Hello my lovely friends, I hope you have all had a great week! I am delighted to have Alison Hemsworth on the blog this week; Alison is a prominent figure within the pharmacy community and I especially admire her work in promoting the role of pharmacy technicians. I hope you enjoy Alison’s post about the benefits of using mindfulness when following your passion.
What makes me tick?
The simple answer to that question is the things that I’m passionate about. In essence there are two such things: my family and my profession. This blog is about the latter.
Passionate: ‘having, showing, or caused by strong feelings or beliefs’.
Those of you who know me will recognise that this pretty much defines me as an individual.
So in terms of Mindfulness what’s it like to have such a passion? The truth is that its like a very finely balanced set of weighing scales. To use pharmaceutical terms one milligram of stress or elation can easily disrupt the equilibrium and until I discovered Mindfulness it would take weeks (sometimes months) to work that out and that wasn’t always a pretty picture.
As part of my Mindfulness journey I tried meditation and it wasn’t for me. However that experiment taught me that the ability to reflect on negative and positive events is crucial.
For very personal reasons I once read a book entitled ‘Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman. The first thing that the book suggests you do is undertake a short test and the results show you how you like to give and receive love. My highest ranking result was ‘words of affirmation.’ The second thing that I learnt from the book is that when applying the knowledge gained that the word ‘love’ should be taken in its widest sense. An example of that for me is that if my staff have done something that I really appreciate I take the time to say ‘thank you’. Equally if I receive praise for any reason it makes me feel really good about myself.
Remembering that reflection is critical for me it would be remiss of me not to tell you about how I’ve learnt that being given words of affirmation can sometimes have negative consequences.
‘Doing well’ creates trust which often leads to a greater degree of autonomy. Before you know it you are the ‘go to person’. In my case I took on too much which led to two weeks off with stress because at the time I didn’t have sufficient courage to say ‘no’ or ‘I need help’. I knew I had a very short window of opportunity to find that courage because I also knew that without it I wouldn’t re-turn to the job that I loved.
So if you find yourself with a passion be mindful that whilst it brings great highs it can equally bring significant lows. You need to equip yourself with the right tools (courage, determination, humility etc) to be ready for any event that your passion throws at you. Don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone will share your passion and find ways to accept that those who don’t will criticise – a lot! Reflect on both the shows of support and the critical words and adapt your approach accordingly. Most importantly (particularly if using social media to promote your passion) reflect on your own words and the impact they have on others.
A massive thank you to Alison for taking the time to share her experiences of using mindfulness in her career. I think it is so important that we are able to have conversations about both the positive and the negative side of our lives and although it can be difficult, feeling able to ask for help when needed is crucial.
Thank you as always for reading. Until next week!