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.
- When someone gives you a compliment can you say “Thanks” without an explanation? Can you take in the positive without minimizing or deflecting it?
- Do you have unresolved anger and resentments that keep you from connecting with yourself and others?
- Are you procrastinating on taking your next career step? Why?
- Are you getting enough sleep regularly?
- Are you taking care of your spirit and are you happy?
- Are you taking good care of your body with proper nutrition?
- Are you getting enough exercise to feel fit?
- On a scale of 0-10 what is your confidence in taking new steps in your life?
- On a scale of 0-10, what is your shame factor?
- When was the last time you completed a PROQOL (Professional Quality of Life) assessment?
- 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.