Paula Teague is devoted to helping people cope with trauma—to find peace, hope and comfort amidst stress and suffering. As Chaplain and Educator and John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, she looks to help not only the individuals she encounters on a daily basis—but to also inspire communities to make the world a better, more equitable and just place.
I am interested in understanding transformation – from personal and community trauma. I love to create programs that meet community needs and help us move forward in chaplaincy. I am interested in how we can laugh more, celebrate often and find the very best around and in us.
More and more forward-thinking hospitals like these are working to integrate nature into their campuses, to find ways to better serve psychological, physical and spiritual needs of recovering patients, stressed families and wearied staff. Bayview has integrated a labyrinth, offering a message of hope and healing, while offering an opportunity for relaxation and peace.
As Firesoul, Paula integrates the labyrinth into the activities of the Medical Center—guiding patients and families to it for meditation, reflection and healing. The space also enjoys community events such as an evening “Light the Labyrinth” program to note the deepening nights of winter. And a host of memorial services and joyous weddings, as well.
The Labyrinth seems so needed in a place where is there is suffering, pain and even end of life experiences. The Labyrinth is the heart of the campus and a constant reminder of peace and comfort in the face of pain and struggle.
In her roles, Paula draws pure inspiration from those who dream in spite of difficult circumstances or suffering. The ability to summon a kind of spirit that rises and cares—overcoming hurt and anger. She delights in stories of people who have visited the Labyrinth and have left feeling lighter and more hopeful—and who share those thoughts with her with eyes of surprise and mystery.
Photo credit: Maureen Porto.