[ID: Ocean waves against a large rock formation, which has a hole shaped like a heart.]
I am moving through transitory times, and I feel it deeply. For those who may relate, I hope you also find the pause if possible to explore what this season of change is bringing up for you. It feels significant to share with you that I began writing this entry of sprouting thoughts while watching the new blooms emerge with Spring, signs of new beginnings and awakenings. It is now Summer. Almost Fall. And this is the way of life. We are constantly unraveling, growing, retreating, processing, rebirthing, editing, second-guessing, healing, and doing again. And again. And of course, time blends into itself, especially when we are living in these often heavy, uncertain times.
I’ve been reflecting on my journey thus far since mindfully leaving my clinical role as a therapist and venturing into my new independent, creative projects. I recall initially -- prior to launching anything online -- holding such a strong desire to create an assortment of beautifully packaged offerings. I wanted everything laid out organized and crystal clear; all the elements wrapped up, ready to go ‘professional style’ like I’ve done in presentations, workshops, therapy sessions many times before. I needed assurance that they would be beneficial, valuable, worth people’s precious time. I also imagined these offerings out in the world by certain dates, marking them in calendars, only to see the day come and go.
The thoughts inevitably trickled in. ‘Mmm this is not quite ready to share.’ ‘This isn’t going to work.’ 'I don't know what to do.' The line of questioning would commence…
‘Why is this taking me so long?’
‘What if this isn’t enough?’
‘What if they don’t like it?’
‘Who am I to put myself out there when I don’t even have it sorted?’
‘You’re a doctor who is still figuring it out. How is that going to look?’
The theme was clear. I was not ready. I was not enough. I did not ‘have it together’. Creative ideas would swirl in my head never quite arriving to a satisfactory completed state. I'd compare my present self to my past highly highly productive self. The one that got things done efficiently and made clear obvious progress. If I had to be completely honest, my ideas also felt too...scary...to start, or to share with the world. Then, the PMDD symptoms would arrive and reinforce the belief that I would just be destined to always be catching up rather than channeling and bringing to life any worthwhile vision.
I was stuck. And the stuckness felt awful.
It was as though I was seeking a refined plan and execution that would meet this imaginary set standard in my brain. The illusion of perfectionist professionalism. The illusion that tricks my brain into thinking that there’s one way to do things and one timeline to be on. The illusion that whispers: stay relevant, stay consistent, stay on top of it. The illusion that points towards others and reminds me, ‘But look at how they’re able to do it.’ The illusion that begs me to be an expert, to be all knowing, to have the solutions. The illusion that I can’t be both bold and soft. The illusion that convinces me that the community will only care if I curate some fantastically unique and polished service that's sparkly clean and not a drop of ‘she is struggling’. I am a whole human, and I live with PMDD. How can I not struggle?
[ID: Close up image of calm ocean wave with sunset in background]
At some point in this process, I began more or less downloading a message. It felt like it arrived in unexpected and very expected places. It showed up when I slowed down and paid attention. It came through even clearer when I wrapped myself in grace and patience. The message...
🌊 Go with the flow, Dr. Mo.
Here I was aiming to bring to life offerings centered on being with the sacred messy, flowing with the authentic waves that come with being human, and I completely lost sight of that. To be fair, I still lose sight of it sometimes. I still often feel very stuck. And that's okay. So many of the processes that we are conditioned into have a tendency to breed oppressive patterns of perfectionism, not-enoughness, or this myth that we must be at some certain arbitrary point of excellence and knowing-ness to call it worthy. Well, I am practicing calling it out as BS. I am practicing ‘going with my flow’, which means truly bearing witness to my full messy experience and greeting it with love, release, flexibility, curiosity, soft acceptance. Learning how to be in that discomfort, that conflict, that unknown is a gift. This phenomenon of not being enough can be especially poignant for those of us who are disabled or chronically ill in this ableist, capitalist paradigm. This is ingrained programming that I am unlearning slowly.
Observing my personal and professional transition process has been curious, madly unnerving, grief ridden, humbling, and deeply expansive. One of my learnings is the call to shift away from rigid professionalism grounded in colonial, patriarchal, ableist expectations. It is a gentle leaning into and trusting the value of showing up as myself fully, wholly. To gift myself permission to go into my quiet cave when my body needs it. To say no to what does not align and embrace what really speaks to my values. To invest time in cultivating quality relationships with the community through shared lived experience. To honor that part of this journey is not knowing, and that is perfectly more than okay. To take time to daydream, nurture, connect spiritually and integrate the findings that grow from this directly into my work.
The irony is that I have been so hesitant to share this blog and my musings around not having it together out of fear because how does one begin to express and offer up something that is messy, complicated, unknown, still quite very much in the making? I did not realize that was the start. This is the nature of healing, transformation, and becoming. It is *enough* just as it is.
So, Dear One who does not yet know how to proceed, where to go from here, how it will all work out...
You are enough.
We are enough.
It is possible to be both stuck and enough. It is an ongoing process of honoring gently and fiercely our full sacred messy humanity. For me, it is to do so when it means I may not look or sound “doctor like”, when the anxiety and grief are present visitors, when the stuck feeling tricks me into thinking there's something wrong with me, when the plan transforms into something I had not expected. It is to show up from a place of compassion, open heartedness, humility, authenticity, integrity, and equity.
It is to lovingly surrender to the flow.
If you are also sensing a season of stuckness or transition, or if you just feel called to join in reflection, I share the following wondering prompts. Find a cozy spot and see what comes up for you:
✨ What does ‘lovingly surrender to the flow’ mean to me?
✨ What does it feel like currently in my being to say the words: “I am enough”? "What if I am Enough?" What does my body do when I say that? How does my heart feel? What new narratives begin to bloom when I create space for this in my mind?
✨ What, if any, are the blocks to accessing that ‘enoughness’?
✨ How can I love myself more freely and abundantly?
✨ If I am feeling stuck, how may I 'go easier' on myself, and how may I genuinely challenge myself?
✨ What parts of this 'stuckness' are rooted in systemic oppressive factors? How can I begin to dismantle them?
✨ What messages might my past and future selves communicate with me in order to aid me in "lovingly surrendering to the flow"?
✨ What are actionable steps I can take to support others who are in seasons of transition? Might these steps also reflect my own needs too?
✨ What lessons might be present in this season of my life?
With much love and gratitude,
If there are any rays of light that emerge from these reflection questions or the blog musings, please do share! You can send an email to Dr. Mo or tag/DM @DRMOPSYD on Instagram.
Dr. Mo is a clinical psychologist learning and creating on ancestral, unceded Ohlone land (San Francisco Bay Area). She lives with a disability known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Dr. Mo offers mindfulness-based approaches to support others in flowing with the ‘chronic waves’ of being human. Dr. Mo facilitates The PMDD Grounding Circle, a virtual gathering space for those with PMDD to access a restful pause and mindful insights with fellow PMDD siblings. Dr. Mo is available for workshops, consultation and online courses. Feel free to connect with her for any inquiries. You are also invited to sign up for the newsletter to hear about future offerings, as well as follow along on Instagram @DRMOPSYD.
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