Doctors Leading an Aligned Life Will Find Career Satisfaction and Fulfillment in Life

“Illnesses and other life problems are basically due to a misalignment in one’s existence. Internally, there’s an emotional pain that’s not letting a person have a smooth ride in life which is why living an aligned life is crucial,” says Dr Mugilarasi Arasarethinam. She’s currently in the process of fully transitioning from being a General Practitioner to becoming a Coach and Speaker in her organization, Aligned Life which she founded. What she has learned in the aligned life concept have been instrumental in helping her to discover her destiny and in finding the career satisfaction and fulfillment in life she’s been seeking.

Dr. Mugil’s Journey

Dr. Mugil has been a physician for 23 years, trained in the field of Internal Medicine. She became a GP to cater to her family needs as her children were still very young and she was in no position to comply with the Ministry of Health’s postings. But for the past 10 years, something had been brewing within her. She wondered why her patients were not recovering or taking responsibility for their actions which further exacerbated their medical condition. She tried working with them using lifestyle and nutritional medicine but to no avail. They came back to her sadder than ever and it was beginning to take a toll on her.

Illnesses and other life problems are basically due to a misalignment in one’s existence. Internally, there’s an emotional pain that’s not letting a person have a smooth ride in life which is why living an aligned life is crucial.”

Dr. Mugilarasi Arasarethinam

So, began her quest to discover what was really occurring within her patients. She found her answer in the work of Dr Gabor Matē, a Hungarian Canadian physician and author whom she regards as her mentor. Dr Matē has a background in family practice and a special interest in childhood development, trauma, and potential lifelong impacts on physical and mental health. According to Dr Matē, all addictions are really a means of running away from emotional pain.

“If people become aware of the pain and the causes of the pain even if it is something rooted in childhood trauma when things make sense the least, they can overcome the pain and lead a fulfilling life.”

What is an Aligned Life?

As Dr. Mugil explains it, people with illnesses and diseases, recurring relationship problems, stress and other life issues tend to lead a bad lifestyle and make poor life choices. But underneath the exterior lies a pain that many are running away from. “If people become aware of the pain and the causes of the pain even if it is something rooted in childhood trauma when things make sense the least, they can overcome the pain and lead a fulfilling life,” says Dr. Mugil. In a nutshell, this is what an aligned life is about.

With awareness, the medications, recommendations, and counsel offered by experts will not seem like punishment to a patient or an individual but as a means of freeing themselves from the deep-seated pain, hence overcoming the problem of a bad lifestyle or poor life choices.

In an aligned life, the component of spirituality is important and is not a reference to religion or shamanic practices. Spirituality in this context is an awareness of a person’s role in everything that happens to him/her. Taking responsibility in the aligned life concept basically points to patients or individuals realizing that they have control over a certain condition/situation when they take the right actions. But taking responsibility only happens with the awareness of the deep-seated pain within a person and its causes. A helpful process is when an individual engages in compassionate communication with him/herself.

Compassionate communication involves a compassionate acknowledgment of the emotional pain one is enduring and the individual’s role in compounding the situation. Individuals make the situation worse by internalizing the pain that has occurred be it through a divorce, abuse, rejection, and others. Even childhood trauma can have its grip on lives, influencing how a person sees and lives life.

When we’re not aligned with what’s right for us, what makes us happy, what gives us peace, we go through life so unevenly. No wonder we experience illnesses, symptoms, physical pain, relationships issues and much more. These signs are a wakeup call. If you don’t heed them while you’re able, you may not get a second chance!”

In the case of harm caused by another individual upon a person, emotional immunity can be applied. Emotional immunity involves what energy a person will allow and disallow to percolate in his/her thoughts. For example, hypertensive patients tend to generally get angry with the smallest of issues. There are studies to prove that this anger is caused by insecurity – a sense of feeling not good enough.

People who tend to be in the sympathetic overdrive mode, where they become edgy or are easily startled, often experience increased heart rate and blood pressure. They tend to suffer hypertension, heart disease, a craving for sugar, and are easily stressed. At this point, a person who displays to these symptoms can take a step back, assess the situation objectively and opt to respond rather than react to the situation facing them.  So, what’s needed is striking the right balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

How the Aligned Life Organization and the Transitioning Experience Began

Dr. Mugil was rather frustrated that her patients were not improving but getting worse. It was about this time that she experienced an epiphany. A perfect stranger approached her in town one day to tell her that her tire was in a terrible state and would explode at any time resulting in an accident. She immediately visited a mechanic who became alarmed upon seeing the tire and told her, “Your car is out of alignment!”  He proceeded to explain all the signs which she had noticed before.

“Then it struck me that life is the same way. When we’re not aligned with what’s right for us, what makes us happy, what gives us peace, we go through life so unevenly.  No wonder we experience illnesses, symptoms, physical pain, relationship issues and much more. These signs are a wakeup call. If you don’t heed them while you’re able, you may not get a second chance!” she said with a serious look. That prompted Dr. Mugil to start her organization, Aligned Life.

The pandemic had limited her activities to webinars, but it was this development which confirmed to her the calling to become a coach and speaker on the concept of an aligned life. Through her numerous webinars, Dr Mugil was able to help many, especially women, with marriage, business, and medical struggles.

“At times, your career journey might lead you to a detour, but it might present you with a career that’s perfect for you, a profession that you’ve never even considered. In the end, you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be. Passion is so magnetic, it will pull you.”

An Aligned Life for Doctors in the Medical Profession

As a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner and an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Associate Coach, Dr. Mugil will be fully transitioning as a Coach and Speaker to her organization Aligned Life before the end of 2022. Having reached this decision, she has been overcome with a tremendous sense of relief. She is excited and looking forward to this new leg of her life’s journey. Her advice to doctors in the medical profession is to:

  1. Let Go of the Control. While doctors are educators and healers, not everything is within their control. Unfortunately, practicing medicine gives doctors a false sense of being in control especially when it comes to treating patients. Doctors engage in controlled consultation where the doctor speaks, and the patient listens and nods his/her head. But once out of the office, the doctor has no control over the patient’s behaviors. Repeated consultations with a patient to get him/her to adhere to medical advice is one of the causes of burnout in doctors!
  1. Engage in Compassionate Communication to Keep from Suffering Burnout. Burnout occurs because doctors are not able to maintain boundaries. While a doctor can only do so much to keep a patient healthy, they must realize that patients play a part in keeping themselves healthy. If a patient is unwilling to fulfill his/her obligation to maintain his/her health, then they are responsible for their health outcome.
  1. Know Priorities. Doctors must realize the importance of prioritizing their happiness and health and the need to lead an aligned life.  This requires that they experience internal healing within themselves first before they can take care of their patients. It also implies that doctors must be kind to themselves (compassionate communication) and engage in emotional immunity where necessary, that is, deciding what to think about and what to let go when it comes to their patients.

“[When your contracts are not being renewed], think of it this way – that something divine is guiding you to a better life. It could be a much-needed detour that will take you where you really need to be. Who knows, 10 years down the road, you might say, ‘This is the best thing that has ever happened to me!'”

An Aligned Life for Doctors Considering a Career Change

It took Dr Mugil 10 years to realize the following nuggets of gold. She shares these nuggets of gold here for the benefit of doctors wanting to make a career change:

  1. Never See Your Medical Education as a Limitation. Many doctors limit their career options because they think all they can do is medicine. A medical degree is just an education which equips a doctor with knowledge, skills, resilience and builds character. Because it is a bachelor’s degree, it’s acceptable not to confine oneself to clinical medicine. This shift in thinking will lessen the guilt of making a career transition. As medical education demands a high scholastic aptitude and rigor, doctors can embark on any career they wish.
  1. Embark on Your New Career from a Point of Clarity not Confusion. Don’t escape from your current job to another job before figuring out what you want in a career and what you don’t like about your current position. Leaving without knowing these things will only lead you to carry your baggage from job to job. If you’re not happy in your career, identify where the misalignment lies.

For Dr. Mugil, seeing patients being sad, grumbling and complaining didn’t augur well for her. She realized that a better way would be to give them a lasting solution and help them to take responsibility for their health outcome. She has now extended her services to anyone in society and not just patients. She has decided to help people to identify the underlying pain and help them with steps to overcome their life struggles with their full cooperation. This realization of knowing what she wants to do with her life has helped her with the decision to leave her GP practice to take on the role of a full-time Coach and Speaker at Aligned Life.

  1. Don’t look for Passion or Purpose as Passion and Purpose Will Come Looking for You   As experience and knowledge evolve, so will one’s passion. Instead of seeking one’s passion, being clear about what someone wants to do with his/her life is more crucial. This is known as seeking clarity. Instead of saying, “I don’t want this, I don’t want that”, listing what a doctor wants in a career is important. Likewise, clarifying the reason why a career is unappealing is also vital. Identifying what a doctor wants in a career helps with seeking the right opportunities.

Once clarity is gained, doctors can proceed with what feels right at the moment. They can try things out to see what’s right for them and not be hesitant about trying new things. “At times, your career journey might lead you to a detour, but it might present you with a career that’s perfect for you, a profession you’ve never even considered. In the end, you will end up where you’re supposed to be. Passion is so magnetic, it will pull you,” Dr. Mugil said excitedly.

  1. Always Turn Inward When Dr. Mugil was serious about transitioning, she spoke to her coaches about it, and they asked her to engage in part-time coaching while continuing as a part-time GP. They informed her that she had studied hard to become a doctor and that she ought not to give up on her career. But realizing she couldn’t do both and that she’s basically an all-in or an all-out person, Dr. Mugil turned inwards and realized she had to give up on one of the two. “It’s crucial to know yourself and this requires looking inwards. Talk to as many people but in the end, rely on what you know about yourself,” she added.

“[As doctors] you can achieve whatever you want in life in whichever industry of your choosing. Because you are a healer, you will heal people wherever you are, and in whatever you do.”

  1. Change Your Perspective Whichever industry a doctor becomes a part of, he/she is still contributing to society and making a difference through their medical education. Doctors need to change their perspective that it’s only when they put on a white coat with a stethoscope in hand that they’re contributing to society. Doctors are smart and can contribute to any industry, but they often limit themselves to medicine because of a fixed mindset.
  1. When Contracts are Not Being Renewed, see it as Divine Guidance. Doctors are urged not to give up or feel marginalized when they cannot practice clinical medicine. It’s possible that they are being led to a better life choice which they themselves never realized. “Think of it this way – that something divine is guiding you to a better life. It could be a much-needed detour that will take you where you really need to be. Who knows, 10 years down the road, you might say, This is the best thing that has ever happened to me!’” said Dr. Mugil.

Dr. Mugil’s parting words to doctors are to see themselves as capable people who have endured many challenges to become doctors. “You can achieve whatever you want in life in whichever industry of your choosing. Because you are healer, you will heal people wherever you are, and in whatever you do.”

Dr. Mugilarasi Arasarethinam will be speaking at our October 2022 Diverse Careers for Doctors Webinar. Book your seats here.

To find out more about non-clinical jobs for doctors in Malaysia check out our job vacancy and find inspiration from medical doctors who’ve made a career change in our case studies. Check out Medic Footprints Malaysia , and follow our MF Malaysia Instagram and Facebook pages to stay updated on our events, webinars, job vacancies and more.

Check out other articles: