One of my favorite memories from childhood is coming downstairs early in the morning to find my grandfather, his comfortably faded flannel bathrobe knotted over his blue pajamas, his feet cozy in fleece-lined slippers, stirring a pot of something on the stove. What the something was would vary - sometimes rolled oats (never "oatmeal"), sometimes farina (cream of wheat). In the warmer months he might be poaching eggs or soft boiling them for presentation in adorable ceramic egg cups. But the point, other than that he often expressed his love for us by cooking, was that he knew what we so often forget: breakfast is important.
Change competes with our desire for predictability, and at the same time calls us to adventure, possibility, and surprise.
Creativity can contribute to your well-being, whether you plant a garden, restore an old piece of furniture, paint, or find yourself on the other side of a camera lens. Overall, it plays a vital role in bringing balance to your life.
This small but significant shift in my routine was the most delightful way to begin my day, and that feeling stayed with me. It stayed with me as I continued to bring it back to my focus. The power of the pause, the importance of honoring yourself amid whatever else may be going on in your life, is worth so much. Granted, we cannot always take the time as I did this morning, but at some point in our days, finding that time is important, and keeping that energy with you - vital.
It doesn't matter whether you are a caregiver by choice, by default, or by profession; my guess is that all of you - most of you - have hit that point. It's a point you were sure you'd never get to because you were finding ways to balance your life, or so you thought. Meanwhile, underneath was a 'live' gopher hole undermining your existence. You felt yourself crumbling under the right circumstances or among the group of people you could usually talk to. Yet you somehow managed to mask the real emotions that were happening.
What makes accepting help easier is to have it defined as help. "I can help you with that" is a world away from "let me do that," and the first step here is listening. Asking if it's awkward to get in and out of the shower, difficult to wash your back (a task that everybody has a hard time with!), put on your socks - to a client this sounds so different than saying "I'll do that for you."
Hope is what happens when we assess what we can do with a situation. Is there something I can do to make a change? Hope doesn't deny that a situation is happening, it asks the question: "Is there something I can do to make a change?" Hope is assessing the future and influencing it.
As I enter my mid-fifties, those memories are more and more precious to me, but equally important are the life lessons I experienced during those early mornings at the fishing pier - lessons that apply both to fishing and to everyday living, and caregiving.
As a caregiver, you play an essential role in supporting your loved one. You are assisting someone in need, whether near or far. You may have found yourself in this position without notice and become keenly aware of how planning can make a substantial difference. But planning for yourself and your loved ones is more than just a way to make life easier in the moment. It's a vital part of caring for yourself, mentally, physically, and emotionally both now and in the future.
Enter BreathWork with Anthony Metten. Anthony himself is an incredible human being. His background is diverse, and his impact both insightful and uplifting. As a Care Circle leader, he has lent his expertise and guidance to many caregivers, providing support in our monthly gatherings. When Anthony brought my attention to his new adventure: guiding Breathwork, you can believe he had my full attention.