Dreams and Reality

To travel is to be free,

The allow our consciousness to see,

That we are not trapped in our minds,

But at the mercy of what one finds,

On this wandering path of life,

So when we dream a life without strife,

It can cut like a knife,

Through the deception of our misbelief,

For “this” the real thief in understanding,

What truly stands before us,

And whether you agree or not,

Reality will neither deny nor ensure us,

For “we see” what “we believe”,

And it works in that order

Positivity or negative is the habitual boarder,

As we chose the way of our predetermined destiny.


5-4-14 As Sanna and I set off on a trip to Melbourne for the wedding of Sri Lankan friends, something suddenly hit home about my own life and state of being. I am most at peace and in harmony when I am travelling in any form. It doesn’t matter where I’m going, but it is the activity of travel that sets me free. Perhaps it’s the state of “flow” that comes with travelling that does, but whatever it is, when travelling I seem to be free of the constraints of the mind.


This seemed to play out clearly for me this morning. Within minutes of hitting the airport at 6:45am, I started to notice the beauty of the morning sunrise streaming down through expansive horizontal cloud in the airport car park. All my worries; ongoing challenges of medical training, the never ending list of to do items that exist in the wake of shifting home, and of course that old chestnut called “the future”, were all let go, leaving only that old friend who I lived with when I was a child… “the present”.


All we had to do is get to Melbourne and enjoy the ride. Within minutes of hitting the terminal, whilst Sanna went to bathroom I had already struck up a conversation about travel with the people who standing in line next to me in the long and winding Tiger-air check-in line. The two fellow travelers who were directly behind me happened to be Swedish backpackers from the southern Swedish city of Gothenberg, a city that I’d briefly lived in a few years previously – the conversation started and continued to flow and with this the magic of travel had again begun. These two were on holiday travelling through Asia on to Australia, and had just spend time on a surf-camp near Byron Bay Australia. Imagine their surprise when this Sri Lankan looking New Zealand sounding Australian resident asked them the question “Hur mar du?” as soon as they said they were from Sweden? After Sanna returned to the airport check in line, there were introductions and then some non-stop Swedish banter until we hit the check-in – yet another free language lesson for me. These random conversations underpin the joy of travelling for me. It’s the sharing of experiences and the discovery of new things quite by chance. To me this is freedom, and this is where dreams and reality coincide.




As I struggle to come down from the night shift  high or which is also an energy depleted low – I stumbled across this article which was soothing. It’s a great read that captures the essence of what makes working in this environment special…

Originally posted on Our Front Door:


As I sit and reflect on my life, I find myself humbled. Humbled by the business that takes place all around me, the real fight for life and struggle against death, the palpable emotions of situations I often find myself in, and the incredible strength of those whom I work alongside. It’s the stuff movies are made of and it is truly amazing to watch.

Working in an Emergency Department creates such an interesting outlook on life. One that knows and understands all to well the fragility of every single breath and the vital importance of embracing all aspects of living, even the scary ones. We are the truest definition of realism. Would I like to wrap my kids in bubble wrap and never let them out? Yes. Do I? No. Instead they can be found jumping on the bed, because let’s face it, it’s awesome. Riding their bikes outside…

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#smaccGOLD reflections

A few days ago I attended the 2nd annual SMACC (Social Media and Critical Care conference) conference more fondly referred to as “smaccGOLD” owing to it’s beachside venue location in the Goldcoast, Australia (or was it due to it’s resemblance to the hit album from the 90’s ABBA GOLD??).

Despite having 45 mind maps of notes, over 200 audio and video recordings, and 95 tweets later, I am hard pressed to write a post that encapsulates this monumental professional practice-changing educational event in all it’s glory, but as an alternative, I will attempt to share a few early reflections in the following paragraphs.

Perhaps, if smaccGOLD were a movie, its flyer would read something like this:-

“Innovation, education and creativity at the cutting edge and beyond the confines of convention. This conference was delivered passionate patient focused, idea-nurturing visionaries”

I am being quite truthful in saying that conference was, to date, the most dynamic and inspiring medical education and critical care conference that I’ve attended in my 16 years after finishing medical school (includes the last 7 years where I regularly attended local and international medical conferences during my PhD candidacy that took me across Asia, Australasia and North America).


The conference provided vision for seeing beyond the current challenge facing the health care and education in critical in an increasingly pressured health system. The visionaries who were seen in well established blogging giants like Cliff Reid, Scott Weingart, Chris Nickson, Minh Le Cong, and Rob Rogers, to name a few, and in Educational innovators such as Victoria Brazil and Simon Carly (see the smacc website for the full line up as there were too  many to mention). However, they were also widely present amongst the 1000 plus body of delegates whose ideas were richly intertwined (and archived) through the use of web-based technologies such as “twitter”.

Compassion focused, patient-centred medicine

Perhaps what warmed my heart the most in this conference was the feeling of being immersed amongst open-minded health professionals who care about their patients and who were not afraid to show this through the bare vulnerability of the stage.

There were so many talks, tweets, and casual discussions at the conference relating to a common passion that was relentlessly perusing the improvement of practice to address both challenges in current medical practice, such as improving communication with patients.

A good example of the parallel themes of the conference that communication complex areas of critical care, such as end of life care, and palliative care. One of the most memorable session for me was the morning plenary day 2 which presented case based discussion of end of life care amongst an expert panel which included intensive care physicians, emergency physicians, trainees, palliative care physicians and social workers.

One of the most touching talks was that from Tamara Hills, and nurse who showed us the importance of crisis resource management through her own personal story presented in a video format.

Fun and Games

Finally despite the heavy dose of clinical brain food dished out at this conference, there was some serious fun to be had through the simulation sessions (including Sono Wars, and Sim Wars) the welcome drinks, Gala dinner, and FOAMeoke (karaoke for #FOAM enthusiasts)

Practice Changing?

The ultimate test of any education session is the answer to the question “will my practice have changed as a result of this education?” and for me the answer is a definite “Yes” which I will describe in the posts to follow.

Have a look at a sample of tweets (taken from the hashtag #smaccGOLD – which is a gateway to free open access meducation, otherwise known as FOAMed), and be the judge yourself?

Please post and share your experiences  – after all, the power of knowledge translation perhaps lies in the discussion and subsequent action taken after the knowledge has been consumed…

Adios Amigos :)

1. full house 2-1. trauma simulation 2-2. Burr hole 2-3. USS2 3-1. Smacc Gold location 3. roadkill recepies 4-1. Medical student innovation - inolving the stakeholders 4-2. medical education 4-3. conversations on death and dying 4-4. Death and dying 4-5. tamara hills 5-1. indigenous issues  6. 25M impressions

Have faith

Have faith when you least can see clearly,

This is when you must believe the most,

Be willing to fall flat on your face,

And fall again,

Crawl again,

And persist again,

Resist the shame,

And then… exist again,

For after the storm the trees remain,

Just as they were.

And when everything was a blur,

You still remembered to see,

Inhaling through your breath,

Inciting wisdom from your depths,

“To exist is enough”

So please remember these words,

And cherish them well,

For one day….

They may be your ticket out of ‘hell’.



Happy New Year and dreaming big in 2014!

Happy New Year and all the best for 2014 – may all your dreams come true!

I hope the new year is starting well, and you are on your path to your dreams, no matter what is going on. As we enter into another beautiful year of hope and promise, I have two songs and one poem to share that have all come in the last week…

Merry Christmas (war is Over) – John, Yoko, Bishan & Sanna

Merry christmas (war is over)

This is a random saturday morning Jam that Sanna and I had getting into the christmas spirit in sunny Bondi (Sanna on guitar and me on vocals) – this beautiful song by John and Yoko is both timeless and a gift to the world – thank you guys!

youtu.be/XPm3CWvDmvc (inspiring music video on the original of this song)

Dream Big!

Dreaming big

This is a song that came to me in the moment as I was heading off to work 2 shifts in the emergency department whist still having to finish a conclusion chapter for a long overdue PhD thesis – sometimes things look impossible, the pressure too big, but then ….I remember the dream!

The message came to me Relax, Accept and Be kind to yourself – and let the miracles flow.

“It always seems impossible before it’s done” – Nelson Mandela

Life is not all bubbles


Words from an amazing journey, by amazing friends who are an inspiration to us all! good luck Dini and Pablo and family! :-) x

Originally posted on Yogic Sailing Family:

After a week of limbo in Lisbon we have taken a leap of faith. We bought flights to the Azores and accommodation for all four of us. It wasn’t the rejections that were hard to take. These were almost to be expected on the ridiculous offers we had made. But waiting for people to get back to you to decide on your next moves entails a certain lesson about patience and humbleness.

Now it was our turn to throw the dice again. The Moody 425 we saw yesterday in Sao Miguel was either going to result in a high high, or a low low. Given that this blog post isn’t labelled ‘Our boat’, you guessed right, it was the latter. Typical of our experience with brokers, we had been assured that this vessel was in great condition, ready to go. What we found was a boat which hadn’t been touched…

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