What Message Do You Think Every Woman Should Hear ?

With Lauryn Elder

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My name is Lauryn. I am so many things. I just recently became a wife to my amazing husband who puts up with my craziness. A puppy mom to the silliest rescue pit-bull. Im a dance teacher to an amazing group of young girls. I am a behavior therapist for children with autism. I absolutely love my job. I am working to be a board certified behavior analyst. I am an advocate for rescue pups, kids with special needs, and for health and wellness. I am a lover of all types of art, of food and of the simple things in life like essential oils, tea and sunsets.

What is one thing no one really knows about you?
I come off as a pretty big goof ball in person. I come off as someone who is completely stress free, and some say I come off as someone who has it all figured out. Only those who are super close to me know how incredibly type A I can be. I stress constantly, and I am easily my own worst critic. It is something that I am constantly working to change. It is something that very rarely brings me joy.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 
I love advice. I can think back on so many people who have given me just solid advice. A good friend of mine from dance gave me advice when I was about 16 and it has stuck with me ever since. I was going back and forth between something (I can’t even remember the situation and he said “Lauryn, just ask.” “What is the worst thing someone can say? No? Well then they say No. But what if they say yes? at least you asked.” It was so simple, but so relevant to so much in life. Thanks Herman, you’re the best! 

What would you say to 16 year old you?
You are so much more than just a body. 

What is your favorite thing about where you live?
I wake up in the morning and look out my two big windows to acres of land with baby foxes, deer, running water, huge trees, and a trail that at any point throughout the day you can see people running, walking their dogs, playing with their kids, etc. I cannot think of one single day that I have looked out into the backyard and haven’t felt immense gratitude for life. The sun shines so bright right before sunset, and right after sunrise and I wait for those moments every day. 

What message do you think every women should hear? 
^^^ What I said to 16 year old me. I think it is so important to remember that you are not just a body. Your looks do not define your character. Educate yourselves and empower yourselves to take on a world that will try to take advantage of you. We live in a society that is DROWNING in diet culture. A society that is pushing unrealistic ideals of what beauty is. On top of that we are living in a society that is making it  WAY too easy to have NO idea what you are putting into your body. Beauty is NOT a size. Health is NOT a size. When you mix the diet culture and the unrealistic ideals of “beauty,” together it is detrimental. Your body does not define you, your soul does.  It does not have to be difficult, taking care of yourself should be simple, self love SHOULD be simple……do not let them make you believe otherwise.

What do you love most about yourself?
This question was actually the #1 question I did NOT want to answer. Self love is so hard. I am working on it every day. So…. in the process of working on this, I am going to force an answer here 🙂 
I think what I love most about myself is my passion for many things in life. For as long as I can remember I have always had SO many passions. I could list over a thousand things that bring me joy. I have never felt that I have needed to only do one thing in life. I love my career, but I love MANY things. On top of my “career,” as a behavior therapist I have never lost grasp of my love of dance, or dogs, art and music, thrifting, etc. I love that I always go after all of my passions no matter how much is on my plate. If you asked me what I wanted to be when I was younger, I could never give just one answer. I do not think I will ever just do one thing in life. 

What is the biggest thing you have learned along the way? 
How important it is to 1. Not take life too seriously, and 2. To empower yourself and 3. to never play to victim. Life can be really hard some times. I think what I have learned is you cannot let the hard times define you. When the hard times come around, when you feel stressed, when you’re exhausted ask yourself these questions: 1. What can I do right now? 2. What do I need to feel better? 3. What can I do to avoid this from happening again?…. and then take a giant deep breath and remember that there is always another day. I promise it works. Nothing good will ever come from pointing fingers, and only good things can come from self reflection. 

How do you manage your work-life balance?  
I have always been very hard working. From the age of 7 until 22, I was in the dance studio at least 25 hours a week. It was a full time job for a child. But it set up a huge foundation in my life and I loved every second of it. Hard work to me, has never felt like work. It still doesn’t now that my full time job is something other than dance. This rocks, and I am so thankful to love my career. My current job is very rewarding, but the burn out can be intense. I find it really hard to shut my mind off, and in the past 6 months I have really been focusing on creating a work-life balance. I started going to hot yoga, barre, going to the dog park, thrifting, painting, and finding time to watch my favorite shows. It has made such a difference in my life. Sometimes when I feel stressed i’ll sit back and just think “okay what will make me happy right now that is not work?” and then i’ll make time for that! Sometimes this can be diffusing some oils at my desk, or putting on a song. Sometimes it means taking a day off to rest. My husband is the most relaxed person you will ever meet, and he’s helped SO much with this. 

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward? 
I study applied behavior analysis, it is the basis of my current career, and my future career goals. I am so passionate about it, and not just applying it to my clients, but to my own life as well. At work, I create behavior plans for my clients… but at home I do it for myself. You take the behaviors that you have, that are creating problems in your life, and you come up with alternative replacement behaviors that create positive change. I can honestly say I am constantly applying this to my own life, and my own behaviors to constantly shape myself in to someone who can accomplish all of the goals I want to accomplish in life. 

If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing?
Obviously I do not have just one job that I would be doing. BUT if I was not working full time in applied behavior analysis, I would be doing two things. One, I would work at a animal rescue most days. I would be saving ALL of the puppies.  I would also be working as an intuitive eating health coach working with women recovering from disordered eating. If I was not doing the job I have full time, I would be finding a way to make a career out of all the things I love in life.

More About Lauryn

Lauryn Elder is a behavior therapist for children with autism and a dance teacher. She just recently became a wife to her amazing husband and is a puppy mom to the silliest rescue pit-bull.
Lauryn is an advocate for rescue pups, kids with special needs, and for health and wellness. She is a lover of all types of art, of food and of the simple things in life like essential oils, tea and sunsets.

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