Sunday, June 16, 2013

Abundance Mentality...

You know when you go to something and expect nothing but leave a changed person?  When you are in a rut and you feel like you can't do one more thing and then you do and it's one of the best things you've ever done?  Has that happened to you?  Well, last week, it happened to me.

Last Wednesday, my work had a mandatory "team building" session for two hours.  It was scheduled for 3-5 and we were enticed by knowing when we were done, there was to be beer and wine and "heavy" appetizers.  The email to notify all of us went out a few weeks ago, when I wasn't on a "change my life and get thinner" plan so I was stoked.  I even asked the boss what kind of  "heavy" appetizers I was to expect.  But as the day rolled around and I became more committed to my health plan, I dreaded the whole thing. 

I sensed that the crowd that showed up felt the same way.  "Are we doing a ropes course?" one of the physical therapists said, and then another co-worker said, "Are we gonna stand around, hold hands and sing Kum-ba-ya?" to which we all laughed nervously.  All I could think about was the appetizers in the other room and how was I gonna make a clean get away...

The meeting started and I could see where the management team was going.  We are a great agency, a great place to work but we could be better and we, as employees, could be happier.  Sometimes, since we do such emotional and difficult work, things can slip...our work can and our relationships can.  There is no doubt that I let my personal relationships slip when I am so emotionally drained from supporting others.

They threw around terms like integrity, value added, and win/win.   I liked what was being said, hoped that we all heard the same thing and wished it was almost over.  I was starving, the food was in the other room and the beer and wine was chilling on ice in the room we were in.  I was thinking this wasn't a "win/win" for me...

Then our communications person began to talk about a trip she had been on and how it had changed her son's life.  She took him to a country with much less than ours and he noticed how happy these folks were.  He talked to his mother and wondered how can that be.  Then she used the term "abundance mentality" and my ears perked up.  Sounded like an interesting thing to really listen to.

She read the definition:   Abundance Mentality flow s out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

Wow...being a person or a business who works with integrity and caring, that understands that we all deserve to be happy and have opportunities...yes, I whole heartedly agree. 

It hit me...that's what this meeting is about.   It's not about making tons more money and having us work harder, because Lord knows, we all work pretty hard.  It's not about some nurse being better than another and getting paid more and bringing in more...it's about all of us being the best we can be, working as hard as we can and when we can't, having another one of us there to pick up the slack.  It's about having a family life and personal time to be a productive, positive member enjoying what we have.  And, finally, it's realizing our precious worth in this agency, in this town and on this earth so we can serve others joyfully.  That's what this whole team building thing was about.

I have worked in a lot of different areas of nursing and found my way back to this one.  I loved each one at the time and felt like I was serving.  But to go into a person's home, become part of the family and be a nurse is the best.  It feels like service but it also feels like what a person is supposed to do.  What it doesn't feel like is a job.  I am very lucky and sometimes I do get tired and sad and use the wrong coping mechanisms to deal with these things.  I learn time and time again that no one is perfect. 

Abundance mentality is a new concept to me.  I mean, not so much the concept of supporting your fellow man and giving to folks with less without thinking there will be none for you...but the definition of it.  It makes sense and makes me more aware of how I can strive to do my job and live my life every day...not worrying so much that if I give someone a piece of the pie, I might not get enough, but knowing that I can go out and find more pie or just be happy with the small piece that I get that day.

Oh, wait, I am not eating pie anymore!  But, the fact remains the same...if we go about our lives serving others without expecting in return, then the world will be a better place.  I also know that I feel better and more content when I am serving others than worrying about who's gonna serve me.  It just makes my life simpler and I like it that way. 

Thanks for listening to whats been rattling around in my brain...

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Thursday, June 6, 2013

An ordinary day...

Yesterday I went out to look for flowers to plant and ended up at Walmart.  I usually buy the plants that are half dead so they are cheaper and if I bring them back to life...great and if not, I didn't spend a bunch of money.

I picked up a couple of Columbines, some good looking pansies and a perennial called blood red, I think.  I was pretty excited about bringing them home and planting them in my beds.

On a whim, I walked through the book section to see what they had on the shelves.  I remember last time I was there, they had a bunch of books about heaven that I wanted to buy but were too expensive.  This time, they had the one I was looking for, "Proof of Heaven, a neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife" for 12 bucks.  I decided to buy it as I have been hungering for heaven these days.  Not in the way it sounds, but in the peaceful, comforting way that helps me do my job.  You see, I know a lot of folks up in heaven and I wonder what kind of time they are having.  Plus, it's just nice to be able to talk with my patients if they ask me what I think.  It's a comfort for folks when the end is near.  So, I read everything I can get my hands on that has to do with heaven.

I went to the cashier to pay for my flowers and my other things I picked up on the trip.  The cashier was overwhelmed and it took her forever to push the buttons on the computer for the lady in front of me.  Another cashier came over and tried to get me to go to her register, but I told her to let the guy behind me go first as I love reading the National Enquirer and it had the best and worst beach bodies edition on the cover...I wasn't moving.

Finally, the cashier started ringing up my stuff.  She got the flowers, the cat litter, the body wash and then stopped short when she picked up the book.  She looked at it for a long time and then ran it over the glass.  "Have you read this book?' I asked the lady...feeling like I was supposed to say something to break the silence.  "Yes, actually I just finished it the other day."  I asked her what she thought of it and the story began.  She just lost her 35 year old daughter to diabetes three months ago and was still in shock over all of it.  She told me she was raising her 15 year old grandson and her and her husband had to sell their home and move to the city so as not to disrupt his life anymore.  I stood there in silence and listened.  I looked for the line behind me at the register and there was no one waiting...so I just let her talk.  She talked of what a lovely person her daughter was and how she was sick for the last 10 years but they didn't think she was that ill.  She got pneumonia at the hospital and they called and told her she was gone.  Just like that... I told her I was so sorry and it must be so hard to be raising a teenager after you've done it.  She told me the hardest thing for her was watching this boy miss his mom.  

Then she put the book in the bag and told me how she felt so much comfort after reading the book.  How she was so unsettled and wanted to know her daughter was okay and reading this book helped her go on. 

While I gathered all the stuff I bought up, I kept saying I was so sorry...so sorry for her pain and that she lost her lovely daughter.  Then I headed out into the parking lot and took a deep breath...

Last night, I got in bed and read until I couldn't keep my eyes open. I got to a page where I found what I needed for the day...the part when the neurosurgeon was in a coma and wasn't in his body.  He was gone from us and was learning what he needed to learn, what we all need to learn:

You are loved and cherished...
You have nothing to fear...
Then he came to the last thought...
Love...without a doubt is the basis of everything.

That's what I think of when I think of heaven.  Pure love, something that I don't think I can fathom.  Maybe that's what I felt for a minute when each of my children were born but then the pureness of it was drowned out by the humanness of the world we live in. Sometimes, I think I get a glimpse of heaven when a person is in his last days and I watch the family love him/her until the last breath.  

After I read until I can't keep my eyes open tonight, I am going to offer up a prayer of comfort, peace and strength for my little cashier lady at Walmart, for her daughter and her grandson...and while I'm at it, I'm gonna throw in peace on earth and more kindness and unconditional love for the world too.

Can't hurt right?

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Such a lovely day...

The day started this morning at 4 am when Jim headed to the airport.  I got up to wish him well as he and his Queen met in Dallas and ended up in Guatemala tonight.   What an adventure that will be.  Those two, the Queen and Jim love to spend time together...it is almost electric to watch.  They love each other so much.

When the Queen arrived in our life, I remember Jim being in awe of this little person that was given to us, made by our genes, that we needed to watch over, love and care for.  He was so honored and it has carried their relationship for 21 years.  She is one lucky girl to have a father like him.

After bidding him a good trip, I went back to bed and slept.  It was glorious because it was a day that I didn't have to work.  I did have a patient to see but he is a love and it was good to see him.

I  came home and it was sunny and cool but lovely.  I started to frantically do chores....clean the kitchen, do laundry, mop the floors and get organized when I realized that I had the whole day in front of me.  I didn't need to rush and if I didn't get anything at all done...who would know?  Only me...

I lit a candle in my office and put on Pandora and folded clothes.  It was so nice to fold, hang and look out the window without a worry. I thought about my middle son away at camp learning to be a counselor and the joy I felt when the phone rang yesterday and it was him saying hello.  I screamed with delight!  As I folded, I remembered him at that camp when he was six and it was  the summer that we lived there as the camp nurse family.  We had the time of our lives and now he gets to do it again.  He told me that he hadn't slept in his bed but one night, which means he was under the stars the other ones, he has been playing the "heck" out of his guitar, and has laughed so much that he almost peed his pants.  I would say that is the start of an awesome summer.

I finished all the chores I wanted to do in the house and moved outside.  I swept the decks, watered the plants and planted a few more.  I planted a rose bush, a columbine and two filler plants that I don't even know the names of.  It was just a nice afternoon to play in the dirt and look at the sky and the colors of the day.
The tiniest of lilacs...the first year there is even a hint of flowers

A daisy is waking up to bloom
My rose bush that I paid 4.99 for because it got cold!
Of course, the lovely columbine

My youngest came home from baseball practice and I had to show him all my "doins".  I made him walk around the yard and admire my plants, look at the mopped floors with awe and notice that I had folded and hung all the laundry.  He humored me...which is always nice.  Really, why would he care at 16 years old?

After he had a snack, he and I went out and brushed and played with the dogs, had a few games of horse where I couldn't hit the basket if I tried, and then had a nice dinner.  Nothing fancy, just quiet and sweet.

I spent an hour on the phone with my brother in law talking about life.  He said something that was so profound..."people are people...some are strong and can handle anything and some can't.  It's just who they are."  I think I knew that but it hit me about so many things.  We are who we are and we handle things the best way we can.  

It made me think of families that handle the death of a loved one with quiet calm and the others that are yelling and fighting and trying to change things that are just not going to change.  Some families think if they just ignore the issue, it will go away or if they yell at each other enough, it will go away.  Neither works...I have seen both ways and when you have to climb a mountain to get to where you are going...there is no short cut...you have to climb the mountain.

After dinner, my youngest and I watched the "Hurt Locker" which I rented from the library.  I sat on the couch thinking that I hate war and I hate that we have to do war and that I would not want to send my son to war.  I also wondered how these soldiers experience what they do and come back here and we expect them to be normal.  I deal with peaceful death at home and I am not normal...so what about carrying a gun and shooting people is normal?  Anyway, that's what I thought of the movie.  I guess that part of the day wasn't so lovely, huh?

But, all in all, I have to say, I had a lovely day.  There is something about planting and playing in the dirt that is holy.  And you know me, I crave to connect to all things holy.

Got a call from Jim and the Queen and they are safely in Guatemala, happy to be together and excited to start building for the poor in that country.  

I say, whatever stirs your heart and soul is what you oughta do...be it sitting beside a person and their family cheering them on to the great beyond or digging in the dirt and planting beautiful color and seeds that grow into food.  Or, if you fly 5 hours from home, and build a house for people that don't even speak the same language...but you know they are just like you and want the same things you do...a warm place to tuck in the kids at night, and a world that holds love and peace as the standard...then do it.

Because, at the end of the day, you have to look in the mirror when you brush your teeth and you have to be satisfied with who you are..not me, or anyone else for that matter...just you.   As Uncle Silvestro told me today, "we are who we are and we do what we do..." yep...so I guess we just need to do it...

And today I did.

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,