An Advance Care Plan for a graceful death

dying-to-be-in-control

Imagine watching your partner slowly disintegrate, in their place a replica who doesn’t know you, gnaws on the furniture, becomes randomly, intensely violent, and soils themselves, while offering you the rarest glimpse of the person you knew, just enough to keep you coming to visit and feeling horribly, horribly guilty that you weren’t able to keep looking after them yourself. Other times, resentment seethes through you because instead of being able to grieve and move on you have to live this twilight life too, and it silently erases your memories of the person you loved, replacing them with twisted visions of a human horror […] Read more »

Is meditation a wonder drug?

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Meditation: magic pill or path to enlightenment? Meditation will continue to intrigue the researchers for some time but the magic elixir will continue to elude them until they start looking in the right place. Mindfulness meditation (staying still and continuously returning attention to something for a period of time) is a great skill for a whole lot of reasons, not least because we tend to lead such hectic and overscheduled lives that we need to practice the delicate art of doing nothing and being aware and present. But… the delicious benefits we are promised will be hit and miss if we […] Read more »

Teenage tantra

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Teenage Tantra Dr Tim Hawkes talks about conversations we must have with boys… and girls. Parents are the first and most important influence on children and we need to make sure we cover the basics, in our own unique ways. He includes the sex talk in his list and it is so much easier to open this topic when you start with accurate information from the very beginning and keep the conversation rolling through the years on an on-demand basis. Many parents wait until the right time to sit a child down and give them The Talk but if you […] Read more »

Teach children to meditate

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Why we should teach children to meditate   Why should we teach children to meditate? 1. It can change their lives 2. It is so easy 3. It is so much fun! Meditation is not just about sitting still, or even learning to focus. The point of meditation is to learn to see reality clearly. And one of the most life-changing insights we can learn from meditation is this: Our thoughts are not reality. Tonight my daughter got ‘stuck’ between her bed and the wall. She has slid into and out of that space many times and I heard in her voice […] Read more »

Teaching your child Emotional Intelligence – Simple Activity Number 2

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One of the foundation tools of emotional intelligence is language. Children with behavioural difficulties often have gaps in their affective language development so they find it hard to talk precisely about their inner world. This can lead to acting out or withdrawal. But children love to play with feelings words and it is easy to make a game out of it. Sit together and draw simple faces with as many different expressions as you can think of, and then try to find as many different labels as you can for the emotions you see on those faces. You have just […] Read more »

Before and After… and the Vegetables.

Our society has made an art form of dualistic thinking and Before and After is one of our most revered methods of persuasion but it is drowning in false consciousness. For one thing there is rarely a definitive before or after. We all live on fuzzy continuums that we assign meaning to in hindsight. Because what comes after (Happily Ever) After? The classic Disney happy ever after ending leaves us just after the wedding, or the first kiss or the triumphant return or vanquishing the enemy. Most of us understand that life isn’t a Disney movie and in reality life […] Read more »

Dying to stay in control

dying-to-be-in-control

Right now our chances of dying in peace, with the freedom to choose where, how, with whom and with dignity, grow rarer each day. There aren’t many things you can absolutely count on but dying is one of them none of us want to die like Jacob. Jacob was almost 96 years old.  He’d spent the last ten years of his life in a nursing home with severe dementia.  His family rarely visited and nobody really knows how he felt about his last decade. Having worked as an assistant nurse in several nursing homes myself I’ve had frank discussions with my […] Read more »

Junk Food, One More Addiction.

Just reading a long but horribly fascinating article about addictive junk food.  At one stage a CocaCola exec is walking through a poor part of Brazil working out how to sell more Coke to the residents when it hits him: These people need a lot of things but they don’t need a coke! That he didn’t get that the last thing people living in desperate poverty need is a negative food source that is addictive and costs money, until that very moment, is a perfect example of what EveryVoiceCounts calls the Action-Consequence Gap.  Read more »

A Good Life Needs a Good Death

Right now our chances of dying in peace, with the freedom to choose where, how, with whom and with dignity, grow rarer each day. There aren’t many things you can absolutely count on but dying is one of them and trust me you don’t want to die like Jacob. Read more »