Ep. 145 What the End-of-Life Movement Can Learn from the Natural Childbirth Movement – Part 1

Learn what the history of natural childbirth in the U. S. has in common with the changes we are seeking in end-of-life care and how we can benefit from that knowledge as we move forward.

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Slide1In this episode I share information from an article I researched and wrote about the natural childbirth movement in the U.S., how it developed over decades and ultimately succeeded with the help of the Baby Boom Generation. I’ll show how our current end-of-life movement is following a similar path and what we need to learn from the past. Download the special report below:

What the EOL movement can learn from natural childbirth

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

You can still join the online reading group: A Year of Reading Dangerously and read one book each month in 2018 about death, dying and the afterlife. In May we read the book Sacred Dying * by Megory Anderson and for the month of June we’re reading Choosing to Die * by Phyllis Shacter. Go to http://eoluniversity.com/yearofreading to learn more.

(* NOTE: These are affiliate links to Amazon – if you choose to purchase the books from these pages I will receive a small commission which will help support this podcast but cost nothing extra for you.)

HealingChantsAlbumThis episode is sponsored by the album Healing Chants by Gia! Check out this gorgeous collection of chants to help you relax, breathe deep, let go, and heal. Stay tuned to the end of the episode to hear the chant: You and I Are One.

Learn more about the album here.

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

A “perfect storm” led to the breakthrough of natural childbirth into mainstream U.S. medicine and society back in the 1970’s as the Baby Boom generation began demanding better alternatives. There is a similar “perfect storm” brewing right now around end-of-life care as Baby Boomers are aging and facing their own later years.

According to the book Family Centered Maternity by Celeste R. Phillips there were 3 key factors that contributed to the rise in popularity of natural childbirth. These same factors are present now in the end-of-life movement:

  • Medical Pioneers who served as advocates within the medical profession and began demanding change from their colleagues.
  • Grassroots Movements in communities that educated and empowered consumers to push for improved and alternative methods of care.
  • Media Attention that spotlighted the cause and galvanized the public to get involved while also normalizing the conversation.

But change doesn’t happen overnight and those seeking change in how our society deals with death and dying need to remember these 3 lessons about change:

  • Change in society is ultimately driven by economic factors
  • Change requires a united effort
  • Change requires a critical mass

Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of this discussion which will cover the potential deterrents to the change we are seeking and the takeaway lessons that should be learned from studying the history of natural childbirth.

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Until next week …

Face Your Fear           BE Ready             Love Your Life

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Ep. 94 Finding Joy in the Midst of Grief

How I got joy back into my life after my father’s suicide death.

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Wyatt18smallThis episode is a follow-up to the 8-part series I presented on my father’s suicide death (episodes 85-92). I will look at the factors involved that helped me eventually find joy in my life once again.

You can read the companion blog for this podcast at www.eoluniversityblog.com.

 

supportonpatreon-e1412764908776You can help support this podcast and the EOLU Interview Series by making a donation at my Patreon page: www.Patreon.com/eolu. This week I would like to thank my newest supporters: Melissa Neeley and Jozie Rabyor. You are awesome! Your support means everything to me. Also last week’s supporter Laurie Dinerstein-Kurs has asked me to promote Death Cafe as a thank-you for her donation. Go to DeathCafe.com to learn more about the movement, download a guideline for starting your own Cafe, or find a Death Cafe near you to attend!

Finally as promised, the Patreon donations have reached $50 per month so I am scheduling the first Hospice Happy Hour for Patreon supporters! It will take place on Friday June 23rd at 3 pm Pacific/6 pm Eastern. We’ll “hangout” together, talk about death, offer support to one another, and answer questions. If you are a current donor you’ll receive the call-in information by email. If you are interested you can become a donor too by going to Patreon.com/eolu!

Today I’ll be sharing with you my insights on how I moved through the pain of grief and guilt and managed (over many years time) to recover a quiet joy in my life. Here’s the list of factors that helped me:

  • Patience. I needed to recognize that grief has its own timing (and its different for everyone.) I had to let me grief follow its own path and unfold in its own way.
  • Stillness. Over time I developed my capacity to experience stillness within through a practice of contemplation and meditation. I discovered that joy arises in the stillness so this step was essential in order for me to ultimately feel joyful again.
  • Facing emotions. For many years I repressed all of my negative emotions about my father’s death because they were too frightening and dark for me. But it was necessary for me to face up to those emotions and embrace them with love in order to make room for joy to return.
  • Allowing change. I learned that I had to allow my grief and pain to change everything about me in order to move through it and discover joy again. My resistance to change kept me stuck in grief for many years and unable to move on.
  • Letting go of expectations. I had to alter my assumptions about how joy would show up in my life and recognize that it would arrive as one tiny droplet at a time. Joy for me now is quiet and serene.

Thanks for tuning in to the podcast! Send me a message or your questions for the Happy Hour at my email address karen@karenwyattmd.com or Tweet me at @spiritualmd!

Until next week remember:

Face Your Fears.                         BE Ready.                        Love Your Life.

Love,

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Ep. 63 What Politics and Death Can Teach Us

Today Dr. Karen Wyatt thanks her supporters on Patreon.com/eolu whose generous donations help keep this podcast on the air!

She talks about the Death Expo 2016 which starts this week on November 10th. You can sign up at DeathExpo.com and read about all 12 of the speaker for this FREE online event.

Next Dr. Wyatt shares some thoughts about the upcoming presidential election here in the U.S. While she doesn’t take sides or share any particular political beliefs she describes the fact that the U.S. electorate seems maximally polarized and divided over this election, with each side predicting “doomsday” if the other side wins. She goes on to say:

  • the day after the election will begin a period of grief for each candidate and their “teams”: the losing candidate will grieve over all the money, time, energy and life force spent in this costly battle; the victor will hardly celebrate the win because the “prize” is to take on responsibility for re-uniting the whole and to embrace those from the opposing side who now must be governed with reason and compassion.
  • the irony of this election process is that no matter how different others appear to be from us, we are actually far more alike that we are different. We are all mortals–human incarnations of Spirit–just trying to survive here on planet Earth. But each of us will ultimately die and that is our most powerful common bond. We each share mortality and an innate fear of death.
  • Death is the most uniting force we have if we look at it from a higher perspective.
  • Sogyal Rinpoche said, “Life is nothing but a continuing dance of birth and death, a dance of change.” Ultimately change is what we seem to be seeking through our political process: we want others to change, the government to change, the system to change–all so that we don’t have to change ourselves. But the only meaningful change is the change we create within ourselves.
  • Here is a recommendation for a daily practice:
    • contemplate your inner landscape and seek out the parts of you that fear change; the parts that harbor anger, hatred, negativity
    • seek to understand your own pain and your wounds that cause you to react with anger and fear; journal about them and spend time contemplating them
    • be aware of your behavior in relationships: what triggers your negative emotions? what causes you to lash out or shut down?
    • embrace the wounded parts of yourself so that they can heal
    • find the still point of equanimity within you and cultivate that; learn to operate from that place so that you can bring peace and healing to volatile situations
  • No matter how different you feel you are from your neighbors, family, and Facebook friends remember that Death ultimately unites us all as one. Contemplate your own death and allow the small deaths, the thousand changes that come to you every day, to move you forward. That’s how you will help the nation and our society heal again.

TaoCheck out the book The Tao of Death which has verses to help you contemplate death every day in your practice!

Sign up for Death Expo 2016 now so you won’t miss a single interview! Tune in every Monday and until next week remember:

Face Your Fears.               BE Ready.               Love Your Life.