"I feel the urgency with which to train in compassionate presence in our everyday moments and in the face of our vulnerabilities. The programs we offer at WisdomWay Institute are targeted towards being with each other in ways that connects us with our shared humanity, that organizes us as individual caregivers to contribute momentum to a shift in our healthcare systems, and that gives us the skills to be the healers and helpers connected moment by moment to the goodness of the intention to alleviate suffering for ourselves and for others. We can learn skills and develop personal practices where we not only can avoid the risk of burnout and health consequences that come with stepping up to fill a care giving role, we just might find that we are enlivened and nourished by it.”
Karen Laing is the Founder of Birthways, one of the first and largest doula services in the country and is the originator of the WisdomWay Compass of Mindful Caregiving. She is an MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) teacher and utilizes mindfulness based interventions to address the needs of those facing life and health transitions and to support and mentor those who care for them.
“I believe that we each have this basic goodness, a desire to be in a caring presence with ourselves and others. Yet, caregiving presents us with some of our deepest challenges.
My roots in mindful caregiving go back 25 years to my early training with mentors who established the Dana model of home care. I was introduced not only to mindfulness meditation, but to a way of viewing the role of serving, of being with vulnerability with confidence, gentleness and clarity.
These foundations have supported me as I have been present as a midwife, a coach, a mentor, bearing witness to beginnings, losses and other life transitions. I have found in all these roles but particularly with my own circle of loved ones, that we can have our most difficult moments become our deepest practice. We can find a way through the conditioned ways of reacting that wear us down and keep us from accessing what is nourishing and affirming about our caring."
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