EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 187 There’s No Time but the Present: How to be Right Here, Right Now

Learn how to make the most of the present moment and give the gift of presence to those you love.

PodcastPresence

In Part 4 of the Mortal Wisdom Series I’ll discuss how to develop the skill of Presence to use in your personal life and work. Presence is the secret of living fully in every moment and you’ll learn how to enhance your ability to stay focused and present in day-to-day life. These are the lessons we can learn from our mortality and how to thrive in life while knowing that death awaits. Listen to Parts 1, 2,  and 3 first if you haven’t heard them yet!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • Presence is an essential skill for working with dying patients
  • Many dying patients seem to have a new-found ability to focus on the present and appreciate each moment
  • According to Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn presence is the ability to align body, mind, spirit, emotions in a single focus on the here and now
  • Being fully present with a patient or a loved one allows us to create a sacred space within which healing and transformation can occur
  • Steps for developing the skill of presence:
    • Create time (5 minutes) and space for stillness each day
    • Tune in to your physical body
    • Breathe deeply with intention
    • Allow emotions to arise without attaching to them
    • Let thoughts drift by
  • Practice total focus during small moments e.g. eating a special food, watching a sunset, listening to music, spending time in nature, being with a loved one
  • The experience of awe has these benefits
    • Greater humility (and less ego control)
    • Increased social harmony and interconnectedness
    • Improved immune health
    • Decreased anxiety
    • Increased wellbeing and happiness
  • Daily AWE Practice:
    • I am Awake in this moment
    • I am Willing to experience and accept whatever life brings in this moment
    • I am Engaged fully in living my life moment to moment

When someone is about to die, if you sit with him stably and solidly, that alone may be enough to help him leave this life with ease.

– Thich Nhat Hahn

Links mentioned in this episode:

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If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu!

EOLPodcast, Hospice

Ep. 186 How to Bring Death Doulas to the Hospice Team with Sherry Majewski LPN

Learn how death doulas can benefit both patients and staff when they are added to the hospice interdisciplinary team.

PodcastMajewski

Today I’m sharing an interview with Sherry Majewski who is a hospice-certified LPN who went to become a Certified Death Doula and is now helping her employer create a doula program within the hospice. We talk about the benefits and challenges of adding doulas to the hospice team and why this is an important step forward as we work to improve care for the dying. Learn more about Sherry’s doula services at her website:

www.evolutionaryjourneys.love

Listen here.

 

This interview includes:

  • How Sherry became certified as a death doula through NPEC
  • What has been missing in hospice care for patients and how death doulas can help fill in the gaps
  • Advice for doulas who would like to start working with hospices
  • How hospice staff members can benefit from receiving doula training themselves
  • Benefits of doula care for patients, families, hospice staff members and the hospice organization as a whole
  • Challenges of introducing a doula program to hospice
  • Why certification is important for a death doula

Links mentioned in this episode:

PatreonMugShot

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patrons Joanna Lillian Brown, Karin Lindfors, Carol Marangoni, Cathy Clemens, Myra Bennett, and to Mandy Pierpont thank you for increasing your pledge!

 

 

EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 185 What Am I Doing Here? How to Find Your Purpose

Learn how to find more clarity about your life’s purpose and why it’s not just about choosing the right career path.

PodcastPurpose

In Part 3 of the Mortal Wisdom Series I’ll discuss the lesson of Purpose and how we can unravel the mystery of why we are here in this sometimes crazy world. These are the lessons we can learn from our mortality and how to thrive in life while knowing that death awaits. Listen to Parts 1 and 2 first if you haven’t heard them yet!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • The difference between “inner” and “outer” purpose
  • Why it’s important to recognize that there is a larger reason for our existence
  • Why we must change ourselves before we try to change the world
  • Steps to discovering your inner purpose:
    • Awaken to the fact that you are here to learn
    • Look for recurring themes in your life so far
    • Journal about the pain and suffering you have experienced since they often center around your inner purpose
  • How the Japanese concept of “ikigai” can help you find your outer purpose
    • What you love
    • What you are good at
    • What the world needs
    • What you can be paid for
  • Why your outer purpose should align with you inner purpose
  • Why you need to let go of attachment to your outer purpose and accept change in your life

If you touch one thing with deep awareness, you touch everything.

– Thich Nhat Hahn

Links mentioned in this episode:

PatreonMugShot

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patrons and faithful donors Lynda Richardson, Molly Byock, and Jozie Rabyor!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 184 Caring for a Loved One with Dementia with Kathy Flora

Learn some helpful advice for being a caregiver for a patient with dementia.

PodcastFlora

Today I talk with Kathy Flora who has served as her mother’s caregiver as she has journeyed through dementia. Kathy shares her wisdom and advice for those who find themselves in a similar role with a parent or other loved one. She is the author of the book “Walking My Momma Home: Finding Love, Grace, and Acceptance Through the Labyrinth of Dementia.” Learn more at Kathy’s website:

www.kathyflora.com

WalkingMomma

Get the book here.

Listen here.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT:

PatreonMugShotNOW! You can get this mug designed exclusively for Patrons of this podcast on Patreon.com/eolu!

“Mind if we talk about death?”

Join our team and you’ll be eligible to purchase the mug!

Support EOLU by signing up today and receive additional special bonuses!

This interview with Kathy Flora includes:

  • How to recognize when an elderly loved one is declining if you live far away
  • How to talk to a loved one about necessary life changes such as giving up driving, managing finances, and living independently
  • The difference between an independent living facility and assisted living
  • How to deal with role reversal as our parents age
  • The “long goodbye of dementia” and coping with anticipatory grief
  • Who should be on a caregiver’s “essential team”
  • How to maintain relationships and communication with siblings who live at a distance
  • The hidden blessings from caring for a loved one with dementia

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patron Kate Riley!

 

EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 183 How to Let Go of What You Thought Should Happen

Learn how to let go of expectations and your bitterness over life’s disappointments.

PodcastSurrender

This is Part 2 of the Mortal Wisdom Series and I’ll discuss the lesson of Surrender and why we need to learn to let go in order to experience joy in life. These are the lessons we can learn from our mortality and how to thrive in life while knowing that death awaits. Listen to Part 1 first if you haven’t heard it yet!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • How suffering increases when we believe that things should have been different
  • How clinging to the need to control the events of life can lead to bitterness and regret
  • Life flows like a river and we cannot control or stop the flow by resisting it
  • Why staying attached to our expectations keeps us from experiencing what life is offering us in each and every moment
  • How to reframe disappointments by being curious about what life is bringing
  • Journaling practice to identify attachments and resentments so that they can be reframed
  • Bridge ritual for letting go of attachments and receiving the flow of life
  • Untying the knots as a practice for letting go (Thank you to our beloved angel Megory Anderson and her book Sacred Dying)

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patrons Alive & Mortal, Phyllis Nickel, JoAna Dwyer, and Seth Edelman.

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 182 When You Die … You Will Not Be Scared to Die with Lindsay Tunkl

Learn how art and the written word can be a powerful tool for confronting our mortality.

PodcastTunkl

My guest Lindsay Tunkl is a conceptual artist and writer who explores subjects such as death, heartbreak, and the apocalypse. Her work has been shown at galleries in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Today she will talk about her book “When You Die You Will Not Be Scared To Die” and her workshop Parting Practice: Rituals for Endings and Failure. 

Learn more at Lindsay’s website:

http://lindsaytunkl.com

Tunklcover

Get the book here.

Listen here.

 

This interview includes:

  • How Lindsay’s fear of death inspired her to approach it through her art
  • Why the fear of death should not be shamed
  • How both death and emotionality are banished in our society
  • Description of Lindsay’s book of meditations
  • How the book can be used for a contemplative/journaling practice
  • The importance of both the mundane and the profound in life
  • How to reframe death by writing lists similar to the book
  • The ability to plan ahead for death is actually a luxury that is not afforded to everyone
  • How to use the book as a tool for exploring mortality in conversation

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patron Diane A. Kelly!

 

EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 181 Why It’s Good to be Mortal and How to Celebrate It

Learn the lesson of impermanence and why it is essential for life.

PodcastImpermanence

This week begins a series I’ve titled Mortal Wisdom that will explore the lessons we can learn from our mortality and how to thrive in life while knowing that death awaits. Today is the lesson of impermanence … the fact that nothing lasts and everything changes, which is the ultimate reality of our mortal existence here on planet Earth, but also the reality of the entire Universe. I hope you enjoy the series!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

TaoThe TAO of Death is an adaptation of Lao Tzu’s 2000 year-old book of wisdom, the Tao Te Ching. In these simple yet profound verses you will learn to see death as a normal process in the cycle of life and discover how to live fully and fearlessly.

Find more joy, love and meaning in your life throughThe TAO of Death!

Available on Amazon in print and digital format.

 

 

Why It’s Good to be Mortal and How to Celebrate It

This episode includes:

  • The Buddhist concept of impermanence
  • How everything that is fleeting becomes more precious to us
  • Entropy – the 2nd law of thermodynamics – from the Greek word entropia, which means a turning toward or transformation
  • How life moves from order to disorder, structure to non-structure, physical form to energetic form or Soul
  • The benefits of mortality:
    • Creativity, growth and transformation are made possible
    • Even our suffering and pain will not last (“this too shall pass”)
    • This is the unifying characteristic of all humans on the planet: we all will die one day and we all grieve over our loved ones who have died
  • Rituals for getting comfortable with and honoring our impermanence
    • Contemplation and journaling using books like The Tao of Death
    • Observation of nature
    • Mandala creation
    • Flowing water ritual
  • We are here to dissolve into love, our ultimate destiny

My mandalas:

IMG_0146  IMG_0145

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new patrons John Milloy, Victoria Jenkins, and Joanna D!

 

EOLPodcast

Ep. 180 Living Funeral Ceremonies: How to Die Before You Die with Emily Cross

Learn how experiencing a “living funeral” ceremony can help with fears of death and reconnection with what’s important in life.

podcastCross

My guest, death doula Emily Cross, has a remarkable level of death awareness for her young age and has been inspired to help others get comfortable with death by leading “living funerals.” She will share where her inspiration came from and how she conducts these unique experiences for confronting and preparing for death. Learn more at her website:

www.steadywaveseol.com

EmilyCross

 

This interview includes:

  • What a “living funeral” is and how it differs from a celebration of life
  • How Emily was inspired to work with death and create living funeral ceremonies
  • How a living funeral tradition began in S. Korea to combat the high suicide rate
  • What a living funeral ceremony consists of
  • The benefits of preparing and practicing for our own death
  • Who such a ceremony is right for and when it might be too triggering
  • How to offer living funeral ceremonies as part of an educational experience

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 179 How to Conquer Overwhelm as a Family Caregiver with Tandy Elisala

Learn how to cope with all of the ups and downs and challenges of being a caregiver for a loved one.

podcastelisala

My guest Tandy Elisala knows all about the stresses of being a family caregiver having cared for both of her parents while raising 3 children as a single mom. She is the host of the Empowered Family Caregiver Podcast, an author, speaker, and coach and she’ll share her best tips and advice with us today. Learn more at her website:

www.TandyElisala.com

The Complete Caregiver Respite Guide

Quick Start Guide to Conquering Overwhelm

healing-through-the-chaos-2641

Get the book here.

Listen here:

 

This interview includes:

  • The biggest challenges facing family caregivers
  • Owning up to the negative emotions facing caregivers
  • Why some caregivers have trouble asking for help
  • Advice for getting help from others
  • How to move past guilt for not being a “perfect” caregiver
  • What we can learn about being a care receiver
  • Tips for self-care
  • Resources for respite care

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially E. Kiran for upping  your pledge!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 178 Poems and Rituals: A Tribute to Mary Oliver and Megory Anderson

This special episode is to honor the memories of two very special women who changed the world around them in different ways throughout their lives and died on the same day.

podcastmegory

maryoliverOn Thursday January 17, 2019 we learned of the deaths of two women who have contributed much to our understanding of the sacred in nature and in death. Mary Oliver is a beloved American poet whose love of nature inspired her beautiful verses. Her poems reveal the heart of humanity through the natural cycle of life and death she observed during her time spent in the out-of-doors. She authored many books of poetry including Blue Iris, Wild Geese,  At Blackwater Pond, and Why I Wake Early and was honored with numerous awards throughout her career.

megoryandersonDr. Megory Anderson trained in comparative religions and theology and founded the Sacred Dying Foundation in 1996. She is the author of the books Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life and Attending the Dying. Megory trained many end-of-life caregivers and professionals from diverse medical, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Megory’s presence will be deeply missed by everyone who has been touched by her love and compassion.

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • A reading and discussion of Mary Oliver’s poem In Blackwater Woods
  • How Mary Oliver’s poetry helped me through times of grief
  • A Q&A session with Megory Anderson about her book Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life; recorded for A Year of Reading Dangerously on May 30, 2018
  • Megory’s thoughts on making even mundane moments of life sacred
  • How to incorporate sacred ritual into the practice of medicine
  • How rituals help us become more present to life
  • The grounding provided by sacred objects
  • How to vigil with a dying loved one
  • A ritual for healing grief and guilt over a suicide death
  • Creating a Sacred Dying Journal to tell others what brings meaning to our lives
  • An excerpt from Mary Oliver’s poem When Death Comes

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 177 Midwife for the Soul: Easing Life’s Final Passage with Felicity Warner

Learn the essential aspects of “soul midwifery” from a true pioneer in the field of end-of-life care.

podcastwarner

My guest Felicity Warner has been caring for the dying and teaching others to provide care for over 20 years. She shares with us how she found soul midwifery as her calling and the changes she has observed over the past two decades of her work as she has trained hundreds of people to become soul midwives in their own communities. Learn more at her website:

http://www.soulmidwives.co.uk

soumidwiveshandbook

Get the book here.

Listen here:

 

This interview includes:

  • How Felicity first became interested in working with dying patients
  • A look back at death and dying 20 years ago and the changes that have taken place over time
  • The greatest challenges we face today in offering quality care to the dying
  • What Felicity means by the term “soul midwife”
  • How to prepare in order to be present with the dying
  • Why listening is the most important skill we can develop in our work
  • Felicity’s newest book: Sacred Oils and what we can learn from it
  • Felicity’s Soul Midwives School and the trainings offered there
  • Where to get Felicity’s books and how to work with her remotely or in person

A good death is an extraordinary, moving and sacred experience. It can also have a healing quality, not only for the person who is involved but their families, friends and the wider community. (Felicity Warner, Gentle Dying)

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially Kathleen Rouleau who recently joined the team!

 

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 176 Honoring the Mystery at the End of Life with Barbara Morningstar

Learn about the unexplainable mysteries that occur at the end of life and how these stories can transform our relationship with death.

podcastmorningstar

My guest Barbara Morningstar believes that the end of life is an adventure and each person entering that phase of existence is an explorer who uncovers sacred mysteries during the process. In her book Honoring the Mystery she teaches us how to glean information about this spiritual journey from the dreams and visions of our dying patients and loved ones. Learn more at her website:

https://www.inautumnscocoon.com

honoringthemystery

Get the book here.

 

This interview includes:

  • How Barbara became interested in learning about the sacred passage of death
  • What hospice providers and family members can learn from the deathbed experiences of patients
  • How Barbara’s grief over a friend’s death was shifted by a dream
  • How a conversation with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross inspired Barbara to keep telling her story
  • Why patients’ physical symptoms must be addressed first before sacred experiences can occur
  • Research being done on deathbed visions and dreams by Dr. Chris Kerr and at the U of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies
  • The metaphoric language of the dying
  • Tips for tuning in to the deathbed mysteries of dying patients
  • How being near death reminds us of the importance of love and the preciousness of life

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially Michael Barbato and Beth Rumi who recently joined the team!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 175 The Highlights of 2018 and What’s New for Next Year!

Learn about the best of EOLU in 2018 and how to catch up if you missed any of these events!

PodcastNewYear

“Death Education for Everyone” was the theme for 2018 and we’ll review all the great educational content that was provided in the past year. It’s not too late to listen in on the best webinars and interviews of the year before we get started on a brand new season of EOLU! Check out the links for the events you’ve missed in the description below.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you!

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

BIG NEWS!! Starting in 2019 the EOLU Interview Series will merge with the EOLU Podcast – so all the great interviews you are used to hearing on the interview series will now be available as podcast episodes. This means you can subscribe to the podcast and listen to the interviews on your phone while you are on the go! In addition you’ll be able to hear the solo episodes (like this one) where I share my wisdom, inspiration, and ideas for embracing the end of life and living fully today.

You can subscribe to the podcast at one of the following links (whichever podcast app you use):

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts (Click “View in iTunes” then click “Subscribe”)

Subscribe on Stitcher

You can also listen to the episodes at www.eolupodcast.com.

Thanks for all of your support in 2018! I appreciate you for listening in and encouraging me to keep going. And I’m especially grateful to those of you who have become patrons on my donation page at Patreon.com/eolu: you make my heart sing!

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

2018 has been a wonderful year for EOLU that began with a goal of supporting “Death Education for Everyone.”  In support of that goal the following programs were created:

  • A Year of Reading Dangerously online reading group; we’ve read one book a month this year and held 9 live book discussions with authors of the books in attendance. Nearly 1,000 readers from around the world have joined together to read the same book at the same time. We’ve all learned a lot about death, dying and the afterlife and have had fun in the process!

View the books and discussions from 2018 here.

Join the reading group here (if you haven’t already signed up!)

  • Teaching Guidelines for a Death and Dying Class – this free pdf was made available to hundreds of people interested in teaching about end of life issues. You can still get the Guidelines here.
  • Workshop on How to Teach a Death and Dying Class successfully helped launch dozens of classes around the country and culminated in 5 students creating online webinars, which you can view here.
  • Promoted Cathy Zheutlin’s new film “Living While Dying” as an excellent tool for teaching community members about death and dying. Learn more about the film here.
  • Co-hosted 3 teaching webinars that were very well received. If you missed these there’s still time to watch:
    • “End-of-Life Doula Training for Caregivers and Volunteers” with Suzanne O’Brien of Doulagivers.com. View the webinar here.
    • “Bridge Time: The Consequences of Change” with Jane Barton of Cardinalife.com; she talks about how caregivers can become more resilient in the face of change. View the webinar here.
    • “Collaborative Care for Caregivers: How to Ask for Help” with Jane Barton. View the webinar here.

The “best” interviews of 2018 (though they were all fantastic!);

  • Hansa Bergwall talking about the WeCroak app he created for smart phones that reminds you of your mortality 5 times a day.  Listen here.
  • Dr. Bob Uslander who has pioneered a new concierge model of end-of-life care, which could be a game-changer for the medical system and how we help patients navigate their last days. Listen here.
  • Alua Arthur of Going With Grace talked about the legal issues that can occur after death and how to prepare for them in advance. Listen here.
  • Deanna Cochran RN and Suzanne O’Brien RN both talked about the creation of the End-of-Life Doula Council by the NHPCO and the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance, which now provides certification training for doulas. Listen to Deanna’s interview here. Listen to Suzanne’s interview here.
  • Cheryl Jones of Good Grief Radio Show talked about end-of-life issues and the LGBTQ community. Listen here.
  • Jonathan Bartels RN discussed The Medical Pause which he initiated to show respect after the death of a patient at his hospital and has now spread around the world! Listen here.
  • Michael Hebb talked about founding Death Over Dinner. Listen here.
  • Joe Primo of Good-Grief.org discussed helping children with grief and how to include them in the experience of death and dying. Listen here.

For 2019 I’ll still be focusing on education as the primary goal of EOLU along with collaboration with other change-makers and this unifying message:

Let’s do dying and death better!

  • A Year of Reading Dangerously will continue! View the book list here.
  • There will be another workshop on How to Teach a Death and Dying Class (stay tuned to future podcasts for more information)
  • More webinars (TBD)
  • Speaking engagements (announcements coming soon)

Thank you for listening to the podcast and for leaving reviews on iTunes (they make a big difference!)

Tune in every week for a new episode! Until next time remember:

Face Your Fear         BE Ready          Love Your Life

karen-signature

 

 

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 174 Finding JOY in Times of Darkness – Christmas Eve 2018

 Learn some ways to navigate the holidays if you find yourself short of joy and overwhelmed with darkness this year.

PodcastJoyDarkness

The holidays are not always joyful, particularly when we are dealing with grief or loss. Watching others celebrate can be painful if we are feeling lost and alone in our suffering. Here are some suggestions for coping with dark times and finding the way to joy. 

 

 

This episode includes:

  • Why times of darkness are essential for life and growth
  • How major holidays near the winter solstice include light as part of the celebration
  • Why we need to embrace the darkness rather than resist it
  • How to bring in the light 
  • How to redefine joy as joie de vivre (the joy of being alive)
  • Discovering that joy is already within you
  • Why stillness is essential to cultivate joy
  • Overcoming the obstacles to joy
  • The importance of giving to others even when you are going through difficult times

Dark times provide an incubator for the soul to grow in creativity, love and joy.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Tune in every Monday for a new episode! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

karen-signature

 

EOLPodcast

Ep. 173 Finding GENEROSITY in Times of Suffering

Learn about the “science of generosity” and why a giving spirit helps us through even the most difficult times.

Podcastgenerosity

I learned to practice generosity from both of my parents at a young age and those experiences have shaped how I’ve lived my life. I’ll share some stories and talk about important research on generosity compiled by the Greater Good Science Center, including the benefits of giving to others no matter what we are facing in our personal lives.

Link to The Science of Generosity (white paper from GGSC)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

A heartfelt THANK YOU to all of my patrons on Patreon.com/eolu! I greatly appreciate your support and it makes all the difference to me!

Sign up here for A Year of Reading Dangerously online reading group for 2019 and join us to read one book a month on death, dying and the afterlife. Download the reading list below:

A Year of Reading Dangerously 2019

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

photo-26

Everything I know about generosity today I learned from my parents who grew up during the depression and mastered the art of giving to others in life-changing ways.

They showed me that it’s possible to be generous even during times of suffering–a lesson that was repeatedly demonstrated during the devastating November fires in Northern and Southern California this year.

Far from being frivolous or superfluous, human generosity might be deeply embedded in human behavior and play a vital role in our personal well-being and survival as a species. – Greater Good Science Center

 

This discussion includes:

  • The story of Dad’s winter coat
  • How Dad changed lives one broken-down car at a time
  • The story of Boris, his paintings and my Mom
  • Research findings from the Greater Good Science Center white paper “The Science of Generosity”
    • We are wired for generosity
    • Generosity is contagious
    • The value of role-models for generosity
    • The physical and emotional benefits of giving
    • How money can buy happiness
  • Generosity as a buffer for stress during difficult times

Wishing you the happiness of giving during this holiday season!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Tune in next week for a new episode! If you enjoy this content please share with a friend and consider leaving a review on iTunes.

Until then …

Face Your Fear           BE Ready          Love Your Life

karen-signature

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 172 Coping with the Death of a Pet with Wendy Van de Poll

Learn how to navigate grief during the dying process and after the death of a beloved animal companion.

PodcastVanDePoll

 

Wendy Van de Poll has felt a connection with animals since a very young age and then learned about the grief associated with the death of a pet after her own dog Marley died of cancer. She serves as an End-of-Life and Pet Grief Support Coach to help provide a safe place for people to grieve the loss of their animal companions. She shares her tips for surviving grief and also ideas for creating an end-of-life plan for our pets.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Join our online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously for 2019 by signing up here. Or learn more at this webpage: eoluniversity.com/yearofreading 

If you’re already on the mailing list you can download the 2019 book list below:

A Year of Reading Dangerously 2019

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

(This interview previously aired on the End-of-Life University Interview Series.)

Whether you live with an animal companion yourself or you know someone who loves a pet dearly, you need to be prepared for the day when that animal reaches the end of life. Wendy Van de Poll helps people prepare in advance for pet loss and also helps them deal with the grief that follows the death of a beloved animal friend.

The impact of the loss of a pet can be more significant than the loss of a human companion.

In this interview you will learn:

  • Why it’s important to create an end-of-life plan for pets
  • What to include in a pet’s end-of-life plan
  • How to make the dying process easier for a pet
  • Common myths surrounding grief after the death of a pet
  • Advice for those experiencing pet loss grief
  • How to support a loved one dealing with grief over the death of a pet
  • Suggestions for helping a child cope with pet loss grief

Wendy Van de Poll is dedicated to providing a safe place for her clients to express their grief over the loss of their pets.

Her passion is to help people when they are grieving over the loss of a pet and her larger than life love for animals has led her to devote her life to the mission of increasing the quality of life between animals and people no matter what stage they are in their cycle of life! She has been called the animal whisperer.

She is a Certified End of Life and Pet Grief Support Coach, Certified Pet Funeral Celebrant, Animal Medium and Communicator. She is the founder of The Center for Pet Loss Grief and an international best selling and award-winning author and speaker.

She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Wolf Ecology and Behavior and has run with wild wolves in Minnesota, coyotes in Massachusetts and foxes in her backyard. She lives in the woods with her husband, two crazy birds, her rescue dog Addie and all kinds of wildlife.

Learn more about her work: centerforpetlossgrief.com

Support this podcast by becoming a Patron at Patreon.com/eolu, sharing this episode with others who might find it helpful, and leaving a review on iTunes!

Until next week …

Face Your Fear         BE Ready         Love Your Life

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End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 171 The Best Gift You Can Give Your Family This Holiday Season

Learn how planning ahead and being ready for the unexpected can be a special gift for your loved ones this year.

PodcastEOLplans

 

During the holidays we all want to find the perfect gift for our family members that will show them our love and bring joy to their lives. But face it … in this age of consumerism most people already have more possessions than they need and we have sadly littered our planet with excessive material goods that no one wants or can use. Here’s an idea for a gift you can give now that will bring peace of mind and relief to your loved ones some day in the future: plan ahead for the end of your life, gather your most important documents, and have a conversation with the people closest to you about your wishes. 

Download the Checklist for this episode here: 

BE Ready

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Support this podcast on Patreon.com/eolu with a small monthly contribution. Thank you to my latest patron Jensen A! Your generosity is much appreciated!

View the latest webinar with Jane Barton: Collaborative Care for Caregivers – How to Ask for Help at this link:

Collaborative Care Webinar

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Creating an end-of-life file that contains all of your most important documents along with your wishes for healthcare and after-death care is a task that will benefit you as well as your loved ones in the future. You will be saving them from a great deal of stress and frustration if they won’t have to search for your papers or guess what you might want for yourself  when you reach the end of life. Why not use the holiday season as a motivator to complete your file and offer as a gift of love to your family!

This episode includes:

  • Ideas for storing your documents
  • Why it’s important to gather important information in one place so your loved ones can find it
  • Why you need to complete your advance directive (or living will) and choose a healthcare proxy now rather than later
  • The benefits of planning your funeral and burial in advance
  • How to view end-of-life planning as a gift of love for those who care about you

Links mentioned in this episode:

Tune in next Monday for another new episode. If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes.

Until next time …

Face Your Fear           BE Ready           Love Your Life

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EOLPodcast, Tragedy

Ep. 170 Learn to Pause in Times of Tragedy with Jonathan Bartels RN

PodcastPause

 

 

JonathanBartels
Jonathan Bartels RN

As an RN in the emergency room, Jonathan Bartels had seen his share of trauma and tragedy and he understood the toll it takes when grief and loss are unacknowledged and stifled. But one day, at the moment of a patient’s death following a failed resuscitation attempt, he received an inspiration to “Pause,” which would soon spread to hospitals around the world. He shares that story with us today.

Learn more about The Medical Pause here.

Other links from this episode:

Being With Dying Training

Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare

Patreon.com/eolu (all donations welcome!!)

Leave a review on iTunes

Ineffability means to lose words in the experience of the moment. Silence captures the moment more than any words” – Jonathan Bartels

Included in this interview:

  • How Jonathan was inspired to institute the first Medical Pause
  • Why we need to pause in times of tragedy
  • How to implement The Medical Pause in any setting
  • Best practices for The Medical Pause
    • Ask permission of people in attendance
    • Don’t proselytize
    • Allow people to opt out
    • Allow it spread organically rather than as a policy
  • What it takes to start a movement that is changing the healthcare system
    • Timing
    • Willingness to stand up for what’s right
    • Pure and positive motivations to help others
    • Willingness to fail
    • Courage and vision
  • How to “burn brighter rather than burning out”
    • Journal
    • Physical activity
    • Mindfulness
    • Healthy diet
    • Supportive practices

Tune in next week for a new episode! Until then …

Face Your Fear           BE Ready           Love Your Life

karen-signature

 

EOLPodcast, Tragedy

Ep. 169 How to Find GRATITUDE in Times of Suffering

PodcastGratitude

 

 

phoenixToday, as we prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. I share some thoughts about gratitude and how to practice it even when we are suffering. The image of a phoenix rising from the ashes is an especially poignant symbol as thousands of people struggle to recover from devastating fires in California. Sending much love this week to all who are dealing with trauma and tragedy as we sit down to offer thanks for our blessings.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Meet me at EndWell Symposium on December 6, 2018 in San Francisco! Get in touch with me (karen@karenwyattmd.com) if you’d like to connect during the symposium!

A HUGE THANK YOU to my latest patron on Patreon.com/eolu, Nancy Walker,  and to all of my contributorsYour support means everything to me and I am grateful that you are part of my work. Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu.

PatreonTY

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

The discussion includes:

  • The benefits of practicing gratitude (read studies at www.gratefulness.org.)
    • Improves relationships
    • Improves physical health
    • Increases wellbeing and happiness
    • Increases empathy and compassion
    • Decreases aggression
    • Improves sleep
    • Increases self-esteem
    • Increases resilience
  • Why the ego struggles with gratitude
  • The negativity bias of the brain
  • How to intentionally focus on the positive
  • Find the hidden gem or miracle within each difficulty
  • Why you only need a little gratitude to make a difference
  • How to keep a gratitude journal
  • The Gratitude Mantra

Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving with abundant reasons to be grateful this year!

Tune in next week for a brand new episode. If you enjoy this content please share it with others and leave a review on iTunes! (THANK YOU!!)

Until next week ….

Face Your Fear          BE Ready           Love Your Life

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EOLPodcast, Spirituality, Tragedy

Ep. 168 How to Find COMPASSION in Times of Suffering

 

PodcastCompassion

 

 

buddhafire
Photo credit: @NBCLA

Today I’ll share some thoughts on recent tragedies that have occurred near me this week, the meaning of compassion, and why at times we humans are not able to feel compassion for others when they suffer. Then I’ll share the words that have guided me to experience deeper compassion for many years. Download a copy of the Lovingkindness Blessing below:

Lovingkindness Blessing

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

DDCteachTune in to a series of brief webinars by 5 new teachers of death and dying classes. They share excerpts from their courses that we hope will inspire you to want to teach your own community class based on your knowledge, experience and passion for end-of-life issues. Click here to watch the webinars.

Teach about Death and #ChangetheWorld!

To further your own end-of-life education check out the Integrative Thanatology Certificate Program at the Open Center’s Art of Dying Institute at this link: https://www.opencenter.org/art-of-dying-intergrative-thanatology

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

In this episode I discuss:

  • Why we sometimes react negatively toward others who are suffering rather than with compassion
  • The meaning of the word compassion (“to suffer with”)
  • Why the ego rejects and judges the suffering of others
  • Why we must grow spiritually before we can experience genuine compassion for others
  • The lotus blossom as a symbol of compassion and spiritual growth
  • How the 5 verses of the Lovingkindness Blessing signify the necessary steps toward sharing genuine compassion during times of suffering:
    • May I be at peace
    • May my heart remain open
    • May I realize the beauty of my own true nature
    • May I be healed
    • May I be a source of healing for this world

You can help support this podcast and the EOLU Interview Series in 3 ways (THANK YOU in advance!):

  1. Tell other people about it who might enjoy this content
  2. Leave a review on iTunes
  3. Make a small donation ($1 per month) on my page at Patreon.com/eolu

Until next week …

Face Your Fear          BE Ready         Love Your Life

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