Mar 31, 2012

Ordinary Acts

"I believe it is in the way we handle the ordinary that gives us the foundation to step into the extraordinary when it calls." Margaret Stortz

As caregivers, we have many opportunities to do the ordinary - if one calls ordinary acts those of laundry, paying bills, yardwork, making meals, shopping for groceries, dispensing medication, driving to appointments that we have made, modifying clothing, consoling fears, monitoring health.  I am sure I have forgotten some, but even so, many ordinary acts.  So, Margaret Stortz believes it is in the way we handle these ordinary acts that allows the extraordinary.  She goes on to say in her writing that she believes that the way we handle the ordinary, helps us to experience the miraculous.  Remember when we were writing down three miracles or incidences for which we were grateful that we experienced each day?  I am still doing that.  It does help me frame my perception so that I am looking for reasons to be grateful throughout the day.  What are you grateful for today?  I am grateful for the evidence of spring arriving. I am grateful for the love and support of friends.  I am grateful that I can always choose my attitude.

Mar 30, 2012

Our Physical Health

"Consider the care of your body. How have you attended to your health and to the divine gift of dynamic energy that comes from emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual wholeness?" excerpt from a devotional sent to me by a dear friend

It has come to my awareness in recent weeks that the stress of caregiving is affecting my health.  It is important that we as caregivers monitor our own physical health.  According to research from the Roslyn Carter Institute, 1/3 of caregivers will die from the stress of caregiving.  It is imperative that we do not let this insidious disease take both the person with dementia and us.  I am currently reflecting on the support I have in my life and what I can change.  I will be implementing some changes that better support my own health.  So much emphasis is placed on the safety and well being of the care receiver, but we must be our own advocates for our own safety and well being.  What works for someone else may not work for me or for you.  Each of us needs to determine what best meets our own health needs and protects "the divine gift of dynamic energy".  What protects you?  Do you need to change some of the support you currently have in place?

Mar 29, 2012


"I forgive and release anything and anyone, including myself, who may have created harm." Margaret Stortz

In this monumental task of caregiving we will, at times, behave in ways less than the ideal we set for ourselves.  Because we are humans and because of the tremendous stress of caregiving, we may at moments be irritable, short tempered, frustrated, impatient.  We may also have been the recipient of someone's criticism, judgment or inconsideration.  Some people who do body work believe that memories are stored in our muscle tissue.  Whether or not that is true, I know that memories are stored in our brains and sometimes in our humanness we revisit them, chew on them, keep them alive -- especially the negative memories of mistreatment.  Today let us forgive ourselves and others.  We have enough to carry with the burden of caregiving; let us not burden ourselves with unforgiveness towards ourselves or others.  Let us truly believe that each of us, to include myself, is doing the best we can with the information we have in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. 

"Every day, we can choose to move into a forgiving mindset so that nothing will collect in our memories." Margaret Stortz

Mar 28, 2012

Feel your feelings

"Though we fear it, feeling our feelings is the only clear and direct way to free our hearts of pain." Mark Nepo

We've heard it many times:  feel our feelings, and sometimes we do.  But, I think many times we divert ourselves by involvement in what surrounds our pain.  I think I do that with caregiving.  There are so many tasks and responsibilities; it seems sometimes that is all I have the energy for.  Recently, I was near tears when talking with a dear friend -- too bad I managed to prevent the tears from flowing.  We who are caregivers are going to have many feelings.  Feelings of frustration, compassion, irritation, and loss.  Loss is the one I have recently been visiting.  The loss of dreams Dwane and I had; the reality that now a new phase of life is upon us.  Some situations I have had in place no longer serve us.  It is time to let those dreams go, and to grieve the loss of them.  The loss of dreams and hopes can be as hard, or harder, than the loss of a physical, tangible thing.  Is there the loss of a dream among the many feelings you have as a caregiver?

Mar 27, 2012


"You can either be a host to God, or a hostage to your ego." Dr. Wayne Dyer

I just watched the PBS special with Dr. Wayne Dyer, "Wishes Fulfilled".  Good material.  He says there are 5 steps to having one's wishes fulfilled:
1.  Imagine how I want my life to be
2. Live from the end (live as if you already had your wish fulfilled)
3. Assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled
4. Give subjective attention to my desire
5. Review what I have put into my imagination before I go to sleep at night with "I am   . . . . statements."  i.e.
I am free.
I am happy.
I am healthy.

What do you want for your life?  Consider implementing the practice of saying these "I am . . " statements before falling alseep every night for one month.

Mar 26, 2012

Other's Opinions

"Become independent of the good opinion of others." Abraham Maslow

As caregivers, you have probably experienced - as have I - the good opinion of others.  If we keep the person for whom we provide care at home and do most of the caregiving ourselves, we will receive the criticism of some and the praise of some others.  If we bring services into our homes to provide care, we will receive both criticism and prase from others.  If we place the care receiver into a care facility, we will receive criticism from some and praise from others.  What might this tell us?!  No matter what our decision, there will be those who approve and those who disapprove.  Maslow gave very good advice when he told us to become 'independent of the good opinion of others'.  To do otherwise, is to imprison ourselves.

Mar 25, 2012

Paths to gratitude

"I try to open the hours with softness and silence -- the two threads that unravel into gratitude --." Mark Nepo

Softness and silence.  I love both of those.  People thought we were crazy when years ago we downsized and moved into the high elevation in a rather isolated location.  But; the silence and the softness of the beauty around me was very supportive of my soul.  I know people who have a tv or radio on all the time.  I have never been like that.  Neither way is a bad way to live; it is just important that we know what supports us and to honor that.  I begin every day with a half hour of prayer.  When that is interrupted or made impossible, I see that the softness and silence of that practice serves me well (and conversely, I am not served when this time is displaced).  Usually I very naturally arise earlier than Dwane.  That is my time for softness and silence.  I am better in my life and provide caregiving with more love when I have my time for softness and silence first thing in the morning.  That is what serves me and frames my day for gratitude.  What serves you?

Mar 24, 2012

Finding rest

"I am not a hero if I deny rest; I am only tired." Susan McHenry

How do you find rest within the task of caregiving?  I know a woman whose husband with Lewy Bodies Dementia wakes her up multiple times at night to help him get out of bed.  Fortunately, I do not have those sleep interruptions usually, but just the many, many tasks of caregiving are exhausting.  Even naps are impossible because of needing to be "on duty".   In what ways can you find rest?  I am struggling with that just now.  I have discovered that for me having people come in to the home often is not respite for me.  Too often they come with their dramas, their cancellations, or their extra work for me.  That does not help me.  I have recently found a cleaning service which works well and takes some of the load off for me.  She comes in, cleans and leaves -- very businesslike. 

My home has always been a sanctuary and a place of peace and renewal for me.  It is challenging to find people to come in who do not disrupt this peace; and sometimes it is not worth the upheaval it causes my equanimity.  What have you found that truly supports you?

Mar 23, 2012

Allowing the flow of life

"Again and again, we, more than any other life form, have this majestic and burdensome power to harbor or release the impact of our experience. Surprise and challenge in, heartache and joy out." Mark Nepo

We all know people, and have sometimes ourselves, held on to the negative remnants of a life experience.  It is a fine balance to sift the heartache and joys and to let them both flow in and out.  Sorrowful moments can no more be held than joyful ones.  If we are honest, we who are caregivers have both.  Whenever I take Dwane to a grocery store, there is frustration for me of trying to get all the items he wants, and keep track of him.  But, if I am honest, there are also moments of pleasantness too.  He still has his cute sense of humor.  Recently when I slowed down upon seeing a law enforcement vehicle, I commented that I think I may have been speeding.  Dwane's response was, "Really?!" 

The temptation, I think, as humans is to hold on to the frustrations or other forms of heartache -- chew on them, harbor them.  It is not good for us to hold on to the pain of life, and it is not possible to hold on to the joys.  Neither can be held.  To be fully human we need to let them come in and go out.

"How can you follow the course of your life if you do not let it flow?" Lao-Tzu

Mar 22, 2012

Looking for trouble?

"To let knowledge produce troubles, and then use knowledge to prepare against them, is like stirring water in hopes of making it clear." Lao-Tzu

We all know people who expect the worst, or - when things go badly, say it was inevitable.  Perhaps we are one of those people ourselves.  As the wise Lao-Tzu said, looking for trouble does not serve us.  As caregivers, there is no way we can be prepared for what may happen.  We can have systems of support in place, and they will fall through.  We can have our houses set up for safety, and accidents will happen.  I like to set things up to prevent difficulties, and then stop thinking about it.  For instance, night lights to illuminate pathways in the house, keeping walking areas free of obstacles -- that sort of thing.  That is all we can do.  There are some times and some things I just give over to God; and if you do not believe in God, then perhaps you can give it over to life unfolding as it will.  We, as caregivers, have enough on our plates without taking on worrying or looking for troubles as dessert.  It is a diet from which it is best we refrain.

Mar 21, 2012


"I believe that everyone must win or eventually everyone will lose. To take what is another's is to upset the harmony of infinite action." Margaret Stortz

Having my sister here enables me memory trips back to my childhood.  We have shared and sparked memories of our joint childhoods.  In every family there are aspects of competition and aspects of collaboration fostered.  In my family, my sister and I recognize that there was competition in being 'right'.  We both have largely left that practice behind.  To what extent was competition fostered in your childhood?  Most certainly schools have tended to promote competition, and sometimes, I think, that can help bring out the best in oneself.  But, competition can also be negative, as Dr. Stortz says above.  As adults do we really want to compete?  Isn't that saying there is a limit to what is available?  Is there ever a time that competition is good?  I certainly enjoy the Olympics, and it is not so much to root for my country as it is to see an athlete excel.  Perhaps it is important to remember in that case, that the athlete has a team of people who have gathered for the purpose of promoting the one.  Perhaps we are unlikely to achieve our best without the support of one another.  Who supports you?  And whom do you support?

Mar 20, 2012

Honoring our weakness

"Our strength will continue if we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak and vulnerable." Melody Beattie

Do you ever feel that you just do not have the strength to go on?  My sister came to give me respite, I checked myself into a lovely old hotel and slept for 12 hours!  I had no idea I was so exhausted.  It is so important that we who are caregivers (and I think those of us living life in general) have time set aside to assess how we are doing.  I knew after filing our income taxes, in addition to my other responsibilities, that I was over stretched, but I did not know I was that exhausted.  Let us each take time, if not daily, at least weekly - to assess our own emotional well being.  And then, let us take steps to keep it on equilibrium.  A day or several days of respite, a walk in nature, a massage, time with a trusted and supportive friend.  What renews your spirit?

Mar 19, 2012

Negativity bias

"The same neurohormonal chemistry that evolved to get us away from charging lions is locked and loaded today when we feel the least bit threatened." Rick Hanson, PhD

Negativity bias is the hardwiring we as humans have to fixate on bad news.  Negative encounters leave a stronger impression because they cause a more intense reaction.  Negative political ads (and haven't we in America been bombarded by those?!) work because it is easier to form a bad opinion about an unknown person than to form a good opinion.  But there is hope.  We can change the hardwiring of our brains, although not without conscious effort.  We can train our brains to become attuned to positive information and positive observations about other people.  Dr. Hanson recommends noticing something positive and then savoring it for 10 seconds.  The noticing can be as simple as "the stars are beautiful" or "this soup tastes great".  Doing this several times a day will retrain our brains to be more positive and to notice more positive details. 

Mar 18, 2012

Our unique giftedness

"Your presence is a unique gift to the world." posted in a shop window in Beirut, Lebanon.

What if we consider that we make a significant difference in the world?  It is true, you know.  A friend helped me realize that when I told her I was not going to an event, and she reflected to me that I should consider what a difference it would make in the event if my energy was there.  That is true for any one of us.  We each are unique expressions of energy which either bless our environments or not.  It is our choice how we impact our surroundings.  Today I was talking with a friend who said she had decided not to say anything that was not helpful and kind.  A wonderful decision, and one I made some time ago.  What we say can have tremendous impact, so I think we should choose with care what we express.  My friend's guideline is a good one.  Do you consider evaluating what you might say and to speak only if what you have to say is kind and might be of help to the situation?  Dr. M. Scott Peterson suggested that we evaluate what we are going to say and to speak it only if it is the best interest of the other person to hear it.  We might have far less talking if we all considered the impact of what we say and spoke only when it benefitted the situation.

Mar 17, 2012

Learning opportunity

"Khan Academy is on a mission to provide a free world-class education to anyone anywhere. With over 2,600 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics ..".

My daughter told me about this site today.  This website and educational opportunity was started by a young man who has steadfastly refused to accept buyouts or other formats which would involve cost to the student.  For those of us who are at home because of caregiving, here is an opportunity to learn anything from brushing up on your algebra skills to history to learning more about finance.  All for free.  In easy to follow video instructions.  What a great and altruistic service.  I intend to take advantage of this learning opportunity.  I hope you do too.

I teach the way that I wish I was taught. The lectures are coming from me, an actual human being who is fascinated by the world around him."—Sal   (founder and executive director of Khan Academy)

Mar 16, 2012

Pets for calming

" . . .studies have revealed that Alzheimer's patients have fewer anxious outbursts if an animal is present, and research shows that caregivers can feel less burdened as well, especially if the animal is a cat."  Dr. Oz

While Dr. Oz is a great resource for health information, I do not agree with him on this.  I acknowledge that we are not dealing with Alzheimer's, but with Lewy Bodies Dementia; still this has not been our experience.  We have done two house sitting positions this winter:  the first with cats and the second with a dog.  Both were a lot of extra work for me, and Dwane seemed oblivious to the animals as a source of pleasure.  I thought he might enjoy them and interact, but that has definitely not been the case.  Dr. Oz also suggests an aquarium, but that, too, would be more work for me.  I can see that perhaps in assisted living facilities some form of animal life could be a good addition, but in our experience the animals have not added to the quality of Dwane's life.  And, I certainly have not felt 'less burdened'.

Mar 15, 2012

Pushing against life

"The things that are really for thee gravitate to thee." Ralph Waldo Emerson

We hear a lot of that kind of thinking today; Emerson was before his time in that belief.  How often do we, or do we see others, pushing against what their life is or envying someone else's life -- thinking that person has what we want?  Both are a waste of energy.  I do not have Oprah's life, or Angeline Jolie's.  I have mine.  The only thing possible for me is to live my life the very best I can.  I have always felt strongly about developing our potential, and professionally have spent a life time helping others to do that.  Perhaps in this 'time away from society' that caregiving is there is an opportunity to fully develop ourselves.  That, of course, may not mean out in the world professionally, but I agree with others who think that the greatest development occurs internally.  Meditation, reading soul-feeding books, time with nature.  Which of these helps you to come to know and honor yourself better?  Make time for that today, even 5 minutes is helpful.

Mar 14, 2012

Enjoy the moment

"In countless ways, we work so hard to get there, only to bypass feeling the deep rewards of inhabiting the space we arrive in." Mark Nepo

Remember a time when you received an honor or there was a celebration on your behalf.  Were you able to really enjoy feeling the rewards of the effort that led up to that moment?  I think many of us numb ourselves out to fully feeling the gratifications of our efforts.  Remember your wedding, or First Communion, or Bar Mitzvah.  Did you take time to savor the celebration?  And, we don't have to be talking about the big events here.  It is perhaps even more important to savor the moment right here, right now.  Do you fully taste that sip of tea?  Do you fully savor the person in front of you?  How about the one in the mirror?
Today take a deep breath several times during the day and savor whatever is going right for you, right now. 

Mar 13, 2012

Be Yourself

"Insist on yourself, never imitate.  Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumlative force of a whole life's cultivation . . ." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I remember hearing Oprah once telling her audience to be themselves, and not to be Oprah; she already had that one taken.  It is good practice to admire and be happy for people who have good fortune, but we cannot be them-- we can only be ourselves.  I think it takes time to listen to oneself to know who we are.  It seems to me that our early familes and experiences in school may cause us to leave parts of ourselves behind; and the path to maturity is remembering those parts and taking them back in.  This takes time to be with oneself, time for reflection, time for meditation, walks in nature.  And where does one find the time?  My son helped me to change my computer so that it is always up and available.  We have our cell phones charged.  We have turned into a plugged-in socieity.  It takes conscious effort and planning to have time for oneself.

Today take 15 minutes to do only and exactly what you want to do.  It is in this honoring of self that we reclaim who we are and can express that fully in the world.

Mar 12, 2012


"True happiness is sustainable delight in the beautiful moments of ordinary life." Marth Beck

Sometimes amid the frustrations and mishaps, it is hard to practice "sustainable delight", and I am unsure any more if we have an ordinary life or not.  Someone who sees Dwane only periodically, said after a recent visit that he "obviously had greatly diminished mental abilitities".  Does he?  I am trained to observe others' behavior, but with the 24/7 of this caregiving, it is hard for me to be sure of a change in status or if he now has "greatly diminished mental ability".  My sister is coming to give me respite, and she is someone I can ask who will tell me the truth.  Who do you have in your life who will give you a very candid opinion of the status of well being?  Your well being and that of the person for whom you provide care.

Mar 11, 2012

Letting Go

"I can see now that the real challenge of surrender, for all of us, is not just letting go --- but letting go of something we yearn for." Mark Nepo

In Mark Nepo's book Awakening he tells of an ancient Chinese story of catching monkeys by hollowing out coconut shells and putting rice in.  The monkeys were able to put their hands in the holes in the shells, but could not get them out if they had fisted around a bunch of rice.  Nepo likens this story to our own need to let go of things which entrap us in life.  I think this is true in the process of caregiving for a spouse; I think I am called to let go of any expectation that I have a partnership, i.e. marriage.  This probably seems very obvious to readers, but it is actually an elusive one.  In order to release ourselves from our own entrapments, I think we must let go of what we yearn for.  And, perhaps that yearning is to look good to others, to fulfill some inner need by our caretaking, to salvage some aspect of our relationship with the care receiver, to avoid change.  Whatever is keeping us trapped (and I am not necessarily talking about physical entrapment), we need to realease in order to regain our own freedom.  In Mark Nepo's case, he says that what he needed to let go of was wanting his mother's approval.  What is it that you need to let go of to be free? 

Mar 10, 2012

Four Practices

"And what are the important practices?  The four big ones to me are prayer, meditation, forgiveness and gratitude." Marilyn Stortz

I agree.  The way to maintain balance and serenity in my life is to be sure that every day has these four practices and exercise.  I start my day, before Dwane is up, in these four practices.  I do better in life in general, and in caregiving, if I am faithful to these practices.  I have also added within these practices some body tapping that I learned from a wonderful practioner.  Jack Canfield has a book about to come out that explains body tapping for anyone interested.  These practices, along with good nutrition and some added fun, make a solid foundation to my daily life.  Even when I have dreams which are upsetting and which feature someone who has hurt me in life, I immediately - upon awakening and remembering the dream - practice forgiveness toward the peson who hurt me and toward myself for allowing that hurt.  It makes an amazing difference in the quality of my life when I am faithful to these practices. 

Mar 9, 2012

Finding the right doctor

"A positive relationship with your doctor can make you healthier." University of Iowa psychologist Alan Christensen, Ph.D.

It is important that we find doctors who will respect our needs as caregivers as well as the needs of the care receivers.  Of course, we will want our own doctors who support our own health too, but even the ones that are primarily for the care receiver need to support our needs too.  The psychiatrist at Mayo who made the definitive diagnosis of Lewy Bodies Dementia with Dwane was able to do so because he listened to me describe the symptoms.  People who have dementia are not accurate reporters of their symptoms or their behaviors.  The caregiver is the person who can describe those, and we - as caregivers - need to find doctors who will give credence to what we say is happening in daily life.  We need to feel respected and heard by the doctor.  In that way, the needs of the care receiver and our needs are both met.  I think it is important that we not settle for less than that.

Mar 8, 2012

International Women's Day

"Perfection is boring and doesn't exist -- to strive for it makes you uninteresting." Eva Mendes

Since studies show that most caregivers are women, let us today celebrate all women.  Where would we be without those special women in our lives who mentored, loved, or challenged us?  Women come in all sizes and shapes, with differing personalities and temperaments; but together we can create a type of sisterhood.  One in which we disavow competition, and instead provide and receive unconditional support.  I believe the world would be a different place if women were thus empowered by each other.  Let it begin with us.

Mar 7, 2012

Day to day grind

"The big moments of life tend not to be the ones that wear us down. Even great tragedies sometimes bring about the best in us. What wears us down is the day to day and the hour to hour." Fr. Richard Veras

The above quote seems true to me.  Some years ago I completed a national trauma responder training.  The trainers said that one can never know for certain how he/she will respond in a crisis, but historically I become very calm in a crisis.  It is the little things in the daily routine that can wear me down.  This is not to diminish the trauma of big events; that trauma is real, but the seemingly endless day to day frustrations can really take a toll.  Even the tiny things, like lights left on /doors left unlocked (or locked).  In those times it helps me to remember to not sweat the small stuff.  I saw the title of a book recently which was, "You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought."  I have not read the book, but the title resonates with me.  Negative thoughts impact my mood, my body, and my soul in a negative way.  It is important to be disciplined about not entertaining them.

Mar 6, 2012

Inner voice

"At the very least, we can learn to strap down the obstreperous mind and discourage its constant inclination to tell stories.  Then, perhaps, the inner voice can catch the ear." Marilyn Stortz

We have all heard and read about the busy mind and how it takes us out of what may be important, but I like how Marilyn Stortz described it -- as the mind constantly telling stories.  Isn't that true?  When I notice my thoughts, they are often of what I did or did not do or say in a past or future situation.  Stories, all of them.  Even the lists of to-do's that my mind does, are really stories of organization.  Inspiration cannot come to us if our mind is busy with some story of its own.  Inspiration comes to us in the still, small voice that requires quiet and attentiveness to notice.  Just for today, let us practice keeping our mind quiet and at peace, and let us see what inspirations come to us. 

Mar 5, 2012

Living life

"As matches are just sticks until lit, as ice is not quenching until thawed, questions and problems remain obstacles until lived." Mark Nepo

Does it seem to you, as it seems to me, that the path ahead is strewn with obstacles and problems?  Taxes to be done, insurance forms to complete, appointments to be kept, medicine to dispense.  What if, as Mark Nepo says, these things are problems only when dreaded in advance?  It seems to me that may be true.  I know I will get the taxes done, insurance filed, appointments kept and medicine dispensed.  I will do it one step at a time.  No reason to dread.  And, I will mix in some fun.  The symphony tonight, a lovely walk with my daughter tomorrow, time to read my new book.  I will live life, and the problems will dissolve in front of me.  Perhaps the conditions in which I find myself are the exact ones needed to propel me to my greatest potential as a human being.

"Every person's condition is a solution in hieroglyphic to those inquiries they would put.  We act it as life, before we apprehend it as truth." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mar 4, 2012

Laughter for stress

"Frustrated?  Ask yourself what aspects of your situation are so absurd you can't help but laugh." Lindsey Konkel

According to a study reported in Healthy Living, people who complained to friends felt less satisfied than those who put their problems in a funny or positive light.  I had a recent experience that yielded similar results.  I met with a woman who also has a spouse with Lewy Bodies Dementia, and she was full of doom and gloom about the closed doors for help that she has encountered.  She has every right to her feelings, but it was not good for me to hear them.  She said her husband had been evaluated by a nursing home twice and did not qualify, and that she had been on a facility's waiting list for over a year.  It is not helpful for me to hear such dire facts, even if they might be true.  I had my own bump with longterm care insurance this week; the company was in the process of closing the claim.  I decided that I had the choice of being annoyed at the extra work of correcting this mistake, or I could be grateful that the mistake was caught while easily corrected.  I have to admit, it would be pretty absurd for longterm care insurance to cancel on us just when things are getting significantly worse. 

Mar 3, 2012


"If we think of Infinite Mind as an all-enveloping wind, we can imagine that ideas light upon us somewhere along the line.  . . .  and this is part of the wonder of our humanity --plucking ideas from the stream and giving them heartbeats and footprints in our everyday lives." Marilyn Stortz

Have you ever noticed that new ideas seem to spring up in various places in the world, simultaneously, without the people ever meeting and talking?  I have read that was true of aspects of nuclear research, and recently in listening to an interview of Mark Zuckerberg.  When discussing the twins who have sued him for taking their idea, the interviewer points out that social networks were already set up by other people prior to either Zuckerberg or the twins.  Has it ever happened to you?  That an idea for something will seem to come out of nowhere; an idea that you never thought of before.  When I am at my very best, relaxed/calm/centered, it happens to me.  Perhaps the above quote is true; that ideas are in a stream of consciousness for anyone of us to catch.  If that is true, then it seems to me that it is important for us to be available to 'catch' the ideas.  And, I think that means being relaxed, with a tranquil mind, open to the idea of catching an idea.  It means to make time for creativity to come to us.  Walking in nature is one way for me, noticing the content of my dreams, noticing what catches my attention in a book or elsewhere.  What helps you to be receptive to creative ideas?

Mar 2, 2012


"Make your mind vigorous, loving, healthy and positive and your body will respond accordingly." Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

I believe the above statement is true.  That is not to cast dispersion on someone with an illness; to include ourselves and the person with dementia for whom we provide care; but I believe (and research supports) that the state of our mind is reflective in the state of our bodies.  When we have an illness, might we want to consider it is wrong thinking, rather than inevitable?   I know my health is better when I remain positive in my thoughts.  With the stress of caregiving and the statistics that say one third of caregivers succumb to a serious illness themselves, it is certainly worth our effort to train our minds to 'vigorous, loving, healthy and positive' thoughts.  It can benefit us in so many ways.  So, how do we train our minds in this way?  Meditation, maintaining unconditional loving thoughts, and remaining cheerful are reliable ways.

"The one basic underlying prinicple of the physical universe is that thoughts become things. " Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Mar 1, 2012

Creating our path

"No matter where we dig or climb, we come upon the fire we left untended." Mark Nepo

Have your ever wondered if what you perceived was really real?  Carl Jung had a dream in which he was cutting a path to a cottage in the woods.  When he got to the cottage and went in, he found himself praying and realized that his life of cutting a path was the prayer's dream.  Others have wondered if life is all really a dream.  We spend so much time competing, achieving, doing tasks, denying, sacrificing -- what if it is all for naught?  What if this is a dream, and our only real task is to awaken.  Perhaps our time would be better spent cutting a path to our inner self. 

"Once that path is cleared and once the being at our center is discovered, we can return to the world in relationship with our soul."  Mark Nepo