Conversations with ..., Mixed, Transformation

In Conversation with Elizabeth Roselle, Part 1

February 1, 2017
blonde in car wearing black hat

A few years ago, I met this beautiful being through mutual friends. We would run into each other occasionally through our social circles in Los Angeles. It was always great seeing this sweet, charismatic, and fun-to-be around woman.

At some point I didn’t see her anymore. I later found out, through her FB posts, that she was living in Bali.  That seemed amazing, thrilling, and so far-fetched. It felt unattainable and too exotic to even consider such an idea for myself. I was in such awe of this woman and her boldness and was fascinated by her new life in a beautiful tropical country.

A few years later I was going through a major transformation myself.  I embarked on a six-month journey through India and South East Asia. While in India, I reached out to her to for some advice on moving around in that part of the world. She was so generous in giving me all her contacts in Bali. It was one of the best destinations I have ever experienced.  This first adventure planted a seed and changed my life completely.

I am so grateful to Elizabeth for sharing her experience with me and passing it forward and for going towards a life less conventional and making it look so effortless.  Through her adventures, I got an insight and a blue print on how to redesign my life. It was the beginning of everything.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for the inspiration.


blonde woman with sunglasses and black hatold gentleman with beautiful woman in hat and sunglasses


                In Conversation with Elizabeth Roselle, Part 1


Samadhi Kitchen:  What was your life like before you decided to explore the world?

ER:  Well, I’ve been going to Bali for 14 years now, but up until about six years ago (and some change), I hadn’t seen too many other parts of the world, outside of Bali, Thailand and a handful of countries in Europe. Then I made the decision to give up drinking and partying. It’s something that had, for various reasons, become such a big part of my life over the years and it did absolutely nothing to serve me. Once I gave it up; however, my life started to change drastically — exploring the world (I still have so much left to see, btw) is included in this change. 🙂  But prior to this, I really had no idea who I was — I’d spent an obscene amount of time partying, fumbling my way through college, then working as a freelance journalist in addition to a handful of other “side gigs” that I’m not particularly proud of. In short, I experienced a lot of life, but, at the risk of sounding dramatic, a very dark side of life. I had fun, but nothing that I was doing truly fed my soul and left me feeling gratified in any kind of positive way.


SK:  What shifted in you that allowed you to make such a bold move?

ER:  Again, giving up my partying ways. From the moment I made the decision to give up drugs and alcohol, or at least very shortly thereafter, I found myself on a plane back to Bali. At this time it was to begin and grow a business — a jewelry line, Punk Sophisticate, that has since become a lifestyle brand that I’m extremely proud of. I think that as a result of this shift, I grew to really know and love myself. It was then that I started following my heart and my intuition. Now, I embrace my creative side and all of my passions on a much deeper level. My heart guides me, and if a move seems “bold,” well, if it’s what my heart wants, then I know it’s right and generally everything falls into place, even if it’s scary in the beginning.


SK:  How did you prepare for your travels? Did you have to sell everything ?

ER:  That first trip back to Bali turned into almost a year long journey in and around neighboring Indonesian islands and Northern Thailand. So yes, before I left, I gave up my Hollywood Hills apartment and sold a handful of my possessions. When I returned, growing the business was much more challenging than I had hoped, and I found myself couch surfing. I’d sold my fancy sports car, etc. I ultimately had to get a 9-5 job to support myself, and my business went on the back burner for a hot minute and life was no longer as glamorous as it had once been. That was a humbling time for me, because I had to set my ego aside, keep my head down, and focus on showing up to life in a way that wasn’t really what I’d envisioned. So yes, I prepared myself… sort of. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the life I would face upon my return. It took me several years of working hard to be able to come back to my brand, but now I have the kind of work experience, in addition to the grit, that I think I’ve required all along in order to be able to become truly successful. So I gave up a lot of “stuff” to travel, but I also gave up a way of life that wasn’t serving me, and I’ve worked hard to recreate my life in a way that does serve me.


SK:  Why did you choose Bali and what was that like? How long did you stay?

ER:  I’d gone to Bali for the first time after I graduated from college 14 years ago. I just fell in love with it. I’d initially chosen it because I had a girlfriend who’d gone. I didn’t know anything about Bali at the time, but she had shown me some photos and it just seemed like a really neat, exotic place to travel. I had some leftover college grant money burning a hole in my pocket, and so I just picked Bali. It was pretty random, really. I ended up staying for two months, and I felt so centered and grounded while I was there. I loved the culture, and how the locals were in a continual state of gratitude, and these locals don’t have much. I wanted what they had so much more than what Western society dictates is valuable. They valued family, friendship, humility, being spiritually fit and present, and I was so accustomed to feeling like I needed to be tethered to my material possessions and status. After all, that’s the Western way. I enjoyed this new (new for me) Eastern way and that’s what I wanted for myself.


SK:  We sometimes feel it is an impossible idea to make such a drastic decision. Whether it is impossible financially or just if you’re afraid to step into a whole new world. What has been your experience and how were you able to financially support yourself?

ER:  Honestly, I don’t really know. I don’t think that any of my decisions were “responsible” ones in the traditional sense when I set out to grow my business and make Southeast Asia a part-time home. I took a leap of faith and just hoped that all of the pieces would fall into place. Sometimes things go according to plan, but most of the time they don’t. In these past six years, I’ve done things like ride a hand-me-down bicycle to job interviews (this is VERY humbling in a city like L.A., btw), couch surf, move roommates into my place when I couldn’t come up with rent, and so on. It’s not like I was in my early 20’s while doing these things. I won’t lie; it’s been really challenging at times and I’ve thought about giving up on a couple of occasions. Thankfully, I’m stubborn and I’ve learned to ignore the voice that tells me what I’m doing is impossible, or that I don’t have what it takes to be successful. I’ve graduated from the bicycle days, but it could very easily become a reality, once again (that was only 4 years ago!) if I don’t stay focused and keep moving. I have a growing brand, and it’s still in its very early stages so momentum is key. I’ve been very blessed to have had some family support along the way, but I’ve done a lot of this on my own and because of past decisions and bad financial choices.  I was never really “set up” for any of this but somehow, things always seem to work out, and my business is growing. I also get the occasional freelance writing gig here and there. Being a journalist has served me well and allowed for some location independence as I grow the brand. I wouldn’t trade any of these experiences for anything. It’s been quite the journey.


SK:  What lessons have you learned that seemed impossible before taking the plunge?

ER:  I’m not sure. I think maybe to just always have faith that things will work out if you’re following your heart. To stay in the present moment and remain curious. Fear is a big time dream killer, and it’s so important to focus on what’s right in front of us. Generally our fears are attached to things that will never really come to be. If we can stay focused on being grateful for the things that we have right now, things like a roof over our heads, food in the fridge, healthy relationships — stuff that really matters — then it’s easier to keep moving forward. If my daily needs are met, then I know that I’ll get through the day and I can set my fears aside and focus on what I need to do to move forward.


SK:  What advice can you give to others that want to step out of their familiar space and explore different possibilities?

ER:  Have an open mind and an open heart. Stay curious, humble, teachable, and share your dreams with everyone who will listen. You never know where the next opportunity will come from. And then, if it’s feasible, just buy that plane ticket! Worry about the rest later, and tell your fears to shut up. 😉


SK:  What changes have you noticed in yourself after taking on this journey?

ER:  I am much less fearful of the unknown. I am much more confident. I am much less selfish. I am much more passionate…and a lot more humble. Once you’ve seen a bit more of the world and carved out your own path, you start to realize how insignificant you are. At least this has been my experience.  That may sound like a negative, but I actually find it quite positive. With this humility has come an enormous amount of freedom, because I realize that the world isn’t going to end if I make a mistake, so my most important job is to be of service wherever I am able, and continue to show up for life and for others in a way that really feeds my soul. If I screw up, it’s probably not going to affect anyone nearly as much as I think it will, so I try to remember this, quickly pick up the pieces and just keep truckin’ along.


SK:  Where do you see yourself five years from now?

ER:  Traveling the world, doing non-profit work, continuing to build my brand, taking endless amounts of risks, doing things that scare me, writing stories, and enjoying everything that this big, blue planet has to offer. I’d also like to start a production company overseas and make travel documentaries.


SK:  What is your definition of a life well lived?

ER:  I think I’m writing it right now.


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