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For almost a decade, my contemplation, meditation and yoga practices were a separate identity than the practicing neurologist role I played. They would often get pushed aside when I was "too busy" being a doctor. When career-burnout took its toll on my mental and physical health, I would hide in my office practicing pranayama (yogic breathing techniques). While it calmed me down for the moment, it wasn't long before the calm transformed to chaos again.
Are you juggling multiple roles in the workplace too?
In 2013, I left my role as a traditional medical doctor working in a hospital, studied Integrative Medicine, and launched my own business. While I held on to my mindfulness practices, they still seemed to be a separate part of my day than being a physician entrepreneur. I now spend my weeks juggling my roles of physician healer, professional speaker, and media expert analyst. During down time I am managing my business, writing, and trying to be mindful of creating personal time. Sound familiar?
A Prayer of Peace
"May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where are you meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of us."
This is one of my favorite prayers given to me by a great yoga teacher in a small town in Arizona where I used to live. I was going through a difficult transition deciding whether to leave traditional medicine. He read this prayer at the end of his class, and I have had it on my refrigerator ever since. (that was in 2012). To this day, I don't know if Mike realizes how sharing a prayer that brought him peace gave me comfort. You never know how you will touch someone's life today.
Connect to your sense of inner peace and pass that on to whomever you encounter.
With a heartfelt prayer of peace,
As most of us start our work week this Monday, my heart is still heavy with grief. I am thinking of our brothers and sisters in Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, who were gunned down while sitting in peace and love during their weekly Bible study.
In 1999, I moved to Charleston, South Carolina to complete my four-year neurology residency training at the Medical University of South Carolina. Despite these palpable racial tensions, I could never imagine such a horrific act of terror occurring in the form of a hate crime. A house of worship is a sacred place meant to celebrate life, not destroy lives.
Over the last few days, I watched along with the rest of our nation as details of the horrible night unfolded. When my prayer of love was published in the Huffington Post, I received several emails asking the same questions.
"How can I help, when I feel helpless?"
"How can I feel peaceful again after watching horror unfold?"
I have a dirty digital confession: I failed the #DigitalDetox I preach.
Last month I was gifted the opportunity to take a well-needed break on the beautiful islands of Hawaii. It was one of the first prolonged breaks I have taken since I started on this journey as a solo-entrepreneur. I proudly and quickly announced that I was scheduling a few social media posts, but otherwise checking out. My digital detox lasted for the duration of the flights from Orlando to Kona and promptly ended prior to my iPhone reaching baggage claim.
I completely failed my attempt at digital detox while I was on vacation last month. Failure is such a harsh word, but I was in Hawaii at a spiritual retreat. I would wake up when you are at 3 am and start checking email, my twitterfeed (yes that is really me responding), there is a problem. It is difficult to admit because I regularly recommend digital detox to our entire global mindful living community.