Dr. Courtney Gilliam, one of our Recipients of Rest, is a pediatrician in Seattle who does research on diversity, equity and inclusion focused on medical education. Here’s what Courtney had to tell us about her work and her connection to nature and rest.
Before I moved out to Seattle I didn’t have a real connection to nature. When I moved out here, I realized how powerful and restorative nature could be. The sounds of the amazing lakes in the area are instantly calming, long hikes in the mountains are breathtaking. And I feel like it’s where I’m the most mindful.
In my line of work, the work is constant. Boundaries become a blur, because there is always something to do. I feel like the most valuable lesson is from the one and only Audre Lorde, when she reminds us that “caring for yourself is not self-indulgent, it’s self-preservation.” I’ve really had to give myself that permission, because it benefits me and my patients.
2020 has been 10 years rolled into one. It challenged us, broke us, large portions of this country had a racial reckoning like none other. As an African American female in this world, it’s exhausting persevering through the invisibility. But I’ve been so grateful for the collaborations in my community while engaging in equity centered education in the medical space. We have a lot of work to do in this system, and this is just the beginning.
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