THIS IS THE ARTICLE (minus pictures) THAT I SUBMITTED TO ALLNURSES.COM THAT GOT ME BANNED FROM THEIR WEBSITE RECENTLY. THE ARTICLE WAS REJECTED AND I RECEIVED A MESSAGE THAT I WAS BANNED FOREVER FROM ALLNURSES.COM…FOR BLATANT ADVERTISING/SOLICITATION!
Sheesh?!!! All right already! I’m banned for life! Wowsers!
In their eyes, I was blatantly advertising. I, personally, don’t see it that way but it’s certainly their prerogative to accept or reject submissions. Gosh?! Maybe I was blatantly advertising? I’ll even give them that much. There’s no fight from me…I go peacefully.
The gift is that I was not devastated or depressed afterwards! The miracle was that I had permitted myself some trial and error…I had allowed myself to try and fail…I had allowed myself to express myself…I had allowed myself to publicly speak about something I cared about…I had allowed myself to take a chance.
And the bottom line? I risked rejection, got rejected and was not disintegrating?!!!
I had followed my heart and, by first appearances, it didn’t lead to success. Yet, I was not curled up in a ball in the fetal position? That’s the most important thing that occurred as a result of this.
How was I able to take it so well? I attribute that to listening to and trusting my body and intuition, calling on my mind to serve my body (and not the other way around), using the exact same tools on myself that I use with clients, seeking support and coaching from people I trust and tapping into the deep well of self compassion that I now have inside me. How did I get this deep well of self compassion? It came from the realization that I was operating in the world for decades with close to zero self compassion…it came from bottoming out on that…and becoming willing to do whatever it took to learn to stay with myself, no matter what.
What do you think it takes for a person to become less brittle in the world and willing to allow themselves a little trial and error, a little less perfectionism? I know what my answers are…what are your thoughts…?
I already know what I know…and I like what I know…what about you?…your best insights will come from you…what wisdom do YOU have about allowing trial and error in your life? what do YOU believe? how’s YOUR well? If you’re like most people, there may be some roadblocks inside you and, YET, your answers are also inside of you…of that, I am certain. I’m happy to help with roadblocks and to journey with you as you discover you.
And so before I share the article…first the awesome words of Katy Perry…
“This is the part of me / That you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no / This is the part of me / That you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no / Throw your sticks and your stones, throw your bombs and / Your blows / But you’re not gonna break my soul / This is the part of me / That you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no!”
And now, without further delay,”THE ARTICLE” (it’s about being laid off):
When IT happened a little over a year ago, it felt so surreal?! I was at home that morning sitting on the couch in my usual spot, drinking coffee and talking with a friend on the phone. It seemed like a call had tried to beep through, so after I got off the call with my friend, I checked for messages. There was a voicemail from the Director of my department of all people?!!! She was requesting to speak with me. I called her back right away and, at her request, agreed to meet with her within the hour at the hospital. I joked with my husband as I was about to leave, “Well, honey, they’re giving me a raise today. Yippee!” We both laughed and then got that kind of serious look on our faces that begged the question, “What else could it be?”
Well, when I arrived at the hospital, it quickly became apparent what else it could be. I met the Director and another manager (not known to me) and the three of us went into a back office. There was a folder with my name on it and my Director began speaking. She said that the hospital had been taking actions for a while to try to prevent having to downsize staff but unfortunately they now found they had to. She explained that the whole hospital system had been gravely affected by the new insurance regulations. Procedures and surgeries that were previously covered were no longer being covered and there were more regulations than ever in place with less reimbursement by the insurance companies. She admitted that management’s decision to open a sister hospital in a nearby city during this recession hadn’t helped. Consequently, our hospital’s census and revenues were way down.
It was true. The low patient numbers and the new regulations had directly affected our department. In our department, we screened patients for surgical safety prior to their admission to the hospital to have their surgeries. When I first started in the department at the beginning of the year, the daily caseload was enormous! I could see why they had hired me and I felt good that I could be of help. Almost one year later, the picture had drastically changed. Patients simply weren’t being admitted because the insurance companies weren’t paying. And the unemployment situation didn’t help! It meant that less people were employed so less people were insured. There was one more thing. I had been the last nurse hired into the department and that made me the one with the least seniority.
The bottom line was this: My Director expressed how terrible she felt having to do it but explained that my job had been eliminated and I was being laid off!
Thinking back, I remembered how the full-time nurses had been giving up their hours so that the part-timers (me being one of them) could get our hours. It all made sense. Less insurance coverage/availability led to less patients, which led to less work for us, which led to layoffs. I got it. It wasn’t personal…it was business.
Here’s the strangest part of that day…the day I got laid off from my nursing job at the hospital…the day I should have been devastated and scared out of my wits about the future…the day my whole world changed…I wasn’t scared and I wasn’t devastated!!! In fact, something inside me SMILED! I was actually smiling through the few tears I had shed initially. I was happy and I couldn’t hide it. I explained to my Director that I understood the situation, I completely accepted that my job was ending and I thanked her for being so good to me — after all she had initially sat in on my first interview and we just sort of always “clicked.” She had privately told me on several occasions to call on her anytime I ever needed more help than I was getting from my charge nurse or my co-workers in the clinic. And although I never did call her for private help, it sure was nice of her to offer.
I signed some paperwork after we discussed the terms of the severance package. Then my Director and the other manager escorted me to the next room where I met briefly with a psychologist who was waiting to counsel all of the laid off employees before they left the hospital that day. I later found out that all-in-all 175 other people were laid off from the hospital over a three-day period that week. They had beefed up security on campus and everything?! It was strange to be living through it and yet I was very calm.
During our brief visit, the psychologist noted that I had been crying and said he could see that I was pretty upset. I thanked him for his concern and said to him, “I cried because I love this hospital and because I’ve never been through anything like this before. The strange thing is that I didn’t cry because I lost this job. I know that the patients will be well taken care of by the other nurses. I KNOW it’s time for me to do something else with nurses…I’m just not exactly sure what it is?” He looked at me quite puzzled and complimented me on my attitude. I thanked him, we shook hands and I left.
I have to admit that I was surprised by my reaction when I was laid off. Surprised and yet I felt like I was floating on air…calm and weightless…unshackled…unburdened…less tense. But, these were not the feelings you were supposed to feel after hearing such devastating news, right? How could I be feeling happy and playful and even kinda curious? How? I now know that was my intuition shining through and beginning to guide me…if only I would listen.
Well, it’s been a little over a year since that little internal smile came over me after being laid off and it’s now turned into an official GRIN and often times GIGGLES! It seems that I was given a tremendous gift that day…I was given the gift of time…time to pursue my true passion: learning to trust my body and intuition. According to the smile on my face, intuitive living is the truest form of disease prevention that I could choose. Intuitive living is based on trusting signals from the body, emotions, soul and spirit as well as using the mind to serve the body (and not the other way around). After being a mysterious, hit or miss type of proposition for years, I am living intuitively and it’s really quite fun!
I have a theory. I believe nurses are some of the most intuitive people on Earth…there’s just one catch…we simultaneously become experts at ignoring our body signals and intuition (for many reasons). At least that’s been my experience. It certainly accounts for my lifetime struggle with my weight and my unwillingness to listen to my limits or honor my healthy boundaries in various areas of my life.
As I’ve said I’ve been given the gift of time. I’ve stopped ignoring my signals. And I am honoring them instead. Can one committed person teach, support and act as a witness for other people as they learn to honor their own intuition and signals? Absolutely. My belief is echoed in this ancient Chinese proverb that I’ve modified just a little bit: “Give a woman a fish and you feed her for a day. Teach a woman to fish (within herself) and you feed her for a lifetime.” It’s my belief that our intuition is always guiding us, we
just need a little help and encouragement to listen. Often times it gets drowned out by our much louder thought life.
What am I going to do with this gift of time? I have decided that this is the time in my life for me to nurse the most important body that I will ever nurse: MY OWN! And my heart is telling me that there are other nurses who feel the same and who desire to live more intuitively, more authentically and less stressed. My heart is telling me there are other nurses who are ready to blossom, who aren’t afraid of exploring different perspectives and who want to have more fun in their lives! My heart is telling me there are other nurses who want to have more of a voice yet who know it’s not about “the blame game.” I know there are other nurses who “get” what I’m talking about…I know it.
Are there ways to be happy and fulfilled no matter what our outside circumstances are? Even after being laid off for instance? Yes. It can begin with following your internal smile.
With love and gratitude,
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