Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Creatively Coping: Write a Prayer Poem

While I was in medical school, residency and clinical practice I wrote and used poetry to help friends, family, patients and colleagues deal with the pain from losses and aid in their grieving.

Poetry Therapy aided my own healing. I then shared my poems with others to help with theirs.

Poetry was an integral part of the healing portion of the Journey of Hearts website established to help anyone grieving a loss. Over the years my healing poems have been used as part of funeral, memorial and remembrance services, published as memorials in newspapers and yearbooks and sent as e-mail condolences.

I was fortunate enough 10 years ago to take a course with Poetry Therapist, John Fox on "Forming Community and Revealing Uniqueness Through Poem-Making" as a course from the National Foundation of Integrative Medicine.

John has gone on to become a leader in the movement of poetry therapy as an expressive art and in particular, the use of poetry in medicine. When I read this exercise on using Prayer Poems, I knew it could be a useful exercise to help NICU Parents cope with the NICU experience.

Write a Prayer Poem
John starts with a definition of prayer and writes that:
Prayer is a way to communicate with the Divine. Prayer [also] is a way to love the spirit of whatever is dear to you. Prayer is a way to let your heart cry out. Prayer is a way to come exactly as you are to the Unknown, the mystery of it all. Bring to your prayer what is raw, what is sublime.

Prayer is a way to welcome a wider vision of life for you.

He then goes on to pose a series of questions, starting with a poetic line, "Prayer is words strung like beads on the thread of your silence."

  • Are you aware of the silence that your prayer words join with?
  • What fertile silence do you long to enter?
  • How does this kind of silence effect your world?
  • How does divine guidance respond to your plea for help?
  • Who reaches your heart in those times when no one else can?

Finally John encourages people to write a prayer of your own.

This exercise of writing a Prayer Poem could be useful ones for NICU Parents struggling with issues of faith and they try to understand the reasons behind why their newborn is in the Intensive Care Unit.

A Special Healing Blessing
Even though John and I were not in touch at the time of my daughter's NICU adventures, I am sure that his exercise of Prayer Poems would have been a helpful way for me to creatively coping during our time in the NICU.

On my own I did created our own version of a Prayer Poem by writing a Healing Blessing. This Special Healing Blessing was placed over our daughters isolette until she was discharged. Copies were gifted to the NICU on her discharge.

Fox. J.
Poetic Medicine Bag: Exercise 3: Prayer Poems. The Institute for Poetic Medicine.

Images: Elena Buetler. Writing. Royalty Free Use.
Kirsti A. Dyer MD, MS. NICU Blessing. Some Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Comforting Moment: Savoring a Cup of Tea

We've already looked at the fact that Coffee helps in any Crisis. Let's take a look at the comforting impact of a different variant of coffee, a latte or even tea.

This Comforting Moment is another one by Liz Elayne discovered on her Seek Gratitude Blog. This really resonated with me, since one of my favorite teas to drink is a Chai Tea.
taking a break
to breathe in
the scents of
a spiced chai latte…

to breathe,
to breathe,
to breathe.
Liz Elayne Lamoreaux. Day 30. Seek Gratitude Blog.

Image: Nicolas VĂ©ron. Cup of Coffee. Royalty Free Use.

Friday, September 14, 2007

CarePages - Connect, Share, Care

NICU Parent Support has paired up with CarePages to give our viewers their own place online to create a page to connect, share and care during challenging times. Visit the custom NICU Parent Support CarePages to get started.

What is a CarePage?
A CarePage is a personal, private web page that can be used by family and friends to stay connected and enhance communication when a loved one is facing a long-term illness or at the end of life.

Using a Care Page
Creating a CarePage can be a way of generating support, providing information and updates easily. I think the greatest benefit may be that of holding the loved one in everyone's thoughts so they can do better and get healthy, or feel the love and support of family at the end of life.

You can use our custom NICU Parent Support CarePages to keep family connected when a loved one is facing a challenging illness, or at the end of life.

For More Information

Monday, September 10, 2007

9/10 - Encouraging & Comforting Message: Free Hugs Campaign

Today is Free Hugs Day. If you don't know about the inspirational Video that has become a YouTube Phenemonon take a look at the lens that I created on Squidoo.

In the the Spirit of the Free Hugs Campaign, I am passing along the information to you with a quote and a virtual hug to hopefully brighten up your day.

Millions and millions of years
would still not give me
half enough time
to describe
that tiny instant of all eternity
when you put
your arms around me
and I put my arms around you.

Jacques Prevert

Free Hug Day - September 10, 2007
The Free Hugs Campaign began as one person's attempt to make a difference and reach out to others to brighten their lives.

The Free Hug Campaign is a random act of kindness, a selfless act performed by a person for the sole reason of making others feel better.

For More information on Free Hug Day, see the Free Hug Campaign on Squidoo.

Enjoy a Virtual Hug
Here's Your Online Hug:

    ((( Hug )))

Now go and pass it on to someone else.

Shifting to a Weekly Posting Schedule for the Fall

My apologies for the length between posts. The semester has started for my girls and myself, which has lead to some increased time demands.

I will be shifting to a schedule posting at least one blog entry each week along with updates about the NICU Parent Expo.

Photo Source: Peter Rol. Fenne Lien.
Royalty Free Use.

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