Letter from self compassion

So during my afternoon of mindfulness teaching at Google’s Search In Yourself in Berlin, we were guided to an exercise to write a letter with the perspective of a loved one on our accomplishments and challenges. Compassion wrote to me and this is what it said..

Dear Mahrukh,

I am writing to share my joy in seeing you everyday delve deep into personal development and help others do the same. I am so happy to see these positive, upwards growth moments as you take steps out of your comfort zone. I urge you to concentrate on these joyful moments and celebrate each victoryas you have a long way and keep pushing your boundaries with courage, authencity and resilience you didn’t even know you possessed.

You have many challanges before you. Perhaps the biggest one is helping to shift current working culture and creating meaningful impact when well-being, emotional resilience and emotional intelligience is often minimised or devalued. Some may see you as just a dentust hung up in stress but have faith that you will shake things things up and disrupt current thinking in a positive way.

You are clear on your goals to create peace and joy in Dentistry. Keep celebrating every win, every small step, keep inspiring yourself by reflecting on your progress, keep showing up with kindness. Do not get stuck on waiting on approval from your peers. You wish you had more active supoort from friends but know that you can and will support and love yourself ample. You are enough.

There is a loving kindness practise I love to integrate daily. Repeat this acceptance practice every time you find unforgiving perfectionism sutting on your shoulder; 2 breaths – “Breathing in, I do my best, breathing out I let go of the rest”.

Keep dreaming big and leading with your vulnerabilities and honesty. You can break your boundaries and liniting beliefs. You can reach any height you set your heart in.

Sending light, live and heartfulness always,

Self compassion

Charity

EWD is committed to helping charitable causes. We are excited to announce that the sales for our conference will be distributed to Wells On Wheels @wells.on.wheels aswell as Mind. This charity helps women, sisters and daughters prevent back and chronic neck pain by providing an easier way of transporting water. Please dig deep and help us raise as much as possible for this beautiful charity.#empoweringwomenindentistry #bigvisionconference #womenindentistry #sisterhood #charity #wellsonwheels

Big Vision

On my table sits a reminder. A gentle nudge. An affirmation. Some magic to stir me up.

It says; “The world only exists in your eyes. You can make it as BIG or as small as you want. ”

It was written by the esteemed American novelist F Scott Fitzgerald during 1924. You may know his work from the popular movie The Great Gatsby. I remember reading this masterpiece at school for my GCSE English coursework. I didn’t really get its value until much much later on. .
If the world only exists in my eyes, my thoughts are then golden.

What I say becomes my reality.

I can make my world as BIG and expansive or as small and scary as I want.

I have the power to be empowered and create my own masterpiece. I don’t need to fit into a category. I don’t need to be a certain type of leader. I can be me.

This year I decided to say YES. Yes to all my BIG plans. To all the BIG ambition. To pushing beyond my comfort zones and then some.

This conference was born out of wanting a community where sisterhood and compassion were the currency of choice πŸ’• To see it now almost alive and kicking, on what has been an uber emotional journey, is a great feeling.

Early on I had negativity from both men and women, including another woman group in Dentistry. I was told that I wouldn’t amount to anything. That I couldn’t create change as I wanted connected enough. I’m glad I had these comments early on, as its defo made me toughen up. I’m happy to say that EWD is exactly what I intended and dreamt it would be – a kind, generous community of like minded dental professionals.

There’s room for all of us. Room for all of our strong, our courage, our teaching, our passion and our ambition. The women I’ve met in this journey are magic. They will light you up also at the conference.

So I guess all thats left to say is come. Come support sisterhood. Come to hear how you can go beyond that hamster wheel of UDAs. Come to connect with an amazing bunch. Come to meditate. Come to listen to poetry. Come to go beneath the surface. Come to be inspired. Come to create your BIG VISION πŸ’«

Creating a happier world together

This week I had the privilege of hearing Thupten Jinpa, the former translator for Dalai Lama, speak on the connection between happiness and compassion for an Action For Happiness event. Research now backs what has been consciously felt by generations that showing compassion to ourselves and the community enhances our joy and happiness. What my take home messages were:

– Mindfulness helps us tap into the generosity of compassion and helps us show up in the world in a kinder way. The world is missing kindness. We need more of it πŸ‘ŒπŸ½
– There is a lot of distrust around differences and this becomes apparent looking at politics globally. To counteract this with compassion and understanding could really help societies progress
– Compassion can be taught and strengthened just like any training of a muscle πŸ’ͺ🏾🧠

How can you show up for yourself in a kinder, loving and more compassionate way? How would you do that with your family and friends? How could you extend that compassion to your community and the world?

#mindninja #mindtraining #emotionalresilience #wellbeingindentistry #empoweringdentists #mindfulness #compassion #happinessresearch #meditation

Mindfulness; an antidote to busy mind

This is rush hour on a weekday in Waterloo, London. The pace of life is uber quick. Busy people with massive demands on their time. Even those who don’t particularly need to rush, quicken their step to keep in line with the speed of the city that doesn’t rest.

A busy mind can look a lot like rush hour. One thought after the next in continuous loops leads to brain fog – that is brain fatigue.

One way to conteract this business is to S L O W
D O W N. In an increasinly busy & connected world this can feel counterproductive. We are a world all about hustling daily. Living our best lives. One goal after the next. But all of this “excellence” is EXHAUSTING.

What the research shows on doing nothing is very interesting. Giving your Executive Attention Network in your brain a break by avoiding that loop of one thought after the next in auto pilot mode, frees up your Imagination Network to work on solving problems and coming up with new ideas. So it is true that taking a break, slowing down or practising mindfulness or any meditation for that matter will help your brain rest, recuperate and innovate new ideas. An antidote to the busy life.

Try taking out just 2 minutes to begin with. Close your eyes. Plant your feet on the ground in a seated position with back straight. And now take a deep inhale followed by an exhale. Anchor to the breath. Breathing in and out. Feel the breath fill up the lungs. The warmth of the breath as it touches your upper life. When a thought pops into the head, and it will and this is to be expected, gently nudge it back to the breath. Focus all your attention on the breath.

2 mins is all it takes to begin your journey. Give it a go.

#mindninja #mindtraining #mindoptimisation #emotionalresilience #mindfulness #wellbeingindentistry #empoweringdent

Searching within

My divorce felt as collosal as tectonic plates shifting at the time, but fortunately it was actually my awakening. If you’re part of the club, you’ll appreciate first hand just how much that trauma can do to your soul but also just how transformative the other side of acceptance is.

The past year has really awakened in me the desire to do more then being on the hamster wheel of life. Since moving through difficult life experiences and now thriving rather then in recovery, I have this incredible drive to help others create peaceful, joyful lives. When you have Joy and Calm taken from you, you can feel violated. I spent a year trying to search for innner peace again, only to find it WITHIN MYSELF and thereby my love for well-being was sealed.

I long for changes in our profession that honour dental profesionals’ health. In an increasingly stressful dental environment, I can’t be quiet about the realness of chronic stress, the suddennes of burnout, anxiety & the bleakness of depression so many of our colleagues siliently endure. Emotional inelligience and resilience can not be sidelined any longer. Well-being deserves open discussion. It deserves your attention, even if you think you’re immune (no one is).

Let’s make a pact, even if its amongst ourselves to step up more and be mindful of our own health and the health of our colleagues. The success of our workforce depends upon it.

Quiet strength

I recently started reflecting on an old narrative of mine centred around being good enough at holding presence and making an impact. The story started as a young British Pakistani student being asked to project her voice during preparing for a presentation of our class for that week’s assembly. The feedback was to make my voice louder and bolder. I really tried. But I just couldn’t project very far. It wasn’t a conscious decision to marry this with a sense of otherness, not fitting in or succeeding as a leader but nonetheless, the story cemented secured into my mind. It becane a core belief that leaders and speakers had to be extroverted. That was were the power was.

I watched Susan Cain’s Ted talk recently on the quiet POWER of introverted peope and it resonated so deeply with me. Society seems to really value extroversion but in actuality many of the worlds thought leaders are quietly strong. For me whats exciting is seeing recognition of the good in being calmer, softer yet still being so impactful. Its a celebration of a different trait beyond your typical leader.

This brings me back to the images – beautiful feedback from mindfulness traning today. The theme in all of the messages is quiet strength. That used to be a negative for me but this weekend I got tired of my old story. I had outgrown it. I stepped into a new reframe ; strong can be gentle, kind and compassionate. I have a powerful voice despite aggression. I don’t even need to raise my voice πŸ’ͺ🏾🧠

Which stories hold you back?