Nurse Re-embraces her Work

by Jen Smith, Australia

I had always tried to convince myself that I was healthy and happy. To be honest, I was overweight, never exercised, watched a lot of TV and spent a lot of time at the pub. Not to mention the fact that I completely ignored everything that I knew I needed to address – like how and why I ate, the excuses I made to myself about not going to the dentist and doctor. It goes on, but you get the picture. All of this and I work as a Nurse and a Herbalist!

I have been a student of Universal Medicine for 18 months or so. I first came to the clinic and workshops out of curiosity. I found that the practitioners of Universal Medicine were truly supportive and never lecturing. As I learn about being truly gentle with me and loving with me, all of what I was has changed and continues to change because I am choosing that way to be.

The most amazing thing that has happened to me, so far, is that I have gone from running away from my work as a nurse to totally re-embrace this as the work that I choose to do. I really want to be there. Nothing about my work environment has changed. Only me. I now love what I do and I take this with me every day that I am at work with people who are sick and dying and other nurses who feel like I used to. Imagine having a really busy day, chaotic but having fun and being joy-full at the same time. The quality of nursing care I give has changed enormously because of how it is that I care for me. This blows me away!!

The other amazing gift that I give myself everyday is that of time. I rarely rush to do anything now. I take my time when I prepare food. I have time to sit and read or have a cup of tea with a friend.

I have discovered and continue to discover that being me in the most gentle and loving way can be so simple.

93 thoughts on “Nurse Re-embraces her Work

  1. Giving up on work is very common, especially as most of us are exhausted and wishing for time off. I also fell into this category for most of my life telling myself I hated work, but the truth is I don’t hate work I hated how I felt at work. These days I find that the more I appreciate my colleagues, instead of having a running commentary of judgement, the more energy I have at the end of the day. The less snacking I do and the more the day flows without constantly watching the clock. I come out feeling energised and ready for the next phase of my evening.

  2. Having a bit of a ‘me too’ moment in the most positive way…. there was a time in my career when I was fed up with the Accounting service that I offer, and yet thanks in a big part to what I have learnt from Universal Medicine, I am in a much better place to offer a great service, I understand the value of what I am doing, and I genuinely have a passion for it that everyone can feel. Its now a blessing rather than a chore.

  3. I am sure many people in the health industry could relate to your feeling of overwhelm and exhaustion because they are intense environments to be in, so it is amazing that you have turned this around simply by taking a different approach and focusing more on the care you have for yourself and that you have noticed big changes in how you work and how much you are affected by work as a result. This is very inspiring for many I’m sure to read how possible and simple it is to make changes and that it is not an inevitable thing that work has to be hard and draining and difficult.

  4. Health care is changing, everything is ramping up. We are busier than ever, patients have more complex needs, physically, emotionally and psychosocially. More is asked of health professionals everyday. We really do need health professionals that are not only committed to what they do, but enjoy not only their work, but the people we care for and our colleagues that we work with.

    1. It is true, the demands on healthcare professionals continue to intensify and even more reason why it’s essential they take tender loving care of their bodies so to make them fit for life and the work they do supporting others. Much easier to enjoy your work if you’re at ease with yourself.

    2. If the NHS concentrated on that, it would revolutionise the health system… not because of a fancy new drug, or a complex new procedure, but because it all rests on a foundation of care that can so often get forgotten in these increasingly demanding times.

  5. There are some things we try to convince ourselves about but the fact that there are so many discrepancies make us to be aware. Yet, there are other things that we have said yes which are not true but are much harder to even realize. These are the harder ones.

  6. I have seen this re-invigoration for work (and life in general) in many people who come to Universal Medicine modalities or presentations. Even though we don’t know why, we lose interest in life as it keeps offering answers that turn out to not be ‘it’. Whereas, when you get to know yourself again, start to heal the weight of past choices from the body, everything feels different and you want to get back into life to offer something other than empty answers to other people.

  7. If we look at the health and wellbeing of nurses generally we are not doing well. Sick leave is on the rise, people come to work unwell, so function below par, rates of depression are rising. Many nurses work part time because they simply can’t face being at work more than they can cope. Its great that self-care is now being discussed, its on the page. But whilst we think self care as a list of things that we do for ourselves, nothing will change for us. When we consider how we are with everything and our quality of living in this, then we will start to see the shift.

  8. There is no doubt that the quality of care we offer ourselves is a powerful tool to how we are with all that is around us. It has a very natural ripple effect, that we may not necessarily realise initially. But then suddenly we do and we notice how being gentle, as a start, with ourselves changes to us being that very same way with others. Self care is about the quality of how we care for ourselves, therefore it can never be a stagnant box of things to do that we tick off. It also makes it something that we can deepen and develop for there is no end.

  9. It’s amazing how we can convince ourselves how well we are doing, for example that we are fit even though we can’t walk up stairs without puffing and exertion. Honesty starts with self.

  10. I love the way you talk about not rushing, I have learnt that if I rush in the morning I am out for most of the day, I am constantly rushing or behind where I need to be, yet on the days that I allow myself the space to prepare and get ready everything has its own beautiful natural flow.

  11. This short article is like a miracle. It is an example of how when love and care are applied, the whole experience of life and work changes.

  12. It’s amazing Jen to read the many life changes you have made and how you are now embracing work, all from being loving and gentle with yourself. Self care is a very solid foundation for then bringing more care into every part of our lives, including work. Life does not have to be a drudgery, as you have shown it can in fact be very joyful – work included.

  13. There is the saying “the shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot” (In Spanish “en casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo) that tells us that people who have the knowledge may choose not to be in the livingness of it. When this happens, the quality of the service we deliver is not remotely what it could be.

  14. ‘The quality of nursing care I give has changed enormously because of how it is that I care for me. This blows me away!!’ Awesome Jennifer – inspiring for everyone.

  15. A nurse and a herbalist who buried her head into the sand to ignore the obvious regarding her own lifestyle choices and general health status…. The irony of this should not be lost on any of us but I would say this way of living is not all that an uncommon past time in this day and age for many health care workers. But seriously, what are we doing to ourselves when we choose to ignore what is clearly not a loving way to care for ourselves and correct and heal our errant ways.

  16. 5 Years on from this article and things have changed so much. But my love and commitment for my work deepens. My work is busier than ever. I have moments where I wobble for sure, but on the whole I am a steady as a rock and I see what that brings when I simply walk into a house, what it brings to a family and what it brings to a patient. A lot of the time all I do is listen to what is being said, but in that is everything.

  17. If we appreciated ourselves and I mean truly deeply whole heartedly went to town on appreciating and valuing ourselves and the true qualities we bring to this world, our entire experiences of work and hence our attitudes towards work would entirely change.

    1. It’s amazing Jen to read the many life changes you have made and how you are now embracing work, all from being loving and gentle with yourself. Self care is a very solid foundation for then bringing more care into every part of our lives, including work. Life does not have to be a drudgery, as you have shown it can in fact be very joyful – work included.

    2. I agree Joshua, when it’s about honouring and valuing the person we are in essence and taking those incredible qualities to work, and meeting others in their essence and qualities it transforms the purpose of work. We still get work done but it’s what we bring to what we do that matters. It’s a really beautiful way to be at work.

  18. It is interesting how if we do look after ourselves, we can feel like we want to run away from the work we do. Like it is too much and we cannot cope, but in truth it has lot more to do with how we are living not what we do as a job. Often we are in just the right job, where we can be of great service and really flourish, if we make self-care a priority.

  19. Thank you Jen – so true, once we are , as we are, we are constantly being pulled up to stand up for it and continue to deepen our way.. this means we constantly have to adjust our every day living accordingly to what is needed for our next step to take.. A very powerful and strong approach that results in the saving of our true selves and each other (humanity).

  20. “The quality of nursing care I give has changed enormously because of how it is that I care for me. This blows me away!!”
    This blows me away too.. I don’t work as a nurse, but in life in general the love I feel for others is beyond anything I have before experienced and yes, it is joyful and fun, even on those challenging days.

  21. Beautiful. True nursing when you take love and true care to every patient, colleague and yourself with every touch and word.

  22. It is a modern day miracle – changing from running away from work to totally embracing it, but you are still at the same job, nothing at work changed, but YOU changed, and that actually changed everything. Truly awesome.

  23. This is an astonishing turn around Jen, and speaks volumes, ‘The most amazing thing that has happened to me, so far, is that I have gone from running away from my work as a nurse to totally re-embrace this as the work that I choose to do. I really want to be there.’

  24. It is amazing the changes this choice brings to our lives, ‘As I learn about being truly gentle with me and loving with me, all of what I was has changed and continues to change because I am choosing that way to be.’ Beautiful.

  25. Inspiring story Jen, this just shows how we are very quick at complaining about how we don’t like work, but in actual fact, it is our relationship with ourselves that needs to be honestly looked at, as once we embrace self-care and love into our lives there is more joy in everything we do.

  26. Dropping rushing about has been so powerful for me. I’m not saying I never rush – that wouldn’t be true – but most of the time I don’t, and am connecting more and more to the stillness and steadiness that is actually mine and everyone else’s natural way of being. I have used rushing and going into nervous energy as a way of getting through what needs to be done. I used to think it was the only way I’d be able to do everything. But now I am finding by staying with the task in hand and not constantly thinking about whats next, there is so much more space in my day. It’s pretty amazing.

  27. On those days where I do truly look after me- everything flows much more and I am less stressed. I don’t get caught up in the day, it doesn’t affect me as much. I find I am more able to observe what’s going on and respond with what is needed.

  28. And knowing this particular writer personally I can absolutely vouch for her vitality and her joy of living, and I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to be working in a ward with such a vital, alive, and committed person.

  29. “The other amazing gift that I give myself everyday is that of time.” It makes all the difference in my world to give myself space to feel and understand life and myself from my body – it keeps it very simple.

  30. ‘The quality of nursing care I give has changed enormously because of how it is that I care for me.’ Jen, I have to say that the pure logic of this statement is so practical and true it should form the basis of a subject in every Bachelor of Nursing and Endorsed Enrolled Nursing course Australia wide.

  31. It is remarkable that you can say, I love my work as so many people today just look forward to their time off work or try not to work at all. However I can totally relate to this Jen, that work can be very fulfilling and brings a lot of joy into ones life – something I learned studying with Universal Medicine.

  32. The healing and transformational power that self-care can have is quite extraordinary shown by the way you now embrace your work in the way you do…. This is a quality that is paramount and an absolute gift to all who are treated by you as well as those you meet.

  33. It is interesting how we convince ourselves to be happy and healthy even the reflection from our body and relationships is so different – if we would just not numb ourselves so much to not become aware of it.

  34. I have seen hundreds of cases like these, where the teachings of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine have presented teachings that allow one to unfold and expand into themselves. Watching those people lose excess weight, wear their true smile, walk their own walk has been absolutely amazing

  35. Everyone would benefit from this Jen – maybe particularly in nursing but I would say that just about every profession has its stresses and knowing that we can change the way we are at work is huge, meaning how much we are allowing ourselves to feel what we really need in terms of rest, food, structure etcetera. We seem to have a tendency to want to patch up or correct what is wrong a bit too quickly so we reach for the coffee or sugary snack but in the end we need to look at what it is that makes us so tired.

  36. I really had to laugh when I read the start of your blog, summing up the way you live and ending this with ‘All of this and I work as a Nurse and a Herbalist!’ But actually it is quite sad as a lot of health professionals are living (or should I say are surviving) in the way you have described your life up until the point that you became a student of Universal Medicine. We need to get honest about the way we live and or we are only just coping or truly live a life of purpose and thus with love and joy are in the energy of serving others while we take care for ourselves first, It is all about the quality we live in.

  37. ‘I really want to be there. Nothing about my work environment has changed. Only me. I now love what I do and I take this with me every day that I am at work with people who are sick and dying and other nurses who feel like I used to’. I love this Jennifer, how our work and life is changing when we start to love ourselves. It is such a joy to bring that love and care into nursing, beautiful.

  38. “The quality of nursing care I give has changed enormously because of how it is that I care for me.” Wow Jen that is really wonderful and I am wondering why not every other nurse around you is not curious about what you have changed in your life to be like that.

  39. “I have discovered and continue to discover that being me in the most gentle and loving way can be so simple.” You prove that it is not just about what we do but the way we are with what we do that makes the difference to whether we enjoy our work or not.

  40. The quality we live in, when we allow these gifts for ourselves is something, others enjoy, too. More than enjoy, it’s a healing gift, because the space in my day is the space in my body is felt by everyone.

  41. To allow yourself enough space and time for all the little tasks that need to be done is truly a beautiful gift. Isn’t it our days like this that feel so perfect and like a holiday? Isn’t that what we like so much about holidays? To have enough time and space for everything? Well, how empowering it is to choose this everyday! We have the power to reconfigure this into our days.

  42. What I love about your blog is that you now give yourself time. Sometimes we might feel like we are lazy or not worthy when we are not constantly running around pushed by time but I found that being busy does not define who I am and then it is really loving to make time to prepare for work, leave on time and so on.

  43. Serge Benhayon offers us all such a simple truth, that it is not the work we do but the way we are with ourselves in whatever we do. When we bring self-love to ourselves we take love to share with everyone we meet. Love really can make the world go around.

  44. The choice to be gentle and self-loving is a real enabler in deepening our connection to who we truly are. Something so simple – with a sprinkling of commitment and dedication – that has such profoundly life-enhancing results not only for ourselves but just as importantly for all those who come into contact with us.

  45. I loved reading your blog Jen. Self-care works, you turned your working life around and you are a blessing to all of your patients because of the choices you are now making. When a health care practitioner is gentle with us it seems to solve 90% of the pain then and there because in that reflection we surrender and feel held – thank you.

  46. Yes Jen how simple life can really be when we take the complications out of ‘getting through it’ and instead take us to all we do in a gentleness, and flow of our natural rhythm. I know the person I’d want caring for me if I needed it!

  47. Jen, it is really inspiring to read of your journey from how you were less than happy in your job as a nurse, to now totally embracing your role in the caring profession, as this turnaround came from your choice to care for yourself, it clearly shows the importance of self-care in our live and the lives of those around us.

  48. Giving yourself time is the idea that stands out for me here today in this blog and many of the others. I feel I have had so much on lately that giving myself time to appreciate each moment has suffered. So, loving what I do and the relationships I build will be a beautiful focus now.

  49. I can imagine that by you not rushing the ongoing effect at work would be enormous. You would also be able to support people when their bodies are healing to see there is a way to live that does not need to include the crazy pace of life we call normal, not by the words you use but by way you are in what you do.

  50. Gorgeous blog Jen. When our life becomes a gift we give to ourselves, our life also becomes a gift to everyone else.

  51. Jen this is such an inspiring post and one that as a nurse myself feel would be great for the many nurses who are disillusioned to read.

  52. ‘As I learn about being truly gentle with me and loving with me, all of what I was has changed and continues to change because I am choosing that way to be.’ It is a forever deepening process, the moment I think and live ‘this is it’ I am stuck and by surrendering to the love again I can let go of what does not support me anymore.

  53. Jen this is such an awesome example of how by choosing to embrace all of you in your life that the quality of your life has shifted massively. It’s not about what we do, but the quality or way in which we live that makes the life we live. Beautiful.

  54. Soon after meeting Serge Benhayon and attending a Universal Medicine retreat, I started a new job. Most things I do in my job are the same as in previous jobs, but I went into it with a different intention, I wasn’t looking for the job to make me happy and successful, it just felt like the perfect place for me to work and I absolutely love being there. When there have been uncomfortable or difficult situations, instead of looking for an escape route – a new job – I was able to look at my part to play and learn from it. The reason I love my job is because I have stopped running away from my life and looking for something better else where, the job didn’t really change, I did.

    1. It’s a great point Laura, we keep trying to rearrange the outside life but not change how we feel within.

  55. Hi Jen, what really stood out for me this time as I read your article was that you give yourself time. Even as I write this I can feel a part of me wanting to rush and ‘get it done’! Clearly, I have an opportunity here to allow myself the grace and time to express in full rather than rush 😜
    Thank You! XX

  56. Going from running away to re-embracing is something that I have also done since I started to make a conscious choice to bring more gentleness into the way of my being. It feels very settling to confirm my re-commitment to life, and it reminds me how important it is to be consistent and steady in that choice.

  57. It’s inspiring to read how you chose to live and express has changed simply by being truly gentle and loving with yourself. What a wonderful reflection you provide for those around you. Thanks Jen

  58. “Not to mention the fact that I completely ignored everything that I knew I needed to address”.
    This is my experience too, Jen. When I was inspired by practitioners and students of Universal Medicine to make changes in my life, these were changes I knew I needed to make for a long time but chose to ignore the fact. I was never told to change, but was inspired to make more responsible and loving choices. As you mention, this not only effects me, but all those around me too.

  59. You are so right Jen, being me in loving gentleness – is simple (if not always easy) and has certainly been a great step in transforming my life in a similar fashion to yours. And I love my work too!

  60. Its brilliant to read of how you have transformed your relationship with your work and also that of time. I find that I can still rush to complete tasks but can see from your sharing how counterproductive that can be and how important it is to take the time for ourselves.

  61. What a privilege Jenny for both patients and your work colleagues to work along side you, to receive your gentle touch and to observe and, even share in your joy in an environment that can have many challenges. There is an art to nursing and I don’t just mean managing challenges using whatever means possible to survive them but the art of being loving with others at a time when they are often under the physical and emotional stress of illness and disease without becoming drained, exhausted and miserable. I am sure Jenny there is much you could say about this.

  62. Simple, brief and to the point – when we care for ourselves, we can truly care for others. This is true for all relationships. What an inspiration you must be to the other nurses and staff you work with Jen. Thanks.

  63. Very inspiring to read how you turned your life around, by choosing to be gentle and loving with yourself. Thank you Jen, for sharing.

  64. Great to read your blog Jen. I can so relate to the changes you feel at work now. I used to drag myself in to work and blame everyone and everything else when I was not enjoying it. A change of job didn’t make a difference but what did make a difference was when I changed how I looked after myself. Bringing self care and a rhythm that really supported me allowed me to re-embrace my work as a physiotherapist and I am now working many more hours each week, am in a more demanding job and can feel the quality I bring to work is so much greater than before. And I don’t feel drained at the end of the day.

    1. It’s such a common thing to feel like we either need to change jobs to alleviate our misery, or to tough it out til retirement. It’s amazing reading the blog and comments about how self care and reconnecting to the love within has changed how work is viewed. This is such an important thing to share because we work most of our lives and enjoying work would make a huge impact to our health and wellbeing.

  65. I have the same experience with my work, I love my work as a nurse as well. The moment I am not taking care for myself this changes. Sometimes I am in a rush when I go to my work and this stays all day with me, my nervous system is on the run and every moment and everyone is affected by this. The moment I choose to look after myself again by taking a moment to stop and feel my body and re-connect to the love I am, I am back and can be present and enjoy my work again.

  66. Thank you Jen for this great blog. I used to be exactly the same, overweight, tv, not so much pubs but certainly a lot of alcohol, doing a job just to pay the bills and of course ignoring everything and saying to myself that I will do it tomorrow – however, tomorrow mostly never comes.
    In my case, tomorrow did come and it came in the form of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon and I was shown that life didn’t have to be this way. I was shown that the choices I have made that got me where I was could easily be changed to get me out of where I was. Of course I already knew this, so what was different here? Two things: firstly I was introduced to the fact that I am responsible for everything that happens to me and secondly that I was worth it. Simple really.

  67. I absolutely agree Jen that changing the way you look after yourself changes everything, including the way you feel about your work. I know I have at times disliked work, but this has only been when something has not been right in myself, now it’s easy to see that when things feel right in me I love any job I need to do, even hoovering…

  68. My mum has been ill a lot for the last 12 years. English is not her first language, but because of the war in Kosovo, she had nowhere else to escape but to London where I live. So I have now spent 12 long years spending countless hours in our local hospital and even sleeping there on many occasions so that I could translate and take care of her. One beautiful thing I have been able to observe is my mum’s relationship with the nursing staff and doctors. Because she does not communicate with them through language she uses her feelings and boy she is so good at that (and so are we all, but most are not choosing). She would just observe a nurse and would say she (or he) hate being here. Or, “I really like when such and such nurse takes my blood, her hand is so gentle and I hardly feel the prick”.

    I remember one time an Irish lady in a bed opposite my mum’s had her blood taken by a nurse who on the outside looked very sweet and was kind and appeared gentle, yet the procedure on three occasions caused the Irish lady so much pain that she called the head consultant and in very plain Irish (it is one accent I wish I could do!) she just said: “I don’t want that nurse anywhere near me with a syringe – don’t get me wrong Sir – she is a lovely lass, but her hand is ‘killing me’ every time she goes to take a blood sample”. My mum did the same – every time we went to the blood room she would go for one particular guy, because she would say “I know he has a very gentle hand”.

    And yes, you are correct Jen, in the end it all boils down to human relationships and how nursing staff are with their patients – are their hearts there during the shift or not – and patients can definitely feel that.

  69. Twelve years ago I did actually give up my job, not because I hated it per se but because I could no longer handle the way it was asking me to be, the short deadlines, the commuting, the clients etc, etc… Welcome to the real world I hear you cry! However, many years later, with the support of the Universal Medicine presentations and that of the amazing practitioners in Australia and Europe I have discovered, in the process of getting to know and understand myself, that my work is simply an expression of me and the more I can feel my own quality the more I can recognise it in what I do each day. (I also recognised that the job I had given up was actually something I naturally love to do. An awesome discovery).

    It’s beautiful to hear how you have discovered being with yourself and gorgeous to hear the way you bring yourself to work joy-fully each day, what an inspiration for everyone around you.

  70. When I first came to the esoteric work I too was at a crossroad. I had lost my passion for dentistry, felt totally demoralised and demotivated and was simply going through the motions to bring home my pay. I ‘hated’ my patients and my job and was looking at quitting and doing something totally different. Through the Universal Medicine presentations and workshops I have been able to see that my work is about the relationships I have with people and that by being more connected to myself and them there is a joy in what I do. That was 8 years ago and now I have my own practice and love my job and know what I do and the way that I do it really makes a difference.

    1. Imagine if you had left? I see you now on social media and to me you are the most amazing dentist. I feel you are re-defining dentistry for your clients and for other dentists. Your care and integrity is obvious. What a crossroads, and it’s a true confirmation of what Universal Medicine delivers and the potential for all of us, by looking at the changes you have made Rachel.

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