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May Your Easter Be Filled With JOY!

mayyoureasterbefilledwithjoy

May Your Easter Be Filled With JOY!

Easter is a natural time of rebirth.  As Spring begins its season of growth, so do we!  Gratitude for blessings and delighting in the wondrous emergence of flowers and trees budding in the Spring flows joy to our hearts!  How lovely for the change of seasons!

May you enjoy a few moments of quiet today to fill your heart with love and gratitude.  Pray, meditate and just enjoy this moment in time.  Fill your day with love, reach out to family and friends in kindness and be gently reminded of the great gift that is today.

May joy be yours dear friends!

Shine On!

xo

Suspend Your Limiting Beliefs

suspendyourlimitingbeliefs

Have you ever had a moment where you catch yourself thinking, “I can’t do that” or “That can’t happen because….” or the dreaded, “They don’t understand the complexity of the situation, that’s impossible!” or anything else along those lines?

I have encountered many facets of those limiting beliefs in my lifetime as I think many of us have.  We forget, in the chaotic moment of fear, that there are limitless possibilities to any situation and the outcome does not have to only be what we project or believe could happen.  No matter how convinced we are that we know how the experience will end or how the person will react or what will happen, the fact remains that we don’t know for certain.  So many factors come into play in any given situation and it is our job to suspend our limiting beliefs to welcome the infinite possibilities that life provides.

We have a choice in every situation.  We can choose hope or despair, limited beliefs or allowing God and the Universe to tap into a new experience.  It is in making the conscious choice to choose hope and allow, that provides power to the situation, to the life lesson and to the mending of relationships.  It is not that you are powerless though.  It is that you are, in affect, joining forces with the Universe and God to learn and to grow with your new life lessons.

Failure is a dreaded word, but in not having a situation come out as we want it to, we often declare it a failure.  However, failure is not necessarily what it is.  Sometimes, failure is simply a way of opening a door to something new that had one succeeded the way we believed, we would not have been afforded this opportunity!  There are life lessons all around us to be learned and many doors of opportunity remain locked when we do not change our limiting beliefs that ‘it must be this way‘ in order for our lives to be deemed successful or good in our eyes.

Time and again, I found myself knocking on a closed door of what I thought was failure, forgetting as the adage states, “when one door closes, another opens” or “when God closes a door, he opens a window.”  Spiritually, I am letting go of my preconceived notions of success and failure and thus allowing infinite possibilities to flow without restriction.  I’m suspending my limiting beliefs!

It’s a process as you can imagine and a change in outdated thinking that feels a bit uncomfortable as I stretch the limits of my own mind.  But happily, I can report, it is helping me to gain perspective on all sorts of situations that I had once declared in my head, failures.  With newfound thoughts, I see how much better my life is as I have eased into uncharted territories that I would have never had the courage to enter if I stayed small in my thinking.  There’s a bliss to be had in this life!  Let’s go and enjoy it!

Shine On!

xo

Lying and Alzheimers Disease

LYINGANDALZHEIMERSDISEASE

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia, you’ve probably told a fib or two, or perhaps better said, you’ve stretched the truth in order to spare them pain.  I know I have.  I was recently talking with a friend whose Momma is dear to my heart and we were discussing how we’ve stretched the truth at times in order to keep our loved ones’ minds at peace.  My friend was sharing how she worries about the tall tales we have used to cover up the truth when faced with uneasy questions.  The subject of the Good Book and Judgement Day came up.

Do you think we’d be forgiven for the lies, even though they were said with a loving heart and in the hopes of calming the confused minds of our loved ones?

What do you think?

Please don’t misunderstand my intentions.  I’m not advocating lying.  I’m simply putting it out there for discussion among those who are in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia community.  I want to know if you have fibbed and what you think about it.  Let me clarify, I didn’t just decide to fib on a whim.  My intentions were to soothe their confused minds and to give them peace and let them be happy in the present moment.  They have grieved enough in this lifetime.

For me, I have fibbed when I felt it necessary to not cause my loved ones repeated emotional pain.  I have measured and taken my cues from my loved ones’ emotional status when they’ve asked me hard questions repeatedly about someone – for example, “Where is he/she?”  Instead of telling the truth outright, “They passed away,” (and you’ve known that, but you can’t remember it), I’ve learned to ask them, “Where do you think he/she is?”  Many times, I have gone along with whatever they are thinking which has brought them peace.  I’ve also been known to answer in vague terms, such as, “I know if she/he could be here, they would be.  They are looking out for you still.  Yes, they are at home,” (but I’m meaning their spiritual home and the confused mind is thinking the physical home).

I’ve found that being in the moment with loved ones with memory problems is hard when we know the reality, but easier, when we put their hearts first.  There are times when they know their loved ones have passed away and the tears of sadness that ensue are heart-wrenching for us all.  They remember that they died and the sadness is all-encompassing even though they had forgotten that they knew.  There are times when they ask for validation and I am careful to make sure I check to see what they are remembering before I answer.  For if they remember that so and so passed away, it is nothing but an insult to lie at that point.  Truth given with love soothes the confused mind many times.  And yet, at others, there is no soothing truth.  It is simply a moment filled with anguish and peace is nowhere to be found.

I have learned that changing the subject often helps in some situations.  Repeatedly going down that sad path of loss can be detoured when we change the subject drastically.  Heaven knows, I’ve interrupted that path often with the offer of a cookie or a Hershey’s kiss or just by telling them, “I love you so much!” and following up with a hug.  Sometimes it works…and sometimes it doesn’t.  But it’s worth a try.

I know there are different degrees of memory loss as it is a progressive disease.  Even moment to moment, I have seen clarity, then confusion, changing in a few minutes span of time.  It’s a roller coaster ride sometimes and hard to manage for all of us.  I can’t even begin to imagine how it is for them when thoughts can be fleeting, words elusive and memory blurred or simply out of reach.

So, what are your thoughts?  Do you fib sometimes?  Do you have any tips for redirecting conversations?  What works for you and your loved ones?  What doesn’t work?  Please share!

Shine On!

xo

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

HappyStPatricksDay

May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Dearest Friends,

I loved this Irish blessing and prayer and I share it with you today.  Be present in whatever is happening in your life and never lose faith in all that you can do with the help of friends, family and God.

Shine On!

xo

On My Knees

onmyknees

As you’ve seen in my last few posts, life has been hard these days.  For me, writing is my outlet, sharing what I think might help someone else who is a caregiver of someone whom they love who has Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.  I write in order to connect with others who are walking this path because we understand how emotional it can be and you just need support from others who get it.

There is no cure for this disease.  It is fatal.  As the mind shuts down, the body begins its journey as well.  It’s genetic as well, which means that those of us with relatives with the disease, can be subject to it in the future.

Think about that for a moment…what you may be witnessing as a child of a parent with Alzheimer’s, may be you one day.  It puts a terrible spin on the whole experience, don’t you think?  For then, with that knowledge, we wonder if we have it and every tidbit of forgetfulness becomes a full blown worry if it’s early onset of the disease.

Just because a parent has the disease, doesn’t necessarily mean that the offspring will develop it though, which is good news.  For it’s hard enough to watch a loved one struggle to hold onto information, recognize people and remember that loved ones have passed away.  The incessant questioning and cycles of repetition can make it hard to be patient, especially when we are hurting as well.  In truth, I’ve cried a boatload of tears lately in frustration and sadness in feeling so helpless.

The power of prayer and faith helps.  When I can’t stop trying to fix the situation or at least better it, I find that getting on my knees to pray helps quiet my mind.  Simply handing it over to God for the night, once I finally let go, let Him in and let God take it from here that is.  I’m a tough cookie.  I like to keep a handle on things so it’s harder for me to allow the Universe and God to hold onto everything while I sleep. But it helps so much.

Do you ever find yourself on your knees praying when all else fails?

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Sundowning and Alzheimer’s Disease

sundowning

Confusion, extreme confusion, often comes during late afternoon or at night for those with Alzheimer’s and so that’s why it’s called sundowning.  Lately, we’ve seen it come and go at all times of day, with no predictable time frame.

Watching a loved one fret and worry is exhausting for the loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia and for those of us who care for them.  As the mind whirls into a vortex of unpredictability, thoughts firing at random, words tumbling out nonsensically, a helplessness sinks in and an urgency to help in any way possible to allow for peace and tranquility.

When sleep can be encouraged, it seems to dilute the chaos in their minds, allowing our loved one a little peace.  Changing the subject to one of love and beauty helps as well, but sometimes that button cannot be unpushed, the channel cannot be changed and we all whirl in the frenzy for a bit.

Have you ever experienced this as a caregiver of a loved one?

It’s not easy to remain untouched by the emotionality of the situation, let alone what is unknowingly coming out of their mouth.  Thoughts flicker, reality surges and fades and my heart breaks wide open with sadness for I cannot even begin to fathom how hard this is for her, let alone for me.

This disease is just so hard and old age, as the adage goes, ‘ain’t for sissies.’

Shine On!

xo