Reflections on the Journey
Written by Kathryn Calzavara, Spiritual Health Practitioner, Palliative Care Program

“Do not think that love and care, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love and care without getting tired.” – Saint Teresa

During the spring we see an abundance of new life in the environment around us – from the colourful flowers in the garden to the singing birds in the sky. It is also important for us to recognize the new life that is constantly regenerating within ourselves. This is the resiliency we build to sustain us.

Just as it is with new life in nature we must dutifully tend to our own needs to foster healthy growth and sustenance. Part of attending to our own needs is to recognize that sometimes we must put ourselves first. This is not something that comes easily to those of us in the caregiving field. Our needs can often be overlooked in the busyness of the day or in putting other's needs ahead of our own.

Each of us has a tender heart and helping spirit to comfort and uphold those in our care. But at times the emotional difficulty of such work may weigh heavily on our spirit. In these moments it is important to remember that we are not alone and that we have a supportive team around us.

As a professional caregiver we have a duty to care for ourselves as lovingly as we care for our patients. May I offer you a quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn on the importance of mindfulness; a spiritual contemplative practice that connects us to the present moment and can ground us in any situation including the stressful or challenging times in our day.

“Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.”

May you be surrounded with encouragement, support, hope, and mindfulness as you go through each day.

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