When you are a caregiver for someone who is terminally ill, so many things in your life suffer because of the intense devotion and time that is required of you. For four years, I lovingly cared for my mother, Rose Beebe, as she slowly disintegrated from Alzheimer’s.I wouldn’t have traded that precious time of laughter, tears, courage and acceptance for anything, but it took its toll on me in so many ways. In addition to single parenting, I just didn’t have the time I needed to fully nourish myself and I suffered from exhaustion, extreme stress, weight loss and dark circles under my eyes that even the most expensive makeup couldn’t hide. For the past six months I have worked to bring myself back into balance and it feels good to have the clarity and energy to pick up where I left off before this enlightening task was put on my path. My career definitely took a back seat while I doted on Mom during her illness and I now have the time, space and energy to move forward with the work that I am so passionate about. In addition to owning Harmony Yoga, I am also a writer and have published hundreds of articles on health topics such as alternative medicine, spirituality, green living, healing arts, nutrition and fitness for Natural Awakenings Magazine, South Charlotte News and other publications. These subjects are all close to my heart and I am blessed to be able to share with others what has helped me so much in my personal life. I recently completed, along with my business partner, Tracey Fox, a holistic nutritionist, a five-week program we developed called Holistic Reboot 2013. Each Thursday in January we gathered with 11 women for a nourishing mini-retreat to provide tools to restore and enhance wellness on every level and to offer the space to move away from the demanding roles women take on and toward self-care. For centuries, women’s circles have been a natural way for women to congregate for confidences, support, ceremony and tradition. Our group was diverse and included stay-at-home moms, corporate professionals, a recent widow, a filmmaker, a hairdresser and a retired grandmother. We began our season of sisterhood with each woman tying a knot in a ribbon as she shared what had brought her to the group. It was heartwarming to hear the strength these ladies had as they spoke of the challenges in their lives. When we were done speaking, I tied the ends of the ribbon together to symbolize our sacred circle and put it on my altar. Next, each woman put on a simple hemp bracelet to wear as a reminder that she was on a path of self-love for the next few weeks. Then we gathered at a long candle-lit table for an organic, whole foods meal that Tracey had prepared. After blessing our food and being mindful of the long path it took from the earth, to the farmers that cultivated it and to our table, we enjoyed fellowship, conversation and female bonding. This was followed by education on ways to improve eating habits and reduce stress, the culprits for most disease. Our teachings centered on Ayurveda, an ancient, holistic system of medicine from India that uses a constitutional model individualized for each person’s elemental make-up. Having practiced this science of yoga for several years, I know Ayurveda’s power for bringing about balance through diet, lifestyle, exercise, and body cleansing. Also, it acknowledges the strong connection between the body and mind. With Dr. Oz featuring it on his show periodically, I am pleased that Ayurveda is being brought to the forefront and that I can share it’s healing potential with my clients. Throughout the course we discussed detoxification, clean eating principles, digestion, supplementation and aromatherapy. We practiced yoga, meditation and breathing techniques to reduce stress and enhance vitality and I made videos for the rebooters to practice with at home. The entire process was food for the soul, full of expanded awareness, “a-ha” moments and personal breakthroughs. By the end of the five weeks our sense of community and comfort were so strong that we didn’t want to part ways. We symbolically undid our circle as each woman released her knot from the ribbon while she voiced what she had gained over this brief but compelling period in time. What I heard was immense gratitude for having a haven to dissolve into and to be taken care of with absolutely no expectations or demands. At that moment I realized I had a new mission for myself: offering the nourishment and connection to busy and challenged women that I wished I had had during my years as a caregiver. With such great feedback from our initial group, Tracey and I are gearing up for our second Holistic Reboot starting in early spring as well as taking the program to the corporate level. As I continue to reboot myself and recover from my time in the trenches of selfless service, I am grateful for this unveiling of grief’s transformative gift that gives me something to fill the void I have had since Mom’s passing. Now my journey takes on a greater meaning as I share my knowledge and passions with other women who need self-care. Editor’s note: Lisa Moore’s first column, “Generations,” dealt with her life as a caregiver for her mother with Alzheimer’s and raising her teenage daughter. Lisa recently lost her mother, Rose, to the disease and her daughter left for college. Here’s what happens next.
Friday, Mar. 01, 2013
Rebooting my life after mom’s death in Charlotte
Yoga teacher Lisa Moore, left, and holistic nutritionist Tracey Fox, right, toast their green drinks with Ruth Duncan, Kristen Piscitelli, Susan ZumBrunnen, Kendall Nance, Andrea Kaupp, Evelyn Jones, Donna Cochran, Michele Ricchiuto, Lisa Gilpin and Elly Cooke-Ross. The women were members of Holistic Reboot 2013 and took part in mini-retreats each Thursday evening in January that were designed to restore and enhance wellness for a more balanced life. COURTESY OF GAYE WALDEN