My posting schedule has become a little erratic. After 3 months working from home at my parents house in BC, we moved back to Minnesota where I’m involved in a few research projects. I’m still finding my groove here. Reya is back at daycare. My husband and I largely work from home but I do go into the hospital on days where I have patients to enroll or meetings to attend.
I am applying for Internal Medicine residency later this year. It’s sort of a pinnacle moment of my life; something I’ve worked towards for the last few years, and I’ve battled a lot of inner demons to get to this place. The application process is extensive, and along with working and spending time with my husband and Reya, I don’t have a lot of free time at the moment. It’s something I need to prioritize over the next few months, so while I will continue to post consistently on here, the interval between posts may be a little longer.
That being said – today I want to talk about relationships and the little ways we can steadily show up to do the work of love. Here are some simple practices that grow love and connection between my husband and I during this busy season of life.
Make their happiness your priority
Every morning, I ask my husband 2 questions.
“What is one thing you could do today that would make you feel productive?”
This is usually one of his most important tasks of the day. The needle mover. Things like “Finish the brief I’m working on / this chapter / this draft / start my online course etc”
Things happen in life. I take those things and process them in a certain way within me.
When some things happen, I create an atmosphere of pleasantness and ease within. When other things happen, I create unpleasantness and unease within. I have the power to create heaven or I can create hell.
I have been seeking a way to live where it doesn’t matter what happens to me, because I am an expert at keeping my internal environment as pleasant and peaceful as I desire.
Here are some ways that we create hell within, and some ways we can open the doors to heaven instead.
Hell is being obsessed with what other people think of us.
Realizing that people project their own experiences.
My body gives me great feedback on my state of being, and I try to pay attention. How swiftly I fall asleep at night lets me know how at peace I am with my life. How happily I wake up in the morning, tells me how much joy I have in my heart. When I notice changes in how my body functions, I know it is time to make some tweaks in my day to help grow happy things.
I’ve been thinking about what it means to have a good day. And while I have a lot of good days, sometimes on the days I wake up feeling apathetic about the day ahead – I wonder, why? What can I do to have a good day?
It isn’t often that we have a day full of only wonderful things, or a day full of only awful things. We tend to get a mix of both, along with some neutral tasks and events too.
I consider my “work” of the day to not be only to get through my daily to-do list, but to make each thing I have to do into the most wonderful thing it can be.
Friends, I know I had promised to share my thoughts on conscious relationships this Friday – but I have been quite scattered this last week and couldn’t find the time to write it. So instead, I share with you something I had sitting in my drafts for some time. I know a couple of you were looking forward to that post and I am sorry it isn’t ready yet. It will be soon!
We all know someone who completely transformed themselves – leaving almost no trace of their old self behind. Maybe it was a friend, maybe it was a friend of a friend of a friend.
We most often see these kinds of transformations on the physical level. It could be a person, who you know has spent their whole life struggling with their weight, and always putting themselves on new diets and work out plans – but always seems to remain the same. Until one day, something just clicks, and everything changes. Not only do they transform their physical body, but they transform their life too. Who are they are changes. And when you are with them again, they just feel different, somehow.
So you you get curious. You want to know what their nutrition plan is, or what kind of work outs they’re doing. And then you try these things too, following along closely like they’ve handed you a recipe for a new self that you too have been craving. And perhaps you do lose a few pounds, or maybe you don’t at all. And you think to yourself “I just don’t get it. why don’t I see the changes that they did?”
Happy June full moon, readers! Today I answer some of the thought-provoking questions you submitted over the last month.
Greetings! I’m trans (ftm) and my family have basically disowned me ever since I came out. Struggling with feeling abandoned by my family. How do I move on from this kind of betrayal from the people who are supposed to love me no matter what?
I am so sorry you are going through this pain.
If your family disown you, then you certainly earn the right to choose your family. Your chosen family will be the people who show up for you every day. Not because of biology, obligation or societal expectations, but because they simply want to. In that way – you have the opportunity to create the truest version of “family.”
On the first of January, I set myself a whole bunch of goals to achieve, as I have done many Januaries that have passed. Usually, by February, life settles back to how it has always been, and I settle back into who I have always been. I then live my life in a state of transit, waiting for the next chance to begin again.
It is the 6th month of 2020, and somehow, I am still on track. This is newfound territory for me.
This year, I did things a little different.
At the start of every month, I set myself goals that I want to achieve by the end of it. At the end of every month, I look back, reflect and tally up how I’ve done. I’ve done this consistently for 5 months now. I stuck with it, and that is no small thing, not for me. I’ve notoriously been an “all or nothing” kind of person.
I have not achieved every goal I set out to do. Let’s say I set myself 100 small goals between January to now. I have probably achieved about 70 of them. But…that’s still 70 steps in the right direction. That is momentum. That is a huge success!
Retrospectively, if I had not set myself these targets, and was just left to my own devices, I would have probably achieved around 15-20 of them haphazardly. The difference is monumental.
Today, I’m looking at what worked. What I did differently that made me DO differently this time around? Here’s what is working for me:
My spiritual practice is not glamorous. It can seem mystical and enchanting from the outside. But once you get into it, once you do it every day, it becomes mundane.
It’s like brushing your teeth. It isn’t particularly exciting to do, but you realize the importance of it, and your day just wouldn’t feel quite right without it.
One thing I often remind myself is that consistency and a steady focus is important if you want to get anywhere in life. If you start digging for water in one spot, after some time, you will get there. But often what happens is that we dig for a few hours, and then think “Hmm that spot over there looks better” and run over there and start over. After some time has passed, we decide we need better digging tools. Or we see a friend who seems to be making great progress in their spot with their tools and technique so we rush over to see if we can try it too. With all these changes in direction, we will never get to our water. Well, we might, but it will take a very long time.
You don’t need to change worry about changing the tools you have. The only thing we need to concern ourselves with is deepening desire for it.
Everything else – the teacher, the tools, the technique – will fall into place. At least, that has been my experience.
If you feel like your meditation practice has become a little stagnant, then I have some tips for you.
The traditional structure of parenting has been where where a parent imparts their knowledge, wisdom, advice, instructions, expectations and sometimes even their demands onto the child.
That child then has two options – obey or rebel.
If the child obeys, he/she is a good son/daughter and wins the love and respect of the parent.
If the child rebels – the relationship is challenged. Life becomes difficult for the parent and the child in different ways.
Before I became a mother, I knew that this method of child rearing was not what felt right to me. Now that I am in fully immersed in parenting my little 2 year old, I think a lot about what kind of parent I am to her.
One thing I know for sure is that parenting is a two way street. I have an important and valuable learned wisdom to share with Reya, and she has an important and valuable innate wisdom share with me. I don’t subscribe to the belief that one is superior to the other. They both have it’s place in the parent-child relationship and in life.
Yes, she is new to life but so am I.
The day my daughter was born, a mother was born too.
If you have spent any length of time reading my blog, you will know that my blog posts tend to be rather in depth and verbose. I usually go deep into one topic per post.
I’m interested in trying something a little different for an upcoming blog post. I’d like to talk about a few different topics in one place. And I’d like to talk about the things that matter most to you and your life. Kind of like a rapid fire Q&A.
I thought the best way to do this would be to offer you a chance to ask an anonymous question in the question box above. It can be a question that relates to your personal life or it can be a more of a general/universal topic that you’d like me to touch on. I’ve done this a few times on instagram – here are some examples of questions people have asked:
How to achieve peace of mind?
How to be a peaceful parent?
How to restart meditation when you are out of practice?
Your thoughts on self love?
How can I support a friend who has gone through stillbirth?
I can’t promise that I have all the answers (in fact, I can promise you that I don’t!) but I’d love to share my thoughts on whatever is on your mind.
I’ll answer a few of them in an upcoming blog post (that’s if I get any responses at all eek!)