Showing posts from November, 2013

Kindness...a Friday inspiration.

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. ~ Dalai Lama Kindness is the theme of my Friday inspiration. I have experienced it from others this week and how that has lifted my life. When I attended my follow up clinic for breast cancer this week I was really a bit scared. For once I admitted that. Rather than wear my "I'm fine" face I said I'm feeling anxious. The change that gave me concern was nothing to worry about but may benefit from further surgery. I'm thinking about that meantime. But not only did I witness, the warmth, kindness and humour of those who attended me, I saw it towards others too. It was wonderful to watch. And finally I want to acknowledge the kindness I see too in the 9 o'clock club we go to with the dog. It's not formal. It's a regular gathering of a wide mixture of people who bring their

Food glorious food?

Week two of the WEL course has a focus on food which was strangely relevant to me just now. After a nasty virus and subsequent chest infection, I have been left with still very brittle asthma and I'm often triggered by food. Pretty much anything can do it. I already have some known triggers like wheat, chocolate, apples and spices but just now it's even more. I'm taking my blue inhaler constantly and approach food with both hunger and alarm. Frankly it's so tiring and not a little embarrassing. And I feel a bit deprived somehow. Our relationship with food is so complex isn't it? I find myself feeling quite distressed by approaching each meal with concern. Food isn't just a fuel after all, we use it to reward ourselves, we celebrate the sensual pleasure of eating and especially for me it's the social occasion I value...but I'm not someone you want to share a meal with at the moment-nae   pals Audrey, that's me! But wha

The L word...Friday inspiration

  Tommy and his Mum I have had a thought provoking and inspiring two days, with more than 500 others in Scotland travelling along the path towards person centred care and support. People at the centre of care and support, the strap line and how it's all about relationship. We are learning, oh how we are learning, and what inspired me was the well of enthusiasm for this work. At all levels. I witnessed real compassion and huge enthusiasm to make person centred care the norm for all. We even mentioned the L word. Love. Now I have joked many times its my middle name-that's because it is. Audrey Love Birt, it was my fathers middle name too. I'm proud of   that. And all through my childhood I was teased remorselessly about it. I rarely disclosed it but today I'm wanting to come clean. I like that we are talking openly about love and today at least I'm going to embrace that middle name! And yes it's unconditional love that will move this agenda forwa

Sewing the head back on the body?

The Orchid "The greatest mistake physicians make is that they attempt to cure the body without attempting to cure the mind" Plato It's been an inspiring week in so many ways. Although my own wellbeing has been stretched-I want to share some of my experience with you. I was invited to attend TheWEL course by the very special Dr David Reilly. David is a friend and colleague and through the years he has often inspired me and kept me focused on what I felt to be right. TheWEL in many ways is the culmination of his life's work, his learning as a doctor, a researcher and very importantly as a human being. His teaching is integrating all he has learned about wellbeing, it's helping too to put the head back on the body, understanding that they of course are connected. But importantly he is sharing this with us all on the course, without judgement so his learning will be ours to venture forward with. The course is held at the NHS Centre f

One place with the true meaning of person centred care-todays Friday inspiration...

I have lots to blog about this week but I want to do a little Friday inspiration...who knows it might become a regular spot! This morning I visited Leuchie House in East Lothian. It offers respite care to younger adults with need of complex care and support and also re-ablement to empower the guests in thier lives as best they can going forward.Its certainly meeting a need but more than that its doing it with care and compassion. They trained their nurses in CBAS and one of the trainers of this model wrote this poem after a recent visit. In One Place In one evening I understood as much about care and compassion as I had learned in 40 years as a qualified  nurse. In one place I saw the true courage of leadership facing huge challenges because the thing was worth doing. In one personal choice I saw a human being self-actualise-he chose this time to go to be rather than be there at 6pm because  that was when hard-pressed social services would normally do this at home. In one bre

the lonely planet are right...

  And this was the big plane! It's one of those weeks when I am reminded of the beautiful country I live in. And let's be honest the beauty of the people too. I set off at the beginning of the week to fly to one of the Scottish islands. The flight was from Oban airport which has to have one of the best views from any airport lounge. There was a variety of planes on the Tarmac but I was relived to know mine was the slightly larger yellow one! Now I was already a little nervous but paradoxically that anxiety increased as the pilot explained the safety procedures and peaked as she said to me, tighten that seat-belt there isn't much headroom as we fly over the high mountains. Now in case you think I'm of Amazonian proportions I'm actually 5ft 2 ish. So I guess the back of the plane is for wee folk! But frankly it was the only moment my stomach lurched. The flight was spectacular. On the drive there I had passed snow capped mountains ( first prope