Care for the Caregiver

I have received many testimonials from a wide variety of people who have experienced 30 Days to Grace in the last 12 months.  The beautiful outcome of this practice is that it has touched people in a way I could never have imagined when I set out to find an simple way to honor my daily yoga practice.  I wanted to share this particular anecdote I received recently because it speaks so powerfully to the all-important need for care for the caregiver. 

 My Mother died in 2009 of late stage Alzheimers Disease.  We were very close and watching her suffer was heartbreaking.  Several months later my husband’s Alzheimers progressed and our lives changed dramatically. I could no longer leave home without him and never be sure of his behavior in public. He was afraid when I wasn’t with him and I became a 24/7 caretaker.   In yoga class, I overheard you speaking with another student about your CD, 30 Days to Grace, and I brought it home that day. On Sunday, 2/28/10, I took my first step on my new journey. I breathed, posed, meditated and wrote in my journal.  After several days I felt empowered and motivated.  I knew this was more than a 30-day trip. My intentions helped me focus on my husband’s needs and moods and I felt so good when we both were trying together.  I play your CD on the afternoons that are filled with anxiety. When my husband hears you he knows it’s “Diane.” My journal became my friend where I complained about my stresses and bragged on my achievements.  I found my “30 Days” intertwining my life and practice.  I don’t cry as much anymore.  I have lived “30 Days to Grace” for 8 months. On those difficult days when I don’t feel like getting out of bed, I hear you saying, “Congratulations for showing up today.” Someone cares. That’s when I cry. And show up. And celebrate.  

 Wow.  I am so grateful to know that this practice has had such a life-changing effect on these two people’s lives.  We often forget that our stress, our anxiety, our challenges to cope have a direct effect on everyone around us.  Self-care for the caregiver is no longer an option but a necessity to keep everyone safe and whole. 

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