Know Your value

She came in with shoulders hunched over. He was cheating on her. Again. 25 years. Same behavior.

Me: What are you going to do about it?

She shrugged her shoulders: Dunno

Me: Well are you happy with this situation?

She: No

Me: Then change it

She: How?

And therein lies the dilemma. How do you take a situation where you are undervalued and abused and turn it around? How do you change that trajectory? Change has to start with some of these steps:

  1. Take Inventory: We need to locate ourselves in order to change the trajectory. If you don’t see a problem, then there is no solving it. Locate and admit that there is a problem. As best as you can, outline the problem. Own your part of it. Determine if the situation is serving you. If it’s not. Abort.
  2. Recognize your own value: It is sometimes hard for us to see just how awesome we are. I often wonder what lens we look through when we see ourselves. I find it difficult to focus and see things through scratched or deformed lens. Taking time to reflect on how we came to the conclusions we did about ourselves is a worthwhile activity. We do not have to accept everything that is offered to us. Recognizing and learning our value helps us reject offers that are cheap. Get a pen and paper and start writing, don’t censor your thoughts just focus on the awesome. Write. Write a new  reality. Change your mind, change your life…truly.
  3. Change your self talk: What are you saying to yourself? Are you defeating yourself before giving yourself a fair chance?  Would you be yourself’s best friend based on how you talk to yourself? As a man or woman thinks so is he or she….so yes your self talk is absolutely important. You become what you behold, so your talk to yourself has creative power. We manifest that we digest so please change your soliloquy.
  4. Change your circle: If we are in partnership or relationship with people who are not able to recognize our value, it is best to get away. Why? Try going on I94W while  the person you are yolked with is going I94E. You will in fact get no place. The tension of dissonance will pull you away from your purpose. It stagnates. People project their own self worth on you and if within your circle there are those who don’t value themselves, guess what? They likely don’t value you either. Change circles. Associate with people who lift you up, build you up and honor the awesome in you. Be a person who lifts and builds others.
  5. Be brave: Walking away from the familiar takes courage but the freedom felt once the chains have loosened is invigorating. Sometimes we just have to jump and trust the parachute to open. We have to trust that we will land in a better place. No discoveries are made by the coward of heart.

The relationships that must change are our relationship with ourselves, life and God. If we truly know who we are in Christ, we would know that He thinks highly of us, that to accept anything other than His best for us is pride. Relationships with the world around us, our job, friends, partners, these relationships should also reflect God’s best for us. We settle too often and for too little. Take the step to elevate your relationship with God, yourself and thus your auxiliary relationships.

Months later, I heard she moved away. She had enough. The work we did finally paid off. She was able to see her value and thus rejected a value-negating relationship from a love stealer. Whether a person or a job, make a decision to go where you are appreciated, not tolerated or denigrated.

Pursue Purpose

ONE of the things that I keep in the forefront of my mind is destination. Where I am going and WHY I am going there is important in the scheme of things. When I keep my destination in mind, I am sure to avoid distractions to deviate from my purpose. So many times I see people running after profit, they want to be rich. They are about the bling and the ring and not a dime in the bank to show ah ting! I guess the lure of the Real (not so real) housewives and the baller wives and such seduces the vulnerable into thinking that it’s easy. That could not be farthest from the truth.

Most of the successful people I know, those that are TRULY successful ( not a semblance or facade of success), have paid the price in grit and sweat.  Their character has been tested and they passed the integrity test. People may look at me and say “I want to be like you when I grow up doc”, in fact I hear that a LOT. I see it posted on my Facebook page a LOT. I always wonder if they want to go through what I had to go through and GROW through? I have no regrets for the things I have been through as I am a BETTER person for it. I LOVE my life, with all of the challenges it has brought. But do folks really know what it took to get here? The faith to believe what I could not see physically but dreamed? In fact, I want to say to them…no be YOU when you grow up!

  1. Don’t abort your purpose by trying to bypass the hard things. The only way we grow muscle is by lifting heavy things or rather going against resistance. So do not wish away the challenges to get to the fairy tale ending. Those challenges build character, build integrity and simply gives you flavor.
  2. Humble yourselves enough to sit under someone who can mentor and guide. Too many with little street cred and little real life experience in the arena are thinking they are now experts in how to navigate the system. My advice? Stay teachable. Always always be open to learn. Don’t be so eager to be in the limelight to be the expert because to whom much is given much is required. Stay humble.
  3.  Pursue Purpose not Profit: Making decisions solely based on money is the wrong thing if truly you are seeking a wholehearted existence. I see a lot of THIRSTY individuals, running after every money making venture. Many times, it has nothing to do with their purpose. Its just all about the money. Well here is the thing. There is nothing wrong with money, it the LOVE of money that will lead you into trouble. If you know your purpose, then you will make decisions that bring you closer to that purpose rather than every whim that comes your way. When you are thirsty and hungry, you make decisions based on your thirst. These often do NOT line up with your purpose. So best to not get thirsty right?! lol…keep drinking water. When you pursue profit in a purposeless manner you enable a confusing and empty existence.
  4. Resist the urge to think that the person with the loudest bark and the biggest bling is successful. Some really have nothing to their name and may not be able to lead you in the right direction. There are many silent millionaires. Pay attention and do not be misled.
  5. Lastly, be yourself…and if you do not know who that person is..then take time for self discovery. This may require…will require quiet time. Turn off social media. Turn down the noise and tune up the discernment. The only person who can do you, is you. Do not be busy trying to be someone else or copy someone else’s idea and try to make it your own. There is enough for everyone. Be original I often look at the sky at night and I am in awe of how well the stars align and I have yet to see the stars fighting each other or jockeying for position. In fact, they look better together! No-one is jealous of the other’s shine. They are all just flowing in purpose.

So that is all folks. Go out there and Be the BEST you! Only YOU can!

 

Wheels Up

I love to travel! It feeds my soul and gives me life! I wanted to be a flight attendant when I was a child for the mere fact that they got to travel! I had no thought of how labor intensive the job is. On my long haul to South Africa, I flew my airline of choice Delta. The flight attendants were just amazing. I have to give a shout out to Jana, Karen, Charlotte, Yvonne, Allison and Mary on the flight TO South Africa and a special shout out to Troye Washington and her crew on the trip FROM South Africa back to the US.

After 8 hours or so, I get out of my seat and join the attendants in the back, we chat, laugh, twerked…yes delirium set in and we did twerk on board DL flight # lolololol! These flight attendants are people who have the daunting task of dealing with people, some not so nice, highly entitled demanding people for 10+ hours! Kudos to them! As a physician, I understand that there are times you are not in the mood to really deal with rudeness or entitlement and when you don’t work for yourself, you have to do your best to represent the brand with dignity and integrity. Shared some health tips with my new homey Jana who was gracious enough to charge my phone for me in the flight attendants’ quarters since the outlets at our seats were not functioning. When our journey ended on the way to SA, we hugged and took selfies! What a great group!

On the way back, the team was equally awesome! Very efficient. Troye headed up the team…she was spunky just like Jana! My kinna people.

“Ladies and gentlemen if there is a doctor on board, please ring your call light”

aaarrgghh the dreaded announcement. I hesitated! Then jumped into action. One of their own flight attendants was ill. Myself and another internist and PA assisted. We checked vitals, took history performed exam, documented findings. I found myself doing what I would do for my own patients or family and massaged her hair. She cautioned me that she had dirty hair and apologized.

Me: That’s ok hon, this is better than diabetic ulcers…just relax…take nice deep breaths. You’re going to be ok.

She managed a smile…she started to feel better after some medication and Sprite. Rx for rest, no more work on this flight. Explained to she and her team leader what I thought the problem was. I checked on her again an hour before landing and was escorted up a secret place I never knew existed! Did you know that there were bedrooms upstairs in the plane. That there was even an UPSTAIRS in the plane. My lady was resting well and felt better..I became my silly self and managed to do some dance or the other while the flight attendants who were up there laughed.

Me: Dang this is some cool stuff up here! I never knew this existed!

Them: Now you know you’re special because you got the info girl!

We laughed about the very strange passenger who walked up to me talking thinking that I was one of the flight attendants she spoke to earlier

Passenger: I know you

Me: Uh uh, no you don’t. I don’t know you!

We laughed because this passenger had done this prior with someone else. Strange.

As I left the plane after we landed, Troye and the entire team thanked me and I was surprised to get a message through my website from Troye updating me about my lady. She was doing better and it was what we thought it was. I am so thankful that Troye displayed so much grace and gratitude.

No-one is ever ALL good or ALL bad and we sometimes don’t realize just how much goes into doing a certain job. I watched those flight attendant busting sweat balls in the back of the plane and I decided to provide comic relief….I appreciate the work they do because at this stage in my life, I would not want to do it. Some of these flight attendants were much older and while I know they must love what they do, I cannot help to think if it is a MUST for them…that they cannot survive without the income. They worked hard to make our 14 and 15 hour trips palatable. In light of all the fallout from a situation where we only know one side of the story, I think it is is important that we see the other side. I think it is important that we remember that we are not always ON and there are times when we too might err…let’s build a coalition where #thisiswhatateamlookslike

 

Tales from Zumunda and Other Adventures…The Prodigal

On the 19th I received an email from my business website that has not even gone live…It puzzled me but as the story unfold it became even more evident that God’s hand was in this.
The woman who “sent” me the message stated that she has a history of chronic pain for decades and has been to so many doctors none of whom has been able to help her. I sent her a reply telling her to call the island office and I will be happy to see her this weekend. Well I did not hear back from her. My Saturday on the 20th was quite busy in the morning as I scrubbed in on a surgical case…only had 4 hrs sleep. Then had clinic patients. Checked my email after seeing some of my morning appts and saw a response from the same woman stating she had been calling the office and no one answered. I got her cell number which she included in her email and asked the office staff to call and fit her into the schedule.
The staff put her as my last appointment for the day. No problem. day progressed and I must confess, I was so exhausted struggling to keep my eyes open. Patient arrived and was triaged. I popped my head in
ME: Hi I am Dr. Williams. I will be with you shortly ok?
Prodigal: Sure no problem. Thank you
Truth is, our team was exhausted and hungry. We had the best pastries from our friend Monsieur Gerard. But the tapeworm was in full effect lol…hungry. I ordered some delish food for the team…Stewed Oxtail, Curry Chicken…then ran in for this last appointment with the woman who called. Told the staff…call me when the food gets here.
I started our meeting…prior I envisioned that I would be sitting in the chair right across from her but this is not where we started…the appointment started out like any other doctors appointment with me collecting information from her medical history…I knew that I wanted to navigate into her emotional state…we went there. Initially she stated that there was really nothing about her childhood or past that was traumatic.
I prayed a silent prayer “Lord please help me to help her”
She was on every medication, seen by the BEST doctors, had the BEST treatments and none made her feel any better. I confessed that my approach would be to ask God to help me help her. She was open to it. I explained to her that I firmly believed that our physical ailments are related to our spiritual well being. I like to address what is going on in your spirit and soul and work from there.
There was so much that transpired but suffice to say…after about 10 mins or so into the meeting something I said triggered the flood gates and her heart doors flew open. Out marched pain, fear, disappointment, doubt, brokenness. There was some trauma after all…disguised as coping and caring for others…she never took time to process the pain. My position shifted to the one I envisioned sitting next to her facing her.
I spoke into her life and she cried and I cried with her. It seemed like she hung on to every word I spoke. I shared with her the love and faithfulness of God in my life. His Grace as I have experienced it. His plan for her. His Word for her. His unconditional love for her and His care for the little and big details of her life. That He was madly in love with her.
She: I totally did not expect this…this is so much more than I came for
Me: God loves you and this was a set up…
I was so overjoyed…and this washed the tired out of my body! I was ENERGIZED!
I prayed with her. Then….She prayed. She asked to know Him more. She wanted to come back to Him. She knew Him but felt so unworthy. Felt like He has disappointed her. I prayed with her and then she out of her mouth asked the Lord to know Him more, to come back home…she asked His forgiveness. It is amazing when we recognize that there is nothing we can do to lose or gain God’s love…His love for us just is…..The Presence of the Lord so filled the place and I know some of you may not understand or believe this statement per se but there was such power and energy and joy that filled that room.
She: this is a miracle. this is a miracle. I did not expect this. [at the beginning our meeting, i had said to her to raise her expectation]
Turns out that she did not even send the first email to me; it was her counselor in Vancouver who found my info [still don’t know how he/she was able to find it when the website is not public yet]…she thanked me profusely. We prayed. In her prayer she told God that she was empty and asked Him to fill her.
She, between tears: I came here so empty and I just feel so FULL, so full. [He answered her prayers instantly] I have not felt like this in 10 years. Thank you so much. this is a miracle. My soul has been so empty. I have not prayed in years, it has been years since i could pray. Today is the first time I have prayed in years. This is a miracle. I know I have to get this in order. I am…I am so grateful. I want you to meet my mother…she has been praying for me…
We emerged from my room after almost 2 hours. She introduced me to her family who was in the waiting room, a family who had been praying for her to come back to the Lord for years…hugged them. We said our goodbyes.
She came in one way and left another…a new woman.
The staff looked at me…eyes wide open…
With just word, He can change things. Just One Word.
Miracles do happen in Zumunda. It has little to do with us but WHOSE we are. And WHO we allow to use us. God alone.

Tales from Zumunda and Other Adventures……Baby Fat

February 9th 2015:

So you all remember the produce vendor who disliked doctors for “taking her money” and then wanted me to help her lose her baby fat from her baby 30 yrs ago?! Well bounced up on Babyfat again as I stopped to pick up some produce for my delish meal.

Babyfat: Hey doc

Me: Sup lil mama? Yuh good?

Babyfat: I good Me: Are you working on that tummy?

Babyfat grabs a hold of it and laughing says: Its a baby

Me: oh really…ooookkkaaaay
.She invites me..yet again to touch her stomach

Babyfat laughing: Yes I having ah baby LOL. It like ah barrel

Me: Oh boy…well do. you. want. to. have. a. baby? Ah yes, its very firm indeed…lol

Babyfat: He is 30 yrs old

Me: Oh the “baby” that was born 30yrs ago is still hanging on to you huh? Yuh need tuh give birth now man.

Babyfat: I going and do Zumba

Me: Great….
Babyfat interrupts and starts demonstrating her Zumba moves

Me: Waaaay sah! Ay Ay! Doh hurt yuhself! Oh yuh doing it here?!! SMH…right there at the side of the road..and what do I do??!! Join her LOL!

Yes at the side of the busy street at dusk Dr. Williams and BabyFat “zumbaing” to the sound of soca..

Aaaahhhh Zumunda sways to the sound of Soca. And another pound is lost.

In with the New

It is hard to believe that it is already 2014. One more day and we are there. What really happened in 2013? Is it really that big of a deal this whole New Year thing? It’s just a matter of a concept of time.

This was a year that I realized some dreams I had. In 2012, I spent time thinking of “intentions”, I thought it was a better word than say “resolutions”.  I wrote them down, prayed about them and made declarations throughout 2013. I felt very accomplished this year and as my friends pointed out, very brave. I never see myself as brave but when I look back at some of the things I have done and accomplished, I have to say it was indeed brave. It is helpful to have perspective and time provides just this. We are better than we give ourselves credit for. I made it through a horrible divorce in 2012 and in 2013, I was so much happier; pleased with my decision to stand up for myself. I worked on forgiveness and released anger. Embraced and hugged myself because this woman is a strong honest one. I acknowledged that i chose to love someone as undeserving as he may have been but my love was honest. I was proud of myself for maintaining integrity. I ventured to allow myself to once again entertain the prospect of a new relationship. It was a wild whirlwind of emotions but safe and fun.

As I peek into 2014, a part of me wants to be even more daring. I want to “jump” as my friend Brian says. What do I have to lose? Fear is one thing that will dissipate once I make that jump. This last two weeks have given me much time to think about my life and relax. I realize that my job can be stressful but I have learned to leave that stress where it belongs and not bring it into my home. I was kinder to myself this year and this trend will continue. It is okay to allow myself some slack to just sit around and do nothing. There is nothing inherently wrong with this at all. My days off do not have to be filled with all the things I “think” I “need and should” get done. So while I jump in 2014, I will be sure to do so without a whole entourage of garbage and baggage and books that I think I should read. Happy New Year everyone. Make it a memorable one.