Happy International Women’s Day, and happy one day after Dakini Day– a day when the energies of love and connection are very strong.
We hope that you are flourishing in your life, work and relationships.
And, most importantly, that you are being nourished by all life offers you in the present moment.With Spring and its symbolic representation of birth, new life, and new possibilities just around the corner, we devote this newsletter to an exploration of MatrixWorks’ engagement in the arena of HEALTH CARE. We have explored questions such as: What is the role of spirituality in health? What is the relationship of wholeness to health? What is the role of connection and belonging– of being embedded in a matrix of care and compassion– in our quality of life, in our capacity for well-being and longevity? It is because we hear phrases like “ 80 is the new 60” and, as someone said of B.K.S. Iyengar, a well-known yoga teacher, ”93 (his age) is the new 23”, we believe our focus is timely and fruitful.We hope this newsletter will inspire your own inquiry into the rich territory of Health, and how you might continue to evolve the well-being of your own Body, Mind, and Spirit.
To inquire into this theme, we offer you summaries of two interviews conducted with working health care professionals, both of whom have MatrixWorks tools in their pockets. Let’s see what they had to say:
MatrixWorks Teacher, AMY ALPER, PA-C, Co-Medical Director, People’s Clinic, Director of Care Transitions, Clinica Family Health Services:
Amy has been working extensively with patient groups at Clinica for about seven years. Groups seem to be important to the health of their members by providing opportunities for companionship, which offers validation and the ability to call each other ‘out’ when stuck. Amy’s leadership is met by the clients sharing their experience, wisdom and mutual support for one another. She says that her knowledge of MatrixWorks allows her to successfully co-facilitate and move these groups through difficult times. People crave connection, so simply creating enough safety in a group can be enough to get patients to open up to new possibilities of healing.
One of these groups involves members who live in chronic pain. Dealing with obstacles of pain and poverty can be alienating, but friendship has the potential to relieve this pain. Being in relationship this way also addresses issues of depression and anxiety. This group has continued to meet monthly for about three years now. According to Amy, connection and belonging play an important role in health. Studies have shown that men who believe they are loved by their wives have a higher rate of surviving a heart attack. Due to this, insurance companies will give lower rates if you are married because having companionship has been proven to increase your chance of surviving longer without intervention.
Amy aims to always treat her patients as whole beings; she checks in with them around what gives them meaning in their lives. This line of work can bring discomfort– but Amy is committed to leaning into every situation’s discomfort with openness. This approach is a source of meaning for Amy.
Amy credits MatrixWorks with building her competencies to:
Feel confident about gathering people and creating community.
Have confidence that she can start a movement, get people excited and be successful.
Galvanize aspirations and create new solutions as evidenced in the following example.
Amy shared: “An infant died after being born to a homeless mother with an infection. I gathered a group of safety-net service providers that could have prevented this death. Together, we worked toward shifting this system to have those organizations go directly to patients rather than waiting for the patients to come to them. That particular woman had a second child who was healthy and well supported.” This increased Health for low-income families and Health in our community agencies.
MatrixWorks Student, CLAIRE RILEY, R.N. and Patient Advocate at Boulder Community Hospital:
Claire’s definition of health is “about brightness and lightness and everything connecting. All systems are open and flow is happening. The Body/Mind/Spirit connection is recognized.” Believing that connection and belonging are key to health and well-being, Claire focuses on the role of Self-Value in health. She has observed that those patients having the hardest time, typically don’t feel connected and valued by the whole of society. Self value is validated or not by society through our community. in her opinion, to be a part of something bigger than oneself increases physical, mental and spiritual health simultaneously.
Claire teaches an annual communications and conflict resolution class for the hospital’s leadership group, about how to manage inter-space negotiations.
Claire credits MatrixWorks with supporting her capacities to:
Lead by example
Speak the Truth with courage and kindness
Be direct and immediate
Go to the Source: avoid backstabbing and power-dramas
Hold the intention that every meeting can be that makes you think: “My goodness, Truth is happening in this room.”