Self-Care

How Many Choices does a Baby Human have in “Pro-Choice”?

NONE... as has been clearly demonstrated in recent legislation/ headlines in New York and Virginia!  Business corporations like Planned Parenthood have personhood and tax exemption status; however, Baby Humans in the United States of America today have NO CHOICE or personhood RIGHTS and can be actively killed right up until delivery (late 3rd trimester).  

How have the hearts of American citizens become SO icy cold that they cheer and support the right to INFANTICIDE?  How can we as WOMEN support such barbaric actions… further minimizing and negating our God-given power to GESTATE LIFE within our Womb space?  

We speak of the return of the Divine Feminine to help balance and heal patriarchy, and yet we vehemently destroy or shame all that authentic femininity embodies:  Gentleness, Compassion, Empathy, Sensitivity, Nurturance, Guardianship and Caring, just to name a few characteristics. 

I know… everyone wants CHOICE and control of their bodies and I fully support Empowerment.  Yet I suggest that this must be done FULLY with everyone accepting responsibility for their choices along the way.  As I see it, there are at least FOUR separate CHOICES that women are making PRIOR to making a choice for 3rd trimester Abortion… the Baby Human has NONE. Let’s think about this more humanely and as adults make healthier choices along the way…

CHOICES 1-4:  Which one could change lives for the better?  

1. Women have multiple choices for Birth Control- Pill, IUD, implant, etc.

              While some religions do not advocate birth control, the prevention of pregnancy (“responsible parenthood concept”) is certainly more palatable than electing 3rd trimester abortions. Fertility Awareness is an aspect of Natural Family Planning & when applying this knowledge through the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM), it is over 99% effective in postponing pregnancy according to their website.

2. Women engage in sexual intercourse.

              Hopefully the choice is voluntarily with a meaningful partner, yet if heinously raped or otherwise taken advantage of, other choices are available before pregnancy/ abortion. 

3. Women should INSIST upon CONDOM use (even with other birth control).

              This is critical to protect self and partner from sexually transmitted infections like HIV, Syphilis, GC, Chlamydia, Herpes, Hep B, Genital warts, etc.  Thoughtful and respectful sexual practice.  At this point, chance of pregnancy has decreased significantly.  Specific efficacy noted here by the CDC. 

4. Plan B is available, if women feel deep regret after intercourse in order to prevent pregnancy.

              Emergency Contraception could replace the need for abortions (best within 3-5 days of intercourse depending on the product).   Plan B is available without a prescription.                

If, for whatever reason, Emergency Contraception was not chosen in time and the woman allows the tiny baby human to develop in the warmth of her nurturing womb for 12 weeks (1st trimester), then on to 24 weeks (2nd trimester), what would cause her to seek termination at the point of viability?  Is she seeking a short-term solution (often without informed consent) that packs potential long-term emotional turmoil decades after her abortion choice?  She could simply deliver the baby and offer him/ her up for adoption, making another couple HAPPY!                 

So, I feel that this Pro-Choice admonition is being overplayed in our country today.  Those who advocate a Pro-Choice stance have actually already made FOUR CHOICES along their path to the pregnancy/ adoption/ abortion choice.  As humans engaging in sexual activity, it is time that we accept responsibility for all of our adult choices and STOP making our Baby Humans pay for our uninformed CHOICES with the ultimate price of DEATH. 

What can we do?  

              When we know better… we should DO better!   Science tells us unequivocally that the human baby is ALIVE with a heartbeat noted at 6 weeks gestation and is certainly viability after 24 weeks.  LIFE is valuable, leading us to connection and expansion of our humanity.  Death and abortion, however, cause separation and constriction of all that is good within us.  Could this be at the root of what is ailing so many in society today?  Let’s reconnect to truth in a life-affirming fashion…            

Reflect upon that special gift of FORETHOUGHT that we uniquely possess as human beings.  When she speaks of our creative minds in her 1/4/18 article entitled, "What Makes us Human", Lisa Marden explains forethought as "the ability to imagine the future in many possible iterations and then to help create the future we imagine."   What type of future do YOU desire?  I want a future grounded in the sanctity of life and our children; otherwise, there really is NO FUTURE for us in the USA, or for Western Civilization as we know it.                   

I ask merely that we keep an open mind and heart as we think about the CHOICES we make each day and how they impact our future.  There is NO JUDGMENT, merely the invitation to rethink what we have been programmed to believe since the 1970’s.  As women especially, I invite each one of us to reembody all that makes us uniquely feminine.  We DO have unlimited CHOICES in the USA today; let’s start making life affirming ones, once again. No one is taking away anyone’s CHOICE… merely asking us all to CHOOSE healthier options earlier!   Call your congressional representatives and say NO to Infanticide! 

Third trimester abortions are BARBARIC and have NO PLACE IN CIVILIZED SOCIETY. 

The USA is one of only 7 countries in the world who even allow abortions after 20 weeks… we CAN and MUST do better than this!

Offered with love and support of LIFE

Lisa Evers, MA, BSN, RN, CWO4, USCGR (ret)  

Embracing Guardian Energy…

Happy New Year! What an exciting time to be alive.  So much is going on in the world… TOO much sometimes, wouldn’t you agree?  I pray that you have each enjoyed a sense of joy and peace in the celebration of the recent Christmas/ Holiday season.  I’ve experienced an amazing sensation of peace, joy and hope- resonating in a unifying, loving way during this special time of year… Let’s help it continue. Grounded here, I am finally sitting down to share something which has been bubbling up in my work and daily experiences for the last several weeks. These are the words: Guardian and Courage!   I've seen them on advertisements, books, billboards, and 2019 predictions... what to do?  Over the years, I’ve struggled with the need to be right and react quickly if challenged.  Anyone else ever feel like that?  All I’ve gotten from that program is heartburn and frustration, in addition to conflict- none of which has been desired.  So, I decided to listen to my messages and explore the Guardian Energy and see how that felt instead. For me, it’s been more of a maternal sensation- a uniquely powerful, protective energy which has helped me to go within, feel the sensations & ask about one’s motivation, especially related to politics and healthcare.  No longer do I feel the need to reactively pounce against another’s point of view.  What I feel is the need to inquire respectfully, listen for answers, speak my truth, and invite collaboration.  All of which requires grace & courage.

How does that feel to you? 

Any triggers at all?  I sincerely hope not, and that makes it all the more important to share today.  As I reflect back on life, my personal experience with this energy is rooted in my role as a Hospital Corpsman & Medical Admin Officer in the US Coast Guard for 32+ years.  Remember The Guardian (2006 movie with Kevin Costner & Ashton Kutcher)?  We, Coast Guardsmen, are called in to rescue people in the direst of conditions.  This is where we find ourselves today in politics and healthcare; in the direst of conditions- overwhelmed with life and uncertain about our next moves.  Which side am I on; Who is Right; Is anyone telling the truth; What can I do about the Pain and Depression?How do we choose which ones to Save?  The questions go on and on…   Yet, instead of harnessing Guardian energy, which is grounded within and focused on protection and assistance, we are constantly infused with Warrior energy, which is outwardly focused in an aggressive, confrontational manner.  From a feminine perspective, I feel much more comfortable with my Guardian energy, instead of the more masculine, aggressive warrior.  Continuing to fight will simply keep fueling the arguments and violence.  If you think I’m making this up, just look at the definitions and feel which one resonates best for YOU, noting that men and women can possess either of these energies, depending on which one they embrace at the time.              Guardian” is a “defender, protector, or keeper” – one who advocates for another.              Warrior” is a “soldier or fighter,” which implies violence.

Courageous Plan for Success

I deeply believe that the only way to solve our current stalemates in society today is by embracing our Guardian Energy which is deeply buried in each one of us.  Take some time in solitude and nature, turn off the electronics and shut out the media.  Listen to the knowing inside; that sense of well-being & protection, rooted in love and courage… This energy is so much healthier than the warrior energy which seeks only to keep fighting and springs forth from a place of fear. So, in politics this year, we focus on the goal of coming together as a country using our Constitution as a beacon… In healthcare, we focus on taking care of our bodies- keeping them strong, well-nourished and active.  Let’s stop the aggressive distractions and listen intently to the messages within.  When feeling out of balance, take a few deep breaths, reflect on the situation and do something constructive to help! Let's embrace our Guardian Energy and Co-Create a Healthier 2019 … 😊

WISDOM from my WEEDS… Sweaty Insight into Disease and Pain

Yes, it’s summertime in Florida and “steam-room hot”, yet my garden called to me today to finish some weeding along the road-side edge of my cul-de-sac.  It’s been something I’ve struggled with for decades; making my garden more presentable for everyone else (from the road-side, at least).  I previously would cut the weeds back in a frustrated fashion and they would keep returning- just like clockwork.  I repeatedly stayed busy and felt like I’d accomplished something, only to realize, like Sisyphus, the process never ended.  Soon, the glow of success would fade as the neatly edged garden was overrun by invaders once again.  Where is the Wisdom in that?  So, today I approached it differently influenced in part by my recent graduate studies and fabulous retreat last weekend celebrating Mary Magdalene’s feast day, July 22nd (more on that later, if interested).  Suffice it to say that my soul was touched deeply & healed; reminded gently that there are lessons to be learned in ALL experiences (even from being persecuted and mis-represented for eons… graceful wisdom and truth will always triumph in the end). 

Defining the "problem"

As we begin, let’s review what we mean by a weed (so that we are discussing the same thing).  Directly from the Miriam-Webster dictionary online:            “WEED:  a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.”            Ugh- not my favorite definition.  It sounds so judgmental & confrontational; something that needs to be removed or fixed, whatever the cost (like the current view of Pain and Disease) .  I prefer a paraphrased description I heard years ago that was much more POSITIVE- that a weed is a plant whose purpose has yet to be discovered (just like us all)… little did I know that it was attributed to Emerson. 

 As you may have guessed, I chose Emerson's more positive perspective and approached my weeds differently, setting an intention of learning from the Weeds and my interaction with them today... what is beckoning to be Discovered?

Wisdom from My Weeds:

I had several choices to consider today- Choices have Consequences... 1)  If I pulled the weeds up quickly and without much thought, I easily damaged the other small plants around them- Win/ Lose                       This happens all the time when tumors are hacked out of our bodies, without much regard for the other tissues/ lymph nodes/ long term effect of their removal.  Sure, if it’s cancer, we’d like it removed, but it didn’t happen overnight and if we do NOT address the issues that set the normal cells into “cancer mode”, it will most likely reoccur, and we lose, again.   What are we doing to support the rest of the body in the process?   2)  If I cut them back JUST at the surface, it was quick and efficient, yet they kept growing back and I never learned their message in the constant battle.  Win/ Lose                       This is how we keep treating PAIN and other SYMPTOMS in our bodies today- we just cut back/ suppress the DISEASE at the surface, only to have it continue to fester beneath the surface and return (Drug addiction- Opioid Crisis)… Great for Pharmaceutical companies, yet not so good for our well-being and quality of life as Human Beings... especially when access to pills is curtailed.    3) If I sprayed them with Round-Up or another fast-acting chemical, the weeds died yet there were side-effects to contend with-  perhaps killing or preventing food crops from growing in a healthy way.  Win/ Lose            Like #2 above, especially when we use CHEMO and RADIATION as the only accepted ways of dealing with cancer (along with surgery).  WHY aren’t other COMPLEMENTARY/ INTEGRATIVE therapies encouraged and covered by insurance???             Beyond the Cancer context, we KNOW these chemicals on/in our foods are NOT healthy and are BANNED in most European Countries… why are they still being used in the USA??? 4)  Best insight today (Wisdom from my Weeds)- After careful assessment, my process was to Mindfully decide which plants were to remain and which were to be removed for today… then gently remove the invasive plant with the proper tool, actively listening to the messages being received.  Win/ Win!                 When dealing with chronic issues today, consider that our bodies are trying to inform us of an imbalance or "dis-ease".  Instead of suppressing the wisdom, lean into the messages- focusing on solving the problems and regaining an Authentic level of Comfort & Quality of Life (using your new tools)...  

Shifting to Comfort, Active Listening and Trust in Nature

I’ve tried a variety of other tools before, but the curved weed-removal tool gently gets where it needs to go and is very comforting to the wrist, as well.  The proper tool makes all the difference!  This is another reason I suggest that our current PAIN/ DISEASE/ FIGHT-IT focus needs to be shifted to a Comfort/ Dis-Ease/ Learn from It perspective.  We do this by focusing on what we WANT and by learning from the messages all around us; sensing with our body, mind and spirit.  As I was tending my garden, I reflected (through the sweat on my brow) on WHY certain weeds kept popping up in areas that I felt were inappropriate.  Was my old perspective accurate (that they were a nuisance) or did they have a purpose?  I observed that there were several cute low growing, flowering plants that hugged the sloped edges of my sandy soil without any care on my part.  With fresh eyes, it seemed like they might be preventing the soil from being washed away during the rain.  Each time I would remove them in the past, I remembered that soil would wash away, and they would return to help once again.  Hmmm... they have a hidden purpose- trying to help!  I also reassessed some curious plants that I allowed to remain for the last couple of weeks (despite being told that they were “weeds” by neighbors- outer experts).  They looked a bit like iris or daylily leaves at first, so I trusted my gut (inner knowing) and let them remain… SO glad that I did, because they are starting to bloom delicate yellow flowers. 😉  Now I need to figure out how I can help them heal their faded leaves... 

What a fabulous morning it has been.  I listened to the beckoning of nature and after spending this time in my garden, I feel “complete”… My yard looks much more inviting and cared-for, I feel activated, and I continue to be amazed at the Healing Wisdom of Mother Nature.   She is here for us all (and has never left us); eager to share her Insights when we are ready to see, hear and feel them...

We are invited to welcome home all parts of ourselves that we have forgotten,

cast aside or repressed, and to do so with Grace and Wisdom... Blessed Be and So it Is!

Has the Blame Game really Solved anything?

“That which we resist, persists”- Carl Jung

I don’t know about you, but as an RN for more than 30 years, I am disappointed with the constant fighting and blaming that rages today in response to the “opioid addiction” crisis.  Everyone is upset (doctors, patients, health care providers, CDC, FDA, Big Pharma, etc…) and pointing fingers at another group; all frightened that things are going to change and impact their access to meds and/or money.  Instead of jumping into the fray and continuing to fuel this fire, I am offering a fresh perspective… one I hope you will consider since I am NOT being driven by meds or money, but by my passion for healthier solutions!Following Jung’s advice, we must stop fighting pain (and one another) and start listening to our bodies’ messages again.  How do we do this within the current system?  It is obvious that we need a tool to monitor our patient’s level of comfort as we medicate them and guide them toward deep healing and an improved Quality of Life.  Yet, is it wise to keep using the system that has NOT helped to improve overall levels of pain in the USA over the last 20 years?  The CDC reports, “The amount of opioids prescribed and sold in the US quadrupled since 1999, but the overall amount of pain reported by Americans hasn’t changed.”  Obviously, more pills are not the solution...

"Problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them.” -Albert Einstein

In this respect I agree, in part with Dr. Rajput in his 3/19/18 post on KevinMD.com where he suggests that the pain scale is to blame for the opioid crisis.  However, it goes much deeper; we must get at the root causes of the “pain”-to the hidden body, mind and spirit issues.It is time to release the old pathogenesis pain scale for a more optimistically authentic guide; one which envisions potential success- COMFORT as the 10.Nursing Pain through a Positive Lens                Comfort Quest builds on the familiar (0-10 scale), yet embraces positive psychology, neuroplasticity and quantum healing along the way (10 being what we desire: Comfort- joyful face).  Instead of triggering negative neurochemicals of fear which are released with the “10- worst pain ever” question… we secrete more positive feelings of joy/ love when we envision “10- peak experience; best feelings ever”.Science agrees that our bodies can be primed for Comfort instead of Pain!  As such, Comfort must be supported.  Once a number is chosen, the next question is, “What might help YOU feel better and flourish?”  This simple question opens our subconscious to identify a body, mind or spirit issue which may long have been buried.Yes, this is a complex issue; one not easily fixed with a prescription, pill or payments.  As a start, I hope we can agree that the current PAIN focus is part of the problem, yet we cannot throw out the baby with the bath water.  Let’s begin to chart a new present & future by changing our perspective, reframing our desired outcome, and supporting our bodies' innate healing capacity as we regain well-being and balance in our lives.

                "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." -Wayne Dyer

  

Standing Firm in our Power

I recently interviewed for a PT position with a local Home Health company to utilize my nursing skills, remain flexible with my elder family members and share my healing wisdom after finishing Grad School.  It was going quite well until the discussion of “orientation”.  At that point I heard the words, “minimum wage”- WHAT???  At first, I wasn’t sure what I heard or how to respond, so I asked, and the recruiter repeated “minimum wage during orientation”.  When he left the room I “googled” it- surely, it’s more than $10/hr.  In Florida, however, I learned that it was recently RAISED to $8.25 on January 1, 2018.Deep breaths… this MUST mean time spent on the computer from home (as I was recently paid $10/hr. to update online education with another company) … NO, that was the rate for entire time spent for two full days in the office.  Yikes!  Isn’t my time as a Professional Nurse with 30 years of experience worth more than that???My Internal ChatterIn comes the little girl voice- “Oh, you should be happy they are paying you anything; just smile and be grateful.” But, minimum wage?  Sure, nurses don’t make tons of money, but I’ve not made minimum wage since high school (late ‘70’s).  WTF?  All I want to do is help people!  Don't worry, this is not going to be a political discussion about minimum wage, but we DO need to discuss Nurses/ Professionals standing firm in our Power.My little girl voice continued, “Come on- It’s only for TWO days of orientation- after all, you’re not actually taking care of live patients, just going through protocols, skills and paperwork.”  But, in the hospital, or any other setting in which I have been employed, I was always compensated at the agreed up hourly rate for time spent “at work- orientation, or not”.I left the meeting and planned to hear back from the employer in a couple days.  I knew I’d be thinking about this over the weekend. During that time, I spoke with my mom (a retired RN) who validated my feelings of being insulted, minimized and even a bit coerced.  Sure, I’d like to take this position due to it’s flexibility… yet the more we talked, the less palatable the position looked.  She shared stories of how far we've come as nurses over the last 6 decades, yet we obviously have MUCH more work to do!Who are WE?Nurses are the largest group of healthcare providers in the country- We are nearly 3 million strong today (and more than 19 million strong worldwide).  WE are the ones who touch the patients (body, mind and spirit) to facilitate healing… We have attended college for many years (2, 4, 6, 8… etc) beyond HS and are PROFESSIONALS!  What other group of professionals would accept Minimum Wage during Orientation???CRICKETS… No other group!  It is time to listen to the little girl (validate her feelings), and tell her that she is indeed VERY VALUABLE and worth more than minimum wage as an RN (regardless of the setting).  No longer does she need to accept the crumbs being offered, “keep the peace” and “play nice”.  It is time to speak up for all nurses in a very professional fashion, and clearly articulate acceptable compensation for our skills.  After all, WE are the most respected profession based on a recent Gallup poll.  This is an invitation to ALL NURSES out there… What is YOUR line in the sand???  Drop me a line!When I worked as a travel nurse for five years, the low “hourly rate” (taxable) seemed acceptable, because it was offset with Housing/ Per Diem (not taxed).  I felt that it worked out in the long run… but maybe not.  Other travel nurses on FB have spoken up and accused those that take low rates are negatively impacting ALL nurses.  I didn’t understand that position… until now, when it really hits home.  It’s been VERY insightful to untangle these FEELINGS (hidden messages) instead of just arguing about the $$$.SO, here’s my plan-

  • Stand Firm in my Position- “Minimum wage” is not acceptable compensation for ANY Professionals, period. Clearly define my OWN expectations for employment based on “Minimum wage for an RN” search ($28.47 average hourly rate).
  • Graciously decline the position; I am launching a Kickstarter campaign this week for my book, so that is MUCH more valuable use of my time!
  • Write a letter to the President of the company explaining my position and offering suggestions.
  • Seek or CREATE a position more worthy of my skills, passion and positive vision.
  • Envision myself (and ALL of us- 3 million strong in USA) as VALUABLE PROFESSIONALS, able to command fair compensation for our education, experience and expertise in healing.
  • Continue to write, speak and advocate for Nurses, Patients & Healthcare- Empowering ALL with visions of Health, Vitality and Quality of Life.

Blessings,Lisa Evers, RN, BSN, MA (2/18)

Is it Too Late to SAVE my Shed... my SANITY?  

I guess it is finally time for me to address this issue, as the pain has become unbearable.  Not actual physical pain, but the pain of disrepair and neglect, especially when juxtaposed against my nice new granite patio.   What began life as a functional wooden storage shed in the early 1990’s, has become an unbalanced, cluttered, disorganized receptacle of “all things outdoor- functional or not”, visibly in need of attention!  How did I let it get this bad? As I reflect honestly, I can recall a time in life when the 4’X8’ wooden shed was erected on our property.  I was so proud!  It was so nice and new, with shiny hinges and two welcoming doors which worked beautifully to protect the outdoor treasures tucked neatly inside.   All my garden utensils and tools were handy and safe- right next to my potting table.  I was in heaven and loved the convenience and organization- everything had a place and was protected.  That lasted about 2 years…Over the ensuing years it has become the dumping ground of all things rejected from sight in my garden, yet not so bad as to release to the trash bin.  “I just MIGHT need that someday”, I would say… “those old cushions aren’t really that bad… perhaps the kids can use them”, and so on.  Today, I honestly don’t even know WHAT is inside the shed.  The doors have long since fallen off, so I got crafty and replaced them for about 5 years with a roll-up shade (which has since worn out).  It was a “Band-Aid” fix on a larger problem, but at least it worked for a while.  Now, my shed is merely a neglected shell of its prior self, with a leaking roof, unbalanced floor, and rotted inner floor boards.

 Does this sound familiar?

Perhaps a little like our bodies?  We were given these AMAZING pristine nascent receptacles to hold our souls during our human experience; what did we do to them over the years?  Even IF the outside still looks “fine” it’s the inside that holds all the old debris (like my shed) that we simply can’t seem to release.  But why?  Especially when we know (intellectually) that holding on to things that no longer serve us is unhealthy… we have a hard time “letting go”.I am tackling this shed project, much as I am tackling my human project… Bravely throwing open the doors to let some air inside; making space for the Chi to start flowing again.  Wow, it’s dark and musty in here… where’s the light?  Oh no, there IS no light switch- what am I to do?  Look to nature and peek inside during daylight hours when I can see clearly without being scared by “the dark”.  That’s great, but why ARE we so afraid of the dark?  It has safely hidden all our old crap for so many years, I guess it’s just easier to “let it be” instead of stirring up “trouble”.  I just don’t have the time right now.  If I just don’t look inside, I won’t have to deal with it… but that’s NOT really true, is it?

Listening to the Pain

Every day I walked by the shed, I noticed the disarray and it made me uncomfortable- “That’s not like me to let things “go”; maybe next weekend, or after THIS other project is done.  No worries, I’ll deal with it soon.  That was my plan when it was first built and newly primed.  My first mistake was NOT doing the basic care it needed upon arrival- I never painted the shed.  The primer was a nice neutral color, so that should be fine; at least for a while.  By the time life settled down and I thought to paint it, the wood had started showing signs of damage.  However, instead of making the shed a priority and cleaning up the damaged areas to paint it, I just continued to deny the problem and the wood got worse.This happens to us all the time, in our bodies.  That little mole that changed, doesn’t really look that bad, I’m sure it’s fine… Oh, and that cough and blood, no worries… how about continuing to stuff ourselves with “food like products” and expecting our engines to run properly.  We put the right gas/ oil into our lawn equipment, yet refuse to do the same for our most sacred equipment, our bodies.The painful feeling that I experienced each time I looked at my shed, was temporarily silenced by focusing on another “more important” project at the time.  These delays and distractions just caused things to get worse and mostly without my conscious awareness.  I have now taken the time and made space to deal with this longstanding “issue” in a healthy way, before it gets any worse!

PLAN for Shed repair... Health and Sanity!

1.  Remove overgrown vines on roof- I’ve got to get the surface clear to assess for damage.  Staying hidden, even under nice foliage is not healthy.  2.  Cover section of damaged wood on roof- wood/ tarp- Found rotten corner- who knew?  Protect and prevent further damage during the transition.  3.  Remove old siding in sections (each Thursday- garbage pickup on Friday)- Do only as much “detox- clearing work as you can tolerate… less is more, so I can handle the debris more easily…4.  Empty shed totally; Find safe, covered space for chopped wood and Viable garden tools AND discard all old, rusted, broken items into the garbage… I CAN DO IT!  Emptied out sides of the shed Sunday (Pentecostal release, making room for Spirit to return).  Even lit incense to purify the area.  Hanging shutters to protect and beautify the transitional shed.  5.  Assess 2x4 framing- Is it still viable?  What stability repairs are needed?6.  Assess flooring; level the shed if assessed as “viable”, and create new, SOLID foundation!7.  Allow shed to remain open and free of “stuff” for 1-2 weeks- Let Chi flow freely and allow Spirit time to guide me to healthiest use of this new space!  8.  Redesign shed based on form and function with guidance from Spirit as above- (lattice, clear roof, old windows instead of siding?) … Let my natural creativity shine! 

Progress… Not Perfection!

So, here we are early June and I am happy to report that I’m well into #3 of my plan.  It seems that this picture looks a bit worse than the first one (with all the nice vines on the roof).  However, I am calling this my “healing crisis” when things tend to get spun up a bit during the clearing, before the dust settles on a clear new path.  Only by opening FULLY can we see what is hidden in the deepest, darkest recesses of our “storage sheds”, and finally FEEL… and Release all the stuff that no longer serves us.Please note, as I am going through all the stored items, I am lovingly assessing whether I can use them NOW in a healthy way.  For example, the slightly rusted garden tools with the dry wooden handles- I will be brushing off the rust with a nice wire brush and applying oil for protection (give them a new life).  IF, however, they are beyond repair, they will be thanked & discarded with a “lesson learned…In my opinion, it’s all about learning the lessons.  Take care of the things that matter in life (body, family, shelter, tools, community and spirit), and the rest will fall into place, much more easily.  We just must be BRAVE enough to unearth the hidden junk, deal with it in a loving manner, and protect/ share the gifts we have been so graciously given in life…Namaste,Lisa

Invasive Species and Nature

When in doubt, consult Mother Nature!Gardening is such fun, especially in Springtime!  I’m sure we’ve all been tempted to add beautiful, new, exotic plants to our landscape, only to be disappointed the following year.  One of three things typically happen to me.  Hopefully, the plants thrive!  However, more often, either the plant dwindles (appearing straggly, without flowers; dying off), or it unexpectedly runs rampant, taking over the area.It was a lovely, sunny day with a bit of a cool breeze, so I thought I’d finally tend to the plants around my mailbox.  You see, I planted a few new perennials several years ago (drawn initially to their name Mayan Purple) and they have simply taken over- sprawling up and over the irises (which I had totally forgotten).  Combined with the volunteer palmetto palms, it was a jumbled, chaotic mess with plants growing up over top of one another, and nothing was flourishing.What happened to my lovely plan of welcoming in a new species (Ruellia simplex- Mayan Purple) into an established area to play nicely with the irises and native palms?  Were they evil little plants, or did I just happen to get an aggressive batch???  Neither!  I simply didn’t know the intent/ habit of the newly added plants, or how they would interact with the others… Apparently, it is their nature to self-propagate and spread.  It’s not their “fault” per se, it’s just how they are wired by nature.

Pondering Life...

As I was focused on cutting back the overgrowth, my mind started thinking about politics- especially, the immigration/ refugee issues that many countries are struggling with today.  It seems that whenever I am frustrated about an issue in life or feeling overwhelmed, nature grabs me by the hand and guides me gently along the path... back to sanity. What nature/ my garden taught me is that none of the plants is inherently “undesirable”; it’s just that I placed the wrong plant in the wrong space.  The irises and palms had been getting along just fine based on their natural habits.  Yet when the new plants were introduced, disruption ensued as the resources and boundaries were pushed.Initially, things were “fine”.  Each stayed neatly in its own space… at least for a while.  However, several seasons came and went and the balance was upset.  Eventually, there was chaos.  The peaceful little irises had all but disappeared under the sprawl of the Ruellia simplex (Mayan Purple).  Even the native palms did not seem happy.  Sure, they were still alive, yet the fronds were misshapen, pale and unhealthy because of the competition.  It seemed like they were trying to make room for the newcomers, yet felt a bit “disrespected” in the process.

So, what’s a natural gardener to do?

I LOVE to rescue plants (always giving them a 2nd chance, even buying the damaged ones "on sale" at various stores).  As such, I spoke with the plants and let them know that we needed to reestablish a bit of order, especially since this was my front yard in a lovely neighborhood with a homeowner’s association.  I gently cut back the overgrown Ruellia, removed the damaged fronds of the native palms and welcomed the irises back into center stage (as they had been pummeled by the most recent invasive plants).  I even placed most of the Ruellia cuttings in soil to root for pots later.

Positive Perspectives

After setting those boundaries, I gently watered all the plants and gave them some time and space to see what would happen next.  Clear boundaries needed to be enforced for any of the plants to thrive in this limited space.  We are heading into the warmer months here in Florida, and I’m a “tough love” gardener (especially when it comes to water).  Finding the RIGHT place for the right plants seems like a “no brainer” when it comes to gardening- so why is it so difficult when it comes to people and immigration?It must be because emotions get involved and we assume that we know how everyone feels (based on how we feel) … but is that a fair assumption?  I think not!  Are we asking newcomers about their intentions when they arrive, or are we simply assuming we know what brings them to our unfamiliar shores?  Instead of placing blame and finding others at fault, perhaps it may be more productive to honestly look at the “gardening guide” of the plant/ people in question.  Are they a solitary, clumping species; do they favor certain companion plants, or do they spread (as is the natural habit of Ruellia simplex, per the tag)?  None of the plants was “at fault” based on nature’s rules; yet like any organism placed in non-native settings, they can cause harm in their new homes...

Choices have Consequences

What I need to do in the future is to know exactly WHERE I plan to introduce new plants (native vs non-native), the RESOURCES available and WHAT their natural habits/ intentions may be.   If, however, I neglect to do MY job (proper research/ vetting), I should not be surprised if the outcome fails to meet my original expectations… My short-term happiness (enjoying the exotic flowers) should NOT take precedence over the long-term harmony and balance of the existing flora and fauna.

Pilot Study Info- "Comfort Quest" vs. Current Pain Scale

Thanks for dropping by to gather information about my Pilot Study...I am currently in Grad School at Goddard College working on a project to reframe "pain" using a more positive scale.  This is driven by my belief that we are fueling the opioid crisis and addiction epidemic by focusing on PAIN.  I envision a new concept in which we empower our bodies to innately work towards what we want, Comfort (10- smiley face), instead of wasting energy fighting against pain (10- worst pain ever).  As we are well aware, "That which we resist, persists." - Carl JungI would like to include you/ your practice in a Qualitative Pilot Study (Spring/ Fall 2017).  My IRB has been APPROVED!

How to get Involved in the Study?

The brief 2-sided Questionnaire and Consent Form are found below.  I look forward to working together with YOU on this project to improve Comfort and Quality of Life for our patients.  If you are interested, please leave your availability, name and email in the space below.IMPORTANT!!!  Even if you cannot HOST a study, I would be honored if you could be a study participant, OR share this with someone who has been struggling with pain.  Simply print, complete, and scan the forms back to me at Lisa.Evers@goddard.edu.  Your support and input is greatly appreciated!Thanks so much, in advance!Lisa Evers, RN, BSN, CWO4, USCGR (ret)"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." -Socrates  (from D. Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior)Final_IRB Consent Form_Comfort QuestPilot Study Questionnaire 

Honesty is, and Always will be, The Best Policy  

As such, I will honestly speak the unspeakable and scream, “There’s an Elephant in the Room!!!”  Time for some Refugee Honesty...Despite everyone’s best intentions, there is an obvious clash of cultures and religions between the West and the Middle East.  No matter how much research one attempts to do to get “facts”, the stories are slanted either left or right.  This has most recently made all sides increasingly suspicious of the other (especially with the instant access to social media and propaganda).  We need a different solution to simply dropping unvetted refugees into the lap of Western Society.  Just ask Europe how things are going in Germany, Italy, Sweden, and France… Their Citizens are finally pushing back and resisting, which is making it even more hostile for everyone, and that was NOT the intention of helping people in need.

“Problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them.”  Einstein

I refuse to get caught up in the fear and fighting, so here’s an interesting solution to the refugee issue.  Since the UN is doling out refugees to various countries, apparently without their full consent or input, how about the USA create a “safe space” for the refugees assigned to the USA by having them populate any one of the eight (8) currently uninhabited territories held by the US (per Wikipedia, List of Sovereign States- click link or see below).  Before you object, just hear me out.  We could seriously create a humanitarian program where these unvetted refugees could be safe from harm and go through a proper vetting process to also keep the American homeland secure…We must strive to neutralize extreme emotions in this matter- no one can think straight in constant fear, anger and defensiveness.  As with moving all forms of biological life, this could be seen as a “quarantine process” of sorts, that would keep both people and their cultures safe, while providing for basic human rights of the refugees.  Our refugees would have space to practice their religion in peace and create a safe temporary home for their people.When their native country is safe once again, they could be returned to rebuild and resume their lives.  IF they desired to immigrate to America, and fulfilled the requirements, they could follow the rules like everyone else.  “We are a land of immigrants, and we are a land of laws”… By then, their intentions could be properly vetted.  We, as Americans, would be fulfilling our humanitarian responsibilities to the world’s people, and yet not sacrifice our own Citizens in the process.

Refugee Honesty and Corruption Containment

To further understand the disconnect between cultures, I discovered the Corruption Perception Index (also on Wikipedia).  In 2016, the USA was in the top 20 (as trusted, #18, with Denmark and New Zealand tied for #1).   I was curious about the 7 countries currently on the controversial temporary ban of immigrants/ refugees.  Of the 176 countries ranked (some tied), at the very bottom was Somalia (#176), with Syria (#173), Sudan, Libya, Yemen (all tied at #170), Iraq (#166) and Iran (#131) … OMG- This objectively demonstrates how impossible it would be to properly vet these refugees- the countries are notorious for corruption.  How could we possibly expect honest answers?I know this may sound unusual to some, yet these are unusual times, indeed.  Whether something like offshore refugee homes would work is unknown for the USA, yet the current plan is failing and we all know that something MUST be done differently.  I see the current refugee program as a improperly constructed research project, playing with MY LIFE and the lives of my fellow American Citizens.   Did anyone get a chance to read through the possible harms associated with this project?As such, I am formally withdrawing my consent to this experiment; this has been echoed by the people who democratically elected President Trump.  Our discussion should not be about whether we “like him or not”; the President’s job (and all military members’) is first and foremost to keep the homeland safe; to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”  His/ her job as President is NOT necessarily to be "liked".  Let's work together to be creative and entertain sound solutions that will help those in need without destroying our life in America as we know it... Semper Paratus!

List of Sovereign States- USA: Eight (8) Uninhabited territories…

The United States is a federation of 50 states and 1 federal district.The USA has sovereignty over several uninhabited territories:

God Bless America, and God Bless our World!Lisa Evers, RN, BSN, CWO4, USCGR (ret).  Concerned Citizen with a hopeful voice! 

Prayer for Healing 2016-17

Our Father, Our Mother,

who art in heaven and on earth,

hallowed be thy balanced body, mind & spirit;

Thy kingdom now, thy will bestow on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily love & serenity;

and forgive us our shortcomings as we forgive those

who are hurting and learning, as well;

and lead us not into painful despair,

but empower us to heal deeply through love.

 

For it is through this love and acceptance,

This balancing of our masculine and feminine,

That our karma will be healed; not through fear and punishment,

for only love exists...

Help us to re-member, to re-embodying our true selves

To be the “change we want to see”

For our enlightenment on earth and beyond...

Namaste,

Amen.

 

Created 9/26/16 during Goddard College MA quest-  Lisa, RN

The Shadow Knows...

What is causing the pain and darkness in so many peoples' lives today?  As part of my ongoing studies at Goddard College, I recently read a Compilation of Essays on the Shadow Archetype- Here are notes on 2 essays (Creating the False Self and The Cure of the Shadow) that spoke deeply to me, especially considering the recent political upheaval in the U.S…  The Shadow has much to teach us!Questions to ponder... Could President Elect Trump be the manifestation of our Shadow selves which have been repressed for too long?  Is the upheaval afterwards further resistance against acceptance of our darker side?  Might the chronic pain and anxiety that we feel physically, be something that could be healed by looking at our Shadows?  Only by seeing it (our shadow), accepting it and healing the pain can we move on… fully whole once again.  However, instead of seeing the darkness which has been repressed and realizing that we need to change for the better, our citizens are fighting and placing blame- not very productive! ☺  

Creating the False Self by Harville Hendrix

  • Where did the Shadow self originate?  
      • Our parents influence us in their teachings (what is right and wrong, acceptable and not acceptable, etc) and most deeply, by example.  The “do what I say, not what I do” mantra is NOT very effective or healthy.  Kids are sponges regarding their parents’ behaviors. “Whether children accept their parents’ model or rebel against it, this early socialization plays a significant role in mate as well.”  (p. 50)
      • When kids have a forbidden thought, or indulge in “unacceptable” behavior, he/ she gets a “self-administered jolt of anxiety.  This is so unpleasant that the child puts to sleep some of those forbidden parts of himself… the ultimate price of his obedience is a loss of wholeness.” (p. 50).  Raising children to be healthy is SO difficult, especially with all this great information today.  
      • Three fractured parts from whole psyche: (p. 51)
        • Lost Self- Parts repressed because of demands of society- typically outside of our awareness.
        • False Self- Façade created to fill void created by repression and lack of adequate nurturing.  Protects self from further injury.  
        • Disowned Self- Negative parts of False Self that were disapproved of and therefore have been denied as being part of self.  Typically deny actively or project onto others. 

          I find it amazing that any of us has survived childhood, intact in any way.  Once our psyche is fractured as a child, we spend the rest of our lives trying to put the pieces back together (once we realize there is a problem).  If we don’t consciously realize it, I am confident that is also a source of chronic ailments and pain in our lives today as adults...

  • The Cure of the Shadow by James Hillman

      • Hillman tells us that the cure of the shadow is a two-fold problem to heal…
        • A moral problem and a problem of love.
        • Moral side requires “recognition of what we have repressed, how we perform our repressions, how we rationalize and deceive ourselves, what sorts of goals we have and what we have hurt, even maimed, in the name of these goals.” (p. 424).  

          I believe that this side can be very harsh and judgmental to be sure- yet it is critical to the cure.  We cannot cure/ heal until we are aware of the problem, either physically, emotionally or spiritually…  I feel that this is a big part of why we are having such upheaval after the election- we are finally having to face those parts of ourselves that we do not like- the Shadow side.  Will we be strong enough to accept and love these parts as we heal?  

      • Love’s role requires asking these questions, “How far can our love extend to the broken and ruined parts of ourselves, the disgusting and perverse?  How much charity and compassion have we for our own weakness and sickness?  How far can we build an inner society on the principle of love, allowing a place for everyone?” (p. 424)
      • “Cure is a paradox requiring two incommensurables: the moral recognition that these parts of me are burdensome and intolerable and must change, and the loving laughing acceptance which takes them just as they are, joyfully, forever… Western moralism and Eastern abandon: each holds only one side of the truth.” (p. 243)

What’s next?  

          Returning to wholeness (as individuals and as a society) requires us to be able to lovingly embrace the darkness (our repressed Shadow selves & uncomfortable parts of national history).   Seeing it is the FIRST step- Enter President Elect Trump!  Then, and only then, we can strive to overcome our dualistic  way of thinking- “us vs them, male vs female, or light vs dark”- healing our painful moral problems by using love & acceptance.   In so doing, I suggest that we will finally be able to heal the Shadow and the chasms in society today. We are all ONE, after all- The United States of America!  Time to pull together once again as we embrace and heal our Shadow selves...Zweig, C. and Abrams, J, ed. (1991). Meeting the Shadow: The hidden power of the dark side of Human Nature. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc.

Let America be America Again

“Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,The abuse and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,We, the people, must redeemThe land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.The mountains and the endless plain—All, all the stretch of these great green states—And make America again.”As many of you may recognize, this is the final stanza of Langston Hughes epic poem, “Let America be America Again”- Written in 1935… instead of red or blue states, please note that he calls them GREEN states- symbolic of nature and healthy growth!  This was the first time I read his poem and I was very moved… Please click on the link above to enjoy the entire poem when you get a chance.Wikipedia explains that “the poem speaks of the American dream that never existed for the lower-class American and the freedom and equality that every immigrant hoped for but never achieved. In his poem, Hughes represents not only African Americans, but other economically disadvantaged and minority groups as well. Besides criticizing the unfair life in America, the poem conveys a sense of hope that the American Dream is soon to come.”  Why haven’t we made much progress in the last 80 years?I truly believe that we are ALL in search of a deeper meaning and purpose in life, and this has played out in the Presidential election of 2016.  Many people are hurting today, for so many different reasons- we can’t possibly begin to understand it all.  Yet we can have a dialogue and listen to one another; especially when we speak with respect and without inaccurate assumptions…

The American Dream

Did you know that the American Dream was first described by James Truslow Adams in 1931- "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.  That was only a few years before my mother was born; in the midst of the Great Depression.  Is this still a common vision, or it time for a new vision; one that we re-create together?The challenging part of the dream is that it is just THAT, a dream!  I encourage each one of us to take a few moments in silence and solitude tonight, and do some deep breathing and go within…  find that quiet, peaceful place of strength and courage and ask yourself about YOUR American Dream!  It’s probably different than mine and that’s GREAT!  Yet we also need a common foundation, grounded firmly in the Constitution.  Don’t keep looking outside for answers- the pundits and experts don’t know your heart and no political leader is going to have the answers you are seeking.

What will YOU add?

So… What is YOUR story?  How did you come to America?  What gives meaning to your life & what will you share with our country?  What do you aspire to leave as your legacy?  Personally, I need authenticity- deep and juicy!  Unearthing the darkness, within the shimmer of light.  Seeking balance and wholeness with a positive, realistic focus and sharing that with others-  my reason for living, not just existing.Agreeably, it’s been a crazy year!  Now what?  We can all focus on the negativity, with our noses pinned to our smart phones; yet without more work from each of us, it won’t get better on its own.  As we all “say our piece” it ultimately needs to be about healing and reunification- not about blaming or shaming.  What that includes is my willingness to look at my own short-comings, my Shadow, and to do the work of accepting/ healing myself first, and then our country.  You do the same... Once we all get honest, we, the people, can get whole.  Let’s strive to work together to help “make America again”.God Bless America!  Good night... 

Self-Care and Meal Breaks

Dear Nursing Colleagues,Have you ever felt guilty for taking a lunch break during your 12 hr. shift because it was so busy?   Or, when you know you REALLY need to take a break, have you found it hard to do so because there is no one to safely cover your patients?  In my opinion, this lack of Self-Care is a huge reason for burnout in nursing and lack of satisfaction overall.  I’m wondering if anyone out there can name another job/ calling/ profession where this type of treatment would be acceptable…For example, would a construction worker plow through a rigorous 8-10 hr. shift without taking a lunch break?  Or how about a professional engineer scaling bridges, looking for safety issues?  We are caring for human beings and must be supported to do so, safely!I’ve been an RN for three decades and during my most recent assignments have been finding it increasingly more difficult to get relieved properly to take a break.  And NO, a break is NOT scarfing down a sandwich while charting at the nurses’ station; nor is it stuffing cookies or snacks in our faces while running between patients in the Emergency Department.  While these two scenarios may meet minimal (yet empty) “calorie intake” needs of the body, they do not address the CARE and NOURISHMENT that our body/mind and spirit require during a “real break”.

WHAT IS A REAL BREAK?

In order to truly benefit us as nurses (and all health care professionals), we MUST be able to disengage from our patients and truly release the stress and adrenalin from our bodies before we take the time to properly nourish ourselves.   We need to hold ourselves in high esteem and see that Self-Care is critical for our own health.  We are entitled to be treated as human beings who deserve at least 30” of “uninterrupted down time” to take care of ourselves so that we can optimally CARE for our patients.  All that said, the legal definition and requirements vary based on the state in which we practice.Rebecca Hendren in a 2010 article titled, “Nurses say they need a break; why leadership should listen” noted,“This culture is entrenched. A 2004 study published in the Journal of Nursing Administration revealed that hospital staff nurses were completely free of patient care responsibilities during a break or meal period less than half the shifts they worked. In 10% of their shifts, nurses reported having no opportunity to sit down for a break or meal period. The rest of the time, nurses said they had time for a break, but no one was available to take over patient care.”This is not a reassuring study for nursing or healthcare.  Even when we ask for a break, it should not be seen as a treat or unexpected reward.  Furthermore, working 12-13 hours non-stop on your feet should not be viewed as a 'badge of courage'.  We are all professionals and deserve to be treated as such; heck, when we don’t get breaks, we’re not even being treated as human beings… this is wrong and MUST STOP!

HOW TO ENACT SELF-CARE AT WORK?

So, the next time you report to work, be sure to establish everyone’s break schedule at the start of your shift.  I feel that setting the tone early makes the shift run more smoothly and helps staff feel supported (knowing that a break is planned).  Be sure that someone relieves each staff member for an UNINTERRUPTED 30 minutes for break/ lunch.  This “someone” may need to be the house supervisor on night shift, or an extra staff member who just “covers for meal breaks” during days/ evenings.In so doing, I envision an improved level of satisfaction at work, safer patient care, and less burnout/ turnover of staff.  It’s certainly worth a try; we should insist on it each and every shift.   If you don't get coverage, my suggestion is to not only report it to your supervisor for pay, but to Risk Management as well, especially if it happens repeatedly.  Patients' lives are at risk when care-givers are not properly rested or fed.  Taking the best care of our patients begins with our own SELF-CARE!Warmest regards,Lisa