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... 

Tough Love!

Dear Unhappy Election Friends,I awakened this morning and just HAD to share my thoughts, so here they are.  There will be no “name calling” or shaming!  I am simply going to ask you some questions and share some observations with you.  Take what you want, and leave the rest… 1.      Have you ever heard the adage, “Actions speak louder than words?”  Well, your actions are 180 degrees in opposition of your claims of LOVE and ACCEPTANCE.  What you are telling me is that your word cannot be trusted; as such, you are making me suspicious of you (when I was not suspicious before).  I don't think that is the message you are trying to send.2.      “It’s not all about YOU!”  Funny thing, this country’s story is about ALL the 310 million souls who live here; most of whom are PROUD of their country and respect one another and the American flag. IF you are upset about something, then make a list, offer SOLUTIONS and follow the process that other people in a constitutional republic follow… the Rule of LAW.   ·        “In God we trust”- our motto (PS- Your God doesn’t have to look like my God)·        “E pluribus unum”- Latin for “Out of many, one” 3.      While many of the protesters may be older, I’m still seeing a lot of teenagers.  Should the Voting Age be the same as the LEGAL drinking age, 21?  Is voting TOO much responsibility for you?  Especially if LOSING is not in your vocabulary- here’s some competition etiquette.   ·        I know, you were taught that “everyone who participates, wins”.  What that means is that you should feel proud of yourself for competing and giving it your ALL.  Yet in the real world of adults, there is always going to be a winner (someone who comes in first place).  If you don’t like being the loser in the game, then reframe it as, “I came in SECOND PLACE”- ALL GOOD!  Then you graciously congratulate the winner.  It’s called “Good Sportsmanship”!  Not everyone gets a trophy… ·        PS- You don’t get to change the rules AFTER the competition is over! 4.       Safety Pins-  From my perspective they are used to hold up cloth diapers, or pieces of material that have been torn and need repair.  Are these the messages you want to send by wearing the pins?  Just because YOU see things a certain way, you cannot assume that everyone else has the same frame of reference.  ·         IF you want to designate yourself as a “Safe Place” for others who may be frightened, simply “Be the Change you want to See in the World”.  Stop fighting, calling names and spreading hate- then this need for a “safe place” would not be necessary; EVERY PLACE would be a SAFE PLACE! ·        In the meantime, I’ll strive to recognize your intention about the Safety Pin.  5.      There is no “US vs THEM” unless we keep seeing ourselves as separate from each other.  WE are all part of one another (on an energetic level), and when one of us is hurting we are all hurting.  ·        USE YOUR WORDS… If you hurt, take a deep breath, be calm and tell me what is wrong, so that we can work TOGETHER to solve the problem.  You must offer suggestion as well, because I don’t know your whole story… just be honest and don’t assume that because I may not look or dress like you, that I won’t understand… I will listen, I will not judge.·        We have ALL been manipulated by the media and politicians in this election.  They had an agenda and wanted a certain outcome.  That is NOT the role of the media or the “talking heads”, so perhaps the best solution to all of this is that their press privileges get revoked until they can report the facts objectively.   We will hold all elected officials accountable, yet give them a fair chance to prove themselves! 6.      White privilege-  Really?  The first time I heard this was over the summer.  I honestly think this is another ploy by those covertly in power to continue to fuel the race issue.  It is obvious that our skin colors are all unique, and I can no more change the color of my Eastern European skin (except by tanning) than anyone else can… nor should we have to.  Furthermore, I refuse to be “shamed” for MY skin color, any more than YOU should be shamed for yours!  ·        Let’s acknowledge and release any of the old stereotypes we’ve heard and simply meet new people without any agenda- Not, “my Black friend, Angela… or my White friend, Bill… just my NEW friends Manuel, Audre and Don."·        We should be building people UP, not trying to tear them down.  ·        Instead, Let’s talk about American privilege (yet in a positive way)- AMERICAN GRATITUDE: where we celebrate all the wonderful things about our country- freedom, stability, patriotism, compassion, etc.  Help me add to this list... We would also see that If we did that, we’d be unifying together and working towards making our country HONESTLY great again for everyone!   7.      There is wonderful diversity in our nation and everyone’s job is to learn from one another.  Name Calling and Bullying is JUVENILE and unacceptable.  This is something that Hillary’s supporters were passionate about, so STOP calling anyone who doesn’t agree with you names like bigot, racist, sexist, xenophobe, misogynist, etc.  You don’t know me… yet! ·         It is human nature to notice differences- we are hard-wired to do so from a biological survival perspective.  The thing that makes us HUMAN is our ability to reason and feel.  I implore everyone to start using both our heads and hearts again looking beyond just ourselves and outward to one another with compassion.  In striking out against someone else, you are actually hurting yourself as well.  ·        PS- TOUGH LOVE works and builds people of character, strength and compassion... Give it a try! Enough said, it’s time for a cup of coffee and positive start to my day.   Namaste...   

Seek First to Understand... especially in Politics

Without stating the obvious, this has certainly been a CRAZY week in politics!  As a result, I needed to focus my energy  in a positive fashion... to try to get a handle on the polarization that has become so evident in America today.During this tumultuous political cycle, Saul Alinsky’s name kept popping up, so I did some basic research- Wow, this certainly explains A LOT!  As I see it, his guidelines may be motivation for the continued “US vs THEM” mentality in the United States of America today.While the following tactics (#1-13) may have been an effective plan at the time they were written (1971), I believe that our country has made great strides in equality, accessibility and openness over the last 45 years.  Yet, each time positive strides are made, someone is ready to stir the pot, call names, and poke the bear.

Healing "Us vs. Them"

Childish and counterproductive, especially IF the goal is unification and strengthening of our country.  However, if the covert goal is to keep the wedge between groups of citizens, in order to maintain your voter base, it makes sense that certain politicians continue to use these dated, destructive guidelines.  Personally, I agree with many citizens that it IS time to move forward and NOT “set the country back 50 years” in politics.  To do so in a healthy way, I suggest reframing Alinsky’s divisive tactics and building deep UNITY in our great country.My new “preferred pronoun” is WE… WE are all in this together.  WE are living in the same land under the same Constitution, together.  WE are the United States of America.IF there are changes to be made, WE do so in a respectful manner.  WE do not destroy property when disappointed, frustrated or angry- that may be understandable as a toddler- yet it’s time to grow up as a country.  If WE want to be taken seriously and build long-lasting equality and unity, it must be based on acceptance and understanding, not intimidation.

Rules for Radicals 2.0

Saul Alinsky's,  Rules for Radicals (1971) summary list is noted here- quite the "eye opener".   These original 13 rules and explanations are copied from the Wikipedia link.  Under each one, I have offered an updated suggestion in bold bullets.  My goal is to have us honestly look at how we ended up where we are, and hopefully build a healthier way forward together.

  1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.
  • Power is sourced from within and should be based on courage, not fear.  It should NOT be sourced from money, people, flesh or blood. 

2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.

  • Explore the expertise outside of your people; it provides a more inclusive perspective. 

3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.

  • There is no enemy. Stop causing insecurity and anxiety.  Talk openly and build consensus by sharing ideas and solutions from a variety of sources. 

4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

  • Again, there is no enemy.  WE in America have one “book of rules”, the Constitution.  It has a plan for change- follow it, and always respect how far it has brought us as a nation.

5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

  • Shaming is NOT acceptable.  If WE plan to live together in harmony, WE must stop “pushing buttons” and strive for healthy solutions and unity. 

6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

  • A good tactic is one that has meaning; if enjoyable, that’s good too!

7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news.

  • A tactic or approach that has not produced healthy solutions should be discarded. 

8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

  • Be persistent and always follow-up.  This should NOT be from the perspective of keeping people off balance, but with the goal of building consensus and solutions. 

9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

  • Threats, really?  Provide solutions and consequences for each discussion point/ grievance.  Remember, WE will all be living together after the endeavor is complete. 

10. "The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition." It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.

  • Constant pressure is counterproductive- Too much pressure causes excess stress which often elicits hostile reactions, instead of the desired positive responses. 

11. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.

  • There are positive and negative aspects to every political option.  Be careful what you push forward, as it may get accepted as it stands.  Push forward the POSITIVE!

12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.

  • The price of a successful proposition is a constructive alternative.  Never let the rival feel attacked, as they become defensive and communication shuts down.

13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

  • Pick the target goal, seek to understand, don’t make it personal and depolarize the issue.  Only by seeing similarities, building consensus and avoiding extremes can WE heal and build true unity. 

Thanks for taking the time to “listen” to my thoughts about politics and healing.  Ponder them with an open mind and heart.  BTW- The full moon is tomorrow (11/14/16- when originally written)- a great time to release that which no longer serves us… I propose we release the fear, anger and divisiveness and move towards healing and unity.  There is MUCH work to be done!Sent with continued peace, love and light,Lisa

Reclaiming Health & Vitality!

How would you feel if you learned that the “health care" industry and Big Pharma BENEFIT from the chronic illnesses that continue to affect nearly 50% of the US Adult population?  That’s right... and the US spent 86% of all health care spending in 2010 on those conditions (heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis).  You feel poorly and Big Pharma reels in $297.7 BILLION from prescription medications (2014).Wouldn’t you at least expect to start feeling BETTER (with more zest, enthusiasm, vigor and energy); to be able to come off those chronic meds soon with the help of your doctor?  Sorry- the clinical trials are not being done for that purpose… they are being conducted to find more reasons to place us on meds (lower the “risk criteria”) and to keep us on them for as long as possible.In Drugs for Life, Dumit (2012) notes that the goal of pharmaceutical marketing is, “not to cure people or to identify those who should be cured, but to grow the number of new prescriptions as much as possible.”  (p. 15).  Even more disturbing, is that health is not even a goal any longer- we’ve been programmed to start seeing ourselves as being inherently ill.  WRONG message!!!I am an innately HEALTHY human being and choose to embody this definition of VITALITY while on Earth…  "A vital person is someone whose aliveness and spirit are expressed not only in personal productivity and activity- such individuals often infectiously energize those with whom they come into contact." (Peterson and Seligman, 2004, p. 273)

What Can We Do?

Personally, I'm fed up with MISINFORMATION, both in politics and “healthcare” today.  It is time to listen to our bodies and reclaim our own HEALTH!  We are smart, rational human beings- time to make some better choices!  The good news is that instead of "drugs for life" which do little to improve overall wellbeing or vitality, we CAN regain our true HEALTH with four simple actions:  1) exercising (moving more), 2) eating better (nourishing real foods, not processed substitutes), 3) not smoking and 4) moderating alcohol consumption.  ***Reminder- Never stop your meds without consulting your doctor. 

How Can it Help?

By embracing these simple changes, not only will we all FEEL better, but the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at least "80% of all heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes would be prevented, and more than 40% of cancer cases would be prevented." (CDC, 2009, "The Power of Prevention", p. 5).  Wow, that’s powerful- MUCH better than any improvement seen with current “disease management” and totally within our own control.Let’s be Brave and stick it to Big Pharma!  YOU and I have the power within our body/mind/spirit to be healthy and live a fully vital and expansive life!  Time to stop “drinking the Kool-Aid” of fear and victimization and embrace true HEALTH and VITALITY again.  We didn’t get here overnight, and the progress may be slow… but with courage and empowerment we can make some small positive changes daily, and enjoy an adventurous, healthier lifestyle, together!

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

Can Healing our Pain Crisis BEGIN by Flipping the Current pain scale?

As an RN for 30 years (most of it in the Emergency Department, Addiction Treatment & Acute Care), I've seen how "pain management" has failed in our country. The CDC has reported that despite opioid sales quadrupling between 1999-2013, patient pain levels are essentially unchanged, and sadly >40 people are losing their lives daily from overdoses. I've been wondering if resisting pain is part of the problem... After all, Carl Jung stated years ago, "That which we resist, persists."

Let's harness the energy from fighting pain... into gaining COMFORT

I am currently in Grad School examining my comfort_quest_vertical_with_purple_border-02idea of "Comfort Quest" which essentially reverses the old pain scale- placing Comfort at 10 (SMILING), pain at 0 (sad face).  When a patient is not optimal on the COMFORT scale, I ask them, "Do you think it's a body, mind or spirit issue causing the problem today?" It's amazing the answers I get (especially with chronic pain complaints) and the relief patients feel simply by explaining their situation and feeling heard.  Narcotics don't cure any of those causes... Dialogue is opened, trapped emotions get expressed and gentle healing can begin.

How will this help our Pain?

One of the main goals in using this positive tool will be patient empowerment. Part of my thesis is that we, as a society, have given up on the amazing power within our own body/minds.  If we don't feel well we assume that something is wrong and that there must be a pill to solve the problem.  Wouldn't it be more effective to actually listen to our bodies instead of silencing the messages?  I suggest that we FEEL what is going on and allow it to move through us (instead of trapping the pain/ emotions).   As we are healing, we can also employ our own amazing neurochemicals to help us regain homeostasis & balance.   Supporting us along the path back to vitality will be the vision of Comfort..."The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."  -SocratesThink about these ideas- I'd love to hear your thoughts!  There is so much more to explain as we work towards a better plan based on sound science and the power of the human body/mind.  I feel that it's definitely going to take ALL of us (doctors, PA's, NP's, RN's, etc.) working together with our patients to reclaim "health care" once again...In health and happiness,Lisa Evers, RN

HealthCare or Disease Promotion?

Welcome to my NEW website- still rough, and currently under development.  Thanks SO much for your patience.

I am migrating from one hosting site to another and am not very BLOG savvy as of yet... after all, we're healers, not computer programmers.  That said, I wanted to share some thoughts I had last summer (on my prior blogsite).  There is much more to share, as I am now focused on the Pain/ Addiction crisis plaguing humanity at this time.  Take a look at my LOGO "Comfort Quest" and let me know what you think... Doesn't it make much better sense to aim our sights TOWARDS Comfort instead of resisting pain.  As Carl Jung noted, "That which we resist, persists".  Let's refocus our amazing healing energies in a positive manner!

  • U.S. “Health Care”… when will it REALLY be HEALTH CARE vs “disease promotion”?

If the U.S. spent nearly $9K/ capita for health care in 2012, shouldn’t we expect a better Return on Investment (ROI)?  In 2006, when we were spending only $7K/ person, we were still spending more than TWO TIMES the average of other 29 developed countries… yet our health and average life expectancy is “lacking”, to put it kindly. I pulled the data last summer from the WHO.org website and saw that our US life expectancy was 79 years, which placed us at #37 (all countries included), smack between Qatar and Barbados, with Japan leading the pack with a ripe old age expectancy of 84.This is a clear example that MORE IS NOT BETTER! What will it take for each of us to turn things around and start claiming more responsibility for our own health?  Better yet, as nurses, I'm asking us all to stand together and join hands and voices to help heal our country... WE are in the trenches and know the answers!  Nursing and Medicine should be calling the shots, NOT the insurance companies... We need to judge our success by quality patient care and empowerment... NOT by speed and patient satisfaction scores.

  • How did we get here?

As we look at history, it is clear that not much has improved since 1970 (avg. US life expectancy 78.2). At that time the US was spending $5.5 Billion for retail prescriptions; in 2012 that spending had increased to $263.3 Billion (OMG). Another interesting point was that in 1970, 82.4% of those costs were paid “out of pocket”; now only 17.8% is paid personally with the brunt of the costs covered by insurance. One has to wonder... IF we each had to each pay for all of the poisons (prescriptions) we are being told to put into our bodies, would we do so? Especially when the outcomes are no better over the last 45 years!

  • WHAT IF WE REFOCUS THE COSTS?

    We think outside the box?  Could a portion of that $9K/ person of health care $$ be given to each of us as vouchers for healthy foods, INSTEAD of toxic poisons? Clearly our current system is not working well to manage chronic conditions (including obesity) which keep increasing, and is responsible for 7 of 10 deaths in the US. Time for some new ideas… let’s get creative!

We simply cannot keep doing the same thing (throwing lots of $$ toward ineffective medical/ disease management)- Fresh ideas and personal responsibility MUST be given voice and encouragement. Let’s harken back to the simpler days of Hippocrates when he is quoted as saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”… He definitely had the right idea- yet not just the empty calorie “fake foods” so popular these days- they MUST be healthy, real foods that are Nutrient Dense and toxin poor. I envision this as a real possibility- true health and QUALITY years in which each of us can live our lives fully, connecting with our communities and contributing to humanity with our unique talents in life…I look forward to YOUR thoughts and joining together as Nurses Healing HealthCare...Namaste, Lisa