"Changing Thoughts....Changes Feelings...Changes Your Life!"
My family struggles with the balance of caring for our vulnerable adult father. Most of the burden falls on me because I am POA. This week I discovered the power of communication and conscious awareness as I dealt with possibly putting my father on hospice, medication mishaps, family tensions, extra appointments and phone calls dealing with the mishaps, and sadly watching how others care for my father as if he is an object rather than a human with no voice trapped in his body. All of this is happening while I am running my business, and taking care of my (3) dependent children (my poor husband gets put on the back burner during weeks like these). I realized how grateful I was to be able to go thru IPEC's program (life coaching certification). I was given an amazing opportunity to take an ELI Assessment (Energy Leadership Index) teaching me how to effectively communicate and understand my frustrations, anger and stress that life so often presents us. This assessment helps you understand what your energy is under ideal life circumstances like when I was on vacation a couple weeks ago in Florida. And then what happens to our energy (how we respond) when we feel stress.
We all know stress does not exist because what I consider stressful is NOT the same for others around me. In order for stress to be real it must have consistency with everyone. The only thing we can agree on is we feel stress but what causes the stress varies for everyone. What I decide is stressful in life is completely different than my husband or my children or my friends. Because there is not a constant here, the truth lies in the eyes of the beholder. How we interpret what is happening (our perspective or filter on life) and how we describe what is happening determines how stressful life is. Stress is normal to experience even everyday but how we respond to stress or describe it in our head, determines how much joy we will experience. And I don't know about you but I could experience more joy in my life.
Making all these decisions for my dad and consuming so much of my time was very stressful for me. I was determined to pull myself out of my pity party (even though I had been caring for him for the last 5 years and this seemed to one of many obstacles) and change my perspective. This started with getting consciously aware of my thoughts and how I was describing what was happening. I wanted to experience more joy even when life was consuming my time. The way to doing this was to align my actions/words with my values. I needed to intrinsically motivate myself and the first step is to start with aligning my everyday actions (how I responded to what was happening) with my values. It was starting with communicating effectively to my family how I was feeling and asking for more help. Then purposely getting angry and telling the facility taking care of my dad exactly the actions I was going to take to keep him and other residents safe and healthy. And finally changing the conversations in my head about how I was describing all the extra time I was putting in so I felt grateful instead of resentful. This started with thinking about WHY I was determined to put in all this extra time and how I didn't want to miss my children's activities no matter how tired I was. This changed EVERYTHING for me!
You see by changing my perspective, I was purposely bringing more joy into my life. Who doesn't want more joy in their life? I think if most people saw the 14-16 hour days I have put in for the last 6 months due to some of these circumstances, they would wonder how it could bring joy? Joy lies all within our minds! It is solely dependent on how we describe what is happening in our life! This is why you see people who are put under extreme circumstances (like hostages) and end up finding peace. It is directly linked to our conversations in our head (our perspective). If you want to bring more joy into your life, pay attention to how you are describing what is happening in your life. If you are interested in more info on how to get clarity on your conversations in your head: Click Here
Sending you much JOY!
Embrace Health Director
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