In today's episode we take a moment to consider a new perspective on life's situations, circumstances, and experiences that feel like we are lost in the jungle, just been jolted, and need a jumpstart to our joy.
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Be blessed. Not stressed. Why?
Because yours and their lives depend on it.
Aminah Amarachi- Your host
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S1E16 - A Caregiver's Life: A Jungle, Jolt, Jumpstart, or Joy...Your Choice
Intro Music: Royalty Free
Promo: BuzzSprout Services
Grand risings and runnings, family, and welcome back to our Joy in the Midst of It All podcast show. I am your host - Aminah Amarachi.
Before we begin our journey, I’d like to take this moment to give thanks for all things in life - the lessons, losses, triumphs, and blessings. Why? Because each one carries within it some present or future gift. So, I am grateful for all of my gifts, no matter how they have come packaged or how they are presented to me. I embrace and celebrate them all.
Now, let’s continue our journey…
Recently, I was reflecting on some news that I’d received, within the last six months, which had me feeling some kind of way, and needing to pause and reflect upon the gift within seeming jolts along my life’s path. After allowing myself the time and space to be with the energy that flowed through me…i.e…all up in my feelings and having some “OK, God, now what?” moments, I surrendered to being led to understand and value the gift within what had felt almost like two by fours at time…Thus, the title for today’s show.
Today’s Episode: A Caregiver's Life: Jungle, Jolt, Jumpstart, or Joy...Your Choice
The year: 2022
The dates: At least two, including the most recent one come to mind, for which I received out of the blue news that in those moments felt like potential rugs being pulled from underneath me.
The scene: Imagine you are going along about your current routine – You know, you get up, get dressed, eat, go to work, run errands, come home, clear your mind, eat, enjoy some you time, go to bed, sleep, then rinse and repeat. Sound familiar? It’s called falling into a comfort zone. Now, I can only speak for myself, yet I think that for many of us, both caregivers and non-caregivers alike, we have all found ourselves settling into our comfort zones – sometimes consciously while at other times unconsciously. Either way, we have gotten too familiar, or too comfortable, with just going along to getting along…even though Spirit is showering us with ideas, that are flowing forth from within us, and opportunities being presented to us, daily, which are continuously calling us up out of our comfort zones, into our Greater.
The Story: Recently, I had put some things into place, which I thought would lead to the end of a long and consuming part of my journey. I’d dotted all the “i” and crossed all the “t”, yet due to situations outside of my serenity prayer control, I recently learned as they say, “It ain’t over until God says it’s over.” Well, at that moment I felt as if I was back at square one.
Now, before we continue, let me share with you why the title of this episode appealed to me. Depending on where you are in your shanana each of the words Jungle, Jolt, Jumpstart, and Joy could take on more than one meaning for you.
For example: A jungle may conjure up thoughts of being somewhere that is unsafe, unfamiliar, unclear, tangled up, or scary…as it is often presented literally and metaphorically. Yet, when you look a little closer you can open yourself up to the possibility that the “jungle” might actually be a jungle gym…a place of adventure, learning how well you navigate an obstacle, fun, laughter, and joy.
Similarly, the word jolt is often used with being a shock - informationally, chemically, physically or electrically, you know like the loss of a loved one, that strong black cup of coffee, or touching something electric with wet hands (Don’t do that, ever).
However, with fresh eyes, at least for me, I had been given the opportunity to reframe it as a swift nudge in the tush to get about the business of what I am called and purposed to do in life.
The jumpstart began long ago. It began when God clearly told me that it was time to leave a place where I used to work, in a field that had been my career, up until then. Let’s just say, I started to question the command, yet because it came with such clarity and definitive-ness, I surrendered.
Well, since being obedient to that command, I have found myself both in moments of pure anticipatory creative joy, and day-in, day-out piddling around in the jungle, not even trying to make my way to the clearing just up ahead. Yet, some of my J. O. Y. has been junctures of yielding – like just being still, listening, connecting in nature and considering insights I am receiving about my path in ways that will ultimately unfold so differently than all that it has been to this point, and as such I’ve spent some time sitting in the comfort of the meantime, ie. what will my life look like beyond what I’ve always known it to be, and myself within it.
Stay tuned for more right after our first spotlight moment.
Now, for our first spotlight moment…
Spotlight Moment #1:
Our first spotlight moment is for Susan Formby and the Alzheimer’s Association. During our Dad’s journey through Alzheimer’s, Susan, and her team were a wealth of information and support for our family. So, as we journey through this 2022 National Alzheimer’s month, from our family to you and yours, we thank you. Caregivers, check out your own state and local chapters of whichever type of caregiver support that you need – new moms, empty nesters caring for their parents or beloveds, children caring for their grandparents, etc.. Reach out. Why? Because no caregiver needs to be an island.
Now, back to our show…
Welcome Back Family
Now, when I feel moments of being back at square one, I know that I am being called to shift my perspective and allow a new understanding to unfold from within a seeming jolt... into something that not only becomes a juncture of yielding, i.e. take my hands off the wheel and untie the Universe’s hands, so that the fullness of a resolution makes itself known to me, yet also a wonderful gift. Have you ever felt this way, whether you were in caregiving mode or just living your life? For myself...Let’s just say way more than once, if you feel me.
After my jolt to “return within” moment, and reminding myself that the Serenity Prayer was purposed for seasons such as this, I got still. I connected with God, within, and allowed both the questions, and answers to unfold, rise up before me, and take root. And, within those moments of stillness, connection, reflections, and revelations appeared solutions that I only could have perceived by moving beyond my outer comfort zone, and into my inner creation zone.
Can we say, a way has been made for me to ease through the jungle of this jolt, which has jump started me out of my comfort zone, and back onto my journey of creative joy. See all of them, at least for me, have been gifts hidden right before my eyes – the jungle, jolt, jump start, and joy. They all offer me a choice in how I respond to situations, circumstances, and experiences in my life.
Whether you have been called to be the caregiver of a loved one, or called to walk in your purpose, Spirit never ceases in supporting you with getting all the way there, even if it may need to detour you into a seeming jungle, give you a jump starting jolt, or remind you of the joy within the journey of your life, no matter what I looks like in any given moment.
Turn away from anything that would distract you from your purpose, and your joy. Then, go within. The message I received was “I have everything I need to bring this leg of my journey to its ultimate completion and closure.” “Worry not, for I know the plans I have for you…good ole Jeremiah 29:11.”
Now, it’s time for our next Spotlight moment…
Spotlight Moment #2:
This spotlight moment is for Kim Franklin. Starting out as a caregiver the one thing concerned me a great deal of the time, was becoming so tired that I wouldn’t be aware of our Dede sundowning – waking up in the middle of the night and thinking that it was daylight and walking out the house without me knowing it.
Well, as grace would have it, since he had retired many years before and has always been a “front porch” people watcher, he never really sundowned. He enjoyed being at home, along with occasional outing to Waffle House.
Then, thanks to Ms. Kim introducing us to Medic Alert, I could rest easier knowing that if our Dede ever wandered off, whether from home, or while we were out and about, Medic Alert would help us to locate him, and let others know how they could help him until we were reunited. Thanks Ms. Kim, and the Alzheimer’s Association organization.
Now, back to our show…
Here are my take-away, tip, tool, and toss.
No matter what it looks like, how it rolls up on you, or is presented to you, ask the Divine, within, a few questions a) What is the meaning or lesson that I am being taught in this moment, b) How would you have me to move, or be still, in this moment, and c) Who have you chosen to support me in this moment? Then give thanks for the guidance and the blessings that are already on their way – the answer, the support, a new season, a new opportunity, closure, completion, resolution or a new beginning.
It is okay to have a moment, or a few. With some tears, too. Some unblocking of our emotional channels, flushed clear with warming, releasing tears, is always good for you. Let them fall.
A good box of tissues, your favorite reflective passtime – walking, being in nature, yoga, or a good funny or freeing movie, a journal and pen, and your favorite drink.
Be willing to be supported, in both your moments of celebration, and your moments of contemplation at your crossroads. Reach out to one of your good-good inner circle friends, and ask them to be a soft place for you to land as you navigate the next most appropriate step in your journey. Surrender to allowing yourself to be cared for just as much as you care for, champion, and celebrate everyone else. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain – connection, insights, support, and messages sent for you, through them, by God, for your good.
In closing, I’d like to take this time to thank you all, both my seasoned and new followers, for spending your time with me on today’s Joy in the Midst of It All journey. Now, take a moment to tap the button on your favorite podcast streaming platform to tune in, follow, subscribe and rate the show. You may have to log into some of the platform, depending on the service you use in order to rate the show.
You will also receive updates when a new episode is released. We release an episode every second and fourth Thursday of the month. OK. So, go ahead and tag a family caregiver, or a few, if you know them, and tell them one thing you have learned today, or from any previous episode, that will support you, and maybe them, in moving through the caregiving journey with more ease, no matter who or how God has chosen for you or them to offer your gift of caregiving to your loved ones.
Then, blaze a trail on over to my podcast website, for the show notes, transcript, and any links, and if your heart so leads you tip me what I like to call a “Cup of J.O.E. (A jolt of encouragement and support),” over at my Buy Me a Cup of Coffee website link. Understand, though, I do prefer a great cup of tea and lemonade...Arnold Palmer...for sure... You will see the link in the show notes.
I am your host Aminah, and I want you to be blessed and less stressed...Why?, because yours and their lives depend on it. Have a great day.
Outro Music: Royalty Free