What I learned from 3 funerals

Posted Friday, January 27th, 2012. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

It seems like a lot of people’s relatives around me have been dying: brother, father, uncle. Two were Jewish and one Italian, Catholic. For the Jewish people we have the shiva, which lasts 7 days and it is a time for the family to be surrounded and supported by loved ones and people who want to pay respect to the deceased. What I like about this process is that it is more for the living than the dead for it is the living that are “suffering”. As for the Catholic viewing, the one I attended last night was full of light and laughter and the my friend’s uncle who passed away looked so peaceful. It is as though they were celebrating his life, not mourning it!

I had a brief conversation about death yesterday prior to the shiva and viewing and we talked about how really death is a process that begins the day you are born. Despite knowing this many people fear death. I don’t want to die right now for I feel my work is just beginning in this world, however I also know that whatever will be will be. So knowing that we will all eventually die, it behoves me and yes I use that word, I shocks me how many people do not live their life to the fullest. When the day comes for us to die you will be ready for you will understand this process on a physical, mental and spiritual level. It is my belief that the soul lives on forever and it is only our body, the physical vessel we live in, that dies — from dust to dust.

So knowing this, why do we not embrace every day as a gift? The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to live in the present and embrace each day with the fullest amount of unconditional love and joy. The PRESENT. I just watched an interview which I posted on my daily dose, of an interview with Anthony Robbins and 108 year old Alice Herz Sommer, a survivor of the nazi concentration camps. This interview is remarkable as this woman shares her secret of longevity. She looks at the positive, even when there is “bad”, she loves life, and is so happy and positive. That does not mean that she has not experienced sadness, or disappointment, or frustration, or anger … I am sure that she has, however she does not let it rule her life. Interestingly she had a twin sister who was quite the opposite of her – a pessimist. I call them the yin and yang.

There is a lot going on in the world. We have a choice how we respond to the events – what is going on in Europe with the financial crisis in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, in the Middle East and the desire to bring down dictators that have been greedy and ruthless, in the US and their presidential debates, and so on.

The only thing that you can control is YOU and your choices in life. If you let the events of the world impact you to a point of negativity, anger, frustration, you will be allowing this type of energy to rule your life. I ask that you do not. Choose to live your life as though every day is a present. You can create the peace and joy in your life by being this way, walking your talk – smile at a stranger, open the door and hold it for someone that is struggling, say thank you when someone gives you a compliment or does something generous and nice for you.

I choose to live life each day as it comes in the present. This is not the easiest for I am a planner and in my “past days” a control freak. I have LEARNED that by letting go, trusting and being in my truth brings every thing that I need. That does not mean that I sit around and “wish” NO I am doing as well. I am writing a resource and tool book for the youth – the next leaders of our world. I am speaking to different people to guide me in this process. What I am not doing is setting out a plan so tight that there is no room for possibilities and for it to unfold as it is meant to.

Take these words, ponder them, see what resonates and then make it your own — do what feels right in your heart for you. There is no judgement for whatever you choose.

Have a wonderful weekend!

All of my love,


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