Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Becoming the Teacher

Just sat down for breakfast with mother-in-law and we were talking about -purpose in life.  I was actually trying to reveal to her a new "teaching job" that she is symbolizing  by having the grand kids witness the respect and care we give to our elders.  She was a servant of the church and with current physical limitations, the feeling is that with no further means of self care and transport, there is no further service to be offered.  (I think letting go of independence is difficult for anyone; in addition when one transitions from 25 hours a day of work to hanging out and watching Church TV, self worth can be broken down to being more of a burden than a servant).  Discussion made me think back to my grandmother.  I only remember one time in my youth (about when I was 3 year old) when I was in the back seat of my Dad's car and grandma let me place my head on her arm (my Lola Mac had chubby arms and compared to 1960's car upholstery she was my comfy pillow!)  I remember the love my parents showed toward Lola and although she wasn't in my life much, I had great respect for her.  This observational lesson relates to my mother-in-law now and the unconditional love and respect I give to her even if she is not able to contribute to covering bill paying or reliable babysitting.  Hopefully my kids experience their memories that stick for life as I age and lose independence.

In residency training, we rotate through all the departments of the hospital to learn application of medical school didactics to real world patients.   I translated that to "stealing techniques" from  supervisors and building my repertoire of knowledge.   As I progress up the ladder of learning, I am privileged to sit and speak with some of the worlds greatest minds in medicine and healing.   With the death of my mother in 2009, the feeling of being bullet proof with no time for being sick had quickly dwindled away.   My doctor skills self diagnosed reactive depression to her loss so I did what any family medicine doc would do, I prescribed therapy for myself.  (But I did it in the disguise of taking courses to satisfy state requirements for continuing medical education!!)  So here I am sitting in front of guys like David Simon and Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Tierona Low Dog, Wayne Dyer and listening to these present day sages speak in modern medical terms but translate ancient information on the power of the body to heal on it's own.   The information presented is very empowering and I feel a great urgency to share knowledge with patients.....only problem is that the bulk of my practice is in immediate care and there seems to be no time for educating on how to maximize healing with mind body medicine and nutrition.    So I tuck the information away and continue "band aid medicine" wondering how and when can I apply all this knowledge....or even if I am supposed to do anything with it.  (I do cool video tutorials but short of a few views....the world is quiet)

Then the unthinkable happens and I am called by my Dads neighbor about the worst experience anyone is not supposed to have.  I rush to his bedside and during my Dad's last 2 weeks on earth, I was grounded by the fact that all the healing I went through while attending classes with the giants of medicine had been to support me in my journey.  The man who created me had given the biggest lesson that I was to learn:  heal myself the way I would heal others and everyone will prosper.   Turns out the guy who inspired me to become a doctor also became my greatest teacher during his final hours.

I am reluctant to take the torch of knowledge and pass it onto others....mostly due to the selfish reason that in becoming a teacher means there will be an eventual student/class/community that goes on after me to do more things (realizing my own mortality).   Seeing my teachers go through to their next summits, helps me realize that it is my duty to pass the knowledge onto anyone who is willing to accept it.   In this current dynasty of information/technology, the knowledge of healing is coming at light speed and seems fantastic and exciting.  So there is a bit of honor to know I can "handle the torch" but equal apprehension on the volume of knowledge I have to pass.   Stay grounded, eat mindfully and keep moving....
.....my time at the front of the class should be awesome!   Thank you for direction Guru's!

Andy Weil

Tierona Low Dog
Claire Diab
Herb Benson
David Simon
HMI and Joseph Helms

Deepak Chopra
Ossie and Nora Saguil