Integrity as Self Care

Ever have the experience of not being honest & true to yourself?

Maybe you put someone else first when it wasn’t warranted, or went along with another’s idea of right & wrong just to please them. Maybe you’re the “nice” gal or guy and always have been. Why should you stop now? How dare you not be the one to make everything right, smooth it over, pull it all together and make it look good!

As my Mom’s cancer grew this year, and her body and mind grew weary, she became steady and focused in her choice to die as she pleased.

“Of course I don’t want to have cancer and die,” she said, “but I am dying, and I want to live each day I have free of drugs and interventions. I want to see the beauty of the flowers and the sun shining on the lake and be held by my husband and embraced and cared for by my family.”

She had been a caregiver all her life, and always put others first. This time she dropped into her heart, her love of life and self, and made the decision to die as she wished. She drew on all the strength and skills that she had in order to do what was best for her. And, she passed in integrity, courage and love.

Yesterday I made a choice to live in my integrity and to choose self care over pleasing another. It was a simple choice compared to Mom’s courage, but I have learned that I am worthy of self-love.

I don’t have to spend my time befriending and being polite to another when I do not have acceptance and forgiveness inside. Time does soften wounds so perhaps one day, when I am ready, I’ll be open to this person. For now, I choose an act of kindness for me, for self care for enjoying my day, and for setting a boundary.

How about you?

Will you allow an act of kindness and love for yourself today?
Perhaps even a revolutionary act of self love!

Send an e-mail & let me know if you do!

Namaste, Susan

One thing I know for sure…. Love is the answer!
And Trust, Faith & Surrender

“Nature’s Promise,” Kittery Point Maine, photo by Susan 3/21/2020

Ten years ago our daughter Cada was lying in a hospital bed hooked up to every life support possible. She had the rarest case of anthrax.

One night Cada was surrounded by nurses and doctors who were trying to get her extreme hypotension (crashing blood pressure) under control. We were told that she would not make it through the night. This was the second time that we had been told such a thing. The first was at our local hospital, when her doctor looked at us dejectedly and said that there was nothing they could do and that Cada would not make it through the night. Luckily, it was still early afternoon, and with a quick meeting of specialists and finally an open bed at Mass General, she was out of there!  We got her to MGH with hopes of a miracle. It was all quite surreal.

So there we were at MGH. The plaque as you enter the Medical Intensive Care Unit says that family is welcome here. More than welcomed, we were considered integral to the team of care and we all worked together to save our daughter’s life. Several weeks into Cada’s ICU stay came that night when we were told again, “We are so sorry but …..”

Holy shit! What? We are here at one of the best hospitals in the world and they are telling us again that our daughter would not make it through the night. Could this really be happening?

One nurse told me that there are times when you just have to let go. Yup, but this was no time for letting go!  However, it was a time for surrendering to the present moment. There is a big difference.  We surrendered, accepting, and feeling the crisis we were in. We prayed, asking for a greater force and power of love to be with us, guide us and nourish us. Our family, including me, our son and my husband, stood in the hall holding hands and embracing Cada’s spirit that emanated from her crowded hospital room. We surrendered to what was, to a higher power, universal love and the highest good. Then our son began drawing Cada’s organs clear & healthy. And we all began a list of how we envisioned Cada living in the future. I had posted a picture of her dancing, so that the medical professionals would know this woman as vibrant and alive. We called our loved ones and friends for support, and we hugged and held each other in spirit in her room that night. And with Grace a miracle happened. One of the doctors had gone home and much later called and said, “I’ve got an idea, I’m coming back in”.  She and the pulmonary specialist worked with Cada’s ventilator, figuring out how to get oxygen to her lungs. Through love, dedication, caring, and great skill and action a shift happened!

Days, weeks, months even a year later Cada continued to recover. She is now alive, vibrant, loving and living well. I thank God, our friends, our family and our daughter’s strong will and spirit. I thank the nurses, doctors, technicians and staff for their tremendous dedication. By the way, the nurse who suggested I let go, became one of our strongest allies. We are so appreciative of the medical providers’ vigilant watch, long hours of care, loving kindness, and the respect, dignity and worth given to us as a family.

Now, today, we are ALL in the new reality of Covid -19 together.

May we accept and surrender to the present moments.
May the lives of medical professionals, food workers, government leaders and all others working to help us, be held safely in love.
May their hands be blessed.
May we hold faith.
May we trust in a brighter future.
May we be kind and generous to one another.
May we treat each other with respect.

God bless us all, each and every one of us.
No exceptions!

With light, love and blessings,
Susan

 

5 Attributes of Self Compassion

Self compassion allows you to live a life more connected to yourself and to those you love. And when you have compassion from the inside out, it expands into an ever widening circle.  Research has demonstrated that self compassion helps to decrease anxiety, depression and stress and to increase our coping skills and happiness.

To enhance your self compassion:

  1. acknowledge your difficulties, challenges, pain, & suffering. Notice when life is hard for you.
  2. know that you are not alone! This is “common humanity.” We all have individual and collective sufferings.
  3. treat yourself with kindness, compassion, & tenderness. Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend who is suffering.
  4. connect with community
  5. practice what soothes, nourishes & strenghtens your mind, body & spirit.

 

Maine Summer Salad

Ingredients All Freshly picked

Salad

greens mix (washed)
sprouts
cucumbers
bluberries
crabmeat (mixed with lemon, sea salt & pepper)

Dressing (whisk together)
olive, oil
lemon
white vinegar
mustard
sea salt & pepper

Sit by the sea & Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Summer Salad & Strawberry Vinaigrette

Celebrate the gift of summer greens & strawberries!
It’s a short season here in New England and the time is now.
Try planting some in your own back yard, porch or go to your local farmer’s market.

This salad has mixed lettuce greens, arugula, microgreens & edible flowers (pink rose, nasturtium, pansy & marigold.

 Strawberry Vinaigrette
1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
1 tblsp. raw honey
3 tblsp. olive oil
3 tblsp. flax oil
1 tblsp. balsamic vinegar
1 lemon squeezed
1 tblsp. julienned mint
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste.

Put everything except strawberries in a bowl and whisk.
Add the strawberries and let them macerate for half an hour.
Place all in a processor and blend.

Pour over your salad & Enjoy!