Spiritual consciousness and healing


This is my first time posting a blog and the experience has been both exciting and a little uncomfortable. I am moving out of my comfort zone, writing from my heart and soul. I’m thankful for the experience and hope to get better with time.  Here it goes!

As a young child, growing up in a rural village in the Pines region of Mississippi, and spending time with my mother’s side of the family in my beloved Louisiana, I was in love with the beauty of the infinite universe. I was very connected to the earth that I loved to play in and smell, the flowers I loved to smell and pick, the tomatoes, okra, onion, squash, peas and butterbeans that I loved to eat and that I helped my grandfather nurture and pick when they were ripe, the love and care of my father and mother and older brother, my ancestors, grandparents – both maternal and paternal – and great grandparents, great aunts and uncles and cousins and the infinite universe of goodness, simplicity, love, and beauty. The freedom and love of being a child of the infinite universe allowed me to sense into the universal rhythms of light and dark, activity and rest, stability and change, being and becoming, even though I didn’t have an advanced vocabulary for these things at that time. All of these experiences represented a universe where healing, love, and nurturing occurred. In the past few years, I have come to see these experiences as reflecting spiritual consciousness. I cherish being in touch with spiritual consciousness, and, thus, carefully tend to it patiently as a potentiality for nursing’s healing mission. Can the nurse working within spiritual consciousnes help other human beings experience healing and their own spiritual consciousness in order to transcend suffering of psychic, physical, social, existential, and emotional pain? I believe so.

Within the nursing context, I view spiritual consciousness as the unfolding of loving energy and various modalities of integrating nature and meaning whereby nurses facilitate healing. The nurse’s spiritual consciousness soothes worries and brings healing to others when they are in fear, pain, or suffering. Spiritual consciousness illuminates the universal need for humanization in nursing situations whereby dehumanizing circumstances deny or strip human beings of their dignity and humanity. Spiritual consciousness is the loving consciousness and healing energy that human beings tap into to restore harmony in times of disharmony.

Spiritual consciousness is evolved consciousness for nursing. It can be cultivated by nurses worldwide to facilitate healing. The nurse, in spiritual consciousness, being loving toward another during moments of the other’s suffering, brings healing energy to the situation. Spiritual consciousness is characterized by spaciousness and lightness. It provides a glimpse into the goodness and beauty of the universe, and the freedom not to get bogged down or trapped in mere physical and limiting aspects of being. I believe it is central to nursing’s healing mission. Thus, the notion of spiritual consciousness challenges each of us in nursing to experience this loving energy and to discuss it for better understanding the usefulness and limits of spiritual consciousness for facilitating healing. images

The human mind’s binding capacity can be warded off by shifting into spiritual consciousness. Spiritual consciousness does not include limited and bounded views such as hatred, sense of division, greed and power over others, malice, or separation between us, other human beings, earth, plants, animals, rocks, trees, rivers, stars, and the moon. In spiritual consciousness, we are all universal one.

As nurses gain experience sensing into their own spiritual consciousness, nursing will be better poised to meet its social mandate. Working from within spiritual consciousness, nurses are provided with multiple pathways for healings to occur. As nursing and society evolve, ideas related to spiritual consciousness and healing need further development.

Nursing as Practical Magic


                                       Wendy2_1024

Nursing is a practical magic that creates internal and external environments to promote health or a peaceful death through acts that generate transformation. Ancient wisdoms and civilizations create rituals to honor life’s milestones and seasonal changes.

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Samhain (pronounced sow-een) is known as the ancient Celtic festival of the dead. Celebrated on the 1st day of November, Samhain is a time of introspection, and remembrance of the ancestors.

How do you remember and honor your ancestors?

Wise women throughout the ages, healers, and witches honor the turning of the wheel of life, the seasons, and the rhythms of the natural universe.

Connecting with the moon, stars, plants, animals, self and spirit they give thanks and set intentions to create healing and the life they dream of.

Consider the symbols and talisman of Halloween. One may see that the Broom symbolizes clearing of the old to make way for new; the Owl for wisdom; the Cat for mystery of the unknown; Ghosts for notions of the other world; and Bats for transformation.

As nurses, we inherently make connections with and for our patients and families. We tap into the power of the universe, as we embrace it we realize there’s a little witch in all of us.

Magic isn’t just spells and potions; its symbols and talisman that have whatever meaning you assign to them. What are the symbols and rituals that hold meaning for you?

Healers use their powers to conjure and create by setting intentions and connecting with the inherent energies of their environments.

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The nursing metaparadigm (nurse, person, health, environment) viewed through the Unitary Transformative paradigm conjures an integration of multiple ways of knowing, being and becoming.

As we honor our nursing ancestor Florence Nightengale, we hear her say:

“All disease is a reparative process…an effort to remedy a process of poisoning or decay…I use the word nursing for want of a better. It has been limited to the administration of medicines and applications of poultices. It ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light, warmth, cleanliness, quiet and diet…”

How do you conjure your environment for healing? How do you create the environment for your patients to heal? What ritual, symbols and talismans and intentions do you use in your self healing and work?

As we connect to our ancestors today, let us begin to reclaim our providence and power as nurse healers.

Listen to you heart, hear the beat of the drum, the drum of your heart as it connects with the hearts of the others and the universe; conjuring, gathering and sending out powers of healing and love to self and universe.

On this day we honor the ancestors, the ancient wisdoms, where we have been and the gifts we have been given.

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See the vibrant colors of the Autumn; red, yellow, orange, and brown. Smell the earthly aromas of patchouli, sandalwood, musk, spice and copal. Hear the rustle of leaves as they fall and fly.

Let your nursing be a practical magic. Conjure a spell and send your intentions off on the winds, allowing the vibrant leaves of red, orange and yellow carry your wishes of health and healing to the earth, animals and humans.

Reference

Nightingale, F. (1859). Notes of Nursing; What is it and What it is not. Barnes & Noble (2003): New York, NY (pp 1-2).

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Renewal


Renewal

by Wendy Marks, DNS, ANP-BC

Renewal

Spring is a time of renewal in nature. Flowers and leaves bud and bloom, birds busy to make their nests, eggs are laid, warmed and hatched, bees make hives, migratory birds fly back to northern homes.

Humans shed winter coats and boots and migrate outdoors to take in the warm breezes, air and sun.

The Unitary-Transformative paradigm informs nursing practice that humans and nature are symbiotic. External environments affect body-mind-spirit. Fresh air, the aesthetics of flowers, birds, and nature sounds affect our feeling tones by soothing our senses. Internal environments are harmonized with rest, nutrition, hydration, and happy thoughts.

Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory (2003) can be used as a guide to understand how patients, families and nurses engage in behaviors to promote physical, psychospiritual, and environmental wellbeing by providing relief, ease, and transcendence towards improved health or peaceful death.

Several Comfort Scales are available to help evaluate comfort in different settings.

Here’s a comfort scale designed for nurses:

http://www.thecomfortline.com/resources/cqs/NursesComfort%20Questionnaire.pdf

You might take the test and then ask yourself where you need to seek renewal for yourself as a human in need of caring and comfort.

What are you doing to renew yourself? Are you going to take a walk outside? Smell and feel the warm, fragrant breezes? Hear the chirp of birds and see the new flowers, leaves and bees? Will you surround yourself with others who value peace, kindness, and love?

Make your values as a nurse healer visible and explicitly engage in health seeking behaviors, free yourself from the burdens of heavy coats and boots. Set sail in the Spring time breezes and feel the sun on your face as you enter a new day and transcend all that no longer serves you.

Reference

Kolcaba, K. (2003). Comfort Theory and Practice. NY, NY: Springer. www.thecomfortline.com

A Nursing Textbook Worthy of NurseManifest Endorsement


Several months ago I had the honor of writing the Foreword to a new nursing textbook by Gweneth Hartrick Doane and Colleen Varcoe titled “How to Nurse: Relational Inquiry with Individuals and Families in Changing Health and Health Care Context.” In their Preface, they state the goal of the text very clearly – one that reflects elegantly the ideals of the Cover How to nurseNurseManifest vision:

“Our goal is to help readers engage in a thoughtful process of inquiry to more intentionally and consciously develop their knowledge and nursing practice, develop their confidence and ability to act in alignment with their nursing values, and to navigate the complexities of contemporary health care settings as they care for patients and families.” (p. x)

There are particular features of the book that are notable from “NurseManifest” perspective.  One is that the book accomplishes something typically missing in textbooks – it fully engages the reader as a participant.  In essence, the book “models” the title — it is relational.  Throughout the book there are features that engage the reader in the content, for example encouraging the reader to “try it out” and providing guidelines for “this week in pracice.” The “Relational Inquiry Toolbox” features at the end of most of the chapters provide guidance for the reader in focusing on using the tools presented in the chapter in practice.  For example, at the end of Chapter 2 – one of the tools is to “Enlist a critical feminist filter to see how gender dynamics are intersecting with other forms of oppression and affecting health and health care.”

In short, this is a marvelous book.  Get your copy today .. even as a person who is not enrolled as a nursing student, I guarantee you will learn a lot and see vast possibilities for nursing that will amaze you!

Alchemic Reflections of Nurse Manifest Project 2014 and Beyond


This post is contributed by Dr. Wendy Marks

The Nurse Manifest project is a collective work in progress. I encourage nurses around the globe to join the cause and become social activists working towards partnership and emancipation in healthcare practice, education, research and policy.

Reflecting upon the achievements in the nursing profession for 2014, I consider the Manifesto’s Mission:

A Call to Conscience and Action

  • To raise awareness
  • To inspire action
  • To open discussion of issues that are vital to nursing and health care around the globe.

2014 was a year of nurses raising their awareness of issues vital to nursing and healthcare around the globe. From Ebola, to poverty and violence, nurses are at the frontlines addressing personal and public health concerns around the world.

2014 saw expanding roles of nurses with the abolition of practice barriers for Advanced Practice Nurses to meet growing healthcare demands in many States.

The American Nurses Association is a great place to find resources for advancing the profession http://www.nursingworld.org. One great initiative is from the Bedside to the Board Room; where staff nurses are educated to create policy change.

I encourage nurses to read, reflect upon and utilize the ideas from the articles, books and doctoral dissertations citing the project https://nursemanifest.com/resources/.

Change happens when we reflect and transform of values, beliefs and actions. As we close 2014 and open 2015, I encourage nurses around the globe to see and say what nursing is and can be. Create the world you want to live in.

As nurse manifestors we are looking for new thought, bravery, compassion, and alchemy.

The poem Not Here by Rumi illuminates our work and mission:

Not Here

There’s courage involved if you want to become truth.
There is a broken-open place in a lover.
Where are those qualities of bravery and sharp compassion in this group?
What’s the use of old and frozen thought?
I want a howling hurt.  This is not a treasury where gold is stored; this is for copper.
We alchemists look for talent that can heat up and change.  Lukewarm won’t do.
Half-hearted holding back, well-enough getting by?
Not here.

From Soul of Rumi by Coleman Barks

Go forth nurses in 2015 and bring peace, comfort, care, love and alchemy!

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