ELIZABETH "LIZ" GIBBS PERSONAL STORY
Growing up in Winchester, VA, I was lucky to have some wonderful mentors in my life that consistently urged me to step into my highest potential – as an athlete (the first female at my school to letter in three varsity sports as a freshman), as a student (attained a full year of college credits before graduating high school) and as a leader (class and student government President). Then, I attended the University of Virginia where I attained a BA in Economics and a minor in Psychology.
I spent my first year out of college working in financial consulting, then followed my heart to Bagamoyo, Tanzania to volunteer my time offering HIV/AIDS education to students in secondary schools. In my free time, I found myself painting, singing, dancing, cooking and storytelling with new friends in the community. It was in this experience that my life changed forever. While I went to serve others, I ended up receiving more than I could have ever given. I learned what it meant to be grateful, to be truly joyful, to celebrate life and to be in deep connection and community with others.
For the last 12 years living in Jackson Hole, WY, I have been on the mission to find a “career” that enabled me to embody and spread the love, joy, gratitude, service, and connection that I experienced in Tanzania while also putting to use my business and psychology education and leadership abilities.
I worked as Director of Communications for a restaurant group where I learned the intricacies of creating hospitable spaces for connection over food and drink. Here, I started the company’s first cause-marketing campaign that has since raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for non-profits and gained editorial coverage in top-tier publications. Then, I worked in and consulted for various social enterprises on brand strategy and communications, gaining a deeper understanding of how to use business as a catalyst for social change. I spent the next chapter working in a tech startup managing teams in Tokyo, Koln and San Francisco and implementing emotional intelligence and company culture practices that enabled personal growth and helped bridge the belief systems, language and cultural differences of an international company.
Despite all my “success” in the traditional sense of the word, I still felt like there was something missing. So, simultaneously to my traditional “work,” I took on another full-time job – my own personal and spiritual development work. And let me tell you, that is the real work. I have spent the last decade uncovering limiting beliefs, writing new stories, reframing past experiences, becoming aware of my unique strengths and finding clarity on my life’s purpose. Then, about three years ago, I began working with energy, meditation and stepping into deeper spiritual practices. This journey, to me, has been learning how to deeply love, honor and accept myself and others as we all journey through this school of life. My true work has been the practice of committing over and over again to be the best version of myself in service of the highest good.
After countless self-help books, healing sessions and traveling to every corner of the globe in search of my purpose, I finally had the realization that my purpose wasn’t a job or any other societal label. My true purpose is to be the light and spread love into the world. I have spent every day since setting the same intention every morning: may my thoughts, words, energy and actions today be in greatest service of my highest potential and the highest potential of the world. And wouldn’t you know it – my decade long search for that elusive career calling started to reveal itself.
For fun, I started hosting purpose-driven happy hour events where people gathered to have meaningful conversation and step outside their usual circles. After hearing about the neo-nazi riots in Charlottesville, VA, a place I called home for four years, I was so distraught and wanted to do something that brought some light and love into the world. So, I started another side project
that promoted living the values that we want to see more of in the world, and Project:SPACE was born. With the membership funds from people who supported this mission and joined the SPACE movement, I hosted more “Eat, Drink + ReThink” events now under the name SPACE Supper Club, where we sat down to full dinners with more structure and space for even deeper connection. I thought…I’ve found my calling! And it kept expanding. I spent the last year creating a technology that enabled people to actually practice the values we were promoting with SPACE, starting with gratitude in the workplace.
As soon as Beth and I reconnected, we came to a beautiful realization of our shared mission. We both have a deep knowing that we are here, right now, for the purpose of enabling more love, joy generosity, kindness and appreciation so that we can all step into our highest potential. So, we are combining our expertise, ideas and visions and creating a full plan for the execution and scaling of this mission.
I wasn’t quite sure what all the jobs and experiences I was having were preparing me for, and honestly was quite frustrated at times with the constant evolution, and now I know. I am honored and humbled to be a vessel for this mission.