Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's Not Dead!

GITK Family,

I was at an event a few weeks back and the event planners had purchased hundreds of tulips for the centerpieces. At the end of the event the tulips were bent over hanging down the sides of the vases dying so the staff decided to throw them away.

Tulips by the bunches were being trashed. There had to be over 50 bunches each with 8-10 tulips in a bunch.
My mom, never the one to throw things away, took a handful of tulips home clipped the ends and sat them in some water. The next day those same flowers were standing up tall and looking vibrant!

"Oh how I wish I had grabbed more flowers. Those tulips weren't dying they didn't know what to do with them!" were my mom's words.

Sometimes in life people want to throw you away and say you're worthless because in their eyes you're dying. You're not dying. They just don't know what to do with you. In the right hands you will come back to life and you will LIVE AGAIN!

Drink up...
(Drink from the well that never runs dry)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Come Out of Your Box!

Cramped up like sardines in a can...

Many of us have gone through life being boxed in by man's opinions, rules, ideas, judgements and limitations for so long that we start to adopt the limits they place upon us as absolute rule.  We have been told to

Love in the box.

Dance in the box.

Worship in the box.

Live in the box.

Whatever you do, do it in the box!

But can you ever truly live...  I mean really LIVE inside a box?

Life's experiences teach us valuable lessons about ourselves and about those we allow around us.

Today and every day after, I choose to BREAK OUT of the BOX!


Hiiiii.. Yaaaahhhhh!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Keep Floating, Jeri! Keep Floating!!

GITK Family,
have you ever had one of those days that would have been "The Day from Hell" had God not given you the grace to float through it?!!  

Well for me, TODAY was that day!  (I kept looking at my jellyfish...)

It started out with an early morning call from an irritated mother.   This mom was FURIOUS to put it mildly.

The only thing I remember saying to get the party started was, "Hello, this is Dr. Dyson..."

She took it from there:  "DOC-TAH DIE-son!!
You saw my son on yesterday!  And I need to know WHY---"

(I heard a still small voice say, "Let her talk.  Don't take anything she's saying personal.  Simply help her get the answers to her questions.")

Okay... (flesh dying)
"Ummm hmmm....  Yes...   yes... ..." (flesh dying some more)
5 minutes later...
(Watch your tone, Jeri.  Don't interrupt her.)  She was talking so loudly the other doctors could hear her through the phone.  By this point in the conversation- I'm chilling with a huge smile on my face because I can sense there are other components to her frustration. None of them related to me.
 2 minutes later...
(Remember it's not personal...)  "Ma'am, this is what happened yesterday..."

1 minute later...

Ohhhhhhh my! This was ALL a big misunderstanding!
I'm sorry Dr. Jeri...
I haven't gotten ANY sleep...
I have another sick child at home....
I have a deadline at work that is quickly approaching...
And HE didn't explain it like you just did!  That all makes sense.
I've been going on and on...
Thanks for listening.

No problem.  Glad I could help you.  (spiritual wipe down) *click*

That was just the beginning of a series of misfortunate events for today...
So glad I'm floating....
As my friend says, 'On to the next!' 

Today was a good day!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Giving Up or Yielding?

I absolutely have a servant's heart, but sometimes even the best of us can be tried during times of service. 


I was exhausted!!

I had been struggling with this one particular area of my life for the past 8 years.  It HAD to be something I wasn't doing right.

All kinds of thoughts haunted me.  I needed answers and I needed them quickly.  I had spent over $15,000 (that's fifteen thousand dollars not fifteen hundred) to be done with this part of my life.  "Let's get this over with 'cause I've got things to do," is the thought that kept flooding my head!

Each time I would get closer and closer but the thing I grasped for leaped to another spot.  And just like a blackmailing scoundrel it kept coming back asking for more!!!

More money.  More of my time.  More of ME!

Why can't I jump this hurdle?
What is wrong with me?

Okay I get it... I will try again but this time I'll Work Eeeeee-VEN harder!   I felt like Tiana from "The Princess & the Frog" when she met the blind-voodoo-lady-who-lives-in-a-boat-in-a-tree-in-the-middle-of-da-bayou.  Hahahahahaha!!!!!!
(Yes, that was me still in frog form talking bout working harder and making it happen! )

Well, I did all I could.  I have given away too much...  I even gave my life away...  I let them take small pieces of my soul with each attempt.  And have gained nothing in return but the wisdom to know that it's ALL right!
I'm okay the way I am right now...

I have been given the highest stamp of approval!  "You know what you're doing, Jeri!  Absolutely you do...  Do not turn around and go back over there. It's done... The cheese has been moved."

All I could hear was Dr.  Spencer Johnson, "the biggest inhibitor to change lies within yourself, and that nothing gets better until YOU change."

A few weeks back I was introduced to my future self....  (you had to be there to get it)
I met the future me and boy...  Boy oh boy oh boy!!!  Wowzers!!! The entire experience was divine.  That time reminded me of a man I met in a Birmingham, Michigan furniture store the Summer of 2000.  I talked with this stranger for three uninterrupted hours in an upscale furniture store. (actually, he talked and I just cried)

He warned me.  He encouraged me.  It was as if he knew me from somewhere....  I mean really knew the core of me.  He was talking to my spirit while my body stood in the room.

I cried and listened...  and cried and listened some more...
I felt like God had allowed me to meet my guardian angel.

Without going into much detail the future Jeri gave me back a precious part of myself I had given away to someone...  Or was that someTHING?   Paaaah-leeeeezz, I don't know WHO had it.   Alls I know is I got my stuff back!!!  And I won't be giving away any more pieces of me...  Not like that anyway!

This entire eight year experience was akin to me running FULL force into a reinforced wall that was not budging.  Each time I was becoming more and more wounded...  I didn't want to quit!  Quitting was for losers and I am no loser.

Sometimes in an effort to GO FOR IT we lose sight of the signs God is showing all around us.  Little signs...
Small reminders...
NO huge Jumbotron messages... 

Itty... bitty... Signs that guide us...

Turn here.
Decline that offer.
Speak now.
Say nothing.

I realized I was taking control rather than simply letting things happen for me.   I was like a salmon swimming upstream!  I had to learn to be more jellyfish like.

DID YOU KNOW: Jellyfish understand the value of floating rather than swimming through trying waters/emotional times...  They know the proper use of softness (not being rigid) and have the ability to become untangled from the webs of peril in life.   Hmmmm....GET IN THE KNOW!

My mind kept whispering, "Relax!!!  It's out of your control"
So when you see me less forceful than I have been in times past about certain topics, please know that I'm not giving up. 

I'm yielding!
Floating with the current.  

Remaining untangled and waving!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happiness is Making Another Smile!!

Today I was typing up some patient notes and I happened to look down at my wrist.   I had on two of my 16 year old niece's support bracelets.  I don't think I've updated my GITK family on Kaylyn's progress since sharing her diagnosis of Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes.)

Last week she FaceTimed me with great news.  She went in for a PET scan and there were no traces of cancer.  She's finishing her last courses of chemo this week.  We are all happy about that.

On my office desk I have these Happiness Cards.  I make my team members pull a card when they're having a "I'm-about-to-slap-the-taste-outta-somebody's-mouth" kinda day.  (I think I'm running out of cards... LOL)  Each card has a message on it about Happiness.  Well today I pulled a card right before lunch and this is what it read:  "When we actively appreciate the people around us, we feel better about ourselves."

Hmmm, that's true because Kaylyn's mom sent me a picture of her in the hospital room two days ago.  It brought a smile to my face because she was asleep wrapped in the blanket I gave her.

For Christmas I bought all of the kids (really teenagers) these wonderful blankets I refer to as our healing blankets.  They are EXTRA soft and I used one during my recovery period.  It's like we have our own special group because we are the only one's in the family with these blankets!  Everybody has their own special color and pattern - it's corny and cool at the same time.  

Next time you find yourself feeling low try making someone else happy.  I'm certain your happiness is right around the corner!  Have a fantastic weekend!  See you soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hysteria or Passion for Change?

Happy Inauguration Weekend, GITK Family!!
Since I operate at such neck-breaking speeds usually. (Well pre-surgery that is..) I value the quiet time I have to spend at home.  Another thing about me you may have gathered from my posts is that I like watching movies at home.

With all of our out-of-town guests here for the Presidential Inauguration I got a chance to watch the movie Hysteria (2011) this weekend!  If you're a woman who serves other women in any capacity you MUST see this movie.  It really resonated with me.  I started thinking... This movie was set in the 1800's but is applicable to the women of TODAY!  Yikes!!  That's astonishing.

Charlotte Dalrymple, a charitable compassionate woman, has taped into her life's passion to help women and children living in the slums.  Her elitist image driven father is a gynecologist who helps women with his proven "treatments" for hysteria.  (BTW- hysteria was an actual diagnosis for women until 1952.  Treatment of choice was hysterectomy or institutionalization in mental hospitals. Hmmph!!)

In their aristocratic society she was charged with being reckless, insane and uncultured.  Anyway I have other commentary about this movie that will go unmentioned at this time.

The essence of Hysteria's message for me (Dr. Jeri) was the following:

The true meaning of this movie is overshadowed by its focus on the creation of the vibrator, The Jolly Molly, which is quite interesting to say the least.   
Until the world recognizes the full true worth and contributions of women we will all continue to suffer grievously.  Men who continue to fear our brilliance by shoving us in boxes and dark corners to sit quietly and look pretty do this world a great disservice!  The goal of a woman is not to take what little power men think they have but work hand in hand to improve this world for our next generations.  
I speak continued life and release to the phenomenal "Charlotte Dalrymples" I know personally.  Women like Janeen Uzzell, Measha Peterson-Dancy, Nicole Jones, Vikki Johnson, Chonya Davis-Johnson, Vicki Garriett-Lampkin, Carolyn Washington, Scyatta Wallace, Martha Park, Lissa Rankin and Melva Green.  (This list is by no means exhaustive so take no offense.) 

I want to encourage these women to continue positively changing the world for women and girls globally.

For the men who support us...
Stand with us...
Push us forward to try again...
Encourage us in our moments of defeat...
Celebrate our triumphs...
Love us unconditionally...

I salute you.  
I applaud your bravery. 
I admire your inner strength.
I honor you for not cowering in the face of our full femininity. 

Ladies, don't back down.  Press forward.  We've got a world to change!!
I love you and I'm grateful God allowed our paths to cross...
(Check out this movie)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Needy Ladies

Clingy, clingy clingy!!!

Ladies, if he doesn't want you leave him alone!!!  When someone walks away from you please give them the space they need to gather all of their things. Your first and immediate concern should be your emotional health.  But what I have noticed in my years on this earth is that women are not raised to care for themselves first.  The general rule for women is

"Take care of everybody else and three seconds before you drop dead focus on you." 

(Okay I went off the deep end but you get the picture.)

Women have been conditioned to fight for a man's affection when the truth is he could care less about you.  When you are connected with the right companion he will care about you just as much as you care for and about him.  You won't keep score.  There won't be this overwhelming need to keep tabs on him because of your own insecurities.  (Now, don't get me wrong- I know men have done and will do things to make us feel like we need to continually look over our shoulders, pull out the magnifying glass and investigate some things.  But that's not what I'm referring to here.) 

As women some of us suffer from abandonment issues and fatherlessness.  So when a guy isn't feeling us we "lose it."  The other thing that scares some women is this feeling of scarcity.  We listen to the news and special reports and buy into this lie that there are "no good men."

I hear women say it all the time, "They are either gay, locked-up, married or womanizers..."  Well if you believe that why are you still looking for male companionship?  I know I sound facetious but I'm serious. As women we have to face our own fears in order to really see what's happening.  When you opt to cling on to a man who no longer desires you like the girl in the picture above something is wrong.

I wish there was a Static Guard for Humans I could spray on some of my sisters: "Instantly Eliminates the Cling..."

Ladies, please stop begging your male companions to stay in your life when they are ready to move forward.  I don't want to sound judgmental because I have been there too - (just call my sisters- Joslyn and Sheila.)  I'm not encouraging you to take a nonchalant attitude when your boyfriend wants to call it quits because the fact of the matter is break-ups hurt.  But you can not keep running behind someone who does not celebrate your presence in their life.  

A good friend of mine once said, "Each of our relationships is here to show us a mirror of who we are."  It may take some time for you to understand this but it's true.

One day you will look back on all this foolishness and you'll be glad you left that brother right where you did.  I'm not male bashing I'm speaking truth- In order to properly love another you must first PROPERLY love yourself.  Not preaching simply sharing!  I love you, family.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Feel Good Friday Music

GITK family, if I had a choice of entertainment it would be music....

Music has the ability to take us to another place.
Music can change your mood with one tune - it's truly power-full.
But what I like more than the music are GREAT lyrics to accompany sweet melodies.

When I first heard the song, Evolution by Oleta Adams,  I was graduating from Xavier University and headed to Meharry Medical College to learn how to  "change the world."  (Which reminds me I need to send my financial donations to both of these great schools - giving back)

I have to tell you this is absolutely one of my favorite songs to explain the ails of the human species.  I often refer to it when my mind becomes overwhelmed with 'whys'.

I encourage you to click the link below listen to the song and read along.

Once you've pondered the song and you really understand the lyrics, please "evolve" beyond your current understanding to a higher level of existence.

I really do love you. Let's grow together...

Evolution by Oleta Adams
We can travel to the planets
Drive a mile through solid granite
Thrive in all extremes of weather
But we cannot live together

We have pondered our existence
Tracked the comets in the distance
But we're overcome with blindness
By an act of human kindness

We have ventured where
None have gone before us
But in matters fundamental
We are patterned on an old design
Welcome back Tyrannosaurus
Evolution is a state of mind

We have filled the halls of science
With the bones of mighty giants
They'd all been there for generations
Buried under our foundations

It's a page right out of history
Everything is still a mystery
All except for one distinction
We can stop our own extinction

We have set ourselves apart
From all that's gone before us
But in matters fundamental
We are victims of an old design
Here's your chance Tyrannosaurus
Maybe we can get it right this time

Grab a club and join the chorus
Evolution is a state of mind

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Real Price of Education

Far back as I can remember art has always inspired me.  My dad and all his siblings were in the arts in some form or another.  Little Mama (my paternal grandmother) had art all over her house.  Each one the creativity of my aunt and uncles.

My Uncle Raymond painted his impression of the Mona Lisa.  LOL!  When we were kids my cousins and I would run from that painting.  She was scary to say the least.  Now that I think about it his painting kinda looked like a cross between Mona Lisa and Scream!!!  (Maybe it was our imagination.)

I can say I have a true appreciation for art in all forms.  So much so - in my first apartment during medical school I purchased a bed and then started buying art.
No furniture, no couch, no table...
Wall art...

I think I had three pieces before I started buying furniture.   I guess it had something to do with my early exposure.

When I was in residency I heard the story about Ruby Bridges.  I was thinking about how the US marshals escorted her to the schoolhouse every day so she wouldn't be attacked by hate-filled adults.  When I came across a print of the famous Norman Rockwell painting of Ruby Bridges a few years later I  had to buy it.

Close-up of the Norman Rockwell painting

The name of the painting was "The Problem We All Live With."  Putting it in my home office inspired me to be my best self.  The painting also challenged me to make a positive contribution in this world before I died.  (No, I don't plan on dying any time soon but I have chosen to LIVE my life like death is around the corner- MAXED OUT!)

The painting in my home office from 2005
Every now and then I would glance over at the painting and think, "What was the real price of education?"  Some of us will never know...

Maybe you're asking yourself why I'm sharing all of this?  I have a baby cousin coming to stay with me for a while.   She has no idea she's gonna be reading books and watching documentaries while she's with "Dr. Cousin Sister Jeri!"  I'm gonna treat her like one of my mentees.

People often say they want to be a "good" physician or a "good" teacher or a "good" whatever.  In order to truly be a good anything you must first be a good person.  Part of that entails being well rounded and having an appreciation for what others went through to make your life better.

In the upcoming months.  I want to challenge my GITK Teens to read more non-fiction books.  One every other month is a healthy choice - I don't think that's too much pressure.

She is not gonna know what hit her!  Especially since she doesn't read the blog. Haaaaa!
Have an informed productive week, family.  I love you!


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