What I’m Doing with my Blog: I’ve added a “Resources” page which is accessible at the top right of the blog. It contains a few items right now, and I will be updating it with resources that I’ve returned to over and over again. Information resources will be listed, as well as resources for relief, relaxation and joy.
Books I’m Reading: Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal, Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. – I stumbled upon this book, which is a relative oldie – 1996 – and I’m so very glad I did. It’s giving me much relief and joy. Written by a physician, it chronicles her exploration of how her physician training caused her to “forget” her humanness at times. The essays she writes are her remembering. I’m relating to it for a few reasons. One is that I’m making comparisons of her physician training with my conditioning in my family during my childhood. In physician training, certain behaviours — objectivity, clinical detachment — are rewarded by the program such that students reinforce those and they then diminish the importance of other parts of who they are, like their feelings. The physical and mental rigour of the training — 36 hours at work and 12 hours off when Rachel trained — does not leave much time for being a person. Similarly, for me as a child in my family, I was conditioned by my father to meet his needs and forget about my own. The extreme, harsh and abusive demands he made on me and my time rattled my mind — literally — and made it hard for me to remember who I was. Kitchen Table Wisdom is helping me remember who I am.
Blogs/Websites I’m Exploring: (1) Lissa Rankin, who is also a physician (and an artist), blogs about her journey back to her heart and herself after her medical training. I’d heard of her before, but hadn’t investigated her writing. That changed this week, when I came upon a blog post of hers called, “Are You a Shaman?” Check.
(2) I stumbled upon a lovely smallish blog recently (about 3,000 followers) called, “For the Archives: Chronicles of the Everday.” There is a rare sacredness and a simplicity in the photos and writing posted by the author, Jessica, who writes from a small island in Hawaii. She has some posts about writing itself, a topic that is near to my heart.
What I’m contemplating: (1) boundaries – I’m feeling like I’m making some progress in my boundaries as far as friends are concerned; keeping fences when needed, opening doors when warranted and finding the resources within me to get closer, a little bit at a time, when I want to do that.
(2) paying attention to my “threads,” the sacred themes that float through my life. Noticing signs, listening to the small voice within me instead of dismissing it as unimportant. Making a list. Honouring and strengthening who I am.
I hope you are well.