Dr. Julie's Blog

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Four Life Lessons From My Dog

Meet my German Shepherd, Echo. He’s loyal and bonded to me. He is also protective and shows good judgment about other people. His favorite activity is to catch or fetch balls I throw for him. He does it like it’s his job — with intensity and passion. Echo sets a good example for us all. Here are just a few good things he demonstrates daily.

1. He likes to work and does his job with passion. Even the little jobs, such as catching balls, “hunting” flies, and encouraging me to take a break. Are you doing your jobs with passion? Do you appreciate the meaning of those small everyday, annoying tasks? These small tasks are often the result of abundance in our lives. For example, if you own a car, there is maintenance involved. The annoyance of having to change the oil in the car wouldn’t be there if you didn’t have the resources to own the car in the first place. Appreciate the small, annoying things in your life and do them with passion (or...

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How Shifting Your Focus Can Change Your Life

I worked at the Portland VA Medical Center for 5 years. There were a lot of good things about that job, but as with any large bureaucracy, there were a lot of things about it that were inefficient, ineffective, and blocked progress. There were policies and ways of interpreting policies that favored some people over others and the institution over patients and staff. There were initiatives designed to make the system better, but which appeared to be designed to be a gold star in some manager’s cap, not a meaning change to the system. But I digress…

Sometime during my 4th year, I knew it was time to leave. It had become clear that I was behind the curve salary-wise and running out of options for finding the kind of work that would really challenge me. I wanted to do more work with women and working exclusively with women in the VA wasn’t an option as there were too few female patients to make that a viable focus. I also wanted to be my own boss, which meant having a...

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