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Being an enlightened caregiver starts with learning to be a healing presence. We are a healing presence to others when we model presence, along with modeling strength and hope. But what is "healing presence?"
“Healing presence is the condition of being consciously and compassionately in the present moment with another, believing in and affirming their potential for wholeness wherever they are in life.”~ James E. Miller in The Art of Being a Healing Presence
“Healing presence is the condition of being consciously and compassionately in the present moment with another, believing in and affirming their potential for wholeness wherever they are in life.”
~ James E. Miller in The Art of Being a Healing Presence
Learning to be a healing presence is key to making a profound difference in your own life and the lives of others. Most of us have been blessed with spontaneously being a healing presence for someone. We recognize the experience through our feelings of being in the right place and doing the right thing at the right time, while ironically feeling a sense of timelessness. All of us are qualified to have these experiences.
Evidence from holistic nursing practice, research, and the biological, behavioral, and social sciences shows that nurses can deepen their competence and confidence in caring for both their patients and themselves. Through doing this, nurses can offer people who are living with a life-threatening illness more effective ways to respond to their challenges holistically.
To sustainably care for others, nurses must care for themselves. Self-care not only helps us stay healthy; it also expands our capacity for empathy, compassion, and resilience.
To be compassionate means to be aware of and sympathetic to the suffering of others. To be empathetic means to be able to notice the subtle verbal and non-verbal signals people give off that let you know what they need or want.
In order to be fully present with others, we need to practice being fully present with ourselves, including what we value and believe in. Otherwise, when we are in challenging or painful experiences, we will not have the strength to stay present, and we will fight or flee, either inwardly or outwardly.
Are you clear on the core principles that you value and believe in?
What are two or three of those that might come up when you are caring for people who have life-threatening illnesses?
Here are three core principles that I value and believe in:
Studies show that people who have spiritual practices are healthier and live longer, but many nurses feel uncertain when the subject comes up because spirituality is both vast and profoundly personal. Nurses can benefit both personally and professionally by strengthening themselves spiritually so they can respond more effectively to their own needs and the needs of those they care for.
I invite you to learn more about this topic by clicking the link to this CE course worth 13 contact hours in holistic nursing: https://newdirectionsfornurses.org/enlightened-caregiver-ce-course
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