What parts of your day can you document for yourself to reflect on the details of your current practice?

Day in the Life is a documenting project lead by one of my favorite lifestyle recorders, Ali Edwards.  It’s been a while since I participated in this meaningful opportunity to capture the details of the day.  I had the opportunity to meet Ali a few years ago in Florida when I traveled to experience this workshop in person...equipped with 16 photos I took (about one per waking hour) over the course of one typical day in my life.  I’ve since participated via Instagram and I always appreciate the finished product and nuances of normal life that are in the books to cherish for years to come.

Nurses and our partners in healing are no strangers to documentation!   If it’s not charted, it didn’t happen…right?   Many aspects of our work cannot be documented in photo or print for confidentiality reasons. But the personal details of a given day in our current practice can be captured: activities from the hour of wake, our badge, the time clock, our uniform/shoes, a typical break activity, a blank assignment sheet (aka: ‘brain’), the facility where we work as a caregiver, a snapshot of a base schedule...etc. — many details can be captured without compromising patient confidentiality.

Consider joining Ali (and me!) this Thursday to document your Day in the Life as you know it.   The images and reflections are fun to look back on in years to come. This is one of my favorite (and most manageable!) approaches to memory keeping.

No cost to participate.  Learn more on Ali’s site at:


Be sure to #aedayinthelife if you are on Instagram!


Essentials for a successful study session: a good article, a good ‘how-to’ outline, a great example to reference, pen, paper, glasses, and ear buds. Not pictured: coffee and research buddy!

Do you have a bucket list for your nursing practice?  Stuff you want to do beyond the bedside or standard work?  This year I’ve been presented an opportunity to realize one of my nurse dreams.  A dear colleague and I were accepted into the Research Fellows Program at the hospital where we work together as Quality and Safety Coaches.  We couldn’t be more excited to dive into the literature that will guide our proposal as principal investigators in our study to examine the culture of safety in our work.

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve participated in nursing research or share this bucket list item for your practice.

More to come!




Data to drive change, furnished by Chikdren’s MN at the Twin Cities NEDA Walk

Awareneas and concern were raised at the Twin Cities National Eating Disorder Association Walk at the Mall of America, today.

I’m reminded of how meaningful the strides we take as healthcare providers can feel when we walk alongside a population of care outside the hospital walls.  Walking to support a cause serves an opportunity to see the people we care for in a state of wellness.  And taking a post to serve as an ambassador for the hospital where our standard work is done deepens the connection to mission and fellow colleagues.

Grateful for an event that brought me closer to my team and deeper in my understanding and support of those who are overcoming challenges and healing.

Engagement in cause and compassion: a team endeavor! Hats off to Children’s MN Center for Treatment of Eating Disordrrs. Humbled to support this work.
Dr. Laura Hill offers a TED Talk on Eating Disorders from the Inside Out at: https://youtu.be/UEysOExcwrE

Lamp lit sidewalks and study carrols. I love a cameo moment back in college life!

The atmosphere on a chilly night’s stroll through a college campus is a blend of bustle and calm.  Full parking lots, activities, and classroom buildings bordered by quiet, paved walkways.  I’m grateful for a gig that gives me cause to connect with students who are advancing their nursing degrees.

It’s by invitation of a nurse mentor to join together in lecture once a semester at her Augsburg University course.  I get to talk to nurses on the path to completing their BSN about self care in the context of nursing theories that guide practice.  The best part of the night for me is hearing the students share why they chose nursing and how they are honing self care practices that integrate holistic modalities and concepts.

Care for the caregiver raises all our boats.  Who has role-modeled a caring touch that you aspire to deliver to the patients and families you serve?  Consider reaching out to thank someone who has enhanced your practice by modeling and role modeling within the profession.

Dr. Lani Hallenbeck, this is my offering of gratitude to you!  Thank you for your stories and for your ability to model the value of rituals in healing communities. And more, thank you for sparking curiosity in developing nurses about how to care for our practice and profession.




Retreat feels: cathedral windows featuring Mother Nature’s magic.

Aristotle said, "Life requires movement."

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending: Experience the Magic: An Empowering 2018 Retreat, hosted by  Ellie Peterson, creator of the Meditative Movements™  technique.

Participants learned and practiced Meditative Movements™ that spark feelings of centering, energy, and release.  A portion of the retreat (during lunch) was intentionally silent, an opportunity to be fully preesnt to the nourishment on our plates and within some solitude.  We broke the silence by  popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate that which is new and toast-worthy as we welcome 2018.

I believe deeply in creating intentional, intimate gatherings like this retreat.  I'm so grateful to have moved into intentions for 2018 in the presence of Ellie and other participants at the retreat.  Now I'm charting a course to implement what I learned! For me, the retreat built on a daily practice I discovered last year when I was struggling to find a form of meditation that held my attention.

Self care and it's relationship to our ability to care for others is a common theme at nursing salons I host and attend.  I feel grateful for a practice that is serving process and outcomes that release, center, and energize!  You can listen to how I found Ellie and this approach to self care in the episode, Meditative Movements™ for the Relfective Nurse recorded with Leanne Meier, host of the digital talk Voice America talk radio show, Once a Nurse Always a Nurse.

Happy New Year!


Krista Tippett’s book and podcast are among my favorite sources of points to ponder.

Tonight I’ll attend Marie Manthey’s nursing salon. You can read all about this forum at: https://mariesnursingsalon.wordpress.com/what-is-a-nursing-salon/

Attending nursing salons in Marie’s home was a source of inspiration, comfort, and reflection, during nursing school.  The gatherings have even prompted me to host an annual nursing salon during nurses week.  I believe deeply in the healing power we share in the nursing profession when we are listening to each other and our partners in care.

All participants will answer the question, “What’s on your mind about nursing?”  I’ve come to cherish the headspace of preparing for how I might answer the inquiry during my check-in at the salon.  This weekend I listened to Krista Tippett’s “Becoming Wise” podcast for some food for thought.  When I was doing shift work every-other weekend, Krista Tippett’s, “On Being” was the Sunday morning podcast that carried my commute to the hospital and my inspiration to think about the care I’d be providing on my third 12-hour shift of the weekend.  Now my commute is Monday-Friday...and I’ve found the habit of plugging into other works by Tippett to be as inspirational as the show that first got me thinking beyond the bedside about the importance of sparks and prompts to consider our work as nurses through other lenses.

I still don’t know how I’ll answer, “What’s on your mind about nursing?” tonight...but I have a hunch that a lingering thought from one of the podcasts I soaked up in the pursuit of, “Becoming Wise” will come up.  I’d highly recommend a listen to any of these episodes, available on the “Becoming Wise” show page:

Episode #13: We Chose our Own Tribes | Seth Godin

Episode #15: I Feel, Therefore I Am | Eve Ensler

Episode #16: The Universe Participates in the Mystery | with two Vatican astronomers, Brother Guy Consolmagno and Father George Coyne.

Thanks to a special nurse in my life, Amy Hoelscher, who first introduced me to “Becoming Wise” by way a lovely gifting of Tippett’s book.  We bonded over our love of Tippett’s “On Being” podcast and Amy invited me to attend Tippett’s talk in the spring of 2016.  In an emergent removal of my gallbladder, I had to miss the talk...so you can imagine my surprise when Amy gifted me Tippett’s book from the talk.

The special thing  about my tie to Amy…is that we have known each other since before we were nurses. I was a volunteer coordinator and she was a volunteer at the institution we now both serve as nurses. Over the years, I have been inspired by who she has become in her practice.  I fondly remember many conversations we shared in our anticipation of becoming nursing professionals.

Maybe that’s what’s on my mind about nursing.  In this season of gratitude and reflection: how nurses care for each other and how we can serve one another with sparks and prompts.  Let’s keep being good to each other.

Thank you, Amy.




Studio snapshot! Natalie Lu, (left) host Leanne Meier (middle) and Meditative Movements creator, Ellie Peterson (right).

Yesterday I had the fun of being interviewed by Leanne Meier on her radio talk show, “Once a Nurse, Always a Nurse,” with my friend Ellie Peterson, creator of the Meditative Movements technique.

Listen here:


Once you open the link, touch the “Episode Listing” tab next to my guest profile. The show is 55 minutes. We had a lively and interactive recording!  Have a listen and try Ellie’s awesome technique for yourself.

The Gift of Self Care with Ellie Peterson

The seed for a lovely Saturday morning retreat was planted months ago.  That seed finally took root this weekend on the cusp of growing season in these parts.  Five nurses, a physician, (and my mom!) gathered for an experience in meditation and movement like none other.  The group left wanting for more!  I can hardly wait to further explore the overlap in Ellie Peterson's  Meditative Movements™ and the practice of caring for others; starting with the gift of self-care.

I became acquainted with Ellie through a trusted friend and admired Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach, Bekah Rieke of SageSpoonLiving.  Having attended an event co-hosted by The Reflective Nurse, Bekah had a hunch that this following may groove to the unique practice she discovered through Ellie, founder of Power of Positive Workouts.  Bekah was right!

You can pour from a pitcher when something is welled inside.  Once empty we are reduced to going through the motions.  Caregiver fatigue weighs down care-delivery.  The research is out there on any aspect of this truth: patient safety, healing, and connectivity are at risk when we don't refresh processes to care for ourselves as we care for others.

A generous facilitator, with Ellie's permission, I share her "show notes" from our Saturday morning retreat if you care to peak at a practice that might enhance yours:

1. On Ellie's bookshelf:
  • The Heart Speaks by Dr. Mimi Guarneri
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
  • The Body Keeps Score by Bessel
2.  Sample Meditative Movements™:
3.  Link to free upcoming in park classes.  We practice the Meditative Movements™ in a group fitness setting:
4.  Link to free uplifting daily messages you can subscribe to: 
5. Connect with Ellie via Facebook: 
Do you have a meditative practice that enhances your professional practice?  Comment here or reach out to natalie@thereflectivenurse.com to share how you align your head, heart, and gut.  Guest blog post submissions are welcome!




Meditative Movements with Ellie Peterson

Happy Birthday, Florence Nightingale!

My Nurses Week 2017 resolution is to enhance my practice by way of trying new personal wellness strategies.

Self care for the caregiver!

If this resonates with you, take a look at an event The Reflective Nurse is hosting with Ellie Peterson on June 10 from 9-11am...and join us!

More info and registration: