My employment has changed. I have always been entrepreneurial (thanks Mother...). I am working for several hospices at this point, in bereavement and spiritual care. Change is in many ways... thin ice.
"When skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed". - Emerson
Change is thin ice (and it happens to chaplains too.)
Happily for me, change is less world-shattering than it used to be. Personally, that is progress. What used to feel like a self-annihilating earthquake, I now see as a river. My shift is not just from solid to liquid; it is from me to something much bigger and higher. I see myself as the river and the Earth is shore.
It is the shore and my view of it which changes.
The useful (...and maybe even the actionable)
This blog is about what it is like as a hospice chaplain (AKA spiritual care coordinator). How is it to stand by and watch with others as their world implodes and change happens. I don't offer my metaphysical views to patients or their families. They are desperate. They are full of earthquakes and the cracking of worlds.
I only offer what might be accessible for them and useful. That changes moment to moment as I look them in the eye or listen to them over the phone. It could be a familiar bible quote, or a poem or a rose from my garden, or a trinket of hope but mostly I offer my attention, and intention for a bit of peace in the storm of loss.
I offer what I am.
The Force (...may it be with you).
Sometimes words come into play but it is mostly this mysterious force called "Presence". As a CLINICAL chaplain, I live in and beside the "Medical Model" of healthcare. I try and use language that anyone will understand - especially the other disciplines that work beside me. We all have our different point of views, this is what makes us an INTER-DISCIPLINARY TEAM or an IDT. To see with many eyes is about seeing the whole patient and offering whole person care. It is our goal, we don't always get there.
When the medical model of fixing has (or in the case of palliative) is in the process of running its course, all sorts of endings show up. Palliative is infiltrating the hospitals and medicine itself with the idea that whole care is "evidence-based". There is a lot of hocus-pocus in big pharma / medical bio biz. IMHO, it is not about health...but your body is.
Predator: predating the Medical Model.
It is hilarious, really, that the new research about the benefits and efficacy of "alternative" therapies such as meditation and yoga (especially in trauma...and) in health are being studied and documented. These new alternatives pre-date the medical model by thousands of years. Who does not want to be seen as a whole person? It is the gift of the ages - to be seen as valid, good, and a loving and lovable work-in-process. This new, ancient and timeless view of healing is threatening the medical model in the holiest of its own shrines: the hospital. Palliative is beginning to threaten the medical model as a predator threatens prey. Hospice and its powerful offspring, Palliative medicine, is a focus on a good end and whole-person care.
Re-making health care to be about health, as hospice makes death about hope, is an earthquake to the medical model of fixing with the giving of another pill or operation.
Change will continue to happen and it will unearth us because ...well it is quantum reality. Change reminds us of what does not change.
As humans, we tend to forget. Time reminds us who and what we are. But in change, there are those people who stand by. We are not alone...or we do not have to be alone. We are accompanied by those we love, those who love us, and Love itself. (AKA: Presence)
Take a walk in nature... Go watch a river.
Ask it what it knows to be true. Ask it about change. I believe it will surprise you with the answer...if you listen with the whole of you.
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