Saturday, April 23, 2011


Here's another sneak preview of the “The Caregiver Hour” April radio show series entitled “The Intentional Caregiver” (see more info below). Here, we're looking at the weekly topics through the MindfulCaregiving lens. On Monday, 4/25, in this final show in the series, Kim and I will wrap up the month by sharing the most powerful key to a caregiver's peace of mind. Our guest will be Debra Young, Owner of Empowerability, LLC. See below details for tuning in or catching archived shows.

Part 4 — The Payoff of Intentional Acceptance

What you resist,
— Carl Jung

Caregiving is littered with opportunities to practice the opposite of acceptance, resistance. It is normal to resist the behavior of others, the aging of your loved one, your own feelings of powerlessness, or the undeniable facts of aging and caregiving. That grip of tension in the jaw or solar plexus can be a sure sign that resistance to something is kicking in.

Resistance is one of the caregiver’s biggest energy drains. When you’re angry, frustrated, or judgmental, you’re locked into negative energy. The more you resist, the more time and energy you waste, the more resistance there is, and so on in a self-perpetuating drain cycle.

So, what to do with that? We start where we must always start, by looking straight at it. Even as we’re groping for a different action to take, it can be that the only right action is inaction. Stop. Take a breath. Notice what is. You can’t get beyond resistance until you clearly see it. What do you resist in caregiving? Make a list. Just seeing the list in front of you can give you some power over it.

What then? “What You Resist Persists” means also that “What you focus on is what you get.” Focus too long on being angry and you experience more anger. Focus on another’s annoying behaviors and you see only those annoying behaviors. Or, as Abraham Maslow put it, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. So we don’t want to focus too long on our list.

Then what can we do? Steadily and intentionally question the source of the resistance and then seek out opportunities for acceptance, or allowing. Your greatest freedom rises from your power to intentionally choose to accept as much as possible in this caregiving journey of change. As the serenity prayer suggests, accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can, and be aware of the difference. I would add to that, then REfocus. When you see things you cannot change yet have a hard time accepting, refocus.

You can’t change other people, you can’t change many things in the course of caregiving, but you can wrest some peace from the grip of negativity, fear, and judgment. It takes no time at all. In fact, you can save precious moments, reclaiming them through acceptance and refocusing.

Check out “The Caregiver Hour” Radio Show

Throughout April, the topic of “The Caregiver Hour” weekly radio show will be “The Intentional Caregiver”. In four shows, Holly will join host Kim Linder and her guests to empower caregivers to approach caregiving with mindful intentionality.

“The Caregiver Hour” airs every Monday at 11:00 EST online at or on Tampa Bay radio WHNZ Station 1250 AM.
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Monday, April 4, 2011


Here's what happened this morning on show #1, "The Cost of UNintentionality"...

We had a rich first show in “The Intentional Caregiver” April series on The Caregiver Hour radio, with host Kim Linder. Kim had graciously invited me to co-host the show, and we had two fabulous guests who spoke from quite diffrent perspectives about “The Cost of Unintentionality”.

Michele Gravelle, President of “Successful Conversations Now” is an expert on making relationships work. She is also long-distance caregiver for her 83-year-old parents. She brought the caregiver listeners deeply personal and powerful insights as she shared how she applies her knowledge to her caregiving. My take-away from the show? That Michele knows when she is acting UNintentionally (automatically) by the feelings in her body. Tension in her gut tells her to stop, take a deep breath, and question whether the way she is being is the most effective. She gets back in touch with herself. From that point, she said, numerous options and choices become available. Michele can be reached through

Susan Avello, VP of, broke wide open the much needed conversation about the “juggling act” experienced by working caregivers. She not only encouraged caregivers in the workplace to talk to their HR person about how the company can support their caregiving workers (20%-30% of employees!), she also emphasized the business advantages to companies ensuring that their caregiving employees are supported at work. Informational lunches led by local support services are one (often) free and effective way to give employees access to the support they need in order to keep working, and to minimize stress and downtime. AgingInfoUsa is a national company that advises corporations on how to put caregiver support programs in place.

The show also included Linda Burhans, Author and Caregiver Advocate with Harmony Home Health. They're having a contest for caregiver stories! Linda and Harmony Home Health are writing a book that is a collection of caregiver stories. For more, go to

Join us next Monday, 4/11, from 11-12 noon (EST) at for show #2 in the series. We’ll be talking with two more great guests about “The Payoff of Intentional Self-awareness”.
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