By Holly Whiteside, AgingCare.com
It is said that the two Chinese characters for “crisis” mean both “danger” and “opportunity”. When a life event like caregiving lands like a bomb, it initially feels more like the danger element. However, by asking the right questions, the derailment can put you on a powerful new path of opportunity. For me at age 43, the bomb was when my mother, who I had been avoiding since I was 14, came to live near me. The quality of my questions were suddenly critical to my emotional survival.
As I moved into the terrain of caregiving, the questions that fueled my survival and personal growth evolved from, “To what am I committed?” and “How can I give without giving myself away?” to “What is the source of my energy and peace?” and then “What would be available to me if I opened my heart to my mother?” Those four little questions point to a broad range of experiences. I answered them by applying to myself the life coaching principles that I had been learning and teaching others as a life coach. By the end of my decade with Mom, we had forged a loving relationship.
After Mom died, I asked two questions, “Who am I if I am not a caregiver?” and “Can what I have learned about thriving during caregiving be of some use to others?”
I documented the principles that had kept me sane and tested them out by coaching other caregivers. Then I wrote “The Caregiver’s Compass”, a handbook of simple tools for gaining greater emotional and life balance, with the intent of helping the reader to discover their own positive experience.
So, what are the questions that a mindful caregiver might ask in order to be more peaceful as well as more effective? Here are a few of the more fundamental ones.
Questions to Help Mindful Caregivers to Find Emotional Balance originally appeared on AgingCare.com.