The Mindful Leaders Project
We empower visionary leaders, helping professionals, and caregivers with mindfulness, mindset, and self-care strategies that can be used to improve social emotional well-being, enhance interpersonal connections in the workplace, and decrease professional burnout.
Your power as a mindful leader depends on your ability to help others attune or co-regulate to a state of inner balance and felt safety, while maintaining your own healthy boundaries as a helping professional.
Benefits of Mindfulness
“Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention, on purpose, to what is happening in the present moment. Mindfulness accepts all that is happening in that moment, without judgment. It is a daily practice that creates space for reflection and healed action.”
Emerging research suggests that mindfulness practices may help:
- optimize self-regulation and resilience
- increase empathy, compassion, and social connection
- improve attention, focus, and learning
- enhance the immune system and other body functions
- reverse the damaging effects of toxic stress
Dr. Niki Elliott
Niki Elliott, Ph.D. is a clinical professor of education, speaker, facilitator, and author in the fields of neurodiversity, mindfulness, mindset, and self-care for educators and other helping professionals. Over the past 25 years, she has taught all levels of education from elementary school through post-graduate. Currently, Niki serves the LaFetra College of Education as co-director for the Center for Neurodiversity, Learning, and Wellness at the University of La Verne.
What Helping Professionals are Saying
“As a Special Education Teacher and a mother of a child with Autism, I often found I was under extreme stress due to the severe behavior special needs children tend to demonstrate. I often found myself giving more and more of my energy and ended up tired and sick in bed.
With the VNR, I was able to manage my stress level and maintain my energetic boundaries while radiating love, compassion, and safety. VNR is my go-to every day to manage my stress level, anxiety, and overall needs to ground myself.”
Special Education Teacher
“Fighting for rights, dignity, and respect for peoples, cultures, and the environment require atom-splitting energy. To cultivate the energy to power the movements for any kind of change, we often harness fear and rage. Being in justice movements for two decades found me wanting to derive my energy from sustainable and renewable sources.
As I put my heart and soul into this work, there was a cost. As others were improving and becoming more evolved versions of themselves, these trainings and large-scale transformations left me feeling utterly depleted.
The skills and tools I learned in this community helped me redesign my intentions and see that I could be the witness for people’s transformation, as opposed to the person doing the work for them.
The result is that each training that I do now is the best one that I have ever done, and they keep getting better. Plus, I am a model for catalyzing systemic change without burning out.”
Coach | Coach Trainer
Organizational Development Consultant
“Before I was introduced to Dr. Niki and the work she facilitates, I was experiencing life in fight or flight mode. My body manifested this through weekly tension headaches and stomach aches. I was anxious and stressed before attending class and when having to speak, even in small groups. In addition to having difficulty absorbing and remembering complex information, verbal expression with my wife didn’t happen often. She always had to ask me, ‘What’s going on?’
After just a couple of weeks of practicing these new mindfulness tools and skills, my wife pointed out to me how much more expressive I was with her. She also mentioned that my creative side was emerging again.
By the end of the course, my body felt so much lighter. It literally was lighter, as I had lost a few pounds. The course catalyzed amazing shifts in my daily life. I no longer had headaches or stomach aches. My anxiety in class subsided to where I could actually sit still in class and wasn’t so fidgety. My memory improved, which helped expression in class because I had a better understanding of the material. I could speak more freely and clearly to my wife, which helped with arguments because we didn’t misunderstand each other as often. This practice has been such a gift and I am so grateful for it and the community that comes along with it!”
Claresa Asuncion, M.Ed
“The University of La Verne’s Physician Assistant (PA) program prepares students to work in the demanding medical field. We emphasize the importance of understanding complementary wellness in parallel with allopathic medicine for patients and practitioners alike. Throughout the PA curriculum, we discuss provider personal wellness to prevent impairment and burnout.
The Vagus Nerve Rest (VNR) has been a great asset for our PA students as they manage the demands of their studies, and it’s preparing them to manage the foreseeable demands of their career. Students that have implemented this practice have documented increased focus during classes and decreased levels of stress during assessments. We continue to encourage our students to implement complementary wellness practices, including the VNR, to help them stay calm and manage the anxiety we all face during the duration of this pandemic and quarantine.
Medical professionals are at the front lines of the current COVID 19 crisis, risking their personal health and the health of their loved ones. Understanding the VNR can help medical professionals manage the overwhelming stress and the instinct to flee when we need them most. This practice will allow them to work from a higher level of consciousness to make clear, sound medical judgments for the well-being of their patients and themselves as we navigate the uncertainty of this pandemic.”
Monique J. Williams, PhD, MSPA
Assistant Professor of Health
University of La Verne Physician Assistant Program
“When I met Dr. Niki, I was a devoted helping professional – facilitating powerful transformation for others but getting more exhausted and ill with every client I supported. As the physical inflammation worsened, I barely had any energy left for my husband and family and didn’t know how long I could keep it up.
Between the private sessions and the skills and tools I learned through the trainings in this community, I have completely reclaimed my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. The newest tool – The Vagus Nerve Reset – is one of the most incredible gifts to this planet. I have more energy than I did in my youth, and the balance, serenity, happiness, and ease is so remarkable that loved ones and friends are asking what I’m doing differently.”
Entrepreneur | Coach