as a deep calling, that I enrolled in the Life Coaching – Foundations class, and I’ve never looked back!”
First, Janet completed and received her Life Coaching certificate. She observed that some professional hypnotherapists were classmates and because of their ability to help clients access their subconscious and identify what was holding them back, they were becoming very powerful coaches. She was also experiencing her own transformation, so she also enrolled in and completed the Hypnotherapy program. “As our Master Life Coach, Richard Seaman put it: ‘Life Coaching and Hypnotherapy are the perfect dance’, and I have to agree. The two programs were so interdependent that I would have a hard time deciding which was best, and I cannot imagine having my practice without the skills I acquired in both. I can recall in vivid detail, the moment of Holy inspiration that occurred, and I always hold space for clients with the hopes that they will experience that for themselves.”
Janet disclosed that when she arrived at SWIHA, she was much more broken than she cared to admit-- to herself or to anyone else at the time. The wonderful thing about becoming a life coach is learning the work and watching it iron-out the wrinkles in your own life. She remembers that there were a few fellow classmates who helped her get into the core of her issues and, for the first time, she was able to really see herself. This was HUGE for her, life changing. We are never really broken….maybe just bent!
“The following three people are just amazing human beings and each equally contributed to my transformation. They helped me recognize that we are all okay and we’re all doing the best we can; it is best to be gentle with ourselves and to meet each client where they are at.”
- Richard Seaman challenged Janet in so many ways. His effective teaching methods did their job: learning how to coach others puts the student in a process of healing areas in their own lives. Yes, it made her feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, but Richard made her feel safe, courageous, and strong, as well. Two of the greatest lessons he taught her were: “Don’t leave the session five minutes before the miracle occurs, and BELIEVE in the possibilities. “I might have quit a 1,000 times if I hadn’t taken those concepts to heart. Both have served my clients and me so well. I leave plenty of time between sessions to allow a period of completion to manifest. This also allows me to regroup and show up fresh for the next session. That helps me be at my very best for every client. To this day, I still use the mantra he gave us for homework during one of our first weeks: ‘I say YES to unexpected joy, love, money, and more. You say, and more…because you don’t want to limit the Universe,’ he shared. I encourage you all to try it…It works!”
- KC Miller – Just WOW! Her policy of generosity in her business struck such a deep chord in Janet, that it catapulted her out of living with a ‘spirit of lack’ and plunged her into a ‘spirit of abundance’. She always had a generous spirit, yet she realized that her generosity came from a place of neediness and not from gratitude and confidence. “KC also said something in class that transformed my relationships. She said that people are doing the best they can with where they are right now. I may not like it; I may not accept it, yet it does not change the truth that we must stay on our own path and allow others to walk their own path, in their own time. She helped me develop a deeper sense of compassion for people.”
- Linda Bennett helped Janet find her ‘hypno-voice’, and she will always be grateful for her encouragement and guidance in helping her discover her gift. “When I feel like I’m a little off, I head back to her recorded guided meditations to re-center. Linda is an amazing teacher and practitioner.”
- I think the most profound concept I took away from SWIHA is that we are all unique, worthy individuals on our own, sacred journeys.
Passion for working with and helping others started when Janet was a young girl. She recognized that something was amiss in her family and felt a pull to understand the dysfunction. “I think I used to help others as a coping mechanism and as a way to validate my existence or my relevance in the world. I came to believe that each human being had immeasurable value and a God-given right to live a beautiful, fulfilling life.” She is convinced that we all have choices about how we live our lives, how we serve the world, and how we love ourselves and each other. She believes if we learn how to release our ‘inner junk’, we will see that. This will allow us to make more authentic choices and serve the world in a much more loving way, and as a result, create a more peaceful and harmonious world. “So many people are stuck in lifestyles of their own creation because of how they were raised….There is a perceived standard that has nothing to do with who they are, what they want, or why they are here in this life. I am passionate about helping them reclaim their lives so that they can freely and joyfully serve their purpose.”
Janet now has two businesses:
- In Her Peace ~ The Art of Peaceful Living is her private coaching, meditation, and hypnotherapy practice.
- Alis Living ~ A Lifestyle Boutique is an intentionally created, multi-faceted space. Her retail boutique carries organic women’s fashion, artisan jewelry, local art, sustainable home décor, candles, inspirational books and gifts. In addition, she hosts many entertaining and educational workshops, including art, cooking, vision boards, meditation, flower arranging, self-care, and so much more.
Both businesses share the charming, 103-year-old, Charles Miller home, which is the oldest house in Old Town Scottsdale, at 6938 E. 1st Street. The home has been beautifully preserved and converted to a charming, historical commercial space, complete with a front porch and white picket fence. When you come in, be sure to ask Janet about the drawing she created 16 years ago before she knew the house even existed.
Janet says that she can literally see physical changes and feel emotional shifts in her clients through their sessions. Her programs all have a ‘call my coach’ component that allows them to call her between sessions to share challenges, successes, or get needed support. She has found that keeping sessions between 60 and 90 minutes allows enough time for the current work to be accomplished and allows the client to leave feeling refreshed, confident, and excited to move forward.
Weekly guided meditation classes are also offered by Janet at her store in Scottsdale and they have a developed focus each month. These include a short talk around the theme (5-10 minutes); an optional journaling exercise; a lovely, relaxing, guided meditation; and end with a sharing of each participant’s experience. In addition, she hosts a few signature workshops each year; a powerful ¾ day “Create a Simply Beautiful Life Vision Board Workshop”, and a few Inspirational Movie Day Workshops. The events are intimate (limited to 8 spaces) and the participants are pampered throughout the day.
Janet happily admits that, “Sharing the knowledge I gained at SWIHA with clients is the most amazing thing I do. Seeing the light of hope, transformations, or the spark of inspiration, is so incredibly rewarding. I love when clients come back years after sessions and share with me how the experience [with Janet] changed their lives and the lives of their families, coworkers, and friends. It can be surreal to be confronted with the knowledge that I played a role in helping people transform their lives.” She feels that the seeds of her passion were planted long before she had any contact with SWIHA, and then under the loving, expert, & compassionate tutelage of the excellent instructors and fellow students at SWIHA, those seeds were nurtured and allowed to bring about the change that needed to occur in order for her to step into the role she was meant to fill. Her traditional education did not provide the deep inner work, creative challenges, and unconditional acceptance that she received at SWIHA.
Janet had a special message for students and graduates who might want to follow in her footsteps: “Know that you have something unique to offer, believe in yourself and in your clients, always have a mentor, and be a mentor. Be aware of those successful individuals who are willing to share their experience with you. Ask for help. Work on your business as well as in your business. Don’t try to do it all; off load the things you either don’t like to do or are not as skilled at. Save your time and energy for your core work. Surround yourself with positive people who support and challenge you to be your best. Be generous. Know that there is no lack and no competition, because regardless of how many people do the same thing you do….no one does it the way you do it.”
Get in touch with Janet online:
About the Author, Kerry Burki
~ SWIHA Success Center Blogger
Kerry Burki is Editor of the newly launched KERRY Magazine ~ a magazine that uses real women as models, supports small businesses, encourages you to feel beautiful as you are right now and even has a printable worksheet to help you go after your dreams! She been teaching yoga since 2004, currently teaches yoga + meditation at a local assisted-living facility near her home in Scottsdale, Arizona. Kerry has written two ebooks about self-care (one for everyday and one for creatives) and she has just joined the SWIHA Success Center Team part-time as a blogger, consultant and creator!