It is Sunday and I have just come back from Central Park here in New York City. I went to hear the Dali Lama speak. It was not in the usual part of the park where large rock concerts, operas etc. are performed but in a smaller area. I am not sure whether or not the City of New York was expecting a huge turnout. The early news reported expectations of approximately 15-20000 people. I am sure that there were well over a half million people.

Richard Gere introduced the Dali Lama. It was difficult to hear him speaking through the speakers but the energy of the masses was incredible. It was like a flashback to the old days of the sixties when the park was flooded with peaceful crowds. The crowds alone were so inspiring and electrifying.

While the Dali Lama spoke of peace and focused on peace within ourselves. His opening sentence was that “all people of the universe have the potential to be what they truly would hope to be. Human potential knows no limits and we are all gifted with this potential.” It was about empowering ourselves.

Dale, whom some of you met in the chat on Thursday was with me. We both were quite impressed with what we could hear over the crowds, the generators and equipment from all the news vans, cameras, etc. Dale and I couldn’t help but wonder how far this consciousness had pervaded throughout the United States and the world. Or was this something unique and more prevalent in major cities. One of the most important issues we spoke about on the way home, and what we have been elaborating on for the past few days is “compassion.” Compassion for both the caregiver and the recipient.

Being thrown into the role of caregiving, having had no previous experience is an overwhelming and sometimes devastating challenge. Yet, when we as caregivers can open our hearts and have faith in what we are faced with, it appears as if we are almost guided in the right direction, to do the work set before us.

I cannot impress on you the importance of the peace and compassion we must maintain from within in order to move through the challenges with more ease and grace, opposed to struggle and obstacles. And it truly rests from within ourselves.

When we are aligned and centered we attract experiences and people into our lives with like mindedness thought. It is in this way that we can generate the right types of support and assistance to help us live our lives more fully and to do the very best that we can in any given moment.

For me, spiritual awareness, compassion and peace are the ingredients to living a life filled with love, abundance and all we deserve to experience.

As caregivers, it is always important to remember that when we face the final stages of our loved one’s life with them, it is a gift to them for us to be fully present with them. And for us as caregivers, it is a gift to be able to be present with them, as they move through their final stages.

How much work and healing are you really able to do? The gift from doing your inner work will reveal itself at later times in ways you may never have been able to imagine. Begin to imagine. Imagine what it would really be like to have love, peace and joy from within.

Copyrighted Gail R. Mitchell 8/19/99


  • Ms. Mitchell began her full-time caregiving experience in the early eighties when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Later on she became the primary caregiver for her father, along with her mother who had become critically ill from burnout prior to her dad’s passing. In recent years, she cared for several friends with AIDS while continuing to care for her mother and actively providing support, information, referrals and resources for caregivers.

    Gail's leadership on the Internet and her success with Empowering Caregivers led her to found National Organization For Empowering Caregivers (NOFEC) INC in 2001.

    Prior to founding NOFEC, she created the iVillageHealth Chat: Empowering Caregivers, which she hosted for over 5 years. Within a month of hosting she created Empowering Caregivers: in 1999 as a resource for caregivers around the globe. Over three million visitors have frequented the website.

    She has presented at national and international care-related conferences and programs and has been a keynote speaker for many programs as well.

    Ms Mitchell has assisted thousands of caregivers online and offline in ways to empower themselves in their roles in caring for loved ones.

    For a list of clients and/or her resume, please contact

    Gail's articles have been published in many venues nationally and in Canada. Presently, she is a member of American Society on Aging and National Quality Caregivers Coalition.

    Gail has discovered that there is life after caregiving: She has become a successful ceramic artist and installation artist. She created Crystal Illumination Art to bring the transformative quality of illumination, light and color to the human experience and celebrate its ability to inspire, heal and nourish our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.