Doctor Neha: Welcome to TalkRx with Doctor Neha. We are filming from Bali, and I have a special guest today. She’s a nurse. She’s traveling from Western Australia, Perth to be exact, and her name is Michelle. Welcome.
Michelle: Thank you so much for having me.
Doctor Neha: You are so welcome. I was so curious about you after we met and about your travels and all the self-reflection that happens in Bali.
Michelle: It certainly does.
Doctor Neha: What are you thinking about? What are you pondering?
Michelle: A big reason why I came here is I’m trying to decide on my career path. I’m a bit disillusioned. I work in a busy public hospital back in Perth. It’s very stressful. There have been a lot of changes to our public health system recently. There have been a lot of cuts. I’m stressed, and I’m also a single mom to a two-year-old boy. So when I do spend time with him, I’m exhausted and I’m grumpy. I feel like I need a career change but need to also put food on the table, so I feel a little bit stuck.
Doctor Neha: I also hear a little bit of overwhelm.
Michelle: Very overwhelmed. Very much so.
Doctor Neha: So I want to honor that you’ve taken this time for yourself, that you’re here in Bali. That’s pretty impressive.
Michelle: Thank you.
Doctor Neha: And you know there’s something in health care that does not exist, which is called self-care in healthcare.
Michelle: Certainly doesn’t.
Doctor Neha: It’s kind of like we have to go on our own pilgrimages to find it. Why don’t we explore what you can do next in your career, because communication is not just communication between me and you, but it’s also communication between you and you, right?
Doctor Neha: It sounds like you’re at that fork in the road, which is “I’m done with this but I’m not sure what’s next.”
Doctor Neha: So one of the most important ways I think about this is around joy and what brings joy. So, first, tell me what brings you joy in nursing?
Michelle: Helping people. There are some very rewarding things, like seeing a palliative person being in a lot of pain and they finally pass on comfortably.
Doctor Neha: End of life.
Michelle: End of life.
Doctor Neha: Have you read Atul Gawande’s book? It’s called Being Mortal.
Michelle: No, I haven’t.
Doctor Neha: For anybody who’s struggling with a parent getting older or facing terminal illness, I highly recommend it. It’s phenomenal.
So you appreciate end-of-life care and helping people transition comfortably, and it doesn’t sound terrible to you at all.
Doctor Neha: I find great meaning in palliative care and end of life care. The second piece I heard you say was about helping people. Let’s keep going. Tell me, when you were younger, what brought you joy? What did you do to play? What did you enjoy doing with friends as you got older? Tell me anything that comes to you.
Michelle: I loved animals. I always loved dancing. Since about 12 or 13, I’ve been interested in natural health. I was studying to be a naturopath, so I love helping people more holistically.
Doctor Neha: In their wellness.
Michelle: Staying well. Diet, exercise.
Doctor Neha: Okay, so it sounds like you love helping people. You love the times in life where you can emotionally care for someone as they transition. You love movement and dance—what do you love about dance?
Michelle: It makes me happy. I suppose it’s the only time I’m in the moment, so I’m not thinking of tomorrow, not stressing about the past, just being in the moment. I love that.
Doctor Neha: So it allows you to be present.
Michelle: Yeah, that’s the word.
Doctor Neha: Great, and then there’s something important to you around holistic health. It seems like wellness and prevention are another place that you really enjoy. I love that you’re starting with you, because along this discovery path of realizing what makes you well, you will know how to then share that with others.
Doctor Neha: There’s an idea that just came to mind. Have you ever heard of something called Qoya?
Doctor Neha: Qoya means queen. It’s a Peruvian word, and it’s a form of dance that is about movement with meaning. I love it. It’s everything from doing yoga as prayer to free dance to choreographed dance. It’s a 13-part experience, and these people are trained and they do it all over the world.
I’m not saying Qoya is necessarily for you. I’m just thinking of other ideas as you say something. Let’s do a little exercise, okay? We’re just brainstorming ideas right now.
Let’s do a “Yes, and…” exercise. You say something you would dream about doing as a different career, maybe using your nursing degree or not. Then I’m going to say, “Yes, and…” and build on it. Then no matter what I say, you’re going to say, “Yes, and…” and build on that. It might get crazy. It might seem so unrealistic, but this exercise will help open up the possibilities of what could be there, okay?
Doctor Neha: You start. How might you transition your career and do something else?
Michelle: Studying, extra studying.
Doctor Neha: Oh, great! Because you’re already a nurse and you have so much skill, I think you should get a scholarship to study holistic health and finish up your naturopathy experience.
Michelle: Yes, and…
Doctor Neha: What do you build on that? What can you do after that?
Michelle: Once I’ve got my degree, I could start working in a little clinic or for myself.
Doctor Neha: Yes, and at noontime everyday, there would be dancing—and any of your patients who wanted to take a break could do this amazing dance class you lead that would heal you and heal them.
Michelle: Yes, and I could also work around my son.
Doctor Neha: Yes, and this flexibility that you have allows you to even help people in the evenings, not just the traditional hours, because they’re working during the day, and it gives you time with your son and helps them.
Michelle: Yes, and I will feel a lot better. I won’t be as tired and, yeah, I’ll be happy.
Doctor Neha: Yes, and this energy that’s running through you inspires yourself and others, and you make more money than you’re making right now with a better schedule. How was that?
Michelle: Yes, and that sounds great.
Doctor Neha: Do you see how the first step is to look at whatever brings you joy? Start there and write down all those things and how you want to feel.
Doctor Neha: There’s something called The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. She’s excellent, and I highly recommend that one as well. Have somebody help you so you’re bouncing ideas off of them and they can help you from saying, “Oh, not this, not that, not that.” Just start by busting open. How does that feel?
Michelle: Feels good.
Doctor Neha: Awesome. So for any of you out there who are thinking it’s time for a transition but you’re not quite sure how to do it, first ask yourself, “What do you love about the profession you’re in right now? What brought you into this profession?” The second step is to ask, “What about when you were younger—in your childhood, college days, younger adult life—what did you love to do?
Once you start writing down all those things, ask a friend to play the game of “Yes, and…” in possibilities with you. Allow yourself to creatively go back and forth with the energy of someone else. Come up with something even bigger than you could have ever imagined.
Thank you so much for spending your time and being willing to do this in front of the world so that they can learn while you do.
Michelle: Thank you so much, Doctor Neha.
Send me your questions — drop me a tweet at #AskDoctorNeha or write your question and comments down below.
To being who you are & doing what you love,