Making Sense of Life & Death

Making Sense of Life, Death, and COVID-19

I’ve been thinking a lot about how the Coronavirus informs my experience of making sense of life and death. Here’s what I’ve come up with.  While we’re in denial about our own mortality, we’re obsessed with stories about death and dying.  The way COVID-19 is affecting us varies from region to region but what’s common…
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All That Matters in the End Matters Now

Identifying your core values—the second tool in Willow’s 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life & Death workbook—is a critical part of the foundational work of end-of-life planning. Seeing your values reflected in your end-of-life plans also keeps you accountable to living the life you want. Let me share how this works for me. The…
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Unlock the Door to Your ‘Good Death’

“I was so relieved when I named and declared my fear around my death and dying. I’ve been carrying it around for so long, and thought I was the only one.” This was shared by one of the participants at Willow’s Legacy, Love Letters + Heart Wills workshop this past weekend in Vancouver, Canada.  Hopes…
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How Ram Dass Inspired Me to Co-Create Willow

Ram Dass (Of Blessed Memory), an American spiritual teacher, psychologist, author and one of my sources of inspiration, died on December 22nd, 2019. His teachings inspired me to co-create Willow. During my training in community deathcaring, I listened to a Ram Dass lecture on YouTube (Facing Death, Ram Dass Full Lecture 1992). In this riveting…
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Tools to Connect (Inward & Outward) in Any Season

Consciously or unconsciously, we live our lives according to particular values. Knowing your core values is one thing, living them or embodying them is another. As I move through this dance called life, I’m coming to understand and accept that how we express our core values can evolve.

The Gift of Perspective

This past week I was a victim of fraud and it cost Willow a chunk of money. For several days I couldn’t shake how stupid and violated I felt. I had a sick feeling in my gut and lost my appetite for both food and work.  At the same time, there was a lot of…
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The Dance of Self Indulgence, Action and Attention

How much value is there really in the act of self reflection? Aren’t we humans being overly self indulgent if we’re continuously noticing how we’re impacted by whatever it is we’re up to?  These thoughtful questions were posed to us recently by a workshop participant.   If we’re talking about self reflection in isolation, we’re with…
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Grief in the Shadow

I was sitting at the wobbly picnic table at my campsite on beautiful Vancouver Island, at a family French camp we’ve attended for many years. My now teenage daughter is on an overnight trip, leaving me with lots of time on my hands. Instead of the excitement of anticipated “me time”, I feel off. I’m…
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The Magic Combo of Self Awareness and Structure

“Ah-ha, that’s it!” I said to myself this morning, in the sleepy state of barely awake after my early-morning alarm. After struggling to figure out when in the day would work to visit my elder parents, I felt a surge of clarity and happiness. I have two deadlines to meet, a daughter on summer vacation,…
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