This is the conversation that should have happened, but didn't.
Maybe a blog post will do for now?
The concept of 'The Wayfinders' comes from Martha Beck in her book
'Finding Your Way In A Wild New World'.
It is such an amazing concept.
I just wish that I had come across it years ago.
Many doctors are Wayfinders.
Many (if not most) of my friends are Wayfinders.
Some of my patients are Wayfinders.
All Integrative Medicine physicians are Wayfinders.
Chances are that you are a Wayfinder, if you are reading this.
What is a Wayfinder?
Here are some of the diagnostic criteria for classifying as a Wayfinder:
a strong sense of mission but not necessarily sure what that mission might be
a deep desire to lessen human suffering but again not clear how exactly to do this
high levels of empathy
emotionally sensitive & self-critical
sociable, popular & enjoys people but needs regular periods of solitude
feels chronically different
creative, gifted & special
dislikes the flat earth society
a tendency towards anxiety & introspection
a strong sense of spirituality & a resistance to dogma
a sense of connection with certain cultures or languages
a sense of connection to the natural world.
The advantage of having a diagnosis of anything is that it frees up mental bandwidth to move forward.
Many undiagnosed Wayfinders agonise over why they feel a certain way, behave a certain way, need solitude etc.
Imagine a patient with an undiagnosed broken leg who keeps wondering why they have pain, can't walk & have a deformed leg?
Many confused, undiagnosed Wayfinders mistakenly wander into addiction, mental health diagnoses or burn-out.
How we love to medicalise human despair!
Indigenous healing more correctly diagnose this as 'soul sickness' or 'susto'.
It all becomes so much easier once a diagnosis of being a Wayfinder is made, accepted & even embraced.
When would now be a good time to accept the diagnosis?