This past week I had a “living the dream” pinch me moment. Even before I knew I was going to be a doctor Patch Adams inspired me. You might remember the story of his life portrayed by Robin Williams. Watching that movie was the first time I could ever imagine a doctor being safe.
Something you might not know about me…before medical school (and even during my training) I was terrified of doctors and hospitals. I was so terrified in fact, that I would regularly puke in a doctor’s parking lot from anxiety and fear.
Watching the Patch Adams movie was the first time I ever felt like I didn’t have to be afraid of doctors. I loved the idea of a clown doctor! Someone that could meet you where you are at, make a joke, and give a great hug. If that was practicing medicine, count me in!
So when the opportunity came across my e-mail to do a clown training with Patch Adams and friends, I immediately signed up. Here’s what these medical clowns (and doctors) taught me…
Own Your Neediness.
As one clown pointed out, from the day that we are born we need others for survival. For some reason it’s okay for babies to be needy, but as we grow older we are told that neediness is wrong, weak, and unacceptable. Here’s the thing…we are all needy. It’s part of the human condition to need other humans to survive. When you own your neediness and ask for healthy support, according to research studies, you will heal quicker and experience better long-term health.
Show Up Just As You Are.
If you are human (which you probably are if you are reading this) you likely harbor feelings of inadequacy. You’ve probably asked yourself “Am I a good enough…friend, spouse, parent, employee, or teacher?”
How do we make up for this sense of inadequacy? By achieving and doing. But what if by being on this planet and nothing else, you have already earned your place. You are not just adequate…you are loved. How would that act of self-love change the world.
Stop Doing What’s Urgent. Start Doing What’s Important.
All I can add to this is to say it again. Stop doing what’s urgent; start doing what’s important.
Be Driven By Love.
As a medical clown, the message of love is the only message that is important. It is from love and connecting heart to heart that world peace comes from. To be driven by love you must be fully present and get your ego out of the way. You also have to be willing to risk more by showing up like a fool (or a clown). For the fool with big loves gives other people permission to show up authentically without their standard walls of protection.
Patch sees clowning as a way to revolutionize the planet to be a loving place where every woman and child can experience safety and healing. Traveling and spending most of his time in refugee camps and orphanages, he knows the horrible things that can happen to women and children when there is no space for joy or love. He closed the workshop with these parting words…
“The greatest act of revolution is to come to everyday with joy” Patch Adams
May you come to your day today with JOY and know that I LOVE YOU.