Since I was a child, I’ve carried the question, ‘What should I do?’ I’ve looked at the confusing world and wondered how to understand this and respond to that. The question ‘What should I do?’ seems particularly poignant today as we face a global pandemic. What should we, people embedded in wealth, security, and relationships, do?
Jonathan Prescott is interviewed by author Connie McDougall for her article, Be Chill, My Heart: The Science Behind Heartbreak and How to Cope With It in 3rd Act, Fall 2019. We discuss how to face difficulty without becoming overwhelmed.
Honoring our ancestors is an act of love. We didn’t appear out of thin air; those who came before us created the conditions necessary for us to live and (hopefully) thrive. Noticing and offering gratitude for those gifts honors our ancestors – and also brings us joy.
This photo of a courtyard in the 800-year-old Liuyuan Garden in Suzhou, China is both true and untrue.
It is, in fact, a beautiful, tranquil space that reflects the best of Chinese design. Yet I also had to wait a considerable time for the boisterous human visitors to clear before this peaceful photograph was possible.
Caregivers are motivated by compassion. We see a need and jump in with both feet because we mistakenly believe that compassion asks us to give ourselves away. But true compassion cares for both giver and receiver. It leaves nothing out, including you.
I’d like to propose four simple practices that bring you into the circle of compassion. These take no extra time. They aren’t one more thing to do. Rather, they change how you relate to activities you’re already doing so you can receive short bursts of refreshment throughout your day.
This question and answer session was posted to the Alzheimer’s Association blog and reposted here. Enjoy!
Jonathan Prescott is the founder of Wise Caregiving, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people become effective, sustainable and empathetic caregivers. Jonathan’s career as a hospice, cancer-care and hospital Chaplain, along with his spiritual practice as an ordained student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, gives him a unique perspective on how to thrive within the helping professions. His trainings help people learn the arts of listening, balance, boundaries and presence as a therapeutic tool.
Caregiving can feel overwhelming. Whether we’re a solitary companion caring for our loved one or an unsupported professional laboring under a high caseload, it sometimes feels like we’re bearing more responsibility than we can carry.
Contemplative traditions have developed ways of mining deep wellsprings of energy and connection to help us become more effective and sustainable caregivers. One of those spiritual technologies is the practice of touching our essential interconnection using objects and rituals. Let’s look at how we can use this contemplative wisdom in our caregiving.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.