Who would have thought quietly sitting in a chair with my eyes closed and focusing on my breathing for 10 minutes once a day would make me feel better?
The whole idea of meditation always seemed too “Woo Woo” for my logical, rule following, pragmatic self.
But there has been more research on the benefits of meditation in the past decade and I couldn’t ignore what the science was showing. It made sense that meditation would be a biofeedback conduit, a way for me to access how my mind was affecting my body.
So, replacing my fixed mindset I opted to try daily meditation starting in January 2020. I completed two months of daily meditation before the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions started.
I’m so glad I had a daily mediation habit in place. It gave me time and space to experience a calm, peaceful mind; a place I dearly loved to go each morning before entering what would be an increasingly stressful, fearful, uncertain, and unprecedented way of being along with everyone else on the planet.
I became part of all the healthcare workers in outpatient care put on furlough. No longer an essential healthcare worker. Just another unemployed worker.
Initially I felt envy for hospital workers on the frontlines caring for patients infected with the highly contagious COVID-19 disease. I felt thwarted in not being able to do nursing when it was truly needed. But through meditation I realized my ego was making me feel this way. There were plenty of other ways to contribute to the community of care necessary to endure this pandemic.
Meditation is helping me see the strong value and purpose of pausing in my thinking to ask myself: What am I compelled to do right now? Then ask: What will this do for others?
These two questions accomplish confronting the ego and focusing my efforts on connecting to the community outside myself. Understanding this has reconnected me to my baseline nursing principal: I am the patient’s advocate, not mine, and provide to the patient what they realize at that moment will help them heal.
As I shelter in place with my family I look for ways to move outside of myself and focus on those around me. Once a nurse, always a nurse.