Today we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Elliott.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I began Starwalkers in August 2018. It’s a non-profit group I formed to fund a walk on the Camino De Santiago De Campostella, which traditionally is a walking pilgrimage from Lourdes France to Santiago Spain. It is roughly 500 miles in length. Myself and 13 women will walk the trail in 50 days and I’ll document our journey along the way.
I first heard about the Camino De Santiago years ago while living in Europe and had hoped to walk it then during my time there around 2007. Later around 2009, I had moved back to the states and had mostly put it to the back of mind as the pull of daily life marched on. During a shamanic healing session in June of 2018 the Camino came back up in my consciousness as a way to heal from my childhood trauma witnessing domestic abuse in my family. I wanted to involve other women and give them the opportunity to tell their stories and include them in this journey to see if it could foster healing for us all through shared experience, discovery of challenges and personal limits. I hope that all of the women involved (my self included) can grow and heal from this experience. I can’t predict what will happen on the trail but that’s my hope and goal, that this will be a transformative experience and that it will act as a guidepost to other women who see my film, to face past trauma and fears, and take physical action to face them and grow beyond them via whatever journey speaks to them.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s been far more difficult than I ever expected. My expertise is not in film at all and I have no experience in the non-profit sector. However, I’ve really felt called to pursue this and have had incredible excitement from people I meet around this project and mentoring help from folks I’ve met along the way as I try to secure funding, participants and crew to make this film happen. So many people have showed up in my life to help me on this journey. I really feel guided and supported. I feel like as long as I just keep going, it keeps happening. It’s really interesting to me because that’s quite a big alignment with the intent of this film. To not focus on the destination but the journey. I’m learning so much and meeting so many incredible people so far. The healing is already happening, though we’re not on the trail yet I feel like the journey has already begun. As far as struggles along the way, the ironic part is that now, the 500 mile trek is beginning to look more and more like the easiest part of this experience.
Please tell us about Star Walkers Foundation.
With this walk and this film, we’re really about creating an environment far away from the distractions of daily life where women can set themselves an incredible goal and have no one to answer to while they take on a journey of self-discovery. It really isn’t so lofty as a traditional pilgrimage, it’s more simple. At home often women are pulled in so many directions that self-care and self-reflection take the back burner to everything else. That everything else can be a partner, a child, their job, their friends, etc. We wanted to create a scenario whereby the women are only as accountable to others as they want to be.
We will have support and opportunities for the women to walk together but this is really a very long walk that they can’t escape and is largely solitary. We want to provide a safe structure for this introspection to take place. The traditional point of pilgrimage is often that as well, a walking meditation. In this case, the religious experience we are seeking at the end is greater connection with ourselves. I can’t predict or presume to know what will happen on this journey but the hope is that each woman will emerge on the other side of this experience stronger, happier and more assured about the foundation of who she is.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck has been the secret ingredient of this entire experience. Everywhere I go I meet people who are interested and want to lend a helping hand to make this whole thing come to life. It’s been absolutely incredible how the alignments and synchronicities have fully supported this project. From my best friend designing our website to my AirBnB guest who became interested in the project and donated his services designing our logo we’ve been really lucky. Incidentally, that same designer is a very sweet man from Italy who is so supportive of the project, once home he volunteered to fly to Spain to shoot our B-role. Luck has definitely shaped this project into what it is today.
- Address: 3352 1/8 Rowena Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
- Website: www.starwalkers.org
- Phone: 7203330924
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @starwalkersfoundation
- Facebook: @starwalkersfoundation
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/starwalkers13
Tristan Pineda, Starwalker, Ricardo Frantz, Omar Lopez, Eneida Hoti, Karl Magnuson