Springtime in Sonoma County, which I would say starts mid February and really ramps up by April, is a challenging and multifaceted time for me- a funny kind of seasonal affective disorder takes over in the midst of swooning over the spectacular progression of garden blooms and wildflowers. Our annual retreat to the So Cal desert for Sat Nam Fest, a Kundalini yoga music and meditation festival, and soaking in Desert Hot Springs Healing waters is the tried and true way to renew and recharge, and get back on solid footing again.
This year, I experienced some deep shifts in attitude, awareness, and “consciousness” over the few days to come to a more peaceful and positive outlook, and realize that this understanding would be healing to many of my patients as well.
The most profound realization was that I have been overidentifying with my myriad structural, physiological, and psychological “dysfunctions. Most of the medical professions tend to function in this paradyme- focusing on what is “wrong” with someone and working to “fix” it; certainly physicians are expected to do just that. It so reinforces a negative self image, which leads to depression and even hopelessness. I have always strived to consider the whole person behind the disease, the injury, the chronic condition; but ironically was not giving myself the same love and acceptance, certainly in the last 2 years when there was so much “wrong” going on!
As a result of my negative hyperfocusing on all the “decrepitudes” ensuing from the above noted dysfunctions, I have been having a hard time coming to grace and peace with this whole process of “aging”! Of course we women (and men as well) can humorously commiserate on the various trivial and not so trivial changes in our bodies and minds, but the fact is; our essence does not change, and if anything evolves and becomes more luminous and wise, especially with an ongoing spiritual kind of practice like yoga. I know I am such a better person and doctor than I was 10 or even 5 years ago. One key is to not give up things that bring us joy that we can still do, and resume them if we let them go!