I am so excited to share this with you.
It’s my before and after story.
Twenty-four hours in the hospital comes with a price. Under the best circumstances it upsets the body’s natural circadian rhythm disrupting sleep patterns and normal functioning of the body. Add to that, the multiple pages and phone calls triggering a fight or flight response and it’s no surprise physicians live in a constant state of stress.
One of my favorite sayings that survives from residency and fellowship is ‘morning always comes.’ In my early career, ‘morning’ signified dragging myself home, relieved that I made it through the shift, anxious to greet my bed. After a few hours I’d struggle to get up in an effort to make something of the few remaining hours of daylight before preparing for work the next day.
That was before.
For over a decade I’ve incorporated self-care practices in my daily routine to manage my energy and allow ease and flow in my life and career.
As a result, here is my after.
I’m at the computer in the on-call room finishing the admission note. It’s the 21st hour of a 24-hr shift. Silence surrounds me, probably for the first time.
The telephone isn’t ringing. There is no delivery to attend. No one needs me right now. My next move is entirely up to me. Maybe I’ll try to get some rest before the incoming physician arrives. As tempting as that sounds, history has taught me that at this hour it is the most difficult thing to do.
Without a clear intention my mind wanders and before I know it, I’m in the process of reconnecting to my higher self. I call it the Discover You Process, to discover who you are behind the stethoscope, the white coat, and all things doctor. It taps me into the core of who I am. It provides access to love and well-being.
And there I am, a few hours left of a 24-hour shift, when I usually feel drained and anxious to leave, tapping into the warmth of my heart filled with love for who I am and how I show up in my life. I appreciate me for being me. I love me. I’m grateful for my journey. I’m grateful for being in a place where my approval comes from within me and no longer looking for approval or appreciation or acceptance from the outside as was once the case in my before story.
The exhaustion eases as a sense of peace takes over. At this moment I am at peace. Peace is available to you, too.
Here’s the steps to my Discover You process so that you have access to peace in moments of stress and overwhelm.
Step 1. Honor Yourself. I thought about the things that I love about myself and make me happy, like my interest in sewing. As I appreciate all of who I am, my heart rate slows to a nice, steady, even pace.
Step 2. Energize The Day. I’ve edited this to Energize This Moment. I close my eyes and imagine myself in nature, envisioning the blue sky and the trees. I feel the breeze around me. I imagine myself by the ocean, my favorite place to be. As I envision all of this my energy soars.
Step 3. Awaken possibilities. My usual routine after a shift is to shower and get to sleep immediately. In this process I’m taking a walk before heading home. The walk aligns with my desire to incorporate healthy practices into my life. In this process I see it as a possibility and it empowers me.
Step 4. Live fully. By the time I get to this step my energy is high. I feel good. I look forward to the end of the shift, not because I’m running away from the hospital, but because I’m rejoining my life already in progress.
I’ve been using this process for other areas of my life, not realizing the power it has to shift my perspective as I transition from work to home. I’m delighted by the impact it has. Like most things in life, it works when you do the work.
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