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Friday, January 29, 2010

Help others-Leading-Mentoring-Giving it away-Receiving: The cycle

"Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would worth it."

That was my Facebook status for the past week since the passing of an influential leader in the field. This has been a period to stop, reflect and determine if indeed personally, I am going down the right road for me and interfacing with others on a daily basis in a way that is right for me in addition to the feelings of loss and grief. Many ppl took this and posted it as their status, showing there was a ripple effect of the sentiments. I know the brave person I took it from as "Person Zero" as we would say in viral spreads and it was also partly a tribute to her struggles and overwhelming need to help others. But its a positive spread.

I write lots on "be yourself, often". In fact, its the buzzwords that I use to close off each and every one of these blogs. Death is a time where you are able to look fearlessly at yourself and ask the question "How am I doing?" When the person that passes has been such and inspiration, such a teacher and a mentor to many that question becomes even more important. It becomes not just "What am I doing" but "What am I doing that shapes the paths of others?" A time when you appreciate your actions of today impact on the lives of people in the here and now and tomorrow. If your taxonomy is all about you and not others or your profession, you arent going to learn the same message or see the light you have to give as individuals with a different taxonomy would. Sadly, it teaches others that you would rather take from them personally or material. You will find yourself a lonely person. To give is to receive, not the opposite my friends.

Teaching is leading and giving in many avenues, there is no doubt from that. But I have learned not solely in the standard classroom ways, but from amazing people. Children with cancer, adults with schizophrenia, children that have been abused and adults who have been shunned by society. From residents and students I have learned so much. From colleagues I have learned. All of those people are teachers and we all give, even if we arent aware of that fact. Teaching and learnings and mentoring I find inherently create a mirror situation and in fact I use the mirror in evaluations. People learn from teachers, and not just the good stuff. Goes back to the taxonomies and if you are all about you, people learn that too sadly. On the converse side there is often a special person in our lives that helps us and advances us in our careers. A teacher or mentor.

I believed before, but believe even more after Wednesday's funeral service that to get the light is to give the light. Thank you for the amazing reminder and the years of support and helping me find my light Dr Charlie Bayliff. Godspeed to a brilliant man of integrity and may his learnings and light pass on to many and burn even brighter as more people share his gifts. 

  So I believe to "be yourself, often" is to help not just you, but others. To get it is to give it away. May I continue to give more than I get.


---Joel Lamoure  January 2010


9:01 am est 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flowing waters

  Often I will give students, residents and people looking for a chance to exercise their mental muscles a koan. The one that I often start with is that "Flowing water follows the path of least resistance" Its and interesting exercise to do and reflect on this.

  Lets address first the concept of the water. Are you flowing water? What in fact does your waters look like and are they pure and clean, safe to drink or are they polluted, toxic and poisonous? Those are still waters, but one is life giving and the other sucks the life out of the environment and itself. Fish cannot live in harmony, the trees die and the circle of life is not continued. I think we can all agree we know many that are not healthy forms of water.

  Following the path of least resistance is the next step of the koan. Do you go with the flow, crash into what are seamless barriers or adhere to the laws of nature? That being the premises and abilities of accepting higher powers, the Fates and that in our alleged chaos there is perfect structure. 

  When we know were and what we are, the rest of the journey has some clarity... 

  Be yourself, often.


---Joel Lamoure January 2010 


7:49 am est 

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Fates at Eight

   Just a little bit of a side-slip here from the traditional, to demonstrate that most of my reflections aren't entirely pop-psych or neo-cultural or my eyes are in the sky. This is my time of personal reflection, as most of these posts are, but this one tagged with an anniversary.

   We all know where we were September 11. 2001. I do. But do you know what you were doing January 15, 2002? I do. I dont expect anyone else to as its a special date to me and we all have special dates. It was the personal Day of Infamy for me and the beginning of many hard choices. A period of learning to restructure my life, to work with people, and rebuild... basically to learn how to walk again in my own shoes.

   It often takes sadly a cataclysmic, devastating event to realize what and who you are and what you stand for and believe. Also critical to remember that cataclysmic and devastating to one isn't to another. So listen and understand with empathy my good friends.

   I have often lamented that that is a tragedy for people to have to have a really negative event that shakes their erroneous belief system before a willingness to look at yourself occurs Also that there are choices in how you react.. Fight, Flight (avoidance) or Adapt. To make small course corrections and advance your personal and professional goals with a few close friends and family as guidance is important. Listening to your own head and heart and gut and ensuring they are in perfect synchronicity is essential. The Fates are what happens in the grand schema of life where we as people are a very very small part of that. Realizing our place, helping others and fearlessly looking at ourselves and our moral inventory is very hard, but essential.

  Never lament and whine and wail of what is lost after the grieving period but learn to rebuild the house of the person that you are. Its a hard one and we need help. I still do and thanks to those that do. But I believe the taxonomy of my perspective is changed from 8+1 and started changing at 8-1. Jan 15/02, my D-Day and the day my war turned. Some may look at what I have now I and the resultant health and not see the scars or the battles. Sadly humans often get too entrenched in their own lines to reach across to help others, even if they may end up learning from the wounded parties. Sunshine and roses and rolling 7s arent there all the time for me and there are still lots of battles. I thank the higher powers I still get the challenges. 

  Its all about choices, destiny, higher power and the fates. Make your decisions wisely... know your taxonomy as it is and where you want it to be and advance the humanity. Being aware of rampant narcissism and societal challenges in others, but not publicly criticizing will help you clean yourself first. Be an example and light the flame. Show your candle!

  And most importantly, be yourself, often.


---Joel Lamoure  January 2010 

8:43 am est 

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Originality... embrace it, respect it!

   There have been discussions along the way that conclude with the statement, "Be yourself, often." In fact everyone of the posts here have had that tagline. But what does it mean?

   To embrace ourselves and our individuality, to wear that badge of ourself as a medal of pride. To appreciate in this Year of Minutiae that everything is individual in nature. Man is the maker of straight lines and mass productions. That doesnt happen in nature. So, if we stop, reflect and appreciate each thing and each action that we do thats a valid first step. Ever apple is different but calling something an apple is a name, a label, a brand. I believe as we look at the humble apple in deeper levels, we can see the universe and so many intricacies that we lose when we just call something a label.

   I am Joel and so much more than Joel... an individual with thoughts, hopes, dreams, challenges and successes. When someone says something, I have feelings that are special and unique to me. Although I use myself as an example, the same holds true to all.

   Lets back this up a notch and what about people that you interact with? They feel as you do and have their own thoughts, hopes, dreams, challenges and successes. How are they less or more important than ours?  and it is essential to appreciate them for the gifts and amazingly intricate people that they are. Individuals that identify themselves by their job and not themselves lose that originality. If I say I am a professor, then that has its own labels and connotations and dehumanizes the individual.

  To back it up even more, imagine how someone feels when they are labelled by their medical or psychiatric illness. Thats just cruelty of applying a label. Embrace the person, their individuality and let the vistas open up. 

  Love and appreciate your originality and individuality, you dont have to have all the same things and be the same as the rest. There are so many very gifted and special people out there and they have stories to tell that we could learn from.

  Be yourself, often


---Joel Lamoure   January 2010 




6:42 pm est 

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010-Year of Minutiae

   That was quite a decade... good for some, bad for others. Those of us here and reading this have been through lots. I personally can attest that this is nothing like I woke up to in 2000, besides the fact Im 10 years older and oh so many pounds heavier. It is a collection of experiences, trips, families and friends. Most of all the experiences.

   As much as it sounds all politically correct to say smoke less, drink less, swear less and all and work harder, be smarter, I sadly will tell you that may not work. If you WANT those things, then work hard for them, and focus on the minute, not the end result. The best things come in the moment and seeing the little things and appreciating them. I mean really, can you remember what you got for your birthday in 2004 with a few select exceptions? Make this the year of appreciating the minute things in your life. Appreciate and practice tolerance as one doesn't know everything an individual has been through and don't judge. Practice an intelligent concern for others. Let the positives build and the negatives minimized and get them out of the house where possible. Where there seems to be so many negatives and health challenges and overwhelming issues, breaking those into smaller pieces and creating the positives such as playing a game, taking a walk are ways to make deposits in the mental bank of mental health. If you arent saddled with those challenges, are healthy and more... why are you complaining?

   Complaining and expectations are 2 big resource-suckers. Certainly they are in our lives but are ALL of them essential or just make you worse? Like watching the news at 6pm. 90% disaster and 10% success stories. Bad news sells and we know that and that attracts people. So do fatal accidents, train wrecks and disasters my friends. Ask yourself do you want to be in that category? Its a choice.

  Search and seize the small things and minimize complaints and expectations. Carpe diem. 

  Be yourself, often.


---Joel Lamoure January 2010 



8:53 am est 

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