Off The Beaten Path with Dr. Poorna Menon, ND
Who Is Dr. Poorna Menon, ND?
Dr. Menon is a Naturopathic Physician & Health Consultant, with a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University. She specialises in complex, chronic health conditions, including mental health, and extensively uses Naturopathic modalities such as clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, supplements/nutraceuticals, counselling, and Mind-Body Medicine in her guidance to clients. Her contact details are at the bottom of this interview.
A Lovely & Brief Deep Dive Into Wisdom, Spiritual Angles & Logic
I had the pleasure of re-connecting with a friend and person I've admired for a while now, Poorna. Believe it or not, before we were all grown up, we used to be in the same class in Primary School in Singapore. That's Grades 1-6 from an international point of view, or the calendar years where one turns 7 to 12.
I used to take the front seat to the centre-right of the class, and as far as I can remember in the years we sat in that arrangement, she was in the seat behind me. In my mind, I used to think "ok these two kids are special", referring to myself and her. Of course as a 10-year old, "special" to me meant, "good grades", and I believe Poorna was kicking some serious behind in English. I remember clearly an incident where we were preparing for our Oral Exams in English, and the teacher made me read out a passage, as an example to the class.
That was a Mrs. Ang Chengdu (or Cheng Du). After I finished, she said, "8/10". Then she asked Poorna to read the same passage, and after she finished, she said, "9/10". I was like a little mad to be honest and a little in awe of how calm she was when reading and how she navigated that passage like an expert.
And to link that back to this interview, I knew in my soul and heart, that there was something... spiritually-tuned or divine about this person and probably their family too (just like I felt about mine) that was coming through strongly, but not being armed with the knowledge, wisdom and words which I can now use as an adult, it was just a "feeling" or a "hunch" at the time. Of course, if you understand spirituality or energy, you know that everyone is spiritually-tuned and linked, obviously, but what I mean is that it just comes through more with certain people.
After we went our separate ways, we managed to connect a few times in recent years, and she's finally landed back in Singapore and is working in a similar and parallel if not the same field, of awakening humanity in one way or another (my words not hers), as are most conscious entrepreneurs and leaders.
As such, I thought it would be extremely interesting to bring her insights and perspectives to the table. I must say the largest lesson I've personally learnt from Poorna is how to balance myself (imagine that, and I called myself a life balance coach at some points), and temper my feelings and responses to others, as well as getting really, REALLY neutral (if that was even possible for those of you who know me). In short, I get really enamoured with people I can learn from, as learning is kind of my thing, and is the thing of every one of you who reads this blog often.
In short, you ARE welcome 😂, here we go!
Long Answer Questions (Feel free to answer these with any length of response you prefer.)
1. Could you tell us a little bit about what motivations and/or circumstances caused the change of your career from banking to health between 2016 and 2019? Will it change again in the future if you were to speculate?
It was the combination of a crisis of both conscience and health. I don't think it will change again because fortunately my field provides the flexibility to express this vocation in many diverse and interesting ways. Though who's to say. For example, teenage Poorna never thought she'd become a doctor either! :)
2. Have you always been naturopathy focussed or was that something you picked up somewhere along your life journey as an adult?
My concept of health was grounded in something called Nature Cure (a precursor of Naturopathy) from childhood because that's how my mother raised us.
3. Would you say that religion and spirituality intersect, or are they entirely different? How so?
I think many offshoots, or expressions, of certain religions are spiritual. So they can intersect.
4. I've noticed you don't exactly "hit the gym" and I believe you mentioned it in one of your Instagram videos. Is this just a preference for yourself based on your own body/health or other reasons, or is it something you think is the "correct way" if we are being scientific about our physical and spiritual health and would hence recommend it to everyone who asks... or both?
At the moment, I don't go to the gym as it's honouring what my body and lifestyle are capable of as I have a few chronic health conditions. As the severity of my condition lessens, there are days I think about returning to the gym, which would honour the increase in vitality in my body. For now though, with my health improving, I do longer and harder yoga sessions everyday at home. Ultimately, there's no single way as we are all built with unique constitutions and health conditions. It's important to honour the individual.
5. Do you feel modern society is out of touch with spiritual truths (such as the energetic nature of existence)? Please elaborate.
Potentially, yes, but having not interacted with the majority of modern society, I also can't generalise and claim to know what they think :)
(a) For the modern working human (who goes to the office and returns daily), what would you advise for good health in terms of habits, say meal times and frequency, diet, exercise etc.?
This requires a longer answer, but a good daily routine grounded in habits that support the health of that individual is imperative. This would involve things like a regular sleep-wake cycle, the appropriate nutrition for them, the appropriate movement for their body and constitution, daily grounding and self-regulating practices, and regular engagement with healthy relationships and Nature. Enjoying what they do for work and having a philosophy (or philosophies) by which they live and make sense of everything, is also important for wellness.
(b) For the stay-at-home, work-from-home or part-time working adult, what would you advise for good health in terms of habits, say meal times and frequency, diet, exercise etc.?
Very similar to the above actually. I'll add it's difficult for me to generalise as I don't practice or consult in that way since each individual is so unique, with different circumstances and roles/responsibilities.
7. What drives you?
8. Would you say you are being "a good daughter"? Feel free to challenge the phrase.
Not hardly, but it's a practice :) I like to think I've improved.
9. Do you think day jobs are necessary (for individuals & the collective - feel free to split your answer into 2 parts) or that we can create an entirely new planet altogether if we all focus on it?
Necessary for...? I'm not sure I've understood what you're implying it might be necessary for. For many people, money is a necessity, and a day job is the way that they know how to create that money for themselves. Re the 2nd part of the question, I don't think a collective focusing would be enough to create a new planet.
Follow-Up Question: There's a lot of talk in spiritual communities for a few decades now, but really it's been accelerating more recently, about a "5D Earth", "The Great Awakening", and so on. I was even led divinely, while following my "evolution" as you say, on a 3 day no-device retreat for myself, to buy a recent book called Awaken The Species by Neale Donald Walsch, the 4th in his series Conversations With God with the earlier 3 being published starting 28 years ago now, which basically explains and urges the spiritually tuned to contribute to the awakening of everyone else. As a neutral and loving suggestion, not a directive. My question to clarify is, in line with this spiritual awakening on Earth, where it's now even normal to find Crystals and Crystal Growing Kits at major bookstores and our generations and newer generations letting go of decades of toxic conditioning from the past going right back to perhaps the Industrial Revolution if we follow the history of our education system, do you think that if we want to adopt a loving, nurturing, honest and open way of being as humans eventually, that day jobs (where we basically listen to other humans on what time to report, what to wear, and so on... not all of us do this with fear or forcing ourselves, but MANY still do...) would eventually become a thing of the past?
Follow-Up Answer: Thank you for sharing the context to the follow-up question. To answer you, I don't think so. I think this question implies that day jobs are automatically the 'bad guy', but I'd argue that how we relate to them is what makes them potentially problematic. If one is adopting "a loving, nurturing, honest and open way of being", then this energy will simply translate into one's day job. Then the culture, impact, role, and effect of these jobs and industries would change in tandem with the change of the individual. There have been many enlightened gurus/individuals from India who continued to keep their 'day job'. These externalities, like a day job, don't ultimately have to matter in one's spiritual journey, which is an internally-driven process, which influences how you relate to your externalities. Many social constructs just are, but when selfishly motivated/egotistic humans drive the construct, the impact of the construct reflects that. If loving nurturing humans etc drive the construct, the impact of the construct will reflect that too.
10. What are your hobbies or pursuits outside your "career"?
Art in its various forms and expressions.
11. Would you introduce yourself as "Poorna", or what would you call yourself / how do you introduce yourself to a stranger? Would this answer change if they had the capability to impact your career?
I introduce myself as Poorna and as a Naturopath/Naturopathic Doctor (if people are also asking what I do for work.) I try to gauge my audience and speak in a way that people might understand, since everyone doesn't typically know what Naturopathy is.
12. Do you think it's contradictory that many humans say, "we love animals", and yet cook them and eat them, sometimes while they're alive?
Yes, it can be a little contradictory, though I understand it and feel it's not always blind hypocrisy.
13. If a man walked up to you and said, "I think you're really beautiful," what would your first verbal response be if there was one?
14. Would you agree with the people who say that the whole worldwide situation from 2019 to 2022 was a PsyOp?
I'm not sure I understand how PsyOp is being defined by such people to be able to answer this. But also, that's too much of a generalisation, so I probably wouldn't agree.
15. Considering everything you know about the world today, are we heading in a desirable direction according to you? Please explain.
Neither desirable nor undesirable. It's all unfolding as it's meant to.
16. Would you ever consider marrying someone who likes to eat steak (beef) in a rare fashion, with blood dripping all over the plate?
Probably not, but I wouldn't rule it out.
17. How would you explain the Hindu reverence towards Cows to a non-Hindu? Is there one? As a non-Hindu the closest thing to that is when I've heard Sadhguru say that because the consciousness of a Cow is high, he would advise to try not to eat something like that as we would take on the memories and the energy of the Cow. What's your view/stance/understanding on this?
At the moment, it is similar to how you explain Sadguru's. My understanding is that the vibration of a cow is sattvic (a Sanskrit word for pure/balanced etc) and the female cow produces more milk than her calf can consume, which makes her milk production an outflow of love. These are some reasons for why cows are hence revered by some Hindus.
18. Do you believe in only One God, and that all the prophets, priests, priestesses and teachers (in various fields) such as you and me are referring to the same Universal energy?
I think claiming to believe in only One God can be misinterpreted. I believe we are all projections of that Oneness. I believe ultimately, whether consciously or subconsciously, all paths are leading us back to That.
19. Would you rather read books or internet articles?
Either is fine.
20. Would you rather meet a small group of friends around a table or go out for a party?
Either is fine, depending on the context and my mood.
21. Do you think you are an idiot sometimes?
I never call myself such names ;p
22. Do you think humans think too highly of themselves?
I think most humans I've met could think even higher, and then practice living in that vibration, but they don't.
23. What would you say to the mantra, "There are no rules"?
There are rules in certain contexts and yet, depending on how you look at it and the consequence you're willing to bear, there are no rules either.
24. What do you think of this interview so far?
Yes or No Questions (Try to stick to yes or no if you can, but feel free to say anything you like and wax lyrical.)
1. Chocolate? Dark for me
2. Sex Toys? Sure
3. Marriage? Contextual
4. Meditation? Sure
5. Card Games? Sure
6. Gambling? Contextual
7. Hugs? Contextual
8. Coffee? Decaf for me
9. Tea? A moment of joy for me
10. Soft Drinks? Nah
11. Desk Jobs? Contextual
12. Dance? Yes
13. Polygyny? I don't think it works in a healthy way for most individuals
14. Polyandry? I don't think it works in a healthy way for most individuals
15. A.I.? I don't know enough to answer
16. Planting More Trees? Yes
17. Chopping Down Trees? Contextual
18. Paperless Transactions? Contextual
19. Banks? Probably
20. Men? Not sure how this is yes or no?
21. Children? Contextual
22. Lying Naked On The Beach? Contextual
23. Modelling? Sure
24. Sex? Sure
25. Casual Sex? Contextual
26. TV Shows? Sure
27. Alcohol? Contextual
28. Do you personally identify, acknowledge or agree with the presence of a being/deity called Shiva as is referred to worldwide in popular culture, as one of the principal deities of Hinduism, generally speaking? Yes.
29. Do you personally identify, acknowledge or agree with the presence of a being/deity called Jesus as is referred to worldwide in popular culture, as a central figure of Christianity, generally speaking? Yes.
30. Do you personally identify, acknowledge or agree with the presence of a being/deity called Guanyin as is referred to worldwide in popular culture, as the Chinese translation of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, generally speaking? Yes.
31. Do you personally identify, acknowledge or agree with the presence of a being/deity called Kali as is referred to worldwide in popular culture, as a form of Mahakali, the goddess of ultimate power, time, destruction and change in Shaktism, generally speaking? Yes.
Services and Expertise
What services do you offer and what can someone approach you for?
I offer 1:1 consultations for supporting a person's physical and mental-emotional health through the lens of Naturopathic Medicine and Mind-Body Medicine, as well as an online programme for 'Managing Mental Health beyond Meds'. I see clients from all around the world and specialise in chronic conditions, including cardiovascular health (hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes etc), digestive health, autoimmunity, kidney health, male & female health reproductive and urological conditions, all mental health concerns, etc.
While I have barely touched the surface of deeper topics that can get edgy in multiple directions with Poorna, and some that some of you may enjoy, I was really pleased that Poorna took the time to answer these questions. My purpose with an interview like this which quizzes a personality on their work and their own life, is to get a full spectrum view on the person, as this entire site and YouTube channel, are about development in mind, body and spirit, and how we can assimilate that into our entire lives to be the most magical human beings we can be, as a whole.
I'd sincerely like to say thank you to Poorna for being a sport during this process.
Connect & Engage With Dr. Poorna Menon, ND
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