Walking With Dignity
Walking With Dignity
I broke my foot recently and haven’t been able to be as active as I usually am.
I am however happy to say it forced me to rest more and focus on extreme physical self-care.
Even though I moved homes packing and unpacking boxes, flew back to South Africa for an urgent family visit and continued with normal requirements of existence, I healed and grew new bone 5 weeks ahead of the doctor’s expectations.
I’ll also share some practical tips on what I did for that.
I hopped out the door early this morning and did a reasonable 10km walk before 8am.
No running, just a comfortable pace keeping in mind it was possibly below zero this morning.
Winter is coming 😉
Dawn is my favorite time of day.
Each day I walk a different route.
Today I walked past a grave yard along the way, which always inspires self-reflection.
A few years ago I started exploring my family tree and genealogy.
I am by nature an analyst.
I think and connect the dots. A process of collecting data, percolating, distilling and then finally using connected thinking, the pieces fall into place.
Death has always been understood as a natural part of life for me.
My mother and I have always had an interesting bond by spending time in grave yards.
I’ve never been afraid of dying and fear of burning/anything awful happening has never featured in my upbringing.
As a child I was taught, when you die the Angels fetch you. The End.
The first experience of death I can remember is my grandmother dying.
I remember seeing her for the last time and then she went to live with the Angels.
I was happy with that conclusion. I actually thought she was very lucky, because according to me the job of Angels was to help people.
A bit like Super Heroes with wings and white clothes. Who wouldn’t want that lifestyle right?😉
Fast forward into adult years working in healthcare and particularly chronic illness environments, for the first time I saw fear in people concerning death.
When their own mortality became a reality suddenly behavior started changing.
A kind of panic on many levels.
Asian philosophies teach that Life should be lived in preparation for death, which is inevitable.
It cannot be avoided.
We are all going to face ourselves at some point.
Asian perspective is that Life is our greatest gift.
There is no need to fear death since you will simply face yourself.
There is no judge waiting to decide your fate.
Looping back to genealogy I got thinking.
I believe we stand on the shoulders of those before us.
We do not function in
isolation and we have not accomplished this life alone.
Our family members before us have laid the foundation of our existence.
Each generation is given the gift of life and the opportunity to do something with that gift.
What you choose to do with the gift of FREEWILL is up to you, keeping in mind there are consequences for each action.
Hospice counseling, which is part of my career, helps people end their lives with dignity, but do people truly live with dignity?
Are you behaving in a way that causes you to lose your own dignity purely by your own actions?
Are you your own biggest stumbling block?
More importantly IF YOU DIE TODAY and cross paths with those family members before you would you be proud of the life you’ve lived?
Would you be content?
Would you be embarrassed by your own actions?
For me, yoga is very much a martial art.
It is a process of healing the body and training the mind.
Honour is at the core of this.
Living well is not about the items of comfort we accumulate, it is living your Truth.
Living with honour, living with dignity.
Knowing that in the end, it is these things you will take with you.
We need material items to live comfortably BUT do not be owned by these items.
It is not the purpose of existence.
See what happens on a 10km walk? I end up with 1 photo and 723 words.
Food for Thought and Self-reflection
p.s Luckily I don’t take myself too too seriously even though the topics are indeed important.
So may it be for you