|"We are moving into a time when our awareness is no longer limited to the five senses." |
Gary Zukav is a spiritual thinker who has continued to take things beyond their previous understood level. What if it is true that our awareness is no longer limited to the five senses of which we are so familiar: vision, hearing, tasting, feeling by touch, and smelling? There are some who think that we can now experience things energetically. Quantum physics is built on that premise. We have all experienced a flash of intuition or a sense of deja vu. Some think that we can be more in touch with our ability to use our intuition. Do you think it is possible?
Dec 31, 2014
Dec 30, 2014
|"If something is not true and we believe it, we will tend to see ourselves and the world through the lens of that belief." Rev. Dr. Jim Lockard|
Beliefs are very, very powerful. Most of the quality of our lives is based on our beliefs, and most of those beliefs are unconscious -- so we are not even aware of what is directing our lives. Each of us integrated beliefs as we were growing up. Some of those beliefs are supportive of who we are, and some are very much not. Being with my siblings sometimes gives me insight into what some of my beliefs are, of which I am unaware. Beliefs about our role as caregiver can also shape how and what we do in that role. I had a belief that I could do it --- I could manage taking care of my loved one at home -- and, even, that that was the right thing to do. I have my daughter to thank and a close friend for helping me see that caring for my loved one at home was killing me. While it is sad that someone we love has a terminal illness, it is imperative that we not allow that illness to take us too. As caregivers we are responsible for respectful, appropriate care for our loved one -- in whatever form best suits him/her and us.
Dec 29, 2014
|"Integrity is the ability to listen to a place inside oneself that doesn't change; even though the life that carries it may change." Rabbi Jonathan Ober-Man|
An interesting definition of integrity. Integrity is something that we, as caregivers, need. It takes courage and integrity to be a good caregiver. We will be criticized by other people, usually other family members; and because of that, we need to know what is right for us and for our loved one and not be swayed by the criticisms of others. Only you know what is best for yourself, and - as caregivers - we are given the task of also figuring out what is best for another person. For that we need integrity. For any given decision, let us be in touch with that place inside ourselves from which we can know what is right for us, and then we can find the courage to do it.
Dec 28, 2014
|"Sometimes I go about with pity for myself and all the while Great Winds are carrying me across the sky." Ojibway saying|
As caregivers it is easy sometimes to feel sorry for ourselves. Why me? Why did this happen to us? It is normal to question life difficulties, but it is not very helpful. I once read that better than saying, 'why me?' is to say 'why not me?'. The point, of course, is that what happens to one person really happens to us all. And within every challenge is a gift for us. Have you figured out the gift or gifts for you within the task of caregiving? For me, part of the gift has been to learn to provide care for him without it destroying me. Research tells us that 1/3 of us caregivers will die from the stress of doing the task and 1/3 will have their health severely damaged. The other 1/3 will come out of caregiving better people for having done the task. Into which third do you want to be?
Dec 27, 2014
Dec 26, 2014
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Dec 20, 2014
|"There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo|
We each have good ideas - especially when we are in touch with our center, with the Source of the benevolent energy in the world, but it is truly special to have an idea whose time has come. Perhaps not all of us will have such ideas, but we certainly are capable of having them. We might think those ideas come only to notable people of whom we have heard, such as Mother Teresa and her idea of ministering to the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, Nelson Mandela and his idea to seek working together over revenge, Martin Luther King, Jr. who "had a dream" of equality for all, Oprah who had an idea that people would respond to "ah-ha" moments. We are none of these people, and, yet, we can have ideas whose time has come. What might your idea be?
Dec 19, 2014
|"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
|"Honey appears to be better for healing canker sores than common drugstore remedies, clearing symptoms in half the time." prevention.com|
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
|"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
|"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
|"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
|"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
|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.|
Dec 12, 2014
"It can be very helpful to understand that you do have a point of attraction and that you can control it. And your best opportunity to control it is when you first awaken each morning. It doesn’t take long to transform your point of attraction; 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 days of waking up in nonresistance and then deliberately focusing to maintain your state of lesser and lesser resistance will make a big difference in how you feel and the things that come into your experience. You will begin to receive insight and positive manifestations such as good-feeling emotions and good ideas will begin to flow to you."
This seems like one good way to change one's life circumstances, and it coincides with what psychology tells us -- that it takes about 30 days of doing something for a behavior to become a habit. More and more people in the spiritual and quantum physics worlds are saying that we largely control our life experiences -- by our beliefs and our attitudes and our thoughts and emotions. It is well worth our time to consider this way of making our lives better.
Dec 11, 2014
|"When people show you who they are, believe them." Maya Angelou|
So many times the people who come for therapy are surprised by another person's behavior -- because that behavior is not matched by words. For instance, a person might notice that someone is not doing what he or she said they did. My advice is: trust the behavior. When behavior and talk are not congruent: trust the behavior. That does not mean that we need to write the other person off, but it does mean that we might alter to what extent we want to trust what that person says. What does this have to do with caregiving? Even with someone with dementia, trust that their behavior is telling you something. Perhaps they are in pain, or have a urinary tract infection, or are dehydrated, or are anxious. We can learn much by observing another person's behavior.
Dec 10, 2014
|"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." |
We all know of relationships in which one or both people will try to change in the other person the very thing that first attracted them to the other person. Perhaps we have even been in those types of relationships ourselves. It is ironic, but it is almost always the things that first attracted us that begin to get under our skin. The well informed person, who becomes the person who talks too much. I am sure you know what I mean. Thomas Merton is right. The only remedy is to let those people we love be entirely and perfectly themselves. Truly, that is what we love about them. And, we can expect the same back. To be loved well enough that we are loved for our essence, and not for how we can change for the other person.
Dec 9, 2014
|"You are the only version of you that this universe will ever know. This is wonderful and disturbing news. Wonderful because it speaks to the majesty of Creation, and disturbing because it means that no one else can ever really know your truth." Jim Lockard|
We have all heard it before. Just like there are no two snowflakes exactly alike, so too are there no two humans exactly alike. This is wonderful because only you can make the difference you make in this world. Much like the old movie with Jimmy Stewart, life simply would not be the same without you. Knowing the unique impression we have on life; we can make sure that the difference we make is a positive one (because this is a choice -- whether to be a positive or a negative presence). And, it is also disturbing that we are unique -- because no one will ever perfectly understand you. Nor will you perfectly understand someone else. Since our essence will pass through this life only this once, let's make sure we make the impact we want to and of which we are capable. Only you - with your unique energy - can make your positive difference with the people in your life.
Dec 8, 2014
Dec 7, 2014
|"The purpose of life is the expansion of happiness. Happiness is the goal of every other goal." Deepak Chopra|
How happy are you? Statistics indicate that depression is common among caregivers. Last week I felt some of the symptoms of depression, and I realized my Vitamin D levels were low again. Caregiving is stressful. It is imperative that we are in touch with our own health status and taking steps to preserve it. Please do not let the disease take both you and your loved one! Managing our own health is one way to be happy --- it is hard to be happy when we are ill, whether in body or mind. Arranging events of fun add to happiness, not doing things we do not want to do adds to happiness, having relationships with people who truly care about us adds to happiness, times in nature attribute to happiness. Let's consider for today that happiness is the purpose of life, and let's choose to be happy.