Questions

I know every one knows about the coronavirus.  We hear about it on the news almost constantly.

I can’t deny that I’m nervous about the situation especially since I’m a nurse.  I recently opened up to my life coach about it.  She then asked me to think about my personal rules regarding covid-19.

What am I willing to do during this crisis and what am I not willing to do during this crisis?

I thought about this question and a phrase kept coming to me.

A dead nurse takes care of no patients.  A quarantined nurse can take care of no patients.

One of my personal rules for this pandemic is to not put myself in danger.  If I don’t have a mask then I cannot take care of a corona virus patient.  I took an oath to help my patients.  Sometimes to help my patients it would mean saying no to putting myself at risk to catch the virus.  Going into a room with a positive patient without a mask would mean that I could become a way to spread the virus to not only my other patients but to the my co-workers as well.  I took an oath to do no harm.  Spreading the virus around would not be doing no harm.

There is a divide in nursing that I’m seeing right now.  Some nurses are saying to stop complaining about having no PPE and take care of the patients.  This is what nurses signed up for.  Other nurses are saying that we didn’t sign up for this and it is okay to say no to taking care of a patient without proper PPE.

I’m not going to judge any nurse for making a decision that is best for that nurse.

I know that during a pandemic we are going to be doing things differently than normal.  I will just make my own personal rules for my life.

Other people may not like them but I’m not going to put my life in danger to prove to anybody that I’m a good nurse.

I urge every one that reads this to think about your own personal rules for this pandemic.  I don’t want the human race to lose its humanity during this pandemic.  It is still okay to help other people also while keeping yourself safe.

The year of 2020 has been designated as the “Year of the Nurse”.  While I really didn’t know what that meant at first but I now know what it means to me.  Maybe this will be the year that nurses start to see themselves as human beings instead of martyrs.  As a nurse it is okay to take care of yourself.  It is okay to put yourself first.  A healthy nurse can take better care of the patients than a sick or dead nurse.  It is okay for a nurse to practice self care.  It is okay for a nurse to say no and to stop working overtime.  It is okay for a nurse to say no to taking care of a patient without proper PPE.  It is okay for a nurse to make a decision that is best for that nurse even if no one else likes it and even if someone else says that that nurse isn’t a good nurse.  It is okay for a nurse to put themselves in danger if that nurse so chooses to do so.

Every one has a different definition of a good nurse.  I have been told in the past that nurses aren’t supposed to smile and they are supposed to be matter of fact.  Some of my patients have told me that they like the fact that I smile because the hospital is already so dreary and sad.

I’m not going to put my life on the line to prove to anybody that I’m a “good” nurse.

I do think that every nurse needs to ask themselves some questions right now.

What are they willing to do and not willing to do during this pandemic?

The answer to the question might just save some lives.

 

Soaring

About 2 months ago, I went paragliding.

While up in the air, he said that when he saw hawks that would let him know where the good wind was.  He said they use the wind to fly.

The next day, I opened the blinds and saw a hawk flying.  I stood there until I couldn’t see it anymore.  I observed that it indeed didn’t flap it wings.  It soared with the wind.  I didn’t see it flap its wings for a good 5 minutes.  I was mesmerized.

I learned something in that moment while looking at the hawk fly.

When I allow God/Universe to help me I can soar without having to expend my energy by trying to “flap my wings.”

I try to do some things by myself but when I ask for help from God/Universe, I get help and I don’t have to try so hard.  I have been trying to fly but not use the wind.  The hawk can fly without continuously flapping its wings because it knows to use the wind.  It trusts the wind to help it fly.

For example, I was trying to write a copy for my new website.  I was going to use the old template from my other website.  I was having trouble coming up with the words for the copy.  I asked God/Universe to help me.  A few days later, I just sat down and did the copy in a day and a half.  The words just flowed.  I had been trying for some days to write the copy.

I’m comfortable asking God/Universe to help me write things like this blog and my new website.  I don’t know why I’m not comfortable asking God/Universe for help with the big things in life.  I just sort of try to do those things on my own.  I know God/Universe always takes care of me.  I also know that I’m guided.  Following the signs always leads me to where I need to be.  It never fails.  I guess I’m not comfortable because sometimes the signs don’t come when I want them to come.  Sometimes it takes a while and that sometimes makes me nervous.

I’ve learned that in order to soar high, I have to use the help of God/Universe to get to where I need to be.  That means use God/Universe in every aspect of my life.  I know that that will only help me to soar higher than I could go on my own.

Magic happens when I allow God/Universe to help.  So I’m going to use that.

What can you use help with in your life?

Maybe you can ask for help from your higher power.  You might find that your higher power can help you soar.

 

 

Courage

I recently heard my life coach say that she rarely feels courageous when doing something courageous.

That resonated with me.

When I think about some of the courageous things that I have done I also didn’t feel courageous while doing them.

I went paragliding last Sunday.

So, I’m standing there staring at the edge of the cliff that I’m about to run towards, I wasn’t feeling so courageous.  Yes, I wanted to fly but I was afraid to run.  After I ran towards the cliff and then started to fly, I felt so amazed at myself for doing it.

After getting up into the air, I was fine.  I was having so much fun.  We were soaring above some hawks too.  Now that I know the process, I will definitely do it again.  If you want to watch the video you can look up fly with Jordan on Facebook or Instagram.

Another situation that happened this week, where I didn’t feel courageous was having to tell my landlord that I would be moving at the end of the month.  I had originally told him that I needed to rent his room until the beginning of May.  The price of the room is too high.  I picked it because it is only 5 minutes from the hospital.  Talking to the other travel nurse and the manager, I found some other places that are cheaper.  If I stayed in this room, I will have to work an extra day to make any money.

When I told my landlord, he said that he could drop the price.  The price was still not cheaper than the other place that I had found.  He told me to think about it and get back to him the next day.  I felt bad because I knew that I was still going to choose the other place even though its 15 minutes from the hospital.

The next day I was so nervous, I wanted to text him my choice.  I decided I needed to tell him in person.  I need to learn how to say no in person more often.  I won’t always be able to text my answer.  This move to the other place makes sense for me.  I won’t have to work any over time at this place and I can still make some money.  My landlord is nice and so is his family.  I feel bad for leaving but I need to do what is right for me. That is one of the reasons that I only book for a month at a time.  Just in case I don’t like the place I can find another place.

After I told him in person, I felt lighter.  I felt good about what happened.  I know he wanted me to choose his place but that would have put me in a situation where I would have to work extra every week.  I don’t like to work extra unless I have to.  I’m proud of myself for not taking the easy way out and texting my answer.

Think about some of the courageous things that you have done in your life.  Did you feel courageous while you were doing those things?

 

Self Confidence

I found a quote on the Law of Attraction’s Instagram that I found interesting.  I don’t know the author.

“The best way to gain self confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.”

That quote rang true for me.

Since I’ve been on this journey of getting to know myself, I’ve been doing things that have scared me.  That really has raised my self confidence in myself.

I have a fear of public speaking.  To help myself get over it, I booked an open mic night at a club and read one of my poems.  I was so nervous before going on stage.  Afterwards I felt relief and confidence.  I did it even though I was scared.  That experience helped me to know that I can do something scary and get through it.

Being a travel nurse is scary to some people.  Going to a new place with no family or friends every 3 months can be scary.  I found it to be liberating.

I’m going to the hairdresser tomorrow.  I’m nervous because other people might see my bald spot in person.  For me, its easier to share a picture of my bald spot online because I don’t see the people that read my blog.  To me its different in person.  My hairdresser is the person that found my spot.  She hasn’t seen it since November 2018.  Its gotten much bigger since then.  I can hide it from the other people in her shop until she puts the rollers in my hair.  I talked to my life coach about it.  She told me that even if people stare, they will be staring at a woman that loves herself.  They will be staring at a courageous woman.

I’m also nervous to color my hair.  I stopped coloring when I was diagnosed with alopecia.  I had heard that its not good for women with alopecia to color their hair.  My doctor said that it wouldn’t hurt since alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder.  In the alopecia group that I’m apart of, some people say it won’t hurt and some people said that it will hurt.  I’ve been coloring my hair for about 10 years and I love my color.  I know that if I stopped coloring my hair then I would live the rest of my life wondering if I could still color my hair.  The only way to know is to do it.  The Universe/God always takes care of me.

In my experience, there is always going to be something that makes you nervous.  If I let that feeling stop me then I would have missed out on so many wonderful experiences that I’ve had.  I would have missed out on becoming a travel nurse, skydiving, speaking at an open mic night, becoming the Alopecia Empress, becoming a nurse, creating a blog, sharing my story, being single, getting to know and love myself, traveling by myself, and doing a photo shoot.  Those are just some of the things that I was nervous about.  In doing all of those things, it has built my self esteem and self confidence.  I not only did those things but I also had fun doing them.

You might surprise yourself when you do something that scares you.

Telephone

I remember in kindergarten, we used to play a game named Telephone.

The teacher would have the children sit in a circle.  She would write a sentence on a piece of paper.  She would then select a student.  That student would get up and the teacher would show the sentence to that one student.  The student would rejoin the circle and tell the sentence to the student on the right.  The student listening could have the other student repeat the sentence if they didn’t hear it.  We were told to whisper the sentence to the other student.  When the sentence had traveled through all the students, the last student said the sentence out loud.  The teacher would then show us the sentence that was written on the piece of paper.  We never got the sentence correct.  Some where between being whispered or the student not listening, the sentence had been changed.

Looking back on this simple game, it has taught me a valuable lesson.

Word of mouth can change things depending on if the person is listening.

Listening and hearing are two different things.

Have you ever heard a song and right after not be able to tell someone what the artist said?

I have.  Even in some conversations, it is hard to listen.  I found myself thinking about my response to what the other person said instead of listening to what that person is saying.

One of my action steps from my life coach was to really listen in my conversations for 2 weeks.  I have to say that I learned a lot from that action step.  It taught me to be present in the moment.  To listen to another person, I couldn’t focus on my response.  I had to listen to what the other person was saying and take it in and process it.  Sometimes the response that I would have said wasn’t valid anymore because I listened and heard what the other person was saying.  This is when I learned that hearing and listening are two different things.

When I listened I was taking in the information that the other person was saying and processing it.  When I was just hearing what the other person was saying I was really thinking about what I was going to say next.  It took more concentration on my part to quiet my mind and to stop forming a response before I listened to the other person.

I looked up the definition of hearing and it is to perceive sound.

When I’m at work, I can hear so many things and not listen to them.  I’ve got the call light beeping, the IV pump beeping, the bed alarm beeping, and the phone call.  I have learned to tune some of them out at times because it gets to be too much noise at once at times.  I can only attend to one of those things at a time.  It can get really noisy at a hospital at times.

Listening to understand is different than hearing what someone is saying.

I challenge you in the next 2 weeks, to really listen in the conversations that you have.  Let me know if you notice anything.  Do you notice that it takes a bit more concentration to listen to the other person?  Do you notice how easy it is to be forming a response in your head even while the other person is talking?

I hope that kids in kindergarten are still playing the game, Telephone.  That childhood game taught me a valuable lesson.

Frozen 2 Lessons

I went to see Frozen 2 last week.

I loved the lessons that I got from it.  If you haven’t seen it and want to see it then don’t keep reading.  I’m not going to talk about the whole movie.

Elsa is queen of Arendelle, but she isn’t truly happy.  She feels like there is something else that she is supposed to be.  Most people would be content with being royalty.  While there are parts of her life that she loves, she keeps hearing a call.  She wants to ignore the call but it keeps her up at night.  Towards the end of the movie, I found out that Elsa had been looking for herself.  The call that she was hearing lead her to find herself.

I love this concept.  I feel the same way right now.  I should be content with being a nurse.  I can help some people and I can travel around the country.  I feel inside that I’m meant to be so much more than a nurse.  Being a nurse isn’t bad.  It’s just not where I’m supposed to stay.  I can’t help as many people as I would like.

Healthcare benefits from the sick people, it doesn’t benefit from healthy people.

I remember when I had a new diabetic patient and I didn’t have the time to educate the patient on diabetes.  I had to call the diabetes educator to come talk to the patient.  I didn’t even have 30 minutes to teach the patient.  I kept getting interrupted by my phone ringing.  I was the charge nurse at the time and it was a very busy day that day.  It bothered me that I didn’t have the time to even teach my patient.  That was about 10 years ago and it has only gotten busier.  Nurses are expected to do more with less.  Less staff, less resources, and less time off.  I just can’t see myself doing bedside nursing for thirty or even twenty years.  I know a lot of nurses that feel that way.

Another lesson that I learned from Frozen 2, was that sometimes the answers to the future lie in the past.  Elsa and Anna had to learn what happened in the past and why the spirits were angry.  They found out that their grandfather had attacked an innocent man.  Their grandfather was scared of the people that used magic.  He devised a plan to give them a present that would end up making the people that used magic rely on him.  Anna had to destroy the dam that would end up destroying their home.  She did it because it was the right thing to do.

I can personally attest to this concept.  I hate to cook.  I have always hated it.  I asked God/Universe to show me why I hated cooking.  I had a past life dream and that explained so much about why I hated to cook.  It also explained why I grind my teeth at night sometimes and why I worry about somethings.  That past life dream helped me to get the answers that I needed and helped me to understand my eating disorder.  I know that the dream helped me to get rid of my eating disorder.

Another lesson that I learned is that sometimes our ancestors aren’t always innocent. I accept that fact.

I love the lessons that I learned from this movie.  I will go see it again.  If you love Disney or Pixar movies like I do, you will love the movie.

Lizards

I was recently eating breakfast in the kitchen and I had the TV on.  I looked out the back doors and spotted a lizard on table outside.  It was just crawling around.  It was making me uncomfortable.  Lizards are like snakes with legs to me.

I then did something that I have never done before.

I closed my eyes and imagined that I was speaking to the lizard in my mind.  I told the lizard that it had every right to be there.  It wasn’t doing any thing wrong.  I was just uncomfortable.  I asked the lizard if it could please move and come back in about 10 minutes when I was done eating.  I opened my eyes and the lizard was gone.  I don’t know if my exercise had anything to do with it.

About a week later, while I was talking on the phone, I looked out the window and saw 2 lizards on the neighbor’s house.  They were big and hard to miss.  I then couldn’t look out the window while I was on the phone because I couldn’t stand to see the lizards.  I was becoming uncomfortable looking at them crawl around on the house.  Every time I walked near the window I could see them.

I thought about those 2 situations for a while.

I had a realization that those situations are linked to alopecia.

I think this is why some woman feel like they have to wear a wig, topper, hair fibers, scarves, or head bands.  Alopecia makes the woman diagnosed with it uncomfortable at times and it also makes other people uncomfortable too at times.  I realize that some people may think that a bald woman has cancer.  In the past when I saw a bald women I would assume that she had cancer or that she just wanted to have a bald head.  I had heard of alopecia but I didn’t know how many woman it affected.  As I’ve learned when you assume things you make an ass out of you and me.

A woman has the right to be bald or have thinning hair. She also has the right to tattoo her bald spot or bald head if she chooses.

That can make some people uncomfortable.

I realize that it is not my job to be in charge of other people’s emotions. 

I am only in charge of my emotions.  I can think of a number of reasons that other people might be uncomfortable with me.  One reason can be that I’m a woman and another could be the color of my skin.

I can’t go through life afraid to be who I am because someone else might be uncomfortable with me. 

If a woman chooses to not hide her alopecia then she has the right to do it.  And the next time I see a lizard I will try to not be uncomfortable.  Every animal has a message if the person is willing to learn.

Lizard

The message that I took away from this is to focus on my dreams.  Which in all honesty I haven’t been doing lately.

While I was talking to my life coach on the phone, a deer appeared in her yard.  I see deer a lot when I’m hiking.

Deer

The message I took from this is to be gentle with my self.  I can start to focus on my dreams and not beat myself up about slacking off recently.

So the next time you see something that makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself why is it making you uncomfortable?  Does the situation have a lesson to teach you?  Is the situation asking you to take some kind of action?

In the end, I’m going to continue to be myself and not hide that.  I have the right to show or not to show my bald spot.  I get to make that choice.  Any woman with alopecia gets to make that choice all on her own.  It is not their responsibility to be in charge of other’s emotions.

Alopecians have the right to do what they choose to do, just like the lizard has the right to be outside and do what lizards do.

Gut Instinct

Recently I had some incidents where I didn’t listen to my gut instinct or my intuition.

I was talking to a guy on a dating app.  My initial gut instinct told me that this guy wasn’t right for me.  Some of the questions that he asked me raised some flags for me.  The one question that worried me was that he had asked me if I had a flat stomach.  I told him yes but that raised an internal flag for me.

Yes everybody has a type of person that they like to date.  Even I have a type of man that I like to date.  Physically this man was my type.

The flag that was raised inside of me, said that if he was concerned about me having a flat stomach, he might be concerned about me having alopecia.  I overrode my intuition and continued to talk to the guy.  My intuition was telling me to stop talking to this guy.

On the day that we were supposed to meet up for our first date, I was excited.  We still hadn’t confirmed a time.  I texted and called him and I got nothing.  I ended up erasing his number and he had unmatched with me on the dating app.  I don’t know why he ghosted me but if I had of listened to my intuition maybe I wouldn’t be in that situation.

Another recent incident where I didn’t listen, cost me some sleep.

I had just gotten home from work and parked the car in the driveway.  I travel with bug spray in my car every since i found a big spider in my car.  My intuition told me to take the buy spray into the house.  I thought to myself that I would do it tomorrow.  My room had just been cleaned that day while I was at work.

I get to my room and turn on the light and what do I see on the window but a spider.  I internally kicked myself and knew why my intuition had told me to bring in the bug spray.  I lean down to take my shoe off to kill the spider and I look up and I don’t see the spider anymore.  I examine the window and found it but I couldn’t hit it with my shoe where it had crawled to.  I go back to get the bug spray from my car.  I sprayed the window but I didn’t see the spider.  I had to go to work the next day, so I couldn’t stay up and look for the spider.  I tried to sleep but it was hard to not knowing if the spider was still in the room or if it had gotten outside.

I know that if I had of brought the bug spray inside when I first came into my room, I would have been able to spray the spider and kill it.  Then I would have been able to sleep knowing that there was no spider in my room.

There was one recent incident where I did listen to my intuition.

I had a logo made by a woman that I found on Fiverr.  She gave me four options.  Two of them I really loved.  Between those two, one of them really stood out to me.  I had told her that I wanted a crown in my logo.  The logo with the crown was the one that I really liked from the start.

I showed them to my two best friends.  I didn’t ask them for an opinion, I was just showing them the pictures because I was really excited.  One of them said that she liked the one that I hadn’t chose to use.  She said the logo with the crown wasn’t business like and reminded her of a Disney princess.  She did acknowledge that I hadn’t asked for her opinion.  While I did listen to her opinion, I decided that at the end of the day I had to love my logo.  I chose the logo with the crown.  Being the Alopecian Empress in my book, requires a crown.

I love my logo!

What situation have you been in lately that you heard your intuition speak to you?  Did you listen or did you not listen?

I’m still learning to listen.

 

 

Alopecian Empress

Alopecia is teaching me a lot about myself.

It’s very hard to look into the mirror and see that your hair is different.  The bald spot is growing back slowly and also getting bigger at the same time.  Thankfully I can still hide it but it is getting harder to do that also.

Alopecia is teaching me that beauty doesn’t come from your hair.  It comes from inside.

Imagine if you woke up one day and you had a bald spot or clumps of hair started to come out.

How would that make you feel?

I know I felt shock at first.  I immediately started to look for answers on how to stop it from happening or a cure.  I quickly learned that there wasn’t one.  No one knows why alopecia happens.  There is also no one treatment that helps.  It is an autoimmune disease.  It has many causes.  The causes include stress, vitamin deficiency, hormones, other autoimmune disease, or diet.  Those are just some of the causes.

For some people, just changing their diet brings their hair back.  Some people just have to take vitamins.  Some people get steroid injections.  Even when the hair grows back, it can fall out again in the future.

Alopecia has taught me acceptance.

I accept what is happening in the current moment.  Yes my hair is growing back slowly and my spot has gotten bigger.

My beauty, identity, and confidence comes from inside.  My soul is where my beauty, identity, and confidence lie.

My beauty is not based solely on my looks.

Alopecia has also given me a new direction in life.

I’ll be speaking at a alopecia beauty event next month.  I wouldn’t be doing that if I didn’t have alopecia.  I wouldn’t be the Alopecian Empress without alopecia.  I have so many opportunities now.

I’m just surprising myself.  I never would have thought that losing my hair could lead to me living my best life.  The Alopecian Empress has arrived.

Alopecia has made me stronger.

 

 

Falling Off

Three months ago, I had noticed that I had gained 15 pounds.  I was determined to lose it and not diet.

I knew the reason that I gained it.  I wasn’t moving my body as much as usual and I wasn’t eating like I normally ate.  When I go to my parent’s house, I eat what they eat.  I usually don’t eat a lot of potatoes, rice, or that many carbs.  Adding those to my diet for 3 months and not exercising a lot added to my weight gain.  It wasn’t anybody’s fault but my own.  I also wasn’t drinking enough water each day.

I also didn’t realize how much I walk when I go to work at the hospital.  On this assignment, I paid attention to how much I walk at work.  I average between 8,000 to 15,000 steps per day when I work a 12 hour shift.  That equals between 5 to 6 miles a day at work.  The last time I worked I got 14,300 steps.  When I took 3 months off, I only hiked twice a week.  My body was used to getting in way more steps than those 2 days of hiking provided.  The mountain I hiked was only 4 miles.  I should have been going up and down the mountain at least 2 times to even get all the steps that I needed to maintain my weight.  I thought at the time that hiking twice a week was going to be enough.

Also I wasn’t about to start denying myself any food that I wanted.  I still have a sweet tooth.  If I crave a piece of cake then I indulge.  If I want a chocolate chip muffin then I indulge.

When I got to my assignment, I just started to eat the way I normally do.  It was way too hot in Florida during the summer to workout outside.  On my days off, I don’t like to wake up early. The only time that it was cool outside was in the early mornings.  Thankfully my landlord had a treadmill.

Despite me not hiking, I still was able to lose 10 pounds.  I haven’t stepped on a scale in 3 months, but I can tell by the way my clothes fit and the way my body looks.  It really just felt like it fell off without me trying anything.  Taking the stairs was something that I started doing at work for the last year.  Eating healthy about ninety percent of the time is something that I’ve been doing for the past 3 years.  I’ve been a nurse for about 15 years now.  I just now realized how many steps I get and that helps me to maintain my weight.  Going 3 months without a job affected my weight.

Thankfully, I’m back on track.  I’m drinking enough water and exercising.

I remember someone in the past telling me that when you gain weight don’t buy any new clothes in a bigger size if you want to lose weight.  I thought about that because my jeans were getting really tight.  They were starting to get really uncomfortable to wear and my muffin top was showing.  I hadn’t had a muffin top in about 3 years.  I was considering buying some new jeans in a bigger size.  Those same jeans are now comfortable to wear and not tight anymore.

It is possible to lose weight and not feel like you are depriving yourself of anything.

I can indulge when I want to and not worry about falling off the deep end.  I also don’t worry about reigniting my eating disorder anymore.  I’ve found a lifestyle that I can maintain. Now I know that I can fall off the wagon and then get right back on and get back on track with my lifestyle.

What is one thing that you can do today to help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle for yourself?

As soon as I got home this week, I weighed myself.  I’ve lost 11 pounds.  The clothes that didn’t fit 3 months ago now fit.  I don’t have to buy a new wardrobe.

I now have a plan for when I’m off of work.  I will hike 3 times a week.  I also have my subscription to daily burn that I can use if it’s too hot to go outside.  I will eat dinner with my parents and not eat a lot of carbs. I will drink 2.5 Liters of water every day.  Doing those small steps will help me to maintain my weight without gaining any weight.