Empowering Female Entrepreneurs' with Elisabeth Jane Cannon's Online Therapy & Workations in Sicily!
Elisabeth Jane Cannon is an Emotional Intelligence Therapist who offers online services to empower individuals to thrive in both their personal and professional lives. Additionally, she organizes Workations in Sicily exclusively for female entrepreneurs, providing a unique opportunity for personal and business growth in a stunning location. Join Elisabeth's network to learn more about her services and connect with like-minded individuals.
1: Elisabeth, you are an emotional intelligence (EQ) therapist online, motivational speaker and workations in Sicily for female entrepreneurs! Wow - this all sounds amazing! Tell us about your journey and how you got involved in these ventures!
Thank you - yes, it’s actually very amazing, and a place I never thought I would be in my life. You see, my journey actually started 30 years ago when I got married at 22. I worked in travel (hotel, airline & airport) for some time, and after I had my two children I studied to become a pre-school teacher and worked in a private kindergarten 5 minutes walk from our house for 20 years!
These 25 years I actually thought I was living a normal family life, although I knew there was something different and that I had restrictions in my life - set by my husband who was 10 years older. He had come to Norway as a refugee from a Middle-Eastern country 4 years before we met when I was 19. When I was in the beginning of my forties I started to become more and more aware of what I was experiencing. During my thirties I had suffered a burnout two times and was suicidal, but never understood why. I only knew that I had absolutely no energy and willpower left. Both times I returned “to life” and carried on.
At 44 my children were off studying, and something happened inside me. I became stronger. My way of describing it is that I had a 'Love Warrior' inside me, and although I had forgot about her, she was only sleeping and waiting for the right time to wake up and shake me. Now was the time! And as I stood up for myself, I managed to rent an apartment and go out of this marriage that I - as I was “waking” up - understood had been toxic. I started my education as an EQ-therapist, mainly to use this in coaching the parents and staff in the kindergarten I was working at, but during the first year I understood that actually I had been a victim of mental, emotional and sexual violence for all the 25 years I was with my ex-husband. This awakening floored me, and I was first diagnosed with adjustment disorder and then PTSD.
The next two years I was inside a rollercoaster, trying to figure out what my life had been and what it was and could be - who I was before and who I was now. Thankfully I was so fortunate to be studying therapy, which in turn gave me the freedom to explore, learn and have access to a lot of therapy based in finding your inner child (my love warrior) through the emotions you are feeling in the now. This helped me immensely to find my way, also because I had no energy or capacity to work in the kindergarten anymore.
During this period I also met my Sicilian man, which was totally unexpected. We lived in different countries when we met, and actually was in a long-distance relationship for the first four years. Then after a horrendous lockdown - where I felt stranded in Norway for half a year, I came over to Sicily with my little dog in august 2020, and that was it. We found an apartment together in his home town, where he runs the family business; an exclusive Italian lamp store, and now I commute the other way - to Norway where my children now are adults and are starting their own families soon. In Sicily, I started developing my business while we were in lockdown, giving therapy to Norwegian women online. As the world started to open up, I had bonded with a lot of other female entrepreneurs through Instagram, and one of them said she would like a 'workation' in Sicily. This turned into creating a week for female entrepreneurs where you can work with your business as well as connect with other entrepreneurs both professionally and socially. There is a special creative and inspiring atmosphere when female entrepreneurs come together - as you so perfectly put in your question - it really is amazing!!
2: What can women expect from you as a therapist? What is your style of counselling?
As a therapist, as well as in my life, I focus on Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Women that contact me do this because they feel that they do not have the inner balance in their life that they want and that they deserve. This in turn affects their business, their relations with themselves, their partner, their kids, family, colleagues and so on. When they come to me for therapy, it mostly has to do with them experiencing not being understood, seen or heard by their close relations. Maybe they feel lost, alone or simply irritated or sad a lot of the time. Some, especially female entrepreneurs, experience that their business creativity is lost or they procrastinate a lot of tasks that really are important for their business - creating a feeling of anxiety and pressure instead of loving their business and doing what they love (which, in my experience, is the main reason why we become entrepreneurs in the first place).
My style of counselling is to start with them telling me how they feel right now. I always offer a free half hour meeting before the real therapy, both to see if we match, and so that I can tell them a little about me and they can share the reason for contacting me, and what they hope to accomplish from the therapy.
When you experience that you are not balanced, and start talking about your emotions in this precise moment, we will start to identify them. Where are they? What does this feel like? Does it have a particular shape or colour? etc. After we have identified this emotion, I will through questions connect you to a time in your life where you felt these emotions before. Maybe you were a child, a teenager, young adult or maybe it was just a couple of weeks ago. We find your inner child - your love warrior. In therapy you will have the possibility to meet your hurt self as the adult you are today. Give her love, confidence, a listening ear and a hug - if you want. You will discover who hurt you - who created that wound inside you that still is not healed - and therefore has become a trigger for you in your present life.
When you heal your wounds in this way, it helps you to increase your Emotional Intelligence (EQ). This will give you stronger confidence, make you love yourself more, make you see your own value and if your are struggling with procrastination in your business, it will help you to re-discover your balance and creativity. Increasing your EQ is actually the best way to stop procrastinating, because everything starts and ends with emotions.
3: Tell us about the ‘Workations' in Sicily for Female Entrepreneurs’! What can female entrepreneurs expect from this 'workation'?
Thanks for asking! My concept for this kind of 'workation' is that in addition to working away from home in a beautiful atmosphere, you also have the possibility to connect and network with other female entrepreneurs. The 'workation' is one week at a beautiful resort country hotel run by a local family, and invites to a lovely, tranquil atmosphere in the countryside of Ragusa, where I live. This hotel is special in the way that it is completely and beautifully restyled from a typical Sicilian farmhouse, and so the rooms are like small one room-apartments around the old courtyard. Breakfast is included, and you have your own sun bed by the lovely pool. I make arrangements for sightseeing, lunch and dinner and create a program where you decide what you want to join depending on your desires and needs. If you would like a special photoshoot; by sunset in front of the Mediterranean Sea, by the pool or facing the beautiful old town of Ragusa Ibla, I have a photographer, also a female entrepreneur, that I can book for you at a very good price.
In my experience this week gives entrepreneurs a chance to reconnect with themselves as well as connecting with others. This June I had three EQ-therapists here on a 'workation', and it was amazing to see how they indulged in deep, interesting professional conversations at breakfast, by the pool, over lunch or a glass of wine at night. In September I have entrepreneurs coming that have very different businesses; f.ex one is a web-designer and another a coach. I find that this way of connecting with other female entrepreneurs, and discovering how much we have in common, has been so important for my own development as a human as well as an entrepreneur. It fills my energy and heart every time I organise a 'workation', and see that my guests experience the same! We need to connect with each other.
4: You are living the expat life there in Sicily, right? Tell us about your expat journey…
As I said in the beginning, I started my expat life here in Sicily because I fell in love with a Sicilian man. I also fell in love with the island, the people and the lifestyle. After a life where I lost myself and was walking on eggshells, it was such a gift for me to enter a life that encouraged me to live in the here and now. A life where people look for the good in every day even though their life has changed due to the economy, climate change or lately, covid. Their stamina also encourages me to build my new life in this way, and so I also transfer in to my work online with my clients, on my social media and in my podcast.
My days here are a bit isolated as I work from home, and my fiancé has their family business to attend to, an exclusive, Italian lamp store started 50 years ago. As most Sicilians, he works long days, but always comes home for lunch, and so we cherish this moment of the day as dinner here is very late, around 9 pm. One of my goals for 2023 has been to work outside a couple of days a week, and so I have found a couple of places in the old town and by the sea where I can enjoy a different atmosphere while writing on my book or creating new episodes for my podcast. Every day I remind myself of how thankful I am for giving myself this life.
5: What advice would you give a female entrepreneur looking to live abroad and take her business with her?
I would just say do it! What is the worst thing that can happen? I have two grown-up kids and my mum in Norway, so for me it was very important that I myself was ready to live without the possibility to meet up as often as usual. I ended up with, I guess, the same conclusion that I answered in the last question: I decided that living in the here and now does not mean it is necessary forever. It could be - at this moment I would love it to be - but it may not happen. And from there I decided: and that is ok with me! If this is only a chapter in my life, that is beautiful too. So, yes! If you have this possibility in your life, I would say to give it a go - absolutely!
6: Where have you traveled/lived/worked that really had an impact on you and why?
Sicily is my first experience, and so I guess I have answered this under the other questions ;)
7: How do you cultivate balance in your life to create a harmonious work and personal life?
I love this question! I lived almost three decades being unbalanced and not present in my own life. As a result of this, I live with PTSD - and my everyday life goal is balance. I NEED balance to live a full life where I am completely present both within myself, in my work and in my relations. I cultivate balance by putting myself first. My first love is me. I am the most important person in my life, and through my journey of finding back to myself I now know instantly what my body, soul and mind needs. I start everyday with writing morning pages and a meditation. Spirituality has become my foundation, and manifestation and the law of attraction my lifestyle. The sea is where I charge, so a couple of days a week I move my office to a little coffee place where I can work while charging. My concept within my business is called “The Waves of Life”, and my goal is to find balance while riding the waves no matter if they are rolling fast or calmly kissing the sand.
8: What are your key tips for women to look after their mental health?
Firstly - to create time to yourself! - and to do it without drowning in feeling bad for all the others that you believe expect you to be there for them. To see that you are important - that the time you spend doing what you really want to do is also quality time! When you create this time, your possibilities are limitless. Use it to practice discovering what you really like to do or what/who gives you energy and what/who drains you. Start writing morning pages and empty your mind before you open your phone. This not only clears your head, but also balances your emotions. Lastly, it is better to find someone you can talk to, a therapist or even a friend, in stead of bottling everything up. Maybe you don’t even know what is troubling you - find a therapist that can help you process your past. Your body remembers what your mind has forgotten.
9: What is your lifestyle like in Sicily? Would you recommend it to other female expats looking to relocate?
Since I share my life with a Sicilian man, my lifestyle has become very impacted by the lifestyle here. I work from home, but I have also organised my work week so that I can take my little Fiat Panda to beautiful places like the Old Town or the sea, and work from there one or two days a week. In Sicily people come home for lunch, and the lifestyle is a mix of working long hours and enjoying time and food with friends and family.
For a female expat I would recommend Sicily if you are a flexible person that likes to go with the flow. From my point of view that’s essential to find your balance and energy on this beautiful and versatile island. You have to embrace Sicily as it is, and Sicilians as they are. Being online, but still offline. Then I think you’ll fall in love with Sicily - like I did.
10: Lastly, what advice would you give to a female who may be looking for life coaching and needs direction? You are the solution - always. Remember that procrastination is not only about changing your mindset. It starts with your emotions. When you find what you need to open the gates to your life path, you will find your way. If you want my help to discover this, I am here for you.
Connect with Elizabeth: