I believe that medicine’s potential is much more than the version we see in the world today. A doctor should be an educator with the goal of bringing patients to a place of deeper understanding of who they are in the world. To me, medicine is ultimately about self-empowerment through self-knowledge and growth.
The news from overseas is stark. When bombs fill the night sky, it’s not good. What kind of world do we live in? You have to ask.
Clearly it’s a world of chaos, insanity, destruction and destitution.
But thankfully it’s a world of paradox… so reverence, beauty, joy, and redemption can exist at the same time.
Our Effort Counts
We really have to make a heroic effort if we want to avoid getting lost, let alone if we want to do our fullest part to tip the scales for the good.
It’s a monumental task to find our orientation, to get grounding in life.
I want to tell you about an important healing tool to help you be your best self. I want to tell you about the power of rhythm.
Friends, we have to learn to become masters at checking in with ourselves, we are the only ones in the entire world who can do it, who can learn the specific inner wisdom that we have uniquely stored in ourselves. The world needs it. To do it most effectively, we must make checking in a part of our everyday rhythm.
An inspirational book for me has been Jon Kabat Zinn’s book Full Catastrophe Living. This introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction taught me the power of having a morning routine and an evening routine. It teaches readers to each morning and evening commit to few minutes of meditation coupled with a few minutes of movement and stretching.
Dusk and dawn are potent times of transition which act as balancing points between the two polarities of high sun and deepest night. They are natural check-in times.
My routine has evolved over the years and includes reflection on certain verses and systematic review of the day. The habit of rhythmically re-visiting and checking in with ourselves gives our standpoint in life. It changes the course of the day.
This is the essential element. You have to show up for yourself every day. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. It’s not luck when you set a goal and systematically create the steps to attain it. It’s discipline. If you have worthwhile goals you need habits that support meeting them. This is where your daily routine comes in.
I would say the digital age demands routine more than ever. We have a tailored, ready-made playlist of individualized distraction at our fingertips.
Dedicated time for sleep, wake, work, exercise and reflection provides the necessary guidebook for our days.
Be like the Ocean. Wave after wave comes in rhythmic succession. But each wave is different from the last. The slight variation in the character of the rhythm is why we can sit there for hours watching the waves. Show up every day and keep everything fresh with variation based on what is living in that particular moment.
What’s your morning routine? What’s your evening routine? Keep building them. I’m happy to support your efforts.
News from the week:
In Mass the 7 day average is less than 1000 cases per day in the entire state. That’s less than 5% of our peak.
Berkshires are reporting in the neighborhood of 30 cases per day- 90% reduction from the peak last month.
US as a whole is less than 10% of our recent peak.
Most of Europe has peaked or is peaking. Parts of Asia are on a slower curve.
Australia has opened its borders; England has lifted restrictions. The Omicron wave is working its way through the world.
How to handle the post Omicron phase is the question. What restrictions remain relevant?
The Flu has always been unpredictable. The old saying goes, “if you’ve seen one flu season, you’ve seen… one flu season.”
It’s not over yet but this is often the time of year where the season is coming to a close.
This year influenza was epically minor again. To this point it has been in the neighborhood of 5% of the usual numbers of cases.
The US tally this year is something like this: 2M cases, 22 k hospitalizations 1,3K deaths.
The typical season as seen over the last ten years is 20-30M illnesses, 4-500,000 hospitalizations and 30-35,000 deaths.
Also from this week:
Justin Bieber’s got COVID.
The Queen’s got it too. At 95 years old this was bigger news. Sorry JB. Not a lot of updates have followed the initial reports 4 days ago. Access to robust medical support and early intervention will give her excellent odds. I’d like to see what her medical team is giving her.
As cases drop we now have a surplus of monoclonal antibodies and Paxlovid, the medicine from Pfizer with good trial data that showed a 90% reduction in hospitalization when taken early in the course.
Booster #2 (aka, fourth shot) probably not needed said an article in the NY Times: citing immunologic persistence.
Canada is emerging as the latest example of the state taking a hardliner stance, using aggressive techniques to end the Ottawa protest, including seizing personal assets. People are restless. We have struggled mightily with the virus, the blanket of fear and all else that came with it: the lethality, the isolation, the restrictions, the regulations. The future is uncertain but needs our activity, the present feels precious, the past is our precedent. And so another day dawns in the Berkshires and on the planet earth, our home. We should work hard together to create the world we want to live in. It’s pretty much the point, isn’t it?