Massage & Yoga Therapist - O'ahu, Hawaii

1. Name 

Julie Elersich

2. Where is your hometown?

Simi Valley California, Have lived on the North Shore of Oahu since the early 80's.. so more than half my life is here, so i feel that both are my "HomeTown" :)

3. What is your profession/career/title/self-label/designation?

Well this is an interesting one.. I think my life is my career. I teach yoga, play with horses and practice Massage.. but all of these are a part of me. I don't see them as a career, but as my life's dharma. This too is evolving. 

4. What was the journey like to get where you are (career wise)? When was the mental shift to start the journey?

Oh Gosh, it's funny. I started out as acid doing the things I am doing now but as play time. The wave of circumstances and events pulled me in a few new directions along the way. I became a mom at the age of 15, and a wife.. (which didn't last, but being a mom never was a question) So my focus became one of supporting my child and life. My son and I moved to Hawaii after his father was based there. We raised our son together, but from separate homes. Which worked.

Anyhow, I had to work a lot and took a job at turtle bay. In that first year we struggled a ton. Then I was hired at the golf course. Arnold Palmer was the designer and he would come to visit yearly. His team took me under their wings and I became the buyer at the shop. I shopped for a living. PINCH ME.. lol I was 22 and a big wig at the golf course. I Loved it and still struggled financially.

After about 10 years there I decide it was time to leave the course. I became a flight attendant for a major airline. This I thought would be my Career. But it was a tough commute, and lifestyle. I am by nature an Introvert, and taking on an extroverted role was just like kicking myself. I did enjoy the work, and started to have a better schedule. My son was able to pursue some travel needs for his sport (Downhill Mountain Biking and Trick Jumping). Anyhow, after about 10 more years there, I got injured in turbulence. I mean severely injured. My back was broken and I suffered a severe spinal cord injury. I have four huge rods in my spine supporting me. A multi-level fusion, that never quite fused. It took me a few years to be able to even go out to dinner again.

Now-a-days, this is a rare thing. But in the hospital, I began reading a book called "Waking" by Matthew Sanford. He was paralyzed in a car accident as a kid and became a yoga teacher... Yep. THUS indeed. So I read more books and finally two months after my 3rd surgery.. I began a yoga teacher training. I had already became licensed in massage years before and kept my license current. So, I slowly started to study and get my hands back on bodies. I also had a horse before the accident which thought would never be a thing for me again. But it lined up, and I have horse in my life again that I ride for a little while and just be with a lot of the time.

So short story long... As a kid I was true to my interests, got caught up in the "what I should be doings" in life..then the universe lined my truth up for me and I just opened my eyes back up to them and walked in.

5. Biggest accomplishment (physical/mental)

Being a mom to my son has been my greatest accomplishment. 

6. What was biggest disappointment and plan to overcome it?

Biggest disappointment... Well, this one is tricky, but honestly, I was mean to a boy when I was in 7th grade. I said something mean about him. He overheard it and I felt so bad. I have never been proud of that. Hahaha THAT is my biggest disappointment, 

7. Advice for other women?

Remember your true happy places. Follow that inner happy. It usually is the best path for you and don’t over think it. 

8. Where in the world do you feel “tallest”?

Anywhere love is.

9. What is the future goal/challenge (career goals in 5-10 years)?

In the next 5-10 years, I hope to embrace wherever I am lead. 

10. What fears are you still hoping to overcome?

Some fears to overcome. Gosh I personally fear losing the ability to walk. I walk now and after my injury I worked hard to make this a reality, but the maintenance of it is a challenge. I fear a wheel chair... But I also know that you can do a ton from a chair. 

11. What inspires you?

Laughter inspires me. Love inspires me. My family inspires me. And strong women around the world present and past always inspire me.

12. Who is a “WOW Woman” in your life who inspires you (and why)?

My mom. 

13. Where can others find you/your work (links to websites, blogs, etc.)?

I teach yoga at the North Shore Yoga CoOp and at the Open Space Yoga in Haleiwa I practice Massage out of North Shore Therapeutic Massage.