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Meet Elizabeth Prather of The Prather Group in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Prather.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Elizabeth. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be successful. I equated success with happiness – which was passed down through my family’s value on education and leadership and what was encouraged through media and society. I graduated from University of California, Berkeley and embarked on what came to be a very successful career in mental health managed care (think HMO for mental health care).

Upon reaching the Director level, I started to understand that I was not as happy as I had expected to be, and began looking around for more meaning and purpose. It was at this time that I was introduced to meditation, which I did find helpful in managing my stress. I was promoted to Vice President yet still found happiness eluding me. I worked long hours, was chronically exhausted, felt ineffective no matter how hard I tried and became less hopeful. It was only later that I found out that these are all symptoms of burnout.

In this burned out state, I left corporate America and went traveling to Asia, primarily India, Nepal and Thailand to recharge and rejuvenate. In addition to enjoying the cultures, hiking in the Himalayas, and resting at the beaches, I attended meditation retreats. What was surprising to me was finding that meditation was the key that was missing in my search for happiness. I spent the next four years, primarily in India and Nepal, learning from wisdom teachers, engaging in meditation retreats, practicing meditation daily, and teaching.

Meditation helped align my interests with my career and I spent years as a Tour Director, traveling the world and leading tours for a luxury tour company. During this time, I continued my meditation training and regular meditation practice. And, in 2010, I took a deep dive and embarked on a three years silent meditation retreat in the high desert of Arizona. I had my 50th birthday in that retreat. During the retreat, it became clear that I was to share mindfulness, meditation and its benefits with others when I came out.

Thus, since 2013 I have been helping stressed and burned out professional women find calm, joy, resilience and purpose through mindfulness and meditation. I offer one-on-one and group programs and lead retreats. I look forward to offering in-person retreats when this is possible. I also facilitate mindfulness programs within organizations to improve performance and well-being.

Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has had many ups and downs. When I burned out as a corporate executive, it was a time of searching for meaning and purpose and the happiness which had eluded me. I backpacked my way around Asia, which comes with its own plethora of challenges, but it taught me so much about myself, and I met incredible people from all around the world, along the way. I dealt with giardia, bed bugs, transportation delays (never-ending!), extreme weather, altitude sickness, scorpions, and more.

Through meditation, I began to understand the power of the mind and the importance of compassion and love. I found the capacity to cope better with difficulties and manage my emotions. I learned that compassion for myself was not selfish, but an integral part of being human. I learned that I wanted to be of service in the world, using what I’ve learned and the gifts that I’ve been given. And, I found a happiness that is not dependent on outer conditions but on my own inner contentment and peace of mind.

Tell us more about you. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc.
I am a Mindfulness Consultant and Mentor. I work primarily with stressed and burned out professional women, helping them find calm, joy, resilience and purpose and guiding them to that inner confidence and wisdom that changes their lives.

I offer virtual one-on-one and group programs and lead retreats. I look forward to offering in-person retreats when this is possible again. I also facilitate mindfulness programs within organizations to improve performance and well-being.

My background as a corporate executive coupled with deep meditation training and experience sets me apart from others teaching mindfulness in companies, or with individuals. My experience with burnout helps me understand the challenges of leaders.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I like best: the diversity of people, incredible hiking opportunities from the beach to the mountains, variety of architectural styles, beaches/ocean, variety of food, interesting restaurant decor.

Like least: traffic.

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