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Awareness - the Authentic Tea podcast with Emily

Emily has a breadth of experience in holistic self-care and wellbeing practices and a comprehensive understanding of the science of behaviour change. As a 200hr yoga teacher and Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation (MBSM) teacher, Emily shares her expertise with others to add more mindfulness in their own lives. In this episode, Emily shares her own story and experience of burnout and finding a conscious way to combine her passions.

Episode 13 of the Authentic Tea podcast features Rach's chat with Emily:

Rach (00:00):

It's wonderful to have Emily talking to us today. And Emily is passionate about holistic self-care well-being practices for other women working in healthcare, by sharing through the art of medicine. Emily supports women in their personal growth and development. Her online platform, More than Milk offers courses on mindfulness and parenting and small group coaching to prepare moms to transition to motherhood. The Healers health collective is a hub for other healthcare professionals to share their experiences and discomforts in written form and her wholehearted medicine, luxury wellness retreats allow doctors to explore yoga meditation and mindfulness and nurture their minds, their bodies and their souls. Emily has truly crafted her own portfolio career. So welcome Emily.

Emily (00:49):

Thanks for having me.

Emily (00:50):

It's great to have you here and from all these offerings. So many of them include mindfulness, which is something that I'm also so passionate about. So maybe you could share with our listeners how you were first introduced to mindfulness and how you use some of those practices in your own life.

Emily (01:09):

I was first introduced to mindfulness in medical school. I went to Monash university and I was very fortunate to have Professor Craig Haslet teach mindfulness, and it's quite funny, cause I've now joined the teaching team for his health enhancement program at Monash. So I've come full circle. And that, I love that work more than anything else that I do so that I find really enjoyable. But I think as a medical student, I probably didn't appreciate the gravity of exactly what mindfulness could do for me. I knew the concepts, I understood it. And in hindsight, I did carry through the concepts through my early years of practicing medicine. I think back to teaching smokers to quit smoking back then I started GP training sort of 2012, 2013. And I used to talk to them about smoking, continuing smoking while they were trying to quit.

Emily (02:04):

But just focusing on allaying the guilt and removing that extra layer from trying to actually change a behaviour. And when I think back, I think, Oh gosh, they were all, it was all principles of mindfulness, but I actually didn't realize that's what I was talking to people about. And it probably wasn't until about 2017 that I started to bring a lot more consciousness back to my own practice of mindfulness and how I taught it to patients as well. I think the thing about my own experience of mindfulness is that from that point where I felt like I was really starting to build on my conscious practice of mindfulness, I sort of, I kept, I kept being mindful. I thought I was practicing it in my day to day life. But what I was actually doing was probably a mindfulness without self-awareness and I was kind of managing this evolving sense of burnout, which I actually did end up burning out here in 2019.

Emily (02:58):

And I probably kept it at bay for a while through mindfulness. And the problem is you can't just mindfulness, away lack of self-awareness. And I think that there's a lot of articles around about Mcmindfulness, the idea that we're just being mindful of practicing mindfulness as this wonderful secular practice that increases our productivity, makes us more efficient and unlocks the best parts of us, and that's sort of what I was doing. And I think I'd taken the spirituality out of mindfulness, which I mean, mindfulness in itself is a very secular practice, but I do feel like spirituality, not in perhaps the religious or faith-based sense of the word, but more in that just introspective connection sense of the word that was missing in my mindfulness practice until really I did burn out and I, and I came back to it in a, in a really real way in 2019. Again.

Rach (03:56):

Thank you. And I think one of the things that you encourage others to share is their own stories of challenges and burnout. So maybe would you be comfortable just sharing your experience and how, as you just mentioned, you recognized you were at that moment and what did you then do to reset, to be able to come back to give yourself more energy and time and space?

Emily (04:22):

I was really lucky in that when I did burn out, I would, I had my mindfulness practice was pretty good. So the lead up to actually burning out with just so unbelievably innocuous, that really isn't like, I couldn't tell you some massive life-changing events that took tipping over the edge. And all of a sudden, I just fell in a heap. I had a series of just debilitating panic attacks, and I'd never had them before and really about just minimal things. The triggers were something I couldn't even tell you now, but I just fell in a heap. And I was able to switch on that mindful part of my brain and say, okay, this is obviously something that you can't deal with it the moment they can feel this pain, but we don't need to dissect it. We'll come back to that another day. And so for six months, I was really, I'm fortunate, you know, I had two younger kids, then they're a bit older now, but I was really able to throw myself into just mindfully, being a mom, being at home, taking work, taking medicine out of the equation, everything else was the same in a way.

Emily (05:36):

And I think I wrote a blog post three weeks after I'd burnt out that I didn't publish until a year later. But I talked about this sense that the doctor light globe inside me had gone out and yet everything else was the same. So every other part of my life felt okay, but this doctor light globe had just gone dark. And I knew I was heading towards that darkness for a long time. And I tried to sort of change my practice and tailor it down to the breastfeeding medicine and practice mindfulness and meditate and do yoga. I trying to do everything right. And I was doing everything wrong, but I wasn't being self-aware. And I wasn't really allowing myself to feel this feeling that perhaps medicine wasn't making me happy. And so I kept trying to push that aside by being more mindful. And so burning out for me was literally that doctor light globe going out and saying, okay, now this lights gone out, do I want to turn it back on? Is it a light globe that makes me happy? Can I focus? Like, you know, the fuse box goes out, you don't just, I didn't just go flick the switch and turn it all back on. I said, okay, well, why did that fuse go out? Why, why is it that, that fuse and nothing else went out? What, what do I need to change?

Rach (06:50):

That's a really powerful story to listen to. It's amazing really that you were able to have that reflection and that that lightbox is a really powerful vision actually. And how you were able to write down what you were feeling at that time, even though you didn't publish it until a year later. And that's something that you encourage other practitioners to do in your healers health collective to share their own stories by writing. Do you find that that's something that you still do as a practice and how do you find that that can help others to sort of explore their own experiences and their own reality?

Emily (07:27):

I'm a huge fan of journaling in whatever form it takes, whether it's a beautiful notebook that you religiously write in every day at the same time and has pictures on the cover, or if you're like me. And there is just scraps of paper everywhere with scrolling notes and little notes on my phone and there's voice notes in my phone. And then I just, I'm a big mind mapper. And so the way my brain works within this beautiful network of connections. And so for me, journaling is just getting things out and then seeing what connections arise. Once it's out of your head. I often don't see the connections in my writing until I have written it, some on the computer, someone, a half-written blog post, some scraps of the paper on my desk. Some on my phone and I just draw on it and bring it all together.

Rach (08:20):

If we see journaling as also part of a daily practice that a lot of people do. And like you, I also write lots of things that are in my mind as time goes on, as things change. What other self-care practices would you add to your day? Is that one of them? Is that something that you would encourage other people to do?

Emily (08:42):

I think journaling is a wonderful practice to have in your day. I think getting thoughts out of your head is helpful because it's very hard to maintain objectivity when the thoughts are in our head and we often , you hear people say, how can we be so compassionate to other people and yet we are harsh on ourselves. And I think the reason for that is that very few people hear, how we speak to ourselves. And it's not until you take those thoughts out of your mind out of your head and you either read them back or you face the possibility that someone else might read them or that they might come across them, that it changes your tone of voice. And I think that journaling is a really crucial key for developing self-compassion and just challenging that, you know, voice that we all have. So yet I think that's probably one really important practice.

Emily (09:32):

I am a huge fan of pranayama as well. Breathwork. So I actually happened across it about three or four years ago. Now, actually, before I came back to yoga, I did yoga as a teenager and then I left it for a decade and came back to it. But I had a four centimetre diastasis in my rectus muscles after having my kids and very, very subpar back. And I'd been in pain for two and a half years, I was looking at it at possible fusion of my vertebra. And I was really scared of facing that sort of operation. And so I, I chickened out of it and I happened to cross transverse abdominal breathing. And I started this practice every day, 10 to 20 breaths in the morning before I hopped out of bed, 10 to 20 breaths in the evening when I hopped into bed and within a month and a half, two months I'd healed my diastasis from four centimetres down to less than two.

Emily (10:31):

So I knew that breathing was pretty powerful and that sort of triggered this search in myself for other breath practices that could also be equally as powerful. And then that started this path towards yoga. So I think being, bringing awareness to your breath and then mindfulness teaches us awareness of the breath without trying to control it, but then other forms of meditation and yoga, in particular, takes us past that point where we focus more on, yes, we have awareness of the breath and how that corresponds with movement, but then how we can control the breath and how we can use that control of the breath to actually control our internal environment a bit more as well. So that's a really important practice, I think for my own self-care

Rach (11:19):

For me also, pranayama is something that I, I now do on a daily basis. And I think like so many of us, you then look back and realize, like you were saying how you were breathing before. And that actually, so many of us are not really breathing properly and we're walking around in with a sense of like shallow breath or holding our breath. And it's not until you are introduced to a breathing pattern or a technique like you've just described that you actually can open your body in a different way. And suddenly it feels like you're, you're more alive, for me, it was a very different introduction, but the feeling that you've just described of, of understanding what the pranayama can do for you, it is very similar. Something that I really encourage a lot of people to do. And I think it's a really powerful part of that whole yoga learning. For your yoga and your yoga training. When did that come into your life? Was it something that you wanted to go deep into and it sort of led you to think about training to become a teacher? When was it that you decided to take that path?

Emily (12:25):

I think heading down the yoga path I did it reactively to start with I throughout my life have a notorious habit of seeing something or doing something, enjoying it and then taking it to the extreme. So I thought I could do medicine and I thought, well, I enjoy it. I'll I'll, I'll, I'll get a medical degree. I struggled with breastfeeding. So I thought, right, I can, I can fix it. I'll go become a lactation consultant. I enjoyed yoga. And I went, yep, I love this. I'll go and become a yoga teacher. And so it wasn't actually until the process of going through my yoga teacher training that I reflected on this and thought, Oh, wow, this is something that I do. I take something and I just take it to the extreme and, and this yoga teacher training, which is supposed to be such an in-depth spiritual sort of thing.

Emily (13:17):

I've just done purely because that's my pattern of living. And I mean, I think that's what yoga teacher training does. It does take you to a point where you start to look at your life choices and look at the process of getting to , how and getting to where you've got to and start to make active choices about how you move forward. So, you know, you can look at this and, and I look at, I look at that, that pattern of what I used to do. I enjoy selling, take it to the extreme. I look at it with compassionate. It makes me laugh, but the me a few years ago would have berated myself. You always do this, you enjoy something and you just take it to the extreme. Whereas now I think, no, yeah, I, I have done that throughout my life. And I'm happy that this pattern of behavior actually brought me to yoga teacher training to get to the point where I could go, Oh yeah, okay. Maybe we can stop doing that and see if it's actually serving us still.

Rach (14:11):

And that experience of doing different things as well has probably led you to where you are now to have this really broad variety of amazing offers that you can share with other people it's really rich. And when I've read the intro to everyone, I hope they can see all these different aspects, which you now are sharing. And one of the things that you're really passionate about sharing is all of the online support for mums, including your experience from coming from the lactation consultant experience and your own experience as a mum. So how did your experience of becoming a new mum identify this need and how do you see other moms they join you for these programs? How do you see their lives changing by adding mindfulness practices, into being a parent? And also particularly around breastfeeding.

Emily (15:00):

When I first became a mom, I was already, I was training to be a GP. You know, I was already a doctor and there was so many things that I convinced myself I should know. And so I didn't allow myself to be vulnerable. And to actually ask a question, I just soldiered on. And a lot of those things probably, I mean, I know that I did me a disservice because Brene Brown talks a lot about the power, the strength in vulnerability, and really by not allowing myself to be vulnerable, I lost the chance to learn and to grow. I did struggle with breastfeeding. And then the first sort of year of my daughter's life, I probably struggled just with this idea of not having to know everything, not having to be on top of everything, allowing myself to be a mom and not always have to be a doctor.

Emily (15:50):

I remember when my daughter was three months old, it was, I was sleep-deprived, I was exhausted and it was a long weekend. And she came out in just a classic viral rash. It's just textbook viral rash. And it sent me into a tailspin. And my husband and I, I dragged him down to, to ED with our three-month-old baby late on Easter Saturday night and we sat there. And dug him in the rib, and I said don't you dare tell anyone here that I'm a doctor. And so we sat there and I had this beautiful nurse just talking us through everything, saying, it's just a viral rash. She's ok Hey, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I just sat there thinking, Oh, I can't believe that this is what I've let myself come to. Like logically everything she's telling me made sense. And yet three hours ago I was in that absolute tailspin because I was not so much too proud, but just not able to let my guard down enough to just ask for help and to just say, I, you know, I am a doctor.

Emily (16:52):

I should know this maybe for other people's kids, but I don't know it for mine. And that's okay. And I think in the process of becoming a lactation consultant and now working with moms, I take that, I carry that with me and I make it really clear to mums for the next day that it doesn't matter if you know this for everyone else's kid, you don't have to know it, for yours it's impossible to be objective for your own child. And that's why you actually find a village. That's why you recruit people on your team so that you have objective sounding board. I mean, I can't say things in my own kids, and yet I could say exactly the same thing with perfect clarity in someone else's child. I know when I work with mums, I make a point, you know, we are building your team and your village I am part of it. And I don't want to disenfranchise mums or parents. I don't, I don't want them to think you're the expert I need you. I need your advice. I need your opinion. It's really about building your team. So that you feel confident to make your decisions. None of us are the expert on your baby, I might be the expert in breastfeeding, I might be a GP, but you are the expert on your baby. I'm on your team. Not the other way around

Rach (18:01):

Some really powerful thoughts there, particularly around asking for help, because I think that's something that, as you just mentioned, when we go through medical training, we come out the other end with a label. And so we, we have this sense that we should be able to deal with these things because, you know, we are the people that usually are giving knowledge to other people. And being able to ask for help is something that doesn't come naturally to many people in the same situations. Recognizing that and being able to identify when you need help is really crucial part, isn't it to understanding what you need and identifying who those people are that can help you. Are there people that you identified, particularly when you were going through some of these challenging moments in your life, were there particular people who helped you through that? And how did you identify who was on your team? How did you identify those champions for you?

Emily (18:56):

I was thinking about this question and I think the, the conclusion I've come to is that I didn't actually know when I was in the thick of it. I didn't know who my champions were and I really just, I hit the bottom and I've said this in one of my blog posts that I feel a lot of comfort now in knowing where my bottom, is where I hit the bottom. And now I know, I know when I'm getting close I know, I find that awful feeling that I had a few years ago when I burnt out, I find comfort in it now, rather than distress. And when I was there, though I really pulled on every ounce of mindful self-awareness that I could muster to let myself just be there and really just feel that awful feeling of being at the bottom of that, of that doctor, light, being out and just being in it.

Emily (19:58):

And rather than sort of looking for champions or looking for help or looking for, light I just started saying yes, and then just started telling people how I felt without that extra layer of guilt or self-flagellation, that I should be different. I should, I should be able to fix this. I shouldn't burn out. I'm a Doctor - because other people burnout, I just let myself feel it. And then over time I told myself, I was telling people, this is how I feel. And, you know, I never wanted to, to be a champion of burnout in doctors. And I still don't, but I also know that I can't be authentically me if I don't talk about this. And it's not that, you know, I get, I had so many people, it the time say to me you're so brave. And I used to think, I'm brave for burning out. When I think I had no choice, this, this wasn't something I chose. And in fact, if I had the choice, I probably wouldn't have chosen it. So there's no bravery here. There's no strength here. There is just vulnerability. And then from that vulnerability, you gain the strength. But at that moment, it was just vulnerability. There was no guard up at all,

Rach (21:11):

And being vulnerable is also an incredibly difficult thing to do. Isn't it, it's that sense of opening, like you say, opening yourself to other people and to yourself, opening who you really are at that moment in time and, and being honest about it, which is, is not easy. It's how we learn. I think isn't, it is how we can reflect on how we respond and how we learn. And I think a lot of these things that you're talking about all fit into this holistic self-care, which I know that you're passionate about sharing. One of the really lovely things that I like on, on your material is this basic life support of self-care that you've developed. I just think it's such an important and crucial package, but it's, it's just a really nice way for people to understand it and really understand the importance of it. So maybe you could tell the listeners a little bit about why you decided to package it like that and what some of the aspects are that it contains

Emily (22:07):

Doctors love algorithm. We love, we love patterns. We love protocols. We love processes. And the doctors, the ABC you know the CPR guidelines, it's just, it's so innate in us and all of us, we finish our training. And every year we do CPR training to maintain our accreditation. We do CPR training. So we learn how to save people's lives And then I just reflecting on this, something in, because it's such a paradox that every year we learn how to save people's lives. We go through this so that it is muscle memory. We don't even think about it in a, in an emergency. We are there and we know the process and we know how to do save that persons life. And yet, for so many of them, we don't know how to do that for ourselves. And I think this is where the self-awareness comes in.

Emily (22:57):

In that it's, it's so much easier to, to find fault or to find problems in other people and to fix them. And in fact, finding those problems in someone else, and then in turn fixing them, which strokes our own ego, but it's a way that we distract ourselves from faults or fears or things that we find in ourselves that make us feel uncomfortable. So like any addiction, like any virus fixing other people, helping other people just becomes a distraction from ourselves. So I'm thinking, okay, well, this is, this is something that I see a lot in my colleagues. We are great at fixing other people, we have this muscle memory, innate knowledge of how to bring someone back from the brink. And yet, in ourselves we are lacking self-awareness and we are not able do this for ourselves and not able to be introspective and be comfortable with what we find and show ourselves self-compassion. So, you know, we've got these two opposing forces and we've got one protocol, which is just so familiar to doctors. I thought, well, okay, well that seems to make sense. Maybe I can apply these things that I've learned, these really holistic self-care practices, that span and not only breathwork, but self-compassion, and self-awareness and resilience and mindfulness and downtime, and put it in a beautiful little acronym that doctors understand.

Rach (24:18):

It's great. And we'll share it in the notes on the podcast so that people can find it as well, so that they can take a look and see how they can incorporate it into their own days too. Within your mindfulness do you also incorporate some meditation, some of that focus in terms of taking that space and that real moment in time, is that something that you also include with your own practice?

Emily (24:42):

Yeah, so I, I practiced the informal mindfulness for years, and then it wasn't until probably about 2017 that I just had this longing inside me to find quietness, I guess one of the ways I describe it sometimes is, when I started meditating, I just felt you know, in front of my eyes, that sense of static, you know, like the old fashioned TVs that black and white fuzz and I'd sit and I could sense this static energy just always buzzing and never being at pace and then never finding stillness. And that's when I started to, to meditate and to do more formal meditative practices. And as I, as I did it more and more, you do find stillness and it's this odd sense of static energy just dissipating. And I noticed that when I go longer between my sessions, when I don't meditate, as frequently as I want to, the static comes back. And that, that energy that I feel that buzzing, that just inability to find stillness comes back. And I notice it sit with it. I remember that feeling and why I, why I started meditating in the first place. Then, then you find stillness again. And once you found stillness, I mean, it's probably addictive. It's probably like anything that we love, but it's impossible to, to not seek it, not want in your law. I mean, I, I guess there's lots of people who have different experiences of their meditation that, that, that's how I sense it.

Rach (26:19):

The retreats that you deliver for doctors, they are in person retreats. Do you find that people even just having a little clip of some of these techniques of them, of the mindfulness, of the meditation of the pranayama talking about self-care, do you find that it gives people the opportunity to open their eyes to something

Emily (26:38):

We're actually, we are starting our medication retreats this year. So we haven't actually done one yet, but I'm very much looking forward to them. And I think in my own experience, having, having gone to meditation retreats and mindfulness retreats, I just that immersive nature of the connected with a group of people in an environment where you are in each other's space, you, you being vulnerable and you're allowing those connections to happen more freely. You've taken time out from your life. There's no other distractions. The retreat environment is really good for that. And then, so my colleague, Lucy Burns and I, we were talking about this and say, how, how much way loves that atmosphere and how we really wanted to be able to help other medical professionals to find this sort of stillness, that, that both Lucy and I, have really sought in our own lives. And how do we do that for doctors who are time-poor, often energy-poor, we are exhausted. Well, a retreat just makes sense. You dedicate a few days, we immerse you in these feelings and hopefully you get enough of a sense of stillness that we're able to give you something that you want to come back to.

Rach (27:51):

Well, it sounds like an amazing, amazing project. So please share when it's all ready, and I'm sure people will come and join, and I'm really not happy that I'm on the other side of the world. So, because I would love to join. It sounds really, really wonderful. One of the things I liked about how we were talking about vulnerability and honesty is how you describe yourself as a square peg and how you felt for so long that you were trying to fit into this round hole. And it's definitely something that I totally have felt that most of my adult life. So I would just love to know when you came up with this and you realized, but also how this same feeling can maybe hold us back from really doing what we feel is our path. Whether you have advice for people who also have that feeling of discomfort with what they've found themselves in whether that may be part of the way along a medical career or the sort of social lifestyle that they create for themselves.

Emily (28:55):

Now, that was a piecemeal blog post that had come together from a lot of snippets of journaling things. And, and it came, it came together beautifully because in the end, I read back and thought, this is actually describing my journey thus far quite well. I always had this sense of within medicine, at least, you know how if you walk into, you could, you could go to a party and be in a crowded room, and yet you could come home and feel totally alone, or you could stand there and feel totally alone, even though surrounded by people and that idea of being alone together. And medicine for me felt very much like that. I felt very much alone, even though I was surrounded by people and surrounded by a fraternity of people, you get a medical degree and you have these affinity with other doctors.

Emily (29:48):

I mean, they don't know that other people feel the same, but for some reason. And we sort of think, it's a pretty arduous task to become a doctor. And so someone else who is also a doctor and has been through these huge life process, I must have something in common with them. And I must have, there must be something that we have in common. And, and it's kind of laughable to think that we are as doctors as one homogenous group, simply because we all have medical degree. That's, that's sort of how I felt. I felt like you come out the other end and there's this expectation that you are a doctor, you know, that round peg, you are a doctor, no edges. It's just, this, this is the mold that we've spent many, many years getting you to fit into. And so I lost probably my sense of self a little bit, because I was Emily, the doctor and I came through, I came through general practice training and I'd see my patients then, and I'd share parts of my life.

Emily (30:46):

I thought I was developing the connection with them, but I always knew that there was a, there was something between me and them. And I felt like Emily, the doctor was alone in this crowded room. You know, whether it with other doctors, or whether it was with patients. I just felt like it was like a t-shirt, you know, like a shirt that didn't fit and since burning out and the process of burning out for me was very much. I started with wanting to throw the baby out of the bathwater, I didn't want to be a doctor. I wanted to look at medicine in the rear view mirror. And thankfully I had some very clever people around me. Who said, you know, just think about it, just let that settle for a while and see how you feel. And so I spent six months just letting that settle.

Emily (31:33):

And then I sort of started to come around and I had some beautiful colleagues who supported me through, through burning out who then suggested, perhaps I might like to do some surgical assisting with them, which was amazing. And it just kept my foot in a little bit of clinical and a little bit of medicine, but not too much. And so I sort of then started thinking, okay, well, what is it about medicine I like, what is it about medicine I don't like? And do I really want to throw the baby out with the bathwater? Or do I actually need to just now start a fresh this is the point that I am starting at now and carve a path in medicine that's for me, because I hadn't really found someone in medicine, a mentor that, at, that stage, who I felt really was walking a similar path to what I wanted to walk. And I couldn't do that until I removed that face to face clinical medicine, which I found so physically draining. I just find putting myself in front of a patient and that sort of clinical interface from me, it just, it drains me in a way that I just never really put my finger on before I stopped doing it.

Rach (32:50):

One of the reasons I really wanted to share stories of women doing their thing and creating their own path and finding their own communities and their own tribes, but still we still have that medicine with us. It's still a part of what we enjoy. It's just woven in, in a different way for anyone who's finding themselves in that same position at this point in time. Are there any little tips that you could suggest? What is the first thing in terms of maybe having reflection or thinking about where you can go to next? What's something that would be helpful to share.

Emily (33:27):

This is where I love my basic life report, self-care algorithm. It's it's the downtime is probably the first step, you know, remove it, remove the danger in the basic life support. So actually giving yourself some time, when, you're not triggering yourself. You're not expecting something from yourself that perhaps is more than you're able to give. And for me, that just having that downtime away from clinical practice was what I needed to find clarity. And it wasn't just I'll take a holiday for two weeks. I mean, when I first burnt out, I had this idea in my head, okay, I'll take three weeks off. Yeah. I'll take three weeks off. That was so indulgent three weeks I mean, that's, who does that, then I got the three weeks and then I went, Oh gosh, this journey is just starting. This is insane what I have to do.

Emily (34:21):

And then, and then gradually I set these yardsticks ahead of me where I say, okay, I'll go back then. And each time I got to that point, I'm like, I'm feeling a lot better, but I'm not feeling as good as I want to so I can do what I've always done and get what I've always got or I can do something different. And the obvious difference here is that I need some downtime. I need some time away from clinical medicine and that was right for me. It's not right for everyone, but that in itself gave me just, it opened up space in my head to think, and to reflect and to not be fixing other people and just be solely focused on sitting with my feelings and what I needed to do. And as uncomfortable as that was, not having that distraction of, you know, being the fixer.

Emily (35:14):

That was what unlocked that space. And I think Lisa Rankin talks about what hooks and what harms your ego. And it allowed me to see that, you know, I thought I was always, I thought I was a good person because I fixed other people, you know, I went into medicine. I wanted to help people, but that was my, that was my sort of, you know, that hooked me on it. But the problem is that a lot of the, that hook our ego when we take it to excess become points that harms our ego. And so this hook, this desire to help people when I took it to excess became, this savior complex, I was martyring myself for medicine. I was putting aside my self care needs and putting aside what was best for me in favor, or continuing to throw myself under the bus and doing everything to save other people and in the end, that actually wasn't good for me. It wasn't good for anyone else. You know, I did burn out if I had a that insight beforehand, I might've been able to slow that process down and perhaps even reverse it.

Rach (36:18):

Well, thank you for being so honest about it and opening up and being, giving yourself the vulnerability to share these stories, because I know that they will really help people who can identify with different components of it wherever they are on their path and their journey, and trying to find their own way in life. So now when you feel your most authentic, what is Emily like? What does Emily do when she's feeling authentically herself?

Emily (36:51):

I try to put space between myself and, and my actions. I think when the authentic me exists in that space between what's happening to me and then how I react. And that's really a mindful process, isn't that because most of us exist at that space. You know, something happens to us and we react right, that the idea of having space between something happening to us, that trigger and our reaction is quite a foreign concept. And the more you practice mindfulness, the more you meditate, the more introspective you are, the more you try to do your own ego work and become more self-aware the bigger that space become. And that's, that's my authentic space. That's where I like being. That's the way I can choose to be me and to not react or overreact all, you know, regretful all the other things that I used to feel I always was snowed under by. This authentic person to exist just within that space between action and reaction. I think that's probably where I'm most authentic.

Rach (38:09):

Thank you. I could keep chatting to you for so long. I have so many questions I'd love to ask you, but where can people find out more? So where can they find out more about all these wonderful things you're creating and sharing with the world?

Emily (38:24):

I'm a bit like a Labrador puppy. I have a lot, a lot. I get excited about a lot of ideas. So the hub, I guess, is So that's Dr. Dr and that's where I sort of keep myself grounded and then throw all my ideas and everything that I'm doing. It goes there. So it's sort of like a satellite for all the other adventures that I'm going on from there.

Rach (38:52):

Brilliant. And we'll add that also down below the podcast so that people can go online and find you join your community, get involved in some of these wonderful projects that you're sharing and planning, which sound brilliant. The last question of today is my podcast is called Authentic Tea. And the last question is where and with who would you have your most authentic cup of tea

Emily (39:18):

Or they should have to be with my good friend, Jody who lives about now from here in the country. And she's got a beautiful house, beautiful property. The back garden looks over these green rolling hills. And I think I'd probably sit there quite happily with her having a cup of tea, talking about who knows what, and clearing our mind

Rach (39:40):

Sounds beautiful. And I hope that you can get to do that soon.

Emily (39:44):

So do I.

Rach (39:46):

Well, thank you so much for being a guest today. It's been wonderful to have you here.

Emily (39:50):

Thanks for having me. I really enjoyed it.

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I help doctors create a purposeful, flexible career outside full-time clinical medicine so they can control their time and have more balance in their lives. To find out more book a FREE 60-minute discovery call.

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