Allow a 6 year old to teach you about risk and personal growth. Enjoy
A friend of mine had two hummingbirds fly into her house the other day. She said they had to wear themselves out before she could scoop them up and set them free. There’s a message in that isn’t there. Imagine how much more energy we could have, how much more creative we could be, how much more love we could offer…
Sending love from the beautiful Southwest 🙂
I declared today a “vacation day” and drove to one of my sacred spaces in the mountains. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to see a bald eagle perched atop a tree. It was a beautiful sight to behold; especially when it lifted off and flew away with fluffy white legs blowing in the wind.
Today I longed to see the majestic bird again. I kept my eyes up, searching the treetops as I drove. It wasn’t meant to be.
How many other birds and wildlife did I miss searching for what I thought to be the prize?
How often in life do we search for what we believe to be the answer, when there are miracles right before our eyes…eyes that do not see because they are looking for something different.
Therein lies the gift of mindfulness; to be present for what life is offering up. Tara Brach asks us to clear a path in the forest of our mind. What might we find if we sit and wait for what appears?
Look what I found when I came home.
“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” ~ Joseph Campbell
Pink Milk Nights and Looking Forward
As I sit writing this post, I’m drinking a cup of herbal tea heavily laden with orange blossom honey. Looking out my bedroom window, I see the Oquirrh Mountains which are blanketed with lavender snow and touched by peach colored clouds. Heaven. Tonight promises to be a “Pink Milk Night.”
When my children were young we made a special treat when the evening sky was pink. Grenadine syrup and milk; aka “Pink Milk.” Happy memories of days gone by fill my mind as I ponder the year to come.
I don’t know what this year will bring and I have learned to be careful about exerting too much will over the future. This year I look to principles rather than outcomes
Rather than lose 20 pounds… I choose health.
Rather than going to Europe… I choose mind-expanding adventure.
Rather than cleaning and de-cluttering my home… I choose simplicity.
Rather than saving and making more money… I choose abundance.
Rather than gaining 1000 readers… I choose authenticity.
Rather than folding 1000 cranes… I choose creativity.
Rather than being confident… I choose courage.
Rather than being efficient with my time… I choose to be mindful.
Rather than striving for perfection… I choose balance.
Rather than numbering the ways I will serve… I choose compassion.
Rather than reading countless books…I choose inspiration.
Rather than trying to fix what is wrong… I choose happiness.
Tonight may you begin the journey of finding the life that is waiting for you in 2014. Happiest of New Year‘s to you my dear friends.
A Caregiver’s Manifesto
1. From here forward I will identify “Caregiving” as a clearly defined new role, and not as role reversal or any other negative associations I may have made with it in the past.
2. Caregiving is only one of the many roles I serve. I do not forget about my other roles such as: spouse, parent, friend, and employee.
3. I recognize that Caregiving is usually not convenient and therefore creates many conflicting emotions, ALL OF WHICH ARE NORMAL.
4. I clear my mind from all preconceived thoughts about Caregiving and accept each day for what it brings. This not only protects me from disappointment and discouragement, but opens me up to receive miracles.
5. I radically accept the physical and mental limitations of the person I am caring for. This allows me to direct much needed energy into productive thought and activity, rather then allowing my precious energy to be lost in a fantasy of how things “should be.”
6. I understand that to care for others I must first care for myself. It is a requirement for the physical, emotional, and spiritual energy needed to fulfill the role.
7. I understand that I alone am responsible for making time to take care of my needs. If I wait for the benevolence of others, I risk not getting my needs met, as well as feeling negative emotions such as hurt and resentment.
8. I accept help when it is offered even if my loved one opposes such help or I believe I can do it better.
9. Courage and Compassion are the attributes I am building.
10. I understand that pre-existing problems do not go away and if I need emotional help I obtain it.
11. I proactively look for tender mercies and miracles and capture them in writing to keep me balanced and reminded that I am not a victim.
12. I do not feel guilty when on vacation, spending time with friends, pursuing hobbies, or meeting my financial needs through working.
13. While I do what I can to ease my loved one’s burden, I know we are all responsible for our own happiness.
14. I respect my loved one’s ability to make their own choices whenever possible and make sure that I do not overstep by bounds when making decisions.
15. If my loved one is incapable of making choices, I base decisions on past conversations and what I believe they would want. In the absence of any such knowledge, I make decisions based on what I believe to be right along with the advice of other family members and professionals. When there is disagreement, the primary caregiver makes the decision.
16. I know my loved one is a multi-dimensional person with vast life experience, wisdom, interests, and strengths and weaknesses… just like me.
17. I am sensitive to my loved one’s need for privacy and do my best to preserve their dignity.
18. I do not blame my loved one for my feelings of loss and sadness. I own, validate, and take responsibility for my own emotions. I do not stuff my feelings, nor do I let them overpower me.
19. It’s okay to laugh.
20. I make mistakes and that’s okay.
- Caregiver’s Story Board: A New Facebook Page (barbarascovillelcsw.com)
- True Confessions of a Former Caregiver…and a darn good cookie recipe (barbarascovillelcsw.com)