There are many times in life that strike me as quite interesting.  Betty, my 90 year old neighbor and friend called me spur of the moment today to see if I wanted to come over and view Oprah’s last show with her.  Now, I probably could count on one hand the times I have watched her show to be honest.  If I review the past 25 years for myself, my TV leisure time has been limited.  In 1986 I graduated from high school and I have been busy studying, practicing medicine and raising a family. I was intrigued today as I am a bit more sensitive to transition lately,  so I went over Betty’s and watched.

May 2011 is a special month for both Oprah and myself.  Earlier this month I left my medical practice of almost 13 years to pursue some other dreams I have for health care.  I gave a “good-bye” talk to my medical staff colleagues on May 3rd entitled, Keeping Your Day Job: An Integrative Approach to Physician Wellness.

I have a deep passion for physician wellness and the oxymoron (or paradox you might say) of the need for the physician to heal oneself and the lack of space for that in our training and the medical system.  It was uncanny and fascinating that many of the things I spoke of earlier this month were also present in Oprah’s talk.  It was almost like she had heard me speak earlier this month!

Follow your calling and your passion.  We both discussed this. Doctors certainly know how to do this to endure our training.  And yet we often lose the focus of the calling we have to be healers from a sort of hazing that occurs. Oprah did it on TV with her “classroom of life.”  As physicians our “classroom” is being in the room with the patient.

We are all human.  We all want validation.  We want someone to say it through their words, actions, body language: “I see you.  I hear you.  What you say matters to me.”  Yes. Yes. Yes.  We need that as physicians and we MUST do that for our patients.  That is why I so much believe Integrative Medicine is the way medicine should be practiced.

We all have a little boy or girl inside of us.  We can choose what we do with it.  We need to know each of us is worthy of our blessings. Being alive makes us worthy.  You and I are worthy of happiness. Tear apart the little boy, you hurt the world.  Love the little boy, you love the world.

Oprah quoted and discussed Jill Bolte Taylor, author of My Stroke of Insight:

“You are responsible for your life.  You are responsible for the ENERGY you carry with you.”

As we LIVE IT, we need to be aware of the energy we carry and share.  The Golden Rule goes full circle.  What do you want to circle around you?

When Oprah discussed Grace and our Source of power and mystery, she spoke to me in a voice much louder than the whispers she mentioned in her show.  I almost daily listen to and am inspired by Matthew West’s song “Only Grace.”  Before each of our boys were born, we intended to name them Grace, but since they are boys, we know they wouldn’t appreciate that!  I have been realizing that the GRACE in our lives is something different than that baby I had thought I would have had years ago.  Yet, being a mom to our boys has certainly brought me grace.  And grace is working quite strongly in my life and in my calling in medicine.  Grace is working in each of us.

I thank you Oprah for your graceful presentation today and the gift of your career.  I thank you for the validation of the parallels, that despite our different paths, we are following our passions and seeking to empower others to do the same.

I see you.
I hear you.
What you say matters to me.