“Being in service in this way, using our UZ training to alleviate suffering whenever possible is a true honor.”

 

Q:  How do you find balance in your daily life?

A:  I tend to notice the times that I am “out of balance” more than anything. Perhaps it’s just human nature to take wellbeing for granted until we suddenly notice some kind of discomfort.

In those moments, the first thing I remember is to be gentle with myself. Recognizing that although I may have pushed too hard, my inner wisdom is suggesting I pause right now and move my attention to releasing that which does not feel good. The remedy may be a brief meditation or body scan to see what’s really going on? Am I dehydrated or holding stress, feeling anxious? Usually I will try a few moments of restorative poses or stretching. Inhaling the scent of peppermint and lemon oil energizes me, lavender oil (always in my purse!) brings a sense of calm and is often a quick fix.

Maintaining balance during the day starts with how my rest was the night before. Like so many others I struggle periodically with getting quality sleep. A practice of “winding down” before bed, keeping the lights on low, removing the phone so I’m not tempted by social media , salt baths, chamomile tea , a few drops of lavender essential oil on the pillow, all these help. I often fall asleep to a guided meditation.

 

Q:  What motivates you? Your mission?

A:  Sharing knowledge with others that empowers self-care on all levels – body, mind and spirit. I am privileged to facilitate a course called Reigniting the Spirit of Caring here at UCLA which dives deeply into this topic with staff over three days. I love seeing the light go on in their eyes as they realize that nurturing themselves first actually means they provide patients and loved ones with even deeper healing care.

 

Q:  Which modality are you more drawn to in the UZIT model?

A:  I have been a Reiki practitioner for over 20 years now so that modality is the most natural for me, with the use of essential oils a very close second , followed by body awareness meditatoins and restorative poses (which I do most evenings) hard-working bodies need restorative poses!

 

Q:  What is your meditation practice?

A:  I have been attending evening classes in spirituality and meditation techniques for about three years so I practice with my group a few times a week. A morning inspirational talk is always fun while preparing for the day ahead (I choose different motivational ones from the internet) or I’ll listen in on my commute. The team at the Center for Nursing Excellence strive for a daily 10 minute group practice led by our colleague Isabel Schenkel using the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC) guided meditations available online. This has been a wonderful team building activity for us.

 

Q:  How has your UZIT training changed your life?

A:  My Nursing career has changed tremendously by the deep connections made with staff, patients and families through this. It stirred a great interest in teaching, finally sharing within the hospital setting modalities such as Reiki and Aromatherapy that I had been using in private practice for some time. I frequently weave my UZIT knowledge and the beautiful experiences I have had with patients because of it into our Relationship Based Care classes here at UCLA.

Recently while stopped at a crosswalk in Westwood a nurse commented, “Hi there! You’re the Reiki lady!” This nice acknowledgment came from the fact that during Nurse’s week of 2017 we collaborated with Jill Scherrey and the “Support through Appreciation and Recognition” (STAR) Committee to provide UZIT sessions to our hardworking staff. Evaluations showed they LOVED it, and what a thrill to know they were experiencing firsthand what our patients might feel during an Urban Zen Session! I encourage anyone reading this, if you think that UZIT training could be for you –then it is! Pursue it, open your minds and hearts even more with the incredible skills you will learn from inspirational teachers. You will grow personally and professionally, anyone who comes into contact with you will benefit, it is truly life changing.

 

Q:  How do you UZIT?

A:  Being in service in this way, using our UZ training to alleviate suffering whenever possible is a true honor. I was asked to consult on a patient at our Santa Monica campus who was in considerable discomfort, highly anxious and unable to rest. The staff felt an UZIT session would help. While guiding her through a relaxing body awareness meditation, using Reiki and lavender oil, my patient slowly drifted off to sleep. Her husband, who was in the recliner close by and hadn’t left her bedside in days, was given a similar treatment. At the end of the session I exited very, very quietly so as not to wake either of them. That feeling…PRICELESS.