Archive for February, 2007

In My Language

I am ashamed of my own selfish. I thought I had issues with a lack of understanding from other people.

Here’s a link to the brief CNN article about Amanda Baggs:



Am I the only ignorant person who didn’t know what Namaste meant?  Maybe I learned it at some point, but forgot it.  Tonight I heard the meaning (again) and was totally blown away by it.  Namaste- The light in me honors the light in you.


This morning I did a preceptorship with a Hospice agency and I have to say , “Wow” again.  This is work I was meant to do.  It involves the real people.   The pain is real, the emotions are real, the tears are real, the love is real.  I was so amazed listening to nurses discussing patients who were in various stages of the dying process.  They also gave me an extremely well written document that describes to family members what the dying patient may be experiencing, for them to understand that it is a normal process.  The physical body begins shutting down, the mind be confused and the spirit detaches.  These all must be painful to watch a loved-one go through, but I’m sure it is easier when it is understood to be natural.

Another strong point that they emphasis is for the family to give the patient permission to “go”.  Our egos ache to keep our loved ones near us, but they are not ours to keep.  Each person has their own journey and when it is their time to go, we must let them go.  The greatest gift of love is to let someone go, to do what they need to do.  Whether it is to die, to move away geographically or emotionally, or to be alone, letting someone be their own person is a gift of love.


Patience and compassion

Where do you cross the line from being compassionate and having patience to just being a floor mat?  I have been disrespected once again by someone I have to work with.  I am counting the days until we will no longer have to work together.  I am using our soon-to-be-departed partnership as an excuse not to address this most recent issue, but I feel like this is not healthy.  I should be able to address issues I am having in a professional manner, but I have tried this before and it didn’t work.  It just exacerbated the problem.  So, she is disrespectful towards me and she doesn’t even know she’s doing it!!!  Hence the “Erg” I’m feeling.

I suppose I can acknowledge the fact that she is going to encounter a lot of difficulties in her life due to her high-strung personality and lack of understanding social connections and interactions.   She has probably already encountered plenty of difficulties, which may explain her defensive social tactics.  I tried to help before, but she was not open to help.  So, I will continue to do what needs to get done, have faith that I am open to constructive criticism (i.e. people are not afraid to approach me) and make sure I respect all the people I encounter, so they don’t feel attacked after our interactions.

The Global Consciousness Project

Let’s see if developing scientific research can quantify what we all know intuitively: global consiousness!!

From Princeton University:

The Global Consciousness Project (GCP) is an international effort involving researchers from several institutions and countries, designed to explore whether the construct of interconnected consciousness can be scientifically validated through objective measurement. The results are evidence that the physical world and our mental world of information and meaning are linked in ways that we don’t yet understand.

Sold My Soul for $20

I hate calling people, disturbing them. I hate asking people for money. I hate representing an organization that I only half-heartedly believe in (institutions are NOT to be trusted!!). So, why did I spend 2 hours of my life doing these exact things? To raise money ($10/hr) for an organization I’m in charge of and to help pay for the conference we’re going to.

Every number I called I prayed for the answering machine. I talked to a total of 5 people in 2 hours!! One was a kid, so that doesn’t really count. I got donations from 3 of them totalling $300!! Wahoo! Too bad I wasn’t on commission. Then, I got the one where I didn’t even get to tell him I was a student. He just said, “Can you do me a favor and take me off your call list?” Ouch! He was polite and everything, but it cut through me like a knife. I wanted to tell him I knew EXACTLY how he feels. I hate it when telemarketers call me too.

Thank goodness E came for the 2nd hour. At least she was human and we could relate to each other and laugh at the ridiculouness of our predicament, both of us with our compromised souls!! The scary part was seeing the undergrad students who did this for the JOB!! They work 4 nights a week for 3 hours a night! Lord! How depressing! When E and I laughed and made fun of this “job” they didn’t seem to understand. It felt like there was something missing…oh yeah! Their souls! Now, I know I shouldn’t be so mean, but honestly, I would rather die a poor pauper than live a life of calling people asking for money for an institution and I can’t even be sure where the money is going!! Ugh!


The crescent moon hoovers above the tree line.  The grin of the Chesire Cat.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to changes those I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I like to think I’m wise, but there are still many issues that plague me.  “Anguish is wanting the world to be other than it is.”  I can accept many things.  I can maintain my emotional distance from material possessions, grades and money.  They all have their place in life, but I do not live and die by them.  My anguish comes from my desire to be understood.

I think we all want someone to understand us.  Perhaps one of the things we must accept with serenity is the fact that no one is ever going to understand us completely.  We are all different and though we may share common ideas or passions, we will never share them all.  [sigh]

I always feel enriched when I get to know someone else, especially when he/she has thought for extended periods of time about a particular subject.  It does me good to wrap my head around what it must be like to be this person.  Sometimes, someone will try to understand me.  It is the greatest feeling in the world when someone to asks, “What makes you burn?”.  Still, no matter how hard someone tries, they are never going to be able to understand me (or me understand them) completely.  I think it is amusing and heartbreaking when someone thinks they understand me, then they make a comment I don’t understand or I say something that shocks them.

My favorite shock is telling people the best movie in the world (that I’ve seen so far) is “Fight Club”.  If you understood me, you’d understand why “Fight Club” is my favorite movie.  Most people get it wrong.  They see “Fight Club” as violent (which I am very much NOT) or they think I have a crush on Brad Pitt.  No, actually, I think Edward Norton is more interesting and the plot is better yet.  It is a little extreme, but it is just a movie and it gets the point across of one person’s struggle to find meaning in life.

Perhaps the desire to be understood is the reason why people conform to society.  It may be superficial, but at least they have friends.  Others may take the spiritual route of trying to understand the deeper meaning of life.  Even if no conclusion is found, at least they can be satified with a journey well traveled and connections with other searching souls.  Even if we won’t understand each other completely, at least we know there are other souls out there, on a similar quest.  It makes life feel less lonely.

Student DO of the Year

Not sure what the nomination of “Student DO of the Year” really means. With so many amazing Osteopathic Students in the country, I have a hard time believing any one student deserves more recognition than any other. Someone in my class thought I qualified for such a title and nominated me. I am honored.

Here’s my essay if you want to read it! Essay

Happy Mardi Gras!

Edited Sun 2/25/07. I was given the wrong essay topic to write about, so here is what I just submited: Student DO Essay

Mutant Message Down Under

Here’s an intereseting coincidence: my post from yesterday is titled “Real People” and the book I bought and started reading today (Mutant Message Down Under) is about a woman’s experience with an Aboriginal tribe that calls themselves the “Real People”.  Hmmmm.

It is gratifing to know that I am spending ten’s of thousand’s of dollars on an education that will bring me closer to my goal in life.  The money, the aggravation, the time are all part of my journey.

A few days ago someone asked me “What makes you burn?”  I was tickled by the question itself (funny wording) and the implication (this person wanted to uderstand me better).  Also didn’t really know how to respond.  I know my two passions are Lindy and Osteopathy, but what was it about them that made me “burn”.  I came to the conclusion that it was connection.

Lindy Hop and Blues dancing especially are dances where each partner is completely connected to the other.  It is the connection that takes my breath away and keeps bringing me back every other week and devoting countless hours of my life to teaching others so they too can feel the connection.

True Osteopathy is about connecting with your patients and recognizing and honoring the healing proceesses that are going on inside them.

I also love connecting to “real people” in general, learning about their joys and struggles and celebrating small triumphs.  And nature.  Our culture works so hard to control nature through farming and grocery stores, refridgerators, houses, heating, air conditioners, automobiles yet we are often reminded of nature’s forces and our inability to control them.

Is it possible to live in complete accordance with nature, accepting everything that comes our way, good and “bad” and trusting that nature will provide what is needed, no more no less?  That certainly sounds ideal, but why not?  I’ve learned to let go of a lot of things and I feel at peace with my life, sometimes.

There still are issues I struggle with, but I am not concerned about where I will end up doing my rotations.  I trust that where I go will teach me what I need to know and I will find elsewhere that which the site cannot teach me.  I’m not overly concered about taking the boards.   I will study and take the test just like any other test and I will more than likely pass.  No need to create an ulcer over one test.  And residency: there is a residency out there just waiting for me.  Patients?  Who’s not going to want to be the patient of a calm, level-headed DO who is open to understanding health and its relationship to each patient that walks through my door.

I am concerned about insurance headaches and restrictive guidelines about how I am supposed to practice versus how I want to practice.  Once my debt is paid, I’ll make due on less income and more peace of mind.  And travel, learning the healing ways of other cultures to further enhance my knowledge.  And teach.  I will teach students who want to learn what I have to say.  I often wish I was part of another culture, but I am not, so I will help to change the culture I’m in.  Then I’ll take over the world!!

Real People

 There are times I feel like I am going to burst out of my shear joy in other people or completely implode from my own pain or more readily, from the pain of someone I care about.  And then sometimes I feel so detached from life I wonder what is wrong with me.

Here’s the contrast: last night I was out with my swing dancing friends and I must have looked like a nut case laughing the whole night, thoroughly enjoying the company I was with and the dances I had. These friends are real: they try to put on a persona and be “cool”, but they’re quick to laugh if they mess something up.  I love it.

Then tonight I went to a birthday party for a classmate.  D is such a great guy, humble (sometimes to the point of self-effacement) and talented (he plays guitar and sings) and his wife is wonderful and their baby that will be one year old in April.  There weren’t a lot of people there because I guess last night was a major party night after a week of exams for both classes.

I was glad to go and wish D well.  I had a great discussion with C, the husband of one of my other classmates and the band’s drummer.  He’s working on trying to understand the broader social context in which the social issues he deals with on daily basis came to develop.  Fascinating.  It is exciting to be at the beginning of our careers and trying to understand our culture with hopes and dreams to change it for the better.  That was the highlight of the night.  The small talk, the slap-stick comedy, the drinking.  I want none of it.  I can tolerate it if I have a greater goal in mind, but to pass my time that way is just not enjoyable.  I don’t feel like I’m interacting with real people.

Is that weird? What am I missing?  I must be missing something because there are obviously a lot of people who do enjoy that type of social interaction enough to engage in it on a weekly basis.  I’m not too concerned because I have my swing friends, but I am so curious…

Meditations on Death

It’s interesting, when describing the art of meditation and bringing your attention to the breath, you would think they’d get the mechanics of breathing correct!!  The diaphragm contracts on inhalation and relaxes of exhalation.  Ahhh, the trials and tribulations of an Osteopathic medical student!

When my maternal grandfather died  I was in my early teens.  I cried at the reception for his funeral, not because I missed him, but rather because I DID NOT miss him.  What a tradegy, to have a family member die who I did not know very well.  I felt empty and dead about family relationships and their lack of depth.

I did not cry when my paternal grandfather died this past August.  We all knew his death was coming, so it wasn’t a surprise.  I knew this grandfather better and it is through his lineage that I can declare myself a 4th generation Gilman in the town I grew up in.  He was a good guy, well respected, but still his death did not leave a gapping hole in my life, just an empty chair during the holidays.

Often times, I envy those who are dead rather than mourn them.  Perhaps it is because I have not lost anyone that I am very close to.  And I am not close to very many people.  Is this in order to protect myself from the pain of loss?  Perhaps.  If it is, it is totally unconscious.  OR could it be because I’ve come to the realization that nothing in the world is permanent, therefore I have a  hard time relating to people that think it is permanent?  Hmmmmm.

“Anguish emerges from craving for life to be other than it is.”  Stephen Bachelor Buddhism Without Beliefs.  Man!  I think I am finally able to understand and practice this little bit of wisdom!

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