Tag Archives: creativity

Top Ten Tips to Thrive in Nursing School

Top Ten Tips to Thrive in Nursing School is based off of a lecture I gave last February to the nursing students at Anoka Ramsey Community College. I wished I had some of these insights while I was going through nursing school myself, it would have made my experience a lot smoother. My intent is that you can find the space to receive the information and better yet, start to implement some of the steps listed here to make your life and time in school more enjoyable. As in most learning, laying a good foundation is an essential first step. For nurses, self-care is good care.

Be compassionate to yourself.

Do not compare yourself to others under any circumstances.

Action steps:

  • Keep a gratitude journal.
  • Recite an affirmation daily that helps you, for example, “I am learning exactly what I need to learn in exactly the right timing and the perfect opportunities are showing up for me.”

Beef up your support system.

Connect with people whom adore you and will support you, but also help you stretch when you need a swift push into your fullest potential.

Action steps:

  • Get an accountability partner who is in school with you so you can study and offer support to one another.
  • Ask your loved ones if they are willing to offer you extra support during this time and if they agree, suggest ways they can help you, such as babysit your kids, do your grocery shopping, help you clean your house.

Practice grounding techniques at least once a day.

This will keep you grounded in your physical body so that you are more in tune with what it is that your body/emotions/spirit needs, which makes coping with stress easier.

Action steps:

  • Practice mindfulness meditation-setting the intention to try this and sitting quietly for even five minutes to observe whatever comes up for you without placing any judgement on those things-emotions-physical sensations-thoughts. Practicing mindfulness will reduce your tendency to react and will improve your general awareness which can reduce stress.
  • Start a yoga practice-yoga is simple and can be practiced anywhere that you can find a chair or a space large enough to roll out a yoga mat. Start with the basics and build from there.
  • Breath Work-shift your focus inward and notice your breath. Just doing this causes you to relax a bit. After a few minutes of noticing your breath pattern, take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat this ten times very slowly. We tend to use a shallow breathing pattern in our day to day activities. When you take deep belly breaths it actually helps you relax by sending a signal to your parasympathetic nervous system that it is ok to relax. This is very helpful when you are running on a chronic stress pattern in the body.
  • Get out in nature and reconnect to the planet. It is even better if you are able remove your shoes and feel the earth, dirt, water, and sand on your feet. The feet have a lot of information to share with us about our health and wellness. Just connecting with nature can remove the level of overwhelm we feel at times. It is a reminder that the universe is always supporting us and that everything is probably going to be okay.

Move every day, even if it’s only for ten minutes.

Exercise is a great way to decompress and manage tension, stress, and anxiety.

Action steps:

  • Get up and stretch in the morning.
  • Park your car farther away than usual.
  • Always take the stairs when you can.
  • Dance with you kids or your partner.
  • Do little micromovements with your body while you are driving.
  • If you are sitting all day, get up at least every hour and pretend you are jumping rope or do some stretching.

Eat one meal a day for your immune system.

Imagine a meal that incorporates all the colors of the rainbow-the bright colors represent phytonutrients-the parts of food that help us stay well and fight disease.

Action steps:

  • Make smoothies a few times a week. (Save time by placing all the ingredients in a ziploc and store in the freezer until you are ready to make the smoothie, then just toss what’s in the ziploc in the blender and you are ready to go.
  • Eat all veggies for a meal.
  • Buy and prepare (wash and chop) raw veggies so they are ready to grab and go from the fridge. It is easier to make healthier choices when you have already done the work and are short on sleep and high on stress. When you provide your body the right fuel, you are less vulnerable to getting sick and your energy level with be higher.

Be a master at time management.

Chances are, there are pockets of time in your day that you are unaware of. When we don’t have awareness or boundaries around how we spend our time, things like surfing social media or netflix binge watching can easily eat up an hour or more.

Action steps:

  • Take the time to go through the process of charting how you spend your time now. Literally document what you do for an entire day and for how long. If you can afford it, document a typical week this way. Then create your schedule in a way that works for your style and include everything you need to do from attending class to studying to working out.
  • Get in a routine and you will become very efficient and you will be surprised when you are diligent how much you can get done.
  • When you are doing something give it your full attention. Distractions are rampant and just because you are good at something, like multi-tasking, doesn’t mean you should.
  • Cluster like activities together and schedule them that way. Grocery store/ meal plan/prepping, laundry/cleaning, phone calls/emails. Color code your activities if you are more visual.

Covet your “you time.”

At least once a week make a date with yourself on your calendar to nurture your creative nature.

Action steps:

  • Try Julia Cameron’s ‘Morning Pages’ book that recommends journaling for fifteen minutes first thing in the morning when you wake up.
  • Take a detox bath with relaxing essential oils like lavender and use epsom salts.
  • Dance in your living room or at a class.
  • Go see a movie.
  • Check out a local museum.
  • Go to an art exhibit.
  • Take a pottery class.
  • Pick up your old paint brushes.
  • Draw.

If you get stuck, reflect on the things that brought you complete joy as a child and do that. Use this time to nurture your creative side that tends to get lost as we enter into young adolescence and adulthood.

When we fill our cups on a regular basis we are essentially filling our tanks, just like placing our own oxygen masks before placing it on another. If we are expected to be role models we must be able to walk the talk, I believe that means nurturing our emotional, physical, and spiritual selves and committing to taking the time to do so. Exhibiting to the world that we are worth it. It also gives others permission to do the same and it’s healthy.

Honor your body’s sleep requirement daily.

Getting adequate sleep is paramount to overall health. Adequate sleep refers to sleeping long enough to engage in rapid eye movement, the cycle of sleep that offers deep rest and the opportunity for the brain to assimilate all the information that it has processed during the waking hours. Without this sleep, the brain gets backed up and can cause premature aging and an overall feeling of forgetfulness. People who do not get adequate sleep can also have dysregulated hormonal regulation of leptin and ghrelin. These are the hormones responsible for appetite and satiety (satisfaction). This means if you don’t sleep enough, you will probably wake up hungry and no matter what you ingest, you will never be satisfied.

Action steps:

  • Develop healthy sleep hygiene habits that signals to your body that it is time to start unwinding and preparing for sleep.
  • Restore the body and mind before hopping in the bed with things like a cup of warm sleepy time tea.
  • Do some gentle stretching or yoga.
  • Shut off the technological devices at least two hours prior to sleep.
  • Meditate or pray.
  • Enjoy a good book that is not too stimulating. A famous neurologist once said, “we have to learn to put the brakes on before we get into the garage.”

Keep close tabs on your energy balance.

Energy imbalances cause illness. Your energy includes everything from your “subtle” energy which includes your thoughts and feelings all the way down to your physical energy. Abstain from relationships and people who pollute your life with their toxic and unhealthy ways. Pay attention to how your nutrition affects your mood and your health.

Action steps:

  • Set really strong boundaries and do not let negative people seep their toxic energy into your energy field.
  • Be respectful of others and demand respect of yourself from others as well. If others cross that boundary, be sure to address it in a respectful way, but let them know you will not engage with others that do not respect you.
  • Nutrition is a great way to maintain good energy balance. Be aware of how much caffeine/sugar/processed food you are eating and how it makes you feel.
  • Drink plenty of clean water and avoid using plastic bottles. Use glass if possible or BPA free options.
  • Eat organic fruits and vegetables when possible and avoid foods that are processed and full of genetically modified organisms.
  • Practice dry body brushing once a week. Buy a body brush from your local drug store and run the brush over your arms, legs, torso, chest, and back in a motion that is working towards your heart on dry skin just before you take a shower. Dry brushing removes dead skin cells and invigorates the lymphatic and circulatory system.
  • Get rid of any bath/home/beauty products that contain harmful ingredients like parabens or phthalates. Check out environmental working group’s website for all the latest safety info on food, skin, and home products. www.ewg.org.

Saving the best for last. If you don’t take away anything from our time together, remember this:

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ask if you are ever unsure about anything.

Chances are, ten other people have the same question but are too scared to ask. There is never a dumb question.

Action step:

  • Asking questions is courageous and the right thing to do; especially when it comes to caring for another person’s health. You will be faced with numerous situations as a new nurse, that will be scary and if you ever don’t know the answer or how to do something, it’s always safer to ask than to just assume you know how to do something if you aren’t 100% sure.
  • You must give yourself permission to put yourself first. Your health and vitality is a choice. Choose wisely now, because your choice will affect you today, tomorrow, and in the next ten years. You are worth it to take care of yourself.

I can help you do that. Head over to my About page on my site and complete the contact form. Knowing how to care for yourself is an art form, and not one that is always taught in nursing school.

Nursing is soul work and to do soul work, you must practice effective self-care techniques that provide you the space and nourishment you deserve that will keep you well as you take care of others.

Nursing is not only soul work, but it is superhero work and it certainly isn’t for sissies. If you have made the commitment to attend, complete, and pay for nursing school, you can’t give up now.

This is where the rubber meets the road. It is your time to shine.

Please share other tips that you feel have helped you thrive in nursing school or in your career.



Nurse boss-a blog dedicated to nurses

Welcome to the 21st installment of Nurse Boss. A blog series dedicated to nurses.

I was guided to create this series after a spark of creativity within my soul felt that it would help thousands of nurses.

My hope is that these interviews will ignite a spark in you or stir your inner landscape in a way that propels you to dream big and go after what it is that you desire in life and career.

A Nurse Boss is a nurse who has created a lifestyle that aligns their passion with their natural gifts and energy style in a way that helps others while also honoring their own body, mind, and soul. A Nurse Boss walks their talk and they are open to receive the abundance that is theirs.

A Nurse Boss is more than a role or job he/she has, it’s a certain energy, a vibe, a mindset.  A Nurse Boss has an uplifting energy and loves helping others, but not to the detriment of his/her own well-being.

I am absolutely delighted about today’s Nurse Boss! Carmen Davailus Buck is not only a Nurse Practitioner, photographer, and writer, but also an earth angel. I believe that we heal through sharing stories and Carmen has found a way to share the stories of those who are living with dementia through beautiful images and stories.

Carmen Buck, NP

Carmen Buck, NP

1. What are you doing now?

Just answering this question makes me smile. I am completing interviews and photo sessions for a book I am writing about caregivers and families impacted by dementia. Expected publication is Winter 2017. It’s about the spiritual aspects of living with dementia and how these beautiful families manage during such difficult times.

I am owner and photographer for Carmen Buck Photography, and I photograph families, couples, lifestyle, branding head shots and portraits. I volunteer my photography skills to Alzheimer’s Texas and Bliss Kid Yoga which is a nonprofit organization bringing yoga to underserved children and their families.

I blog regularly. I continue to learn about photography, business, speaking and writing.

2. Did you always have the desire to do what you are doing now or did someone or something create a spark in you that made you realize this was your calling?

I have always had a desire to do creative things including write. In my high school years in the 70s, young women were given choices primarily of teacher, nurses or secretary.

Teachers throughout high school and college encouraged me to not give up the dream to write. I never did, but I also wanted to pursue nursing. Since I supported myself shortly after graduating from high school, I had to make decisions based on my passions as well as survival and making a living. I became a nurse and eventually a nurse practitioner.

I found ways to be a creative nurse. I continued to take workshops and studied writing, speaking and entrepreneurship. I wasn’t quite sure what it would look like for me until a day at work as a nurse practitioner when one of my patients had an incredibly touching story to share with me. I specialized in care of those with dementia and their caregivers.

It was an epiphany for me. I knew I would share the stories that most of us don’t get to hear about living with dementia. I also knew I would photograph and include portraits. It was a pivotal life changing moment for me.

3. Why is nursing a great launchpad for nurses who want to create their own lifestyle doing what they love?
I believe nursing is a calling. We are called to nursing by love and desire to connect with others in some way. The beauty of nursing is that this can be achieved in a variety of ways. There are roles that can fit our personalities and even create the career that we want. I personally found ways to include some kind of writing and publishing into many of my roles. As a nurse practitioner I managed my schedule as to have enough time with my patients and families to actually get to know them.

Interestingly, the very qualities that make me a caring, thoughtful and smart nurse, make me an excellent photographer and a tuned in writer. I have to listen and observe for the moments between the moments to capture the most authentic image of my clients.

These are the ones that give me goosebumps and make my clients cry when they see them. It’s about the authentic connection.

4. What is the ultimate characteristic of a nurse boss?

Your definition of nurse boss is beautiful. An ultimate characteristic of a nurse boss is the desire to experience authentic connection with others and nature even in the seemingly most mundane times. One has to be willing to be vulnerable to be open to authentic connection.

5. What was the biggest obstacle you’ve faced to get to where you are now? How were you able to overcome it?

My biggest obstacle is learning to tune into what I really want. For various reasons, I’ve devoted more of my life to caring for others rather than caring for myself. I have to stop and ask myself- what do I REALLY WANT?

Then I keep asking ‘why’ over and over again to get clarity for myself. I realized my ‘why’ was sometimes about what was best for someone else and not for me. I feel like someone who has been on a restricted diet for decades and then walks into a buffet and is allowed to have whatever she chooses.

I don’t have time to do all of what I want to do, so learning to focus on what I really want has been key. Focus, Focus, Focus

6. What does your current job allow you to do that traditional nursing did not?

I am a nurse entrepreneur. I am a photographer, writer and speaker. I encourage healing from behind a lens. I photograph people from all walks of life and ages.

I particularly enjoy photographing the elderly and those who have stopped seeing the beauty in themselves. When women cry when they see an image of themselves and say, ‘I haven’t felt beautiful in years, but I do now,’ healing happens.

When an autistic child who is often withdrawn smiles and kisses his mother and she cries in response, and I capture that image, healing happens. When I photograph young children learning yoga and self care, healing happens.

When families rejoice at having one last image of their loved one before they pass, healing happens. I’m the one who heals, too because I get the honor of these experiences.

7. For nurses who feel stuck in their careers what words of wisdom do you have to help inspire them to break out of their status quo?

Ask yourself what you REALLY want and also ask ‘why.’ So many nurses are like I was-lots of giving without a strong sense of self other than as carer. Nursing provides ample opportunities and perhaps their current job just needs a different perspective.

It sounds simple but not always simple to get there. Change is less painful than staying in the status quo. I view change as an exciting adventure! I think as I got older and realized just how short life is, there was no valid excuse to stop growing. I always knew it, but now there’s almost a sense of urgency.

8. What resources can you share for nurses wanting to explore creating their own gig that actually pays them?

The internet offers so much! So many are free or low cost and can give you a taste of what others are doing and how you might do the same but in your own unique way. There are all kinds of wonderful webinars and online courses. I learned and continue to learn from experts on www.creativelive.com They offer all kinds of classes at reasonable prices and you can watch on your own time.

Now for fun:
9. What book or publication is currently on your nightstand?

God is at Eye Level-Photography as a Healing Art by Jan Phillips. I also have Oprah magazine and Vogue.

10. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?


11. How can we get in touch with you?

Carmen Davailus Buck


www.CarmenBuckPhotography.com and http://www.CarmenBuck.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarmenBuckPhotography/?fref=ts

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carmenbuckphoto/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CBuckPhoto

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/CBuckPhoto/

Carmen is a nurse practitioner, author, speaker and photographer specializing in Portraits, Personal Branding Head Shots and Lifestyle Photography including hybrid video. She also enjoys family and couple photography. Her current photography/essay project is a book called Love Still Lives Here with stories of families caring for their loved ones with dementia. Expected publication is January 2017. She speaks on a variety of topics including eldercare, dementia care and holistic nursing.

Thank you for your energy and taking the time to read Nurse Boss. Please share with us what you are doing to own your nursing acumen, creativity, and imagination.

If you want to join the Nurse Boss movement to up the vibe of the nursing collective, join us over on Facebook at Nurse Boss Tribe http://bit.ly/2aE9vkh

Keep shining your light,



Nurse Boss

Nurse Boss Soul School-the first of its kind

To be of true service to others, you must first nurture your own soul.
What does that even mean?
Nurturing your own soul means getting really clear on what it is that you love and desire for your one precious life.
It means showing up FIRST for yourself with zero guilt.
It means owning your gifts and passions without the need to explain yourself.
It means living every single day in a way that honors you and your desires.
It means letting go of the deathgrip that you have on the fear, lack, and struggle mindset forever.
It means more:
laughter. joy. fun. blessings. abundance. freedom. flow. ease. and alignment.
This is NOT something you learn in nursing school.
When you nurture your own soul & spirit, you become a vessel of unlimited abundance that you can share with others. Every thing is easier.

The outcome: Living true to your passions & talents in a way that honors both your own soul & those whom you care for.

Smart. Safe. Nurturing. Fulfilling. Empowering. Selfless service. Greatest good for ALL.
If you desire a safe. fun. simple. empowering. enlightening. energetic and timely course to learn to care for your soul, I invite you to consider enrolling in the only school of it’s kind, Nurse Boss Soul School.
I have captured all of my training (registered nurse 18 years/chronic condition coaching 5+ years/yoga teacher certification/holistic stress management certification/certified integrative health coach certification) coupled with the success of my private coaching clients and created a school that is accessible, profoundly simple, and extremely moving in an easy to use format.

I felt called to create this school after overcoming a time in my nursing career 5 years ago when despite enjoying my life & my rewarding job in a busy electrophysiology lab, I felt spiritually & energetically stuck.

I knew I was not living my full potential, but I had NO clue about how to get unstuck. I listened to the nudging of my soul & was able to show up in a bigger way.

I am passionate about sharing this with nurses. I never want another nurse to feel isolated, trapped, and alone like I felt.

I am on a mission to up the vibe of the nursing collective.

Our time to stop playing small has arrived.

At Nurse Boss Soul School you will learn simple, yet profound tools to nurture your own mind, body, & soul, with me as your guide in a safe, loving, & supportive environment.

All online from the comfort of your own home.

A group experience with other amazing nurses who seek to nurture their mind, body, and soul.

12 weeks. 6 soul lessons (pdf’s/audio/video files). 6 group coaching calls. Private FB community. All the love and support I can give.
  • Never again will you question whether or not you should nurture your own soul.
  • You will release the limiting beliefs and energy patterns for good that keep you stuck in self-doubt, shame, and struggle.
  • You will have the confidence and inner knowing that you really are the creator of your life & now you know how to tap into your awesome to create the life & career that you used to believe was unattainable. No idea or dream is too crazy or off limits.
  • You have the tools to keep your emotional, physical, & spiritual health in the highest possible frequency for your highest good.
  • You have a vibe, an attractive energy about you because you have aligned your beliefs with your desires to attract exactly what you want.
  • Your habit of living in doubt, guilt, and shame is replaced by a lifestyle of abundance, confidence, and freedom.
Value: $1900
Your Investment: $479
that’s two payments of $239.50 or

three payments of $159.67
The magic starts May 16th.  
To guarantee your spot in the Nurse Boss Soul School, let me know by commenting below or email me at [email protected].
I look forward to helping you own your awesome
Peace & love,

Healthy Nurse by Design & Nurse Boss

Becoming a Nurse Boss is easy, simply start with number 1

Becoming a Nurse Boss is easy, simply start with number 1

I believe a Nurse Boss is more about energy than anything else. An energy that embodies a growth mindset, positive energy, a vibe that exudes freedom, and is full of creativity and passion. A Nurse Boss is not necessarily associated with a specific nursing job.

If you are an aspiring Nurse Boss, try these simple tips……

1.Start where you are-with a curious/adventurous spirit.

Get the idea incubator flowing, by filling in the blank. I want more  ____________?

How can you facilitate that NOW?

2. Consider how you want to feel……. (Free/Abundant/Energized/Light/Loved/Healthy/Vital/Connected/Informed/Accomplished/


3. Create how you want to feel by doing things everyday that help produce the way you want to feel. If you are not sure, start exploring how that would look for you.

4. Write a list of ten things that bring you joy without exception and refer to it regularly for inspiration and to help cultivate gratitude. (For example, dancing in the rain)

5. Free up your precious energy by releasing what no longer serves you. What are you engaging in that is keeping you stuck in a negative pattern? (beliefs/habits/relationships/negative self-talk/complaining)

Simply reframe them with more positive words/beliefs/actions.

6. Write a list of five things that you would like to release that no longer serve you. Writing things down gives them more power.

7. Mail that list to yourself. Read it again and then put it away and allow the release to evolve. You are the creator of what you desire in your life. You hold the key. Every. Day.

8. Journal at least two days/week as soon as you get up from sleeping. Put pen to paper & write uninterrupted for 15 minutes. If you can’t think of what to write. Write, “ I can’t think of what to write.”

9. Make a creative date with yourself once a week doing something you deem creative. Bath with Epsom salts-salsa dance lessons- picnic at the park- movie by yourself-art gallery-pottery class-voice lessons-acting class-writing class.

10. After giving each step on the list a go, notice how you feel in body, mind, spirit.

You are a creator & when you are creating life on your terms, things are easier. You are living from your natural state of joy, ease, and abundance, not the familiar state of lack, fear, & struggle.

Working with energy and mindset is a practice, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Every day it becomes easier to stay in a positive vibe and growth mindset. When the old patterns or limiting beliefs start to rear their ugly heads, it gets easier and easier to reverse that trend.

Please share in the comments which tip resonates with you and which tip will bring more of what you want into your life.

Until next time, have fun creating the life you desire and being your own Nurse Boss!!




Nurse Boss-a blog series for nurses

Welcome to the 2nd installment of Nurse Boss. A blog series dedicated to nurses.

I was guided to create this series after a spark of creativity within my soul felt that it would help thousands of nurses.

My hope is that these interviews will ignite a spark in you or stir your inner landscape in a way that propels you to dream big and go after what it is that you desire in life and career.

A Nurse Boss is a nurse who has created a lifestyle that aligns their passion with their natural gifts and energy style in a way that helps others while also honoring their own body, mind, and soul. A Nurse Boss walks their talk and they are open to receive the abundance that is theirs.

Allow me to introduce Lydia Romero-Johnson. Lydia is an amazing woman, whom I befriended in business school, aka “B school.” B school is Marie Forleo’s online school for entrepreneurs who want to learn how to take their businesses online. Check Marie out here:  Marie Lydia is a nurse and has an entrepreneurial spirit. Our connection was sealed with that and we became fast friends. I am delighted to share her real life experience, vulnerability and awesome with you.


  1. What are you doing now?

I am working as an RN in an outpatient psychiatric day hospital. It’s called a PHP, partial hospitalization program. I support patients with various psychiatric diagnoses. I educate them about their diagnosis and teach them positive and healthy ways of coping with it by implementing everyday stress management techniques.

I have started my own health coaching business, Lydia Romero Johnson, LLC. I provide support and coaching for women struggling with chronic health issues. Through our work together, women remember that it is okay to thrive, not just survive or get by in life.

  1. Did you always have the desire to do what you are doing now or did someone or something create a spark in you that made you realize this was your calling?

I knew I always wanted to help people, but I didn’t know in what way. I had a lot of family members, including myself, with health issues, which eventually drew me into nursing. I did have a lot of doubt about this decision. I didn’t think I could pull it off, as I knew it would be a huge responsibility. It took me a long time to really commit to this career decision, but once I did, I loved it. It felt natural to me!

I didn’t know what specialty I wanted to go into, but I knew I wanted to do something that would allow me to connect to the whole well-being of the person. I started working in the local health department, and found that wasn’t the right fit. I tried being a neonatal intensive care nurse, but that wasn’t a good fit either. The nights and rotations were not conducive to my desire for a balanced work and family life. I saw a position at an out-patient psychiatric hospital and remembered how much I enjoyed my psych rotation in nursing school.

I always felt that it was important for people to talk about their thoughts, feelings, and emotional state. I noticed a lot of people tend to avoid these topics! Anyway, as soon as I started working there, I felt like it was the right environment. I have been there for five and a half years. It’s great to see the progress of the patients who come in feeling hopeless and depressed and then leave with hope and the skills needed to cope with their symptoms and function in their daily lives. It feels great to make such a huge impact on these patients and I work with a great team.

In regards to my health coaching business, I knew that I needed to share what I’ve learned on my journey to health. I greatly improved my health and that motivated me to learn more. The spark was lit!!  I wanted to be able teach others how they can help themselves heal. That’s why I started my education at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health coach. Promoting a holistic approach to health and life is important to me.

        3.Why is nursing a great launchpad for nurses who want to create their own        lifestyle doing what they love?

Nursing has so many specialties, which gives you many options. If you want to work with patients in mental health, run groups, and give support and teach coping skills, you can do that. If you want to work in a hospital and assist in surgery, you can do that. If you want to do outreach in the community, reduce risk for infection, teach, or promote health in schools, you can do that too. There are so many options and a wide range of shifts that you can find the right fit for your lifestyle. You can also start your own business!! That’s some cool stuff. I didn’t always think it was possible, but now I know that it is.

  1. What is the ultimate characteristic of a nurse boss?

A nurse boss has to have confidence, because if you don’t have confidence you’ll be spending every day with a lot of doubt, which can hinder your career and also impact those around you. Confidence is a tool that allows you to move forward, to see your potential and the potential of those around you.

  1. What was the biggest obstacle you’ve faced to get to where you are now? How were you able to overcome it.

I have struggled with confidence. It is a huge responsibility to care for people, and I had a lot of doubt that I could do that, and I didn’t know how I could become a nurse. My dad had a 9th grade education and my mom graduated high school, and being a nurse meant going to college. That scared me. I remember thinking, “really, can I do that?” I had this asking permission stage where I kept questioning my ability. At the time I was working in retail and I was at a point where I had nothing to gain in the job and there was nothing left to give, and something kept speaking to me, telling me I had to try nursing. I had to tell myself it was going to be scary, but in order to grow and to get to the next level of where I wanted to be in life I knew I had to try it. So, I used that desire to push past my discomfort and in the process I gained confidence.  Again, with nursing, there are so many options, and with these options I embraced the holistic lifestyle that enabled me to be more confident.

  1. What does your current job allow you to do that traditional nursing did not?

For me, traditional nursing which involved twelve hour shifts was near impossible. Doing a twelve hour shift and getting off work just as my kids were heading to school or rushing from work so I wouldn’t miss my kid’s birthday party didn’t fit with my lifestyle. I also had to be mindful of my health struggles, and my current job allows me a better work-home life balance. I always felt I had a high emotional intelligence and that I was very empathic. My current job allows me to use those skills to help my patients. I am able to connect with the patients and support them in what is a vulnerable, scary, dark time in their lives. The average stay for a patient is about two weeks, which allows me to see their improvement. I love that! Between doing that and working on my business, it allows me to support the whole person: mind and body and spirit.

  1. For nurses who feel stuck in their careers what words of wisdom do you have to help inspire them to break out of their status quo?

My words of wisdom are that you always have options. It may not always feel like it, but you do. Sometimes it takes going completely outside of your comfort zone to live your dreams, but you are worth it!

  1. What resources can you share to nurses wanting to explore creating their own gig that actually pays them?

B-School created by Marie Forleo was a great resource for me. It is a community of mostly women, with a few men who are looking to make their own way.  Whether you are an artist, writer, massage therapist, or a nurse, B-School helps those who are trying to use those knowledge based skills. They support you and help guide you through how you can package your assets and share it with the world. If offers lots of support, guidance, and heart-centered networking. B-School is where you learn to create a business and life that you love.

My other recommendation is the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Their training provides a holistic approach for health and wellness. Primary Food is a big part of their teachings. The Primary Food concept is not just about the food you eat, but your relationships, career, spirituality, and work-life balance. They do a great job of educating how to teach clients that aspect, which you don’t necessarily get in nursing. Many doctors and nurses have attended IIN to help expand their knowledge of preventative care through using a holistic approach.

Now for fun!

  1. What book or publication is currently on your nightstand?

I have been using Audible lately. It makes it easier for me to read while I’m getting my business up and running. I’m currently listening to The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the Magic by Mike Dooley. I recommend them all!

    10. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be? It would have to be oatmeal. I know some people say, oatmeal?, but yes oatmeal, with walnuts and raisins, a dash of cinnamon, and a splash of almond milk. Yum!

   11. How can we get in touch with you? I would love for you to connect with me! Please visit www.lydiaromerojohnson.com

[email protected]





Wellness at Work

Wellness at Work is a big trend these days. It’s a no brainer for employers. If you want to reduce sick and disability pay and retain your employees for longer than six months, it’s a must. For employers who need to tighten the belt on nurse retention this is a big deal. Creating work environments that promote health and wellness not just for patients, but employees is a must to be competitive in the marketplace.

If you are a nurse working in a hospital have you ever stopped to consider the physical environment? I am talking about the air quality, the noise, the furnishings, the access to nature.  Imagine if hospitals started designing our work spaces with our health in mind…….

I worked at a hospital that had beautiful landscaping and access to nature. It was so refreshing to step outside and escape in the natural surroundings just for a few minutes. I always returned refreshed and less stressed. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that can make the biggest impact.

Some facilities provide activities and outlets for their nurses to renew and relax, like this massage chair at  Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, IL. It is the brainchild of Jillianne Shriver, RN, BSN, HN-BC, a team lead for the inpatient medical oncology unit who thought of it after attending a training on holistic nursing. She literally used an old storage closet and filled the room with a massage chair and other items for relaxation, such as: tools for aromatherapy, journaling, a yoga mat, Tibetan singing bowls, and a small water feature.  Check it out here: Nurse Renewal

Nurses need a place to unwind and debrief while on the job. It just makes good sense. All parties win. Employer, nurse, and patient. I love seeing nurses creating simple solutions that make staying well on the job easier and it is refreshing to see collaboration from employers seeking this input.

I love creativity, innovation, sustainability, pushing the edge (in a healthy way), and non-toxic everything. So, when I stumbled across Natalie Nixon’s article, 8 Ways to Design Health Care, I was very interested. The article is so chock-full of awesome, but I only want to talk about the first point she makes. Read it in its entirety here: Health Care Design

The first point she makes is about “modular health” and how physical structures and indoor environments impact our health. At Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota they have something called the Well Living Lab which is a research facility dedicated to studying how our physical environments impact our health and finding ways to create healthier indoor spaces. Check it out here: Well Living Lab 

This design is the brainchild of Delos, a company that focuses on seven categories relevant to indoor health: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.  Delos is the pioneer of Wellness Real Estate™, a business that places health and wellness at the center of design and construction.

These are all things I can support. What about you? What cool things is your hospital or work environment doing to promote your wellness as a nurse?

Keep innovating and expecting great things,


The 5 Books that Helped my Heart Sing and Become Whole Again

The 5 Books that Helped my Heart Sing and Become Whole Again

I am a nurse and a healer. I know that in order to guide others back to themselves holistically, you first must be whole yourself.

By whole, I mean connected and aligned in body, mind, and spirit. The sum of the whole is greater than the individual parts.

As luck would have it, feeling whole is a bit challenging for most of us. If we are honest, we have all probably experienced that moment when we felt we just didn’t measure up.

Part of the human condition means struggling at some time or another with one of these beliefs: you are not lovable, you are not worthy, and/or you do not have what it takes and you are lacking in some way(money/intelligence/strength/courage).

I am no different. I spent plenty of years immeshed in my struggle story. In order to overcome my struggles and release my limiting beliefs, I had to do some soul searching and hard work.

Some of the things that have helped me release my limiting beliefs are: yoga, mindfulness, tapping into my creativity, intentional movement, nature, connecting with other healers or lightworkers, energy work, humor, music, and whole food nutrition.

I rely on these for ongoing growth and I am empowered to stay on this path to abundant, whole heart living because it sets my soul on fire and brings me immense joy and rich health.

In addition to these tools, something that easily inspires me are words.

The irony is that as a young girl I absolutely hated reading and I sure as heck did not feel I was a good writer. Now, I can’t get enough of either! I have a voracious appetite for all things inspiring and empowering; especially in the written word. I could easily spend hours looking through quotes on sparkly notecards or crafting my own. Doing so calls me to evolve and live into my full potential. Words speak to me in a way that inspires, uplifts, nourishes and feeds my heart and soul.

I am typically reading no less than four books. I will start reading and then get pointed towards another book or idea and then I will get another book on that and on it goes. Has this ever happened to you? You jump online for a quick search and the next thing you know you have six new tabs open and an hour has lapsed!

I have read hundreds of books; however, the five books that I am sharing with you today will forever remain my favorites. They inspired me to dig deep, let go, and love myself up unconditionally. I believe that there are no accidents and these books were drawn onto my path in divine timing. Perhaps one of them will help inspire or empower you as much as they have inspired me. The winners are:

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Don Miguel Ruiz

I read this book after getting remarried and it really helped my husband and me learn to communicate in a healthy way. Living the tenants of the Four Agreements is profound and quite liberating.

Here is a video about Don’s book, The Four Agreements

A Life Worth Breathing: A Yoga Master’s Handbook of Strength, Grace, and Healing

Max Strom

I read this book after completing yoga teacher training during a time when I was struggling with self-doubt. It was so profoundly healing to read. I literally finished the book, got online to find out more about Max and he was in Minneapolis the next day for a yoga workshop. Holy serendipitous batman. I attended the workshop with my book in hand and shared with Max how much it helped me. I now have his Johnny Hancock in his book. So amazing.

Here is a link to Max’s book,  A Life Worth Breathing

True Purpose 12 Strategies for Discovering the Difference You Are Meant to Make

Tim Kelley

I heard about this book from Lisa Sasevich during her bootcamp in San Diego. This was a game changer for me. Tim talks about each of us having a gift, a blessing and he really guides you in doing the work through writing and reflecting to uncover what your blessing and true purpose are.

Here is a link to Tim’s book, True Purpose 

The Gifts of Imperfection

Brené Brown

Brené is my all time favorite girl crush. She has researched and written on the very abstract concept of shame and vulnerability for over 20 years. I learned of her book after turning 40 and  gifting myself a course called Heart Sight Series. It was about subtle energy, something I knew nothing about. I asked the teacher what book she could recommend that most aligned with what we were learning in the course and she recommended Brené’s, The Gifts of Imperfection. That book really helped me understand and feel that I was not alone in not wanting to feel vulnerable and that shame is universal.

Here is Brené speaking about vulnerability in her famous TED talk Vulnerability

A Weekend to Change Your Life

Joan Anderson  

I read this gem as I was cultivating the courage to create my own retreat for nurses to refresh and renew. Joan is the guru of running successful retreats for women, guiding them in letting go and embracing their authenticity. It couldn’t have been timed more perfectly and it really helped me create a beautiful retreat for nurses that was empowering on so many levels for the nurses and me.

Here is a link to Joan’s book, A Weekend to Change Your Life

Chances are, if you are reading this, you too are an avid reader and are on the quest for ways to enhance your amazing life……..My hope is that you have been inspired and that you may find some resources that resonate with you on your path back to the awesome you.

There is no one else like you. Love yourself up and do you like only YOU can.

What are your favorite reads on healing?

Hugs and healing to you,


Nurses as Inventors

Nurses are some of the most solution-oriented people on the planet. However, most nurses do not view themselves as creators or designers. I believe nurses need to hone that gift and start to honor it as well.

As a nurse who craves solution oriented thinking matched with creativity, discovering MakerNurse was music to my soul.

Check out what they are all about here: MakerNurse

Have you crafted an invention or solution on the job to make your work easier and to enhance the quality of care for your patients? You did it because that’s what nurses do. We create, improvise, and whip solutions together on the fly without so much as a thought.

Imagine if nurses had access to the resources and funding to develop and build solutions for our everyday tasks that met our patients’ needs and also made our work easier. Win-Win in my book.

Are you a nurse inventor? Please share your story here.

Until next time, keep rocking your inner inventor and owning your awesome.


Freedom, or whatever you desire in 2016 is yours for the receiving, all you have to do is ask

Freedom, or whatever you desire in 2016 is yours for the receiving, all you have to do is ask

I used to believe that my life path was not up for negotiation and that whatever was supposed to happen would happen. I also used to believe that it is selfish to receive. As a nurse, I am primed to give, that is my comfort zone.

Now that I know that it is not only okay to receive, but I can actually request exactly what it is that I desire to receive. This is the best thing since chocolate covered strawberries! Talk about a shift in perspective. No more victim mentality. Hello creator, manifestor extraordinaire.

As I learn how to get super clear on what it is that I want in my life, I am thick in the study and practice of manifestation, the law of attraction and creating the life that I want now.

I am being supported by an amazing angel mentor, Karen Palmer, aka the Mindful Media Mom.  Her book, “Global Kindness Going Viral, A Step By Step Playbook On How You Can Share Your Message Worldwide” has been an amazing resource on manifesting. Get your copy and see how you too can help make the world more kind, at her website http://globalkindnesstv.org/.  

I have an insatiable quest for learning and am often reading no less than five or six at books at once! In addition to Karen’s book, I have also been reading “Desire Map” and “The Fire Starter Sessions” by Danielle LaPorte.

Danielle is incredibly soulful and promotes the idea that what we are really after in life is a certain core desired feeling. For example, if we set a goal to get a promotion or to meet the partner of our dreams, what we’re really after in each of these scenarios is a feeling, such as: success and connection.

If you know of Danielle and have read her books, you know what I mean. For those who haven’t, you may want to check her out for a huge dose of awesome at her website:  http://www.daniellelaporte.com/

Creating the life that I desire solely by how I want to feel is genius and way more appealing to me than the proverbial goal setting mumbo jumbo. It’s also way sexier and more majestic for certain, which is a win-win in my book.

In reflection of 2015, and thinking about how I wanted to feel in 2016, the desire to be free keep resurfacing.


What comes to mind when you hear the word freedom?

Free to BE, with No obligations, No work, No rules, No time barrier, and No structure?

Freedom to me represents: unhinged enthusiasm, movement, creativity, laughter, joy, choice, and seriously individualized mojo.

I feel so connected to the core desired feeling of freedom because of my time with its evil cousin, trapped. Let’s face it, if you are human, chances are you have known this very uncomfortable feeling of being trapped or stuck. Heck, you may be in the throws of it this very moment. The degree to which you felt trapped and for the length of time certainly varies for each of us.

Feeling trapped is the polar opposite of freedom. It is feeling like there is no way out. There is no choice. There is no solution. There is no hope. There is nothing. Being trapped is stagnant and  soul-sucking.

Freedom on the other hand, is potential. Freedom is choice. Freedom is creativity. Freedom is spontaneous. Freedom is joy. Freedom is fluid. Freedom is infinite. Freedom is pure possibility. Freedom is everything.

Luckily for me, my time feeling trapped lasted only a year or two. It was twelve years ago, after the birth of my son. He is the only child that I have ever had and I had no idea that he would be the catalyst for me to leave my marriage. I thought his birth would help improve things in my marriage.

I am the eternal optimist. No, actually I am an opportunist.

Having a child did not help improve my marriage, it made things worse. I have never felt so vulnerable, scared, stuck, or trapped, ever. I was divinely guided to leave my spouse, with my newborn in tow, scared as hell, but knew deep down that it was the only choice and with the support of my amazing parents that we would make it through.

Here I am twelve years later dedicating 2016 to a life of freedom! The relationship with my ex has healed and I am happily remarried and have both a son and a bonus daughter.

I am aware now that there are no accidents.

My soul placed each trial on my path specifically to groom me for the growth and dance with the amazing life that I am creating now. I am eternally grateful to be granted such an opportunity.

If you are feeling trapped or some other feeling that you do not wish to experience, I invite you to explore the possibilities of creating the feelings in your life that you do want.

Creating your own Freedom:

Freedom is just within your reach. It is easier than you think.

  • Reflect on the things that create a feeling of freedom within you.
  • Write them down.
  • Start doing these things several days a week.
  • Carve time out in your life to make these activities part of your day to day flow.
  • Notice if you are creating a life that offers more freedom

For more tips on creating freedom now, check out my Periscope video. http://bit.ly/22QGGFS

What feelings do you desire in 2016?

How are you going to create that for yourself?

What breakthroughs can you share about manifesting that have been life changing?

Wishing you all that your heart desires in 2016 and more.




My Experiment with JOY, in 21 Days

I recently committed myself to an experiment of focusing on creating joy. It went like this, for twenty one days every morning when I woke up I smiled at myself and made a joyful connection with my soul as I looked at myself in the mirror.

I also made an effort to smile throughout my day; especially if I was not experiencing joy.

I also made an effort to see how many people I could get to smile back at me when I was out and about. I captured my experience on periscope. You can check out the episodes on www.katch.me  by searching my handle, “endoverwhelmnow” or check out one of the episodes by clicking here watch now.

Joy is a natural state of being, but one that is not very familiar to most of us. In fact, I would venture to say that a more familiar experience for most of us is a state of struggle, not joy.

I enjoy sharing simple actions that enhance the quality and awesome factor in life.

Life is too short to not be creating our own magic. 

I did not know what to expect from my commitment, but was pleasantly surprised by the gift that it revealed to me. Here is what committing to joy through the simple act of a smile showed me:

  • Joy is our true nature.
  • Simple things can create the most profound experience.
  • Paying attention and being aware of simple things reveal treasures.
  • The more you practice, the easier it gets.
  • Focusing on joy naturally shifts your energy to ease and contentment from the inside out.
  • Practice makes progress.
  • Smiling is contagious.
  • What we seek is also seeking us.
  • Where we place our intention, energy flows.
  • Everything is easier when you smile.
  • It takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown.
  • Smiling at your own soul is extremely healing.
  • When you tell the universe what you want, it will be provided to you in spades.
  • On the days I did not feel like smiling, I did it anyway, and it always made me feel better.
  • There are so many people walking the planet who are suffering and not smiling.
  • With a little encouragement, we can help lift ourselves and others up.
  • Turning the corners of the mouth up into a smile changes the body chemistry, in a good way.
  • The body is seeking signals from your mind. Smiling can help create positive thoughts, thereby, helping you create positive experiences.
  • Smiling at yourself provides a glimpse into your soul.
  • When you smile, your heart opens a little wider.
  • When you smile, it gives others the invitation to do the same.
  • It is near impossible to smile and be crabby at the same time.
  • Smiling is good for your health.
  • If you want free, guaranteed inner and outer beauty, smile.

This experiment showed me how simple it is to shift my energy once I make the commitment and intention to do so.  Once you commit, the universe lines up to help you create your desire. I know that I can create whatever it is that I want in life. You too are a creator. You can apply this experiment to anything in life, eating better, weight loss, happiness, connecting with others. 

Create your own change:

  1. Decide what you want to create.
  2. Set the intention to focus on that one thing for 21 days.
  3. Act on your intention for 21 days.
  4. Record the process in a journal or video to keep you accountable.
  5. Share your experience with others.
  6. Reflect on what you were able to create or change in your life.

How often are you currently smiling? Would you be willing to try smiling more often?

Please share your experience with joy and what tips you can share to help us cultivate more joy.

What tips can you share to encourage others to become creators in their own lives?

Wishing you a holiday season with loads of joy and abundance.