About the 'new' Joy
For many years, as many will know, I was a committed member of NurseLink Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that was assisted in its goals when I donated my private nurse practice in 2006. In 2015 new nurses with the trading name of Yellow Door, took over this practice. I acknowledge that it is time for a fresh approach to the nursing care being provided for those needing home-based palliative care. However, I find that I still have energy and passion to pass on to others the insights I have gained during my professional life as a private nurse.
To this end I have created my website and made a DVD on Advance Care Directives and Factors that led me to share what I would like in my own end of life care. There is a link to this video under the heading Advance Care Directives on the main menu of the website. I have also made a DVD on Looking at Perspectives on Death and A Holistic Approach to Loss and Grief. This video is found under the heading on the main menu of Life Keys. Two further videos are to be found under the heading of Joy Talks. It is my intention to share my searching for the deeper me. One of my greatest emotional needs is to be of service. This website is my way of feeling, in a small way, useful.
Dr Jean Houston (one of my mentors) writing about the ‘homeland of the human spirit’ warns that when a person engages in the work of sacred psychology (which I do) the old structural associations may put up quite a battle and the ‘sunset effect’ may set in. She says that this is a frequently observed phenomenon that occurs when old traditions, politics or institutions are about to fade out. She says that this fading out is accompanied with a blazing rush of activity that belies their coming mortality. Old lifetime habits will not go quietly. She warns that every damning conceit, every roaring doubt will gain gargantuan proportions. Perhaps that sums up what I am feeling at the age of 76 years old!
Another mentor, Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross writes:
"Humankind will survive only through the commitment and involvement of individuals in their own and others’ growth and development as human beings. This means development of loving and caring relationships in which all members are as committed to the growth and happiness of the others as they are to their own."
When we approach life as a teaching and learning experience, there is a commitment to change and to shed old ‘skins’ or former ways, beliefs and concepts that no longer serve us or enrich our lives. There is a need to move away from dogma and authority and to search for meaning in our own lives to satisfy our drive for wholeness and completeness. This is demonstrated in the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell and anthropologist Michael Harner. The issues such as Accreditation and the need for an Enterprise Agreement forced on a nurse to stay in a personalised private practice no longer served me.
Rather, I agree with Florence Nightingale that to be a good nurse one needs to be a good person. I put it another way; what health care needs is quality people and not Quality Assurance. For me the sense of community and therapeutic relationships were the gold standard – not having it all written down to satisfy the inspectors and government statistical needs. The education I organised was also the way patient services were advertised and members of the caring team were recruited.
I continue my spiritual search and plan a visit to Southern India where I will visit the ashram of Bede Griffiths (among other sites). He was a Benedictine monk who lived in the Saccidananda Ashram in India. He wrote of the Centre where all religions have their source and human existence its meaning. Saccidananda Ashram is a Christian community following the customs of a Hindu ashram and adapting itself to Hindu ways of life and thought. The ashram seeks to become a prayer-center, where people of different religious traditions can meet together in an atmosphere of prayer and grow together towards that unity in Truth - the goal of all religions.
Bede Griffiths writes that it is not any particular form of religion, but religion itself which is on trial in the modern world, and only an ecumenical movement among religions, each learning to accept and appreciate the truth and holiness to be found in the other religions, can answer the need of religion today.
He observed that every trace of sacredness has been removed from life so that Western people finds themselves in a universe in which both people and nature have been deprived of any ultimate meaning. He writes that Eastern traditions honour cosmic unity by which people and nature are sustained by an all-pervading spirit. Griffiths says that this is what the West needs to learn from the East.
You can read about the important roles my mentors have played in my life
My next newsletter will tell of my travels! In the meantime please feel free to contact me via email.