As the last year unfolded, I found myself affected in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Working in healthcare and working in travel were suddenly very high risk activities, we do both. I was called upon to make decisions every day that were not within my expertise, as truly expert advice changed daily. I care deeply for the team that I lead and for travel nurses across the country who do the work that they do, every day. In June of last year I woke up in ICU, the same ICU that I had previously worked in some 20 plus years ago and to my horror, some of the nurses were the same. Although I was reassured that I was in very good hands, it was minimal consolation. An ICU nurse’s worst nightmare is to be an ICU patient, for various reasons the most compelling reason, of course is those backless hospital gowns and the feeling of helplessness that they and the surroundings create.
The reason I wanted to share my story with all of you is the conversations that I have had since then. Healthcare professionals, worry about everyone, we take care of everyone, almost by definition, we put the well being of others before ourselves. The conversations expressed the same feeling I had had. Overwhelmed. As nurses, we have become overwhelmed in the last year. The overwhelm is as bad as the virus, its the unknowing in the very areas that we are the most confident in, our skills, our environment, our expertise. The shortage of resources, the division of certainty, the changing direction.
This is not the journey I want to share with you. It’s the journey back to certainty and confidence and most importantly health that I would like to share with you. I would like to share with all of you some of the resources that I received, that brought my health and certainty and knowing back. Certainly, I have a long way to. I am so grateful for the six months after my heart attack that I can see the whole experience as nothing less than an amazing gift. You see, in the months that followed I learned that I had no cardiac damage and no evidence of cardiac disease. Amazing!
The following six month has been an amazing journey.
Health Coaching – Personal Training – Yoga – Meditation – Healing – Reduced Schedule – Removing the Clutter – Dancing – Drumming – Creativity – Spirit
The pandemic world has brought us a lot of fear, illness, uncertainty, stress – but its also brought many gifts. So many extraordinary resources are now accessible to all of us in ways that really didn’t exist before this pandemic world. It has caused us to slow down, stay home, spend time with ourselves, our homes and our families. I invite you to explore this journey with me and hope that it brings you some of the clarify, confidence and health that it brought me. I will be posting resources on this page that I found to be the most meaningful.
My journey back began when a friend called me and said the most amazing thing “I want to coach you.” As RN and now an NP she is following her dream of assisting people in this stressed out world, back to health. She has made a business doing this, its brilliant! Her philosophy is simple, its not not keto or paleo or the newest diet craze, its getting back to basics, real food. Being conscious of what you put into your body every single day. This process was overwhelming. Reducing meat, removing processed foods, eggs, dairy and putting joy back into my diet. When we hit a wall, lose balance, when work and stress seeps into every ounce of our day and our body we wonder why it fails. I did.
At 55 I discovered that I could no longer sit in a cross legged position. I always thought I was kind of bendy, and I also thought I exercised. I don’t know when I stopped, but I did. This wasn’t just 2020, I had stopped taking care of myself as work overshadowed everything that I did. I was also running travelnurse, a home care company, a foot care business and looking after my father who’s health was failing. I’m not unique, I am a nurse of the worst kind, a critical care nurse AND a mother. Jeff tells me that this overwhelming guilt that I have was handed to me with my first child AND doubled with my nursing license. His insights make me laugh, because they are funny but also because they hold a crazy, ironic truth. So…. I was introduced to a personal trainer. This is the worst kind of hell……. its is being confronted with yourself, that self that you have ignored for so long, and it hurts, ALOT.
Adding to this some powerful personal healing, uncovering the layers of misplaced obligation, perfectionism, guilt through personal coaching and belonging in circle of woman who are working their asses off to become their authentic selves. Spirit, energy clearing and transformational yoga has changed the direction of my life. Paying attention, not to the day to day problems that distract from who we truly are, but to the spirit. I have learned to be more honest with myself, to dance again, to be creative and to invest in pleasure and joy.
The garbage we put into our mouths is a big part of the problem, but the garbage we put into our minds is worse. It 2020 it escalated with the news, the internet, social media – Covid, Black Lives Matter, Trump, White Privledge, Me too, Reality TV suddenly we were confronted by so much awful stuff about ourselves, our society. Could we still believe we are good people? If we are good people, how did we get here, and if we are not good people, where do we go from here? The most important lesson that 2020 taught me was a process for living my life……. “Hear it, feel it, action it and then forget about it.” Detaching from all of the information coming through every day is the most important lesson I have learned in this process.
Turning it off – I learned to turn it off and paint, drum, dance, exercise, mediate, ride a bike, play with children, walk, hike, plan a trip, sit in nature, watch the sky, chat into uncontrollable belly laughs with a sister or a friend or a stranger, swim, drift, dream. Phone and computer withdrawal is a thing, being connected has become part of who I was.
In many ways, my life is better than before and in many ways its the same, for better or for worse, its a journey to awakening and living in my own body and life, being accountable to myself, first.