A New Year's Aspiration: Learn to Die Well


Aspirations to Die Well

Lately I’ve been aspiring to die well. I want to learn how to be with the death cycle with greater degrees of grace, trust, harmony and acceptance. I’m talking about both the literal and metaphoric sense of the word death.

In a literal sense I want to be able to look at my life from my deathbed and feel good and satisfied. I want to know in my bones that I loved enough, risked enough, lived enough. I want to look back at how I lived and loved and say “That was Awesome!”

I also want to know how to step into the Great Mystery and surrender familiar attachments when it’s timely to do so. For it’s clear to me that in order to achieve a good and satisfying literal death, I need to practice all sorts of little and big metaphoric deaths.

Gifts of “The Death Process”

What treasures have revealed themselves when you’ve willingly surrendered? Remember that old relationship that no longer served you... that outdated sense of you… that old addictive habit..? What vitality would be missing right now if you didn’t let those go? What beauty would have been unable to grow in the garden of your life if you were still trying to hold onto those outdated things?

The death process proceeds new life. Maybe it would be good if we learned to honor that truth and embrace the process with greater degrees of consciousness and grace.


I know letting go of the familiar forms of life can feel terrifying. And I realize that talking about dying well is a hell of a lot easier than actually doing it. But I hope this discussion of a difficult process will help make it easier for you. I hope that these words will help you see the beauty of the process and reap its rewards more effectively.

Empower your New Year’s Resolutions with Release

. Why am I getting all deep and mystical here? Is there any practical value to this business? I would say so. The New Year is approaching. For it’s evident to me that surrendering and releasing attachments is infinitely practical in meeting any and all New Year’s aspirations.

Traditionally, New Year’s is a time to set new goals and intentions for the coming year. Wonderful. Lose weight, call in your Beloved, transform your relationships (to yourself and others), manifest riches, reach creative accomplishments, learn how to set healthy boundaries-- all awesome New Year’s Resolutions.

Yet each one of these New Year’s resolutions requires something to die in order to ground them in.

Want to lose weight? How can you do that without surrendering some old familiar eating habits? Want to call in your Beloved? It might help if you let go of some expectations as to what your Beloved is supposed to look like. Want to transform your relationships? Which one of your favorite ego defenses will need to be sacrificed? Craving more riches? That belief of ‘never enough’ will have to go. Want to share your creative gifts with the world? Creativity abhors controlled predictability. Ready to set healthier boundaries? Those codependent tendencies will need to be buried and composted.

Want to be the author of your life and reach your goals? Every great accomplishment requires a willingness to be vulnerable, surrender the comforts of familiarity and risk new ways of living and loving.

How the Letting Go Process Feeds my Growth

For me, my goal to grow a more financially vibrant coaching practice requires that I let a good chunk of my identity die. In order to be seen and appreciated for the unique gifts I have to offer, I need to release many habits cultivated under the consciousness of a corporate cog. My good employee sense of self exists in opposition to my magnificent self-employed self.

I realize that in order to really show up for what I really want to create in my life (and die well), I need to take some big vulnerable risks and sacrifice the habits of being an employee.

Making executive decisions... putting my money on the line... promoting offers... creating programs... presenting myself an authority...writing controversial blog posts... letting my fabulous freak flag fly. Telling the nameless masses to pay attention to me and that I’ve got something special to share can be scary sh*t for a woman fed in the safety of corporate monotony.

Sometimes it's exciting, sometimes it’s scary. It’s super scary when I was just focused on the death process.

Navigating Release with Resourcing Love

But I’m not. I’m certainly creating space for letting go and surrender. I’m touching the edges of the death process, honoring it’s value, leaning into the vulnerability of it all. I’m letting myself tremble as I move forward. But this Somatic Experiencing Trauma Resolution Practitioner and coach knows that just focusing on the hard vulnerable scary stuff will easily get me stuck in an ugly vortex of pain, reactivity and distress.

I’m supporting myself by also making time to focus on the beauty of what I want to create, what’s valuable and important to me, a felt sense of my inherent worthiness, what my body wants and needs and the resources in my life that support me. Loved ones, coaches, teachers, books, Nature, flower essences, inspiring visions, Source -- these supportive valuable resources are all helping me navigate the vulnerable letting go process with greater ease and presence.

Embracing my Inevitable Death helps me Live More

I’m also occasionally tuning into the literal reality of my inevitable death. Somehow this helps put into perspective the metaphorical deaths and makes them a lot easier.

At some point I will die. (At the very least this body and identity will go.) Me as I know her will pass. In this context, doing something potentially disruptive and yet true to my heart doesn’t seem all that scary.

What significance does surrendering that _________ (fill in the blank [eg identity, relationship, job]) hold when I know that ALL of it will have to be released at some point in time?

Meditating on my assured death hasn’t been depressing at all. I keep her near like a companion, yet not so close that I’m consumed. With this homeopathic dose of death I feel inspired to love more, live more, appreciate more, risk more and savor more. With my certain death breathing in and out of my consciousness I find myself basking in the precious gift of this embodied life with greater degrees of tender fierce love.

May you Live Really Really Well in the Coming Year

As you engage in the evolution of your life’s unfolding, bring in the New Year and name your aspirations for the coming year, I hope you feel empowered and enlivened by the death process and live a really rich beautiful life.

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