Thursday, June 13, 2019

Jan's Summer Reading 2019 ...




Fill your house with stacks of books,
in all the crannies and all the nooks!

Dr Suess



Hi Everyone!

I've just finished my last workshop of the season, the new Compassion Fatigue: Going Deeper - Trauma, Spirituality and Resilience, and it went wonderfully well according to the evaluations. So now I can turn my face to the long, happy days of summer with the wedding of my goddaughter, Rebecca, at the end of the month and, two days later, a flight to Toronto followed by a long drive and boat ride to the Kahshe Lake cottage for two glorious weeks of rest, writing and rejuvenation. (Thank heaven for dear friends willing to share their waterfront retreat!)

As usual, I'm having trouble deciding how many books I can fit in my suitcase! Here's the list from which I'll be choosing this year:

1.  Work Fuel: Boost Performance. Improve Focus. Eat Your Way to Success. by Graham Alcott and Colette Heneghan. (2019)
This book focuses on viewing food as fuel and making choices that will give your brain and body the best chance for optimum performance. For those of us who work, it promises ways to boost energy and productivity and fit healthy eating into already busy lives. I'm a sucker for books on healthy eating and this book's post-it phrases like "ditch the al desko lunch" and "be a fuelie" promise a light touch.
2.   The Art of Typing: Powerful Tools for Enneagram Typing by Ginger Lapid-Bogda. (2018)
This new-to-me book by one of the organizational experts in the Enneagram field, is written to help people type themselves or help others type themselves in a more accurate way. It offers detailed differentiating questions to help others clarify their type and, specifically, to differentiate between type pairs from the nine Enneagram personality types. I like Ginger's straight-forward teaching style and look forward to gleaning some new pointers in Enneagram typing. (If you're interested in the amazingly accurate and powerful Enneagram, I will be offering a beginners workshop on Friday November 22nd on Granville Island. You're very welcome to join us!)
3.  Life on the Ground Floor: Letters From the Edge of Emergency Medicine by James Maskalyk, MD (2017)
This award-winning memoir has been waiting on my shelf for the past year and, remembering my own years in critical care nursing, I'm looking forward to hearing how things have changed (or not) as I've gone off in other directions. I understand that it is a somewhat raw read so it may be a book to pace slowly over a couple of weeks.
4.  Rumi's Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, the Heart and the Spirit by Rumi and Maryam Mafi (Translator) (2012)
A collection of 196 poems, previously unavailable in English, from the 13th Century Sufi poet, Rumi, focusing on coming to grips with the inner life. This small book is a guide to the inner journey, one which I hope will make a good companion for contemplation on quiet sunrise mornings by the Lake.
5. Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans (2015) I was drawn to this title as I researched the Trauma, Spirituality and Resilience workshop and I have to admit that I'd never heard of the author, Rachel Held Evans. As I researched a bit further, I discovered that she was an American Christian columnist, blogger and New York Times best-selling author, all by the time she was 30. And that she had died suddenly and tragically of flu complications on May 4th of this year, leaving a loving husband, two small children and a world-wide audience. She was apparently "radically inclusive" in her progressive beliefs and "wickedly funny" as she pointed out Biblical contradictions and church frailties. I'll look forward to good conversations about these ideas sitting on the deck as the sun goes down.
6. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown (2017) My good friend, Sandra, and I have been reading this book together -  she, as she faces into widowhood after years of carepartnering and me, as I make one more attempt to complete a book on chronic sorrow. For each of us, there is a sense of vulnerability and an enhanced perception of what Brene calls "the wilderness" as we walk our individual paths. Brene defines the wilderness as an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching, a place as dangerous as breathtaking, as sought after as feared. It is where we show up as our true selves and brave uncertainty, standing alone, and potential criticism. 
7.  Slow Dancing With a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer's by Meryl Comer (2014) This is a re-read for me. Since I first opened the pages of this book five years ago, three friends have been diagnosed with early onset dementia and I want to go through Meryl's poignant writing once again to resensitize myself to the experience of spousal caregivers dealing with dementia. (I say "re-sensitize" because I've often thought that caregiving is a little like labour and delivery - excruciating in the moment but gradually forgotten once the pain ends.)
8.  The Black Ascot (2019) and A Forgotten Place (2018) by Charles Todd.  These books will provide my escape reading while lying on the dock. Each is one of a series - the former about a British police inspector returned from World War I with shell shock or PTSD and the latter about, Bess Crawford, a returned WW I nursing sister. Both struggle with personal demons as well as a murder mystery in each volume in the series.

So, there's the list for this summer. I intend to enjoy as many books as I can while at the cottage and hope you might enjoy a few of them as well.



Monday, April 8, 2019

A Word About Words: Chronic Sorrow ...



Where there's change there's loss
and where there's loss there's grief.

Bill Bridges




Hi Everyone,

I've been writing about the grief of family caregivers this weekend and I was struck by how many terms now exist to describe this experience. The professional writings about caregiver grief are fraught with confusion and contradiction due to the increasing number of overlapping terms and concepts.  This differing terminology arises from different professional fields, the study of different medical conditions, different nations and cultures, and from different times in history. I'll share a few of them with you here:

1.  Anticipatory Grief is the earliest of the overlapping concepts applied to the natural and expectable grief of family caregivers.  It was coined by German psychiatrist, Erich Lindemann, in 1944, to describe grief we experience before a loss actually occurs.  Later, Therese Rando expanded the concept, defining it as:

The mourning, coping, interaction, planning and psychological reorganization that are stimulated and begun, in part, in response to the impending loss of a loved one and the recognition of associated losses in the past, present and future.  (2000, p29)

Many writers assume that anticipatory grief is synonymous with caregiver grief.  However, in my personal and professional experience, anticipatory grief comprises only a portion of a family caregiver's heartbreak. To a great extent, caregiver grief also includes responses to current loss.  Workshop participants tell me that while the pain associated with the anticipated death of a loved one is certainly part of their reality, their greatest source of sorrow is the daily losses associated with current changes and adaptations.

2.  Chronic Sorrow (CS) is the second term used to describe caregiver grief. It first appeared in the literature in 1962 in an article written by American social worker and advocate for families of developmentally delayed children, Simon Olshansky. At the time, family caregivers were seen as being unaccepting of their children's diagnoses, stuck in their grief and, therefore, difficult to deal with. Olshansky offered  another viewpoint, saying that these parents were suffering from  expectable, continuing, episodes of grief that flowed from the losses occurring across their children's lifespans. He pushed for caregiver support rather than medical attitudes of pathologizing and criticism.

After an initial flush of interest in Olshansky's ideas, CS disappeared from the literature until the mid-1990's when the Nursing Consortium for Research on Chronic Sorrow published several studies confirming the concept and studying its characteristics. Later, in 2002, family caregiver and psychologist, Susan Roos, PhD, gathered the research to date and combined it with her considerable personal and professional experience to publish the first (and only) psychotherapy textbook on CS. Her book included this comprehensive definition of caregiver grief, one which includes both the grief of people with serious, permanent, medical conditions and that of those who love them:
Chronic sorrow is a set of pervasive, profound, continuing and recurring grief responses resulting from the loss or absence of crucial aspects of oneself (self-loss) and another living person (other-loss) to whom there is a deep attachment. (2000, p29
At its core, CS is the grief resulting from resulting from an aching discrepancy between life as it is and life as it could or should have been had the illness or injury not occurred.
Since 2002, multiple research articles have continued to be published.


3.  Ambiguous Loss is the third concept to describe the unresolved grief of family caregivers It appeared in the literature in 1999, much later than Chronic Sorrow. The notion was developed by educator and researcher, Pauline Boss, PhD, with little or no knowledge of the prior CS research.  Arising from the study of families whose soldier relatives were missing in action, and then applied to the dementia and adoption fields, it describes the losses and grief related to caring for people who are physically present but psychologically absent or psychologically present but physically absent. Thus, the reality of the loss remains ambiguous or uncertain.

(I see this and the other concepts described here as subsets of Chronic Sorrow.)


4.   Non-finite Loss, our fourth concept, was developed by Bruce and Schultz in 2001 to describe the lifetime of continuous and insidious loss and grief experienced by parents of developmentally delayed children.  They focused attention on the parents' gradual discovery of the impact of illness or disability with the accompanying loss of hopes, dreams and expectations.  This term has also been applied to family caregivers of those with degenerative diseases such as MS, motor neurone disease and dementia. It has been used to describe the reactions of families with non-medical losses such as those with a relative waiting on death row as well.


5.  Pre-death Grief  is the fifth and final term to be considered here.  It was coined in 2014 to provide a standardized  definition of caregiver grief upon which to base professional theories and research questions.  Pre-death grief is defined as the caregiver's emotional and physical response to the perceived losses of a valued care recipient.


While facilitating workshops on caregiver grief, I tend to use the term, Chronic Sorrow. Why? Because, while the other terms all reflect important aspects of caregiver grief and there are logical reasons for their presence in the literature, they are all in some way incomplete. CS, on the other hand, has a specific, comprehensive definition that includes the grief of both patient and caregiver, it offers the clearest demarkation between pre and post-death grief, it has a long medically and psychologically-oriented research history, and, most importantly, it has the most immediate and profound emotional resonance with family caregivers.

When I ask workshop participants which term they prefer in describing their grief, they are emphatic, and usually unanimous, in choosing Chronic Sorrow.  It most accurately and empathically communicates their experience and that, it seems to me, is the single most important reason for choosing any terminology.

I'm hoping to offer a community workshop on Chronic Sorrow for family caregivers in Vancouver again next fall. If you think you might be interested in attending, just subscribe to the mailing list in the left hand column of the website and you will automatically receive a registration brochure.





Monday, January 14, 2019

NEW CF WORKSHOP: Compassion Fatigue: Going Deeper - Trauma, Spirituality and Resilience




Every moment is a fresh beginning...

TS Eliot




Hello, Everyone! 

A slightly belated Happy New Year to you all! I'm later than usual with my first post of the year because I have been pouring my creative juices into one of TS Eliot's "fresh beginnings", a new workshop designed to follow the now familiar Caring On Empty: Creative Tools for Compassion Fatigue Resilience.  

After Christmas, what began as the light revision of an earlier, second-level CF workshop turned into the development of an altogether new workshop, Compassion Fatigue: Going Deeper - Trauma, Spirituality and Resilience. It will be offered for the first time February 1st for the wonderful folk at Canuck Place Children's Hospice and again on June 7th in the form of a multidisciplinary community workshop at the Granville Island Hotel in Vancouver.  I'm so excited to be taking our basic CF understandings just a little deeper!

Spirituality is at the forefront of trauma research these days. There have been more research papers written on the topic of spirituality and trauma resilience in the past 5-10 years than in the previous 100. Why? I'm not really sure but I wonder if a general thirst for authentic, healthy, personal spirituality; psychology's recognition that it has too often avoided the topic; and the realization that our current trauma treatment strategies are not always enough, haven't led us quietly but steadily toward this research focus. 

You will find the following description of spirituality in several (unattributed) places on the Internet:

Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something greater than ourselves and it typically involves a search for meaning and purpose. As such, it is a universal experience - something that touches us all. We all have spiritual experiences, whether or not we label them as such. Some people describe these experiences as sacred (connected with the holy), some as transcendent (outside the range of mere physical existence), and some simply describe them as a deep sense of aliveness and interconnectedness.

However we define or describe spirituality, we are learning that spirituality and trauma are often inextricably intertwined. Trauma affects our beliefs in the sacred/transcendent in ways that may interrupt or even jettison those beliefs. At the same time, or alternatively, trauma can affect us in ways that strengthen them. As a result, trauma recovery and resilience is inherently spiritual and must include a focus on our belief systems.

Christine Courtois, PhD, a respected, longtime complex trauma expert, says that a damaged spirituality is at the core of traumatic injury.  If this is indeed the case, we need to shine a brighter light on the role of spirituality in both perpetuating trauma and supporting its healing and resilience, something the field has been reluctant to do until relatively recently.

This new workshop is designed to introduce helpers to the topic of spirituality and trauma resilience and, through poetry, story, artwork, self assessment tools, mini-lectures and discussion, to help you to:

- Define spirituality, trauma and resilience
- Better understand the impact of traumatic stress on personal spirituality
- Clarify the role of positive personal spirituality in promoting resilience and vitality
- Reflect upon your personal state of spiritual wellbeing 
- Become better acquainted with a variety of practices found to promote spiritual wellbeing while working in high stress, high risk environments
- Consider ways of incorporating spiritual practices/activities in your personal resilience plan
- Review and use exercises learned at the Caring On Empty workshop to help you return to the Window of Tolerance during the day  

If you loved Caring On Empty, do plan to join us as we "go deeper" into our conversation about Compassion Fatigue resilience. (Registration brochures are available February 4 at caregiverwellness@shaw.ca)

Or choose to bring this new and engaging discovery-based workshop to your own organization!





Friday, December 14, 2018

John Was a Failure...




Success is the ability to go from failure to failure
without losing your enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill





Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Today I'd like to share a story with you, one I heard many years ago at a midnight service on a snowy Christmas Eve. I still remember the warmth of the small church, overfull with extra bodies and glowing with candlelight reflected from our faces as we listened intently to this lovely story by Robert Fulghum (from his book, It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It):


 John Pierpont died a failure. In 1886, he came to the end of his days as a government clerk in Washington, DC with a long string of personal defeats abrading his spirit.
Things began well enough. He graduated from Yale, which his grandfather had helped to found, and chose education as his profession with some enthusiasm.
He was a failure at school teaching. He was too easy on his students. 
And so, he turned to the legal world for training.  He was a failure as a lawyer. He was too generous to his clients and too concerned about justice to take the cases that brought good fees.
The next career he took up was that of dry good merchant. He was a failure as a business man.  He could not charge enough for his goods to make a profit, and was too liberal with credit. 
In the meantime, he had been writing poetry and, though it was published, he didn't collect enough royalties to make a living. He was a a failure as a poet. 
Politics seemed a place where he could make some difference and he was nominated as the Abolition Party candidate for governor of Massachusetts.  He lost. Undaunted, he ran for Congress under the banner of the Free Soil Party. He lost. He was a failure as a politician. 
The Civil War came along and he volunteered as a chaplain of the 22nd Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteers. Two weeks later he quit, having found the task too much of a strain on his health. He was 76 years old. He couldn't even make it as a Chaplain. 
Someone found him an obscure job in the back offices of the Treasury Department in Washington, and he finished out the last five years of his life as a menial file clerk. He wasn't very good at that either.  His heart was not in it.
John Pierpont died a failure. He had accomplished nothing he set out to do or be. There's a small memorial stone marking his grave in Mt Auburn cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The words in the granite read,  POET PREACHER PHILOSOPHER PHILANTHROPIST.
From this distance in time, one might insist that he was not in fact a failure. His commitments to social justice, his desire to be a loving human being, his active engagement in the great issues of his times, and his faith in the power of the human mind, these are not failures. And much of what he thought of as defeat became success. Education was reformed, legal processes were improved, credit laws were changed, and above all, slavery was abolished once and for all.
Why am I telling you this? It is not an uncommon story. Many 19th century reformers had similar lives, similar failures and successes. In one very important sense, John Pierpont was not a failure. Every year, come December, we celebrate his success. We carry in our hearts and minds a life long memorial to him. It's a song, not about Jesus or angels or even Santa Claus. It's a terribly simple song about the simple joy of whizzing through the cold white dark of winter's gloom in a sleigh pulled by one horse, and with the company of friends, laughing and singing all the way. No more, no less, than Jingle Bells. John Pierpont wrote Jingle Bells!
To write a song that stands for the simplest joys, to write a song that three or four hundred million people around the world know, a song about something they've never done, but can imagine, a song that every one of us large and small can hoot out the moment the cord is struck on the piano, and the cord is struck in our spirit, well, that's not failure! 
One snowy afternoon in deep winter John Pierpont  penned the work as a small gift to his family and friends and congregation, and in doing so, he left a permanent gift for Christmas, the best kind, not the one under the tree, but the invisible, invincible one of Joy!

So, if you're feeling a failure for any reason this beautiful and demanding Holiday Season, take care to separate failing at a task from being a failure. Then remember the story of John Pierpont, recognize your capacity to change and grow through experience, forgive yourself and begin again. There are always ways to redeem our failures especially through learning from them and doing things differently another time.

A very Happy Christmas to you all!

Jan


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Autumn Learning ...




Life starts all over again
when it gets crisp in the fall.

F Scott Fitzgerald



Hello, Everyone! Happy Fall!

I love the fall, a time of gradual letting-go of the old to make space for the new. (Or, as today's topic suggests, a time of letting go of old learning to make way for some new.) I'm reading two new-to-me books I'd like to share with you and have just registered for, Alive, a new e-course from Gratefulness.org.

Let's start with the books:

1.  Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing by David A Treleaven
As most of you will know, I have a strong concern for  emotional safety in psycho-educational settings and have always prefaced information about contemplative practices like meditation with detailed caveats. (Some meditative practices are not as benign as they might seem at first glance and, in fact, can be the source of re-traumatization if not taught and practiced in a way that is trauma-informed.)
So, you can imagine my delight when I came across educator and psychotherapist, David Treleaven's new book which, while explaining it's benefits, acknowledges and explains mindfulness meditation's ability to stimulate or worsen traumatic stress symptoms and offers practical principles for establishing trauma-sensitive (emotionally safer) mindfulness practice - stay within the window of tolerance, shift attention to support stability, keep the body in mind, practice in relationship, and understand social context.
David's clear, compelling writing style, heart-felt passion for protecting trauma survivors and thorough knowledge of both mindfulness and trauma make this book an easy read packed with good scholarship and useful wisdom. I highly recommend it.

2.  Together: Our Community Cookbook by The Hubb Community Kitchen and The Duchess of Sussex
After the trauma of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, England in June 2017, a group of women gathered together to care for themselves, their families and their community through cooking fresh meals. This community cooking process became as, if not more, important than the meals themselves. The women cared for each other emotionally as they cooked, providing a warm and loving community space in which to recover from loss and trauma, restore hope and normalacy and create a sense of home. (A fine example of care-giver wellness.)
This cookbook tells their story and shares 50 of their favourite international recipes, many handed down from generation-to-generation in their home countries. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be used to expand their Hubb Community Kitchen program from two days to seven days a week. I've already ordered four copies for people on my Christmas list. Why not join me and learn about the food culture and the resiliency of those from other nations? 

And, now, Alive: the e-course:

I'm surprised to hear so many words ending in fullness - gratefulness, mindfulness, joyfulness - it's an indication to me that what we are missing is a full life. We are only half-alive ...             Bro David Steindl-Rast

This, the most recent of the Gratefulness.org e-courses, will begin October 25th and run for 4 weeks. It features a conversation between Bro David Steindl-Rast (Benedictine monk, award-winning author serving the Network of Grateful Living, and the lovely voice narrating the A Good Day video I've used in my workshops) and Christian Plebst (Argentinian Child and Adolescent psychiatrist and Director of the Academy of Conscious Teaching). It promises to address the following questions and more:
-  Why is this moment in history so significant and what is required of those of us who recognize it?
-  What does it mean to live with aliveness?
-  What is the role of trust in individual and collective transformation?
-  How does inner wellbeing support the wellbeing of the world outside us?
-  What happens when we fully attune to and accept our emotional selves?
-  What opportunities arise when we move from individualistic and competitive perspectives to cooperative and compassionate ones? 
If this looks interesting to you, you can register by going to the link above and clicking Explore for the e-courses.

And, of course, it's not too late to register for the next Caring on Empty Compassion Fatigue Resiliency Workshop  on November 2nd at the Granville Island Hotel, Vancouver, BC. (See the top of the column to the left.)


Whatever your circumstances, I hope each of you will find something that sparks your imagination and provides a new opportunity to learn, both on this holiday weekend and in the weeks to come. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Forest Bathing ...


It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim
upon (our) hearts, as for that subtle something,
that quality of air, that emanation from old trees,
that so wonderfully changes and renews
a weary spirit.


Robert Louis Stevenson



Hello, Everyone!

I hope your summer's going well and that you're able to carve out time to rest and re-create.

A recent move to the head of Burrard Inlet has gifted me in many ways, but most especially with a new proximity to nature. I wake every day with an embarrassment of options for early morning walks and, armed with my camera and walking stick, I make my way into new-to-me local woods and forests.

I have loved being in the woods since early childhood. Something magical happens as soon as I walk beneath a canopy of leaves into the cool air and dimmer, dappled light. My pace slows, my eyes notice details I could have passed without a glance, my breathing deepens and slows and I'm held in the veriditas of nature. It is this quiet vital hum of green energy that has sustained me through many years of nursing, life as a grief and trauma therapist and seven years of caregiving for my husband. Walks in the woods literally saved my sanity during any number of in-sane days.

So, what is this mysterious power that forests hold over us and our well-being and why should we access it intentionally?

Recently, researchers at the University of East Anglia in the UK reviewed 140 studies worldwide and determined that proximity to green space not only makes us feel better psychologically, but offers significant physical health benefits including reduced risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death and preterm birth. It also reduces diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, pain perception and cortisol levels and increases immune function. Several Japanese studies suggest that phytoncides, chemicals released by trees, could explain some of this health-promotion. (Others suggest that the beautiful scenery, soothing sounds of running water, natural aromas of plants and even the experience of solitude may also make a difference.)

Since at least 1982, the Japanese have been practicing Shinrin-Yoku or forest bathing, spending intentional time taking in a forest atmosphere for the purpose of relaxation, re-creation and healing. People sit, lie down or walk slowly through forests in silence, paying mindful attention to their surroundings and inner responses. It is a slow, contemplative immersion rather than a brisk, purposeful activity. Physical prowess is not necessary.

Today, all around the world, people are following the lead of the Japanese in establishing forest bathing programs. In Greater Vancouver and on Vancouver Island, where the surroundings are perfect for forest bathing, certified Forest Therapy guides offer 2-5 hour immersive forest experiences to the stressed and those yearning for reconnection with nature. They don't spend time teaching participants about flora and fauna, rather they act as guides to forest experience, holding space for whatever arises. As the website for Forest Guide Training in BC says, the forest is the therapist, the guides open the doors.

For many, the peace and quiet of the forest opens opportunities to grieve losses and release stressors  that have been buried in the busyness of everyday life. Just creating space and time in nature allows grief and relaxation to begin their healing work. More broadly, I believe that forest bathing could actually help us save our planet. We don't protect what we don't value and we don't value what we don't know. So immersion in the forest could lead not only to our personal health and wholeness but to that of our planet as well.

So, if you remember with weary longing early experiences of peace and rejuvenation in in the woods, why not try to spend a little time forest bathing this summer. Your body and spirit will likely thank you!

If you're interested in learning more about forest bathing, Japanese expert, Dr Qing Li has just written, Shinrin-Yoku: The Art and Science of Forest Bathing and M Amos Clifford has published Your Guide to Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature. Both should be available in local bookstores.

Let me close with one of Mary Oliver's lovely poems, appropriately titled, When I Am Among the Trees.


When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."

The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, "It's simple,"
they say, "and you, too, have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine."

(From Thirst - 2006)

Enjoy your summer in the woods or under your local tree!







Saturday, July 14, 2018

Summer Reading 2018 ...



We read to know we are not alone.

William Nicholson





Hello, Everyone!

Happy Summer!  After a very busy spring of workshops and writing (to say nothing of moving both home and office thirteen miles east to a mountaintop at the head of Burrard Inlet), I'm ready to put my feet up in my lovely new garden and begin reading the books that have been accumulating on my bedside table since the New Year.

Here are a few of the titles I'm hoping to read over the summer and fall (interspersed with a few novels and murder mysteries), just in case you might be interested in any of them yourselves:

1.  Indigenous Healing: Exploring Traditional Paths by Rupert Ross (2014)
Rupert Ross, retired assistant Crown Attorney for the District of Kenora, Ontario, writes about how the Indigenous people from whom he has learned about healing see healthy healing processes and a healthy future. He shares what he has learned about healing activities and about anchoring Indigenous life in traditional cultural visions once again.  He describes twelve striking differences between Indigenous and non- indigenous healing practices.

2.  The Courage Way: Leading and Living With Integrity by the Centre for Courage and Renewal and Shelly L Francis  (2018)
Based on the work of Parker J. Palmer, Shelly Francis identifies key ingredients needed to cultivate courage, the most fundamental being trust - in ourselves and in each other. She describes how to build trust through the Centre for Courage & Renewal's Circle of Trust approach, centred around eleven "touchstones" or guidelines for trust building. Each chapter features true stories of how leaders have overcome challenges and strengthened their organizations.

3.  Everyday Gratitude by A Network for Grateful Living (Foreword by Bro David Steindl-Rast)  (2018)
A collection of quotations on gratefulness, each followed by a question for reflection.

4.  On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity & Getting Old by Parker J Palmer. (2018)
Best-selling author, educator and activist, Parker J Palmer, explores aging as a passage of discovery and engagement.  He writes about cultivating a vital inner and outer life, finding meaning in suffering and joy, and forming friendships across the generations that bring new life to young and old.

5.  Climate Change by HRH The Prince of Wales, Tony Juniper and Emily Shuckburgh. (2017)
A small book from the Penguin Ladybird Expert Series explaining climate change in brief and simple terms written after Prince Charles addressed the Paris Climate Change Summit in December 2015. In conversation with a friend, Pr Charles was told that most people really don't understand what climate change is all about. The friend went on to suggest that Pr Charles produce a "plain English guide" to the subject. This book is the result.

6.  Chronic Sorrow: A Living Loss  2nd Edition by Susan Roos  (2017)
This is a new edition of the only book written on Chronic Sorrow to date. Written in a more accessible, though still somewhat dense style, it is a pared-down version of the original psychotherapy text giving an excellent explanation of the concept of CS and useful practices for coping with the continuing grief of chronic illness/injury and family caregiving.

7.  Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems Edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai & Ruby R Wilson (2017)
This book begins with the words, Some poems are good medicine. It goes on to offer a definition of mindfulness that guides the choice of poems for this collection - Mindfulness is keeping our heads and hearts where our bodies are.  Each poet illustrates mindfulness in a distinct way, many employing natural settings or imagery.

8.  Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande  (2014) 
I've been meaning to read this New York Times bestseller for a couple of years. It explores, though research and stories, the conflict that occurs when what medicine can do runs counter to what it should do. It looks at the suffering produced by medicine's neglect of the wishes people might have beyond mere survival, the quality of life questions we all should consider much earlier than we do.
And, for those of you who are wondering, the next community-based Caring On Empty Compassion Fatigue Workshop for Helping Professionals will be held on Friday November 2nd at the Granville Island Hotel in Vancouver, BC from 9-4. Brochures and registration forms will be available in early September at caregiverwellness@shaw.ca.