greatness

make today count

Today may be your only opportunity … make your actions count.

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We never take today for granted… today will not be the same as yesterday … that’s for sure.

Yesterday started on “uneven” ground.  A little out of sorts and not feeling at her best, we just couldn’t seem to get into the rhythm of  what would have been our “normal” routine….  Lesson:  don’t be afraid to “let it go”  for a day or two. Yesterday was definitely, a let it flow naturally kind of day and it was a good day after the bumpy start.

I think we’ll probably enjoy a few more days such as that one.  Her spirits were bright and we both chuckled as we reviewed the day as we got her ready for bed — and even that was done differently than we’d been doing.  Her choice, again.  And as we said our goodnight’s…. her eyes lit up and her smile was as big as ever and the “I love you” melted my heart.  Thanks, Mom.

 

re-tune

Just like a musical instrument needs to be tuned,
we need to “re-tune” ourselves to live in our greatness
and show others the way.

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Yesterday was one of those days that needed near constant re-tuning, at least for me.  Outside things kept bombarding us and tried to influence our day in ways that just didn’t quite fit in or were part of the “plan for the day.”   Fortunately, the ability we have to “reset,”  “re-tune,” and move on has become so much easier as the days go on.

For example:  we’ve moved a few pieces of furniture around (including Mom’s chair) to make it easier for her to get around with the walker and to provide a few extra steps  for movement and exercise and most importantly to be away from the blast of cold air when the front door is opened — but in my efforts to make things “better” I forgot how bright the sun shines through one window with the winter sun and it’s causing some issues with it being too bright for Mom’s eyes even with the blinds being closed.  She was terribly uncomfortable yesterday.

She enjoys the warmth her new corner of the room offers, but the light  streaming in is just too bright and was causing her some discomfort.  Even after moving the chair a little bit to get it out of the streaming light, there were still some problems.  Breathing, resetting, re-tuning and letting her choose how to resolve the problem was so effective.  I’m sure she won’t remember her part in the process today, but I will and I will remember her expressions as her ideas were considered and found to be the best resolution for the problem.  I relish those lucid moments!

you are seen…

You are being seen by many you are not aware of….
continue to shine in your greatness!

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I know.  There are days when we feel so alone…. but please, know that you are not.  You are seen.  You are appreciated.  You are loved.  Our extended families and friends may not be able to voice that in this very moment.  Sometimes, being recognized is enough to fill our cups….

Yet, as caregivers we sometimes may find ourselves in a situation of feeling that we are depleted.  We give our heart and soul for those we are caring for, but who cares for us if we don’t care for ourselves?

Be sure to build in some self-care time daily, weekly, monthly.  As a caregiver, you deserve it.  It’s difficult and sometimes seemingly impossible.  Create a space where you can find refuge from the worries and cares of the day.  Build time into the routine of the day and take a few minutes to pause, reflect and renew.  If you don’t have a hobby, maybe now is the time to find one.  OR…. Pick up a magazine, read a book, pack a bag for an overnight trip and go…  enjoy a night out, take in a dinner or a movie.  Take a walk, swing in a swing, pack a picnic lunch or just go sit on the porch and breathe in some fresh air.

We’re very grateful for those sometimes all too brief moments, but relish the opportunities that do present themselves even if for what seems like a mere nano-second of time.  And when those moments come to an end, we are more prepared for those next hours or days of caring and giving our all for the benefit of someone else who needs us more and knows unequivocally that she brings joy to our hearts every day.

 

Seek the best

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

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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.

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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…
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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!