Dr. Charmaine Gregory: Life Lessons From an Emergency Physician

Episode 17 December 29, 2020 00:43:38
Dr. Charmaine Gregory: Life Lessons From an Emergency Physician
More Happiness Less Suffering
Dr. Charmaine Gregory: Life Lessons From an Emergency Physician

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Please join us as Dr. Charmaine Gregory talks about her intriguing journey from the island of Jamaica to the US and the challenges as a ER physician.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Welcome to the more happiness, less suffering podcast. I'm Casey Howe, senior meditation and Dharma teacher for insight LA and I'm Dr. Monisha Basa psychiatrist in our little podcasting studio in orange County, California. We bring wisdom from the couch and the cushion to your real life questions and struggles. So grab a cup of tea and join us. We're so glad you're here. So welcome everybody to the more happiness, less suffering podcast. We are so glad to have you back with us as always. We're grateful for the time that you spend. And we're really excited today to have a guest with us, Dr. Charmaine Gregory, um, who is coming to us from Michigan. And, uh, we're really, really excited to have, uh, Dr. Charmaine Gregory on with us. Um, a little bit about Charmaine. Um, she is an emergency medicine physician, uh nocturnists specifically, which, um, for those of you out there who may not know what that means, it means she actually only works the night shift in the emergency room. Speaker 0 00:01:08 She is a mom of three. I know Charmaine you say three cherubs, which I think is amazing. So you're a mom of three young ones. Um, also a podcaster and a coach. I know also very involved in fitness. So you wear a lot of different hats Charmaine, and we're really excited to have you here. Um, and to, to chat with you today, I'm excited to be here. Thank you for coming on. So, you know, because I'm a psychiatrist, I always like to start at the beginning. And, uh, so I would love to just learn a little bit more about kind of your background, like where you grew up and kind of, you know, your, your early years and, and a little bit about the path that led you to medicine. Speaker 1 00:01:54 Oh yeah. So I was born in Jamaica, West Indies, and, um, we lived there for 10 years and while I was there, I would say that was when the inclination motivation, I don't know, direction pointed my life direction pointed towards, uh, medicine. And, uh, it, wasn't due to a massive exposure, which is very interesting thing. Like now that I'm older and I look back at it, I think it's quite miraculous because at eight years old, I essentially declared to my mother, I was going to become a doctor and we had no doctor, friends. We had, we were in a, my mom, you know, she, she didn't get a chance to go to college. Like, you know, all these things, like we were not in a position and in Jamaica, it's very much like, um, a class society, you know, like it's not, it's, it's, it's, you know, it's the having to have that kind of situation. Speaker 1 00:02:56 And so, um, we weren't in upper class or anything like that, which is where the physicians were essentially, um, congregating. I didn't have contact. And so the only contact that I had was actually with my pediatrician and I was a very, uh, unusual child because I wanted to get immunizations. I wanted shot every time I went to the doctor, I wanted them to give me a shot and they thought I was type of Cuellar. My mom thought it was quite weird, but she saw that it saw that I had this interest. And then when I declared that to her, she then took it further and she got me a three volumes. And I wish I knew the name of the encyclopedia set, but she got me three volumes. They were leather-bound. Um, and they had a black binding and they were the, the, um, the rest of the rest of the cover was a like 10 kind of pale, tan colored, um, color to it. Speaker 1 00:04:04 And when you opened it, it had some overlays in there. And there was one section that actually had every system overlaid onto each other. So you could flip the pages and you could see the system build on each other. So like, it would start with the skeletal system then it would have, then you would have, um, you know, maybe I think next was maybe the muscular system. And then you had, um, then you had, um, you know, the, uh, the vascular system and then integument. And so basically it was this, it was really cool. And so I would spend a lot of time reading Speaker 2 00:04:37 This Speaker 1 00:04:41 And, uh, she was like, wow, I guess it's kind of interested in this. And so, you know, time went by and inter Maaco, the way that it's set up is it's, it's based on a British system. So you go to elementary school, so kindergarten to sixth grade, and then when you graduate from sixth grade, you take an entrance exam to go to high school. So you go to high school after sixth grade. And so, you know, there though, um, while we were noticing, and this is quite a lot of bonuses, like back in the early eighties. And what we were noticing was that there was a little bit of nepotism that was happening as far as getting into the top high schools, right? So you were, you, you had to get a particular score on the exam to get into the top high school, but there was also other ways in which you could do so, and we didn't have the means for the other ways or connections nor the monetary means. Speaker 1 00:05:36 And so she was afraid because she'd seen friends of ours, even though their children were bright. I mean, she didn't doubt that I was not intimate. You know, I wasn't intelligent, but she just didn't want me to have to not win. Okay. And that you set up the win. And so she was nervous about me taking this test and not getting into the appropriate vehicle to get me to where I wanted to go, because there's only one medical school. And at that time, it only, it served not only the owl of Jamaica, but it served, you know, Trinidad and Bahamas and Barbados that it serves many different areas. And there are a lot of very intelligent children who want to do medicine. And so it's super competitive. And so she knew that the decision really started at high school, high school level. So getting into the right high school would then guide the path towards getting into the medicine faculty at university, you know, with all the competition. Speaker 1 00:06:32 And so she's made the decision to leave Jamaica and come to the States because she figured, uh, the States would offer me more, more options for pursuing that goal. And so I think it's insane because I'm like, are you kidding me? You're listening to an eight year olds, like eight year olds, you know, these eight year olds that we have here. Well, we have one now, but others were eight at one point. And then their dreams are fleeting. They're not like sustain dreams, you know? And so, but she, she believed in that and she literally decided to give up everything. So she was 33 years old at the time when we moved to the United States. And she came here with two suitcases with her belongings in it and 40 us dollars. Wow. Wow. Yeah, she did that based on a dream of a child, which I think I still, I still asked her, how could she have done that? Speaker 1 00:07:30 But that right there is like the ultimate and fearlessness. Like, I feel like, wow, you know, you are like my, my hero because I, I just don't know how you had that, that where with all of that, that, that drive to do that. And so that's really, you know, my childhood in Jamaica was phenomenal. I had the best childhood. Then when it came to the States, you know, we live in New York city, had another phenomenal component to my childhood. So my childhood was very, very rich with experiences. And, um, I had a lot of independence because, you know, I came at 10, I came before she came, I came a month before she did. And when her, our first year here, um, she had to do a nanny position where she lived with a family. So I was living with my, my, my family. And then I had to take like two city buses to get to school. Speaker 1 00:08:23 And I did everything on my own. And I like literally, you know, made my lunch, got the two buses, got to school and he had the coolest stuff. I did it. And then I came home. So there wasn't like, there wasn't any peer rental, like involvement per se. Not because she didn't want to, but like, she just couldn't do it. So, yeah. So I, I became very independent at a very early age. And I think that really helped to like kind of drive, you know, pursuing the dream. And so the dream of being a physician, again, like I said, I just don't understand it. Like I look back at it and I'm like, wow, I just don't understand this because I had no knowledge really of this thing that I was doing about. And so, you know, I did all the things like I, you know, did all the course work. Speaker 1 00:09:15 I graduated from school and I graduated from high school when I was 16. I was at college, you know, like, what was the med school? I did all those things. And then what, I really didn't know what I was doing. I really didn't know like what it was, you know, it wasn't until I went to medical school that I realized what it was, if that makes sense, it makes total sense. It was a total blind path. It was a blind, a blind trajectory where with tunnel vision, like it was like, nothing else exists. I'm going to do this thing because it's what I was meant to do kind of thing, but not really knowing what the thing was. Thank goodness it worked out. It could have been bad. Speaker 0 00:09:58 It's so true. Even in medical school, the first two years, you're still not doing the thing. Right. It's not until the last few years that you're actually seeing patients and getting in touch with what you actually do as a doctor. But until then, everything is very, very removed from that. Speaker 1 00:10:15 So true or true. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:10:17 I was thinking like emergency medicine is quite unique. Well, what brought you to that field in particular? Speaker 1 00:10:26 Oh my gosh. That's a really good story too. So basically, basically what happened is I was upset with Patricia Cornwell. I don't know if you've ever heard this author, but she is a phenomenal writer and she writes these mystery novel and the, the star of the novel is a forensic pathologist by the name of Dr. Scarpetta. Okay. And so I was like, I totally visualize myself as like, I'm going to be, you know, I'm going to be Charmaine Gregory, but I'm going to be like Dr. PEDA and I'm going to solve all these mysteries and help out, you know, so her, her psych not Rob will come to the psychic, but her, her, um, Kali her teammate, her teammates in this, in this book series is a gentleman by the name of, um, uh, Marino. And so her, you know, and he's like this, like gruff kind of like, you know, larger man who, you know, doesn't really mince words. Speaker 1 00:11:25 And she is like, you know, this intellectual type. And it is really cool. And, and all of this takes place in Virginia, like somewhere in Virginia, I forget exactly what's up. But so, you know, they, they're, they're doing this thing and they're solving these crimes and all the clues are coming from the body, but she is examining as part of her job. And I was like, Oh my gosh, that's so cool. I wonder that. So I, I went into med school thinking, that's what I'm going to do. They even wrote in my essay from medical school, I was like, this is what I'm gonna do. And so I go, and I, of course, you know, being the person I am, I'm like talk to everybody. And so I go, and I talked to the, um, the Erie County medical examiner and he was this amazing man. Speaker 1 00:12:10 He was, uh, probably, I don't know how tall he was. It might've been, he shorted me. I know that. So he was a shorter man, but, and he had, um, he had, you know, the, the paucity of here that comes with great knowledge and, and, and, and distinguishable, uh, qualities. And so, you know, and he, and he had a very thick, like Persian accent. Um, and he, uh, he said, yeah, sure. And I, so I went and I went through the channels and everything. And, uh, I went with, when was him to do an autopsy and first year in medical school, and, you know, we're doing those case and he's showing me all the things and I'm getting all excited and everything. And then at the end, I guess I talked too much or something, I don't know. But at the end, he was like, he looks around the room and he showed me, you know, the other cases that were coming up and he was like, do you really want to do this Charmaine? Speaker 1 00:13:04 But then he pointed to one particular one and he said, they really wanted this. And he pointed to the next one. And then he said, you know what? I think that you are an, I can't reproduce his amazing person accent to really give it justice. But he said, Charmaine, you are too social for this. That's exactly what it said. And I have to tell you that I was like, I was pissed. I was like, you cannot tell me that I cannot do something that is not going to fly. And so, but then I, you know, after a moment, I realized that he was actually doing a huge favor because he was telling me that I would get lonely in his job. Cause he said, you know, you have to really be able to be okay with a lot of solitude, you know, and then having your patients talk to you. I mean, they talk to you, but they don't speak to you. They're speaking to you through their tissue, which is a very different way of communicating. And so, you know, because he said that I was like, okay, all right. You know, I, I saw the man out as the expert and he gave me his, uh, he gave me his time. He gave me his expertise and he also gave me his sound advice. And so I said, all right, well, I'll get back to the drawing board. That's a script that goes with me. Speaker 1 00:14:21 And then, you know, then as, as luck, fortune, uh, serendipity, I'm not sure which, which word to use there, but would have it. We had this course that was called introduction to clinical medicine. And with it, the practical component of it, where, so you'd learn some, you know, you learn a part of the interview or you'd learn a part of the physical exam and then you'd go and you'd process it in real life on patients. And so I was assigned to that emergency department and I was assigned to an amazing emergency physician by the name of Dr. Stanley's Virgin and shouted at the first condition listening. And I'm lucky to be listening to this book. And so, so basically, you know, I went in there and I was like, Oh my gosh, this place is super cool. There's like all kinds of craziness happening. And, you know, people are constantly moving and just constant action, which is great. Speaker 1 00:15:16 And so I fell at home, but I said to myself, you know what, just like I had that early closure bias with the first, in the first iteration of my goals in this field of medicine, I didn't don't want to have that happen to me again. So I said, you know, I, I like this is great. You know, maybe it's not be for me. And I, I kind of like, you know, felt that out a little bit. I joined like the email club, which is the emergency medicine interest group club and you know, all the things and then third year. So I ended up, so I ended up, uh, third year, I ended up, you know, going into third year with the mindset of, I'm going to look at every single rotation as an opportunity to decide whether there's something that I can do for 20 years, for 30 years or however long it is that, you know, is my destiny to be in this field. Speaker 1 00:16:11 And so, you know, that's kind of how I looked at each one of them. And I mean, I liked surgery. I thought it was fascinating that you could go in and you could like do things inside of somebody's body. I thought that was fascinating. But then I also didn't really like clinics. I was like, ah, I can do this. And you know, then, then OB was really, really cool. But then, you know, there were some aspects of that. I didn't like, I was like, ah, yeah, I'm not sure if this is really for me. And so each one of them, I just looked at it like a great, they were all great experiences, but I, I looked at them like, can I really do this for a long period of time? And nothing really answered that call, like emergency medicine. And so I think that is really, even though I was kind of like, ah, I don't really want to do early closure and try to keep an open mind a kind of came right back to that. Yeah. So, yeah, Speaker 0 00:17:07 That's amazing. That's amazing your, your story about the forensic pathologist. I don't think I've shared this with you Charmaine, but my mom is a pathologist Speaker 0 00:17:17 And my sister who is now an endocrinologist when she was in medical school, wanted to learn about autopsies. So she joined my mom to do autopsies kind of like you did, and promptly passed out, you know, so that was the end of end of that. So I was remembering back to that when you were telling your story, but what's so amazing how life and all of our different experiences kind of takes us on this path and you look back and it's sort of this mix of, you know, destiny and experiences and conversations, luck, and effort. And, you know, that's what I think of when I think of your, your path. And, you know, I know you've been very open, um, you know, through, through all of the different ways you share your podcast and your website and on social media, about your S your history with burnout, you know, and, um, to me, I think the thing that's so amazing is you have, you clearly have such a passion for what you do. And I think it's one of the most important things for us to think about when we think about burnout is often burnout happens to those who are actually most passionate, most committed, most dedicated in their field. Um, but yeah, we'd love to hear a little bit more about sort of your, your story of burnout and how you, how you came out of that or how you found your own resilience, uh, through that. Speaker 1 00:18:42 Yeah, sure. Um, so, you know, burnout is funny well, as you know, because, uh, you are definitely an expert in resilience and burnout, but you know, it's like, you know, it's, it's, it's such a funny thing because it is very, uh, insidious. It is very plan design. I like the color I'm like, I like using that word wood when describing it. And it's just like, it's like, it kind of is like, when, you know, you're, you, you look at your face every day, you wash your face every day, you look at a bear with me and put makeup on. I'm not sure. Um, and then, you know, you may see somebody say new years last year, and then you see them again, new year's this year. And they're like, Oh my gosh, she looks sad. Or maybe not so much, I want to say, but you know, this say that there's a change in you. Speaker 1 00:19:36 Like it's been a change. And you're like, Oh, there's no change. It's the same. I put on my stereo on the same way I took on the same way. My Facebook's the same, but your face doesn't look the same. It doesn't. But the reason why your face looks the same to you is because you're seeing it every day. And there is a new way to change that happens. Like it's a teeny weeny change and it's very incremental. And then it's not until the person who saw you at the beginning of this little incremental change and then sees you at the end, that notices that there's a difference or not in the same way. And so, you know, my entering the burnout, I can't ever really tell you exactly what it was. I feel like it was very multi-sectorial because I had, um, I had a series of things that happen. Speaker 1 00:20:24 Um, I basically, you know, I had three children pretty rapidly. And before we had before blessed with them, unfortunately, or fortunately, I don't know which way you want to look at it, but, you know, we had a, we had a miscarriage on mother's day, 2007, 2007. We had a miscarriage in the second trimester. And so, you know, there was that, but then, you know, what, what is the, what is it, what does an emergency doctor do? Oh, I know what she does. She grabbed that little compartment that is for trauma and for a loss. And she just takes whatever that thing is that lot, that death, whatever it is, and tucks it into that department lock the key nose, runs the combination, whatever, and then puts it away, right? So you have these things happening. So you have in life, you're having these things happening that you're not dealing with. Speaker 1 00:21:14 And then in jobs, you're having things that you're not dealing with because there are indeed micro traumas that happened to us every single day in the emergency department. There's no doubt when we lose a patient and we don't deal with that. And we move on to the next patient as if nothing happened, because we have to, because you cannot bring the baggage from that loss into see the next person that stops there to that person. And so, you know, you have that building over time and if you're not dealing with it in a healthy fashion, then that's a problem. So you have that component kind of adding in there. And then when you don't realize how imperative certain things are in your life, like, say for example, um, what happened with me was I am very active. Like I literally played sports like my whole entire life. Speaker 1 00:22:04 Like we, you know, in Jamaica, literally, if your legs work, you ran track. Like that was just what happened. That's how they, that's how they weed people out. They're like, okay, you're fast. You go over here. You're not so fast. Okay. Keep studying hard, you know, that kind of thing. And so, um, you know, so I've played sports my whole life in Jamaica. And I, when I came to the States, I continued to play sports. And so sports and activity had always been a, an integral part of my life, like throughout college, throughout med school, you know, I was always active. And so, you know, I was active with all of the, all the pregnancies, everything I even ran a 5k with the last one it's crazy. And so now I, um, asked her having her, apparently I did some foolish things. I basically did not train appropriately. Speaker 1 00:22:53 And after I had her, I went right on back. I was like, okay, I can just like do a 5k every month, no big deal, whatever. And I didn't train, like I should have trained. And I injured my knee. And it was a very interesting injury because it was not identified until one year later in the operating room. And before that, I went through multiple ultrasounds. I went through an MRI. I went through multiple times having fluid, taken off my knee. I went through physical therapy. I had like lost like half a muscle mass in my thigh. I had also like loss of range of motion, despite physical therapy, all these things. And then ultimately, you know, my girth became much more lovable. Like it was like, you know, increased greatly. And there was more of me to hug. And so, you know, like there's all of that. Speaker 1 00:23:42 And so I wasn't as active as I had previously been my entire life. And so I didn't realize how important that was. Um, and until I wasn't anymore. And so it was the day it was that fall after she was born and I was getting ready to give the residents of talk. Um, and I literally went into the closet and I reached for my favorite suit, black suit, black pants really loved it. And so I grabbed the suit and I, you know, put on the blazer and I went to button the buttons. But for some reason I did not get the memo that they were divorced and they want nothing to do with this. And so I was like, what are you kidding me? And then I tried to put the pants on, you know, I couldn't couldn't negotiate my hips. They just wouldn't happen. Speaker 1 00:24:37 They were saying, no, no, it's not happening. And that was like, put me in a place. I wasn't like, Oh my God, I literally was on the floor of the closet, just falling. I was like, what is going on? This is not me like totally discombobulated. And I made a decision at that point. And I said, you know what? I am going to change this. This is not happening to me for long. And I joined an accountability group. I started working out, I started doing, you know, personal development type things that are really tied to my mindset. And I try to change my physical form. And this happened, like all of this happened. And then I started paying it forward to other people and then became a fitness coach and all these things. But then it also made me realize that I really depended on the endorphins that came from exercise. Speaker 1 00:25:32 And it also made me realize that the whole thing that I did before I went to work each night, that's it was like the person that saw you on new year's last year and is seeing you on new year's this year. Not normal, not good. And so this is what, what happened. I literally would, I would go take my anchor nap at 9:00 PM. I'd get up at 10 15 because I used to be at work at 11:00 PM. And so the alarm would go off. I hit the, hit the snooze button as many times as I possibly could. Then when I couldn't do it anymore, I would have to tell myself to get from the recombinant position to the sitting up position. And then I'd have to tell myself to swing my legs around to the side of the bed, each one, and then feet on ground. Speaker 1 00:26:23 And then one foot in front of the other, like this whole thing was a huge mental exercise. And then when I got to the parking lot for the hospital, I wasn't like, Oh my goodness. I had to go to work like this. Don't be not of the car and running to the door and, and, and embracing the person that first person that I meet. I'm so excited to be here. That's not what happened. I literally was ripping like the white knuckled grip on the steering wheel. And I had to literally tell every single last finger and both songs to on-hand the wheel, so that I could go into the building to take care of the people that I spent my entire twenties learning how to do. And so, you know, that was burnout for me. Like that was the manifestation of it, but I had no idea it wasn't until I started focusing on getting back into that suit, that it became very clear that I had that drastic change in me that the persons outside of me could appreciate, but I didn't because I'm seeing the same person every single day and it was insidious and it was Clem sign and it was, it took place over a while. Speaker 1 00:27:40 And that, that was like basically my experience of burnout. Um, yeah. And, and, and, and the funny thing about it is that burnout, it doesn't affect your professional life. First. It affects it last, your, your personal life gets affected. First professional life gets affected less. And so now it's interesting because I can tell if somebody is out right there and like, you're not having a good day. I know you're not having a good day because I've been there. And I know that every day is a litmus test date. Like I literally have to say, okay, how am I feeling today? Am I feeling burnt out? Or am I feeling resilient today? And if I'm feeling burnt out, it's best for me to recognize that because then I can do things to get back onto the resilient side of the spectrum, because otherwise too many days in the burnout zone, not good. Speaker 4 00:28:42 And do you find that that's kind of the main primitive measure is self-awareness just kind of checking in routinely on how you're feeling. Do you have any other things that you kind of bring into the fold in your life to prevent that moving forward? Speaker 1 00:28:59 Well, I do a huge amount of gratitude practice. Like I'm constantly doing mantras and with affirmations, like that's constant, my children like make fun of me because they know, okay, mom, I know what you got to say. Um, so, you know, I have definitely the journey that the jury that led me to the recognition of the state that I was in, which was the fitness journey was also a personal development journey. And so I got into the practice of doing something related to personal development every single day, just like I would, was doing something related to movement every single day. So that has carried out and that has had a effect and it has morphed most recently I have been doing a lot of gratitude practice. So I, you know, I wake up as soon as I wake up, I think of the five, the five people in my life that mean the most to me and, and the, all the things that I'm grateful for about them. Speaker 1 00:30:00 And I am also waking up and thinking about the fact that I am grateful that I am a still alive, that I am healthy. You know, all the things like I'm very specific in what I am grateful for every single day or thing. And then throughout the day, you know, if I find myself kind of drifting towards a negative kind of mindset, I have to say an affirmation, or I have to, uh, start thinking about, well, okay, this situation may be difficult, but I am grateful that I have the wherewithal, the capability, the resources to figure out the solution to the problem. Like that's how I approach things. So, um, yes, yes. You know, the, the resilience tools that I gathered over the years have definitely helped me to stave off getting to the point where I feel so burnt out that I'm like, you know what, I don't even want to do this job anymore. Speaker 1 00:30:57 Like, this is just not for me. I'm not happy. I don't wanna do it. Um, but I am cognizant of the fact that, you know, the personal piece is only one piece of the burnout cycle, you know, as, as, um, Stanford, you know, well, MD talks about, you know, there are three real components to this. Like it's not just the personal issue. It's our, the personal resilience. It's the, the ease of practice. It's also the culture of wellness at institution. So from the medicine side, you know, it's, it's more than just me and what I was going through. You know, it was maybe, you know, being at work all those times and maybe not getting the switcher card there when I needed someone, you know, when I was the rate limiting step to getting the person in and out of the place, you know, like if the person has a laceration, they've gotten their, x-ray like the cart should be there and everything should be there. Speaker 1 00:31:49 And only thing that needs to be done should be me going in there doing the thing and getting them out. So, you know, these are kinds of things that for sure can play a role in burnout. It may or may not have played a role in mine. I don't know. I can only think of the things that I told you that I think maybe cause me to do that, but I'm sure there might've been other things maybe on parts of that spectrum, you know, part of the approach of wellness, spectrum and part of the, um, the, the practice spectrum, Speaker 0 00:32:18 Right? Yeah. I think you bring up a great point that it's so personal in so many ways, like each person, what burnout looks like for each person is going to be different and also, you know, kind of what got them there and also what gets them out of it. Speaker 1 00:32:35 Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Speaker 0 00:32:37 I was thinking just before close here, Speaker 4 00:32:40 We're getting, we're getting close, but, um, I would love to hear more about your podcasts. I know Monisha was, uh, was a guest there, uh, last weekend. She always kills it. Speaker 1 00:32:52 That is, yeah. Speaker 4 00:32:54 And we had a great time. Yeah. And I just love the energy that you bring, which people could tell already by listening to you here and the energy that you bring on that podcast. Um, it's just so awesome. Um, so yeah, maybe you could tell us just a little bit about, um, that the podcast and what was your motivation to start that? Speaker 1 00:33:15 Okay. Yeah, sure. So I have a fear of public speaking and I know, I know Speaker 1 00:33:25 That's the response. I get, everybody laughed. And it was funny that, you know, that, you know, it became very clear to me one day kind of like how I realized kind of in retrospect, that I was going to burn out. I realized that the dance that I went through before every talk was this not a normal dance. And literally the night before I got no sleep, very restless, you know, constantly, um, getting up and ruminating on things that probably don't really matter. And then going into the place without any sleep, which anybody who knows high performance requires lots of rest prior to the performance date. And then being there and having my heart rate be, you know, at one 30, one 40 easy, like crazy palpitations, you know, feeling like, uh, I basically say that my, my heart was at a point where it was set up with incarcerations in my chest wall. Speaker 1 00:34:24 I decided that they wanted to get out. Like, I want to get out, give me, give me out of here. And so, you know, so there was that happening. And then, you know, the sweaty palms and your coffee don't want to shake anybody's hand because you're like, Oh my goodness, my pond was so sweaty. It's embarrassing. And then, you know, you have, um, you have the sweaty armpits, all, this is the worst because you have a blouse on, and you know, your, your arm pits are betraying you and you can't like, you can't go without a blazer. You have to always wear a blazer because that's just not cool. And then, you know, in my mind there was a whole other thing happening there because I had this thing on replay, this really Nessel positive replay that basically said, you're going to trip over the wire for the microphone. You're going to fall flat on your face. You're going to break your face. You're going to get up. And then there's going to be blood everywhere, but on the audience, but on the floor, you're going to slip on the blood and you're going to break another piece of you. It's like broken face, broken hip, broken leg. And then you're going to hobble on over to the podium and you're going to grab the clicker and you're going to be clicked and not a single fly is going to advance. Yeah. Speaker 4 00:35:33 I'm not kidding. That's just like a real fear. It's like details. Oh my God, like a catastrophe, Speaker 0 00:35:39 Catastrophe Speaker 1 00:35:40 Safe. And then the last piece is always going to be you open your mouth and nothing comes out, not a sound, nothing comes out. So no slides, no sound. It's crazy. And so that's what I went through. And obviously that's not normal, right? Blood everywhere. People are like looking at me like I'm crazy. And so I said, no, that's not normal. So I said, you know what? I'm going to have active plans to face this fear. And it's going to be two prongs. The first prong is going to be to get on more stages in front of more people, to these sensitize myself, to there, to channel that negative energy of that fear that I was having into positive energy so that I could serve the audience better and that I can get the feedback that I need in order to serve the next audience even better. Speaker 1 00:36:24 So have it be kind of like a graduated improvement kind of process while I'm getting sensitized. And then the other piece was to start the podcast so that I could share the journey of me facing my fear. And also it talks a whole bunch of cool people who are also facing fear because I knew I was the only person there. So, you know, I thought that was a great outlet and the podcast has been amazing because it has opened doors. I know you guys are probably going to see this if you haven't already, but it's amazing. And opening doors to encountering, speaking with engaging with people, I would never have engaged with hope to encountered in my usual life and making an impact that is way beyond the one-to-one impact that you and I have what we talk to our clients. We talk to our patients. I mean, it's just, it's phenomenal. And, and, and as, and as dinner, not bittersweet, bittersweet, but phenomenal. Another phenomenal thing that has come about from this is that I've actually gone to podcasting conferences and spoken about facing fear at said conferences. So that was pretty cool. So that was like that little full circle kind of deal, where I got to do the public speaking, getting in front of more audiences and then all the stuff about processing, which is a vehicle through which I faced my fear of public speaking. Speaker 0 00:37:48 I'd love that. And I think you've had some pretty big milestones recently. Right? You had an anniversary, you passed a lot of lessons, so yeah. Can you share yet two years and how many lessons so far? Speaker 1 00:38:01 So we're almost at 19,000 last time I looked, I think it was like 18 five with something pretty exciting, Speaker 0 00:38:10 Very exciting. Congratulations. And I love how you were fearless and how you went about actually conquering that fear. It's like, even though you did it gradually, I mean, there was definitely a very clear, uh, determination and focus on what the end goal was going to be and how you were going to get there. Speaker 1 00:38:29 Yeah. Thank you. Thank you right into it. I know. Yeah. I just posted Speaker 4 00:38:36 Something today on my Instagram and it was GERD Jeff, and he was saying that if you sit down and meditate and the devil comes, have the devil meditate and meditate, like, Hey, we're sitting down, we're gonna just chill. So come on in. Right. Exactly. Beautiful. I like that. Um, so, so wonderful having you. Thank you so much for your time. I feel like we could talk, keep talking, have you back Charmaine another time for part two, I was thinking for the, for the meditation, we end with a meditation that that'd be nice to maybe do a gratitude practice. Cause you mentioned that. And, um, yeah. So just lead us in a, in a few minute meditation on gratitude. So if you're out there and you guys could join us, please do. If it's safe to do so. And no matter what you could, of course, just listen to, uh, the words and, uh, allow them to land. Speaker 4 00:39:48 So as you quiet yourself, maybe just paying attention to where you feel in the body, where you feel kindness, gentleness, compassion, openness. And even upon hearing these words, just notice how they land and where you feel then the most, you know, felt sense of kindness in the body and the heart and allowing something that you feel grateful for to arise. And as mentioned, making it specific as possible and allowing the vision of this, something, this person or thing in your life, and allowing that to really be an energetic impact on you in this moment. Then again, keeping things very specific as you allowed to come to mind another something in your life that you're grateful for person, uh, food shelter, a hobby, and allowing this feeling to expand not only within yourself, but to others. What's an altruistic motivation. You can all beings or wishing all beings have something to be grateful for today. And in their life may all beings everywhere where that exception may they all be happy Speaker 5 00:43:26 Free from suffering.

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