"It is in crisis that seeds of opportunity are planted."
I really believe that a crisis is an opportunity standing on its head to get your attention. I have had this proven to me in countless ways in my life, as, perhaps, have you. Many of those times occurred during my role as caregiver. There seemed to be an abundant number of crises available to test the theory at any moment of any day. I also recognize now, if not always during the actual crisis, that there was very little control I could exert over the particular crisis-of-the-moment, but there was always a choice in how I perceived it. I alone could determine how I "judged" or reacted to some urgent thing grabbing my attention.
So, having said that, did I always choose to view the crisis of the moment as a positive, as a blessing, as an opportunity for growth? Of course not. I have all the same human foibles anyone does -- actually, I may have more than the usual foible complement. But, I also have intelligence to examine, research and learn from what I encounter in life. I have a resilient spirit, which I nurture with good books, happy thoughts, humor, uplifting music, prayer, meditation and yoga on as regular a basis as I can manage. I have wonderful friends, family and community whom I can turn to when the going gets beyond tough into torture. So, I count myself very rich in goodness, even though, to an outside witness, my life might not appear to be so rich.
I want to share two books with you that have made a HUGE difference in helping me to find sanity, contentment, and insight so deep it kinda scares me! The two books are by one author, Alan Cohen, who is an incredibly gifted author, motivational speaker, life coach, and great human being. He has written 23 popular inspirational books (you'll find my four favorites below), been featured on Oprah.com and has a lively talk show called "Get Real" on HayHouseRadio.com. But, here's the thing. I think he transported via mental telepathy or something into my brain and came up with the exact stories & anecdotes, warmth & wit and spiritual nuggets of truth I needed and put them all in these two books. Really! I don't know how he did that! So, I think you should read them and let me know if you feel the same way.
His book, Enough Already: the Power of Radical Contentment, captured me right from the start with the subtitle - radical contentment - what an excellent concept! Perhaps this is what we all need to practice to counterbalance all the radical bad stuff in our world. His chapter titles are also priceless and funny: "Going Nowhere Faster, Desperation Repels, Where Few Have Gone Before, The Secret to Winning the Lottery". Are you intrigued yet? The book has the following blurb on the back cover: "In a world where fear, crisis, and insufficiency dominate the media and many personal lives, the notion of claiming contentment may seem fantastic or even heretical. Yet finding sufficiency right where you stand may be the answer to a world obsessed with lack. In his warm, down-to-earth, and believable style, Alan Cohen offers fresh, unique, and uplifting angles on coming to peace with what is before you." Hmmm. That's it in a nutshell - coming to peace with what is before you. Isn't that the magic key to a happier life? So, would you rather be happy or be sucked into seriousness? Would you rather see the opportunity or the crisis? Is finding a state of peace and contentment your goal or do you live in a world where struggle and lack are the only thing you can imagine?
If you answered "yes!" to the first part of the questions above, then this book is the radical, realistic, resounding roadmap to getting there. Find the opportunity in your crises and learn how to be "radically content". You won't be disappointed with this book, I promise!
The second of his titles which appealed greatly, is A Daily Dose of Sanity: A Five-Minute Soul Recharge for Every Day of the Year. Well, the title says it all. Who couldn't use a soul recharge that takes five minutes and leaves you feeling inspired, uplifted, lighter and a little bit more sane? I find the daily "doses" of humor, lively insights, anecdotes and quotes a perfect way to give me a needed boost, morning, noon or night. I refer to it often, and even find myself reading ahead (or behind) the actual day simply because I am intrigued by a title on the page. It's so wonderful to hear Alan's "take" on life through his lens of experience with guiding so many people to more empowering choices. How refreshing it is when something can open your heart and bring you clarity, insight, and a smile all at the same time? And in five minutes! Did I tell you this man is a miracle worker?
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Karen is a compassionate, enthusiastic student of life, who cared for her mother for 17 years. She brings her insights, compassion, experience and desire to share knowledge and healing to this ongoing conversation with others on the caregiving path. If you are caring for a parent, spouse, friend or other loved one this site offers sanity-saving tips, open-hearted self-care ideas, and an open forum for discussion, connection and sharing resources for the journey.
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