Updated: Apr 17, 2018
This blog will be useful for anyone who happens upon it. Coincidence? Maybe. But I prefer to see magic, universal guidance, or synchronicity. Books and other resources find their way
into my life at the right time. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance showed up as I was in the very early stages of contemplating a move back to Montana (the same route the characters took on the motorcycle). It provided other wisdom that was relevant to the journey as well: “When you try to climb a mountain to prove how big you are, you almost never make it. And even if you do, it’s a hollow victory.” I was trying to find my way into a legal career that was never a good fit, in a city that did not feel like home. I was trying to do the right things, wear the right clothes, and climb a mountain to show how big I was. I didn’t feel very big.
If you are on your own journey of self-exploration, searching for inner peace, contentment, happiness, profound joy, and a full human experience of this life (including a deep understanding of its challenges), you are in the right place. However . . .
This blog will be especially helpful, if:
An event or circumstance in your life has brought death to your awareness.
You are dying.
You have been sick for a long time.
You have a very close relative or friend who is dying.
You have a very close relative or friend who recently passed away.
You have recently experienced a traumatic event.
Someone you love has recently experienced a traumatic event.
You are in a profession that supports people through any of these experiences.
Here’s the deal: at some point we are all going to experience these things. Death will find us. This blog is here to support you if death has found you now. However, the aim of this blog is not solely to provide comfort through grief. Instead, it is to find, in death, our everyday immortality. In her book, The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (known as “the death and dying lady”) described a spiritual experience she had in the later part of her career. She was instructed to set down her work with death and dying and take up her next assignment, “to tell the world that death does not exist.”
The purpose of this blog is to find, in death, our everyday immortality.
Many of us walk around with an unspoken or even subconscious fear of death. This has become more acute as we have become more adept at prolonging the life of our physical bodies. We think we should be able to stop it. We sanitize the experience of dying. We separate ourself from suffering. Through that separation, the fear feeds itself. If we can face our fears head on and allow the possibility that, even in death, life continues, we can find our immortality in the small moments of our day, no matter the state of our bodies.
I found peace, profound joy, and a connection to loved ones who have crossed over despite the fact that nothing on the surface of my life changed. I let go of a lifetime of anxiety even though my financial burdens were still very present, I was working in a job that was not serving me, I lost several close loved ones in a span of 4 years (including one of my best friends), and I went through a breakup that showed me how deep grief can really go.
The purpose of this blog is to transform pain into peace.
I want to share some of the ways I nurture contentment and encourage peace in my life. These strategies and perspectives are mostly not new ideas. I read a lot and have gathered the concepts I have learned to be useful for me. Along the way I will share the resources that have most influenced me. When I first had the inspiration to start a blog, I knew I needed a way to structure the ideas I feel compelled to share. I spent some time thinking about my path and was able to boil down a collection of experiences into eight strategies. Life is never really clearcut and it often resists categorization, but this will be our starting point. Over the next eight weeks we are going to dive into these topics one by one. You will find your own way, but these eight strategies will serve as the skeleton (pun intended) of this blog:
(P.S. when you click on a hashtag word, it will take you to posts with more on that topic.)
We will build on the the bones (again, pun intended) of these strategies. This will be an exploration we take together because, believe it or not, I don’t know everything. I might be wrong about some things, but I might also be right. Perhaps we will find out when we shed our bodies.
What does music have to do with this blog?
Music speaks the language of our soul when words alone are not adequate. It shows up to comfort us and it helps us express our anger, our excitement, and our love. Whether we are the creators or the listeners of music, it feeds us and creates a soundtrack for our lives. Music will inevitably weave its way into this blog as it weaves its way into our lives. Plus, I’m a songwriter, so I simply cannot ignore it.