Welcome to House of Light, a blog produced and managed by the staff of Casa de la Luz Hospice. Casa de la Luz ("house of light" in Spanish) is a locally owned and operated hospice, serving the city and surrounding communities of Tucson, Arizona. Through this blog, we hope to offer education, information, and support about caregiving and hospice care to terminally ill patients and their loved ones. For more information, visit the contact us page.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

We know that if you have stumbled onto our blog, you are probably one of millions of individuals in the U.S. who is struggling with a serious illness or caring for a loved one with a serious illness. Neither of those tasks are easy, and we can get caught up in the difficulties, the mundane, the appointments, the medication reminders. 

This is why we believe in educating individuals about general wellness—physical and emotional wellness. Today, we consider the ways in which we can turn the ordinary everyday into an extraordinary day.

Part of finding the extraordinary is awakening and remembering our opportunities to enjoy living and life. We can become so used to the ordinary that after awhile, we don’t see it anymore. Sometimes, extraordinary moments are ordinary actions with a new perspective. We need to be open to the life experiences that give us pleasure. 
Think about how you feel when you prepare a meal at home, when you water the plants in your garden, when you sit with a beloved dog or cat and pet them. These are actions that are small events, ones that happen frequently. Let’s apply a new lens to them. These are also actions that are sustaining and transforming life. You prepare a meal to sustain the life and energy in you or ones you love; watering your garden encourages the growth of your plants; petting your animals sustains their emotional energy as well as your emotional well-being.

As we age, we are challenged to redefine pleasure. Think back. Are your pleasures at age 20 the same as those today? Some of them are probably different. Our challenge as human beings is to find the things that are pleasurable to us. In order to do that, we need to know the qualities within ourselves that help us enjoy and cope in life. These qualities might include a sense of humor, an appreciation for natural beauty, or our love for family. 

Take the time to nurture these qualities. It can be difficult to find the time, especially with the many responsibilities on our shoulders. Train your attention to focus on one thing at a time. Look to be fully present in the moment, and know what helps you to be present. Set priorities. Make a list. Tackle one thing at a time. We have a choice in how we interpret life and its events. We choose what we focus our attention on. Attention is a precious commodity. 

Keep the creative intelligence alive within yourself. Focus on learning. Read. Interact with others. Listen to books on tape. Paint. Draw. Write. Commit to an activity that engages your mind and gives you joy. These activities might also be your stress reducers. It’s important to be aware of stress-relieving methods that work for you.

Lastly, take the time to let others show you the extraordinary in life. It used to be that families would sit down together each evening around the dining table. Today, we’re often too busy and running around too much. Return to this habit. The time spent around the table offers the opportunity to share, connect, and learn. Share your stories with your families and friends; listen to their stories.
In order to capture the extraordinary, we have to train our lens on actions and relationships that will bring delight into our lives. And, we also have to believe there’s wonder in the ordinary. 

Turn your ordinary into extraordinary today.

Information provided by Marianne Schloss, RN, M.Div.

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