Posted in All The Bits In Between, Birth, Family, Health, Music, Nursing, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Mental Health Month

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Hello beautiful people,

October is Mental Health Month.

http://www.mentalhealth.asn.au/

On a professional level, as a nurse, to me this means promoting good mental health, making sure people take the time out to let go of stress, relax, unwind, clear your thoughts and enjoy life for a moment. Reflect on where you are in life and whether or not you are in fact happy and experiencing good mental health. Mental Health Month also means promoting understanding and awareness for those in the community that live daily with Mental Illness.

The emergency department is often a place where those who are experiencing a mental health breakdown will present for treatment. Often these patients present scared, paranoid even, delusional, timid, aggressive, intoxicated and possibly even physically injured through self harm or assault. Plain as day these patients present in an incredibly vulnerable state!! I would like now to be a timely reminder to health-care workers to self reflect and remember your commitment to provide non-judgemental, compassionate, professional care!! And if you feel you are burnt out and cannot cope with a patient that is experiencing a mental health breakdown, then for your own mental healths sake, step aside and let one of your colleagues take over!! I feel disheartened when a patient with a mental illness who has self harmed or is paranoid and non-compliant is being judged by health care workers!! If you cant provide holistic care then don’t be there!! A person may appear to you as someone aggressive and yes you need to protect yourself however imagine how terrified they must be feeling to be reacting in such an inappropriate way. Mental Illness is just that, its an illness, they are sick and need help they do not choose to have these feelings, thoughts or behaviours, they are not well!! Its pretty rare that someone would consciously make the decision to behave in a paranoid, inappropriate way or self harm.

Anyway I’m no mental health expert, in fact I must confess that I find it confronting too at times, however more so because I feel sad at my lack of understanding of mental illness. There is just so much to know and sometimes the person that knows the most is the person that has been living with it for years.

Today I was invited to the premiere of a community film called ‘Voices Speak, Lives Change’ it was the project of a group called ‘Working from the ground up’ initiative of Sydney University and University of New South Wales in a collaborative effort with various other groups. The film was shown at the Ritz cinema in Randwick.

http://www.jnc.org.au/Publications/WFGU_Flyer.pdf

The motivation behind the film was to promote, raise awareness and (hopefully) to initiate action/change in the challenges faced by people with Mental Health Issues living in Social Housing in the Eastern Suburbs. The movie interviewed and touched on the lives of thirty four volunteers/participants willing to share their lives and stories in a very personal way.

http://www.jnc.org.au/

On a professional level I can distance myself from the emotional roller-coaster that may try and drag you into its thrilling ride of highs and lows, professionally I can resist the temptation.

On a personal level I will always love someone with Bi-polar………..

http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/bipolardisorder/causes.cfm

Mental Illness is like a cancer that wont go away, it can be treated but its laying dormant there under the skin, buried beneath the haze of medications, therapy and sometimes drugs and alcohol. Its not my area of expertise because I never wanted it to be.

I only want to know the person I love for who they are and not what their diagnosis is.

I know you and that is all I need to know, I know the highly intelligent, very artistic loving creative woman. I know the great cook, patient mother, loving, giving, self sacrificing soul. I know the poet, the song writer, the singer, the digital media producer, the ever creative being. I know you have Bi-polar and you don’t mind talking about it and of course neither do I, however you are so much more than just your diagnosis.

The movie was great and heart breaking at the same time, people in the community with mental illness who at times have felt vulnerable and powerless were given a voice!! They spoke of feeling lucky to live in such a nice area with beautiful beaches, they also spoke of feeling targeted and unsafe at times. This made me feel sad that people felt unsafe in their own homes because they are misunderstood. They requested community awareness about how their behaviour is sometimes out of their control and at times like this they need help not judgement.

Mental Health Month is not just about asking someone if they are okay or assessing them for a diagnosis, its about really reaching out to each other. To ensure you achieve good mental health yourself and to help others feel good and achieve and maintain good mental health too!!

http://www.mentalhealth.asn.au/images/MHM2012/mhm%20factsheet%20final%20text%20with%20graphics.pdf

For all that you do in our community as a volunteer to help others despite knowing at times you may need help yourself, for all your courage in promoting Mental Health Awareness, I will always be in awe of you!! 

For all that you’ve been through and continue to go through, despite how weak you feel at times, you will always be one of the strongest people I know!! 

People remember this, the neighbour crying out for help, the person on the bus next to you or the patient you are treating is someones family member. A grandparent, mother, father, sibling, aunt, uncle or cousin, someone somewhere loves them and though their behaviour may be challenging they should be treated with respect and afforded the same sense of self dignity as you and me. Please people remember don’t antagonise someone who is already mentally vulnerable.

Mental Health Month is about everybody being allowed to feel safe and happy in their own lives!!

For you sissy, love you dearly, remember when you use to sing this to me xoxoxox

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Peace, Love and Happiness 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Posted in All The Bits In Between, Birth, Death, Family, Fun, Health, Music, Nursing, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Self Reflection

Hello beautiful people,

These last few weeks have been so eventful that it seems I have barely had time to sit and quieten my mind. The ups and downs, highs and lows in life wash over us like the constant undulating waves in a choppy ocean. One can start to feel sea sick and emotionally overwhelmed with what life throws at us. At this point I feel its time to stop still on the shore and look out at the sea and source out the calm peaceful energy that one needs to remain centred in rough tides.

Self reflection is a concept that was taught to us all throughout our studies at University. The concept of being aware of the self in relation to ones professionalism, surroundings, mannerisms, behaviours and interactions with others is something that we are taught to be aware of and self evaluate in regards to these areas. However it is something I have always endeavoured to do throughout my life as I have always felt the eyes of society judging me (and not in a paranoid way of course). So many young women are socialised and raised with constant media barrage portraying images of how women should look and behave and on numerous occasions throughout my life I have been told things such as “shouldn’t you loose some weight”, “a lady shouldn’t speak like that” or “girls shouldn’t dress like that or play that game” and to this I would always say ‘really, why?” “Where is the rule book and where in it does it outline how a girl should behave”? I guess Ive always gone against the grain when it comes to how a woman should behave. I speak out for those that don’t have a voice, I’m strong minded and opinionated and I openly show affection! For some reason these qualities I openly embrace seem to make people feel uneasy, so I see its self reflection time again….

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As far as I see it if I’m not hurting ANYONE then why cant I do what I want? These kinds of statements and images have lingered in mind and I have seen the long term damage to other women that I have been close to, be ruined by the random need for others to pass judgement or expectation on other women!!

I by no means am perfect and in regards to recent extensive self reflection have been wrestling with the notion that perhaps I am a massive hypocrite……… I always wish for peace love and happiness for all, I truly do from the bottom of my heart, with the utmost sincerity I feel the pain of so many others when I know I shouldn’t and I wish them peace and happiness despite not knowing whether they really deserve it or not.

My best friend and I used to refer to ourselves as bleeding hearts or rather crassly as “hire a griever” because we are so emotional and forgiving at times that we could attend the funeral of a complete stranger and be reduced to tears in mere minutes. However, here’s the hypocrisy………..

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If you were to hurt me or anyone I cared about I would probably rip your head of with a barrage of verbal abuse in about zero to no seconds and then…….. (And yes I know there are people out there that can vouch for this) …….. Five seconds after that moment of judgement and anger I will be crying at the guilt I feel and the pain I feel in regards to my reaction and the possible pain my victim may be feeling….

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Upon self reflection I am tough, I am a survivor, a survivor of way too many things to be on this page…… At times I am judgemental much to my own disappointment!!! The best and most honest part of me is my kindness and compassion!!! I feel proud to say that at least most of the time the good wins over the evil in me!! I don’t want to be racist or prejudice and I certainly don’t ever want to judge people, its not my job to.

There have been so many sad and challenging things happen lately in our lives and in our city that the heated discussions around me are flying rapidly, like a whirlwind of theories and opinions vying to win. Why does one person do one thing one way and another do it a different way, who is to say which way is right, it is human nature for us to all behave differently. At the end of the day though wouldn’t the world be so much of a better place if everyone could stop taking themselves so seriously and realise that we ALL deserve respect and peace!!

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Respect and peace on an individual level and on a global level!! Self reflection is an amazing thing when the world is spinning and I feel I have lost sigh of who I am and someone appears to be insinuating that I am a fraud or a stupid hippie I take time out to engage in some self reflection. So to clarify, I am not a fraud, I am who I am and yes that is ever changing and I may be a bit of a hippie but I’m certainly not stupid 🙂

I try most of the time to be up front and honest because I believe that its important to be who you want to be free from judgement, hatred or envy. I am never really envious of anybody because quite frankly I think its pretty awesome to be me, if anything I would just like to be a better version of me, perhaps a little skinnier, less chaotic or spontaneous… and even so immediately after writing those words I think, in whose opinion, cause really its the chaos I thrive on that makes me, me 🙂 Are these negative thoughts and self talk all laying dormant in the subconscious filed away under the category of ‘previous insults’ to be used and brought forward when feeling flat, insecure or unhappy…….

I do prefer honesty from others though there is a way and a way, if you do not agree with someone’s actions voice it in a way that may be constructive to future actions, not destructive. You do yourself and your cause no good by behaving badly. If you feel strongly about a certain event, that may or may not have directly invovled you try to discuss it with someone that may have first hand experience or information on the incident that may be able to discuss, educate or even enlighten you to the true facts, please do not engage in ideal gossip or misguided anger.

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At very rare times as Ive said I do judge but briefly and then I feel sadness because who am I to think I am better than anyone else!! Usually my judgement is not based on the belief that I think I’m better than anyone else it is usually motivated by the belief that my behaviour or life choices are better than others. So are they? Am I really a better person because I would never encourage my child to carry a placard condoning violence?  Or because I really try hard not to live my life participating in petty gossip?  There are always two sides to every story and I will usually only know my side until I go out of my way to truly find out and understand the other side. I have no time for secrecy, spying or passing judgement!! I would much rather be out there in the world living it, feeling it, breathing it!!! I would much rather have a heated debate about what you think of my opinions that have you judge me behind closed doors where I am not afforded that chance to defend myself. Perhaps even allow me the chance to take on board your judgement and use it to self reflect and maybe even better myself. Yes some things we say or do will unintentionally hurt, shock or offend others but it is their reaction to our behaviour, so are we suppose to change our behaviour due to a persons response?……..

Perhaps we should at least self reflect on our behaviour if it shocks or offends someone. Should we change or stop if it hurts someone? If it hurts them emotionally? If it hurts them physically? Some people may respond to this question with a definite yes! However some people can move on from their emotions being a little bit hurt, others may not be able to. It seems fair to say that no-one should be allowed to physically hurt another person, no self reflection needed, just don’t do it! (Unless your that way inclined of course, boxers etc).

So what I am trying to say is, we all need to take time out occasionally to sit back and partake in a little self reflection. We all find it so easy to pass judgement on others and assume that our way is the right way but what is right for one may not be right for another.

There are some behaviours I see in people that as I said earlier initially frustrate me and make me wildly angry and then instantly I feel sad, sad for them that they feel so empty or frustrated themselves that they feel they need to behave in such a desperate way! Every human deserves to live in peace, free from judgement and fear. Free from feeling that if they don’t look or behave a certain way that society may not accept them. Never judge a book by its cover, try turning the pages to uncover the layers of what could be a beautiful soul. Never go on hear say or subscribe to the theories of the masses, find out the truth or the facts and decide for yourself. That’s what I always try to do, I always endeavour to make people feel safe enough in my presence to show me who they really are, no facades. I don’t want false interactions, I always try to live by ‘what you see is what you get’. If I’m feeling great I will tell you and if I am feeling sad I will tell you. I know to some its hard to be who they really are and they may be more private and prefer not to show their true emotions and that is okay too. At the end of the day though we are all human and we all experience widely the same kinds of emotions and I feel that as a global community if people could learn to express themselves emotionally more freely and without judgement the world would be a better place. It would be a better place because people would quickly realise that they are not alone with their feelings, so many others may feel the same way and this can lead to people being able to support each other better.

I know my honesty and openness emotionally can make people uncomfortable, Ive seen people blush in my presence or even had them request I “tone it down a bit”, however this is pretty rare mostly people respond well to my random hugs, of course using self awareness and reflection I don’t hug patients, unless they go in first lol 🙂

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I guess this process of regular self reflection always leads me back to thinking am I being the kindest most understanding, compassionate person I can be because these are the qualities that mean the most to me. Of course sincerity is right up there too because there is nothing worse than someone showing a persona that is calm, kind and non-judgemental just to hide that they are really thriving on sitting on their private make believe pedestal looking down their noses at people and passing judgement every chance they can…… Am I sometimes guilty of being part of this group? I have a gorgeous friend who’s catch phrase is “Don’t they know who I think I am’? (Copyright to PJ 🙂 ) and I think this is fabulous and appropriate to her and I laugh every time I hear it and yet to know her is to know that she will extend kindness to anyone that reaches out to her. I believe its ok to be self complimenting and appreciative, what is so wrong with being proud of who you are? Why do people feel threatened by those that exude confidence? Yes there is a difference between being confident and arrogant, however who determines what behaviour fits which category? What one person may interpret as arrogant another might view as a strong sense of self confidence.

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Taking a moment to self reflect has made me look at aspects of my personality that may be misconstrued as arrogant. Yes I think I’m awesome!! No I don’t think I’m better than anyone else!! Yes at times I feel like I am less than others, especially when I feel they are negatively judging me…… However I quickly remind myself that for whatever reason at that moment they feel they know me well enough or they have the need to pass judgement on me and it is there prerogative to do that and mine to walk away with my head held high maintaining my sense of self dignity and self worth.

Am I self evaluating enough? Have I called you a bitch recently? Maybe…. I can honestly say that if I have then I didn’t mean it and now regret it and probably feel really bad for hurting you. Especially because my main motivation in life is to be a healer not a deliverer of pain. I truly want peace, don’t you? I want my children to be raised in a community where it is ok to be praised, loved and supported! Recently there has been a debate circulating around regarding whether or not we are setting our children up for failure by over praising them? To this I say WTF? I again undertook some self reflection on this topic. Am I a boastful parent? I don’t really think so, I recognise their achievements and praise them for them. I try to always praise them so they have good self esteem and feel confident enough within themselves to make good life choices. Why would you not want to praise your children? Do people really think that by praising them we are setting them up with false hope or expectations? Is it unrealistic to say, ‘hey of course you can be anything you want to be” Why cant they be anything they want? Are we wading into a debate that has become to politically correct? All children are innocent victims of their environment and learn by what the elders around teach them. If we teach them that they are limited by our opinions of them then of course they will not strive to be better than a mediocre version of themselves.

So many areas of self reflection lately, politics, religion, parenting, nursing, professionalism, relationships, freedom, judgement and ME!

Politics always fascinate me and I have always undertaken to learn as much as I can about the various political parties and movements to keep track of where my state, national and Global community might be heading. To this all I have to say, somewhat ambiguously, some people in power inspire and impress me and others….well…lets just say they scare me.

Religion also a topic I have forever been fascinated by, I have as well as a few of my friends throughout our lives delved into several different religions trying to find the one that fits us best. The outcome of this being that there doesn’t seem to be one that completely envelopes all that appeals to my system of beliefs. I believe in a God (perhaps because the thought of no God and no heaven is too painful for me) that is a nondenominational God that does not pass judgement on people based on gender, race, sexual preference, cultural and spiritual beliefs; A God that protects all children from abuse and neglect, providing them unconditional love and protection always; A God that commits to ending all this pain and suffering that is becoming so prevalent; A God that will instill respect, compassion, love and Peace in the hearts of ALL humankind!! I pray to GOD THAT A GOD LIKE THIS REALLY EXISTS!!

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Self reflection on parenting has brought me to the conclusion that, yes I do swear on occasion in front of my kiddies however they understand and respect the rule of ‘do as I say not as I do’. Yes on occasion they probably eat to much junk food and probably don’t do enough homework. Aside from all of this (without being boastful, only truly honest because I would be the first one to tell you if they were being little shits!) I think it is fair to say that I have parented with a firm loving hand providing them with constant unconditional love. Instilling the knowledge and boundaries in them so that they know how to respect themselves, me and others. They are loving kind compassionate children that would never raise a hand to me or others (except very occasionally to each other but hopefully they will grow out of that). They are average students academically and I am fine with that! They are average sporting participants and I am fine with that too! Parenting for me has always been and always will be about loving, protecting and guiding!!

Self reflection on nursing has led me to the conclusion that yes it was always meant to be!! Despite the hours, the pay, the difficult patients or colleagues aside from my family it will always be my one true love!! Furthermore, yes I could do to undertake some refresher courses especially in the areas of pathophysiology and pharmacology!!

Self reflection on professionalism has driven me to think about how I conduct myself at work sometimes and to be self aware about how I am communicating with people when trying to get a job done. Sometimes my chaotic personality can make things seem more urgent than they need to be……

Self reflection about relationships is ongoing and ever changing, people grow constantly and as I said in my recent Blog on friendships, they can be fickle and fantastic. I feel I’m in a good place right now with my relationships, there seems to be a nice balance of people around me who understand me and I them 🙂

Self reflection about freedom has me drawing to the conclusion that although we are some of the freest people in the world, we are only as free as we allow ourselves to be. I know a few of you understand what I’m truly saying. We are held back by our fears of what others may perceive us to be. We deny ourselves the luxurious freedom of being who we truly want to be for fear of being judged and denied by society.

Which leads me to my final area of self reflection, judgement. Am I a hypocrite? Do I wish for no-one to judge me and yet allow myself to judge others? I truly try not too! I certainly have discovered quickly and this may come as a shock to those that don’t know this about me, but I would certainly much rather sincerely pay another person a compliment than sarcastically refer to them as ‘bitch’ or ‘slut’!!!! Just so you know I don’t think its funny or a term of endearment to refer to me as either of those words, as far as I’m aware they were words designed as insults and as such I can never be comfortable with them being used towards me as terms of endearment!! I am not, have not been and never will be anyone’s ‘bitch’ or ‘slut’. I feel uncomfortable and sad when women think this is an ok and acceptable way to speak to each other. As Ive said before if I have ever said it to you I would have had to been pretty angry to call you that. Is it so ingrained in women that we aren’t allowed to support each other or pay each other compliments or feel self pride? Or is it just the Aussie way now that women can only express mate-ship by referring to each other using derogatory words? Hhhhhhmmmmm maybe I’m too much of a princess or hippie but I doubt it because I know I can be a real bitch when I need to be but it is rarely! Anyway I have digressed of the topic of judgement a little and so to wrap it all up, people are free to refer to each other as they please as long as both are in agreement that it is ok and one is not feeling judged by the other.

Self reflection, is it really all about ME? Of course it is and sometimes taking a good hard look at yourself can be really confronting. Do you like what you see? Have you done it recently? Perhaps your burning desire to constantly judge others comes from your unhappiness with what you see when you look within yourself…..

One of my favourite sayings of all time is “Be the change you want to see in the world” (words written motivated by a speech given by Mahatma Gandhi)

Self reflection is all about me, when I am the one doing it, however it prompts me to look at how I fit and interact within my world and I enjoy analysing how my life is going. I like the challenge of trying to recognise the areas that might need work and addressing them. It is often my biggest critics that motivate me to self reflect and to them I say thank you! Today you have been my muse 🙂

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Yesterday I was Me

Today I am Me

Tomorrow I will be Me

I am the Me

You think You know

The Me I am is everchanging

The Me you think You know

The Me I am always learning

The Me you think You know

How can you know Me?

If I don’t really know Me

Yesterday I am Me

Today I am Me

Tomorrow I am Me

And you think You know Me

So I guess the day after tomorrow, We both shall See…….

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Peace, Love and Happiness 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Posted in All The Bits In Between, Birth, Death, Family, Fun, Health, Music, Nursing, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Hello world!

Hello beautiful people so what we’ve got here is an awesome way to communicate some people you just cant reach, which is the way some want it, well then that’s how they’ll get it…….. Sound familiar, Cool Hand Luke Thumbnail

or Civil War, Guns n’ Roses Thumbnail , slightly altered paraphrasing of course.

Anyway this page has been a long time coming and a short time in the making, I don’t want to be unreachable, I want to speak out and be heard and more importantly I want people to know that I’m here to listen and not like the nosey listen lady Marge Simpson played.Thumbnail

Some people just want to “talk hard” (Pump Up The Volume) Thumbnail and create controversy and although I have no aversion to controversy and talking hard, Id much rather voice my opinion on a topic and hopefully spark or ignite a good healthy debate!! A debate that may be filled with useful information that will stimulate the nether regions of ones mind and challenge them to hear the views of others that may be opposing to their own and be open to this. To challenge people to THINK outside their comfort zones!! To forget what they think they know about themselves and those around them, to de-construct their preconceived ideas of others and rebuild new beliefs through being receptive to someone elses truth, to be able to be open to the empathy that is required to learn that what is a truth for someone else may not be the truth for you but it is still THEIR truth……..Thumbnail

Simplistically saying, hoping this page will provide new and useful information on a whole

(this whole not that Hole)   Thumbnail

range of topics that people will be able to learn from and hopefully participate in healthy discussion about. Topics ranging from birth to death and anything in between!! I will endeavour to post as frequently as I can on anything and everything I find interesting, feel passionate about or that just randomly grabs my attention and I feel is noteworthy. Obviously I will try to post frequently on a nursing topic as the name and profession dictate a lot of my life 🙂 So let’s get started and see how many people I can make happy or unintentionally piss off 🙂

Stay tuned for next post soon…..

Peace, Love and Happiness

NurseNoosha