As featured in North Hawaii News July, 2016
I would like to share a wonderful concept that has taken me to a new level of personal responsibility for the fulfillment of my life. It’s through a book called The Miracle Morning in which Hal Elrod’s formula leads you to personal success.
Many of us have heard about the power of meditation, journaling, visualizing, speaking personal affirmations to oneself and/or exercising. It is up to each of us to prioritize living out our best life, and doing it right now to get the most out of the gift of life we each have been given.
Intentional choices will help serve your truest needs throughout any storm. For caregivers, that storm starts in many different forms. Some have what could be likened to a gentle trickle of rain when they start noticing that mom hasn’t changed her clothes or showered in a week. Others get surprised by a comparative hail storm out of nowhere when a phone call comes in the middle of the night revealing the dad broke his hip and will need immediate 24/7 assistance.
Many relationships can become quite strained through the inevitable lifestyle shifts that family caregiving brings. Most family caregivers struggle to some degree in the relationship with their adult loved one, especially if their involvement is based upon guilt from deep-seeded issues. The steps they take before and throughout their experience will greatly affect their response to these life changes.
If you find yourself in a caregiving situation, your life is likely to be permanently altered from this experience, and can be forever changed in a good way. Most everyone has heard of post-traumatic stress disorder, yet few are aware of post-traumatic growth. This concept addresses the positive changes and benefits which occur after a traumatic experience.
According to Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun, University of North Carolina at Charlotte researchers who wrote a handbook about this topic, there are five general areas of growth after experiencing a life crises. There is an opening up to new possibilities, a new form of empathy and connection with others, a renewed sense of inner strength, increased appreciation for life and a greater sense of the spiritual realm.
Tedeschi and Calhoun have found that solid social support helps determine just how aware the caregiver becomes of the benefits that arose through their experience. It is with this concept in mind that I am revitalizing a Caregiving Conversations group at Tutu’s House, the first Wednesday of every month from 11a-12p. I have found that creating a space for people who currently, or may soon provide care for, an adult loved one provides them with an opportunity to assist with their current and post-traumatic growth.
Please consider reading The Miracle Morning or simply getting the gist of Hal’s work at www.miraclemorning.com. It is a great practice for everyone, and I highly encourage caregivers to make it a priority to get each day started off in a way that opens the door for miraculous occurrences. We only have one life to live, so let’s be intentional about it!