“Mummy can you try being nice to us and nasty to the patients for a change?”

That I suppose was the wake-up call, that while to all outside of my home that I was flourishing, in actual fact I was withering and it took my children to point that out.

Our chaplain at the end of a 50km ultra marathon

‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ often called the kernel of all religion (and beyond). While some may focus on the word neighbour, I believe it is important to address yourself. It stands to reason that if you cannot love yourself then you have no groundwork to begin loving your neighbour.

When we fail to take care of ourselves, when we wither instead of flourishing, then we can expect things to start to fall apart.

For me that wake-up call from my children kickstarted a process of self-reflection which enabled me to make several key changes. I realised that taking time for me was not selfish but necessary to enable me to love myself and thus my neighbour. This in turn allows me and others to #Flourish #FlourishAtNewcastleHospitals #FlourishAtHome

During the last year we at Newcastle Hospitals have begun working on a tangible and named approach to our growth and development under the #Flourish banner. It has been really exciting to be a part of this and experience the buzz around the Trust.

What have I learned so far – that the two most important letters in the word #floUrIsh are U and I. Flourish cannot happen unless U and I are all InclUded (which you wordsmiths will also see has the letters U and I in it)

Value yoU

Values are not work-based, our values are our lifestyle. We don’t clock in and thus hand in our emotions and get out our values, they are all encompassing. So how do we translate that into Flourish?

  • U are the ValUe
  • U are the U in #floUrIsh
  • Because U are hUman and the last I heard robots don’t have empathy, values or emotions.

It starts with U and for U to #floUrIsh, you/we/I have to have this next letter: I

Integrity, lose that and you lose U.

For me of all the values, integrity is the primary one. Without it none of the rest matter. Holding onto our integrity can be hard. With values, integrity asks us to step into the unknown, where we made be at risk or on unfamiliar ground.

Truth is, holding our integrity is not without risk. It can cost you everything – in the short-term. But if you can look yourself in the mirror and think I did the best I could, at whatever it was, then not only do you have integrity and values but I believe you are flourishing.

It starts with yoU

Flourish is,  as are our values, all encompassing, collectible they enable us to be who we are with integrity.

Presenting Flourish ideas at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Find what helps you become you and to flourish, take time to do it. Be brave enough to say and I quote from Loreal “I am worth it!” because in doing so you will be living with integrity.

For each of us it will be different things, and that’s okay too. Counting steps, patting a dog, might work for some, but for others green gym or a decent gin with a good friend may be just the tonic.

Remember that not all angels have wings but all members of the NHS are angels. You/we/I do an extraordinary job, we deserve to flourish not just here but at home as well.

Trust Chaplain – Katie Watson

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