Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before. – Dalai Lama
And who knows, a new tradition may greet you. – Modern Mind MD
This year I embarked on 2 new career journeys- this very intimate private practice, Modern Mind Women’s Health, and a medical travel assignment to Billings, Montana. My heart is warmed by all the new traditions of care and caregiving, integrated mind-body measures for health, wellness, & healing and new relationships that have emerged.
This Thanksgiving was spent with my family visiting me at my locums practice in Billings, Montana. The nearby mountain town of Red Lodge was the venue for our homemade meal, and my younger daughter Amelia, our annual Thanksgiving chef, created a new tradition of Thanksgiving brunch charcuterie board. Artistic yum!
May all our blessings abound, this holiday and always.
My 17 yo daughter brought down a mason jar this morning. Seeing a new combination of orange, rosemary, and star anise, I looked at it with interest and wonder…
As I typically do, I made an assumption. “How did it taste?” I asked. She responds “It’s not to drink, it’s to smell,” and I perceive the familiar tone that I know well and receive as ‘Duh, mom, you’re so dumb, you never get me.’
I inhaled the aroma, I liked it, it was sweet & pleasant
I thought of all the times that she came downstairs in complete disgust of the smell of certain ethnic foods, receiving her dislike in the form of criticism, anger, and ‘you people are repulsive.’ And all of a sudden, perhaps resulting from the sweetness of the aroma I had just inhaled, I understood. I perceived something different- she has to notice what she doesn’t like to find the things that she does like, and indeed, the process of noticing is often UNPLEASANT.
the magic is the shift in perspective, seeing it all in a neutral light,
allowing it to be as it is, dropping the judgement
I have been inspired this week by the dozens of talks in the Parenting Teens in Uncertain Times Summit – the lesson that our teens are neurologically wired to detach and become independent reverberates through each and every talk. Teens are determined to explore the world in a way that is unique from their parents’ experience and so they must willfully exert their dissatisfaction, disdain and dislike for our ways. Ouch, whoa, the cruelty of parenting…and in surrender I place my hand on my heart to eject a release of oxytocin to sooth my soul.
How much gentler could it have been if I had never taken personally the process of discovery that showed up as anger? Will my brain and body rewire so that I can remember next time? The science tells me that yes, indeed, with mindful attention, my physiology is programmed to rewire and be gentler over time. Everyone has that capacity. Let’s drop in to what’s here, right now.
I have arrived
For many years it has been my wish to serve women on a deeper and richer level than what my previous practice as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist permitted. Just like me, I know that women have various roles to play in their lives, and being able to function optimally with the least resistance is the magical cure we all need. I encountered mindfulness based practices in response to a dilemma I found myself in which had no medical cure, so I knew that mindfulness was part of the magic*. As I sifted through the resources and research, I found that mindfulness can easily be integrated into evidence-based health care; through MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction), MBCP (mindfulness-based childbirth and parenting) and Mindful Practice® curriculums.
My life’s circumstances have provided me with the inspiration for my career, and have afforded me a glimpse of the miracles and limits of modern medicine.
At age 16, when I sustained multiple injuries in a high speed automobile accident, I was saved by helicopter air lift, emergency surgical care and all the medical experts that cared for my complete and thorough rehabilitation. I was inspired to pursue medical training and became a physician myself. As an Obstetrician and Gynecologist, there were abundant circumstances in which cure and healing and healthy outcomes took place.
And then of course there were the circumstances that perhaps no one is well trained and prepared for, and as I encountered them in my patients and in my own life, the mindfulness practices became essential. The last few years I have leaned on them the most, as I was placed in an unexpected reprieve from my career and multiple roles, and once again, in the role of being a patient. This time, life couldn’t continue on as before, and as I observed my healing and progress, with the gift of time the transformation in myself and in the world, I arrive at a new Beginning with this new practice, Modern Mind Women’s Health; a unified practice of medicine and meditation.