Dear reader, If your 90-year-old Aunt Bettina died tomorrow, there’s a pretty predictable pattern for what would happen next and how she’d be taken care of—unless, that is, you understand the scope of choices available to you, including, caring for your own. There’s a good chance Aunt Betttina witnessed community deathcaring as a young girl,…
“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, a crazy-busy bridge to traverse and my parents each have their own rhythm that I try to honour. I’ve had no structure around visiting either of them, save for dad coming for Sunday dinner. But that’s not enough at this stage of the game.
Self awareness and structure are a magic combination.
I know there’s no end to the depths of what I might learn about myself as I move through life consciously and with the desire for self awareness and self realization. Yet, here I am slightly dumbfounded by how powerfully I’m impacted by this morning’s message that structure works for me – big time. Knowing that I need structure and then putting the right structure in place is a magic combo that brings me comfort, clarity, peace and joy. Insert happy dance. I breathed deeply and exhaled.
End-of-life planning is a tool for personal discovery
If you too crave more comfort, clarity, peace and joy, then try this on for size. Death, or more accurately, anticipating and preparing for my inevitable, some-day-one-day death is the most powerful tool I know for learning about myself. Combine this with the fact that Willow’s reason for being is to create structure—opportunities and tools—to facilitate personal discovery and pragmatic end-of-life planning.
“Exploring the reality of your mortality is an expedition into all that matters in the end, and therefore all that matters now.” It’s the truth. This quote is in the first few pages of Willow’s workbook, 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life & Death. Short and easy to read, 7 Tools provides seven exercises that I guarantee will help you clarify who and what matters most to you. What you learn will lay the foundation for any and all important planning and it will change how you live, right here, right now and for the rest of your life—whether that’s days or decades and really, who’s to know?
A free opportunity and a free tool
Our next opportunity for deep-dive experiential learning is Saturday, September 28th when we’ll facilitate a FREE (thanks to the City of Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery) day-long workshop: Departure Directions: Death education that inspires, informs and empowers. You’ll come away with clarity about your core values and insight into your relationship with the reality of your mortality. You’ll dive into five core factors that influence your decision making for how you’ll be cared for after you die, including ecological and social impact and you’ll begin to craft your personal set of Departure Directions, Willow’s term for written instructions or guidelines—determined by your values, beliefs and priorities. If you haven’t been to a workshop before you might be surprised to learn that it will be fun. Promise.
And, if you’re based in South Africa or Germany or the Netherlands (which we know some of your are —isn’t that awesome?) or the workshop just doesn’t work for you, please check out this new free tool to provide a framework for your Departure Directions.
With love and light,
What about you?
How does your self awareness support you to create structures that works for you?
What kind of personal-discovery surprises have you had lately?