yoga pirate…

{October 20, 2009}   avocation, employment, calling…

after four weeks, i am returning to work on thursday.  besides a good week and a half of pain and surgical recovery, it has been just what the nurse ordered.  i’ve spent a lot of time with yoga books, magazines and websites.  the concept of seva, selfless service, has popped up over and over.  i believe this can be the basis of my avocation, the goal of my employment and the foundation of my calling…

i came to nursing later in my young adulthood, having apprenticed as a home birth midwife. then i received my bachelors in english, made my millions with it and decided to go into healthcare, the job that is recession-proof and will  never be out of business.

now i’m firmly in middle age.  having been a nurse for 6 years now, i find myself drawn to the end of the spectrum of life: geriatrics and , more specifically, death and dying.  i worked for the local hospice for three years and am now on the oncology unit.  this is my calling.  my avocation as of late has been studying for my certification in hospice and palliative care nursing…more alphabet soup to put behind my professional name.

when people are dying, they are at their most vulnerable, their most real, their most human place.  it doesn’t matter how egotistical, rich, accomplished, nasty, mediocre or kind they have been up to this moment, dying often pulls away the identity to reveal the true self.  i witness and i receive.  it is a two-way street of service.  ‘

lately, however, this has become a J.O.B. for me.  it has lost some lustre, some juiciness, richness that feeds me.  this time away from work to heal my surgical wounds has also meant i could use the break skillfully to reach for more meaning in my employment,  to remember that end of life nursing is a chosen avocation of mine.

seva, compassion in action, is not always easy nor fun.  let me tell you there are a few very not fun parts of nursing.  but helping others always brings more than what’s expected.  the word seva can become a mantra i use when i must be in three places at once when i’m on the floor working my butt off.  the work of burning off karma is a good thought . being grateful to the patient i am serving for the opportunity to burn this karma off is a reminder of  the goal of being selfless. this is  even in the face of him being an ungrateful *^%#!

well, i’ll see how this all flies when i’m actually up at 0430 on thursday, all bleary-eyed and happy from my morning asana practice and meditation, and in my scrubs, driving my 25 minute commute into town…in theory it sounds great….in practice? that’s why they call it practice.

in what ways do you practice selfless service? do you voluteer?  help a neighbor? donate to a good cause?  here are just a couple of ways you can channel this energy…


Lisabeth says:

you, my friend have grabbed on to the coat tails of inspiration and purpose and i am so happy for you. i hope you ride it all the way to the land of soulful satisfaction and heartfelt peace. you are meant to work with the most vulnerable of people to learn from them. isnt it amazing what you receive from those that are about to leave this life???
happy to have you back in this cyber-space. now, if i could only be so focused and disciplined to start myself a little daily yoga……

Jen says:

You’ve done some amazing self reflection…. if everyone took just a fraction of what you’ve explored into their lives the world would be a completely different place. I’d love to have you join me in some Anusara practice if you’re ever available. Drop me a line sometime if you’re interested. Did you manage to carry a sliver of bliss with you back to work?

jen, so glad you stopped by…i would love to spend time with you and yes, there were glimpses of shining bliss and a lot of super busyness…let’s talk soon.

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