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May 23, 2023 | Podcast, Your Business

Prioritizing Self-Care to Become a Better Coach with Parvez Khan

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About the episode:

You know the saying, “Put your own oxygen mask on first,” in the context of an airplane, but you’ve probably heard it in relation to self-care too. Parvez Khan, a business & personal coach is on the podcast today to dive deeper into this. I have known Parvez for a while and knew that he was the one I wanted on the show to talk about the topic of taking care of ourselves first before prioritizing our work and our clients. He’s sharing his personal journey with learning to put his self-care routines and rituals first and how this changed now only how he feels, but the success of his business, too. If you’re on the verge of burnout and looking for another way to do business, this episode is for you.

Topics discussed:

  • Why Parvez has worked to come from his head and his heart rather than one or the other and what this looks like for him in his day to day
  • The intersection between organizational development and coaching and how both support Parvez in how own business
  • What happened in Parvez’s life that made him change his routine to revolve around self-care and the reminder that we have to take care of ourselves first
  • How your physical body can teach you what you may be lacking in or need to focus on in your own life
  • The connection of your own self-care and how much energy you take on from others
  • What is possible when you’re being driven and being guided by your heart versus your intellect
  • Parvez’s daily self-care routine


About Parvez:

Parvez Khan is a Business & Personal Coach.  He has a dozen-plus years’ experience with improving organizations’ productivity and thus their bottom line.  He has worked with businesses, not-for-profit organizations, faith-based associations, and training organizations.  He brings a broad understanding of organizational challenges facing us today.

As a Business Coach, Parvez focuses on empowering and fostering change.

As a Personal Coach, he facilitates the removal of barriers to empower individuals to achieve their greatest goals.

Parvez holds a Master of Science in Organization Development degree from The American University in Washington, DC.  He is a Licensed Human Element Practitioner (LHEP™), a holistic approach to the human issues in organizations.

Parvez is happily married and father of two young daughters.


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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode


Catherine A. Wood  16:35

Pervez, I’m so delighted to have you on the show today. Welcome.


Parvez Khan  16:40

Thank you so much, Kate. It’s an honor to be here. If I ever


Catherine A. Wood  16:45

shared with you my favorite memory of you


Parvez Khan  16:51

know, I think I may have an idea. But why don’t you go ahead and reshare?


Catherine A. Wood  16:56

Well, it’s kind of perfect because you literally just did it. So I imagine you’ll share a little bit about how we know each other in a moment. But for our audience Parvez and I trained ages ago together to become coaches. And there was one day in the training session, when our mentors were trying to offer a reflection to you. And correct me if I’m wrong Parvez. But if I’m remembering correctly, they invited you to take your hand and to put it on your heart. Mm hmm. And just before we started this recording, you put your hand on your heart again. So I’m wondering, what does that mean to you?


Parvez Khan  17:43

This is my way of grounding myself. So I, for years, because of my upbringing, and cetera, et cetera, or whatever, let’s not dwell on the past. I wanted to come from my head, because smart people come from their head and from their head, right. That’s what we’re taught. And I was invited, like you said, to come from my heart. And have that head and heart talk to each other a little more. And so come from your heart, right? Put your hand on your heart, they said and, and come from there. So I didn’t I was stopped, close my eyes, put my hand on my heart. reminded myself of my essence, faith, humor, community serenity, love. My life. Purpose is love. The breath in, grounded myself and I came from harch. And I don’t know what I said, But I’m happy with whatever it is that I said, because it came from my heart. It was my heart has always been my strength. And I fought it for so long. And when I was flowing, when I began to flow in the coach training program, from heart, I found Oh, this is a river I can flow with in it’s not hard. I’m not a salmon swimming upstream.


Catherine A. Wood  19:10

That is so beautiful. I’m so happy we started the conversation there because also right before we started recording, you know, you asked me if you had to be an empath to be on the show. And, and I chuckled, and no, you don’t. And for me, you have always been such a heart centered, heart driven person, which is a huge part of what I identify empaths to be about and driven by and led by I think it’s why I’ve always felt such a connection to you because of your capacity to connect with your heart and your commitment to lead and speak from that place. So so I’m really thrilled to have you on the show. And now that we kind of have that out of the way. Why don’t we just start by having you share with with my audience a little bit about who you are and and your story?


Parvez Khan  20:13

Awesome. Yeah. So I branded myself business and personal coach, obviously I trained in coaching at the same program, you trained in accomplishment coaching, my background is in organization development. I took a deep dive in into organization development, which is a process of planned change in any system, any organization with the intent of improving that system, that organization, right, I took that deep dive in 2009. Right when I started my master’s program at AU, and I have loved it ever since. Organization Development, coaching, coaching individuals, coaching teams and departments, leaders, this is where I reside to what my purpose is to give my gift out to the world, right, share my heart and be this ball of light. And yeah, sure, some people will will pay for it, and some people won’t, and it doesn’t matter. The point is that this is my purpose in life. I’m here to improve people, organizations, I’m here to improve the world, take people to the next level, whatever that next level is for them. However, they define that. And as much as I can be the power behind them, I’m not doing their work, what as much as I can be the power behind them, to help them realize, empower them to realize that to that next level. So be it.


Catherine A. Wood  21:30

What is what is the intersection between organizational development and coaching?


Parvez Khan  21:36

So, I mean, a lot of coaches who are ICF affiliated or people who are, it’s some people may take offense and offense or may take the word some people may take issue with this definition. However, organization development is an Uber discipline. That includes coaching, it also includes the other terms, you’ve heard of like strategic planning and change management. And it’s right, it’s, it’s process consulting. So it is looking at how we do what we do. It’s actually what I would call real consulting, as opposed to management consulting, or just to hiring an external. This is there’s no offense to management consultants out there in the world. I’m just saying that if you go to Booz Allen, and you spend 12, grand a day, hire getting a team to consult for you, most likely, what you have done is you have hired a team of expert consultants to come in and tell you what to do in a very prescriptive manner, who will give you this sheet of paper and says, All right, here’s what you need to do, go do it. Most likely, they may delve into it to some some process things as well. But their main purpose is to be expert consultants, you can also have consultants who are simply outsourced IT people or whatever discipline they’re in, they’re just outsourced help. Right. What I do is what Ed shine the recently departed Ed shine, rest in peace, MIT Sloan School of Management, American professor emeritus, when he defined his process consulting are the helping profession, meaning let me sit with you, and hear you and not just hear your, the base layer of your complaints or what have you hear what you’re actually saying, listen to you and hear what you’re saying. And then work with you to get to a deeper level of, of understanding about what’s really going on this underlying reality, and then take you by the hand and then we can co create a reality that takes you up to the next level, again, whatever that next level is. So it is very much a co created reality and relationship that improves an individual and organization, a team or department what have you. And that’s why I love it because it’s what I call real consulting. Again, no offense to anyone else. Coaching resides within organization development as a very specific discipline. So organization development is an Uber discipline coaching is a specific discipline, it’s a specific process that takes usually an individual maybe a group of usually an individual and does the same thing. It uses a lot of the same methodologies, that organization development employees, and does so in a very smaller systemic level.


Catherine A. Wood  24:37

That’s really interesting. I don’t, I mean, I know that this is your background, and I don’t think I’ve ever asked you about the details of it. And all the years we’ve known each other so I appreciate that explanation, of course. I mean, it has me curious what how do you how do your coaching skills I’ll support the work you do in organizations, and how does the work you do in organizations support your coaching?


Parvez Khan  25:09

Are we gonna have to hear that again? Sorry? And have that one? How does


Catherine A. Wood  25:13

your experience through both of those those worlds of organizational development and coaching, how do they mutually support one another?


Parvez Khan  25:24

Oh, okay. Well, what I found is that both of these because one is Uber disciplined, and one is a is a is more micro discipline. And I won’t say micro, but just a discipline in and of itself. They employ a lot of the same tactics, like for example, active listening, you have to be a really great active listener, if you’re a coach, right? You have to really hear what someone is saying and be able to reflect that back to them. So you’ll use that a very union active listening skill. And you that’s employed throughout any engagement with an organization or person or what have you. And to be honest with you, it’s a great skill to have for anyone, anywhere. Now people would say save Yeah, we did. That’s, it’s I want to get an activist and he was all my friends. Okay, great. Go ahead and do that. Because it’s really about engaging at a deeper level and being what we would say real with someone keep it 100, with your friend or with with so and so. Now, of course, we don’t coach our friends, we don’t consult our friends. This is an example of how they, the on the ground reality will appear so similar, and in what you’re in the actual conversations. And the What is different is where you want to go and how you want to how you want to create your reality. So with coaching, I want to be I, you will have an overarching coaching request, I want to be better at my job, I want to be better partner and my relationship or what have you. And you’ll have a request for coaching for each session, right. That’s where we start from an organization development lots of times, we don’t even know we’re what we want. We’re not even sure what I’ll walk into a room. And the people may be bickering with each other the fates of nonprofit board, they may be bickering with each other, or they’ve siloed off into groups here and there, this group here and this group there, and it’s even unbeknownst to them at a certain level. So there’s a lot in organization development, there’s a lot more to deal with. Let’s say everyone can do this. So if I were to check in, and anywhere in my od hat, if I were to check in around, see a nonprofit board meeting, and give everyone two minutes to check in. And there are 10 members or 10 board members, I mean, I’m going to spend 2025 minutes, just checking in just that it takes a lot longer, the process may look more similar, and it looks and it takes a lot longer, because there are more people to deal with that many more opinions of that many, many more lenses and biases to deal with that we have to sift through. So does that make sense?


Catherine A. Wood  28:17

It does it has me curious if the clients that hire you for coaching versus the clients that hire you for od work, what conversations they’re in, when they reach out to you what questions they’re asking, what are the said bickering? What are they? What do you find them bickering about? It just has me? No, it has me wondering like what what minds they’re in when they reach out to you for to inquire?


Parvez Khan  28:47

Sure. bickering might be a strong word, judgment. And I use it for simplicity sake, usually when someone is at, they reach out to me for individual coaching, when I call personal coaching, I can hear that the person has already done some level of work, because I work mainly by through referral. So that person has done some introspective work or some work at some individual level, they’ve gone to a workshop or something. And they’ve reached out to a friend how, you know, I think I need a coach, you know, I just don’t need to, I need someone with whom to process. And so that person is ready. The od clients, whoever they are organizations or otherwise, may or may not be ready. And so there’s a process of getting them ready to the process of selling them just the process of organization development itself. So it’s from the get go. There’s a lot more work in the OT on the OT side.


Catherine A. Wood  29:50

Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I can only imagine and, you know, given how much I know you care about the people that you’re enrolling kinship with I imagine caring for the organization and all the members of the team would require just a whole other level of generating your essence and your being and being present with all of those inter relational dynamics on a team versus with one person.


Parvez Khan  30:18

And it good segue here. It requires a lot of self care. Yeah.


Catherine A. Wood  30:26

Which is a perfect segue, because we talked about, you know, leading up to our episode today, like what you wanted to focus on. And I have to admit, I was absolutely delighted when you broached the topic of self care. So, let’s just start there. What has what had you choose that topic as something to bring to bring to our conversation today?


Parvez Khan  30:56

I was reflecting on what we could talk about because there’s so there are so many topics. I want to be clear for the listeners this is there’s not a dearth of topics that cat and I even talked about, we can talk all day about lots of things. And and it is the reality, my reality in the past few years has been really self care focused. And that’s been rubbing my face. So I said, Why Why not that of course. Let me give you the story. So in 2020, during this whole shutdown and pandemic, my neighbor reached out to me and is a is a, an older gentleman who’s, unfortunately wheelchair bound, and he had some health issues. Nice guy, and he’s my neighbor. And he called me over and I said, Can you help me get back in my, in my wheelchair, I said, of course, and one out, usually, I think he calls 911 for these things, but I think he felt shy in doing so this time. So he reached out to me, of course, I couldn’t I go over and, and, like a not so smart person, I tried to put him back in his wheelchair by myself, not not the smartest move, I didn’t realize that, when you have when he was a medical term here, when you’re moving dead body weight. That’s a medical term, not not a judgment on him. When you’re when you’re moving dead body weight, you need to have 234 people doing so. And because you will have zero support from the person, right, or near zero support from the person. And so I ended up, I didn’t realize it, but I must have tweaked something there. And also energetically, what I found out later is I ended up absorbing his shame if you go with the energetic route, so I ended up absorbing his shame. And I tweaked something in my back. And it didn’t come out until a few days later. And I ended up really injuring my back. I didn’t break it or anything, but it was it I was to the point where a week later, I was crawling into the bathroom I couldn’t do. I couldn’t go anywhere. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t have my client sessions. I went to a finally went to a person to see about fixing my back, right? And what would normally take me maybe 90 seconds to get to, to her office to walk from my car into her office took 45 minutes it was that slow. And then my back was that injured. So I was really distraught. And it raised a red flag for me, obviously, I had had lower back pain in the past. And it raised a red flag for me. What am I doing in my life that’s not self care focused? And what how am I not actually putting myself in as number one here because here I am. I can’t pick up my daughter, this really hit me. My daughter was my younger daughter. I have a 10 year old now and a four year old and so my young daughter who was two at the time, we’re gonna have to, I couldn’t pick her up. And she was not happy about it. She was Bob screaming screaming. It was it was heartbreaking. Because I couldn’t pick her up and I said, No more of this. I’m going to fix my back and more so than just my back. I’m going to take care of myself. I’ve always preached self care, right? Self Care is penultimate, you take care of yourself, Why am I not doing it? Myself? Or why have I allowed this to happen on whatever level?


Catherine A. Wood  34:34

Wow. Is your back recovered?


Parvez Khan  34:39

Oh, yes, I’m happy to say that my self care regimen now not just physical, physical, spiritual, developmental, in terms of personal development as my self care regimen is strong. It’s continuing to evolve and it I met, I think what I would call the best shape of my life or the Peak Peak. Parvez. Can I can I say that?


Catherine A. Wood  35:08

I think so.


Parvez Khan  35:11

So I’ve learned to do that. I mean, this whole incident brought up that self care really is penultimate, I have to put myself frustrate you and I know that that you can’t be the full expression of yourself if you don’t take care of number one, right? You know that. We were taught if you’re on when you’re on the airplane, what does and then the masks drop in case of cabin pressure? They what? What do the beginning of every flight what to the airline? Flight attendants, what did the flight attendants tell you, they say, make sure that you put your mask on in case of loss of cabin pressure, their masks will fall, make sure you put your mask on first before you put on your child’s mask. If you’re traveling with a child, why? Obviously because if you if there’s severe Kevin, loss of cabin pressure, if you don’t take care of yourself, and your child passes out, you can revive your child with the guy with the oxygen mask. If you fumble with your child, and they see that you don’t have you have a mask on and then there’s a risk of course of both of you passing out. So the point there I mean, in a microcosmic example, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. So I’ve made self care a lifestyle, not just a regimen. Oh, wow.


Catherine A. Wood  36:34

I love that idea. I’ve made self care a lifestyle not just a regimen there’s so much gold in what you shared. I want to I want to offer a couple thoughts and two things. So first of all, like I love that reminder of putting on your own gas mask before helping those next to you


Parvez Khan  36:54

because oxygen mask we’re not gonna we’re gonna kind of go sinister here. Thank you. Because,


Catherine A. Wood  37:03

you know, as an empath, this is something we often struggle with, right? We so often prioritize other people at the expense of ourselves. And specifically, you know, I’m such a stand for helping Empath entrepreneurs thrive, and our our heart, our the capacity with which we care. It’s one of our super gifts in business. And when we can prioritize it for ourselves first, it actually allows us to maintain that open heartedness with others without passing on the bitterness, or the resentment for prioritizing other people and their needs and their preferences and their desires at the expense of ourselves. So I love that. I love that reminder. And then the second thing that you said that I really appreciated was you mentioned the impact that your breakdown and self care had on your back. And it made me think of are you familiar with Louise Hays book? Which one? Oh, gosh, her work, but you can heal your body? Yes,


Parvez Khan  38:14

yes. Yes. Very familiar.


Catherine A. Wood  38:17

So I love I love in that in that book, she talks about how when we experience pain or dis ease in certain parts of our body that they are sharing messages for what, what we need and I remember for me, like, I mean, I’m sure you remember this version of me, but when I first started coaching, I used to get sinus infections. Every other month, when I was working full time and building my coaching practice, I was constantly getting sinus infections. One of those first winters, Parvez I was on antibiotics eight times. And I remember in Louise Hays book, you can heal your body that I finally looked it up. And what she articulated was that when you experienced sinus infections, you’re typically not they’re lacking self expression you’re not articulating your needs so I wonder I wonder what back pain what it indicates? Are you familiar did you look it up for yourself


Parvez Khan  39:21

you can heal your life yeah is such a such a gem and Louise Hay was such a gem she was a person if you don’t know her listeners, please pick up her book please look at it because she was someone who struggled through so much and ended up healing her life and thus wrote this book you could heal your life with this great appendix or a glossary at the end where you can look up the energetic meaning to your physical element right for anything like sinus pain, back pain, there are different chance your question different different types of back pain so that’s the point of different things. He’s been low, usually lower back pain deals with money and not living in abundance. Do we know the scarcity mentality, and just money issues in general Oh, I have money issues. And then lower back pain pops up. And I should say that with the prevalence of lower back pain in America right now 21st century America and this Go Go lifestyle we’ve created for ourselves, it’s those two things are the fact that people a lot of people are having money issues, and a lot of people have lower back pain, those are not unrelated. So it was mine, it was that it was also specifically because I had absorbed his shame when I was holding him to put him back in his wheelchair, I ended up absorbing his shame. Poor guy, I mean, I, my heart goes out to him, but he’s my neighbor. So I can support him to an extent and at the same time, I’m not going to do that, at least not without help.


Catherine A. Wood  40:54

Let’s Can we talk about that, like the connection between self care and how it supports you in protecting your energy? or and or not taking on the energy and emotional pain or angst of others?


Parvez Khan  41:13

Wow, oh, well, there’s a topic for you. Sidebar, yeah. You know, let’s draw it back to the simple and then go if we may, and then go deeper. So you and I were taught to healthy priorities, right. And we were taught that you should keep yourself number one, right, you should take care of yourself and do the things for yourself that you need in order to be prosperous in order to be a functioning human being. And then, in terms of your important priority, that’s why these are quite healthy priorities, all the things that are important to you take care of yourself first. And then you take care of your spouse, if you have a spouse you take care of, and then take care of your work and engage in your work. And then you take care of your family, and then you take care of your friends, right? This is what we were taught to take care of this ladder. Specifically in that order. Most people in 21st century America have that flipped in some different kinds of order. mean work will generally be higher. spouse will generally be lower and their self will be lower on that, on that Totem. Well, that’s an issue. And so when we look at that, obviously, we can’t be out of the best version of ourselves, if we are not in full expression of ourselves, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we get that. And when you relate that to the energetic world, and even the deeper nature of reality, what what does it mean? We have a society of where we are throwing ourselves into our work throwing ourselves into an endeavor. And where I won’t say half heartedly do it, if we could be fully they’re fully present. And we’re not ready to do that work with all of our gifts that we bring, everyone has a gift, everyone has a strength. And if we have not owned that gift, if we have not prepared ourselves to be able to share that gift in the manner in which we know is the best, then we can’t do so go back to the very beginning. And I was I was trying to come from my heart, excuse me from my head, and not from my heart. My heart is my strength. I’ve come to realize that my life purpose is love come from my heart. And it is people notice the effect of it more than when one person has noticed the effect of when I come from my heart versus my head. But smart people come from here right from the head. You have to be cerebral all the time. Well, what if not everyone in the world is cerebral, and yet we are all trying to be cerebral. Somebody attributed to Einstein, I don’t know if it’s true or not that everyone is smart. But if you judge a, an elephant by his ability to climb a tree, then he’s going to live his whole life thinking he’s stupid or something to that effect, right? Everyone is a genius. Everyone has a gift to share. And if when we tap into that gift, then we can share better, but we have and we have to be able to take care of ourselves in order to do so.


Catherine A. Wood  44:15

And we talk about the connection between self care and being cerebral or intellectual. Do you notice do you how do they connect for you?


Parvez Khan  44:32

I’m trying instead of flowing I don’t move with ease and flow when I’m trying to be cerebral. When I when I have my self care regimen. I start my day out right I have my diet and exercise regimens arrived and and I have my my spiritual realignment that I do and everything that is in myself my personal self care regimen, which I have focused I have have honed over the years. And when I engage in that, then I can be my full expression. Right. And I can I’m sorry, I lost my train of thought for a second.


Catherine A. Wood  45:15

I mean, that’s what I hear. And that sharing is like there’s less rigidity.


Parvez Khan  45:21

Yeah, there is i. So when I engage in my self care regimen, I am flowing, I’m moving with ease and flow. And when I’m trying to be something that I’m not so strong at, or trying to be somebody just flat out trying to be something I’m not, then I’m pushing a rock up a hill. And it’s not going to go very well. So flowing moving with ease and flow. Sofia, Casey would you know her as well as she talks about ease and flow. And she’s so right. And self care, is the way you move with ease and flow. Self Care is what naturally facilitates you being your best self. And we hopped on our


Catherine A. Wood  46:08

call today, I asked you how you were and you said, Oh, I’m great. I’m living in joy.


Parvez Khan  46:14

I love living in joy. I have been listening to Mike Dooley for a number of years now who speaks on a deeper nature of reality, his company touch is is very similar to Louise Hays work as well. And so Mike talks about living in joy and being intentional about living in joy. And so I have a note, and every morning I look at the note and it’s just enjoy as well as as enjoy exclamation, mark it so I I remind myself, joy, I’m gonna live enjoy today. I it could be raining outside or snowing it could be whatever is happening is happening. And I am choosing my reality and choosing to live in joy from this place.


Catherine A. Wood  47:01

Okay, so I want to make sure that I check in and you can share with my audience, your your living self care as a lifestyle and what that looks like for you. So that’s coming. But before we get there, I just I feel called to ask you about how does someone who was taught to be smart? And that smart? Intellectual is what’s important. How does someone with that conditioning that cultural, you know, being raised that way? How does someone with that background transform into being driven by his heart and being driven by love as his life purpose? How did you make that, that shift for yourself?


Parvez Khan  47:51

Usually, it’s not pretty. Usually the shift is not pretty. It comes through some breakdown. And it could be an emotional breakdown could just be an actual breakdown in one’s plan. Things didn’t go according to plan. And in my case, it was repeated moments of what I would call shame. But it was essentially where I had people reflect back to me that I in so many words that I was coming off as aggressive or I was coming off as a know it all or was coming off as rigid do I was coming up with coming off as something that we would place in the pejorative instead of anything else nice or helpful or easygoing, or any of my essence words faith or humor, community serenity, love, it wasn’t living any of those. And so been trying to be cerebral I in breaking that it was a number of incidents, and learning, learning programs engaging in learning in order to reflect back to me that oh, you know what? I think I need to reevaluate how I’m how I’m being where I’m coming from how I’m existing in this world. It’s hard to give that just one term, I mean, reevaluating, reevaluating my ontological sense of self is. So I can say that, and a lot of people are afraid to do that. And they don’t see the payoff of that. And the payoff is of course tremendous, because it shifts your entire way of being in the world.


Catherine A. Wood  49:39

Well, what is what is possible for you being driven and being guided by your heart versus your intellect?


Parvez Khan  49:50

I allow myself to think from that center, right. We were taught you have three centers of consciousness head and heart and gut. And so if I I have a large strength in the middle of my body here, in this center of consciousness, I can think from my heart, and not be so cerebral and not try so hard. And it opens up this river. It’s easier to think from here, because we actually do think we’re from our heart, we have 50,000 brain cells in our heart and somebody about 35 40,000 heart cells in our brain. So our heart and mind, mind and heart, heart and brain are constantly in communion. And so if this is my strength, my heart here, coming from there allowed me to approach the world everything with a deeper sense of ease. Imagine it this way, what if you were what if you were an accountant trying to crunch the numbers, and you are constantly trying to come from your heart, you are constantly trying to, to look into the deeper, the deeper meaning behind the numbers or what have you. And that might serve you to some extent, and it’s not what’s called for in your in your accounting job. That’s the opposite of me here where I was trying to be the accountant. And it wasn’t fitting my profession of this od person as coach. It was not, there was a square peg in a round hole. Instead, shift where you’re coming from, you’re not necessarily changing who you are. Two, in whittling yourself down to something that is uncomfortable, you’re actually coming back to a place that you know, is easier for you.


Catherine A. Wood  51:44

No, as you were speaking, I was thinking about for me and what, what my own my own tell is, and I know for me that when I’m speaking from my heart, I feel more connected to other people. I, I know that my message lands more, I’ve been really trying to be connected with my heart when I’m on the podcast, because I know I have a lot to say, and I get in my own head about, Oh, am I being a clear communicator, am I effectively communicating my message. And when I when I am intellectual about it, I I know that my message doesn’t land. And I also feel lonelier, because I’m so busy being in my head, assessing what I’m saying and you know critiquing the words that are coming out versus just allowing my heart to, to lead.


Parvez Khan  52:40

Allowing your heart to flow and being your natural self, right. And we could go into the reasons for that in it. Suffice it to say that in 21st century America, we’ve all been taught that you have to be smart in order to make your way we’re way ahead. I was in. I was at a conference in in Palo Alto, and in Stanford, and I was conversing with my Airbnb host. And she was telling me about the number of high school juniors and seniors, sometimes even sophomores who will throw themselves in front of the Cal train, who will commit suicide, because of the immense pressure placed on them in order to be their academic best. Now, going into different reasons for that, but the point is, when we’re trying so hard, and there’s so much pressure, it can be catastrophic. And when you when we that comes on a larger scale, not just the individual level, but at a societal level. That is terrible. I mean, the fact that we have children every year, killing themselves, because they see themselves as not being the absolute best academic cerebral cells version of themselves. That’s horrible.


Catherine A. Wood  54:01

That’s pretty devastating to think about, you know, so let’s, let’s connect the dots here with self care. So embracing self care as a lifestyle. What what does that look like for you?


Parvez Khan  54:21

So this regimen on a daily basis has become hours long. And that’s why I say it’s a lifestyle now it’s not just a regimen it’s not like Oh, I gotta go do this and then I can I can go to work and then I can be my full self. I will wake up in the morning and have my invocation. I have to spiritually realign myself. I’ll have my prayer. I have my concentrated reconnection with the Divine Right. And then I will engage in some stretching exercises and In my gospel view, physical therapy, so there’s a type of physical therapy out there called Egoscue. That is posture oriented posture related. And I found that that is wonderful for me. So I’ve added that to my morning stretcher cane. And then I can visualize, and I visualized my life there are four main areas, I visualize the, it’s the abundance I live in the home that I live in, in the community around the home. And the end result of that being how I’m going to build my home. The second home, the vacation home that I have on with the beautiful beach and the ocean pool, you’re invited there, by the way, you and park Yeah. And living in great health. That is the those are the four areas that I visualize every day, or pretty much every day. And then I will have my protein shake, and I actually don’t have a meal up until 11 or noon, is when I actually have my my actual protein shake. So I am detoxing the entire morning with drinks and with fruit, etc. And I had my protein shake I like 11 or noon. So because I don’t require a lot of a lot of a big meal in the morning. And I have my gym routine, I will go two or three times a week, I have my personal trainer in the gym, who my wired is wonderful. He’s a great personal trainer for me. And in order to get to him I had to it wasn’t an immediate, I’m just going to hire him because when you’re in a gym, you want to hire the best personal trainer for you right and you have no idea who that is. So I hired a personal trainer. She was good, not awesome. And then led me to this current personal trainer who is wonderful. And I have my spiritual development as well. Ramadan is coming up here in a couple of days and we will all be fasting during the day, then I’m not going to be moving my work or cutting my work short as a result, I’m actually going to if anything, increase my work during it. And my have a word for my phrase, my Ramadan, which is which is what is it? Sorry. Okay, I just came up with it, which is level up. So I’m going to level up in Ramadan, every Tuesday evenings, there’s someone who gives a spiritual lecture, I’m part of the Sufi magenta the order, and that this order is very meditation focused. So I meditate on a regular basis. I also have my personal development work that I engage in. I talk about Mike Dooley and his company touch and I attend his weekly mini manifesting workshop. So there’s so much in the physical realm, the spiritual realm and the personal development realm. And I make it a point to intersperse all of that throughout my life so that I can be the best version myself.


Catherine A. Wood  58:22

I don’t know if you can see this ear to ear smile. As I listen to you talk about yourself care, lifestyle, and it just feels so nourishing. What a beautiful, caring, nourishing way to treat yourself, to live your life and to model for your wife and children.


Parvez Khan  58:46

And there’s more, there’s more thank you for that it is nourishing, there’s more than I that I could get into here. The energy work that I do the massage therapist that I see in the regular doctor visits, it’s it’s, it’s become. I wouldn’t say obsessive but it’s become something that is so I’m so highly focused on and it’s so rewarding. The return on investment and taking care of yourself is always going to be very high because it’s yourself it’s how you whatever you put into yourself and put into your own personal system. You will see my father in law is this big businessman. He would he told me once that you know if you give if you feed fish were ocean life. They they will give you a return on investment equal to what you put in so if you feed that a fish, a pound of other fish or a pound of meal, you’ll get a pound of fish back they will put on a pound of weight. It’s an incredible return on investment and that’s similar to how I view the investment and self care of invest in yourself. And you will see a an equal if not higher return on investment.


Catherine A. Wood  59:59

Beauty Fall? Well as we as we wrap up today, Pervez, what do you think has made the biggest difference for you? In? I know, you said you don’t identify as an empath. So we’ll say in being in really allowing your heart to lead.


Parvez Khan  1:00:23

I go back to flow, and go back to flow, ease and flow and flowing in this world. Where we’re taught that we have to make things work, we have to work hard, and we have to make a living for ourselves. And we have to make make the rent to make the mortgage payment, we have to make enough money for groceries, and then, you know, it’s making enough money to put a ring on it one day, and then you had to make enough money to have a big wedding and you didn’t, and you had to make enough money to have a big house. And it’s got to have 2.5 children. And all this cost money, money, money, money, money, money, and what if we could just flow in it? What if it wasn’t so hard? What if we existed in this world, and we were flowing, not, not in this pollyannish way where we don’t respect the time and space of reality, we exist in time we exist in space. It’s where we recognize just how illusory the time and space is. And when we are the full expression of ourselves and we are flowing, that we are more than enough in the moment. Mm.


Catherine A. Wood  1:01:34

Hear hear. I mean, this has been such an honor having you on the podcast and so really delighted to share you with my audience and, and thank you for today. It has been for being you.


Parvez Khan  1:01:48

It has been my honor. Thank you, Ken.


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Mini-Retirements, Healing from Burnout, and Pivoting with Jillian Johnsrud

If you had a month off of work, what would you do? Maybe you’d take the opportunity to work on your side business to increase your income to possibly leave your 9-5. Maybe you’d focus solely on healing your nervous system from endless burnout. The opportunities are endless – enter mini-retirements. Over the past 20 years, Jillian Johnsrud and her husband have taken a dozen mini-retirements while also paying off their debt, buying a home with cash, adopting four kids (and having two biological kids), buying rentals, traveling to 27 countries, and living abroad. In our conversation today on The Prosperous Empath® Podcast, she shares what exactly a mini-retirement is, how they can serve as a catalyst for major change, and how she helps her clients prepare for them. When you listen all the way through, you’ll feel like your biggest desires and dreams are that much more accessible (with action steps to make them happen).

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