“When people step into my car, they never know what they’re going to get,” says Elizabeth Elliot, who for the past year has been driving for both Uber and Lyft — and blogging about it.
By Megan M. Seckman
|Elizabeth playfully holds the Lyft symbol — a mustache — that she also displays on the dash of her car.
Photos by Melissa Donald
Elizabeth identifies herself as a holistic lifestyle educator and has a background in just about everything that involves education and integrative health. She is a certified yoga, group fitness, and Silver Sneaker instructor. She holds a master’s degree in education, has a Waldorf home-schooling background, and is a certified HANDEL screener (an energy and movement-based therapy for educational efficiency). She owns
Thrive Wholistic Life, a service that helps the young and old to find optimal wellness emotionally, physically, nutritionally, spiritually, and environmentally. She leads women’s retreats for mind/body/spirit development and organizes the Booty in a Backpack nonprofit that supplies goods to the homeless in gently used backpacks collected at Rainbow Blossom.
But right now, she’s mostly into mobile education and therapy, providing a safe listening ear and a little spiritual wisdom. If you happen to step into her Honda Fit, you just might come out feeling a little lighter.
|Elizabeth’s headphones, which have a microphone attached, allow her to be hands-free while
answering calls from customers.
“Sometimes I love (driving for a living) better than teaching,” Elizabeth says with a wide smile on her face. “I get to be the counselor in the car. I ask certain questions about my passengers’ childhoods, whether or not they are passionate about their jobs and life…and people usually want to open up. I’ve had customers leave comments like ‘Best Counseling Session’ on my driving profile.”
Elizabeth radiates a certain comfortable, non-judgmental air and makes conversation flow with ease. Anecdotes from her “mobile therapy” experience include counseling arguing couples, listening to a man describe the recent reunion with his estranged daughter, discovering the tale of a blind athlete, picking up a woman from a methadone treatment, and hearing the woes of transportation, divorce, and business from the city’s diverse socio-economic spectrum.
|Elizabeth does a warrior pose.|
“More than anything, this job has taught me gratitude and connectivity,” Elizabeth says. “I can see myself in each one of my passengers — young, old, rich, poor, conflicted, or impaired… One woman I took home in the pouring rain ran up to her apartment, getting drenched in the downpour, to get me a $2 tip because she told me it would have taken her three buses and one-and-a-half hours to get home if I didn’t come. When we’re in the car together, we realize we’re not that different from one another. I always learn something.”
Read on to see what this holistic lifestyle educator /Uber-driving guru is reading, watching, and listening to when she’s not in the car.
What she’s reading:
- Wanderlust by Jeff Krasno, et. al. Elizabeth admits to having a real fear of commitment alongside a strong desire to create her best life. Settling is not on the table. This book is targeted toward the 20 million yoga practitioners in the U.S. who are still trying to incorporate the practices of yoga in their daily lives. It’s advertised as a “road map” to finding your “true north.”
- 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks: Awakening the Power, Wisdom, and Beauty in Every Woman’s Nature by Suzanne Mathis McQueen. This guide decodes the sun season patterns, moon phases, and archetypes that happen within a woman’s four-week menstrual cycle. The symbolic guide helps women understand the best times for decision-making, seduction, rest, and leadership.
- Messages from the Masters by Brian Weiss. This is Elizabeth’s favorite author, an American psychiatrist who specializes in past-life regression and reincarnation.
What she’s watching:
- Grace and Frankie. “I recently marathon-watched this show and just loved it.”
- Parenthood. “I like shows that touch on reality. I can’t watch violence or anything too dark. My vagus nerve, the nerve that is responsible for empathy, is too sensitive for that.”
What she’s listening to:
- Deepak Chopra Live on Facebook
- Gabby Bernstein, a motivational life coach
- “My son reads The Daily Ohm to me in the car.”
- The Crystal Fighters. “I like music that invokes contemplation and emotions relative to my life. The Crystal Fighters are very positive and uplifting.”
Have you ever done mobile therapy? What about another therapy such as this unique one? Comment and let us know your thoughts on Elizabeth’s story or about other therapeutic activities!