LIGHT AND LOVE
The longest day of the year is upon us. On June 20, our Sun says, “Here you go, I’m shining more of my light upon the earth today, enjoy!”. The summer solstice is the official beginning summer when ancient cultures danced in celebration of the Light.
Steve and I traveled to northern Norway last summer. It is not called the land of the Midnight Sun for nothing. This image was taken literally at midnight!
That trip reminded me of just how much in common we have with one another across the earth. We all benefit from the light of our sun; we all gaze in wonder at the same moon. We have more in common between us than that which divides us. We are human beings with the same bones and blood and body and heart.
Suzanne Giesmann's Daily Way message this week reminded me that each of us has a yearning to be loved, to feel love, and to give love. The heart knows no ranking, or hierarchy, or prejudice, it only knows love. When we listen to and act from our...
Do You Hear ME?
“I hear you, and I understand that is your point of view.”
Those words do not mean, “You are right,” nor do they mean, “You are wrong.” They mean, “I hear you and can appreciate that you feel that way.” Sounds simple – so why do so many of us find it impossible to say them?
How does it feel to be heard? When someone looks you in the eye, really listens to you, and hears what you have to say, it is a gift. When was the last time you received such a gift? When is the last time you fully gave the gift of your presence?
So often the opinions or beliefs we hold true in our lives spring from experiences we don’t even remember. Was it something that happened to me in childhood, or the way I saw my parents react to a crisis, or was it an idea or a philosophy I adopted just to fit in, that molded my opinions or beliefs?
I was a senior in high school when desegregation became law. In our...
Happy Nurses Week! Thank you from the deepest part of my heart for your service to others. My calling to be a nurse was something that came from the core of my being. To care for another, to lift someone’s spirits with a smile or a touch, to comfort an aching soul, to minister to an injured or frail body may be your job, but it is also who you are at your marrow, someone who genuinely cares about the welfare of others.
We go to nursing school to learn the principals of professional nursing, but as Florence Nightingale, our founder of modern nursing said in 1860 in her book Notes On Nursing: “Every woman…has at one time or another had personal charge of somebody, whether child or invalid—in other words, every woman is a nurse.” (In 2020 many men fit into that group too.)
No matter where you offer your gifts,
Discipline and teamwork.
As I talk with hospice colleagues across the country, checking in to see how they are doing, I am hearing a common theme:
Teamwork and discipline are essential to enduring this time of Covid19.
All types of professionals, competitors, vendors, and unlikely allies are all working together on behalf of the survival of our fellow human beings. Children sewing cloth masks, auto manufacturers retooling to produce ventilators, dentists and veterinarians ordering their PPE supplies for healthcare workers, nail salons giving UV sterilizer machines to healthcare organizations to sterilize masks, Google and Apple working together on a project to help track people who are exposed to the Coronavirus. Together.
Together. With urgency and discipline, people are coming together to collaborate, to save us all.
The true character of a person is revealed not in times of comfort and ease...the true character of a person is revealed in times of danger and...
Five weeks ago I wrote about 2020 being the Year of The Nurse. It seems like another century has passed since then.
At the time I wrote:
"When was the last time you had a nurse's support or care? Was it when she explained what the doctor had just said to you and your family that you didn't really understand? Was it when she put her arms around you for a hug when you felt alone and uncertain? Was it when she explained the complex procedure that was about to happen to you? As we face a global crisis with the coronavirus, you know who will be doing the bulk of care of the people affected...nurses."
This has come to pass, hasn't it?
I am grateful for the women and men who so unselfishly give of themselves to others. At last, literally the whole world is saying "thank you"!
I add my deep appreciation to all of you and to your colleagues on the frontlines showing up each day to serve humanity.
Be More YOU. Now.
All my life it feels like I have been peeling back layers of illusion, guardedness, and disguise to reveal my true self to myself. Once again, asking the most important and most difficult question, “who am I”. All in the quest to be my more true and honest self.
The world has turned upside down with the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people are tossing it off as an annoyance, not following ‘stay at home’ guidelines complaining about being bored. Some are following the rules and are frightened about losing their job, while most parents have a new appreciation of the critical role teachers have in their children's lives.
Then there are the saviors, my friends the superheroes, who are smack in the middle of this horrific event, the front-line health care workers. Nurses and doctors and others who are seeing this Pandemic through the lenses of scuba goggles, bandanas, homemade masks, and gowns, or if they are lucky, outfitted with the...
THE INVISIBLE ENEMY
“... “May he live in interesting times.” Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty, but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.” In 1966 Robert F. Kennedy delivered a speech that shared those words.
Here we are again, living in “interesting times” of danger and uncertainty. The current enemy does not carry guns or missiles. It does not hate or have religious, political, gender or cultural preferences. This enemy is invisible and is impacting all of humanity and our world.
We are all realizing how connected we are now. We thought we were separate, we thought our country was better than theirs, we thought our culture was more refined than theirs, we thought our economy was better than theirs, we thought we were smarter than them. We are recognizing now, are all in this together, human beings, children of God here on this...
The Year of The NURSE
At last, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the International Year of The Nurse! - Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said:
“Nurses and midwives are the backbone of every health system: in 2020 we’re calling on all countries to invest in nurses and midwives as part of their commitment to health for all.”
When was the last time you had a nurse's support or care? Was it when she explained what the doctor had just said to you and your family that you didn't really understand? Was it when she put her arms around you for a hug when you felt alone and uncertain? Was it when she gave you advice about how to care for your loved one in a way that was easier for you or more comforting to them? Was it when she explained the complex procedure that was about to happen to you?
Nurses are everywhere and play a vital role in the workforce. We are care providers in a healthcare environment where it...
Do you know someone who is a caregiver? I’ll bet every one of you either IS (or has been) a caregiver or knows one. Whether you are taking care of a sick child or an elderly parent, a partner or a friend, caregiving is not for the faint of heart. It is a hero’s job.
Heroes are thought of as courageous souls with noble qualities, who stand in the face of danger and that is certainly true. War heroes are immortalized in statues found all across the world. But what of the Caregiver Hero, have you ever seen a statue of her? The Caregiver Hero is someone who quietly day after day, month after month, year after year comforts, cares for, and nurtures a frail or infirmed loved one without accolades or honors, or financial gain and even sometimes at great financial peril to themselves.
Caregivers have tremendous responsibilities, not only are they helping with the basic day to day living activities of feeding, bathing, and dressing...
"I'm Sorry For Your Loss".
How often have you said the words, "I'm sorry for your loss" in hopes of consoling a grieving person? How often have you heard those words, as you faced unimaginable grief? Did hearing "I'm sorry for your loss" comfort you? Did you feel understood and supported?
These days it seems the universal thing to say to someone grieving the death of a loved one are those 5 words. But, when that phrase is used without emotion or real empathy it sounds empty, and awkward, and ignores the real pain that grief bestows on someone. Saying "I'm sorry for your loss" does more to make the person sharing the words feel better than comforting the person who is in need.
When someone has experienced the death of a friend or loved one, be honest, don't ignore their pain, don't be afraid to say you don't know what to say! That revelation is more authentic and appreciated than "I'm sorry for your loss".
I've had two friends die in the past few months...