It’s time we had this talk…

It’s time we had this talk…

It is time we had a serious discussion about death in our country. A discussion within our families, with our friends, strangers and churches. It is time to take the  mystery out of death. I find it interesting that in all religious texts that I have read, the act of taking one’s own life, is perhaps, the greatest sin possible. Why is that? Many of us desire at least some amount control over our final days and how we wish to die. We lay great claims to our freedoms in this country – what greater freedom do we have then to end our time, here on earth, on our own terms?

Several groups like Death Café are now gaining popularity as a space to have that conversation. The Death with Dignity movement is strengthening and now making some legislative ground. As of 2016, four states have now created laws regarding physician assisted suicide. However, it is still tightly controlled by legislators, allopathic doctors, and many of the details needed for this to become a reality have yet to be worked out.

Where did this whole concept of “life at all costs” come from? Perhaps it is ultimately from the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. As for the cost of this policy, it comes in all types; financial, physical pain, mental degeneration, not to mention spiritual freedom. Today our veterinarians treat our dying pets better than our doctors are allowed to treat our fellow human beings in the later stages of life and dying. We must start talking about “quality of life” as being more important than “quantity of life”. Even with the best written Advanced Directives such as living wills, the laws are still on the side of keeping you alive at all costs. Harm can indeed mean, keeping someone alive, against their wishes, well past their expiration date.

Here in the USA are starting a great experiment in Oregon and other states with physician assisted suicide for the terminal ill. The restrictions are strict and often not serving the populous that needs it most. Mental competency and less than a six month life span are conditions required for approval. This leaves many dementia patient unable to take this option, even if they had stated being in favor of this option before the dementia took hold. On top of this only a minor percentage of people actually given the drugs and the option, actually chose to use them. We will have to wait and see how this process works, but so far it has not really changed the overall way people die. Even in Oregon, as well as, every other state in the United States, it is unequivocally illegal to take your own life.

There are many ways to end life and as one gets older. There are plants that may help with this. We naturally start to think about dying and how we would like to have it occur. We worry about being the only one who thinks that way, which is why having others to talk with so important. It is okay to think about and talk about death, and the many ways to die. Death is the only natural conclusion to life.

Death Cafe’s are held the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 6 to 8 pm at Asian Healing Arts in the FlexSpace, please come join us for a lively conversation.

New Space/New Opportunities

Life is always fascinating in the way it works. I have had to just trust the universe on the very way I pay for my life as meager as it is. A few months ago the building that I have worked in for nearly 15 years was put on the market. The building has been sold twice since I moved into it and I have had no issue. This time, I have this gut feeling. The neighborhood has drastically changed, the building is in poor repair and it wasn’t that great to begin with. But it has been just what I needed over the years of serving on state and national boards and keeping my practice going full tilt. My office is my sanctuary and my storage unit my home away from home. This time I know that it will be bought, it will be razed and it will become some lovely condos. It is what is right to be there now. It is time for the landscape to change and the block to be complete. It is time for me to move on.

I felt very ambivalent about it all from the start of looking 4 months ago. I knew that something would land and it would be just the right thing for me. I stayed open to all possibilities and yes, I even did have days of slight panic as I would look at the calendar and think, hmmmm, the management company hasn’t offered me any new lease, or space. Sometimes my heart would sink when I would search out a place only to go… yeah, no! It was Goldilocks and the three bears over and over again, too dark, too big, too small, too far north, too in the next state over…

Even when I first looked at this building I will now be moving into, the space I saw was too big. One thing was different however, the owners, lovely amazing women, sisters even. They took an interest in me, and in my work, and in what it could become. They read my website, my blogs and they still wanted me to be in their building. I am sure they will read this too so Hi Gals! They were able to work some magic, and within a week I was looking at another space in their building and this one was “Just Right”. Of course, I didn’t realize that at first as my long time suitemate was not able to come along and share the space with me, leaving me with higher rent and once again too much space. So, I will admit it, I freaked again. There it is was, the perfect space for me, but what was I going to do with all that extra room?

Bring in the clowns, or just that crazy group of people I call friends.

I realized that I could use this space to do the things I wanted to do, long before I started working to advance my profession through service on a state and national level. When I named my company I purposefully named it Asian Healing Arts Associates. I wanted to help many people both from the practitioners side and the public need side. At one time I foresaw actually running a big clinic, I got smarter with age and watching others and that is not what I want now.  Until this point in my career the word Associates has never been fulfilled, however, the basic wish to offer more is still there. I always wanted to offer classes and free clinics for not only for the alternative healthcare community but also the greater public at large. I wanted other practitioners in the Healing Arts to have a place to teach and work. It really sunk into my thick skull when thinking out loud to a long time client of mine about how to bring this about it dawned on me that she was always looking for space to put on Lamaze and Parenting classes. I give her credit for not smacking me upside the head but I guess I did that enough as we both laughed over my momentary brain death.

Then I started to think about all the people I knew that just needed a space to grow and release onto the world their own form of teachings. Within 24 hours I have already started the dialog with quite a few people about the future possibilities that this space lends to us. I have come up with a conducive layout of the space, and an estimate of the time and objects I will need to pull this off. I have negotiated, if that is what you want to call it, the lease and terms and know what I have to do in the next few days to make that work. All of this has happened so fast and easy. Great changes in my life have always been fast and fall into place whether I allow myself to stress out over them or not. I am glad that this time I did not allow the stress to take over too much and the flow has been outstanding. Overall I am more shocked than stressed and happy to know what direction my life and work will be taking next. Everything I could have possibly asked for in this transition has happened just as easily as it could thanks to two really cool ladies who I will now do my best to get a yoga teacher for.

I am nervous striking out on my own so to speak, but I know that I will never really be on my own, I will always have a strong group of loving friends and colleagues around me. I dread packing up my office and clearing out over a decade of stuff that has been stored there. I will obsess about every little detail that is required to move a business for the next four weeks. I will leave the details of a wall, door and I am sure some paint up to some competent person who is not me. I will use my dumpster to it’s fullest ability as I purge unneeded stuff. I will need boxes! There is so much to do, not to mentions websites for finish for people and updating my own, a music camp that needs applications up and ready by the end of the year and…. Oh yeah, my client load. I need to schedule a massage for myself! So, if you stop by, bring boxes. I have a move to plan and an open house in the new place to attend in the new year!