How did I get involved in all this mindfulness and self-compassion stuff? As a physician, compassion is one of those qualities I should have in abundance. And I do, but. . . . . Compassion is about being present for another person’s suffering and having the desire to ameliorate it. The problem is that if you don’t have much compassion for yourself, it’s hard to truly have it for others. Like the airlines say, “Put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others.” As a physician I’ve seen a lot and been through a lot. Without going into the details, I basically came to a point in my life where things were very out of balance. Trying to juggle full time work as an Ob/Gyn, a husband and a small child, the business, the call, and malpractice issues took its toll. I was looking for a better way. This search led me to integrative medicine and mindfulness. I’ve never looked back. Leading a good and happy life is completely about finding the balance that’s right for you. There was a lot of guilt and shame, distress, anxiety, doubt and general freaking-out before realizing that I actually had some modicum of choice in all this mess. Mindfulness has really led me to these conclusions. It is the “head” or mind part of the balance equation. But all that drama takes its toll, and hence there needs to be another part of the equation. That’s the “heart” part—compassion. And it begins with self-compassion. So I am doing a little research project and adding this to my daily mindfulness practice. I see huge potential to help both patients and physicians alleviate stress and add joy to life. I’ve seen the benefits of mindfulness practice for myself and those I’ve taught. Now I want to see if self-compassion practice takes things to the next level—a deeper, more enduring and heartfelt practice that can affect everyone around you and beyond. Stay tuned. . . .
Dr. Heather's musings about medicine, mindfulness and life.
Heather Krantz, M.D.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6913 Office Address: 1012 SW Emkay Drive
Bend, OR 97708 Bend, OR 97702
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