Conscious Contemplation

Learning From Death | WillowEOL.com
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Learning from Death: A Mother’s Greatest Teacher

Twenty-five years ago, Akasha learned about life from her dying eleven-year-old daughter, Sarah. In a recent conversation Akasha described Sarah’s death as a “beautiful experience that profoundly changed who I am and the way I live my life.” I can’t imagine losing my daughter nor seeing the gifts that might bring. And, truth be told,…
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Attending Funerals: What’s in it for You?

I love attending funerals. I recently learned on Facebook that my friend’s father had just died. I had great respect for his dad, was sad for my friend, and was looking forward to going to the funeral. Unfortunately, I missed it. I was so disappointed. Of course I wanted to support my friend in his…
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Fears, courage and promise | WillowEoL
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Fear, Courage and Promise: The Impact of Our Spiritual Heritage

A while back I bought a book that I’m afraid to start reading. Even though the book was described by author and women’s wellness advocate Dr. Christiane Northrup as “A masterpiece of women’s wisdom,” I hadn’t been moved enough to crack it open. The book is The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman’s Journey…
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Remembering and Being Remembered

Remembering and being remembered was the focus of a recent gathering we facilitated. Our collective exploring revealed rich insights about why we remember, what we remember and how it makes us feel. It was a transformative evening for me on many levels. What we remember and how it makes us feel Remembering people and experiences…
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Taking Care of Death is Taking Care of Life

Creating your Departure Directions, Willow’s term for your written instructions or guidelines—determined by your values, beliefs and priorities—for how you wish to be cared for after you die will illuminate who and what matter to you, now. How does that work you ask?  Here’s how. Heart-centred and holistic end-of-life-planning begins with taking time to make…
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The impact of remembering

Sitting in the middle of my fridge, amidst summer-activity registration forms, a list of school supplies and a smattering of photos, is a new copy of an old photo. The photo is of my Dad’s dad’s family: my great grandparents and their eleven children, the Pante clan from the town of Lamon in the province…
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Are funerals dead?
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Are funerals dead?

When was the last time you heard or used the word funeral? Not, celebration of life, not memorial service but funeral? Ahhh, not so much these days in our increasingly secular world.   And when was the last time you said, “So and so is dead” or even more rare, “So and so is dying?”…
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Cultivating Courage - Peaceful Vigil for Quebec Mosque Shooting. Photo by Hugo St. Laurent
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Cultivating Courage

Cultivating courage arose when my family and I visited Ottawa last summer and almost melted during the heatwave. My pre-teen daughter and I noticed how lush and green the lawns were at Parliament Hill. Back home in Vancouver, brown lawns were the norm due to drought and major watering restrictions.

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Imagine your death and enrich your life. Promise.

You know that you exist, and that some day you will die.  This knowledge of your mortality can either be a terrible burden or a great opportunity to transform your life. The good news is that you get to choose! Consciously contemplating your death and mortality facilitates personal development and compassion and helps you become more self aware and in control over the choices you make in your life.