greatness

Seek the best

Seek, the good, the better, the best. Don’t settle for anything less.
#nurturedheart #GrowinGreatness #bestday #Greatitudes

103117

One of the things I love the most about living in a Nurtured Heart® way is that we find we are kinder, gentler, more forgiving and yet the boundaries are very clear.  Mom really doesn’t like to move any more frequently than she has to.  Getting up and down is difficult for her and her knees just don’t like to oblige at times.  Yesterday was definitely one of them.  However, we have promised her primary physician that she will “move” every couple of hours throughout her awake times.  So up it is.

Re-framing our statements to I need you to… or let’s do this together makes it so much easier and we often find a smile on her face as we acknowledge her strength and will power to make what may have seemed impossible seconds before HAPPEN in a very positive way.
As she struggles to rise from the chair, we acknowledge the strength and power in her arms and upper body… she works hard every week in PT to keep that upper strength even though she dislikes the exercises, they are helping her.  Every step forward, even the pauses as she contemplates how to move the foot, leg and even toes is met with “You’re cruising!  Look at how deliberately you’re placing your left foot in front of and to the left of your right foot.  Thanks for bringing your foot around the wheel of the walker so carefully.  You didn’t bang a single toe! ”  Acknowledgement and accomplishments rolled into one bring a smile to her face and I’ve not doubt are logged in as “I DID it.”

Even when her legs aren’t cooperating as well as we all would like and the walker becomes a wheelchair for the move, she does shuffle her feet along the way or lifts them which in turn does require more strength and concentration that we are excited to acknowledge and give lots of credit for despite her desire to just stay put in her chair for the day.

It’s not hard to see what’s going well — or to push a little more for her best, because we know it’s there.

We know that as she continues to go along her path, she will never be alone.  That’s the best we can provide for her and we are so happy to have the privilege to walk alongside.

*To learn more about the Nurtured Heart Approach®, click here.

pause….

Take a few minutes and enjoy the every day sort of things that surround you.

102417

Every day as we get Mom ready for her day, we have the opportunity to check the landscape through a high window in the bathroom.  Sunday, the sky was a brilliant blue and the gold and yellow hued leaves still filled the branches of the tree..  Yesterday, there were fewer leaves on the trees and the sky was a dusty kind of blue with a few scattered clouds.   I’ve no doubt that Mom can envision a beautiful watercolor image on a canvas using her favorite brushes to create a “masterpiece” on a canvas as we “paint” a picture describing the beauty of what lies beyond the glass every day.

Sadly, her abilities to paint have been stripped away by Alzheimer’s.  Her hands shake as she holds the brush and even drawing a line or what we would consider a simple shape now eludes her and no doubt causes her great sadness as tears sometimes welled in her eyes..

What we do know it that she loves the beauty that nature provides her in every day moments and ordinary things. Be it a flower, twig, rock or a pine cone; a leaf, a smile, or a kind word, a snapshot of a family member, friend or the mountains.  They all bring great joy to her heart.

Consider pausing today — look out the window, look at the sky, take a walk. Enjoy and treasure today.

today’s intentions lead us to our tomorrows

The thoughts and intentions we have today
will lead us to our tomorrow…
101917

Being flexible at all different levels has ultimately become this week’s intention — going with the flow so to speak.

Yesterday was one of those days we needed to pull out something else from “bag” and shift the energy around a bit.  We have learned that listening to music will change her energy and make a difference, so that’s exactly what we did.  Within a few minutes she had selected 2 DVDs and was tapping her toes and trying to sing along to most of the songs in the Music Man (an all time favorite and never grows old) and even surprised us with a bit of voice to a song from Annie!  There was even a lightness in her step as we took a walk around the house after it finished.

From my perspective, if our intentions are to provide “best care,” then we need to be prepared to be “in tune” and shift our own energies and intentions for more #bestday choices when those in our care aren’t sure how to go about it.  Here’s to today!  It’ll be a Great one!

 

big feelings…

100317

It’s okay to have big feelings…..how we deal with them
makes a big difference in the outcome.

It’s been a while since we’ve experienced a major anxiety attack.  I’m very grateful.  For in those moments, it’s very apparent that the “trigger” brings some strong feelings/emotions to the surface that aren’t usually seen during our “regular” days.

Yesterday, we saw Mom struggle with some pretty strong emotions for a brief spell.  When this happens, she experiences tremors and these were strong.

We’ve been working on how to handle those moments of  overwhelm.  Before I had time to react, I saw her stop in her footsteps; she took a deep breath, slowly exhaled and repeated the process two more times.  The Parkinson-like tremors she had been experiencing were gone.  I observed the smile that spread across her face as she recognized she had made it through with amazing success!

For many, this would be an easy process.  This is a relatively new practice for her — but she’s learning it and it’s taken hold.  I’m in awe!  She’s pretty dang AWESOME!  Major anxiety attack averted.

Changes….

As I’ve contemplated writing this — for a few weeks now, it’s been very difficult to watch the “declinings” that are now a part of Mom’s everyday life.

The month of May brought changes — Eating a simple meal now takes 60 minutes or so…. not because she’s savoring each bite, but because she’s forgetting what she’s supposed to do with that stuff that’s on the thing in her lap (she prefers to eat in her favorite chair). She’s become a little more compulsive with some other things and those tend to overwhelm and take over at the oddest of moments.  Getting her handful of pills to her mouth is sometime lost and there’s that look of what’s the next step?  But it is what it is.  We give directions leaving her dignity in tact.

Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_kalinavova'>kalinavova / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

 

One thing I have decided to shift in my own thinking as a caregiver during this process.  Imagine.  We’re on a staircase and with each step, we can choose to go up or down.  Despite the fact that Mom’s capacities are declining, that doesn’t mean we can’t take another step up and support her; encouraging, adapting and honoring all that is still there.

 

 

The other day, I read a short book to her.  A book about Mothers.  We read slowly, reliving memories from days long gone.  Laughter, smiles and the “light” was back on, albeit too briefly… she’s still there — just on a different step than I was in that moment, but reaching out a hand to hold on as we move forward in this journey called Alzheimer’s understanding that she’s our guide.  We’re all learning from her.

Calm

calm

calm

Do you have a difficult time finding a quiet moment or feeling un-pressured by the course of your daily routines?  How often do we clutter up our space with the noise of the world or succumb to the overall busyness and fill with anxiety and let the pressure overtake us?  Then what happens when something stops – and your world is suddenly quiet?  Are you at a loss not knowing how to handle it?

I certainly hope not.  As frustrated as we can get when the internet goes down, or you lose cell service, a project is stalled or something else may ‘gum up the works” … maybe it’s a hint to stop and take a deep breath and look around us for those moments we’ll never experience again.  When did you last take the opportunity to watch the sun rise?  The sun set or the stars flicker to life in the nighttime sky?  See a flower turn to the sun?  Watch the clouds roll across the sky?  Enjoy a good book or a conversation with a good friend? Sewing, knitting, crafting or another favorite hobby?

There are a multitude of ways to reconnect — hear, feel, experience calm and peace more deeply.  Find yours and make it a part of your daily routine.  Let the calm invade your day fully.  You’ll be smiling more and the influence will ripple out to other areas of your life and may also impact others you come in contact with.

Find the calm in you today….

 

 

all in a word

IMG_0099I’ve recently re-read John Gordon’s book, One Word.  It’s a great way to stay tuned in, if you will, to positivity and building inner wealth.  Your own and others.

Creating open doors and opportunities for self growth through positive self-talk as you live and breathe your ONE WORD each day.  Choose a word that will make a difference in who your are, set goals that will help you achieve the best version of that word.  Then, pick a time period;  a day, a week, a month or a whole year.  Let it be your gift of greatness to self and to those in your circle of influence.  Your impact can make a huge difference in your work, your health, your spirituality and more importantly, the changes you make will ripple out even further.
My word for February is being “present.”  Present in the moment and seeing what is going right and good and naming them in a journal to be more accountable. I believe this is a very precious gift I can give myself and my family. I’m amazed at all that’s happened so far and we’re only one week into the month.  I’ve accomplished more, listened more, felt more lived more fully in the last few days.  I hope to establish this as a way of living from this point on.

If you choose to take on the One Word challenge, I wish you well!