Explore, Grow, Heal and Learn at The Embassy of Life Mastery
by Julie Peterson
The Embassy of Life Mastery (ELM) in rural Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, was created in 2019 as a nonprofit center to educate the public on self-growth, sustainability, community building and planetary change. It was cofounded by Bessheen Baker, ND, who now acts as the nonprofit center’s president of the board in addition to continuing her work on the faculty of the Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education, which she founded in 1995, in downtown Mt. Pleasant.
“After owning the Naturopathic Institute, there was a desire to expand into a nonprofit that would offer education to anyone, not just those who are interested in going to school for a profession,” says Baker.
Baker and two other cofounders created the concept of a life mastery school where anyone can take individual classes or join programs for more comprehensive study.
The location chosen for ELM is a renovated old stone church that was turned into a naturopathic community center and library 20 years ago. Across the road is a sustainable organic ranch where students may train in myriad subjects including permaculture, herbology, sustainability, wilderness skills, off-grid living and sacred geometry.
“The old church is a very peaceful place out in the country,” says Baker. “We chose it for its location, simpleness and beauty.”
ELM classes are held on weekends in the library portion of the restored church. With 13 departments to choose from, there is an abundance of knowledge to gain. Classes are taught by a consistent group of guest speakers along with world respected instructors in departments such as artisanship, caregiving, consciousness development, energy mechanics, communicative arts, spiritual agriculture, ego mastery, cosmology, plant wisdom and more. Within each department, three introductory classes are offered to explore the ideas and then dozens more delve deeper and add breadth to the topics.
“About half of the students attending are not enrolled in a program, rather they are there to take individual classes for continuing education credits, personal growth, improved skills or to explore topics of interest,” says Baker. For those who choose to enroll in the life mastery program, the first level is all about developing oneself through an individualized experience that includes receiving an accountability team to help the student stretch limitations, feel encouraged and supported and to hold a larger perspective of self.
Baker says that the first level of development is more about what ELM can “undo for a student, rather than what we can do for you. People carry a number of beliefs about themselves that serve no purpose. The first level is really about lightening the load, letting go of the luggage.”
As a student begins to let go of what is holding them back, they will begin to look toward what their fullest potential is and how they can get more out of life. “How do I maintain my temple, how do I get healthy beyond my physical body, how do I get healthy mentally, emotionally, spiritually? One of my teachers told me that if the truth that is your reality isn’t setting you free then it’s time to reassess your truth,” says Baker, explaining that sometimes we don’t see anything that feels like it is holding us back until we start asking, “Does that make me feel free or does it not?”
Ultimately, ELM is designed for those seeking a personalized transformative experience to cultivate physical, mental and spiritual growth that will culminate in self-mastery. Through the process, students will learn to harmonize the knowledge, wisdom and understanding necessary to steward community and planetary healing.
“The most important part about the classes and courses at ELM is that if we don’t like the planet the way it is then we have to change ourselves and our community and that comes from healing ourselves first,” says Baker.
Editor's note: The 2nd annual Eyes Wide Open, The Truth is Here conference will be hosted by The Embassy of Life Mastery (ELM) March 10 through 12 at the Soaring Eagle Conference Center in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. For details, visit their website at: ELMastery.org/eyeswideopen