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Patt sunflowers

The Great Adventure from Birth to Death

It probably took around nine months for you to be born here on earth. As you were growing in your mother’s womb you were not terribly aware of what was happening in your parent’s life.  Well, as you can imagine they were making important preparations for your arrival. For your great adventure, your parents were building a wonderful nest for you with toys, clothes, etc.  For some your mother had to wait more than nine months or you may have popped out early. She had to become very patient and adaptable for your intended arrival time.

Very similar to your birth is another major event in life which is your death.  In contrast to building a nest at birth, at the time of death you are letting go of the nest of things you have collected over the years. Like birth, death also has its own time as to when it arrives.

Both of these transitions cannot be controlled. Your pregnant mother may feel that your body has a mind of its own as you grow in the womb. The dying person may experience the dying of the body as something they cannot control.

As the time comes for your birth, your mother may worry about the process of giving birth, “Will it hurt? Will I like you when you arrive? What will you be like?” Also your mother worries, “Will I have supportive, nurturing, people to help me?” She may have feelings of fear and growing anxiety. In the same reality, the dying person as they approach death may have similar anxiety with many of the same questions. The truth is that the body knows how to give birth. If interventions are kept to a minimum the process of birth has its own rhythm and process. If there is too many interventions the birth process can become very difficult. In the same way too many medical interventions can prolong the dying process and interrupt the natural inner experience of the dying person.

As with the birthing process, fear and confusion by family and caregivers about what is happening as dying progresses can not only interfere with the process of the person giving birth to their dying, but can create uncertainty and inappropriate actions from the family and caregivers.

Surrender, patience and letting go are needed in both birthing and dying.  In the end as you go through the positive nature of this transition called dying, no one will be able to change the way you feel or how to deal with your fear or uncertainty except yourself. Learning to face your death without fear is like learning to be separated from your mother at birth and facing the fear of a confusing world.

Just as we have the gift of birth we have the gift of our death. Both birth and death and what happens in between we call our life. Learning to accept all of it including death is the great adventure. Kahil Gibran in his book, The Prophet said, “You would know the secret of death, but how shall you find it unless you see it in the heart of life.”

the adventure of life as a sunflower

In my book, Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening, I have created a guidebook to help us prepare for dying and accept death as part of this great adventure of life.

Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening will be released in September 2017. I invite you to pre-order now on Amazon.com.

serene sky and hillside of white poppies

Grandma’s Emergency Room Story

The hospital terms ER or emergency room and ICU or intensive care unit are part of our everyday lives. I attended a conference a few weeks ago and heard an Emergency Room doctor, Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy, share her concerns about what is happening at the end of life for many elderly folks in ER and ICU.  She shared a story of a “Grandma” who is 89 years old grasping for breath when a neighbor finds her and calls 911 to have an ambulance take her to the hospital.

The Living Will and Health Care Proxy

Once in the ER Dr. Williams-Murphy asks the neighbor if Grandma has a Living Will and the identity and location of her selected health care proxy and if she has signed Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) or Do Not Intubate (DNI.)  Her neighbor had no idea about those documents because nothing like that had been discussed.   Dr. Williams-Murphy said 70% of Americans are not prepared to face these questions. It is likely that most of us have thought about death but have yet to make plans to meet it. Dr. Williams-Murphy said, “Trust me, ER is not the place to set your affairs in order.”

Since Grandma’s affairs were not in order Grandma will most likely be physically examined, possibly given an EKG, then a variety of other tests, medications and possibly placing a tube in her lungs, or an IV in her neck or emergency CPR attempting to shock her heart back into a life sustaining rhythm and then sent to ICU to sustain her life on machines. However, Grandma may be in the process of dying and does not want to have chest compressions but if there is nothing written doctors are trained to fight death to the bitter end. Dr. Williams-Murphy proposal is that we should not do emergency medicine on the elderly but without the indication of what a patient wants in writing emergency procedures will be automatically preformed.

serene sky and hillside of white poppies

These are different times

One hundred years ago families were multigenerational and children often witnessed parents caring for their dying older family members. Usually these elders would die in their own homes.  Today we have moved very far away from those times. The power of advanced technology seems to have taken over our bodies with medical procedures that make it seem that it is just not OK to die anymore.  There is less closure and peace with one’s family and less preparation for Grandma to end her life with dignity.

In my book, Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening, I have created a guidebook to help us prepare for our death. This guidebook is reminiscent of past years where community can be formed to share what is important to each person and to support each other when the time comes for our dying.  We do not have to be like Grandma at the end of our life.

Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening to be released in September 2017. I invite you to pre-order now on Amazon.com.

Is There an Elephant in Your Life?

You have probably heard the phrase, “What is the elephant in the room?” This is a phrase that represents something that is really big that no one wants to confront or talk about.

A few years ago I had an experience of waking up in the middle of the night in total terror. I struggled over many hours to reduce my fear and get myself calmed down. Finally, sitting on the edge of my bed, I asked myself a question. “Patt why are you so frightened?” What came back was the unspoken elephant in my life, “Patt, you are afraid to die.” That had been the big elephant in my life for a long time. I had sat with the dying when I worked in hospice. I had accepted my part in facing other people’s death. Death had always been there but I had consciously avoided facing my own death.

ElephantI had never really thought of myself dying.  As many of you may have done, a few years ago I did what I was told to do and I had a trust written, but never with the thought that I would die. I have been like most of us that really didn’t think or talk about my own death. It is as if we all turn away from death, but somehow we can never hide from it.  Is this the elephant in your life too?

There is a teaching in the Sufi tradition with the character of Mulla Nasrudin. Nasrudin is characterized as the “wise fool” in the Islamic tradition. As I recall the story Nasrudin bumped into Death on a street in Mecca. Nasrudin was absolutely surprised and the “fool’s” blood went cold. That night, Nasrudin fled on a sleek stallion and rode away from Mecca faster than the wind.  The next day, he was riding into a hillside village far from Mecca. Rounding the bend in the road, he bumped into Death.  In terror he heard Death say, ” I was surprised to see you in Mecca as I had an appointment with you in this distant village this very morning.”

Like Nasrudin we can try to run away from death but we cannot hide from it. Even if we try to avoid our feeling that death will not happen to us, but only to others, we are all in for a big surprise. One of the ways to reduce the fear is to face our death consciously and be prepared for the time of death. We prepare for our education, our jobs, our vacations but never think of preparing for the most important journey of our life that can take us home to freedom. More importantly, confronting this elephant of death in our life now can give us more joy and vitality as we move toward this amazing event called our dying.

Don’t miss Patt’s transformational guide Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening to be released in September 2017. I invite you to pre-order now on Amazon.com.

Bird of Paradise

Are we just a visitor here on earth?

Where in the world did I get such an idea? Consider this: all of us are born, and we live here on earth for so many years then we die.  It happens to all of us – there is no exception. However, what happens before we are born and what happens after we die? What if living and dying is like going on vacation having many experiences then leaving everything to go back “home” again.

When we die are we going back home?  This could be. Mystics and spiritual traditions describe our time on earth as a place of learning. They say we are infinite beings that come and go in many forms to evolve, learn and expand in consciousness. But for most of us in this “vacation” time between birth and death the real issue is we don’t think much about dying or going “home” because it is a little scary and we really don’t want to believe death is going to happen to us. Could leaving this “vacation” life be in the plan all along?

I do not have the answer but I do have some ideas. Recently, I was forced to face my own death which encouraged me to focus on my dying. From that experience, my work in Hospice, meditation and a lot of research I have explored this journey of birth to death and what it may mean for us to a live more vital and joyful life while on “vacation”.

The result of my investigation is my book coming out in September 2017 called Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening.  Going through the writing process I learned that confronting one’s own concerns about death and putting everything in place for family and friends is part of the valuable preparation for our “visit” here. The book is a guide for the physical, the mental and the spiritual preparation for the trip “home”.  Through exercises and self reflection, you will explore for yourself your fears, your preferences, and new understanding for how you want the final journey of dying to be filled with peace, wonder and self love.

To help you discover how you want to live more vitally and die with grace, I have created 16 videos to support releasing of old personality patterns that create our fear of dying as well as how to awaken to a new inner awareness and energy as we live our life now. My book-guide is designed to be used to create a supportive community with family, friends and social groups as well as spiritual communities and gatherings. The poet Rumi says it so well, “Out beyond ideas of right and wrong doings there is a field. I will meet you there.” This is the field of embracing the end of our life and awakening.    

Embracing the End of Life, A Journey into Dying and Awakening will be published September 8, 2017 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

Out beyond ideas of right and wrong doings there is a field. I will meet you there. – Rumi

Patt Lind-Kyle Prepare to Die - Awakening process

Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening Workshop

A New Workshop by Patt Lind-Kyle
in Nevada County

This is a pre-publication workshop of Patt’s new book  Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening

An invitation …

Rainbow registerDeath is a sacred act. It is the most important moment in our life. It is also the moment of waking up. Death is inevitable no matter how repressed we make it in our culture. We will all die. How do we prepare now and discover the freedom from the fear of death to live more expanded lives?

After facing my own death a few years ago I learned about the process of dying. I also discovered the process of how death helps us wake up to an expanded life now.  I have learned the importance of community with family and friends as we unravel our fear of death and for meeting our actual death itself.  This is an invitation to you to embrace your own death and for those whom you love.

Objectives

Together in this workshop we will explore the death process, the perils of medical interference, the kind of caregivers we want to be with us as we die, the legal process and the stages of awakening of how our death helps us be more alive now. I want us to share together how we can be prepared for both a healthy life and a healthy death.

Join me as we create community together in an ongoing experiential workshop.

  • Engage together in exploring as a community how to support each other in facing the fears and challenges of our death.
  • Learn how to awaken and expand more fully in our lives now.
  • Develop your own personal guide for supporting you and your loved ones in the dying process.

Process

  • This workshop will be a progressive deepening process with information, discussion, exercises, reflections, visualizations, and meditations.
  • We also will be working with a new DVD that will accompany the book. Integrating binaural beats and coded color music, the DVD takes us through the various stages of our awakening.

The next step

Attending this workshop will take courage and commitment. Take this next step in your life for yourself and for friends and love ones who you can support in their dying.

This is an on-going weekly workshop for three months.

We will meet every Wednesday from 6:00-8:00pm

Starting April 6, 2016 through June 22, 2016

This will be a closed group

To be in the workshop the commitment is $80 (x3) to be prepaid at the beginning of each month. You will be prompted to pay by credit card or Paypal during the registration process on Patt’s website.

When you sign up you will receive directions to Patt’s Meditation Cottage.

Registration is now closed.

Please contact Patt if you have questions about the workshop.

More about Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening

If you missed Patt’s interview with Elisa Parker about her soon to be released book  Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening, visit Patt on Conversations to listen now.

For more about Patt’s book and accompanying DVD visit Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening