Friday, December 24, 2004

Book Excerpt: Death

Excerpt from my book: Reach for the Stars


Before we can discuss how to live an extraordinary life, we have to discuss how to die. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, author of On Death and Dying, teaches that “Dying is nothing to fear. It can be the most wonderful experience of your life. It all depends on how you have lived.”

Psychology teaches us that we will move away from pain and fear faster than we will motivate towards pleasure. Once we eliminate fear, we can focus on the higher realms of the human experience.

Embrace Death. Accept your own mortality. Death is a shadow who walks through life at your side, patiently waiting to take your hand at the journeys end.

View Death as your ally. By accepting Death as your friend, and saying “I am not afraid. I will take your hand willingly when the time comes.” You eliminate all fear.

Fear is what freezes us right in our tracks. It stops the creative process. It is a prison that limits us from fulfilling our dreams and reaching our full potential.

Accept that Death will one day come, and that your time here is limited. Commit to squeezing each and every ounce of wonderment from the precious moments that you have been given. Accept Death’s gift: An hourglass, filled with the sands of time. Each grain is a moment of your life. Do not just sit back and let them fall to the bottom unnoticed. Savor each one. Live each moment! Create a plan for your life, and go after it with gusto.

That, my friends, is the first step to extraordinary living.

Death is the ultimate ideal of pain and fear. It is The Great Mystery. We fear what we do not understand, so let’s begin by embracing death, and get the big stuff out of the way. Once we understand death, and no longer fear it, well, there’s really nothing else to be afraid of, is there?

Each of us has our own ideas about religion and philosophy, and your personal description of death will be tied to the ideals and experiences of your life. We live in a culture that hides death, and defies aging. We push it aside by focusing on goals and issues that really would not matter if this were the last day of your life.

a) If you were told that you were going to die in six months, what would you do differently?

b) Would you alter your routine? Would you spend more time with loved ones? Would you express your love more openly?

c) Would the things that seem so important to you now, still hold the same priority in your life?

Take a moment and visualize yourself at the end of a long and wonderful life. You are lying peacefully on your bed with your loved ones around you. The sun is shining, and you are filled with joy and satisfaction as you look back over the journey of your life.

What was that journey? Where did you go? What did you do? Why do you feel such a sense of completeness as you prepare to pass through the great veil?

You are ready to go, and not afraid, because you have lived out your dreams, and accomplished your goals. You close your eyes and smile as you prepare for the crossing.

Think about your life from this perspective. It will teach you quickly what is important, and what is not. If you have a solid understanding of what you want your life to be, then and only then, can you take the first steps to manifesting an extraordinary life.

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