Years ago, in one of my former lives, Scott Hinrichs, HealthEast’s vice president for mission, bioethics and spiritual care, tapped me to speak at its annual President’s Prayer Breakfast. I’m not sure that the audience walked away with much, however, the event was a tremendous gift to me. Absent the commitment, I doubt that I would have reflected on my spiritual journey.
The PowerPoint has generally aged well. I’m not sure that I would add much today—except, perhaps this Lars Kenseth cartoon, which I saw over the weekend, and some stuff from Stephan Bodian’sBeyond Mindfulness. By all means laugh, but then puzzle for a few minutes over the deeper meaning.
What’s that part of you that’s been there all along?
— Postscript. I didn’t immediately realize that today marks the 10th anniversary of my presentation. More than coincidence? ✸
I was recently notified that I’ve been named to Minnesota Monthly’s annual Top Doctors listing. I appreciate the ongoing recognition from my peers.
I consider awards like this professional capital—they allow me to do more for my patients and our community. And spend it I will! Some examples are virtual addiction care at Allina Health and CentraCare Health, and various media appearances
The Top Doctors listing will appear in the September/October issue of Minnesota Monthly, which hits the newsstands on August 26th. Minnesota Monthly also maintains an online provider directory. ✸
I’m finally getting around to memorializing some of the “self-help” books that have helped me over the years. The thread that runs through this grouping is the difference between “I” and “me” (or “true self” vs. “false self” or “observing self” vs. “observed self”—this has been described in various ways).
“Me,” the conceptual self, can suffer; “I,” which is pure awareness or consciousness, never can. The end of suffering involves withdrawing your attention from “me” and resting in “I.”
This can be a little difficult to understand, let alone practice, which is why I seldom use it psychotherapeutically. But for those who are ready, it can be liberating.
Anthony de Mello’s Stripping Down to the “I” (starts on Page 46) is a great place to start. If it seems like nonsense, don’t be troubled and simply ignore this post. If, however, you’re intrigued, consider reading on.
Remember airplanes? In the event of an emergency, flight attendants advise us to adjust our own oxygen masks before helping others. I’ve always found that an apt metaphor for anyone in the healing arts.
Tomorrow I’m presenting on self-care during a pandemic (but it could be any personal or shared crisis really). Not self-care for our patients and clients—but self-care for ourselves. The main message concerns the relationship that we have toward time and the present, although there will some other stuff sprinkled in as well.
The Twins were eliminated by the Astros yesterday, however, it’s still baseball season! In that spirit, I’m “pitching” a split doubleheader today in two different ballparks through the wonders of Zoom.
Downtown Minneapolis is bleak right now. The towers have been empty since the shelter-in-place order was issued last winter. Many buildings are boarded up due to property damage from rioting. Sirens are constantly going off because of the sharp increase in crime. Street vagrancy is prevalent outside of my office building.
The world is upside down, however, this abandoned church reminds me every morning to continue healing the sick. ✸
There is currently considerable interest in telehealth addiction care. Allina Health began offering it in February 2019 to address geographic voids in greater Minnesota. We were thus well-positioned for virtual care when the Covid-19 pandemic occurred about a year later.