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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

This Too Shall Pass

Nov 02, 2021 02:24PM ● By Scott Chase

The minute we are born, it is said, we begin the process of dying. True enough—but that’s the sort of observation we make when we’re on the far side of midlife. When we’re children, the thought of death never crosses our mind until we lose a loved one, typically a pet. I remember first facing the concept of mortality when I accidentally killed a baby chicken that I’d been given as an Easter present. I was mortified and inconsolable. I couldn’t grasp the idea that the chick would no longer exist in my world. My parents tried to explain that all earthly things “go away” at some point. I don’t think I really understood, but after my mother wiped my tears, hugged me and reassured me that it was just a part of life, my world was once again righted and I went back to being a carefree kid. I was fortunate not to experience the loss of a family member until my late teens, when a grandparent passed. But the sad reality for all of us is that the older we get, the more we see the final act of life play out. For me, it moved ever closer to my inner circle until it was my mother who passed, the one who so many years earlier had introduced me to the reality of “going away.”

Her passing was just that, a passing, part of the deal that comes with the awesome ride of life. None of us is immune from death—we are all equal in that sense. Some of us transition sooner than others, but we all “go away.” While it’s difficult to imagine not being here in the physical sense, what happens after we die is even less fathomable, although we have faith and beliefs to help our conscious minds accept the notion. 

Our feature article, “Dying Well,” on page 27, offers coping strategies for anyone faced with that reality—as of course we all are. There’s never a “good” time to discuss this side of life, but since we never know when our own ride will end, it’s wise to be prepared for the inevitable, and this article can help you do that. In fact, Marissa Walker, a trauma-informed private yoga teacher in Navarre, offers end-of-life yoga and meditation, tools that reduce the fear associated with death. You can read more about that on page 28. Also, having lost both my beloved dogs this time last year, I can highly recommend this month’s Natural Pet column (page 34), about grieving our animal companions.

And now let’s focus on . . . now. This month’s issue has plenty of articles that will enhance your quality of life. Among my favorites are “Healthy Brain Strategies” (page 24), about preventing cognitive decline; a Q&A with author and botanical medicine expert David Crow on “The Healing Power of Medicinal Plants” (page 32); and our very timely Healthy Kids article, on school-based mindfulness programs to help stressed-out teens (page 36). Reading that last article, I was struck by this quote from a mindfulness expert: “For survival purposes, our brains are naturally wired to the negative, aka ‘negative selection bias.’ Thankfully, we can train our brains to be more tilted to the positive. In fact, just thinking of a positive memory for 12 seconds can create a benefit for your well-being.”

 Twelve seconds a day? I can do that. I’ll bet you can too.

Wishing you a joyful, stress-free Thanksgiving.

Scott, with Daralyn

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