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Protecting Your Equanimity

Protecting Your Equanimity

In the recent past Western North Carolina was considered a North American rain forest. 3 weeks ago vast areas of forest were burning  due to having no rain for over 3 months. Smoke was everywhere as the Party Rock Fire moved closer to our home. Although I continued working and living in my usual routines, the underlying tension was huge. Initially I experienced shock and denial; “this happens to others, not us.”
My feelings shifted from shock to anger and then to forms of bargaining while planning what to pack in the event of evacuation. We kept friends and  family updated while breathing smoky air. Each night we went to bed wondering if the fire would devour the trees on the mountain across the way.

The night we saw the fire crest the mountain we saw dead hemlocks (wooly adelgid infestation killing the trees as a result of climate changes) burst into flames. We listened to them crash and crackle as the orange light moved towards our mountain. Firefighters from all over the country worked day and night to prevent the fire from crossing a double lane road and shrunken river as it raged with heat, gusty winds and dry leaves.

We were lucky.  The firefighters maintained the boundary.

Now, the fire is 54% contained and has moved on with no human homes lost. The air quality continues to be poor; a reminder of what others are now facing. The other day I was asked how I made it through that stressful time. I recalled the day we were told we were safe– noticing what safety felt like in my body. I was relaxed and expansive with a sense of ease and relief which I generally take for granted.

My daily sustaining Self care practices of gratitude, walking, journaling, meditation, working a 12 step program and mindfulness, protected the boundaries of my equanimity. Like a person given a dreadful diagnosis, the felt experience of being threatened brought Kubler Ross’s 5 stages of the dying process, which is a process of working through losses, into high relief.

sunrise-with-waterToday I have a deepened compassion for my brothers and sisters around the globe dealing with health, environmental, sociopolitical, and religious stressors that undermine the human right of safety.

My nursing practice is consequently richer as a result of not only the experience, but how I worked with Self care towards clarity and balance. I love empowering patients and colleagues-helping them to experience their strength, intuition, love and joy, as well as their individualized Self care practices relevant to meeting the stressors in their lives.
Please share with us the strategies that you use in maintaining your equanimity in stressful or hard times.
How does it  translate over into your nursing practice?

With Love,
Padma

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There is a short guided relaxation, followed by a short time for silence
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We present tips and strategies for Self care on a variety of topics such as:
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2 comments
  • Marcelletta December 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing this post Padma. I live in NC and I had staff and patients located in the western part of the state in the fire areas. I also had staff and patients located in the eastern part of the state in the flood area from Matthew. This was a gentle reminder to show who to have equanimity during some very challenging times. We still have people displaced for both disasters. I will share this with them

    • Padma Dyvine December 17, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      Thank you Marcelletta. Remembering to stay internally connected is so important. Often it can be the first step that gets forgotten in panic and rushes of the moment. I am reminded to stay with the critical so that I can address the urgent- the critical is the internal connection and the urgent comes at me all the time from outside and may feel critical! I hope that those you share this post with find it helpful and uplifting.

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