Making room for the soul

Palliative care patient and family encounters have the potential to be much more than just conversations about diagnosis, prognosis, and goals of care. These meetings can be opportunities for true human-to-human contact. Author and educator, Parker Palmer describes the conditions within which this true contact or soul-to-soul connection is more likely to occur. 

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 In the book A Hidden Wholeness, Parker Palmer writes:

"The soul is like a wild animal…tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy, and self-sufficient:  it knows how to survive in hard places. Yet despite its toughness, the soul is also shy.  Just like a wild animal, it seeks safety in the dense underbrush, especially when other people are around.  If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods yelling for it to come out.  But if we will walk quietly into the woods, sit patiently at the base of a tree...the wild creature we seek might put in an appearance." 

For reflection alone or together:

Describe a moment where you noticed the appearance of the "shy" soul.

What conditions make it safe for your soul to come out of hiding? 

Next week: Bored at work?

Supportive Care Coalition