Dear Reader, 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 2016 training in community deathcaring, I listened to a Ram Dass lecture on YouTube (Facing Death, Ram Dass Full Lecture 1992)….
A few months ago I was at a social gathering and was talking to someone about Willow and end-of-life planning. As if he’d heard the answer many times before, he asked “So, you’re going to tell me that the first thing I need to do is write a will, right?” “Actually, no.” I said, “The first thing I think you should do is spend some time making sense of life and death.”
The foundational work of making sense of life and death before making practical end-of-life arrangements is key because if you skip it, you’ll either get stopped before you start, get stuck and not complete the tasks you’ve started, or you’ll be at risk of making choices that don’t reflect your values and priorities.
These are the reasons we created 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life and Death: a workbook to explore the reality of your mortality. Our first print-run sold out, and the second print edition is coming soon. And the good news is that the fillable ebook is for sale right now on our website!
Get $5.00 off for the next two weeks when you buy Willow’s 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life and Death: a workbook to explore the reality of your mortality.
The first tool in the workbook is an exercise on planning priorities, and it centres around Willow’s holistic and heart-centred, Reality of Our Mortality Planning Checklist, which you can download right now for free.
By heart-centred we mean that the topics on the list move beyond the purely pragmatic to include self-reflection and relationships. By holistic we mean that the list covers the big picture and that the various parts are interconnected.
Using the checklist, the workbook begins by guiding you to reflect on any end-of-life planning you’ve started and then prompts you to set priorities for what to do next (or first). The remainder of the workbook pulls together our favourite and most effective self-reflection exercises from the workshops and coaching we’ve done. It will help you base your planning on your values and priorities and lay the groundwork for you to be as prepared as possible for the inevitable.
Whether you have days or decades left to live, thinking about and preparing for your someday, one-day death will inspire you to live your best life now.
We know this to be true, because that’s the feedback we’ve gotten over and over from delivering the exercises in our in-person workshops. Don’t take our word for it though, you can read testimonials from some of the many people who have dug into the first edition of the workbook.
As for my new friend at the social gathering, he admitted to not having done any end-of-life planning because he’s stuck and doesn’t know where to begin. Well, we at Willow know where to begin and now you do too.
With love and light,
Reena (+ Michelle)
What about you?
What has helped you to make sense of life and death?
How has making sense of life and death helped you in preparing for the inevitable?