Thursday 26 July 2012

Perpetually Chasing or Running Away?

     How do you feel when you're alone, with nothing to do, nobody to talk to, no laptop or smart phone in hand? Do you rarely experience the above? Is it largely because it makes you very anxious, irritable, "bored"?
     We feel good when "doing our thing" - practicing our specialty. But if we stray slightly away from it ... I once knew one of the world's top experts in renal pathology. I asked him a detailed question in his field. He said he didn't know the answer, then proceeded to give an eloquent, concise outline of the three dominant theories, the pros and cons of each, and ended by saying that he didn't know the answer. A short time later, I asked him a fairly straight-forward question about oral pathology, which was outside his area of specialized knowledge. He gave a curt simplistic answer and rushed away.
     The more specialized we are, the narrower our comfort zone, and the more threatened we feel when not "performing."
     Is it possible for us to learn to just be - with no sense of chasing after or running away from? Can we learn to sit quietly, alone, with a sense of timelessness, processing the restless anxiety and feelings of guilt over "doing nothing" churning in our guts? Can we learn to be mindful? How would this process of getting to know who we truly are affect our daily life?

Halifax, Nova Scotia

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