Dr Bambi Rakhel Ward

Medical Education Consultant|Author & Speaker

Category: Writing (page 1 of 2)

Writing, beanies and another NT visit

I’ve been busy working on the second draft of a memoir about my spiritual journey. I’m trying to get as much done as I can before heading off on my monthly work visit to Alice Springs next week. Cutting out sections that took blood, sweat and tears to write can be excruciating, but it needs to be done. ‘Kill your darlings’, as the saying for authors goes. It also helps to have a mentor, as well as deadlines, self-imposed or otherwise.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working as a Medical Educator training doctors to become General Practitioners for the Northern Territory’s General Practice Training Education (NTGPE) program since 2009.

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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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Blurred Roles and Other Issues

My husband has been unwell with pneumonia for what feels like way too long for him and me, however thankfully he is now on the mend.

This prompted me to share a modified version of an article I wrote many years ago about my experience of being both a doctor and a mother of a child with a chronic health condition.

It appeared in ‘Australian Doctor’, a weekly national magazine for General Practitioners. Although it was published on 23/3/2001, the message is still relevant today.

Blurred Roles: We Care Too, by Dr Bambi Ward.

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My Revamped Blog

I’m finally back home after having time for work and pleasure in the wonderful Northern Territory.

I’m looking forward to celebrating my birthday this week…..it’s not a special birthday in the traditional sense, but I’m turning the age of the last two digits of the year I was born in, so it feels very special to me.

I’ve also been reflecting on my current blog, and how it’s going. Given that I have a multitude of interests, I’ve decided to experiment for a while and try a few regular features. These may include links to someone else’s blog, photos of books I’ve bought or am reading, a recommendation of a cultural activity, conference or festival, and something or someone that has inspired me.

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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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A very busy week.

Are you one of those people who dislikes missing out on things?

I am.

I also love variety, so I have many interests. Here they are, in no particular order: writing, reading, family and friends, travel, oral history, Indigenous health, teaching Torah from a mystical perspective, and geneology.

It can be hard to prioritise them, so I sometimes end up having a very busy week. That’s what happened last week. By the weekend, all I wanted to do was recharge my batteries. I knew a shot of fresh air from Mt Dandenong would do the trick, so off I went.

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The lure of the Northern Territory

A few days ago my husband and I took our grandchildren to Chesterfield Farm so they could experience a sense of farm life and get toIMG_7223 interact with some animals. We watched cows being milked, learnt that pigs are as intelligent as four year children(!), and were able to feed and pat some of the animals. It was heartwarming to watch my one and a half year old grandson pat the rabbits with such tenderness and love.

One of the highlights was taking a tractor ride around the property. We saw many different animals, including turkeys, peacocks, ducks, geese, camels, sheep, goats, cockatoos, baby mice, rabbits, chickens, llamas and deer.

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An emotional rollercoaster ride

Have you ever experienced a rollercoaster of emotions in just a few days?

That’s what happened to me last week.

In the space of three days, I commemorated the anniversary of my stillborn sister’s death by lighting a candle, attended a funeral of someone two years younger than me who died of cancer, and found out that the husband of one of my dear friends probably has cancer. I felt like screaming out loud: It’s not fair!!!! They don’t deserve it!!!

However I resorted to pouring my heart out in my black Snoopy journal instead. Journalling gives me comfort. It always has a healing, calming effect on my soul.

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Thoughts on Writing

bird_by_birdI’ve just finished reading a book by Anne Lamott called ‘Bird by bird: some instructions on writing and life’. I know that many of you who read my blog are writers, avid readers or both, so I’ve decided to share some quotes from the book that really resonated with me. I even marked them in pencil (which is something I normally don’t do in a book).

Here they are:

‘Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do – the actual act of writing – turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward’.

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The beauty of journals and writing spaces

I love journalling in beautiful notebooks. However much of my journalling fell by the wayside during this last year, when writing the first draft of my memoir took precedence. Typing the draft directly into the computer was quicker than handwriting it and then typing it up later, so I chose to do the former.

At times I’ve wondered how different my first draft would have been had I written it by hand. Maybe it would have had more emotion in it. Why? Because streams of consciousness writing uses the creative intuitive part of the brain, whereas I suspect a person who types on a keyboard uses a different part of their brain. Never mind. I can add more feeling and depth to subsequent drafts, of which, I think, there will be many.

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