Why facing our mortality leads to becoming fully alive
I have been preparing to lead a class on meditative journaling the past few weeks. As I assemble the many tools that I plan to use, it has caused me to stop and rename the transformation that I continue to experience as I seek my inner life above all else.
When I began to journal as a meditative tool, it was part of many other steps I was also embarking on in my spiritual healing journey. They all worked to ignite a hunger within me for stillness, for seeking guidance, and for greater awareness. They also coincided with a medical issue that caused me to deeply explore my attachments in this world. Looking the possibility of death squarely in the face changed me as it does most others. And it changed my entire perception of life simultaneously with the other choices for my focus in life.
I have learned to quiet myself, to pursue work and activities that are life giving rather than those that deplete me. I have learned to allow the necessary busy-ness of my life to have my attention when necessary, but to seek time away so that I can again listen to the whispers within me. These are my guidance for all things now; I will always seek and consider the advice of those in my world, but my choices come from a resonance within me. Gratefully, these two sources often are cohesive and I am able to walk in our world comfortably. But when they do not, I value my inner self and am no longer afraid to go against the best advice from the experts in our world.
Being quiet, seeking stillness with the intention of becoming present to each moment is life giving. It brings a sense of expansion, of vibration, and connection with all of life that I miss when I am busy with the world. In truth, each moment is the only life we have. I choose to live it as fully as I am able, and I savor the wonderful life it has lead me to.
It was just a year ago that I was editing my book, and preparing to publish. This year has found me taking steps that are new, finding steady ground as I gradually moved from my life as I knew it then, to the life of my soul’s work.
It was my mother’s story that gave me the words to embark on this journey. The path had existed within me for many years before, which allowed me to begin to name my vision and to reach for it. I now am an End-of-Life Consultant; an author, speaker, teacher, and guide to those in the end stages of life. It is a path that my soul has never allowed me to stray far from; and I now feel relief and gratitude for living fully from it at this time.
My mother’s story was her own; yet it echoes the walk through aging and decline, the maturing of mother/daughter relationships, and the hospice experience that many can closely relate to. I share it with the intention of touching others at any stage of their life, helping to open ever deeper within.
I have sought solitude and peace with my journal each morning for many years. My notebooks fill many shelves in my home; I rarely return to reread any portion of them yet I savor them as I would precious memories of time spent with loved ones.
I have come to the place of total acceptance of this need within me, and treat this time each morning as my sacred ritual to begin each dawn. I light a candle with the intention to connect with myself and all of life as my pen flows beyond the chatter of my mind and expresses deeper parts of myself. I have also continued to study spiritual healing in all forms for as many years, only recently encountering an explanation of this need within me. With my air element very pronounced in my chart, this is the form of meditation that promotes this elemental expression. While silent meditation is often taught to help quiet our Western minds, it acts to stop the flow of spirit for those for whom communication and words are spiritual expression. Learning to quiet my mind and allow my pen to flow freely has become my daily mediation.
I have treasured this practice in my life, and now I better understand the reason! I hope to share this practice with others in April, in conjunction with Write On, Door County. It is a very natural and reverent practice that I hope others will treasure as I do.