Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Breakthrough, and Changes in the Air!

Yesterday was a Red Letter Day for me: Not only did I sign papers for a new condo on the Mainland that we're moving to soon, but I also got a contract worked out with Findhorn Press in Scotland who will be publishing a 2nd edition of my book next spring! Wow, talk about changes in the air... I have been waiting for this for a long time; it's all very exciting and energizing.

At this time, I'm also getting ready to launch a new business related to my book. It is a Soul (Gift) Basket business that will incorporate some of the healing tools in Chapter 11 of The Last Adventure of Life. I will develop "healing tool kits" for those who are grieving, caregiving, dealing with a health crisis, and/or end-of-life transitions. The kits (I will be using furoshikis to bring a Japanese flavor to them) will include things like: a small pocketbook version of my book, some Young Living essential oils, a music and/or meditation CD, a candle, and the like. They will be kits that will help "embody" what I write about in my book. Families and friends will be able to honor one another using the items, and they will also help with honoring and encouraging ritual during transitional times.

If you are interested in trying a basket out, please let me know. I'd love to custom design something for you, or try out one of my new ideas. Also, please let me know if you'd like an autographed copy of my book. These books will no longer be available after the end of this year!

Thanks for all your support and prayers, too... during this new adventure of my own :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How to "Start the Conversation"

Did you know that there are people who are actually dying to have a conversation around the topic of death and dying?!? We live in a culture that still shuns death, but I've discovered through my work with hospice that there are many who are open to having this discussion; in fact, some are just waiting for someone to "open the door" and give them permission to speak about this subject -- the Last Taboo in America -- that may be weighing heavily on their mind. These people may even give you clues as to their interest in this topic. For example, they might make some innocuous comment about someone who's died, or they might ask you a question about a relative or friend that you know has already crossed over.

I have three recommendations I would pose in this regard: First, tune in to your inner knowing. Your intuition will let you know when is the best time to open the door to this conversation. Pray or meditate, and ask for guidance, which always follows. Second, remember the courage that is in you. It is not necessarily easy to have a conversation that is uncomfortable for many. Making sure you are approaching this topic with courage and openness will insure that you will not miss opportunities to say what needs saying or respond with honesty and grit.

Finally, do not be afraid to ask creative, even probing questions -- in a gentle way, of course. When the seriously ill or dying person asks a question involving death, rather than skirting the issue of brushing it off, let them know you are open to going deeper. Ask them why they are asking the question, or what significance the person they mentioned has in their life at this time. If it seems appropriate, you might even ask them what they imagine heaven to be like, or what it might feel like for them to be reunited with a loved one who has died.