Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3 Principles & 9 Tips from “The Caregiver’s Compass"

In “The Caregiver’s Compass”, the reader applies a few basic principles to a wide range of caregiving issues and experiences. Whether looking at the value of anger, navigating crises, recharging the spirit, or picking your battles, the reader learns:
  • First, be present, since it is only in the present moment that any of us makes a difference at all;
  • Second, monitor your thoughts and the words with which you describe your caregiving. Since language creates reality (Searles, Flores), choose your words to create the best possible experience for you and your loved one;
  • Third, notice your resistance to moments, circumstances, and people. Since “what you resist persists” (Jung), by choosing to allow things to be as they are, they are free to move and you can become unstuck.
Some tips or points to remember from the book include:
  • If you’re going to make something up, make it life-serving. Speak and think in a way that generates the kind of caregiving you want to be doing.
  • What you resist persists.
  • Fear is usually not an indicator of a life-or-death crisis.
  • Asking for support in the form of partnership can be empowering.
  • Whatever your strengths, caregiving will call on you to stretch. Do what works rather than what is habitual.
  • You can’t change someone else—you can only change your part of the equation.
  • Give enough, but not too much. Helping or fixing can disempower your loved one.
  • You already know the things that lift your spirit. Tend to them.
  • Let humor grease the skids of your day.
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