This time of the year holds great joy for me in that it is a time, a season of lights represented in most of the major religions. It warms my heart as it signifies unity amongst us all. At the same time, the holiday brings sadness as many of my loved ones including my pets are no longer physically present. Fortunately, this year, I have been feeling their presence and this has been a source of inspiration and joy for me.

It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas although the streets of New York City are filled with bustling shoppers, tourists, Salvation Army singers tolling their bells, the tree in Rockefeller Center and the decorationsall over. I wish it would snow. It feels more like September or October…

This is a wonderful time as Caregivers to ponder on the thought of peace. This holiday season is a reflection of the power in the universe, call it God, Jesus, Moses, Mohammed or Buddha. We all come from the same source.

If you can align yourself with these thoughts you will find your heart opening more and blanket of peace surrounding you more. If we can see this in everyone we meet or come in contact with, we will be project our inner peace and love out into the entire world. It is pretty powerful.

When we are unhappy with ourselves, when we don’t feel whole or complete, when we are overwhelmed (most of us are as caregivers), we are not at peace. When we come from our victim and are feeling sorry for ourselves, we are not at peace. Your peace must come from within and begin with you.

While many of you who are caregiving a parent or loved one, have accepted your role with love, there are many of you who are resentful, angry and hurt. It is up to you to change the way you view the situation and heal yourself through the experience. No one can do this for you. Change is frightening and can be fearful. When we are fearful, we are afraid of something that might happen. The happening is something that will take place in the future. If our thoughts are focused on the future then we are not living fully in the moment. I have said this many times before..the past is history, the future a mystery and the present is a gift in our life that we have as we live full in each present moment.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. The millennium is here and it  is a golden opportunity to make choices to shift our consciousness or beliefs so that our lives can be lived more fully in each moment with love, peace and joy.

Blessings to you all in all you are doing. Each and every one of you has special gifts that you possess whether or not you have discovered them. I hope this time will leave you open to heal from within in love.

copyrighted Gail R. Mitchell 12/22/99


  • 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.