Monday, July 7, 2008

How to Get Started

As with any shift in thinking, which a person hopes will lead to different, more productive behavior, the first step in framing your life in deference to your passing can be a small step. If you review the entry below entitled, Measuring Time, you might start by deciding for yourself what you consider the “past” and the implications for your future. At the very least, grappling with this question might help you deal with the discomfort around the topic of your dying. Reading some of the studies by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross can be very enlightening. Try making a list of what you consider to be your accomplishments to date and those you still hope to accomplish. Researching other cultures’ attitudes about death and how they deal with their dead is another route in. Simply spending some of your time trying to envision how and when you might die is more valuable than any television show and many of the other of life’s activities which in their essence distract people from preparing for this most important day. I will caution you that if you are successful in letting the fact of your death through your defenses, it can take your breath away and cause your heart to beat rapidly. I have experienced this and at times now it “hits” me without invitation. However, I have become so accustomed to living with a fully developed sense of my mortality that this sensation is not unsettling anymore. You will know when it happens. If you find a way to really accept the fact of your death, I can tell you it is frightening but less so each time. You begin to appreciate how many of life’s stresses are self-imposed, how many of life’s problems are less serious than originally thought. This is what I’ve been referring to as the freeing effect of these mental and emotional challenges. I believe that mounting these challenges produces an effect along the lines of when a person finds out they have a terminal illness. You start to realize that if I am truly going to die, truly, not probably, not in all likelihood, really going to happen, then what is my fear based on- looking foolish for wanting to try something I wanted to my whole life? Other people’s opinions, who cares? How Do You Measure Your Time? No matter what the answer- at least measure it.

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