Twenty-one years ago, when I left corporate health care my inner guidance spoke these words, “THIS IS THE TITANIC, IT WILL SINK. GO BUILD A LIFE RAFT.” “THERE WILL BE A WAVE OF LOSS THAT YOU NEED TO PREPARE FOR.”
At the time, my now ex-husband did not want me to leave corporate medicine. I was making six figures and supporting my family, and that was that. “I would rather live in a trailer home than go back there”, I said to him. And I began selling anything I could from my home to create a buffer of financial support as I knew I would not return to practice in the corporate setting.
Since I was a child, I knew I wanted to be a doctor. It was a deeply sacred spiritual calling that resonated with the essence of Medicine. I knew without any doubt that this healing path was what I was born to take, and I was willing to make whatever sacrifices I needed to accomplish this. After my Internal Medicine residency in 1990, I worked for three different corporate health care systems going from one to the other, thinking that I would find an environment to support Medicine’s sacred essence. I never did. After experiencing its business model that expected me to compromise my soul in favor of profit, I knew I had to leave and create a model that was rooted in integrity as well as a sustainable business. In fact, I was told by hospital administrators that my practice in their system was a conflict of interest, as it was not generating hospital dollars because I was keeping my patients healthy! This is when I heard the words from my inner guidance, mentioned above. I created The Ommani Center. This vision came straight out of my heart. It was a place where I could practice the best of medicine with love and integrity.
A few years later, I was betrayed in my marriage and business by my husband and business partner in the most heinous manner, and experienced gaslighting from all around me who I trusted. I had to move through the rubble of my old and shattered reality. I was left alone and afraid, in massive debt, The Ommani Center damaged and shaken, with my unprocessed and undiscovered Self. Something inside me refused to let this destroy me. That voice that told me to leave corporate medicine said, “YOU NEED TO PROVE YOURSELF WORTHY TO CARRY THE VISION OF OMMANI.”
It was an excruciating time when I was tested at all levels. I engaged many therapists and healers to guide me through and out of this death. I refused to take pharmaceuticals, as my inner directive wanted me to feel my suffering down to my bones, to awaken authentic empathy towards people I would be seeing in my practice from that moment forward.
THIS WAS A SPIRITUAL TEST OF A LIFETIME.
After unspeakable losses that continued for over a decade, I somehow (with the love and confidence of my patients, when I barely had any in myself), kept putting one foot in front of the other. I survived and transformed. The Ommani Center also survived and transformed, and is still here, a guiding lighthouse in the darkness for many, the ‘life raft’ I was instructed to create.
After death comes rebirth, and we must believe and know this as a Universal truth. All spiritual traditions teach this, but it is only after we experience this magnitude ourselves, can we know its sublime truth.
COVID-19 has triggered a death of the world we once knew, the death of what we thought was our reality. This reality was consuming us at all levels, our cell-tissue, our life force, and also, our natural resources, before now.
I see this process as a collective time to reset, to pause. A death of this magnitude can only be Divine. When the ‘ego’ doesn’t listen, the soul steps in, just like mine did 14 years ago. This time our collective Soul, the Soul of the world, has stepped in to reset us! During this time, we are being forced to go inside, amidst many fears, personal, relational, financial among so many more. Most of all, we have to confront our fear of the unknown. In the midst of this chaos, we must remember, “We are in this together.”
Many, whose self-worth is externally derived are being ‘forced’ to go within. They will have to confront their shadow, their fears and emerge with a greater sense of self.
Marriages will be tested, and either transform and heal or come apart. So will relationships of all kinds. Children will need to pause and be with parents, parents will need to get to know their children. It will be hard and stressful but sorely needed for deeper healing.
We are being forced to live on budgets, reframe our relationship with money, experience its impermanence and evaluate true worth. We must find what is of real value, when money disappears and prestige is of no use. More than ever, all we have are relationships, despite social distancing. We are relying on connection, revisiting what community means. This time is unprecedented, and calling us to rise from our essence, towards what matters most, what lasts longest and holds truest value.
We cannot let this opportunity go to waste. This is our clarion call as a country, society, community, and world. It is asking us to engage our forgotten wisdom. During this time of collective stress, we must remember, without struggle, we cannot transform, in fact we never do.
Speaking for myself, I learned so much from that time in my life of intense suffering, when I didn’t think I could survive when I prayed for death and prayed for my suffering to end. As a Sensitive, I didn’t think I could bear one more day of it, but I did and got through it only when I surrendered to the power of transformation. I learned that scar tissue is strong and can bear incredible stress especially when all feels lost.
Those of us who have lived long enough, through many deaths and rebirths, can now help carry our world with the process that’s underway. We know the territory of the unknown, it does not frighten us, we can use what we know to help others transform. Please reach out to us, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
We do not know what health care will look like at the end of the COVID-19. As a business, corporate medicine is unsustainable. It lacks the essence of Medicine as it lacks its sacred intent. Physicians everywhere attempt to carry this but are unable to in a system that demands profit in exchange. Health care must go back to its original intent to heal and to serve. It must also strike a balance to thrive as a business based on integrity. It can no longer sacrifice one for the other and expect to survive.
As physicians, it is our sacred work to guide patients back to health so they can grow in wisdom and learn to live better. We are now seeing the power of this love, this essence, as physicians and nurses are putting their lives on the line to save patients in need.
I pray that:
Physicians and nurses on the front lines are protected from harm,
They feel the essence of Medicine guiding them day and night,
They feel whole in their willingness to help and to heal,
They feel the love of the community and world around them.”
We have so much to transform during this time. I humbly request you to believe in the possibility of transformation and trust in this process, even when you are afraid.
This quote from Michal Meade offers guidance in this collective crisis:
“In every crisis the issue becomes whether we become a bigger soul or a smaller person”.
Let’s become a bigger soul together.
At the end of the day, it is our relationships with one another that help us through life.
Let us lean up against them and transform them into authentic and loving ones.