Today I had a long conversation with a friend of a friend of mine, who lives in Bali in Indonesia. She is known locally as a holistic healer, and, while chatting, she occasionally mentioned what she psychically sensed about me. I was intrigued. In the end, I gained very useful insights into maintaining positivity and neutrality.

It’s been six months since I started working as a full-time teaching staff member at a university. I have my daily teaching (literally every day) and create materials for online live sessions and video lectures. When a session goes well, I feel happy and become more enthusiastic about making materials look neat and interesting. When a session doesn’t go well, I tend to criticise myself, see it as a “failure” and write a reflection note on it. The healer told me that I should stop writing about it; instead, I should write about what was great in each session. I noticed how hard it was for me to find positive aspects of my teaching and that I’m so used to being harsh on myself. “When you stop judging yourself, all the things will change,” the healer said. She also gave me some tips; for example, “It should not be taken for granted that your students are taught by a fantastic woman – you!” (This is so inspiring!)

Unconsciously, I might have limited myself to the fences I created and worried too much about the small goals I set. We need to think big, accept all imperfect aspects, and raise the bar.

 

Research milestones and a circle

During the conversation, I found out that her husband has suffered from the same disease as my mother does. I told her that my mother has lived with it for over 25 years, and we agree about how deeply our bodies and mind are connected. She shared an interesting story about a Spanish medical doctor who retired as a clinician and moved to Bali to heal his long-term illness.

I suddenly felt that my work (health research) isn’t “rubbish”. There always are connections between our health and human aspects such as our mind and language – about which, just one week ago, I gave a talk as a guest speaker at a research seminar. It was more of an overview of my PhD work, but it focused on the qualitative methodology I employed in my case studies.

Two health-related research projects that I started last year are nearly complete. We submitted our manuscripts to the publishers in March, and the manuscripts are currently in the external review process. I had been thinking I might take a break from research for a while, but, soon after the talk, I received an email from one of the attendees, with an invitation to contribute a paper to an academic forum he is hosting. It’s so mysteriously coincidental that the end of one thing leads to the beginning of another. In other words, the beginning of a new thing comes from the completion of the previous one. It’s the circular nature of life.