Recently, Lisa Claudia Briggs joined the Green Mountain team as Behavior Leader. Get to know her in this Q&A. Starting in October, Lisa will be blogging on Mondays.
What brought you to Green Mountain?
I’ve known and admired the work done at Green Mountain for a long time. I was here as a participant 32 years ago, after my father died. As online colleagues, Marsha and I stayed connected, and had talked about me potentially teaching a workshop. We’ve admired each other’s work and finally got to sit down for a long lunch this past June and talk about all sorts of ideas.
I truly never thought I would leave the entrepreneurial life after having been in private practice for 20+ years but when Marsha told me about the position, everything in me said “yes.” I was excited for the opportunity to teach, to work with large groups and to collaborate and create new things with a talented team.
What was your take-away experience as a participant many years ago?
I had been a binge eater for most of my life. Green Mountain helped me leave the diet mentality behind, and a lot of the shame. I also learned to love walking up hills, even in winter.
What do you want to bring to Green Mountain?
My hope is for Green Mountain participants to understand that their intuitive guidance can contribute to them becoming their own best expert. That they can learn to trust their bodies and themselves, reconnect with their bodies from a place of compassion and heal the disconnection that comes with struggles around eating or weight.
I want to help them to not look outside of themselves, to see that their bodies have great wisdom. I love to teach women to take their needs seriously and to put beautiful, small practices in place to help meet those needs. Get rid of any deprivation, fill up with nourishment, and create small rituals and practices that support you. I am passionate around showing women all of the ways they can find moments of pleasure, of peace, of getting clear on what feels best, and trusting that they can leave Green Mountain with a plan they will love.
What has been the biggest surprise since returning to Green Mountain?
The experience has been deeply moving for me. I’m amazed by how receptive the women are, how hard they work when they are here and by the level of intimacy that occurs so easily in this environment. I think the big surprise for me has been that I really love to teach groups. Most of my work had been with individuals. The group dynamic is powerful – the women learn so much from each other because they have the willingness and courage to speak so candidly in class. I have to work hard not to show how easily my eyes tear up at the beauty of what is happening in class.
What do you think is the #1 thing women must do to end their struggles with eating and weight?
Women have to really tell the truth to themselves about what they need. We know what doesn’t feel good, but we often try to override it. We need to be very discerning in our lives about what goes and what stays. If you are not “in your body,” if you aren’t connected to how you feel, you can’t know what feels good and what doesn’t. I want to help them bring their head and heart back into connection.
Once you can feel things, take the edge off the numbing and speak the truth to yourself, some powerful changes can occur and you can use all of the myriad techniques we teach you here. It all goes together. And we address it all. Each participant gets so much support as they move through these pieces.
What book inspires you?
I am a serious lover of books, now on my Kindle. I am deeply inspired by the spiritual thought leaders I’ve studied with – Caroline Myss, Penney Peirce. I love Penney’s book “Frequency” – it’s about discerning and balancing your emotions in healthy ways, with an intuitive piece.
It sheds light on how our styles of reacting to emotions might be throwing us off. I’m re-reading it right now and using pieces of it in some classes. I also think Marianne Williamson’s book “Return to Love” is a classic. I think Brene Brown’s work is important for our clients. Hard to name, my list is crazy-long.
Who Inspires You?
I am inspired by beauty, by creative people, by signs and symbols in nature – always inspired by nature. I see there are seasons for things – to pull in and go dormant, seasons to grow, seasons to plant seeds. Nature has taught me patience and imperfection. It’s what I use to get myself centered. I go outside as much as I can, even for a minute, to recenter myself and get grounded, and to catch a glimpse of Okemo Mountain. We have such a beautiful inspired setting here, an amazing place to work, and for women to come and get what they need.
What is something you want people to know about you?
I am passionate, about pretty much everything. I have a creative mind and love to come up with ideas for most things, and this makes me good at my work. I feel things deeply and after 25 years have never stopped loving and feeling honored to work with the women that I get to support as they do this sacred work.
I have raised two sons who make me proud. My husband and dogs are there when I finish my work in Vermont and head back home to our new locale in NH. I love to laugh, and come from a very funny, irreverent, family. My brother was a stand-up comic – sometimes that’s a good thing when I’m teaching three classes daily. I want people to know that I understand this struggle. The shame, the vulnerability, and how badly they want to leave with a solution they can live with. I want women to know I can help, and I am incredibly thrilled to be here, getting to be part of so many lives and teaming up with our talented staff to do the work we do. I really feel very blessed.