January 10: I read this page in Diane Mariechild's book, "Open Mind -- Women's Daily Inspiration for Becoming Mindful" at two levels. One was at the level at which she and Sue Silvermarie (whose poem is at the top of the page) intend -- that of accepting the fact of our own death and allowing our acceptance to enhance our life.
I don't have anything to add to this except to quote from my sister, Joan, who is reading the book and with whom I consult regularly as a way to share what we learn, challenge one another or just commiserate. Here is what she wrote to me:
I believe that it is the responsibility of us all to make peace within ourselves so that in our dying we give that gift to our survivors.
The other way I read this page was in relation to living with chronic pain, which I sometimes regard as living a series of small, and sometimes large, deaths. For example, I had to leave my work at a non-profit that I founded and loved for seventeen years. That would qualify as a large death, and even as I went through it, I was aware of my grief and of allowing myself to work through a process which I then could apply to pain management and living with chronic pain. An example of a small death would be having to cancel an outing at the last minute due to a migraine.
As I accept such deaths with equanimity, I prepare for a peaceful ultimate death. May it be a gift to my survivors.
January 11: Mariechild takes quite a trip on this one page, from a dyed-in-the-wool Catholic saint, Theresa of Avila, to speaking of Goddess as the universal source of energy to meditating on treeness. I just love it.
When we live solely in our heads, life becomes stale. When we act from our source, our lives are fresh and abundant.
Despite emotional or physical pain, we can have abundantly fresh lives. And whatever we think of or however we name our source -- God, Goddess, Allah, Shiva, Mother Earth, Great Spirit, Jehovah -- we can make a conscious choice to live from that source and thus make our lives fresh. Whatever the difficult circumstances -- and whose life does not have difficult circumstances? -- we have a choice that brings us to our source.
The entry ends with another practice, that of imagining our treeness. Try it -- I will, too. And we can share thoughts about it in the Comment section (click on the envelope) below.
I would love to hear from you. Please use the Comment box below, or email me at email@example.com. Thank you.