Refuel Your Heart Through Gratitude
Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” When one is experiencing gratitude, true gratitude the heart is full. There is nothing else that is missing or desired in that moment. Gratitude in itself is a blessing because it opens our heart and helps us experience true heart centered living. Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life, the practice of mindfulness and an opportunity to reflect on the abundance of being alive…truly alive. It leads us to giving more to others. To being more helpful because there is more love and meaning in our hearts.
The benefits of a gratitude practice are numerous from improving mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health to improving culture, retention, reducing stress and burnout within an organization or department.
This time of year every year I take time to count my blessings. To really reflect on the abundance and goodness I am surrounded by day in and day out. This activity is in addition to the active practice of gratitude that I have been intentional about for the past several years. The specific topic that I have chosen to focus my gratitude on this season is the nursing profession. There are so many reasons to be grateful to work in nursing. As you read this list, I challenge you to see which ones you identify with and what you would add to the list from your perspective.
I am grateful for:
- Knowing my purpose that I was to be a nurse from age four
- The opportunity to make a difference and impact lives daily, supporting tens of thousands of people along the way
- The patients, family members and colleagues who were my teachers throughout the journey
- The personal and professional growth I have experienced as the result of this chosen field
- The school of hard knocks, mistakes I made and swamp (reflection) work that made me a better nurse and human being
- The stellar and not so stellar leadership role models within the journey through 41 years
- Enhanced and improved assertive communication over the years
- Compassion and empathy for the suffering that the human race endures
- Multiple inspirational influences—-and in turn the ability to inspire others
- The knowledge base I gained
- Multiple critical thinking opportunities
- The acute care health system I worked for which required me to become a strong generalist providing care across the continuum because of cross training
- Multiple position opportunities—ability to try on many roles throughout my career (i.e. supervisor, middle manager, director of nursing/patient care, professional development/education coordinator, medical staff liaison, etc.)
- The ability to share my love, my heart and my light with others
- Mentors who have inspired me, believed in me when I did not believe in myself
- Becoming aware of the impact that my personal judgment has had on others
- The brilliant colleagues I work with and have worked with along the way
- All the feedback given to me to date that has transformed me into the person and leader I am today
- Overcoming imposter syndrome
- The patience that is required—-truth is I am still a work in progress as this one is a life long journey for me
- On-going educational opportunities as there is always something new to learn
- The exploration of alternative healing modalities which led me to life coaching, Reiki and Emotion Code Healing options as it is important to get to the root of the “disease” from a holistic perspective
- Respect gained from colleagues along the way
- The honor and prestige to work in one of the highest rated professions in our nation
- The ability to choose daily the kind of nurse/leader I want to be
- Enough financial means to support and raise my family comfortably
- Discovery and development of my intrinsic gifts and strengths
- The opportunity to give back to the profession that gave so much to me
- Multiple occasions to pay it forward
This list could go on and on. What would you add to this gratitude list as a nurse? Take a moment to put your hand on your heart and truly breathe in gratitude for the profession you have chosen as your career.
Refuel your heart through the development of an active gratitude practice. Will you give it a try?