I believe that it is valuable for each of us to recognize our lifestyle patterns in order to pursue and achieve our most desirable goals. Many of us strive for routines that will consistently improve our quality of life. When we find ourselves in a caregiving situation it is even more imperative that we establish a pattern of care for ourselves as well.
Something that I’ve recognized over the years is that the people closest to us can be the ones who get the last bit of energy we have. They can also be the ones who get hit the hardest with our stress and frustration. I suppose it’s because we feel safe to just “be ourselves” with them. It’s kind of interesting that if we overheard someone else speaking to our loved one with the same level of aggravation, we’d jump to their rescue in a flash. So why on earth do we get so caught up in our own patterns and feel they are acceptable?
I am currently reading a book for my WOW Biz! Book Club called “The Inside-Out Revolution” by Michael Neill. He has tapped into a profound yet simple concept that offers us a way to stay focused on that which really matters in our lives. Ultimately, it’s our perspective that creates the majority of our experiences. Raising your awareness to these unconscious thoughts and beliefs, along with realizing that increased awareness gives you power over your own personal responses, could shift your pattern into something even more desirable.
What is your unique pattern? If you were to stand on top of Mauna Kea and look down on the picture of your life, what would it look like? This mental exercise helps to contemplate our present situation from a different viewpoint.
Does your pattern leave you with a headache because there’s so much happening, or do you feel peaceful from the smooth gentle design? Are you treating yourself, and those around you, in a way that you would be comfortable with if it was your last day to interact with them?
I hope you have an opportunity to appreciate what habits are working in your life as well as make choices about what you want it to look and feel like. When you are in the position to assist someone you care about, hopefully your raised awareness will help you respond with an extra supportive and patient attitude. Now let’s pick up the paintbrush with a renewed sense of creativity and continue painting the personal masterpiece of each of our lives.
Karyn Clay has a BA in gerontology from SDSU and has been caring for older adults in a variety of programs for the past 20 years. She operates Ho’oNani Place, Waimea’s Adult Day Care Center, which she established in 2002.