From the trivial choices, like selecting the mug for your morning coffee, to the monumental ones that sculpt the trajectory of our existence – each choice we make has the potential to paint the canvas of our lives.

These decisions, the ones that have the power to rewrite our narrative, deserve our utmost attention.

In today’s Thin Thinking episode, join me as I sit down with the remarkable Dr. Rishma Walji whose insightful TED Talk on intentional decision making has captivated many.

In this thought-provoking episode, Dr. Rishma unravels the art of conscious decision making – a practice that empowers us to sculpt our lives rather than merely reacting to circumstances. She also shares her wisdom and shed light on the path to becoming the architects of our own destinies.

From choosing a career path that resonates with your soul to deciding on matters of partnership and residence, every aspect of intentio nal decision making is explored.

So, make the intentional decision to come on in to this week’s Thin Thinking podcast! 

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Rita Black: We make hundreds of decisions a day. Most of them are small and we aren't even conscious of making them. And often the decision isn't going to change the outcome of our lives. Like, which mug do I pour my coffee into? Or what do I wear to work today? Or, how loudly should I yell at my dog to stop barking? But what about the bigger decisions that we make? Are we really making them from our true selves? Or are we making them from subconscious emotions, beliefs, and expectations that aren't even ours? And yet, these decisions literally change the course of our lives. What should I do for a living? Should I get married? Where should I live? In this episode of Thin Thinking, I interview Dr. Rishma Walji about the subject of her popular TED Talk on intentional decision making and how we can work towards really creating our life rather than reacting to it so that we can become more of who we really want to be. So make the intentional decision to come on in to this week's Thin Thinking podcast, and join me.

Rita Black: Did you know that our struggle with weight doesn't start with the food on your plate or get fixed in the gym? 80% of our weight struggle is mental. That's right. The key to unlocking long-term weight release and management begins in your mind. Hi there, I'm Rita Black. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist, weight loss expert, bestselling author, and the creator of the Shift Weight Mastery Process. And not only have I helped thousands of people over the past 20 years achieve long-term weight mastery, I am also a former weight struggler, carb addict and binge eater. And after two decades of failed diets and fad weight loss programs, I lost 40 pounds with the help of hypnosis. Not only did I release all that weight, I have kept it off for 25 years. Enter the Thin Thinking Podcast where you too will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the Thin Thinking tools, skills, and insights to help you develop the mindset you need, not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long-term and live your best life.

Rita Black: Hello everyone. Thank you for being here today. And thank you for being a part of the Thin Thinking podcast community. I am saying hello all across the globe to our friends in Japan. We have a growing, bursting listenership there, which is super exciting for me. My sister lived for seven years in Japan. A wonderful group of people in Indonesia and Slovenia and Sweden. So everybody all over the world welcome and come on in. All of our friends near and far. I hope you are having a safe and wonderful end to your summer.

Rita Black: A lot of the times we make decisions as a reaction. For instance, to lose weight. I see it all the time. It's a reflex from being in pain or feeling bad. I've gotta lose weight, I'm going on a diet tomorrow, but not a true intention, but really release weight for good. So I think some coaching on making true decisions from the heart of who we are will be really helpful. And so I cannot wait to introduce you to our Thin Thinking Podcast guest today, Dr. Rishma Walji, trained as an naturopathic doctor and PhD. She spent over 20 years in clinical practice helping patients make big decisions about health, hormones and family. She's currently writing a book about intentional decision making. A lot of her work is related to awareness and emotion that can either guide or mislead our life choices. She's the host of the XO Conversations podcast and a TED X speaker.

Rita Black: Hello and welcome. We have Rishma Walji here with us who is an expert in the art of intentional decision making, which I find so fascinating. And I know everybody here is probably interested since we struggle sometimes with making those intentional decisions. Well, welcome to the Thin Thinking podcast, Rishma! It's nice to have you here.

Rishma Walji: Thank you so much for having me.

Rita Black: Oh, I am really excited. So tell us, how did you, I know you also have this title or you know, you are called a Curious Life strategist. So how did you get to where you are right now, helping people make more intentional decisions?

Rishma Walji: Yeah, you know, it's a good question. It feels like a bit of a roundabout journey. I had grew up in a family from immigrant parents, so I just, sometimes I think about, you know, if I was born five years earlier, I would've been in a different country, different privilege, you know, less privilege maybe. And then also I had a really big family growing up and I had a lot of loss, a lot of people who passed away early. So I kind of grew up with this really acute understanding of how short life is. And then I went into healthcare 'cause I was like, you know what? I wanna take care of people. I was sick as a kid. My grandparents passed away. Like all of these things happened. And I was like, you know what? How can I make a change in the world? How can I, I didn't have the words intentional back then, but you know, how can I take control of my life, take advantage of the opportunities that I have? And at the time, it was that I wanted to give a voice to other people. So I ended up going into healthcare. I wanted to help people. I did fertility and hormones for many, many years and that was sort of my way of, you know, giving a voice to people who didn't know their bodies. You know? We don't get taught the kinds of things that we need to know, especially women.

Rita Black: Absolutely.

Rishma Walji: And especially when you learn the things in school and then you don't talk about it again until you're trying to have a family, right? So there was this piece of me that really wanted to give that voice. But what I noticed when I was in practice for a couple of decades, I was going through this process with people, and when I stood back and kind of looked at what I do for a living, I realized that people come in wanting to have a family, wanting to understand their bodies, but also making choices when they're backed up against a wall, almost like they don't know what their options are. They don't know what their choices are. They feel like they don't have any other option. They feel pressured for time or space or money. All of these things that in the fertility world sort of seem normal, right?

Rishma Walji: Like everyone goes through this. And I took a step back and I thought, first of all, why is this normal? This should not be normal, right? And also, this is how a lot of people feel even outside of the fertility world, just as human beings, we get caught up in our life. We get caught up in parenting and, you know, our jobs, and then we feel like we don't have choice. We don't have options. And so that's kind of how I got interested in it because I wanted to be really intentional about my own life. I wanted to really be careful about the choices that I made, the way I was living, what I was doing, what felt good to me. So that's sort of a roundabout way of saying, this is how I basically followed my passion and my interests, and that's how I'm here.

Rita Black: Interesting. I know I, I have a saying, I say, you know, we can either live offensively or defensively, you know? Like defensively is reacting to our environment and environment are given heritage thoughts in our head versus, you know, being mindful, sitting down, creating your week, creating your month, creating your year. I mean, we aren't in absolute, and I know, you know, not in control of everything that happens to us, but we can do our best with, like you said, connecting. So how did you first start working on this with people? Or how did you start guiding them? Was this in your practice?

Rishma Walji: It was in my practice, but I don't think I was so aware of what I was doing at the time. Like, people would come to me with their relationship problems and their family problems and their emotional problems because they're making these big decisions that influence every part of their life, right? And so I was doing it. I just don't think I had the words for doing it. And then, before we pressed record, I told you that I ended up taking a bit of a break for me. I was trying to walk the talk, and I used to always tell my patients, you know, take care of you. And so I took a bit of a break for me as well, and I ended up kind of diving into like, how can I be more present with myself? I was feeling very torn. I had kids, I had people I was taking care of. I had my practice, all of these things happening at the same time. And I thought, how can I be more purposeful in my own life? How can I experience more joy, more energy? I was exhausted, I was stressed, you know, all of the things. I was trying to take my own advice. And I started reading the research on how to slow down your brain so that you can meditate, because I could never meditate. And it was the sort of something that I always wanted to do and wanted to, of course, I was telling people in my practice it was important, but it was a struggle for me too. I'm human, right? So I was trying to sort of live the life that I was trying to tell other people to do. And I've been doing that forever.

Rishma Walji: I've been trying to eat healthy. I've been trying to, you know, take rest and all of these things. But as a human, I understand the struggles that other people were going through. And so that's sort of what kind of spiraled this journey where I started taking a different perspective on my own health and my age and my ability to take care of other people and myself. And then people started asking me about it, and then it sort of spiraled into all these topics that I'm super interested in. That the thread that kind of goes through all of them is how to be intentional, how to really make decisions, not right decisions, but right for me.

Rita Black: So how do you, like, what types of things influence our decisions? Like in your research and what did you find? Like, what's making those decisions for us in the back of our brain?

Rishma Walji: Yeah, it's a good question. The majority of the decisions that we make are automated. We don't actually consciously make most of our decisions. And if you think about it, you know, you're driving along, you're not thinking about how to turn to go to your house. You're not thinking about you know, how you react to someone when they say something to you. A lot of times we just react. We don't even think about it. It's sort of a habit or a programmed response. And that happens because we can't actually make conscious decisions as human beings. It takes a lot longer to process a conscious decision than a subconscious decision. So we have these patterns, these processes in our brains that develop over time. It could be because of an experience, it could be because of a habit. It could be because of, you know, what we were told growing up, what we believe after, I don't know, getting rejected.

Rishma Walji: You know? Like these kinds of things that we experience through life. And we start to develop these subconscious habits or schema, and then we live life with making those decisions based on those subconscious patterns and subconscious thoughts and subconscious habits. And then only 5% to 10% of our decisions are actually conscious. Those are the ones we think about. It's really scary if you think about it. In a way, it's important, but it's scary, right? Like, I'm living my life just on a train that's going somewhere and I don't have control and I'm not driving it. You know?

Rita Black: It's so true. We talk about on our, The Thin Thinking podcast, you know, how about 12% of our mind's conscious and the rest is subconscious. And that a lot of those habits and beliefs are just wired in there and we're just doing them. And that's why it comes hard for health, right? Weight management, things like quitting smoking. Those decisions are kind of coming from this place in our subconscious mind a lot of times that impulsive decision or emotional eatings based on, you know, patterns that are overriding our conscious minds, you know, best intentions. So I can totally see that. And the brain is so amazing. I mean, if you think about the fact that it, like you said, most of what we're doing over the course of the day is kind of pre-programmed or wired in there for our survivals, make it easy because we were having to make absolute conscious decisions. But when it comes to yeah, slowing down the brain and being mindful that that is where people start to find, then they are able to be the agents of their change and to start to feel more confident.

Rishma Walji: That's exactly it. You have more choice when you can control your decisions. And I'm not saying we should control every decision, right? We shouldn't be conscious every decisions, but we should be able to pick and choose which ones we bring to the surface, and then which ones we push back down.

Rita Black: Yeah. And I think, I don't know, have you noticed this? But I think people get to certain times in their life where the old patterns, like I find that there's a, with a lot of people in their late thirties, and then again in their like late forties going into their fifties, and then I have a lot of clients who are in their later fifties, sixties, even seventies, where there's these times in our life where the old beliefs that are running our decisions or running our, if you stop and go, what's the expectation in my mind that's like, making this decision? Or not even the decision, but like, why am I so stressed out? Oh, well, I believe I need to be the perfect mother, right? And it's like, well, whose belief is this? You know? So you get to these points in your life where all these beliefs that aren't even your own meetup with your reality, you're unhappy at your job, you're overworked, your kids, you know, like, you're like, how did I end up with this life? And that's when people, I mean, I'm assuming because you were working with people of child wearing, you saw a lot of that where people were like, they had what looked like a good life on the outside, but they were very unhappy 'cause it was their parents who wanted them to be the lawyer, the doctor, the and they're like, I don't even like what I do.

Rishma Walji: Yeah, for sure. That's a really good observation. I actually find it happens through age, but also through, I'm gonna call it identity transition. You know? When you move out from your parents' home for the first time, you go away to school, and now you are trying to figure out who you are again. Or you start a new job, or you get married or you have kids, or you're retired or, you know, there's all of these different transition phases in life. And I think those are opportunities to sort of reevaluate the kinds of beliefs that we have. And we're sort of forced into them because your identity changes, right? All of a sudden, okay, my kids have moved out, now what do I do with my time? Who do I wanna be? Right? You're sort of forced with those. And I think there's certain times in life when we don't have time, so we don't think about it as much as we would like to, right. You're chasing after your kids, you're busy with your job. And so the idea, I think of it changing with time and age is a really important one. And I think we go through these phases of life where we wanna redefine who we are. We wanna redefine how we live.

Rita Black: Yeah. And sometimes I think that lines up with what you are talking about is health. You know? I mean, we are a health oriented audience here and I think, like you said, when you have a baby, you have to be more mindful of your body and you're brought back into your body in a way to be mindful. When we're retiring and thinking about being able to move around and travel and wanting longevity, that's another, I mean, I certainly know that I've been going through, because my son is leaving for college, and so I will be an empty nester for the first time. And you know, just that was a very huge, even before, he hasn't left yet. But yes, having to sit down and go all these old beliefs about what it would look like, you know? Like, no, what do I really wanna do? So do you have a sort of like, if somebody was like, how do I be more mindful of my decision making? Because I know you've done a TED talk, I know you like, you're an expert at this. How would you lead somebody through like the process of maybe being, you know, not so mindful about decision making and into being a little or much more mindful about what they're doing or intentional?

Rishma Walji: Yeah, for sure. I think a lot of people start in different places, right? So part of the whole idea of being intentional is to make the decision that's right for you, not necessarily the decision that other people tell you is right for you. Right? So it really starts off with where you are at and what your perspective is on the decision, on your circumstance, on your ability to make change, those kinds of things. So what I'm writing about right now is, I have a sort of a graph that I've developed where it kind of plots people on a few scales. One of them is an awareness scale. And normally when I talk about awareness, people think, oh yes, I'm aware, right? We all think like, of course I know myself, I know my body. But the truth is, most of us don't know enough about ourselves.

Rishma Walji: We're not self-aware enough because all of these things are subconscious, right? And even me, everyday I'm learning something new about myself because it's so subconscious. I have certain beliefs about how I'm supposed to show up as a mother, how I'm supposed to show up as a person, how I'm supposed to show up with my patients because of various factors that influenced me, right? My parents, my experience, that kind of thing. And so the awareness is really important. And when I say awareness, I don't just mean self-awareness in the context that people think, oh, I know I'm an introvert, or I know, you know, this is how I get motivated. Those are important too. But there's also a physical awareness, which being in healthcare, you also know that most people are not really connected to their bodies. They don't understand how their body is trying to connect with them and tell them something, right?

Rishma Walji: Like, if you have a headache, it's probably your body's trying to communicate something. It's a symptom. It's not just, oh, I have a headache and I have no other options. Like, that's just how my life is. Your body's trying to tell you something and we don't often know how to listen, right? So this awareness is more than just knowing your personality. It's also about knowing your body, knowing you, know your motivations, your fears, you know, your habits, the things that have influenced you over your upbringing, right? So there's the self-awareness. And then I usually bring it out into two more sections of awareness that people don't tend to lump under the word awareness, but I do. One of them is what I call life awareness. And that's how you connect to others. So how are you in a social setting? How are you connecting with your partner? How do you respond to your partner? How do you connect with your child? How do you respond to your child? Because that's not just self-awareness. There's also a different way that you interact with the world. And especially if someone's important to you, that's gonna be important how they interact with you. So there's this interconnectedness of life and that awareness I think is also critically important. And then the third part of awareness, so self-awareness -

Rita Black: Can I just say before you get into the third, just to talk about this point, the relationship with other people. It is so true that I think, you know, we were talking about a lot of our day is almost like a trance state that we're just being run. And also our relationship with other people can be very trance-like. The way we respond, the way we listen, we already know what they're gonna say. We know what we're gonna respond. And if you sat and broke that down, I could see that that would be very valuable to get a lot more mindful. I've had to do that with my son. I've had to do that with my husband because it's very easy to get into patterns and just kind of live your life in this pattern of responses rather than really being present to somebody or, you know, or even going to a party and surviving it or thriving at it. You know? Because you're socially shy or don;t what to say.

Rishma Walji: Yeah for sure. It's so important. And I think it can really empower your ability to connect in a relationship, right?Like, sometimes I joke with my husband, like, he'll come home and do something and I'll be like, that was so inconsiderate. You know? And, it's not that he's trying to be inconsiderate, he is just doing his thing, right?

Rita Black: He's in his trance.

Rishma Walji: Yeah. When you, and I'm in mine, and when you separate, okay, well I was feeling tired and you were feeling, you know, stressed about work. And then you can realize, okay, here's my awareness, here's my awareness of him, and here's the awareness for how we usually communicate. And then it just opens up the ability to have a less charged connection, a less charged conversation. Because then I'm not blaming, I'm asking. And I'm curious about what his reactions are, what his patterns are, what mine are. And I'm not judging either of them. Righ? It just changes the conversation so clearly. Same thing with my kids. Most of the times when I'm upset with my kids, it's not their stuff, it's my stuff. And I don't wanna admit that's true, but it's true.

Rita Black: Yeah. I know. We don't wanna look at that stuff. But yeah, it is absolutely true. And I think what you were saying about your husband too is that gives your being empathetic and compassionate when you take into consideration where he's at in his day, what's going on in his brain. It's not just like your experience of him. It's like bringing him his whole, whole being into, and I agree with you, it just changes the game in your communications with each other. Absolutely.

Rishma Walji: Yeah. And if you think about intentional decision making, people think, oh, big decisions, right? Oh, should I have kids? Should I move across the country? But there's also very little decisions that really change your life. If I make a decision that I want this relationship to work, then I need to be open to having that awareness so that I can make change because If I'm not open to the awareness, there's never gonna be a change. We're gonna be fighting about the same thing 10 years from now.

Rita Black: It's so true. And I wonder, so when you work with people on this, is there pushback? Because it does require really committing to having feelings. And a lot of times, when we're operating outside the world of our trance state, you know, a lot of times that works for us because for us, when we're present then we have feelings, they're not all good feelings. You know?

Rishma Walji: There's a ton of pushback. And anyone who knows me knows that I'm deep. Like I am unable to have a superficial conversation with anyone. I go to a party and I'm like, you know, what's motivating you right now? Like, it's a very, I just go deep. So I think people who, even people listen to my podcast, like it is deep, right? And it's, I'm sure that I'm not for everyone, but if you're not willing to go through some discomfort, it's really hard to have change. You know? Like we all have our vulnerabilities and this is kind of why, although it's terrifying to me, and it was very scary even when I did my TED talk to share some of my vulnerabilities. I think part of the reason I do that is because I wanna show that you can't have change unless you're willing to face them. Unless you're willing to be open to them and admit that they're there. And I'm not perfect and I'm going through the process just like everyone else, but I have access to these resources and the healthcare and the research. And so I feel like if people have the courage to face those uncomfortable feelings to face those uncomfortable truths, it really opens up the possibility of having a life that you love.

Rita Black: Hmm. You were gonna say a third thing? Because you mentioned relationships. So what is that third thing? The awareness, third awareness.

Rishma Walji: Yeah. So three awarenesses. One is self-awareness, life awareness, and then the other one that I really don't see anyone talking about, but I think we all know what it is. And that is system awareness. And I'm calling it system awareness because you would know also in healthcare, but it could be in another field too. There is a way things work, and a lot of my healthcare professional life was helping people navigate the healthcare system, at least here in Canada. Right? If you don't know how the healthcare system works, you're not gonna be able to navigate. It's the same in education. You know, you have a child with some need and if you don't know how the education system works, you won't know how to get that child the extra attention that they need in finances. You know? If you don't know how your finances work, you're not gonna be able to have a successful business.

Rishma Walji: So there is a system awareness. Most of the time we have to learn something in order to navigate that or we need help to do it. But I think a lot of people don't realize that that awareness is really important if you're trying to make a change in your life. So if you're scared of your finances and you're not willing to learn how they work, because there is a way they work and there's a way they don't. Right? And if you don't understand your expenses and all your income, like if you don't understand how that works, you're not gonna be able to make a change in your financial situation. Of course there are limitations, of course there's privilege of, you know, that's not to say that we can solve every problem, but the awareness of how things work, even just in healthcare to know how your body works, right?

Rishma Walji: To know that yeah, headache might mean X, Y, and Z. Like even just that knowledge. A lot of my patients, for example, when I was working with hormones, they would come in not knowing what their body was supposed to be doing during their periods. And if you don't know that, how are you gonna know if your body's trying to tell you something or not? Right? Like, you can't make a change if you don't know that that's not what's supposed to be happening. It's not normal that you're in pain that much every month, you know?

Rita Black: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. I mean, I remember when I was trying to get pregnant, because I started late in life and I was gonna have my second child around the age of 40 and I was trying to get pregnant. It was harder beause It seemed like, I don't know, it's none of those, even when you pee the stick and it tells you you're fertile or not, we're working, and I then I read a book and it gave me a lot more awareness of my body. Because, and it was about like the fluids that my body was excreting at certain points of the month. And I was like, I considered myself an educated person. I consider myself a very in touch with my body sort of person. And why didn't I know this before? And once I knew that, once I had that I got pregnant like the first time. Do you know what I mean? Once I had put all the pieces of the puzzle together, but I just could, and I'm sure you've seen this a zillion times in your practice, but it's just like, really, that's what that means. Just, you know?

Rishma Walji: Oh my gosh, this gets me so fired up because I do, I see people who are like, I just wish I knew that, I wish I knew this information. And that's where I came up with the system awareness because I'm like, there are pieces of information that we need and if we don't know that it's out there, maybe we don't know it, but if we don't know that it's out there, then we don't look for it. And then our options are limited and then we only go down a certain path. Like most people think you try to get pregnant, if it doesn't work, you go to IVF. There's a whole world of fertility information in between trying and going to IVF. That doesn't mean you won't need IVF, but there's a whole bunch of information right in between that, that no one knows, no one talks about. No one teaches us, you know? So I feel like that's the case with many, many fields.

Rita Black: I think they, you know, one thing that's lacking from the educational system, I mean, we're in the United States, but we have a huge Canadian audience too. And, you know, all worldwide. But so people will understand is that we're not, I don't feel like our educational system teaches us to be curious and to ask those questions. You know? I think we, it's kind of an authority system. So you're just used to being good, you know, following what people, the authority figure says and not, you know, asking outside the box. And it sounds like that's what you're advocating and looking outside the box. I agree with you. I mean, with weight management, right? Weight management is all three of those things. How you relate with yourself, how you relate with your environment and the people in it, and how the systems and operations that you set up for yourself, they're either working for you or they're working against you.

Rita Black: And making that change, it takes mindfulness, it takes communicating more powerfully with yourself. It takes asking for support and from those people. So changing those relationships to a certain degree because these people are used to, you know, a relationship that works, but that relationship might be setting you up for failure. So you have to, you know, take into account all of that awareness. And, you know, you can't be super aware of everything all the time, you know, all at once. But starting to get curious and be, I call it like the CEO of your own weight management. Like, you kind of have to look at all the systems and you have to look at your staff and you have to look at your, you know, just every aspect of that and have them all working together. So that's really cool that you've divided it and you've created this graph. Now I know you have, so you're saying break it down and then you're, is there a practice or a way of like, structuring things for yourself that can start to make you, like, if you're waking up in the morning, like, how can I make today a more intentional decision making day?

Rishma Walji: Yeah. There's so many different practices that I have. So really it's about what works for you and what's gonna be the most applicable for me. I have started, okay, I'm not a journaler. I never was a journaler. That was not something that I felt comfortable doing. But recently I've started journaling and it is life changing. And I think the issue for me was I didn't know what to journal about. And now I have very specific sort of prompts that help me get clarity for myself. I use it for my audience too, my clients. And I find that that really helps to unlock, it's almost like what I would do in practice. So, you know, when you're working with a patient and they say, you know I can't do this thing. And then you'd be like, tell me why, you know, what do you mean when do you feel worse about that?

Rishma Walji: Or whatever? You ask all these questions. That's what I started doing with journaling. So I have these different prompts that I use that kind of probe a little bit deeper, a little bit deeper, a little bit deeper. And it usually ends up bringing up something that's like, oh, I don't wanna deal with this. But then we have to sit in it and understand it. So that's one strategy. There's many. Looking for patterns is another thing. So in the way that I would pay attention, oh, I get a headache every time I have a period. That's a pattern, right? I also try to pay attention to emotional patterns. So anytime I get upset, I reach for junk food. That's a pattern, right? So I pay attention to these things because once you understand that, oh, it's this emotion that makes me feel this way or makes me respond in this way, then we can change it. So that's the first thing is sort of like being aware of that, being curious, being open to the awareness too, and not pushing it under the rug.

Rita Black: Yeah. That's great. Now you have been mentioning a podcast. What is the name of your podcast?

Rishma Walji: It's called XO Conversations.

Rita Black: I love it. And that's available in all the platforms.

Rishma Walji: Yeah.

Rita Black: So check out Rishma on those platforms. And then you're writing a book now the book is in process, so we can look forward to that. And is there any way I'm gonna be posting in the show notes all the different ways that people can find you and get in on this conversation more. And I'm gonna put your TED talk on the show notes as well. Thank you. I haven't seen it yet, but I will look forward to seeing it because I have been wanting to see it. Looks really good. But you also have something that, you have this graph that you're talking about, right? Can you tell us more about it? And I'm gonna be putting it, there's a link to it, right? Like that you can sign up for it and then get it sent to you.

Rishma Walji: Yeah. So the best place to reach me is on my website, And if you want the quiz, it's So I can give you the link, you can link to it. And essentially it's a quiz that helps you, it helps plot people on this graph in terms of where they are in terms of their intentionality. And it helps people become more intentional by giving them the first sort of steps. You're more heavily based in awareness. Maybe you need some action steps. You're more heavily based in action. Maybe you need some awareness steps. So it sort of graphs you or plots you on the graph. And then it gives you some prompting questions and some steps to take in order to be more intentional with the next decisions that you're making in life.

Rita Black: Oh, that's amazing. Okay. Well, great. Well, I will check that out and everybody can check that out. That sounds really good. I love how you've broken everything down. That's, that's really the first step. You've made it very accessible, which is fantastic.

Rishma Walji: Thank you.

Rita Black: Well, it's been such a joy to start the conversation with you. I'm sure we're gonna have to have you back for more intentional decision making, but this has been great. And if there's maybe one, one thing that you could say for one people out there to just get started, other than taking your quiz, like what would be that first thing to get a little more mindful and intentional today?

Rishma Walji: Yeah, the first thing I usually tell people is to pay attention, not with judgment or anything like that. Just pay attention in the way that your best friend would pay attention to you. You know? Or we don't judge other people. Like, I am sometimes so hard on myself, right? If I pay attention to a reaction, I'm like, why did I get upset? You know? But my friend would be like, of course you got upset. I understand it, but why did you get upset? What's going on in your mind? You know? Sort of like ask yourself as a friend would. Just pay attention to your life, your reactions, your physical body, how you interact with people. Just pay attention to things around you. And you don't have to pay attention to everything, but if there's something in your life that you wanna change, if there's a decision that you wanna make intentionally, just pay attention to the things around that decision that are influencing you so that you have more control over the outcome.

Rita Black: I love it. Okay. Well thank you for that. I really appreciate your time. This has been fantastic.

Rita Black: Thank you, Rishma so much. We look forward to having you back!

Rita Black: Thank you so much for joining us. And everyone, make sure to check out Rishma's TED talk in the link, it's in the show notes and get on her email list so that you can learn when her book drops and all the other wonderful things she's up to, like her podcast. Have a great week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it. I will see you here next week.

Rita Black: Thanks for listening to The Thin Thinking Podcast. Did that episode go by way too fast for you? If so, and you wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release, head on over to That's, where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release tips, strategies, and more. And be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book From Fat to Thin Thinking. Unlock Your Mind for Permanent Weight Loss.