Emma-Louise ElseyThis is me – in my ‘life-coach’ headshot. And yes, I’m thinking about getting a more rebellious photo, perhaps wearing my AC/DC T-shirt…

So, Rebel Women Café actually started a long, long time ago.

As most of us were – I was very curious as a child. I liked to ask questions – and to understand things. I also liked to improve things, which often meant challenging the traditional ways of doing things. WHY can’t it be done this way? WHY can’t it be like this? Explain that again because it didn’t make sense to me…

I was called a “Rebel” because I didn’t just accept what I was told, because I questioned things, because I didn’t want to do things the way everyone else did them and I liked to learn for myself. At the time the name “Rebel” stung.  I wasn’t trying to rebel or be difficult – I just wanted to do things differently.

And I was a tomboy growing up – I liked climbing trees, hanging out with boys and playing soccer in my best long party dress. I was great at marbles, loved cars and was fascinated by plants, animals and bugs. As computers got introduced in the 1980s I was fascinated by them and even enjoyed writing simple computer games. I didn’t voluntarily wear pink until I was 30 years old (old habits die hard). And so the male, geek dominated field of computers – information technology was a good fit for me. After completing a BSc in Business and Information Technology, I took my career seriously and worked my way up as fast as I could into management at blue chip companies.

But sadly, money and status didn’t do it for me. Yes, I liked the luxuries of eating out, regular weekends away, a cool 1973 Ford Capri and a great stereo system (see I am a geek!). But I felt like something was missing. My creative and people skills were not valued at work – only my ability to meet deadlines and stick to budgets. And I realized by my late twenties that my dreams of making it to CEO seemed rather pointless. Big corporations are about making money and keeping shareholders happy, and my dreams lay elsewhere.

And so after 18 months of searching and researching alternative careers, I left the ‘safe’ corporate world of management (I was one of the few women managers in IT at my company) to become a life coach. Again, it wasn’t rebelling – I was simply trying to find meaning in my world. And now after 5 years of running my own life coaching business and many, many seminars, newsletters and wonderful clients later I’ve discovered my real passion. I like to get people thinking – through my writing and coaching tools or exercises . When I ask myself “What do I stand for?” the answer is – empowering myself and fellow women.

Emma and DexterOh – and did I mention that 4 years after moving from England to Vancouver in Canada we moved to Salt Spring Island (between Vancouver & Vancouver Island). It’s an amazing community of about 10,500 people, many of whom farm and grow their own food. There are also many people here who feel passionately about nature, the environment and making a difference. So in 5 years I’ve gone from living in the suburbs and commuting into London every day to work as a manager for a big bank to being a writer and self-help entrepreneur living on 5 acres with my hubbie, cat and naughty dog, Dexter.

I have never been happier – although it’s been far from easy. I’ve worked my socks off, been tired, stressed, anxious, struggled to get my business off the ground and have constantly questioned myself. But despite all this, somewhere inside me I knew I was doing the right thing. I’ve trusted my intuition and stuck it out when the gremlins and inner critics say, “What are you doing NOW? That’ll NEVER work!” And here I am.

I want this for you. Not the gremlins and the inner (and outer) criticism – but to live your values. To know and accept your deepest self. For you to find inner peace by being authentic and joy in life through taking responsibility and creating that life you love.

My journey has been one of self-acceptance. But of course to accept yourself you have to first KNOW yourself – and in particular you have to really face those parts of you that you’d rather stay hidden…

So enough about me. I want this website to be about you.

To help you:

  • Figure out what you want and get out there and make it happen
  • Be yourself – love every part of you – including the ‘bad’ stuff!

To empower you to:

  • Be the person you want to be
  • Live the life you want and deserve

To support each other:

  • To question and if necessary challenge the status quo
  • To create a community/ start a conversation amongst women, WHATEVER our choices and beliefs

And that’s something else I would like to address here. I want to take a broader look at the role society plays in how we feel about ourselves – and about women in general. Because when we look closely, a lot of the negativity we feel toward ourselves is simply conditioning. But in order to shake it off we need to see it for what it is! Let’s get going!

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