Vulnerability is not weakness

Why is this true? and we all know it is...

Dr. Brené Brown is going to tell us what to do about it. The Houdini of shame's straight jacket, the guide for 'whole hearted living',  she is sharing her secrets on TED talks (here with Swedish subtitles). Give yourself a moment, press the orange quote. You will not ever be the same. This research is ground breaking and the presentation is riveting........

According to Dr Brown

“When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make,”
 “Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.” "Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation and change." 

What does that mean for us as humans, professionals, co-workers, parents, partners, healers?

For healers Dr Brown says

'When they teach those folks how to suture they teach them how to stitch their self worth to being all powerful' 

Lets talk about shame, because that is the universal response when we try to cover up the fact that we are simply human. We can not continue to facilitate healing over time if the shame keeps mounting. Eventually we only want to hide in the corner with our secret......sometimes we are most afraid of our colleagues. Watch Brené Brown's second Ted Talk (here also with Swedish sub titels) by pressing on the book or buy the book itself. 

So did you hear the secrets? Can you free yourself from the straight jacket? How about your patients? Can you give them a map?

Heart and Hands

Did you notice any heroes today? Do you see them all around us? Allow me even to present Dr Henry Marsh - The English Surgeon  Take some time to be renewed today. If not by the article, than the film or better yet both.

This British physician dares to stand beside and behind his Ukrainian colleague, their friendship, loyalty, creativity and perserverance create 'miracles' in the midst of poverty and medical system disfunction. Human solidarity and compassion being the miracles even beyond the cures.

I am stunned by the slow deep beauty in this documentary. The grey weather and unending concrete seem only to intensify our heroes'  humility and prowess. This film will cure elitism. It will raise you up.

Daunted, existentially stretched and clearly questioning Dr Marsh still moves forward with british politeness; wading through eastern european melancholy and desperation. The stoicism of his patients, balancing under their hopes, expose his heart and ethics clearly.

'The worst of all surgical mistakes is complacency' reminds one of other great social activists' quotes.

And when you have been uplifted by this film, the whole film, continue on to the next to see him wade through administration and bureaucracy in the Brittish system. Do you see the heroes now? Aren't they magnificent?

Strong Back Soft Front

Can you see the compassion around you today? The heroes and helpers who stand steady in these times of confusion, extending their hearts and hands; do you see them? Can the search for this be in itself a mindful meditation?

Allow us to share a TED talk condensing, exploring, observing COMPASSION. Perhaps thawing small frozen places in us. Thank you Joan Halifax.

The transforming of suffering through compassion can only happen when we are not attached to outcome. Recognising this paradox is key. We must participate without moral outrage, pity or fear and allow the full catastrophe of our humaness to explode onto our awareness.

Then and only then in the light of our mutual situation will we find true compassion, transformation and resilience, mobilising our personal and interpersonal immunity.

Cultivating a strong back and soft front, a steadfast strength and an open heart. An eye for wisdom in the palm of each hand. Compassion is empathy in action.

When do you find yourself most engaged in noticing the helpers? Can you feel your own back rising strong and your heart melting as you observe them? Can you sit still as you watch or do you lend them your heart and hands? Can we tell each other these stories over and over again? 

Blaming / Skuldbeläggande

Blaming and Accountability

Impatience with discomfort and momentary amnesia for one's own 'grit' causes blaming; and blaming makes it almost impossible to actually create this is an important idea I hope to hang onto. Refocus on grit, compassion, patience...and EFFECTIVE accountability.....why do so many good things involve patience with discomfort? When I 'grit' my teeth to persevere, something tightens in me and the discomfort increases. Now to practice 'gritting' without tightening.....feels more like ....?

Click here to see Brene Brown 'On Blame'

So my next question is how does this tie in with my everyday life as a physician, employee and team member?

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Grit; Ihärdighet

Är du ihärdigt? När?  Do you have grit? When?


Angela Lee Duckworth: Key to success? Grit.  To see the video click on the pearl above.  Click here to view the thought provoking NY Times article on the same theme but with different authors. 

Angela Lee Duckworth: Nyckeln till framgång? Ihärdighet. Videon med Svensk text får ni fram genom att klicka på ‘video on grit’ under bilden. Klicka här och kom till NY Times tänkvärda artikel om samma tema.

Curiosity/ Nyfikenhet

Could curiosity be the key to grit? How do we in health care Enable our own curiosity in, and empower our patients to dare be curious about, our mutual suffering and healing? 

Kan nyfikenhet vara nyckeln till ihärdighet? Hur tillåter och utvecklar vi vår egen nyfikenhet som vårdpersonal och patient? Hur uppmuntrar vi nyfikenhet för vårt ÖMSESIDIGa lidande och läkande?

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