Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him. Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp. Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. Psalm 33: 1-3
Jazz as a Path to the Creator
John Coltrane’s commitment to experimentation and exploration, his cross-cultural interests, and his spirituality as much as his musicianship have made him a hero to me and many others. His work inspires the understanding that jazz music, at its core, is spiritual, even to those that don’t realize it. Consider, for a moment, the unifying power of jazz. Every culture embraces jazz and gives it its own spin. Musicians of all colors, races, religions, ages, and backgrounds, play music together and make it as ONE; just as the universe is ONE, and we are all part of that ONE.
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses and can affect anyone at any age. Characterized by anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure), despair, and pessimism, depression has high morbidity and recurrence. Overall, more than 50% of the general population in middle- and high-income countries will suffer from at least one mental disorder at some point in their lives. This is obviously a major public health problem with significant consequences for society. We need clear guidelines as to what does and doesn’t work for treating depression.
Working together as “One” for a healing cause: Why this is the best medicine of all
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~Mother Teresa
This statement by Mother Teresa has had a profound effect on my life’s work, which has evolved into a whole systems approach known as Mederi Care. In contemplating Mother Teresa’s words, I long ago realized that what I do and create as an individual can only go so far. To be able to manifest the true potential for the vision I hold for Mederi Care to be a leader in creating solutions to change the paradigm of the existing health-care model, is going to require a “We” effort of togetherness.
Vaccines, masking, and social distancing appear to be slowing the spread of COVID-19. But the devastation wrought by the pandemic goes far beyond the physical illness caused by the disease. For many people, the psychological effects of the pandemic have been equally debilitating.
A Kaiser Health Tracking Poll from July 2020 found that many adults report difficulty sleeping (36%), problems eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%), including a weakened immune system caused by worry and stress over the coronavirus.
There is substantial evidence that spiritual well-being is an important determinant of overall health, longevity and quality of life, especially in patients with severe illness. But while most physicians would agree that spiritual well-being is an important factor in their patients’ health, the spiritual needs and well-being of patients are largely ignored and rarely addressed by healthcare providers.
I believe this is a significant oversight in patient care. Spirituality is perhaps the single most important source of strength and direction in life. When we incorporate spiritual well-being into healing, we recognize that people are not simply physical bodies requiring only mechanical fixing.
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you” ~John Wooden, UCA Basketball coach
As we move into the New Year, I pray that we all seek and find ways to live a balanced life, and in so doing, help to restore balance to our relationships and our world. Balance requires groundedness, steadiness, and stillness, allowing our actions to be guided by reflection and inner prayer. As difficult as it may sometimes be, God calls us to devote ourselves to bringing love and compassion to all in order to restore harmony and goodness in our fragmented world.