In my role as a support worker, I assist three people to live independently in residential care in the community.
These people all have diagnosed mental disorders, living with conditions such as schizophrenia, bi-polar, psychosis, epilepsy and anxiety issues. These conditions are all capable of causing their moods to fluctuate drastically and it is for this reason that they take prescribed medication to minimise mood swings. Even so, mood swings still occur, and sometimes result in outbursts of aggressive behaviour. These outbursts are often caused by frustration at not being able to verbally express their feelings due to their mental disability. The aggressive behaviour is usually directed at the support people.
I work in a team with four others, and at a recent team meeting we were discussing one of the people we support. Over the previous month, the other members of the team had experienced an increase in his aggressive, demanding behaviour. I had not noticed any such change in behaviour when I was working with him, and I mentioned this to them. They were a little bemused by this and asked me what my ‘secret’ was.
I was a little lost for words as I had no secret. I didn’t think I was doing anything special – just supporting him in a loving, respectful manner.
Later I reflected on how I express at work.
- When I interact with the people I support, I ensure I make a true connection with them, acknowledging what they say, respecting their opinion, and engaging with them as an equal.
- I am conscious of the tone of my voice when I’m talking to them.
- I’m careful not to react to what they might say.
- I am accepting of where they are on their path, and I don’t try to change them. They are where they are as a result of choices they have made, and I see my role as one of supporting them as best I can on their chosen path.
- Above all else, I maintain my connection to self, trying not to take on what may be going on around me.
As stated, when I’m at work I do my best to establish a true connection with the people I support. Since I have been doing this I have noticed a significant change in how one of them interacts with me.
When I first started working in the house, this particular person only engaged in limited conversation with me and didn’t share anything personal. In his staff information folder it was mentioned that he didn’t like physical touch, and tended to keep to himself. Over the last few months he has often come up to me and not only initiated conversation and shared on a personal level, but he started to reach out (tentatively at first) in a friendly manner to place his hand on my shoulder while talking to me, something he doesn’t usually do with people.
My everyday living is based on making choices which are loving and honouring of my body. Such choices include: having a gluten, dairy and sugar free diet, choosing not to drink alcohol and choosing to go to bed at a time and in a manner that supports my body’s natural rhythms. I have found that this has provided me with a foundation that supports me at work, enabling me to hold my presence and stillness. This can be felt by those around me and has an effect on their mood and behaviour.
I have noticed that my presence at work usually has a calming effect on the people I support as well as other staff. This is supported by the decreasing number of behavioural incidents which have occurred.
So my ‘secret’ is simply being me – loving, responsible, caring, natural and open – which is not really a ‘secret’ at all.
Thanks to Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon, whose constant reflection of love, truth and integrity are inspirational.
By Anonymous, Support Worker, New Zealand
Inspired by Universal Medicine… Just Being Me
The Gentle Breath Meditation™ – How It has Supported Me to Feel Again
My number 1 job – a message from the author
Could the secret to nailing all of life simply be to be ourselves? It certainly makes life very simple.
Yes, very simple and very true.
Three very good case studies, showing what is possible.
Just by being ourselves, living who we truly are in full, we can make a big difference in the world, ‘So my ‘secret’ is simply being me – loving, responsible, caring, natural and open – which is not really a ‘secret’ at all.’
Those that are super sensitive can be placed in the too hard basket and institutionalised or labeled a cult and it is up to each of us to live a loving way and then the basket will become bouquets with at-least gentle attributes that becomes tender as natural ways of being unfolds.
This is really beautiful: ‘I have noticed that my presence at work usually has a calming effect on the people I support as well as other staff.’
Anonymous, I absolutely love reading this article, it is so beautiful that by taking care of yourself and being your natural, loving self that you offer such huge support to your clients and colleagues.
“So my ‘secret’ is simply being me” A beautiful gift to share with others and yourself, to be all the love that you are.
Living who we are in full, being all we are, the love and more makes such a difference to many.
What I have observed is that when carers react or try and rush their clients or perceive themselves as being more important, or better in some way, than their clients it creates a divide between carer and client and if this continues an unspoken frustration builds into a resentment and there is an underlying ill feeling and the divide just grows however hard we try to ignore it
I love this, can you imagine what our workplaces were like if you had more then one person working in this way, wow then we would really see things move.
When I have had a magic day and things have just flowed its because I have been me, there is no formula to true satisfaction then to being our true selves – no stimulation needed.
No secret, but certainly not something which is lived by your colleagues, who probably consider your way of working a revelation. And it works
I am sure the people you work with are feeling the ease of you accepting them and where they are at, there is no pressure coming from you, no sympathy, just you connecting to another human being, this should be normal don’t you think and not something that is viewed as a secret.
This is amazing Anonymous, your level of connection with yourself naturally supports others around you to also be open to connect, feel calm and feel more themselves. It is obvious your love, understanding, and care is super supportive.
By maintaining and living with a strong connection to self we naturally support others around us, ‘When I interact with the people I support, I ensure I make a true connection with them, acknowledging what they say, respecting their opinion, and engaging with them as an equal.’
Awesome Anonymous – Living proof of the power of acceptance and connection with others, which comes from accepting ourselves first and being in connection with our innermost essence.
Super lovely to read the way people respond if we are simply ourselves and willing to be open to others.
The acceptance of others and not reacting to situations and to what others may say, feels key to living more joyfully and lovingly.
Anonymous, I love how simple and humble this article is; ‘So my ‘secret’ is simply being me – loving, responsible, caring, natural and open – which is not really a ‘secret’ at all.’ What you are sharing is very inspiring for a loving way of being at work and in life.
It is absolutely gorgeous to feel how your own love and care of yourself is actually flowing out in all you do and benefiting others too. Goes to show it all starts with ourselves.
“So my ‘secret’ is simply being me – loving, responsible, caring, natural and open – which is not really a ‘secret’ at all.” I love this secret.
We don’t seem to give mental health patients any consideration for being sensitive and this person responded to being met and could feel the quality of your presence.
Bringing more love into each moment offers everyone the equalness and honour we all deserve.
Your sharing is invaluable, deeply inspiring and you’ve shown us the keys to how to develop loving and successful relationships.
How we live and how we interact with others has an impact on all. Being aware of and learning to change how we are with ourselves naturally changes how we are with others without trying.
Being able to not judge, but accept, observe and understand what is going on for people has a healing impact on another. They just want to connect to you, because with you allowing yourself to be you (and maybe all of you), you give the other permission to also be themselves.
When we make self loving choices to the way we are living, this does have an effect on those around us and those we work with, we are highly sensitive beings especially those with mental illness, love finds its way through and touches the heart.
I have noticed recently a pattern within myself to try to ‘help’ others, but I am realising that this is imposing, it is thinking that I have something that I can offer another and in this it is seeing them as less. I am learning more about why I might do this and what that then feels like for others.
Accepting ourselves and others of where we/they’re at, while offering the space and inspiration to be more of who we all are – a far more effective way of supporting ourselves and others to grow, heal and evolve.
‘So my ‘secret’ is simply being me – loving, responsible, caring, natural and open – which is not really a ‘secret’ at all.’ When I feel this within myself I do not question why it is other’s respond reciprocally, or even if they react I can feel it’s them adjusting or not to the openness that’s on offer. It’s very beautiful either way because I know they get an opportunity to feel this expanse in the same way as I do with people who are more open than me. I’m really learning to just enjoy being with people much more open than me and not go into self-judgement.
It is the quality of the loving connection that we live with for ourselves that lays the foundations for love to be connected to in all our relationships and be felt in all that we do.
It certainly is Carola and beautifully delivered. This highlights to me that if we have any issues in our relationships, the first place to look at if we choose to address them is ourselves. All our woes and issues are related to our relationship with ourselves.
When someone is connected to themselves they are also more connected to everything else around them so being ‘in tune’ with others comes naturally and the respect that you show your clients is reciprocated in the way that they are now behaving towards you.
This is true Helen, I have had the experience of severely depressed clients who never talk suddenly brighten up and become alert. Usually, they just go through the motions without wanting to make an effort to interact. So, I have noticed what I bring makes a difference because they may be withdrawn, but they feel everything.
Yes, so true Helen and this is a beautiful example of what love, understanding and care can do when we live and work with this quality and sharing it with everyone.
Doubtless your steadiness and also your acceptance of where others are at on their chosen path has contributed to what others see as your ‘secret’ when actually it is purely you being you without imposition.
The impact you have on others is being felt far and wide.
That is a powerful secret to have. Perhaps his sensitivity means he feels everything and so when he feels someone is not being themselves he is not himself. The ripple effects we have are huge – when we deeply appreciate all that we bring and to the full depth of this.
It’s only a secret whilst we do not want to see how simple it truly is.
So true Joshua, how could something so simple be a secret? It is easy to miss when we are searching for complication.
The power of connection in any relationship, whether personal or professional is immense, and a missing ingredient in our society.
Yes this is something it has taken me a while to appreciate, being someone who has all my life been a resource, a person people turned to for help and guidance. I see more clearly than ever where I might be automatically coming up with an answer or spending a long time coming up with the correct way of saying something and end up being imposing when this has been far from my intention.
It’s amazing how all that is needed is – to be the real you. When that is the case we do not impose on the other, we simply let them be themselves. When we try to fix and help, and leave ourselves in doing this (when we go into trying, we’re not longer in the settlement of who we are), we impose. That’s what hurts, and that’s what we all need to heal from.
Connection to another is a natural way or behavior. No matter where another is at when you commit to truly connecting more of the same can only come through.
It’s true the quality of the care we offer when we care for ourselves has the direct flow on to the ‘behaviors’ of how people in care respond.
An incredible testimony to what we are capable of when we connect to our love and what this than offers to another. Brilliantly beautiful.