Saturday, August 21, 2010

Peace also Takes Courage

I was on my way to a retirement home (Horizon House) in Seattle recently, to present my new book, The Most Important Day of Your Life: Are You Ready? And behold, I saw the bumpersticker "Peace also takes courage." It jumped out at me, and I smiled deeply, partly because I didn't recall seeing this lovely bumpersticker before, but mostly because it spoke to me as it speaks to the heart of my work.

The work we do related to dying well and "letting go" is deeply related to peace work, I believe. The more we can unload ourselves of the past and live more fully in the Present Moment, the more we will be able to create harmony in our world. The more harmony we can create in our individual worlds, the more harmony we will have in our collective world, etc.

During my presentation at Horizon House, I learned about a beautiful poem written by a Quaker leader and mystic named Douglas Steere. It relates to my blog last week, on the connection between the world where we go when we sleep and when we die. Here's the poem, offered to me through Paul Neibanck (who remembers it from many years ago):

The place I go when I'm asleep
Is oceans wide and fathoms deep.
Entirely (God's) from whom I take
My separate self when I'm awake.

I've discovered two fascinating links tonight, one related to "transitions" and the other to "memorial stones." The first one is Denise Le Fay's blog on "Peeling Off More Layers" at Transitions; the second is Morgan's Memorial Stones

Here's to all our letting go's and creating a lighter path along the way... and to connecting deeper with the Great Mystery, including our sleep and dream time! Dancing heart~~~

p.s. If you're wondering whether or not to see Eat, Pray, Love, you might be interested in reading my most recent article at

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Holiness of Sleep

I was speaking about death and related topics the other evening with a new friend Joseph. We came upon the topic of sleep and the similarities between death and sleep. "There's a sense in which we die every day, the way Paul writes in the Bible," Joseph commented. And this made me think about how I share with people sometimes that when we go to sleep and dream at night, we're probably going to a similar place as when we die. In fact, I've heard it said that our soul leaves our bodies at night to go to the same realm that we go to when we die. Perhaps the only difference is that when we make the final transition, the silver chord is cut so that we then are no longer able to return to our bodies.

At one point in our conversation Joseph burst out saying, "Therefore it's important how we prepare for the holiness of sleep!" The holiness of sleep -- what a divine concept. We do so appreciate that sweetness of sleep that is a mini-death and release at the end of each day. And sometimes those days are long and full, and leave their many and intense impressions on us.

Joseph's comment about the importance of preparing for a good sleep -- not unlike the need for us to prepare for a "good death" -- also reminded me of the bedtime ritual I had growing up as a child: Reading a bedtime story with one of my parents, singing our night-time prayer of protection, "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep..." This song seems like it is specifically meant to help children let go into sleep with a sense of security after making a connection with God and Spirit.

I invite you tonight, before you go to that sweet place of sleep (return to the realm of the Eternal Mystery), to take a few moments to prepare yourself for the Holiness of Sleep. As you let go into the Realm of Spirit where you will be rejuvenated and refreshed to continue this amazing adventure of life, honor and give thanks for the connection that you have to the mystery of life, death, and Life Eternal!

In God's Deep Grace and Loving Kindness, Dancing heart~~~

p.s. I also invite you to see my body-mind-spirit related articles at