End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 210 The Dance of Life and Death – Part 3: Rhythm

PodcastRhythm

In this 4-part series of solo episodes I’m sharing wisdom about the intertwining of life and death in a perfect dance that spirals throughout eternity. Today I talk about rhythm, which is an essential element of any dance. Learn how the rhythm of nature and the universe includes both stillness and motion, waiting and movement, and how we can find peace and hope by surrendering to this rhythm as it unfolds in the moment. These thoughts are derived from my book: What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying.

Get the book here.

Listen here:

 

Art of Dying Author Series_ September 6, 2019 7-8_30 pm

I hope you can join me in New York City at the Open Center for this event and my workshop on September 6th and 7th!!

Learn more here.

 

This episode includes:

  • Why it’s important that rhythm contains both stillness and movement, whether in dance, music, or the written word
  • The power of the liminal space of waiting for an uncertain outcome
  • Why spiritual growth requires learning how to return to the rhythm of nature and the universe
  • How to surrender to the natural rhythm of living and dying and why it benefits us
  • How we can discover our connection to every other being on the planet when we remain in rhythm and open to synchronicity

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.

-Bruce Barton

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, Colleen Shea and Mary V. Jensen–your contributions mean  everything to me!

 

EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 197 How Grief Unites Us to Stand Together in Love

Learn how to use grief and loss to build bridges with others.

PodcastGriefUnity

In this solo episode I talk about one of the key Mortal Wisdom lessons I’ve learned; everyone is grieving over something and grief can be a factor that unites us. This message is essential today as we face polarization and divisiveness that threaten to tear apart our society. I’ll discuss how to use our own grief to build a bridge toward others who are different from us.

Listen here.

 

This episode includes:

  • Why we need to stand together right now
  • How our grief unites us with others
  • What wisdom traditions teach about grief
  • Grief opens the heart to carry more love
  • How to utilize grief as a bridge to others:
    • Embrace your own grief and carry it lightly
    • Notice signs of mourning and grief wherever you go
    • Remember that everyone you meet has suffered loss and pain
    • Before judging another acknowledge that person’s suffering
    • Have conversations about grief and loss with those you conflict with
    • Find harmony with others
    • Share love rather than hatred
  • Beware of “dark forces” that are trying to use our differences to fragment society; find commonality in our grief to heal the wounds of the planet and our communities

Forget the nonsense of there and here, race, nation, religion, starting point and destination. You are Soul and you are love. … Love is the bridge between you and everything.

-Rumi

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 Button!

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 191 The Power of the Broken Heart: Why Love is the Answer

Learn how love can transform and heal our lives even during our last days.

PodcastLove

In Part 6 of the Mortal Wisdom Series I’ll discuss how our broken hearts allow us to expand our capacity to carry and transmit pure Love. Throughout life we are broken open by love in many different ways and must learn to remain open to love rather than hardened and resistant to it so that we can find peace at the end of 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- 5 first if you haven’t heard them yet!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • The story of my “Love Project”
  • The importance of love for those at the end of life
  • How forgiveness makes room for even greater love
  • The many ways love can break our hearts
  • Why we need to remain open to love even after we have been hurt
  • The “violin metaphor” and why we should allow love to hollow us out
  • Practices for opening to love

Carry your heart through this world like a life-giving sun.

-Hafez

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, Meina Dubetz and Deborah Luscomb!

EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 189 How to Move Beyond Outrage and Forgive Everything

Learn the importance of forgiveness for moving forward in society, personal life, and spiritual growth.

Podcast19Forgiveness

In Part 5 of the Mortal Wisdom Series I’ll discuss why Forgiveness is an especially important skill to learn in the midst of our culture of constant outrage. We cannot solve today’s problems unless we learn how to lay down the bitterness and resentment that keep our energy stuck in the past. 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, 3  and 4 first if you haven’t heard them yet!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • Why there is so much outrage in our society today
  • Why we need to remember our interconnectedness and interdependence in order to solve the problems we are facing
  • How hospice patients focus on forgiveness as they face the end of life
  • How forgiveness benefits health, relationships and spiritual growth
  • Why forgiveness should be an intentional, daily practice
  • Tools for practicing forgiveness
    • Journaling
    • the “4-View” Process for forgiveness
    • Ho’oponopono

Forgiveness is the fragrance a flower gives when it is crushed.

-Anonymous

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, Mary Ellen Shea and Jan Wessell and to Licha Kelley-King for upping 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, 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.

 

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:

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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

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End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 160 Writing About Death, Dying and Grief: Dr. Karen Wyatt on “The Creative Penn Podcast”

PodcastTCPKW

 

 

CreativePennPodcastButton_1400x1400-300x300In this episode I share an interview I did with Joanna Penn on her podcast for authors “The Creative Penn.” We talk about why it’s important for authors to address death and grief in their writing and I’m sharing it with you to illustrate how we can talk about death with other people who don’t necessarily share our knowledge or interest. Learn more about Joanna’s awesome podcast here: www.thecreativepenn.com/podcasts/

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

This episode is sponsored by generous contributions on my page at Patreon.com/eolu. This week I’d like to thank my new patrons Mary Wilkinson, Joan Bretthauer, and Diane Adams! Your support means everything to me! To join the team and receive special bonuses go to Patreon.com/eolu.

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Today I’m sharing with you an interview Joanna Penn did with me for her podcast The Creative Penn. A few weeks ago in Episode 156 I discussed about how to talk to strangers about death and dying. My point was that we need to be bold enough to strike up conversations with people about death.

My interview with Joanna is an example of talking with someone not well-versed in end-of-life issues to show that it can be productive and inspirational at the same time. Joanna let me know that many of her listeners wrote to saw how much they enjoyed our interview and that it was very helpful to them personally and as writers. So let’s go have more conversations about death with people in all walks of life!

We discuss:

  • Lessons learned from working with those close to death
  • Paying attention to our inner passion for writing
  • Tips for dealing with death and grief in our characters and our writing. Joanna talks about some of the issues she tackled in her book Desecration.
  • Why we are able to write about grief that we might not have experienced personally
  • Why it’s okay to be comfortable with the subject of death
  • Changes in death culture as boomers age

There will be a new episode each Monday so be sure to tune in again! If you enjoy this content please share it with other and consider 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. 127 The Consequences of Ignoring Death

Learn how our 100-year history of ignoring death has led to a death-phobic society and the consequences we face as individuals.

PodcastIgnoreDeath

DEATHEDforeveryoneIn this episode I share my thoughts on the negative effects, for individuals and for society in general, of our dysfunctional relationship with death. This topic leads into my theme for 2018: Death Education for Everyone, which you’ll be learning more about in upcoming episodes!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

There’s still plenty of time to join the year-long reading group for 2018: A Year of Reading Dangerously. We just finished reading When Breath Becomes Air for January and are moving on to Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty for our February selection. Click here to join the reading group!

Huge thanks to all of my current supporters on Patreon.com/eolu! I appreciate your generosity very much and also the emotional and spiritual support I derive from knowing that you are listening and that you care about the work I’m doing!

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

For the past century we here in the U.S. (and other developed nations, as well) have been gradually slipping into a state of ignorance about death. With the rise of modern medicine and the funeral industry, death has been removed from the home and from day-to-day life, allowing us to shove death into the far reaches of consciousness and to deny to ourselves that it exists.

But death is an essential component of life that cannot be ignored without causing some negative consequences. Today I’ll talk about these factors that result from ignoring death:

  • We think there’s always more time
  • We forget that life is fragile
  • We don’t cherish our relationships
  • We don’t appreciate change
  • We are unable to find meaning in life
  • We don’t live life fully

Here are the quotes I included in today’s discussion:

“Man … lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” – Dalai Lama

“Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” – Steve Jobs

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is true and important.” – Steve Jobs

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousins

“Many people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five.” – Benjamin Franklin

So commit to start recognizing the presence of Death in your life every day until you can embrace and appreciate Death as a necessary component of Life. Then go out and start teaching other people to do the same thing!

Tune in each Monday for a new episode. If you enjoy this content please consider leaving a review on iTunes!

Until next week ..

Face Your Fear              BE Ready            Love Your Life

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End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 113 How to Write a Book About Death and Dying with Joanna Penn

Learn why you should write your story and Joanna’s tips for getting it done and out to the world.

PodcastPenn

JoannaPennNew24In this episode I interview Joanna Penn, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, about why and how we should each feel empowered to tell our own stories, even when they focus on difficult subjects like death and dying. Joanna’s website TheCreativePenn.com is regularly voted one of the top 10 sites for writers and self-publishers.

Read about Joanna’s work at www.thecreativepenn.com and listen to her excellent podcast too!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

LKFlorenceI’ve recently returned from my amazing month-long trip to Italy and have so many great photos and stories to share with you!

Check out my Instagram feed to see lots of photos from our journey and soon I will begin posting stories on my blog at www.eoluniversityblog.com where you can read about some of our adventures. The purpose of this trip was to gather information for my next book: A Grief Pilgrimage Through Italy. Stay tuned for more information!

brokenheart


I’ve created a workshop on “Resilience for Death-Care Workers,” which I just presented to the entire field staff of Denver Hospice. It was a profound experience to talk about the mindset and self-care practices that help us avoid burnout in our work. If you are interested in learning more about this workshop contact me at karen@karenwyattmd.com for more information or use the form below:


Patreonbecome2xThis podcast is generously supported through your donations at Patreon.com/eolu. When you contribute just $1 or $2 per month it not only helps defray the costs of creating this podcast but it also lets me know that you appreciate this content and would like to see and hear more! A huge THANK YOU to all of you who have been supporting the podcast for the past year! Go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn more.

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

Joanna Penn writes thrillers under the name J.F. Penn and she also writes inspirational non-fiction for authors. She is an award-winning creative entrepreneur and international professional speaker who talks with us today about how to write the stories that we are carrying inside of us so that we can help others with our words.

If you have been wanting to write a book (as most Americans say they want to do) then this interview will help you get started – especially if you want to write about the difficult subjects of death, dying and grief.

In this interview we’ll talk about:

  • How writing our stories can change us
  • How to overcome self-doubt as a writer
  • How to actually finish what you’ve started
  • How to handle the vulnerability that comes with telling your own story
  • How to get started writing your book

Joanna is an excellent resource for information on writing and self-publishing which she shares through her blogs, podcasts, books, and courses. Check out her website TheCreativePenn.com to learn more and connect with Joanna.

Remember there will be a new episode every Monday! If you enjoy this podcast please consider leaving a review on iTunes – I would greatly appreciate it!

Until next week….

Face Your Fears.                    BE Ready.                    Love Your Life.

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End of Life, EOLPodcast, Hospice

Ep. 76 What My Hospice Patients Wanted You to Know

What advice do hospice patients have about how we should live?

podcasthospice

 

 

In this episode I’ll share some of the wisdom I gathered from my hospice patients as they faced the end of life. This simple advice can help us live more fully with less fear and worry.

supportonpatreon-e1412764908776This podcast is sponsored through the EOLU donation page at Patreon.com/eolu. By contributing just $1 or $2 per month you can help support the podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series. If you  become a supporter I will happily promote your book, website, cause or organization on a future episode of the podcast!

Today I have a huge thank-you for my new patron on Patreon.com/eolu: Kerrie Noonan. Thank you for your support Kerrie!

In the News:

  1. An article on Time.com listed “7 New Jobs That Are So ‘2017’” and included Death Doula as one of the new occupations! What’s great about this is the fact that a major news outlet is breaking through the taboo and using the word “death” and that there has been a recognition of the importance of people who assist others at the end of life. In Episode 71 I listed Death Doula as one of the trends for the year and included links to several training programs for becoming a doula. If you are considering a career change or looking for some post-retirement work you might want to become a midwife for the dying. There will be a huge demand in the very near future for people fulfilling this role.
  2. In a story reported on the Today show we learned that 31-year-old actor Chris Salvatore invited his 89-year-old neighbor to live with him when she was no longer able to live on her own. Salvatore and Norma live in the same apartment building and had been friends for about 5 years when she was hospitalized with leukemia and respiratory problems. When doctors told Norma she would have to go to a long-term care facility because she had no family members to care for her, Chris stepped up and took her into his home. He now provides care for her as she faces the end of her life. Doctors didn’t expect Norma to live through the holidays but she is thriving in her new home. This example of selfless generosity is exactly what we need as we move into the future where 25% of Baby Boomers will have no family members available to provide care to them. Well done Chris Salvatore – a huge salute to you from End-of-Life University!

What My Hospice Patients Wanted You to Know:

Here is some of the wisdom my hospice patients shared with me as they neared the end of their lives. I promised them that I would bring their messages to you since they are no longer here to speak for themselves.

The spiritual lessons I learned have been compiled in the book What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying. The following tips are the additional pieces of advice they had for all of us:

(Read the full blog post here.)

  • “What seems important now doesn’t matter in the end.”
  • “Don’t worry so much about diet and exercise.”
  • “Your doctor doesn’t have all the answers for you.”
  • “Your life’s purpose isn’t what you think.”
  • “Religion is less important than learning how to love others.”
  • “Dying isn’t as scary as you think.”
  • “You’re going to die anyway so you might as well be ready.”

Listen to this episode so you can learn more about each of these statements. And then maybe you’ll be inspired to change some aspects of your life and prepare for the very end!

Be sure to subscribe to End-of-Life Interview Series (if you haven’t already) so you can listen to our fantastic educational interviews with EOL experts every month. Go to www.eoluniversity.com to register. And if you’d like to support EOLU and this podcast check out the donation page at Patreon.com/eolu.

Tune in next week for another new episode and until then remember:

Face Your Fears.                      BE Ready.                    Love Your Life.

karen-signature