Thursday, March 5, 2015

Have Mercy!

 Have Mercy- as quoted by Uncle Jessie

Definition:  a compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion; compassionate treatment of those in distress

Synonyms: charity, clemency, forbearance, lenience, leniency, lenity, mercifulness                    

Friday nights prior to joining a youth group in my high school days consisted of good tv and junk food.  One of the shows was Full House, a show about a widower, his three daughters, their uncle and his buddy who all lived together in one house.  Uncle Jessie always had a saying when he got a good kiss or something great happened for him- Have Mercy.  Elvis has been heard saying the same thing in his movies and interviews.  Believe it or not, that has stuck with me for the past decades. 

Mercy.  It is a good personality trait for a nurse.  Imagine what a health care professional would look like without the ability to show compassion, or to be caring?  How would that promote healing and health management?  Would you want to stay in a place, like a hospital, when the staff treated you like a piece of meat?  I shudder at that thought.  Putting mercy into the mix, allows for compassion- a genuine sense of concern,  caring and relationship building.  These are the basis to healing- be it physical, emotional or spiritual.  Mercy means that you look at at a person and feel sympathy for them and you act based on that.   

While preparing to write today, I learned of three degrees of mercy: 1. Acts of mercy 2. Words of mercy and 3. Prayer (to reach out where acts and words can’t).  Acts of Mercy could be as little as a shoulder squeeze to a hurting co-worker, buying a cup of coffee for a coffee lover who is having a bad day, a smile to a grumpy fellow commuter, a back rub for a loved one who is stressed.  Words of mercy can be as simple as “I forgive you,” “blessings upon you and yours;” and “I care. I am here.”  Prayer is an important one- when you cannot act, cannot find the words- pray.  Your Higher Power will take care of the needs of those of whom you are praying for. 



May you experience mercy today.  May you show mercy today.

“Teach me to feel another’s woe, to hid the fault I see, that mercy I to others show, that mercy sow to me. “ Alexander Pope.

“I believe in the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.” Thomas Paine

“A bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.” Pope Francis.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chill, Dude... the art of being laidback

Being Laidback Can Be a Good Thing for Some...


Definition: Relaxed and easygoing

Synonyms: Free and easy, casual, nonchalant, unexcitable, imperturbable, unruffled, cool, even-tempered, non-confrontational, low maintenance, calm, unperturbed, unflustered

Boy, oh boy is this topic ever one that I learned how to become, and did so in a hurry!

I once was the complete opposite: excitable, lead by emotions, and could unravel at a moment’s notice.  I had to become the easygoing person that I am, because not being so cost me friends, promotions, love, trust and much more.

A good example of this would be about 7-8 years ago.  I was working at a remote location of a homeless shelter.  It was close to the time that we woke everyone up and got really busy taking care of their needs.  I had been scrubbing and cleaning all night, with disposable gloves on.  I had looked down and found that my engagement ring was not on my hand.  I went into panic mode- as my co-worker and I had taken the trash out and I had no clue where my ring was.  I began to cry, begged my supervisor to let me go home and see if it was there and just started to think all the negative things that could have happened to my ring.  He was patient with me, set me up in a quiet room to gather myself and allowed me to call home to ensure that I had actually had not worn it that day.  After a series of phone calls back and forth from home, I learned that it was  indeed safe and sound at home.  This experience caused me a promotion and it went into my yearly review as I was not able to be in control of myself.  After working with a life coach, I learned that I was to just breathe, carry on and let my day continue- then at home, panic and react in a private location, out of the sight of many eyes.

I never realized how much I learned from this until I started a new job.  Little things didn’t bother me as much as some of my colleagues and peers. A good example was when  we had a patient fall in the hall.  I didn’t go running out there and make a scene- I was able to walk in a fast manner, use my visual and hearing senses to see that patient was indeed ok, offer my assistance and back away when asked to do so.  When the patient was able to, he came to me and thanked me for showing my care and concern, sharing that it was nice to be cared for. 

Being laidback in a health care setting is beneficial to the health care provider and to the patient.  When we are relaxed in our work with our patients, we are able to connect and gain trust.  It opens the floor for discussions that can lead to health promotion or a health counselling session.  How we are affects how the patient feels; if we are relaxed, our patient who may be stressed, worried, concerned, scared, overwhelmed will feel less so, or may be even able to relax.  We can be confident and relaxed at the same time: which gains a professional relationship with those we are to care for.   

Being laidback as a private citizen can assist in our relaxation and enjoyment of life, in a “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, kind of way.  Ever find that if we are unflustered about a decision we are to make, that the solution comes clearly and swiftly?  Being peaceful brings peace to a household full of chaos.  We can still be busy and productive.  However, if we are calm about how we tackle and do things, this can lead to more enjoyment in what we do. 

There are times to worry, to be concerned and excitable.  Don’t let these times take over the rest of your life.  Breathe.  Let it be.  Break it down and tackle small portions and the larger problem will disappear.  Talk it out.  Reflect.  Rest on it. Pray.  Slow down.  Don’t be a perfectionist.  Refocus on the positive things in your life, not what has to get done or the negative thoughts that pop up. Be flexible.  Get creative. Let it go.



Let Go and Let God.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kind-heartedness~ bring love into the world

Kind-heartedness- Something to help the world go round in a more loving way

Definition: having or showing sympathy or kindness

Synonyms: kind

Kind-heartedness is a feeling you feel when you are helpful and sensitive to others.

Kind-heartedness comes naturally to some individuals, while it is a learned trait for others.  I believe that this was innate for me.  I cannot ever remember a time that I wasn’t kind-hearted.

This is who I am and how I express that.  I believe that to be effective in the world as a world changer, you must be sympathetic to the others to whom you share your world with.

Do you see the same person during your commute, who smiles at you?  Is there a co-worker that will check in with you, just to see how you are?  Are you lucky enough to find an upbeat email that changes your day around?  You must know someone who is kind-hearted!

This is not always easy to be.  There are times in life where you must put aside this, and be the opposite in order to be effective.  I once had a job where I was able to let my kind-heartedness flow; I was able to express myself fully with my patients and clients.  This is also the same job where I had to enforce rules and regulations.  At first, it was a hard thing to do, pull away my kind-heartedness and play the rule enforcer, knowing that someone may not be able to have shelter for the night, or be as comfortable as they could be, if they had made different choices.  It was my sympathy that was able to ensure that they had food in their tummies and at least a warm blanket to take with them.  It was this kind-heartedness that was able to welcome them back and shower them with love.  Being helpful and sensitive to others brings a reward of kindness, which is a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Someone wise once said, “ Co-operation comes from friendship, friendship comes from trust, and trust comes from kind-heartedness. “ (Dalai Lama)    Kind-heartedness is the one of the basis of friendship, of love, of a happy relationship.  Having a real genuine sense of concern for others, and acting on it only makes the world go around more brightly.  Imagine if we all started to be genuinely concerned for our fellow man?  Would there be room for bullying, cheating, exploitation?

How can one be kind-hearted?  Look for ways to make a difference in someone’s day:  A nice smile, a cute card or even a shoulder to cry on.  Just to love on someone in an intangible way is the best way. Love without having to be right about anything. Be more considerate- hold open the door, be polite to those who walk by.  Listen, and meet the needs of your loved ones.  Treat others as you would want to be treated.  Help them in a tangible way.  Care for them in a way only you can. 

“A gentle word, a kind look, a good natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.”  ~  Zahid Abas

Monday, March 2, 2015

In All Things, Count It As JOY!

Count it all as Joy

Definition:  a feeling of great happiness;  a source or cause of great happiness; something or someone that gives joy to someone ; success in doing, finding, or getting something
Synonyms: beatitude, blessesness, bliss, blissfulness, felicity, gladness, happiness, warm fuzzies

Some say real joy is a good box of chocolate, or a tasty glass of wine.  Other will say that joy is a look of happiness on a newborn child's face.   Or is it that Joy is finally getting that long paper finished and handed in during those long years of education?

What is Joy to me?  This is what I will be reflecting on today.

To me, joy is a state of being.  It means to look for the good in all those troubling times and being thankful for that. It is something that can happen at any time, on any given day, during any task at hand.

In the Bible, it is shared that we were commanded to Count it ALL as Joy- James 1: 2.   ( This is not a natural reaction, it is a learned and practiced one.  In James, James was telling us that we will be experiencing those taxing, hurtful, struggling times in our life.  He was sharing that to get through those times with perservance was to count it all as joy.  Look for the positive in those moments where you just wonder if there is anything positive that could ever happen again.  When we are being tested, it gives us a chance to grow, to stretch, to become the person we were meant to become. 

Need a real life example? Read on...
My best friend is currently looking for Joy in his present state of living.  His middle child, a son of teenage years, has decided to move out and move in with his mentally ill mother.  There is much back stabbing, lying, deceit, and trouble brewing for my buddy.  This is affecting his mood, his time spend with his other children and even his loved ones.  The situation looks dire.  The relationship with this particular child is strained and is on the verge of collapse, at the child's choice.  B has tried and tried to make things better with his son.  He has asked for advice, reached out for assistance and has done much reflection on this.  This is a great sorrow for him. 

Where is the joy in this situation?

He has learned that he can handle much more stress that he thought he could.  He was able to try and make his own, new stress managment

Joy in death? It can be so...

No one wants to die.  No one likes to be left behind when a loved one passes on.  There are those patients that I see that are enjoying their every moment of life prior to passing on, leaving lots of smiles, hugs, kisses, kind words behind for those living to hang on to. 

Joy is to me....
To me, I experience great joy when my Buddy Cat comes to me when I am still in bed and crawls into my arms, wanting to be cuddled and held. 
To me, I experience great joy being at the oceanside.  Being in the ocean restores my soul and that reconnection to me, helps me see joy and heal of my hurts.
To me, I experience joy with the simple taste of mango, as there are memories attached to it.
To me, my joy comes to me when I have accompished a great task or something as simple as having a patient in my workplace tell me that I made a difference in their life for the few moments that I spent with them.

Joy is out there for us to experience.  It comes to us if we look for it at times, when it doesn't seem possible.   It can come from a smile, a telephone call, a memory, a taste, a thing, an experience or just a realization.

Look for joy in your life today... and share it!