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July 7, 2022

E10 - Supercharge Your Business by Creating a Strong Connection With your Significant Other

E10 - Supercharge Your Business by Creating a Strong Connection With your Significant Other

Known as “The Intimacy Doctor,” Alexandra Stockwell, MD is an Intimate Marriage Expert who specializes in coaching couples to build beautiful, long-lasting, passionate relationships. She is the bestselling author of “Uncompromising Intimacy,” host of The Intimate Marriage Podcast, and creator of the Aligned & Hot Marriage program. Dr. Alexandra has been featured in the Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, USAToday, Cosmopolitan, Business Insider, thriveglobal, mindbodygreen, FOX NEWS NYC, and Disruptors Magazine recently named her one of “30 Inspiring Women to Watch in 2022.”

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Alexandra Stockwell [00:00] If I'm talking to a patient, I can listen just to the words and get good information, or I can listen to something that is below the words that we don't have a, a lot of English vocabulary for. But I think people who meditate or do mindfulness of some kind are very familiar with that in terms of attention on their breath.


And instead of attention on my breath, I'm talking about attention. On my spouse, not singularly, cuz I never wanna lose connection with myself in the process. That would be codependence. It doesn't actually create gratifying connection, but there's a way in which it can be both. And.

Pranay Parikh [00:52] Hi, and welcome to the firm MD to entrepreneur podcast.

The podcast that teaches you how to find financial security outside of medicine. I'm Dr. Pranay Parikh and I started out as a fresh attending with zero business knowledge, despite loving my job and medicine. I didn't feel like I had the financial security or control over my life today.I am a serial entrepreneur and practice medicine on my own terms. Listen on to learn how I've helped hundreds do the.

Hey, everyone. I'm excited to introduce Dr. Alexandra Stockwell also known as the intimacy doctor. She specializes in coaching couples to build stronger and more intimate relationships.She's been featured into Huffington post rolling stone USA today, and many others in this talk. We chat about the most important business relationship us married people can. The one with your spouse and how to give it the attention and care that it needs while being a busyentrepreneur. 

Hi, Alexandra thanks for coming.

Alexandra Stockwell [01:51]  It is my pleasure. 


Pranay Parikh [01:53] Could you tell the audience a little bit about yourself? 


Alexandra Stockwell [01:55] Yes, I am a physician and I let's see, I was in my mid thirties in 20 2005, 2006. I obviously had worked hard to get to the point where I had. Paid off my medical school loans. I had my own small practice north of Boston. I was married to my husband and I still am.


He's a physician. We had three of our four children. I had done everything it took to get to that point. And I just thought, I should feel like I arrived. I should feel satisfied, gratified. And like, I get to live the rest of my life. Having invested however many years it was to get to that point. But I didn't actually feel that satisfaction. And I wasn't burnt out. I wasn't depressed, but it was at the level of a whisper. And I knew if I did nothing, it would become a roar. So I took a sabbatical because at the time I knew no one who had left clinical medicine other than maybe to work for a pharmaceutical company or do research, but otherwise.

The only people I knew who left clinical medicine did so involuntarily due to accident injury or addiction. So I took a sabbatical and just for the first time gave myself permission to do things, cuz I felt like it, which was really a new thing. And one thing led to another and eventually having done a lot of different trainings and had traveled, had different experiences.

I got to the point where I really wanted to revive and ignite my own sensuality and sexuality, and really have a marriage that was more gratifying. So I figured out what was available and signed up for an extremely in depth training, which was for lay people and also doubled as a coach training. And at the time.

I had no idea what a coach was. I took my MD seriously, and you know, other than athletic coaching, I really didn't know what it was and didn't plan to become a coach. It was just irrelevant for me, but because I'm curious and I became aware of the educational context I was in. I thought, well, I'll just go check out the teaching lab, which was for those wanting to become coaches.

And when I did, I just knew I'd come home and. That this really was a way to use so much of what had brought me to medicine, but I also can conserve with a lot more freedom and conviction as a coach. And so I've really been devoted to showing couples how to have long term beautiful, passionate, gratifying relationships, which really fuel whatever else it is that they're doing in their.

So a lot of my clients are physician couples, some just one is a physician. And I also work with lots of other people.

Pranay Parikh [05:04]  Awesome. You know, I, I always like to kinda dig into, uh, what people are thinking at the time and the spec sounds really interesting. Could you walk me through your thought process? I know a lot people these days, they just see medicine and not practicing new medicine as black and white or one or the other.

And I think there's so many, uh, gray zones and there's so much that people can do. Almost even reinvigorate their medical career.

Alexandra Stockwell [05:28] I've just shared it in a way that at least relatively sounds reasonable. But the actual conversation I was having with myself went like this. I prioritized my patients over my family and my family over myself.


And it was not a time management issue. I obviously was accomplishing a lot of things. I didn't really know what it was, but I had tried a lot of different things to write that. And when I was in residency, it made sense to me that things were that way. That's just sort of built in, but I was no longer in residency.

And however I was living, I was gonna live that way for the rest of my life. And honestly, I may well have done so, but I have four children. We had three at the time. And my daughter was nine and the day she turned nine, I was suddenly flooded with this awareness. She's turning nine, this bright, joyful, radiant, balanced, amazing human being.

And I knew she'd be at home for another nine years and that if I didn't figure out. How to actually honor myself. I mean, we could talk about putting my own oxygen mask on first, but I'm not, I'm fond of that image because it's clear and familiar, but I'm not fond of that image because it implies the plane is gonna crash or there's some other emergency.

And this was really not like that. Not even a little bit, but it's like a slow burn. Yeah. It was a slow burn, which is not part of that image. And also, I certainly understood child development well enough to know that if I didn't figure this out another nine years living with me, it was inevitable that my daughter would essentially become disconnected from herself and learned how to be a highing caretaker of others in a way that really ISN.

Balanced and is out of whack and it restricts how much we can enjoy each moment. And actually even how generous we can be with those we love and those we care for. So my real reason for setting up the sabbatical, which was all I could figure out came because I love practicing medicine. Like I wasn't looking to stop practicing medicine.

But I was looking for enough space to reorganize my soul and my mindset so that I could essentially do self care, but it's not that simple, but I assume any physician listening can recognize what I'm talking about. So I thought if I had some space, I'd be able to. Figure this out and then be able to practice medicine in a way that would sustain what I had discovered about how to be with myself and my family and my patients.

And actually within two to three months of starting my sabbatical, which really I had no agenda other than enough space to explore this without being on a tight timeline. And I found myself overseeing. A substantial volunteer project at my children's school O writing a 40 page document and managing 10 people and essentially prioritizing my meetings to get this project done.

I basically was in exactly the same situation. It wasn't my patients. It was this volunteer project that was taking priority over my family over myself. I wasn't getting paid for it. And it wasn't. Going anywhere. And in the end, I don't even know that they particularly used it, although that's not the relevant point.

And at the time it was both devastating and really confirming that. One of my favorite personal growth sayings is how you do anything is how you do everything. And I just was clear, this wasn't even about medicine or how I practiced medicine. It really. Was about me. And the reason I took the sabbatical was to have enough time to focus on this.

And I didn't actually know anyone who had figured it out. I knew plenty of people who just weren't as hard working in the first place who were more indulgent and more in touch with their feelings and whims, but I didn't really ever see anyone in action who really practiced conscientiously and also had right relationship with themselves.

Partner and family, I'm not saying they didn't exist. It just wasn't anything that like, I couldn't, there was no one. I knew that I could interview to figure this out. And I'm 53. So this was 15 years ago. The phenomenon of physician burnout of clinicians stop. None of that was happening. I actually felt a lot of shame when I made this transition, because I didn't know anyone who had done anything like this.

The sabbatical was really just. To give myself some space to figure it

Pranay Parikh11:00

out. That story about your daughter really hits home. Uh, there's this article called the long tail. Not sure if you read it. No, but basically it says that 90 to 95%, I forget the exact number, but it's a very large number of the time that you spent with your children is gone after their 18th birthday.

It makes sense. Right? I mean, they're moved out and for it's a little bit different now people move back down, but you know, that good quality time. So you're right. You know, as doctors, masters of delayed gratification, right. Just so used to it, you know, work a little bit more I'll get and that stuff. So I'm that.

You were able to see this before it was too late, right? I'm sure your kids would've grown up to be well functioning adults and you would've raised them. Right. But probably not as big of a factor you in their lives probably would not have been as big of a factor.

Alexandra Stockwell [11:53] Yes. I'm very glad you said that. That's true.

And there's another piece which is more personal. Part of why I was so deeply impacted on my daughter's ninth birthday. It was like I was having two different experiences. One, it was a joyful celebratory day. And then no one else knew this was happening, but inside I was freaking out. And part of it is what I've shared.

But the other part quite frankly, is that my parents got divorced when I was nine years old. And when I saw just how harmonious and radiant my daughter was, it really struck me that I didn't actually relate to that, that when I thought of being nine years old, I didn't find inside me anything that matched the experience she was having.

And I. In a flash saw that there's a way in which I had disconnected from myself at that time and prioritized getting things done over how things felt. I guess that's the simplest way to summarize it. It functioned as a reflection of a disconnection in myself, which again, I had done well in life with that disconnection and could easily have sustained that for the rest of my life.

I also saw, I, I wouldn't have been able to say exactly what it was, but I saw there'd been a cost and it was a cost that I definitely did not want to pass along.

Pranay Parikh [13:28] Yeah And you know, a lot of times we say, because of that divorce, maybe you didn't have go as many field trips or, you know, you didn't have as much stuff.And we think about wanting to provide that, but really they don't care about that stuff over.




Alexandra Stockwell [13:40] No, it wasn't field trips. It was space to honor my own experience. Which that's an art and it, if I didn't have it at 35, I wasn't gonna wake up one day with it, unless I. Took forward action to create that.


Pranay Parikh [13:56] And you noticed, um, your, your marriage, um, and you specifically worked on that. You was talking wife the day financial you make is who carries over for the, of your reflection is the reflection that you had at the time, uh, with your marriage?


Alexandra Stockwell [14:16]

Well, my husband and I met the last week of orientation first year of medical school. And we probably, we immediately connected and maybe started dating a few weeks after that.

We got married towards the end of third year of medical school. And I had my first child between third and fourth years of medical school. I took a year off so that I could do that. My second, just before my internship. And what I'm trying to say is that our whole relationship. For the first, let's say eight years included medical school, residency and babies in diapers.

And so the point is that we didn't have time. We never really, I had to work hard the first two years of medical school, which actually came pretty easily to my husband. And then it was a lot of hours, but much easier to me when we got to clinical medicine and my husband had. It took more energy for him to do well with all the social interactions.

He needed to figure that out, which he's an amazing physician. But anyway, the point is that there always was one of us who was really stretching and I always assumed, and I think he did too. That once we had more time, we were gonna have an amazing passionate marriage because we really learned to be collaborative.

We have the same values. We refined our communication. Honestly, we refined our communication on Sunday evenings during the year when we were both fourth year medical students, where we sometimes took three hours going through the week, who's gonna leave second and connect with the nanny. If our daughter is sick, which one of us is going to.

Be on call essentially to come home. She never was sick, but we had to figure out like who was doing an outpatient rotation. If someone was doing cardiac surgery, then it wasn't gonna be them that week. Like we just had so many things to figure out and through doing that, we had to each be considerate and supportive of the other person while also advocating for ourselves.

It was a time where saying, oh, sure, honey was never gonna work. And it also, wasn't gonna work to say, no, I really need this. And it doesn't matter what you want. So through all those logistical conversations, we really refined our communication with one another in a beautiful way. So our relationship was loving and warm and harmonious, but we never took a weekend to, I don't know, spend in bed together or anything like that in.

When I was an intern, most of the couples we knew would make it, so they were on call together so they could be off together. But because we had babies at home, we always alternated. So we had one weekend off together, our, my entire intern year and it was the weekend my brother-in-law got married. So the point is, I don't really need to go into more detail if you're a physician listening, you know what I'm talking about, but I just assumed.

Because we had such a beautiful collaborative, essentially conflict free relationship that when there was time, we would be able to dip into, I mean, we were obviously having sex, but in terms of really having connection, which was exciting and gratifying, I thought when we had more time, we would, but then we had more time.

A lot didn't actually change. And that was when I realized that I needed to figure this out. And that was then now having a fantastic relationship by all measures, having done a lot of different trainings, coached hundreds and hundreds of couples. I'm very, very clear that having a fantastic relationship is a learnable skill.

And the real problem is that we don't have the education to do so. Because where would we get it not taught in school? Porn is not really that helpful for a long term relationship in terms of communication and sensuality. I mean, there just aren't really places where this would be taught, but it's not because it's so challenging in and of itself.

It's due to having a lack of education. So I am thrilled to provide that for anyone who wants to become a student

Pranay Parikh [18:56]  Yeah. And so let's dig into that. So, um, most doctors, especially doctor entrepreneurs, don't have. A ton of time. So could you give me some tips and tricks and you know, I don't wanna call them hacks, but, um, can you give me an idea of how to prioritize your partner when you don't have much time?


Alexandra Stockwell [19:17] Absolutely. And despite what I said before with thinking, what we needed was time I've discovered that is completely not the issue. The real issue is attention and intention. For example, let's say one of us leaves for work before the other every morning. Let's say it's me. I could very easily just leave because it's time for me to go to work.


I could say, bye honey. And leave. I could go give a Peck on the cheek and leave. These are all perfectly reasonable options. None of them are mean mean or nasty or inherently disconnected. But I also for maybe three seconds longer, which is obviously like nothing could make a point of actually getting present and kissing my husband before I leave.

And there's a way in which when we can. Already be out the door with our mind and our soul, even though our body hasn't left yet. But if we really stay present and actually connect, then coming home later feels completely different. It feels much more like a reunion or a reconnecting rather than seeing someone for the first time at the end of the day.

So that is one thing. And I'm just giving that example. There's so many things that if we just do it, I could say with more precision, but that's a little bit cold and dehydrated. So that's why I say with more attention and intention to really let yourself feel the connection that is available in that moment.It does not take more time. It takes focusing on it. It takes thinking of it. So that is. How does that sound?

Pranay Parikh [21:23]

That sounds great. Uh, and you know, that can be carried over to a lot of things, right? When you're playing with your kid to a podcast while I was playing and I was like, need one and, um, really just focus, um, on playing with my baby, as you know, I have a one year old son.

Alexandra Stockwell [21:42] So children are amazing with that kind of feedback.

Like for me, I have seen many times, especially my youngest is now. If I'm on my phone, he'll start talking to me and maybe whining and want my attention. But if I'm not on my phone and I have my attention on him, but I'm doing something else cooking or like, whatever it is that I'm doing, but I'm not actually interacting with him, but my attention he's still in my sphere of attention, he can be incredible on his own for a very long time.

That's not exactly what we're recreating with our spouses, but yeah. Sitting and watching a movie, do you have the experience that you're just watching the movie and other, somebody else happens to be there or does it feel like an experience you're doing together? And so no matter what the activity is, this is a possibility.

Pranay Parikh [22:43]

Tell me a little bit more about the SP of attention and while you're doing something else. Cause that sounds magical.

Alexandra Stockwell [22:50]

Okay, well, let me put it in more medical terms. So, uh, my 10 year old is an avid devoted, talented baseball player. And so I'm at a lot of baseball games where kids get hurt. It's not like a high contact sport, but his age kids get hit by pitch balls and.

A kid can fall down and start crying. And all the other parents are very concerned. And my husband and I, we can take a look and in like less than measurable time, it feels like we know if we should go over there, cuz someone's hurt or actually everything is fine. And I'm calling that a certain quality of attention.

Becomes second nature. And there's something similar. This isn't exactly the same thing, but maybe another way to put it is if I'm talking to a patient, I can listen just to the words and get good information, or I can listen to something that is below the words that we don't have a lot of English vocabulary for.

But I think people who meditate or do mindfulness of some kind. Are very familiar with that in terms of attention on their breath. And instead of attention on my breath, I'm talking about attention on my spouse, not singularly, cuz I never wanna lose connection with myself in the process. That would be codependence.

It doesn't actually create gratifying connection, but there's a way in which it can be both. And in fact, but I actually think. During intimate touching. There's a, an apt analogy for what I'm talking about, because it is possible to have intimate experiences in the bedroom with one's attention only on one's self.

And it's also possible to do that only on the partner, but really the most gratifying, connected, amazing experiences are when. A person learns to simultaneously have attention on both and let the experience in both bodies guide, how you're touching one another. And that of course is leading to touch.

That's not really related to the attention with a child. It almost is. It's just that what you do without attention is completely different. So tell me if that is clearer or at least someone clear.

Pranay Parikh [25:36] Yeah. Yeah, that definitely makes sense. And you know, it's, it's always interesting because, um, I like what you're saying that we need to make the most of the time that we're already spending.Cause a lot of times people are worried about, okay, now I need to dedicate another hour and I really don't have it, you know? But the, I think what you're saying, uh, is that we're squandering all the time that we already do spend


Alexandra Stockwell [26:01] So beautifully put. Like I could very much talk about it in terms of KPIs, ROI. Like there is a way I could talk about it and it would be accurate. It's just that, that doesn't really match the experience that we're talking about. But yeah, whatever time you're going to invest in being with someone you love, allow it to be nourishing and connected and what actually happens with. I remember I had an attending when I was a third year, who we came out of seeing a patient together in the family medicine clinic.

And she said, you know, it's always so hard to convince patients to work out because they say, you know, I don't have any time, but she says, I just wish I could convince someone that when you work out, you actually have more time to get everything else done, because it creates energy and vitality. And there's something about.

Using our time with our spouse, not more time, but the time we do interact using it well, that creates more internal spaciousness, more vitality and more success across the board.

Pranay Parikh [27:17] And that's actually one of the main reasons that I wanted you on here to talk about that, you know, a lot of times. Time with our spouse time with our kids time for ourselves is what suffers when we run outta time.


But it sounds to me that we're just like sleep. We're doing, it's a detriment to have youd since you've talked to of, and other, their relationship with their, have you noticed that they've been more successful, able to do more? Um, after that they, after they have deliberately focused on their relationship?

Alexandra Stockwell [27:51] Absolutely. So I'm gonna answer that in a few ways. One is to share this very interesting statistic. This is something that actually hasn't been studied that much, but the one study I'm familiar with looks at successful people in their relationship and basically being professionally successful, negatively correlates with having a great relationship.

However, having a great relationship positively correlates with being more successful. In other words, the more successful we are professionally, the less likely our relationship is to really be gratifying. But when we prioritize our relationship, it does fuel more success in our. So that's one thing to say.

The other thing is that I think of committed partnership, marriage, that kind of relationship as the ultimate vehicle for personal growth. And when we can work it out to be present honor ourselves, and really be connected and have joy and the full spectrum of authenticity. Just a really good relationship, whatever that looks like for any particular individual and couple that inherently creates the most amazing skills that translate in most areas of life.

Does it make us better at doing math? I can't really speak to that, but does it make us better in interactions with every other human being. Strangers friends, patients, those who are our employees, bosses, politicians, like whatever, if you can communicate successfully lovingly in a way that you honor yourself and you honor your partner, that is a skill that is used.

Everywhere you go. And it makes a lot of communications more efficient and it certainly makes them more successful. And I guess I just wanna say one more thing, which I think specifically appeals to physicians and that is throughout the world. The most common relationship advice, which is given is that you need to learn to compromise.

Compromise is the name of the game. In order to have a happy marriage, you have to be good at compromise. That is completely. The name of my book is uncompromising intimacy. It is really the umbrella term for everything that I teach and coach on, because if you want a bland pleasant conflict, free passion, free relationship, compromise will deliver that for you.

But if what you want is a really nourishing, passionate relationship where. You don't feel like you're too much where you can bring your enthusiasm for your business, into the relationship, like, or you can just, you don't have to check some aspects of yourself on the way home then being uncompromising is really the way to go.

But what I mean by that is not that. You're exacting. You always get your own way and you basically are a bully or a dominating person. No, that is not what I'm talking about. That does not create intimacy, but where compromise is when you hold back parts of yourself, you don't honor or express desires, thoughts, feelings, even challenges so that you don't make your partner uncomfortable in uncompromising intimacy.

You get to bring all of who you are to the relationship in such a way that your partner can receive it and you invite your partner to do the same. And that is when intimacy happens when creative connection happens and when really nourishing passionate relationships, unfold, chips unfold, and this is especially relevant for physician entrepreneurs.

As physicians, we are trained to check so much of ourselves at the door so that we can be professional objective and responsible in caring for our patients. If our patient has a loss and it really touches us mostly, we don't cry, but we hold space for them too, or any other emotion. And that's essential.

I am not knocking that. That is how we practice medicine. Well, and we need to be clear thinking, however, through training and the number of hours we spend working and our proclivity to do that before we even get to medical school in order to do the things, to be able to be accepted, it comes at the cost of being disconnected with a lot of ourselves.

Our. Feelings, our vulnerability, our internal experiences. And until recently that seemed to be okay with people. I think the stressors of the pandemic and the general corporatization and widespread phenomenon of burnout is making it. So these things are no longer quite so tolerable, but in any case, they still are how we learn to be.

And that way of being. While can certainly can work professionally and on occasion is convenient. Personally. It is specifically 180 degrees in the wrong direction of building intimacy connection, the kind of vulnerability, passion and collaboration that are part of a beautiful intimate marriage. And so for physicians specifically, and.

I would also say entrepreneurs in a way that we can talk about more. The really essential step is to make more room for how you feel without it needing to serve any purpose. Other than that, the way we're connected, the way to have attention, the way to be gratified include. What are internal experiences and anyone who is a successful physician has not had a lot of positive affirmations for honoring their internal experience.

But when it comes to our relationships, that ends up being a very significant limiting factor. And when we're physician entrepreneurs, we get juiced up by our new creative project. We. Really kind of have to cross the Rubicon and face all kinds of intensity. And if our partner is not, an entrepreneur is not a physician entrepreneur typically, anyway, they're not gonna understand how gratifying it is, even when we're challenged and don't know what to do.

There is an alive. That comes with being an entrepreneur, having a vision, making something out of nothing. I mean, before we record it, right, we, we spent a long time figuring out how we're gonna talk, but you're an entrepreneur and I'm an entrepreneur and we know you stick with it. That's gratifying.

There's no it department to call, to hand it off to like, we've gotta stick with it. And in a very indirect way that is honoring our internal experience. Being devoted to the outcomes. And so when I work with entrepreneurs, physicians are not one of the things that I end up coaching on is how to bring that aliveness, that vitality, that inspiration and creativity, how to bring that energy into the relationship without necessarily bringing all the, all of the details.

Because if your spouse is not in your business, if they're not actually. Facing the challenges and growing and having the gratification, all those details about the, between us, maybe 15 different ways that we needed to figure out how to have the mic work and the camera work and all those things like that is just plain boring for a spouse who isn't a sound engineer or ha they don't have their own podcast, but there is a way to take.

The energy and the inspiration. And just because you're not bringing the specific information home, don't dial down the vitality that comes with being an entrepreneur, learn how to bring that energy, but focus it on whatever is happening with your wife and your daughter in your case. Um, in a way this is the ultimate hack.

It's learning to take the. Internal aliveness of being an entrepreneur and share that in your relationship without all the details that it could ride in on.

Pranay Parikh [37:40]

So, you know, I'm glad you brought that up. That's a challenge. I always have talking to my wife about what's going on on my day and I just tell her, but the way you phrase, it's just so much more interesting.

So how would you, how would you kinda talk about. What just happened to us today that we spent like 15 minutes going back and forth and like talking through text and we couldn't hear each other. Uh, how, I mean it's yeah.

Alexandra Stockwell [38:07] It's fantastic question, you know, for you and me, 15 minutes was a really long time to be doing that. Right. So, yeah. Okay. Let me, let me model the way I wouldn't and then model the way I. So the way that I wouldn't is to say, you know, my husband says, how was your day? And I'll say it well, um, one of the last things I did today was I was interviewed. And so I got on and I expected it to all be smooth and it wasn't.


And so then I tried this. I tried to figure out the microphone and then I turned it off and then I Googled it and then I logged on again and I tried, okay, actually, this is so boring to me that I'm actually not even gonna do it for the model because I could go on for another 10 minutes. If I were to record and report on all of the iterations, what I would instead do is say I had kind of an amazing experience, cuz we were about to talk about.

Relationships in the context of being a physician entrepreneur. And we had like a little entrepreneurial challenge that we collaborated on, but we really had to try like 15 different permutations to problem solve something that we had never even expected to be a problem. And it actually meant that when we started, instead of feeling.

We didn't know, one another, that much, we immediately had a certain collaborative chemistry at the beginning of the conversation. And while I don't know that I'd sign up to have that experience again. I think it really served us well.

Pranay Parikh [39:49] Yeah. I mean, it's just, it's kind of like what you look at it and you can kind of do this for pretty much everything. Right? There's always a. Fact by fact way to tell a story. Um, but I mean, I just, my wife, a lot of TV shows and it's like, and they're in Mandarin. So I, I dunno what they say, but it's like the same, like five people like to go to work. They come home and there's a lot of laughter and I have no idea what's going on, but it it's just, uh, portrayals or view into normal life. It can be pretty.




Alexandra Stockwell [40:22] Yes. And I just shared it in a way that reflects who I am and my interest in relationships. I don't know that you would share it that way. You might just say, you know, it was kind of amazing. I, I, I don't know if you would, but let me just see. It's kind of amazing. As an entrepreneur figuring things out.

I'm always surprised when there's another lesson. And today I learned something else about how to record my podcast. Well, and that means that this experience doesn't need to be left at the door. There's no HIPAA boundaries about it. You get to bring your experience home with you, so to speak. It's just something she can connect with.

It's not only interesting, but it's connectable, which is like, it's inconsiderate to tell our spouses things that they can't actually relate to. Unless you just need to talk something through. In which case I recommend you say, honey, I just need to vent. I only need about 20% of your attention, but I need to talk something through.

Are you good with that? And then go ahead, talk through all the detail. But they don't need to pay attention as though it's their business too.

Pranay Parikh [41:37]

Love it. One last relationship that I wanna talk about. Um, and you briefly talked about it earlier, is the relationship to ourselves, you know, um, not everyone has a spouse or maybe, uh, they are just having trouble with themselves and.

I think we both say that it's probably important for them to figure that part out. So that make them the right person for their spouse, what advice wouldyou have for someone that maybe feel disconnected to the whole world or doesn’t really know . Who or what or where they are.

Alexandra Stockwell [42:10] I’mgonna give a very practical, actionable answer while acknowledging that there's a lot of. There's a whole conceptual response I could give, but I think something actionable is more useful. And that is that I highly recommend this is gonna sound like two basic activity, but if you're listening and you think it's too basic, just try it two or three times a day.

Stop what you're doing. You can set an alarm, pause, identify how you're feeling, like pick an adjective for how you're feeling and then write down. I feel frustrated and that is the right way to feel and that's it. And then the next time I feel, however it is you feel, and that is the right way to feel.

And let me say, when I first did this as a practicing physician, the only thing I could think of to write down was I feel like my house is messy, or I feel like I wish I could get everything done. Those are not. Feelings. Those are essentially thoughts, but to really find out how you feel without changing anything.

No problem solving, just finding out how you feel, creates more connection with yourself. And once you have more connection with yourself, then. Things are possible. You have more self knowledge, you have more focused. You're not distracted by an internal confusion or murkiness. Like I really think that burnout and so many frustrations of all kinds are greatly mitigated when we become aware of what our internal experience is.

And of course, one way to do that is through meditation. But that happens at a finite time. It's, it's like separate from the day and that serves a purpose for sure. Another way is to track our thoughts and make sure to transform those that aren't serving us. And both of those are very helpful, but for me, the most efficient for long lasting transformation is to know how you feel.

Without changing anything like you can have a whole bunch of crappy feelings, frustrated, disappointed, pathetic, as long as you include. And that is a right way to feel. We fully, but steadily Polish off the shame. And once we can feel those feelings, we can feel some really awesome feelings. Or maybe you start with awesome feelings and it takes some courage to feel the other, but part of being alive is being emotionally full spectrum.

And as a physician, we de facto disconnect from a good portion of the emotional spectrum and thawing that and reviving it. Is like a red carpet to most of the things we desire. It's not the only red carpet, but it is one of the necessary ones.

Pranay Parikh [45:32] Yeah. I think a lot of us feel that whatever solution we have for our complicated problems all over it also need to be complicated, but they're all pretty easy.

It's just like, how do you get a six pack? You eat healthy and you exercise, right? It's, it's easy to say, but difficult to do. And it seems like this connecting to yourself is in pretty similar.

Alexandra Stockwell [45:52]

Absolutely. And one of the things which is consistent in each of the suggestions that I've made, it, doesn't actually involve changing who you are or changing who your spouse is.

And I really wanna underline that because often we think that's the issue and it may be an issue, but it is not the starting point. And often it actually isn't the issue. If we can really. Honor who we are, which is essentially what I describe not doing when I was practicing medicine.

Pranay Parikh [46:26]

Well, that's a beautiful place to end.Um, Alexandra, if someone wants to reach out to you, they wanna be coached. Where should they, uh, get ahold of you? Come

Alexandra Stockwell [46:35]

to the intimate marriage podcast.com that goes to my podcast, the intimate marriage podcast. It goes to my website, all of my social media, my programs, if you wanna contact me about coaching.So the place to go is the intimatemarriagepodcast.com.

Pranay Parikh [46:54]

Well, thank you so much, really appreciate you.

Alexandra Stockwell [46:56]

Thank you for allowing us to have such a meaningful conversation this way. 

Pranay Parikh [46:58]

Have a good one. 

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