Celebrating the Good Life
Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat, MD
When I celebrated my 62nd birthday, someone asked me how I felt about getting old. I was surprised by this question since I don’t think of myself as old. Later that night, I took a good look in the mirror while undressing. I realized that, yes indeed, I was growing old. Reflected back to me was the image of someone who looked much different than in years past. I now have grey hair, my belly is no longer flat, and I’ve gained a few pounds. I remembered the days when I was so skinny that my little brother, Lesly, would call me a broom stick! And there have been many times since, when I wished I was as skinny as I was back then.
I was born and raised in Haiti from a family with shamanic roots – including a maternal grandfather a Voodoo priest, well-known indigenous healer and shaman. He cured me when I became gravely ill at age of 9 when Western medicine could not save me. On his death bed he made me promised to never forget my roots. But I had to keep it a secret otherwise I would be an outcast because of the “Bad Voodoo blood running in my veins.”
But even though my childhood was not what I might have chosen, I was blessed to have caregivers who taught me so many precious things about life and love.
Circumstances and many life challenges have given me the opportunity to go far beyond what was expected of me. I was encouraged to dare to dream big and blessed to be able to envision for myself things I had never even seen. I was gifted with an optimistic outlook. I have been able to formulate goals, seize the opportunities that came to me, and watch my goals manifest by taking life head on and overcoming the obstacles on my path because I saw them as opportunities.
I’ve had the pleasure of living in many countries, speaking many languages and having dear friends from all walks of life. I was able to get an excellent education from top-notch institutions around the world that others only dream of. I've had the blessing of becoming a doctor, a surgeon, and in 1982 started a private practice in San Diego as the first black woman OB-GYN in Southern California.
As my grandfather, I could intuitively see the root cause of a patient’s illness, knowing in my bones whether she needed surgery or not. Soon, it became impossible for me to thrive in Western medicine. Eventually, I had to quit delivering babies in 1992, then surgery in 1999 since I could no longer afford malpractice insurance and could heal my patients without using the knife.
To whom much is given, much is expected. I also never forgot where I came from. I now use my rare combination of skills in community clinics in San Diego and in my beloved Haiti. How can I describe the feeling of satisfaction when, because of these special abilities, I am able to improve someone’s life?
My life purpose to empower and help women – and a few good men – to follow a healthier path is being accomplished by spending one-on-one time with a select few. I also use the power of communication presently available, such as the Internet, books, articles, speaking engagements, teleconferences, audio, and videos, to convey my messages to more people than I could ever have imagined.
I am blessed to live in a beautiful place – the Retreat Center that I now share with others. I am thankful that I was able to transform my yard into a beautiful botanical garden of my own design, where mischievous birds live and play. I took time to learn about and carefully select my fruit trees, and a myriad of succulents, cacti, and flowers – which came from seedlings, nurseries, or friends’ gardens. It has been a miracle to watch them grow! And when I pick a mouth-watering fruit or freshly cut flower, it is just like when I would take care of a pregnant woman from conception to the moment I held her squirming, beautiful baby in the delivery room. When I wake up in the mornings, many times just the thought of all my treasures brings tears to my eyes in a powerful experience of gratitude.
I enjoy excellent emotional, spiritual, and physical health because I’ve learned to listen to my intuition and body signals. In this way, I treat my being as the sacred temple that it truly is. I am able to accomplish this effortlessly, knowing that there is no bad or good food, eating and drinking what I enjoy at any time but in moderation, and knowing when to rest my body and replenish my soul.
I am glad that I have so many people who love me and who I love. I am able to surrender, knowing that my search is over – that all that is to be given me will come exactly when I need it. I realize now that I have finally become my own best friend. I am ready to love myself and my body “as is!” I am no longer afraid that I will change even more as time goes by. I now have grey hair, the extra pounds are here to stay, and I welcome whatever challenges life will bring. I consider the process of growing old to be a blessing and opportunity that not everyone gets: an opportunity to grow even more deeply into who I am – to live well, love well, and help others along the way.
To find out more about Dr. Carolle and her work, please visit: http://www.drcarolle.com