To care for and to be cared for are experiences that are vital to our human existence.
Healthcare resides in a special place in my heart. I have found myself with tremendous amounts of life experience in all of the roles that healthcare encompasses. I have spent considerable amounts of time being the practitioner, patient, caregiver for a loved one and advocate. Being in, and living all of the roles has opened my eyes to the major challenges that await everyone involved. It is easy to set up camp in anger and frustration due to a medical system that is far from perfect. However, as I look closer, the “system” and those who use it, is full of people just like you and me.
Mindfulness practices and meditation can be a much needed help to healthcare practitioners who are short on time and burdened with responsibility. It can ease the frustration of patients looking for a practitioner to look them in the eyes, be present and offer compassion and guidance. For caregivers and advocates, mindfulness practices can rejuvenate the spirit and give the capacity to keep going.
I have worked closely with doctors, physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, psychiatric nurses, counselors, midwives, general practitioners, specialists and clerical staff. To be in the healthcare profession is a deep act of kindness. When we are able to get back to the core of that truth, everything softens and opens up.
For patients and their loved ones, dealing with serious medical conditions, the opportunity to work with the mind is limitless. Pain management, family dynamics, endless appointments and logistics, anger, loss, grief, isolation and fear are just a few of the themes that infuse the lives of someone dealing with a major health problem. Working with our minds in these situations is crucial. Finding the peace in the midst of the seemingly impossible really is available to us.