THIS HOLIDAY SEASON COULD BE EXCEPTIONAL

While thinking about what would make things different, add a little variety and more depth to the holidays this year, I was thinking that being grateful for things which are not usually given thanks for could put a different light on life around the holidays. Perhaps open our eyes to gifts we don’t often recognize.

For one example, as caregivers, we’re used to being on the giving side. If we’re fortunate enough to care for people who can express thanks, we know we’re appreciated. Hopefully, you’re one of these and thanks is plentiful for you. Many don’t feel appreciated or respected enough and that causes them to suffer greatly. Suffering at any intensity is painful. And that pain overrides the joy in life. The need for love and being appreciated for who you are and all you do is basic human nature. But, we don’t all get it from the source we think it should come from, often those we love and take care of or family members.

But, what if we, ourselves, appreciated the challenges we’re handed? See them as a gift. That could alleviate the need for recognition from others. Therefore, bring more joy into our lives. I don’t know for sure what the reason is that life can be so difficult sometimes. During those times I have often asked myself, why? And why me? And why at this particular time? What I have concluded thus far is that its my own need for personal growth. It’s my responsibility to grow from my experiences. The greater the challenge, the greater the lesson and the growth, is what I see in hindsight. With growth comes wisdom. It’s a heavy subject, too complicated and intricately enmeshed with emotions and attempted objectivity for a short blog. But, just to start thinking about our biggest problems or the person/persons in our lives that cause us the most hurt or grief as a gift, could be the beginning of a solution or reconciliation that may never occur if not considered from a different prospective. It, also, takes the onus off others to provide us with our sense of peace and happiness. After all, everyone else is trying to manage their own issues and can only see things from their own prospective. We are all handed our own special Gifts!

This holiday season, may I suggest being Thankful for your biggest challenges? The small ones will take care of themselves. When things or a person you love bring heartache, just throw love at it. Try to see it with as much love around the situation as possible and feel love for yourself, too. Be patient, time and distance work miracles. That alone brings some relief. Not total relief, but it’s a start. Knowing that you’ve given it a good start, things will work out for the best for all. The feeling of love held around an issue or person can’t help but permeate, harmony will prevail.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! I wish you love and joy this holiday season. You are appreciated by me.

Hugs,

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Know Your Hot Buttons

May I suggest that the next time someone causes you to feel defensive, you make it a point to observe yourself and what button just got pushed. It can be an eye opener into your own personality and what’s important to you, sometimes very revealing and an opportunity for growth.

The irony is that what we feel we need to defend, ultimately, is only an illusion. No two people see the same thing in any given situation. When people say life is but an illusion, I don’t think they mean there’s nothing actually there, they mean, whatever is there is seen as something different by each observer. Unobservable by others, therefore an illusion. Everyone sees and understands things from their own perspective which is drawn from a very complex back story which is uniquely their own. Evidence of this is in our own personal experiences.

As one of four daughters in my family, I can say for sure that my sisters and I grew up in completely different households, even though we lived at the same address. We reminisce and compare histories and it’s often shocking to me how we saw our childhoods so differently.

Hot button emotional upset fizzles out when we allow for illusion. For example, in an effort to be as honest as possible with my readers, I have to admit that my biggest hot button is my self image. There, I’ve said it (not easy). When someone says something that causes me to recognize that they’re seeing me in a lessor light than I want to be seen, I experience mind numbing humiliation and irritation. How dare that be what they see or heard me say? What’s wrong with them? Can’t they see what I see?

No, they can’t. They can only see what they can observe through their own life experience and knowledge. I’ve spent a lifetime thinking that people were seeing a lot of good things about me because I received a lot of positive feedback. I’m grateful for that. But, the truth is, people were giving me feedback on what they saw, not on what I thought they were seeing. Because the feedback was mostly positive, I thought I was being understood. I wasn’t, I have no idea what they were seeing. I was just living in my illusion. Everyone is living in their own illusions, it’s just life.

So, what is the benefit of observing your HOT BUTTONS? In my case, self observation taught me that my self image is unimportant to anyone but me. A completely useless waste of life’s energy. What is important is how I live my life without needing the approval of others. Just do what I believe is right and good and let the chips (illusions) fall where they may. It has also caused me to be more generous and understanding of others. After all, what I’m observing of their lives is only an illusion of my mind. Not their reality. None of my business.

The great thing is, since it’s all an illusion, we can choose how we live life. We aren’t stuck in anyone else’s illusion!

 

Hugs,

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Out at Sea

The Great Creator shared these beautiful words with me recently and I want to share them with you, my treasured readers.  That endless stream of creativity, that rises in all of us naturally, loves dropping pearls of wisdom at our feet.  This time, I got it and I’m framing it!  Never to be forgotten.

The quote above came into my mind just as it is, as I awoke one morning, recently.  I recognized something powerful immediately and reached for my pen and notebook so I could get it down before I lost it.  The meaning I derive from it is the most fabulous gift and greatly appreciated.  It will be interpreted in many ways by those who read it and I hope you can apply it to your own life, for I think it’s a Universal message.  A metaphor that can be applied on a micro level to each of us personally or a macro level if looked at with eyes on our troubled and confused world.

For me, it’s confirmation.  The giver of all life knows that I’ve been adrift for a couple of years, waiting for the “Wind” that surely, even at my advanced age, will rise again to catch “Sail” just at the right time, like it always has, and move me then swiftly to another great adventure.  Another project I can sink my teeth into and enjoy the process, the people and opportunities it always brings when the “Wind” is at our backs.

I see the words, “Our sails flirt with the wind”, as a gift to remind me that really good things don’t happen overnight. Sometimes we’re not ready for our next great adventure.  We may need to overcome more challenges so we’re prepared.  To make us stronger.  It takes time for “Shyness” to morph into “Power”.  The caterpillar doesn’t know, as it struggles to spin itself a cocoon, that it is becoming a magnificent butterfly.  Or, perhaps it does, maybe in its natural simplicity it sees the great design more clearly than we complicated humans who are often preoccupied with self-doubt and disbelief.  So anxious to get to our goals.  We think we have control of our lives.

The words remind me that preceding full “Sail” there is always “Shyness” (hesidency, doubt, imbalance, and correction needed to stay on course).  The “Power” of co-creating, surely we don’t create alone, reminds me that there is pure potential in every thought, every inspiration that comes to mind.  It’s a matter of recognizing it, picking it up and loving it into fruition. 

Perhaps, like me, this time you’ve been “Out at sea” a bit longer than you expected.  It’s been worth it, I hope you agree.  Why else?  Can’t wait to get into the unknown and have another great story to share.  Would love to hear yours.  While we wait, there are small things to create everyday.  Like smiles on people’s faces who never expected to be smiled at;)

Hugs,

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WHAT WERE THEY LOOKING AT?

Yes! Wonderful, Hollywood brings a message to the public spectacularly, again!! That was my reaction to what I took away from the movie Wonder Woman, until I read what the “critics” had to say. The top five reviews online didn’t even discuss what I saw as the point of the whole movie.

Here’s the disappointment: The movie depicted human suffering that was shown in many subtle and some not so subtle ways. There was blatant brutal killing of innocent human beings by other human beings. Some others were poor and starving slowly, forgotten by the rich, powerful and greedy. Many had scars, visible and invisible. The invisible being every bit as difficult to live with as the visible, and both requiring a loving eye to even notice. Subtle, too, was the reminder that history continues to repeat itself only with bigger and more destructive weapons and our real world is more dangerous now than ever. So clear, though, was the terrible personal pain suffered by people who look different than the majority and are treated often as less than human, hence, sometimes behave in inhuman horrific ways. None of the obvious message was mentioned by the critics. They critiqued the directing, the colors chosen and the actors delivery. They continue to discuss the success of a Comic Book series. That’s great, but nothing about the Value of the writers work.

Wonder Woman, at the end of the movie, is sure that love will heal the world; our real world. The message is simple, we need to feel and show love toward ALL others. She’s right that love will do it, but is awareness and comprehension occurring fast enough to overtake possible destruction before it’s too late? The writer and director have presented us, in an entertaining way, with the responsibility of our age. If most critics didn’t even get the message, I pray the huge viewing audience did. Will we, the people, reach the tipping point with awareness that will save humanity from itself? Will we take it upon ourselves to start seeing with more understanding and loving eyes?

What has this got to do with CAREGIVING? Everything! Another place where we need more love! We don’t take good enough care of our people. We can’t even get a decent healthcare system in this country to take care of the ever increasing number of Seniors, Veterans and the Underserved, let alone everyone else. That’s bigotry and neglect. Those making the decisions have their hands tied, even when they mean well, because voters threaten to kick them out of office if their special interest is threatened. That’s greed. Fifty million special interests. Impossible!

What about human interest- Caring, Compassion, Love, if it’s not too corny? What about responsibility? Do you know what happens to beautiful human hearts when they’re neglected or shunned or allowed to go hungry? Sometimes they grow to be your enemy and their hatred is powerful in numbers.

Maybe critics are just supposed to critique movie making and leave the values to be judged by the individual viewer. If that’s the case, they’ve done their job and, hopefully, more people will see the movie because of the critics opinions about Diana’s great costumes and Steve’s arresting blue eyes. In addition to the important message, the movie is uplifting, inspiring and a love story, too. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I hope you do, too.

Hugs,

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Finding Joy in Your Life

Caregiving has many rewards.  A sense of being needed, the joy of giving to another, rewarding work, responsibility and often a sense of doing something that is beyond what the average person is privileged to participate in during his/her lifetime. Along with great work in our lives we can all appreciate a sense of joy that comes with connecting to something that is thrilling to us.  Joy in your life on a regular basis, in my opinion, should be considered your birthright, like the air you breathe.

How often do you get to experience joy?  Do you know what gives you joy?  Can you recall the last time you felt the thrill of joy?  If you can answer those questions positively, I know your life is good, no matter what your responsibilities or circumstances.  You know where to find your joy when you need it, when your cup needs refilling. What we focus on, on a regular basis, is what we create more of in our lives.  Creating space for joy will bring more joy, and more space for lovely experiences in your life.

MASTERFUL CARE FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES, the byline of this website, starts with you taking care of yourself first. I hope you give yourself permission to indulge in your joy often.

If you feel a little less than positive about your answers I have a feeling you’re not alone.  How many caregivers find the time to even think about doing something that would be just for their own pleasure?  Please see this as a possibility. The things that give us real pleasure are often so simple.  But we have to make a point of recognizing them.

I recall a sweet friend who, in the midst of my most difficult times right before my husbands passing, offered to come over and sit on the curb outside my house and just be with me for a little while.  There wasn’t a lot of joy just then in my life, but I could always find a little time for two things that will always bring a thrill and joy to my life on a regular basis no matter what shape my daily life takes.

My simple pleasures are having coffee with someone I enjoy and can share life’s experiences with on a personal level (I leave feeling somehow restored) and reading books, especially great works of literature and books that make me grow. It was a great sentence I read this morning that gave me such a thrill I wanted to share it with anyone who might have the patience for it and feel thrilled by it, as I do.  I hope you enjoy it, nineteenth & early twentieth century writers have such a way with words and a sensibility I miss in modern society. Their writing is often a character study and the study of human nature has for me always been a passion. I had to read it several times to get the full measure of it.  Enjoy!:

“Nothing could have been odder than Strether’s sense of himself as at that moment launched in something of which the sense would be quite disconnected from the sense of his past and which was literally beginning there and then.”

– Henry James; The Ambassadors

Please take the time to recognize what gives you joy and find the time to get a little of it each day.  Then…when you know how to find it, you could help the person in your charge find what would bring some joy into their life.

I Wish You the Thrill of Finding Joy and Experiencing It Often,

Hugs,

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