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A stranger in a strange land

Sherry E at Hatch & Bloom
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As a child of immigrants, Sherry Ezhuthachan has felt lost in navigating the culture of being in the melting pot that is the United States and the culture of her parents. But through her storytelling, I believe we all identify with her in some ways, and I believe that we all have the potential to overcome that barrier that we don’t quite fit in.

TAMAR:  Hi, everybody. I am delighted to introduce you to Sherry E. I’m going to have her introduce herself and give her name because I will definitely not do it the justice it deserves. It’s a cool it’s it looks it doesn’t look as you can say this. I know I wanted to say this. It doesn’t look like it’s pronounced. put it that way. It’s very cool. It’s very cool. That sense. Yeah, so  let’s introduce yourself, and where are you physically located?

00:46

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Sure. So my name is Sherry Ezhuthachan and I’m physically living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania right now.

00:53

TAMAR: Cool. All right.Tell everybody how to spell your last name. Because in due time, I don’t know how to follow you on social media and why I screwed up in that introduction.

01:00

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: No worries. Yeah, the last name. So my last name is spelled E, Z as in zebra, H, U, TH, A, C as in cat, H, A, N as in Nancy. And you can tell I probably why I had to spell that out. It’s from South India, that’s the origin.

01:20

TAMAR: Cool. Cool. I love that. Awesome. Awesome. So, what is your story? Like what do you do? What’s your story potentially about? Like how you got there? Give me a little bit background about your career.

01:35

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Yeah. So my career is wild. I started out as an electrical engineer in defense, shipbuilding, and I’m now a life and career coach.

TAMAR: So we’ll walk you through that one. Yeah, that’s a good one.

01:53

Yeah.

01:54

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: So I studied engineering because I was good at math and science, but not really, because I was like, oh, I really want to do engineering. I really wanted; I love this. I do enjoy math and science. But then once I got to college, I was like, I don’t know about this. But it was too late to change. And so I went ahead and my first job was in defense, shipbuilding. So we’re building aircraft carriers, and nuclear aircraft carriers with Northrop Grumman. I worked in electrical engineering on some components for the brand new aircraft carrier. And that work was fine, but not really exciting. And I wasn’t getting a lot of opportunity in a very big organization, like my location was 18,000 people just in that one, space. And so I was there for five years. And over that time, I took some time to move myself over to project management. And I was looking to like work more with people, I realized I was good at getting people to work together, build consensus, pull all the pieces together and keep people moving. And someone told me that’s called Project Management. And so I did my certification and moved from engineering into more like project management and risk management. And did that there and still wasn’t quite satisfied, like I was happier with my role. But working in such a large organization, you don’t get to have as big of a piece of a pie and it takes you a lot longer to get that. And I was hungry for more action. So I ended up moving to a smaller company. I was also moving for love at the time and moved from Virginia to southeastern Georgia, and ended up living on an island off the coast of Georgia, which is school full. Yeah. And, and so there, I worked for a small manufacturing plant. So I went from 18,000 people to 70 people. And I got hired as a project manager and I was supposed to be the fourth in a four person team. And then the fourth, the third person dropped a week after I got there and I ended up taking on all his projects. And so I got the bigger piece of time that I wanted very intensely and work there as a project manager.

04:37

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Building huge manufacturing components for again the military. And in doing that work, I was happy I was very busy. And then at some point that turned into burnout, along with sort of a lot of things going on in my personal life and that sort of all collided together. And ultimately after two and a half years, at some point, I was like, I got to get out. I don’t know what I want to do next. But if I’m going to be working like this, it’s got to be for something I care, about something I love, something that fuels me. So it’s the right skill set or the right size, but I didn’t have the right work, the quality or what I was working on. So I actually ended up quitting, and I had been saving up money, probably since soon after I started my first job. So maybe six or seven years at that point, I had been saving money and paid off my debts and decided to take time off and travel. And I did an around the world trip. And so I backpacked solo for 17 months around the world. And that is definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. So I left rural Georgia, and went to Central and South America, and then parts of Africa, southern and eastern Africa, and parts of Europe, Israel, and then out to Southeast Asia for a few months, saw my family in India, and then came back. And along the way, I met my now husband, who was from the Bay Area. He was also traveling, and I came back and lived in Georgia, with my best friend. And then he finished, he met me there. And we bought a car, it was a little Honda Fit. And we drove this Honda Fit around the country, went from Georgia up the East Coast to all the way to New Hampshire, Chicago to Wyoming, out to Seattle to see his older sister, and then down the coast of San Francisco. And along the way, I was also applying and interviewing for jobs. So on the journey around the world, I really started to connect with, wherever I go, I’m really passionate about women’s issues, what’s happening to girls and to women around the world. And I was like, I don’t know how to necessarily work into that field right away but I know nonprofit is a good place for me to start applying myself towards doing good in the world. And so I found a fellowship called the ProInspire Fellowship. And it helps people move from profit to nonprofit in a lateral way, as opposed to traditional, you might volunteer and sort of work your way up in organization. And they get your sort of business acumen. And you get to experience nonprofit culture and the way that an organization thinks, and I ended up staying in that job for three and a half, four years. I started in project management, managing the renovation of a facility for a new program. And along the way that work really required managing partnerships for this nonprofit with their with five city departments, the DA, the police, CPS hospital. And so getting all of these people’s inputs on how they needed this space to look along with two other private businesses that were renting from us from that building. And that work turned from project management to partnerships work, and program management. And I think one of the benefits of working in nonprofit is that ultimately, you have to use who you have, and you get moved around. And you get to experience a lot of different areas of work, and a lot of different projects. And everyone pitches in, especially in that time, it was maybe a 50 persons organization. And so that was really rewarding and fulfilling. And it was working on systems change. So it moved from just the we finished the renovation, the building got everybody moved in, and then the program itself was looking at. So this was a child abuse prevention organization in San Francisco just now called Safe & Sound. And looking at how the system responds to acute incidents of child abuse and looking for ways to improve not only that response system, but perhaps a larger system. The center we were building  was called  Children’s Advocacy Center, which is where children come after to be interviewed about what happened to them in a child friendly way and a child friendly location. And so in the work itself, I found that systems change was, of course very powerful. That of course takes a long time and humans and our inner workings and how we work together across organizations, I saw that like teams and how people work together was really what might be standing in the way of the change that there was a lot of dynamics between folks. And I noticed that throughout my career, project management, and so slowly, I sort of started to come to, I need to be, yes, system change is important. But we need to be thinking about the humans doing that system change and the burnout they might be experiencing, and how all of that shows up in a meeting, and when they’re trying to make decisions. So I stopped there and decided for many reasons. My husband and I decided to do a digital nomad thing, we had always wanted to figure out how to travel and work. And it was coming to a time where that made sense for us. So we decided to go to Bali, and between Bali and India, let me be a little closer to my family, and spend some time in India with them, spend some time away in Bali, exploring this digital nomad life. And during that time, I was freelancing, and also figuring out what my next steps were, as far as this sort of, how do I help people in the workplace? Do I do organizational culture development? What do I do? And then it really came through working with my freelance clients, I got the same feedback I’ve been getting throughout my career, which was something that lets me be creative, lets me throw stuff on the wall and be a mess, and then come out with the right idea. And it was this safe space for people to play and take risks and feel comfortable, being messy. And it kept coming back to me in different forms that essentially, people were like, have you considered coaching. And at that time, I thought, coaching something you do when you’re like, 65, and have had a lifetime of experience and lots of gray hair. And I didn’t realize at the time that coaching is actually a very specific skill set, it’s a way of creating that space and letting other people grow in that space and helping them do that. And that, over the past few years has taken me through my training and my certification as a coach. And I’ve been working with women and people of color that are taking risks. That could be generally starting a business, moving a side hustle from a hobby to a side hustle to a real business. And some have been creative projects, like books or play, really taking action on your dreams. And that really excites me. It’s really what drove me through all of that career change, was trying to find the thing that really lights me up, that serves the world, serves a purpose. And I want that for other people. So that’s what I do now. And it’s really amazing. I’m really proud of myself for moving all the way across those stories.

TAMAR: Yeah, obviously, everything fades slowly. I’ll give you just a little bit of background for your sake. I actually majored in computer science. I had the desire to do it because I love interacting online with people. But back then, that was the only thing that was on the computer, because who would have thought they were going to be online and interacting with people in this way. But I was in 1992 1993, when people didn’t see it was a thing. And I was actually voted most likely to have a to have an online wedding, which was in 1989. And yesterday I had a parent teacher conference on zoom. And she’s like, yeah, this year, you would have been able to do that. It’s been 15 years. But the reason why is because I love working with people online. And I had a knack for, I don’t know so much, for science. I had an interest in psychology, I minor internet, but I had a knack for math. But these days, don’t even ask me to do any of that stuff. Like it’s kind of was a bad practice. But I always wanted to deal with people online. I’m an introvert. I don’t necessarily prefer not to work with people. But I always wanted to do my online interactions with people. So, I slowly worked my way also from working as a systems administrator versus a computer science major, even though it wasn’t in the end in coding, to like working slowly with people and now, I’m in a fragrance world because I want to help people but in a completely different way. So, yeah, my story is long, I’m not going to give you too much back. So, for the listeners sake here, I was introduced to Sherry and that’s all I have. So I have nothing, sometimes I will have a tiny bit of detail from something and I’ll be able to kind of latch on that. So what everybody’s listening to is what I have.

 

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: So, we can talk about anything you like.

15:35

TAMAR: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cool. Cool. Yeah, I love that you’ve kind of focused on that. So talk about your biggest focus for the Common Scents podcasts. It’s scents, c n t s, coming from the whole fragrance space for me. Give me a little bit about your story, that I guess your defining adversity moment, if you will never know how to properly introduce that. But yeah, go ahead.

15:59

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Yeah, I really loved that framing, and I think about this a lot for myself and for all of us, like, there’s just sort of the forces that act against us systemically, that we have to overcome to pursue our dreams. I think, I’d say for a long time, it was around my gender, especially coming from my culture. My parents are from India, and they immigrated here in the 70s and 80s. And I was also an only child. And I think I’m coming to realize as an adult, that even more so than being a woman, I think being a child of immigrants in this country, is probably the thing that has defined me more than I can even know right now. And that, I wouldn’t say is one specific moment that has really challenged me, but I think it’s sort of in the water of my body and of my mind as I think when you are an immigrant, even if you’re directly an immigrant, or if you’re a child of immigrants, that there’s a sense of not belonging. Like, if I go back to India, I don’t fully belong there. I don’t fully belong here. because of the systems at play. I think it affects your mindset around what you have to do to survive in a new place in a new country. And I think there’s also a lot of, especially if your family struggled, that they do everything for you, as you grow, to give you the best opportunities, and they did do everything they could for me to like, be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, so I could be safe, right? That was sort of the pressure I was facing.

18:12

TAMAR: I get it. It’s cultural expectations of a specific child and offspring. I was listening to podcast last night about how, if you do something that’s a little different, for example, you’re an entrepreneur, like your parents almost disown you because they have effectively immigrated and they work this menial job. Because that’s usually what happens when, especially like your grandparents will come. I mean, I’m a descendant, like fourth generation American. But I see what my ancestors were doing. He was a peddler, he’s a butcher, he’s a merchant, like, they were door to door merchants. There’s a lot of things that I was actually thinking about when you were talking. But the fact that they work so that we can go to college and then be like, the Rich Dad, Poor Dad mindset.

19:09

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Yes.

19:09

TAMAR: Instead of taking something in our hands, putting a lot of risk on our shoulders. But working for the money is difficult. Is it worth it? Is it because then you’re just going to teach our kids to be kind of working in the rat race and safety, breaking out of that rat race and being a new rat, competitive rat, trying to fix it this time around. I had something else in my mind. It slipped that you had a lot of interesting thoughts upon which I should have interrupted you and just said, hey, this one or this one?

19:47

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Yeah. I hear you that there’s so many people have worked so hard to bring each of us to this moment. And then like, sorry I’m going to quit everything you set me up for I’m going to travel the world. That was a big one.

TAMAR: That’s cool. That’s awesome. I want to go there. I want to do that. Oh, so that was one of the things I was saying is like, it’s the perfect time right now. For all you were talking about taking your road trip. And I’m like, it’s the perfect time right now in the COVID crisis to pretty much do the same thing. We just, if anyone who’s sitting at work and they’re working from home, get your RV or get your car into work. Like drive and take it to a different place each night. I just do it while you can because you will regret that you didn’t do it later.

20:35

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: But yeah, yeah, yeah, I agree 100%. Like, if you have the means and the ability, why not? There’s ways to do that safely, of course. And yeah, like take the educated risk. To do things that are unusual.

TAMAR: Yeah.

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Yeah. So yeah. So I think that like that immigrant mindset is still unraveling in me of having to achieve all the time, having to like do, do and learning to relax. That’s okay. That’s a good thing. It’s actually necessary. And so I feel like it’s not quite the adversity of one incident, but sort of address like, mindset that affects so many things in small ways.

21:29

TAMAR: I get it, it’s like, the phrase a stranger in a strange lens, but you can’t go back home because you don’t feel like you’re part at home. You’re not, I get it. Like we actually have a teacher who came from Israel to the United States to teach last year. And she’s only here, she was only committed to two years. And then six months into her tenure, COVID happens. And the first thing she did was come home, but she didn’t feel right being home because she’s still effectively committed to the United States. And obviously, she’s kind of been that person who wasn’t supposed to be here. Like she was kind of transplanted. So that was a really difficult thing because mentally she sort of tried to grasp the fact that she was supposed to kind of be committed to us for two years, but she ended up not doing it. And they ended up going back. So after six months, that was it. So she had to make it work. But like it’s emotionally difficult. It’s extraordinary. Like, even when I moved in, like, I’m American, but I didn’t feel like I was part of my community and I said that I’ve actually shared this in the podcast in the past, that I never felt like I was part of my community, I still didn’t until finally COVID happened. And for us in New York, New Rochelle, New York was the epicenter of the first community spread in the  entire country. I live there. I’m part of that. So all of a sudden, coming out of nowhere, all of a sudden the news wants to talk to somebody in the community. And nobody really wanted to talk. And I’m like, oh, me, me, me. And the news came here, and I started to feel like I could kind of live here. But it took me a while. And yet, I needed that validation. All of a sudden, people were like, oh, yeah, we’re not going to mess with her. It was weird. You have to find some sort of defining moment, and then it makes it easier. So yeah, tell me a little bit about like, what did you ever have? You had? Like, I mean, you had that that struggle coming in? Where are you now? And how do you, where do you stand? Like, do you struggle with that? I assume me, I still kind of have my own self-doubt. So I’m not making any judgment calls whatsoever.

23:35

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: No, no, it’s totally fine. I would say yes. Belonging plays out in a lot of different ways. And some of that is even like a social environment, like in pre COVID times. You go to a networking event, or go to a party or something and my body starts from a place of this not safe, I don’t belong. And then I have to sort of work to shift my mindset around that to go and say no. I believe, thinking of Shonda Rhimes, or someone in Hollywood that talks about, like, you have to say, I 400% belong here. And that sort of stuck with me.

24:21

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: I have a few friends that are also small business owners, and that sort of different. You’re just operating in a different world with family, just the sense of not belonging. And it’s gotten to a place now where it’s not where I can catch it, right, I’m not on autopilot and letting it take over my mindset. I’m aware of it I can notice it and still painful but I can do a lot of nurturing and self-parenting. To help myself through that, my partner knows that it’s a tender place for me. So we talk about it a lot. So I think there’s a lot of regulation I do for myself, and with my partner to sort of, I don’t know if healings the right word, but at least to take care of it, and nurture it and give it love because it’s still tender. And I don’t think that’ll ever go away because it’s so deep, and it’s like, I’m 38 years old. So it’s 38 years old with me, and it’s just going to take time to have that be a place of joy and celebration, right now. It’s like neutral. So there, but we’re working on moving that from I don’t belong to like, oh, I definitely belong, and I’m excited to be wherever it is, and I’m excited for others to get to know me.

25:56

TAMAR: Yeah, you got to think about first of all, I mean, listen, I’m practicing this by saying, a lot of people have a fear of flying, including myself. And someone will tell you, you have an irrational fear. And there’s just like, nothing you can potentially do to do that, to change that. So, I’m not going to give you anything that’s going to give you any type of assurances right now. But I will say that you think about it, I mean, this country, more than anything in any other country, I guess, in the world is extraordinarily massive melting pot. And unless you identify yourself as an immigrant, no one knows. But then again, I’m not here, I’m not going to be your therapist, to be able to solve that problem. Yeah, it’s a huge thing. I totally get it, though. But you just, I don’t know. Like, I don’t want to be the person who’s like, your biggest barrier is always yourself in your mindset.

26:55

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Totally, I think that’s the key, I’m not really worried about so much what other people think. But I see myself limiting myself and internalizing these beliefs of not belonging better told to us by the systems around us. And it’s more that I want to tend to those places so that I don’t limit myself and I take the risks that I want to take or introduce myself to people I want to introduce myself to and not play small, around my life. And that’s the best ongoing work I have. But yeah, it’s definitely sort of woven into my DNA. I’m slowly like pulling those threads out and being like, okay, let’s rearrange you into something better.

27:44

TAMAR: Right. Yeah. It takes time, it definitely takes time. I’ve been living in this particular community for eight years. And still, like I needed COVID to kind of validate it. But at least in my community, everybody’s related to everybody else. And I’m like this, I still feel like an outsider because I’ll never have that time. So I guess that you’ve kind of feel the same way. I mean, if you don’t have like, 14 first cousins and your brother-in-law and your sister-in-law and their families, you just feel like it’s just yourself. And people like, why are you here? Now I don’t think people have asked me that. But I definitely face that question a lot.

28:31

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: How does that show up for you in other parts of your life?

28:37

TAMAR: Of which particular part?

28:40

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Like, at least until it started to feel like you belonged? The places where you, when you weren’t feeling belonging, where you’re living and the people around you, but like, how does that show up, and outside of that.

28:59

TAMAR: I don’t know, necessarily, it’s funny because socially, we are such social beings. And yet, I don’t know necessarily about its presence in other parts of my life. But I feel like the best way to potentially change that question is, how have I made myself feel like I’m part of other communities. And I say like, we live in the best time because there are communities that I can align with that satisfy my interest levels on a variety of multitude of topics and other things. So, like, for example, there are things that I do that none of my friends locally do. For example, running. I’m not a big runner but I identify with the running community and there are local running groups, but they’re too serious for me. I’m not that, I’m a runner whose foot is still kind of in one room. The other one is sort of out. And there’s no community for people like me and that being said, so I allied with like, the online communities for runners. For whatever reason, it’s really weird to say this, but I have a really great relationship with the Pakistani humans of the world. I know how India and Pakistan don’t get along, but I love the Pakistani government

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN:  Our people are fine.

30:33

TAMAR: Yeah, I learned these new things. And they want me to come to Pakistan to visit, like, it’s that kind of stuff. So, you don’t necessarily have to and I know, as an immigrant, you’re physically living amongst other people. You don’t, first of all, never look at it. I never look at somebody like, she’s the person who came from India, like, for me, it sounds like you’re human who lives in this house? Like, I don’t care. But  the fact is that, what would happen if I go to Pakistan? Oh, she’s the American. I’ll tell you something funny, a little bit of a Black Friday, Cyber Monday story. There’s a product online right now that’s for sale. And it’s usually $700. And it’s currently $563, which is a great deal for a lifetime supply of this app. And I don’t want to pay $563 for something I might use, like, twice. I was actually not googling; I was using Facebook groups to find a lifetime deal of this thing. And then like seeing if somebody was selling their license key, and what I ended up finding was a post posted four days prior, and he’s like, I’m trying to get a bunch of people, and we’re all going to join. Or we’re going to buy this product together and get the lifetime subscription. I was like, Oh, cool. Let me get in on it. So I messaged the guy. And it’s funny because I’m just this chick from America. They’re all from Bangladesh. And it’s me, and they’re like, oh, he’s from USA, I’m like, oh, she’s from USA . Just to change those nuanced settings there. It was just funny. So I’m one, there’s 24 men, not 23 men and one female. And everybody’s from what is in Qatar and what everybody else is in. And they’re all talking in like, Bangladeshi. I don’t know what language it is. They’re all talking in their language. And I’m in this Facebook group with them. It’s just such a weird thing. But I’m feeling like, part of this community, I don’t like of course, feel like an outsider. But I feel like, they welcomed me in and they’re very, very kind. So, I guess where I’m from, this is a little deviation, you can find our communities and I guess, ultimately appreciate the kindness of strangers. And for that, I stick out like a sore thumb. But you are part of this, you are living in a melting pot. So again, you’re therapist of that particular side. (laughter).

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: I love what you’re saying, community is out there, there’s belonging out there for you, you just have to sort of find it. And in surprising places, perhaps and not. completely, especially now because of the pandemic, that it’s even perhaps more accessible.

33:21

TAMAR: Yeah, so what I would say for you, this is actually an opportunity for you to create your own community, create a community of immigrants not feeling like they’re part of the community. And I know, it’s a weird thing. But I also feel like there’s a value in it. Yesterday, I was also looking on Facebook for a community that apparently doesn’t exist. And I was really upset. And I’m like, I can create this community if I’m starting from nowhere. But I assume that there are other people amongst you who are kind of struggling with the same identity issues. If you all identify, self-identify, and then create a community around it, it could have a viral effect. And people could asked each other, how do you support each other, the challenges that you deal with every single day. It doesn’t have to be a Facebook group; it could be a WhatsApp group. Could be a group of entrepreneurs, could be whatever, I don’t know how you do it. I have a group of entrepreneurs who meets every Monday, sorry, every Wednesday, and I have another one that meets every Thursday. So there are communities that you can do, like create something that obviously will, in your particular struggle, like you’re identifying with a group of people who identify with the struggle that they have. So you’re going to obviously insert yourself in a community that could potentially kill two birds with one stone. If you see where I’m going with that.

34:36

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Yeah, yeah, I think it’s also like affinity groups.

TAMAR: Yeah, yeah.

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: People, perhaps have some similar identity or struggle joined together independently, or maybe even within an organization that like to have space together.

TAMAR: Yeah.

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Yeah.

34:55

TAMAR: I mean, these days, especially in COVID, times like these things, can become masterminding. Like, it’s weird to say, in masterminds or people, sometimes people don’t take it seriously. But I feel like there’s a tremendous value on ongoing camaraderie. But that camaraderie has to be heavily maintained. So that’s why we have weekly meetings. Otherwise, we would be just casual people talking to each other. But the fact that I literally look forward to the meeting every week because we  established a cadence and helps us so much, it’ll help you so much, even though you might not talk about anything that’s relevant to you the fact that you have this free, because you’re not paid, no one’s paying each other. It’s not like seeing your therapist or seeing your doctor, senior nutritionist, you have to pay for it. It’s you go because you want to, and there’s some sort of reinforcing component to it. And I did not think I would never have believed this, that there’s potential for this, but now I see it. And I want to start a mastermind company because there’s so much benefit to this.

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Yeah.

TAMAR: Yeah, anyway. Yeah. So I guess unless you want to talk about anything else on that side, we could talk about the self-care side of things, and how are you keeping yourself? How do you overcome these, hurdles mentally, in a self-care context? And how are you focusing on self-care in other contexts?

36:29

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Yeah, I think a big part is, again, framing. I don’t think this is a hurdle necessarily, but more a part of myself, I need to integrate and hold with love and tenderness and not so much fix and overcome. And in doing that, there’s sort of self-care of physical movement, social time, the pieces of the body. I think the body feels like the key and the doorway for all of this. So, from an inner working perspective, noticing the places where I don’t feel good or not feel belonging, or might feel I’m playing small to actually spend time with that painful feeling, whatever it is, and then nurture it and care for it, to me feels like a form of self-care. And then from a physical action sort of perspective some balance between trying to get some movement like listening again, to my body to like, what do I need? Do I feel like I just need a good stretch? Do I need to go for a long walk? Do I need social time? Do I need to call some friends? Do I need I do a lot of sort of art and creative hobbies that I just do for enjoyment and pleasure. And I haven’t journaled in a while, but I do journal generally. And  a good gratitude practice, and I’m not saying that I do every one of these things every day. I’ve had to get rid of that capitalist mindset and productivity mindset around it. It’s more like, what do I need today, and these are all the tools of self-care that I have. And I’m integrating them as I need them in my day. And trying to balance it, and it’s definitely not perfect. And then there are times where I go out of rhythm completely, and then sort of realize, like, whoops, too far, I need to come back and reinstitute my self-care practices. So it’s a sort of  up and down cycle where I, again, try not to let any part of me feel I can get too perfectionistic. And to try to really be okay with whatever I can today, and that’s the best that I can do. And that’s great. And a lot of being kind and gentle with myself and those inner parts of myself. That might be more critical.

39:12

TAMAR: Cool. Yeah . You definitely need to be kind to yourself, because right now overthinking, especially when it comes back to what you were talking about earlier, be kind where your belong 100% and if you ever need to ever need that validation hit me up, and I’ll be like, here we go. All right. Yeah. I have absolutely hear your self-care. I try to help a lot of people in that context wherever I can. So feel free. I know it’s weird. We don’t know each other in a podcast and be like, I’m going to do this for you. You don’t have to take it. I would love to be here to support you. Yeah. Cool. So let me ask you what I would call the common scents question. And that is the question that usually I don’t prepare anybody for. But if you can give yourself an earlier version of yourself a piece of advice, what would you tell her? That’s why I’m waiting for that long pause every single time.

40:17

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: I think, ultimately, things have always gone well, when I trust my intuition or trust what I’m feeling. And so it’s some combination of like, trust your intuition and express yourself fully and like authenticity. And in that you’ll probably experience lots of judgment or things from other people, pressures, and do your best to do it anyway. Be true to yourself, follow whatever your intuition is saying. And know that your body has wisdom for you.

41:01

TAMAR: Cool, great. Well, I think that’s great. And I always love these pieces of advice because usually, it’s applicable for other people. And I don’t even know what episode this is right now. It’s like 40 something. It’s the end of the 40s, the mid 40s. And usually I introduce it, sometimes I don’t have it, it usually depends on where I am in my editing. But there was only one where I’m like, I don’t like that. It was just like two weeks ago, Helen Fogarty and she’s like, I would get funding for my company. I’m like,  I bootstrapped what I felt like, Oh, okay. But I love the fact that usually the takeaways are applicable for other people. And I think it’s really important and reason why I said I think most of us don’t trust our intuition. We don’t trust our gut. And usually, it’s the right thing to do. You don’t want to overthink anything. And I’m starting to realize a lot philosophically, especially right now, as I’m running the team. Like in Pakistan, the fact that if I overthink things, I get too involved in the details. And if I’m like, here’s the decision, this is how it’s going to be, everybody is happier. And ultimately, I believe that the belief is important. And so I like to say, we’re coming to this with a little more experience under our belts. And typically, we get a lot of great insight, and we should trust it. And I like the takeaways, obviously applicable to the listeners as well, because two weeks ago, I’m like, oh, wait a minute. She’s like, well, that’s for my situation. I didn’t want to disagree publicly, but at the same time, I’m like, it is helpful to realize that these pieces of advice, it’s not just about you. It’s about so many other we could all benefit from that. So, okay. Yeah. Sorry. Tangent. Okay, so talk to us about where we can find you and follow you in context.

43:05

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Yeah, I think probably the best way to find me, and then a link to my website is Instagram. I will say my Instagram is not polished. It’s sort of random, and sporadic, but it does have links to all my information. So my Instagram is @hatchnbloom. So my company is Hatch & Bloom. And if you want to check out my website, it’s discoverhatchnbloom.com.

43:36

TAMAR: And so the Instagram has h a t c h n. And the website is discoverhatch. And yeah, I want to make sure today.

Okay, sweet. Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Sherry. I loved learning about your story. And yes, I really am at your disposal. Should you ever feel like you need that validation.

44:01

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: Thank you.

TAMAR: Awesome. Cool. All right.

SHERRY EZHUTHACHAN: It’s a pleasure to be here and to join you on your podcast.

44:07

TAMAR: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much. It was a pleasure to have you.

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TAMAR.