The Practice of Impermanence

August contains a powerful lesson in impermanence. Each year, school-aged children across the country foresee the ending of their summer vacation. It is a huge loss of freedom and play. This early conditioning of the school/summer cycle is so deeply etched in our psyches that as adults we still feel the loss, even if we […]

Steering Through Change

Almost every summer for the past 18 years, my husband and I have driven north to Oregon to spend time with his parents at their summer cabin. The cabin is remote, situated 4 miles down a dirt road, deep in a pine forest not far from the Deschutes River. It is so quiet you can […]

Cultivating Courage to Face Fear

Going after our dream is a little bit like a Halloween adventure. We don our costumes – a vision of ourselves — and set off to claim the promised rewards. Along the way we may encounter dark shadows and scary entryways. There may danger and unpleasant surprises. We are scrutinized and judged as we struggle […]

Going for Your Dreams While Letting Go

In the act of committing to your dream, you set in motion a chain of amazing reactions . . . The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in […]

Transforming Death Denial into Curiosity, Self-Discovery and Wonderment

I made a lot of mistakes when my parents were dying. Obvious signs of their aging were overlooked, communication broke down, I often failed to show up and when I did, I quickly ran away. I felt confused, indecisive and overwhelmed and when they were gone, full of remorse and regret. The experience was intense […]

Getting Your Aging Parents to Cooperate

One of the challenges children of aging parents face is getting them to cooperate with changes that are for their own good. It is not easy for them. The change often means more restrictions, less independence, a diminution in self esteem, a reminder that they are losing their capacity. Of course they feel resistant. Aging […]

Apply Oxygen to Caregiver First

So many things can work against our efforts to care for ourselves while caring for aging loved ones. Being too busy is a big one. There are often numerous medical appointments. The house may need alterations. There is new equipment to buy, research to be done, help to be coordinated. Plus there are all the […]

Can Sherlock Holmes Keep Your Aging Parents Safe?

We all die. It’s part of life. But few of us want think about it unless we have to. The aging of our parents is a powerful reminder, which offers special opportunities for healing, personal growth and connection. One of the hardest things about helping aging parents is making the shift from “child” to “caregiver” […]

Aging Creatively

Legendary film star Bette Davis once said: Getting old is not for sissies! For those of us in the firm grasp of the jaws of time, it’s hard not to agree. Aging certainly has its challenges — failing eyesight, sagging skin, a stranger’s face staring back at us in the mirror, receding gums, hair thinning […]