There is a scene in the movie, The Matrix, in which the main character Neo is offered a choice between the “red pill” and the “blue pill”.
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more.
Does it excite you to imagine discovering how deep the rabbit hole goes? Or do you notice a resistance toward leaving the comfort of your current reality?
In the movie, “truth” at first appears as a chilling image of the planet taken over by machines, living off the energy of human beings who are lying unconscious inside jars of gelatinous solvent. Towards the end of the film, it is love received from his beloved which finally wakes Neo up to the reality of his own illusion. That he has believed in everything within the Matrix, and through that belief he has created his own truth. With new eyes touched by love, he sees everything as it actually is: a construct of his own consciousness, where elements take on only the meaning he assigns to them.
Awakening to choice - realizing in any moment that you have a choice - is a moment of connecting to your creative power. Notice that your power to choose always resides inside you. You choose whether to activate your own power by choosing to choose.
No one, no thing, no place, no circumstance outside you can, without your consent, take your power away. You may have been taught to give your power away in the past. Forgive yourself and choose now to be your own power.
The most powerful choice you have is to awaken to the love that you are. Survival and “getting through life” may have hardened you to this truth. You may have learned to protect your core from fully receiving what you feel. By protecting yourself from what you feel, you have denied yourself love. You have refused to shine the light of love on certain aspects of your experience, while insisting on exposing only the so-called acceptable parts. When you encounter a situation that brings you close to touching what you feel, do you stay or do you run? Continue reading →
It has been fourteen years since I graduated from University of Michigan Medical School. I have journeyed far from the field of medicine, and yet my heart keeps hearing the call to return to my physician communities and share what I have learned. I simply cannot ignore my sense that the pain within our health care system - now felt at every level, including patients, physicians, and payors - is a resounding call to wake us up to our next stage of evolution.
It takes only a cursory scanning of the headlines of medical blogs like this one to get a sense for the unrest, the frustration, and the abundance of innovative practices emerging as a result of the rising sense of powerlessness among doctors. I left medicine immediately after receiving my MD, moving into uncharted waters after the Dean of Career Development at Michigan told me, "You're on your own. We can't help you with that." This was when, as a fourth year student, I announced I would be pursuing a career in venture capital.
I volunteered at a private equity investment firm - yes, I worked for no pay - and six weeks later, I was hired as an Associate. Within two years I was the youngest partner-level Investment Manager in the firm. No one told me this was possible. I simply would not accept anyone else's opinion of what I could or could not do. Especially after what I witnessed in my world of medical training.
One of my most vivid memories was on my Vascular Surgery rotation, where I was absolutely loving the concept of what we were doing - as intellectual masturbation material. But in practice, what I saw was my future laid out in the following scenarios. The second year resident, sick as a dog, showed up to work anyway, and, too weak to stand, lay down on a gurney in the OR while a case was going on. The third year vascular surgery fellow, a gentile Southern man, was in the middle of a lower extremity bypass graft and stepped out of the room. He lifted his mask, vomited into the scrub sink, and then reentered the OR to continue the procedure. This happened two more times within the same procedure before he completed.
Many of you reading this may be nodding and saying, "Yup. That's just the way it is. Suck it up or leave it." And my question is, "If you have trained yourself not to feel, what else might you be missing in your experience of other people?". Continue reading →
"One day you finally knewwhat you had to do, and began"
- Mary Oliver, "The Journey"
Today is that day for me.
Maybe it was the flyer announcing my talk at Stanford Medical School in a few weeks (finally making it feel real...and making me feel proud of the creative thinking I've been doing on this subject).
Maybe it was seeing the pile of STUFF in my house, moved out of the Cradle of Manifestation, prompting me to revisit what's really taking up the space in my drawers and closets.
Maybe it was the invitation to have dinner this Friday with a couple of doctors who have transitioned out of medicine themselves (making me feel one step closer to finding My People).
Maybe it was finally telling the truth out loud to myself and to a compassionate witness about what I feel in my heart (and experiencing the expansion that came with it).
Maybe it was all of the above.
Whatever it was, I finally know what I need to do, even though I have no idea how it's going to play out or if anyone will even care. But I know enough to trust this particular feeling of knowing. It's not a rational linear mind kind of knowing. It's a whole body energy clearing kind of knowing.
And I can't wait to share the news with you!
It's been just over a year now since I stepped with clarity into the next phase of my life by leaving a business I came to California to create, back in 2004. I've told the story so many times that it may seem like "old news" to some of you, but for me, that one decision was a *huge* step. It cleared the way for so much magic that has emerged - through effort and spontaneous creativity, guided by intention and enabled by practice - over the past year.
Last week I went through the embodied steps of letting go - moving all the physical items out of the Cradle of Manifestation after acknowledging that a 1,800-square-foot facility no longer matched the life I am creating. In the process, I've come face-to-face with so many of my deeply held beliefs and default patterns.
I believed that being a "responsible" person - a piece of my identity I held tightly as a symbol of my worthiness to occupy space on this planet - meant putting other people's needs ahead of my own, no matter what the cost.
In my work, this was expressed as taking full responsibility for all outcomes associated with the people I was involved with - which translated into poor delegation, inability to trust other people's skills and ways of doing things, and the result of preferring to do everything on my own, so it would be perfect. Ultimately, I experienced exhaustion and burnout as the destination on this path.
After I crossed the hurdle of actually setting a boundary, saying "no more" to my own business (which, at the time, was the only path I felt drawn to), and risking the disappointment of other people (which, at the time, was my greatest and most paralyzing fear), the same belief expressed itself as a firm resolve in my mind to continue paying rent on my office space simply because I had signed a lease, and that was that. An agreement was an agreement, with no room for discussion. I was a person who kept my word. But living by those old rules under the new circumstance of starting a business from scratch in a new industry translated to prioritizing my landlords' needs over my own, which I did for an entire year. I dutifully and silently wrote each check and made sure it arrived before the first of every month. For an entire year.
I was silently proving to myself my own worth as a "responsible" person (daughter, girl), but in fact I was not honoring myself or my fledgling business fully. Continue reading →
5 Principles to Transform Your Relationship With Your Self and Expand Your Capacity To Serve Others
“Only when you have a healthy, honorable, affirming relationship with yourself can you have the same with others. This relationship is the foundation of your ability to demonstrate and practice compassion.” - Iyanla Vanzant
Learn how to practice and apply these 5 principles of Self-Care in your life:
From Reactive to Creative
Your Body Knows
What Restores You?
Want What You Want
Discover and practice techniques for getting to know your true SELF and develop greater capacity for compassionate care of others, from the inside out.
Define where your responsibilities begin...and where they end.
Create a morning ritual.
Start trusting the messages your body is sending you.
Explore and notice what brings you true peace and joy.
Start acknowledging yourself and realize that you CAN feel good.
"My experience as a Caring Professional started at the age of twelve, with my first paying job as a violin teacher. I lived a life of ambition and striving, going to Harvard, finishing medical school, and becoming the youngest partner in a venture capital investment firm before I turned 30. I wanted to care deeply about the work I did in the world, and I knew that music was at the heart of my deepest passion and greatest offering. "More than five years after moving to California to follow my dream and start my own violin school in Silicon Valley, I was "successful" by every external measure available. But I learned first-hand about the physical exhaustion, loss of compassion, and burnout that resulted from what I didn't know about Self-Care, even when following my own dream. "The lessons in this course are shared with you from my own study, practice, and personal journey of healing and transformation. I invite you to learn with me, try these practices in your own life, and discover what new possibilities are revealed to you as a Caring Professional."- Dr. Lisa Chu
Learn the 5 Principles of Self-Care and begin practicing them in your own life
Create a list of Self-Care Practices based on your learning, and start creating the changes you desire in your life
Get introduced to each principle on day one. Then get a small activity each day to put into practice in your real life.
Work at your own pace
Benefit from online discussion with other learners
Receive written, audio, and video materials to guide you in your learning
Access online materials even after the course has ended
Who should enroll:
Anyone who wants to restore life balance, expand their capacity to serve others, and rediscover the joy of compassionate service
Anyone considering a coaching relationship with me and seeking an introduction to the foundation of my work with people
Caring Professionals at risk for burnout who want to learn preventive wellness measures
You are a Caring Professional if...
You care deeply about what you do as a professional (or what you define as work or service)
You serve others for a living
Caring Professionals have a variety of job descriptions across many industries, such as:
What People Are Saying:
"What I loved about Lisa's online course was the ability to connect with her and yet also ask myself hard questions in the privacy of my own space. As far as content, Lisa gently guided me into rethinking many rules I had set for myself. She helped change my perspective on the direction of my path and she made me feel comfortable living my life in a more honest way." DB
"Thanks again for your gift of the course that has gotten me to take a fresh look at my life." WJC
"I just completed the course. The content was just what I needed during this time of transition. Finding ways to find my center, taking small steps, and reframing my questions helped alleviate a lot of stress. The format of the online course worked. I enjoyed going at my own pace. I didn't know what to expect from an online course. I'm typically a classroom (in-person) learner or a self-learner (read the book & do the activity). I enjoyed the combination of video, reading, and links. I've fed a lot off your energy of acceptance/awareness of self in order to move through (and be comfortable) with the uncomfortableness of change." - VC