Dr Bambi Rakhel Ward

Medical Education Consultant|Author & Speaker

Category: Personal Development (page 1 of 2)

The Labyrinth

Earlier this year I attended a Storytellers’ conference in the beautiful Baulkham Hills, just under an hour’s drive NW of Sydney. The conference centre had a large labyrinth outside.

Labyrinth St Joseph's Conference Centre

Labyrinth at St Joseph’s Conference Centre, Baulkham Hills, NSW

We were encouraged to walk in it during our free time. I was keen to have a go, even though it would mean braving the cold.  I bundled myself up in a green skivvy, my black woollen jumper, a purple scarf knitted for me by my mother, my navy blue fleece lined parka, and my bright blue Monash Uni beanie. I didn’t have my fluorescent pink ski gloves with me, so I kept my hands in my pockets. The experience of walking round and around in the labyrinth was a peaceful experience that took about 20 minutes. I walked back inside, savouring the warmth of the heated conference centre. As I walked past the reception desk,  an information sheet about labyrinths caught my eye. I picked it up and started reading it. The following quote resonated with me:

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The Value of Persistence

Many thanks to those of you who have sent good thoughts to my husband, or enquired about his health. I am very grateful to report that he is very much on the mend and looking forward to getting back to full-time work. (not to mention a much less gruelling car rally in November……!).

Recently I’ve been reflecting on how I got to be the way I am. I wanted to share an example of persistence in my life. I learnt this quality from my mother.

Last month during my relaxation time in Alice Springs, NT, I went on a full day adventure tour to the picturesque Palm Valley in a huge white 4WD bus that could take up to 20 people. My husband Michael was busy getting ready for a car rally.

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Where’s Bambi Rakhel?

There will be no formal blog post for the next few weeks… just photos.

Before you get to the third photo, see if you can guess where I am.

Looking forward to discussing incorporating more of the humanities into medical education over the next couple of day out bush.

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The Magic of Storytelling : a conference report

I’m just back from the wonderful Sydney International Storytelling Conference, held in a quiet, peaceful retreat in Baulkham Hills, New South Wales, about one hour’s drive from Sydney’s airport.

I’ve been to many conferences in my life, but this one was the friendliest and most welcoming by far.

Eighty people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous,  from  Australia, New Zealand, Korea, USA, Sweden and Singapore, came together to celebrate the joy of storytelling, to laugh and to learn more about the craft.

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The Value of Intuition

Have you ever had a strong intuition about something and ignored it or pushed it to one side?

I have. It cost me dearly in terms of my emotional and physical wellbeing. Lying on a cold silver guerney, awaiting a medical procedure six years ago, I had a strong urge to get up and leave. It wasn’t too late. The specialist wasn’t in the room yet. I started feeling really uneasy. Something felt very wrong.

‘Don’t be silly’, the rational part of me said to myself. It’s normal to feel like this before a procedure. It’s just nerves.

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The Power of Poetry

A few weeks ago I came across an article about a new and unique initiative in a Western Australian hospital, where poetry is being used to provide medical and hospital staff members with respite from the pressures and stress of their work. One of the program’s aims is to enable staff to ‘find a fountain of renewal and rejuvenation in the middle of a busy hospital day.’

I’ve always been more interested in stories than poetry. Perhaps the uninspiring way in which poetry was taught in my secondary school English classes had something to do with it. Nevertheless, the article piqued my curiosity. I read on.

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Sometimes less is more

Someone emailed the quote below to me last week. It was very apt at the time, but became even more so after learning of the deaths of two people last week.

Sometimes writing less in a blog is more.

I choose for it to be so this week.13138890_964493296991202_3457095772097959876_n

The Power of Art in Healing

Back in the early 2000s, I organised for Doctors training to be General Practitioners (or Family Doctors) to go on a field trip to a gallery of psychiatric art in Melbourne.  These doctors were known as GP registrars, and my role was that of Medical Educator/Senior Lecturer.

The visit was seen to be a radical idea at the time, and my boss needed a fair bit of convincing as to why registrars should be spending time doing this, rather than learning more practical things. However I was very aware that art and other humanities such as literature were being used increasingly in medical education to gain insights into patients’ experiences of illness and to foster empathy.

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The still soft voice within

Do you ever connect with your still small voice within? It can be really easy to ignore, especially in our noisy distracted world.

I’ve found that when I listen to my inner voice, (or my intuition), things tend to run smoothly. They flow. Synchronicities happen. I feel aligned to my Higher Self.

However if I ignore my inner voice, I usually regret it because things become chaotic and hard to cope with.

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Genie’s memoir

I recently read a heart warming book about being true to one’s self. ‘My 15 Grandmothers’ is a true story about the author, Genie Milgrom, who had the courage to listen to her inner voice, even when everyone in her family were telling her she was wasting her time.

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An inspirational way to live

Last week I shared some of my favourite quotes. Here is a longer one to (hopefully) put a smile on your face.

HOW TO STAY YOUNG by George Carlin

  1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.
  2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
  3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ” An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.
  4. Enjoy the simple things.
  5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
  6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
  7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
  8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
  9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
  10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

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