What resonates with you when considering the word “consistency?”
For me consistency is a marker of reliability. Knowing what to expect. Trusting that the result will be predictable. When learning the skills to perform physical examination of patients, we were taught to do so in a consistent pattern. By following the same series of steps each time, observed variations from the normal become easier to identify against the backdrop of a constant process.
As I referenced various definitions of the word, this concept was reinforced:
the quality of always being the same, doing things in the same way, having the same standards etc – used to show approval
Through the practice of parenting, particularly of multiple children, consistency in expectation, rules, opportunities, attention and love is the ideal for which we strive, supported by this slightly different definition:
conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness
Neither of these, however, felt like the whole picture – a one dimensional, mechanical interpretation of a concept that has much more depth. Further investigation led me to a reflection that felt more osteopathic in nature:
agreement or harmony of parts or features to one another or a whole
While we can create definitions, rules, regulations, policies in a controlled setting, these concepts are not executed in isolation. Are we able to implement these with consistency in a way that is harmonious with all aspects of the collective?
Follow-up to this definition was a concept that extended the application into the professional realm and hit a chord of significance for me:
harmony of conduct or practice with profession
As I delve deeper into osteopathic philosophy, principles and practice, it has become clearer to me that this is not just what I do, it is who I am. Integrating the concepts into my everyday life has predated my knowing them formally in the clinical experience. Through my education and training, I now have a name, a reference point, to understand how it is I am seeking health.
In launching This Osteopathic Life with the intention of expanding the osteopathic concept to all people, all areas of life, I realize that initially it was in an outward direction. Understanding and knowing the principles and illustrating applications for the general public to find health with greater ease.
I realize now that it is a more seamless integration – ways I have lived, governed and practiced life that are mirrored in my profession. I did not assimilate to osteopathy – I found the profession that embodied the manner in which I find truth, good, health in the daily experience of life. There is no distinction in the direction of flow - there is consistency of thought, feeling, action, practice, principle.
May we evolve from the rudimentary consideration of same and standard, expand beyond conformity and flourish through harmony of parts into the whole, integrating personal and professional practices into consistency that serves the greatest good.