Thanks for stopping by my little piece of “online real estate.”
Please note… the quick “cut and paste” bio is below. If you’d like the abbreviated version, then scroll down to where the header reads “Short Bio.” Otherwise… let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?
Taking it way back… I’m originally from Carmel, NY. Yes, I’m a New Yorker. I talk with my hands, have a quick temper, and tend to interrupt people (all areas of improvement I’m aware of, LOL).
I grew up on a quiet street with lots of green space. My sister and I (it was just the two of us, and we were thick as thieves) liked to play tackle football in our front yard, build hiking trails in the woods, and sell Girl Scout cookies door-to-door (for miles).
Inside, we spent HOURS (and days, weeks, and years) playing barbies in our basement. We enjoyed making mixtapes, creating dance routines, and pretending we were newsroom anchors.
Gosh, the good old days.
Sadly, we all have to grow up. (Or do we? Wink-wink.) For me, that meant leaving NY to start college at the University of Delaware.
I didn’t even know where that was… we hadn’t even visited the school, my mom pointed out as I finalized my application. So, why choose that college?
Whelp, no one from my high school was going. I wanted independence. My freedom. A fresh start where nobody knew who I was, and I didn’t know a soul. I guess you could say I was the adventurous type. That, or a lone ranger. (Both qualities I embody to this day)
College was awesome. The perfect party. And classes? Since I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, I dabbled in a variety of majors.
From accounting to teaching, from writing to sociology. I finally landed on psychology, mainly because I enjoyed the classes. I spent six years at Delaware. And… no. I wasn’t on the extended education program. I graduated with my friends as a psychology major, only to add two more years so I could also get a bachelor’s in nursing.
Anyone who knew me well looked stunned when I told them I was going to become a nurse. Honestly, I was too.
Because I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with the “rest of my life” and since I didn’t want to leave the fun-filled college atmosphere, when my roomies suggested to my mom I should enter the accelerated nursing program, I didn’t have any reason to turn them down.
There you have it. I became a nurse.
But as I’ve said over and over (and over) again in my life… “I’m not a nursey-nurse.” Blood and guts freak me out. If you try to talk to me about a cut in your hand or a break in your leg, I’m gonna pass out. Hmm, if I couldn’t handle the medical setting, what type of nursing would I do?
Pairing my first degree with my second, I took a job at The Johns Hopkins Hospital on an adult inpatient psychiatric unit.
Gosh, I learned a lot working there. And not just about nursing.
Sure, I learned never to let myself get cornered into a room with an actively psychotic person. But more importantly, I learned how to be a homeowner, how to save money in a retirement fund, about shared governance, and some innovative ways to lead employee (and kickball) teams.
I also realized there isn’t much healing happening in inpatient hospital units.
Becoming cynical, I left my hospital job after only five years. I didn’t like what I was seeing, and despite taking lots of action to improve things, I realized I wouldn’t change an entire system by myself.
So, once I finished my two master’s degrees, I took my first career leap. I left a high-paying job to work part-time at a wellness center. I was still a nurse… I was just nursing out in the community.
It was amazing. At the wellness center, I learned about physical health. I taught clients how to exercise properly. But the most significant growth happening in this role was for me personally.
My boss allowed me to go through a health coaching program (on them… score!). I began exercising consistently. I also started meditating and practicing yoga. My health thrived at that job.
I must have felt fantastic because guess what?
I went back to the hospital!
That’s right. I took another hospital job. This time in a nursing research position.
One of my professors from my master’s program took an interest in me and offered me a role as her assistant. Since I felt I learned everything I could at the gym and because I was feeling a twinge of boredom… I said yes.
This time around, I lasted longer. I stayed for 10 years. (Wow. I had to do the math myself… I didn’t think it was that long!)
That position challenged me, yet awarded me. I published several peer-reviewed articles in nursing journals. I presented posters and podiums nationally and internationally. I led teams of nurses through their own research studies and improvement projects. And, I grew an online speaking business on the side.
That’s right. I published three nursing books (and some kindle books) and gave keynote speeches at nursing events across the country. But the honeymoon didn’t last forever.
While I have so much gratitude for the role and every perk along the way, there was a dark side. I worked for a micromanaging director.
Nothing was good enough for her. One day she’d lift me up; the next, tear me down with manipulative and condescending words. I was being psychologically abused, and I was miserable. It got extremely ugly. Enough said.
Unfortunately, I was wearing golden handcuffs. You know the kind… those dollar sign bracelets that sink their teeth into your skin.
After 10 years (actually, 15 in total), I was making six figures as a nurse. That kind of money makes it nearly impossible to leave.
But I wasn’t happy. And I wasn’t healthy. I let myself slip into old patterns of burnout, misery, and negative life choices.
That’s when I got KNOCKED UPSIDE THE HEAD.
One morning, before a conference call, I went outside to take my recycling down the street. I rode my bike, holding the recyclables in one hand. Yes, bad idea. But I was in a rush.
Whole other (long) story that you can read more about on my blog, in my book What Happens after Elbow Surgery, or via my YouTube vlog… but long story short, I fell off my bike. I fractured my elbow, required surgery, developed complex regional pain syndrome, and never went back into the hospital again.
That’s right. Everything happens for a reason.
First, I was angry at my accident. Then, I felt sad because I couldn’t do the things I was used to. And finally, after six months and one hell of a healing journey, I’m back baby!
I used holism to return to health.
Every single day, I practice one or more healing modalities. From yoga to qigong, from journaling to art, from reading to walking, from plants to pets… my entire focus is on holistic healing.
Pills didn’t help me. Therapy didn’t help me. Surgery didn’t work out well.
It’s been holism. Holistic routines. Healing modalities that have made me feel like myself again.
So, that’s where we’re at currently. And since I’m living the holistic life and feeling my best again… I’m sharing these gifts with the world.
I’d love to support you, be there as a partner along your healing path.
If you’re interested in learning more… let’s do this.
Together we can all…
Live Sublimely Well.
Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN, RYT200 holds bachelor’s degrees in nursing and psychology from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in business and nursing from Johns Hopkins University.
She is a certified coach, registered yoga teacher, and reiki master. Her nursing career experience includes adult inpatient psychiatry, a community health center, and a research program coordinator at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
After suffering an elbow injury and being diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, Elizabeth turned to a holistic lifestyle for whole-person healing. Or, more accurately, “returned” to holism. As a holistic nurse, she gratefully embraced daily yoga, qigong, reiki, and other healing practices.
Elizabeth lives in Maryland, with her husband, Drew, and their dog, Rusty. They enjoy hiking, taking scenic drives, DIY rehab projects, trying new foods, visiting the beach, and grooving to their favorite jam band, moe.