Cultivating our Medicine
Practicing medicine in these times, within the healthcare system and in our society, can create a dynamic tension between caring for oneself and caring for others. Our rates of "burnout" or, as many are calling it, "moral injury" continue to rise. By many indices, our collective human health and wellbeing is worsening. The gathering threats of climate change, ecological degradation and pandemic loom large in our near future. It is clear that we who are called to do healing work must nourish ourselves so that we can be of the greatest service.
I have reflected at length on the question of what it means to be in service of healing at this planetary moment. What needs to change so that caring for the needs of humans is not at odds with the needs of the planet? Or of the humans working toward healing? How can we practice a form of medicine that has a healing effect on ourselves, our communities, our Earth?
Natura was born of this deep desire to have a place to explore these questions, honoring reciprocity, ecology (interpersonal and planetary), and deep nourishment in the medicine we practice.
I have written A Healer's Manifesto as a means of ever-orienting myself, and perhaps others, toward this quadruple aim: to cultivate a medicine that is healing for patient, healer, community and planet.
The Commonweal Garden holds those on restorative retreat and doing healing work beautifully. We have hosted resident physicians on retreat, have had medical students, residents and fellows participate in the Community Medicine Circles we hold, and woven into Art of Vitality circles. We will be offering a retreat for physicians in practice in the near future. Our intention is to offer, first and foremost, those in medicine to have their own healing, opening experience and then rippling it out through the communities we serve. If you would like to explore possibilities for being in retreat here, or to engage in programming, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.