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What to do when you want to give up on your goals

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE The first quarter of the year has already passed. Crazy, right? How are you doing on what you set out to accomplish this year? If your answer is “not that great”. Giving up on your goals is not the answer.  So many times we get pumped up about our goals at the New Year or at the start of a new semester, making plans to go after what we most desire. And then when the bright, shiny new year fades and we are mired in the real work – the rise and grind – day in and day out – we lose sight of our goals, of what we truly desire. It’s easy to allow ourselves to become derailed from the path of our dreams. It’s easy to forget why we were motivated to take action, to build rest into our schedule, to become healthy …. (insert your desire). And then what happens when we fall off the path? We berate ourselves. We make excuses. Or we say to ourselves things like, “Well, that didn’t work” or “I can’t do that.” or “That’s too hard.” And we give up. If this is you… I want you to know, my friend, that you are not alone. […]

7 Life Lessons Learned While Hiking the Cascade Mountains

7 Life Lessons Learned While Hiking the Cascade Mountains  by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Our family vacationed in Seattle recently.  There are 7 of us, including significant others. Planning an entire vacation for a group of this size felt overwhelming.   So I messaged everyone and requested that each person text to the group 1-2 activities they wanted to be sure they accomplished while in Seattle.  I accumulated their wishes and then assigned each person(s) to organize an activity or event.  Mine, of course, was a vineyard and wine tasting tour.  My son-in-law, Brandon, planned a hike for us in the Cascade Mountains.  Now for my unpopular revelation… I don’t get the appeal of hiking.  I love walking and exploring but I don’t understand why one drives to a mountain to make a grueling trek up the side of it.   What’s the point? Is it exercise? Is it communing with nature? With self? Is it a race? To get to the top? And then what? What is the objective when hiking?  I NEED to know!  As you can imagine, I wasn’t my typical adventurous self before the trip up the mountain. Mind you; my brand-spanking-new-whale-watching-souvenir-travel-mug caught on fire in the microwave just as we were leaving the house.  At the […]

Rocking Your MOJO by Dropping Pretenses and Simply Being You

By Kelly Beischel Phd, RN, CNE My heart hurts for the victims and families of the mass shooting in Orlando. In the wake of Saturday night’s shooting, I almost deleted the video I had already uploaded to post today. My video felt absurd, trivial next to the violence in Orlando. I decided not to delete it though. I expose my vulnerability to you in this video and am transparent about a few of my insecurities. I talk about loving ourselves and our bodies, aging and all. To stop hiding for fear of what others might think. And this is why I didn’t delete it. We must stop hiding our true selves behind a shield of pretense. And through love and acceptance, we need to encourage others to do the same. I cannot stop thinking about the lives that were snuffed out because they were no longer hiding who they were. But were not accepted. Accepting people for who they are and loving them for it – not despite it – is one of the greatest gifts you can give anyone being true to him/herself. And one of the best benefits of giving the gift of love and acceptance? The gift is reciprocal.   I know this to be true. How? Because […]

A Lesson in Being Vulnerable

By Kelly Beischel I have never experienced vulnerability like I experienced it today. It was palpable. I want to share with you an active teaching strategy I use to teach about caring in nursing. The students and I circled up our chairs in the middle of the room. The intent was to have all the students take turns expressing a time in their life when they experienced a caring act from another. I began the experience. I shared about the outpour of support we received from our extended family and friends following our 15-year-old son’s attempted suicide. While holding on to the end of the yarn, I tossed the skein to a student who then shared an example of what caring looks like to them. This student then tossed the skein of yarn to another student, while holding on to her piece of yarn. This sequence continued until all students shared their stories. The activity created “a web of caring” between us all. While the purpose of this teaching strategy was to engage the students’ affective mode, to foster empathy through their classmate’s narratives, I learned so much more. I learned about teaching, about my student’s lived experiences, and about caring in nursing. That’s the funny thing about active learning […]

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