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Spiritual Guidance for Challenging our Fear of Dying

From the moment you were born, your death has walked beside you…John O’Donohue


Its hard to get oneself to tackle end of life subjects but well worth the effort to discover what we truly want. Why you ask? Because the result is greater freedom in how we approach day to day living.

EdgeWalking Collective along with Jo Vander Stoep recently finished hosting a 4-week public presentation on Navigating Health (Help! What Do I Do Now?!). You might find the talk Kathryn gave of assistance:


 

We all know one day we will die and leave this form. However, it helps to be comfortable with the idea of dying, to befriend the ‘reality of mortality,’ as my End of Life practitioner friend, Johanna Munson, calls it. 


A question we might ask ourselves is - Is death an easy topic for me to discuss? Do I feel panic even having the conversation and go into a state of fear? This might display as a strong desire to control life. 

One way to discover your response is to ask yourself – How did I do in the early days of COVID? Was I terrified? It was a good prelim to recognizing our relationship with death.

Having a daily practice of prayer and meditation is one way we can support ourselves in facing our own death. A practice that calms the mind and preferably grounds us into our physical form might be a walking meditation or even conscious jogging. Think of what you might do that’s both physical and meditative…

Another practice for calming and grounding oneself is automatic writing – where you write anything that comes to you until you feel like you are drawing from a higher voice deep within. The additional benefit is you will receive guidance from the One that knows you best!

Another is asking – In what do I place my trust? When we can truly say - I trust life isn’t going to let me miss what my soul needs, we are actually surrendering to the flow of what life brings. 

A practice that builds faith and trust within yourself may even save your life one day. It is true that just a diagnosis of cancer can be a killer. There are statistics on this. We have an uncanny ability to scare ourselves to death, rather than trust our bodies are capable of healing. Our fearful imaginations can be dangerous to our health:


1.    Think about your response when you or a loved one has odd pains and is hurting. How fast do you go to the scariest diagnosis? 

2.    Scientists now create deadly viruses and bacteria just to see if we can defend ourselves. Do you believe this is safe?

3.    In the U.S. we spend more than any other country on war machinery - for protection. I’m often confused by the way we practice protecting ourselves.


Why not spend more of our efforts on calming, imagining the world in a peaceful state, focusing on what’s healthy and using our co-creative superpowers toward more of that.


Let’s not wait for an emergency but take on practices for strengthening our personal resilience and our ability to respond in wise and gentle ways. Conscious breathing, singing, bathing, fasting, letting love lead, can all be a part of our daily “chop wood, carry water.” 


Why not develop a group that meets once a month simply to speak openly and honestly about our fears and what we are doing to lessen their control over our lives? Wouldn’t that be equally as important as meeting once a month to prepare for the worst disaster?

Discussing death – what we believe, what we want for ourselves and loved ones as we face our final hour is best not left for the moment before dying. If we were in an emergency and you said to me – “I think I’m going to die,” my response might be – “We don’t know that – but if you were, is there anything you need to hear or to tell another beforehand?” That’s why preparation is helpful.


If today were my last day on Earth I would want to thank my body for all it has given me…the lessons, the strength to go and do all that I have been privileged to. For the miracle of life itself. To see beauty, to feel love, to offer compassionate companionship. I am especially grateful to have had a close family of siblings. And to have known what it was like to have raised a child from infancy and dependency to adulthood - to see their kindnesses, their strengths, their ability to love others. What a legacy that is. It's not just what we do – it’s who we are inside. Why take any day for granted when we could take it as an opportunity for communion. What is the legacy you want to leave?


We don’t have to go to death scenarios when emergencies arise. If we were to have a major earthquake, are we capable of remembering all the ways we might respond? That takes practice. Along with the do’s and don’ts that we are taught in preparedness, can we be resilient enough to remember our animal being? That’s the place within us that knows that 4-walls keeps out the light of the sun, moon, and stars. The place within us that knows where to find shade or water…or how to use plant medicine to stop bleeding. 


Spiritual guidance and solace arrives in numerous forms. It may be an awareness that we are entangled in a very alive world. Or that your own kitchen or yard holds curatives for you. It may be your faith - rooted in trust that we are never alone, never left without some support. That’s faith that is aware of its relationship with the web of life.

Discovering what you believe about death can help reduce the fear response and is an excellent question to explore. We might say it’s one of the ultimate quests.

In my work as an Intuitive Energy Healer, Health coach, and medium I had to surrender to the belief that we only die to our physical form. I was taught by messages from across the veil that our Spirit lives on. But that’s a conversation for another time.

Blessings to all, be strong, and hope-filled,


Kathryn

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