Learning from Dr. Shivasana

Finding joy- don’t we all crave that? Isn’t joy the summation of our vision for our future selves? Why then, do we tend to delay this gratification? ‘Hustle now, enjoy later’- why do we need to believe this?

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This is what Dr. Shivani Kamodia is talking about. I first came across Shivani’s work earlier this year via Instagram. What started as causal commenting on each other’s posts and stories, soon blossomed into a friendship based on mutual admiration and support. Shivani recently included me in a monthly web-based workshop focused on topics pertaining to self-improvement, mindset shifting, and story sharing, that consists exclusively of women in healthcare. It is like a Study Club that I did not know I needed.

It is like a Study Club that I did not know I needed.

Shivani selects a topic every month, letting us all know about it in advance, and we each share our experiences on that topic. On occasion, we may have a facilitator who teaches us something new, for example in July 2020 we enjoyed a 30-minute Yoga Nidra session, led by a fellow dentist.

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Each meeting leaves us uplifted, yet thinking more deeply, and consciously about how we choose to live. Consequently, we are all always looking forward to the first Wednesdays of each month to meet this group of amazing, inspiring and thoughtful ladies- each carving out a unique path for themselves in healthcare and life.

So, when I think of someone who is trying to live life as mindfully as possible, it is Shivani. Shivani graduated from the University of Michigan, School of Dentistry in 2018 and comes from a family of dentists. A yoga teacher when not practicing dentistry, Shivani lives in San Antonio with her husband and their adorable pup, Avicii. When I asked Shivani for her take on what her biggest lesson would be to future women dentists, this is what she had to offer:

‘’Don’t wait to be happy. Choose joy every day. As a dentist and a woman, it’s easy to fall prey to delaying and denying ourselves until we reach our goals. Make a joy list and do something every day from this list. Don’t wait until you graduate from dental school, find the perfect job, or reach financial freedom to reach for joy. Goals will continue to grow and evolve, so choose joy now.

Don’t wait until you graduate from dental school, find the perfect job, or reach financial freedom to reach for joy.

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Joy is intentionally choosing a positive mindset to prime your experiences. To strengthen our joy mindset, we must catch those fleeting moments of happiness by practicing gratitude. The goal is to experience more happiness but live from a place of gratitude and joy. My life has completely changed since I started a daily practice of writing down three things that I am grateful for, three wins or successes from the previous day, and three goals or intentions for my day, week, and big picture life. My greatest lesson is this daily practice to cultivate a joyful and grateful mindset. Joy is a good mood for the soul.’’

My life has completely changed since I started a daily practice of writing down three things that I am grateful for, three wins or successes from the previous day, and three goals or intentions for my day, week, and big picture life.

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Living each day joyfully, sounds like a much better idea than delaying joy till we meet a fictitious end goal or vision. Do you have a daily practice that helps you find peace? Do you have a gratitude journal? Let us know in a comment below.

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