Saturday, September 20, 2008

How can we reach the doctors?

I recently stumbled across some fax numbers for nursing directors across the country. One of the numbers I called turned out to be for a clinic, so the receptionist at the other end of the line kindly gave me the phone number for the local hospital. I was able to reach a nurse through the hospital operator. After briefly mentioning to her the title and some information about my book, she responded: "So have you found a way to reach the doctors?"

What an insightful question... This one nurse's words have been ringing in my ears. It seems that the key to creating space for death in our hospitals is to get through to the doctors. A medical social worker who works at a cancer center commented that doctors can hear you better individually more than they can in a group setting. And perhaps especially when a doctor is moving through his or her own personal loss or transition, they are more likely to appreciate the need to "make space" for grief and death -- not only in their lives, but in hospitals as well.

One of the most hopeful aspects in this regard is the possibility that medical schools and younger doctors are changing, recognizing the need to have a different kind of relationship with death. I've heard that today there is more education around palliative care and hospice in medical schools compared to what there used to be. Along these lines, I've discovered a wonderful book by a young surgeon named Pauline W. Chen. Her book is called FINAL EXAM: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality.

May we all become more aware of how we push death (and grief) aside in our lives. May we create new ways to incorporate it more fully into our lives by honoring it making a new space for it. And when the opportunity arises, I encourage you to have conversations around this topic with your physicians, and healers of all kinds, for that matter!

Deep Blessings of Peace and Hope, Dancing Heart~~~

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Feeling Our Feelings, Holding Deep Compassion

Recently, I came across these sentences from a very fine book called The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche. They are sentences that remind us how important our feelings are:

Don't waste the love and grief it arouses; the moment you feel compassion welling up in you, don't brush it aside, don't shrug it off and try quickly to return to 'normal', don't be afraid of the feeling or embarrassed by it, allow yourself to be distracted from it or let it run aground in apathy. Be vulnerable; use that quick, bright up rush of compassion; focus on it, go deep into your heart and meditate on it, develop it, enhance and deepen it. By doing this you will realize how blind you have been to suffering.

These words remind me of a counselor who used to challenge me, when my heart was moved and the tears would well up in my eyes, to "Stay with what you're feeling." lt was usually a challenge to do so, because my tendency is to go back to my brain, go back to analyzing and being where I'm comfortable (in my head), where I can "be in control," I suppose. However, whenever I could and did stay with the feelings, there was a sense of release and healing that would come.

This weekend I'm involved with a Landmark Forum, a few intense days I've set apart for myself to examine some of the things that "I don't know that I don't know" -- the unconscious, if you will -- with a community of courageous people. Yesterday, our fearless leader shared a very personal story and was moved to tears. He shared his tears and his being moved openly with us. Other men in the group also shared their tears. It was very powerful and moving to experience especially these men I did not know share their intimate feelings so freely and honestly.

It always feels powerful and important to me to experience people allowing their feelings to be present and real. Too often in our society we are trained to hold our feelings inside, not to share what we're really feeling. Somehow we've made it okay to think, but not so okay to feel.

I encourage you to notice and BE with your feelings in these days of great change and transformation. They will be your guide into the future. Trust your feelings... they can guide you to the Deep Compassion that resides within you. They may even open doors that you never even knew existed!

Blessings on the Journey, Dancing Heart~~~

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Healing Power of Essential Oils

Recently, I was reminded of the power of essential oils, especially to help us through transitions, while reading something that I came across through a piece I'd received through a friend: "One evening, I was burning essential oil in my bathroom. Somewhere between lighting the candle and smelling the oil, I had a vision. It was just a flash, but I saw a death ceremony from another time. I didn't get any details on the people at the ceremony, but I did pick up on their determined knowledge to send the smell of the oils, with the recently deceased, up to the heavens."

The fact is, these healing oils have been around for a very long time and have been used for many purposes, including ceremonial and at the end of life. Frankincense has been considered a most healing oil and a oil to help us connect with Spirit since the ancient of days. There is no mistake that Jesus received this oil that was considered more valuable than gold from the three wise men at the time of his birth. Myrrh is also a powerfully healing oil, associated particularly with the skin; here again, there's no mistake that Jesus was gifted this oil at the time of his birth, a reminder that it would be needed at the time of his burial. Many of the scriptural oils such as Cedarwood, Spikenard -- the oil Mary Magdalene used to anoint Jesus, Myrtle, Hyssop, Sandalwood, and Rose of Sharon are very helpful oils to use when one is ill, needing refreshment, or getting ready to depart this world. I highly recommend that you go to the Essential Oil Page on my website to see more about on the protocols for a variety of oils. Then, you may go to the Young Living website to order some of the oils, using my distributor #: 705841. Or contact me, and I can help you sign up with Young Living over the phone.

If you would like to read about one of the most powerful and mystical experiences I had surrounding a death using the oils, you may go to pp. 178 - 180 of the 2nd edition of my book. The whole section on Aromatherapy shares some important information on the history of the oils and their use. Another idea would be to go to my other Soul Baskets website and purchase a Soul Basket that has some of these wonderful oils included in them. If you call me directly at (888) 409-1678, I can offer you a variety of the oils separately, too. (Usually, they are $10 per bottle, and I'm now offering some new blends like Release and Thieves as well.)

Stay Beautiful, and Keep Shining! Dancing Heart~~~