Event Follow Up: The Role of Authenticity in Healing

Perspectives from Three Women Physicians

About thirty of us gathered to hear Pat Dawson, MD, Astrid Pujari, MD, and Julia Smith, MD, speak on the topic of Authenticity and Healing.  Their reflections were deeply personal, thoughtful and inspiring.  Participants expressed deep appreciation to our speakers.

To learn more about each of them, or to reach the speakers:

For the books mentioned at the event,

 Thoughts about the program:

We will remember Pat’s story, and her ‘aha’ about her role with patients and how it freed her to not feel she had to fill up others, (which was depleting), but to work ‘with’ patients and respect their resources.

…and Astrid’s retreat, being near the presence of the Jesuit priest, and how it changed her to see that how we choose to see others and ourselves is life-defining.  (She felt at peace in his presence, and it was because he saw her as good and whole), and we must see ourselves as good and whole, in order to bring this to how we see others,

…and we remember Julia and her teaching that all this is a journey, an individual and at once universal developmental journey, and at our own pace we face and learn from our own demons and joys…

Our evening focused quite a bit on challenges and difficulties, (and through this crucible we emerge).  So it may have felt heavy… and authenticity also includes reveling in JOY!  We may tamp down our own response to difficulties in order  to ‘fit in’ and not make people uncomfortable, and we also, then reduce the spectrum of experience on the JOY side, too!  I’m reminded of the children in our lives, and my two golden retrievers, who are “in the moment” and model what it means to authentically experience joy.

Poems and Quotes:

You asked about poems and quotes, from the program, both contributed by Julia Smith:

Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille, Dance to the Piper

“There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action.  And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.  The world will not have it.  It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open… You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.  Keep the channel open… (There is) no satisfaction whatever at any time.  There is only a queer , divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the other.”


The Thread, by William Stafford:

There’s a thread you follow.  It goes among

things that change.  but it doesn’t change. 

People wonder about what you are pursuing.

You have to explain about the thread

But it is hard for others to see.

While you hold it you can’t get lost.

Tragedies happen; people get hurt

Or die; and you suffer and get old.

You don’t ever let go of the thread.

Thank you

…for participating in this evening, and this conversation.   The RiverBirch Project:  Women, Leadership & Life! events will be held 2-3 times a year, and announced via postings here. To be sure to receive announcements, please subscribe, via RSS on this site.  (Your email will not be shared or used for any other purpose.)

~Lynn Hagerman, June 2, 2013