How did a Gynecologist start a practice about the mind?
Well, there’s always a story, isn’t there? Mine starts just like anyone else’s. As I grew up, I was frequently sick—colds, allergies, etc. I never felt good. And I longed to feel like those women that were just effortlessly healthy and happy. But I never took the responsibility to get there.
It wasn’t until I had children that I started trying to change the way I did things. Like every mom, I wanted to be the best role model for my children…so I Tiger Mom’d every meal and activity, while secretly destroying my own health in the process (Anyone ever eaten Pop Tarts in the pantry? I would sneak-eat my kids’ Halloween candy at night while they were sleeping!). In short, I was a fraud. I worked with women all day long to improve their health, made sure my kids and husband were taken care of, and then I was crumbling silently along the way.
My Lightbulb Moment
When my second child was 6 months old, I got terribly sick with pneumonia. I don’t think my physician friends and colleagues were telling me exactly how bad it was (but when you start getting tested for random illnesses like Legionnaire’s disease, your Spidey sense tells you maybe you ain’t alright). Now, near-death experiences have a way of re-focusing your life. Here I am, community physician and mom to a toddler and an infant, stuck in a hospital bed giving up sputum (yuck, double yuck) samples all day, hooked up to intravenous antibiotics, and I realized—maybe it was the fever—that I was the one responsible for where I was at that moment.
I had shredded what immune system I had left; I had given everything I had to everyone else, and left nothing for myself. And I was to blame. No one was coming in to rescue me on my sick bed, like Snow White. I needed to shift my mindset to start giving a damn about myself first. It took nearly a month to recover from that infection, but I set about looking for ways I could give myself the edge in my Own. Freaking. Life.
I started doing research. Anything that promised a quick fix or a quick supplement to feel better, I shunned. I started meditating. LISTENING to my body. I started to reframe the way I said simple things. And…I started to shine! Family noticed. Patients noticed. Many asked me what I did. With a few that I had known for a long time, I shared some of my plan. Those that were ready to make changes followed it. And they thrived. I can’t take responsibility for their brilliance—they did it. They put in the work.
And hence, Mindset Medicine was born to a rural obstetrician, veteran, wife, and mom. She’s still an infant, but reimagining the lives of people she meets. Maybe she’ll change your life, too?
Don’t you just work with ovaries and girl stuff?
Oh my gosh. So much of what I do is more than gynecology or delivering babies. For most women, I’m their only health provider, so I see a wide spectrum of ages and issues. I’ve been asked to see my patient’s husbands and brothers, fathers and sons. While they aren’t my primary focus, my field is a primary care specialty and I’ve seen it all (and then some!). While serving in the military, I kept ‘combat ready’ status, so I could see and treat anything should I be deployed across the world.
Our minds are the puppeteers of our body.
I’ve seen it. When our minds are focused on our goals, everything can change. And yes, I’m the girl who loves those crazy inspirational posters you see the in the back of the Sky Mall magazine on the airplane. A good mantra and a self-help book are two of my favorite things! (Check out our book of the month club under Inspire Me!)