Walking with all

Back in 2015, my husband and I were privileged to walk part of the Camino de Santiago, a spiritual pilgrimage for people of all ages and backgrounds.  In 2016, I returned to walk the final part of the Camino with strangers who became fast friends.  The experience was simply magnificent and life changing.  Today one of the pilgrims, now a dear friend with whom I walked in 2016, sent me this posting.  It struck a chord with me and I wanted to pass it along.

Blessings to all,

Melody

Spirit of the Camino

Live in the moment

Welcome each new day – its pleasures and its challenges

Make others feel welcome

Share

Feel the spirit of those who have gone before you

Imagine those who will follow you

Appreciate those who walk with you today

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A New Year/A New Beginning

As we start the 2017 New Year, here is a prayer from today’s church bulletin that resonated with me.  Happy New Year!!  Melody

God of Time and Space, you are not bound by calendars, day timers, and watches; teach us to not be bound by them either.

God of the stars, the heavens, the planets and their orbits, you sent a star to guide the Magi on their journey to the Christ Child.  Send your star to guide us on journeys of faith.

May your word still speak to us today.  May your son still be the light in our worlds of darkness.

And just as the Magi brought gifts to the Christ Child, may we bring our gifts to the Christ Child again.

Amen.

Labor Day weekend: Thoughts, hopes and prayers

These past few weeks I’ve been visiting cathedrals, and other interesting sites, in Spain and Portugal. The cathedrals, most especially, combine the Moorish and Spanish influences in such unique and historical ways. Now that I am back in the United States, I am hoping and praying even more fervently that all people and cultures of our world can come together and live in peaceful, loving ways. God expects that of us. In particular, on this Labor Day weekend in our young country, I am praying that our work will have true meaning and value, and that all workers in our world will be treated fairly and with respect and dignity.

Giving up on these hopes and expectations is simply not an option. Melody

Boston Globe article affirming the importance of end-of-life dialogues with our healthcare professionals

Recently I read an article in the Boston Globe entitled Doctors want to talk about end-of-life care, but often don’t know how, survey finds. Below is a link to the article in case you are interested. This article reaffirms the ongoing need to continue to educate, and talk with, our healthcare professionals about tough situations like end-of-life care and our desires and wishes.

Blessings, Melody

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/04/14/doctors-want-talk-about-end-life-care-but-often-don-know-how-survey-finds/TCud0bVVz1doYSCNuJVxSI/story.html?s_campaign=8315

Perhaps the Camino Walks You …

Just recently my husband and I returned from a spiritual walk on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. To say that the five-day, 66-mile trek was moving (literally and figuratively), wonderful, spiritual, calming, hard, funny, beautiful, and surprising (among many other adjectives) would be a huge understatement. One of the books that inspired us along the way, among many, is Joyce Rupp’s Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from The Camino. -And our tour guide company representatives from Spanish Steps were wonderful.

As I’ve heard many people say, perhaps the Camino walks you. If you are a searching soul, check it out.

Melody

Regrets? Hopefully not.

One of my dearest, long-time friends and former college roommates shared the following article with me over the holidays. It deals with end-of-life regrets. Hopefully the start of a New Year is a great time to reflect on these regrets and more importantly, how not to have them in our own lives.

Happy New Year and Happy Fullness of Living in 2014 and beyond,

Melody

Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed


By Sina Anvari | November 11, 2013

Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve 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 though, 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 unfulfilled. 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.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

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 suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were 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 deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

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. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness