I remember the first time I heard of Liz Arch. I was in the break room of a job that I hated, scrolling through Facebook as I stumbled upon a video of her online. Liz eloquently spoke about her experience as a strong, educated woman, and her past as a victim of domestic violence. She stood on a stage, bold and authentic, speaking her truth. I immediately called my boyfriend and told him of her. "There's this woman!" I said, "and one day I will ask her to be a part of my mission." I wasn't quite certain what that even meant or the steps needed to take at that point, but it wasn't long until Purple Dot Yoga Project was in conception. Fast forward to current time, and I HAD to reach out to this woman who stood so powerfully in that video years ago.
I sent her a message to feature her on the blog and crossed my fingers.
Then she responded...
Liz never let her past stop her from living authentically and in her own light. Despite falling victim to domestic violence, she is now a thriver. She is an international yoga teacher based out of Los Angeles and founder of Primal Yoga®, which combines elements from the various yoga and martial arts styles she has studied into one fluid expression of movement that connects body, mind and spirit. Liz has graced the covers of international yoga magazines including Om Yoga Magazine, Yoga Life Magazine, and Yoga & Wellness Magazine. She has contributed as a health and wellness expert to Self.com, MindBodyGreen.com, Hauteliving.com, VitalJuice.com, TheChalkboardMag.com, ElephantJournal.com, and more. She has also been featured in modeling campaigns for Athleta, Lululemon, RYU, and Yogitoes to name a few!
A very impressive resume indeed, but what really stood out when I got to connect with her for the first time on a Skype call, was her personality, smile, heart, and absolute radiance (also her love for her little doggie Nalu who is a celebrity in her own right.) There are not enough words to describe this woman's warmth, conviction and genuine heart.
It was an instant connection, so strong, I felt compelled to ask Liz to be more than just a feature on our blog as a Powerful Woman. After speaking with her for a few minutes I learned that domestic violence awareness was her cause, her mission, as much as it was mine, so I proposed for her to do this with us. To be a part of our project and help grow its mission.
Today I get to introduce Liz not just as someone on our #PowerfulWomenProfile, but also as a part of our team and board of directors.
10 Questions With Liz Arch
Name/Nickname: Liz Arch
DOB and Sign: March 10, 1982 / Pisces
If you could share a cup of coffee with anyone who would it be and why? I don't drink coffee, but if I could share a green juice with anyone, it would be the Dalai Lama. His philosophy of kindness, compassion and oneness is a beacon of light in a world filled with so much suffering and separation. His quote “My religion is simple. My religion is kindness” has stuck with me throughout my life.
If you were stranded on a secluded Island and could only bring one item what would it be? My little dog Nalu. Companionship and doggy kisses are the key to survival!
Tell us about a challenging time in your life: One of the most challenging times in my life was when I was in an abusive marriage. I felt so radically disempowered, out of control, voiceless and choiceless. It ate away at my self worth and showed me so many dark sides of myself that were absolutely horrifying to confront. At my lowest point, I spent the night in jail despite having called the police myself. It was one of the most shameful moments of my entire life and sadly I went back to my abuser because I felt like I had nowhere else to go. My entire world narrowed and everyday felt like I was living in a dark tunnel with heavy walls of shame of fear closing in on me. Leaving was just the beginning of my journey and my healing continues to unfold on a daily basis.
Breaking my silence and sharing my story was a monumental step on my continued path to empowerment. There is so much power in letting our voices be heard. We are not meant to suffer through this alone.
If someone is going through the same thing right now what would you tell them?
You are not alone. You do not have to bear this burden by yourself. There are so many resources and places to go for help and you have a sisterhood of support behind you. Be patient and kind to yourself throughout the process and know that you hold the light of the universe within you. You are worthy of safe and healthy love.
Something you wish people knew about struggle/domestic violence? I wish people understood that getting into an abusive relationship can happen to ANYONE and not to judge, shame or blame women who are living through it or have survived it. Abuse is complicated and deeply traumatic and untangling the physical, emotional and psychological scars is a long and painful process that requires patience, support, non-judgment and a safe and loving space to lean into. The best thing anyone on the outside looking in can do is to be a source of support and not a source of victim shaming.
Dutch psychiatrist and trauma researcher, Bessel van der Kolk puts it best: “Traumatized human beings recover in the context of relationships: with families, loved ones, AA meetings, veterans’ organizations, religious communities, or professional therapists. The role of those relationships is to provide physical and emotional safety, including safety from feeling shamed, admonished, or judged, and to bolster the courage to tolerate, face, and process the reality of what has happened.”
If you could do anything what would you do and why? Continue to teach yoga and help women who have survived domestic violence and trauma reclaim their personal power and sense of self-love. I am honored and excited to start working with The Purple Dot Yoga Project to help bring this vision to life!
Through your personal tragedy what was the biggest lesson you've learned? I’ve learned that vulnerability is my biggest strength. Silencing ourselves keeps us small and shrouded in shame. Sharing our voices creates connection, hope and freedom. My girlfriend and I were having a discussion about fear the other day and she told me that we can look at FEAR as one of two acronyms – the first way is to say Fuck Everything And Run. The second is to Face Everything And Rise. By sharing our stories, together we rise.
If you could pick a super power, which one? I would love to have the ability to hold people’s hearts and infuse them with love, courage, and hope, so no one would ever have to be afraid or doubt their self worth. It would also be pretty cool to fly.