Reya turned 3 this January. I thought I would reflect on some of the biggest parenting lessons I’ve learned as we stepped into the toddler years.
Hello! I’m back, after a 2 month hiatus. I have lots of interesting articles lined up to share over the next few weeks. Today I wanted to start with an intentional living topic. I have a page in Notion called “This works” where I collect a list of small changes and ideas that have had a big impact in my daily life. I thought I’d share them with you today!
✨ Spend 10 minutes a day doing a digital declutter for 30 days. Then keep up as required.
✨ Approach your job like it’s your hobby, and your hobby like it’s your job.
✨ Make one low-waste swap every month.
✨ Listen to/watch videos on 2x speed (when the purpose is to extract information.)
✨ Embrace the reverse sleep-in (especially for parents) and go to bed really early.
✨ 10 minutes HIIT on the treadmill (1 minute sprinting, 1 minute walking)
Getting in alignment
You may or may not know that I am currently in the midst of applying for Internal Medicine residency in the US. It’s been a long journey to get to this point – it is an important story that I look forward to telling you very soon.
As of right now, I’m in the middle of it, and I will say that I feel really good about where I am. I am happy and excited; not out of optimism, or even out of belief that I will match and reach my goal, but just genuinely glad to be here. Enjoying the process, and finding joy in the steps along the way. It is refreshing to live my life from this perspective, and it is new for me.
I thought it was interesting that despite not yet having attained my goal (of being accepted into a residency program) everything feels like it is unfolding beautifully, and I feel pleasant and at peace.
I realized that this was perhaps the first time in my life that I not only created a vision for how I wanted something to look (in this example, my career), but for the last 2 years I have been consistently taking aligned action. Every single thing I did reinforced my vision.
I hypothesize that simply the act of spending a length of time moving in one direction creates the ideal conditions for transformation of self and life.
So then I thought – hmm, what about other areas of my life that feel stagnant or meh or are not looking at all the way I want it to?
If you’re caught in an awful procrastination cycle
- Take a life admin day – a whole day devoted to running those pesky errands.
You cannot become the person you want to be when you are focused on the behaviour of another person
Why did they do that/say that?
I wonder what they meant by that?
Why did they use that tone with me? They must be upset/angry/sad with me etc.
What do they think of me?
What are they thinking about the situation?
When I find myself in a situation where I am tangled up in a web of worry and restlessness based on one of these thoughts- I remind myself that what I am doing is focusing on the behaviour and thoughts of another person. These are two things that I have no control over, and quite frankly, is not my business.
When you focus on another persons behaviour, a couple things happen.
Firstly, you spend a lot of time, energy and emotions on something you cannot control. It’s needless emotional labour, and it tires you out.
Secondly, you forfeit your opportunity to be the person you want to be.
As soon as I notice I am feeling anxious about something, I ask myself “is this about the behaviour/thoughts of another person?” If yes, I step out of my stories, and ask myself “Who do I want to be in this situation? And what can I do/say/act that is in accordance with that?”
And I do that thing. This is my way out.
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”
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.
Here are some ways I do that:
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.”
Long time readers of my blog will know that every year, I collect a list of reflections and lessons that life is teaching me.