Today, Friday, August 23, 2019, is a rare and precious day that will never come again. May you be happy, healthy and well.
On November 19, 1987, my wife and I welcomed with grateful and loving hearts our first-born, Lacey Niché, into the world. If I were a poet, I might be able to describe how I felt. Parents will understand.
After being home with a new baby for only a short time, maybe a few days, an anxious feeling of inadequacy fell over me. “What if she choked?” “What if she gets sick or hurt?” “What will I do?” At 22 years of age, I found that I had no idea how to safely care for my daughter. I was terrified. A thought came to mind that at the very minimum, I should learn some first-aid. I discovered that our local hospital was offering an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course and was starting soon. I enrolled. I didn’t know it at the time, but I met my future boss, Carol.
While in the EMT course, I did a rotation at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Grand Junction, CO. I found myself captivated by the competence, proficiency and skillset the emergency room nurses embodied. Not having a career trajectory, working for my in-laws at their athletic club, the thought came to mind, “I wonder what it would take to become a nurse?” Within a year, I was attending nursing school at Mesa State College in Western Colorado.
Upon graduation and being already employed as a nurse’s aide at Community Hospital in Grand Junction, I was hired as a nurse. Working on the Med-Surg floor, it didn’t take long before I found myself fascinated with the operating room. A thought came to mind, “I wonder what it would take to work in the operating room?” This came to me as a surprise as I was always grossed and freaked-out at the sight of blood. Nevertheless, within a few months, I found myself working in the operating room. Within a year, again influenced by seemingly random thoughts, I found myself working for Carol in the hospital where this all started.
Before I had a child, I never knew I would be a nurse. Before I worked on the Med-Surg floor, I never knew I would work in the operating room. Before I worked in the operating room, I never know I’d be moving back to my hometown to work for Carol.
The point I’m trying to make here is that through thoughts, we literally have the capacity to imagine ourselves into existence. Acclaimed anthropologist, Wade Davis, refers to this in his description of the Ethnosphere. The Ethnosphere is essentially an interconnected cultural web best defined as, “the sum total of all thoughts and intuitions, myths and beliefs, ideas and inspirations brought into being by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness.” If this is a bit too esoteric, try to think about this idea using a garden.
Before we plant, we must first decide what it is that we want to grow. Once we decide on what we hope to produce, that informs us what seeds to sow and how to lay out the garden. The first thing that happens is the thought, “do I want a garden?” Yes. Then, “what do I want to grow?” Our previous experiences, likes and dislikes refine our thoughts. These thoughts inform our actions.
Although thoughts have no substance, they are indeed quite powerful. And while there are many many many conditions that influence the realization (or not) of our thoughts, it is our thoughts themselves that manifest our roles and how we interact in all our relationships.
Depending on when, how and where you were raised, there are many factors that influence whether you can become a nurse, for instance. There are many causes and conditions that may support or inhibit your aspirations and dreams.
There are some seeds, however, that I believe we are each responsible to sow – the seeds of how we want to live in this world. Do we want to plant and cultivate the seeds of anger, discord, judgement and dissatisfaction? Or, do we want to plant and cultivate the seeds of kindness, love, compassion, harmony, acceptance and gratitude? While we have no control over what thoughts arise in our mind, what we pay attention to influences our thoughts. The more we pay attention to things – news articles, magazines, books, TV shows, movies, etc. – that are imbued with the qualities we find valuable, the more they will manifest in our life.
Though we may not know exactly where our path will take us, I never knew I’d be a nurse or do what I’m doing meow, we can set an intention and do our best to influence how we walk our winding path. Two important questions that we can ask ourselves are: “What are you paying attention to that may promote negative or even harmful thoughts to arise in your mind?” and, “How can you replace those actions with beneficial things that will foster thoughts that are kind, loving, compassionate and harmonious in nature?”
I love you and there isn’t anything that you can about it.
With warmhearted thoughts,