274: The First-Gen Hustle and its Toll on Mind, Body and Spirit with Dr. Danielle De La Mare

274: The First-Gen Hustle and its Toll on Mind, Body and Spirit with Dr. Danielle De La Mare

In this episode, we have Dr. Danielle De La Mare speaking about the first-gen hustle and the impact that this has on your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Dr. Danielle is a career wellness coach to academics and the host of the Self-Compassionate Professor Podcast where she speaks to guests about their own career wellness journeys in academia.

On the show, she shares her first-gen story and how she went from experiencing burnout as a tenured professor to finding joy and clarity in her career. We discuss topics of self-trust, career pivots, and the significance of balancing productivity with personal well-being.

You can connect with Dr. Danielle at the following links:

Website: https://danielledelamare.com/

FB group: https://www.facebook.com/share/hiZpebvtHDogx7CF/?mibextid=K35XfP

Her Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/self-compassionate-professor/id1500328836

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274: The First-Gen Hustle and its Toll on Mind, Body and Spirit with Dr. Danielle De La Mare


Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: [00:00:00] Welcome to the top global ranked and award nominated grad school femtoring podcast. The place for first gen BIPOCs to listen in on conversations about grad school, and growth. In this podcast, you'll learn about all things higher education, personal development, and sustainable productivity. This is Dr.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yvette Martinez Vu, and I will be serving as your femtor, providing you with tips and tricks and everything else you need to know to successfully navigate grad school. For over 14 years, I've been empowering first gen students of color along their personal and professional journeys, and I'm really excited to support you too.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Welcome back everyone to another episode of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. [00:01:00] This is your host, Dr. Yvette. Today, we're going to be talking about a topic that you might find yourself relating to, and that is the first gen hustle, and more specifically, how hustling Hustling and hustle culture, hustle mentality can impact your mind, your body and your spirit. Our guest is Dr. Danielle DeLamar, once a tenured professor stuck in the academic overwork burnout cycle. Dr. Danielle found herself confused, afraid, and hopeless about the future of her career. In response, she jumped headfirst into deep self study and eventually escaped the academic overwork burnout cycle, finding career clarity, Joy, confidence, creativity, and a sense of belonging and community. All things she could not access previously. As a career wellness coach to academics, she now [00:02:00] facilitates the same process for others struggling in their careers. Dr. Danielle is also the host of the Self Compassionate Professor podcast, where she speaks to guests about their own career wellness journeys in academia.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And I am thrilled to have her on the show today. Welcome to the podcast, Dr. Danielle.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Oh, thank you so much for having me. It's so good to be here. And I just want to say that we talked yesterday on my podcast, so if people want to hear more about your story, they should come listen on on my podcast. Because we had a great

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yeah. So, um,

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Thank you. Thank you for that shout out. And yeah, I'd like to be I love being transparent. So I'd like to just give some some context to the audience that this is a bit of a collaboration. Um, you know, we kind of found out about each other's work. There's a lot of overlap, especially, I think, I believe there's like this values overlap between us.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And so in, in meeting you, Danielle, I was [00:03:00] just so excited, , to be able to be on your podcast and then discovering that you have a first gen story, I was like, okay, come on, let's have you come and tell your story. I think that, , my audience members will relate to it and learn a lot from it. So. If you're comfortable, I would love for you to start us off by telling us a little bit more about yourself, about what you do, and especially that, that background story of like, what led you to where you are today?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I know that's a big question, but whatever you're comfortable sharing to start us off.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Yeah, thank you. I, I guess I would start by just saying that I would get lost in academia a lot. Um, I would lose so good. Big pieces of myself, big sort of authentic pieces of myself. And I would think that was the right thing to do. Um, because I needed to blend in. I needed to do it the right way or I wasn't going to [00:04:00] succeed.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And, um, that was ultimately what got me where I was. And the, the work I do right now, um, I'll talk about that really quick. And then I'll talk a little bit about my first gen, um, story, but, um, the work I do right now is really about. Getting people to, you know, dig past all the external stuff, um, and to really see what their core, core career vision is at the center.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Um, and a lot of times that means, you know, getting through, like, getting through, Digging past anxieties, digging past all the to do lists, digging past all the shoulds, and um, getting, getting sort of past that overwork burnout cycle so that you can actually see what you actually want because we lose touch with ourselves so easily.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And that's what I did. And it was this slow burning process from, from [00:05:00] community college, right? All the way to PhD school, all the way into my tenure track job. I just got increasingly more,

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: more attached to sort of the academic agenda and less connected to myself.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You just mentioned the CC and I can't not mention that because just shout out to all the community college grads because y'all have a special place in my heart. So are you comfortable kind of going back and telling us a little bit more about that first gen trajectory

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: perhaps even like starting at the CC?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: What did you have in mind when you were Thinking of transferring and even what type of career path you wanted to go on. And then you said as you develop, or as you continued on, you honed in more on, more and more on that academic track. So what did that look like for you then? And then what happened?

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Uh, yeah, [00:06:00] so, how did it, well, okay, so this is going to sound so funny. I had no intention of going to college, ever. Like, that was not in the cards at all. And, um, I had a really, really, um, what's the word I want to use? Um, yeah. this like strong relationship with this boyfriend. Like I love this man so much. I mean we were 18, but I was so in love at the time and he broke up with me and I was like devastated.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I was a disaster. I had just graduated from high school. I was like, I don't know who I am anymore, what I'm doing. And my mom She literally marched me to the community college. Like, she drove me there, she walked me into the student center, and she's like, let's just sign you up for college just so you can get your mind off of him.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And she even said to me, don't worry, you don't have to [00:07:00] like graduate, you don't have, you know, just, let's just take some classes to get your mind off of him. And that's really how I started community college. And then it was later when I was in like a sociology of education course that I found out I was on the vocational track in high school and I had no idea.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I was like, what is the vocational track? I was on it. I had no idea. Um, nobody ever talked to me about college. I didn't know that, I didn't know counselors were supposed to talk to me about college. Um, I, I, I didn't know that the classes I were, I was taking weren't considered like college bound courses.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Like, I, I had no idea. It was very, the whole thing was very shocking to me. Um, So, yeah, uh, uh, the, the reason I ended up, so the reason I ended up going to Salt Lake Community College, I was in Utah, was because of the boyfriend. And then I went and I was like, [00:08:00] successful. I did one semester after another and I was like, oh, wow, I like this, this, I can do this.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: This is amazing. And I had a friend who, uh, Um, I worked at a restaurant with and she said to me that she was going to move back to Montana where she was from. And we were really good friends. And I was like, I want to go. And she's like, well, I'm going to go to the University of Montana. So you should come with me.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And I was like, okay. And so then that's when I decided to go and finish off my junior and senior year. And that's what I did. I went to Montana. So these are the, this is how. This is how my academic career started. It was like a boyfriend breakup, then wanting to be with my best friend in Montana. Um, never like thinking that, you know, there are like programs out there that are strong that I should be applying for because I want to study a certain thing.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I had no idea any of that existed. I just kind of followed my heart and did the thing [00:09:00] and eventually I was in an academic career.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You know what's, um, I think it's, it's very relatable and I was going to say it's a little funny, but I do think that for a lot of us who are first gen, we can relate to that. Like we're, we're not intentional because we just don't know better. Like we don't know what we don't know. And I can relate to your story of like, Oh, I guess I'll go there because it's convenient or because it sounds nice or because my friends are going there. But I just so happen to be very lucky that the closest. University to where I was living happened to be UCLA. But it was, I did not go to college at UCLA because, oh, it's a top ranked university, blah, blah, blah. No, I knew nothing, nothing. I was just like, this is the closest to my home and I want to make sure I'm close so I can keep helping my mom and my siblings. And that was the decision. So I. [00:10:00] I'm grateful that you were willing to share, um, honestly about what was going on with you at the time and that it was a result of your circumstances, a breakup, you know, the support of your mom, uh, a supportive friend, and then, you know, one thing led to the next and somehow you became a professor.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Yeah, yeah. And it feels like a really long time ago. Like when I really, um, reflect back on all of that, the, the whole reason I started college to begin with, I, it feels like another lifetime because I have, I was, I've been so deeply socialized into such a different way of being. Um, and I, I mean, just thinking about this podcast and talking about my first gen experience was, um, A little bit heartbreaking because I was like, oh wow, I forgot.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I have forgotten a lot. I have forgotten a lot. Um, [00:11:00] I, my husband was, um, he comes from a, a family of everybody's college graduate. He knew what to expect. He, like he, he knew all the stuff and I met him in my MA program and there were certain things that his family would do, like culturally, that I just decided that they were right and my family was wrong.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Like, my family's too loud. My family's too, like, they talk to each other too much. Like, they're too intimate with each other on certain topics. And, you know, they're always about we. And his family was like, We achieve. You do this. You make this decision. And it was all about like, I remember talking to his mom once and saying, I was trying to figure something out.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And at some point she just kind of cleared her throat. Well, you'll figure it out. And then just moved on. And it was just this very like cold, [00:12:00] isolating feeling. And all I could think of was I'm doing it wrong. Like, I'm wrong. My community's wrong. My family's wrong. I gotta find a way to be different. Um, and I went as far as, like, denying, like, my hometown.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Denying things that were really, um, wrong. Central to who I was and the older I get and the more I sort of reconnect to myself and get past all the I should be this and I should be that, the more I sort of come home to myself. Um, that's what I'm noticing. And I feel like I just went off topic. So I will

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: did not.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: see where you were at.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: No, no, no, this was great, actually. In fact, it's it's helpful just to see or and to listen about your experience and how you started to notice changes in Uh, family dynamics [00:13:00] in family systems, in belief systems, in cultural values, and how this difference led to you internalizing this belief that there's something wrong with me, there's something wrong with my families, there's something wrong with my hometown. And I do think that a lot of us are made to feel that way when we enter spaces where we are the oddball out or when we are different in some ways. So it helps to have that context. And I, Anticipate. That's probably one of the things that impacted and that led to that hustle mentality, right? If, um, correct me if I'm wrong.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Yes, 100%. Um, I think that the, the farther I went in school, the more I got, for lack of a better word, the more I got hustly, right? The more I, I pushed harder, the more I over efforted, the more I did [00:14:00] everything I could to prove to myself and other people that I was worthy of being there. Um, and so that led to a lot of overwork.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I mean, I remember being in college and just like never leaving the library. I mean, I, during finals week, I remember like, not like, I wouldn't even shower. I would just go straight to the library and just be there all week long, you know, from morning to night and just studying and studying and studying and studying and just praying that I would be, um, successful that semester.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And I remember this was way back in the day. This will age me, but I remember calling on the phone to get my grades. And it would be like, you know, whatever. Sociology 101, B Math 101, A or whatever it was, right? And I remember with every grade, hearing every grade and just having this like relief, like, Okay, okay, I'm successful.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I made it. [00:15:00] I, like, it was, it was like, I snuck past this time. They don't know yet. And so next time I'm going to work harder so I don't sneak past so that it's, it's just who I am. And so that, like, just the, that sort of pushing every semester just a little bit more. And it got increasing, um, increasingly, um, intense as I went to grad school.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And then increasingly intense when I started my PhD program. And then when I got into my tenure track job, it was just like, There was so much pushing. There was so much like, Danielle, you don't deserve to be here. You better push hard. You better make sure people think you're supposed to be here because they don't know the real secret.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: You know, they don't know. They don't know who you actually are and you've got to, you've got to make sure you work hard to hide that.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You know what's interesting and what's coming up for me right now as you said that is, well, two [00:16:00] things. One that I can't help but suspect that the underlying The underlying situation that was coming up for you was this feeling of the imposter phenomenon of like, they're going to catch me. They're going to catch me. I need to keep trying harder and harder and harder. And for me, it's such a stark contrast because you know that I primarily, like, I primarily support and amplify first gen BIPOC voices, but I also, I'm like, I'm like, I'm cool with folks who are allies, who are comrades, who have shared values. And so when I see you, I see someone who is a white presenting woman, and I'm like, Oh, I would think that you'd feel comfortable, you know, because a lot of academic spaces are white. I'm just gonna flat out say it. Um, and so, It actually, for me, is a reminder of just how deep seated these issues are of [00:17:00] making people feel like they don't belong when they don't fit all of the molds.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: If you don't fit the classed mold, if you don't fit the, um, second continuing gen mold, if you don't fit the male mold, you know, like all these, there's so many ways that you're supposed to like fit within the culture and as soon as you stray away from it, You're made to feel like there's something wrong with you and someone's going to catch you, you don't belong, and eventually, eventually, something's going to happen and you're going to be discovered. But I might be completely projecting here, but that's, that, those are the two stark contrasts to me is like, wait, I thought it was just me, but also there's so many of us that are feeling this way. And if we don't talk to each other, we don't know. We don't know that, hey, the person next to me might have very different circumstances, might look very different from me. And they're also feeling this way. So [00:18:00] I, I just want to, um, thank you for sharing, um, how you were feeling. Thank you. at each step of your career. And then I would love to kind of dive into a little bit more to to these terms that we've been using because I know that they're common terms but we all define them differently.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So I'm, I would love to kind of go back to talking about, you know, first gen as you see it because I know a lot of people define first gen differently. And also hustle. Like what does hustling mean to you? And then, um, from there, I'd like to talk a little bit more about like how you slowly started to unravel and perhaps even step away or like shift things for yourself so that, cause I know that where you are now is a very, very different place than where you were or what you were just talking about where you were right now. Um, So yeah, let's start with the terms [00:19:00] and then kind of start to talk a little bit more about how this started to shift for you slowly, or perhaps it wasn't slow, perhaps suddenly something happened and things changed for you.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Yeah. Okay. So I, I kind of want to offer, I want to start with a little context and tell you that I grew up in Utah as a non Mormon. And there's, there's, um, there's sort of this dividing line, and this is not always the case, but there's this sort of general sense that Mormons are the, the, the, uh, middle class and the upper middle class and the upper class.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And then the, the sort of kids on the other side, the us working class kids, we tend to not be Mormon. And so there was that, I was coming to my college experience with that sense that I'm around people who, you know, would not normally accept [00:20:00] me. Um, When I was a kid, like, I would not get invited to birthday parties and things like that because I wasn't a Mormon kid.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And, and I was also, you know, a single parent home. And that was like almost unheard of in, in Utah where I grew up anyway. Um, of course it was there, but it was just like, it was not, it was not valued. It was not okay to be in that kind of a home environment. And so I definitely brought that, that sense that I wasn't.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Um, from my childhood and then I brought that to college and then I felt like I was just around a bunch of people who were not like me. Um, so I want to start there. So I want to just say that. And then the other thing I want to say is, um, when it comes to like first gen for me, it feels like shock. It's, it's, that's what it was.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I remember being on the University of Montana campus and saying to [00:21:00] myself, Oh my god, I am at a university. Like, it was this like, breathe Danielle, breathe, look around, I can't believe I'm around these kinds of people. Like, this is amazing. And it is so, like, I feel like I'm so out of my element. So there, it was exhilarating.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I think there was this sense of like, yes! And this sense of like, oh my gosh, you know. And so there was shock and I think confusion was another big one, right? Like learning things, learning things about, oh, I was on the vocational honor tr um, I was in the vocational honor society. I was on the vocational track in high school, like learning those kinds of things, learning, like going to, I was a, I, I worked as a caterer at the University of Montana and I remember like catering these fancy university events and At first feeling like, [00:22:00] what is happening?

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I don't even know the names of some of these foods, kind of thing. And so it was like, there was a lot of shock. There was a lot of confusion. There was a lot of like, how do I catch up? I think that was the general feeling. How do I catch up? Uh, so that's the first gen experience and I'll, and I'll stop and see where we're at.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I was just going to say that that feeling of. The culture shock, the confusion, and the feeling like oh, what did I get myself into, I have so much to catch up on is so real. You just talking about not knowing the names of foods brought back some memories for me too of just like my first time. You know, being in certain dining experience where I'm like, how do you use this fork? Which one do I use? And, and, you know, just, there's so much that you learn [00:23:00] that, um, is part of the, the, the culture of being in, in the ivory tower that you, that other people take for granted. They just show up and they're like, I know exactly what to do in the setting. And you show up and you're like, I don't want to mess up. So there's that. So that, yeah, first gen in college, so much that comes up, uh, so many intersections that come up there and then the hustle, I know we've all heard that term hustle, I anticipate at least most of us have heard it and there's so many different connotations to it. But for you, yeah, I mean, when we're thinking about. Potential topics for today's show, you use that term hustle as opposed to other terms. There's

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: overwork, there's workaholism, so many different terms we could have used. But why, why hustle?

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: hmm. Uh, you know, when I think of hustle, I think about That moment to moment abandonment of self. So it's like, [00:24:00] you gotta get there, and where you are is not okay. So run. And so it was just this like, I think of it as this like, systematic abandonment of like, the pace I want to work at. Um, this abandonment of like, uh, What my values of, you know, like what I really desire.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Like right now what I'd really like to do is read and pour over this one thing, but I can't because I got to read this thing and I got to make it work so that I can write this instead of the thing that I really care about and I really want to do. Um, so like I see it as this like moment by moment by moment abandoning your mind, body, and spirit.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Your body doesn't matter. Like, that's another thing, right? I remember writing my dissertation and I, I, I have told this story before, but I got this [00:25:00] yanking sensation. Like it almost felt like a hand was like yanking me out of my chair. So I would stop. Um, so I would stop and give myself a break, stop writing, stop writing.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And I would not do it. I would not do it. Um, And I remember just like being in my chair being like, you will write, you will write, you will write. And feeling awful, but forcing myself to do it. And so just abandoning myself over and over and over again. I remember my husband was like, let's go skiing. And I was like, oh, okay, I'll bring my books so that I can make sure I can read while I'm writing.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: So I can read this stuff so I can write my methodology section of my, my dissertation. Thank you. And so he is so, and, and he was so angry. He was like, we're going skiing. We're driving up to the mountains and you can't even talk to me because you are so invested in. Getting your [00:26:00] dissertation done. That same day, I remember getting back to the car early and I left him to continue skiing because I was like, I've got to get to work.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I, I don't have time for this. Um, and so it's like abandoning the relationship with my husband. I, I didn't even go on a family holiday once. Like he had, we were going to go out of town to see family and I said, I'd do it. And then the last minute I was like, I'm not going. So it's like, abandon yourself, abandon yourself, abandon yourself, abandon yourself, abandon yourself, until at some point you have no idea who you are, you have no idea what you want, you have no idea what you care about, and your life feels, uh, well, my life felt like just so empty I would cry every day.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Every day, every morning when I had to go to campus I would cry. Um, but that was just this like, My, like I, my inner wisdom was, was being [00:27:00] completely squelched and pushed away. And, uh, I was never making space for it. And so like I was dead inside. That, that's how I would characterize it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: um, I just need a moment because you said a lot and then just at the end with saying that you felt dead inside. It's, it's, it's very serious. It's, um, it's a very dark kind of weighted, um, situation. And also you kept repeating the word abandonment. Abandonment of selves, of self, abandonment of your husband, abandonment of your family, abandonment likely of your greater community, um, and what I pictured in my head when you were talking about the systematic abandonment of self was You know, someone running away, [00:28:00] and they're actually running away from themselves, instead of turning toward themselves. And I can't help but want to ask you, how did you recover? Like, how did you Get to a different place. A lot of times when folks are in a really deep, dark place, it can feel like you're drowning and like, there's no way out, or it can feel like maybe there is a tiny light at the end of the tunnel, but it's so far away.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It feels almost impossible to get out of it. So what came up for you? What helped you to, to ultimately recover?

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I mean, I think some of it is what you've gone through with, uh, when we talked on my podcast, um, about your sort of body telling you that you're dead. We're not doing this anymore. Um, that was, that was part of it. Um, I would get colds and flu, like who gets the flu, you know, multiple times in a year kind of thing.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Um, I, so [00:29:00] I was, I was feeling sick a lot. And then, um, I had said to my husband, I think I want to leave academia. I don't think I can do this anymore. And he was He was so angry. I mean, let me also say that he left his own tenure track job to come with me so I could take mine. And he had finally gotten tenure at the new institution.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: He'd gotten a tenure track job there. He'd gotten tenure at the new institution. Um, so he had given up a lot. And I was like, I don't think I want to be here anymore. And I hadn't gotten tenure yet at this point. Um, and, uh, okay. So where was I? Um, So I admitted to myself briefly that I didn't want to do it anymore.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: He, when I admitted it to him, he got really mad and he was like, I'm not doing [00:30:00] it. What are you talking about? We finally made it. We finally figured out how to make this dual academic career work. Are you kidding me? And, um, that made me just go into myself and be like, okay, I'm Let's pretend that didn't happen.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Let's pretend that I didn't say that. Um, because obviously I'm being ridiculous. Um, obviously our dreams have come true and I need to just, you know, turn into that reality. And so I pretended it, that it, it wasn't happening. And I, I stopped for a while. Um, listening to my voice that was like, you gotta get out.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Um, and then I got a cancer diagnosis and then I was like, what is happening? What is going on? And I remember first being in that sense, uh, in, in that place of, I can't believe this, like this numb feeling. And then the very next [00:31:00] thing I did, this is so, so interesting to me. The very thing I did after getting the diagnosis, this was before I knew what was going to happen to me.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: This was before I knew if I needed surgeries or anything else. I drove away, and I stopped at a Starbucks, and I paid for my coffee, and then I paid for the coffee for the people behind me. And I never did that. I've never ever done that, and I did that that day. And then this weird stuff was happening where I'd be in this like, numb state and all I would hear is the Beatles song, All you need is love, love, love.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And I would just hear that out of nowhere. I would hear it and I wanted suddenly to connect to everyone I knew. I, I called friends I hadn't talked to for years. I was calling my mom more regularly. I was just I wanted to be connected and I wanted love and [00:32:00] that was when I started realizing that I had starved myself of love.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: I had starved myself of community, of connection for so long. Um, and if I was going to die, because I didn't know if I was going to die, I don't want to go out being, you know, the overworked professor. I want to go out being connected to the people I love. Um, so that's That's when I really started making huge changes.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Um, I got a couple surgeries. Thankfully I didn't have to go through chemo or radiation or anything. But on my second surgery, it was a, it was a pretty big major surgery. I just sat in the room. in the hospital room and imagined my life and what it would look like if I was no longer an academic. Which is so telling.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Like that's where I, that's where I was going. That's what my inner voice was telling me for so long and I just kept shutting it down over and over again. But it really took [00:33:00] like this very real sense of like a brush with death before I really turned around and said, okay, I'm not doing this. I, I, I'm not doing this.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And that's when I told my husband, I'm, I don't care what you say. I don't care how mad you are. This is going to happen. I don't know when, I don't know how, but this is going to happen. And I'm going to go to this coach training program and that's how it's going to be. And he was like, okay, right? Like we were all so shaken.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: He was like, okay, I hear you. It's like, everything came into perspective at that point.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I got so many chills hearing you tell this part of the story. of your story, of your life. It's not, you know, I'm like, I say story as if it's a made up story. No, this is like your lived experience. And I, um, can resonate with parts of your story. And I've heard [00:34:00] from so many folks who have made major career and life pivots after a life or death situation or after a major event happening in their lives that just completely changed everything for them. Um, and so I, I'm sorry that I had to take a cancer diagnosis for you to start listening to your mind, body, and spirit, but I'm also grateful that you were given the opportunity to live your life. a different kind of life.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Um, yeah, I I just, I don't even, I don't even know what else to say because I just, I just really felt it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I felt it in my body. And so as you were talking about your experience and not everybody gets it. gets to have these brushes with death moments. And I'm not saying that you should because it's not fun when you're dealing with it at all. [00:35:00] Having had that happen to me in a different way, it's not fun. It's really, really scary. Um, but I'm wondering for the folks who maybe are having some of those, those voices or those thoughts in the back of their head of like, I don't know if this is for me, whatever that this is, this might be finishing my grad program. This might be, you know, staying in academia. This might be, they already pivoted, they're doing something else and they realize that something else is different. But like if they're having that voice in the back of their head of like, this isn't it. I want to do things differently. What, what can we tell them?

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Yeah. I mean, that is, that's such a great question. And I would, what I would say is that you want to make space to welcome your inner voice. And when I say make space, you can do that in so many different ways from like in the morning when you [00:36:00] wake up, you know, don't go straight to your work. Don't go straight to your email.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Don't like really connect to yourself. And that might be for you meditation or prayer or journaling. But, like, make space for yourself. To talk. Like you need to be able like, uh, uh, wait, hang on, I want to say this. Parker Palmer, this is what I'm thinking about, he talks about, like, your spirit as, like, um, a wild animal.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And, um, And if you go out and you say, Hey, wolf, come here! Like, the wolf is not going to come. Right? But your spirit is also kind of, like, scared and doesn't want to, like, make an appearance unless it feels safe. And so you've got to do the work to make your spirit feel safe enough to talk to you. Um, so, that, uh, so, that can come in a lot of different ways.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Like I said, you could have, like, a morning practice, you could have an evening practice. [00:37:00] Of like, writing down maybe the things you regret about your life or your day and the things you want in your life, um, and the things you would have loved to have in your day that you didn't get to have. Um, but it's just this like, at this point I am checking in with myself at least five times a day and just like, Hey, what's going on?

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And there's a reason, right? We've been, like, religions have been telling people to pray before. Meals or whatever, right? Like, or before bed, like those moments are like moments to check in with yourself, check in with your wisdom, check in with what's going on beyond all the superficial crap, all the superficial to do's and shoulds and, and you know, expectations that others have of you, like, what is it that you really want and really feel into that and make it a [00:38:00] disciplined practice.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Really make it that one thing that matters more than anything else. That's what I would say.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's so much easier said than done.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Right? I know, I know, I know.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Because I will say that I, I do have a practice of, of attempting to check in with myself three times a day. And I say attempting because most of the time I get once or two times a day done every now and then I'll get the three a day. And I have to really take myself seriously. Like, this is my time. This is me time.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: This is not time that, oh I have this extra half hour or an hour to do X. To catch up on emails, to hang out with my kids, to whatever. No, it's like I have to honor it. I have to take myself seriously. I have to slow down and see, okay, what's coming up for me right now. And it's, it's a process. As someone who has been practicing this for a [00:39:00] while, it's still an ongoing thing. It's not something that I can say, oh yeah, you know, it's so easy. It gets easier over time, but it's not, you know. It takes time for it to become habitual. Let's just say that. So

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Absolutely.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I do think that that is super duper helpful though. And I, I hope that the listeners, no matter where they are in their career and life, that they can find some sort of. everyday practice or ritual ceremony, whatever feels right for them to just spend time with themselves because that's what, what is coming up in your story. And you know, that came up in, in my story of our academic journeys that suddenly we found ourselves lost and feeling like we, we didn't really know we had, yeah, we had lost ourselves.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: We didn't really know ourselves and it was [00:40:00] all for the sake of pursuing this external goal that at the end of the day may not have matched who we are, what our values are, what our priorities are. So Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: uh, and that's not to say, I also don't want to discourage folks who are on an academic track where it does feel right. I also still have friends who are still in academia and who are finding a way because there is no perfect way. track if we want to call them tracks, you know, there is no perfect career. Um, I say this a lot that we choose our heart. So I chose entrepreneurship. You also chose entrepreneurship. We don't know where our paths will go in the future. But it's it does. Yeah, it's just you figure out what feels better for you. I'm wondering if there's anything else that you wanted me to ask you. Um, And if not, if there's any [00:41:00] other closing words or anything else you want to share with the audience about how they can start to integrate more of themselves and more, more joy, more clarity, more creativity, more like good things, restorative, replenishing things into their lives.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Yeah, so one big thing is trust. Um, trusting that your inner wisdom actually knows. Um, I think it's really easy to be like, Ooh, there's inner wisdom talking, but, Mmm. You know, she's speaking some weird stuff. I don't know if I want to listen to that. Um, but, so there's this like, practice of trust. And trust, a feeling state of trust.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: is um, feeling grateful. It's feeling like you appreciate yourself. It's feeling like you have resources and things around you that are [00:42:00] supporting you. And so if you can just take time to really feel the path of trust. The path of trust feels good, It feels warm. It feels like you're being held. And that's what you want to practice.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: So when you check in with yourself, the self check in shouldn't be, Oh, I got check in with myself. Oh, here we go. One more to do list. It should really feel like you can melt into the process. Like, Oh, uh, you know, like I'm being swaddled like a baby. This feels so good. Um, that's how you want to do the check ins.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: You want to do them in a way. That, um, you feel soothed and comforted. And you know, like I was, I was hearing, um, Michael Bernard Beckwith talk about something like, um, uh, it's all right, like cultivating that feeling state of it's all right, it's all right. It's going to be okay. It's all right. Even if [00:43:00] you feel terrible, see if you can hear that voice within that says it's all right.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: It really is okay. You're gonna be okay. It is okay. This, too, shall pass or whatever it is you need but really feeling that sense of trust so that you do want to check in because it feels like that moment where you get to be really seen and heard.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I love that. Um, yeah, I love the idea of like learning to trust yourself again. And I do think that it's It is like many other things. It's one of those skills. It takes time to, to develop, um, uh, or to like unlearn the things that get in the way from you, uh, trusting yourself. Because I do think that, you know, when we're kids, all these things feel so instinctive to us, to be creative, to be self trusting, to, um, prioritize joy and play, [00:44:00] and then all these other things come up and, and we unlearn those things.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: things and we learn some new things. So it's just about like unlearning the things that are not being helpful to you anymore. Relearning or tapping into the things that have felt good for you in the past and that continue to get feel good for you. And then using that as a way to keep trusting yourself, your mind, body and spirit.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Because at the end of the day, I will tell you this, that for me, at least, I've never regretted trusting my gut or my intuition about things.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I have regretted not listening.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Yes. Amen to that. Same.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And I think it's tied to that self trust. It's like, remind yourself, you know best. Not other people, but you know best when it comes down to things about you. Yeah, so

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I, yeah. Appreciate you, um, reminding us about that. And I'd love actually to close up with you telling us a little bit more about how folks [00:45:00] can follow you, connect with you, support your work, work with you.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Just all of the details we need to know about how to stay in touch.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Yeah, so you can, um, find my podcast Self-Compassionate Professor, which, uh, Dr. Yvette Martinez Vu will be on coming up soon. Um, so you can listen there. Um, I talk to people about their career wellness stories, and you can also get on my website, which is self-compassionate professor.com. And there's a little button on the welcome page that says, um, Career Wellness Chats.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: Oh, I don't think it says that. It says Coffee Chats. Coffee Chats. And if you click on that, we do monthly, or I do monthly, um, Coffee Chats where we just make space to talk about career wellness. And they're free, and people, people just show up when they feel like they want to process something, or [00:46:00] You know, they want to be witnessed in some way.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: And, um, the next one is June 6th, although I don't know when this is going to air, but the next one is June 6th. And then they're there, like I said, there's one every month so you can sign up and, um, and if you really need to be witnessed, if you really need to be heard, um, in your career wellness journey, come, come, we are there to support you.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: We'll, we'll be there. And we're excited to listen to everyone's stories because everyone's stories are important. So yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Thank you. Uh, I'll make sure to add the links to your podcast and to your website and the coffee chats, uh, in the show notes. So thank you so much. Thank you once again, Dr. Danielle DeLamar for showing up, for holding space, for telling us more about your story and giving us that context to share all the wisdom and knowledge behind why you are the best.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You know, doing this work of, of prioritizing self compassion [00:47:00] and honoring ourselves. So thank you so much.

Dr. Danielle De La Mare: My pleasure. Thank you for listening and um, and I don't know, like really walking the journey with me in a very real way. I appreciate it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Thanks so much for joining me in the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. If you like what you heard, here are four ways you can support the show. The first is to make sure you're subscribed and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. If you email me a screenshot, I'll send you a surprise freebie. The second way is to get your copy of my free Grad School Femtoring Resource Kit.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: which includes essential information to prepare for and navigate grad school. You can access it at the link in today's show notes. The third way to support my show is to follow me on social media. You can find me on Instagram [00:48:00] with the handle at grad school, femtoring and on LinkedIn by searching my name.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: The last way to show your love is to order a copy of is grad school for me. My graduate school admissions book for first gen BIPOCs. Thanks again for listening and until next time.

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