The practice of gratitude has been a powerful healing routine for me. During the pandemic at dinner time, we started playing a gratitude game. The rules were simple – you share one thing you are grateful for from the day. My 4- and 6-year-olds found it fun and were happy to share how they were grateful for their lollipop and TV show!
Today, it’s kids Caps game night, and my husband has taken both kids to the Caps game. With some “me time”, as I tune into my heart, I can feel it’s full of gratitude for a Lady Docs Lunch and Learn session I attended today with 46 other women physicians, dentists – a whole group of women healers! While I knew of many of these wonderful ladies through social media, I had not met any of them except one in-person. It was an absolute joy to attend this event and learn from three powerful presentations about the topics of Meditation, Lifestyle Medicine and Coaching.
Being a parent, gastroenterologist, and a certified coach, I see a huge impact of these topics in my daily life. As I reflect on the presentations, some key moments for me included a delightful story about visit to the Kingdom of Bhutan, and a powerful meditation which left my eyes moist – I have noticed this bodily effect when I am calm, present, and grounded. There was a reminder about the psychology of change and how the doctor needs to shift their mindset from being an expert to a “catalyst” who by listening and being curious in a non-judgmental way, can support the change the patient desires. Interestingly, curiosity, deep listening, and keeping judgment out, are all coaching skills too! I am hopeful that today’s talk about being curious about coaching will change many more lives.
This day has made me reflect deeply into my journey to becoming a certified coach. Becoming a parent and running a household with two full time careers brought new challenges in my life. The pandemic gave me the much-needed pause to lean into the imbalance in my life. The saying, “Tough times teach one the most,” has indeed been true for me. Embracing “growth mindset” and being curious, I inquired, “How do I support my family and work while being the best version of myself?” “What do I need to know to do this?”
Being an inquisitive reader, I came across the world of coaching and decided to learn more about it through workshops. Taking this path of becoming a certified coach has enriched my life in many ways. During the presentation on coaching, we discussed balancing “Being and Doing” needs. I strongly believe this balance is critical and can be tapped into by deepening one’s awareness. We lead busy lives, juggling so many responsibilities that even the concept of self- care or knowing how to go about taking care of oneself can and does feel onerous.
As we begin 2023, inspired by today’s event, I propose a small step towards deepening our awareness and taking care of ourselves, “becoming an observer of ourselves – by observing the weather inside of us”, without analyzing, judging, or needing to fix things. In the process, notice how much we react versus respond. Connect it to when the doing is coming from a reactive state –“Who am I being?” Just as with exercise one would pick up 5 lbs before lifting 50 lbs, choose an experience to observe that’s equivalent to 5 lbs!
In my experience, expanding this awareness towards ourselves paves the path towards that shift within us which makes us curious and bold at the same time, to take that critical first active step towards taking care of ourselves or finding someone who can help us. We are all social and emotional beings. We are complex and it takes a lot to change or build a consistent habit. We have more similarities than differences. We have the same struggles. We all grow with support. We are stronger together and today’s event was a beautiful example of this.
On a personal level, I am going to put together a SMART* goal towards doing meditation on a regular basis to be the calm, present, grounded person I want to be. My hope is that you also get inspired from today’s meeting and take that one step towards being the person you want to be.
Hope to see you all soon again and circle back on this! To learn more about coaching, Dr. Bhushan can be reached at [email protected].
The secret to doing great things is to get started – Mark Twain
* SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Sensitive goals that bring you closer to your best self. For instance, Dr. Bhushan’s goal might be doing meditation for 10 minutes at bedtime for the next 6 weeks. At that time, she can re-evaluate how she did and set another goal.