Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sweet Mama Dog Interacting with a Beautiful Child with Down Syndrome. From Jim Stenson

Sweet Mama Dog Interacting with a Beautiful Child with Down Syndrome. From Jim Stenson

Monday, December 22, 2014

Better Than Happiness: One man’s successful search for meaning. Published on December 20, 2014 by Linda and Charlie Bloom, in Stronger at the Broken Places

It may sound strange coming from someone who has written dozens of blogs about happiness and taught a lot of seminars on the subject, to hear that happiness isn’t necessarily all that it’s cracked up to be. Or put another way, in terms of one’s overall quality of life, spirit, and degree of personal fulfillment, some things play a much more significant role than feelings of happiness. I’ll get to that in a minute.

In my freshman year of college I read a book that changed my life. It was at the time the most important book that I had ever read, and it continues to be to this day. It’s entitled, Man’s Search for Meaning and it was written in 1946 by the Viennese psychiatrist and neurologist, Viktor Frankl.

Frankl had been recently liberated from a concentration camp in which he had been imprisoned for several years, and shortly after receiving news that the Nazis executed his entire family, including his wife, pregnant with their first child, his brother, and both of his parents, as well as many other relatives.

What Frankl personally witnessed and experienced during his incarceration led him to a conclusion that to this day stands as one of the most succinct and profound statements ever written about the human condition. That is that “everything can be taken from a [person] but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” The circumstances in which Frankl lived during the war years, were beyond horrific. His writings were not simply expressions of a theory, but were grounded in his daily self-reflection on his own experience and his observation of countless other inmates and how they did or did not manage to survive unspeakable conditions.

Frankl discovered that the primary variable that influenced the likelihood of whether his fellow prisoners survived of perished had to do with the degree to which they were identified with a purpose larger than themselves, particularly one in which they saw themselves as contributing in some meaningful way to the enhancement of the quality of others’ lives. He claimed that those prisoners who suffered the physical and mental cruelties of the camps and managed to survive also tended to be the ones who sought and found the wherewithal to share the little they had, a comforting word, a crust of bread, or an act of simple kindness with others. Giving to others was of course not a guarantee of survival, but it was a way of sustaining a sense of purpose and meaning in the face of overwhelmingly brutal conditions. Without purpose of meaning, our life spirit diminishes and we become more vulnerable to physical and mental stressors.

While it’s natural to prefer happiness to suffering, Frankl recognized the paradox that a sense of purpose and meaning often is born out of adversity and pain, and he understood the potentially redemptive value in suffering. The recognition that there can be some good that comes out of our most painful experiences can be the central factor in the process of transforming suffering into purpose.
In the January 2013 issue of the Atlantic Monthly, in her article entitled,There’s More to Life than Being Happy, Emily Esfahani Smith writes, “Research has shown that having meaning and purpose in life increases overall well-being and life satisfaction, improves mental and physicalhealth, enhances resiliency and self esteem, and decreases the chances of depression.” She goes on to state that according to recent research, “the single-minded pursuit of happiness is ironically leaving people less happy.”

Happiness is usually associated or confused with pleasure, which has to do with experiencing enjoyable feelings and sensations. We feel happy when a need or desire is fulfilled, when we get what we want. The researcher, Kathleen Vohs claims that “Happy people get a lot of joy from receiving benefits from others, while people leading meaningful lives get a lot of joy from giving to others.”

A 2011 study concluded that people who have meaning in their lives through a clearly defined purpose, rate their life satisfaction higher even when they were feeling bad, than those without a sense of purpose.

Several years prior to writing his groundbreaking book, Viktor Frankl was already living from a deep sense of purpose that at times required him to forego personal desires in favor of his commitment to fulfill other, purpose-driven intentions. In 1941 Austria had already been occupied by the Germans for three years. Frankl knew that it was just a matter of time before his parents would be taken away. At the time he was already distinguished internationally for his contributions to the field of psychology and had a widespread reputation. He had applied for and was given a visa to America where he and his wife would be safe from the Nazis, but as it became evident that his parents would inevitably be sent to a concentration camp, he recognized that he had to choose between rejecting his visa to America to help his parents make the painful and difficult adjustment to the camps, or to go to America to save himself and his wife and further pursue his career. After considerable deliberation he understood that his deepest purpose was in his loyalty and responsibility to his aging parents. He made the decision to put aside his individual pursuits, stay in Vienna and dedicate his life to being in service to his parents and later, to other inmates in the camps.

Frankl’s experiences during this time served to form the basis of his theoretical and clinical work that has since profoundly impacted on the quality of life for millions of people worldwide.

Viktor Frankl died in 1997 at the age of 92. He spent his post-war years continuing to embody his commitment to serve through his teaching, his writings, and many other forms of contribution to the welfare of humanity. His life served as a stunning example of one man’s extraordinary capacity to find and create meaning in a life that was at times characterized by indescribable physical and emotional suffering. He was literally living proof of the claim that we all have the power to choose our attitude in any given set of conditions, regardless of what the circumstances are, and that the choice that we make is the determining factor in the quality of our life. While there may be times when the ability to choose to feel happy doesn’t seem available to us, there is never a time in which we lack the ability to choose our attitude. Frankl’s life, more so than his written words, affirms that we all possess the power to make and act on this choice. It was, beyond any fragment of a doubt, a life well-lived.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

R.I.P. Dolores Cannon, Thank You For All You've Done

Doreen's Blog Post
Rest In Peace Dolores Cannon (1931-October 18th, 2014)

I am currently listed as a Basic Practitioner and I don't think I can post on the Quantum Healing Hypnosis Forum, so I guess I will write what I want to write here. When I first found out, I was sitting at Denver International Airport waiting to board a flight back to San Francisco International. I had just received an email from Candace CrawGoldman from my Google mail.

It said: [QHHT Support Forum] Candace_CrawGoldman started a new discussion: Sad News: Dolores has Passed

To put it simply, I felt saddened and shocked even though she is obviously advanced in her years. We lost a great pioneer in healing today. We lost her in the physical realm and I know her soul is happier now on the other side. Still, I wish I got to take her Level 2 class with her in person later this year. I was hoping I would be able to meet her in person. But I guess that won't happen now. I feel lost, wondering where Dolores Cannon's students and practitioners will go from here. Who will continue her work? Reporting on the Subconscious' everlasting wisdom? What part will I be able to play from here?

My mood is somewhat dampened because of her passing. It shouldn't be shocking that someone of her age has passed on, but I still feel shocked. I would like to know if she passed peacefully, and what happened. On the website listed above, it says:

Candace_CrawGoldman Wichita, KS USAPosts: 2,115Administrator, Moderator, Recommended Dedicated Practitioner
11:26AM  in General News Flag  
It is with the most profound sadness I am sharing with you the news that our beloved Dolores is no longer with us in the physical realm. Please know and trust that she will always be assisting us and connected to us no matter what.    
Here is a note from Julia.  
Hi Everyone, 
It is with a heavy heart that we let you know that Dolores passed into her next world this morning. To this end she was the Dolores that we all know and love and we want you all to know that she appreciated very much the loving energy and prayers you sent her way these last few weeks. She was with all of her family this morning and left surrounded by their and your love. Her heart will remain connected to us all.  

I read on Candace's website that Dolores was in some kind of accident?

UPDATE added September 25, 2014. Unfortunately due to an accident involving Dolores Cannon, the following workshop has been cancelled and will need to be rescheduled at a later date. Thank you for your understanding.

I guess all I can say is that she will be missed, and I will remember her, for she has changed my life. It is because of her work that I am a spiritual person today. She is one of the MAIN reasons. Thank you Dolores for all that you did for us (everyone who has been inspired by Dolores, and there are many)! Thank you for your work, your QHHT technique to help and heal people, the love that you gave people, the lost knowledge and information that you've imparted us in your books, as well as the tremendous ways you've changed our lives for the better! I can only hope I will be able to play as big of a part as you did to inspire, help, and change the lives of others.

The following is from Dolores' book, Between Death and Life, that I feel is appropriate.

Thus we will never actually know until we leave our body for the last time and journey toward the brilliant light that marks the barrier between this world and the next. Even with the knowledge I have gained through my work I am not anxious to make that trip. At least, not yet. I feel I have much to accom­plish yet here on this plane. For in my study of death, I have found the celebration of life. 

But I think when the time comes the journey will not hold as much fear as it once would have. Because I know I am not going into a strange, dark, forbidding unknown. I am merely returning home and there will be as many familiar people and sights on those planes as there are on this one. Maybe the infor­mation I have found has allowed us to lift the veil a little and peer beyond, and allowed us to glimpse through the glass into the shadows and what we see is not as dark as it was before. It is the awakening of memories long buried. And the memories are truly wonderful, because what we see is a beautiful sight to behold. 

I am grateful that I was allowed to have these conversations with the spirits. What they have told me encourages the shed­ding of fears and doubts and brings the realization that what lies beyond the barrier is only a joyous "home-coming."
- Dolores Cannon's Between Death and Life  

Of utmost importance, remember the good the departed have done for us. Don't hold them back by overly grieving their passing. They are much happier on the other side, no matter how great their life here may have been. We will all be reunited one day. There Will Be a Day!

                                                  There Will Be a Day, by Jeremy Camp

10:18 PM, Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Future So Great That I Cannot Even Begin to Fathom Right Now

Can you remember a time in your life when something you have been working for, sweated for, toiled for, worried over for, dreamed about, and just felt so right when fantasized about, actually become a reality where it is every bit as glorious as as you imagined? I can't answer this question right now, but I sure hope that the answer is YES. 

Erin Pavlina is one of the most highly regarded and sought after intuitive counselors world-wide. She is the wife of famous self-improvement blogger, Steve Pavlina. The following is straight from her website:

"Although Erin has been developing and using her intuitive gifts since she was a young child, it wasn’t until 2006 that she began blogging and sharing her wisdom and experiences with the world. She has written more than 600 articles on the subjects of spiritual, psychic, and personal development. 
Erin’s specialty is helping you get moving on your life path. Her clients consult with her in the areas of career, relationships, finances, health, and spirituality. She uses her intuitive abilities to connect with your spirit guides to get information to help you on your path, and/or to help you overcome the blocks to your success. To date she has worked with more than 2,500 clients."

I have read many of her articles on her website before, and her work is right up there with Dolores Cannon's works on metaphysics and spirituality. Erin's intuitive abilities towards the spiritual side matches and fits very well with metaphysical concepts in Dolores' Convoluted Universe Series and Between Death and Life. In fact, many of the concepts are now being delved into and touched upon from various independent fields of science including, epigenetics, quantum mechanics, biology, and theoretical physicists. I have written about the merging of science and spirituality before here.   

Well on Wednesday, September 10th, I sent out an email to Erin for one of her readings. I wanted some guidance related to my nursing job search. On the previous day, my mom was also inquiring me about my life and fate lines on my palms. I don't know to what extent she believes in palm reading but apparently, she feels like the palm lines for her hands, my dad's, and her parents' lines all match up and make sense. So we were talking about palm readings but instead of debating about the potential accuracies of palm reading of my mom and dad's lines, I told her about Erin and the intuitive abilities of other well-sought contemporary psychics like John Edwards. After showing my mom some articles, she allowed me to get a reading from Erin. So here's what I sent to Erin via email:

"Greetings Mrs. Pavlina, 
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Michael Leu and I am a 22 year old who recently graduated from the University of San Francisco (USF) this May with a Bachelors of Science (BSN) in Nursing. Since graduation I have gotten my RN license in California but I have not been able to find any job opportunities or even have any interviews yet. I have put in numerous online applications to various hospitals in California and if I continue to have an absence or lack of responses from hospitals, I will have to look out of state and towards more rural areas in hopes to find an RN job. As a note, in this current economy, new graduate registered nurses, in general, are having a very difficult time finding a job in California, and although out of state is easier, it is still no walk in the park to find a RN job as a new graduate currently. So I am definitely interested in knowing where I should apply that will likely get me a job. But to make things a bit more complicated, in addition to considering location, I would also like to know which department I should look to work in as a nurse. For example, during my last semester at USF, I did my preceptorship at Stanford Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). However, my true interest lies in emergency, as I would like to be an Emergency Department/Room (ER) Registered Nurse. But with all candor and honesty, part of me is definitely concerned about becoming an ER nurse as it can be highly stressful, especially for a new graduate with no RN experience. So while ER is more interesting for me, I do have some doubts in the back of my mind regarding if I should be an ER nurse. Nursing is a career that requires cautiousness as medications can harm and kill patients. I suppose part of the reason that I have some anxiety about working in a critical care department is because I had a serious scare during one of my semesters in nursing school where in clinical, I almost gave a patient a wrong medication. Afterwards, I was pretty badly shaken to the point where I was seriously doubting if I made the right decision of going to nursing school and becoming a nurse. To understand this, I need to tell you about the reasons why I decided to go to get my BSN after high school.

I didn’t get into my top choice for the University of California Colleges, but I did get into USF for nursing. So not being admitted to my top choice of college, I did some research into the nursing field. I found out that RN’s only needed to work 3 days a week, made good money, didn’t need that many years of schooling to complete, and so it enticed me. But what ultimately persuaded me was the idea of travel nursing. I learned that with travel nursing, I could literally travel to different places in the United States, get paid well, and get to take time off in between assignments, to do whatever it is I wanted. Travel nurses usually work 13 week assignments, then take time off between assignments that is completely up to them. And being young, I have big dreams of Adventure. Growing up, my entire life has been very much focused around academics and in my heart of hearts, I feel like 22 years of this type of rigorous, mundane existence has got me dreaming of a life much more exciting than right now. I have dreams of living a life of adventure, fun, and excitement and unsurprisingly, one of my idols is Bear Grylls. I have dreams of travelling the world, trekking in the Himalayas, going to Africa, camping in the Sahara desert, hiking to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, etc. The types of activities I would like to get into one day are rock climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking, surfing, etc. Almost all the outdoor adventure sports are interesting to me because I feel these activities and hobbies will allow me to live a life with much more excitement and adventure. And nearing the end of high school, I figured, travel nursing could allow me to do that since I could dictate my own schedule and go trek in the Himalayas when I had accumulated the money. This was the dream for me because not only would I have a good career where I could help people, but I could also take a lot more time off than the average American to go on all these adventures I yearned for.

To conclude this, One of my questions is career-wise, where should I be looking to get a quality RN job that I will likely learn a lot and succeed at, and what departments should I look at? Would my spirit guides advise me to accept an ER job as a new graduate RN? Where and in what am I most likely to find happiness, fulfillment, and purpose?

The reason I brought up my desire for adventure is because I worry about my future at times. I’m worried that I may have an accident and injure myself. These hobbies all have an element of danger and risk to them. And while I realize this, I still have a desire to do these things. I’m a very spiritual person so I believe things happen for a reason, but if these hobbies will cause me to have a serious injury of some kind, it would be in my best interest to find a way to prevent that from happening, similar to how you chose not to go on a camping trip in the 10th grade. I must add that I’m furthered concerned by this notion because my life and fate lines on my palms are more shallow than defined. I mean, should I be concerned by a lack of clear life and fate lines on my palms? Are my desires for adventure and excitement likely to cause to trouble in my future? What do my guides see in terms of where I am headed?

All in all, Thank you for doing what you do. People like you are few so I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to contact my spirit guide(s) and pass along what they have to say to guide me the best they can. 
Michael Leu"
According to her email instructions, I was also supposed to send a picture of myself that shows my face clearly. I sent in these two pictures:

On Friday September 12th, I woke up and checked my phone for gmail. I see one from Erin, sent at 5:47 AM. My mind is suddenly awake now. I think to myself, "wait hold on, do I really want to see this now? Is it good or is it bad?" Not letting my mind drift off any further, I clicked to open up the gmail, and I read this:

"Hi Michael,

Okay here we go….

First, your guides are saying you're actually on a really good path to become what you want to become.

Nursing and especially travel nursing are going to be fantastic for you.  Here's what they're showing me…

Take a job in whatever state or city you can find work, because you're not going to be there terribly long.  Get some experience, get in the door, do the work for a while.  You're going to see that you are excellent at it, and all the things you feared aren't going to happen.  You're going to gain some confidence and you're going to feel solid.

While you've got the steady and stable job, start figuring out how you can segue into travel nursing.  Research it, find companies, talk to other nurses who travel, etc.  Start to see how you can jump into travel nursing.  Your guides are showing me you potentially connected to a tv show or documentary crew and being one of the medical experts on the team that travels with the crew and provides emergency medical services, and that's why being an ER nurse is going to be critical.

They're also saying to keep yourself in really good shape physically.  Don't let that slide.  It's going to be a really big factor later.

they're also saying not to get too attached to anyone since for the next several years you're going to need to be mobile at a moment's notice.

So you're on the right path.  This is all going to turn into something you can't even fathom right now. 

Get a job as an ER nurse that is stable and steady
Then get into travel nursing, potentially with a film crew but however you can get it done, get it done

You're going to be really happy and you're going to get some amazing opportunities.  Just hold those desires in your mind and keep day dreaming about them.  Don't let your fears get teh best of you.  You're going to do great."

And Wow! Boy, did I not expect a response like that! I had no real idea what she would say but no way did I think she would have told me that! Maybe it's because I never thought something as great as that sounds, could actually become my reality some day! As I write this right now I certainly have no way of knowing for sure, but I am very eager and excited for the future now! Some people will say that psychics lie and cannot be trusted. Me, I say it's all a matter of belief, and I do believe it. If that were to be my future, I could not think of any other way but to say Thank You! There's a song called "All I Can Do (Thank You)" by MikeChair that expresses just how I feel. You are too good to me God. I've read Erin's response to me what's got to be almost 20 times now. I hope and believe that that is my future. A future where I will be able to use all my hard work to help people in meaningful ways, give unconditional love to others, grow as a person, live an adventurous life- one that I can't even fathom right now - and let the love of God be seen through me. All I can do, is to really say, Thank You. For everything that you do. What else can I say but, Thank you!

I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His word. 
Psalm 130:5

An Art Work I Truly Appreciate and Will Remember

In recent past weeks, with the exception of last week, I have been volunteering two hours every Saturday at a Sub-Acute Skilled Nursing Facility. There I visit patients that are chronically ill. Some of them are in real unfortunate positions in their lives where it's hard to see life improving for them. What I and other Tzu Chi volunteers do is to go there and to try to put a smile on their faces with our presence and compassion for them. It's really nothing miraculous or life-changing, but to be able to make them feel loved and cared for, for even a fraction of their day, counts and makes a difference. I wish I could heal them or be a conduit of some type to help heal them - I'm recalling an individual known as John of God who I've heard and read is doing wonderful healing work in Brazil. And from visiting these patients, I have learned and grown in ways that you cannot truly develop without witnessing the difficult situations some of these people are in. I've thought even more about my life, in terms of making sure how I want to live it, is how I want to live it. I don't mean to sound preachy, but helping others in need and making a positive difference in someone's life is such a cornerstone to living a meaningful life. 

The reason I'm writing this is because I want to post a picture of one of the mementos that a patient at the skilled nursing facility gave me. It represents and serves as a reminder of having compassion for others, for living a life with meaning, making a difference, and giving to others. I will not and cannot state the patient's name, but his art work has been touching, inspiring, and will always serve as a reminder to me to do my best to love others unconditionally. I know I will be looking back on his picture that he made for me and my family in the future, and in that moment, I will understand that this has been one of the many things in my life that has driven me towards my life's mission, to make a positive, memorable difference in the lives of others.

Remember, No Man Is An Island.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” - Galatians 5:13-14

This is in-response to this post: What About Me?

When I lay in bed at night, meandering in that state where the mind is still active, I frequently am bombarded with insightful thoughts percolating into my consciousness. I did yesterday, the night before my NCLEX-RN exam. It was related to my recent feelings of regret and shame, and as I was trying to decipher all what my emotions could tell me, I realized this: Be a giver of your love. That’s what I really want. I quickly jotted the following down in my phone: “It’s not so much that I dream about having sex with her, rather it’s the fact that I want to give the love of god to another person and share that love, especially after finding out what happened to her in her last relationship.” What happened to her in her last relationship bothered me and I won’t state it here. And part of me believed and fantasized how great I could make her feel, to give her all of me. That fantasy really appealed to me. If I had to imagine the same situation with a girl who showed interest in me while appearing to have it “all” and seemed to be unfamiliar to suffering, would I feel the same way towards her? Perhaps when you’ve suffered, you become more sensitive to the suffering of others, and want to do your best to help. And perhaps it’s quite na├»ve for me to imagine another person who has not suffered even if the appearance suggests that way. If I gave all of myself to that person, I feel like I might be “damaged goods”, after all, my development into becoming a better person has been a work in progress for a long time coming, and will never stop. It’s based off the belief that this girl’s too good for me, regardless of the naivety and veracity of this belief.

Nevertheless, I remembered back to a book I read with the Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness. In it, the Dalai Lama states that romantic relationships make people experience a much more unstable roller coaster ride of emotions, and states that he feels the fantasy of romantic relationships is unrealistic. Instead, he talks about not limiting intimacy to just your romantic companion, but to all people. When asked if he ever felt lonely, the Dalai Lama replied, “No”. This reminded me to the life of Jesus and how he lived his life and what he stood for: giving unconditional love to all people, to help others in need. The memory of me helping a guy out at the San Francisco Cal-Train Station then came to mind. It’s the feeling of doing something so small to me, but so significant for him, and the feelings of meaning, purpose, pride, and unconditional love came to me. It’s the same feeling I have in my fantasy with this girl my brother is seeing. I then realized that, you know what, even if for some reason I don’t pass my NCLEX tomorrow, that shouldn’t cause me sadness, as it’s really not the most important thing in the world. I believe what people most want out of relationships is intimacy, which comes from unconditional love, the love of Christ, the love of God, regardless if you believe in an afterlife or not.   

Surprisingly, as I think back now, these feelings of jealousy and regret did not explode to the same intensity and degree until I learned what happened to her in her last relationship. After finding out about it and honestly, in my heart, aching for her when thinking about it, these feelings of regret and jealousy intensified to where I felt I had to write them out to clear my head and feelings yesterday.

I am a very spiritual person, so my beliefs about having compassion and helping others fit perfectly into this puzzle. After realizing these things yesterday, I knew I have to give my love and desire to help those suffering to as many people as I can. Recalling that there is a blood shortage, I decided I wanted to give blood. 
Tuesday; August 5th, 2014: gave blood after NCLEX-RN Exam

I then thought of cases in my present life and the friends I do have, how I can show my unconditional love to them, and how and what I could give them. Not only is being a giver a trait of an alpha man, which helps with attracting women, but now I understand and have another motivation to do it besides just trying to get girls. People often think that we need to receive love to feel love, but in fact, the opposite is more true. It is the person who gives love who feels more love from all the people in his/her life. And when it comes to hitting the three main pillars that I believe yield in happiness: personal growth (self-improvement, having new experiences, playing); contribution/making a difference; and having strong, deep relationships with others; practicing giving unconditional love hits all three pillars to a tee.

Perhaps I can best conclude this post this way:
Hit rewind, Click delete, Stand face to face with the younger me, All of the mistakes, All of the heartbreak, Here's what I'd do differently 
I'd love like I'm not scared, Give when it's not fair, Live life for another, Take time for a brother, Fight for the weak ones, Speak out for freedom, Find faith in the battle, Stand tall but above it all, Fix my eyes on you… 
-Fix My Eyes for King & Country   

Monday, August 4, 2014

What About Me?

“Hello my name is regret. I’m pretty sure we have met. Every single day of your life, I'm the whisper inside, that won’t let you forget. Hello my name is defeat, I know you recognize me, just when you think you can win, I drag you right back down again, until you’ve lost all belief”
-          Hello, My Name Is - Matthew West

I’m wondering what 22 years of my quiet, introverted, shy, school-work oriented lifestyle has yielded in. I’m wondering about what happiness I have gained from it. As I sit here writing this, I feel unhappy inside. Feelings of regret, shame, fatigue, lethargy, weakness, anxiety, terrified, uncertainty are all percolating under my everyday stoic face and few words I make from small talk. I’d imagine that most people never guess that’s what’s silently cutting inside of me, eroding and quietly burning away at me. I suspect I look okay but I am dying inside. I intellectually get that there are people out there who have it worse than me, but WHAT ABOUT ME?! Are these people and I just suffering away, living lives of quiet desperation, while seeing other people who seem to have it better than us, only to feel that they DO have it better? I imagine a specific bald-headed TV doctor telling me what he told another guest of his, that I need to work harder and be patient, only for me to explode and say that I have worked so hard academically! But my lifestyle is still no different. I feel fucking miserable!

I am not proud of what I am about to say. From the list of emotions I wrote down, I am most troubled by regret and shame. Recently my twin brother got to know a girl. I had a chance, but I said no. He acted on it, and while for a moment I thought I could live vicariously through it, living vicariously is driving me down a spiraling path into a fantasy that has led me to regret, jealousy, shame, and anxiety. And I can’t seem to shake myself out of it, and what’s worst, I’m having trouble putting these selfish thoughts aside. He’s my brother. How could I possibly feel this way?! How could I possibly entertain the notion of if I had said yes? I cannot be this type of person. I just cannot. I am a good, moral person. I need to remember that I am young, decently good looking, great-bodied, smart, hard-working, moral, kind, understanding, ambitious, and adventurous person with grand dreams and potential for making them come true. I need to remember that I have had an opportunity presented to me before, and I didn’t take it, partly because she wasn’t that good looking but nevertheless. I don’t feel that I have had many opportunities. And being out of school now, where am I going to find opportunities now? Besides this, I’m also worrying over where I will find real friends in the future, how I am going to create a community, a history with people. All these things adding up are giving me anxiety. In addition, there’s still the problem of the constant mundaneness and dreariness that has been present in my life for years. All these things together are making me quite unhappy with my life right now.        

All I can do is to remember this: that I am young, decently good looking, great-bodied, smart, hard-working, moral, kind, understanding, ambitious, and adventurous person with grand dreams and hopes for the future with the potential to make them happen. Hopefully that future is here very soon. Just keep pressing on. That’s all I can do about it.

Friday, June 6, 2014

"Every Man Needs Adventure" Re-Blogged

Every Man Needs Adventure

by BRETT on DECEMBER 11, 2008 · 44 COMMENTS
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Chris Hutcheson.
Wake up. Head to work. Work. Head Home. Dinner. Sleep. Repeat.
Wake up. Head to work. Work. Head Home. Dinner. Sleep. Repeat.
Wake up. Head to work. Work. Head H……time out. Is this as good as it gets?
What happened to living life to the fullest? Where is the daring adventure that we dreamed about as a kid? Many of us have lost the passion for adventure that filled our childhood, and as real men we should struggle to regain it. For in true adventure we find much more than the cheap thrill of adrenaline, we find ourselves. Adventure is the element of a full life that is perhaps most neglected in modern society, and it is one of the most crucial. To have grand adventures and be able to tell tales of them is central to manliness. The problem is that in our age of technological revolution we have written off adventure and exploration as things of the past, no longer necessary thanks to our newfound, ever evolving capabilities. Although true exploration, in the sense of discovering new things, is now mostly the realm of astronauts and deep sea divers, adventure is available to anyone. What we need to realize is that it is not the discovery of new things that is important for the average man, but the understanding of ourselves which we often acquire through high adventure. Perhaps it is best to look to an old pro in the art of adventure for some insight into the true reasoning behind it.
Sir Wilfred Thesiger (1910-2003), an English explorer best known for his adventures throughout Africa and the Middle East and for adopting the lifestyles of the nomadic people he often stayed with, became famous as the first man to cross the Rub’ al Khali, aka “The Empty Quarter.” The Empty Quarter is one of the largest sand deserts in the world, compromising a large portion of the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula. It is composed of 250,000 square miles of the most deadly terrain on terra firma, with sand dunes that climb well over 1000 feet and summer temperatures over 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Thesiger set out to cross this great expanse and planned to create a map of the region during his journey. He succeeded, crossing the vast unknown of the Empty Quarter not once, but twice, between 1946 and 1949. Recalling the first time he drank water without need to ration it upon his return, he wrote the following;
“For years the Empty Quarter had represented to me the final, unattainable challenge which the desert offered…To others my journey would have little importance. It would produce nothing except a rather inaccurate map which no one was ever likely to use. It was a personal experience, and the reward had been a drink of clean, nearly tasteless water. I was content with that.”
For Thesiger, and for many other adventurers before and long after, it was the adventure itself that was the prize, and the experience gained from it was worth more than any commemoration. He would later write;
“For me, exploration was a personal venture. I did not go to the Arabian Desert to collect plants nor to make a map; such things were incidental. At heart I knew that to write or even to talk of my travels was to tarnish the achievement. I went there to find peace in the hardship of desert travel and the company of desert peoples…It is not the goal but the way there that matters, and the harder the way the more worthwhile the journey.”
Thesiger knew all too well that adventure offered greater rewards for a man than most other things in life. Not rewards in a material sense, but in the immense satisfaction of setting your sights on an achievement and accomplishing it.
Obviously, adventure isn’t what it used to be. Everest has been knocked off more times than you can count, they are paving a highway across the Sahara, and you can check out the secrets of the Amazon by satellite right from your laptop. But does all this mean that adventuring is a lost art? Hardly. As we have seen from testimony of a great adventurer like Thesiger, the thirst for adventure does not come from a need to map out new lands or discover new species, those are secondary objectives. The thirst for adventure comes from within ourselves. It is our inner desire to expand our knowledge through firsthand experience, to test the limits of our own strength and endurance, and in doing so, discover our true self.
The choice to live an adventurous lifestyle is not an easy one. It is very difficult to break free of the monotonous routine of daily life when you have been repeating it for years on end. You can easily come up with a handful of excuses why you shouldn’t book that weekend whitewater rafting trip, travel to a foreign country, or make an appointment for your first SCUBA lesson. I can’t get off of work, I shouldn’t spend the money, who will watch the kids, etc. There is only one way to break the routine, and that is to just do it. Keep in mind the words of George Mallory, known for attempting the first ascent of Everest;
“What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for.”
Perhaps it is time for men to seek to regain the element of adventure that originally drove those before us to cross oceans and vast expanses of unknown terrain with no hope of return. We need to bring risk back into our livesIf we are to truly embrace the adventurous life, we must find within ourselves the daring resolve to snatch up our mere existence and drive it to the edge of possibility, knowing full well that the future holds no guarantee for safety, prosperity or happiness and that a full life is not given, it is taken.
  • Find the nearest whitewater and join up with a rafting expedition. Most rafting trips are very reasonably priced for a full day of adventure on the river.
  • Explore the nearest national park off the beaten trail. Usually free or close to it, and you never know what kind of adventure you may happen upon, like exploring a hidden cave or waterfall.
  • Skydive. Chances are it’s already on your bucket list.
  • SCUBA dive. Although the equipment isn’t cheap, renting is always an option and the certification is usually for life.
  • Take a road trip and don’t decide on the destination until you are far away from home. Just pack a little bit of everything and see where the road takes you.
  • Climb a mountain. It doesn’t have to be Everest to qualify as an adventure. Few things compare to the feeling of accomplishment you get when you look down on the world below from the top.
  • Find a local ranch that rents horses for trail rides. Many horse ranches offer this as an extra way to generate income, and it can be quite enjoyable. Trail rides are usually guided, so there is no need for the inexperienced rider to worry about losing control when Mr. Ed decides he’s had enough of carrying you around.
  • Learn to surf. Many beaches offer cheap board rentals. Start small and maybe consider lessons. You definitely don’t want to head out to Hawaii’s North Shore alone on your first day out, or your first year out for that matter.
  • Go camping. The fulfillment of building a fire from wood you collected and then cooking a meal on it is a wonderful thing.
  • Hang-glide. The first few flights are with an instructor, so no need to worry about the trade winds carrying you off to Timbuktu.
  • Take up Mountain Biking. Once you subtract the onetime cost of the bike and necessary equipment, this is essentially a go-anytime, no-cost adventure. Many state and national parks offer mountain bike only trails of varying difficulties.
  • Learn to snowboard. Similar to surfing in that you can rent the equipment. Not similar to surfing in that there are trees in the way.
  • Immerse yourself in the culture of a foreign country. This is one that everyone should consider. You never realize the kind of perspective you gain from being outside of your comfort zone in another country until you experience it firsthand.
  • Bike across the country. What better way to see the US of A than upon your trusty steed, pedaling this nation’s highways and byways.
  • Change your career. You don’t have to scale a mountain to experience an adventure. Quit the job you hate and seek out the career you always wanted. Go back to school if you need to. Head up to Alaska to be a commercial fisherman, or take off this summer to train to fight forest fires.
These are just a few ideas.  The opportunities are endless!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

You Never Know What Something Is Like Until You Do It. So Do More, Think Less

This is a re-post of a great article written by Alexander Heyne from MilkthePigeon.

The 8 Biggest Life Mistakes You Can Make in Your 20s

3) Thinking You’ll “Figure it All Out” And Then go do Something.

Guess what. Most people live their entire lives without figuring it all out, and they don’t end up doing shit.

You’ve heard this a million times before, but there is almost never a perfect time.

Yeah I’ll admit some of us get lucky. We get that sweet business introduction. We get a scholarship to live abroad. We get a hook up from mommy and daddy.

For the rest of us? The more time you spend thinking, the more time you spend screwing yourself over. Grow some big-boy balls and take action. (Do More Think Less) [Vulnerability is the single most important characteristic in learning -- intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically]

I recently talked about how thinking is one of the major causes of unhappiness. (Do more things that put you in flow)

The same is true about “figuring your life out.” Trying to think it through is the absolute worst idea. I can tell you this because I’ve done it myself and it didn’t get me any closer to figuring out shit – and that’s when I learned that it’s fundamentally flawed.  You truly don’t know something until you’ve done it. So go do it.

“Which one will I like more? Being a doctor, lawyer, or teaching English in Korea?”

Here’s what you do:

Shadow a doctor. Shadow a lawyer. Talk to a family friend who is a doctor. Talk to a friend who is a lawyer. Go teach in Korea.

Yay! In 1.5 years you’ve answered the question you would’ve guessed about for the next 40 years.

Key Points:
1. There is almost never a perfect time, so don't keep waiting to do something you've been meaning to do.
2. You truly don’t know something until you’ve done it. So go do it. And do the things that put you in flow. 
3. The more you do the things that scare the shit out of you, the more you will learn, and the faster you will learn. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Official "Glass Walls" Video by Paul McCartney

I will never eat meat again. Anytime, for the next several weeks, as I take this journey towards becoming a vegan, I will watch and learn more about the unspeakable cruelty that goes on behind the doors and walls of slaughterhouses. This is part of my goal, to try and make some sort of positive difference in this world, and one way, as I've listed on "My Goals" page, is by taking time everyday per month, to learn about one focused topic that will broaden my perspectives on the suffering of others, and do my part to make a small difference in this world.

"If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian."
- Paul McCartney

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Documentation of Goals to See How They Change Throughout My Life

This here is a post that serves as documentation for me to analyze how my goals are changing throughout life.  After each one of these posts, I re-update or change the "My Goals" page.
* - Indicates an explanation for the change in goal

Current Goal(s):

1. To be the nurse who makes the difference in a crisis. To be the leader, a life-saver, and the difference maker in a crisis.

<-- *To me, this goal has evolved and has changed. I feel it is no longer about playing a hero. The only reason I wanted to be a "hero" was so I could have recognition, status, and attention to fill my ego from the lack of attention I get due to my reserved temperament. After watching Roko Belic's Happy documentary, learning about extrinsic vs. intrinsic values, and reading just part of The Art of Happiness with the Dalai Lama, I believe that extrinsic values including image, status, fame do not lead to contentment and are actually in competition with the intrinsic values that do tend to lead towards contentment in life. And after writing What Makes Work Meaningful, I realize that as exciting as it is in the beginning to do invasive procedures that may "save" someone's life, which would allow me to boost my ego, after doing it lots of times, what's the next one? In addition, most of healthcare seems to lacking in the human aspect, and in my opinion, is often cold and distant, and thus makes the work feel not that meaningful. It's not about being a hero to boost one's sense of importance, it's about making a positive difference in the lives of others by really connecting with them and sharing/giving your love, your compassion, your kindness to them.  

Goals to Pursue Later in Life:

2. To write about the sciences that are merging with what Dolores Cannon's work has found as well as other sources regarding Spirituality. Also, to become a Dolores Cannon Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique Practitioner and help people this way as well.

<-- * As of right now, I have not yet begun the process to becoming a DC QHHT practitioner yet but I imagine this is one way to heal people and it not, at least come to understand their predicaments, and give them emotional support/kindness/compassion. But I will not know for sure until I begin doing this.

3. To cut down on body weight and develop a strong body weight to strength ratio. To train my body towards a mountain climber's level of fitness.

4. To live a life of excitement by pursing Adventure-related activities, hobbies, and travel. (From Lion King Days)

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances without own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” - Joseph Campbell

<-- * As exciting as it is when I imagine going on these travel adventures and adventure hobbies, I feel that doing it with a community of people is absolutely necessary in order for it to enrich your life and happiness. Solitary pursuits that do not involve or help others in any way tend not to be very satisfying, truth be told. When I look at guys like Jimmy Chin, the National Geographic photographer and climber, he started out climbing in Yosemite and really forming a community there. It wasn't literally just climbing and by himself. Activities where you have a community of like-minded people engaging in that activity give meaning to your life, even though that activity may not be one of a humanitarian pursuit in nature.

5. To develop strong, deep, emotional connections with others based off honesty and the sharing of intimate thoughts, feelings, experiences (life and everyday exp.), beliefs, and values. And from these relationships, together experience all the adventures of life with friends and family. (From Lion King Days)

6. To live a minimalist's lifestyle with focus purely on personal growth (self-improvement, playing, having new experiences); contribution/helping others/making a positive difference; and meaningful relationships, the three things that result in true happiness.

Idea: To cultivate genuine happiness by deliberately selecting and focusing on positive mental states and challenging and replacing negative mental states.

-          Idea from The Art of Happiness (Chp. 3) – the Dalai Lama

Underlined section updated as of Wednesday; April 16th, 2014 after reading part of chapter 3 of The Art of Happiness with the Dalai Lama. 

7. To become a master communicator and a person who owns the room (student of David Wygant) and overcome my challenges of being an introvert and thrive nonetheless. <--also because how we treat others right around us impact how they will treat others (doing the small things to make a difference in this world)

8. To develop my personality in ways that benefit me, ways that I desire, and in ways that has a positive impact on those I come in contact with. To challenge my negative beliefs and to therefore change my attitude, thoughts, feelings, mindset, and actions for the better. (Inspired by the Domestic Disturbance Incident)

One Area I Want to Change: To be able to confidently and intellectually articulate about topics of importance to me in front of a large group and audience. To deliver speeches (public speaking) with resonance, cogency, satisfactory economy of language, and be able to express myself in the moment, off the cuff, with the right words that come to mind and do justice to how I feel about what I am thinking about.

- To document my progress as a student of self-improvement from various life teachers (Brian Kim, David Wygant)

9. To learn about the difficulties others are experiencing in their lives AND to step outside my own needs for the needs of others by portioning, saving up, and donating part of my salary and time to animal and human needs organizations monthly.

(Make sure the organizations actually make a difference vs. organizations where most of the donations go into the pockets and salaries of those not in need! i.e. Susan G. Komen Foundation)

Motivation for doing this: B/C animals and humans out there are suffering. To learn to be grateful for what I have and at the same time, taking advantage of the opportunities I have in this life to maximize my potential.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

What Makes Work Feel Meaningful

It’s a Saturday afternoon, a free one, from what I can remember in a while. I just walked by my television. It was the camera brand, Canon, whose commercial was playing on KQED, showing some beautiful places, cultures, and landscapes all around the world. Unlike most commercials, this one stopped me in my track, and my head was glued to the unfolding scenes playing on the television while my body stopped moving in the opposite direction I was initially heading towards. I completely turned around and just stared at those scenes. Inside, I experienced feeling a sense of satisfaction for my soul, curiosity, wonder, amazement, adventure, and love. That moment, was a pinnacle moment for what I’ve been contemplating recently.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a certain experience meaningful. What makes one’s work truly meaningful. You see, my experience working in the ICU has really got my neurons firing incessantly. This is one experience where, what I imagined, was just too different from what it is actually like. There is a lot of down time in the ICU. I never thought it would be like this. There is too much sitting around, putting numbers into a computer. Most of the time, the patients are all pretty stable. I guess before I started here in the ICU, I thought most of the patients would be on the precipice of deteriorating. I thought I would be dealing with patients that were more on the precipice of life and death. I thought the decisions, actions, and critical thinking I made would be impacting the outcome of someone living or dying. My god, boy was I wrong or delusional! I mean after all, isn’t ICU, called intensive care unit? What I have encountered has NOT been intensive. Excuse my language but what the fuck am I doing here? I feel like what I do in there can more or less be done by a thoroughly trained, intelligent robot. Hanging meds, getting blood, checking lab results, monitoring vital signs, putting the numbers into a computer. What the fuck! I do not find this meaningful! How could I have been so wrong about this!? My work is not impacting someone’s life in any truly meaningful sense. And then when I look around and look at the nurses, I wonder if I’m the only one thinking this. To deduce, I ask myself, “How many people here really enjoy what they are doing here? Do most of these people say to themselves, the night before coming on to their shift, ‘You know, I am looking forward to getting up tomorrow and going to work because tomorrow is another day where I will be doing something that gives me satisfaction in life through helping someone!’” Honestly? Not a whole lot them I strongly believe.

Then what is wrong?! Why is this not feeling meaningful? I mean, an experience is meaningful if you are helping someone right? Something is meaningful if it makes a difference right? Well yes, that is true, but the question now is, “is what you are doing as a nurse, something that makes a difference?” I am here to say that nursing, as of right now, can lack that feeling of satisfaction and meaning because it doesn't make that difference! That difference is what I want to stress and emphasize. On first glance, you respond ludicrously and maybe even profusely insulted, “What the F are you talking about Michael? How the hell can something like being a nurse not make a difference? Are you stupid? Are you just failing in your classes and trying to justify your failure from making such an accusation like this?! Do you have zero compassion or something?!” But the realization I have come to from my experience is that this experience has lacked meaning because what I am doing can be replaced by someone else, easily. Another nurse can do this! A well trained, intelligent robot can do this! Maybe even a monkey for goodness sake. Anyone can hang meds, put numbers into a computer. What makes something meaningful is not putting in an IV so you can give a patient that just went into cardiac arrest some drugs to try and stimulate the heart and bring the person back to life! It is not inserting a urinary catheter in someone for the first time! It is not giving massive amounts of fluids and blood to a patient who is in shock to help sustain their blood pressure to keep them from dying! Stop. You may say, “What are you talking about Michael?! There’s that sense of adrenaline rush when someone is right there between living and dying, and being able to bring them back to “life” is something that is meaningful! How is that not meaningful Michael?” To which I would respond with, “Yes, putting in an IV for the first time is exciting. Inserting a needle into someone’s chest so they can breathe better, for the first time, is exciting, and gives you that sense of adrenaline. But this sense of novelty wears off. After you do it for a certain amount of time, what’s the next IV or needle decompression?” The problem is that nursing and pretty much most of healthcare, with perhaps a few exceptions, does not allow the time for healthcare providers to truly understand and connect with the patient! If you look on “My Goals” page on my blog, you will see that one of them is as follows:

To learn about the difficulties others are experiencing in their lives AND to step outside my own needs for the needs of others by portioning, saving up, and donating part of my salary and time to animal and human needs organizations monthly.”

Nursing and healthcare in general, is lacking in meaning, behind the initial curtain, because it is lacking true compassion. Note that I said true compassion. True compassion is not feigning compassion, when deep down, you don't care that much. I have witnessed in front of my own eyes, some nurses make fun of patients behind their backs. I have seen nurses that seemed like they have been pretty desensitized to the conditions their patients have. I do NOT mean it in the sense where they wish the patients harm or to die, at all. This is NOT what I am saying. The problem of this lack of true compassion is due to the fact that the healthcare providers and nurses, do not truly understand the position, feelings, thoughts, and life circumstances of the patient. In order to be truly compassionate, we have to connect with that patient at a deeper level. Get to know them as a person. Only then will we truly care deep down about that person, and will our actions towards helping them get better (giving the meds to alleviate pain, inserting an IV, giving them blood, listening to their lung sounds) mean something more to US! From understanding someone's perspective, making a deeper connection with them, and then being truly compassionate towards them in their difficult time, that is what is meaningful!

Intent makes a world of difference! I kid you not! Knowing that a person is only there to take care of you because that’s their shift to work, and they want/need the money, is not flattering. Whereas, if you knew a person was coming to take care of you because they wanted to help you get better, and not for other obligatory reasons, makes that world of difference when it comes to true meaningfulness.

I tell you, from my two and a half month experience working in the ICU, there is only one experience I will vividly remember, because it was truly meaningful. It was not just a meaningful experience because it initially seems to be that way, but it truly was a meaningful experience because I made a positive, emotional difference for a family member. A patient was dying. The patient was switched to comfort care. The patient died shortly. A family member was there. The wife could not tell if her husband (the patient) had died due to the lack of medical knowledge, but I knew that he was pretty much gone, although not legally and medically declared dead by the physician yet. I went by her side, put my hand on her shoulder, and we just stood there looking at the guy. We began to talk. She cried. But although I could not change the husband’s passing, my compassion, came through. She said the compassion she got here was so emotionally touching and powerful, and I could tell that emotionally, it made that world of difference. Later, before I left my shift to go home, one of the workers told me that she heard what I had did in there, and that what I did is what will be remembered, and I concurred. People will remember how they were treated above all else. They will not remember the blood you gave them. They will not remember the thrill you had of putting in your first IV as a student nurse/nurse. They will remember the way they were cared, the kindness that we showed. I made a real difference that day. That was truly meaningful.

I have had other instances where my actions have helped people, which in reality, are in small ways, but meant a lot to them emotionally. Another example, which I have written about on my blog before, where I helped a man get home. That was something that felt good. There was another instance where I bought a loaf of bread and gave it to a homeless man and his dog. I want to give my love, human kindness, compassion to others, and make positive differences in ways that will be remembered.

Being in the Emergency room or even a flight nurse, from my reasoning now, will not be all that different from my experience here in the ICU. You do a lot more invasive skills in the ER and as a flight nurse, which can seem exciting and cool initially, but again, after you do it for so many times, what’s the next one? Even the adrenaline rush of being in a helicopter will wear off as time goes by, and that’s true for the adventure hobbies I would like to pursue as well. Adrenaline rushes wear off as you adapt to them and you have to find the next “high”, so to speak, by finding something that’s more challenging. But is there something more exciting in the nursing profession after flight nursing? Mmm, probably not, at least in my opinion. And even so, in emergencies, where you get that adrenaline rush which you think will give that experience true meaningfulness, those cases, where the patients are on the precipice of life and death are few. There’s a saying in EMS (Emergency Medical Services): “High acuity, low volume”. And it means exactly that. The cases where the patient will die very quickly if you don’t act judiciously do not occur frequently. Now let's just say flight nurses only handle these high acuity calls, so every call you go on is life-threatening to the patient. These types of cases where you literally act in time to allow that person to have a chance at surviving, can definitely feel very meaningful for a certain period of time, but after years of doing it, what's the next one? Same problem will eventually rise again when you do it too often and often enough. I am not here to bash medical professionals. I am writing these things because I am struggling to find meaningfulness in the work I do right now in the ICU. I have begun to feel that nursing as it currently is, can be cold and distant. If nursing is very meaningful to you, then that's spectacular, and I mean that .

I guess I should finish up my writing here with something I wrote down as it came to my mind earlier today:

At night time, while lying in bed, think to yourself, ‘Am I excited/looking forward to tomorrow? Is the work that I am going to be doing something that gives me a good feeling? Is it something I would still get up and do, even if I were not getting paid to do it? Do I truly find it to be meaningful? Not what I think it will be after continuous attempts to convince myself that I want to do this - for one reason or another (money, financial stability…) - but what my gut feeling/intuition is telling me.” If your answer is “no” for too many days, well, I think we all know the answer then.

As much as I think about this, I will not know for certain if nursing opportunities are the end-all, be-all when it comes to making a memorable difference in this world. Nursing is one of the most flexible careers out there already and pretty much most other careers, I don't see being any more meaningful in reality. I certainly don't wish I wasted my last four years working so hard throughout nursing school. Whatever happens down the road in my life, I desire to do work that is truly meaningful and gives me the flexibility to pursue other interests in life as well.


UPDATE (4/5/14 11:22 PM): After thinking about this more and talking about it with my friend, I am realizing that it is not that nursing does not help people get better. Nurses are the ones who carry out what needs to be done to help facilitate patients' bodies to heal. In that sense, nurses do help people by at least giving them a chance to live some form of life again - the quality of life may be debatable though. My point is that nurses are playing a role to help someone get better, and it that sense, the work is meaningful, BUT, the work may not FEEL meaningful due to the lack of human kindness we can earnestly give them and the lack of immediate progression made from our actions. There simply are not enough nurses to allow a nurse to work with one specific patient consistently from start to finish to see that patient get better and understand the difficulties they are going through in life, to feel that sense of difference that our actions as nurses have made. The more I think about it, there are many careers that in reality, do make a difference, and do contribute positively, but we may not FEEL that meaningfulness because there is not enough of a positive change that we can see and feel immediately for us to know that what we did has led to a direct contribution to the improvement of others' lives. It's either a slow, gradual process, so the feeling of meaningfulness is not as potent and satisfying, OR, the actions that we do to help others get better can technically be done by someone else, which also diminishes that feeling of meaningfulness. Whereas, it is the acts of love and human kindness that if we can give to others, that have an obvious, direct, and immediate effect on others that give the strongest feelings of meaning. Giving our love and human kindness to others have an immediate and powerful effect on us humans. That's why these acts of love are most memorable, and are most meaningful, but that does not mean the work nurses and healthcare providers do are not inherently meaningful. The work is still in essence meaningful, but that it just does not FEEL as meaningful compared to the feeling we get with every act of love.  

I guess the key here is to realize and remember that just because I am not seeing an immediate effect my actions have made on that person, does not mean that I have not aided in some way, AND that just because it does not feel that meaningful, does not mean it doesn't help people. Since I really want to do work that allows me to see and feel the positive impact my actions have made, I should do some work that allows me to witness the direct effects of my actions, but that does not mean I should not do work that doesn't result in that immediate feeling of meaningfulness. I should do both. I should work as a nurse, knowing that although what I do may not give me such a huge rush of positive contribution, but I am still doing what it takes to help the patient's body heal itself. Then outside of being a nurse, do something that allows me to see that immediate effect that occurs from every act of love and how our simple act can make that emotional difference. And as I've stated before, in order to experience more opportunities to help people emotionally in their time of need, I will need to better understand the positions, perspectives, and difficulties they are going through in life, and from that understanding, my small and simple acts of kindness can put my actions into perspective in an emotionally meaningful way for the person being helped and myself. I believe being a Dolores Cannon Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique (QHHT) Practitioner will give me opportunities to facilitate people healing themselves with rapid effect, which will feel very meaningful, and if their condition cannot be healed, at least I will have shown the client my patience, interest, understanding, support, love, and kindness in wanting to help them through their strife, which will be remembered by them and myself and will still be emotionally meaningful nonetheless.