First, let me say that I really miss the health collage series. I have a collage of the thyroid to share with you, but my (step) grandfather died last week and I have decided to push back the thyroid collage until next Monday. This past week, I’ve been thinking a lot about death and dying, and watching my loved ones grieve.
I think I’ve been extremely lucky to have two fabulous role models in my family for death and dying… both my grandmother Grams and my grandfather Cass transitioned quite quickly once death became inevitable. I really admire them for the long lives that they lead, and equally admire them for the selfless release that they showed when their times of death were near. Both went through a period of intense illness that lasted only two weeks before they detached from their earth bodies and returned to a state of pure soul. I feel very blessed to have their examples in my family.
I very strongly believe that one does not necessarily need to enter into a state of illness or disease in order to die. Most people do… and many have quite a prolonged state of disease prior to death. That both my grandparents were able to release their earthly hold so shortly after becoming terminal is inspirational to me.
The next best thing, would be to not ever need to enter into a terminal disease state. I love Abraham-Hicks quote saying something along the lines of… “Esther’s plan is simple… healthy, happy, healthy, happy, healthy, happy, dead.” That is ideal and certainly something I’m intending for myself as well. But how do I go about doing this, besides allowing for the possibility in my mind?
I’ve thought long and hard about it, and I’ve come up with this… I believe one thing that would help is to release any and all fear associated with death. Because fear keeps us intimately connected to something we *don’t want* a relationship with. So to release fear of death would be to release my worries about negative circumstances surrounding death. Or at least it’s a start.
Now, death is such an overwhelming concept, I doubt that all mystery and fear can ever be resolved… that is, in fact, the human condition. To be aware of ones mortality. But I have been able to free myself from many of my fears regarding death… I blog a bit about that here.
One thought that keeps coming back to me over this last week, is that it seems like death is the last frontier, that last unknown.
But when I sit with this feeling long enough… my soul, in fact, really doesn’t agree. If I sit long enough with it to allow my deeper truth to emerge, my soul reminds me (with a strong feeling in my heart area) that in fact *everything* is the unknown. Death being not that much different from life. Most of life is unknown as well… truly. My own body, this computer I’m typing on, the molecules that make up this chair, the sound waves that are reaching my ear as my finger do the tapping on the keys, the miracle of birth and rebirth that I’ve experienced with my own children… even love itself (why does my husband love me so? How is it that I love him more now after 12 years then I ever have? What is this whole *love* stuff… it’s too good to be true and yet there it stands.)
All is a mystery.
And I appreciate that… I’ve blogged before (here) about how being open to mystery is probably the closest I ever come to feeling calm and spiritually grounded.
But the second part of that, is that death isn’t *really* the big mystery that we think it is. At least that is my feeling about it. Not only do I truly believe we’ve all been there and done that before (reincarnation, which I wrote a poem about here) but I feel that every minute we are alive we are surviving mini-deaths, and that we are all down right pros at the whole death experience.
What do I mean by that? Well, I’ll do my best to explain. With a lot of help from Thich Nhat Hanh… who originated most of these ideas and examples that I am about to go into. I love his book, No Death, No Fear and recommend it if you want to read more about these ideas.
Well, I think it boils down to this: we’ve all mastered the death experience, because we live it every day.
Nothing stays alive more then in this one present moment.
Everything in your memory is passed away… everything in the future is your imagination… even the present moment is a continuously changing and dynamic thing.
Just as a candle appears to be burning continuously down, one flame melting away the entire candlestick… this is in fact just an illusion.
Each moment of the flame is simple a combustible reaction… using a different oxygen molecule, burning a different part of the candle wick, producing a different flame. Flame after flame after flame. That is what a burning candle is. One spark of energy burns and is released and expands outward with light and heat… the next bit of candle wick and the next oxygen molecule react with this spark and produce the next bit of flame… onwards and downwards, melting a different exposed surface of the candle.
What appears as one flame burning is actually millions of different flames reacting all the way down the candlestick.
This is our life. This flame is us as well. Birth and rebirth, moment by moment.
We appear to have one long continuous life, day after day… but if you line up all the pictures taken of you over your lifetime, you are a different person in each picture.
Baby pictures, toddler pictures, childhood pictures, teen pictures, young adult pictures, adult pictures, middle aged pictures, elderly pictures… get them out and line them all up. Physically see this transition, which has all felt so continuous, and you will see that just as the flame is not one moving object, but rather a cycle of life and death… so are we.
The cells that made up the body of a baby are not the same cells functioning in the child.
The cells of the skin, the cells of the gut, the cells of the hair, the cells of the muscle, the entire blood stream… all have had their own lifespans and been shed… replaced by new cells with new lifespans… and replaced again.
Over and over, without our knowing or needing to manage it.
The hair of the teenager, is not the same hair as the adult. Long since cut and regrown… the body is ever evolving.
Not just our bodies, but our thoughts, our breath, the foods we eat and even our spirituality… all are different and feed us in different ways at different times in our lives.
Why do we experience this lifetime as continuous? The soul.
The soul is the wick of the candle in our lives.
The wick of the candle keep the chain reaction of the flame going continuously down the candle, and helps the flame appear as one flame. Our souls keep the chain reaction of our lifetime going continuously through our experience, and helps the body appear as one body.
From our souls perspective, it *feels* like one lifetime. The death of our cells, the death and replacement of our body parts, doesn’t phase our soul one bit. Our souls do not grieve for our lost cells. It embraces the newly emerging cells, the ones that support our health and our current condition and our current desires.
Leaving the dead cells behind, our souls experience the joy of emerging.
So it is with death, I believe.
The soul feels unchanged, undiminished, with the turnover of the body.
The death of cells has no impact on the perception of continuous *being* that we feel.
If the death of cells has no impact on our experience of *being*… how would the death of our organism be any different. The death of our organism is simply a collective death of our cells. No more, no less. You have already survived the deaths of billions of your cells. Your soul, your being, is untouched and unaffected by these cellular deaths.
With the death of our cells, our soul simply focuses on the joy of emerging.
So, we are already pros at this death thing, with nothing more to fear.
I can always align with my soul in the *now*. If we align with our soul in the now… we feel joy. If we align with the nostalgia of the dead cells of our past, or feel anxious with the unknown of the emergence yet to come… we can feel fear or sorrow.
In the now, my soul sings.
Is your soul singing the joy of the millions of cells that are healthy and functioning for you right now? Right now, you have hundreds or perhaps thousands of cells that are dying. You have thousands more that are emerging. Your soul is the one thing that keeps your experience constant. It’s not your body you rely on. It’s your soul.
So. Can you sing the song of a healthy body, untouchable soul, even as many cells are dying. Even as many cells are dead right now in this very moment, and are waiting to be removed. Even as many cells are forming but not yet formed. Yes, you can. You have been doing this all your life. If you’ve ever felt one speck of joy, one speck of happiness and one speck of health, you’ve done it despite the fact that you had cells dying all over your body. Death and joy do not preclude each other. The death of the body, or parts of the body, do not affect the eternal and continuous experience of the soul. At least, that has been my experience.
The vast majority of your cells are supporting your life, in the NOW. Are you aligned with that? Do you feel your health? Do you feel your moment?
This is our moment… a sustainable soul experience, with no fear of the future.
You have never been the same person twice… your baby self, your toddler self, your child self, your teenage self… these have all died already. And congratulations! You did great! Truly, you did. I did. We all did.
So we are pros at this death thing, you and I.
I hope those thoughts made sense… I’ve got a flurry of ideas running around in my mind, some easier to put into words then others. This was one of my more difficult feelings to try to articulate. If you don’t quite get my words but you are intrigued enough to ponder it more, I do suggest Thich Nhat Hanh’s book… he says it so much more clearly then I!
Come back next week for another Thought on Health… our Thyroids. And coming soon soon soon, a special announcement for my Thoughts on Health series! I’m very excited to share it with you… stay tuned. xoxo