Equanimity - the Authentic Tea podcast with Cheryl

Equanimity is an aim for Cheryl on and off the yoga mat!


Cheryl is the host of The Mindfull Medic Podcast and explores the lived experience of colleagues, mentors and other healthcare professionals in her episodes who have inspired her through her clinical career.


Cheryl has developed her expertise in yoga and yoga therapy and is supporting her colleagues to improve their health and wellbeing and incorporate aspects of self-care and self-regulation into their lives.


Cheryl also chats about connecting to nature, trail running and the sense of community and acceptance that can come from moving together.


For Episode 25 it was fabulous to chat with Cheryl and hear more about her passions of medicine and yoga and how she is sharing her skills with the world.


In this episode, Cheryl shares how her passions in emergency medicine, sports medicine and lifestyle medicine are combining in her career path and has provided her opportunities to contribute to workplace wellbeing.


Rachel (00:00):

Today I'm joined by Cheryl and Cheryl is the host of The Mindful Medic podcast. Cheryl is a yoga teacher, emergency medicine practitioner, and is joining us from the other side of the world in Hobart Tasmania. Through her podcast, Cheryl creates a community and is sharing stories to inspire others to maintain their health and wellbeing and develop self-compassion and self-care practices. Welcome, Cheryl.


Cheryl (00:24):

Thank you very much, Rachel. It's a real honor.


Rachel (00:28):

Well, thank you for being here today. As you are on a podcast, let's talk about your podcast The Mindful Medic. You're now in your second season and I know you've been able to reach a global audience with it. Maybe you could share a little bit about why you started the podcast and the message that you're sharing through your episodes.


Cheryl (00:47):

As we've all said, I find the podcast medium a powerful medium. I think I probably have been on board with podcasts since the very first wave of their arrival and they were obviously quite exciting. They had a bit of a hiatus then again in the past couple of years, we've seen more and more probably exponentially increasing. For me, I thought about it for a while. And somebody had told me not to let perfect be the enemy of good enough and I think it did stick. Probably the pandemic came and there's some bit of time and space and not being able to do some other things and to think, "Well, do you know what?" "If not now, when?"


Cheryl (01:29):

I have a friend who has a good podcast. I have to probably give him a plugin. Andrew Davies is an intensive care doctor here in Australia and he has a couple of very good podcasts. The New Normal Project is more a lifestyle medicine podcast that him and his wife had and then he's now got a very popular intensive care podcast, Mastering Intensive Care. He's really my podcast mentor and we probably talk about mentors and I really enjoyed listening to his.


Cheryl (02:01):

I reached out to him and said, "I've got this idea. I'd like to do it." He said, "Just do it." Again, don't let perfect be the enemy of good enough. Also I think when you're podcasting, the best advice I can give you is to podcast for yourself. Not really caring who you're reaching, who you're speaking out to. Do it for you and do something that you would like to listen to.


Cheryl (02:26):

I think what are the ideas would be things that I've been working on like yourself for a little while and maybe a little bit off piece to other areas of medicine and other areas, marrying that professional and personal, particularly with the yoga, the lifestyle medicine, the sports. I think you'll agree to say it's a journey, it's a creative space. It's like a hobby and it's something I really enjoy. Yeah, I think that's why I do it. I think if anybody else gets something from that, then all the better. The very fact that I'm here talking to you tells you about the power of this because the most heartwarming thing for me is being actually meeting people and collaborating and connecting and learning from them and sharing stories. I think that's the beauty of it.


Rachel (03:13):

I agree. It's a wonderful format, isn't it? To be able to connect with people and to learn from each other and to learn from stories A big part of wanting to share this podcast was really to inspire other women, to show that women in medicine are doing all sorts of fantastic things. With your episodes, what type of things are you sharing with your audience?


Cheryl (03:34):

Again, it's evolving. I started with a bit more of lifestyle medicine. I've done a bit of sports medicine. I'm quite interested in lifestyle aspects of medicine and I've come to various conferences and other trainings in touch with other professionals. I actually started with two very strong women in medicine who've inspired me. Gretta is a rural GP in Victoria and I met her at one of the Australian-lifestyle medicine conferences. She had had a very traditional GP for 20 years and has in the past couple of years set up her own rural practice in the Grampians and she's [inaudible] The Lifestyle Medicine Conference. She still has her conventional GP practice but she's adding so many other areas of her lifestyle and practice.


Cheryl (04:27):

She does things like the shared medical appointments, the walk with the doctors, she goes shopping with her patient. She does like the park run. She's great at creating community. I mean, she's fantastic. I loved listening to her and marrying that art and science and I think that's the thing and making it your own. She really walks the talk. I think a lot of people that have connected through my podcasts, they're people that inspire me and they do walk the talk. That was Gretta.


Cheryl (04:58):

Then I also had one of my colleagues who is a sports medicine specialist. I did a little bit of training with this two in college. Again, Brandy had just opened her own practice. She had just become a fellow of the Australian culture sports medicine. Again, similar things, we talked about exercise and lifestyle prescription and all of the great things that she's doing. I think the other important thing is how they marry that and maintain balance.


Cheryl (05:25):

I know we'll talk a bit about that.; how you be an example because you're conscious of that as well. I think when you have something you're very excited and quite passionate about, there is the risk that it becomes all consuming. I think that's an interesting thing to explore. I think I've married quite a lot of medicine in there but then I've had one of my main yoga mentors and teachers Dominic Cogan and I love that episode with her and I think we could probably come on again and again.


Cheryl (05:58):

We talked more about yoga and pranayama and really dived into that. Then to compliment that I had Sheila who is called the yoga MD. We have never met in person and I find out about Sheila. She has an emergency background and family medicine in Canada and she's a yoga teacher. She has a really interesting main practice now in delivering mindful self compassion yoga restoration programs to healthcare professionals That is her primary space now. It's really exciting to hear about the work that she's doing. I had connected with her before, just the email and I did some yoga therapy with a group of doctors and healthcare practitioners. Ganesh is a physician in Singapore who is also an ayurvedic and yoga practitioner and he teaches on the international committee of yoga therapists.


Cheryl(06:58):

Again, it's science, it's springing art. I was just really able to put this into a modern setting. Let's rename it self care. Let's look at why this is important and how can we incorporate it. I think I find that personally very interesting. I think that the ability to move that into a wider audience. One of my main areas of interest is my own colleagues and their care and I think you're in the same space. Supporting them in addition because we spend all our days making patients our priority and that's the joy and privilege of our jobs but I think I do feel that we could do more for each other. I know that many of the issues we face are beyond our control and they are much bigger levels than our sales.


Cheryl (07:56):

We talk about systems and organizations and I think where we work to really change that. In the meantime, we can only start with ourselves and each other. I could go on and on but yeah, I think that's where it's built from. Yeah. Certainly some of the guests are people that really speak to that and some personal stories of struggle as well and coming through that. It's helpful. We talk about lived experience a lot on the podcast. Well, it is good to have research and science and a translation of that, and I think that's where we'll be going in the next few episodes of the podcast. I think lived experiences is what gets by and what gets people actually connecting.


Rachel (08:37):

Yeah. Being able to hear other people's stories. Like you say, if there are challenges and how people have worked through those and found their way and their own path, I think can give people a sense that they're not on their own and that they can identify with certain aspects of it and then discover how they move forward. It's amazing. A lot of people will reach for podcasts to hear those stories, don't they? To hear those, like you say, the lived experiences.


Cheryl (09:03):

It sounds amazing the variety of people that you've had on your podcast and so many of them have obviously inspired you. Being mentors, whether that's in personal or at a reach. How do you think identifying those people has changed what you've been able to do? Has it given you the confidence to move forward? Has it been able to help you through certain points in your life where you've had challenges?


Cheryl (09:29):

Yeah. I think the whole discussion around mentorship is interesting and our college are about to launch a new mentorship program. When I actually think about it through my professional career, I think I've had a hit and miss relationship with formal mentorship programs because you maybe just be allocated someone you might not actually have seen them very much. Yeah, that was my previous experience with mentorship but I think through this process, it takes you time to reflect and think, "Well, who actually do I look to as a role model and who actually has encouraged me." "Who makes me think, I want to do more. I want to be more like that. I want to do more like that.


Cheryl (10:15):

Somebody who has supported me and encouraged me along that process. We talk a bit about this with my colleague Sheree Johnson who's a coach here and she's also a clinical psychologist. We talk of this overlap of what is a coach, what is a mentor? Then you've got obviously a therapist. We talked about Andy having a coach when probably what he really meant was a mentor. I think in medicine, that older wiser person, who's been there. Not necessarily have to be older, to be honest, but I think the wisdom part of it and the experience is important. I suppose I maybe changed my definition of what a mentor is. I've realized that a lot of them, they're not just in my professional space and they're in many areas of my life.


Rachel (11:15):

I think you're right. I think you can find different people at different points in time who inspire you to maybe grow out parts of yourself. That authenticness that you may be find in different aspects of your life. Yeah, for you and I, it's yoga and it's medicine and it may be other aspects like sport or running. I suppose finding those people who have been able to share their passions in a way that's true to your own values, that's what makes the click between identifying someone. It's like, "Oh, that person is driving in the same direction." They've got the same or the same value base that you recognize in yourself maybe.


Cheryl (11:57):

So it's made me think of my conversation with you and Nicole. She talks about values. I think and I'd be interested to hear your experience in your yoga training. I went to a women's leadership course here and it was based in Monash in Melbourne recently. It was a good path and there's a lot of female, quite senior doctors and a couple of scientists and a couple of people from industry. A lot of doctors, though. It was pretty heavily parked. That was unusual. We did do this really have to where we did look and think about values, think about purpose, think about mission statements. There was a lot of really soul searching. I may have been two decades in medicine and never really considered these things and the interesting thing for me was this was familiar to me.


Cheryl (12:52):

I had done it through my yoga teacher training and there's a great group and hopefully this will be someone that I'll have on in a future episode. A great group formed by Amandeep, one of our general practitioners and digital health experts here in Australia called Creative Careers in Medicine. Now, it has over 10,000 colleagues on the platform and all healthcare professionals. I just commented on this because I'd find out about the course through that group and there's quite a lot of doctors who've done yoga teacher trainings. A lot of them said yeah, but that is true. It made me think, "Oh, there's something we're missing in our training because this stuff is important.


Rachel (13:37):

Yeah. I think if you carry on for a long period of time without really identifying what your values are, then you can have a real mismatch with what's going on around you and not be able to understand why. For me, I was very fortunate to have a little bit of coaching at a point in my public health career and I remember someone asking me about my values and it really was the first time. It was the first time I'd ever really thought about it. It started to sort of put all the pieces of the puzzle together and I could then look back and think, "This is why I respond like this in certain situations and this is why I feel more comfortable in others." Like you said, yoga teacher training really does give you that opportunity for that moment of self reflection to understand yourself better and so much of that is within that whole principles of yoga.


Cheryl (14:32):

I think if we are able to do that within any career at any point really, then I think it gives so much insight as to where you are and where you can head and being comfortable with that. Yeah, I definitely think the yoga teacher training is an amazing experience if you're interested in yoga and you've wanted to delve deeper. There's so much that you can get from it from a personal perspective, as well as them being able to share it with other people. What sort of prompted you to go to do your yoga teacher training and how has that changed maybe your approach to yoga and life in general?


Cheryl (15:13):

I'm like you. I've practiced yoga for years now. I would think I was 18 the first time I stepped into a yoga class. I was pretty stressy medical student. I think it was towards the end of finals and my response would usually be to go on a spin bike or go for a run or do something really cool and I don't know why. I was working in a gym and I had free access to this spinning classes. I'd go on and I don't cycle at all. I had come out. I could attend free classes because I worked as a waitress upstairs and there was a yoga class and I thought, "I might just go in." I think I'd been to a yoga class when I was 14 with my mom and I was really underwhelmed.


Cheryl (16:04):

I think there was a lot of contortion at various bits and I just didn't really enjoy it. Yeah, I didn't really get it and my mom didn't enjoy either. We never went back. I do remember the teacher, I don't know, she seemed old and wise to me at that point. She probably wasn't that old but her daughter did teach me as well. I think she had grandchildren. She may have been 50, 60. She dressed all in white. Her name was Pearl and she was impeccable. I honestly cannot remember what I did. It was a half the class and I can't remember what I in the class. I just remember how I felt when I came out. I think it was mindful movement with breath and we had it guided you're going to be dry at the end.


Cheryl (16:46):

I probably had a microsleep in Shavasana because I was a bit exhausted and I just kept going back after that. I had my ashtanga phase like I think a lot of people do. When I was working and traveling. Interestingly, I would always say to people my plan B is to become a yoga teacher and I used to teach like my friends. I can't remember. When we would travel out, a couple of my colleagues actually. I remember going to Italy and we had a rooftop on where we were staying and we whereI would teach the yoga up there. I think when I was practicing here in Melbourne in the Australian academy with Dominique and she is somebody who I think. While it's based on really sound anatomical science, I think she's moved beyond a lot of the paradigms of pretty unsafe practices.


Cheryl (17:47):

Obviously there similar practises that are fairly new and spectrum of how long yoga has been in existence, but I also love that she made it very accessible for people to just paramita it with a bit of philosophy and principle. There would always be classes built around sankalpa. It wasn't in a preachy or in your face way. Her classes would be full and people would come in for that very reason. I messaged her husband six times every six months saying, "I'm thinking about yoga teacher training." Then eventually after my fellowship, and I think I've spoken on the podcast that I was a little bit disillusioned.


Cheryl (18:42):

I think he could call it probably part of that burn out spectrum of just living and breathing for too long and thinking, "Oh, I feel a bit spat out the other side and I'm not quite ready to just launch into the next thing." And that created an opportunity to do the training which ended up being the best thing that I could've done. I think then as you see, I loved the philosophy. I loved thinking about questions that I would never have entertained previously. I think you've always spoken about your own values and purpose. I obviously enjoyed the anatomy side of things. Mel really does look a bit into the lifestyle medicine and yoga therapy and where's the science and how are we measuring this?


Cheryl (19:40):

I really liked that that was all married and I think some of the science around meditation and mindfulness is really fascinating. On so much levels I got so much out of that and I was quite keen because I know a lot of people will do the training and never teach but I really wants to teach after that and so I just threw myself into teaching and that was interesting enough. I think you could talk about identity because I didn't do much clinical work for that 12 months. I did abit of sports. Medicine covered the weekends. I did a bit of these medical onset Saturdays because as we've just talked about chef work and I needed regular days to attend my yoga teacher training so I had to make that happen. I didn't think too much about maybe what other people were thinking at the time but I knew it was probably a bit unusual. I'd love to hear what people would say to you subsequently but I've had a lot of interest subsequently.


Rachel (20:40):

Yeah. I think it's an unusual combination, isn't it? Sometimes people will find that because yoga has its traditional concepts and the heritage of it, that it can be quite different to the scientific approach that we come from in a medical world. When you are able to, in a way have a foot in both worlds and to be able to explain them together and like you said, pull in some of that science and the evidence that is there and that is evolving all the time around some of these practices. Also to be able to understand the lineage of these practices, which goes back so far. In a way, I find it incredible that the Yogis and the really early Upanishads were able to identify things going on in their bodies and map things out, which now you can sort of look.


Cheryl (21:35):

It's like looking at the chakra system and being able to say, "Well, actually if you look at the chakras and you look at the neuroplexus in our body." Like look at the mirroring between these systems and it's amazing to see that. I think like you say, it can be a challenge if you're in one side to the other. If we come from a very scientific perspective it can be challenging to say, "Well, where's the evidence to this?" "What should we be using and not using?" Then if you come from the other perspective, it's great to challenge yourself because if you challenge the way you think, it opens your mind up to thinking about something slightly differently.


Cheryl (22:15):

I think Dominic and Mel were actually very excited to have me involved. Well, we've got another friend who's a geriatrician who opened her own studio and shortly after the training, we had a lot of teachers that were bringing it back to their classrooms, social workers. We had such a great group and it's been really exciting to follow their journeys too. I've met so many people sends. Sheila is one and then all of these other healthcare practitioners. There was a textbook of yoga medicine. I bought all of those textbooks of course.

Cheryl (22:54):

I think I feel quite comfortable with the uncertainty of this, knowing that in terms of the scientific application because I'm an emergency physician and anything we do in resuscitation, actually isn't really backed by any robust science. There's a lot of art to it. I think we should always look for it but there's some really fascinating. Yeah, it's endlessly fascinating.


Rachel (23:21):

How does that fit for you now? How do you use some of that yoga and the learnings that you've developed from your mindful practice in your own clinical practice as an emergency physician?


Cheryl (23:34):

My own working definition of yoga for myself and probably for others is as a self-regulation tool. That's where it has added the most value to my clinical practice. I'm aware that the environments we work in are increasingly pressured and I'm no use to myself or to anyone else and certainly not to my patients and my team if I'm stressed and angry or frightened or anxious or not able to self-regulate. I think even if you do feel that way, that yoga does help you. Dominic says the real yoga happens off the mat.


Cheryl (24:30):

Look, it's not yoga perfect, it's yoga practice. I will see that this is a work in progress for me always. The whole experience has given me perspective on how I set boundaries and on how I bring my best self to whatever it is I'm doing and I think that's important. I'm going to get it wrong some days but I feel quite strongly now that you can as individuals. We can make a difference to those immediately around us. We are connected and I think it's important in the environment that we work in because we work very closely in teams. It's a great privilege to do the work that we do and I don't think that we find it hard in medicine to find purpose. That's something that we should be proud of.


Cheryl (25:19):

Probably in that space, I have taught in a few corporate settings. I have taught some healthcare professionals to athletes. I had quite a lot of practice for awhile and I think that is again, we were talking before about balance. I went one way. I am consciousthat is an extreme but it was important to immerse myself in a teaching experience. Then now I'm in full-time clinical practice and I'll be back there for a couple of years. I did take 12 months and probably another couple of months of just teaching and then I was doing both.


Cheryl (25:59):

Certainly throughthis past 12 months I've done very little teaching. I'm currently in a job where there's quite a lot of the excitement and interest around. We can talk about definitions of wellbeing and you know exactly what that is but I think the bigger issues we face in emergency departments and in healthcare settings, are really the main fish to fry if you like. In the meantime, we've realized that the individual practices are probably a good place to start as low hanging fruit. I've got a colleague, we were talking yesterday, who teaches meditation so we're about to start rolling out some programs. Again, I've got some templates that I've used before and so the will be a little bit of experimentation here. I do think it would be important because we have some funding to audit this and to actually at least measure, get feedback.


Cheryl (26:55):

Again, it's about giving people some tools and skills that they could bring to their own practice. We've talked about the online platform and that might be something that we use moving forward. We don't have a lot of time through the clinical we're doing. I've done a little bit of further training with athletes and actually [inaudible] in America. She's an endurance coach, she writes for Yoga Journal. She's a yoga teacher and her online platform, oh. Talking about she was a gay and ahead of her time with that. The online classroom is excellent. I did her teacher trainings a couple of years ago and it's really an immersive experience and quite a lot of work but it's so interesting.


Cheryl (27:22):

So, I did that as I further to my training. Then I've done a couple of these yoga therapy modules. Again, through COVID, a lot of them take place all across the world. The [inaudible] had come to Oakland and Ganesh was there. I did one there and one in Melbourne. Some all across Europe. His partner is actually an orthopedic surgeon and yoga therapist and yoga teacher and sports and medicine specialist. I think that's just a wonderful skillset. That's so interesting. That the work that they've done together is really fascinating. I'm doing some mindful self-compassion for health care workers and course for myself this next couple of months and I hope to bring some of that into what we're doing on the shop floors.


Rachel (28:32):

Sounds amazing to be able to find different ways to share it. Like you say, just some of those simple tools that you've been able to incorporate into your own life and have made a difference in how you can continue in an emergency medicine setting but also retain those passions and those interests outside of that setting. Also look after your own health and wellbeing at the same time because I'm sure many people listening understand the stresses and the strains that are in that environment that you work in, that are continuously there. Particularly in the last year when we've been in the middle of the pandemic and the changes that have occurred. What are the sort of other things that you like to do to create your own balance? I know we've touched on sport a little bit in trail running, which is a big passion of mine as well. How do you find that aspect of moving your body in a different way to yoga? So being much more cardiovascular and possibly the endurance aspect as well helps you to maintain a sort of healthy mind and body.


Cheryl (29:30):

My trail running in particular. I do like my running to a moving meditation. I love the opportunity to particularly into running, connect with nature and I think we've got some good evidence that being out in natural settings and grounding is very important for us. Actually, I do like to run in solitary, sometimes I'll put it on a podcast. I think the main thing about my trail running has been the community I've find through it. There's quite a few groups here across Australia and we've got a great one here in Tasmania as well as in Victoria. Again, also get that moving meditation sides of things but also find some people that they can connect with with a common interest. I've met people and go into places that I previously would never have gone.


Cheryl (30:29):

I think that's part of the attraction. I don't think you have to be running. Walking and hiking, I like all of those things too. Again, that community and a very accepting community. A lot of us run for our physical health but also very much our mental health. I think a lot of people have maybe had struggles in the past and have been quite open about that and that's something I've really respected about the trail running community. When you do the long and kind of. I think antiquing on any new challenge which is physical. There's a main tool challenge, particular the endurance. Running in advance and you'll have highs and you'll have lows. You'll be throwing a curve ball when your light breaks.


Cheryl (31:22):

I quite like that. I think it is a bit like being on the yoga mat. Dominique, she's very articulate and she likes saying, that, "Asana's meant to be hard and skills come from struggle." That does teach you a lot. In a supportive way, I think that stays in a safe space to do that. We talk about resilience but I feel that I actually can be pretty vulnerable in my running space. They will acccept me whether I win, whether I lose, whether I fall down and it's not going to matter and that's really important. We're having a talk of a moment about what wellbeing as emergency professionals.


Cheryl (32:07):

You know, I'm part of a college and a wellbeing network and I'm doing a similar thing in the hospital and I know for a fact that my colleagues are amongst some of the most resilient people I know. The implication is that the problem is with us when it's not. Actually it's the systems and the nature of the environment that we work in. I think having brave and honest conversations that by our humanity and our vulnerabilities is important.


Rachel (32:39):

Yeah. Like you say, that connection with other people and yourself and the world around you and the nature is so important in however you find that, and part of being vulnerable is sort of that learning, isn't it? To be able to expose your true feelings, your true existence to other people and to have those conversations.


Cheryl (33:03):

Do you live at the foot of mountains? When you said you were in the Pyrenees. I'm so intrigued. Tell me where you are and what's your favorite run at the moment,


Rachel (33:12):

We're still exploring trails and tracks. Unfortunately, we're in restrictions but yeah, we are able to go straight onto trails which is a big plus for us. For me, being able to see nature around me and being able to see mountains, I find incredibly soothing. I had a conversation with a friend who's actually Australian and for her being able to see water has the same effect so she likes to be able to see the sea or lake. For me, it's seeing the mountains and I think it's the stability that you see in a mountain and the grounding of it.


Cheryl (33:53):

The permanence of it somehow gives me a sense of insignificance maybe in the greater scheme of the world and knowing that I'm connected to everything around me. That I'm just one little part of it but also something very reassuring. A sense of your feet on the ground, whether that's walking or running. It's that connection with the earth. Something I really loved when I was doing my yoga training was a phrase of, we're not living in earth, the earth is living in us.

Cheryl (34:30):

Just flipping that round and really understanding that we are actually just part of this ecosystem that we live in. It's been really important for my own wellbeing to be able to get out into that sense of nature. Whether that's in the garden or up in a mountain somewhere.


Cheryl (34:51):

It's been really interesting through this period to see how many people actually, that's what they crave and they wanted to get out and connect to natural settings. Just what you're saying, I'm sitting smiling because I think part of the appeal of living here and maybe I'll get to show you Hobart one day, is I come at my door and no matter where you are in this pretty small city, you just see Mt. Cangyan and on a cear day I will always stop and I'll always just look and yeah, it is grinding. It is humbling.


Cheryl (35:21):

This morning I was working the weekends, so the parks of shift work and had a very good friend who met me. We met halfway up the mountain and they have put out a really nice coffee. Kudos to Lost Freight They are rather wonderful. We did a little loop around the mountain just chatting, putting the worlds to rights and then had a coffee at the end. I couldn't really start the morning in a better way.


Rachel (35:53):

That really sounds magical. Also like you, I'm interested in your whole transition to Australia and when you made that change and now it's become home for you. You've been there a long timeand what do you think that whole experience of living in a different country has taught you about yourself and about the way that you approach life?


Rachel (36:14):

I saw that question and I thought it was interesting because I think it's been pretty easy for me. I'm very conscious. I have a lot of rather incredible colleagues who have left being specialists in their own countries, left war torn countries by necessity to build lives for them and their families and I think it's part of my great fortune to be able to work with a wealth of experience in our emergency departments. I was determined. I don't know what it was. I was determined I was coming. I think I had some family in Australia. My aunt moved here when I was very young and my cousins were born here and we were very lucky to visit. I was about 10 and my dad's job just had this opportunity that we came.


Cheryl (37:07):

I remember I got some extra weeks off school. I think we went for three weeks. We came and I loved it and I was really upset when we left. I was determined. I was thinking I did like a project in school where we had to pick a country and we did Australia and I just learned everything advice. I think when I was a medical student, I had a friend who was traveling and she came out and I said, "Well, I'm going to take my holidays and come." And I went to see my aunt at that point. We went up to Rayleigh and Queensland. We went to Sydney. I got to see a little bit then. Then I was determined after I'd done my intern year that I was going to Australia.


Cheryl (37:46):

I didn't plan it very well. I went on the internet and I found a job and I was on the wrong visa. I totally messed it up actually. I arrived and I was meant to be working on the beautiful central coast in Gosford which is lovely but I actually I wasn't going to be working there. I was going to be working an hour up the road in Wyoming and I didn't have a car and they had just ran out of accommodation. The whole thing was a bit of a disaster and I remember my mom being like, "Just come home." And I was like, "Oh,um." I went back to Sydney and I met this lovely man at Quantum Recruitment, Ron. He was like, "Take your CV." "You've got family in Melbourne, go to Melbourne." And I think you realize from these experiences that you don't do anything alone.


Cheryl (38:28):

I had a friend who is Australian who had actually studied in Glasgow and then doing his medicine there. We studied for finals together and he was great. He just picked me up and he said, "Cheryl, just stay with me."I had to sort out my visa for a couple weeks. Couldn't work for a couple of weeks while I waited on the right visa. I had a few interviews the next morning. Then I had a friend joined me six months later. I think that was great for me because I was probably pretty sheltered if I'm honest. I'd lived in Glasgow, I'd done my medical training there.


Cheryl (39:00):

I think it was a really good expedience and on the scheme of some of the experiences, I knew people around me who had moved continents. I think that there was real hardship and life skills there. I have been very protected. I think to have to do your qualifications again and to do. I did flip back and forth. I think the difficulties are probably your family and your friends and your connections. Look at this medium, the first time I went, we barely just had email and we didn't have Skype. Nowadays it's so easy and it's been actually a real lifeline to have that.


Rachel (39:47):

It's amazing, isn't it. The power of that connection that you can have through this digital format. You know you and I are connecting from two different countries. It is really the value of technology because we often look at technology and it's got lots of detrimental effects to it. We can get absorbed in things that can be unhealthy habits for us but when you actually strip it back and realize what it's given us and that ability to connect with people and have meaningful connections and authentic connections, then yeah, it's something to be celebrated.


Cheryl (40:20):

Honestly, I could talk to you forever. I really could. It's been so wonderful to connect. I really hope everyone has really enjoyed listening to your story. Part of the podcast is around being authentic and so the final question is, who and where would you like to have your most authentic cup of tea?


Cheryl (40:41):

It's such a great question. I was thinking, "I'd like to talk to Pema Chodron and Jacinda Harn and some of my favorite authors." At the moment, honestly, I miss my family and I would love to have a cup of tea in my family home in Scotland with my mom, my dad, and my brothers in the middle east but he would come home. I haven't seen them in a long time and I think at the moment, we've just talked about this mediums being great but just to be sitting, dieting and chatting in real person and with a kettle on and a big pot of tea would be great. I think it woud be wise if we evaluate what matters.


Cheryl (41:26):

I'd love my dear nana to be there but he sadly passed away last month. I think she will be joining us when we do that. Talking about, I actually tried to do a bit of a podcast with her and I'd given her some questions like you have today and unfortunately the audio was very bad. We had some problems but she has actually written down all the answers, my mom is finding them. I'm going to try and salvage them and do something with them for one of our future podcasts because I think to get to 92 is something to celebrate. My nana certainly would have been there with a cup of tea wanting to share some authentic conversation. Thank you so much for your time.


Rachel (42:13):

Thank you. That is a wonderful way to end this podcast. I really hope that you are able to do both of those things to be with your family in the future and have a cup of tea and to celebrate your lovely conversation with your nana. That sounds amazing. Thank you so much. Just before we go, where can people find out more about your podcast and about you?


Cheryl (42:33):

Yeah. Like yourself, I'm on all of the main platforms. On Spotify and on iTunes or Apple Podcasts. I do have an Instagram. Yeah, I get it. Something that I probably should devote more time and attention to but there is a link to it there. Yeah. I always welcome some more ideas for where we can take it, certainly from some of my colleagues.


Rachel (43:03):

Great. We'll put all the links so people can have a good look and join you for your future podcasts and listen to your season that's gone by and it's amazing. It's wonderful that you're sharing so much. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today.


Cheryl (43:18):

I'm going to be listening to yours on my run nights because I actually subscribed today so that that's perfect. It's my favorite thing to do. It's to put a podcast on when I'm not with someonelse. Thank you.


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