As we are in the midst of the Holiday Season we felt it would be good to do some healthy reflecting. This article is from a nurse who worked with patients who had gone home to die. Here is her account of the experience.
I was with them for the last three to twelvel weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people surpressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they wre truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they had deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so called "comfort" of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness!
As we prepare and participate in the Holiday Season the Evolve team wants to remind each of you to take the time to take care of yourself! Here is a list of 30 ideas...just enough to get you through a month of wellness. Start today and repeat often!
1. Drink plenty of water: add lemon and basil garnishes for added color and flavor.
2. Take a daily walk.
3. Write down one thing each day for which you are grateful.
4. Give yourself a hand/foot massage using a peppermint or lavendar oil.
5. Smile to at least 10 people a day...you will both feel better!
6. Sit quietly for at least 5 minutes each day: do nothing, think nothing, simply BE.
7. Eat breakfast.
8. Try a new healthy recipe.
9. Take at least 10 deep breaths a day.
10. Leave a love note for someone special.
11. Listen to beautiful music...really listen!
12. Notice something you have never seen before on your commute to work.
13. Sit down and eat: no TV or other distractions.
14. Drink 8 ounces of room temperature water 30 minutes prior to eating.
15. Use a smaller plate to eat from. It will appear that you have a nice full plate of food and you won't over eat.
16. Get plenty of sleep.
17. Write down everything you eat for 30 days. You might be surprised by the results.
18. Commit to a workout routine with a friend. Hold each other accountable for "showing up".
19. Clean out one drawer a week. It is amazing how much freedom this will give you.
20. Reach down and touch your toes at least 5 times right after you get out of the shower.
21. Burn a nicely scented candle at your desk or work area.
22. Get a massage or take a Yoga class.
23. Grab a handful of almonds to snack on between meals.
24. Plant a container garden of herbs outside by your kitchen.
25. Move the TV out of the bedroom.
26. Stop working on computers and other hand held gadgets at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.
27. Place a fresh flower or living plant on your desk or work area.
28. Shop only the perimeter of the grocery store...stay out of the aisles.
29. Replace your toothbrush at least once a month.
30. Record one happy thought in a journal before you go to bed!
The team at Evolve wishes you peace of mind and prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to
Quote of the Day
"You are always only one choice away from changing your life."