My Lunch With Mandeep: A Glimpse Into The Mind Of An Emotional Superhero

In July of 2015, I had lunch with an admired colleague at Vitae on E 46th Street. Mandeep Trivedi, a leader in valuation and forensic services at Citrin Cooperman and member of the Savvy Ladies Board of Directors, is a woman wise beyond her professional accomplishments. Whenever we meet up, I always get so much more out of the conversation than just business updates and career strategies. But this particular afternoon’s conversation stuck in my memory like no other, with respect to the importance of rechanneling the stresses in our lives. Read on, and prepare to receive the purest of insights into the maintenance of your physical and emotional health, from the perspective of an experienced and progressive thinker.

A Wakeup Call, And A New Set Of Boundaries

Mandeep’s life changed forever upon hearing one sentence: “When you stress, your baby stresses”. These were the words her OBGYN uttered when Mandeep became pregnant with her first child. It also happened to be the day of her mother’s major surgery, which had taken Mandeep out of the country, to Canada, to be with her. Complicating this already delicate episode was the stress imposed on Mandeep by one of her big clients, who expected her full attention through email all day long. But instead of letting the stress take over, she remembered those words from her doctor, and figuratively flipped a switch. In an instant, she was a different woman (no 30-day incubation period to form a habit here!). This wise mother to be got her client on the horn and drew up some no-nonsense boundaries. No drama from her end, just the simple truth: “I had told you that I wasn’t available today. Is there really anything that can’t wait until tomorrow?” Voila! Lion tamed, harmful stress averted.

The Importance Of Staying In The Present

Mandeep’s next heroic feat was an even bigger threat to her stress level, and was the perfect test of her own emotional dexterity in light of her newfound knowledge about pregnancy. As Mom was in surgery, Mandeep sat in the waiting room tempted to explore worst-case scenarios. After all, this was her mother who was under the scalpel, and it would be difficult for any of us in this situation to detach ourselves from its urgency. But being mindful and dedicated to the stress-free development of her baby, her own internal “mamma bear” chanted silently “Let’s not worry; let’s wait to hear what the doctor says”. She found the process surprisingly practical, and thus, she began her journey through a healthy pregnancy.

Reframing With Perspective

As Mandeep’s pregnancy progressed, our superhero began to come to terms with the other type of stress: the self-imposed kind. She would have to begin to reframe situations, and, accepting that she couldn’t control what others thought of her, she experimented with divorcing herself from other people’s issues. This served her well right through the birth of her first daughter, Arya. That was the moment that “You stress, baby stresses” flipped to “When I’m happy, my child is happy”. She realized how quickly time would begin to pass, and she committed to being present and “in the moment” with her new child, and subsequently, with her second child as well. We may not have an abundance of time, but if we stay in the present, the time we have becomes quality time. For Mandeep, it’s moments like watching her child pull out pots from the cupboard, and nursing her second child in the wee hours of the night that provide wonderment and deep bonding.

The Magic Of Meditation

Mandeep’s journey continues, and now includes Transcendental Meditation starting this past January. This has only added to the effectiveness of her commitment to being present. “No more worrying in advance” can prove to be a great reward. Another reward is that 85% of the time, her perspective is a healthy one. She has great clarity and focus when it comes to prioritizing and productivity, and takes herself out of the equation when giving feedback. She stays aware that she has choices, and is optimistic in the face of her next hurdle, which is to take better care of her physical health as to remain capable of caring for her loved ones. Sound familiar, ladies? Thank you for your insight, Mandeep. You lead by exquisite example, and I’m fortunate to know you!