Friday 11 September 2015

Don't die with your music still in you

Celebrities die every week and I can be sad for the loss of the life of someone who had made a difference in the world, and of course for a family who has lost someone close to them. 

At the end of August the news that Wayne Dyer had died had a very profound impact on me - not a day has gone by since hearing the news that I have not reflected on the consequences of his teachings on my life. The same can be said for many others impacted by his life - if my Facebook feed is anything to go by anyway.

Hay house have reduced the price of all his books and as a result I'm reading one of the few books I didn't already own, and written with his daughter, entitled "Don't die with the music still in you" (for me Wayne died having sung every tune within him, and has now passed the baton on to us all to make our own music). 

As I thought about sharing what I'd learnt from Wayne, and who I had become as a result, I found out that parliament are meeting to discuss the merits of starting the journey towards assisted dying here in the UK. Whilst I don't know what Wayne felt about assisted dying I know that his teachings would add to the debate and for me (with my beliefs and attachments *) include:
Which counter a culture where death of the body is seen as something to be avoided at any and all costs - even if it means forcing others to hang on by their fingers nails. Or where the body is repaired time and time again because we can, because it's physically possible - ignoring the impact on the mind, heart and soul. As if the body has a higher priority than mind, heart and soul?
  • Compassion for self and others
  • Respect for self and others 
  • Love, honour and acceptance
  • Trust and listen to your intuition
These, to me, support the reminder I've had during my CPD coaching training this summer - we can't hope to tell anyone what to do only hold the space for them to make the right decision for themselves. As soon as we're attached to an outcome for another we're not respecting that person's right to decide. If we impose our opinion on another as their fact we make it more about us than them. We're not being compassionate, we're telling someone what we'd do in that situation, and stating it as fact, and that's tantamount to bullying.

When a friend made the decision to have no more treatment for cancer I was surprised at how many people's responses were, it seemed to me, more about their loss than hers. They tried to persuade her of the error of her ways rather than love, honour and accept her decision, and support her through a very difficult time and last few months. I dealt with my feelings outside the room, and when in the room with her listened and gave her what she asked for.

I would not wish to stop someone living, but neither would I wish to stop someone dying (with the caveats that their current conditions can not be improved, and they're not making the decision from obligation, shoulds, oughts, musts or under duress).
  • If we squeeze an orange we will always get orange juice 
Much of the reasoning for not allowing assisted dying presupposes evil or wrong doing of others and society. If you expect and look for evil and hate in the world I'm sad that's the world you see, experience and are. When I squeeze the world I see love and compassion - even if it's a challenge every day to accept my personal responsibility for that because:
  • You can't give away what you don't have
Wayne is one of a few speakers (Caroline Myss is another) who have been at my side throughout the last 15 years, since I started my self development and yes spiritual journey. I would not be who I am today if they had not posed the questions for me to answer and explore. I would not be who I am today if they had not challenged my thinking and behaviours. This blog would not be what it is if not for them and other writers, speakers and teachers.

I love you Wayne, and know we will hear your music for years and decades to come. Thank you for being you and walking the talk, and making a difference in mine and other's lives by letting your music be heard and encouraging us to walk our talk.

With love

* Here's a blog I wrote on the subject of assisted dying last year entitled - the science fiction Armageddon where the robots take over is here

From the perspective of Wayne's teachings I suspect it's a little too angry, too preachy and not unattached to the outcome enough. I'm unsure I managed much better in this blog. I also worry that it uses his words in a way he wouldn't have wished them to be used.

In response to my self criticism I can hear Wayne say, with much compassion, "We're all work in progress Alison. Trust that noticing is the first step to continuing this journey, and know that what you say is an expression of how you feel today. I AM Wayne".

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