Care of the Caregiver
The Caregiver … the individual who through circumstances or choice, is compelled to assist in the care and needs of another ….. fashions their gifts, with compassion, patience, and willingness….creates a safe and comfortable respite on the journey.
But who will care for the caregiver? Where does she replenish her well, so that heart is full and spirit is willing?
Who best knows the needs of the caregiver, but the caregiver herself. How does one find time or energy to nourish self, when so often time and energy seems limited?
Know thyself. What are my loves – what touches and inspires me? What are my limitations? How do I recognize when my spirit is waning and vulnerable? How do I create time and space to receive these same gifts for self? What are my gifts, and the special qualities that bring light to others. Am I willing to give to myself? Am I willing to receive? Do I know how to ask when I am in need?
The universe offers a vast source of fuel for the spirit. It only requires that we discover the people, places and activities that nourish us. Are there elements of nature that speak to you in ways that reconnect you to your inner source of peace? Nature can be accessed through direct experience, or simply by remembering, and fully being with the colours, sounds and smells that offer an unconditional presence.
Does music touch your soul and renew you? Listen to music of choice as you drive to work, and allow the chatter of the mind to subside.
Is silence your refuge? Breathe, really breathe into the silent chambers of your mind. Give yourself permission to be in the stillness for 5 or 10 minutes.
Are you recharged through movement? Like the wind, body movement has the ability to shift energy. Dancing, playing, walking, or exercise can break down the walls of tension and fatigue and lure you into a lighter more relaxed space.
Honour thyself. Whatever you discover to be a source of replenishment, honour yourself enough to drink of it daily. Ten minutes of soulful activity goes a long way to nourishing the spirit, mind and body. The caregiver is sustained with regular doses of caregiving the self.
Honour one another. When our well is full, our giving embodies the fullness of compassion, patience and grace. When we take a moment to reconnect to our inner source of divinity – wisdom and love, then it is our presence which reflects to others their own divine essence.