Positive transformation is afoot in the world. From various corners of the earth people are coming together to talk about the powers and potentials within us to affect life-affirming changes in ourselves and the world.
This summer I engaged in a worldwide tour. I found myself moved by the remarkable people and the extraordinary work that is underway on every continent. This included the kinds of people and the types of activities that are often not featured in the prime time news. And yet, as I learned time and again, it involves groundbreaking initiatives to improve our collective wellbeing that are being vivified in meeting rooms, conference halls, churches, theaters, and hospitals across the planet.
It is a movement that is ignited by friendships, conviviality and a common intention to bring about positive transformations that can help heal our troubled world. In this blog series over the next few weeks, I will share some of the highlights from my travels. I will start by focusing on several reasons to feel hope for the future of healthcare in America.
Transforming Healthcare, One Person at a Time
Caritas at Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco, CA
At Kaiser Permanente, I participated with a group of visionaries who are seeking to shift the practice of healthcare. Under the leadership of Nurse Educator, Dr. Jean Watson, the Caritas Project is working to restore the practice of caring in health care. During a training program for Kaiser Permanente health professionals in northern California, caregivers were reminded to care for themselves as well as for their patients.
During my presentation, I spoke of transformations in worldview, sharing the transformation model that I developed with my colleagues at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. The health practitioners I spoke with were inspired to add transformative tools of intention, attention, intuition and compassion to their medical bags, thus promoting individual and collective flourishing.
I was inspired to learn about an emergency room doctor, Dr Donald Schmidt, who has created The Respect Project: An Approach to Death and Dying in the Emergency Department. His goal is to provide a healing space to honor the lives of his patients who die in the emergency room. And I was moved by the music and story telling from Gary Malcolm and Bruce Cryer who inspired the students to embrace their own creativity and brilliance. By the end of the program, I was filled with deep appreciation and optimism for the future of medicine.
Nevola Symposium, Waterville, Maine
Traveling from one coast to another, I found myself in Waterville, Maine. I was honored to show the film, Death Makes Life Possible, at Railroad Square Cinema.
The following day I then gave two keynote talks at the Nevola Symposium at Colby College, co-sponsored by Dartmouth Medical School, where I addressed the theme for the conference, “Spirituality and Transformation.”
The dynamic audience, filled with wisdom and profound experiences from those at the front line of health care, included healers, therapists, nurses, and physicians. My talks were titled, “Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life” and “Compassionate Intention, Prayer and Distant Healing.”
Other presentations revealed the value of meaning and narrative in the therapeutic encounter, the use of mindfulness based practices in health, innovative approaches to trauma, and spiritual tools to facilitate resilience.
The event coordinator, Frederic Craigie, Jr., Ph.D. shared his own views on positive spirituality for health care practitioners. His book on Positive Spirituality offers practical approaches to pursuing wholeness for clinicians, patients, and health care organizations. In each case, it was clear that health care workers are calling out for meaning and more healing in health care, offering new approaches that are shifting the clinical landscape in ways that embrace the whole person: body, mind and spirit.
Stay tuned for Part 2!