In When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron writes that “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” I realized the truth of her words this past week. Something important—a lesson I keep thinking I’m finished with—returned to me. And without wishing to enfold the story in neat endnotes, I can say that I think I may finally have learned what I needed to know. A big chunk of it, anyway. There’s more to this: lessons in healing,…

I got a reminder this week, issued by a friend who knows what it’s like to survive loss, to live for the present. This is a message that I’ve received before, and it’s an intention I’ve tried to act on already. But with intentions this important, it doesn’t hurt to get a reminder every now and then. It’s so easy to reason that we’ll do X, Y, and Z once circumstances line up in the “right” way. When the timing is just so….

A little while ago, a friend asked for help in a way that really impressed me. She reached out to me and another friend, explaining a difficult situation she was dealing with and simply asking whether we wouldn’t mind checking in on her from time to time in the coming weeks. It was proactive, straightforward, and it put me and our mutual friend in the happy position of being able to do something small and supportive. It’s been my overall experience that people…

I didn’t use to be much of a procrastinator, but unfortunately it’s a tendency that seems to creep up on me more and more with each passing year. It’s probably a good thing in some ways: back when I was doing my post-bacc, I was so overcommitted in so many directions that I actually couldn’t afford to delay doing anything. And while that wasn’t true for all of grad school, it was true a lot of the time. My schedule nowadays is more…

Along with so many others around the world, I had Australia, its people, and its wild animals in my heart this week. At first, when I’d only heard of the fires and seen a few headlines, I thought to myself how frightening it must be. It was only as I saw images—images of fire burning, of smoke, of wounded animals—that I started to understand what was happening. Having seen those images, I was afraid to see more. This was especially true of any…

We’re less than a week into the new year, but five days is usually enough for me to have at least an inkling about how my intentions are panning out. So far, my actions feel mostly aligned with the intentions I’ve had for 2020. Those are: To take more responsibility for my happiness (less blaming, less ruminating, more proactivity, and more willingness to see events in my life as opportunities) To say what I mean (rather than what I think I ought to…

    Each Sunday, I publish a post that includes personal musings and articles on medicine, science, and the human experience. These are reminders that health and wellness extend far beyond what's on our plates.