Throughout April, The Caregiver Hour weekly radio show is featuring a series of interviews with Holly Whiteside exploring “The Intentional Caregiver.” This Monday, April 11 at noon EST, Holly will join host Kim Linder and Eden Alternative CEO Chris Perna to discuss empowering caregivers to approach caregiving with mindful intentionality.
Holly Whiteside is author of “The Caregiver’s Compass” and “Exploring Hell and Other Warm Places” and a contributor to ChangingAging.org. Holly recently blogged about her upcoming interview and how caregiving puts us in situations where we confront feelings of resistance towards the behavior of others, the aging of a loved one, our own feelings of powerlessness, or the undeniable facts of aging:
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.
How do you escape the cycle of negativity, fear and judgement that often accompanies caregiving? Through acceptance, refocusing and “intentional caregiving”, Holly wrote. Read the full post here and listen to The Caregiver Hour online at http://www.thecaregiverhour.com/ or on Tampa Bay radio WHNZ Station 1250 AM.