It’s never too soon PDF Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Monday, 23 September 2013 21:41
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People celebrate birthdays for many reasons; for the joys they’ve come to know that year; for the friends who shared in all they did; for the path ahead that will make their old world new.

Actually we should also celebrate the not-so-nice events that served to show us who we are; events that stirred some quality in us from its slumber to bring us face to face with our potential.

The Bronnie is turning eleven in September and in this commemorative edition we’re looking back at the stories we wrote and the people we met, but we’re also looking ahead at the path that keeps bringing renewal and showing us potential we previously could not even imagine.

Just like humans, the most important thing a community publication could strive for is authenticity; to be that which it truly is, and to express that uniqueness without apology.

That, says hospice counsellor Kathleen Taylor, is what rethinking the bucket list should be all about.

Kathleen has spent more than 20 years working as a counsellor in hospices and in an internationally broadcasted talk she explained why she loves a job where she is surrounded by dying people all day long. She said that they teach her what does and does not matter in life.

People at the end of their lives are incapable of balderdash, Kathleen said.

While there are many stages in our lives, three stand out: When we are young we are fearless and set our course. When we are in the middle of our lives we question and maybe readjust our course. When we are at the end of life we search for answers about our course.

Kathleen’s advice is to do what people at the end stage do; slow down to think it over, shed what is false and become completely authentic. The end should not be the only stage to get to what Kathleen calls the distilled, crystallized and absolutely pure versions of ourselves.

Still, tragedy, discomfort and disease force us to start questioning our lives. Just ask medical doctor Lissa Rankin. She said that everything she had learned in medical school was turned upside down when she started asking her patients certain questions.

She was practicing in an area where people were very health conscious and did everything right. They should have been in perfect health, but many of them felt tired, weren’t sleeping well, their libido went down the tubes, their bodies ached and they gained weight.

Sometimes, when she ran specialised functional medicine tests she’d find something that would solve everything. But more often than not, the tests failed to uncover anything new. To Lissa it was clear that there was a missing piece of the puzzle, but she just couldn’t figure out what it was.

So she decided to change her patient intake form, and came up with very different questions than what you’re probably used to being asked when you see a doctor.

For example, she’d ask: If you could break any rule without consequences, what rule would you break? Do you feel as if you’re in touch with your life purpose? If your health condition had a message to deliver to you, what would it say? What does your body need so that it can heal?

The answers to this last question were not at all what she expected. Few, if any, patients referred to their bodies. They said thing such as: I need to leave my toxic relationship, quit my job, forgive my father, finally write my novel.

So Lissa would say: “You just wrote your own prescription. Go do it!”

And most of them would say: “Well, I can't do that. That would be crazy.”

My question to you is why not?

An Australian hospice nurse, Bronnie Ware, wrote a book called ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’. The number one regret was: I wish I’d had the courage to live life true to myself and not the life that others expected of me.

You need to figure out who you are so that you can create in the world and for the world as only you can. Kathleen said that dying people teach us that it’s never too late to shed what’s false and become who we truly are. She added:

“I’d like to hope that it’s never too soon.”

 

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