Sunday, May 10, 2009
My wife and I attended Reverend Micheal Beckwith's one day Life Visioning Process conference. It was well attended and if not for the lack of airconditioning toward the end of the day, would have been perfect. There was one point when he answered a question on if he was a religious man. Rev. Beckwith came back with the fact that he was "not a religious man but a spiritual man". He believes in "Jesus the Christ" and says he can teach to all even if there is no common deity. The take home point for me was the need for meditation to find inner peace on a daily basis.
All of the authors I follow have different ways to find peace and definitions on how to get to that point. Without getting to deep on metaphysics, I believe there is a positive energy in the universe and it creates things. I like to visualize the energy as what Wayne Dyer refers to as "vibrations". I think in modern times, there are many distractions and stressors that interfere with us grounding everyday and touching that inner peace to set the tone for the whole day. Paul, one of the docs I work with in the ER, actually related his technique for grounding before a work day. (He didn't relate this to me as a technique but it's a nice example some people can relate to in figuring out what "grounding" is.)
Usually, when we take over shifts, the doc coming in gets "sign-out" from the doc who just finished. If there are patients that will be staying into the next shift, the new guy gets a brief history and plan and takes over care. I had a very difficult emotional patient once and I said her continued care will be "challenging" so I asked if he wanted to introduce himself at the start. Paul's comment was, "I don't like to start my shift off like that". Think of it, he takes an easier path to start 8 hours of intense medical care so as not to fall into a bad frame of mind. I thought he was very selective at first but now I understand he grounds himself at the start of his day so as not to get emotionally charged during the most crucial part of a shift. The most stress comes if someone were to "code blue". At that point, the doc is captain of the ship and must control the flow of chaos to have the best outcome for saving the life at hand. I believe the next most stressful part of ER work is taking over a shift. You walk in to a hailstorm of activity that is in full blossom from a relaxing drive listening to the radio (or your favorite audiobook). You go from the "Relaxation Response" as per Dr Benson from Harvard, to the "Stress Response". New patients waiting to be seen in addition to current patients waiting for orders to get discharged or admitted to the hopsital. Paul effectively steers away from the emotionally charge patient (that would probalby incite much "counter transferance") and chooses calmer interactions first for the benefit of getting through the wall of pain in first starting a shift at the Expresscare/ Emergency Department. The one who carries himself in a calm way, will interact in a calm way and heal sickness with a 100% focus on the patient and his or her symptoms instead of being distracted with all the information flying through the corners of a hospital ER.
I remember on mondays in my old private practice, I would have to drop my daughter off at day care right before my hours started and since the school didn't open early, I would be late for my first patient. I would think, "Oh boy, I am 5-10minutes late for an appointment that was only scheduled for 10-15 minutes, the patient will be irritated and thus have to blow off steam and complain or ask more questions than planned and then it will put me late for the next few appointments so I can expect not to eat lunch or only answer patient call in questions at the end of the day when the patient is probably sleeping already". This kind of stress response would get me so flustered I would have to use all my concentration to pay attention to what a patient was complaining of so I could give my "Bandaid" treatment. I remember actually sweating with my first few patients and I didn't run from the parking lot or carry anything heavy and this would be dead of winter with no long coat. I was sweating from the intense adrenaline surge.
I am still learning as I go but I try to start my day just like my friend Paul does. I just have my own twist to it. For me to get those good vibrations going at the start of a shift, I put on and audio cd of relaxing music, mindful meditations from my Harvard course, splash some aromatherapy around (usually lavender from Whole Foods) and strategically place flowers around the desktops of the department for me and the staff and the patients to see. I also try to transfer/share this with everyone that is working as well. Not only do I say hello to get a count of who is working, I can gauge who is vibrating at a bad frequency and maybe help "right" them.
All in all, Rev. Beckwiths conference was very uplifting. He encouraged daily practice of meditation- visioning. I also found others were on the same wavelength of thinking as me and many were also "healers". Just being with people thinking on the same "wavelength" is inspiring enough to push forward and continue practicing what feels best. I think creativity is in all of our dna, stress and distraction just push us away from innate potential to heal not only ourselves but others. There is a "doctor" in all of us. The human genome has survived countless tragedies and has the memory to survive more but it is being masked but stress, pollution, toxins in the environment, poor eating and lack of exercise. I am inspired to find this "high vibration state" and teach it to others, seems too daunting but when I relax and find peace once a day, I imagine myself pushing that "mountain" and it seems effortless.