Maya Institute: Cultivating Compassion in Health Care

Our one goal is to change the landscape of health care delivery through cultivating compassionate care, one person, one encounter, one moment at a time

We use evidence based mind-body approaches to preventative health and wellness care.We specialize in working with complex chronic conditions including cancer, cardiac and respiratory disease, and autoimmune disorders. We have spent decades studying, participating and leading scientific efforts to better understand disease and the human condition. We have evaluated physiological, psychological, spiritual/religious, and environmental conditions to understand how these aspects contribute to disease and wellness. We offer educational programs, workshops, healing therapies and retreats based on our understanding of the complexity of the multifocal aspects that contribute to disease.

Mission: The Maya Institute for Cultivating Compassion in Health Care, is driven by one goal: to change the landscape of health care delivery through cultivating compassionate care, one person, one encounter, one moment at a time. We are a collective group of health care professionals, patients and family members who believe that the highest quality of health care delivery begins and ends with respect, compassion, and love. It is our mission to cultivate compassionate health care in every relationship, service, and management system across the spectrum of health care delivery.

medium.com

My ER Exit Letter - Jessica Nandino - Medium

The lines have been crossed far too long. The corporate decision making of insufficient staffing for better profits;places patients at risk and the staff suffer. This is not quality in care delivery, this is not compassionate care. This is purely means for profit on the backs of understaffed nursing teams and departments.

medium.com Dear Hospital,

WJXT4 The Local Station / News4JAX

This is love, this is compassion, this is kindness. Supporting a man with dementia so that he may ride one last wave. A beautiful gift 💜🕉💜

AMAZING🌊💞 - "Yesterday an elderly lady came up to us at the beach and asked if we could help fulfill her husband's wish to ride a wave one last time. She said that he is suffering from dementia and most likely has a year to live. What an amazing experience and on my birthday none the less!" The tweet has gone viral. (Giancola_ryan from North Carolina)

Bridge to Lemuria - Faith Spina, Founder & Author

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

Today we checked into the McClure Miller Respite House for a respite stay. I found myself so relieved to feel the calming, serene beauty of this new building; and to be so welcomed and well received from staff that I worked with many years past. I had such chaotic emotions and mixed feelings leaving my papa there; was I letting him down, was I too weak to make it through this experience on the heels of mom’s passing, was I breaking a promise to care for him? I held my feelings in check and did not cry while I was there. Tom, our social worker and long time colleague, was firm but kind with me, to remind me that this stay was both good and a necessary respite for us both. I felt like a mother hen, wanting to be sure they knew my papa’s routine, his likes, and his frailties. I know in my heart he is in good hands and will be well tended to. I also know how deeply I need to heal from the long suffering we have experienced these last two years. While I will rest, and play a bit; I will begin to heal my wounded heart and soul. It is is so hard to let go even when we must. Our journey as in- home caregivers is the marathon of years; one that slowly peels back the layers of our vulnerabilities. Yet in so doing we build the strength of lions. Fitting for my father to be in the “lion room”. At some point on this journey, I shall have reached the bottom of my well of grief and I will expand my compassion to rise to greet each moment with fresh new awareness and deep unconditional love. Until then, I will honour these moments as I can, and offer what I have. I remain in deep gratitude for the care, love, and kindness of the hospice team (Michelle, Tom, Kelly, Aliza), and the Respite house staff, new and old friends and colleagues. May our blessings always be so rich 💜🕉💜

Cultivating Compassion: Patience, Tolerance, & More Patience

I have come to the state where I strain to find patience and tolerance. Every act seems like a push to get through, every conversation a struggle, every meal intolerable. My father has moved into a phase of restlessness, limited sleep, increased confusion, and further lack of insight into his limitations and safety. His impulse control center is shot, so his actions are more akin to a two year old than a 92 year old. His behaviors are those of a large toddler with no safety boundaries. He believes he can do many things, and every time he attempts he falls to the left, loses his balance and I catch him. Tonight he was so angry because I broke his fall as he was stumbling and nearly fell all the way down. His perception was that I was walking too fast; when in fact he can hardly lift his legs to move forward. It’s so much easier to blame me than to understand or accept a limitation. That has long been a family dynamic; just pretend it’s not real, not there; or divert the problem to someone else. My ability to find patience and tolerance is further seared by the blaring noise of his radio at top volume, because he refuses to wear his hearing aides. The noise has worn down my nerves. I see now as he fully struggles with his condition, yet refuses to accept its truth. There is his denial. In his own way; he is no different than my mother’s in her struggles. He is grinding against his losses and refuses to give in, when he his safety and ability clearly won’t allow. He does have the cognitive capacity to understand some of it. Yet, he would rather fall down a flight of stairs than be assisted This stubborn Irish heritage and pride shines boldly now. His anger at me for “doing everything” is prominent and part of all conversations.

These lessons, these family roots burn deep as time carries on, and my heart has no time for healing. I breathe, I step away and try to remember the greater purpose here. But in the day to day-ness of it all, that purpose gets lost; and I am back to managing behaviors, safety risk, and my exhaustion. Patience comes haltingly, and I step away more than I wish to. Our cycle is spinning, the energy is changing and I am ready to be done with the care. I don’t apologize for that feeling; it’s far too common among caregivers. We lose all of ourselves in this process, and I am ready to find me again. I breathe, step away, find my center and my own balance; and step back in. Patience, tolerance, patience...the cycles churn.

parabola.org

Hearing the Cries of the World, by Mark Nepo | Parabola Essay

parabola.org Mark Nepo on the many blessings of opening to suffering

The Oaks at NorthPointe

Big news! This group of Slip N' Slide participants was interviewed by the Today Show and Good Morning America! ❤️

VT

We need lots more of this 🤣🤣💜🤣🤣

This care home for elderly people set up a slip and slide for residents and it's incredible! 😂😍

kdvr.com

Aurora woman with dementia cited for trespassing after ringing doorbell

One would always hope that by living within a neighborhood, that a sense of community and support would take place. In this situation all of the neighbors except this one, were kind and compassionate and would be aware and considerate of this woman’s condition; except this neighbor...Having compassion within our own community is such an important aspect to our lives. Soon, very soon 1 out of every 2 elders will have this disease; what will we do then if our neighbors and community are not compassionate?

kdvr.com AURORA, Colo. -- Nancy Daoust came to Aurora Municipal Court Monday morning to face a trespassing summons. But the 60-year-old honestly had no idea where she was or why. "The fact that this is quote unquote being treated as a criminal matter is very frustrating. You know, I have to lose a day of wor...

Everything in life can be brought to one common locus~that we exist in interrelationship with other living beings. We cannot engage in this world without having to relate to another person, animal, or nature. The essence of our engagements define us, how our existence plays out, and how we form the world around us.

It is deeply disturbing that life has become so disconnected, stressed, and fast.
It is deeply disturbing that so many cannot see nor care about their actions, nor understand the powerful impact those actions have upon others. Actions small and consistent can be as damaging as those large and brazen.

We each exist in our own complex worlds; the lack of understanding our unique influence of action, is dangerous and lacks of compassion and concern for others.

Commitments and promises that are made and broken without concern or thought for the ripples of consequences shows lack of compassion and consideration for others.

Words used in force, as a method of dominance and control, demonstrates lack of respect and ability to offer love for others

Actions taken for the benefit of one over the well-being of others, shows lack of jnsight and understanding of the power of our connectedness. It demonstrates true greed and single minded focus while others suffer. This shows lack of love and caring.

Our world, our universe needs us to step forward; to be bold with offering our love, to be bold with offering or compassion, to be bold with offering our respect. You can do that in every action, in every conversation, and in every commitment you make.

Start by recognizing your influence, and how all you do creates waves of responses; chose to make those waves of love, kindness and respect.

linkedin.com

In strong companies best ideas win, not egos, not politics.

I could name a few local health care agencies that could learn some valuable lessons from these concepts.

linkedin.com Loyal people will tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear. Never punish them for their honesty.

Cultivating Compassion: The long road

I have stopped counting the moments, or measuring the marks of success or failure. I have stopped wondering when, or where, or how it will go; or when and how it will end.

I have come to accept that this is the long road, the road of endurance. This is the road that takes physical and emotional capacity to its heights, and then drops you into the depths below.. falling distances you never knew you would fall.

I have come to understand now, how we all suffer; how we all carry our burdens, and hide our pain. We hide our truths, our wishes and dreams, just as we hide our inner darkness, our failures, and our grief.

I have come to understand this long road of endurance, with each step I take; it is building my strength, expanding my heart, and opening my eyes to the same truths we each share.

I have come to accept this long road of endurance; this journey of shepherding death of another loved one as it shapes my soul in new ways. This journey weaves the songs of life and the song of death into a masterpiece of beauty, love, pain, loss, and triumph in the blending oneness of darkness and light.

Cultivating Compassion: An Everlasting Love
These two are on my heart and sending waves of sadness reverberating through my soul. This coming Saturday, we will honour and celebrate the life of my mother; her love of family and friends, her artistry of painting, quilting, making jewelry, her gentle caring soul, and her deep and lasting commitment to my father. As we make our final preparations of gathering flowers, preparing the gardens, and choosing items to honour her, I think of the profound lessons she taught me over these last final years. She was a living example of the powerful love one being can hold within their heart, even when they are uncertain of who they are loving. She held firm to her love in the midst of struggle, pain, fear, and uncertainty from dementia. She was a shining example of unconditional love.
While we begin to gather and prepare our sacred ceremony for mom, my father is rapidly failing. He was placed under hospice care this week, and he has begun to say his goodbyes. He is frail and weak and his body is indicating that his time in nearly complete. He misses my mother dearly, she was the love of his life. As I watch him change, and his essence fade; shock waves resonate through my heart. His decline was somewhat expected, yet I am not prepared. I have not heard all his stories, I have not yet learned all his wisdom. What I have experienced though, is his strength, his commitment, and his ability to move through the greatest of challenges while holding firm to love. He never gave up on my mother, he never let go, even when she was no longer able to understand who he was. His steadfast strength, determination, and commitment to hold and honour her as she became further lost within herself, was one of his greatest lessons to teach me. As my heart begins to crack wide open, I will allow the light and love; along with the pain and sorrow to flow. I will hold onto the wisdom found through their love and lessons; and I will honour and cherish them and these blessings.

Cultivating Compassion: Being Present

I have been processing my journey of caring for my mother during her final years of life with Alzheimer’s disease, and now caring for my father in his waning stage of life. I have looked deeply at myself as a daughter, as a caregiver, as a professional in the health care field, and as a business owner. During this journey there were so many times that I beat myself up for taking on this task of caregiving. I beat myself up because I couldn’t manage them and a job. I beat myself up because I couldn’t manage them and building my business. I beat myself up because I couldn’t manage them and my own well- being and happiness. I beat myself up because I couldn’t manage to find time to put on makeup or get a haircut, or some days even look presentable.
But then, I began to see this journey more fully. I stepped into this task of caregiving with whole heart, whole mind, and whole spirit. Not only did I fully show up for my parents , not only was I fully present for them; but I allowed myself to be open, to be vulnerable; and to step into the deep abyss. I took a huge risk. I allowed myself to co-mingle in the pain and suffering of their journey and mine. I came out stronger, more loving, more compassionate, and truer to myself than I have ever been. I learned of their lifelong hardships and fears. I discovered how those belief patterns played out in me during my life. I was brave to allow such vulnerability. I was brave to look deeply into my own pain and truths in order to be present for them; and to be more present in me. I learned to fully show up for me.
I should never beat myself up for doing the right thing, as hard as it may be and with such great risk. I should never berate myself for not being “successful “ at my business while fully honouring the work with my parents, and my inner work. Others look in, and have judged or criticized me, my process, and what I have “not yet achieved” in business. They have no place to do so- no right to do so- because they have not shown up fully in their own lives, diving into the depths of love and compassion.
We each choose our journey, our focus, our passion. My soul purpose on this earth is to support others through their disease and pain by means of love, compassion, and healing. In his world of materialistic accomplishments, love and compassion serve little purpose; yet for me it is all there is.
I will no longer negate the divine work I have done and continue to do because it does not fit someone else’s view of value or meet their expectations . I will always show up and be present when love, compassion, and healing are called for. And, I will honour myself for stepping into the hard, the challenging, the pain, the struggle, the abyss; because I am brave, I am strong, and love and compassion is all that matters.
May those of you in this journey return to loving yourselves fully, for the power and strength and gift that you are.
May we all be blessed in finding our truths.
This photo was taken on a day- like many others where I felt haggard, worn down and it shows. This is my authentic vulnerability.
💜☮️🕉🙏🏼🕉☮️💜

The power of our connections to each other is far greater than we can ever imagine or understand. I am deeply struck by this thought today and let me explain why.
Over the last few days I have begun to prepare our retreat center property for my mother's memorial service at the end of the month. As this work is being tended to, my father has begun a rapid decline in his condition. He is profoundly weak, frail, and now barely able to perform basic functions. He is so very short of breath, and any activity further limits is ability to breathe or to move. He does not want to sleep, because he is afraid he will not wake up; yet he can hardly stay awake. He states he can no longer feel his heart beat, and I fear he is right, that his heart is failing; or he may have some other fatal underlying disease. He is 91, yet wishes to have the ability to be in the garden and help out. He is so upset, and feels as though he has let me down.
As I prepare for my mothers' memorial service to honour her life, I am moved to tears in wondering if he is preparing his passage to be with her again. They spent their entire lives together, and shared a deep love and connection that rarely kept them apart. Their connection and the timing of his rapid decline has not been lost on me. Who are we to know the mysteries of the cosmic universe, and how a lifetime of deep love can create such an ending to their story.
I pray for strength and peace. I pray for ongoing love and grace in my actions and thoughts. I pray that whatever path lies ahead, we move forward in ease and surrender.
💜🕉💜

The power of our connections to each other is far greater than we can ever imagine or understand. I am deeply struck by this thought today and let me explain why.
Over the last few days I have begun to prepare our retreat center property for my mother's memorial service at the end of the month. As this work is being tended to, my father has begun a rapid decline in his condition. He is profoundly weak, frail, and now barely able to perform basic functions. He is so very short of breath, and any activity further limits is ability to breathe or to move. He does not want to sleep, because he is afraid he will not wake up; yet he can hardly stay awake. He states he can no longer feel his heart beat, and I fear he is right, that his heart is failing; or he may have some other fatal underlying disease. He is 91, yet wishes to have the ability to be in the garden and help out. He is so upset, and feels as though he has let me down.
As I prepare for my mothers' memorial service to honour her life, I am moved to tears in wondering if he is preparing his passage to be with her again. They spent their entire lives together, and shared a deep love and connection that rarely kept them apart. Their connection and the timing of his rapid decline has not been lost on me. Who are we to know the mysteries of the cosmic universe, and how a lifetime of deep love can create such an ending to their story.
I pray for strength and peace. I pray for ongoing love and grace in my actions and thoughts. I pray that whatever path lies ahead, we move forward in ease and surrender.
💜🕉💜

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Honouring the Self
Compassionate Care for the Dementia Caregiver
Cultivating Self Compassion

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05463

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