Thursday, 25 July 2013

Going back to what I know!

Most of you know by now that I have been trying to ‘let go’ of something for a while. Clues in past posts were: I kept on repeating the same complaints (wishing something hadn’t happened and surprised by the impact it had on me), my body was showing signs of distress (I didn’t seem to want to adapt to the ‘new’ situation I was in), I became frustrated with how my career was going, and last but not least, I was unable to appreciate all that I have, how hard I tried – and believe me, I do know I have a lot to be grateful for.

I believe we are all going through a transformation phase. Some may call it the economic crisis. We need to let go of the old and replace it with the new, although we don’t know exactly what this – new – is. We need to learn to let go of old beliefs and learn ourselves new behaviors.

I love blogging, it is like keeping a diary! Some of you see my public confessions as an act of courage. I’m unafraid to express myself, although sometimes my acts of bravery aren’t always easy. Sometimes it even gets me in trouble, because ‘others’ don’t always like and appreciate what I say. So I write, re-write, and sometimes I even ask someone to review my post, before publishing it on Blogger. I don’t want to offend anyone. It has taken me a little longer to publish this post, because recording my thoughts and views matter to ‘me’. Jotting down my feelings helps me make it better and after 7 years of blogging I know it sometimes helps others too.

‘if you get, give. if you learn, teach’ ~Maya Angelou

I’ve been really trying hard to change my circumstances the past months and I believe I’ve finally succeeded. Third time lucky, I guess!

Slowly I’m feeling serenity return to me. I’ve been yearning for inner peace and tranquillity. I’ve been a prisoner of my thoughts and emotions far too long. Although I wish I could experience this state of mind all the time, I do realize that this is impossible. But wouldn’t it be grand if this was attainable all the time? A bohemian country girl knows what she wishes for! I’ve noticed more and more that when I stay in a good place, I can feel peaceful and be truly happy.

Serenity is a state of mind. I’m slowing down (again), that is the beauty of finally being able to have that well deserved vacation. I can enjoy this time because I know that another big change will come around real soon.

The last few months have been a blur of commitments, interviews and mainly… surviving. In my battle to subdue my insecurities and fears, I have to admit that my faith got me through it. I trusted that all would turn out okay.

I’m normally a compassionate person, but the environment I was in didn’t allow for this. Compassion is an underlying tenet of peace. "Compassion is the sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it." (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). I have this strong desire to want to alleviate the distress of ‘others’. How hard I try to suppress this feeling, I can’t stop caring! Is this because I’m firstly always a nurse? Nursing encompasses… the alleviation of suffering. According to the Dalai Lama, compassion is ‘the wish that others be free of suffering’. While our motivation to seek peace might not always emerge from compassion, compassion is required for peace to hold. I need serenity to be ‘me’!

How did I come to this conclusion? I walked myself through the NLP Logical Levels of Change Model.

Logical levels - Neurological levels of change

The NLP Logical Levels of Change Model, inspired by Gregory Bateson and developed by the pioneers of Neuro-Linguistic Programming is very helpful in designing an action plan for change. It is a technique that helps you align yourself so that every part of you is pulling in the same direction to achieve a goal. You can identify whether your difficulties are the result of your environment, behaviors, skills, motivation, beliefs, identity or mission & vision. Changing something on a lower NLP logical level of the hierarchy could, but would not necessarily affect the levels above it. However... making a change at an upper level would necessarily change everything below it in order to support the higher level change. I guess I found out the hard way.

In hindsight there has been a big clash between the environment I’ve been in the past 3 years and where I want to go in my life. My purpose didn’t match with where I was (environment). My habits and behaviors didn’t intertie with those of my colleagues. My skills and knowledge weren’t valuated. Shall I go on? I think you understand why I needed to reassess my situation.

Let’s go through each of the logical levels. Remember, ‘whatever is on top runs everything underneath’. This is the reason you start with the lowest NLP logical level, this is also the easiest to change.

Maybe using this technique will help you.

  • Environment (where to change?):
    Refers to the environment around you such as the community, your living arrangements, the people around you, your workplace, the tools/resources available to you etc.
  • Behaviors (change what?):
    These are your habits and common behaviors and current lifestyle. Example early riser, heavy drinker, procrastinator etc.
  • Capabilities (change how?):
    These are your abilities, skills, knowledge and competency. If your capabilities are not up to scratch, obviously there will be a problem.
  • Beliefs & values (why make the change?):
    Beliefs & values are the guiding force of your actions and decisions. It is what you strongly believe in. An example will be ‘Health is more important than money’
  • Identity (does change reflect who I am):
    Further up from beliefs is your identity. This is your definition of who you are and what you stand for. When you do something against your identity, you will feel like you have betrayed yourself.
  • Spirituality (change for whom and/or what purpose):
    At the highest level above our identity is our spirit and connectedness to the universe. Our role and duty as a spiritual being.

Gregory Bateson identified different and complementary neurological systems of changes and learning and ordered them by levels, recognizing the influence of each of them on the others, especially the greater incidence of the higher levels over the lower levels, something like a cascade effect. I now finally understand that I’ve been going through an ‘evolutionary change’ the past 5 years. Or was it just my midlife crisis?

What have I learned? If you know your own purpose, ethics, mission in life, you shouldn’t go and work in an environment that doesn’t match with it. So I’ve made a conscious decision by focusing on who I am and want to be. What can I contribute to making this a better world? How would I like to be remembered after I die?

I’m going back to what I know and love.

Keywords that define me: analytical, committed, listener, honest, intuitive, spiritual, planner, conceptual thinker, curious, authentic, accountable, advocate, mentor, connector, people-person, empathic, patient-orientated and educator.

Values that define who I am. Values are beliefs or convictions that guide and direct your behavior and support your purpose and vision. My personal core values are: integrity, authenticity, compassion, courage, trustfulness, communication, personal development & human potential, organization, creativity, intention, connection and community.

Where has this evolutionary change’ led me to?  

Keywords that define my new job: educator, facilitator, researcher, assessor, planner, resource developer, mentor, presenter (information provider), and trainer.

Can you guess what my new profession will be?

One thing is for sure, I know this bohemian country girl will not feel out of place in my ‘new’ world as I’m creating my new ‘reality’.


Anna McCurdy said...

will you teach? Perhaps something related to nursing? Hope that your new vocation brings you joy and satisfaction. With best wishes always, Anna

suz said...

are you thinking of teaching nursing? I suspect you'd be good at that. Thanks for this information - I've been making changes in my own life and this is of great value. Good luck with your plans.