A few years ago, Elissa Kravetz found her inspiration and has been on an inspired mission ever since.
The Farley Project creates change within schools for children who are being bullied.
ICS saw Elissa speak at the Simply Stylist event in NYC pictured here, where she talked about inspiration, her non-profit organization, and her public relations firm. We caught up with her soon after to learn more about what keeps her most inspired.
On the Huffington Post, you talk about how you found your inspiration for the Farley Project while on a yoga retreat in Bali? Why was bullying the topic you chose and how has this particular topic impacted your views on inspiration?
I actually found my inspiration for The Farley Project a few months before Bali. I had just gotten out of a relationship and a friend took me to boxing classes. After a few sessions I started thinking of my 7th grade bullying when I was boxing.
I couldn’t understand why, I hadn’t thought about them in 20 years. It was if all of a sudden the memories just started coming in. When this happened I realized that the feelings were still in my body and I needed to start dealing with it and healing from it.
I went on a spiritual journey – studied Kabbalah, traveled to Bali, India, Thailand. Did lots of yoga and breathing workshops. Something that really started my healing was talking about it. My being bullied so long ago, was not something that I really talked about, I felt embarrassed about it and did not think that it really had an impact on my life (little did I know, that it impacted my entire life!).
I started sharing my story as schools and camps, and I when I was at my old overnight camp in New Hampshire, the director of the camp gave me a check. I didn’t want the check, and did not know what to do with it! After a few months of it sitting in my wallet, I opened a bank account and The Farley Project was born!
One of the key themes, ICS took from your talk at Simply Stylist is to follow your passion but to also work from your heart, not only your head. What is some advice to incorporate that into one’s career? How can this translate to everyday life?
We all walk around with 2 voices – all of us, all the time. Some call it ego vs. soul, head vs. heart, etc. Our heart will NEVER lead us astray. The voice of our heart is often quieter. Sometimes we can’t even hear it. I periodically put my hand on my heart and ask it for an answer. Our ego/head wants us to be lazy and sad and jealous. Our heart wants us to love and spread kindness and is brave.
When you are fearful of something, this is your head. You should always run into your fear. If you are afraid of talking in front of people – do it! There is always a beautiful yummy pot of gold and happiness on the other side of fear.
In your nonprofit work and your PR company, are there overlapping themes that emerge to help guide you in both environments? Yes! The curriculum that we teach in the schools is about self-love and honoring yourself and building yourself up. We encourage this in our agency as well. I have worked in environments where there is lots of yelling and straight up fear. I would love to believe that we can change the face of PR. When most people think PR they think “super high stress environment.”
We are not that. We’re like a big family at the agency. And every time we go into the schools we have 4-5 adult volunteers with us teaching the program, and I feel that the volunteers get as much out of it as the students do. Today’s lesson we talked about the voice you hear when you look in the mirror. Do you tell yourself that you’re beautiful and a rock star and that you’re going to have an amazing day?!
Or do you tell yourself that you look tired and ugly? The practice of self-love and acceptance is something, I think, that we will work on forever. Since starting The Farley Project I am more compassionate for the people in the PR office. I have switched my role at the agency from being the boss, to be an inspirational leader! I hope it’s working.
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