Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A New Awareness

The routine of the every day has a hypnotic quality about it. It feels quite easy to slip into a state of suspended life. You are going through the motions but not truly aware of your environment. Just waiting for the tic of the clock to tell you are free. But what then? You go home with other types of responsibilities and you are still not free. Free is a choice....being present is a choice. At work I notice that my awareness goes in and out. Particularly what state my mind is at. I enjoy engaging and interacting with others. This is what makes me alive.

I work as a social worker at a convalescent hospital. Recently we have changed our lunch program. I am now supposed to go to the other station and interact & assist with the residents on that station. Initially it felt like an inconvenience but now it usually turns into one of my greatest joys all day. Today just being aware I made multiple meaningful contacts with some of the patients. I assisted a woman who is struck with a neuromuscular disease which gives her minimal use of her hands. She is pretty hilarious and has found her own way of getting by. She has learned to be so humble, to ask for help when she needs it. I helped her peel her banana and break the shell off her hard boiled eggs. She was very grateful. I spoke awhile to my German friend, Ursula. It is nice to watch her face brighten up now when I come into the room. We are getting to know each othe slowly. She is such a character. She used to work for Elvis Presly as a housekeeper and keeps stating that she doesn't know what the fuss is about her working for him. "He was just a man with a two story house." On my way out I saw this sweet old woman Irene who was confused where her room was. I brought her to her room and she said that she will never forget my help. Out the door I helped two residents. One had a long rope hanging from their wheel chair so I tucked it in. Another resident dropped his cane and I picked it up.

Lets be a cyclone of help/joy/gladness instead of anger/pity/sadness/resentment. When you open the door and your heart, it is amazing what impact you can have just in your immediate environment. Just changing the energy in your home will increase your positive mood, which will affect your other immediate environments like your work environment. Its all contagious and responsive. We don't need to start with a march to Washington. We can start with just walking and opening our eyes wider than they have been. By doing this we are creating the opportunity to be present and truly alive.

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