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Opinion

Soul, purpose and a bit of mindfulness: My resolutions for 2021


Edwin Kruys


5/01/2021 2:47:28 PM

With the ever-challenging 2020 in the rear view, Dr Edwin Kruys discusses some of his plans for the new year.

Change to 2021
Dr Edwin Kruys will embrace the idea of ‘enjoying the simple things’ after a difficult 2020.

I heard this story about a fish. He swims up to this older fish and says, “I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean”. “The ocean?” says the older fish, “That’s what you’re in right now”. “This?” says the young fish, “This is water. What I want is the ocean”.’
 
         – Dorothea Williams, Soul 

Last year certainly got my stress levels up. Attempting to look after my family, patients, practice and myself was just as challenging as not being able to care for my elderly, unwell father in the Netherlands.
 
My heart goes out to those who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
 
I was lucky to have some time off over the holiday season to ‘recover’ from the past year, and even though my kids (aged 12, 12 and 14) now refuse to go camping, they enjoyed a few days bushwalking in the beautiful Girraween National Park.
 
We also streamed movies on Netflix and Disney+, and I’d like to mention one in particular, Soul.
 
The new Pixar animation is a heart-warming story about the middle-school music teacher and jazz pianist Jo Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) who passes away a day before he is about to play with the band of one of his idols, in what was supposed to be the performance of a lifetime.
 
The film’s music was composed and recorded by jazz musician Jon Batiste (Pixar brilliantly animated his fingers when the character of Jo plays the piano).
 
On his way to heaven, the ‘Great Beyond’, Jo manages to escape to the ‘Great Before’ where he becomes a mentor for a disobedient soul who is yet to be deployed to earth – and along the way examines and rediscovers the purpose of his own life.
 
The take-home message: it’s great to have a passion, like playing jazz piano, or dreams or ambitions, but while they may bring a spark in our lives, they don’t necessarily create purpose.
 
Soul reminds me that life is not about success or failure, but enjoying the simple things: listening to the sounds of the city, breathing in the autumn air or watching samara seeds fall. The film’s message, summarised in the title of feature song ‘It’s All Right’, is just what I needed in the middle of the pandemic.
 
My resolution for 2021 is to regularly practise mindfulness. I have started the Healthcare Workers Program of the Smiling Mind app which, according to the developers, is designed to manage stress and improve focus and connection.
 
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Dr Mark Robert Miller   6/01/2021 3:59:51 PM

NIcely written piece Edwin a good start to the new year. I still smile when I remember you telling me of your first day of experience in Australian General practice and the "handover" you received from a practice weary colleague, whilst still carrying your luggage. We (humans) are capable of so much but as you point out
"To the mind that is still the whole Universe Surrenders"
Here's to 2021 - the year of the Metal Ox.