Live life to the fullest

Life Lessons

Like a lot of what I’m reading, “Life Lessons” by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler is about finding our true potential now, rather than realising on our death bed that we wish we’d done things differently. Something I read recently asked the question, “If you were dying, what would you wish you’d done more or less of?” It made me stop and think – actually, when you take away all the material things, the important thing is that you’ve shown love to people. Whether that is your family or friends, or strangers through voluntary work. Having an open heart. We will never wish we’d worked harder, or had more cars when we’re dying.

Lessons for now

So “Life Lessons” teaches us to think about this now: rather than wait until it’s too late to do anything about it. What is your passion? What would you really like to do if money/time/what people think was no issue? How much of what you do is because you think you ought to do it, or because you think your loved ones want you to do it?
“Once in a while give in to an urge you would usually suppress, try doing something “odd” or new.
By not doing the things that feed your soul, you are becoming someone who is squashed and won’t find their true potential. Life Lessons asks the questions:

“Ask yourself what you would do if no-one was looking?”
If you could do anything without consequences, what would it be?

EKR says your answer reveals a lot about who you are, or at least what is in your way. It may point to a negative belief or a lesson to work on before you can discover your essence.

“If you say you would steal, you probably fear that you do not have enough. If you say you would love someone who you are not loving now, you may fear love.”

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Next steps in finding your soul work

Maybe for you, starting to do the voluntary work you’ve always meant to do is one thing to initiate that will make you feel better – it will also make the world a whole lot better. Maybe ask yourself the question with things you choose to do now, “Will I be happy I did this when I’m dying?” I know myself that I would much rather look back and be able to say that I’d helped lots of people in my life than that I lived a very safe, boring life without much contact with society at large. Having been housebound has made me see how small our lives can become through illness and age and how much we need other people. So now I plan to give something back – I’ve volunteered to befriend a local elderly person through Linkage. I also plan to change my job when I am able to and do something which gives more back to my community. So watch this space! Let me know if you have any ideas.

And on that note, I’ve just seen this on Facebook

(Thanks to “Life Lessons” by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler for the quotes in green.)

 

The healing power of love and creativity

Find your inner creativity and love for life!

If you want a heart-warming, inspiring read try Bernie Siegel’s Love, Medicine and Miracles. All of his books are deeply moving as well, so expect to cry a little! He tells how he made the journey from being a traditionally trained medical doctor and surgeon in the US, with little empathy for his patients and deeply unhappy with his job, to becoming a dream doctor who hugs his patients and teaches them how to take control of their health and life.

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He witnessed “miraculous” cures in his cancer patients and began studying what made the difference in those patients who coped well with illness and those who just gave up. He realised that in his role as physician he could be really important in this healing journey, as he could give his patients hope, rather than bare statistics about how long they had to live, and most importantly, be a human face, treating them like human beings rather than “cancer patient in room 2″. One of the things he noticed about the patients who coped well was that they felt they had something to live for, passion and love in their lives or an outlet for creativity. Dr Siegel encouraged his patients to express their creativity through writing, art, whatever made them feel happy, or through reaching out to people.This alleviates stress and releases the body’s own healing mechanisms.

Like everything I’m reading about, it’s all about how a positive state of mind can have an amazing effect on our health. Hence this week I have started painting…very badly! But it’s not about the finished product, it’s the process ;-)