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Listening with HEART: A for Awareness

by Jodie Diegel, RN, MBA, Nurse Coach

Sharing Holiday Joy on Christmas Day at Alden Estates of Barrington, with our SOUL family and therapy dogs Rosie, Baron & Dakota, and mini therapy horses CinderBella and CreamPuff (our unicorn)

"Listening with HEART": A=AWARENESS

"A" The first letter of the alphabet, the beginning, the start of something AMAZING! It also is the first letter of ACCEPTANCE (the last Stage of Grief, for those of you that may be going through a challenge).

It's January, the start of a New Year. A time of reflection of the past year, a time to assess where you are now, a time make resolutions for the future.

2020 and 2021 were filled with changes in culture.We adapted to a new way of living that we never thought possible: we worked virtually, we kept up with friends virtually, we shared love and loss virtually. We isolated by ourselves, with close family and/or our favorite pets.

At the same time, we embraced this new change as a way of finding out about more about ourselves. That is why, to start out in 2022, I want you to take a self-journey, a self-assessment of where you've been, where you are , where you would like to be. This AWARENESS will help guide your journey in 2022 and the future, allowing new solutions, possibilities, and insights to emerge.

Take a moment to ask yourself these 2 important AWARENESS questions:

  1. What I am aware of that fills me with joy, love, laughter, and smiles? That which is healing?

  2. What am I aware of that causes me to feel stuck, sad, filled with hopeless abandonment, like I will never get out of this?

I hope that you find yourself more in the moment of Awareness which brings you joy, love, laughter and smiles. Our animals here at SOUL Harbour Ranch do that at every visit! There is a SOUL to SOUL connection, a Sharing of Unconditional Love, that fills a room. It might even just be a window visit, but the love is palpable through a window. That's how strong the human-animal connection is. For those of us that understand the healing power of animals, it is VERY POWERFUL! (Right on Betty White, she got it!)

Find your passion. Live it. Make it happen. Volunteer in whatever way you can.

If you find yourself more in the Awareness of feeling stuck, filled with grief, hopeless...take a moment to think about what you can do to move forward. How can you reconcile your grief but also let go of it at the same time? Did you move through the 5 Stages of Grief yet? Go through them gently and be kind to yourself as you do: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and lastly, acceptance.

From a nurse coach perspective, take a few moment after reading each of these questions to become introspective and ponder the answers:

1. What do you understand about the challenge you are facing?

2. What support do you have or need in following through with choices you have made?

3. How have you taken care of yourself in the past?

4. Where do you feel most comfortable or comforted?

Write the answers down on a piece of paper. Sometimes, putting pen to the paper can help us become more AWARE and identify more specifically what we feel, what an action plan might look like, how to work through these challenges.

The key is opening your HEART to Healing, the Energy that is needed to help you heal, and Awareness of where you have been, where you are and where you are going. Set your intentions for what is possible in 2022. Don't hide behind what makes you feel uncomfortable or sad. Be truthful with those around you. The worst thing we can do for ourselves is to hide behind that which makes us uncomfortable and lie to those around us. Being truthful to yourself and others opens the door to move through those stages and reach acceptance. Please know it is SO hard, so sad, to be an empathic person and know when someone is not being truthful.

Animals ALWAYS tell the truth! They have an innate way of bringing out your vulnerability but also your best self. There is no judgment. Just pure unconditional love. Here at SOUL Harbour Ranch, our goal is to impact the lives of everyone we meet through our special animals AND our special SOUL family. Our volunteers, quite honestly, are THE most special people. There is a love, respect and camaraderie that is SO amazing (another A word!).

We hope that you develop an AWARENESS of your challenges and your accomplishments, that which causes you grief and and that which causes you that you can move towards HEALING.

To help you achieve this awareness, try a Mindful Mini Meditation. Close your eyes, bring in slowly, hold it for 3 seconds, followed by a long exhale. Continue this exercise as you ponder the above questions, and feel that state of relaxation and contentment. Make sure you experience this peace and harmony on a daily basis, even if for a few minutes, to reset your mindset. Let AWARENESS of what it feels like to be in this moment of Bliss permeate your SOUL.

Until our next session, sending you Healing, Energy and Awareness. #Truth

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