Sunday, August 9, 2020

Covid Ward Stories : Building Hearts vs Breaking Hearts

The Covid Ward at ABC Medical Centre is filled to capacity.

Healthcare workers are on their toes, all day, every day. They are required to don heavy Personal Protective Equipment every time they set foot into the Covid Ward. They sweat profusely in their multi layered attire, besides developing painful abrasions on their bodies. However, they continue to don the equipment day after day and night after night. Every time they enter the Covid Ward, they risk their own health. But none of these challenges stop them from going in there and attending to those inflicted with the corona virus. 

Apart from healthcare workers, staff from food/beverage and housekeeping services also don the Personal Protective Equipment and enter the Covid Ward at regular intervals through the day. 

The Covid Ward is currently one of the most tense and action packed environments in the hospital. The stories unfolding here are as numbered as the variety of patients it houses. Some stories have the potential to build hearts while others can break them.

 Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Scene at Room #1

The doctor and nurse on morning rounds enter Room #1. The patient, a young woman, is found sitting in bed with her mask off. When the staff walk in, she shows no sign of putting the mask on.

Doctor : "Ms X, could you please wear your mask?"

Patient : "Doctor, the mask feels terrible. I cannot put it on any more." 

Doctor : "I understand. However, as a precautionary measure, it is important that you have the mask on, at least for the time that we are in here."

Patient (irritated) : "Doctor, please understand that I am extremely uncomfortable wearing a mask."

Doctor (irritated yet calm) : "If you do not wear your mask and we end up contracting the virus, we will not be able to come and check on you. I hope you understand."

Finally, the message gets across to the patient and she reluctantly wears her mask.

Did she put the mask on only for fear of not having anyone attend to her? Or did she truly care about not passing on the virus to others? 

Soul Lesson 

Can we as humans be considerate of others?

If healthcare workers can wear suffocating uncomfortable attire round the clock to care for us, can we also wear a mask to protect them as well as others around us? 

Scene at Room #2

Upon entering Room #2, the doctor and nurse are greeted by a warm and cheerful middle aged male patient. 

The patient is diabetic and developed associated complications. He needed to be monitored in the Intensive Care Unit for several days. He recuperated well and was moved to the ward a few hours ago.

Doctor : "How are you doing today Mr Y?" 

Patient (tired yet smiling) :  "Doctor, I am doing good and feeling better. Thank you for everything all of you did for me. I feel so blessed that I could make it." 

Doctor : "So glad you're doing well!" 

Patient : "Thank you is all I can say!"

Soul Lesson  

Can we humans discover the capacity for gratitude that the heart holds?

Despite being in a dark place physically, mentally and emotionally, this patient made an effort to look for the silver lining. He also expressed his gratitude to the healthcare workers who applied their expertise to help him get better.

Scene at Room #3

A young lad from food and beverage services is on his morning rounds in the Covid Ward. He is serving coffee and breakfast to patients. 

Serving coffee to the patient in Room #3 lands him in an unexpectedly awful situation. The patient takes a sip and tosses the coffee on the delivery boy's face. 

He also yells at him-

"Hey boy! Do you call this coffee? It's cold as ice." 

As the coffee drips down the delivery boy's Personal Protective Equipment, he is overcome by feelings of shock and humiliation.

His job has begun to feel rather challenging ever since Covid entered the hospital scene. He faces numerous difficulties every time he is required to bring food and beverage into the Covid Ward. The food needs to be packed in an elaborate way in order to meet safety standards, after which he must don the uncomfortable Personal Protective Equipment and go around serving multiple patients. Given all of these constraints, it is challenging to ensure service is as perfect as it would be in a non-covid space. 

The head nurse steps in to calm the angry patient down. In order to avoid escalating the situation, she renders a quick apology to the patient and reassures him that the matter will be taken care of.  She then takes the delivery boy aside and comforts him. 

She understands the patient was unhappy about the lukewarm coffee but wonders why his frustration couldn't be put forth as a request/feedback. She hopes the incident did not crush the spirit of the young lad.

Soul Lesson 

Can we as humans respect the dignity of others? 

Can we understand that it is OK to feel frustrated but not to rip apart the dignity of another human being in the process?

Scene at Room #4 

The patient in this room is an elderly woman. She is a cardiac patient afflicted by Covid. Though her heart isn't in the best physical shape, it is wide open and holds plenty of love and gratitude. She sees the best in everyone and this keeps her feeling light hearted and joyful. She also makes it a point to thank everyone who walks into her room - right from the doctors and nurses to the food delivery staff and the housekeeping personnel. 

Her vibrant smiles and heartfelt "thank yous"  warm the hearts of all who visit her space. Unfortunately, her health deteriorates and she doesn't make it.

A month after her transition comes her birth anniversary. As a token of gratitude and appreciation, the woman's children have a treat delivered to the healthcare team that had cared for their mother - a sumptuous lunch prepared with love!  

Her family seems to be as open hearted as her. Though bereaved, they have accepted the reality of her transition with grace.

Soul Lesson 

Can we humans recognise the light in others and also let them know that we see it? 

Positive vibes are as contagious as negative vibes. As more of us begin to look for the light, the light begins to shine brighter.  

 Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Humanity cannot adopt a consciousness fuelled by hatred, judgement and mindlessness and expect the world to transform into a better place. We can create a better world only when we choose the higher consciousness of the heart and bring it into our human interactions and into all aspects of our lives. 

Every story in life has the power to build a heart or to break a heart. 

What we choose is up to us...

This article is inspired by true stories shared by healthcare professionals. 










Thursday, August 6, 2020

Healing Hands of Reiki - Portal to the Mystical and Magical

Reiki first appeared in my life when I was a little girl.

When I played with my friend at her home, I often saw her mother standing beside some plants, with her palms over them and keenly focused.

I was intrigued by what I saw. When I asked my friend what was going on, she told me that her mother was sharing energy with the plants and that the practice was called 'Reiki.'

Every time I saw my friend's mother giving Reiki to her plants , I wanted to be right there and witness what was happening. It caught my fascination and aroused the sense of wonder I naturally possessed as a child. Watching this practice also gave me a sense of peace and comfort and a feeling of "All is well and beautiful in this world."

Going forward into adulthood, I did not give much thought to Reiki. However, Reiki  came to me as a calling in my early twenties.

I experienced several personal challenges as I transitioned from childhood to teenage to adulthood. The challenges peaked in the year 2007 and I found myself in the depths of despair. It was during this time that the Reiki seed which had been planted years ago began to sprout. The desire to know more about Reiki took birth in me.

What started off as a small desire turned into a strong calling. Within a short period of time, I found myself seated in a Reiki teacher's house. My journey started with me receiving Reiki sessions from my teacher, followed by training to practice Reiki myself.

Receiving Reiki from my teacher felt refreshing and relaxing. But I got to experience the real deal once I began to practice Reiki myself. The Reiki experience was unlike anything I had ever had in my life!

While practising Reiki, I would find my palms heating up. It wasn't an uncomfortable heat but a soothing warmth. Placing my warm palms over the different energy centres (chakras) on the body helped me drift into deep levels of relaxation and high levels of consciousness.
Reiki practice had a dual effect on me - I felt like I was relaxing in a spa while meditating in a monastery at the same time!

For the first time in my life, I felt deeply connected to my body. I grew aware of how every part of my body was feeling.

I also found myself growing aware of my thoughts, feelings and emotions. My mind experienced silence and stillness as Reiki helped me disconnect from the chaos of the outside world for some time each day.

At the end of the mandatory 21 day practice period following my training, I emerged feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, empowered and happy, peaceful and calm.

I felt like I had a new found companion - an unconditional presence, a gentle warmth, a beautiful mystery...

Reiki is a Japanese word. In Japanese, Rei means "Universal" and Ki means "Life Force Energy."
Ki is the same as 'chi' in Chinese and 'prana' in Sanskrit.

In the simplest of words, this energy is understood to be the intelligence that is the driving force behind all of creation.

Is there scientific evidence for the existence of such a force?
There doesn't seem to be any at the moment.

Then is Reiki faith based?
Many choose to think so while others disagree.

I prefer to call Reiki a mystery.
I do not know what this phenomenon is or how it works.
All I know is that working with Reiki has had a profound effect on my life and also on the lives of many others.

The simple Reiki practice of placing my hands over the different energy centres/parts of the body helped me tap in to my inner strength and to rise above one of the most challenging periods of my life.

Reiki practice helped me gather the courage to make much needed changes in my life, to let go of people and situations that weren't in my best interest and to experience multiple breakthroughs, the biggest of them being manifesting a beautiful romantic partnership.

Reiki helped me learn the art of slowing down. It helped me relax my body and mind in a very conscious manner.

Reiki helped me feel connected to the expansiveness of the cosmos. It enabled me to get a taste of what it may feel like to connect with Spirit or God or whatever one chooses to call the unknown higher aspect of creation.

This is the simple yet profound healing potential that I see in Reiki.
Healing in the sense of being deeply connected to body, mind and soul, in good health as well as in illness.
Healing in the sense of being able to find the calm within the storms of life.
Healing in the sense of being able to love and nurture oneself and to keep going no matter what's happening in our personal and outside worlds.

I have grown to love my Reiki Healing Hands and I sincerely hope more and more people get to discover and rejoice in the ethereal magic of Reiki!

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