Ever wonder what nurses who are passionate about “self-care” talk about when they get together?
Keith had invited me to share a blog post for his readers. I did, and am also reposting it below:
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During the first meeting of the year with my two “mastermind” buddies, Sue started us off with a centering exercise. As we paused to become aware of our individual surroundings, she invited us to first envision a clear whiteboard.
While I then expected to hear (and what she probably did say) was that there was a box of shiny “markers” next to the whiteboard. However, what I heard (and then visualized) was a box of shiny “erasers”!
Wow! I could tell this was going to be an interesting exercise, as long as I could graciously welcome what was there for me in that moment.
Step One: Pause. Noticing freshly what’s here inside now.
Hmmm. There’s the whiteboard itself – bright, shiny, and undisturbed – almost like freshly fallen snow. And there’s the box of shiny, multi-colored erasers. And nothing else.
Step Two: Turn. Letting go of any lingering need to do the exercise “right”, so that I can “be with” what’s here for me now.
Swiftly, some memories come:
- From earlier that morning, as I had begun inputting more projects and action steps into the new software I was learning: worried feelings of “Oh my god, there’s SO much to do” and “Don’t make the list any longer.”
- From decades ago, while I was still practicing bed-side nursing, whenever I would be assigned to a patient in isolation: a still not-understood/un-resolved “something” about the process of having to “gown up” (including mask and gloves) to be inside the patient’s room for an undetermined amount of time.
Step Three: Listen. Acknowledging, welcoming and hearing the “inner guest(s)” that arrive.
I find myself acknowledging the long-term relationship I’ve had with the decades-old “isolation room” experience– and recognize that the “felt-memory of it all” often stops by for a visit when I also feel overwhelmed by things that “need” to be done. There’s a sense that it’s also connected somehow to the overall concept of “time management.” It’s evident that there’s more to be learned here – and I let this old friend know I really want to take the time to get to know it better as the coming days unfold.
As I turn back to the still-present feeling of “there’s too much to do”, I notice several interrelated aspects unfolding within it:
- There’s a difference between those activities I “have” to do and those I “want” [and/or “choose”] to do.
- The software’s byline of “Simply Get it Done” brings a sense of comfort and ease inside of me – especially combined with a thought of including only those projects to which I have freely committed(in contrast to the necessary tasks/chores of daily life).
- Ahh……now the new software-related project begins to feel more like an “Integrity List” that helps me assure to get those things done that I truly WANT to do.
Noticing a “felt-shift” inside of me, another memory fragment comes – of gently cradling my kitty, Sheba on the examination table during a New Year’s Eve visit to the veterinarian. Ahh….it begins to feel inside as if there is room for me to breathe and grow…..together…..with my “want-to-do” list.
As the envisioning exercise draws to a close (could it really have been only 2-3 minutes?), two new words come into my awareness about the whiteboard and the nearby erasers: “Spacious ease”.
What a delicious transformation from where I started the exercise. And, I take one more breath to thank my body-mind-spirit for yet another of its luscious gifts—in return for my taking a moment to “Pause, Turn and Listen” inside.
Perhaps you’d like to experience a transformative shift of your own about something current within your own life. I offer private sessions that can help you do just that.
*Note: An earlier version of this post was originally published on January 17, 2013.