Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me?

Why didn't anyone tell me how much I would LOVE working as a labor and delivery nurse?! Today I had the first clinical day of my "Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family" course. Over the course of six weeks we rotate through three different units: labor and delivery, postpartum, and the NICU. Today I spent my 12 hours on the labor and delivery unit and it was AMAZING! I've never attended a live birth before, so the whole experience was entirely brand new to me. I can't give any details or tell you any stories without violating patient confidentiality. But I can say that I got to assist in a delivery, watched another delivery, and helped a laboring mom as the anesthesiologist placed her epidural. I can't explain what exactly it is that I love so much about labor and delivery. I think it was partly the atmosphere of women helping women (sorry guys). Both of the residents working today were women and all the nurses were women. I've had this vision in my head of a nurse practitioner-run women's clinic for a while now. I am in love with the idea of an holistic women's health center run by nurse practitioners that includes general health care, obstetrics and gynecology, nutritional counseling, birthing classes, parenting classes, prenatal yoga, and a natural birthing center. Maybe that is the direction I want my nursing career to take....

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Wounded Warrior Project

For the many Americans who are not personally affected by the conflicts overseas, it can be easy to forget the price paid by so many soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors... and their families. On the Fourth of July and September 11th, people will express a surge of patriotic sentiment. But how many of them will still feel the same way in a week or a month? If you've never known someone lost to war, it's difficult to explain the weight of the grief that you carry with you. Remember to keep our service men and women in your prayers EVERY SINGLE DAY. Don't let the media confuse you. We still have husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and friends protecting and defending our freedoms overseas. They are risking their lives RIGHT NOW. Thousands of families here at home could lose a loved one at any moment. Many of those who do make it home do so with debilitating physical and psychological wounds. They will carry their experiences with them for the rest of the lives. Please consider making a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project as they work every day to honor and empower our wounded heroes. Don't just turn a blind eye to their struggles and pretend like you support our troops when it's convenient for you. Put your money where your mouth is. That magnet on the back of your pick up truck doesn't help anyone. We want to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history. They're not a tool for political grandstanding. They're people. And they need your help. Pray for their safe return to their families and pray for peace around the world.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Crane Sequence

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Head to Knee Sequence

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

40 Days Beneath the Veil: Day 22

It's been a while since I wrote anything about my experience with veiling, so I thought I would give you all a quick update on how things have been going. I'm sure there are a few of you who are eagerly awaiting my epiphany on all the spiritual gifts of veiling and how I may have grown in my relationship with God. But I'll be completely honest in saying that I cannot wait for Easter Sunday to be here. I don't know what I expected this veiling experience to be like, but it has not satisfied me the way I thought it would.

One of my primary motivations for veiling this Lent was as an act of penance for my vanity and to humble myself a little. The problem is that instead of spending lots of time and energy on my hair every morning, I'm spending it on selecting the perfect scarf to wear and making sure it coordinates with whatever outfit I have on that day. I feel like I spend most of my day fussing with my scarf either because it's super windy and the stupid thing won't stay in place, because I'm overheating and I want to re-position it so I get good air circulation underneath, or some other equally ridiculous reason. The intention was for it to make things simpler and take attention away from my appearance, but I feel like it's had the exact opposite effect.

In contrast, I will say that I have enjoyed veiling at church. I feel like it helps keep me from being distracted by the other parishioners by acting kind of like blinders. However, I think that I might actually be more of a distraction to others than I when my "glory" (my hair) was showing. In retrospect, I think the whole exercise of veiling would have been more effective and more rewarding if I had chosen to veil only at church and if I had purchased either a black or white chapel veil to wear instead. That would turn my practice of veiling into a symbol of the sanctity of the sacraments and our corporate worship. I am still considering this for myself for after Easter.

One thing that has been fun about veiling is having the opportunity to talk about it with some of my peers. For the most part, no one from nursing school has really asked me about veiling. I was actually quite surprised by this for the first few days because I had assumed that people would be curious about it. But I am very proud to say that my fellow students are very culturally competent, something which is pretty much beaten into our heads from day one, and those who have asked me about it have been very polite in doing so. Others have been reading this blog. Either way, it has been rewarding to introduce others to the idea of veiling. Even if none of them ever pick up the practice, they will be better informed should they ever encounter a patient or patient's family member who does.

As for me, I am trying to figure out a good solution for when the hubs and I take our little man cub down to Florida to visit with Grandma next week. I'm thinking I may go with some wide-brimmed sun hats in place of my lightweight scarves so I don't pass out from the heat. Oh, and did I mention how I'll be traveling via airport with the baby by myself? That should be fun. I wonder what the TSA agents will think of my headcoverings?

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Revolved Triangle Sequence

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Water Light Sequence

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

12 Habits for a Healthy Lifestyle

1.     Positive Mental Attitude
a.     Stop negative thinking as soon as you notice it and count your blessings.
b.     Practice positive affirmations.
c.      Do karma yoga (selfless service).
d.     See humor and seek laughter.
e.     Practice loving-kindness meditation.
2.     Healing Relationships
a.     Take a look at your closest relationships on a regular basis and question “Is this nurturing to my Self?” Is this purifying to my ego?”
b.     Always seek nurturing and purifying associations and friendships.
c.      In your closest relationship, what quality can you cultivate and have more of?
d.     Find a spiritual mentor/teacher who resonates with you.
e.     Find a healing support group or a spiritual community.
3.     Healing Sensory Input and Environment
a.     Spend time out in nature.
b.     Be mindful of TV programs, shows, movies, newspapers, books, magazines, and Internet media.
c.      Look at what you see, read, and hear through the lens of detached, yogic, loving discrimination: “Will this make me more peaceful, more loving, and more selfless?”
d.     Create a healthy environment and sensory healing through the use of healing colors where ever you spend the most time: bedroom, dining room, office.
e.     Create sensory healing with positive visual images.
f.       Create sensory healing through the use of healing. Sounds.
g.      Use different scents and aromas for healing, relaxation, and well-being.
h.     Clear physical clutter.
i.       Take a look at your bookshelves and the DVD library and replace anything negative with something positive.
4.     Mental Tension Relief and Stress Reduction
a.     Take a mini-vacation at least one every two months in a place where you can be timeless.
b.     Spend a few minutes in yogic deep relaxation every day.
c.      Practice barefoot yoga or find another way to connect to the Earth on a good weather day.
d.     Chant or hum “omm.”
e.     Seek humor and seek laughter.
f.       Practice slow breathing.
g.      Establish and keep up a daily meditation practice.
h.     Get a pet or find a way to connect to animals.
5.     Find Your Perfect Calling: Right Livelihood
6.     Energy Cultivation
a.     Spend time in nature.
b.     Regular pranayama practice.
7.     Sufficient Sleep and Rest
a.     Make your bedroom a place of rest.
b.     Early to bed, early to rise.
c.      Get yourself physically tired.
d.     Practice abdominal breath to induce the relaxation response.
8.     Exercise
a.     Cardio exercise three times a week.
b.     Muscle-strengthening, weight-bearing exercise.
c.      Work on flexibility every day. Stretch out to the edges of your comfort.
d.     Develop balance with multi-dimensional forms of exercise.
9.     Relief of Physical Tension
a.     Stretch every day.
b.     Practice restorative yoga poses.
c.      Get a massage.
10.  Healthy Digestion
a.     Chew food well.
b.     Consume enzyme-rich foods or take an enzyme supplement (especially fresh fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, sprouted grains and beans).
c.      Drink a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water first thing in the morning.
d.     Eat less.
e.     Eat simple meals with less than three types of food.
f.       Drink hot tea or water with lemon.
g.      Do not snack between meals.
h.     Eat pro-biotic foods a few times a week to maintain healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
11.  Healing Diet
a.     Eat simple meals.
b.     Eat as much organic food as possible.
c.      Eat as much locally-grown food as possible.
d.     Go easy on proteins and fats.
e.     For healthy protein, eat foods rich in amino acids.
f.       Get a daily surplus of antibiotics.
g.      Eat pro-biotic foods a few times a week to maintain healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
h.     Eat a good daily share of raw foods rich in enzymes (especially fresh fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, sprouted grains and beans)
12.  Detoxification
a.     Drink plenty of fluids.
b.     Go to sleep at 10 PM.
c.      Sweat regularly.
d.     Teach yourself to breathe through the nose, not through the mouth.
e.     Cleanse the nasal passages with a nasal wash.
f.       Drink a shot of wheatgrass juice or another green vegetable juice (spinach, kale, parsley) several times a week.
g.      Supply your body with a full range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
h.     Supplement your healthy diet with high-quality nutritional supplements that provide the full spectrum support and help detoxify the body.
i.       Get a massage/bodywork that improves circulation.
j.       Do a mini-fast.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.