Awaken the genius within

Awaken the genius within,

Start to sing,

The songs that have no meaning,

 

 

Brush aside your heart-strings,

And begin the journey of your soul,

Don’t put it on hold,

 

 

Keep your mind on this gold,

For you never know what will unfold.

 

Yesterday I met a poet at the hospital registrar orientation and it was a very inspiring encounter indeed.

So often it is easy to feel lost in one’s workplace, which is a conglomeration of people who have gathered to work in similar roles, from varying disciplines. On the surface they have a common goal, perhaps even holding the same “job title”. However, their backgrounds, hopes and aspirations all differ quite dramatically – if only we take the time, and perhaps have the courage to enquire what inspires them in life.

One person I met was an avid kite-surfer, who also happened to know people from Canada who were my research mentors. For example, Eddy Lang is a guru in the research on “knowledge translation”. Knowledge Translation is a field that involves strategies of translating evidence into practice (which is outlined in this hallmark paper published, http://www.annemergmed.com/article/S0196-0644(06)02142-1/pdf , The principles outlined in this article had a strong influence on the theme of my PhD thesis, and i’m very grateful for this).

Later on in the day I spoke with a poet who had a passion for many things that brought meaning to her life including a fascination with animal kingdom. Perhaps the reflection from this encounter was that I would have never learned about so many interesting things, had I not asked the initial questions about what it was she was passionate about. The other side of the same coin is that we can easily shy away from “sharing” what makes us tick because of the fear of not being valued through what has become a narrow focus in our modern fast-paced world, and I have often found myself falling into this trap.

I find it ironic that in a caring profession like medicine, which is based upon uncovering the stories of our patients, we have a culture that is often misses the richness of the experiences of those with whom we work.

I am very passionate about music, and wisdom, and I would like to share an early rendition of a song I wrote years ago now.

The song is called “Peaceful Revolution”, and the song is also about how I discovered wisdom in the simplicity of the villagers of rural Sri Lanka, compared with the hustle bustle of my western urban background. Here is an earlier version in all its raw simplicity…

Illawara folk festival 2015

Festival of truth,

Festival of love,

 

With music for the soul,

We all rise above,

 

Beyond the dirt and mirth,

The extension of our girth,

 

Is a ‘being’ waiting to be born.

 

Beyond a critics scorn,

Our passion is forlorn,

Within the realm of “creativity”,

 

So let the energy of dance flow,

And with the night stars they glow,

Eating food for all cultures,

No longer are we a vulture,

But rather “creators” of the best,

Forgetting all the rest,

 

By simply enjoying the energy of FUN.

 

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Today we were entertained and enthralled by the Illawara’s premier music festival that was oozing with local and international talent. There was dance, food, world music, folk, rock, blues, open mic, story telling, funk, and much, much more.

We had heard good things about this festival and awaited it’s arrival, but upon spending 8 hours in this magical setting, located at the Bulli showgrounds, with camping on the race tracks, we were both blown away with how the afternoon, and evening panned out.

There were many highlight amongst the multiple acts, performed on multiple stages, that were viewed by us today. The line up of what we saw or partook in included; Debasis Chakroborty and the Kriti, Kristina Olsen, Micahel Fix, Michael-John Azzopardi, the Scottish Ceilidh with the fiddle club, Guerilla Zingari, Afenginn, Sea Shanties, Swing Booty, and Big Erle.

Health, Happiness and peace of mind

Health happiness and peace of mind,

This is how I unwind,

From the stressors of life,

That sometimes run rife,

For even when you manage to free some space,

The hours fill up with haste,

But trust me this doesn’t make it a waste,

For the whole world can sometimes do with a pause.

This you will not find written in a clause,

Of a contract or a curriculum,

As modern work ethics have advanced to a riddiculum,

And pace of life has sped beyond comprehension,

Causing newfound confusion and tension,

But I know the cure for this apprehension,

Is to stop, relax and breathe,

Then you can see again clearly,

The life that we love dearly

Is perhaps a life of “Peace”,

Where worry and thought momentarily cease.

 

 

 

24.9.10

This poem came to me in a moment of stress, searching for time, however, the solution to the problem came a few days later in an early morning surf. This is what I posted to facebook on the day of that discovery;-

Thursday/surfday: nothing like a surf to wash away the stresses of modern living

Short story: When I suggested an early morning surf to my friend Steve last night I never expected him to give a call at 5:30 am to say “dude, I’m I your driveway” – what a legen! Thanks for the surf Steven Barker – you made my day!

Have a great day everybody – surf shield on !!

 at Towradgi Beach.

So I guess the real trick is “how does one get take that pause?”

Perhaps jumping in the ocean is just one strategy?

 

towradgi surf

Fry Day Drama #1 The Inagural

Bishan:

Here is a new project with a lot of promise that I came across…

Originally posted on Fry Day Drama Club:

Last Friday we had the inaugural “Fry Day Drama Meet-up” – this is an idea that started from a conversation that Tony Chu and myself had two weeks prior that included combining teams of promoting a number of themes including hospital worker wellbeing, medical education, and improvement of patient care, using the things we love to have fun with such as creativity, acting, filmmaking, and medical educations.

Over the next few days following frenetic email correspondence between Tony and myself, a bright picture began to appear. Iconic ideas were thrown around, and draft projects were formulated and eventually “Fryday Drama” was born; a collaboration where interested individuals with diverse backgrounds from film, to those interested in medical education and the humanities would convene and have creative some fun together. What would become of their work is an evolving journey that you can either be part of, learn about, watch and appreciate…

View original 1,425 more words

Failure and Success

Some of the greatest people,

Are the ones, who have faced failure and pushed on anyway,

 

They seem to look on the bright side and continue to move forward,

Facing their obstacles with barren simplicity.

 

They can walk with humility and confidence within the same stride,

And this is the kind of success to which I abide,

 

For perhaps the highest achievements in life,

Come from greatest hardships,

 

Recognising that either way we win,

For the next step is always available,

 

But what we do with it,

Is only up to us.

 

22-8-14

 

I refuse to accept defeat unless this is for my benefit. Even when I fail, I always try to see it as training for the next attempt, or preparation for the new direction that I am taking. This attitude isn’t always easy, but it is possible.

Tonight I watched an inspiring TED talk that spoke straight to my heart (the amazing story of Sam Berns, a teenager who has lived through the premature aging condition of “progeria”, and talks openly about his philosophy for a happy life – well worth the watch if you can spare 12:45 minutes) –  his story reminded me of a philosophy that has guided me through many difficult times.

So many times throughout the journey of PhD I faced failure. The “feeling of failure” seemed to come up repeatedly;- when studies were not approved to be carried out, or when help seemed like it was far away, when journals rejected preliminary submissions, and when I had to complete a thesis that seemed like it was against the odds. However, I made it through all of these things, securing 3 scientific publications in a peer reviewed journals, 1 book chapter, and a completed PhD thesis of 363 pages long. When I submitted my thesis in January this year it was late, requiring more than one extension, but still I delivered the goods.

Recently I heard back from the Australian National University, and that the thesis had been accepted for the degree, pending some minor revisions. It was a powerful moment for me to read their reports that indicated that the thesis was worthy of the degree to which I was submitting it towards, but the ideas contained within were likely to make a difference in the world, particular in rural areas of the developing world. This was already a dream come true.

To make a difference through research was something I kept close to my heart all the time when I was conducting studies and writing up the thesis, which took me through some lonely but also inspiring periods. The gratitude I feel for all the help I’ve received cannot be expressed in words alone (although I tried in this post years ago) – and this is why I created a short film about the experience some years back.

However, now that I am almost there, it is clear to me that I needed to go through all that I went through to arrive here– for I believe the “journey” is what makes the destination worthwhile.

This concept inspires me for the next journey, and I hope it will be as good as the last one. Even if I have to again face failure and overcome obstacles in order to move forward, I accept this wholeheartedly, knowing this what I have chosen to do and will appreciate it accordingly.

Thank you for being there!

For all of you out there, who are walking down towards a vision of success may all your dreams come true  – after all as a wise friend once said to me “perhaps the only failure is the failure to try”

:)

Ps I don’t think I’m alone in this philosophy, for many others seemed to have had a few obstacles along their inspirational paths.

Developing EM – Brazil 2014

 

I really wanted to help out with the DevelopingEM conference because of the great philosophy behind this international educational collaboration.
 
Lee Fineberg and Mark Newcombe, are both Emergency Physicians (EP’s) with whom I work, are passionate about the international developing of the EM specialty, and have been working on the DevelopingEM conferences for years.
 
Three things that I have away about the “DevelopingEM” conferences from research I’ve done on the topic, and the recent interview that I conducted include that ;-

 

1) this conference is not about about being flashy, but rather it is about “walking the talk” 
 

 

2) it is about sustainable development of the speciality of Emergency Medicine, and 

 

 
3) it is about respecting, honoring, and supporting the existing local structures in EM training  (throughout my experience of 4 years of conducting research in Sri Lanka – whilst also supporting EM developing – this is a key strategy that can so easy be missed or overlooked)

 

Finally they also have a plan to repeat these conference through the same regions in a 4 year cycle – ie the conference structure is set to be sustainable, and one that we can all build upon. 

 

 
Natalie Thurtle is a past conference delegate who is also committed to the cause of developing the speciality of EM globally. She is also someone who I have worked with in the past, and someone who has herself conducted some amazing work through MSF involving the management of environmental poisoning epidemics in Central Africa. 
 
Her recent blog post highlights some of the unique aspects of the Developing EM conferernce from here perspective. Below is an excerpt (but the entire article is a good read);- 

 

 

“Many conferences focus on the practice of medicine in an ideal fully equipped setting with the assumption that practice is scientific. For me, recognising and understanding the political and inexact nature of health care provision – inequality of access, inequality of standard of care and the undue influence of corporate needs on research and guidelines, as well as pragmatism in the face of limited evidence, limited expertise or limited resources and our own fallibility – is a critical part of being a real physician.”

 

 

I hope the video and link offers you some informative and interesting information! 
 

 

Peace out
Bishan 
 
 

 

 

 

Celebrating success

Celebrating success,
Is perhaps the real test,

Cherishing what has been already achieved,
Instead of allowing the glory to be thieved,

By the next goal,
And other reasons for not feeling whole,

Instead be in the know,
Like a boarder gliding through the snow,

With awareness of life’s ebb and flow,
In the act of a single breath.

22-7-14

Two days away from the hustle bustle of emergency medicine and I feel like a new person. A little meditation, some surf and hint of life music has such a healing touch. Sometimes in the space between the business and intensity of an active work-life lies the balance that perhaps we all strive for. I by no means have found the perfect balance, but I feel that I am moving towards it experimenting in with work, and relaxation in a variety of forms. It is a daily practice rooted in breathing and the exploration of philosophies that brings meaning into my life.

Sometimes the philosophy needs to be tailored for the specific context of our lives, and this is why I particularly like Shaun Anchor’s guide to happiness for those of us in the pursuit of greater knowledge and skill. Shaun’s revealing findings (about the culture where high achievers can easily be fixed on the next goal without appreciating how far they have come), shed light onto why I had encountered challenges in the past, and provided some tools on how to tackle the present moment without too much focus on the future.

I remember watching this TED talk years ago and it having a profound effect on my own perspective of goal setting and my present relationship with success as I had defined it. After all we can always find our own definition of success, and it doesn’t have to require a definite endpoint. To date the best definition of success I have come across has been one that I heard from a person called Earl Nightingale who was a motivational speaker from the 60’s

“Success is the step-wise realization of a worthy ideal”

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