To Top

Meet Ellie Zarrabian, PhD of Centerpeace Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ellie Zarrabian, PhD.

Ellie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am the Founder and Director of the Centerpeace Foundation and the Centerpeace Project. I also teach at Antioch University in the Trauma Studies Department. Last year, I finished writing my book on how to turn conflict into calm and this year I am looking to publish it. I live in a lovely loft apartment on the Westside of L.A. and spend my down time travelling and spending time with my amazing children and crazy but lovable dog.

But my life was not always this fruitful. In fact, my earlier years were spend recovering from trauma, depression, joblessness and homelessness.

You see, I am a child survivor of war. In 1979 my native country of Iran went into war with its neighboring country of Iraq. Overnight the Shah or King of Iran was overthrown and the Islamic extremists took to the streets robbing, looting and lynching anyone who was a supporter of the old regime. My earliest memories of my childhood is of either being bombed or people being publicly executed. Thankfully, soon after all the mayhem began, my family and I escaped. Practically overnight, we packed our lives into a few suitcases and quickly and abruptly left our homeland. We escaped to United Kingdom where we became refugees and later immigrated to the United States. When we left Iran, we did not tell our friends or neighbors that we were leaving. We just left everything as it was, only never to return again.

Looking back, it has taken me what seems like a lifetime to work through the trauma I experienced as a child. These childhood experiences will forever be etched in my mind.

These experiences also robbed me of having a “normal” life as a young adult. I struggled with depression for many years and could not take care of myself reliably. My family had also suffered the consequences of these earlier experiences. My father was not able to work and make sufficient income for us so we struggled financially. My mother lost her ability to be a caring, nurturing presence and as a result harbored and expressed a great deal of anger and rage towards everyone including her children.

But the good news is that when I turned twenty-four, I decided to turn my life around. Once I made this pact with myself, I actually turned my life around. Through hard work, different types of therapies, higher education and a devoted spiritual practice, I was able to go on to create the life I have today.

Today, the culmination of these experiences has instilled in me an unwavering desire to do the same for others. As a person who has known suffering, I help others turn their life around. I coach people who also want to do better in life how to make great shift by attaining emotional, physical, financial and spiritual wealth.

Please tell us about Centerpeace Foundation.
I use my background in psychology, trauma healing, Therapeutic Touch, mindfulness meditation, leadership training and spirituality to help people overcome emotional, financial, and physical barriers.

I founded the Centerpeace Foundation in 2008 where I educate and privately consult people. Then in 2014, I created the Centerpeace Project where I go into different parts of the world virtually and work with young adults who are living in areas with a great deal of social unrest. By educating them through my written work, vlogs/ blogs and webinars, I establish communication with people who are interested in helping their communities in part of the work where they are dealing with a great deal of poverty, racism, sexism and religious discrimination.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I am not sure what I would have done differently. I didn’t have much in terms of resources or support to start my career, so I had to literally build my life from nothing. As a result, I have earned everything I have and all that I have become. I feel every bit grateful. I also make it point to practice gratitude on a daily basis. Therefore, I don’t have any regrets…only blessings!

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • Fun Things to do in LA in November

    The editorial team shares some of the most noteworthy events in LA over the next few weeks. Check them out below...

    VoyageLA StaffNovember 13, 2017
  • LA’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in LA has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what differentiates...

    VoyageLA StaffNovember 13, 2017

    The incredible folks at Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG) have put together an incredible exhibition on Dia De Los Muertos. ...

    VoyageLA StaffOctober 16, 2017
  • Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985

    This month the Hammer Museum is presenting an incredibly important exhibition called Radical Women.  It will highlight the art and artistic...

    VoyageLA StaffOctober 4, 2017
  • OC’s Hottest New Spots

    Orange County’s has a great couple of months on the food and drink front.  From Cha Cha’s opening up in Irvine...

    VoyageLA StaffSeptember 25, 2017
  • The Jig + Saw Story

    We worked with the folks at Squarespace to find the most exciting and innovative local entrepreneurs in the LA area and...

    VoyageLA StaffAugust 14, 2017
  • The Future of Food

    We worked with the folks at Squarespace to find the most exciting and innovative local entrepreneurs in the LA area and...

    VoyageLA StaffJune 29, 2017
  • The True Renegades

    Cindy Whitehead is a 70’s pro skateboarder who was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame in 2016, she is the...

    Cindy WhiteheadMay 11, 2017
  • LA Art’s Inconvenient Truth

    Xandra Myers, Founder & CEO of i3 Arts Fest, opened our eyes the potential public art installations hold for the city...

    Xandra MeyersMay 3, 2017