A Secret Birthday Takeover

This is what nurses do.

We care. A whole lot. Until we can’t care anymore. We work. A whole lot. Until we can’t work anymore.
We suffer. We strive. We give. We forget to live.

I am not Annette Tersigni. My name is Kady and I have temporarily taken over Annette’s blog (she knows I’m writing to you but doesn’t know what I’m about to say).

I was a nurse.

I held up the four elongated walls of my ward with my latex-gloved hands. Just like you do right now. Nobody truly sees the work you do behind the scenes. The lives you quietly save and the effect you truly have. How could the general public ever understand what goes into the life of a nurse? The spark that you have, pushing you to get things right, to do good and be better. I remember it serving others while pushing me into overwork. I remember doing the job of 10 nurses.

I remember running jam-packed hospital wards with the help of a student nurse and losing patients to the nursing shortage crisis. I remember getting angry about it, my heart breaking, being unheard and reaching the edge of my burnout in tears, feeling like a failure.

I quit on the day I recognized my compassion had flatlined (it took a long time for my brain to catch up with my body).

I was empty inside. It creeps up on you. You don’t see it coming.

You just do what you have to do until you lose a portion of yourself you didn’t notice leaving.

Like a neglected partner, your soul begs for attention and slowly moves out, the longer you ignore it.
Work life balance is not an easy feat for nurses. ⚖️

The day I quit, I pivoted quickly to building websites for a living but my connection to nurses and nursing never left. It changes you. From an innocent kid who knew absolutely nothing about the world, to suddenly having to grow up fast and be faced with the most incredibly traumatizing stories of human life from every category.

I remember being 20 years old, confronted with the sight of a cancer-ridden body. I was new, young, with an untrained poker face and the bedside manner of a rock. 🪨

My jaw unintentionally dropped. She’d lost two limbs and was coming in to remove a third. Lost in devastation, I completely forgot she was watching me.

Her voice sang through my shocked stupor and she said “It’s okay. I’m more than my body.”

Shame washed over me. I didn’t mean to be so transparent.

It was then that I saw her face and she was beautiful. Lightness radiating from her smile, she was the most powerful patient I’d experienced. With one limb left, she did all she could do for herself, refusing to ring that bell. With a bright and brilliant personality, she was comforting me as I prepared her for surgery!

How do you process something like that, coming from the safety of your mum’s home, still youthful and fresh, bright-eyed with a zest for life? How do you process that?

The answer for most nurses is: you don’t. You suck it all in.

The shift must go on!

You take in human suffering every 12 hour run, never giving yourself a chance to pause and then you just break or at least I did.

While starting up my web dev biz, I found myself crossing paths with nursing again…I met Annette Tersigni, RN and founder of Yoganurse on twitter!

She hired me to help her build a retreat booking site, for retreats she’d organized for nurses to practice yoga, and enjoy green smoothies together on the beach. We somehow pulled it off 🤷🏻‍♀️ and it was a success.

I continued to work with her…for 10 more years.

I am one of the lucky few who got an inside look at the creation process behind the yoganurse movement. I’ve watched Annette painstakingly pour her heart and soul into it, weaving love into every little thing she does, making sure that it serves to heal the broken hearts of nurses. ❤️‍🩹 Like the fairy godmother of nurses, she watches over us with compassion and love. 🧚🏻‍♀️

So many of our conversations start with something like:

“Is it impactful Kady? Do you think it will inspire and move them?” 🥺
Does it bring peace? Does it serve? Is it good?” 🕊
Is it affordable? I want it to be accessible to nurses, Kady” 💛
Kady, I am trusting in the divine, I want to serve first.” 💜
Please oh please, I believe in my heart, nurses will benefit.” 🙏

Out of curiosity, I did a keyword search from all the hundreds of emails I have from Annette – almost every email contains these words:serve, love, honor, heart, integrity, bless, lovely nurses, sacred, yoga, divine power, healing, trust, consciousness, enlightenment, community

I recently designed a series of images celebrating the nurses who are making an impact as Certified Yoganurses and Annette beamed “Oh Kady, these nurses are so beautiful and so powerful! I could just look at these pictures all day and it eases my soul.

When I stay up late working, Annette tells me to go to bed and get sacred rest.

Last night, I listened to her and went to bed. I put on a guided meditation and a powerful voice streamed through my headphones, talking about good people. People who are willing to give more than take. People who are looking to love instead of hate. People who want to understand instead of judge. People who see a gap in the world that needs filling, and dedicate their lives to bridging that gap for others. The entire time he spoke, Annette continuously came to mind. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. 4:20AM, here I am, typing this post, thinking, Annette is that person.

Annette has literally dedicated her life to nurses. Her training program is the culmination of 50 years of her education in nursing, yoga and Ayurveda. She pioneered the Yoganurse movement which sprung a wellspring of wisdom and knowledge, with conscious caring contributions from connected nursing souls who she loves as sons and daughters – her army of modern day Nightingales!

Annette turns 71 on the 27th May. I wanted to do something special for her – so I wrote this to share with you, but she hasn’t read it yet. 🫣

Please leave a comment if you’d like to wish her a happy birthday – it will pop up in her email and it will be a wonderful surprise. 🍰🎈

She’s too humble to publish writing that praises her like this but I couldn’t let this go. I am in a unique position to tell you the human story of a nurse who cares about you because I’ve seen her put in sweat, blood and tears 🥹 to create something that speaks to the needs of nurses.

I know what it means to have someone that cares about your experience of life. 🙏
I wanted to tell you that while you might be feeling the pressure of the nursing world, Annette is here looking out for you, shifting consciousness in healthcare with a movement made to heal the nurse first, then the world. ❤️‍🩹

“We can’t change the nursing culture unless we change the nursing consciousness.” – Annette Tersigni RN

I didn’t know it when I first came across the Yoganurse movement but I know it now. Annette is a living legend. Her story reads like a novel and the Yoganurse movement is UNSTOPPABLE.

The Yoganurse training programs are the result of Annette’s absolute love and adoration for nurses and yoga. Annette has planted seeds of wisdom in her Certified Yoganurses that have and will continue to blossom across the world. Seeds that will calmly, and gently with sacred breathing, (Annette would say, “the great spirit, the holy spirit”) LIFT the nursing profession away from crisis mode, as more and more nurses awaken to their inner divinity. 🧘🏽‍♀️

Annette and her spiritually gifted co-host RN Lisbeth Overton (also beautifully moved by Annette’s work) recently ran an AMAZING, heartfelt, mindfulness webinar for nurses and the response was magnificent. 🎉🤗

Immediately after the webinar, Annette had to rush off to teach gentle, safe, therapeutic, medical yoga to a wonderful nurse she’s taking care of – 101 year old Ethel. 🫶🏽🥹

It is thanks to Annette that this phrase finally hit home for me: leave the world a better place than you found it. 🌍✨

If you are a nurse, whether you do yoga or not, whether you’re an expert or novice, a nurse who never pauses, a nurse who somewhat understands but hasn’t fully committed to the power of combining these two art forms, if you work in healthcare, or intend to, I believe fully that Annette has created the perfect community of amaaaazing, spirited, brilliant, loving and supportive nurses for you – where you are already loved, where you are understood, where nurses cheer you on toward a consciousness shift that brings you the work-life balance you truly yearn for.

Why Connect with Annette? For no other reason than this:

Nurses love her work because she is the nurse that nurses nurses.
She is the yoganurse that teaches yoga nurses with incredible wisdom, unique to her 50-year long journey as a nurse yoga teacher expert, further empowered by the experiences of thousands of nurses around the world who she mentored and also learned from.
You will feel uplifted as more nurses join forces to create a consciousness shift together powered by the yoganurse model of care. Most of all you will feel a divine connection that will revive compassion and begin your healing process from within.

On behalf of the unstoppable Yoganurse tribe,
happy birthday lovely Annette! 🧁

An ex nurse from South Africa 🇿🇦
– Kady

Thank you all for your responses and birthday wishes for Annette – I’ve compiled your wishes all in a digital birthday card below! 💝

If you want your wish to appear on this card, please comment below.

Annette Tersigni Birthday Greeting Card by the Yoganurse Tribe

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1 Comment

  1. Loved reading this blog post and so very well said and feel like your experience Kady was so very similar to mine in floor nursing. Looking forward to learning more about Yoga Nursing and excited to see what it may have in store for me in the future! Love everything about this movement and agree that it’s so very important and needed and the degree of impact on everyone in our community stands the potential to just keep giving and growing!

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