Today I'm joined by my guest Asha Rani, and this episode is full of absolute gold. Asha is an NYC-based Periodontist, Reiki Healer, Best Selling Author, Speaker, AND Dental Office Dancer (we’ll explain later). Is there anything this woman can't do? We dive into some feel-good topics including following your joy, recognizing your worth, living life on your terms, and prioritizing yourself. If you're looking for a strong dose of inspiration and positivity, you won't want to miss this one!
Nothing takes the bite out of an impending root canal like busting some moves around the dental office chair, am I right? That's just one of the many ways our guest Asha spreads joy and puts a smile on people's faces. It's easy to get caught up in the fast-paced rat race, which can make taking care of yourself and pursuing your own happiness can be a challenge. In this episode, we dive into the importance of listening to your own needs and following your intuition. This episode is a must-listen!
Can’t-Miss Moments From This Episode:
This one is jam-packed full of advice. Don’t miss out - listen now!
Dr. Asha Rani is a practicing periodontist in NYC. She received her dental degree from the Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine in 2003 and completed her periodontal residency training at the Manhattan VA Hospital. Through her years of surgical practice it became apparent that patient care went far beyond simply diagnosis and treatment. It has become her mission to integrate wellness into dentistry and incorporate a more holistic approach to relieve patient anxiety. Asha brings her joy for dance into her practice and the simple act of dancing thirty seconds of freestyle with her patients has opened up a human connection that is rarely seen in healthcare.
In addition to private practice, she is a professor for a conscious implant training program which teaches implant surgery to dentists in the Dominican Republic. While abroad, she also volunteers her services to participate in Revive Mission, a dental mission serving the underprivileged communities in remote villages of DR.
Asha is passionate about integrating personal wellness into daily life. She lectures on mindfulness to dental students and residents who treat PTSD patients. She completed an 8 week training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, the only approved evidence based program in the country to assist people with stress, anxiety, depression and pain. She is certified in Reiki Level 3 which is a form of alternative medicine to encourage emotional and physical healing.
Outside of dentistry, Asha enjoys writing and in 2023 she published her first book titled, Who Is She? It is a memoir/self-help book about the journey beyond being a mother, wife, and daughter. Her book was a #1 Best Seller on Amazon in addition to ranking #1 New Release in four categories. In addition to writing, she is also a public speaker and enjoys sharing life stories. She most recently took the stage at the SPEAK Event \ in New York, and continues to speak on topics important to her. As an entrepreneur and mother of three children, she strongly believes in the importance of self care and prioritizes her daily life with a complete mind body soul approach to wellness.
Resources and links mentioned:
Come kick ass with me:
Angie Colee (00:03):
Welcome to Permission to Kick Ass, the show that gives you a virtual seat at the bar for the real conversations that happen between entrepreneurs. I'm interviewing all kinds of business owners from those just a few years into freelancing to CEOs, Heming nine figure companies. If you've ever worried that everyone else just seems to get it and you're missing something or messing things up, this show is for you. I'm your host, Angie Colee, and let's get to it. Hey, and welcome back to Permission to Kick Ass with me today is my new friend, Dr. Asha. Rani, say hi.
Asha Rani (00:38):
Angie Colee (00:39):
We had us a good little chat before we started recording, and I'm admiring the background and we're getting all sassy and friendly, and so, yes. But, uh, you guys may have noticed that I said, doctor, we talked about that a lot too. Tell us, doctor, what do you do,
Asha Rani (00:52):
Angie Colee (02:21):
Awesome. I love that so much. I, you know, and dentist's office isn't one place that I think people would normally associate with joy. Right. So many people associate that with fear and nerves. I've never really been a nervous dentist office goer. Uh, but I know that there are a lot of people who, that is like their worst fear. So I imagine that, uh, having a joyful dentist is, is awesome for them.
Asha Rani (02:46):
Well, you know, what I will say is, so I've been a dentist for 20 years mm-hmm.
Asha Rani (03:37):
Angie Colee (04:44):
Asha Rani (05:10):
Angie Colee (05:45):
Right. And I would argue that professionalism is not the thing here. Have you helped somebody solve their problem? Have you given them a bright spot in their day? Like we were joking about that earlier too. Cuz I'm like, yes, I'm gonna be in a hoodie. I'm gonna swear a lot. We'll probably wind up at a theme park drunk at some point and I can still help you make a million dollars in your business. Like, do you, do you think I'm unprofessional now just because I said we went to Disney. I don't care
Asha Rani (06:38):
And, and what I do is I do surgery. So that even is a situation where nobody wants to get surgery. Yes. Um, but you know, I, there is a disconnect in healthcare between doctors and patients, um mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (07:20):
I love that distinction. I think that we could use that everywhere in business a little bit. Cause I know I see this, so I come from a marketing background and for there, there's kind of a weird thing that happens in my industry where folks in the early stages, they have a couple early wins and they get rope cocky and then they start going, right. But shouldn't the business owners be listening to me? After all, I am the experts and they're coming to me from marketing help cuz they don't know how to do it. And I'm like, okay, so we, we gotta stop and dismantle and examine that a little bit. I, first of all, yay you congrats for getting some wins. Congrats for getting some confidence up. I know that that's a battle in and of itself. Let's dial it back a little bit. Let's recognize that clients aren't dumb, especially if they've built a business that they can afford to pay to bring you in. Like they're doing something right. So that deserves some respect too. Like let's stop this whole, like, expertise needs to be respected. It does. And we can still be kind, appreciative, respectful human beings regardless of the level of expertise in the room. That's just me. Right.
Asha Rani (08:25):
You know, I think, and I think there is part of it is we are going through a shift where there's an old school way of, um, presenting yourself in a, in a quote professional environment mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (09:10):
Oh yeah. And I think that's a healthy approach all around too because I know that I've talked myself and several other people off the ledge that like when a layoff happens, when there's a business downturn, when you lose a client or something like that, in the old paradigm, in that mold, in that respect, my expertise, your identity, your worth is deeply tied to what you do. Exactly. Like you said at the beginning, and I've been on this bandwagon, it's only been a short amount of time cuz I'm still like divorcing myself from Silicon Valley hustling, grind culture. Right. But your work is not your worth. Right. Who you are is not what you do. And it's totally okay to like leave that behind, invent your own method of doing it, not fit into anybody else's box and still have a gleefully, joyous, rambunctious hell of a time helping people your own way. I love it.
Asha Rani (10:02):
Right. And I think, um, for me personally, how I was raised and my background has really changed my perspective and how I, um, interact with people. Um, you know, my parents came from I, India mm-hmm.
Asha Rani (10:57):
Yeah. Um, and then as I, you know, was going to school and, you know, we're, you know, trying to get an education and now all of a sudden I have this doctor title mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (11:53):
Asha Rani (11:54):
So because of that, um, I use my, my childhood upbringing as a gift. Although at that time it didn't feel like, what's the gift?
Angie Colee (12:01):
Yes, totally understand that too.
Asha Rani (12:03):
You know. Um, so for me, that is where I'm able to bring in a different part of myself to what I do.
Angie Colee (12:11):
I love that. You know, of course it takes time and perspective to get to that gift that we get in the midst of challenge. And I didn't grow up in the projects, but I did grow up in a trailer park. So I have a little bit of, of the same sense of like, growing up around wealthier folks when you are a poorer kid. I, I remember once, I think I only talked about this once on the show before, but, uh, I think I was 17 at the time and one of my aunts had nominated my, you know, single working mom with three kids. And I was the eldest, uh, for like one of those Christmas families that that's in need, a needy family. And I remember being so excited because I'm a kid, right? Right. Somebody showed up with all of, and they did junk food for kids.
Angie Colee (12:57):
They didn't just show up with like, Hey, broccoli, eat your, eat your veggies. Kids, they probably could have, but it was like Oreos and goldfish and food and snacks and presents and stuff. And they had done presents for our age, like age appropriate presence. Mm-hmm.
Asha Rani (13:56):
Angie Colee (14:40):
Oh yeah. I think the mission is really important and that a lot of times when we're struggling as entrepreneurs, it's because we've shifted into a me-centric mode versus a mission-centric mode. And, you know, when I talk about missions in business, I'm not necessarily talking about being an Elon Musk or, you know, one of those guys that's, we're gonna put in your space, your, your mission doesn't have to be that big. It could be helping this specific group of people in my very small local town. It could be helping all female entrepreneurs like, pick your flavor, pick your size, pick your location. It's all up to you. Right. You don't have to be a world changer necessarily in order to change some worlds though.
Asha Rani (15:21):
Angie Colee (15:21):
Asha Rani (15:22):
Asha Rani (16:07):
Like, let me see. Yeah. Let me see me, let me feel me, let me do me. Um, and I think that is what it has allowed me to bring joy into things that I do. Mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (16:46):
Yeah. I love that. And I, I've spoken to folks before about what I call alternate realities and how they're happening all around us because literally I can't see what's happening in your life and you can't see what's happening in mine. So that fact that there are so many people around us living different iterations of a life, we're ignorant to so many possibilities just by how, like, our brain can't process that much information. So if you don't know anybody that's doing anything differently, your worldview gets very limited to, well, these are the only possibilities. And I guess I'm picking the best one. Why do I still feel like crap? Probably because there's an option out there that you haven't seen yet. Right. And I won't pretend to have the answers as to how you go about, you know, cultivating that awareness and finding other realities. But I love that you said the fact that like, it got so uncomfortable and I knew that there had to be something else like discomfort, resistance, high levels of stress, I have started to understand are all signals. My brain, my body, my soul, whatever you wanna call it, is telling me something needs to change. There's something to pay attention to here, stop resisting me for the love of God, or I'm gonna start shutting down organs.
Asha Rani (17:54):
Right. Right. You know, but it also takes, but it takes, um, an awareness and it takes, um, you know, when you follow your intuition and you know mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (18:51):
Yeah, absolutely. I've heard that described as as finding the, the balance between being and doing, which, especially in capital capitalist society, we have this pressure to just do, do, do achieve more and more and more. And you know, again, that worth is tied to the work, but if we can find ways to exactly like you are reconnecting with your body, your joy, your spirit, you're reconnecting with people that's being absolutely a hundred percent present. And I love that you also brought up, who am I to complain. Um, and I have a love-hate relationship with that because first of all, yes. Very brave thing to admit, especially in this day and age where people are quick to jump on the, well, I'm more miserable than that. What do you have to complain about? Look, we all have problems and your problems are valid and you don't get to out valid me just because you've got different problems.
Angie Colee (19:44):
That doesn't mean I am saying that yours don't exist. That doesn't mean that I'm saying mine or worse, or that like you have no right to suffer or like anything like that. But, but on that note, suffering is also a choice. Like, pain is going to happen, but suffering is something that we choose to do, whether consciously or unconsciously. Um, I think that ties closely to something else that you said about making yourself number one, which is something I think a lot of, especially women and mothers in entrepreneurship struggle with too. And to that I say, you don't have enough. Like there's no reason why you should not fit into your own life.
Asha Rani (20:24):
Angie Colee (20:24):
It's your life. You're the leading lady, you're the hero. This is your life. Why is it being lived for you? And you just come in as an afterthought. That frustrates me so much.
Asha Rani (20:34):
Yeah. You know, um, I think we also have to recognize, um, if we're talking about women in general, there are, there, there are patterns and societal norms that we follow mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (21:54):
Asha Rani (21:55):
Of quote, what a successful life is supposed to be. Right. You know, and he gotta have
Angie Colee (22:01):
It all as a woman.
Asha Rani (22:02):
Right. Right. And there was no big story except for the fact that I felt like our partnership had come, you know, to a close mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (22:34):
I'm glad you said that. It's never too late to make a change. And, you know, in economics and business we talk about sunk cost, which is exactly what you said. 25 years is not a reason to stay. Just whatever you have committed to something is not a reason to stick it out. If you have, you know, stepped back and looked and examined your own thoughts and your own motivation and your own feelings and your own goals, and you've decided this is no longer serving me. And that in and of itself is a really hard choice because most of us never want to admit something like that to ourselves. But yeah. Congrats. Congrats. Thank you. Putting that for yourself and breaking those norms. Um, I have
Asha Rani (23:40):
There should be no rule. There should be no rule. Like get rid of the rules. There should be no rule about what your successful life looks like. You Exactly. You, you get to connect your own dots. And I hope it gets to the point where everybody just is, um, aware that somebody else's journey is their journey. It has nothing to do with you.
Angie Colee (23:59):
Exa ah, yes. It has nothing to do with you. Ha does it impact your life at all? Most of the time somebody else's decision will not impact you whatsoever. So just let it go like the Disney song.
Asha Rani (24:13):
But what I will say is that if it does impact you and it triggers you, then reflect on what you're being triggered on. Mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (24:40):
It absolutely is. And that's why I find it interesting that so many folks who are drone drawn to entrepreneurship, to having their own business in whatever form also seem to be some of the biggest like self-improvement, self-development junkies I have ever met. Everybody has always got a therapist, a podcast, a book, something that you need to check out. Oh my God, this really helped me with this story that I had. So it was funny earlier that you talked about, um, a little bit about money and I wrote down this idea that I had cuz I, I recently uncovered a story that I had that I was not aware was there. And it was tied to what we talked about growing up poor. I was afraid of success because I was afraid that the people that I love the most, the folks that I grew up very poor around were going to change and, and assume that I had gotten too big for my britches, or if I become wealthy and I changed the paradigm, we're somehow gonna sabotage.
Angie Colee (25:38):
They're not gonna like me as a person anymore. I'm gonna lose everyone that I love if I dare step out of this box that I have, you know, helped put myself in from, from societal pressure. And so uncovering that was a real eyeopener because I was like, okay, okay, now I feel like I am prepared for this eventuality because building wealth is going to happen. That is, it's already in process. It's well down the road, yay us for breaking generational patterns. Right, right. Uh, and whatever somebody's reaction is to me achieving that, and again, exactly like you said, it has nothing to do with them. They're not even involved in that process except for being part of my life. If that's triggering them, I feel much better prepared to be like, well, I hear you. And it sounds like those are really strong feelings. And I'm also kind of a, like, curious, how does me doing this mean that for you? Can we talk about that? Because I love you and I wanna hear you out. And also this bothers me,
Asha Rani (26:39):
Right. And that requires a very mature conversation mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (27:06):
Asha Rani (27:07):
And so, oh, that's
Angie Colee (27:08):
Such a perfect analogy,
Asha Rani (27:10):
And so that's where you decide, do you need a new partner or do we wanna work together mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (27:41):
Asha Rani (27:43):
Absolutely, they're there as teachers for a certain amount of time and then you move on.
Angie Colee (27:47):
Yeah. And you've gotta ask yourself why you would want to maintain a relationship with someone who would rather you hold yourself back to make them comfortable than celebrate you when you go shine. I would rather have somebody that wants to be in my life because they know like, hell yeah. Being around Angie's gonna be fun. Like, we're gonna woo, we're gonna have some good meals, she's gonna take us on trips. Like, hell yeah. I spoil all the people around me. That's what I love doing. It's what brings me joy. It's why I work as hard as I do. Oh,
Asha Rani (28:14):
Can I go with you? Can I go with you? Hell yeah.
Angie Colee (28:16):
Hell yeah. I love that. And when I get back on the road, when I get back up to New York, I'm gonna have to let you know. But that's one of my favorite things to do when I'm out traveling is, you know, I'll tell people I'm in this area and I start getting pings. We should hang out here, we should go do this. They take me on these crazy adventures. We find these really interesting restaurants and we have so much fun together. And that is why I work as hard as I do, because I want the experience, I want the memories. That's all the stuff that I'm gonna be able to take with me to the end, not the actual like physical monetary stuff.
Asha Rani (28:49):
Right, right. It's living life, my God, to the best.
Angie Colee (28:53):
Asha Rani (29:39):
Angie Colee (29:40):
You have a point. I'm already doing this. And that was my main goal. So why am I stressing out so much about the money? Like mm-hmm.
Asha Rani (29:51):
Right. And you are, you are, you're able to recreate yourself as you do the same thing that you're doing. So mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (30:00):
Yeah. I think, I think it's fantastic. So I wanna circle back to that since we, we got back to the dancing. What made you put these videos online and like, what was the response to that?
Asha Rani (30:13):
So this was during Covid, so mm-hmm.
Asha Rani (30:22):
Making anybody laugh or smile for any reason. Um,
Asha Rani (31:09):
Angie Colee (31:58):
Hell yes. I love that. And you know, to go back to what we talked about with suffering, being a choice, um, I just remember working on a passage in my book recently where I came across this. There, there's a book called Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. And if you haven't read it, highly recommend it. Go read it, read it once a year. But it, you know, at a high level it talks about, uh, finding joy in a concentration camp and arguably one of the worst possible experiences that any of us could have as human beings. Right. And that just further underscores the fact that like, there are little moments of joy, there are little smiles. No matter how miserable your situation is, you might have to dig for it, you might have to lean on others for support to get it. You might have to push yourself outta your comfort zone to find it, but it's there and we can choose with some work, right. To get out of that funk and to find our joy and our happiness again. And it ties in so brilliantly to I'm sure everybody's heard that Marianne Williamson quote by now about, uh, when you shine your light, you give others permission to shine theirs. I always picture somebody like a whole bunch of us standing in a room with candles. Yeah. Me using my candlelight to light yours makes the room brighter and it does nothing to diminish my shine.
Asha Rani (33:11):
There you go. That's it. That is it. We can
Angie Colee (33:14):
All light each other up. We can all bring little moments of joy even to something that on the surface doesn't seem like fun. Like getting your teeth operated on. All right. Hell yeah. Makes me wanna fly to, to, to
Asha Rani (33:30):
Angie Colee (34:23):
Some point you've just got to give up this idea that you're, you can please everybody and you've got to embrace what's really important to you while also realizing that no one person can do it all. It's exactly tied into that light. Light a spark, light a candle, make this room a little bit brighter. You know, Dr. Ashani and Angie aren't going to make all 8 billion people on the planet instantaneously joyful. And that's not our job either. And to put that pressure on ourselves is just, it's a recipe for like heart attack. Oh my gosh. But you can do your small part, you can brighten your little corner of the world and if somebody takes offense to that, that's, you know, you gotta let that be on them. You gotta let that go. And I always ask myself my reframe for that. When somebody doesn't like me or doesn't like what I'm doing is, well cool. I don't like you
Asha Rani (35:20):
Angie Colee (35:21):
It doesn't mean I hate you. It doesn't mean I wish you well, but like, if you're not my favorite person, why do I give a what you think about what I'm doing? I don't care. Yeah.
Asha Rani (35:29):
Angie Colee (35:31):
Let me introduce. Yeah. Lemme introduce you to somebody else. I don't like, maybe you'll like each other and you'll hit it off. It'll be fine. Fine.
Asha Rani (35:37):
You know what, what I have found for me, um, you know, I haven't had too many people to my face say that, that I don't like you, but I'm sure there aren't many people
Angie Colee (36:00):
Asha Rani (36:03):
It's silence. Right. Um, and you don't even wanna waste your energy mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (36:24):
Absolutely. Treat it with a touch of humor. Her Right.
Asha Rani (36:28):
Angie Colee (36:29):
It with a touch of humor.
Asha Rani (37:04):
You're, you're actually killing them with love. So you know what? Do that. Yes.
Angie Colee (37:12):
Asha Rani (37:26):
You know, you just said the key word. Childhood, you know, at what point, and I don't know, you know, this is just when you grow up, at what point does becoming adult have to be boring? Like Right. Did we forget like how to be a child? Like being, getting in, in touch with the things that you enjoyed as a child doesn't mean you're immature. Mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (38:27):
Absolutely. And I think when you have done the work to figure out what you, what special thing you bring to the world, then your work becomes your play. Right. And that's kind of like the adult version of childhood. Right. Um, I, I loved traveling around the country and being able to visit places as a digital nomad because I had this fresh perspective and I, I just, my first stop was in New Orleans in 2021 where there was no Mardi Gras because we were, it was still pro-vaccine. Um, and I had this whole big list cuz I'm a writer. I researched and I was like, these are all the things I have to do. These are all the listicles. I went to one place and had such a great conversation with a local person in Covid times when people were encouraged to not talk to strangers.
Angie Colee (39:11):
Uh, and they were like, oh, you're new here. You need to go to this place. You need to go to the, no, forget your list. Go to these places, I'm telling you. And that sparked off two years of me just going to a place that someone else recommended. Yeah. Having an interesting conversation with a stranger, asking them what they recommended. They sent me off on another adventure. I meant a lama yoga. I've been in hot air balloons, I've done all, I went
Asha Rani (39:46):
Angie Colee (39:47):
Yeah. J just being brave enough to be like I yes, I'm an adult and fun is still allowed. Whatever your definition of fun is, doesn't have to be faced for first down a weird slide. Uh, doesn't have to be a hot air balloon, especially if you're afraid of heights. But what do you like doing? What's fun for you? Go do more of that.
Asha Rani (40:04):
Yeah. Yeah. And you know what, and I, and that's where I knew five years ago that something was up when I did have free time mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (40:36):
Asha Rani (41:10):
And, and if you're running a business, um, and your, your staff members see you in that, that's the easiest way to keep staff members still working for you. Mm-hmm.
Angie Colee (42:02):
Asha Rani (42:37):
Here, guys. This is your one lifetime. Make it count.
Angie Colee (42:40):
Absolutely. I feel like that is the perfect way. Perfect Chef's kiss way to end this show. So tell us a little bit more about what you're up to, where we can find more information about you And I have a feeling that more people are gonna wanna, uh, like figure out how to book you for appointments now that they know a great dentist to go to
Asha Rani (42:57):
Angie Colee (43:36):
Asha Rani (43:48):
Thank you so much for having me.
Angie Colee (43:52):
That's all for now. If you wanna keep that Kick Ass energy high, please take a minute to share this episode with someone that might need a high octane dose. If you could do it, don't forget to rate, review, and subscribe to the permission to Kick Ass podcast on Apple Podcast Spotify and wherever you stream your podcast. I'm your host, Angie Colee, and I'm here rooting for you. Thanks for listening and let's go Kick Ass some.