Spring is in the air here in the Netherlands and each day the trees bud out more, the small bushes are greener or leaves are fully open. The daffodils and crocuses are blooming everywhere. I even saw a roundabout in Arnhem filled with purple crocuses. It was gorgeous!
As spring arrives, people start thinking about their summer or holiday travel. Well, most people. Caregivers and their patients may be avoiding that topic all together due to many walls that stand in their way.
I've read a lot of comments in caregiving groups about avoiding travel, or not thinking about it ,and having only a few friends on FB who do not travel so they do not have to look at photos all day long on their feed.
Does it REALLY have to be this way or is there another possibility?
When I began traveling in Europe in 2015, I knew it would be something I would do for the rest of my life. I HAD to travel. So many of my past lives were bound up in the earth here that to...
I love deep conversations. Conversations with questions that fry your brain and make you stop and go.....WHAT?! Sadly the last couple of years, I do not have enough of those kinds of conversations with real living people sitting across from me, to satisfy me. There are a lot of reasons for this - one is self-isolation I was doing. The other is working alone, with a lot of dead people who do not talk for very long, and the pressure of 'having to work or else' which causes a reaction of not going out to have fun or meet new people.
This week I had one of those deep conversations for almost three hours and it totally shifted my reality. I met with a Dutch doctor to discuss WWII research (his project) and caregiving and hospice (things I am working on and experiencing for personal and professional). Through a very open, honest, "I'm gonna ask you possibly uncomfortable questions" energy conversation he asked a question that fried me.
What do you consider success as a caregiver?...
Everyone struggles from time to time wondering who they are, especially after a major event or trauma occurs.
Caregivers may slowly, almost imperceptibly slide into an identity of only being a caregiver. They may forget who they really are.
At some point in 2018, I slipped into this identity of caregiver. That seemed to be all I was or could be or identified with. I forgot how amazing, brilliant, beautiful, inspirational, funny, and awesome I truly am.
My focus has been primarily on my husband's health and well-being the last three years, with more emphasis since early 2018. When I am in the Netherlands or we are together in Chicago - I feel primarily I am a caregiver. When I'm alone in Chicago with my boys - I'm mom or business woman. Yet I forget sometimes I'm all these things and so much more all the time. I am ever evolving!
I think from time to time, whether we are a caregiver or not, we must stop and explore who we are. We must not forget or ignore out amazing, intelligent,...
It's been a week and not all good. The question that keeps coming up is What do I want my life to be like, look like, feel like, have in it? Another question is, What am I no longer willing to accept?
The last few days have not been so easy. I did not expect we would end up in the hospital again. I did not expect I would have to make certain choices or set boundaries this trip. Yet, boundaries were set and I was consciously choosing how to take care of myself.
Even while consciously choosing to take care of myself through all this - that did not make it super easy. Being an empath and medium, even when I shield myself or set protection, I still come home from the hospital or serious doctor visits tired, or exhausted. Add stress to this and worry and not enough answers and it can be difficult to get out of bed or make seemingly simple choices.
Choosing to stay in bed and avoid the outside world is a choice. In the end today, I chose to go walk at Naarden-Vesting. I have wanted...
The last week has not been one I have particularly enjoyed. I am a woman who almost never gets a cold. I haven't had the flu for at least 10 years. I do what I can to stay healthy and drink a tremendous amount of lemon water so I do not get sick. When I am sick, things do not get done and there is always a risk my husband will get sick and that could land him in the hospital.
My body in its infinite wisdom started not feeling quite right a weekend ago. I thought I had an energetic thing going on as there were geomagnetic storms happening. Johan's chemo was bumped by a week so it was to take place last Tuesday. Somehow I knew after we came home, I would probably be sick. I just did not expect the flu.
So the woman who almost never gets sick and feels guilty about taking full days off where she doesn't think about work had no choice but to sleep. I slept most of Wednesday through Saturday with one outing for groceries and another Friday for a short lunch. Hubby was not feeling well...
That word has many different means for different people. For caregivers, it can take on a more negative and low vibrational energy connotation if we are not conscious about shifting this.
Before I met Johan, the man who is now my husband, I was alone as a single mom for several years. All my friends told me when I got divorced that I needed to learn to be alone. It would be good for me. I thought they were nuts.
Turns out though, the year before I met Johan, I really enjoyed being alone when my boys were with their dad. I enjoyed my trip to Europe by myself. I enjoyed the freedom and felt like I was at the beginning of creating a new life for myself.
Then I met Johan and everything changed. No longer would I travel alone or do a lot of things alone, but there would be someone amazing by my side. We were not always together, living on two continents, but when we were, we made the most of our time when his health allowed.
Last year if you have followed my articles, things...
Today I have been preparing marketing pieces for a new webinar I will give, Walking In Their Footsteps, Travel Planning for your World War II Trip to Europe. As I prepare the webinar slides and marketing pieces, I have had the opportunity to look at photos I took while on several Europe trips. You could say I did a little time traveling today.
Looking at photos I have not looked at in a long time, I was reminded of special moments, spiritual experiences, love, loss, and lessons learned. Isn't this something we all do when we go through old photos? Consider the past and how we got from there to here? If you have followed me here or on my WWII Research & Writing Center website for any length of time, you know I am a spiritual person, always seeking to release the past and create more for my future.
Today was no different as I looked at my past through European travel. That travel has taught me many lessons.
A quick check-in from the Netherlands where this week are asking for answers again.
Yesterday was my birthday and it was very low-key. Hubby is not feeling well so we took it easy and went to the golf club for the best burger in the country. Had a long leisurely lunch while the sun played hide and seek with the rain clouds - the usual here in the winter. We enjoyed a quiet evening at home before today's appointments.
I could have sunk into the 'oh the weather is cold, rainy, and grey and it's my birthday and we aren't doing anything big' energy but I did not. Instead I was grateful for being here even with the grey rain than at home in Chicago where it is going to be so cold that records will be set! Grateful for so many small things yesterday and THAT made a huge difference in the energy and made it a beautiful day with my hubby.
I have made it a point not to sink into the negative energy. Lots of factors at play this time but I'm using my caregiver journal, taking time to...
This week I invite you to explore through journaling, your story. How did you get to this place in your life? What lessons did you learn?
Where did you choose what was light and where the energy flowed? Where did you NOT do this?
Through journaling we can look at the lessons we've learned, how far we've come, and acknowledge how amazing and different and special we are. There are no mistakes - everything we have done has helped move us along our path.
I'd love to hear from you if you are journaling or using the Caregiver Journal or the workbook from last week's free workshop. How are the tools helping you shift your life and stay out of the negative energy?
© 2019 Jennifer Holik Finding the Answers Journey
As the government shutdown continues, which affects both my ability to give my research clients the answers and closure they seek as well as my income and ability to support my family, I did find gratitude.
Seeking gratitude even in difficult circumstances can help us shift our energy from something icky and negative to something that creates more in our lives. More joy, abundance, choice, possibility, adventure, anything.
What are you grateful for today that was born of a difficult circumstance?
© 2019 Jennifer Holik Finding the Answers Journey