Registration is now open for the “Self Care by the Sea” retreat next April at the Stage Neck Inn in York, Maine. Since there are only 50 spots available, I’m offering this event to you first before I open it to my social media community later this week.
The retreat will sell out, so if you intend to go, please register now and book your room. You can get all the details here.
Have a wonderful week!
p.s. – Need a little Divine Direction? Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here.
Where to turn in the toughest of times.
I’m sitting in a hospital room with my dad who was admitted three days ago for complications from congestive heart failure. He’s sound asleep in a reclining chair, finally getting some much-needed rest.
I study his face, his feet, his hands, memorizing the shapes and lines by heart. I listen carefully to his labored breathing, a sound that anchors me to this moment.
But the truth is I’d rather be somewhere else.
I’d like to be lying on a beach listening to the sound of the sea.
I want to stare out the window and think about work, what to have for dinner, or how to efficiently tackle my to-do list.
I’d even rather be in the gift store on the third floor browsing through shelves of trinkets or racks of cards with inspirational get well messages.
Anywhere but here.
I’m not sure I can stand the unbearable helplessness creeping up from my feet, into my belly and throat, slowly taking full possession of my body.
There are times in life when we’re forced to rally every last inner resource we can find to stay with feelings that are so difficult we’d rather run like hell from the present moment.
But I teach presence.
I’ve covered so much white space over the last two years writing about the power of presence, that I know better than to run.
So I close my eyes and turn toward gratitude – always my saving grace. Appreciation opens the heart. And when the heart opens, love pours in.
Here’s what I’m grateful for in this moment…
I’m grateful to Diane, the medical assistant, who’s worked here in the hospital every Saturday and Sunday for the last 28 years. She used her connection to the head of housekeeping to get my dad the reclining chair he needed so he can sleep and breathe at the same time.
I wanted to grab her face and kiss her when she wheeled the thing into the room.
I’m grateful for the young doctor, Lindsay, who showed up at the best possible moment and said what my dad needed to hear to feel less afraid and more hopeful.
I’m grateful for the view of giant pine and maple trees outside our window. I imagine them planted long ago by some angel who knew that patients and families would need to call upon their majestic energy and strength.
And as I write this blog, I feel grateful for every single email I’ve ever received from readers who shared the beauty and heartache of caring for loved ones as they age or face crises.
Just this morning I received a message from Olympia in Melbourne, Australia, who told me how she finds the strength to take good care of her mom who’s 96.
Little did she know I’d need her wisdom right now. Thank you, Olympia #x2665;.
As I consider things big and small to feel grateful for, I feel better.
And I feel present to what’s before me.
Gratitude has led me back to my dad sleeping in the chair. As I watch his belly rise and fall, I feel a little stronger, and not so afraid. We’ll get through this, I tell the little girl inside who’s afraid of losing her dad. Because in this moment, I know the truth…
Presence heals, even in the toughest of times.
This Week’s Video
This week’s video will lift your spirits (it did mine). Check it out here.