Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Celebrating Caregivers
by Sandra M. Monahan, Master Life-Cycle Celebrant
It happens suddenly: a family member or loved one is stricken with a medical or emotional problem that will require short or long term assistance – and you or someone you love is immersed into the world of caregiving.


Indeed, Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter once said, "There are four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers." Given that February is recognized as American Heart Month, this is a time to celebrate those engaged in caring from those who cannot care for themselves.

The strength and compassion provided by caregivers is vital and precious. The patchwork of services is hard work that includes loving, giving and sharing. Going on and on, without respite for seemingly endless days, is all part of the challenge. While relief can be found through many spiritual and human service organizations, many caregivers have no support system.
One way we can help answer the caregivers inner cries for ongoing strength is to provide a Seeds of Caregiving experience. This ritual offers both recognition and an awakening to the importance of their work.
Seeds of Caregiving Ritual Gathering
Invite the caregiver(s) to an atmosphere of tranquility yet richly surrounded by the colors of earth.
Prepare Seeds of Caring packets along with potting soil and containers for the planting. Soil will placed in the pots, seeds gently pressed into soil and lightly watered. Through each step of the ritual planting add tender words of recognition. (For example: stability, centering, appreciation, self-care, wholeness, support, strength.)
For thousands of years, seeds have been planted into the earth’s soil for many purposes. The vegetables nourish us, and the flowers bloom and beautify our land. Caregivers must also be nourished in strength and beauty to continue assisting those in need with improved lifestyles and activities.
The careful creation of these plants is symbolic of the gentle caregiving provided on a daily basis. When a moment of fortitude is needed, the plant can serve as a reminder of how significant caregiving work is, and the deep enrichment it provides for those close to the heart.
What if we are here simply to be beacons for one another? I step up for a stranger one day; maybe a stranger steps up for me the next. That’s all life is. Opportunities for our beacons to shine. Everything else is just filler.
Sandra Monahan
TEACHES: CF&I Master Life Cycle Celebrant Certificate Program
Sandra M. Monahan, Founder and President of Weddings Without Worries, Wexford, PA earned the designation of Master Life-Cycle Celebrant in 2012 and has achieved four other CF&I Certifications. The mainstay of her services includes creating and officiating personalized wedding ceremonies and also those for all of life's rites of passage. She has been a celebrant since 2005, and serves as Co-facilitator for the PA-Pittsburgh Alumni Chapter Group in addition to being past chairperson for Weddings and Military and Veteran's Committees. As a Minister/Director for Universal Brotherhood Movement, Sandra has ordained many Celebrants for UBM and offers her mentoring skills across the country. Sandra has also achieved the accreditation of Master Wedding PlannerTM with the Association of Bridal Consultants and is an adjunct instructor for Penn Foster Career School in the ABC Wedding Planner Certificate course. An affiliate partner with Etiquette Survival, she has presented numerous seminars across the country teaching Etiquette and Social Graces for personal, business and children programs
~Originally published by Spirituality & Health, Jan/Feb 2011

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