How often news reports contain only doom and gloom but today I heard an item that made my heart sing and gives me hope.
The people responsible for doing home care service reviews in 5 District Health Boards around the country are going to return to that old fashioned concept of meeting people in their own homes to do these assessments.
For the last year assessments have been conducted via telephone. The move to this, at the time, appalled so many people yet despite valid protests and concerns the scheme went ahead. It was heart-wrenching to hear of elderly or disabled people losing their support systems after a telephone interview.
I love emails and the contacts that the internet brings to me but I also love and value getting together with people. We cannot do everything from a remote location and the care of people seems to me to be one area of life that requires trusting, face to face relationships.
Seeking refuge, finding refuge,taking refuge have all been common experiences for people living on the western borders of the vast Pacific Ocean of late. There have been floods, cyclones, landslides, tsunamis, many earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and nuclear energy crises.
I have been considering where to go for refuge as these big disasters have happened and also as I work to meet the challenges that more everyday events bring. I read recently of a visualisation technique which I have found very helpful, especially if I am in bed or able to rest quietly. It is pretty simple and all I have to do is picture myself as a very small “me” wrapped around my heart, a place that is warm, kind and loving. Then the technique encourages me to feel the love, warmth and kindness wrapping itself around me and with that comes a feeling of safety, security and trust.
Another “place” of refuge for me and others is a more psychological one, using something in nature to focus on when we need some space or some respite from whatever is stirring us. For me I watch the birds around me, whether from a window or out in the fresh air or garden. A friend of mine watches the ducks that live in a nearby stream area. This form of refuge offers us time to switch our awareness and attention to something ordinary, familiar and non-threatening. There is comfort in that.