Do you ever meet someone, and get the feeling that you could talk to them forever, about anything? That's the feeling you get when you talk to Vonita Vaughan. Healthcare professional, entrepreneur, blogger. This woman is an inspiration. Read more about how Vonita embracing change in our rapid-fire Q+A below.
Also be sure to check out her En Root feature, Floating with the Ebbs and Flows of Change, in our November issue!
Tell us about your personal approach to change. How do you view new changes in your life/work?
I cannot embrace change until I fully come to terms with it. My approach to change is to be honest about my feelings and trust my intuition. When I view change from a positive perspective, I am more likely to welcome it with warm smiles and excitement. When I think of change negatively, the reaction can vary from paralyzing fear to hurling expletives during a mental temper tantrum, LOL! For me, a healthy blend of both works. I acknowledge whatever I'm feeling in those moments and sit with those emotions. Sometimes, procrastination comes before the pivot can take place. Learning to understand that my procrastination is more like meditative stillness than weakness prepares me for kinetic shifts. Once I have felt all the feelings, I can pivot intuitively and move forward with the understanding that the universe always has my back.
At OutGrowth, we are committed to growth. What do you think we as individuals and communities can do to begin to grow our skills in embracing change?
As individuals, I think we can begin to grow skills in embracing change by examining ourselves continuously. Often, I find that many people don't take the time to understand the origin of their own beliefs and innate desires in life. Doing a regular personal assessment is one way to till the mental soil of your mind and unearth aspects of yourself thirsty for improvement. Once those improvements are identified, the search for the tools and teachers that possess those seeds of knowledge can begin. Having a variety of tools at your disposal can assist with the different types of change in life.
Tell us about a pinnacle point or moment where you encountered a major life shift. How did you handle it?
In 2020, we all have experienced major life shifts being globally affected by COVID-19. I had to face what my next steps were going to be in my nursing career. Handling it the way I usually maneuver significant shifts in my life, I took a long pause. I was quiet for a long time and indulged in Netflix marathons to sort out my feelings through cinema therapy. I needed time to wrap my mind around what part I wanted to play, if any, in providing health care. I decided that whatever move I made needed to honor my intuition, even if those choices did not make sense to most people. Pivoting to protect myself and my family led to making some difficult choices. Three jobs later, I found listening to my intuition placed me exactly where I wanted to be at the beginning of this year. I'm working from home, I'm still helping people, and I remain healthy for myself and my family.
How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook?
This experience changed my outlook on life by honoring my desire for the type of life that's right for me. I've never trusted my intuition more than I do right now. Learning to trust that I can positively change and cultivate my ideal life is a paramount shift for me.
What are your top three pieces of advice for students and professionals for navigating the (very) uncharted and uncertain road ahead? How can they start to hone the practice of effectively embracing change?
1. Trust your gut.
2. Honor and appreciate your unique journey.
3. It's OK for success to be more like a slow-cooked stew than a fast stir fry.
If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Spend more time focusing on the positive things about yourself, rather than the negative.
What is your favorite quote?
"With great power comes great responsibility." movie quote - Spiderman (2002)
Based on your professional experience, what are the top three career competencies that you believe can be gained/developed as a result of remaining open to change?
Critical thinking, conflict resolution, and effective communication skills.
What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2020?
I am presently taking my last class for my nurse coaching certification with Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy. The rest of my 2020 will be used to re-vamp my travel blog, Soul in Love with Travel, and build the foundation of my own Caregiver Wellness Coach business in 2021. A caregiver is anyone, formal or informal, that helps take care of patients, family, friends, and/or loved ones. While these types of people are fantastic at taking care of others, they often neglect their personal needs. My services will specialize in cultivating self-love, self-care, and mental wellness for caregivers of all kinds.
Vonita Vaughan is the founder and editor of “Soul in Love with Travel,” a travel and wellness blog focused on encouraging caregivers to take travel breaks. As a registered nurse for 10 years, she has experience in the areas of Maternal-Child Health, Psychiatry, Hospice, and Utilization Management. Originally from Baltimore, MD, Vonita passionately advocates for caregivers by emphasizing the importance of self-love, self-care, and mental wellness.