Anna M. Biley, Dip. N, MSc. (Nursing), Doctorate in Caring Science
The Personal Experience of Remembering Purpose from a Caring Science Perspective
Journeying with a loved one, who chose mindfulness in conscious dying, revealed that through a deep trust in personal intuition and a “soul to soul connection” (Watson, 2005a, p. 73), an experience of remembering purpose emerged. From a personal perspective, this was defined as, to walk alongside, in caring, healing, love and light. A review of the literature suggested that the notion of remembering purpose is elusive, woven in to concepts such as soul, spirituality, consciousness, knowing and compassion, manifesting at points of life transition, namely in childbirth and dying. Grounded in a unitary paradigm, a study was undertaken to find out what the personal experience of remembering purpose is from a Caring Science perspective, with the intention of contributing to enhancing this disciplinary knowledge base. Consistent with the nature of the study, autoethnography was the methodology of choice. In blending the methods of autoethnographic life review and a post modern cut up technique, the innovative research process was experienced not analyzed (Biley, 2004) and the findings poetic and metaphorical rather than literal (Watson, 2012). From personal, lived experience, it may be suggested that Being in caring consciousness is also a journey of Becoming and that some transpersonal relationships and caring moments break through to a deeper level of consciousness and oneness with the universe. It is in these moments that remembering purpose is manifest. By placing self in the culture of Caring Science, the study illuminated the experience of remembering purpose in the context of caritas values and ethics, embracing “unity, connectedness and a transpersonal consciousness, that transcend time, space and physicality” (Watson, 2005a, p. 203), thus offering a new concept and a unique research method in which to explore how caring may be lived.