The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

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Art from the Heart Makes Hospital’s Smile

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, June 24, 2019

No job is ever ordinary—particularly if one chooses to make it “work”.  Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Work is love made visible.”  No place is this more evident than at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis where a 33-year-old housekeeper decided to make patients smile through her art.

In a recent engagement to speak to oncology nurses at Siteman Cancer Center, located on the campus of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, I found myself mesmerized and smiling at a huge purple elephant painted on a widow and at various other art objects tacked to a wall.

To my surprise, the art is the work of Kailey Custard, a full-time employee in environmental services who on her first day of work, noticed a colorful pair of two giraffes facing each other. The giraffes could be seen by patients and staff at St. Louis Children’s hospital across the street.

Kailey decided to join the fun. “Art is something that makes people happy because they can relate to it,” says Custard. “People are battling cancer on this floor and it’s sad. Instead of always being sad, I wanted to help our patients feel better.”

With the help of the nursing staff, patients and visitors now see pinwheels, paper flowers and new window paintings on the unit. Custard completes her projects on her breaks. According to Mary Drago, BSN, RN Clinical Nurse Manager on Custard’s floor, “Kailey coordinates art projects for staff, patients and visitors. She sings to our patients, makes waffles for the nurses, drew this amazing purple elephant on a window, while keep our floors spotless.”

BJG housekeepers are supplied with “while you were out” cards to let patients know what services were done while they were out of their room. But Kailey goes one step further. On the back of the card, she draws pictures or writes something encouraging. Custard believes this brings her closer to the staff, patients and visitors.

As I learned more about Kailey Custard. I realize she’s not a housekeeper. She’s a home-maker.

 

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Is Your Spirit Vacuum Sealed?

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, June 17, 2019

Just received a reading pillow from a great new family-run business Keen Edge Home. To my amazement, this not-so-little gem had been vacuum sealed in plastic packaging. The instruction is to take it out, fluff it up like a normal pillow, and wait 24-48 hours for it to reach full and expanded size. (See the before and after pictures.)

I believe this package delivered on Sunday is meant to be my meditation.

I bet I am not the only one who has days in which your spirit feels shrunken, depleted, and small. You know what that’s like: a rejection from a client, an inability to see light at the end of a difficult tunnel, an unkind comment from an acquaintance, a sense that everyone seems to be thriving in their work and you’re not, the loss of a special relationship. The list could go on.

The first instruction is to take your spirit out and fluff it up. I believe that means to get out of your physical surroundings. Leave your desk chair. Get out of the kitchen. Go walk some place where you see green trees, flowers, water, animals. Whether a park or the beach, a creek or a garden, let it be a site that opens your sight. Nature reminds us that life comes in cycles: from the enfolding of earth in winter, to the blossoming in spring. Whatever you are feeling, remember “this too shall pass”. Resiliency requires faith.

Breathe deeply and wait. It might take more than 48 hours to be shaped into the wonderful person you are. I believe will happen as surely as my shrunken reading pillow expands into what it was meant to be.

 

Stress
Before

After

 

 

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Guest Post by Heather Hansen "Catch Your Breath"

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, June 10, 2019

Challenge yourself today to catch your breath. When athletes have been running hard and long, they need time to catch their breath before they can begin again. So do we. Breathe. In your nose, out your mouth. Then do it again. See how good that feels?  

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Three Ways to Develop Ownership

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, June 03, 2019

Joe Tye, a member of The Resiliency Group and CEO of his firm Values Coach Inc., hits the nail on the head when he states that ownership can’t be mandated. Instead, it’s the result of creating a culture that is “heartwired and not hardwired”. 

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