Growing up, I was often told that I was “too sensitive.” I could walk into a room and feel all the emotions of everyone there. I remember that when my dad would come home from work, sit down, and have a martini, I felt stressed, anxious and uneasy, and I would wonder why. When my parents entertained, I was told, “You are to be seen and not heard.” I’d feel social anxiety and unease in rooms where they entertained. It
As a hospice chaplain, I’ve had the privilege of companioning hundreds of patients at the end of their lives. Each patient was a teacher and offered me unique lessons. But one lesson that I continually learned from these patients witnessed was that of trust—trust in the great unknown and trust in the process of letting go and leaving one’s body. On my first visit with Larry, an elderly man, he shared that he’d had a near-death experience in his mid-thirties.
The doctors had told my-mother-in law, Karen, that there was nothing more they could do for her. The last few weeks of her life were filled with peace and acceptance. She entered hospice care and lived out her final week in her home. I have a vivid memory of the hot, sunny, Friday afternoon in July 2004, when she invited my husband and me to join her in her bedroom. At that time, Karen was still walking around, highly functional,
Whitewater rafting in level III rapids in Costa Rica, I was thrown overboard. Despite my life vest, I was pulled deep underwater, and complete darkness surrounded me. “This is it,” I thought. “I am finally going to die.” This fear of death was familiar to me from facing cancer during my childhood. And here it was again, front and center. Then what felt like a bright, radiant white light surrounded my whole body. I heard a voice say loudly and
When we’re not feeling our best, we do just about anything we can to help our bodies recover. Perhaps you load extra leafy greens into a smoothie, spend more time resting, or maybe you add extra immune boosting supplements. The truth is, we all have physical, emotional, and spiritual needs; we’re mind-body-spirit and the three are deeply interconnected. Sometimes, our bodies let us know they need some extra love and support through various symptoms including, changes in energy, or even