In the forward to Frank Ostaskeski’s beautiful book, The Five Invitations* is this quote by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.:
Chances are until you have experienced that one great loss, this will read to you as more ominous than catalytic. Like grief itself, these types of statements can’t fully be absorbed and understood until you experience them yourself. If you haven’t yet, you may just nod slightly or smile awkwardly. Maybe something in you resonates with the tip of the truth of it, and it touches you like a nudge to your spirit, or an imaginary poke to the ribs; but it is not felt. It cannot be felt until it happens to you.
It took the death of my father for me to fully appreciate and examine this one precious life of mine. And not just for my sake, but for those who’s lives I could touch and those I would leave behind, namely my daughter.
That quote above could not be a more truthful nor powerful statement to me.
In this installment of “Inspiration to have and to hold : 4” you will hear from the adult son of a much beloved Dad, sharing how his father’s medical crisis made him feel desperate for answers, and how as a result, he stretched into unknown realms. His lessons were a gift. They always are in times like these.
This one is only 12 minutes out of your life. But it might just change the way you choose to live it.
My friend, I hope you are inspired.
*for the curious, I always link a book reference to our one local, independently owned bookstore, Parnassus Books, because A) it is important to me to support local businesses; B) a city with an independent bookstore (and a great library) is lucky and it is not to be taken for granted; C) I find that they are always owned and operated by the some of the most interesting and passionate of readers; and C) as a bonus, this one happens to be owned by one of my favorite authors, Ann Patchett. So if you live in the Nashville area, go get lost in there sometime. Engage a worker in conversation. Pet the dogs. Browse the beautifully curated collection. You won’t be disappointed!
Early on in my personal spiritual journey, I went through a phase of watching and reading stories of NDE’s or near death experiences. It was an integral part of shedding my ingrained catholic beliefs of heaven and hell and life ending at death.
This led me to the work of Dr. Michael Newton (Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives), which quite literally blew my mind and made me eager to experience my own past life regression; which I later did with the fabulous Nancy Hajek right here in Nashville.
We can get attached to who we think we are. We can be downright stubborn about it. Our identity seamlessly and completely intertwined with what we do. What we do becomes what we are. But what if what we do is taken away from us in the blink of an eye? Who are we then?
In the words of Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu: