Back in the 70’s one of the songs in the top 40 was “Kung Fu Fighting.” As a matter of fact, at the same time there was a weekly television series that revolved around a Kung Fu fighting Buddhist monk. Like many young men in their 20’s I was smitten. The grace! The agility! The power of martial arts! I had to learn this ancient practice. And learn it I did. The kicks, the punches, the simulated combat with an invisible opponent. Fast forward to the 80’s, the 90’s, the “new millennium,” and the rigors of martial arts fighting made way to a gentler, kinder tai chi practice.
I am so blessed to be able to talk to people who are grappling with death. Mostly, I speak with the caregivers. They reach out to me because they feel like there is no one else to talk to. I am there. I listen. I understand. I hear them out and empathize and honor them. It is difficult being a caregiver; it can feel so lonely, especially when you just want to talk. I recently heard a quote from Cheryl Richardson, “People start to heal the moment they feel heard”. Perhaps that is the biggest role of the end-of-life doula – to hear. In a world that prefers to deny death, when death IS happening, we want to be heard.
Plant-based remedies have been used for centuries. Chemical constituents found in plants are now synthetically created in sterile, replicable laboratory environments. Those medical advances have done wonders to further research and understanding of the intricacies of the human body. So, why has a sudden resurgence in using essential oils saturated newsfeeds, yoga studios, moms’ clubs, and more?
Oh, boy, it’s that time of year again. Many of us parents and guardians have been working through our checklists, buying new shoes for our kids (who’ve been barefoot or in sandals all summer), and picking out fall clothes for kids who’ve sprouted since June. We’re smoothing the path as much as we’re able, sometimes stopping by the school beforehand for trial runs, figuring out the bus schedule and aftercare, or maybe counting down the days until school starts again.
I re-experienced my own birth the other day, for the third time in a week. I was in Milwaukee, at Transformations, Inc., with Jim Morningstar, a dedicated and compassionate psychotherapist, breath coach, writer, and Therapeutic Breathwork teacher. Sitting in Jim’s comfortable office, after a week of intensive breathwork training and experience, we began the session by talking about what I would like to focus on. I asked for inner child work.
Remember a time when you felt caught in a “funk” — whether you felt gloomy, anxious, irritated, or otherwise trapped in a mood that wasn’t quite “you”? Imagine some words to describe how that feeling-state felt in your body — perhaps you felt a heavy heart, a frozen throat, butterflies in your stomach, or a tight pressure in your head.