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Padma Dyvine

Take Refuge in Your Professional Ethics

Your professional ethics support you when you lean on them with skillful speech. Professional behavior takes you on the “high road” by employing integrity. As a professional you are honest, do no harm, competent, accountable, and self-regulated. As health care budgets are cut and more work is expected of fewer nurses, speaking up for justice and ethical behavior is not always easy.  3.6 million nurses strong, the profession has resources to keep you on track to have a strong ethical voice when it comes to health care issues.

Comparing current events to the rise of Nazism and Fascism in the 1930’s, Yale Professor Timothy Snyder reminds us in On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century, “when political leaders set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become more important…. If members of professions think of themselves as groups with common interest, with norms and rules that oblige them at all times, then they can gain confidence and indeed a certain kind of power.”  (p. 40) In 2015 the ANA took an unequivocal stand on the issue of incivility and bullying in the work place. Nurses are required to “create an ethical environment and culture of civility and kindness, treating colleagues, co-workers, employees, students, and others with dignity and respect.” Similarly, nurses must be afforded the same level of respect and dignity as others (ANA, 2015a). The ANA has also taken a thoughtful and strong stand on health care reform.

Although there are no federal standards that require workplace violence protections, several states have enacted legislation or regulations aimed at preventing workplace violence.  What does your state have in place? You need strength and clarity to stand up for yourself and others when in a toxic situation of incivility or bullying. The 4 Gates of Speech will guide and support your ethical behavior when you are told the situation is exceptional, or you are asked to do something that is immoral and puts your license at risk.

4 Examples:

  1. I was a hospice nurse in a rural area. The company was having many different economic and staffing difficulties. My census was increased to way beyond what was safe or reasonable.

With some trepidation, I explained to my supervisor that I could not take the next admission because it was not safe for me or for the patient. The admission was given to  another team.  Safe RN ratios have been proven to improve the quality of care and nurse recruitment and retention in California hospitals which is the only state that has mandated nurse/patient ratios. My experience of speaking up to my supervisor was very empowering. It also was a good example to my peers.

     2.  An APRN colleague recently relayed the following experience: After her report in the monthly meeting, the supervisor criticized her in front of the team such that she felt “shamed, embarrassed, humiliated and undermined”. The APRN later went to the supervisor. She explained to her that if she had a criticism, she should tell her privately. The supervisor has not humiliated the APRN since, but continues her uncivil and bullying behavior with others.

Our  beautiful profession of nursing is about reducing suffering and building on strengths towards increased well being for nurses as well as those in our care. Using the 4 Gates of Speech you can confront difficult situations with clarity and confidence.

Is it true?         Is it necessary?                  Is it kind?                           Is it the right time and place?

Using these gates let’s unpack  the APRN’s situation. We don’t know if the criticism was true or was necessary. However, the supervisor clearly chose the wrong time and place and was not kind. The APRN spoke her truth to establish her professional boundaries and consequently was teaching the supervisor how to behave professionally. She did not share her feelings of being undermined, shamed and embarrassed. (Under other circumstances sharing feelings might be useful.) The APRN found a place that allowed for privacy but we don’t know if the time was mutually satisfactory. The APRN spoke in a way that was professional, which is, kind and beneficial. Her speech and action set an example to prevent future occurrences of incivility to herself and others.

3. In the 1980’s I worked in a small city hospital that began to change its identity from a neighborhood hospital to a corporate model. Nurses’ benefits were cut and nursing positions were eliminated in addition to other cost cutting efforts at the expense of patient care.

It was the nurses’ professional behaviors- how we spoke to each other, what we said, where we said it, and the actions that followed that convinced reluctant nurses to reconsider their positions. Taking the “exceptional” stance: “just for now and the situation will change”, the cuts continued. The nurses discovered that advocating for their patients, they were also speaking on their own behalf. Eventually a nurses union was voted in and the nurses had a voice at the bargaining table and negotiated improvements on behalf of themselves and their patients. At the end the nurses remarked what an empowering learning experience it was for all.

4. More recently remember  the arrest of University of Utah Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels on July 26, 2017. She was defending her patient’s right to not have his blood drawn without consent. It would have been an ethical breach to not have done so.  Having to speak up to law enforcement officials, which can be difficult given their positions of authority and power, her actions have given everyone an excellent and extreme example of advocacy.

The bottom line is that if your license is at risk, you are facing an ethical dilemma.

When you see something that is not professional or right, do you deny it, turn away or stand up? What gives you that strength and courage to stand up for yourself and others?  As you reflect on your career, please share with us your experiences of professional risk and how you handled it.

90 day program, participants strengthen their advocacy skills with 3 Self-care habits,
sharing in an accountability community and with individualized mentoring.
With successful completion, the nurse also receives 39 credits!

Free Virtual Connecting Weekly Call-in for Nurses
Phone 712-432-3066       Pin 177444                  Wednesdays 6:30-7:00 pm EST
Join us- in a short guided relaxation,  a short time for silence
in community and optional sharing.
We present tips and strategies for Self care on a variety of topics such as:
Setting boundaries, balance, healing, self love, vulnerability, and other topics as they arise.
It’s free to all and you can join in with a share or just listen in.

Talking to Your Best Friend

What you think and how you talk to yourself may not be audible to others, but does influence your deeds and words affecting not only you but others.“Don’t forget to turn off the lights, Honey”, read my friend’s note to herself at the  door. The aha for me was that I could talk to myself the same way I talk to her, and it has been a rewarding process.  The Sufi, Buddhist and the Yogic traditions offer us the 4 Gates of Speech to help us before we speak to ourselves and to others. I visualize these gates as sieves for effective communication that separate what is kind, true, necessary and beneficial from what is not.

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it necessary?
  3. Is it kind?
  4. Is it the right time and place?

Do you talk to yourself the way you talk to your best friend? After all, you are part of your kindness, caring equation. When you make a mistake- do you speak kindly to yourself or do you call yourself names?  Do you put yourself down? What is the tone of your inner voice to yourself? Is it kind, understanding and compassionate, or scolding and judging? Remember feelings may truly be there, but they may not be the truth of the matter.  Do you tell yourself the truth about yourself?  You may experience embarrassment or shame, but that does not mean you are bad or shameful.  Strong feelings can be difficult to feel and can cause you to say things that you regret. So pausing and checking in with the 4 Gates of Speech can help you to not hurt yourself or others.

Mahatma Gandhi the great peace activist said, “speak only if it improves upon the silence”. Pausing before going through the 4 Gates of Speech, increases your awareness of your inner dialog which is a strong step in reducing suffering in you and in others. Like everything, it takes practice, so if you goof up saying something you regret you can use the 4 Gates to correct the message and without people pleasing. Like feathers out of the pillow, you cannot take the words back, but you can make your next words reflect having passed through the 4 gates. The gates are useful for recognizing not only content and time, but to whom you need to apologize.

These 4 Gates of Speech are protections that enhance your esteem. Becoming thoughtful about what you think and say and how you think and say it, you engage truth, kindness and sensitivity which  decreases gossip and makes for friendlier personal and professional worlds for you.

I now write notes to myself with kindness.  The alarm that reminds me when it is time to get ready for bed says, “Time to wind down, Dear.”

Healthy self talk is empowering and kind.   

In the Vitality in Progress: Healing and Preventing Burnout for Nurses participants choose 3 keystone habits to practice. The topics of communication, boundaries, compassion and kindness are personalized through reflection, mentoring conversations and sharing circles.  Participants explore their self talk and are encouraged to notice any negative self talk or behaviors.



In the meantime,  join us on Wednesdays 6:30-7:00 pm EST

Self Care for Vitality
Free Virtual Connecting Weekly Call-in for Nurses
Phone 712-432-3066
Pin 177444
There is a short guided relaxation, followed by a short time for silence
in community and optional sharing
We present tips and strategies for Self care on a variety of topics such as:
Setting boundaries, balance, healing, self love, vulnerability, and other topics as they arise.
It’s free to all and you can join in with a share or just listen in.
Have a great week speaking kindly to yourself and others~
With love, Padma

Facing Your Biases For Better Nursing and Self Care

The nurse role offers you a wonderful way of deepening your experience with others and yourself as you meet your self care needs. “Back in the 1980s, Salman Rushdie wrote that the defining figure of the 20th century was the migrant.” A few month’s ago the institution I work for offered a diversity training which began my awakening to my own unconscious biases. Recently combining HeartMath and a 21 day challenge to increase my experience and understanding of inclusion sponsored by Kindspring.com , I discovered that inclusion involves an intimacy with my own biases.  

Surprised to discover subtle prejudices despite having worked over 40 years with people of many cultures and abilities, I was uncomfortable and also realized that moving out of my comfort zone meant growth. Self care includes the usual physical options such as improving diet, sleep, and exercise, and taking care of emotional and mental education and well-being. More aware of personal biases, I now listen to the news differently and relate to my colleagues and patients with greater sensitivity, showing up with greater authenticity and kindness as a result.

As a nurse you are responsible for knowing, meeting and advocating for your needs. This means dealing with your fears, concerns and biases which can show up as emotional and mental attitudes that reduce the quality of your patient care. The intellectual knowledge that you are helping, can obscure subtle biases, but these times require us to provide optimum care to everyone. We all have biases, and often they are unconscious. There is evidence that when health care providers are not aware of  their biases,  they actually decrease the quality of the care provided. Hospitals and other health care organizations are now required to offer diversity training. The vision of the CMS OMH (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health) is to eliminate disparities in health care quality and access through the development, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies that incorporate the needs and voices of the populations they serve.  I encourage you to participate in diversity trainings that are offered because they can be illuminating though perhaps initially uncomfortable.

If you don’t have access to diversity trainings, you can discover some biases by honestly exploring your own thoughts and behaviors as you answer the following questions:

Do you speak about people/patients who are not like you, differently when you are in their presence as opposed to outside their hearing?

What are your feelings about a wall between the US and Mexico?

Do you offer your nursing care with an open heart?  What does being open hearted mean for you?

What are your feelings about the LGBTQ people?

What are your feelings about transgender people serving in the military?

What are your feelings about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?

Are you educated about institutional and systemic racism, oppression and white supremacy?

How comfortable are you talking about these issues with others?

You can also learn more about these topics by checking out the following on line sites:

As a nurse you protect those you care for from all forms of harm as if they are a members of your family. Remember, your inner state, your core beliefs make a difference in how you relate to the world and your work. We all act out our unconscious inclusion issues.  Nowadays, in this global community, we in fact are one human family.

If you are experiencing any discomfort, please take time to be kind to yourself and work with it. I invite you to join me in taking the 7 day Bias Cleanse in the next week.

You are welcome to join our Wednesdays
6:30-7:00 pm EST
Free Virtual Connecting Weekly Call-in for Nurses

                   Self Care for Vitality
Phone 712-432-3066          Pin 177444
On this weekly phone call there is a short guided relaxation, followed by a short time for silence
in community and optional sharing
 We present tips and strategies for Self care on a variety of topics such as:
Setting boundaries, balance, healing, self love, vulnerability, and other topics as they arise.
It’s free to all and you can join in with a share or just listen in.

Take good care of your beautiful self this week and always.
With love, Padma

Revitalizing Yourself With Micro Breaks and Forest Bathing

Forest bathing, started in Japan in the 1990’s, is the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits. However, if you are busy, unable to make the time to walk in the forest, there is research showing that taking micro breaks of 40 seconds, and simply looking at nature decreases mistakes and improves productivity. This week I hope you will give yourself time to tune into nature with the following videos. Relax and enjoy your connection to nature and yourself.

The queen bee surrounded by her court as she lays eggs in one of our hives! Who is in your court protecting you, guiding you and nurturing you?   (44 seconds)

Balance is something we practice. Even the sound of the rushing water can bring you back into balance as you watch Michael work. (6.9 minutes)


Louie Schwartzberg says we protect what we fall in love with.

You are a part of nature. How do you take care of yourself and your environment? (7.48 minutes) You can improve your attention and your state of being by taking mini breaks, even changing your screen saver can be a start. How often can you gaze out of a window? When was the last time you were in nature? Do you have living plants near you? What kinds of pictures do you have at your work station?

Do you have stones, crystals or a miniature zen garden near you?

Please share with us what you do to reduce your stress as it relates to being in nature…

You can also join Self Care for Vitality 

Free Virtual Connecting Weekly Call-in for Nurses
Wednesdays 6:30 – 7:00 pm
Phone 712-432-3066         Pin 177444
There is a short guided relaxation, followed by a short time for silence
in community and optional sharing.
We present tips and strategies for Self care on a variety of topics such as:
Setting boundaries, balance, healing, self love, vulnerability, and other topics as they arise.
It’s free to all and you can join in with a share or just listen in.
Have a great week being in or with nature.
With love, Padma

Jump Start Your Life With the Keystone Habit of Journaling

You can transform your life with a keystone habit. A keystone habit is one that influences other aspects of your life. Journaling, a keystone habit, gives you access to your authentic voice. It can be a centering practice and a source of guidance. Stumped for this week’s blog, I am happy to share with you that using one of my keystone habits, journaling, the topic was revealed. Over the years, I have developed a passion for journaling because it helps me in every area of my life. For example,journaling through a divorce and single parenting I maintained a steadiness and clarity that would not have otherwise happened.

Journal and journey have the same root. A deeply personal experience, journaling gives you a chance to relate to the parts of yourself that are clamoring to be heard. By putting your thoughts onto paper- journaling becomes a tool of discovery which can be fun, interesting and informative. It can broaden your understanding of unfolding events, clarifying health, relationship, career issues and whatever else is on your heart/mind. Even 5 or 10 minutes a day of time spent journaling may bring to light surprising options.

Depending upon your intentions, the circumstances of your life and your proclivities, different styles are useful: reflective/contemplative, lists, work notes/accomplishments, observations, gratitude journals, responses to events, letters to a higher power just to name a few. If you don’t like or can’t read your handwriting ~~ no excuse, you don’t have to write! You can use online options. AND/OR, you can use colored pens, pencils, pictures and collage with paper.   

To  start, consider why, how and when you want to journal.  Mornings can be good to set the tone for the day and before going to bed can be a great time for tying up loose ends of the day for a great night’s sleep. If you have concerns about privacy, there are many on line options to choose from. I prefer paper because doodling and glue help me to get to feelings and concepts that are illusive.  You will discover what works for you when you engage this private time with yourself. 

Additionally, you can journal with others.  In 2016 I gave the workshop Wisdom Journaling: Journaling for Clarity and Connection  at the AHNA Convention.  Participants enhanced their personal discoveries by sharing with the group and having others listen without judgement to their journaling discoveries and process. My children and I had fun journaling together and they both use journaling today, 20+ years later.

If you need more convincing to begin your journaling practice, Judy Willis MD, a neurologist, and former classroom teacher explains, “The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information… it promotes the brain’s attentive focus … boosts long-term memory, illuminates patterns, gives the brain time for reflection, and when well-guided, is a source of conceptual development and stimulus of the brain’s highest cognition.”

Maybe you are already journaling. Please share with us how you journal. What mediums you use and why? What do you enjoy about journaling?  What are the benefits? How do you work with your need for privacy?

The Vitality in Progress: Healing and Preventing Burnout for Nurses, the 90 day program supports nurses in establishing 3 keystone habits.  Journaling is often chosen as one of the practices in addition to being one of the tools used in the program. The early bird discount has been extended, so if you sign up in the next week, you will be able to not only get the discount, but get support in building 3 keystone habits for your life.

In the meantime, you might want to journal after participating in the 

Self Care for Vitality 

Free Virtual Connecting Weekly Call-in for Nurses           Phone 712-432-3066       Pin 177444

Wednesdays 6:30-7:00 pm EST

There is a short guided relaxation, followed by a short time for silence
in community and optional sharing
We present tips and strategies for Self care on a variety of topics such as:
Setting boundaries, balance, healing, self love, vulnerability, and other topics as they arise.
It’s free to all and you can join in with a share or just listen in.
May your week be filled with clarity, beauty and inspiration.
With love, Padma

If you want to jump start yourself with a challenge:







Do You Eclipse Your Own Brightness?

On August 21, 2017 our much smaller moon will cover our sun’s light for a full eclipse. For some, the sky will go black, it will appear to be night with stars shining in the middle of the day. Depending where you are on the path of the eclipse, there will be varying degrees of darkness or partial eclipses. With this, I am reminded of how unconscious  cultural and personal habits can eclipse a shining light. Joseph Campbell says, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are,” and yet too often, as a hospice nurse I heard  people say, “I wish I had … “, fill in the blank with an unexplored or unattempted dream. Don’t let this be your story.

Our nursing profession offers infinite and unique opportunities for you to manifest your loving heart and essential bright light. So, if you are not shining your light, what are the obstacles keeping you from doing so?  Self compassion is a profound acceptance of your being, regardless of successes and failures and is consequently different from self esteem which is having confidence in your own worth, or abilities. Self compassion is about how you treat yourself, how you talk to yourself and what you say to yourself. When you have self compassion, you recognize you are “a work in progress”- you are kind to yourself and get the help you need when you need it. With self compassion, you shine your light to remove the internal obstacles that eclipse it. Do  you give yourself self compassion?

Your answers to the following questions may indicate obstacles to your shine, preventing you from manifesting your gifts. 

  1. When someone gives you a compliment can you say “Thanks” without an explanation? Can you take in the positive without minimizing or deflecting it?
  2. Do you have unresolved anger and resentments that keep you from connecting with yourself and others?
  3. Are you procrastinating on taking your next career step? Why?
  4. Are you getting enough sleep regularly?
  5. Are you taking care of your spirit and are you happy?
  6. Are you taking good care of your body with proper nutrition?
  7. Are you getting enough exercise to feel fit?
  8. On a scale of 0-10 what is your confidence in taking new steps in your life?
  9. On a scale of 0-10, what is your shame factor?
  10. When was the last time you completed a PROQOL  (Professional Quality of Life) assessment?
  11. When you accomplish something do you take time to savor and appreciate your success, no matter how small?

Remember self compassion can start as a healing process. It is a lubricant for getting unstuck and is a muscle that can be developed. Learning and practicing it is a boon for us all since no one else can shine your beautiful, unique light. Sharing your gifts in the world is not only a source of happiness for you, but can be a source of inspiration and healing that benefits the world we live in. Removing whatever is eclipsing your light is a win/win.

There is an early bird discount for the next Vitality in Progress: Healing and Preventing Burnout for Nurses   which begins August 27, 2017.  We support you in changing habits that eclipse your light as you build your self compassion muscle, so you can  manifest your gifts and exercise your talents.


Dewdrops on a flower dandelion at sunset close up

Please join us on our weekly phone call
Self Care for Vitality                    
Free Virtual Connecting Weekly Call-in for Nurses
Phone 712-432-3066
Pin 177444
Wednesdays 6:30-7:00 pm EST
There is a short guided relaxation, followed by a short time for silence
in community and optional sharing
 We present tips and strategies for Self care on a variety of topics such as:
Setting boundaries, balance, healing, self love, vulnerability, and other topics as they arise.
You can join in with a share or just listen in.
In the meantime, have a great week taking great care of yourself.
With love, Padma

Are You Shooting the 2nd Arrow?

What you do with the discomforts and pain that you experience in your life makes a huge difference in how you relate to yourself and others. Buddhists say anytime we suffer misfortune, 2 arrows come our way. The 1st arrow comes to you from the outside and may or may not be in your control. You may experience pain, disappointment, discomfort, sadness or anger. The second arrow is your response to that first arrow, taking the form of a judgement, criticism, shame, numbing or blame directed back at yourself or another. The question becomes, “is the 2nd arrow necessary?” It causes suffering on top of that 1st painful arrow.

What is your habitual response to the 1st arrow?

3 examples:

1. I made a mistake at work, a colleague brought it to my supervisor’s attention and then came to me to tell me what I’d done, how to correct it and how to prevent it. The first arrow was the mistake. Life happens and I make mistakes. That part of the experience was uncomfortable because I don’t like making mistakes and I was grateful for the fix and prevent information. However, at the end of the day and for some time afterwards, I experienced the habitual 2nd arrows of shame, inadequacy, wanting to blame someone, and wanting to numb the feelings with addictive behaviors and worries about what was going to happen as a consequence.  Days later, noticing the 2nd arrows, I began speaking kindly to myself, focusing on my breath, and feeling my body and feelings, without catastrophizing. I began to see the situation for what it was, stopped the 2nd arrows and moved on with whatever else was up for that day~~ lesson learned!

2. I had a patient who felt she had somehow caused her leukemia diagnosis.  Her guilt and fear are feelings based in judgments and not in reality. In shooting  the second arrow, she was less available to receive the support and love available for her. Shooting the second arrow  increased not only her own suffering but that of those who loved and wanted to help her. Do you know people who express guilt about bringing a health problem upon themselves and fear of becoming a burden?

3. The other day I felt a sharp pain in my lower back upon standing. I hobbled to work but had to leave early because of the pain. Days later, annoyed with the ongoing pain, I began feeling angry about my condition, for aging and for the ongoing spinal issues that I can do little about. When I realized that I was shooting the 2nd arrow, I just stopped and continued to allow myself to be quiet and rest and became inspired to write this post. 

 Young children and animals don’t seem to shoot 2nd arrows when they are not feeling well. Without judgments they do what they can, when they can- rest, heal and move about when they have the energy.

The key is becoming aware of your responses to life’s events. During this week, as you observe your responses to life’s events– discomfort, frustration, anger, disappointment, sadness, notice if and when you shoot yourself or others with arrows. Here’s the good news: you can choose to stop the 2nd arrow any time if you are aware. If shooting the 2nd arrow is a habit, it may take time and practice to stop or change it.  When you stop the criticizing, numbing behaviors, blaming, judgments and shame (the sources of your suffering), you increase your happiness and empower yourself with clarity to address what it is you can control.

Along that line, the early bird registration is discounted for the Vitality in Progress: Healing and Preventing Burnout for Nurses. In this on line program you receive lots of support for not shooting the 2nd arrow as you create your own Self care plan based upon your burnout  and self care assessments. 


And in the meantime, please join us on our weekly phone call.

Self Care for Vitality     


PAUSE to Nurture Your Vitality

Welcome to the pause. I invite you take a few minutes to slow down, breathe, and use your internal pause button. No need to do anything except be with yourself for a few minutes. I’ve provided a guided meditation to help facilitate the pause. All you have to is press play.

With Love, 

Vitality in Progress: Healing and Preventing Burnout for Nurses program
Takes you from WORKLOAD OVERWHELM AND BURNOUT and helps you to remember saying;
“I get so much satisfaction from being able to [help] people. I am a very caring person.” Get More Information and Sign Up Today.
For More Information >Vitality In Progress

Savor & Celebrate Each Step Of The Way

As a nurse, you acknowledge and celebrate the successes of others as they learn new skills, improve their healthy behaviors, or do well after a surgery. You may be getting kids to their games, classes or practices and showing up at your partner’s business functions, in addition to preparing meals. You get to work on time or maybe even early. You put in a full day of work possibly receiving accolades for your good work from colleagues and management and then go on to the next activity.

You show up for people and activities that depend upon you, but how are you showing up for yourself?  Are you putting your own needs onto a “back burner”? A word of caution: what’s on your back burner can, over time, cause you to feel frustrated, ashamed, disappointment and become yet another stressor by being an energy drain.

Some time ago, I had a file of cards, letters and pictures that I wanted to put into a book. I had been collecting these mementos for years, and eventually it became a daunting, overwhelming task to even consider addressing. I could feel my energy drain and my spirits drop, when ever I thought of it, so I’d put it back on the back burner. The same would happen when I thought about my living will.

The 4 stage process below is what I used to create my living will and to create a book designed to prevent such a pile up again. With those energy drains gone I began to feel so free. Savoring and celebrating every incremental step in this 4 stage process is the key to successfully decreasing, eventually eliminating your energy drains. You end up not only feeling better and having more energy but your perspective changes as a result of taking better care of yourself.  You actually change your brain, becoming more open to experiencing happiness. I can honestly say I don’t have any Back Burner Energy Drains at this time!

Rick Hanson,  neuropsychologist, author of Buddha’s Brain and teacher reports that our brains can be sculpted. You begin to rebuild the micro-circuitry to gradually shift the emotional shadings of your interior landscape by making positive experiences last by staying with them for 5, 10, even 20 seconds. This is the savoring process. Having a sense of happiness for your accomplishment is a form of celebration which you can do with or without others, enhancing your internal strength.

Savor and Celebrate Each Step as You Eliminate Your Back Burner Energy Drains

  1. Identify your Back Burner Energy Drains: Possibly inadequate sleep, no reflection/down time, poor exercise habits, unhealthy nutrition, a needed education or career move or even attention to your financial future, organizing your mementos, creating your living will…check inside yourself for any others.
  2. Discern which one to begin working on.
  3. Create an action plan of Specific, Small and Scheduled steps to address  that one Back Burner Energy Drain.
  4. Create an accountability process- partner or partners with whom you report, share, celebrate your process.

Delores, was describing her chaotic and hectic day as a prison counselor, where she has worked for over 20 years. She has been developing better ways of caring for herself at work including better food choices and not getting flustered so often. In the middle of her story she mentioned that she went into a safe room, sat down, closed her eyes, withdrew her attention from the concerns and chaos of the work scene and took a 2 minute meditation break. (This was a new behavior for her.) She also spoke with a trusted colleague about what she did.  At the end of the story before going on to the next topic, we spent time unpacking the experience of the new behavior. In that process she was able to more fully appreciate and savor the good feeling and empowerment it engendered.  The new behavior was a win.

Taking time to remember and re-experience it deepened the new neural pathways she is developing as she creates new Self care habits.  Identifying her Back Burner Energy Drain of not caring for herself at work, she started with a small step, acted on it and celebrated by sharing it with people on her accountability team making her stronger for herself and even possibly setting a different and healthy example for her colleagues. Giving yourself credit for your courageous decision to identify your Back Burner Energy Drains is empowering.

*** Savor and Celebrate***
Beginning to address Back Burner Energy Drains
increases your sense of self integrity.

  *** Savor and Celebrate***
Creating  the action plan is a success in its own right
because it is a start.

*** Savor and Celebrate***
Sharing with your accountability partner(s) enhances positive feelings,
the power of your accomplishments, decreases shame and inspires moving forward.

Each step of the way, acknowledging, and celebrating your successes and savoring the feelings makes the positive experiences last longer, changing your neural wiring . In the end your energy is improved from not only reducing the stress of your Back Burner Energy Drains as you eliminate them, but you experience an increased sense of happiness and well being.

The Vitality in Progress: Healing and Preventing Burnout in Nurses has an accountability process built into it and support for your personal celebration as you empower yourself with healthy habits and improved self esteem. Additionally, nurses receive 39 CNE’s upon successful completion along with 3 new healthy Self care habits.

What are your Back Burner Energy Drains? Please share with us your strategies for eliminating them and restoring your vitality.

Have a wonderful week making your positive experiences last longer, celebrating your successes and increasing your happiness and sense of well being.

With love, Padma

By the way, please join us on our weekly phone call.    Self Care for Vitality 

Free Virtual Connecting Weekly Call-in for Nurses   Phone 712-432-3066    Pin 177444
Wednesdays 6:30-7:00 pm EST
There is a short guided relaxation, followed by a short time for silence  in community and optional sharing. We present tips and strategies for Self care on a variety of topics such as: setting boundaries, balance, healing, self love, vulnerability, and other topics as they arise.



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