The Struggle To Be Real

Everyday I struggle to be true to myself. My favorite quote is “to thine own self be true”. I try to live my life by this quote. What this means to me is to always be insincere, always tell the truth, always be my authentic, genuine self, never lying and trying to conceal the truth even if for a moment it hurts.

Sometimes, at work, I have a hard time with realness. I want to tell the whole truth and to ensure that I am continuously living my truth. I want to be completely grounded in who I am. But sometimes, I mess up. I get shy. I do this around my boyfriend’s friends and family as well. I get scared. I offer myself compassion in these moments. But sometimes, I wonder, what is it I am expecting myself to do?

Recently, I was talking to my travel nurse friend. Every time I talk to her she often gets the feeling that nursing is not what I am suppose to do. I believed that too. That maybe what I really should be is a writer. Or just doing something else in general. But it occurred to me that the feeling of inadequacy I often feel isn’t really related to hating nursing directly. It’s related to a feeling of lacking purpose. It’s related to a feeling of not having a good spiritual foundation right now from which to draw strength.

All my life I have felt like an outsider. All my life I have felt disconnected. Trying to belong only made me feel lonelier. But I still tried. Part of those feelings were attributed to that constant belief that maybe I am inadequate or not good enough. Part of those feelings come from feeling a disconnect from God. I need a spiritual practice. A good foundation.


Free Write: A Version of My Younger Self

There’s so many things I wish I could’ve said to my younger self. There are other ways to get closure. Don’t get back with that guy, his insecurities will only serve to stress you out. The people you thought were your friends are actually not a real match for you. Don’t be afraid to end a relationship that’s toxic to you. Trust yourself implicitly. The list goes on. But I would never say it because I would cease to exist and I don’t lament my existence.

Perhaps the one thing I would tell my younger self is that sense of purpose she feels in her soul, cultivate it and don’t let anyone or anything detract her from nurturing that fire within. Cultivate your purpose. Figure out what it is you like to do and do it well. Do it to the best of your ability because how you do what you do, no one else can do. There is only one you.

If reincarnation is real, I’d like to come back with the sole purpose of focusing on writing and cultivating my spiritual gifts. Falling in love with the Divine creation in the mirror is a lifelong task that I am happily engaged in on a daily basis. True love. A transformative love. I would pass this information on to my younger self. I have asked myself, “how would I say it so that I can get my message across to her?” Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Creation of the Divine,

Know that you are worthy and loved. Know that you are a beautiful reflection of the Divine because He made you in His image. God loves You, for You. There is nothing you need to prove or do that could add or detract from His love. You are not required to act like anyone in order to experience His loving grace and mercy. You are not required to be with anyone in order to experience His love and support. You do not need anyone’s permission to live your best and greatest life. Forgiveness is an energy that liberates the perpetrator and the forgiver. Forgive others, forgive yourself. In your forgiveness, you are not required to take anyone back, keep them around, feign niceness, or try to make a relationship work that you know is broken. Open your heart to new possibilities. Trust yourself. Love yourself for God loves you. Allow yourself to explore and discover who you truly are without guilt or remorse. 


Your older self

A Lesson in Conservation

Dear blog,

In many ways I’ve chastised myself for not being like my mother. In truth, I am like my mother in the belief that I must give to my very last. This has taken a toll on me. At work, at school, my body felt exhausted for years. 

With curiosity, I’ve been looking at my life. I say yes when I want to say no. For example, in an attempt to be as seemingly kind as my mother I say yes to tasks I want to say no to. For example, picking my cousin up from school or helping my boyfriend write his college papers. Sometimes, I don’t feel like spending time with him while he smokes pot and plays video games for hours, leaving me feeling starved for affection and neglected because he made a decision for himself that I bombed not cuddling or spending quality time with me despite wanting me to be I’m the vicinity almost all the time. 

At work I overextend myself at work when I tried to remain on day shift so as not to appear lazy when in fact I just hated the feeling of being busy. I overextended myself when I try to do everything myself and not ask for help at work. I overextend myself when I opted to commute over one hour each way to work three times a week for people who ill-treated me. Money was not incentive enough. 

Sometimes, I try to go at a pace that at times is too fast for me. For years my body asked me to slow down but I thought that would be lazy of me. I still had life in me. My limit was death.

I have found that over the years I have gained weight from overeating and undersleeping. Last term my mind felt like it was constantly racing and I was constantly under pressure as I took on too much responsibility. In the span of two months I acquired a boyfriend, a dog, a new job, a difficult with difficult and demanding subjects, and family members who wanted me to help them more. I was exhausted and felt crushed. I had some common migraines and tension headaches. In addition, I failed a class (with a B-) and now have to retake it.

 I understand the meaning of the words “slow down” now. I understand the importance of conserving one’s time, energy, money, and resources for oneself. I am learning what it means to matter to oneself. The same things I have expressed to my mother about her overextendimg herself, doing too much, not letting people carry their own weight are the same tips I need to give to myself. It is truly important in order to lead a happier life. I am learning what it means to say, ‘I matter!’ Because I do. Because my life depends on it. My happiness and well-being depends on it. 


After my experience in counseling, I learned to create a permeable bubble that allows me to keep my “stuff” separate from other’s “stuff”. This has been good for me as I work to untangle myself from my family. At first I felt great. I felt lighter and freer. I felt happier. Then, I started to encounter my own stuff. The stuff that originates from the mind.

One of the things I’ve noticed since allowing myself to untangle is the judgement I place on myself. I can be very hard on myself. I bash and chastise myself whenever I make a mistake. The other thing I noticed about myself is the need I feel to control everything. This need to control everything shows up in my shoulders and in my body as tightness. It’s like I’m clenching down trying to hold something in place that wants to move. I’m trying to control it and keep it tightly down and in my control. During a visualization exercise in which we work with imagery, I saw myself holding on tightly to a tree as I tried to brace myself from getting blown away by a very strong wind. Then I heard in my mind that I’m not in control of anything. My shoulders hurt as I clenched even tighter to try and hold on to the tree branch that is rooted deeply within the ground. It is unmoved by the strong winds that blow in its direction.

Lately, I’ve found myself getting present. In the present moment I feel awake and connected. However, not long after I feel gripped with fear. I feel like something is in the room with me. My mind starts racing and I think that if I don’t spend time in my head thinking, trying to control what likely could happen, I’m not doing the right thing. I am whisked away from the present moment again. Anxious. Scared. Not able to focus or regroup.

I talked about this experience in counseling. This fear that creeps in after finding myself fully in the present moment. What is the fear? I have a lot of curiosity surrounding it.


Why Did I Become A Nurse?

Last week, when I visited my counselor, she had me lay down and do some mindfulness technique to assist in alleviating the headaches and grounding. Grounding is somewhat difficult for me it seems and as a result of this I tend to get a lot of pressure-like aches in the middle of my forehead where my third-eye is. I was able to seat myself in my heart-space again. Doing so led me to reconnect with my own inner voice and essentially pick back up where I left off.

It seems as though I’ve been asleep for so long because I’ve been unconsciously doing what I was told I should do but not quite allowing myself to be conscious of why I’m doing what I’m doing. A lot of emotions have been coming to the surface since that last session. A lot sensations and questions.

One of these questions is Why did I become a nurse?

It often feels as though nursing is so left field from every other aspect of my life, what I want, who I want to be. I couldn’t seem to remember where the decision to be a nurse came from. I felt so consumed.

I’m starting to remember. Nursing for me wasn’t about the work. It was a means to an end, a way to support myself as I focused on what truly mattered to me in life, spiritual growth and expansion, as opposed to moving up the corporate healthcare ladder, the politics, the science itself, etc. I think at some point my own spiritual growth scared me, particularly when I began to ‘see’ and ‘hear’. I didn’t have an adequate support system at that time and found myself trying to lose myself in what felt safe and familiar.

In essence: I’ve been running from myself because I didn’t like what I had to say and I didn’t like what my inner self was showing me. Deeper still, I was scared to trust the information I got because nothing around me seemed to validate it.

External validation and validation seeking has played a significant role in my life. It seems as though I’ve always looked for someone somewhere to tell me that ‘I am okay’, that what I feel, think, do, want, say, is okay. As a result, I ignore my own inner messages unless they are confirmed.

I want to be on my own team and support myself in the way I wish my mom, my dad, my friends, onlookers who witnessed injustice would. I want to give myself the validation I often wished I had growing up, in school, in college, in the workplace. I want to be on my side, to support my own dreams, desires, wishes, growth, and expansion. Every energy in this world is not supportive. Every energy in this world is not my friend. But I want to be my friend and support myself. I want to listen to and counsel myself, to talk to myself, to get to know myself and rebuild those lines of trust and connectivity so that I’m not running myself into abusive external situations anymore hoping others will see what is impossible for them to see.

I remember why I became a nurse now. I became a nurse because I wanted the flexibility to come and go as I pleased without having to be bound to one job, one space, one company, one city or state. I chose nursing because I suspected that my spiritual evolution would one day require me to branch out and I needed a flexible enough option in order to do just that.

Trusting The Process: Boundaries

I’ve learned that much like romantic relationships, friendships, family, it’s important to set boundaries with work. It’s important to understand what works for me and what makes me comfortable. The keywords here are: what makes me comfortable. Boundaries, setting limits that allow you to feel safe, is a very personal thing. It’s not something that one can compare to others or use others to decide what will and will not be okay in one’s world. This is how we end up feeling very unsafe and get ourselves into trouble by losing touch with ourselves.

When I started nursing, I had very loose boundaries. My intention was to give and give and give until I had nothing left. I never quite understood what it meant to have one’s “cup fulleth over”. And in my ignorance, I often felt that one had to sacrifice all of who they were in order to be a “good nurse”. As time progressed, and as experience would have it, I burned out. Many times. This tends to happen when you don’t set boundaries for yourself. You reach a point where you have nothing left to give to yourself. It’s important that we take care of ourselves, particularly in a service profession. You need to take care of yourself first. I believe that it is from my ability to take care of myself first that I give my best to others, not from my inability to do so. I often think about all the safety videos they provide to us in hospitals. Before entering a patient’s room who is on airborne, contact, droplet precaution, it’s important that we first put on our own safety equipment. That’s a boundary. A very important boundary at that.

One of the things I’ve been examining over the last few months is why my boundaries were so loose with work to begin with. And one of the things that I came to realize is that I often time I proceeded to look for jobs out of a place of fear and lack. This is a big deal. It’s also very common for people to do. If you believe that there aren’t enough jobs to go around, if you believe that you will never again get the thing you want, then you hold onto it so tightly, give up so much of what you value, and compromise yourself in order to keep it. I didn’t trust in the process of life.

I’ll share my story here:

About a year ago, I decided not to purchase a house in an area I loved, in a state I adored and ended my travel nurse contract short so that I could take a position in the neonatal intensive care unit in my original hospital of employment. It was the first hospital I ever worked at. I cried. Despite desperately wanting a change from the world of med-surg, I knew I didn’t like working at this hospital. Every nurse knows about the variety of cultures that exist from hospital to hospital and from unit to unit. But I accepted the position because I really wanted to explore the world of babies. That was the start of the most difficult, isolating, and lonely year of my nursing career. I loved the babies and the NICU was no where NEAR as stressful as my experiences with med-surg. But I felt so incredibly alone in that place that I often found myself going home crying. I’ve written about my experiences with my preceptor when I first started and how it seemed to corrupt the entire space of the NICU for me. I trusted few, I spoke even less. During that time, however, I was able to get into graduate school. The school I originally wanted.

I truly believe that my experiences as a travel nurse combined with accepting the position in the NICU was exactly what I needed to get in. I was able to get a recommendation from someone at every hospital I worked at during that time. In addition to this, it gave me a reason to ask to cut my hours back to part time hours. But it wasn’t enough. I found myself still burning out. Though I wasn’t physically exhausted, psychologically, I didn’t feel right. I took myself to therapy. I told my therapist that the thing I have discovered the most about myself is that I have a hard time surrendering when it comes to work. I went over my entire process with her to fill her in on where I am right now. I told her that I have a hard time telling the truth about what it is I want with my work life because I’ve afraid nothing better will ever come along. I remembered praying and hearing the question: What would it take for you to leave this situation? I said “More money, closer to home, good benefits”. Within two hours I received a call from a hospital I had not applied to in 2 years. The conversation went like this:

Recruiter: “Hi, we have your resume saved on file and I saw written on our notes with you that you’re currently working in the NICU? We were looking for someone who was willing to cross train to labor and delivery and was wondering if you’d be willing to do that?”

Me: Well…(tell the truth) I’m actually looking to do something more in line with what I’m learning in school. I’d like to work in something like progressive care or telemetry…

Her: We actually have those! Let me pull it up here…What shift do want?

Me: I’m open to all shifts actually…

Her: Well, we have a day shift but we would be more than happy to have you do either/or or both. The only catch it’s that it’s not in the area near where you currently work. It’s actually located in _____.

Me: That’s actually 15 minutes away from me!

Her: Really? Awesome! Does that mean you’re interested?

Me: It sounds promising. But might I ask, what’s the pay like?

Her: It depends on experience. I see you have 4 years? So around __ an hour. And that’s the base rate. It goes up with weekends and night shift.

It was more than what I currently made an hour base rate. Almost $5 more!

She went on to explain the benefits and they were exactly what I looked for. I hung up the phone and I was in awe. How was this happening? I wanted to cry. I finally saw that I had options and didn’t have to stay in a situation that made me feel lost and confused. I felt empowered.Now, I didn’t take the position. What?! I know. But as my energy started to return I found other positions became more readily available to me, closer to home, more pay, greater flexibility. I took a different position. It was a huge lesson to me about trusting the process.

I’m at the point now where I no longer fear losing my job or letting a position go that isn’t conducive to my own health and well-being because I understand now what it means to trust the process of life. I’m also aware now of the difference between walls and boundaries. Walls are rigid entities that keep me in and everything else out. Walls keep me from learning and growing. Boundaries are flexible forces, they keep me (and others) safe while allowing me to interact in a healthy way with my environment. They are important. I understand now that trusting the process means moving out of a place of lack and moving forward even when I cannot see the path. It will be okay. I will be okay. 


The Slow Lane

Dear blog,

As you know, I’ve been meditating a lot more to find my center. I wrote in my diary about discovering my need for meaningful solitude and grounding in my life. What I didn’t expect was discovering in myself my own innate desire to slow down even more, to disengage from the hustle and bustle, and to enjoy a life that is unhurried and eclectic, without labeling myself as lazy for walking my own path and going at my own desired pace.


Taken from:

Grounding means that your spirit is anchored to your physical body as well as the Earth. While attempting to Ground, I was asked in meditation if I wanted to be here. This has always been an obstacle to my grounding, allowing myself to be fully present on Earth and connected to my own body. Answering this question took time for me. As I explored the question, I found that what came up in me was the idea that Grounding meant disconnecting myself from my own Spiritual growth and losing touch with that connectivity to the Divine. Greater still was my own innate fear of experiencing the pain and discomfort that often came from being present and acknowledging the energies around me. Nevertheless, what I realized was Grounding would allow me to do something that I have wanted to do for a long time: reconnect with myself, and would help in reintegrating myself mind, body, and spirit as a whole. Many of us know that it was our choice to be here. Not many of us know that part of Grounding involves some level of wanting to be here. So I wiggled my toes, explored my soul, and discovered that I do want to be here, even if I didn’t want to be in my present situation. I also saw that my present situation was a choice I made, whether conscious or unconscious that I could change.

Through frequent/consistent meditation, I found that what I needed (and what I’ve denied myself for so long) was meaningful solitude. What does that mean? It means taking time away from all of the noise of my daily routine, the hospital, coworkers, workplace drama, and family to sit and look inward, to write, to observe, to pray. When I look inward and ask myself what really matters to me, it’s not work, it’s not money, it’s not coworkers or work place drama, or whether or not I’m liked or “productive”. I’m aware of what my ego mind says, “What would happen if I didn’t tell you all the things you have to DO?” But what I found was the desire to go at a slower pace, to truly take time to savor life, to enjoy it, all while undergoing my own transformation.

I just want to do what feels right in my heart and soul. 

Sometimes I think that if I could go back and redo life I’d come back solely as a freelance writer because words are my chosen form of artistic expression. I currently lead a work life that I’d like to walk away from. I can’t take anymore noise. I need peace. I dropped down to part time work recently but my soul would like to leave the hospital setting altogether. I can’t take it anymore. Everything in me as been pulling away from it over the years and now I find myself on my last leg as my soul continues to want to move away from the crazy and towards the beauty and solitude of doing only what feels good and right in one’s own heart. I’ve asked God about this. I’ve meditated on this. It truly is time to close the door on this chapter of my life as I continue on in the process of Surrender.

My heart and soul currently choose to walk a path that may be deemed A Life In the Slow Lane.