Because sometimes, you just need to jump up on your soap box… Be it to celebrate the good, or to rant about the bad!
This is the place where venting is accepted , rambling is encouraged – and epiphanies are often experienced.
This column brings together findings and teachings of self help, self improvement, self revelation, and self expression.
It’s been a long time coming, but finally so many of us can now smile smugly along side in support of the gorgeous Jennifer Aniston ( # teamaniston)- as karma has now slapped Brangelina (aka # teamjolie) straight in the face.
I’ve always been a die hard fan of team Aniston. Not just because Jen has always been the lovely, sweet, down to earth, girl next door; and not just because Angelina was the tough, dominant, sexy, “I’ll take what I want”, home wrecker from way back. But because I too experienced exactly what Jen went through, not too long after in 2006. My (then) husband had an affair, and also ended our marriage to be with the other woman.
I didn’t cope with it very well at the time; so it’s pretty safe to say that I really hate even the thought of cheaters. Actually, that would be an understatement. But past life experiences aside, I really do feel that this week’s news holds a little victory for all of us who may have ever felt down-trodden, small, forgotten, or (dare I say it) even bullied by the alpha female… Aka the Angelina-type.
And for years I had imagined this day. The day that Jennifer would feel a sense of winning against the two people that tore her world apart way back then; and that all of us “nice girls” out there would finally see the mean girl pulled off her pedestal.
I’m now a 38 year old woman, so I can now handle what went down in my life around 12 years ago. I also realise (wholeheartedly) that I probably even dodged a bullet so to speak – in the love department; I’ve learnt sooooo much about myself, and gained an invaluable amount of life experience. But despite all of that, it’s still nice to raise a glass, tip your hat, or even just give a little wink to the universe in regards to Jen’s little karma-bitch-slap that went down with this monumental Hollywood goss announcement. But now after a day or so to reflect on Brad & Ange’s split announcement, and even after my own little personal rant above – I have now come to the conclusion that this is not something to be made a joke out of. This is so serious for them, and life changing for their kids. Divorce sucks, and it is something that I truly do not ever wish on anyone. After over a decade of feeling hard done by at times by the actions of my ex way back then, I now realise that the experience actually taught me a whole lot more than I ever knew.
It taught me that it’s important to be able to live on your own. It taught me how to enjoy my own company, and not just rely on others all of the time.
It taught me to realise what is truly important I life, and to not just settle for what is here and now. It taught me that I am stronger than I initially gave myself credit for. It also taught me that many friends will come and go in life, and many relationships will be affected by a break up – not just the relationship of the couple.
It taught me that life goes on, and despite the heartache, (and in the words of Gloria Gaynor), “I will survive”.
And with her fabulous life, Jennifer Aniston has proved that statement herself also.
Taking a bit of me time while the rest of the house sleeps… With a hot cuppa and a candle lit – just the right environment for a little reflection on what’s been , and time to think about my new intentions that I’ll set for tomorrow.
Feeling a little better that the full moon has past, and so has mercury’s retrograde – although I do have another night-shift looming… and that often can rock the boat a little.
Noting the little angel glow that’s visible only in the photograph above, and not to the naked eye – and feeling extra secure in the knowledge that we are never alone, and the universe has always got my back.
So deep and philosophical for 11pm on a Wednesday! 😇🌔✨
Enjoying the deliciousness of Honeydew & Violet’s Signature Scent ~ You’re My Honeydew.
Available via the H&V website:
True friends are like stars – you might not always see them, but you know they are always there.
No truer words could be spoken about two of my dearest.
Today we managed to catch up for a one hour coffee and a chat. Two of them both with either a baby or toddler in tow, and me now kid-free, due to the fresh start of school a few weeks ago.
As most women know, it is so important to take time out of life and have conversation with your pals; but for most mothers, this can often be a difficult task to achieve.
For the mother of the toddler, her time is spent up/down, up/down from the table trying her best to keep the little one from falling over and hurting themself, or from running off. For the mother of the baby there is time spent making sure the little one doesn’t get stepped on by the bigger kids whilst crawling, and that nothing off the floor gets eaten or inhaled. And for the childless one (aka me today, for the first time in like, forever) it was spent trying to keep up with what conversation we were on next – or did we even finish that one? Hang on, onto the next topic…. where were we again?
I’m sure so many of you can relate.
The conversation never stops. We all have so much to say, but just never enough time to get it all out. We’ve all got our own problems, and we’ve never got the time (or the company) to vent like this at home – so we quickly give each other a run down of where we are at in life, right here, right now. Each one of us sounding like a whole load of (as they say in San Francisco) “hot mess”. If you were a fly on the wall I’m sure you would think that we all need professional help, as our lives do sound like they are a complete shambles.
….But it’s not like that, really. We just know that we need each other to spill our problems out to once in a while. We need to dump all of our angst within those cafe walls, so that we can all soldier on and keep going. We know that we are all there for each other at any time – even if not physically, but we are only ever as far away as the end of the phone.
And as we part after that short, coffee-fueled, ‘therapy’ session – to go and get on with the rest of our days, I walk away with tears welling up in my eyes….
Not because I am sad; not because any one of us is really suffering; but because I realise that with the support of true friends you can pretty much conquer anything. It’s one of the warmest feelings to have in the whole world.
To know you are never alone. To have the permission to feel like sometimes it’s a bit of a struggle – but to be reassured that “that’s ok”. And to never be judged about it what might be troubling you. However big or small it might seem at the time.
In the grand scheme of things, we all know that we are pretty lucky for what we have in life, and our problems are all able to be fixed in the first world that we live in, eventually. But we are also human – and that too is ok.
Like most of us around this time of New Years celebrations, I begin to look back on what’s gone on in the year we just had. The challenges, the triumphs, and the lessons learned. And despite the amount of challenges we’ve faced I still am quite happy with the whole year overall.
I’ve noticed quite a bit of a somewhat coincidental trend this New Years, that many of my friends, and various media sources have been claiming “good riddance” to 2015. All I keep hearing is that 2015 was a year of deaths, divorces or destruction for many. But for me, I think that it has been a year of realisation, manifestation, and action.
Through a lot of hard work in terms of my own self-care and self-love, I really do think that I managed to have quite a fantastic ride through 2015. And the bonus ball of concentrating on your own self-love is that it radiates from you unconsciously, and tends to infect those loved ones around you also. I guess what I’m feeling is that good vibes are contagious.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that 2015 did not go without a few of my own uncertainties, but despite some struggles in the work-life-family-love balance in 2015, I made a vow to myself and an active decision to practice positivity and always find the best in the situation. From this, I realised that I was overworked, and over-extending myself to the point of self-destruction. With having too much on my plate for a long time, I was doing many things poorly – instead of concentrating on doing a few things really well. When I made the decision of what the most important things were in my life that deserved my attention, it was relatively easy to get the balance back in check.
By ridding my life of the things that were not “right” for me, including toxic people, and starting to say no to things that I really didn’t want to do, I can honestly say that life is good – my stress levels have lowered, my coping skills have improved and my personal relationships are much more harmonious.
The customary New Years selfie. Happy New Year peeps!
In 2015 my mantra was to do good things, look after yourself, laugh a lot, and love completely. And with that I managed to finally keep up with one of those age-old New Years resolutions we always make, and that is, to get a regular amount of exercise – to the point now that I have actually realised that keeping fit is not a chore, and it actually does make you feel good. I have prioritized good sleep habits (despite still being a part-time shift worker), which has helped greatly with my moods. And last of all, I have cut myself a bit of slack. I’ve realised that “you can’t be good at everything”, and I’m ok with that!
So in terms of what my plans, hopes and dreams are for 2016? I want to continue on with my current state of optimistic bliss. I know full well that the reality of life brings along it own set of challenges for us to deal with, but I intend to use any challenges I/we come across this year as lessons to be learned. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems, and things tend to happen for a reason – no matter how twisted it might seem to you at the time.
A lot can happen in 20 years, especially in terms of your own self-realization. With age comes wisdom, and with this wisdom of life experience – comes gratitude.
If you ever had the opportunity to re-visit your teenage years again, what would you tell yourself? And if there was not one bit of high school angst or animosity left to sway you, what would you say to yourself and do differently – if you knew then, what you know now?
After a long trail of psychological self-discovery, teamed with an extraordinary night out seeing so many old friends in the flesh once again – I have come up with the ideal advice I would give my teenage self…..
Dear 17 year old me…
First and foremost, please don’t over-pluck your eyebrows – they will never be quite the same again if you do.
Dear 17 year old me…
Forget about chasing all of those older guys, or those “bad boy” types. You cannot transform them, and you will not save them.
And while we are at it, you needn’t feel so desperate to have a boyfriend. A man does not define who you are. Being independent and spending time alone will give you strength, and help you become your own person – not just the other half of somebody else.
Let me tell you, enjoying your own company is something that you will come to look forward to as a real treat once you have a hectic family of your own one day.
Dear 17 year old me… Don’t stand for bullying.
Don’t bully by association, don’t bully by exclusion, and be strong enough to help out a classmate if they are being bullied.
I know it’s hard to stand up and make a statement, or go against the crowd at your age – especially when deep down all you really want to do is blend in, be accepted, and be “normal”. But I assure you, if your reach out with kindness to someone who is being bullied, you might just save a life one day.
Dear 17 year old me – YOU ARE NOT FAT!!!
And if someone told you that you were, then they should be ashamed of themselves!
If you start starving your body now, you are only going to distort your own psychological wellbeing in the interim; but then as a side effect – you might even wreck your body’s only chance at having a good metabolism later.
Don’t use food as a method of self-control, and try not to let food control you. Don’t get sucked into the roller coaster of food fads and yo-yo dieting. See food for what it is – it is something that fuels your body and your brain; or you will forever have battles with your weight in the years to come.
Just eat healthy, eat regularly, practice portion control, and exercise. Yep, that’s the secret.
Love yourself, and take pride in your body for what it is – but stop with the comparisons. Instead embrace what you have; because honey, you truly are beautiful!
Dear 17 year old me… Always remember your best friends.
These chicks know you. And they GET you. They will always accept you for who you are, and they love you. BFF’s are precious, they literally are like diamonds. Of course you will always go down different paths from each other along the way… but those good, real, down to earth girls who you always resonated with, are the ones who helped shape you.
And besides – they have been through it all! These are the girls that shared so many firsts with you.
They were probably nearby when you experienced your first kiss…
And let’s not forget all the rest of the naughty stuff that happened… Some of them might have shared your first puff on a cigarette. They held up your hair when you were so drunk that you vomited. You all probably snuck each other into night clubs… They lied to your parent’s for you, and you lied to theirs.
Let’s be honest – you guys would have taken a bullet for each other back then if need be…
Girl friends are the best!
Dear 17 year old me…
And while we are on the subject, your parents are not as naïve as you think.
They were teenagers once too, remember! Yes, I know there are a lot different challenges to face between the generations, but the dangers are still the same. Never be afraid to ask them for help if you are in a spot of trouble. Tell them the truth about where you want to go, and what you want to do – they might surprise you and say yes.
Dear 17 year old me…
Give the nice guy that has a crush on you a chance.
While you were too busy chasing around that so called “Mr Cool”, your real “Mr Wonderful” was actually right in front of you all along.
He was the one who truly liked you way back then, for exactly who you are. He loved the real you.
He would have treated you right, and built you up. He would have helped you gain that self confidence that you so desperately needed; not shatter it like those other guys who treated you so poorly.
You will regret it one day that you never went down that road and gave him a chance. But you will be over the moon to know that you will both end up completely happy down the track – both in love with the right person for you, and content in your own lives when you meet up again one day.
But for now, he is forever going to be your “What If?” guy.
Dear 17 year old me…
Be friendly with everyone, and always be kind.
Not that you were ever mean – although you did get caught up in the moment sometimes.
Don’t become blinded by the hierarchy of groups in high school. That “cool” crowd are not actually as cool as you think. Don’t become so obsessed with going to all of the right parties, having the coolest clothes, and making sure you are “liked” by the right people. None of that matters in the end. Because in the end, we all become friends.
When you reach 20 years on, you will be delighted to find that all of those walls have been broken down, and nobody cares about that kind of thing anymore. You will find that everyone is equal, and that everyone is lovely. What we all have now is nothing but respect and mutual happiness for each other, and for the individual achievements that we have all made in our lives – whatever they may be.
I am proud of you, 17 year old me. You have turned into a pretty decent person 20 years on. Just like the awkward caterpillar that eventually found her wings.
I wish that you never had to entail some of those stresses and angst of your teenage years – but I know that in the end, these are the things that have helped you bloom into the lady you are today. I guess it has made me realise that to really be *successful* in life, we need to experience quite an eclectic mix of both the good and the bad – or rather both adventure and catastrophe, in order for us to really thrive.
You still have your issues, your complexities, and your faults – but that’s what makes you, you.
I hope that your own daughter grows up to be a fortunate and happy soul just like you have; but we both know that she too must have her own experiences in life. Some will be positive, yet some might be negative. And when it is something negative, know in your head that eventually you will have to let her fall, and find her own way. Because that’s how we learn. You can always be there to give her a hug, and the encouragement along the way to try again.
I hope that when you reach my age, that you can be a wise teacher to your little one – as one of the most important things a person can have in life, is a good role model to look up to.
I realise now after 20 years that in many ways, shapes and forms – that I was lucky enough to have had this all along.
Even if I didn’t really appreciate it at the time…
I hope these influential people from my life know exactly who they are, because truly – I have nothing but admiration and respect for you all.
PS: *successful* means whatever you want it to mean… For you, in your life.
Part 3 of our Everyday Mindfulness Series is all about looking after yourself.
It’s about looking after your body, your mind, your home, your looks, your own self-confidence, and your own karma. It’s about finding little ways in your life that you can concentrate on YOU, and make yourself feel good on any random day of the week – no special occasion required!
Get so involved with your cleaning and housework that it makes you sweat –
I know in the heat of summer this is not hard at all to get a sweat on, but in the winter – well, not so much. But aside from this, I am a firm believer in getting a two for one deal; so if I am going to get sweaty and dirty, then I might as well get some physical benefit from it also! So invest in a cheap pair of wrist weights and ankle weights (I know that target have some very tidy priced versions right now), and strap these to you while you do the hoovering, hanging the washing, dusting etc.
And while you are at it, try to walk EVERYWHERE, as often as you can. If your life is busy, and exercise isn’t always that easy for you to schedule in, then this tip could do you the world of good.
Remember, incidental exercise can be your friend!
Find that little bit of fabulousness, and flaunt it –
Rock your own self-confidence, and own it. Put some extra effort into your hairstyle or make-up some days. You know how good it feels to step out of the salon with your new do – well then why don’t you try to make yourself feel like that as often as you can. Take a little extra time in the morning before you leave the house with your hair. Perhaps try a new lipstick colour – or even a different fragrance. A little bit of extra fabulousness is bound to boost your confidence and put a little spring in your step for the day. Especially when other people start to notice!
Create your own karma –
Do good things for others – for no reason at all, and for nothing expected in return. I believe that Karma is not a bitch, but instead she is a princess. So be good to others, and the universe will be good to you. The law of attraction really does work – as you attract what you give out (believe me on this one!)
Treat yourself –
Treat yourself once in a while. For some reason, we ladies (especially when we become mothers) always end up putting ourselves last. Well once in a while – buy that gorgeous top you saw recently in the store window. Or get a facial, a massage, or a little treat with your coffee. Have a bath, and then sip on a nice glass of wine while you do it!
Enjoy some little treats for yourself, and you will soon begin appreciate yourself (and what you do for everyone else) so much more. You are so worth it!
Acknowledge your anxieties –
It is ok to feel anxious at times. It is normal to feel moody, or get the blues – but try not to beat yourself up over them, as this might send you further into a downward spiral. Instead, acknowledge that this is not a permanent state of being for you, and aim to get on with feeling normal again soon.
Life is not meant to be a continuous roll of perfect happiness… we need to have those ups and downs to realise what really matters to us.
I remember an old plaque that used to hang on our toilet door in my childhood home which read:
“To appreciate the heights, one has to have been to the depths”.
And it’s so true. If you have never experienced any sadness or heartaches, then how on earth would you learn to treasure those good times?
But at the end of the day, try not to let your worries or sadness consume you. Recognize them, acknowledge them, rise above them, and carry on.
Take some time to smell the flowers –
And I mean this in both the literal, and the figurative sense. To me it means – keep your senses open to everything that comes your way, and appreciate even the littlest of things.
When I walk my four year old to pre-school each day, we talk about the seasons, and what differences we take note of at certain times of the year. We notice the colour of the leaves, and what flowers are blooming at each particular time. At four years old, she has a better knowledge of horticulture than even most adults I know….
But it’s not the names of the flowers that I want her to know per se… – it’s her ability to recognise these different flowers in and around different parts of our general community (and at different times of the year) that I find the more important skill.
It shows me that she is walking around with her head high, and her eyes wide open.
It shows me that she takes notice of her world, and of what is going on in it.
It shows me that she can understand that changes will occur in life, and she is ok with that. And it shows me that she doesn’t judge what she sees, straight off – Instead she can see it for what it is, but also accept the hidden beauty that often lies within.
Wow! If only she knew the meaningfulness (and the mindfulness) of her actions!
A stranger just made my day. A few simple words has given me such a buzz, and has literally put me on a high for the rest of the morning and well into the afternoon. Thank you so much, kind stranger.
This happened to me just the other day, as I was walking back from the usual Wednesday morning kindy drop-off. My head still amass with thoughts, and the stress of the hectic morning that we had just gone through was just starting to leave my body. But once a stranger broke my train of thought about my busy day ahead and delivered only kindness, everything suddenly changed for the better.
And it happened again the next day too – when I woke up to find a lovely comment from a lady (that I feel that I know, but have never actually met) about my work on social media. My mood was uplifted immediately, and I can thank those lovely people for it.
Positive words and acts of kindness can move mountains – well in the figurative sense they can anyway!
Kind words have the power to change someone’s day – or even save their life. There are definite shifts that occur within the universe when we practice acts of kindness, and often it can be the kindness from a stranger that is the most heart-warming.
Think about those times when you are walking down the street just like I was – simply going about your own business and wrapped up in your own thoughts… And suddenly, a stranger makes that effort to smile at you and wish you a good day. That simple act can be enough to spark a little smile to crease your lips upwards, and a slight rush of serotonin to the brain. Happiness can be contagious, and it is so easy to share around. In fact, it’s something that we should all share with each other more often.
In this modern society that we live in today it is easy to forget about the importance of human contact, human communication, and human emotion that lifts us up. Especially when we have the convenience of email, text messaging, Facebook messenger, Snap Chat, What’s App etc etc ect… It’s like we barely have the time (or the need) for even a phone call these days! But despite having all of our mod-cons and various devices that seem to take away that human connection – we can use these to our advantage as another lovely way to bring back kindness into other people’s lives. By connecting with through technology we can spread happy vibes to new and old friends all over the world, we can lift spirits and we can make people smile, all by the power of our smart phone and perhaps a cheeky little emoticon! Through both the world of blogging, and my fave social media hang-out: Instagram, I have made friends with many, and sent (& received) kindness with strangers for years.
For the most part, I find that Instagram is full of lovely people who just love to take the time to comment and compliment you, to send good vibes, and to say nice things; and our blog is now starting to attract this type of kindness from the community also. Never underestimate the power of an online compliment, as it can be just as uplifting as a face-to-face one.
So if you’re looking to find a little “daily dose of happy”, then all you have to do is start giving the kindness and compliments out to others, and it will all start coming back to you ten-fold, we promise!
Here are a few little feel good ways to start connecting with other happy shiny people (– and if they are not happy shiny yet, then they will be soon after you send out your good vibes to them!)
Kindness Cards. Deliver one of these little wallet sized rays of sunshine, and make someone’s day without expecting anything at all in return except your own good karma. For more info on this fantastic cause, visit www.wakeupproject.com.au
Get involved in a few Insta challenges. Kate Toholka just recently attempted to “break the internet with love”, and did a mighty fine job of it too with her recent 5 day #ibelievewecan challenge. It was empowering and uplifting for female entrepreneurs, and I am sure that many ladies made some good connections and possible collaborations from the project. Fat Mum Slim’s Photo-a-day challenge is also great to find new pics you admire and make new friends in the process if you comment; and Fox In Flats also runs a great little style dare a day challenge. Comment on people’s photographic work on Instagram, as it’s a great way to break the ice. Linking up with like-minded souls and commenting on their lovely shots on Instagram is also a great way of sharing compliments around and all of that feel-good stuff.
Download an affirmations app, or get yourself a box of affirmation-type oracle cards and start drawing out some daily inspiration – and then post those words online. Uplifting quotes are good for the soul, and sometimes it can be just what someone needs to see at the right time. Try Gabrielle Bernstein’s Miracles Now deck, or Danielle LaPorte’s #Truthbomb deck. Both of these are available as apps, or as the hard copy equivalent (and personally, I like both!). I believe that you cannot get enough positive affirmations in your life.
Read uplifting blogs, and then comment on the post with your thoughts. Let the author know that you admire what they wrote, and perhaps even share the post. I can guarantee your positive comments will not go unnoticed.
Just open your mouth and say something nice. It’s as simple as that to make someone’s day. So go ahead and phone someone, thank someone, compliment someone, let someone go ahead of you in a line, or even just give them a great big smile.
I’m not really the political type. I don’t have a major preference for any one party over another, and I don’t ever judge a party by just its leader – whomever he or she might be. I believe that there are flaws with all of the major parties, and I believe that the governing party should be changed regularly every few years. So when it comes to election time, I usually weigh up what affects me most at that stage in my life. But years ago when John Howard first started talking about the removal of penalty rates for shift workers, that’s when I began to get a little worried…
I have had a relatively long, and exciting critical care nursing career that I began in my early 20’s. I’m not over dramatizing what nurses do – I know that the public are well aware of the lengths we go to for our patients, this is why we are continuously awarded one of the worlds most respected professions every year. So why would the government want to penalize the people that do so much good for our society?
After a rather stressful nightshift recently, whilst my head was still buzzing – yet my brain was fried, I composed this letter to Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party of Australia.
An open letter to Tony Abbott – Please don’t disrespect our nurses. Shift work is NOT a lifestyle choice.
Dear Mr Abbott,
I am writing to you after just finishing a gruelling 12 hour night shift. I am tired, my eyes are sore, my head aches, and my body feels sweaty and dirty.
I am an Intensive Care Nurse, and last night I spent many hours resuscitating someone’s baby. My amazing team and I just saved a life. And in some way – perhaps from providing that glimmer of hope during one of their darkest hours, we have saved the lives of the child’s parents now as well.
You, and the Australian public need me. In fact you need my whole team. We are a group of highly trained and highly skilled individuals, who stayed awake all night – while the rest of the country slept in their nice warm beds. We left our husbands, wives, and our own children to go and care for the lives of strangers. We do this week in, and week out – and we do it damn well.
We do this ALL THE TIME, and at ANY TIME of the day and night.
You see in the world of clinical nursing, there are no boundaries to the hours of the day we work. We need to have a savvy team on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The sick do not stop being sick by 5pm on a Friday, and they do not miraculously get better just because it’s the weekend. And as for the holidays – well let’s just remind you that even more accidents and injuries occur during these periods.
I work long, hard, unsociable hours – but our camaraderie is paramount to get us through. And last night I saw camaraderie at its best.
But luckily (to sweeten what we do just a little bit), we get rewarded by our penalty rates. So when my body feels aged more than it should do because of the lack of sleep I get from staying awake all night, at least I get a little remuneration for it in the end.
And when my circadian rhythms are so messed up, and my hormones become imbalanced, and my immunity gets lowered from not getting the regular sleeping patterns that a “normal” worker would – And so on, and so on… (I am sure you get my drift).
But the hardest part is when I have to miss out on spending time at the weekends or holidays with my own family. So when I do come to work at these times, at least I get a little extra pay to make up for it.
And yes sure, as you have stated in regards to shift workers before: “If you don’t want to work weekends, then don’t work weekends”… But my contract doesn’t allow for that. I have to do my fair share of days, nights, holidays and weekends – we must ensure that the correct mix of expertise is available at all times of the day and night for the safety of our patients. Shift work is NOT a lifestyle choice for us.
I suppose I could go and get a different job and only work Monday to Friday… But then why would I waste these tremendous skills that I already have. I have been resuscitating people’s loved ones now for over 16 years. Intensive Care needs these skills, and our patients need us nurses that have gained these skills.
Intensive care needs us shift workers. We are a special breed. All nurses are.
What it comes down to is that we are the front line. As shift working nurses, we are providing the direct care to our patients to make them well again. At all hours of the day and night, we hold in our hands the most innocent individuals of our population – children.
I consider us to be like a bunch of super heroes – super heroes disguised in a pair of navy blue scrubs.
I’m not saying that you need to pay us the earth, just pay us what we are worth. And if you (and the public) need us to stay awake all night to heal these precious little bodies, then don’t take away our penalty rates. Give us this small reward for the amazing job that we do.
You need to be attracting nurses to the profession, not driving us away. And that is exactly what will happen if you take our penalties from us.
Is it really worth it?
Mr Abbott, one day you might be a Grandfather, and heaven forbid if your precious little darling ended up needing the help of this highly skilled team that I am so honoured to be a part of. Can you imagine if we all packed up our tools and went home for the day – just because it’s now past 5pm, and considered “after hours”?
Sorry, health care doesn’t work like that. We have a duty to our patients, and to their families.
I hope that you never have to walk inside the doors of an ICU. It’s a scary place to be. Not many people have it in them to do what we do. To keep it together in times of adversity, to keep a level head, and then to use our skills to save a young life.
It’s humbling. And it’s also very grounding. It really puts things into perspective as to what is important in life.
I hope that you can keep all of these points in mind, and show us the respect that we deserve. Please do not take away our shift penalty rates.
All of the diligent and deserving shift workers of Australia.
Dani is a thirty (something) wife, and mother of one. She is a jewellery designer, a small business owner, a writer, and also an Intensive Care Nurse – so a bit of a mixed bag of skills really. She tries to navigate life balancing her creative spirit vs her stubborn streak, by being mindful of her own thoughts & behaviours – having (finally) learned that positivity is probably the only thing in life that she actually can control.
A self-confessed Instagram junkie, based in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Her favourite things include power walking, window shopping, brainstorming ideas in her journal over a coffee, & relaxing with some cheese and a good red wine – all depending on what time of day it is!
So for this edition in our mindfulness series, we bring you some everyday ideas to get your communication flowing in a positive way. In this day and age of technology and devices, text messages and emails, we seem to have lost it a little when it comes to that old art of conversation. It’s not so much that we don’t have anything to say – it is more that we do not have the time to dedicate to the big long chats that we used to do. Has communication about ourselves, and keeping up with friends turned into just what we read about each other on social media?
Let’s look at a few more mindful ways that we can make the every day interesting again.
Keep a little bit on top of current affairs and events. Sometimes with all of the stresses involved in everyday life, you tend not to notice what is going on outside your own little bubble. Now I’m not saying that you have to read every paper, and catch every news feed throughout the day (In fact I would actually discourage this, as hearing too much negative current affairs can be damaging to your mood) – but just listen to some of the top stories every now and then. Learn a little more about what is going on in the world, both the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, local and overseas. It will broaden your conversation with others, and make for much more interesting chit-chat with your partner and friends too – not just the usual, mundane natter about what the kids are doing.
Learn a new skill – at least one new thing every 12 months. I have incorporated this into my life since I was a crazy teen… But it keeps things fresh! Some of my antics have been a little weird such as learning to fire twirl, a course on crystal healing, becoming a DJ, and doing a face-painting course for kids birthday parties (this is actually quite a handy skill to have to be honest, as what child doesn’t love a face painter?!?) – to the little more subdued including metalsmithing, yoga, learning how to have a baby, a small business course, learning how to build a website, writing, blogging etc….
Yes I admit – I do like to be creative, so I have no troubles coming up with ideas for this one, but all you have to do is simply go through your local community college brochure for ideas that you could try. You Tube is also a great source for the online learning and self-teaching of the weird and wonderful – Just ask my brother, he is the quintessential you tube convert, for sure!
I would love to try photography, and perhaps hula hooping in the future…
Practice passiveness. Not all of the time – just some of the time. Tone yourself (and your opinions) down a bit, and let others take the lead. Let other people in your life take control and make some decisions for a change!
I have a terrible habit of always “putting my two cents in”, and directing what I think should happen. Be it where my husband should park the car, the best way to cook something, or even how to hang the washing out to “my specifications”. But do you know what? In the end it doesn’t really matter!
By putting my two cents in and simply telling others what they should do, I can be perceived as a complete nag – so sometimes it is just better to keep my mouth shut. Now I am not saying that I have turned myself into a Stepford Wife or anything, but I have definitely been making an effort to let others find their own way…. Life doesn’t always have to run the way I think we should do it.
If my husband struggles and seems to take the longer way around – so be it. He will get there in the end, and will probably be happier for it!
Although this technique might sound like the opposite of conversation, by giving someone else the opportunity to take the lead it might actually open up the conversation floodgates in a whole new direction.
Date night. Try for at least one night a month to get out and about (one-on-one) with someone. Be it your partner, your mum, or a good mate. Get out for a meal with someone that you love to chat with. Here is where the suggestions above can come into play, as it gives you some positive feelings and plenty of conversation and new topics to chat about. Try and avoid gossiping, and try not to focus on just work and the kids… You might be surprised where the conversations go.
Just make that time available, and book it in. It is so important to catch up once in a while, and adult conversation really does reinforce your identity. You are not just that busy person who has too much going on all of the time – you are an interesting person with loads to say. Go on, and nail that work-life-love-friends-family balance.
Try not to judge. If you are experiencing a stressful situation, then try to free yourself from your own unnecessary judgements. Take a look at your thoughts and try to see what is really happening here. Break each thought down to the actual reality, and you will soon see that the situation really isn’t such a big problem after all. It is what it is… And it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think. When you take your judgements out of it, you also take away the drama and emotion out of the situation – so it should be much easier to get yourself back on track.
It is reality, but it is only a moment, and it will pass.
Be thankful. You are reading this right now – so on that fact alone you have good eyesight. You are educated and are able to read the words. You have access to the internet, and you must be using some sort of device to use the internet – so you must have a comfortable enough bank account to pay the bills. Chances are you have a child or two, three, four…. And so on and so on…..
No matter how down you feel, you can always look around you and break it down to its upmost reality, just as described in the previous point, and be thankful that you have the insight to see it for what it really is. Stop focusing on what you don’t have, and instead start celebrating all of the little things that are right in front of you. Because one day you will finally realise that these were the most important things in your life all along.
Embrace whatever your circumstances are, because even if they seem to be hard for you right now, it will pass – but things will only get better for you if you let them.
The interesting thing when it comes to looking after our own mental health – is that when you are feeling positive, and sending out that positive energy to the world around you, then happiness is just a given. You simply cannot help it!
But if you do fall off the wagon and behave in a negative way – be that negative thoughts, negative words, or an argument; then suddenly everything seems to plummet into a never ending of a hole of despair.
It’s a horrible place to be, and it can be difficult rut to get out of. Unfortunately though, focusing on the negative just brings you down further… Your mood becomes affected, and things just won’t go “right” in your world for that time. In a nutshell – when we get upset about one thing, then other things happen to make it go from bad to worse – the day spirals out of control, negativity gets attracted, and soon everything goes down the drain.
So, do your best to climb out of that hole and take some time out to try to re-set your mindset. Because the quicker you get back on track with the positive, the better you will feel, and the happy place will come flooding right back!
How can we do this?
Probably one of the fastest ways to re-set your current mindset is to physically remove yourself from whatever the negative situation is. Move out of, and away from the immediate environment that is getting you down. Whether that means taking yourself off for a quick walk around the block, or even just stepping outside to a backyard or balcony for a few moments – this initial distraction can be the first step to ridding yourself of those negative vibes. Take a bit of time out and get your head together if you can. Even if this stress is with a child and you cannot physically leave the situation, just move yourself a few steps away from the battle and re-group your mind.
A physical space that you can use for your “happy place” is a great thing to find. I am a huge lover of my community, hence I have found numerous little spots around my local area that are great for a bit of alone time. Park benches with a bit of a view are now like my own little oases in this bustling urban hub we live in. It’s a tiny patch of land, but it’s a perfect spot for a quick bit of (awakened) meditation and a re-charge.
Meditation for me does not necessarily mean that I sit down crossed legged, fore fingers and thumbs pinced, and humming my “Ohms”… But instead, I consider it to be a state of both relaxation and concentration ~ at the same time. I am relaxing my mind, but I am focusing on happy, positive thoughts, in the attempt to re-set my mind and my thought processes.
Composing your own selection of positive affirmations can be most helpful in shifting a negative mindset. Oracle decks and books can be a great help for ideas, but actively coming up with your own phrases will make the process even more personal, and perhaps even more beneficial to you. Seeing such positive words on a regular basis almost burns the idea into your mind – reiterating the positive thoughts and feelings, and subsequently making the change in your mood. It’s a positive habit to fall into.
To keep these affirmations fresh at hand you can easily enlist the help of a mobile app, write them in a journal or on a piece of paper, stick it on your wall, or keep one memorised in your mind. Then whenever you need it, you can chant it to yourself throughout the day for a guaranteed pep-up.
And last of all,
Get your gratitude on. Look around you, and be thankful for what you have. Easier said than done at the time, yes… But even the slightest bit of recognition and thankfulness for something in life is the key to saving yourself from that impending downward spiral. Even if you can only be thankful that you might be learning something from the situation, then this is enough to pave your way back to positivity.
And that is the bottom line. The final piece to the puzzle. If you can feel gratitude, then you cannot feel negative. You just can’t. I am not saying that you then must go on to save the world, bouncing from rainbow to rainbow – but you can actively make yourself feel better about your own situation at that time; which in turn rescues you back from of your own negative way of thinking.