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Welcome to this online journal for caregivers to the dying or bereaved—important and challenging work, for sure! My goal is to support you by providing inspirational thoughts, pertinent resources, and suggestions for self-care. With appreciation for all you do!

- Rebecca Hauder

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Train Yourself To Be In Awe

Train Yourself To Be In Awe

February 26, 2023

Train Yourself to be in awe of the subtle, and you will live in a world of beauty and ease.  ~Rodney Yee

Once in a huge while, a Pileated woodpecker visits our backyard suet feeder. As one of the most striking forest birds on the continent, I’m always filled with awe when I unexpectedly see this large black bird, with white stripes down its neck and a flaming-red crest. For a time, my spirit is calmed and my attention is diverted from whatever I might have been thinking or doing. 


In his newly published book, Awe:The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life (2023)*, author and psychologist Dachner Keltner, says that moments of awe are critical to our well-being. Such moments calm our nervous system, slowing our heart rate and deepening our breathing. Being in awe also gets us out of our own heads and quiets negative self-talk as we realize our place in the larger universe. 


Dr. Keltner, suggests that awe can be a part of everyday life if we do some of the following: 1) Pay attention and be curious—awe is all around us in sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and sensations if we only take notice. 2) Choose the unfamiliar—listen to a different genre of music, or choose an unfamiliar route to work or when out for a walk. 3) Notice the beauty and good deeds of others, even the small efforts of those in our care. When I worked as a hospice nurse, I was filled with awe again and again as I witnessed the everyday acts of kindness and courage in my patients and family members.


What have been your moments of awe recently? How have these moments contributed to your well-being as a caregiver? You might want to start a journal tracking such times!



Rebecca Hauder BSN, M.Ed.





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