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!



864 thoughts on “From Misery to Fun at Work!

  1. I love your student approach to life, it takes away all the sludge and heaviness and issues we make or face in life and turns each moment into an opportunity to discover more about life – rather than a problem.

  2. When we deal with our issues we then can learn how to deal with any work issues and, once done so, it seems obvious that we will enjoy our work!

  3. What a turnaround FL. Fellow nurses may not believe that this is possible, but you are living proof that self-care and presence works. How amazing to love your job in the way that you do, and that this is the same job that you wanted to escape from only a few years ago.

    1. Yes, this would be a great case study, simply writing down a process that may seem, in hindsight, obvious.

  4. I love this awareness ‘I learned that I don’t have to have all the answers for me to be of use’ – and the realisation that to be present and loving with patients is itself an ‘answer’ of sorts.

  5. I met a lovely person today who works in nursing, and from the moment this woman began talking I could see how much energy and enthusiasm she has for life and what a gift she is to her department at the hospital. There was nothing she needed to change, just her being her was enough.

  6. It’s extraordinary really that nurses and other medical professionals are not taught to firstly care for themselves before they care for others. The system as it is, is set up for nurses to experience burnout, as no human body is designed to work in self neglect, no matter how ‘good’ or noble we feel the cause is. And I would imagine the stress and strain for all medical professionals dealing with the care of human life and seeing people everyday with pain and illness could be quite a burden in itself, so self care should really be a high priority in training.

  7. It’s interesting this unfolding that happens when we commit to the Way of The Livingness. I used to think that I was nonjudgemental and detached from people’s stuff….and to a degree I was because I separated myself from others in such a way that I was always protected. This protection was a hard exterior that kept me even distant from myself. I was working on mental, emotional and spiritual levels but was ignoring my soul for the most part, confusing spirit with soul and getting involved in the miasma of creation.
    While I was exploring the whereabouts and how abouts of Absolute Truth and Love I came across Serge Benhayon and the connection with my body became more and more to the forefront and the cerebral angle held less sway. It is taking me years to embody and embrace the love that I am from the inside and not as a concept (like a stance that I adopt) and years to begin to live this which is the Way of The Livingness. It really is like breathing new life into old bones and as those bones come to life I feel younger, more vital and more joyful and connect with a purpose for being on this planet.

  8. “building the love in me enough so I can actually bring it with me…” Yes, wherever you go, this love is always there and life and whatever you do then has that sparkle of light and fun!

  9. To switch our outlook from work being a slog to it being fun through simply applying self-care is a game changer. it makes sense for all industries, companies and work places to promote this way of being… we would end up with much more joy and productivity.

  10. “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.” This is so inspiring FL. When we ‘try’, are we basically doing it to please another? My feeling is yes. So by not trying and just getting on with something in a way that feels right for you, not only do we learn from any mistakes, but we also bring our own unique quality to whatever it is that we are doing for others to benefit from. It’s a win win!

    1. This is so true Sandra… “When we ‘try’, are we basically doing it to please another? …” Catching out the behaviour of ‘trying’ is a great moment of realisation that then brings you back to you instantly. Posture changes, the breath changes, and a self empowerment returns. Giving you back to yourself.

    2. Thank you Sandra for your comment, I was reflecting on how many times growing up and as an adult I had heard “Try your best”, “Just try”, and “Keep trying, you can do it”, etc. To constantly try and achieve something is very much championed, instead of ‘be you’ and bring that to what you do, with no trying necessary as it’s the quality of who you are that truly supports the world in whatever you choose to do.

  11. I remember years ago Serge shared that he loved marmite on toast and that he loved connecting to people more, so he didn’t eat marmite on toast. And in that moment my world came crashing down as I realised he wasn’t special or super human, as you share but that he made a choice to put connection to others first, more than his desire to eat whatever he fancied.

  12. It’s not so common today seeing people working with joy and vitality. When I use the public transport I see glances off, tiredness, exhaustion, sadness…no matter the age, this is very common to find out. So I wonder if the systems that we have created are supporting us or are actually deeply harming us. Maybe we need to review how we are living with honesty and from there make the needed adjustments to bring all of us at work, at home and everywhere…I feel blessed for having the support and inspiration from Universal Medicine in my life which invites me to live responsibly with myself, it’s this responsibility that brings me the joy of life.

  13. Awesome FL. I really enjoyed reading your experience with Universal Medicine. It’s a wonderful unfolding path that have allowed you to really enjoy your work just by being with you and bringing a loving care to your body first and foremost. I’m sure your patients are very blessed for having you there offering them the true care that they deserve.

  14. Loved this article. We should get you to teach this material at university, as this should be foundational teaching material. The potential to change an industry. What if the entire healthcare industry would work like that? In Holland it, for starters, would solve the lack of good people in nursing, as most people would now be working fulltime loving their job.

  15. This could apply to any job. I particularly like the part that reminds us that how we walk into a room affects the person we are walking in to see and how we start our day affects how the rest of the day rolls. Self care is definitely an important part of living life if we are not to feel exhausted every day.

  16. We have a health system that only is built on providing the best care for the patients and how we come to this care is not in the picture. What is the quality of the care when we don’t educate and train nurses in how they actually need to care for themselves in order to truly serve the patient. Now the focus is on getting the job done and reward ourselves afterwards to not feel how draining this way of working is. There is another way, a very necessary way to keep our health system healthy and this is what you have showed us.

  17. We have set standards in life that are actually way below what we could easily be living if we would take more care of ourselves. It is now seen as normal to have a ‘blue Monday’ and a ‘midweek dip’ or ‘finally it is the weekend’ way of leaving work, even though a whole different way is possible which is enjoying work all the time.

  18. If we can care for our bodies and that inner connection with our inner most, working becomes such a natural expression in our lives.

  19. ” 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” This was brought home to me recently when I went to support a family who had suffered some intensely difficult circumstances. When we hold ourselves in love and truth we are capable of holding others in that same energy and others naturally align to the way we move and to the centredness we are living.

  20. I says a lot about the quality of our education systems in general when those that graduate start work and despite all they know actually do not enjoy their job or in some cases the life in general.

  21. It seems to me that when we love ourselves we love our work too – and the others around us, our home lives, our social lives etc. It all stems from our relationship with ourselves – this transforms everything.

  22. I know if I take super good care of myself in the morning the quality of my work is so much higher – and – my ability to care for others is hugely increased. It’s like simple maths – the more effort I put into caring for myself, the more the care grows in every area of my life.

  23. It is crazy that we have to be taught to self-care, but most of the population is living in a way that is exhausting and draining them so self-care makes perfect sense as it supports the body to work in any profession without burning out.

  24. For a long time I never liked soup, but if only I’d known that all of human life is pretty much like that – a stew pot of energies we are never apart from. This means however we are affects everyone else, and the other way around too. So it’s up to us to read everyday the flavour of the broth being served up and decide if we really want to partake. This is the beginning of healthy living – not simply our nutrition or food choices. Thank you FL.

  25. It’s funny how we are often one way at work and another way at home, but there is no off switch to love. It is only us that can turn away and in that turning allow the flooding in of all that is not of such love and thus seeks to detract from it. Thus the key to a joyous life is through the consistency of our love lived. It is both as simple and as difficult as that.

  26. Thank you FL, this really highlighted to me how we have dismissed self care, and that without it we are pushing our bodies against its natural rhythm, this blog is a great example of how when we reconnect to self care we have more energy, and we simply know what to do next in the work place.

  27. Recently I read how there are more nurses working in the NHS system in the UK who have obesity than their patients with the same. The amount of nurses who are obese was about 60% of the workforce. I too feel that self care could easily be added to the nursing curriculum with interactive workshops to support the sessions. The Gentle Breath Meditation is something that could be hugely beneficial in this sector too.

    1. Wow that is shocking, and it shows that adding self care to the nursing curriculum is not only important but vital for the health and well-being of the people who care for all of us when we’re sick.

    2. Elaine the obesity in part may also indicate the emotional stress nurses face everyday seeing so many people ill and in pain and not know how to deal with the human suffering. Overeating can be a common way to seek comfort and to dull down our awareness and bury what we don’t want to feel. To me this indicates how vital self care is in the training of medical professionals as they face many things in their daily work life that the average person would find difficult to see.

  28. How my day starts depends on how I was with myself the previous day so if I lose myself and say for example go to bed later than what I would normally do then this will definitely affect me the next day. I may get up later and then find myself trying to catch up which puts me out of sync the rest of the day! The responsibility I have towards myself and others is in every moment. I cannot get away with checking out even if it is for a brief moment… there will be consequences sooner or later!

  29. ‘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.’ And in truth this should be the first thing that is worth considering and discussing, as our quality is what we bring and should always be discerned before anything else.

  30. When you wake up feeling less than joyful, you know you have either taken something to bed with you, and/or not appreciated yourself and your life enough. These times are a great point of reflection.

  31. Waking up looking forward to the day ahead is such an amazing feeling. Being in a body, in activity, with others around – it is joy.

  32. I used to take on all the problems of others at work in the past, it was very wearing and exhausting and not loving for me at all. But as we learn to look after ourselves more, and allow everyone to be themselves too, the pressures disappear. I am choosing to continue work despite being past retirement age because I love it so much.

  33. “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 love what you have described here FL, realising that we can choose to change the quality in which we work and not cap or punish ourselves from our past choices when we lacked conscious awareness of our actions and initiate true change to the way we are living and when we interact with others.

  34. It is a sorry story that we even have to be taught how to care for ourselves. Why would we not care for ourselves? We must have at some early point been taught to not care for ourselves hence the need to then teach us to care for ourselves!

    1. Same convoluted story with trying. I used to try very hard and then realised how harmful that was and spent years trying not to try – it was all very trying until I stopped trying!

    2. Yes, I agree Nicola. It does sound a bit crazy that we have to re-learn how to care for ourselves because this should be so natural to us, yet we have forgotten or more accurately agreed to disregard ourselves instead of loving who we are.

  35. Beautiful FL, we are raised with the ideal that we are here to say ‘yes’ to life, but in my experience so often that yes is given to something that’s not right. We associate ‘no’ with rejection, reaction and disharmony, but actually as you show it’s essential we learn to say ‘no’ to specific energy that’s not true in others and ourselves as this is the path to saying yes to Love.

  36. ‘I notice how letting go of judgement of others frees them and reduces the tension between people’ I noticed myself yesterday fall into this one and it was my non acceptance of what I saw as selfish and harmful behaviour in someone who is very close to me. It triggered a hurt, the hurt of separation and everything we do to keep ourselves from being soulful. I reacted with anger when now I realise this was a gift and a cue for me to deepen my connection .

  37. FL I love how you’ve turned your work around from misery to fun, after all work is a huge part of our life and its so important that we enjoy it and in turn offer so much to it.

  38. It’s a great study on self caring choices Felicity, and how these influence our day to day working life. We accept so many things as the “norm”, yet by changing how we are with ourselves we can have a really great day including during work hours.

  39. “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.” When we do not care for ourselves we are actually very selfish, we don’t consider how we are meeting the other person and our work is more about us as in ‘when can I go back home?’ or ‘when is it weekend?’. Getting to know ourselves and taking care of ourselves does really make a difference and I found the most mundane things can be very fun and joyful because I do it with me now.

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