Elizabeth Finch
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Today Is My 38th Birthday…Here’s What I Know For Sure

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in Featured, Health Tips, Healthy Lifestyle, Self Love, Sobriety, Wellbeing | 0 comments

Elizabeth Finch


Today I turn 38 years old.

I can honestly say I feel really excited about where I am in this moment and where my life is going.

I can’t say I’ve always felt this kind of peace.

And the reason for that,  I believe, is because up until about 5 or 6 years ago, I wasn’t always necessarily making my choices based on what I wanted.

I often made decisions based on what I thought others expected of me, or would think of me, whether they’d approve, or whether they’d accept me if they knew the real me.

And now, at 38 years old, if there’s one thing I know without fail to be true about life, it’s this:

The most important thing we can ever do is to be true to ourselves.

It’s the most important thing because ultimately, that’s how we find fulfillment and deep happiness. It’s how we find peace in our lifetimes.

And being true to ourselves, modeling that behavior every day, is the legacy and the teaching that we can pass on to our children, so that they can learn from an early age the importance of being true to themselves.

Just imagine, what if someone would have taught you earlier in your life? Unfortunately, our society seems to even teach us the opposite — to bend over backwards to please others or we aren’t nice people, to self sacrifice if that’s what it takes to give others what they want, and to play certain roles in our society.

And that kind of behavior comes at a price for many of us. We pay the price with our health and happiness. That’s right — I truly believe that living inauthentically can actually cause illness in our bodies. I believe it will eventually show up as cancer, or digestive illness, or autoimmune disease, or something else. 

My journey has really changed a lot over the past 5 years, a lot has gone down you could say. What began to open up my eyes to the fact that I wasn’t living a life being true to myself?

Many things. But some of the things I’ve done so far that have helped me gain awareness so I could begin to shift are:

  • In 2011, I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and completed their year-long course to become a certified holistic health coach. This is when I began to focus on my physical body more and better physical health.
  • In 2012, I started my own wellness business with my mentor, and began to mentor a team of people myself who are also looking to create a successful business in the wellness space.
  • In 2015, I enrolled in Gabrielle Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass. This is the program that really sparked my spiritual journey, and I began to commit to a daily meditation and prayer practice because of this class (thank you Gabby!).
  • In 2016, I made the choice to embark on a lifestyle of sobriety after realizing that I was leaning too much on alcohol to numb my emotions and hide from the stresses of life as a mom, wife, and business owner.
  • In the spring of this year, I went on a transformational speaking retreat with Gail Larsen, where I learned more about crafting my personal story and how I can use that mess to bring a positive message of awareness and aligned living to others, in the hopes of inspiring them to find their own alignment and become empowered in their lives.
  • In September of this year, I began my yoga teacher training, which I will finish up next spring, and will add certified yoga instructor to my background and offerings as a teacher in the wellness space.
  • Just a few weeks ago, I co-led my first health & education retreat with one of my beautiful friends who is also in the mind/body/spirit space, Angela Gray. At this retreat I learned not only how to help other people incorporate healthier mind/body/soul practices into their own lives, but also how I could take my own health to the next level by focusing on healing my digestive issues (SIBO), and taking more time in my own life to be quiet and still, and listen to my intuition (my connection to God) when it comes to matters of my own health and happiness.

I share all of this with you because I believe in order to come into alignment with our soul and live authentically and at optimal levels of health, we have to constantly be open to taking a look at ourselves and to what needs to shift, grow and be let go of. We have to continuously be doing work on ourselves — our minds, our physical bodies and our souls.

And this is what we mean when we talk of the concept of holistic health. The integration of mental health, physical health and spiritual health.

I see a lot of people hyper-focused on the physical health aspects of their lives — they are willing to try any new fad diet that someone in their social circle mentions (even if it means taking out one, two, three or more major food groups), they are willing to run or exercise for hours on end every day (completely burning them out in the process), and they are willing to subject themselves to all kinds of humiliating science experiments on their bodies.

But ask them how much time they spend alone each day, or what their meditation practice looks like? Crickets.

Living authentically and being true to ourselves requires us taking time to get to know ourselves. How can we be true to someone that we don’t really know anything about?

So where is a good place to start in all of this?

  • Get to know yourself better by spending even just a few minutes alone each day, preferably in the quiet. If it’s hard for you to sit in quiet stillness, start with just 3 minutes and do that until it feels better for you — set a timer. Then when you’re ready, increase to 5 minutes, then 7, then 10. Just sit somewhere comfortable with your phone on airplane mode, and listen to the sound of your breath going in, and going out. Feel your belly expanding on your inhale, hold it in a second, then feel your belly contracting on your exhale. Just repeat that until your timer goes off. Congratulations, you’ve just meditated!
  • Take a few moments to write down the top 5 things that are important to you in your life. What do you really want to do with your precious time each day, what really takes priority in your life, how do you want to contribute? How do you want to feel on a daily basis? Write it all down. Then, take a look at your daily actions and see if they are lining up with what’s most important to you.
  • In fact, buy a beautiful notebook that’s designated just for journaling. Choose one that has a few words one the front or a picture that inspires you, or one in your favorite color, and take a few moments each morning or sometime during your day, to write down what you’re feeling that day. I’m a huge fan of regular journaling to help me gain clarity — getting feelings and emotions and to-do lists out of my head and onto paper is incredibly helpful for me and brings so much clarity. Naming our emotions is a very powerful exercise, and one that’s worth getting into the habit of doing. Try it out and see if it helps you, too.
  • Try to find more white space in your life. By this I mean with your schedule — are you saying yes to too many things, many of which aren’t really that important to you? Do you find yourself dreading certain events and meetings on your calendar? At this point in my life, I’ve learned that if my gut reaction to something when I’m first asked or invited isn’t a a “Hell, yes”, then it’s a “No”. Free time in my life is too precious to me to fill it up with a bunch of things (or people) that I’m less than excited about. It’s very calming to me when I look at my calendar for the week, and there is plenty of free time to do nothing, or throw in something spontaneous. Make more space in your life, and feel your lungs expand in doing so. It’s a very freeing feeling. Remember that it’s also okay to cancel if you’ve taken on too much. I do believe in keeping our important commitments, but never if it’s going to cause harm to our health. And stress does exactly that.
  • Begin to pay more attention to your self-talk and immediately acknowledge it and forgive it when you speak unkindly to yourself (and others). I learned this exercise from Gabrielle Bernstein: you can wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it when you find yourself having an attack thought towards yourself or someone else, and immediately forgive yourself for having the thought. What has worked for me is doing this mentally. I don’t actually wear a real rubber band, but I’ll visualize it. So when I say something unkind towards myself, have any thoughts of guilt about something I’ve done or compare myself to someone else, I’ll mentally snap the rubber band, acknowledge that it’s an attack thought, and forgive myself, and replace those attack words with words of encouragement, love and support. So for instance, I may have a thought like, “I can’t believe I ate 4 chocolate chip cookies, I’ve worked so hard this week! Now I’ve just undone all that hard work.” I’ll then mentally snap the rubber band, acknowledge that this is an attack thought on myself that is making me feel guilty (which is a very low-vibration emotion), and then I’ll forgive myself and replace it with a loving, supportive thought, such as “I make healthy choices and choose nutritious foods for my body most of the time, and I move my body regularly in ways that feel good. It’s not going to throw me off track to have a few cookies. Health is a lifestyle — it’s about what we do most of the time, not sometimes. I enjoyed the cookies, they tasted delicious, now move on and let it go — go play with the girls and do something fun.”
  • Start a good book. One of my favorite quotes: “You are the books you read, the movies you watch, the music you listen to, the people you spend time with, the conversations you engage in. Choose wisely what you feed your mind.” I believe this wholeheartedly. Choosing positive reading materials has made such an impact on my life, on my mindset, and on where I am now in my journey. If you’re looking for a good one to start with, I highly recommend one of these: Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life, Gabrielle Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back or Miracles Now, Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul, or anything by Dr. Wayne Dyer.
  • Surround yourself with people whose energy lights you up. If someone does the opposite and it feels like being around you brings your energy down, physically, mentally or emotionally, begin to lessen the time you spend around that person. You don’t have to be unloving in doing so, you don’t even have to say anything about it. Just focus your time and your energy elsewhere. Your health, and your journey in living a more authentic life, will be better for it.

Remember that learning to live authentically and being truer to who we really are is a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes courage to really look at our actions and see where we need improvement and growth. But it’s absolutely worth doing and truly brings about a life of more fulfillment, health and love.

Love,

Elizabeth

 

 

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