Recently a friend asked me if I missed my traditional medical job. My response was immediate and unequivocal.
The clarity of my response surprised me and perhaps my friend.
Why not, he asked me?
Why not, I thought? Why not?
To answer that question requires a longer answer, for sure! So, allow me to share part of my journey from traditional pediatric medicine to Coaching for Inner Peace.
I recall a day many years ago in the mid- 1990s waiting at a local subway station in Brooklyn, NY for the R train that would take me home. I had landed a job as a pediatric attending with a handsome six-figure salary, right out of residency. Now, I had access to all that money could buy- a spacious 2-bedroom apartment in a brownstone in Park Slope, designer clothes and shoes, vacations and cruises, and even my own cell phone- which was still a new thing in those days ?
Perhaps I did feel some satisfaction that I had ‘accomplished’ the American dream that every immigrant imagines for themselves and their children when they leave their country of origin. Soon, my parents were busy arranging my marriage and a flood of proposals came in. Like me, these men were also medical professionals of Indian origin who had achieved the pinnacle of success that our parents had worked so hard for, the main reason that they left their homes in India to make a new life for themselves in America.
The life I envisioned for myself since I was a young girl now was before me: a stable job in medicine, marriage, children, a house in the burbs, fancy car, prestige, success and so on and so forth.
Isn’t that what I wanted, after all?
Wasn’t that what I had worked so hard for?
All these years of medical school and residency. All that study, the endless exams and sleepless nights on call. Now was the time to reap the fruits of all that hard work!
What was I waiting for?
Yet that day, standing at the subway station which was above ground, I looked towards the city skyline, and felt a profound sense of loss. Somehow, I felt I was living a lie- a life that was not fully my own. Yes, it was me, Seema, who had done all the work, passed all the exams and so forth. But I felt like a stranger in my own life. Like I was not fully alive, somehow. There was a huge gap in what I was living and what I knew somehow was the authentic life within me that was yet unborn.
As I let myself feel this sense of loss, I felt confused. I had followed all the rules for success and happiness as prescribed by society. Yet I felt a deep sense of emptiness. Everything felt distant and unreal. Like the set on a TV show after the actors exit the stage. Empty. Unfulfilled. Purposeless.
Something was missing in the world of medicine and that same thing was missing in my life. And this was the connection to the Spirit within. To the Source of all healing.
The medicine I was studying at that time viewed the body as a machine that could somehow be understood by dissecting the parts. Yet I knew that healing could not be understood by reducing the body to organs, tissues and cells but rather by stepping back and looking the whole process of healing in a completely different way. My life too had a bigger purpose than being a traditional medical doctor. What was this purpose? How could I integrate this inner and outer purpose into one unified experience?
The culmination of this inner and outer search came together when I discovered the power of what I began to call a practice of radical forgiveness. A quantum forgiveness that required a fundamental shift in paradigm. To heal, I discovered, a quantum leap of the mind was needed just like electrons inside an atom make a leap when they literally jump from one orbit to the next.
My personal journey with chronic pain taught me that what needed to change was not my body, but how I was experiencing my body. What needed healing was my perception- which lay inside my mind, in my emotions, thoughts and beliefs. When my pain disappeared, I knew I had found a way to heal that transcended East and West, complementary and alternative medicine, as well as mind and body. It lay in the realm of the metaphysical- in the realm of consciousness, or what scientists refer to as the field.
What is this field?
Scientists are finding that the human body is an energy field where information is exchanged in a way that defies our linear concepts of time and space. We used to think that the mind and body communicated only via neuronal pathways and via release of various chemicals and hormones. But now we are finding that cells somehow also can communicate instantaneously as if they receive an information download much like we would download a new program in our computer.
If you feel inspired to go deeper with this new way of understanding the body and healing, I invite you to watch wonderful documentary movie called The Living Matrix. In this movie, you will meet leading scientists, doctors, and researchers who share about a completely different way to see the body that will blow your mind ?
They discuss the following ideas:
Role of placebo and belief in healing
Power of intention in health and illness
Emotions of love and fear and how they impact health
The field of epigenetics- how there are forces in the environment that impact the expression of even so-called ‘genetic’ conditions
How the body is an energy field where there is information exchange that is not limited to just within the physical body.
How illness is ‘scrambled’ information and how healing is about finding tools that ‘correct’ this information
And many real-life stories and research that illustrate the above ideas.
So, no, I don’t miss practicing medicine the way I used to. But I am grateful for all my medical training. I am also grateful that I allowed myself to ‘take the quantum leaps’ I needed that eventually brought me to Coaching for Inner Peace!