Doctors who want to start their own practice are becoming a rare breed. If you only seek advice from those who only work in academic settings or employed in hospitals, you will get a very skewed vision of what’s possible in your entrepreneurship journey.
So says Sogol Pahlavan, MD, who was lucky to come from a family of business owners, and credits their support in helping her and her sister build a successful Texas pediatric practice.
Another important component in her success was instituting mindfulness in her life, so much so, that she now teaches this philosophy to other physicians. There’s so much to digest in this lively discussion, this episode bears repeat listening!
Dr. Sogo Pahlavan’s Links:
Dr. Sogol’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joyful Journaling Webinar on Aug 29:
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: Having been surrounded by entrepreneurs for most of my adult life, one common trait that I see with the successful ones is that they also have had exposure to entrepreneurs early in their venture in starting up their own business. For myself, I had resident friends who would talk about their plans to start up their own practice, start up their own urgent care.
Even my dad, although wasn’t successful, his network marketing company that he was involved in and such was the case for my next guest, becoming an employed physician was not in her vocabulary. She had in her family, business owners, people who she could confide in, mentor her steer her in the right direction.
And this has led to herd her sister and building a very successful pediatric practice in Houston, Texas, and on the interview as well, we’ll not only hear about her journey. We’ll also share about why she decided to pay it forward. And now she mentors other physicians in the field of mindfulness and why it’s so important.
My interview with Dr. Sogol Pahlavan on this episode of BootstrapMD.
Hey guys, this is Dr. Mike Woo-Ming. Welcome to another edition of Bootstrap MD I’m super excited that I’m finally releasing this interview to the public. It’s probably one of the biggest delays that we actually had. And it’s mostly it’s my fault because I’ve been having some travel issues and our schedules didn’t work, but I’m so excited to finally get on the call with this physician/mindfulness coach.
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan is a mindful coach. She is trained in pediatrics, went to also exciting that she’s been a practice owner. For over, let’s say they started in 2008, so 13 years. And it’s so awesome to have a practice owner because it seems that we’re a dying breed. And I wanted her to come on, not only teach us about mindfulness and how we incorporate that in our lives, but all the trials and tribulations that come with being a practice owner.
So without further ado, Dr. Sogol. Thank you for joining us on the call today.
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: Thank you so much. Such a pleasure. And I was like, is this going to happen today?
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: That’s why we are botj fans of mindfulness. So when we don’t have control of things, one of the things that we do have control is being more mindful of what’s going on in our lives. I gave her a really brief introduction that I don’t think it gives it justice. I would like you to tell us about your journey and, being a physician and then transitioning it to being a practice owner, and then finally a coach.
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: Yeah. So before I turn it, tell my journey, I just want to give a summary of what I’m going to talk about because there’s two angles that I’m going to come from. Number one, for those physicians that are in residency or med students or finishing residency, if there is any inkling in your body and you little tap, any little sign that you want to be your own owner… you want to be the CEO of your company. You want to be able to have autonomy… it is completely possible to do that. When I started 13, 14 years ago, we didn’t have any of these resources. Like we didn’t have any of the podcasts, Facebook pages… limited social media. I don’t think Facebook was even out or we didn’t use it for that social media.
So get involved, create your networks and just talk talk, and network and connect and do not ignore that. Calling and that urge that you have, so that I want to put out there. Then the second thing I want to put out there, which kind of brings in my mindfulness is if you do choose to go that route.
Okay. And it’s totally possible for every single one of you, doesn’t matter what subspecialty you are in. Then please don’t forget yourself in the journey. And I’m going to take this time to explain what that means. And that basically means in the mindfulness said, it means carving out time for you and regrouping and setting boundaries and doing things that gives your body rest and your mind rest.
And it gives you a piece of a peace of mind instead of just going, which is what I did because I didn’t know any better. So I went, I am from originally, I was born from Iran in Iran which, so that makes me an immigrant. And I came here at the age of 10. So I had all those challenges of being just in a new country with a new language.
I didn’t know “hi, how are you?” But that’s pretty much it like English to have taken a couple of English classes. And my parents were first-generation and I was a first generation immigrant. So lots of challenges during the middle school, high school years. And we came to Houston and I’ve literally stayed in Houston.
I went to college at A&M, which is an hour away. Came back to Baylor, graduated, Baylor, stayed at Texas because they had a great… I’m a pediatrician, and they had a great pediatric program. And I actually was going to do the PICU at fellowship and got admitted to the UCLA program.
And then I had a kid and I decided I cannot move to LA with a kid without any family. With like limited money. And I had my child after I graduated, I had my child, I stayed home with her for three, four months. And then I was like maybe I should get a job after school. And so I literally, I reached out to someone that I knew that I had worked as a med student or resident.
I don’t remember doing a summer internship. And she was a pediatrician and I was like, Hey, do you and my sister and I graduated the same time. We’re only a year apart. So we reached out and we job shared at her place and she was in private practice. So she had a great small practice. We were the second and third physician.
And so she. Taught us a lot, not just like clinically, because it’s your first year out in the learning curve. It’s a lot, but also the administrative side. So we really got to know her nursing manager and her practice administrator. And just asked a lot of questions and was intrigued about how, the way that things right.
And we were going to stay on with her, but we just had differences in like visions. And one of the reasons I went into the private practices because the American dream for us was like, you, like you own your own. Company, whatever that is whatever field you’re in, you need to be owner of that.
And that was instilled to us with my parents. All my cousins are owners of whatever their field is. My dad, he owns Dairy Queen. So he’s a business, everybody’s a business owner. So a lot of people are like ” how did you get over the fear?” And I was like, I don’t think I thought about it.
I was just like, oh, this is what everybody around me does okay. I’ll do it. And the place that we opened is right by my dad’s Dairy Queen. It’s like a five minute drive. And he had been in that community forever. And so he kept saying there are so many kids that come here, come open and we were like, we don’t know any… we didn’t know anything.
We didn’t know anything about business. I feel like the residents right now, at least know some, because there’s a lot more talk about it. Like I filled out the Medicaid application myself, like it was that and then my cousin gave us, he had a space. So he’s like, ” Hey, I’m going to give you the space for six months, free, open up build it out, open up if it works great.”
If not, you just lose the money on the build-out or whatever. You don’t have to pay me rent. And we opened, and it’s been crazy since because the community needed it. And my office is a little bit different because it’s underserved. It’s an underserved area. More of a Hispanic immigrant underserved area.
And that’s just that I chose that area because I just connect with that population. I had… we had a really good mix in where we started working out of residency and I just bought the Hispanic communities. I just connected with them. So it’s been great. We’ve grown. Just all word of mouth. I don’t know anything about marketing. I don’t know anything about HR. We just literally just made every mistake in the book. And then we learned,
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: So it sounds like just having this family of entrepreneurs was really the big the big thing that really helped you overcome this. Because as as we talked about at the top, There’s not a lot of practice ownership. Maybe they’re talking about business, but I still see the percentages most chose to work for a hospital.
Nothing is wrong with it, but is it just where there are people who actually own practices or just general businesses?
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: No. So I think we’re the only physician… so we’ve got dentists that own like dental practices, but they were businesses. But what I will say to that is, that’s why it’s so important.
I don’t think I call that your like “circle of five.” I don’t think the people within that circle necessarily need to be your family. I was lucky enough that I had mentors that were my family members and it was like subliminal kind of in a sense to where I didn’t even question it, but if you don’t have that, but then you have that urge, right?
Like that thought just like passes. Even if it’s one time a year, it passes through your mind. Start to find that circle, start to connect with those people. And connection is so easy and social media now. We’ve got like four pediatrics, we have a Facebook group that’s “pediatric private physicians” or something it’s called PPP.
So if you’re in what dermatology, see if there’s a dermatology group out there or connect with the local, like there has to be one. Local specialist of you out there. That’s in private practice. Usually there’s one private and even in Houston, because it’s so like in pediatrics, it’s so dominated by the two children’s hospitals, you can still find them one cardiologist, one in the crane.
So connect with them, find them because the more, this is what I, this was such like a big question for me, I’m like, why is it that all these residents that come out of residency, just go back and work for their hospital, or for like those outpatient clinics? Like, why don’t they, I don’t understand.
And it’s because they’re circles. their support is like their hospital and all their mentors are academic, which there’s nothing wrong. If you want to do academics, great. Do academics like it doesn’t I’m not saying don’t, but I’m saying if you want to step beyond that, then go find the people that are there.
Don’t ask the people that are not there to give you advice. The people, that’s the biggest thing it’s don’t ask that people in academics like, oh, should I open a private practice? I’m gonna say no, but they don’t know. They don’t have the knowledge. I can ask them what’s great about academics and then go to private practice and say, what’s great about your job, right? So that’s why it’s so important to start building that circle, whether that’s just locally going, reaching out to the private pizza. We loved students. We love residents.
Like we have such a passion about our space where we’re like, yeah, you should totally do this for yourself. And so we’re very open to, I love it when students email me and they’re like, oh, I heard you on this or this, can you help me? I’m like, yeah, I’m going to help you. Yeah, sure.
Because I want to be there as well. And I know it’s a possibility for them.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: , So when I talk with medical students or new physicians and they want to own their own practice, but there’s always a “but”. And probably the biggest one is “I’ve got these student loans. They’re getting big. It’s much easier for me to go to work for some somebody else.” What were some issues that you had to get over in terms of like finances? Did you have to get loans? Did you self-fund it?
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: Yeah. So I will say students loans are huge. So I went to all in state colleges, whatever education, so I think I came out with $120,000. Student loans, which is not much back then, but people are coming out with 300, 400.
So if you’re a med students think about that, like where you are pre-med or something where you want to go. And I think the finances are super important at that stage. Do you go out of state? I you pay four times or do you stay in state and then pay less? So think about that.
And then we, I got our build-out was like $60,000 at that point. So yes, we got a loan of $60,000. But again, like we made it back it’s just like people, I think it’s your mindset. It’s like, oh, Dollars like, oh, that’s so much money. Or oh no, that’s actually an investment. $60,000 in an is an investment for me to create whatever that I want to do this dream or my desire, or have these possibilities.
And within two years, we grew out of our space. It was a shopping center with a dentist in the middle. So we got this space and then we grew out and got this space. And then within three years we bought ourselves the land and an old factory, or like a building or something. So that was another investment.
Again, I wasn’t like, oh my God, I have to take it. It was like half a million dollars. I was a lot. But again, I was like, okay, yeah, we’re going to take out this loan, but at the end of it, I own my land. Don’t don’t think so an instant gratification is so big in this generation, right? I think long-term, I own my land.
I own my building. I’m going to have equity in this. And that comes from the belief that I can do this. This is I know who I am. I know I’m a great clinician. If I don’t know anything about business, I can learn one of the things that I always tell residents. Think of it as you prolonging your residency and other two years, right?
If you do internal medicine, let’s say and that’s three years and then you want to go and then your mind is okay, in three years, I’m going to make, I don’t know, I’m just throwing something out there. I don’t know. Number $200,000. And that’s my salary because once your mindset is set and you have a certain salary, then your lifestyle starts.
Competing with that salary. Then I can buy a house. I can buy a car, private school, whatever. So just tell yourself, okay, I’m going to graduate in three years, but I’ve got two years where I’m going to build my practice. So my salary is going to stay at whatever 40,000. I don’t know how much residents my salary is going to stay at $40,000 for the next few years.
Then you allow your mind to open up a little bit more to the possibility of oh, Maybe this, there is another route, right? So a lot of it is just your mindset. Moving forward. Part of it is like the mentoring and connecting and then part of it is. What mindset are you looking at? Looking from if you’ve got like half a million dollars worth of loans to do a little bit of planning on that day, or if you have a partner, then the partner, like if you’ve got money coming in from the partner, then you’ve got to get the partner on board and say, Hey, I know, Salary would have counted in three years, but no, it’s going to count in five years.
So allow me those two years, we’re still going to live in this apartment with our, I don’t know, like Honda or whatever car that we have, and our kids are gonna go to public school, or we’re not gonna have extravagant things, but it’s about prioritizing. That’s why I said it starts with your why and how much you wanted and if there’s a want there, and there’s an inkling there.
Then don’t keep numbing it out and don’t kid keep, burning it up, like really go for it.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: I love this really strong belief in investing in yourself, because you have to decide, do you know what you want to do? What your goals are in terms of money, at least now.
As opposed to, back in 2008, when the rescue of that financial crisis, I talk with new owners and they’re like, it is so easy getting an SBA loan with these rates that they’re giving. They’re almost basically giving money away to do this. And if you have something that you want to do, and of course I’m a big proponent of becoming your own boss and it’s really.
I don’t even if in my opinion, if it’s a half a million in loans, you can always work with a financial planner. I’m not a financial planner, but there’s always a way there’s always a way if you have, if you feel that you have to do it. Yeah. It might make you want to work somewhere else. As you’re growing your business and never tell people to like, if you’ve got guaranteed income, you can work 10 to 20 hours or work some locums or something, like that while you’re building your dream. But as we sit here now is you’re a practice owner and maybe you can give the listeners about, what your schedule is now in terms of like your clinical time versus administrative itself.
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: Yeah. So I am I right now, we’re in year 13. And I have dropped down to two clinical days a week in the middle of COVID. I was like two and a half. I picked up some like sick shifts because of the craziness of COVID. And then I’ll pro I say, I want to stay with them five years. I went down to four days a week and maybe every five years I kept going down. So maybe within 10 years I was down to three days a week and then twice.
And now I’m sitting at twice a day. But even when I was full-time of five days a week and this is, what’s so beautiful from private practice, I was able to, I was able to do whatever I wanted with my schedule. So like I was able to come in at nine o’clock because my kid had something at eight o’clock.
I had another one for physician female mother physicians up there. . I had two kids under the age of five when I started, when we broke ground and then I was pregnant within six months of breaking ground. So I essentially had three kids under the age of six by the first year into my practice.
So it wasn’t like. I held off on having or whatever. Now I just kinda did it all together. So it is totally possible to do it. There’s a right way of doing it for me. I think I made a lot of mistakes and a lot of that, those mistakes were just like, not understanding what my personal needs was. Not delegating.
It’s huge for decisions. I didn’t delegate anything. I was like, oh, I’m going to do everything right. Don’t do that boundaries. I let a lot of people run all over me as far as staffing. Okay. I learned not to do that, but that’s all the growing pains. Like you learn, right? These are all, I don’t look at it like, oh, I was walked over.
I would look at it as like a learning opportunity. Wow. Look at all the tools that I have in my belt. Now that I’ve gone through this journey. So it’s totally possible. I have some major money mindset issues. Half a million go for it. My brain read all, but yeah but that’s just my brain,
But yeah, but my schedule back then, or I would come in at nine and work through lunch, but I didn’t take a lunch break. Like it was totally what I wanted. That’s the autonomy. I think it’s important, especially when you have kids or I would blog. I did not. My last patient, I think from when we even started, my last patient was at four o’clock.
I was out of the clinic by 4:30. Like I never stayed because our clinic is far. So the traffic is a little bit and I never wanted to stay in that in that traffic. But I was super efficient with my time. I know operational management. I’m very good with drawing boundaries with patient. Like those kinds of things.
I worked to my advantage to be able to see patient efficiently and make it out the door. And then some of the other things like, okay, we have before COVID we had scribes in our clinics. So if I have was working for someone, I would have to go through 20 layers of administration to try to persuade them, to get ascribed, strike, scribe, any like literally there’s four people in our admin team. And so I joke cause most of the. I’m in practice with my sister. So she’s a pediatrician and where the two managing partners. So literally our decisions were made over texts at 11:00 PM. Like when we were, after the kids were at bed, like it was just so easy.
There was no, like I set up this meeting and let’s have blah, blah, blah. So those are some of the great advantages during COVID. We paid everyone. We took a hit personally, but we thought that was the right thing to do. We didn’t let any staff go. Some of them physicians that wanted to go down a day, a week because of the kids at home, we just accommodated everyone and stuff.
So though, where everybody else that was working with other big financial, organizations were just, The messages reporting on Facebook. My institution did this. I got laid off. There’s so many mid-levels that are now in primary care. There are so many mid-levels that are now replacing pediatricians and internists.
And I dunno, like dermatology, like crazy easy stuff. So I feel like this time is even more. Have a time to be able to go out on your own, like more of a recent, because you’ve got, so I don’t think medicine’s the same. I think it’s much harder than it was when we were, when we had trained like your job security. There is no job security in medicine, and COVID told us that, and there’s so many changes and transitions that the system is going through as a whole. So why not just dip what you want and do things your way.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: Not only is it changed, but to do this, obviously your skill sets has changed being in not only just being a commission, but being an administrator, what do you think was the turning point for your clinic in terms of okay, this is working, this is a success.
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: I don’t think I ever thought it was literally, I will say location. Location, like 20 times. And we didn’t do a lot of research. A lot of it, I feel like I don’t know someone up there, the universe, whatever you believe in was just looking out for us. We didn’t do a lot of the research as to what, where hire people.
We, my dad was like, Hey, there’s a lot of kids here. And we’re like, okay, here’s a shopping center. Let’s open up, like literally, but we opened the doors. Then they flipped. Yeah, there was no, and I don’t remember when we took, like how long did it take us to take a salary? I don’t remember, but I will say from the current pediatricians that are in the Facebook group that we talk to.
12 to 18 months is usually what they say. It’s not like 2, 3, 4, 5 years or anything like that. It’s not, especially, I will say with the way that patients are getting treated in larger systems where they’re very disconnected and losing that connection with the physician or getting really frustrated with the front office.
I will say that a lot more people are looking for that that relationship that’s been lost. And if you’re in solo, what we went into medicine for is just connecting and having relationships and helping people. And so it is totally possible. And I think people are yearning that craving that relationship.
And so are physicians and so our families and. Yearning that family physician relationship. Yeah. But no, there, there’s no way that it won’t work. I’ve never heard of the pediatrician. That’s opened up a practice that it hasn’t worked. Like I haven’t, and I’m very much into all these different places that pediatricians are AAP, blah, blah, blah, all that kind of thing.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: One, one area that I see where a lot of people have, the biggest issues is obviously your biggest expenses, usually salary. And usually it comes winter, hire a, another physician or another mid-level. What was your experience with that? You said you have eight providers now
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: yeah. We’re still trying to figure that out.
Yes, we have, I will say, you know what I have, I will say, I’ll say each provider is different and their needs are different, right? Just like all humans are different. So instead of having something that’s very like concrete, this is what I offer. Ask them what would you like. That’s what’s beautiful about private practice, right?
I don’t have to go by any particular set contract that came from up there somewhere. Three levels higher. I can sit down and be like, Hey, do you like telemedicine? Would you like to do half of your like visits from home telemedicine? How would you does money? Is that something that drives you or do you want more PTO or do you want to be home at four o’clock with your what do you want?
And then work backwards from there, right? Because there’s no, because each individual is different and each individual has different needs depending on where they are in their life. And so just ask them,
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: I love like focusing on when I’m working with employees… “Tell me what you’re good at.
What are your strengths? What do you feel you want to do? Or are there things that you want to do, but maybe you don’t need the support.” Maybe you want, we can help you with the education for this. Is that something that you want to pursue where it goes wrong is when you’re having them do something that they’re not interested in doing? They don’t want it.
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: That was awful. I did that for a long time. And then I was like, why did they keep leaving? I’m just trying to teach them stuff. And then I was like, oh, I don’t think they want to be taught. I just think they want to be like, some employees just want to stay and do the same thing. And they’re totally cool with that.
And personally, I’m not cool with that, but I’ve learned that, Hey, that’s their choice and it’s okay. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s a great point.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: Yeah. And our staff, at least I have a staff, not as large as yours. I think we have 12 employees now, but we’ve had a longevity, whether they’re loyal and they have, with the office manager, who’s got four daughters, she gets to go home early. Cause she, her softball practice. That’s her thing in her life. And so she stayed on because she didn’t enable to move her hours. So whatever that is for your employee, again, it’s an art, it’s not something that you read in a book, but you know what I found that just focusing on what they’re good at and it’s, we’re all there because we want the best outcomes for our patients.
And that’s going to happen with people who want to be there and they see the same vision that you do.
I just want to ask one last question. We could do another episode on this, but I wanted to focus on the mindfulness coach and why you decided to become a coach.
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: Okay. I describe myself as an Energizer bunny and a locomotive.
I go at 120 miles per hour without a break. And I did that for 40 years. And then my body said we’re not going to do it anymore. And it, the way that it manifested with me is I was tired. Like posts called tired all the time. It didn’t happen. What I ate, if I exercise, if I slept and sleep, if I, and I started cutting back on work hours, didn’t matter.
Didn’t matter. Didn’t matter. I went through the whole like workup of like fatigue, whatever, this and that. Then I thought it was like mid-life. And so I struggled with it from like 40 to like I’m 45 now still to like for four years. And then I started reading a lot of books, like self-help books.
And so what I. The conclusion I came to is that I was emotionally exhausted. And the reason I was emotionally exhausted is because I had not ever stop and pause and listen to my body and listen to it. You need to take a break, you need to take a vacation, you need to delegate. You need to not pack your schedule with so many patients like those messages.
And I kept just kept pushing through it. And you run out of gas. And I think on top of that, we, as physicians are such givers and th we have to take a lot of art. We have to listen to a lot of our patients and with. My patients are getting to be that age of like teenagers and there’s a lot of more problems and social problems and mental problems.
And I was taking all that money and I was just like internalizing all of it. And it wasn’t a good combination. So I was carrying my own emotional baggage and then taking it from my patients. And so I had turned into this really angry, frustrated, trying to control everything. And that just like tired me out.
And what was so surprising is I D I would never considered myself like being depressed or anxious when I didn’t have a family history of it. So I didn’t even look there. I was like, this absolutely doesn’t make any sense. So then in some of the groups that I’ve been in, the physicians.
They were talking about coaches. And I was like, oh, maybe I need to cut. I need something. I’ve no idea what it is, but it’s something to make you feel better. And so I hired a coach and so that allowed me to really understand everything that I was carrying as what’s here. The load was more here than it was on the outside and it’s the mindset and how I looked at things.
And when I started looking at things from a different lens, first changing my mindset. And then the second component is actually looking inside your body and saying Hey, I can feel like you’re allowed to feel like you’re allowed to be angry and that’s okay. Or you’re allowed to be sad and that’s okay.
You don’t have to keep putting up this armor and being like, oh, I’m just going to save everyone. Which is what I had been doing for so long. It’s like a mother, a wife, a physician and administrator, like entrepreneur oh, all those responsibilities. And I had just lost. And what that was.
And so I went through coaching and it completely changed the way that I looked at everything. I always say it changed me. It didn’t shit. Like my kids are the same. My husband’s the same, the jobs, like nothing on that outside change. I was the one that changed. It needed changing and needed. And I reconnected with my mind.
I reconnected with my body. And then I loved it so much that I got certified as a coach. And I picked mindfulness because for the past five years, I’ve just been following the big teachers in mindful teaching and meditation and yoga and a lot of that. And so it just, and a lot of that. Weaves in with coaching.
So it was a great fit and I’m actually using it on like my team patients that come into the clinic, I’m using it with the staff, I’m using it with my kids using it, like towards my it’s like every relationship that you can think of, it’s made a positive impact because of what I have learned. And because of just like making that tiny shift in that mindset and like really.
Empowering yourself and like really going through your emotions and not just hiding from them or for me, we, emotions where we, I don’t feel because if I feel I’m weak and then I can’t get stuff done when I’m weak, I had a crazy grade. So that was like my thought that was like, my limiting thought is that we don’t feel because when we feel like you have to pause and then when you pause, then you’re going to fall.
I don’t know behind what, but you’re going fall behind. And so that’s a lot of the work that I had to do for myself. And it’s made a huge deal.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: I’m a big fan of mindful it’s I try to incorporate it every day. And maybe I’m going to put you on the spot a little bit here for someone who is new to this whole mindfulness, they’ve heard the word.
They’d not sure exactly what it is. Is there something that you could maybe teach them right now that they can do to maybe get an introduction?
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: Listen to that. It’s an amazing question because literally, like I would read all these it didn’t click for me. I was reading for three years and this is what mindfulness was.
I’ll give you an example. I would drop, I cut back hours. I would drop off the kids for carpool. I would come and sit in my couch in my room and I’d sit there and I’d be like, okay. I am present. And then I was like, okay, now what? I didn’t get it. I was like, I don’t get it. Like I get, when they talk about live in the moment live, now, I’d be like, okay, I’m living now in the moment.
If something’s supposed to happen now, but the way I explain it, mindfulness is two things for me, mindfulness. Your thoughts and your feelings, your thoughts live in your head. 85% of what we think inside our head, that mental chatter, that noise is completely unconscious. You don’t know what’s going on in your head because you’re so much on autopilot.
So understanding what those thoughts that your brain is telling you and thoughts are not truth. Thoughts are facts. Okay, so important to understand. So your thought in your brain keeps telling you feelings are weakness and you can’t feel because then I don’t know, you fall behind on whatever be like, oh, maybe I should like, why am I thinking that? Be curious, ask yourself why and then feelings you feel in your body. So like when you, but the first step, isn’t understanding your thought because when you start understanding your thought, when you start thinking about it and making that shift, then you’re not mind chatter that noise that a lot of my clients say I’m tired of the noise.
I’m tired of the clutter. I’m tired of the mess. Like when that gets quiet, then you can drop down to your body. And, oh my God, when you do. Like it literally talks to you and then you can be like, oh my, my body was palpitations. I had chronic palpitations. And I was like, if this continues, I’m going to have arrhythmia by the time I’m 50.
So when you dropped down and I was like, every time now, when I have palpitations, I pause and I’m like, okay, we’re having palpitations. Let’s regroup. What’s going on. Where do we need to look what’s happening? What happened last week? Instead of just like driving through all these speed bumps and not having anything to do. So thoughts and feelings, that’s fine.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: That’s awesome. I think that’s been very helpful. So you showed a lot of great information. I think there’s a lot of good stuff that the listeners, what will get a lot out of, for those who want to pursue, I’m going to get to know you a little bit more, maybe learn more about your coaching practice.
What’s the best way to get a hold of you?
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: So I am working on my website because I have this limiting thought that tech sucks. So it’s coming out in August. It’s going to be drsogol.com. So that’ll be that, but I am on Instagram, under @drsogol_mindful living and on Facebook, Mindful Living with Doctors SoCal.
And I have my podcasts Mindful Living with Dr. Sogol. If you’re interested in understanding what this like mindfulness stuff is, I break it down to I’m a pediatrician. So I talked to. It’s so I literally break it down. Like I’m talking to a kid and I explained to you what it is, and I give away all my coaching tips on my podcast.
So if you listened to my podcast and it really resonates with you, and then you want to work with me further, there’s a bunch of links on the podcast that you can click on or email me or DME, or like Facebook.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: I’m so glad we finally were able to do this. It was a great episode. I enjoyed it. Any last minute thoughts before we end the interview today,
Dr. Sogol Pahlavan: Y’all believe in yourself, whatever you have. Of reality. I promise it starts with your belief in yourself and then building your circle of five that has that belief aligned with your values and then just going for it and going for it means just doing it and falling and doing it and failing and doing it and falling and failing and learning until you get to your goal.
Literally, that’s what I did. And I’m still, and it doesn’t stop like failing and falling.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: That’s right at the end, it’s about doing something, whatever you have to do to get you there. You will always have that voice in our head. As you mentioned till I guess. No, but that’s part of being human.
That’s part of a protection. It’s difficult to get us out of our comfort zone, but you probably wouldn’t be where you are. If you weren’t able to. To get that practice up, get that coaching practice up and just keep moving forward. So thank you so much, Dr. Sogol. Thanks again. Check out the links to your blog.