Death Comes

These days I am working as a spiritual companion to the residents of a nursing home in England. I accompany these elders in their day-to-day lives simply by being with them. Some of them are sick, many of them are dying. If they are able to speak we have a conversation. If they are not, we don’t. I hold their hands and feet. I read them books and newspapers. I tell stories and listen to theirs. I pray with them if they ask me or I pray in silence if there is nothing else to be done. It is an enormous privilege to share in and bear witness to a life in these quiet ways.

One of the residents died yesterday. I’ll call her Trinity. I had grown close to Trinity in the last three months since I began working in the home. She was an artist and we shared our love of visual art through conversations about painting and drawing. “My aim in life is to paint,” she told me when I asked her if she missed it. She was seriously ill and had lost the ability to use her hands in any real way and her mind was clouded by the drugs and by her poor condition.

Trinity told me that from her illness she had “learned about laughter, suffering and endurance.” I was speechless. It is not often that we hear people expressing this kind of unspoken gratitude for being sick and dying.

Yesterday, after one of the nurses told me Trinity had died, I went to her room to just sit for a while in the empty space and remember her and say good-bye. When I opened the door I saw that Trinity was still in the bed. I was shocked. I’d assumed the body had already been removed by the undertakers.

I have seen dead bodies before. It is the strangest sensation. The body is intact and yet the person is gone. At first Trinity seemed to be there still. It almost looked as though she was breathing. But then it was obvious: Trinity was no longer there. Where did she go? We do not know. The Great Mystery.

Now Trinity’s suffering has ended. And yet so has her life. A whole life that I know very little about. I only know that at the end of her life she had learned about laughter, suffering and endurance.

We did laugh together, Trinity and I. I did watch her suffer. And I did witness her enduring, day after day after day. There is meaning in this.

I am reminded of a piece of scripture that I have always liked. It helps me to remember that I am not the be-all and end-all of everything: “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14)

Make the most of it.

Inspiring Message of the Day: Am I aware of the sensation of being alive today? I will do my best to bring myself into full awareness of my Being.



Abundance is an Inside Job

The cat has been trying to wake me up for the last two hours but I wouldn’t budge.

Poor thing. He was actually hungry. Sometimes he forces me to get up and there is still food in his dish but this morning it was empty and now he’s gobbling and crunching his kibbles as though he hasn’t eaten for a week.

I was dreaming of a grandmother and her two granddaughters. One of them was sick and I was asking if she’d been to the doctor to make sure it wasn’t swine flu.

She gave me a book with a page in it that had been written just for me. It said:


I told her I’d been working on that one for a while. And I have, in waking life.

What I have found is that when I create inner abundance, that is, truly believing that I am everything I need to be by getting rid of the belief systems that tell me that I’m not, the abundance in my outer world expands.

It is vital that I dig out the belief system that tells me I’m unworthy, or that I don’t deserve to feel free or prosperous or loved. I must do this in order to believe that I am enough, that I do enough, and that I have enough.

Digging out this old way of thinking is challenging and we can’t do it alone. But when we rise to the challenge and seek the help we need to change, we can then experience true abundance, which is a feeling of having and being enough.

Affirmations are great but if I’m still operating from a belief system that tells me I’m a piece of crap then the affirmation is not going to go very far. I have to change the belief system by removing the old way of thinking.

Inspiring Message of the Day: When I seek help and change my inner world, my outer world transforms. I deserve to feel abundant. I am everything I need to be, today, now and always.

Joining the Masses

This is what I used to think about bloggers:

Self-centred in the extreme. Ego maniacs.

Who thinks that she is important enough to have people read her thoughts about everything and anything? Who cares?

Yesterday I went to see the film Julie and Julia and instead of judging Amy for blogging about cooking her way through Julia Child’s book I was inspired.

The movie, however, was not exactly what led to this auspicious beginning.

At 5 o’clock this morning the cat woke me up, as he does every bloody morning, in the cruelest and most unusual way:

He jumps on my stomach from the window ledge above the bed. It’s not only a shock to be woken out of a deep sleep, it is painful.

I was mad. Like, ready to hurt him, mad.

So I began to do the thing that I do to survive and thrive in this crazy world: I pray.

Please help me to accept this little beast, help me to understand what it is I’m supposed to do, how can I see this in a different way, how can I love him despite the fact that he is such a pest, show me what to do, free me from my anger, guide me in this situation.

And the idea for a blog just swooped right in.

“I could write a blog to inspire people,” I thought. Inspiring Works is the name of my coaching business and Inspiration is Courage.

So here is the Inspiring Message of the Day:

When something happens to me that I do not like, that feels like cruel and unusual punishment, I will see it as an opportunity for growth. I will use it to change the world, be of service, help others. I will thank the person/place/thing that gave me the lesson, for he/she/it is my greatest teacher.

Thank you Julie and Julia. Thank you, cat.