January 7, 2017

Before & After Elephant Apprentice Makeover: when Soul Meets Body.

A photo posted by Kaitlyn O’Connor (@kto27) on

This past September I decided to enroll in Elephant Academy, as writing has always been a passion of mine and reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies.

I have always believed that reading is one of the best things in the world to do. I am always looking to be inspired by someone else’s words.

To read someone else’s words you may have never met before and somehow connect to their heart is what this is has all been about.

Whether it was connecting emotionally or spiritually, elephant journal somehow always resonated with me. I enrolled in the Elephant Academy just as I was about to travel to South Africa this past September.

I remember our first Skype meeting—being in South Africa, the time zone difference was eight hours ahead of elephant journal headquarters in Boulder. I stayed up until two in the morning that night just to make sure I was there for it. I was excited like a little kid running down the stairs on Christmas Day.

“What a beautiful thing to be a part of,” I thought to myself after that first meeting.

A group of like-minded people coming together with one purpose, and that was to help each other become better writers, readers, and investigators of truth for what is going on in the world.

What needs to be done to create a better planet and how we can help each-other in doing it.

Elephant journal unites people from all over the world, no matter what gender or race. Elephant is solely about coming together, no matter our differences—coming together over our similarities in ideas and inspirations.

As this apprenticeship has come to an end, I do have to admit at the beginning I was 100 percent hoping to land a job with them when this apprenticeship was over. Now months later, I see that doesn’t even matter anymore because what I have gone through was even better than landing a job, because I got to experience and really dig deep into who I truly am.

It was a beautiful makeover in my mind, body and soul.

Part of the apprenticeship was to be in charge of elephant journal’s  Facebook pages. I was lucky enough to be in charge of Elephant Adventure, and overtime Mindful Travel as well, something that actually represented my life as I have been a traveler the past two years. From Spain to Nepal to Costa Rica, back and forth to the States, to Mexico and South Africa, these past two years were some of my highest moments—but some of my lowest as well.

This is where elephant journal resonated with me so much: I would read a lot of articles and see the different posts that would bring me up in times I was down.

Now being in control of these pages, being responsible for getting those articles of inspiration out there, I felt like I had God’s hands.

My job was to get people reading, learning, educating and inspiring.

Seeing the feedback from people all over the world, so many endless thank yous and so much love, it was beautiful to know that perhaps I was the reason someone clicked the link and read that specific article that helped them with something they were going through that day.

I wrote a note to my boyfriend randomly one night that said, “Your existence gives me peace.” The next day I took a chance and posted it along with a picture on one of the pages I was managing. To see all of the feedback, showing immense love, I really could see behind the scenes the impact and vibration of love that elephant journal brings to the world. To know that I was the creator of this was a gift I will never forget.

This was all led by the passion of Waylon and Caitlin and the rest of the elephant team. I saw them cut to reporting real news, staying up all night and putting all their love and effort into finding the truth. They also opened up their hearts, which they so effortlessly pour out onto our screens. This truly has been a blessing. I will forever cherish in my heart the experience of working with this community of people who care so damn much about our world.

Through my travels, the people I have met and the elephant articles I have read, I have gained a lot of beautiful wisdom that I try to keep in mind every day. Living sustainably, taking care of my body and being careful with what I am putting in it, being aware of where my food is coming from, and so on. This wisdom has turned me into the person I have always wanted to become.

From when I first started reading elephant journal two years ago to now, the difference in who I am and how I live my life is absolutely beautiful. I now live in Mexico and have been the happiest I have ever been in my life after my two years of up and downs in travel.

People ask me why I started traveling a lot and I always tell them, 1.) To see the world and to experience how others live on this planet and 2.) I was tired of living a life I was constantly complaining about or being surrounded by people who were complaining about it.

Through reading, writing, getting inspired, traveling, meeting other like-minded people, I decided to say f*ck this and get out of that place and move somewhere where my soul and body met.

Elephant journal, muchas gracias for everything you have given me, especially the amount of wisdom I have gained from reading and resonating with all the posts, blogs, and articles. They have all truly inspired me to be a better person. To have had the power to inspire others has given me a makeover in my mind, body and soul.

I know now that inspiration exists in every moment, no matter where I am, or what I am doing, and I know elephant journal has awakened that beauty in me.

So with that elephant friends, my final thesis can be summed up as:

We are pretty much a group of beautiful bad-ass human beings who care so much about this planet. We pour our hearts out onto our keyboards and notebooks to help each other get through whatever it may be that we are going through. From love, travel, spirituality, health, conscious eating, sustainability, to Standing Rock, Trump, Aleppo, elephant journal reports it all. And it is 100 percent real and raw. It is all the different things that are going on within this world currently and what we can do to help ourselves and others. We have been each other’s shoulders to lean on, to cry on, laugh on, write on, and scream on without actually being physically there.

Elephant, thank you will never be enough. This truly has been one of the most beautiful things I have ever been apart of.




Author: Kaitlyn O’Connor

Image: Author’s Own

Editor: Travis May

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Kaitlyn O’Connor