by Dr Rachel Mascord BDS, Sydney
As a student dentist I geared myself up with hope that upon final graduation I would become confident and secure within myself. I believed that success and ease would be the natural outcomes of all the hard work I’d done. I had achieved great success as a student by pushing and driving myself: what I did not grasp was that my developed patterns of self-neglect and anxious drive had become an entrenched and normal way of operating.
The picture of ‘perfection’ I had formulated was so narrow it would hurt me for many years to come. I made life about getting everything ‘right’. Without that, I did not feel like a worthy member of the profession, or indeed a worthy human being.
My picture of a ‘life of success’ did not eventuate, and every day at work was in the dullness of just getting by and coping with the fear that I never felt ‘good enough’. I existed in this state for 17 years…
UNIVERSAL MEDICINE AND MY CONNECTION TO LOVE
In 2007 I attended a Heart Chakra 1 workshop (now known as The Livingness 1), and when the presenter, Serge Benhayon from Universal Medicine spoke, his words brought a moment of clarity for me: I felt something deep within me begin to respond to the simplicity and love that Serge presented, and also lived himself.
There was no over-elated, hyped-up excitement. What was offered was a deeper truth to life; a truth to be explored and connected to, and that the source of this truth was held inside the physical body – the body I had ignored for so long.
This moment of clarity was a challenge to the picture of ‘perfection’ that I had created and held over myself for so many years. I began to understand there was a different way; one that offered quality, care and commitment, without the self-harming drive of constant self-criticism and anxiousness.
I have steadily developed this awareness that I gained during the Universal Medicine workshops through self-care, self-nurturing and love. I used to think love was about self-sacrifice and doing for others with no regard for myself. I learned, through steady commitment to myself, that love is a way of being, and that it starts with how I treat myself; and from treating myself lovingly, it naturally extends to others, no trying necessary!
My body, my emotional state and my mental state were a crucial part of the complete picture of my life. I had been neglecting them and putting all my focus on doing for others and pleasing others. My work had been suffering the consequences too, for how can you truly care for another when you do not care for yourself?
7 STEPS TO RETURN TO LOVE
- Listening and responding to my body – my digestion improved and the asthma (with me from age 4) and sinus problems I experienced vanished without a trace when I gave up gluten and dairy.
- Choosing to go to bed earlier, consistently.
- Bringing more tenderness to work – a self-loving ritual has now evolved from the simple washing and drying of my hands in between each patient, for it allows a moment to stop and re-collect myself from what I have just done; to let go and make the choice back towards gentleness and tenderness.
- Learning to walk with awareness and presence. This made a huge difference to my day as I walk to collect each patient. My walk is now tender, aware, and a chance to re-connect to myself through my feet.
- Learning to sit with respect for my body. The hard, twisting and bending is no longer something I put up with to get the job done. I stop when my body is uncomfortable and take a moment to adjust my posture accordingly.
- Changing my pace at work, understanding that I have my timing, my way of working. I used to think that I had an absolute obligation to squeeze people in, even as my body groaned under the weight of nervous system pressure this created. Now I do what I can, and no more.
- Learning to rest – at lunchtime I used to run away and escape by shopping, and eating too much. Now I rest, lying on my dental chair with warm eye pillows on my body, feeling my breath… or I go for a walk in the park.
Having actively chosen to heal, my body now feels clearer and lighter and I have a natural effervescence once lost that’s now starting to re-emerge…
I now continue my own healing together with the loving support of Esoteric Healing sessions. The Esoteric Healing Practitioners I see have assisted me to feel the anxiousness, the emotional and physical pain I thought I had so successfully buried. This process has been hard at times and deeply challenging as I’ve had to face up to the false principles that gave me the drive to keep going.
BEING A WOMAN FIRST – then a dentist
I have also been greatly supported by the Esoteric Women’s Presentations, presented by Natalie Benhayon, and the Our Cycles App. Both the presentations and the App have supported my connection to my monthly period cycle. Using the ‘Our Cycles App’ has supported me in making a consistent commitment to observing my state of being and nurturing myself from this observation. It has supported me to connect to the cycles my body goes through every month. I could not feel or respond to these cycles when life was frantic, and lived in the drive to get too much done. Life develops a lovely flow when you live and act from how you are feeling, right now.
As I have developed myself as a woman, my self-nurturing ways have started to flow naturally to others. Equal gentleness for me as well as for my patients is now part of the equation. Everything I do is infused with the quality I am in when that task is being done. This means that if I am being rough with myself, and disregarding in how I treat myself, then my patient and my dental nurse get that quality too.
I now take responsibility for the quality of my being through:
- The breath I choose to breathe,
- The movement of my hands and arms,
- The tenderness of my fingertips,
- The way I sit in my chair and hold my body, and
- My conscious connection to my body and the task I am performing, equally.
THE TRUE SUCCESS
As I have deepened my awareness of and connection to my body, I have come to appreciate my womanliness. I feel as though I have experienced a second puberty, at the age of 45; a second chance to embrace what it means to be a woman in this world. My tenderness and innate delicacy are my greatest strengths, not weaknesses to be overcome and ignored. I have come to feel the quality of being that we, as women, bring to the world. Just being with people allows them to open up. They feel that there is no agenda, no urge to get on and ‘do’. By being myself I’ve been blessed by people who’ve opened up and shared with me about their lives. What an honour it is to be loved in that way as a dentist!
The most wonderful thing I have learned to say is “I don’t know” when I don’t have the answer, understanding that this is not a sign of failure or inadequacy.
The picture of ‘perfect’ dentistry has started to dissolve away. As this perfection drops away, the first inklings of truth begin to emerge, and I am sensing that there is a harmonious timing in which to do things.
The stillness I bring creates space and eliminates the frantic urgency that used to permeate my work.
- I have learned to say “no” to the things that cause me stress.
- I have learned that I am responsible for my state of being (the quality I bring), but not the choices of others.
Consequently, I have started to now enjoy my work. I love the opportunity it brings for deep connection to people. I no longer feel crushed under the load of perfection I cannot ever achieve.
THE TRUE WOMAN IN DENTISTRY
The tenderness I have developed for myself has extended to the women in my life – I have opened my heart to the women I work with, and it’s a delight to be with my dental nurses all day. They are all beautiful women who support me to an extraordinary degree. We work together, as partners and friends, and that is beautiful. We all learn self-nurturing from each other, and support each other to make work lovely, light, fun and dedicated in equal measure.
At university I learned that I was never enough, and perfection in what was done was the only way to be enough. Now, no matter what the situation at work, I can bring my full presence, care and nurturing
Through Universal Medicine I learned that everything that is needed is ALREADY INSIDE ME. This inspired me to make self-care and self-love my way, to liberate the lovely, tender, and innately wise woman that was ALREADY THERE.
Today I bring that woman, in full, to the practice of dentistry.
Inspired by the work of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon
Further related reading:
Dentistry: When a Woman Chooses Her Profession Over and Above Herself