How to Prepare For a Graceful Transition – And Other Major Life Changes

We are living in interesting times. Everything is changing, including the ways we think about life and death. Furthermore, as baby boomers move into our middle years, we are having to face issues around transition that we are not always prepared for. We are recognizing that we want to do things very differently from the way we’ve seen them done in past generations. And we need guidance as we covid proceed down this road less traveled.

Shortly after the first edition of The Last Adventure of Life was published, I was in a health food store on Whidbey Island where the book was being sold. A Buddhist gentleman who was also a volunteer firefighter happened to walk into the store, and we struck up a conversation. At one point in our animated exchange the man commented, “In Buddhism, birth is considered the hard part. Death is easy because we have the whole rest of our lives to prepare for it.” I recall thinking to myself: Wow, that’s an intriguing perspective on death. I wonder how many Americans look at our lives as a way, a spiritual practice, if you will, to prepare for our final “graduation” from life? In truth, every day of our lives provide us with wonderful opportunities to prepare for the last adventure of life.

The following are some ideas that come out of my mind-expanding experience of working with hospice on how we might help ourselves prepare for that glorious last adventure of life.

1. The TRUTH shall set you free. Once we are born into this world, we must face our death one day. Rather than fear, this a cause for rejoicing. When we die is “home going,” or graduation time! May we face and talk openly about death with one another, with courage.

2. Connect with the BEAUTY in all things. When is the last time you connected deeply with beauty? The beauty in nature, in a flower or a tree, or a colorful rainbow? A baby, perhaps? Or the uniqueness of a human being? Remember the beauty of your own soul and through the center of your heart, see if you can connect with the beauty in everything.

3. Deeply LOVE your unique self. I heard through the grapevine recently about a day that was considered an Unconditional Love Day: A day for everyone to acknowledge unconditional love for the self. What a world we would have if each person truly loved themselves? Imagine that for a moment. After all, love is the only real and enduring power on this blessed Earth. Give yourself the gift of deep love and appreciation today every day, with all your power and might.

4. Tune into JOY, the source of all life. I was reminded recently by a new friend that joy is the opposite of fear. Two ways to convert our fears into joy are: Being grateful and being creative. The next time you feel fear creeping in, write down some things that you are grateful for in the moment, or let yourself express your creative side in some way, and tune into the joy!


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