To Those Who Would Shame Me

When I first posted in a local facebook group the announcement of the Clarkston Death Café, the very first comment was “Making money off people’s grief and suffering. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

My first reaction was one of anger. “How dare you shame me, sir!” My second reaction was confusion because there is no charge to attend a Death Café.

Then I realized he might’ve gone to my profile to see my occupation as an end of life professional.

The next thoughts came flooding in and I wanted to ask all sorts of questions like, “do you have this same response to doctors, nurses, chaplains, funeral directors, cemeteries, florists, caterers, or anyone else involved in a dying person’s transition?” “Why am I so special to invite this response?”

To this man and to all others who feel this way, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that you see it like that. I’m sorry that you have had experiences with the medical community who treated you and your loved one with disrespect and a lack of compassion.

It is that which I mean to counteract.

You see, I’ve had that experience, too.

While I have spent 30 years working in and out of hospice, it was my own mother’s death that rendered me helpless. She was 74 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was also a volunteer for hospice. Her doctor convinced her to pursue chemotherapy; something I was against. Her sister had breast cancer years before, had a mastectomy and took tamoxifen with great success, so that was my vote.

She said she couldn’t let go of her breast. She planned to do chemotherapy and then radiation. It all seemed like a lot, but it wasn’t my death so I supported her as best I could.

Six months later…

She went into the Emergency Department on a Tuesday with difficulty breathing. I rushed to be with her and she introduced me to her cardiologist this way, “This is my daughter. She doesn’t like chemo.”

I SWEAR TO YOU that is exactly how it happened!!

The doctor’s response? “Well, it is nasty stuff.”

Each day my mother was getting worse no matter what treatments they tried. Each day I saw her slipping further away. She was scared. She told me she was scared. I was scared.

By the following Sunday she was in multi-organ failure and we were making arrangements to withdraw the life support she did not consent to.

Monday her cardiologist returned from his long weekend and told us that he called her oncologist who said “some people react to chemo this way, give her steroids”. By this time, we felt it was too late.

On Tuesday we let her go. One week to the day after admission.

In the course of that week there was so much suffering and I had to mine the truth out of the doctors and nurses. If I had not had a history of hospice experience I would not have been able to ask pertinent questions that forced the doctors to start talking truth, enabling me enough time to gather important family members to say their good byes.

As it was we only had a few days to do that. We deserved more. SHE deserved more.

This is just one of a few personal experiences I’ve had with what I call a ‘traumatic death’. But even one is too many.

It is those experiences plus 30 years of professional experience that has led me to want to be a support to those who are transitioning and those who will need to learn to live without those who have transitioned.

Yes, I “make money off people grief and suffering”, if that’s how you want to put it.

When I am sitting with someone who is dying and facilitating a reconciliation with estranged family members, I am not somewhere else making money. I am not sitting with someone else who might need me. I’m not sitting at a desk doing a different job to make money to keep a roof over my head. I am not making money doing something else to put food on my table.

I am right there at the bedside where many do not dare sit. I am right there being present to the grief and suffering where many cannot be. I am right there encouraging a daughter to give her father permission to let go. I am right there holding the hand of the last member of a large family. I am right there to help children understand what is happening to their beloved grandparent.

You know how they call firefighters, ‘fire eaters’ because they run into the fire while everyone is running away from it? Well, by that formula I am a death eater (where are my Harry fans?) because I too run towards it while others run from it.

As for the making money part, I am certainly not an oncologist making hundreds of thousands with every script for chemotherapy. There is no conflict of interest in the service I provide.

I am also not a funeral home that offers jacked up prices for each and every item sometimes exploiting the family’s grief for profit by upselling.

I am also not a merchandiser who covers something in pink and claims to give a poultry 10% to some research development that despite billions of dollars has yet to market a cure.

There is no shame in my game, sir. I stand in service to the light within me to provide presence, compassion and unbiased support to those who wish it, because I did not have that when I needed it most.

Lastly, I say to you, ‘thank you’. Because you enabled me to put these thoughts into words. Without you I would not have written this. Without you I wouldn’t have known that these words needed to be said. Without you I would’ve stayed silent.

We have to get over the societal conditioning that it is acceptable for professional athletes to make millions of dollars to entertain us, but those doing sacred work must live in poverty.

Beautiful – It’s Not What You Think

IMG_20170904_104700I love to do a good face mask. My favorite is Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay mask made from Calcium Bentonite Clay. I love it because I feel like it actually digs deep down and pulls stuff out of my pores and afterwards my skin glows. I find it an analogy for so many things. Digging the crap out of your internal psychoemotional pores and sloughing off the dead surface layer to allow the deeper radiance to shine through.

Its also an analogy for something else. As I endeavor to do more videos, I am more aware of my appearance and notice myself weighing this feature against another when setting things up. I often opt out of doing a video because I don’t feel like showering and putting on make up. As I looked into the mirror while putting on the mask and cherishing this moment of indulgence, it hit me.

Not all moments of beauty are beautiful.

To prove it, I took this picture. (This face never fails to make my hubby laugh.) Aside from that though it caused me to think about other non-beautiful moments of beauty. Pictures like that fireman carrying the child on 9/11, or childbirth, or a mother’s face just after giving birth as she holds her newborn all sweaty and fatigued.

But there are many many MANY more non-beautiful moments of beauty that we can’t take pictures of and might not even recognize as such. Moments of ferreting out those thoughts, beliefs and emotional patterns that don’t serve our spiritual destiny. Ugly stuff. It feels uncomfortable, awkward and sometimes seemingly painful, but in the end the beauty it creates in our lives is limitless. Without these non-beautiful moments of beauty we could not explore our true beauty.

Right now, I guarantee there are non-beautiful moments going on right now in your life that you can’t embrace for their hidden beauty. I know I have a shit-ton of them right now and I was completely overlooking them.

As a Intuitive Spiritual Transformation Facilitator I fall into the trap often of thinking I need to present a ‘perfect package’, like so many others do, to prove I’ve ‘made it’ and therefore worthy of getting paid to walk with others on their journey. Pfft, as if there were a landing space called ‘success’ in life! There are no landing places. This is a journey and there are hills, valleys, mountains, curves and steep grades, but no landing places. We stop to catch our breath then we keep moving. The only landing place is the present moment we are in. In each present moment there are gifts…some are beauties and some are uglies.

Instead of hiding mine, I’m going to share and I hope you will too. Getting the uglies out into the daylight can help us see their hidden beauty. Here we go…

These are the Uglies I can get caught up in: My husband had a brainstem stroke in January of this year. He is the bread winner of the family currently as I struggle to get my business going. My daughter has been in a dark place since her father died a year ago. I’m in court fighting his deathbed widow over my own retirement funds. As a result of a kylego I created, envisioned and organized an amazing two day transformational retreat/workshop. Despite my excitement and  forward feeling of achievement not one person has registered. My husband is in construction and we got stiffed just under $7,000 on a tiling job this month. Subsequently, our mortgage automatic payment bounced. I broke a tooth about a month ago and made arrangements to pay half at the first visit and half at the second visit to get it fixed. Because of being stiffed we didn’t have the resources to go back for the second visit.

Now here are the beauties that have shown up as a result: My husband’s recovery has been amazing. With a combination of mindset work and energy healing work he was the shortest stay in the rehab unit they have ever had. He went back to work the Monday after he was released, with caution. He was back to driving within months. The lasting effects are minimal and isolated mostly to short term memory loss and expressive communication. My daughter has moved back home to heal from her loss and has turned a corner in the darkness that grief can be. I just won an important appeal in my court case. Although right now no one else will experience my amazing retreat I have done some really phenomenal work creating interactive, reflective and transformative individual, paired and group exercises all ready and waiting to go for future retreats/workshops and client work. The best part is that I got to do that creating. The only thing I love more than creating transformative experiences is facilitating them for people. Despite getting stiffed on $7,000 worth of work, we kept the lights on. We didn’t miss the mortgage payment, because although the one contractor failed to pay, my hubby had secured another job. It was enough to cover that mortgage payment (the deposit was made hours after the automatic payment was kicked) as well as some other necessities.  My temporary crown is holding nicely and we shall soon have enough money for me to go back for the permanent one because work is lined up.

I can even go back further to three years ago when I quit my 28 year career to move across two states where we bought a house with no money and no credit; and when I had fibromyalgia and was living with an average daily pain of 7-8, to now when my average daily experience is a pain level 1 with no meds.

I could go back even further because at 53 I’ve come a long long way baby…but I won’t. 🙂

The point is we have a tendency at times to define our journeys by the distance we have yet to go, and by lamenting things that don’t show up the way we think they need to and thus overlooking the multitude of ways we manifest abundance and miracles. When you are stuck in “what am I doing wrong that I can’t manifest what I want” remember your ‘success’ is about the distance travelled not the distance yet to go…

*Please share your ‘uglies’ either in words or pictures below! Let’s all be real and share our non-beautiful moments of beauty with each other!

Is This You Or Someone You Know?

Does anyone ever feel like they’re just not meant for this life? I know how blessed I am. I live in a developed country, I have a family, friends, a house, animals who I adore and a job. Everything people who are less fortunate would die for. But I’m still not happy. I feel so forced. I just want to be running wild and free, a natural woman, with animals and living off the land. I don’t want the troubles of money, the social media, the modern life. Is that really even natural for humans? Is anyone really comfortable living like this or is it just something we have to accept because everyone else does. My head hurts because it just can’t cope with what society wants from me  ☹️” ~Woman A
“Im with you! Feels so pointless and empty at times. On my good days [I’m trying to] work towards a more fulfilling life but am not really sure how to get there or if its worth it etc etc. Its is society not us thats wrong, take each day as it comes is all you can do. Stay strong we will get there…x Woman B in response to woman A
“Can I ask for guidance again? My mother wasn’t the warmest individual growing up. She’s someone multiple therapists have told me to cut out of my life, even if it’s just until I’m stronger. I’ve gone through much of my adult life in an off and on relationship with her because of her controlling nature. When I was a child I was often compared to other children and asked why I can’t be like someone else’s kid or why their kid, who’s “slow” (her words, not mine) would be doing better than me. I was locked in closets, kicked out of the house at night, told she wished I wasn’t hers, which didn’t end until 7th grade…”~Woman C

Is this you or someone you know? This is just a sampling of what I’ve been hearing lately. We as woman have suffered under patriarchy. That is not a feminist or anti-masculine thing. We can only survive in a balanced society and this is NOT that!

This feeling, THIS longing, THIS UNSETTLING is why the Healing Rite of Passage was created. Men and woman are invited to join in the Feminine Rising that this will be. Its not male bashing and it isn’t ‘woman stuff’ it is just a connecting to the feminine yin energies that have been ignored for centuries now. We need to connect to Mother Earth AND Father Sky. To Grandmother Moon AND Grandfather Sun. We can ONLY be our highest selves, live the highest version of our lives and have the grandest experiences when we are balanced in masculine and feminine energies.

We HAVE to heal the wounds of the past that keep harming us. You don’t know how to ‘get there’ because no one taught you to look inside yourself. And you can’t do it with the eyes that society has taught you to look through. It has set you up to fail.

There is SO much you can do to get so much more out of life! I can help you unlearn everything you’ve learned that is actually getting in your way. You have to go deeper than just meditating and gratitude journalling. You have to unravel all the manipulative programming EGOS set in play. You have learn the truth about how the Universe works by understanding and working WITH (not against) the three Universal Laws and their seven principles.

Universal Laws

Take a step today and reserve your spot or contact Jade Willow Song for more information, right now!

When: September 16 & 17, 2017
Where: Waterford, Michigan
Early Bird Registration: $500*
Registration after September 1, 2017: $675*

For Tickets:

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*Introductory prices only- 2018 prices are $675 and $800