Dec 19, 2014

Benefit of Errors

"Learning something new? Go ahead and screw up a few times.  Your brain's motor-control center, the cerebellum, has a coaching mechanism that automatically and unconsciously logs - and then learns from - errors, speeding you toward better proficiency." Science magazine

If you, like I did, grew up with some beliefs that one had to be perfect, that mistakes were to be avoided -- even if it meant not trying for something wanted, then this research will be good news for you too.  Mistakes are not only part of being human; we are hardwired to benefit from them.  And, we should have known that all along -- after all, haven't we all watched toddlers learn to walk?  They stumble, they fall, they get up, and they try again.  Let that be true for us too.  Let us try, perhaps fail, get up and try again.  Our brains are hardwired to help us out with doing it right.

Dec 18, 2014

Another Use of Honey

"Honey appears to be better for healing canker sores than common drugstore remedies, clearing symptoms in half the time."

Just wet a sterile cotton ball and wipe the inflamed area clean, and then put on a swipe of honey.  It appears that the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory components appear to be the reason for its effectiveness.  Honey is also excellent for healing minor burns, relieving a cough better than popular OTC meds, and when paired with an antibiotic, it even offers hope against MRSA.  The only caution, never give honey to a child under two years of age.  

Dec 17, 2014

Caring for Yourself as Caregiver

"The stress, the strain, the gravity of the task of caregiving can level you, but it can be done with compassion and grace and can be a moving and cathartic experience." Jane Gross

As we are in the midst of the traditional holiday season with its stress, let us be particularly careful to monitor our own health, which can be so significantly impacted by caregiving.  Eating right, getting exercise every day, good sleep habits, prayer or meditation to help us be centered in the truth of who we are, having friendships that are supportive and meaningful, and doing things that are fun for us are all so important.  These ways to maintain our health are always important, but even more so during the holiday season.  

Dec 16, 2014

Lonely Road

"If you don't like your world, change the thoughts and feelings that are creating it." Jack Boland

Advice we might read over and over in various places, and not so easy to do as the primary, and - often - only caregiver for someone with a terminal illness.  Let's be honest -- it can be lonely, but we can also think of the many people in our lives who support us.  I am not free to attend a holiday function at the nursing home, but my daughter and her family are going in my place.  I am so grateful that she was willing to step in and go.  I am so grateful for the support.  As caregivers, we must accept that we cannot do it all -- without it killing us, and probably not even then.  Where does your support come from?  

Dec 15, 2014

Considering What We Believe

"The quantum field must take the form of whatever we believe, just as water takes the shape of its container." Ellen Debenport

Research indicates that most of our behavior is controlled by beliefs of which we are unaware and which do not serve us.  As very young children, we download into our unconscious beliefs from statements and implications from those around us.  Sometimes being with extended family is a gift to better understand what those beliefs might be.  I remember such an occasion once when my father said of one of my siblings when she and her husband used an inheritance to build a new house, "Who does she think she is?!"  I realized then and there that unworthiness for success was something my father had downloaded from his environment, and, of course, then so had I.  Once aware of these beliefs, we can change them.  

Dec 14, 2014

Considering What We Hold Dear

"Only that which we hold dear will be strong enough to hold us as we cross into the holy land." Mark Nepo

Nepo is referring to an old myth -- that pilgrims were able to cross a river and enter the holy land only if they contributed what they held dear for the common good of the group.  It seems relevant to the way we lead our lives.  Only when we contribute what we hold dear are we truly impacting life.  How we spend our time, the effort we make towards other people, the talents we develop and share.  We cannot hold onto these things, clutching them to our chests, hoarding them.  Only when given the light and shared are they truly ours and do we, then, truly impact the world around us.

Dec 13, 2014

Change your Habits: Change your Life

What can we change in our daily lives that will change the quality of our lives?  Probably many things, but, for sure, the quality of our thoughts.  Also, it would seem, is how we spend our time, which I have been considering again.  I started work again to help offset the cost of my loved one's care, but I feel fragmented, overwhelmed.  So, I am reconsidering.  What is important to me?  Peace of mind and quality time with those I love.  As I consider how I spend the 24 hours I am given each day, I know I will come to a place of balance.  Is your life in balance?  Are you spending time doing what you love?  Is the way you spend your time in alignment with what you value?  Such important questions to consider.