Nov 30, 2012


"A good antidote to the poisonous effects of fear based negativity is to remember the sage's advise from old... "FEAR, rightly understood, translates: ." Rev. Richard Kiefer

Some mental health people have suggested that there are really just two emotions:  fear and love.  Whether or not that is true, fear is a frequent companion of the human life.  It seems that fear is at times generated by governments:  whether that be fear of nuclear destruction or the fears about the predicted fiscal cliff that is catching the news in the U.S.   It is helpful to remember the fear that was circulating in the U.S. in the early 1900's that there were never going to be enough horses to meet the needs for transportation and work for the population.  Very soon, horses were not needed at all, as the combustion engine took the place of horse power.  The calamity some people predicted would happen to all of our computers as 1999 turned into 2000 never occurred.  It is not that bad things never happen; it is just that it is a waste of our time to worry about things -- most of which never do happen.  For today, let us look at whatever we fear through the lens of   False Expectations Appearing Real.  Perhaps what we fear is not even real. 

Nov 29, 2012

90-Second Rule

"What makes success is not your genius idea, but the execution and follow-through around it.  Each of us has a 'strike zone' of ninety seconds in which we can easily act on a good idea or opportunity before our brain starts to scream excuses at us." Robin Sharma, author of The Leader Who Had No Title

I have read similar things.  Abraham literature suggests that if we hold an idea for 17 seconds, those seventeen seconds give the idea more power.  So, if we combine the two suggestions:  we have 90 seconds on which to act on an idea before our brains start to dissuade us, AND once we have an idea, if we hold the positive outcome of that idea in mind for seventeen seconds, the idea is helped energetically.  I have seen a third thing happen:  a person has a good idea and talks and talks and talks about it, but never takes action.  What seems to be needed here, and the research around change in our behavior supports this, is the action step.  All of us have good ideas.  The important thing is to take action to bring the idea into fruition.  Even holding the positive outcome of the idea for seventeen seconds is taking action.  Today, let us take action on our good ideas. 

Nov 28, 2012

Monitoring our Voice

"For the next week, don't say anything unkind, untrue, or unnecessary."  Rev. Sally Robbins

The above quote is an assignment from a teacher to a class that Rev. Robbins was in.   She relates that none of the students made it even one day; much less one week without violating the assignment.  The assignment is good practice.  How much would be said if we each monitored our talking to only that which is true, kind and necessary?!  At a recent breakfast gathering with friends, I noticed that I said things that were unnecessary; and we have all been in situations where we have noticed others saying things that are unnecessary.  The discussion at the breakfast was how one town did not treat a neighboring town kindly.  Having history in the area, I related a time when the tables were reversed; and the town being mistreated had been unkind to the other.  Was that necessary for me to contribute?  Probably not.  But it did help the others at the table (who live in the town being treated badly) that at one time the situation was reversed.  Perhaps by their knowing that, they can help stop this cycle of unkindness.  We have no control over what others do, but we each can decide to say only things which are kind, true and necessary.  Are you up to the challenge?  Let us choose for the next week to not say anything that is untrue, unkind and/or unnecessary.  Let us speak ONLY what is kind, true and necessary. 

Nov 27, 2012

Social Support

"Staying in touch is good for your health.  Social detachment is as bad for you as smoking and worse than obesity." Holly Zimmerman

One of the difficult things for 24/7 caregivers is having social support themselves.  Now that Dwane is in assisted living, that is easier for me -- but not as built-in as it is for him.  The secret seems to be to have some close relationships; ones we can really count on.  In a discussion with a friend recently, we agreed that positive and supportive friends are essential.  Some caregivers find support in support groups for caregivers.  Others find support with family who help with caregiving.  Others find support in friendships.   Life coaching, as I have mentioned before in this blog, works for me -- because I am able to process something when someone practices holy listening with me.  Holy listening is:  listening that is based on nonjudgment and has as its intention supporting my best interest.  Whatever form of support works for you, it is essential that you have it.

Nov 26, 2012

Kindness of Strangers

"I have just three things to teach:  simplicity, patience, compassion.  These are the greatest treasures." Lao Tzu

It is amazing how kind we can be to one another.  Recently, I took Dwane to see the movie, Lincoln, which both he and I very much enjoyed.  Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's well-researched book, "Team of Rivals", the movie depicts the period of time when Lincoln is trying to get the 13th Amendment (the one abolishing slavery) passed.  At the end of the movie, Dwane was unable to get out of his chair.  Usually I am able to get him up out of a chair, but together we were struggling to get him to his feet; when two women walking by stopped and one offered to help.  With one woman on each side of Dwane, we quickly had him up.  I was so grateful for their unsolicited kindness.  It was also an evening instructive of how kindness goes around, as - when I went in to use the bathroom upon leaving the theater, a little girl was trying to reach the soap dispenser to wash her hands.  I was able to pass along to the little girl the kindness the woman extended to us. 

Nov 25, 2012

Honoring Humanity

"Well, there are 7 billion other people in the world.  It doesn't all have to be about me! It took me about 66 years to come to this conclusion." Bette Midler

It takes some people even longer to come to that conclusion:  "it doesn't all have to be about me".  It can be confusing at times to honor ourselves without being so self centered that we think it is all about us.  This can even happen when we take things too personally.  When people offer criticism about you and/or about how you provide caregiving, it is helpful to remember that it probably would not make any difference who was in your shoes -- the criticism is an issue of the person delivering it.  Some people are likely to criticize rather than cooperate, judge rather than have empathy, speak harshly rather than conciliatory.  There just are people like that.  When that negativity is pointed in our direction, it actually does not have much to do with us.  It has everything to do with them.  The 12 Step Program advises us to take the kernel of truth in any criticism and let the rest go.  Great advise. 

Nov 24, 2012

Let's Dance

"New research shows that dancing doesn't just build bones and improve balance; it can even boost brainpower." Journal of Sports Science and Medicine

Dancing twice a week can increase memory and cognitive functioning among older adults.  Dancing is also easy on the joints, it provides social interaction, and it is good for our brains.  I do not currently have a venue for dancing, but in the past I have loved it -- and I will be looking for ways to have it again in my life.  It is so important that we like the form of exercise we do.  So we will stick with it, and -- in my opinion -- liking it doubles its benefits.  So, whether you dance, do aerobics, ski, bike, swim, zumba -- the important part is they you get regular daily exercise.  You deserve it. 

Nov 23, 2012

Successful Aging

"It's especially important for older people to be physically active because it contributes to successful aging." American Heart Association

Physically active older adults have lower inflammation than inactive adults.  Inflammation is a factor in many diseases, to include heart disease.  It's never too late to get started (you might want to have a visit with your doctor to okay your exercising if you have been inactive).  According to the American Heart Association those of us who are physically active have "substantially lower healthcare costs" compared to people who are less fit and active.  So, how about no more excuses?  Let's get moving.  A brisk walk (studies suggest 10,000 steps a day is optimal), gardening, biking, and home maintenance all count.  The important thing is to be moving our bodies.  I also think it is important that we like our form of exercise.  I have found a water aerobics group that is friendly, fun, inclusive and positive.  It meets my needs for exercise and fun, with some added social benefits. 

Nov 22, 2012

Time Spent Caregiving

"According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, the average family caregiver spends 20 hours per week caring for a loved one, while 13% spend 40 hours or more." National Alliance for Caregiving

29% of the U. S. population provides care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend. (National Alliance for Caregiving)  Among the tasks caregivers perform:  paying bills, taking the person to doctors appointments and social activities, making sure environments are safe, doing laundry, and much more.  According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance and Homewatch CareGivers, 7.5 million Americans receive long-term care at home, 1.5 million in nursing homes, and 1.1 million in assisted living facilities.  Whatever the setting, caregiving is still a large part of the caregiver's life.  We need to find a balance and make sure our own needs get met. 

Nov 21, 2012

Caregiver Discrimination

"Roughly 42% of U.S. workers have provided unpaid elder care in the past five years." AARP report

The number of U. S. caregivers is expected to rise to 49% within five years.  AARP is urging federal policy makers to look at the current discrimination in some workplaces which penalize caregivers who need flexibility to provide care for a spouse, partner or parent.  (according to Susan Reinhard, director of the AARP Public Policy Institute)  Even if caregivers are self employed, as I am, we are penalized by loss of income for the time spent caregiving.  Even if the person with dementia is in an assisted living facility or nursing home, there are still the tasks of coordinating doctor visits, checking up on prescriptions, arranging for services -- such as PT.  Yesterday in taking Dwane to his doctor for a routine check up, I discovered he has not been getting an important medication since August!!  Unbelievable.  It turns out it was a mix up among the doctor, the pharmacy and the assisted living facility; but it adds another task to my list --- that of routinely checking his medications to make sure they are being given correctly.

Nov 20, 2012

Self Regard

"Your mere presence has always been enough for the birds to sing, the waves to roll, and the sun to shine... so why do you ever feel you should be more?" Tut

Psychologists suggest that we need to love ourselves before we are able to love others, that hatred for others is but a projection of our own self hatred.  It does seem that early life pummels some of our tendency for self regard out of us.  The public school system, whether it is staff or peers, can harm how we feel about ourselves.  So can families of origin.  It seems that having a healthy self regard is a balance of knowing our weaknesses and our strengths and accepting them and ourselves.  Once we truly accept ourselves, we simultaneously are more accepting of others.  Today, let us set the intention for positive self regard.  Let us look to our own counsel, see how we feel about things.  Let us let our joy shine. 

Nov 19, 2012

Care for the Caregiver

"Caregiving often leaves the caregiver feeling depleted, both physically and mentally.  Taking the pressure off yourself is the key." Sally Abrahams, Nov. 2012

Abrahams discusses how important it is to care for the caregiver in her article in the above-referenced bulletin.  She talks about the grief of caregiving, the guilt that you maybe are not doing enough, the exhaustion, and the need for all family members to help with the load.  Good advice, but often the caregiver does the job almost entirely alone.  Self care is very important, and -- if you do not have family who will help, it is imperative that you hire help to give yourself breaks.  Talking about your feelings is also important, whether with a friend or a trained therapist.  This task is too difficult to try to go it alone without support, physically and emotionally.  What supports do you have that serve you?

Nov 18, 2012

Self Compassion

"Research suggests that self-compassion provides an island of calm, a refuge from the stormy seas of endless positive and negative self-judgment, so that we can finally stop asking, "Am I as good as they are? Am I good enough?" By tapping into our inner wellsprings of kindness, acknowledging the shared nature of our imperfect human condition, we can start to feel more secure, accepted, and alive." Kristen Neff speaker on Self Compassion

Those of us who are caregivers may very well benefit from increased levels of self compassion.  During a recent stressful period of caregiving and life circumstances, I began having ocular migraines -- which affected the vision in my right eye.  History would indicate that I have good coping skills and resiliency, but even with those skills, stress can take a toll.  Neff suggests that self compassion is as simple as:   breaking self-criticizing habits, relaxing, allowing life to be as it is, and opening your heart to yourself.   She says that it's easier than you might think, and it could change your life.  Breaking self-criticism would seem to be the big ticket item of the suggestions.  One way I help myself not to criticize myself is by adopting the habit of not criticizing anyone.  It is easier than one might think:  just make the decision to not judge ourselves or anyone else.  Let us live with compassion toward ourselves and each other.  We all benefit from such a worldview. 

Nov 17, 2012

Alternative to Dementia Diagnosis

"About 30% of my NPH patients were told they had Alzheimer's or Parkinson's", Mark Luciano, M.D. Cleveland Clinic

An interesting article about normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), which can mimic the characteristics of both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and which is treatable.  The Hydrocephalus Association estimates that at least 350,000 Americans -- and 5% of people with dementia -- have NPH.  Surgery -- placing a shunt in the brain -- can cure this disorder.  Another good reason to have your person with dementia have a very thorough physical workup to rule out not only NPH, but also depression, metabolic disorders, etc.  People with NPH can have problems with memory, walking and bladder control.  It is often misdiagnosed.  A good medical evaluation to determine the underlying cause of dementia includes physical exam, lab work, perhaps MRI's or CAT scans, neurological/psychological testing -- at a minimum.  Let's be sure we are not dealing with something that is treatable. 

Nov 16, 2012

Medicare Open Enrollment Ends December 7

"Hikes in fees (of prescription drug insurance plans) range from 11-23% unless you switch to lower-cost plans.  The market has changed again and seniors need to look around. Open enrollment allows you to compare plans and switch to another starting Jan. 1, 2013." Dan Mendelson, Avalere's CEO

Open enrollment for Medicare Part D prescription plans ends on December 7, 2012.  You can change your prescription drug plan now by going to and look under Medicare Plan Finder.  Even though I have saved both Dwane and my prescription lists in the Medicare secure site, it took me over an hour to compare both of our plans and choose new ones.  But the time was well spent.  I saved us over $3000 a year by switching both of us to different plans.  I strongly encourage you to take the time to navigate the site yourself or to call Medicare at 800-633-4227.  It can save you money, both monthly and annually.  The plan finder at automatically does the math for you - after you enter the prescriptions you take (or the person for whom you are completing the form takes)  - to tell you which plan saves you the most money annually. 

Other good news:  Part D doughnut hole shrinks in 2013.  You get 52.5% off brand-name drugs and 21% off generics in the gap, which is a slight increase over 2012.  More insurance plans offer copays at "preferred" pharmacies (the website will tell you if yours is a 'preferred' pharmacy).  Medicare Advantage Plans are still robust, despite the doom and gloom predicted that "Obamacare" would cause these programs to drop out.  Drugs used to treat anxiety and seizures are now covered under the Part D plans.  All very good news for us who are caregivers and need to watch money expenditure and save where we can. 

Nov 15, 2012


Einstein agrees with current spiritual thought that we create our own realities by matching the frequency of the reality we want.  Abraham says we do this by managing our emotions.  Others say we do this by managing our thoughts.  Perhaps both are true.  What do we have to lose by managing our thoughts and our emotions to create the reality we desire?  Seems worth the effort.  Either way we are happier. 

Nov 14, 2012


"Sleep deprivation can significantly weaken immune function, and that can make you more susceptible to infection.  Going to bed at a reasonable hour ensures you will enter cold and flu season with your immune system in top form." Paul Lyons, M.D.

Other ideas for staying healthy in the winter are:  keep exercising and have some of that outdoors, wash your hands and wipe down areas that people frequently touch (I use disinfecting wipes.), get a flu shot, and keep your hands to yourself --- which means consider giving a fist bump instead of shaking hands. (taken from Parade magazine November 4, 2012)  As caregivers for someone with dementia, we need to be vigilant about taking care of our own health, and that includes avoiding the flu.  Above are some ideas from doctors about how they stay healthy all winter.  Let us stay healthy together.  Have you gotten your flu shot?

Nov 13, 2012

More Stress Reduction Tips

"When stress makes you unfocused, caffeine's stimulating qualities may promote a can-do attitude.  To super-size that good feeling, drink your coffee with a little bit of organic whole milk instead of fat free.  The extra protein and fat make you feel more satiated and therefore calmer." Drew Ramsey, MD, Columbia University

Finishing the stress-reducing tips from the December 2012 Prevention Magazine:

  • Eat grass-fed beef because it has good levels of iron.  As many as 15% of women ages 20 to 40 are iron deficient.
  • Natural soothers:  milky oat seed tincture:  2-3 ml instantly relaxes.  Tea with kava.  Lemon, lime and orange scents -- dissolve 15 drops of one of those essential oils in 2 tablespoons of water, put into a spray bottle and mist your house for a pick-me-up, and mist your pillow with lavender oil before going to bed.
  • Think sensually:  Doing things that feel good, like taking a warm shower or listening to a favorite piece of music help support the release of endorphins which make us feel better.
Try any of these stress-reducing tips to feel better and to cope better.

Nov 12, 2012

More Stress Reducers

"Stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which can damage our brains and weaken our cardiovascular and immune systems over time." Rick Hanson, PhD, neuropsychologist

This blog is continued from yesterday with suggestions from Prevention Magazine December 2012

6.  Give yourself a hug.  When you think negatively about yourself, the brain signals the body to raise blood pressure and increase adrenaline and cortisol levels   Wrapping your arms around yourself and giving yourself a big hug can release oxytocin and other biochemicals that promote well-being.
7.  Focus on the exhale:  The most important part of breathing is the exhale.  Try making them twice as long as the inhale.
8.  Just move it -- even a little.  Even 2 minutes of exercise is enough to change your mood, as long as you raise your heart rate -- according to John Ratey, MD, Harvard Medical School
9.  Relax your jaw and tongue.  This sends a message to your brain stem and limbic system to turn off the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol according to Dr. Marsha Lucas
10.  Nibble on chocolate.  A Johns Hopkins University study reveals that the taste of sweetness on your tongue causes a surge of feel-good endorphins.  In addition, dark chocolate contains compounds called flavonoids that positively impact mood, mental acuity and attitude.

Nov 11, 2012

Stress Solutions

"New findings in neuroscience, nutrition, and psychology reveal the fastest ways to reduce tension and actually change your brain and body for the better." Jessica Baumgardner for Prevention Magazine, December 2012.

As caregivers for someone with dementia, it behooves us to know how to deal with the stress this and other life situations cause.  The latest Prevention Magazine has some great ideas, which are:
1.  Put on a happy face.  Smiling soothes you, even if you are just "faking" it.  So, the adage in the 12 Step Programs to "Fake it til you make it." is scientifically sound.
2.  Think:  Hot Hands.  Fear and anxiety cause the nervous system to direct blood flow to the largest muscles, leaving the hands cold.  When you warm your hands, you tell your nervous system that all is well.
3.  Donate to a good cause.  Giving money to a cause you believe in makes you feel better than buying designer jeans.
4.  Load up on whole grains:  "If you are feeling grumpy, the best idea is to eat an all-carb whole grain snack and you should feel happier within a half hour." nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, RD
5.  Dig in the dirt.  30 minutes of gardening is more relaxing than 30 minutes of quiet reading.  There seems to be a link between a common bacterium (M. vaccae) found in garden soil and increased serotonin levels in our bodies -- which leads to better concentration and less anxiety.  

Nov 10, 2012


"Fear is the cheapest room in the house.  I would like to see you living in better conditions." Hafiz

Fear.  It seems to be a frequent companion of humans.  As caregivers we may fear that we do not have the resiliency to continue caregiving, that we may not have the financial resources to pay for all the needed services, that our own health may be negatively affected.  Statistics show us that all of these things do happen.  There is no absolute way to prevent these things from happening to us --- although careful and judicious planning helps prevent them.  What we need to do is not invite fear to sit down for dinner with us.  As humans, of course, we will be visited by fear; but let us not make fear a house guest.  To prevent that, practice mantras such as, "All is well."  Meditation, exercise, adequate sleep and nutrition -- all help to dispel fear.  Today let us have no fear.

Nov 9, 2012

Building Resilience to Stress

"Here's our two-step guide to regaining resilience and lessening stress." Dr. Mehmet Oz & Dr. Michael Roizen

Practice 10 minutes of meditation a day.  One source:
Get 7-8 hours of sleep
Take probiotics to balance good/bad bacteria in intestines
Start walking 10,000 steps a day -- this regulates body chemistry and emotions
Eliminate from diet any grain that is not 100% whole grain

2nd - to bounce back from stress:
Upgrade the food you eat and the exercise you get, add in support from family and friends, and consciously state things positively (positive statements change the way you feel).

Nov 8, 2012

Help Researchers Find Cure for Alzheimer's

"More than 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, making it the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S.  By joining the Alzheimer's Prevention Registry, you can sign up to participate in clinical trials or research."

According to Mayo literature, Lewy Bodies Dementia is the second most occurring form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease.  Research that helps Alzheimer's has the potential of helping Lewy Bodies as well.  Some of the studies going on involve nothing more than filling out a questionnaire.  Those of us who are caregivers for someone with dementia know how very cruel the disease is.  Perhaps you are motivated to help eliminate it by participating in research. 

Nov 7, 2012

Medicare Class Action Lawsuit

"In a proposed settlement of a nationwide class-action lawsuit, the administration has agreed to scrap a decades-old practice that required many beneficiaries to show a likelihood of medical or functional improvement before Medicare would pay for skilled nursing and therapy services.
Under the agreement, which amounts to a significant change in Medicare coverage rules, Medicare will pay for such services if they are needed to “maintain the patient’s current condition or prevent or slow further deterioration,” regardless of whether the patient’s condition is expected to improve." NY Times, Oct. 22, 2012
Wonderful news for those of who are caregivers for someone with dementia.  Dwane had benefited so much from PT (physical therapy) services, which were helping him with his posture and, therefore, with his back pain; but these services had to be terminated in September because he had met the upper limit allowed by Medicare.  Now I can get him scheduled in again.  I am grateful to the Center for Medicare Advocacy which brought the lawsuit forward on behalf of us all.  If the person for whom you are caregiver would benefit from either skilled nursing or therapy services, check into having these paid for by Medicare under these new agreements parameters. 

Nov 6, 2012

Please Be Sure to Vote

"Plans are useless, but planning is invaluable." Winston Churchill

If you live in the United States, please be sure to vote today in this very close presidential election.  Wherever you live, it is so important that we exercise our right to vote.  The best way we can impact our country is in how we vote. 

I have had some recent experiences that have shown me the folly of making plans.  When one has very, very important things going on in life, all plans need to take a second seat.  Still, planning is important.  How else will I get my vehicle tire fixed?  My snowplow serviced?  Perhaps the secret is to be involved in planning, but to hold the plans lightly.  There come times in life when things far more important are calling for our attention than getting tires fixed.  Knowing what is important to you, what you value, is critical in these times, so that you are focusing your attention on what is truly important.  For me, relationships important to me are the most important thing.  Tires can be fixed another day.  But, for voting in the U.S. in this election, that happens only today. 

Nov 5, 2012

Honoring Others

"If I only have this time on Earth with this person, if I may never see them again, what is it I want or need to ask, to know?  What is it I want or need to say?" Mark Nepo

Mark Nepo says that since his cancer experience he enters every interaction with the above thought.  He says that interacting with others with the above intention "has opened me to wisdoms that would otherwise run silent beneath my time on earth."  Lovely.  It is so important to honor the people with whom we interact in this way.  Yesterday I was out running errands, and my low tire pressure light came on.  I pulled into a popular convenience store, called the tire repair shops in the area and found they were closed for the weekend, so I went inside to ask for help.  A young college woman was at the register, and she said she would help me.  Between the two of us, we got one lug nut off the tire that was going flat.  I waited awhile to see if anyone would offer to help, and then a large van pulled up full of adolescent males.  I approached them and asked if they would help.  The first one referred me to some bigger young men just getting out of the van.  In minutes these two young men, under the supervision of an adult male who was with them, had the tire changed.  It turns out they were a youth group from a regional city.  I am so grateful for their help.  They certainly honored me and my need.

Just as important as these seemingly chance interactions is it that we honor those people with whom we interact the most.  And, for most of us, these are the hard ones.  The little things that irritate us about the people with whom we share our lives, the fact that these people love us so it is sometimes safer to show up in less than our best in behavior with them.  It is important to honor the person with dementia too.  What is it we might want to say to this person or ask this person while we have the chance? 

Nov 4, 2012

Happiness is Contagious

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." Mahatma Gandhi

Harvard University did a study of over five thousand people over twenty years.  The research showed that when people became happy, this happiness spread out to people two to three degrees removed from the happy person.  So, happiness is contagious.  We can catch it from one another.  And, how do we get happy?  Gandhi offers us the advice above:  when what we think, say and do are in harmony.  In psychological terms this is called being congruent.  Haven't you experienced a day when something someone said to you made your day?  Or conversely, something someone said to you rubbed you so the wrong way that it turned your day badly?  We each have the power to help ourselves and others have a good day.  It starts with ourselves.  We can choose to bring into harmony our thoughts, words and actions.  We can choose to be at peace and to be happy.  It starts with ourselves and becoming congruent, then it extends to how we treat those people with whom we most interact, and then it ripples beyond that to everyone with whom we come in contact.  For our own sake, and the sake of others, let us choose to be happy.

Nov 3, 2012

Golden Rule

"in the Abrahamic religions, there are hundreds of commandments, but those first ten laws of integrity are based on a fundamental "Golden Rule" -- treat others as you would like them to treat you." Andrew Newberg, MD

What a different world we would have if everyone truly treated others as they, themselves, wanted to be treated.  A human basic need is to belong.  If we would all remember that, and treat others with dignity and respect, it would make a difference in the world.  Research has shown that an act of kindness benefits not only the person giving the kindness and the person receiving the kindness, but all the people who observe the act of kindness.  That has been demonstrated.  So, for today, let us treat each other with kindness, knowing we are benefiting ourselves and the world around us.

Nov 2, 2012

Be a Conveyor of Peace

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good," Isaiah 52:7

Research studies on energy suggest that each of has an energy we bring to any situation, an energy that affects the other people in the situation.  In my life I have noticed that there are people who make a bad situation better, and there are people who make a bad situation worse.  It may be important for us to consider which kind of person we are.  A service person once said of a person dear to me that "she felt better after being around this person."  That person is clearly one who brings good energy into a situation.  What are some ways to be a conveyor of peace?  Calmness, equanimity, charity, nonjudgment are all qualities to practice to be a conveyor of peace to ourselves and those around us.  It is quite possible that the well-known words to a song, "What the world needs now is peace," may be one of the most important things we can contribute to any situation.

Nov 1, 2012

Having Faith

"We should consciously practice having faith just as we would practice to become a musician.  We should take mental exercises to build up our acceptance of good.  The process is simple enough, since it finally resolves itself into very simple affirmations of conviction; but there must be a persistency until finally old thought patterns melt and give way to new ones." Ernest Holmes

Another reminder to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.  As caregivers, it is sometimes difficult to have faith that life is good -- as there is considerable evidence to the contrary.  But, our negativity only makes a difficult situation worse.  The care receiver, as well as ourselves, is benefited by our maintaining a positive attitude --- and we do that by maintaining positive thoughts.