Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Quote that Solved by Existential Crisis

I stumbled upon this quote on Pinterest about three months ago. I instantly liked it, but as I was going through saved pins on my phone, it resonated even more with me today.

Quote by Erin Hanson 

Leading up to the New Year, I always have an existential crisis pondering the direction my life is going. I just love how this simple yet profound quote calms the mental chatter.

I can't tell you how many times I have made decisions and doubted myself about them. Or questioned whether or not someone feels a certain way about me. The latter one is particularly exhausting. And though I can logically see there are no benefits of keeping those cognitive wheels spinning, it seems that it is almost inevitable. But the thing is, I may not be able to completely stop by natural tendency to overthink, but I can make peace with this beast so that I can tame it. 

I need to keep this truth in mind: I can think of a million what-if's to every situation I am presented; I just need to be sure to include the positive, hopeful possibilities, as well. Even just one positive perspective can silence a multitude of negative ones. And all of the mental conjectures are equally true. They have equal chances of occurring or not. Oftentimes life yields a slightly different outcome that we didn't 100% anticipate. And, in a way", even this is the spice of life,"

So, going forth into this new year my friends, keep in mind the positive possibilities. We can't even begin know what 2017 might hold. Might as well get excited. Stay golden, my friends, and a happy new year to you all!

Friday, December 23, 2016

When all Else Fails, Just Strike a Pose & Smile

So, clearly I just had professional pictures done again like I did back when I turned a quarter of a century. And, I 100% enjoyed it. In fact, I think everyone should go to Groupon and find good deals to have your own personal photo shoot. Because, really, why not? That portraits session really got me thinking about the concept of smiling.

I think we have all at some point in our lives slapped a smile on our face in spite of feeling worried or stressed or frustrated about something going on in our personal lives. I think it's important to have people in your life that you can share those difficult things with, but I think that smiling-in-spite-of is a good practice, as well. Is this "faking it 'til you make it"? Perhaps, in a way, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. If you can find something to genuinely smile about, I think it helps you get to a better-feeling mental space to better deal with the personal challenge.

So, often, we are in our heads too much. We over-analyze how we're being perceived by others while simultaneously trying to process the perceptions we are being given. I know that in the last few months, I have definitely fallen victim to this cycle. It can be exhausting. But, maybe the smiling-in-spite-of principle can be applied here, as well.

I am coming to accept the fact that I tend to have an overly analytical mind. Especially when it comes to school/career, personal growth or ever-evolving relationships, which is basically, just life. I think as long as I strive to find the middle, some sort of balance, then that's about all I should expect for myself. To just try. So, sometimes you just have to smile at the situation, confusing as they may be.

This reminds me of a quote I heard and once wrote about on this blog from a short-lived TV Show Emily Owens MD:

"It's hard trying not to judge yourself, because we are aware of every mistake. We know our inner doubts, our hidden motivations, our failings. So, my wish for next year is to be easier on myself, focus less on the bad and more on the good. Really, just give myself a break"

Those words resonated with me four years ago, and they ring even more true to my life today. As we move into 2017, I encourage you all to just strike a pose (even if just in front of yourself in a mirror), smile, and give yourself and others a break more often than not. Stay golden, my friends! 

Monday, December 19, 2016

We must not simply survive, we must THRIVE

Hey guys!

The title of this blog post has two separate inspirations.

First of all, the image is courtesy of my new Almond Butter that I got for free (minus the shipping) from Thrive Market. I saw it advertised on Chelsea Houska's Instagram. So, I enjoy free things, so I almost never miss an opportunity. The cool thing about this though - besides the natural food promise which you can read about on the website - we got to donate a portion of our savings. I just thought that was the coolest thing. It's small, but it's something. Moreover, they have a blog with a Well-Being sub-section, so I'm pretty much sold.

Naturally, the the name "Thrive" is the direct inspiration. But, this next anecdote shares why I feel that we're not just supposed to "get by" and survive in life. Rather, we should really flourish and do things that fuels our souls to do so.

So, I am coming off week of 3 exams in Neuroscience, so I'm PRETTY beat. What's more, the last two weeks have been full of greasy, fried food. It's just easier to study nonstop and grab something quick instead of whipping up something healthy. I do not advocate this, but I am jus' sayin' - the struggle gets REAL. But, this time I noticed random blemishes on my face. This was evidence verifying the statement, "you are what you eat". So, this week for me is all about getting back on track - with my diet, my workouts and restorative sleep where I don't have nightmares about the mechanism of action for various psychiatric drugs.

I woke up this morning, with the goal of drinking tons more water than I have been and to walk at least a mile. Starting off nice and easy. Then it dawned on me that this was like a New Year's Resolution. So, then I thought how cool is it to get started on those resolutions two weeks early?! Maybe that's the secret to success in maintaining them? Takes that "January 1st" pressure off.

Welp, whatever you do, do it well. Happy Monday, my friends!

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Joys of Multi-tasking

Lubbock recently opened up a Panera Bread, so my friends and I wanted to go! It is the little things in life, after all, that you just take for granted until you can't enjoy them anymore. When we got here, we ran into one of our other classmates and decided to join him for dinner. Sidenote: I love my medical school class. My Class of 2019 in particular. We all just have a way of being so friendly and congenial. Everyone says so. But, I digress. The title reflects how I saw this trip to Panera. I got to hang out with friends, eat good food, and study afterwards all in one. I just love feeding multiple birds with one loaf of bread. I think there is much benefit to receive from seeing things this way. When we allow all of our to-do's and want-to-do's in life to be integrated into one synergistic unfolding, it's quite simply, bliss. Welp, that's the thought for today. No music, just mental musings. One exam down, and two more to go this week! Happy Monday, y'all! Stay golden.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Just a Bit of Wisdom from Regina Spektor

I'm going to make this post short & sweet since I've knee-deep in Behavioral Sciences information right now. But, I just wanted to share this little reminder I just received. I like to mix it up when I study, in terms of the music I listen to. Tonight at Starbucks I decided to jam to an old playlist, and Regina Spektor's "On the Radio" came on. When I tell you guys that this used to be MY JAM, I mean it. 20 year-old Jasmin at Duke was a Regina Spektor fiend, and this song was my absolute favorite. My favorite line remains:

It's just another one of life's simple truths, and it's just always made me smile. So, maybe it'll do the same for you! Welp, gotta keep trudging through the material, so I won't be able to make this post super-insightful, but if nothing else, treat yo'self to a mini-dance-party to this upbeat tune:

Happy Music Monday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stay Young, Stay Free, Stay You & I'll Stay Me

There's this song I used to absolutely love running to called "Young Blood" by The Naked and Famous. It serves as today's Tuesday Tune (since I was driving the majority of the day Monday and missed out on Music Monday). The upbeat and melody is enough reason to love it, but for me, per usual, it's the lyrics that really captivate me. My favorite line goes as follows:

"We're only young and naive still
We require certain skills."

I give you permission to have a dance party of one to this song right now.

Isn't it great?

I recently bought this poster from Holstee's Poster Sale last week. It's a nice addition for my growing wall of inspiration. "Foolish" is a bit provoking. I'm not by any mean advocating we all act a fool. But, for me, it reminds me to stay silly. A reminder I appreciate. And, then, I thought about this song. 

I first heard this song when I had just recently graduated from college in 2012, and these words rang so true for me. Trying to navigate post-grad life totally felt like I was out of my element - missing the skills I needed to cope with the transition from that cookie-cutter K through college plan into the this-is-adulthood-do-whatever-you-want-in-the-sequence-you-want plan. 

I know I'm not alone with these "am I adulting right?" thoughts, These thoughts are most prevalent when it comes to thinking about our career paths and relationships. We are all too often critical of ourselves, of our actions. At least I know I am. I wonder how I come off to others, how they are perceiving me, how I perceive myself. I think a healthy dose of self-reflection and introspection is necessary, but there must be a balance.

There must be a healthy dose of love and acceptance for ourselves and for others. For all of their idiosyncrasies and charm. Children have this quality. To be silly and make their own fun. It's an amazing quality that we quickly unlearn in a world full of rules and order. Again, I feel there needs to be balance. Especially when we're interacting with others. We could pore over the research about social contracts and even the unspoken rules of "playing it cool" while dating in the modern age.

Or we can just be ourselves? Whatever that means for you. I feel like when we are honest about who we are and present that, ever-changing, dynamic individual to others, we have nothing to lose but fear and anxiety. We gain freedom.

I wrote the title of this blog off the top of my head because I just wanted it to rhyme. But, I really kinda like it. Isn't it liberating to feel that you're free to be you and I can be free to be me without the fear of judgment? So, just a simple reminder to you, my friends. Stay you! Whoever that happens to be at the moment. 
Another reason I just love Holstee! 

Fridays with Friends: Supporting Local Businesses

See the impromptu video below!
(This is what happens when my friends take me on errands...)

Check out Royal Event Consulting at:

Monday, November 21, 2016


I'm home! 

Being home for a whole week for Thanksgiving break is quite the privilege. It's kinda awkward because I still have classes that are recorded online, so technically I'm still in study-mode. But, I will tell you it is refreshing to study in a new space. Well, a new yet familiar place. White Rhino Coffee. So, turns out writing and studying in coffeeshops at home is just as effective as when in Lubbock.

So, there's this shirt that I bought when I was a the thrift shop, and it's super comfortable. I also love that it has the outline of Texas on it. And, I like it's time-tested truth: "Home is where my heart is". I absolutely love being around my family. And, the older I get, the more I appreciate being home to spend time with them altogether. I drove from Lubbock to Dallas for the first time all by my lonesome this break and it was glorious! I love the company I've had over the years on mini-road trips, but there was something particularly spectacular about traveling for a substantial distance solo. One of the magical moments was turning in to the street where my parents live. It's like each time I return, the trees are more majestic, the skies are more expansive. And, since it's Fall, the mix of colors were absolutely amazing. (Sorry I didn't take a photo, I'm a responsible driver *wink, wink* - no but really! I don't know why I winked). Then, I drove into the driveway, opened the door, and was greeted by these wonderful humans who I'm lucky enough to call my family.

Home truly is where you heart resides. And that means that no matter where you go in the world, if you can tap into your heart and find comfort in memories, then you're home. No matter if your childhood home is still the place where you parents reside or not, wherever the people you grew up with are, is home. This is a simple truth. I'm not blogging anything ground-breaking epiphany. I just thought I'd share the reminder because in this hustle-bustle society, it's so easy to forget life's simple truths.

That somewhat brings me to today's selection for Music Monday, the most beautiful cover of Pat Benetar's "We Belong" that I have ever heard. It's done by an artist named Today Kid.

I first heard it from the Chase commercial (below). Which is an absolutely precious commercial.
(I'll address another one of my favorite topics - interracial dating in another post, by the way!)

I chose this song for today's post because the style in which he does this cover is very centering to me. My favorite line remains the same as when it is the original rendition and it comes towards the end/resolution of the song, after the potentially sad lines: "We can't begin to know it, how much we really care". I love this line. I feel that it can apply to so many different areas of life. In this song in particular, it's a romantic relationship that continues to unfold. With family, we can come to learn how much we really care for those once super-duper annoying little brothers. Similarly, in the spirit of connecting with others, it can even apply to how much you can come to care for those people who you've only just met. For me, that line represents all of that, and this song just makes my heart feel super happy.

Welp, that's all I've got for today, folks! Hope you enjoy the song, and if nothing else, the sentiment.

Stay golden, my friends

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Finding a Better Way to Pursue Passions

So, I have a confession to make. Here's the confession of a second-year medical student with a Masters degree in Public Health and a desire to take this blog to the next level. There are some days where I seriously question whether or not I will continue this journey towards becoming a physician. I have battled the feeling of academic inferiority ever since my sophomore year in high school when I got my first C as a final grade on a report. It was in Honors Geometry. The thing is, school work has never come easy to me. Contrary to popular belief, I actually am not a genius. I have pulled all-nighers to understand difficult material ever since middle school. I always had the take advantage of extra problem sets and tutors to really grasp challenging material. So, you can imagine that this struggle of academic confidence has amplified almost a thousand-found here in med school.

But, then I think about getting past all of the exams and the grueling late-night study sessions, and I envision a future where I'm working with a team of talented, healthcare professionals to improve the quality of life of our patients. That's when I remind myself that it is all totally worth it. 

Dr. Zubin Damania (aka ZDoggMD)
About two weeks ago, we had a presentation by Dr. Zubin Damania, CEO and Founder of Las Vegas-based Turntable Health. He spoke of "Healthcare 3.0" - the idea that we can achieve a healthcare system in which everyone - patients, health care providers, and administration are empowered. It was such an inspirational reminder of what I envision for my future of a member of the healthcare system. 

Similarly, he has a ton of videos on YouTube where he features his parodied songs hitting on important topics surrounding healthcare. So, here we have a physician who also makes music videos on the side. A serendipitous example of how you can eventually pursue a diverse array of passions. Check out ZDoggMD's personal shout-out to Finding a Better Way!

But, isn't that what life is all about folks? Being constantly inspired by different passions and pursuing them synergistically - honoring both without neglecting either. And, if your passion causes your path to change course, that's okay, too. I think Dr. Peter Prentice (not a real doctor) from The Mindy Project (a real show that I love): "You're allowed to change what you want in life, people do it all the time." And, I personally think that if you can try to stay as true as possible to your passions, you'll find that your path can align in such a magical way. 

So, maybe I will succeed in maintaining this blog, the vlog on YouTube, and anything else that I can think up along the way as I journey this path of becoming a physician. It's definitely a better mental way for me to proceed, anyway. 

On a different yet related note, I'm finding that studying in coffeeshops is so much better when I understand the material the first time around. Thank you, Behavioral Sciences unit, thank you. You're making this Psych major and MPH in Behavioral Sciences & Health Promotion master smile a little bit brighter. 

Stay golden, my friends! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Humans of Coffeeshops

I'm considering starting a new series inspired from my post yesterday. Or maybe I'll merge it with my previous Fridays with Friends video segment. I cannot express how delightfully random my conversations have been of late. People are so interesting and intriguing. So, possible new the blog series!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Humans of Starbucks

I just had one of the most wonderfully random conversations with this guy I met at a Starbucks I've been frequenting lately. I know I literally just posted about how much I love studying at coffee shops (I looked it up, technically "coffeehouse" is more accurate, but literally everyone says coffee shops, so have at it), and for a girl who doesn't even drink coffee, I find this ironic. But, I just had to share my impression on this interaction.

Here's the thing about people. We're so human, and we sometimes forget. Let me explain.

I feel as if so often we feel that we are disconnected from each other. The whole concept of other, someone being different and a part from me, creates an unconscious disconnect in social settings. For example, when we're standing in the unofficial designated area where we wait for our order, don't we just look at our phones or talk to the people we came with and generally avoid eye contact with the person right beside us? I'm not saying this is a bad thing, necessarily, I'm saying it's a natural thing. And, that's why we get caught off-guard when someone says hello. At least I was caught off-guard today when the guy said, "Hey I'm waiting for my tea to steep, so lucky you, you get to chat with me while I wait." And, no, this was not a pick-up line or him hitting on me or anything like that. Not that kind of funny story. That's for another post I'm working on. But, it was literally just that. A chat because, why not?

And, my friends, if anyone is a good candidate for a random chat, I'm your girl. I live for these kinds of study breaks. I actually live for any type of study break, really. I'm taking one right now. It helps me focus.
Semi-staged photo to prove I was actually studying before writing this post

In the past couple of weeks, I have had random chats in a coffee shop with a law student about how I wanted to act as a witness for their mock trial and met a girl in the same program as one of my friend's girlfriend. It's a small world, y'all. I know being in a college-y town greatly increases my ability to proclaim that it's a small world, but even in the big city of Dallas, I've had similar experiences.

Quote I saw on Pinterest a while ago that I realized pretty much sums up the paragraph below
Every one has a story or some insight or perspective on life that we don't share. In learning their point of view, some things make us go, "hmm" or "whatever" or "me, too!". I think I just wanted to share this to encourage everyone to strike up random conversation every now and then. It might be good for our mental health. (I am unofficially saying this, I have no idea what the research is on this). Speaking from experience, it has definitely made my days more interesting, if nothing else. I've been telling my friend Courtney that these types of experiences are the spice of life. I have literally used that phrase about 10 times in our text messaging thread over the past couple of weeks. (I wonder if I can turn it into a hashtag. How do I get that permission? Will find out later...) So, share a smile, a wave/head nod, kind word, whatever. In short, as one the great poets of 90's pop music The Spice Girls once said, spice up your life.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Studying at Coffeehouses

So, about three weeks ago, I decided that I was going to start studying at various coffeehouses throughout the week instead of studying in my usual solitude in the study area in my apartment complex. A bit of background, last year during the first year of medical school I learned that I actually really didn't enjoy studying in the school's library or at any of the school study spaces. I think the school environment stressed me out. I also learned that I couldn't study if I felt like I was surrounded by other health professional students. I do not know how their mere presence stressed me out, but it totally did. So, some time in the spring semester last year, I just started studying in my apartment. It was glorious. I could eat whenever with food I had already paid for. I could take naps and not feel awkward if someone saw me because no one would. If I needed human interaction, I could just pop in the kitchen when I heard my roommate grabbing a snap. Jackpot! It was wonderland. However, this was a gig I could only keep up during the sunny time of spring and the end of summer. As we progress through autumn, that gloomy shorter days longer nights mood is starting to set in, and I need to be around more energy to keep mine up. But, I definitely didn't want to go to school or any school's library for that matter...what to do?

Signature Wall at Sugar Brown's Coffee
Cut to coffeeshouses! It's almost as if this idea had never occurred to me before this year. I studied at a couple of coffeehouses last year, but it just didn't stick. But, now, I was determined. Luckily, there's a bunch of cool spots around Lubbock for me to hop about. And, in the past weeks of me doing just that, I have discovered what love I have for this study setting. I really like the artsy feel of places that sell coffee. It's as if they only higher the hipster-est looking baristas, and I love it. They also usually have other things going on like performances or cool art hanging around that just makes you feel like, "hey man, I'm immersed in this community." I love it. AND, the best part - aside from the cute designs they put in your drinks and pastries of course (see below) - is that the constant movement of people in and out is the perfect amount of distraction for me. There's a certain steady hustle and bustle quality with the drinks being made, people greeting and chatting with friends, people studying super diligently - I am obsessed with the energy. It's an extra added bonus when I see a few of my classmates, too. It's like, "hey, we're cool, we're not merely med students, we are a part of this vibrant community, man!"
Compliments of Yellow House

I'm not sure everyone shares this same sentiment, but I'm sure glad I've found my niche. I'm telling, it has revolutionized my studying. So, naturally, I just had to share. And, since coffeehouses are always playing cool, indie, coffeehouse music, today's Music Monday selection is one that I heard in Xcelente (which is also a smoothie bar, so they get extra cool points from me): Cake's "Tougher Than It Is". Actually has a really simple yet powerful message, in my opinion.

Favorite line: 
"The more you try to qualify, the more it all will past you by"

So, just be in the moment, guys. Don't justify your life away with the minutia of it all. Go study at coffeehouses! Happy Monday, folks.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Aloha means Love (Music Monday is back too! ...

...Although technically it's not Monday, let's just roll with it!)

Why hello there my friends!

Don't give me that look. I know. I know. I haven't posted on here for a while. Well, that's what the second year of medical school does to a person!

But, lately. I've been feeling really out of balance. I've found that when I diversify my attention, I'm more efficient with my work and more balanced with my emotions.

So, I bought a ukulele. It made me think about how the word 'aloha' actually translates to love. Here's a quick story below!

That being said, I leave you with a simple and sweet song for today.. It's Ingrid Michaelson's "You & I". I have always, always appreciated the cheerful sound of the ukulele. And these lyrics are so delightfully hopeful.

Favorite Line:
"Let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters, and teach them how to dance."

Final Word. 
Life really is about love, folks. Love for yourself, love for the universe, love for your Creator, love for others. When I focus my attention on love, that definitely helps to reduce the stress. So, aloha, my friends. Stay golden.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Views from Costa Rica

"Poor Man's Umbrella" 
Two weeks ago, I returned from my first study abroad experience in San Jose, Costa Rica. I will attempt to succinctly surmise my reflections on this yet another amazing experience of my summer.

First of all, check out the photos for all the natural beauty of the country. So much vegetation! Also, I was glad to truly immerse myself into the culture of 'pura vida'. The following video describes this further:

I can also honestly say it was interesting to not be able to speak the national language. I mostly felt lost and a little bit embarrassed when I could not communicate. It really opened my eyes to the vulnerability one could feel in any unfamiliar environment. 

Hanging out with a toucan
Finally, the most intriguing phenomenon I experienced was that after only a little while, I felt like I could have easily been at home. Not because there are oh-so-many similarities between America and Costa Rica or anything like that, but because the saying "home is where the heart is" actually really rings true.  Another phrase that comes to mind is the title of Jon Kabat-Zinn's first book, "where ever you go, there you are". See, the thing is I was in a new environment, but I was still me. Still Jasmin. With all of my memories carried over from past experiences and hopes for the future. Therefore, my internal environment was a very familiar one. This feeling also brought comfort when I longed to be with my family and friends back home. When I tapped into this inner, familiar feeling, I felt that they were  there with me. Becaus
Sloths are a pretty big deal in the country
e the truth is I carry them with me wherever I go.

I hope to travel abroad again someday. Not sure I know where to next, but I'm sure it will be a uniquely enriching experience in and of itself. And, I look forward to that. Until next time, enjoy the views from Costa Rica below!   


Great shadowing experiences 

We got to stand in on a maxillofacial surgery!

Road trip to beautiful beach town Manuel Antonio

And I got to celebrate my birthday there! 

Could not have enjoyed a better trip in a beautiful place.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Who can remain silent? Insights on Peace

I've just come back from my adventure in Costa Rica a little over a week ago, and I was looking forward to sharing my insights and pictures from my travels.

But, then, all the tragedies of last week occurred. I'm posting on social media, so I don't need to rehash any of the specifics here. But I did want to say this.

Usually I don't speak on political or social commentary, mostly because things move way too quickly for me to keep up. But, then I thought to myself: how can I stand silent with sadness, frustration and fear?

I reflected: the name of my blog is Finding a Better Way. Currently, I'm personally trying to figure out how to find a better way to cope with the feeling of despair while trying to maintain hope for a better future. It can be tricky to remain optimistic in the face of tragedy, but I think I've found a way to invite peace into my heart. In doing so, I have to sometimes unplug from the news, from the Facebook posts, etc. Not to remain uninformed and ignorant, but to maintain my own sanity and peace of mind. For me, finding my own peace allows me to visualize long-term, effective solutions to the root of these issues. For me, peace delivers clarity that leads towards social change. The type of peaceful change that will ensure that the slain and their families are never forgotten and everyone's efforts towards change are not in vain.

I just wanted to share a few insights in case there's anyone else out there like me trying to find a better way to cope, a better way to process, a better way to heal and move forward.

Bearing this in mind, throughout the remainder of my summer, I hope to share more insights that were gathered in my travels and experiences. Until then, peace, my friends. :-)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Entering my summer of restoration, transformation and exploration

I'm finally back to my blog! It has been way too long! My goal this summer is to chronicle it. In a reflective and effective manner. So, let's get started!

As the title of this blog post suggests, this summer is one in which I want to restore myself physically. I feel as if my mind, body and soul got completely exhausted during my first year of medical school, so now is time for some much needed rest and relaxation. I also feel that I have already transformed so much as an individual over this past year, and that journey also continues. Finally, I have been blessed enough to be able to travel a bit this summer and explore parts of the world that I never have before. Title seems quite fitting now, huh?

First off, I want to share with y'all an amazing experience I had just last week. I wrote the following post while I was flying from Texas to Costa Rica:

Beautiful Mission Beach 

Mission in Oceanside, CA 
As I leave one transformative journey and embark upon the next adventure, I wanted to take a moment to reflect. I just attended a mentally, emotionally and physically restorative retreat in a lovely mission 45 minutes north of San Diego. While there, a group of other medical students and I surveyed the various layers of integrative medicine and healing, self-care practices to incorporate in our professional and personal life. Now as I sit above the clouds heading towards Costa Rica, I am reminded of mindfulness. Really taking in the moment-by-moments of life. It's so beautiful up here.

 View from above the clouds

It's rare that I get a window seat. I don't think that I've had once since college, over 4 years ago. There's a certain serenity to it all. The way the sun peeked over the horizon as the rain clouds floated away. It's quite magical, really, if I could use that word to describe what is ever so common in nature. This stillness. This peace.

The program I attended reminded me to interweave these same themes in my own life. To remember to be still, to restore, to contemplate in the quiet of your mind. To honor and enjoy the energy shared between yourself and others.

Just a portion of the most amazing people I've met yet! 
After seeing how I could practically integrate alternative and complementary practices into my practice of western medicine has restored my faith in myself to become a physician. More specifically, it has reignited a fire in my soul to be a healing physician. To treat each patient as a whole person - mind, body and spirit.

One major theme I learned from hearing everyone's stories of their life's paths thus far is this: the universe always provides a way for everything to fall into place. So, I won't worry myself with the details of how I will approach Step 1. Rather, I'll take each step along this path towards becoming an MD one at a time.

And last thought, but certainly not the least - I will never forget the beautiful souls I came across along this part of my journey. It's sad yet powerful to accept that though some of our paths may never cross again, the 5 days we shared in each other's space of growth and restoration will never be forgotten. Just as matter is neither created nor destroyed, neither is that energy that was created when that unique group of individuals came together. Our lives are forever changed by that moment in time.

In the coming weeks I'm sure I'll reflect upon more aspects of this retreat as I digest it all more. And, there will be videos to come! Until then, I will also try to chronicle my experience in Costa Rica with the same level of reflection and entertainment.

Today's Music Monday selection is an oldie-but-goodie that beautifully sums up this past week for me:
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

Favorite Line:
"I see friends shaking hands,
Singing, "How do you do?"
They're really singing, "I love you"

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sunny Songs on a Saturday #2: Cultivating Positive Vibes and Affirmations

Hey y'all!

So, good news - another block of medical school down and 3.25 more years of medical school to go! Woohoo! My how time flies. Kinda. Sorta. Anyhoo! It's another beautiful "75 & Sunny" type of Saturday, so perfect time for another installment of Sunny Songs on a Saturday! 

Today's video features a hit from 2012, Bruno Mars's "Treasure". I never really jammed out to this song much back then, but it came on this 8tracks playlist while I was studying this past week, and in that moment it captivated me. Find out more in the video below! 

Bottom Line

1 - Have mini dance parties often
2 - Speak positive words about yourself out loud and often
3 - Smile, you're alive  

Also, I found this quote on Pinterest, and I absolutely love it! Let's just say it may or may not be my anthem for the rest of 2016! Props to the pinner Phyllis Williams and the article from whence it came on This Little Street. 
Image courtesy of Pinterest

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sunny Songs on a Saturday

Aloha friends! It's been SO sunny and warm in Lubbock lately that visions of summer have been saturating my mind! So, I wanted to introduce a new segment for Finding A Better Way: Saturday Sunshine Songs! The idea is for me to share with you a song I really like (just as I do with Music Monday), but the caveat is that it specifically has to do with sunshine/summer/beach/happiness, and such like themes. And within the 5 minutes, I'll try to share a bit of "sunny wisdom" that I learned throughout the week.

I hope this ideas sounds as awesome as it feels!

I'm excited!


So, without further ado, please enjoy the video below, discussing the idea of "no trouble, no fuss" in approaching the fluidity of friendships in life, an idea inspired by this Holstee article.

Click above to hear the full song! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How San Francisco Helped Me Breathe Again

Happy new year and welcome back to me! (SN: Welcome To Me is a fairly intriguing dramedy starring Kristen Wiig, on Netflix, check it out). Maybe needless to say, medical school got extremely overwhelming for me towards the end of last semester. Don't get me wrong, I expect medical education to be challenging and rigorous. It's a profession that comes with great responsibility. The sense of overwhelm, however, came from imbalance. Not prioritizing sleep on most days, not working out in a fulfilling way, not blogging - all of these things added to my own personal imbalance. Ruminating over the past and fretting over the future did not help equilibriate, neither.

Thus, so far this year, I have tried to find what my own personal balance looks like for me. How do I best rest? Best relax? Best study? All of these aspects of life are best when they are tailor-made for who we are at the moment. At the moment, I am a medical student processing a heavy load of content, therefore, time is of essence. I need to understand that taking as long as I need to study and sleep might mean a shorter workout regimen. At least for now. The point is to ensure that however you plan out those important aspects of life, make it work for you at the moment - continuously. As I'm sure I've said before in blog posts, we are ever-evolving, after all.

What boarding a 4-hr flight at 7 pm
after being up since 5 am looks like
So, let's get to the title - San Francisco. Another aspect of life that got out of balance was my social activity. Something about school amping up caused me to become quite reclusive. Which is understandable, but nevertheless, out of balance. So, as a way to ensure this stays in the mix, I agreed to go on a spur-of-the-moment-decision trip to San Francisco at the end of our 2nd exam of the semester. The round trip was only $100! That's a YOLO-worthy ticket price.

The trip was definitely final purge for me to understand that keeping life in balance - in body, mind and soul - is absolutely essential. The trip taught me exactly what I expected it to. Life is too short to sacrifice your ideas of your own health and happiness for the sake of some ideal from outside sources. The kicker is, this outside source that I speak of isn't friends or family but that nagging alter ego in your head, the prime suspect. The one that is constantly telling you should do this or that. I'm glad that taking the trip challenged this alter ego that might have said you should stay and study over the weekend. I'm also glad that it taught me so many other lessons that I can't wait to spread out over more blog posts to come. 

Hmm I forget what they call
the bridge...
Yes, that was an attempt
at a joke. I think you laughed.

Obligatory Tourist-y Photos

On a cable car! 
On the curviest road, Lombard Street
In closing, today, I just want to re-iterate one thing: find out what works best for you in maintaining balance in your own life. If that changes, that's okay! Be flexible with your own growth and needs of the moment. And stay forever in peace and balance. Until next time!