From Misery to Fun at Work!

By FL, Registered Nurse and Midwife, Australia

I was never all that keen on work. For many years I saw it as a necessary evil and hoped the years until retirement would pass quickly and I could get into a laid back lifestyle that would suit me better. I had been nursing for years, really liked the patients and giving care, but felt burdened by the misery and problems I saw every day amongst patients and staff. How could I help them? I had no real clue. I was just as burned out by the ‘system’ as those that perpetuated it. From my university based training, I learned that I had to do everything right and have all the answers as often as possible, placing me under enormous pressure to be perfect. There was no discussion ever about the way in which I worked or the quality I offered to people when I walked through the door.

A few years ago I started attending the Universal Medicine (UM) clinic and met people who worked there who were incredibly dedicated and interested in their work and this was always the case at any session. I never once felt like they were watching the clock or bored out of their minds by clients. Never once did they appear to have “Monday I have Friday on my mind” syndrome.  Instead I felt a steadiness; I could tell they actually understood me and they held a love very solid. Hmmm, how was this possible? Were they superhuman or very good fakes?

I attended UM retreats and workshops to discover exactly how this was possible.

I learned about self-love, choices and responsibility and how that impacts on my interactions with all others, whether I like it or not. I learned about my own state of being and how it is crucial to be aware of where I am at on any given day. I discovered that who I am when I walk through a door into a patient’s room actually affects the vulnerable person in there. So if I go to work stewing over what a colleague has done, then that goes with me into all of my interactions with others. “Oh dear – much to examine here!” I thought. But the best news of all, was that I didn’t have to beat myself up over the past, I could learn and gradually alter the way I was living so those issues did not recreate themselves every day.

I learned to enjoy building the love in me enough so I can actually bring it with me to work and my family. This was an amazing process, where I learned to say “No” for the first time ever and to honour how I felt. I learned that I don’t have to have all the answers for me to be of use; I simply have to be very present and loving when I am with people and let them be. That is enough. I have also noticed that I seem to be able to do my job more efficiently, effectively and safely when I am not wasting energy on trying all the time. I am freer to be more aware of what is going on with my patients, as my brain space is not congested with distractions. This has actually enhanced my performance of my clinical responsibilities, as I am far more alert and focused now. If I have a day at work that doesn’t feel so good, I trace it back to how MY day started…..and it usually makes perfect sense.  No-one to blame, just more choices to consider.

I know with my own life now that what I am learning with Universal Medicine is very true as I see it constantly pan out in the world around me. I can see and appreciate how much people respond to me being very present with them. I notice how letting go of judgement of others frees them and reduces the tension between people. Hmmm…those UM practitioners are not superhuman or fakes, I have learned they are people just like me.

To this day, nursing students are not taught to care for themselves first and foremost before equally caring for others. It’s a sad omission from the university-based training and could probably explain the ongoing loss of the nursing workforce. For me, everything has changed. It truly is a joy to go to work now, every day gives me an opportunity to bring more presence and connection to the people I care for and work with.  I no longer want to think about retiring when going to work has become such fun!



806 thoughts on “From Misery to Fun at Work!

  1. Learning to care and truly nurture ourselves is life-changing as you have described from your experience FL. When we are consciously present we are able to connect with the flow and innate rhythm of our body which opens up a natural joy in being and moving in this way and with our interactions with others.

  2. “I no longer want to think about retiring when going to work has become such fun!” not so many people can say that! Awesome you have discovered a way to be at work where you can bring all of you. Of course you will never want to retire when you are bringing all of you, there is just to much fun to had.

    1. When you love the work you do, can feel that although it may be very challenging at times your commitment and consistency holds the quality that is offered to all those around you that is far greater than the product your are there to support or produce.

    2. Yes when we bring all of us to work, we have so much fun, that there is no moment to think about retirement, but instead what’s next, what’s new, what’s the next project or plan. It just becomes an unfolding path of evolution.

  3. When our heart is not in our work, it can feel really exhausting. I have found the more present I am with myself the easier my job becomes because I am no longer fighting a fatigued body, and I am moving with a natural flow.

  4. That old saying ‘keeping it light’ goes a big way in a workplace, especially when there are demands, deadlines, pressure and a mix of all different people who may not ordinarily choose to spend so much time together. And then if we can appreciate that we are in the perfect position, surrounded by the people that give us the perfect reflections, with work and projects that are specifically designed to draw out our best, then every day is one huge opportunity.

  5. For me learning to look after myself has transformed how I am at work and means that I rarely get overwhelmed with my clients problems’ as I no longer feel that I have to provide answers/solutions but rather by being fully present with them I can support them to work things through for themselves and let go of the outcome. This allows for so much more fun and joy in my everyday interactions and has deepened my appreciation for having work that brings me into contact with so many people at challenging times in their lives.

  6. Allowing others to be, whether it is in the family or at work, is what I call true love. I went for my hair cut yesterday and I met a person with whom I immediately felt uncomfortable. I clocked it and paused to feel what was going on. I felt me and I felt them and realised I had left myself and gone into judgement. I also could feel the arrogance of what I had created. Being present and catching myself when I leave me is a work in progress, but when I do, it gives me an opportunity to let it go and to be loving and accepting of others.

  7. Recently I’ve been feeling a vibrancy in me, as I take each step around the office. Every now and then as I enter the kitchen, I get a strong sense how awesome I am and the beauty of the day. I look around and appreciate the choices I have made to come to this point and the choices that are to come. I appreciate my purpose in being in my work place – to reflect God’s flair, colour and care. From here, it doesn’t seem to matter what task I am asked to do, my work is already done – just letting the real me shine. Thank you FL for this chance to reflect. Your words continue to do their job still today.

  8. To build and re-develop a deeper level of love and self care for oneself and say ‘No’ when it is not honouring, brings a quality within that changes that dull feeling of ‘getting through’ at work to one of joy in life.
    “I learned to enjoy building the love in me enough so I can actually bring it with me to work and my family. This was an amazing process, where I learned to say “No” for the first time ever and to honour how I felt”.

  9. How simple life is when we can let go of needing to be perfect and feeling we have to have all the answers to everything in order to be seen as doing well. It is a beautiful experience to be with someone who is super present and caring with themselves and thus equally so with all – as is, Serge Benhayon.
    “I learned that I don’t have to have all the answers for me to be of use; I simply have to be very present and loving when I am with people and let them be”.

  10. When I don’t define work to what I do between the hours of 9 to 5pm then all the parts of my day feel so much more meaningful. I also don’t have to define what I do as ‘work’ and instead it is simply what is there to do next.

  11. Learning to care for and nurture ourselves is critical to the quality of our work, whatever that work may be. It is also critical to the quality of our presence and connection, with ourselves and with others. Joy and fun at work, and in life, is such a gift to all. Thank you FL.

  12. ‘I learned to enjoy building the love in me enough so I can actually bring it with me to work and my family.’ I love this line FL. Its what I have learned also and I too now love a job that I used to hate. The job hasn’t changed, if anything it has become more demanding, but I have changed. Taking small steps each day to build how I care for myself is the way I did it too.

  13. It is amazing how much simpler working life is when we don’t feel like we have to have all the answers. It is so much fun to just enjoy being who we are at work, and know that is all we need to do, its already everything.

  14. As human beings we love to categorise everything. We portion and divide everything and everyone in our lives up. We see work as different to home and it is as a result of this categorisation that we allocate different values to everything and everyone. We often value our ‘recreation time’ more than the time we spend at work, we care more about ‘our families’ than we do about the people that we work with, in fact any-thing with a ‘me, mine or my’ gets seen differently to anything with a ‘not mine’ in front of it but that’s all part of the game of the spirit because from the soul’s perspective there is simply One Life of which every-thing and every-one is an equal part and so learning to see every-thing and every-one with equal value is an integral part of our evolution.

  15. ‘Down time’ is a time where we lose purpose and head towards a less aware state of being. Moments in our life when we basically put ourselves to sleep for a period of time. What we have to be careful of however is that work can also be a very checked out state, depending on how we are at work. If, when we are at work we put ourselves into a ‘head down, shut down, motor through the day’ state, then we can be as checked out and disconnected as someone who is on the couch watching telly. The key in discerning whether we are checked out or checked in, is measured by the level of interaction that we have with ourselves because this will determine the level of interaction that we have with life.

    1. Great points Alexis, I chose the former method of checking out, i.e. head down motor through the day and you are right this is just as bad as checking out in front of the TV. But those of us that check out through drive look down upon those that laze in front of the telly! But we are both harming ourselves only the method is different. Both may end up with dementia.

      1. Doug that’s such an interesting point that you make about how packing masses into our days could potentially lead to dementia because it is actually a more sophisticated form of checking out from life than vegging out in front of the telly and yet so many would see it as a preventative strategy from ending up with dementia.

      2. Checking out is so little understood and so dementia rates keep escalating and will continue to do so until we get that it is the underlying cause of dementia and Alzheimers.

  16. It so makes sense that nurses should learn about self-care while they learn about caring for others. Not to offer this almost makes a mockery of the profession. How do burnt-out nurses offer support to others?

  17. Burnout from taking on stuff on from work can be very draining. Unless we care for ourselves first the care that we offer others is empty and draining.

  18. A nurse, or anyone who cares and nurtures themselves and enjoys knowing who they are shares this healing presence with everyone wherever they are.

  19. What I have learnt is to allow others to be, I do not need to fix them or have all the answers. What I have found is as I have worked on my own commitment to love, consistency and self care, I have brought a solid presence to work. This has been a reflection and inspiration to others to build on their commitment to self love.

  20. “I was never that keen on work” made me chuckle because it applies to the vast majority of mankind. I used to actually enjoy work but I did so by turning it into a big drive, striving for achievement, which meant there was no real joy in it. If we commit fully to life and to work I have discovered that work changes from a chore to a positive joy to be a part of. If we realise that in fully committing we lift others and when we don’t commit we likewise affect others negatively, we start to realise that we have a responsibility in how we are in each moment.

  21. What a shift in your attitude and a complete turn around FL .I would agree that the first thing to teach Nurses is how to self nurture. As you say we affect everyone we come into contact with by our attitude and mood.

  22. This is an amazing transformation, and very interesting that the more self-care you introduced the more attentive and aware you are during your time at work and the more vital and self-loving you feel, which then feeds back again to the people you are with each day. This is a gorgeous cycle that just seems to grow and expand constantly.

  23. It is the most important thing in nursing to care for yourself first and it is a shame students are not taught to care for themselves first and foremost in their education. I work as a nurse myself and the health-related absenteeism is going through the roof, this makes the pressure in the workplace even higher and it becomes a cycle of abusing our body to keep the care for our patients going. It is quite a challenging work environment but my experience is just like yours when I take care for myself I love my work, I am able to stay with myself. and inspire my colleagues.

  24. I recognize how we in our world have been choosing to build resentment more than actually loving our jobs.. it is a sad fact that many have replaced their inspiration of joy and care for pains and dispair after having experienced the cold enviroment one can come into and have experienced within themselves (by lack of care and love within their lives itself).. Hence what this blog is showing us is that we have this tendency to block it out – check out, increase our distractions and move through life, no longer truly enjoying, but actually stop committing to life to whatever reason. But, now to look from it from a bright side, we can turn that around – as your blog is sharing with us. Once we connect to ourselves again and make this our living – getting to know what we truly want and care for (very much including ourselves) – we can explore that actually all we want to do is express the love we are – naturally – and that simply can let go of that which we do not belong to – all that is not love and care we deserve.

  25. The theme you touch on here about not trying too hard or needing to come up with all the answers or solutions to a problem as a health care practitioner is a big one and a big cause of burnout I reckon. The understanding that me being me is actually great medicine in itself alongside the technical skills that I learnt in my profession has been a a game changer for how I work myself as a health care practitioner.

    1. This approach spans over many workplaces and professions. The need to offer answers and solutions is the auto pilot that we are often trained to go into in or to put out the small fires in fear of the big fires erupting. What is powerful in this blog is recognising that solutions are not needed just quality reflections that don’t impose or expect another to be, but offers them more if they choose.

  26. “There was no discussion ever about the way in which I worked or the quality I offered to people when I walked through the door.” This is so simple and yet so profound.

  27. “I can see and appreciate how much people respond to me being very present with them. I notice how letting go of judgement of others frees them and reduces the tension between people.” These are great points to share for any profession.

  28. Judging others comes from how we are with ourselves. I used to place enormous pressure on myself to get things right; hence when I slipped up I found it very difficult to accept that I had messed up. Having this attitude meant I also found it hard to accept others when they made mistakes too. As I started to be more loving with myself and accepting that I was not perfect, I noticed changes towards others; I was becoming less judgemental and reactive. So if I find myself being critical and judgemental towards another it simply means space needs to be created for more love to be accepted towards myself.

  29. Thinking we need all the answers is such a rigid way to work and live and the weight of the expectation can be suffocating. The lightness that comes from knowing we have people to call on, google to look things up and that we don’t have to know everything is such a joy to experience.

  30. This is truly amazing what you have shared here from being burned out in your job to then feeling more committed, having more energy, more awareness of how you are and what you bring to your work matters etc. I know for a fact many many people have had similar changes with their lives, including myself, from the teachings, presentations and reflections of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine and I will be pleased when we see more inspiring and integrity filled models such as theirs in all workplaces and professions, not only within nursing as you have started to bring.

  31. Without purpose anything can be boring and meaningless. With purpose everything comes alive and has depth and meaning.

  32. You show us here a very different way of working attitude than we we are used to.
    It should be our normal. Why it is not? Is it that many people gave up on themselves?

  33. Who we are in essence is ever-present as love can never be conquered. We can mask our connection to love but it truly never leaves us. And so in saying ‘no’ to what we are not, we expose the false layers that hinder our true way of being, allowing who we are to re-emerge once again, bringing to life our presence and power through our connection to love, as is our natural way.

  34. What a turn around, and what a difference this has made to your whole life. To go to work and know it as a joy is not normal these days but is actually totally natural. It just takes a little self-love and dedication and everything looks different.

  35. When we start to make self-loving choices, and change the way we are with ourselves, we become more aware of what is going on within and around us, letting people in becomes easier because we feel more confident within ourselves, and meeting and being with people becomes much more fun.

  36. Ah yes FL it’s like we’ve got our job description so wrong. It’s not the things that we do that we need to account for but the quality we hold ourselves and others with. Just turning up and letting our Love emanate out uninterrupted is simply all we need to do. So appropriate that your field of practice is nursing, for nurturing us in every moment with care and attention is great medicine for us all to live, whatever our vocation.

  37. It was only when I began to really self honour and nurture myself did I truly begin to like going to work, and indeed honour what I was doing and delivering at work. In the past, it was aways about proving myself or wanting recognition, but now it is all about, service, what I am able to do and clear energetically just by way of me living me!!

  38. Well worth turning our attitudes to work around. We can spend our lives complaining about everything and continuing to offload responsibility to everyone else to entertain us and give us something worth living for, but we all know that’s not sustainable. I used to drag my heals to work, for years…feeling the drudgery every day. I no longer feel this way as I accept that work isn’t about ‘have to’. It’s about connecting with people and contributing to something that is needed in the world. With this perspective we get to realise we are all part of something much bigger.

  39. Medical professionals are affected by this lack of self care right across the board, not just nurses. They perform miracles and give their all but very rarely to themselves.

  40. Who wouldn’t love serving all their brothers and sisters across the globe?? The shame is that this is not what we are educated to understand; that work is precisely that.

  41. I have found that what is more important is not knowing the answers but knowing that there are things I don’t know and then asking for help when needed. It’s when we don’t know that we don’t know that we run into problems.

  42. I have always loved working, since I was very young I was always keen to work and help others. It changed at some point, where I started looking at what I was getting out of work and not just enjoying the work and how it felt. Universal Medicine supported me to bring this back, simply working for the joy of working. Yes there are more parts to work but the overriding part is how supporting work is for me, I love it and always have. I got lost at one point but now I am back to seeing how healthy work is and it’s simply a normal part of my everyday.

  43. Building a deeper level of love and care and in appreciation of how delicate my body is has enabled me to value myself far more and express how I am truly feeling. I have found the more open and honest I am the more people accept my response when there are times I am unable to lift or do things that are asked.

  44. Ah FL, thank you – today I am feeling how everything you present applies equally to relationships too. For we can see them as difficult and tricky, full of inevitable struggles we have to navigate through. But why do we have to have all the answers anyway? Is it possible we are being crushed by the beliefs we have been supplied with of how we think life should be? We push and rail against our partners – instead of simply and contentedly living each moment from our heart. It’s great to read what you say and know if we do the work, change is not only possible but inevitable.

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