Home Office TV
Join Amy as she provides you with a sneak peek into how the Cloudflare Team has been doing with the transition from daily office life to working from home. How is the team adapting to the shift? What do they miss and not miss about office life? What snacks are they eating? How has it been sharing a workspace with family or housemates? Tune in to find out!
This week's guest: Giuliana DeAngelis (Customer Success Content & Enablement Specialist @ Cloudflare)
Hello, welcome to Home Office TV. I'm Amy Bibeau and I'm coming to you live from, you know, Lafayette, California.
And I have my guest today, Giuliana DeAngelis. Welcome, Giuliana.
Hi, Amy. Good to be here. Yay. Can you give us a brief introduction and like what you do at Cloudflare?
Sure. So I work on Cloudflare's programs team supporting customer success.
I joined about two and a half years ago.
It's hard to keep track of time, but I joined on the customer success side and now I support our enablement programs.
Awesome. And the, you know, question I'm asking everybody is like, how are you doing?
You know, now we've been in the pandemic for a long time.
How's it been going working from home? I know. It's such a good question.
And we are a year out. So it's kind of a good time to reflect on that.
I'm doing good. I'm doing pretty okay. But, you know, always checking in on people to make sure that everyone's doing okay.
It's been quite the year and we still don't really know what's ahead.
So there's that transition too. Right.
And so you were, we were just talking before we started and you are one of the people who left the city during the pandemic.
And where did you go? Yeah. Over to Marin County, crossed the bridge, came out to Mill Valley for some more space and closer access to nature.
But it was, it was, I think one of those moves that was kind of prompted by COVID by the circumstances.
But we're loving it so far. Yeah, that sounds nice.
As someone who also needed more space, like I was staying inside too much.
I was living in a studio in Soma. And to be fair to Soma, it's really conveniently located to like freeways and stores and companies, but it's not conveniently located to nature.
And I'm not a place that I want to take a walk.
Like I want to be able to go outside and just like take, take a walk. So I moved to Lafayette and I've been getting more nature since then.
So have you started any new hobbies?
Like since, since like COVID, that's one of the questions I like to check in.
Like has COVID brought anything like new and interesting into your life?
Yeah. You know, there are so many different habits and kind of lifestyle changes that I think have come out of this.
Definitely my meditation practice has been a grounding force for me throughout, and it's also evolved over the year.
So earlier towards the beginning of COVID, I got my meditation teacher certification and have brought that to Cloudflare in a small group setting, which has been really cool.
But also just bike riding and going on drives, especially earlier in the pandemic, that was something that was an easy way to get out and see what was going on and explore new places.
So we also took up Japanese. My fiance and I started studying Japanese just to have some stimulation for a different part of the brain.
So yeah, lots of, lots of fun stuff. That sounds awesome.
So where did, how did you, how does one become certified to teach meditation?
Yeah. So there are so many different programs and avenues out there. But I used to volunteer at a studio in the city.
And one of the women who works there has a practice.
She's been trained by Deepak Chopra and so many of these others, and she developed her own course.
And so her own curriculum and an interactive three-day program that we did.
So there's so much more though, that I would want to do with that and build onto it with other, other training.
So especially in this area, the Bay Area, we have, we have access to so much of that.
So. It's true. I mean, granted, some people, you know what I mean?
Like to kind of poke fun at the Bay Area and it's like wildly diverse, you know, like mindfulness, meditation, new age type practices, but it really is a great place for diverse mindfulness and mind exploration techniques.
I mean, it's, it's, you know, as the home of, you know, the psychedelic revolution in the United States, like people in this area have been interested in like how the mind works and like what's going on and how to explore consciousness.
So I'm, I'm a big fan of exploration of consciousness, you know, in any of the ways that people feel called or compelled to, you know, bring more self -awareness to themselves, to their mind.
Like, how did we get in these bodies? Like, these are questions I don't think people ask enough, like, but how did I get in this body?
Like, you know, why does it, does this keep happening to me? Like, is this, is this a body, you know, like I'm not going to get this particular amazing body like ever again, you know?
So I know like this, you know, this like Amy Bebo experience on the planet is like a one -time thing, but like, I always like to explore like, well, what, what are we doing here?
You know, like, cause people are so tapped into just primate behavior.
You know, you watch TV, you see a commercial, you know, literally humans are trained with their eyes to want the things the other humans have.
It's a primate behavior. If you somebody see somebody like eating food on TV, your brain is hardwired to want that food, you know?
So if we don't do mindfulness practices and start to explore, like, what are the roots of these desires that we have?
Like, are these thoughts, you know, arising from our own consciousness or are these thoughts being implanted in us, you know, by external sources, like designed to serve an agenda.
So I'm always all about like, you know, questioning our thoughts, you know, looking at our thoughts, you know, and finding ways, you know, to exist happily in these bodies.
So that's my goal.
Well, that's Cloudflare's intellectual curiosity too, right? Yeah. Intellectually, we found ourselves here.
Yeah, exactly. So you were talking also about gardening and do you have a garden now in, in Marin?
I do. I have been dreaming this up for a while.
And I finally, this weekend made it my project to fill my backyard space with a ton of lavender.
And it's already been attracting bees and birds and butterflies.
And I love it. Cute. What else? Just lavender? And also some vegetables.
So I'm going to grow, grow some herbs and tomatoes and basil, all my favorites.
But it's fun, you know, it's nice to have kind of an outdoor project, hands-on.
We'll see how it, how it goes. I'm not used to this soil. So wish me luck.
Yeah. Good luck. Good luck. Now, did you grow up in the Bay Area? Like where, where, where do you hail from?
I'm actually from New York. So not a, yeah, East Coast born and raised.
Grew up in New York and spent several years in DC after that before coming out here.
So how was that for your family and stuff with COVID? Like, I would imagine that normally in a regular year, you would fly home, you would get to see your family, like for holidays.
Like, has it been a while now since you've been able to see your family?
Yeah, it's, it's tough. COVID definitely put a blocker into a lot of travel plans and, and trips back East.
But fortunately, I have been able to see my family a number of times back East.
They're actually coming out to visit here soon too.
But I think just like everyone else, the connections kind of changed.
We had to find ways to be creative. And one of the things we really enjoyed doing remotely is tuning into a movie or we watched, tuning into different like Broadway shows that were airing.
Yeah, and kind of watching those together.
So now that we're working from home, one of the questions I like to ask people is like, how do you know when to like turn on your day?
And like, how do you know when to turn off your day?
And you know, like, has it been challenging to set habits around like screen time?
Totally. I'd be, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't.
Yeah, it's tough, right? Because we're working out of our home space. So to build those, the separations and kind of enforce that for yourself is difficult.
I really like to start my days with gratitude.
That's always, you know, I like to wake up and read with some coffee and then gratitude is just kind of become a practice for me that starts my day off in a really nice way.
But the, you know, I can't, I don't know that I have a good practice for kind of end of day wrap up different every day.
I don't know about you and what you found to work, but I think that, you know, even as the seasons keep changing, now we're preparing for another transition, the end of the workday changes there too.
Yeah. For me, you know, it's like, I get all the stuff sent to my phone, you know?
So, you know, maybe at the end of the day, I'll still take my phone with me just for a walk, you know, but it's like, Hey, if somebody needs to like reach me, you know, I'm still going to get that paying or, you know, I'm going to see a Zendesk ticket came in.
And even if like, I'm not going to answer it right now, cause I'm on my walk and I don't have that on my phone, like, you know, maybe I'll come home and like still do it.
I like the flexibility. So when you say a gratitude practice, like what does that look like?
So if somebody right now, I also want to announce, you know, it's May right now during the original airing of this, which is mental health awareness month.
And so the backgrounds that we have are for our MindFlare ERG, which is an ERG, an employee resource group that's dedicated to more mindfulness and mental health awareness and making sure that, you know, that the people at Cloudflare and, you know, the people that the people at Cloudflare know, you know, have resources and are accessing the resources they need to have like a healthy work life balance, healthy mental balance.
So what is a gratitude practice?
Like how would you describe that to people who are unfamiliar?
I think the concept is really simple and it can, can look like whatever, whatever you want.
But for me, the gratitude practice is intentionally expressing appreciation and thanks for something.
So in my day to day, I find that there's always something to be grateful for.
And my practice of gratitude is journaling about that.
And so sometimes it's very short, sometimes it's longer. But I always just try to pick three things.
What am I grateful for? And I have fun with it too, because the more specific I can get with the taste of something I tried in a new recipe or, you know, the feel of this like new lotion that I love, whatever it may be, there's so much to be grateful for.
And it also helps us tune into the here and now.
That's true. I think, you know, noticing the present moment, you know, is something that you kind of learn, you know, in any kind of mindfulness or meditation practice is like, well, noticing, like, even what's happening right now.
And like, you know, like, I could say, like, I'm looking at my plant friend who's just getting the light, you know, from the skylight on it.
And if I'm paying attention, I could be like, wow, that's a really beautiful, like way that the light is hitting that leaf.
And I can tell, you know, that that leaf is getting energized.
And then that's going to make me happy. But like, I could just walk past that plant 15 times, you know, and not notice that there's anything beautiful about it.
So I think, you know, noticing like the beauty or the things we can be grateful for in our daily life can definitely be powerful.
What do you recommend for people who aren't feeling grateful?
Like, like, if you're, if you can't think of something, like, what if you're in a complaining mode, I did create a scale of complaining during the pandemic, because I feel like we need, you know, there was so much complaining happening, like, I wanted to be able to say, okay, I'm a complaining level four about XYZ thing, but without having to get into describing the complaining.
Like, if somebody's doing something I don't like, I can be like, I'm complaining level four about that.
But you know, conversely, you know, is the gratitude scale, you know?
So like, if you're in a complaining mindset, do you have a suggestion of how someone can go from a complaining, you know, from being on the complaining scale to get into the baseline gratitude scale?
Well, what if it's, what if it's okay to be in the complaining mindset?
What if we don't have to change into I'm supposed to feeling happy or grateful about something?
What if it's, you know what?
Yeah, I'm, I get to complain right now, I get to be upset or not okay with this situation.
And I'm grateful, I can express that, or I'm grateful, I'm aware of that.
I'm just grateful to be in this space right now, and to feel this, this range of human emotion, because that means I'm alive.
I think, you know, as we talk about mindfulness, and helping people be okay with being uncomfortable, you know, is is a conversation, you know, because like, we're kind of raised in a way, you know, depending on how you were raised, like, there's a lot of familial patterns that get kind of passed down.
And, you know, if you get kind of passed down the keep your chin up, and you know, don't let anybody see, you know, when you're struggling type of mentality, it can be really hard to, to kind of have peace with uncomfortable feelings.
And so people will go through all kinds of kind of behaviors to kind of numb or shut themselves off, you know, from being uncomfortable.
So would you say journaling is a good practice? You know, like, if someone has never journaled before, you know, is journaling a good way to kind of get in with how you're feeling?
Yeah, I couldn't agree more with the first thing you shared there, too.
I think journaling is a really good way to kind of get yourself out of that headspace, and maybe just putting it on paper as a way to release it.
But it looks different for everyone. I think a lot of people move that kind of energy by moving their body and we're dancing, working out, whatever it might be.
But I think, yeah, I think you're on to something there, Amy, around, we weren't necessarily taught to be okay with the time so we don't feel 100% happy or at peace.
And that, yeah, there is that full range of emotion and that can feel uncomfortable, maybe not pleasant, but then when you can also kind of look at it as an observer, yeah, I see that frustration right now, but I don't have to be attached to it.
Right? Yeah. So like noticing, being able to detach, being able to be that observer.
I mean, you know, some basic mindfulness concepts or basic meditation concepts, but maybe not everyone has, you know, like sometimes when people think about meditation, they really don't know what it is, you know, you're gonna picture a bunch of, you know, people in like Osho robes, you know, like, you know, in India, just like all sitting together in a room doing the same thing or, you know, your monks chanting or, you know, like literally meditation is like being able to sit with your breath, you know, and notice it and focus on the present moment and do breathing.
I work with mantra personally, like that was kind of my path.
And I don't have, like, I'm not going to lie to anyone today in this moment.
I don't have like a really solid, like meditation practice of just silent sitting.
Like we do a singing practice, like with my little group, you know, but like this, the stillness practices can be really challenging.
And I think anyone who wants to try meditation, it's good to let them understand, like, it's not easy for anyone at the beginning.
It's not easy for any of us to just like sit and be still. And you are going to be thinking, you don't just achieve that thoughtless, you know, sense of like being at oneness with everything.
It's like, yeah, maybe, you know, how do you get past that kind of resistance when you're doing your practice?
Yeah. I'm so glad you brought that up. I think that's one of the biggest myths about meditation and something that keeps people away from it is how I, you know, I'm supposed to sit there in silence and not have any thoughts.
But one of the breakthroughs for me was realizing, you know, then the mind is a function, the brain is a function.
It's going to operate, you know, it's supposed, it creates thoughts.
That's just what the mind does. Just like your heart pumps and just like your, you know, your eyes see, right?
So these are just, this is what they do.
But the more you can, again, kind of separate from that and maybe observe it or notice it.
So yeah, if you have thoughts while you're meditating, you don't need to push them away.
But one helpful tool is to name it and to name it as thinking or name it as feeling or name it as a thought.
And you kind of name it and then let it pass.
And that's okay too. Right. So they're like, okay, thinking, moving on, thinking, thinking.
When is it going to stop? I think some interesting, like, you know, you know, spiritual type quotes that I've heard, one that I like is like, the mind is like a great chauffeur, you know, but you should like, let the heart, not like you should, but you know, like, let the heart be the boss and let the mind be the driver, you know, cause the mind is good at driving.
It sees all the things that are coming up ahead.
Like, you know, it knows there's a construction zone coming and it, you know, it knows all the things.
And so if you can kind of let the mind rest and be like, okay, you're doing your job, you're doing a good job, but like put the heart in charge, you know, like, and, and again, that kind of comes down to being able to be comfortable with your feelings.
Cause you know, your heart's not always going to be happy about stuff.
Like that's, we live in a world like where there's so much conflict and pain and there's things to be sad about.
Like I have a therapist and she was like, Amy, you could probably cry every day and it would be good for you.
Cause you feel things very deeply. And again, when we cut ourselves off from feeling, it's hard to put our heart in charge of things, you know, cause like the heart's not giving itself like space to express.
So I think, do you have any like tips, you know, when you're doing a meditation to kind of like identify like, okay, this is what the mind is saying, or this is what my heart is saying.
How do people tune into the different like parts of their being? Yeah. So I think in the physical sense, doing a scan, a body scan is one useful tool.
And what that entails is, is really tuning into each part of your body from head to toe, and also intentionally seeing where you can relax.
So I'm punching your jaw or maybe loosening your forehead, letting your shoulders drop, all of those things as you go from head to toe.
Nice. I like it. I already feel better. When you're going through your life also, do you ever ask your heart questions about like what it wants to do in like a situation?
Like I I've been in a situation before where I'm like, I don't know if I want to go do this thing.
And then someone was like, well, ask your heart.
And then I, well, that's a novel idea. I never asked my heart anything.
So I got quiet for a second. I asked my heart, Hey, heart, you know, do you want to go do this thing?
And I got a very clear, like instant yes answer, you know, and then I did that thing and it changed the whole like direction of my life.
So I would suggest that to people, like, if you're not sure, like what to do in a situation, you know, and your mind is giving you a lot of thinking, slow down, do some breathing for a few minutes and then just ask your heart, you know, and then usually for me, I'll get like a, well, once I learned that it was a thing that I could do, I literally, I was in my thirties.
I didn't know I could ask my heart a question and it would have like guidance for me, you know, and it worked.
You probably have a really strong intuition and it sounds like, I mean, I feel like I probably do.
Um, but again, many of us have a strong intuition. And so it's just getting to know, again, like what are our thoughts, what is programming, how to identify negative thoughts, you know, like do you ever put like a name on like a certain voice?
I know we were talking about our journaling exercises, so we're going to have some journaling prompts, anyone who's paying attention to this right now, um, we're going to be doing some mind flare journaling prompts that Julianna has put together for us.
One of the questions I had is like, is that a journaling prompt?
Like whose voices are these in my head? Do you ever go through and just be like, okay, this sounds like a Totito's commercial, you know?
So I have a book recommendation. Maybe you've already read it.
Um, the untethered soul by Michael Singer. I have not, but I think I have it. It's excellent.
Highly recommend it. Um, it, it gets at that exact question, like who, who is this voice and these thoughts and are they mine?
Is this true? Um, I, yeah, I, I, we could do a whole other segment on that one.
Um, so do you have any other tips that you want to share?
I mean, like, again, this is our Home Office TV mind flare, uh, special today.
Um, and also next week, um, I'm going to be talking to a mind flare person as well.
Um, do you have any tips for like keeping your balance, like during this, during this pandemic or like, how have you stayed, um, balance aside from like the meditation and, and any other tips?
For me, being out in nature is, um, so important.
I can really notice the difference in my day if I spend time outside or not.
Um, so sometimes that's just sitting in my backyard.
Other times it's, you know, going out, um, on a trail or for a bike ride, but there's something so grounding about it and something that gives perspective because it's so easy when we're working at home to get kind of sucked into this vortex of our screens and our emails, um, pings and messages.
So taking, taking a step back and getting out into nature really helps for perspective for me.
Yeah, I agree. I mean, I'm a huge proponent of nature. Like I love the earth.
Like I, I want it to like you go out and like every little animal has its little mission that it's doing.
They're all connected. They never feel like they're not part.
Like I think as humans, sometimes we feel like we're not part of nature.
Like we've created all these different like separations to make ourselves or, you know, you know, to train the society that, you know, somehow we're, we're above nature.
We're not, we're not part of it. We're disconnected. And it's like, no, we're part of it.
Like we're part of the earth. Every single thing we have, you know, comes from the planet.
And again, that perspective of getting out, because we get real self-focused like the whole world.
I mean, I still remember when I realized the world did not revolve around me and it was, you know, like I still have, but you're doing okay.
But you know, like getting out and seeing the animal friends and having that appreciation, the sunlight or the clouds or whatever it is.
I agree that that perspective and doing meditation out in nature, you know, take a little cushion, sit aside for five, 10 minutes.
And I think it's a good point for people to know you don't have to meditate for a long time every day to have an impact.
Would you agree? Totally. I definitely agree. I couldn't agree more.
Yeah. These short, these short snippets can really help.
Yeah. I, you know, like the insight timer, right?
Like that's a thing people could use. You know, you can use a timer to, to just, even like if you have five minutes between meetings, you know, you could meditate or, you know, you could get up, shake it off, put on a song, do a dance.
I think dancing also like, I forget how much fun I have dancing, but I don't, I'm not going to lie.
Like I don't turn on music and like dance by myself at home, but it would probably be a good thing for me to do.
Probably be good for everyone. Yeah.
We probably don't do it enough. Especially if you don't have kids. Like if you have, like, if you, if you've replicated your own little tiny humans, you know, you have to keep those bad boys entertained.
Like they, you know, you're going to like, moms are doing all kinds of stuff, you know, that I'm not doing.
Cause I don't have like a little being that like needs me to like shake it out, you know?
But I think that a suggestion to like dance and mindfulness kind of dancing or ecstatic dance can be fun.
And again, the Bay area, you know, it has all that kind of stuff.
And there's like a little bit of a film over it where sometimes people can be like, Ooh, like that's for someone else.
So I think just, you know, people who have those types of perceptions to clear those out again, like whose thoughts are those?
It's like, yeah, you have to watch out for, you know, cultural appropriation and, you know, like white people taking things that are like, like indigenous and like suddenly charging a bunch of money and, you know, doing to do something with their feathers.
Like, you know, there's vetting that's required, I think in some practices, but you're never going to hurt yourself by like doing some more introspection, like into your own consciousness.
Yeah. I always say, think about a time when you've, you know, if you play a sport or if you, you know, really like cooking or have some activity that you've just like find yourself in the moment that can be a meditative practice for you.
And so maybe it looks different, but really it's like tuning into the present moment and being very aware.
So I'm sure everyone can find something, you know, a time when they felt like that.
That's a good point.
That's a really good point to say that a creative hobby or, yeah, like you said, cooking, like anything where your mind is like a hundred percent, you know, kind of like focus on the thing you're doing and you feel connected to your breath, you know, that can be a meditation and you can do it when you're walking.
For those people who are commuting, there's gotta be a hundred million great like podcasts and, you know, that you can list like mindfulness, like guided meditations.
I would, I would also suggest that like for people who really just have a hard time staying in that present moment to do guided meditations.
We have Uma who's going to be doing another guided meditation here on Cloudflare TV.
But there's a ton of guided meditations out there as well. Do you ever use those?
I do. Yeah. A few apps that I've used are Headspace and Calm. And I think it makes sense.
Like sometimes we prefer to exercise in a guided format with an instructor.
So meditation is like the gym for your brain and it's a practice and you've got to work on that muscle and it's, there's nothing wrong with having someone guide you through it.
So that's a great tip. That's it. That's a good point. Yeah.
I love it. This is a great conversation. I'm so glad that you were able to join.
Me too, Amy. So glad you reached out. Yeah. Super fun. Yeah. So I guess we have about a minute left.
So thank you so much, Juliana. And to anybody that's watching now or in the future, take care of yourself, be kind to yourself.
If you have like negative thoughts, definitely root those out.
You know, anytime you find yourself thinking something that's not very nice, try to replace it with something that's a little nicer to yourself.
Cause we tend to be hard on ourselves and gratitude practices don't even mean that you have to be grateful in the moment.
You can start with complaining and move into gratitude. So wherever you're at, and then also if you're having trouble, reach out to your community.
There's a lot of places. So, um, yeah, thank you so, so much, Juliana and have a wonderful day.
Thanks everyone. Bye. Bye.