I can’t believe how quickly this summer (or 2020, for that matter) is flying by – can you believe we are almost halfway through September?! Maybe time really does fly when you are having fun. Despite the struggles I’ve shared here in past years, and the challenges that we are all inevitably facing on a global scale, I can effortlessly and confidently say that this has been one of the happiest summers of my life.
This is due in huge part to the fact that I’ve spent time in personal reflection each morning, but in terms of the blog my goal was to post more frequent updates to share with you all. But for once, I was too busy living life to write about it (don’t worry – rarely has a day passed where I have not been keeping up with my private journal) and so I really can’t complain.
In fact, I am currently writing this post from inside an RV and am so excited to share that I will be discussing my various summer life updates live on Radio Azad tonight! Be sure to download the free app so you can stream the episode and find out why. I will also be posting a link to the replay below in case you miss it!
Anyways, a few months ago I was assigned to work from home due to COVID-related changes in our clinic, as all of the patients we normally see in person were switched over to virtual visits only. During this time, I was able to invest in working with a business coach who guided me to set-up some much needed business systems and encouraged me in the process of creating my new program, Self-Care & Soulful Startup (read more).
At first, I was reluctant to make an investment that was so far outside of my comfort zone, and boy did it require blood, sweat, and tears (okay, maybe no blood), but by the end of the program I had no doubt that it was one of the best decisions I could have ever made for my growth and success. I was also able to work closely with a few clients 1:1 within the scope of my current services, which brought about its own sense of fulfillment and purpose.
The upside of this new change, along with the progress I made within my business, was that I was able to find the perfect balance of foundational routine and necessary spontaneity that comes with working remotely. But every coin has a flipside and mine was, embarrassingly, my weight gain (This is my attempt to be as transparent as I can possibly be on the internet)… I guess my 30 minute workouts are not enough to offset the copious amounts of new recipes and delicacies I have indulged in this summer, but I have zero regrets and am not afraid to work hard and get right back on track.
Speaking of wellness, I am proud to say that I have kept up with every single goal I had set for myself in terms of mental health and overall well-being. My meditations have grown deeper, my journaling is back to being almost daily, my morning routine is now an effortless habit, and the presence and peace that this new level of self-awareness has brought me is enough to be the sole reason for my renewed perspective on life.
But it would be a great injustice to leave out the one reason that truly has made this an unforgettable summer, and no – it does not have to do with the fact that I’ve basically made the beach my home and the weather has been on my side (although that has certainly helped;), and that is the loved ones I am blessed enough to surround myself with. As much as I value my time alone, I find immense joy in the few yet meaningful connections that, as I grow older, remind me of the importance of quality vs. quantity.
A great reminder of this was my recent trip to Atlanta. Visiting the city I lived in for almost 14 years after not having been there in over a year was quite the experience. Initially, I had decided to go because my annual solo-volunteer trip (which was planned for Bali this year) was cancelled. With this new change in plans, not only was I able to join 3 of my close friends in celebrating their birthdays and party in a way that I had not experienced in years, I also gained something much more valuable.
And that was the uncomfortable yet deeply rewarding realization of how much I have grown in the last couple of years, and who is truly there for me for the long run. I felt that I had grown apart from certain people, which is to be expected anytime one undergoes major life changes, but I was also able to see more clearly the people who really matter to me, who I know I can count on no matter what. These few, true relationships are worth more to me than all of the superficial encounters in the world.
Along with the ups and downs of my personal and professional life, I have spent the summer somewhat in vacation mode, not counting my above-mentioned efforts towards Spirit Life, of course. The Early childhood development classes I teach at our local community center had been paused, I had not been participating with Trades of Hope as much as I had hoped, and I certainly did not have the time nor energy to learn the guitar (lol).
Despite the time I spent relaxing with loved ones or binging Netflix and Youtube, I thank God that I was able to pass my holistic nurse board certification exam last week, and you may now call me Fatima Punja, BSN, RN, CLC, HN-BC. 🙂 Although I already work as a holistic nurse, in fact, the only nurse at the Integrative Medicine Center in the nation’s largest cancer research hospital, I am on an eternal quest to continue growing, learning, and serving others to the best of my ability.
Which brings me to the present time, still so hard to believe, September of 2020. A summer of working from home doing my favorite job in the world, taking time for myself inside and out, growing personally and professionally, expanding my connections and helping my patients and clients, spending time with the people I love most in the world, dreaming of the bright future, and enjoying countless carefree days at the beach under the beautiful sun, trusting the Universe in each moment.
Looking back to just a few years ago, I never dreamed that I’d be where I am today. Looking ahead, I have so much to look forward to: expanding my business, progressing my relationships, getting back in shape (besides the part where I have to limit my intake of french fries, lol). But looking around me in this exact moment, I am filled with gratitude for the Universe blessing me with such joyful abundance.
I started this blog many years ago in hopes that if it inspired even one person, then it will have fulfilled its purpose. And I hope the words on this post today serve as a reminder that no matter how bad things get, they can always, always, get better – so much better. All you have to do is look within yourself in stillness, place your faith in whatever you believe in, and trust the divine process to lead you to exactly where you are meant to be.
*Pictures to come, since it is now time for me to get ready for tonight’s show – hope to see you all there!*