Rebecca Elia is a holistic gynecologist, speaker, writer, and lover of Greece. She has worked both in the private sector, with
women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup, and also in the large HMO setting. Her inspirational talks, given in the United States and Greece, address how to tap into the powerful feminine qualities we possess in order to restore health and balance in
our lives. Her audiences have included business and healthcare professionals, counselors, university professors, students, service organization members, and even a couple of Greek actors. She decided to celebrate her fiftieth birthday by taking time off from patient care and writing her first book, Creating Feminine Health, Finding Balance in a Masculine World.
You can follow her blogs at: www.rebeccaeliablog.blogspot.com and www.itsallgreecetome.com, sign up for her free newsletter or learn more about her at: www.rebeccaelia.com, on Twitter: @rebeccaelia (http://twitter.com/rebeccaelia), or by joining her Creating Feminine Health group on Facebook (http://groups.to./creatingfemininehealth).
Describe yourself in 3 words: Healer, bridge, feminine
What is your life motto?
How about three? 1. Health is balance. 2. Life is cyclical. 3. The journey matters more than the final destination.
When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful?
As a university student, I realized creating health and balance was far more complicated and quite a different thing than diagnosing and curing disease. I was always aware of the big picture with all its interconnections; everything influences our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I wanted to be a part of the healing, not the cure. Successful? By American standards, I don’t think I qualify yet; perhaps, I never will. My life’s work is in progress and always will be. The only success I consider meaningful is in helping others through the expression of my gifts.
How many hours did you dedicate to pursuing your dream?
I devoted many years to what I thought was my dream, but it turned out to be someone else’s. My annual trips to Greece for the last twenty years reminded me of what was out of balance in my own life and in our culture (not surprisingly, usually the same things!). I didn’t return to my original dream until I reached my fiftieth year, and now I try to dedicate most of my time to its pursuit.
Describe how difficult the business really is?
I have no business experience, so turning creative thought into a concrete business has been a struggle for me. I haven’t achieved this yet, but I’m always learning, which is exciting. It took me a long time to realize that anyone who has ever accomplished anything great has not done so alone. Like most of us who have been taught incorrectly that independence is more important than interdependence, it has been challenging for me to seek help.
What is the mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson?
Oh, there are so many! The most important, though, has been dealing with the consequences of not following my gut, intuition, (divine guidance). Horrible things happen when I don’t listen to this wise voice. Embracing my differences (and uniqueness) has been difficult for me, because our societal structures don’t make allowances for most differences. I’ll always be the round peg that doesn’t fit into the square hole, and it takes me a long time to leave that square hole. But each time I do leave, I find comfort in all the other round pegs out there!
What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date?
You’ll never know (and will be miserable) if you don’t try. Corollary: When rejection comes your way (writers, take note), let your response be positive thought followed by action. Oh, and anything is possible.
What is the piece of advice that you weren’t?
The universe supports abundance, and you live in this abundance when you believe in the unique and essential role that you are given the opportunity to play.
In your mind, is formal training essential?
I value life-earned wisdom above all else, but in some cases the answer is a resounding yes! I don’t even want to contemplate lack of formal training as a physician. Having said that, though, what one ultimately creates in their life’s work may end up looking quite different from what they were taught through formal training. Certainly no experience is wasted, and, for example, even if I find myself less frequently inhabiting the conventional medical world, my past experiences there shape and transform my future work. One also needs to know when to say “no” to formal training. I could, quite easily, become a “class junkie,” but unless I shape what I’ve learned into form, it’s meaningless.
What are some steps emerging talent can take to start/further their career?
- Identify your passion and your strengths.
- Find your people. If you have a mentor or mentors, even better. Surround yourself with like-minded souls who will support you. Leave the others behind. Let go of everything and everyone who no longer supports your growth. (And stop internalizing their opinions)
- Realize your people want to help you, and let them.
- Consider getting involved in social media. I joined Twitter on a whim; it made no logical sense to me, but I did it anyway. It was one of my best decisions.
- Be a constant learner.
- Identify your weaknesses and outsource to others for whom these are strengths.
- Do the things you love, even if they seem unrelated to your career. I joined a church choir to sing the Brahms’ Requiem and started playing the piano again after thirty-two years. Having music back in my life feeds my soul and fuels my work.
- When your inner critic yells, inappropriately, “No!” turn him/her off. Transform the negative thought into a positive action. The reverse is even more important: Listen to your inner wisdom!
What kept you going when you felt like giving up?
I’m prone to giving up, but going backwards isn’t an option. It’s extremely painful to step back into a known negative. On a more positive note, whenever I hesitate, something magical shows up to propel me forward. We get rewarded a hundred-fold when we move forward. But, the bottom line is: I am who I am. Nothing can change that. So, there’s really no choice but to keep going.
Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time?
My concept of “making it” may be different than yours, but, no, I don’t think it’s about luck. I think it’s all about being open to change. When we are clear about what we truly want and we move in that direction, magic happens. My life is filled with marvelous synchronistic meetings and events that were in line with the next step. Some would call this luck, or being in the right place at the right time, but my experience has been that the universe is always putting me in the right place at the right time. I’m the one with the choice; I can recognize this or miss the opportunity. When we realize we’re already in the right place at the right time, and have all we need right here, right now, we enter the extraordinary nature of life.