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)….
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 you sister! Lift your head, open your eyes and get engaged. However, self reflection or “attention” when partnered with “action” can have immeasurable pragmatic and profound value—these are the essential elements of affecting change.
This marriage of action and attention with regards to preparing for your someday, one day, inevitable death is the foundation of everything we do at Willow EoL. For example, our workbook, 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life & Death is an exercise in both pragmatic planning and personal discovery.
Within the scope of the workbook, by action we mean reading, answering questions, and possibly researching, and talking with other people in your life. By attention we mean noticing what’s going on for you in all of the steps along the way. The more you allow yourself to react and then notice how you feel and observe your thoughts and your body’s responses, the more you’ll learn and grow.
This noticing is your being’s way of alerting you that there’s something in you that wants and needs your further attention; consider yourself invited to explore further and dig deeper. This self reflection leads to personal discovery and the opportunity to incorporate what you learned into your future actions.
At the conclusion of each of the seven exercises in the workbook we ask you to reflect by considering these five questions:
- How do you feel?
- What are your thoughts?
- What did you observe?
- What did you learn or gain insight around?
- Any questions?
As with all things in life, you get to choose.
Move along and stay on the surface or allow yourself to go deep. 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life & Death is about you—your life and your death. This may be the first time you’ve thought about your death, or the first time you’ve put this much time and energy into contemplating the fact that one day, some day, you will die.
The energy you devote to preparing for your inevitable death will help you make the most of your precious and finite life. Promise.
With love and light,
Michelle (+ Reena)
What about you?
What’s an example of how attention and action have affected change in your life or community?
Special Offer (ends Sept 30, 2019):
Purchase two print copies of 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life and Death (print) for the price of one. Use the $20+ savings to send a copy to a friend, family member, or anyone in your network. Now’s your chance. Use coupon code: 2for1 to redeem this offer now.