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.
So then there’s no wonder you can feel anxious at times.
It almost makes one pine for the “good old days” of the pandemic in full swing. Almost.
An honest non-avoidant human being will carry a lot of angst from the global state of affairs here on earth. That’s not even to mention the personal variety of stressors that we face — busy schedules, relationship strains, financial questions, physical and mental symptoms and even the promise of our own demise one day!
Are you seeing the pattern? We all face massive challenges. To be human is to struggle, there’s no denying it. And yet we still manage to laugh and play and find joy at times. What a relief! (As an aside: Wednesday was National Smile Power Day, but I’m sure you knew that).
I have a couple thoughts to nurture the smile.
Smiles are infectious and our community can be such an important source of strength. But we all spend a lot of time alone and our relationship with our self is vital.
We can learn so much from nature’s beauty and solid consistency. It has a rhythm which carries us far beyond the moment’s woes. Step into it daily. Take your vitamin N (Nature).
The longest days of the year are upon us this week. The Northern Hemisphere will experience the 2022 summer solstice on Tuesday at 5:14 a.m. EDT.
This is the precise moment when the North Pole tilts closest to the sun, making the sun appear at its highest point in the sky of the year.
Midsummer’s Day on June 24th is celebrated in many places in gratitude for the miracles of the bounty. Long days mean short nights and a bonfire on the eve of June 23rd is also part of the tradition. Across the year we have in our mind’s eye the winter solstice. Did you know the moon travels the path in the sky of the sun from the opposite time of year (in this case- low in the sky)? At Christmas we celebrate the inner light amidst the outer darkness. Now we have the opposite. We bask in the fullest outer light and warmth.
Now how’s that for a different type of news broadcast.
The cosmic happenings can help us feel more solidly grounded by nature which works and moves in us.
The Inner Game
Speaking of inner light and its daily cultivation, inner strength is the same as outer strength — it comes from exercising. We know we can’t control what comes towards us daily but we can control how we respond to it. Turn down the noise. Make room for quiet. We have a lot to digest. Our daily habits with our health set the tone for our inner life. Whole foods, good hydration, enough sleep, smart movement matter a lot.
With good habits we nurture an inner island of sanity that mirrors the peace of the deep forest. And you can bring that back to your daily life and put your stamp on the world from that standpoint. That’s a healthy formula as I see it.
News clippings from this week
Cases counts are stable in the nation and continue to trend down in our region. We average 30 cases per day off a recent high of 100 per day and all time high of 300 per day. Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 are still increasing in global percentage of test samples and are “capable of escaping immune protection induced by infection with earlier Omicron and other prior variants, earning them the term “stealth” viruses.. The bottom line is that BA.4 and BA.5 are very highly transmissible, cause little severe disease, and are responsive to boosters (although protection wanes), monoclonal antibodies, and antivirals. A universal Omicron vaccine is in development, but the efficacy is thus far unknown.” (Medpage)
African paradox “Scientists at WHO and elsewhere have speculated that factors including Africa’s young population, the lower incidence of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes and warmer weather, may have helped it avoid a bigger wave of disease.”
Eat whole food, primarily vegetables and of the best quality. ‘Heavier consumption of fish, including tuna and other non-fried fish, was associated with an increased risk of melanoma, findings from a large prospective cohort study indicated. Our findings may be explained by contaminants in fish, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, arsenic and mercury,” the group wrote in Cancer Causes & Control. “Higher fish intake is associated with higher level of body burden of each of these contaminants, which are associated with higher risk of skin cancer.”
Sign of the times: A surgery implanting a 3D- printed ear made of the patient’s own cells marks a milestone in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. (New York Times)