Listen to my podcast on Self-Confidence with Sheena Yap Chan

Sheena Yap Chan is creating a valuable resource for women everywhere, with her podcast The Tao of Self-Confidence.She recently interviewed me, and I hadn’t thought about the topic of confidence for quite some time. It had never occurred to me that I lacked self-confidence, because I had always been a high achiever. But in the interview, I realize that my source of confidence has shifted from outer accomplishments to an invisible inner source.

Sheena Yap Chan is creating a valuable resource for women everywhere, with her podcast The Tao of Self-Confidence. Tao of Self Confidence photo She recently interviewed me, and I hadn't thought about the topic of confidence for quite some time. It had never occurred to me that I lacked self-confidence, because I had always been a high achiever. But in the interview, I realize that my source of confidence has shifted from outer accomplishments to an invisible inner source. Maybe this is the attribute we most wish for ourselves and for our children -- that we learn to trust our own life experience. Ideas of "success" and "happiness" are words we settle for because they make for polite conversation and convenient book titles. But what we really want is the confidence to live from our true self. Hear some of my thoughts and stories on my journey of self-confidence in this episode of Sheena's podcast here.

Touching The Place of Enough

My friend Lydia Puhak, coach and creator of The Sensitive Idealist, recently interviewed me as part of her series on Self-Care. You can listen to our sweet conversation here. Funny how sometimes the most important lessons we learn are the quiet, gradual processes that unfold out of necessity. That would be the case with me and my learning about self-care. Back in late 2010, I burst on to the scene with my "5 Principles of Self-Care for Caring Professionals". I wrote a blog post, hosted a series of calls, then turned the material into an online course. And then I left it at that. I got "busy" with the work of living these principles in my own life. I came face-to-face with my own version of workaholism, and started on the path of recovery. I unplugged from the computer and went outside. A lot. I got back in touch with a slower way of doing things - growing a garden, cooking meals instead of heating up trays of food, forming more real relationships in the real world. The biggest (and smallest) change I've remained committed to during this entire almost-three-year period is how I start my day. Continue reading "Touching The Place of Enough"

Creating New Rituals: Honor Your Whole Self

I had an Energy Release Ritual this morning. Spur of the moment, totally unplanned, but absolutely inspired. I've been reading a few mind-body healing books ever since attending Dr. Mitchell Gaynor's workshop at CIIS this weekend. Dr. Gaynor is an integrative oncologist based at Cornell Medical Center in New York City and is the embodiment of physician-healer, embracing all of his life experiences and learning from diverse traditions in order to create healing partnerships with his patients. I don't see myself working with disease, but still find myself fascinated by healing stories. Disease is merely one form of communication, through the vehicle of our bodies, to help us become more aware of ourselves. Some people experience healing through a financial crisis, or a job loss, or the death of a loved one. Any time our expectations about life are challenged or even shattered, we are being handed the gift of an opportunity to heal and grow. Somehow this morning I was inspired to let go of some of the energies that I am still carrying and am no longer in need of. I knew that I wanted to have a total body experience of this letting go - not just writing it, or saying it, but experiencing it with all of my senses. I created an altar, which incorporated items representing the five elements - earth, fire, air, water, and ether. I also included a symbol of inner peace, which to me is beautifully exemplified in the image of the Buddha. Continue reading "Creating New Rituals: Honor Your Whole Self"

Get Inspired!

"When I talk about “the music within us,” I’m talking about when we connect with that place inside us where our vibration, our energy is aligned with our passion. It’s like music to our ears.  There’s a different sound to how we present ourselves in our lives when we are connected with the music within us, and that’s my metaphor for the essence in our nature coming out.  I’m just inspired whenever I see that, and it speaks to me." - excerpt from my interview for the Get Inspired Project
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with Toni Reece, creator of the Get Inspired Project. Toni is conducting 365 days of interviews with people who are inspired and inspire others. The transcript and recording of our 15-minute interview are now live on Toni's site: http://www.getinspiredproject.com/2010/06/26/day-269-dr-lisa-chu/ This excerpt I found especially inspiring even for me to read again now: Toni: How did you come to realize that this essence, this music inside of you, the creativity, the spark, would play a part in your own courage to move you forward?  How did that realization happen for you? Lisa: Well, I guess the story that I would tell is that I went to medical school, frankly, because I was expected to.  In my family, education was a really high value, it was a priority, and the assumption was after college you go to some sort of graduate school; it doesn’t just end in college.  Just so people know … that’s the base assumption that I was operating on.  I went to medical school.  My brother is a doctor, I’d seen it done, it seemed very doable, but it was not my passion.  It was definitely a path to secure a career route that would do good for society, and these are all good things, but it wasn’t something that I loved. Continue reading "Get Inspired!"

5 Principles of Self-Care for Caring Professionals: Recording from Free Coaching Call for Physicians-In-Training

Last night I hosted a free coaching call for medical students, residents, and fellows. I focused on the topic of SELF-CARE. As trained caring professionals, often we think of self-care as "selfish" or something that we do after we've taken care of our other "duties", "responsibilities" and "obligations". In this call, I invite you to think of self-care in a different way. I invite you to consider that your knowledge and practice of self-care is essential in creating a healing relationship with your patients, and creating a healing environment in your clinic, operating room, or hospital. I have a new mantra as I create my life and offerings to the world: "You've gotta live it to give it." Until we can connect with what is common to all human experience, we cannot be fully compassionate toward our patients and authentically promote the state of wellness and health we claim to be guiding them toward. The 5 main principles of self-care I discuss on the call are as follows: Continue reading "5 Principles of Self-Care for Caring Professionals: Recording from Free Coaching Call for Physicians-In-Training"

My Heroine’s Journey

[display_podcast] I had been so busy traveling the past weekend that I only listened to this recording a week after it arrived in my inbox. In that moment of listening I was able to feel the clarity and power of my own voice and my own story. Talk about a practice in acknowledgment! I hope you enjoy Susanna Liller's expert interviewing skills, and some details from my journey that you might find helpful to you on your own hero's or heroine's journey. The themes:
  • constantly leaving the comfort zone, finding my own edge
  • key conversations with people who catalyzed my "big leaps"
  • advice and (lack of) support along the way
  • following my own curiosity, being willing to learn and get involved in something, before getting paid for it
  • not having a "plan", but pointing in the direction of a desired goal and following a deep intuitive knowing
  • acknowledging what I want to do, versus what "everyone else" is telling me to do
  • from following the rules (and being rewarded for it) to finding freedom (and enjoying it)

Evolution of a Song

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One of my deeply ingrained childhood beliefs was the notion that, "In order to be able to do something, you need to go to school and learn how to do it first." In the thinking of my childhood, I was led to believe that there was a very linear, singular path toward any particular destination. That there was a prescribed sequence of things that needed to happen in a certain way if things were going to work out. I'm beginning to unlearn that lesson, among others. Part of why I am sharing all these old beliefs, as I take myself through my process of chipping at and melting them away, is to reveal that our beliefs, once we begin to observe them, are not as solid and rigid as we make them out to be.

We evolve.

So I share with you my own wide-eyed, childlike awe and wonder at learning - in my mid-30s - about whole other worlds that I never knew existed. After playing music nearly every day of my life since the age of three, I played for the first time into a microphone while wearing headphones in 2008. It was my first experience with multi-track recording. I learned a whole other way of "composing" that occurred with a mixing board and the software interface of a computer, when previously my mental picture included images of Mozart, wearing a powdered wig and stockings, sitting at a clavier and writing on parchment paper with a quill pen. The truth is I had never personally known any kind of real live musician other than the violin soloists and symphony orchestra players and conductors I was exposed to growing up. I had met the then child prodigy Midori when she taught me in a master class. I had played for legends like Josef Gingold and Ruggiero Ricci. These were the idols and icons of my childhood. Continue reading "Evolution of a Song"

Revolutionizing Medicine…One Belief At A Time – Episode 4

Welcome to a weekly podcast where I’ll take physicians’ commonly held stressful beliefs and go through an inquiry process on each. I have recorded the questions so that you can listen and follow along, providing your own answers to the questions. It’s important to find YOUR OWN answers that feel true and genuine in your life. I’ve provided the recordings as a tool for slowing yourself down and taking the time to allow these questions to sit inside. [display_podcast] *This process is based on The Work by Byron Katie. For more information, visit www.thework.com. Today’s belief is “People need me to respond.” The questions:
  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you know that it is absolutely, 100% true?
  3. How do you react, and how do you behave, when you believe the thought, “People need me to respond”?
  4. What is the payoff you get for believing the thought, “People need me to respond”?
  5. What are you afraid might happen if you didn’t believe the thought, “People need me to respond”?
  6. Who would you be, and how would you behave, if you didn’t believe the thought, “People need me to respond”?
Now turn the thought around, as I have done below. Find three genuine examples in your life for how each of these new thoughts is as true as the original thought.
  • People do not need me to respond.
  • I need people to respond.
  • My thoughts need me to respond.

Feel and Heal with Music

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I used to believe that music is something we do. Now I know that music is who we are. Last night I performed with Randy Bales (guitar, vocals) and Cathy Luo (percussion, bass) at the unique, cozy, and inviting Angelica's Bistro in Redwood City, California. (See this NY Times article about the "rebirth" of downtown Redwood City.) I've written a bit about the experience of preparing for this gig. Last night the learning continued, as I recognized that I had always seen music as a set of skills I had, a job that I did, a responsibility like my education. I was very dedicated and disciplined about practicing and building my skills in music, and I had many opportunities to perform on great stages around the world as a very young child. As with most of my accomplishments in life, I never acknowledged myself. I went through life seeking acknowledgment from others, believing that the more I did, the more likely I would be to receive what I most wanted. What may appear to an outside observer to be ambition, determination, and drive, was in fact the passionate pursuit of acknowledgment from others. I did not realize at the time that what I really wanted was to acknowledge myself, and to believe in myself without needing to constantly seek approval. I did not have that skill, because I was so busy practicing how to see what was missing from my life. I was so busy doing more, that I failed to receive the acknowledgment that was already available to me at every step of the way. Even if others were acknowledging me, I could not see it for what it was, because I had not honed those skills of recognition. I knew how to receive criticism, and I knew how to drive myself to do more. Those were my greatest skills. Continue reading "Feel and Heal with Music"

Revolutionizing Medicine…One Belief At A Time – Episode 3

Welcome to a weekly podcast where I'll take physicians' commonly held stressful beliefs and go through an inquiry process on each. I have recorded the questions so that you can listen and follow along, providing your own answers to the questions. It's important to find YOUR OWN answers that feel true and genuine in your life. I've provided the recordings as a tool for slowing yourself down and taking the time to allow these questions to sit inside. [display_podcast] *This process is based on The Work by Byron Katie. For more information, visit www.thework.com. Today's belief is "Patients demand my time." The questions:
  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you know that it is absolutely, 100% true?
  3. How do you react, and how do you behave, when you believe the thought, “Patients demand my time”?
  4. What is the payoff you get for believing the thought, “Patients demand my time”?
  5. What are you afraid might happen if you didn’t believe the thought, “Patients demand my time”?
  6. Who would you be, and how would you behave, if you didn’t believe the thought, “Patients demand my time”?
Now turn the thought around, as I have done below. Find three genuine examples in your own life for how each of these turnarounds is as true as (or perhaps truer than) the original thought. Patients don't demand my time. I demand my patients' time. I demand my own time. Another possibility, not covered on the audio: My thoughts demand my time.