Cry of the Millennial Witch

dloveDear Friends,
in March this year I shared an article called Are you a truly spiritual person or simply full of it. In this piece the author talked about the difference in exchanging dogmas from the old social paradigms, for dogmas and words from the new age movement. To actually come to collective changes, we might have to dig a bit deeper. In the last two days I shared with you the articles about “
What I Learned From Integrating The Divine Masculine Healing Part I” and “What I Learned From Integrating The Divine Masculine Healing Part II“, containing my conclusions of the healing I was undergoing thru the impact of the energy wave in February.
And than there was the article about A woman’s role – Transforming an old paradigm in society and religion, where we looked into some of the details that need changing between men and women in the world, so we can come to our collective Golden Age of Aquarius. A little while ago, I ran into this lovely and
passionate article from another woman with a clear voice and something to say about all of this themes. I feel this lovely share somehow touches bits and pieces in a different language. I hope you enjoy the wonderful read!!
Love and Blessings!!
Edith

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Shared with the kind permission of Ora North:
I feel a divide growing within the spiritual movement. It has been growing slowly, almost imperceptibly. Like a frog swimming in a pot of gradually boiling water that hasn’t realized the danger he’s in.

Here it is, dare I say it: The realm of the mainstream spiritual has become shallow and dogmatic.
In an effort to reach divinity, enlightenment, and guru-status, we’ve banished and demonized the “negative” and the struggle of the human experience. We’ve lost touch with the glorious bittersweet medicine that our pain and suffering offers when truly acknowledged by the Self and the tribe, and subsequently integrated with compassion and love.
I tried. Fuck, I tried. I did the meditations, I did the training, I did the work. I focused on the positive, I focused on the light, I focused on letting go of my darkness. Just release, they said. Don’t even bring attention to what it is, they said, just release it. I advanced in my healing skills, in my awareness, in my intuition. I worked deeply with clients doing soul retrievals, secretly reveling in the shadow of the underworld.
I knew that there were those in my spiritual community who did not approve of my work. But I worked anyways, because I saw how deeply I could connect with my clients. I saw and acknowledged their pain. I focused on the integration of their experience, rather than the denial of it. I cried tears of joy when I heard of how much my work was helping them heal themselves. And at the same time, I was jealous. Why wasn’t the work healing ME? Why wasn’t I feeling better? Why wasn’t MY shit releasing?oiThat growing awareness backfired. More and more, I felt I was wading in the shallow pond of the world while my spirit was so deeply imbedded in the dark muck of the earth, in a place no one wanted to look. I was not offering the same sense of acknowledgment to myself that I offered my clients. I was still trying to uphold the notion that I was supposed to be a certain way, that I was supposed to be zen and happy all the time if I was going to be a healer. But nothing was in balance. I didn’t feel real. I didn’t feel authentic to myself. I was trapped between the worlds… I was too spiritually minded to be a muggle, but I wasn’t the right kind of spiritual for the actual spiritual community.
So I said Fuck it.
I am part of a generation of witches rising up to say Fuck it. A generation of witches that has been burned too many times, and refuses to silently wither away in the flames again.

Don’t bring your attention to the fire, they said. Just release it and let it go, they said.
But not this time. This time, we are taking those flames inside of us, acknowledging them and respecting them and feeling their searing pain, and letting them transform in our bellies so we may breathe out the fire of an awakened dragon. As awakened dragons, as millennial witches, as priestesses of the moon, as unpredictable beautiful bitches, as wild wolf women, we have a list of demands and decrees:
Our sexuality will be honored as spiritual, sacred, divine, and primal. It is communication with the divine, it is a link between heaven and earth, it is pleasure for pleasure’s sake, it is the human experience. It is a force all its own and won’t be controlled or belittled.

-And yet, our spirituality will not be sexualized, fetishized, or infantilized. The Priestess is not a fetish. The days of gurus sexually manipulating and abusing the Goddess are SO over. We’re not buying what you’re selling. No one gets to tell us how pure or impure we are, and what makes us that way, and whether we need to change that or not.

-We don’t want our spirituality to taste like candy. We don’t want rainbows and unicorns and sugary sweet confections of relentless positivity and the law of attraction. We want our spirituality to taste like dark chocolate; deep, rich, a little bitter, a little sweet, sensual and complex. We want it real, we want it deep. We won’t accept anything less.

-Many of us swear. Like, we really swear. We fucking swear a fucking lot. Deal with it. What’s a witch who doesn’t curse? (Not to mention it’s good for your brain—google that shit.)

-We will not be shamed. For our sexuality, for our lifestyles, for our choices, for the shortage of fucks that we give. Our lives, our power, our choice. Get on board or get out.jkgu-You will not tell us to simply “let go”, “clear”, or “release” our feelings and issues by way of ignoring them. We don’t just release; we integrate. We take our darkness and stew in it, letting our unique human experiences mingle with our divinity, creating a powerful form of alchemy that’s whole and complete. We know the light is only half of what makes us powerful. Once integration is complete, what is no longer needed naturally releases as a byproduct of the process.

-We do not live in binaries, so don’t categorize us in them. Don’t tell us what’s “good” and what’s “bad” because we know better than that. Don’t tell us to live in the light to banish our shadows. In fact, don’t tell us what we are or what we should do at all. We are fluid and becoming more so. Gender fluid, sexually fluid, socially fluid, spiritually fluid.

-We hold a deep respect for social and cultural issues. We won’t use “Namaste” as a substitute for “goodbye” just because it sounds spiritual. We won’t wear a bindi on our foreheads just because it’s cute. We won’t discount another’s experience and point of view just because it’s not ours. We realize that our individual path is not more important than an entire marginalized culture’s. We listen.

-“Omg I can’t say anything without someone getting offended and everything has to be sooooooo PC nowadays.” <—Nah. We don’t see it like this. We see a generation coming into their own, attempting to own their view of the world and how they’d like it to be. Clearly, there’s a growing outcry for more sensitivity and change. You could stubbornly fight it or try to understand why it’s happening. Change won’t happen without conversation, so be open to the conversation, even if you don’t see it the same way.

-Be aware when you respond to our feelings. There’s a tendency, when someone admits they are feeling something other than complete joy or satisfaction, to apologize and suggest ways to be rid of that feeling. F that noise. The only cure for feelings is to feel them. Completely. Sink into them and allow their wisdom to wash over you. We don’t wallow, but we do feel. Everything. We refuse to repress or push our feelings aside just because they make us (or you) uncomfortable. (P.S. We hardly think “You should meditate on it.” or “Have you tried going gluten free?” are appropriate responses to anything. And this is coming from someone who both meditates and is gluten free.)

-The second you use any of the new age buzzwords— manifesting abundance, the law of attraction, meditation, energy healing, authentic, etc etc— our discernment kicks the fuck in. It’s not that we don’t believe in manifestation and meditation and energy healing, we definitely do. Manifesting is our middle name. But without the realness of our human and divine darkness acknowledged by our teachers, coaches and mentors, the spiritual movement becomes oppressive and dogmatic dressed as light and love. And not to mention, manipulated for profit when the actual authenticity is not behind it, considering the growing trend. We will search you, hard, before we will work with you.light2-Maybe the most important of all, we know that Truth is found in paradox. If it’s not a contradiction in itself, we are wary. If we are not contradictions in ourselves, we are not real.

-We will not accept less than what we are. We will not be only partially ourselves because it’s prettier or happier. We will be gritty and raw and beautiful and whole. We love fiercely. Love is at the core of our beings, but we know that sometimes love is the awakened dragon burning down the bridges that no longer serve us.
Sincerely, the witches you love and fear

Source: Ora North

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Are You A Truly Spiritual Person – Or Simply Full Of It

guihjby Edith Boyer-Telmer

Dear Friends,
just some days ago, I shared in my post about the Food Project “Konojel”, that in my wonderful second home; San Marcos La Laguna, Solola, in Guatemala; we are living in a wild mix of world people. The San Marcos population is made up of original Mayan people from the tribe of the Kaqckikel, and a colorful mix of foreigners from all countries of the world. Many of this people consider themselves part of the New Age Scene, a tribal movement or travel the world as alternative healer. Life styles and philosophies of all kinds are practiced in our little town, bringing the positive and the negative side of a spiritual life to the surface. So when I ran into this article raising the question, how much spirituality is truly translated in divine actions in the many new awakening movements, I felt like this is truly worth questioning
!!! Let me know what you think, and what type of feelings this article has created in you! I hope you enjoy the read!!
Miraculous Self-Discoveries and
Blessings ;-)!

Edith

This is an expect from the article “sei-spirituale-o-pieno-di-te-stesso”, written & translated by Giulio Pietro Benati
We hear it all the time: “I am spiritual, but not religious.” Recent human history has probably seen more conversions to spirituality than any other era. However, what does it mean, “being spiritual”? I grew up an atheist, with the certainty that religion was the opiate of the masses. The Catholic Church, in particular, looked evil to me: opulent, false, opportunist. It burned witches, molested children, and fought holy wars against imaginary enemies.
However, I felt an inner calling to look for something more than sheer matter. That’s why I started to seek. I found a yoga school in Thailand that taught me several techniques meant for the attainment of the infinite without the need for any divinity (or, at least, that’s what I thought). At that school, I observed that for many people spirituality means practicing yoga, reading books about self-development, and speaking about being spiritual. Even at that time, I felt that something was wrong with this idea of spirituality (which I considered really shallow) compared to the lives of the saints and mystics who followed many genuine ascetic traditions.
Today, when I take a look around, I can only confirm what I saw seven years ago.5681“Being spiritual,” according to the latest New Age trends, often includes everything that I said above, plus some other ingredients like dressing up as a “spiritual person” and sharing a “spiritual look” on Facebook or becoming vegan/vegetarian and pointing the finger at anyone who is not.
Appearance overcomes essence, facade overcomes truth, and falsehood pervades everything.
I don’t want to say that doing yoga is something bad. It is totally appropriate to follow yogic principles if you follow them with honesty and compassion, just as you are perfectly entitled to have faith in Jesus Christ, Buddha, or Muhammad if you live with the open heart that a true seeker should have.
The bad thing is if, on the other hand, you hide behind yoga or religion in order to justify all the shit you spread around. I’m strongly convinced that an aggressive attitude against non-vegan people masks the same tendencies that brought about the Inquisition and the burning of witches in the name of God!

Substituting One Dogma for Another
Many seekers leave their parents’ religions just to substitute one dogma for another. Instead of considering pre-marital sex a sin, they consider eating sugar, not recycling, or using a car instead of a bike sinful. As in the past, the fundamental tenets of a genuine spiritual path (truthfulness, freedom, and unconditional love) are lost along the way. In other words, the everlasting happiness independent of the external world is overlooked.
And sometimes, that spark of the Infinite that you tasted makes you feel special, favored. Suddenly, you are right and the rest of the world is wrong. You are the special child of God, your path is the unique, authentic one and anyone who doesn’t follow it is making a mistake (and, even if they are following it, you are doing it better!). Chanting Sanskrit mantras, not cursing, always being kind (even if it’s a false kindness), having symbolic tattoos, and becoming vegan are not true signs of spirituality.
However, this is exactly what the vast majority of “spiritual people” do nowadays, thinking that this is enough to be elevated, special, and dear in God’s eyes. They think these actions make them better than the rest of the world. Obviously, I don’t think that every single person who walks the spiritual path today is doing it so blindly. There are undoubtedly people who are sincerely seeking the Absolute in their lives. However, from what I have observed in my (short) experience, an overwhelming majority of those who define themselves as spiritual have a very distorted conception of themselves and of the path they are walking.khkjiThe Spiritual Path Is the Path of the Common Man
If you are REALLY spiritual, allow yourself to simply be you. This “spiritual you” should be kind, compassionate, and gentle (although it is said that many mystical people have tremendous personalities 😉 !). Take care not to fall into the trap of dogma; you don’t have to fight to be like that. You don’t have to force yourself to be spiritual. Even more, you don’t have to strive to appear spiritual. You are already spiritual! These virtues are already in you!
What you have to do is simply decondition yourself and recognize the truth deeply embedded in yourself. This is what the spiritual path should be—simply the search for your true nature. Spirituality simply means to be authentic with yourself and others. Pay attention, though. It is not easy to be authentic! In my whole life, I have met very few people who are truly authentic. Being authentic means being open, not being afraid of the judgment of others, trusting in the universe. It means to believe.

Source: Hridaya Yoga

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Something Extraordinary Is Happening in the World, Have You Noticed

channelingDear Friends,
during the last week, I shared insides about the flow of cosmic energy, that we are integrating and grounding right now, the impact the 12/12/15 frequency shifts collectively had on us, the amazing heart opening reflection “You’re ready for all of her, than you are a goddamn warrior”, and the realization that our first chakra has collectively changed over the last few days. And as I am a very blessed being in this world, I immediately was guided to this article. Another conscious author who in his observation and sharing, reflects on the collective changes our world has seen over the past few years. I found his piece a perfect addition to the information gathered so far. I hope you feel the same and enjoy his work as much as I did.
Love and Blessings Edith

by Gustavo Tanaka
Most of us haven’t quite realized there is something extraordinary happening. A few months ago I freed myself from standard-procedure society, I broke the chains of fear that kept me locked up into the system. Since then, I see the world from a different perspective: the one that everything is going through change and that most of us are unaware of that. Why is the world changing? In this post, I’ll point out the eight reasons that lead me to believe it.

1. No one can stand the employment model any longer.
We are reaching our limits. People working with big corporations can’t stand their jobs. The lack of purpose knocks on your door as if it came from inside you like a yell of despair. People want out. They want to drop everything. Take a look on how many people are willing to risk entrepreneurship, people leaving on sabbaticals, people with work-related depression, people in burnout.

2. The entrepreneurship model is also changing.
Over the past few years, with the explosion of startups, thousands of entrepreneurs turned their garages in offices to bring their billion dollar ideas to life. The vortex of entrepreneurship was to find an investor and get funded. To be funded was like winning the World Cup, or the Super Bowl. But what happens after you get funded? “Isn’t it absurd that we, 7 billion of us living in the same planet, have grown further apart from each other?” You get back to being an employee. You may have brought in people not sharing your dream, not in agreement with your purpose and soon it’s all about the money. The financial end becomes the main driver of your business. People are suffering with it. Excellent startups began to tumble because the money seeking model is endless. A new way to endeavor is needed. Good people are doing it already.ec0c7d4163513f48bdc04ab6cfac5d2a3. The rise of collaboration.
Many people have figured out that it doesn’t make any sense to go on by yourself. Many people have awakened from the “each man for himself” mad mentality. Stop, take a step back and think. Isn’t it absurd that we, 7 billion of us living in the same planet, have grown further apart from each other? What sense does it make to turn your back on the thousands, maybe millions, of people living around you in the same city? Every time it crosses my mind, I feel blue. Fortunately, things are changing. Sharing, collaborative economy concepts are being implemented, and it points towards a new direction. The direction of collaborating, of sharing, of helping, of togetherness. This is beautiful to watch. It touches me.

4. We are finally figuring out what the Internet is.
The Internet is an incredibly spectacular thing and only now, after so many years, we are understanding its power. With the Internet the world is opened, the barriers fall, the separation ends, the togetherness starts, the collaboration explodes, the helping emerges. Some nations saw true revolutions that used the Internet as the primary catalyst, such as the Arab Spring. Here in Brazil we are just starting to make a better use out of this amazing tool. Internet is taking down mass control. The big media groups controlling news by how it suits best what they want the message to be and what they want us to read are no longer the sole owners of information. You go after what you want. You bond to whomever you want. You explore whatever you may want to. With the advent of the Internet, the small are no longer speechless. There is a voice. The anonymous become acknowledged. The world comes together. And then the system may fall.

5. The fall of exaggerated consumerism.
For too long, we’ve been manipulated to consume as much as we possibly can. To buy every new product launched, the newest car, the latest iPhone, the top brands, lots of clothes, shoes, lots and lots and lots of pretty much anything we could our hands on. Going against the crowd, many people have understood that this of way off. Low-sumerism, slow life and slow food are a few excerpts of actions being taken as we speak, pointing out by contradiction how absurdly we have come to organize ourselves. Fewer people are using cars, fewer people are overspending, and more people are swapping clothes, buying used goods, sharing assets, cars, apartments, offices. We don’t need all of that they told us we needed. And this consciousness of new consumerism can take down any company living on the exaggerated end of it.a6. Healthy and organic eating.
We were so crazy we even accepted eating anything! It only needed to taste good, and everything would be alright. We were so disconnected that companies started to practically poison our food, and we didn’t say anything! But then some people started waking up, enabling and strengthening healthy and organic eating. This is only to get stronger. But what has this got to do with economy and work? Just about everything, I’d say. Food production is one of the basic fundamentals of our society. If we change our mindset, our eating habit and our way of consuming, corporations will have to respond and adapt to a new market. The small farmer is getting back to being relevant to the whole chain of production. Even people are growing plants and seeds inside their homes as well. And that reshapes the whole economy.

7. The awakening of spirituality.
How many friends do you have who practice yoga? What about meditation? Now think back, 10 years ago, how many people did you know by then who practiced these activities? Spirituality, for too long, was for esoteric folks — those weird-like and mystic people. But fortunately, this is also changing. We’ve come to the edge of reason and rationality. We were able to realize that, with only our conscious mind, we can’t figure out everything that goes by here. There is something else going on, and I’m sure you want to get hold of that as well. You want to understand how these things work. How life operates, what happens after death, what is this energy thing people talk about so much, what is quantum physics, how thoughts can be materialized and create our sense of reality, what is coincidence and synchronicity, why meditation works, how it’s possible to cure using nothing but bare hands, how those alternative therapies not always approved by regular medicine can actually work. Companies are providing meditation to their employees. Even schools are teaching the young how to meditate. Think about it.

8 . Un-schooling trends.
Who created this teaching model? Who chose the classes you have to take? Who chose the lessons we learn in history classes? Why didn’t they teach us the truth about other ancient civilizations? Why should kids follow a certain set of rules? Why should they watch everything in silence? Why should they wear a uniform? What about taking a test to prove that you actually learned? We developed a model that perpetuates and replicates followers of the system. That breed people into ordinary human beings. Fortunately, a lot of people are working to rethink that though concepts such as un-schooling, hack-schooling, homeschooling. Maybe you’ve never thought of that and even may be in shock. But it’s happening. Silently, people are being woken up and are realizing how crazy it is to live in this society. Look at all these new actions and try to think everything is normal we were taught so far is normal. I don’t think it is. There is something extraordinary happening.educational-system-in-one-image

This post originally appeared on Medium.  

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The Spiritual Side of Environmentalism

abDear Friends,
I absolutely love this beautiful article. Indeed I think it is a masterpiece to understand, that an authentic expression of spirituality – naturally leads to the need for a renewed, deeper and more tuned-in relationship with nature and mother earth. And to me this lines confirm, that Indigo Children, Crystal Children and Empath are our natural leader in the movement towards positive spiritual activism, as they suffer with the environment and earth abuses – just as much as they suffer with the human beings and animals, who get harmed  in this world. My personal experience is just as the divine / hermetic Law of Correspondence states – ABOVE AS BELOW – the more my higher-self is guiding me, the deeper I desire to dig into the blessings Mother Earth is providing and spend time in profound connection with her funny spirits!
Hope your activism is inflamed already! And that you are burning from within, for the preservation and sustainability of the mutual ground we stand on!!!
Love and Blessings to you!!
Edith
When we think of spirituality, it is often in terms of a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves or a search for meaning in life. Some people may associate spirituality with going to church or temple, praying, meditating, fasting, attending spiritual retreats, making a spiritual pilgrimage, or spending time in nature. Most would agree that essentially all widely-accepted forms of spirituality are centered around love, compassion and caring for others, developing a connection to the source of life, and living in an ethical and moral manner.

Spirituality and Environmentalism

If we accept that spirituality compels us toward love, compassion, and ethical ways of living, then spirituality necessarily leads us toward a moral imperative to take better care of the Earth than we are now doing as a global society. All living beings are inextricably connected to the Earth. We are made of her elements and minerals. We emerge from her at birth; we eat the food and drink the water that she provides; and at the end of life, we become a part of her once again. As humans, we also intrinsically rely on far deeper aspects of our relationship with nature, such as our need for creative inspiration, peace and tranquility, and a deep inter-connectedness to the energy and vibration of all life on the planet.
The Earth is a complex and intricate web. When we negatively impact our planet, we harm all beings who depend on her for life. Likewise, when we hurt people, plants, or animals, we damage the Earth as well. If we look within, we are sure to find a longing in our hearts to protect the Earth herself from suffering and sadness, to create a world in which we can each pursue our dreams and aspirations without harming the one planet that supports the type of life that we love and treasure.

ahWhat Are We Doing to Ourselves?

When we reflect on the need for meetings such as the COP 21 conference or initiatives such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we automatically enter into a moral and spiritual discussion, due to the gravity of our current situation. Even the UN officials and many world leaders seem to be speaking in spiritual terms at times, as they express their concern over the environmental crisis. This is because global warming is not simply causing unusual weather patterns and hotter summers. The impacts from climate change are much more severe and life-threatening, and much more immediate, than we can tell by looking out of our own windows.
Global warming is cutting off large populations of people from their traditional modes of subsistence, rendering them unable to feed themselves or their children. It is causing the unchecked spread of diseases such as malaria. It is decimating species at the fastest rates the Earth has experienced since before humans emerged on the planet. It is causing untold suffering for people and animals in polar regions, rain-forests, and other delicate ecosystems, where the rapid environmental changes are decimating their way of life. Our modern society based on endless consumption, which is the primary cause of global warming, has other harmful side effects which also bring ethics into the picture:

Our world leaders, particularly those participating in the ongoing United Nations climate discussions leading up to COP 21, are faced with a question that seems nearly impossible to answer:
Now that we are so deeply entrenched in this way of living, what can we do to turn things around?

abaPolitical Initiatives With a Spiritual Basis

World leaders are spurring political action on many fronts that is increasingly aligned with spiritual and ethical goals as a path to environmental sustainability: The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals include objectives inspired by spiritual and ethical tenets such as ending poverty, promoting gender equality, protecting the oceans, ensuring sustainable food production, and protecting forests and biodiversity. To protect indigenous groups that have been harmed by oil drilling and climate change, indigenous pavilions and Rights of Nature tribunals will occur at the COP 21 meetings in Paris in December 2015. The Earth and its vital ecosystems are beginning to receive the respect and legal protection that was previously reserved for humans. For example, in New Zealand earlier this year, a river was legally granted the rights of personhood.

Taking Individual Action Based on Spirituality

An over-dependence on logic, technology, and economics got us into this mess. So it makes heart sense—soul sense—that spirituality, intuition, and reconnecting with nature may be the only way out. Let us consider a new definition of spirituality. Spirituality as our system of deeply-held beliefs that allow us to go beyond politics, beyond economics, beyond societal norms in order to make decisions for the common good of all beings. Beliefs that connect us to the very heart of who we are and what we know is most important. Although it may be difficult, we can rise above materialism and societal norms when we know it is the right thing to do. When we recognize that we are harming each other, that our everyday actions are depleting the resources of Mother Earth who gave us life, that by accepting the modern dream of materialism and consumption we are reducing the possibilities for future generations to thrive and pursue their own dreams …HumanTreeWhen we accept these truths into our hearts and allow our true nature to respond with full emotion and allow ourselves to feel the longing for a better way of living … Then, at that very moment, our spirituality opens up a new space of clarity within us, where we fully internalize the conviction that each one of us has the universal responsibility to make the world a better place. Then, suddenly, we know what it is that we need to do in the world. How our small, precious set of skills and our unique viewpoint can lend a vital force and power to the vast movement that is occurring in the world at this time.
Every one of us has talents that can make a powerful and positive difference in the world. It may be your beautiful singing voice. It may be your talent for public speaking or your ability to bring together diverse groups of people for a shared goal. Or it may be your knowledge of farming, finance, software development, or manufacturing that can lead to a breakthrough in sustainability. We all have a part to play; it is just a matter of finding your inspiration, and that can only come from the deepest reaches of your heart and soul.

Source: http://www.pachamama.org/blog/the-spiritual-side-of-environmentalism, by

 

Death doulas: helping people face up to dying

Rebecca-Green-is-a-death--014

Rebecca Green works with families and helps them to accept the idea of death. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian

Dear Friends,
this is the most beautiful timeline synchronicity. After the articles about holding space for other people and holding space for yourself, now the voice of a woman who professionally is holding space for the death process. A so called “death doula”.
I don’t agree with her on – we don’t need to be spiritual – as we are spiritual beings at any time of our lives on earth, but I agree that there is no need for a sudden awareness of that fact during death – where there was no in life.  In our western culture we have long forgotten to connect with the real meaning of death and mad it a medical drama, instead of a natural occurrence of rhythms and cycles (see picture of the rhythms of death in the middle). Having choice over time and space, our companionship and approach of death, are crucial details of a self-empowered feeling.
Details that make our death a celebrated ritual. They give us the feeling of control – in an uncontrollable situation – and the dignity to take the very last in-, and out-breath as an act of free will.

May each of your breath be one of joy, gratitude and freedom – till the very last!
Blessings Edith

By Eleanor Tuck
People often seek support to bring a new life into the world, but what about when we are preparing to leave it? Rebecca Green talks about what she does: How to die: five positive steps to deal with death top five regrets of the dying, Rebecca Green is a death doula.
The woman sitting opposite me in an Edinburgh cafe is called Rebecca Green. She is in her early 40s, with a soft Birmingham accent and a gentle, smiling face. She is a nurse. But she also does something else – something that has prompted both fascination and animosity in those she has told about it. She is a death doula.
Birth doulas support women and their families through the process of a child being born. And death doulas support people during that other huge event – the one we don’t like to talk about. The idea is hardly new, but in the western world, death has become a medical matter, says Hermione Elliott, director of the charity Living Well Dying Well. The organisation is pioneering the use of death doulas in the UK. “In other cultures around the globe, and for thousands of years, people have stayed in their homes to die, looked after by their family and local community. We want to see a return to this.”
So how did Green become a death doula? “People sense that I am open,” she says. “When I was 19, a crotchety old aunt who was dying asked for me. I could tell she knew she was dying. And she knew that I knew. She just wanted to see it in someone else’s eyes – the truth of it. Then she relaxed. She was in a nursing home and no one would be open about it. She didn’t like the lying and the pretending – it irritated her.”
“Then, in my 20s, not long after I qualified as a nurse, I was lodging with a woman. She became ill, and asked me to go to the doctor with her. I think we both knew that something was happening. I was with her when she was given her diagnosis, and lived with her until she passed away. Her two sons, both friends of mine, had young babies and full-time jobs, so they couldn’t become live-in carers. There was no question that I wouldn’t do what I did. That’s how I became a death doula.”

5 rhythms of death-page-001Green went on to work in hospices, but found it wasn’t for her. “They do a great job, don’t get me wrong. I just found it all a bit holy: I’d drive home listening to thrash metal as an antidote. Some people want that, to be patted and stroked as they pass away. But others want to walk into it, to die alive – not die dying, doing as they’re told.
“I’ve never advertised,” Green says. “It’s all just word of mouth. I don’t always take payment, either. People want different things from me: it could be anything from being a companion at a bedside, to providing practical support for the family. Or aiding conversations with the person’s doctor, which will then help with making decisions about treatment. Or navigating their way through the structure of the NHS. I’ve even met up with a man who simply had a fear of death. We talked for a couple of hours, and that was it, I never saw him again.”
Although some death doulas have a spiritual approach, Green doesn’t. “Some people will hate me for this, but so be it. If a person has not found ‘spirituality’ to be useful to them before they became ill, why introduce it when a person is facing death? I feel it’s a way of avoiding the living person in front of you – and avoiding yourself. Providing a ‘solution’ to this ‘problem’ of death, with a story. It’s big business, this spirituality. It preys on the vulnerable and it’s a crutch that’s going to break when you lean on it. You have your life, your living moments, and yourself – right up to the very end. You are enough – you don’t need to be spiritual.”
Interest in – and demand for – death doulas is on the rise. “It’s because most of us would prefer to die at home, cared for gently,” says Barbara Chalmers of Final Fling, the UK’s first “one-stop shop for end-of-life planning”. “The NHS isn’t the place for that,” Chalmers says. “We’ve lost our community doula skills: the women in the past who looked after birthing and dying. So more and more people – mostly women – are training again in these skills and offering end-of-life companionship as a service. It would be interesting to work out the cost of this for the NHS, instead of them paying to keep dying people in a ward and continuing the notion that death is a medical failure rather than the natural conclusion to life.”
music_love_wideweb__470x311,0I wonder how someone who works so closely with death feels about her own mortality. “Death doesn’t scare me because I don’t know what it is,” Green says. “I suppose I’m saying that the unknown doesn’t scare me. I find the idea that one day I won’t be here any more strange and impossible to imagine.
“But it’s also a fact that I haven’t always been here – I only got here in 1969. Where was I in 1968, or 1945? I have no idea. It makes me smile to think of this.” So does that mean that she doesn’t worry about death? “No, I don’t worry about death. I worry about things like paying my bills. I wish I didn’t, but I do.”
So what does she say to people who are frightened of death? “I don’t offer any views or advice. I don’t try to prove that death isn’t scary. I can’t – I don’t know what death is. And I don’t soothe or placate people when they’re afraid, but rather walk directly into the state of fear with them, as a companion, and without going into a state of fear myself. This can be done as a conversation, as a walk outside together, and often – in fact in most cases – what we talk about is not death, but something else.”

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/04/death-doulas-helping-people-face-up-to-death?CMP=share_btn_fb

These are the 5 Biggest Regrets People Have On Their Deathbed

deathbedThere are a lot of things in life that are as individual as the 7 billion people on the planet. There are tons of soul relate experiences and personal human choices, that make the abundant human expression so colorful. And, there are some things that people, who chose to live society conform, have in common. When asked at their deathbed, at the heights of emotions – released by facing their mortality, what their biggest regrets are, these are the five most common answers:

1.) I wish I had been true to myself.
There are “laws of humanity”, represented by the Native American population of the planet. These laws are translations of the “Hermetic laws”, the natural ways of the universal forces. One of them states: Human kind needs to live in “AUTHENTICITY AND HONESTY IN THOUGHT, WORD AND ACTION”, in order to manifest the “Golden Age of Aquarius” or “Golden Age of Humanity”. In society we are asked to be conform with the collective need and simple fit in. The healthier path is, to be true to yourself!! To listen very well to your inner voice of purity, Only if we honor ourselves, our needs and abilities, can we live the life we desire to manifest. We live in a RESPONSIVE UNIVERSE!

 

2.) I wish I hadn’t worked so much.
Make sure you are challenging yourself to grow from inside! Develop a natural hunger for the transformational nature of your true self! If you have a feeling for natural growth that emerges from inside, it is easier to replace societies unhealthy habit of working to much. Don’t allow yourself to be entangled in the over productivity the outside demands! Rather seek to release their pressure and weight from your shoulders. Everything in life needs balance!!! Playfully produce and rest in equal amounts of time and, LOVE what you do with all your heart!!!
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3.)I wish I had been brave in the face of my fears.
To often we allow our emotional pain body, the inner child or simple another timeline, to take over  and demand the outcome of a situation. Fear is best concord by PRESENCE! Be present when fear strikes! One way to do that is, to make yourself familiar with the transformational power of death. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about your precious physical body :-)! To study the nature of death will enable you to develop courage. This courage helps you to face your fears. Transformation and a sense of true freedom is a natural result.

4.) I wish I hadn’t neglected my friendships.
Human life circles a lot around how we experience our relationships. From the moment we appear as “the one” on Mother Earth, till the moment we die – our growth as human beings is deeply connected to the once we are in relation with. We have the capacity to create this relationships with other human beings but  also Healing Crystals, nature, animals, Ascended Masters, Angels and more. In all this diversity, it feels good to find some comfort and stability in long term friendships. Staying in relation challenges the human being to grow in forgiveness, compassion and expands our budget to give.

Tip: Make space in your busy calender to have time for friendships! Reserve a special time, on a particular weekday for interaction with your friends, and make sure you meet somebody you like, trust and enjoy hanging out with.

descarga (1)5.) I wish that I had allowed myself to be happier.
Decide from today on, to make conscious steps every day to increase the happiness level in your everyday life. Make time for meditation, for nature, for a walk on the beach or a run in the woods with your dog. Make sure you are laughing at least once the day!! If you are an Empath, spend enough time with children and animals. Their innocent and pure approach to life fills up the “happy account”! Spoil yourself with the conscious goal to listen to the desires of your soul to feel blissful, happy and free.

 

Thank you for reading! Please leave your comment below! Please also like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newbeginningsguatemala

If you feel like sharing this article, please do so with all links and credits! THANKS!!
Blessings and Light!
Edith Boyer-Telmer

 

 

Listen to Your Intuition, Whispers From the Soul

open-arms-grass“I believe in intuitions and inspirations…I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am.” – Albert Einstein
Have you experienced a moment when you felt something wasn’t right or was absolutely perfect? Like walking into a house for rent or sale, and you instantly know it’s the right place to live. Or you take up a job or a task and know whether it would work out or not. Its that inner voice telling you the solution to problems and decision-making without the use of rational processes and logical reasoning.
It’s your intuition that just knows. Researchers describe intuition as “rapid intellect” or “condensed reasoning” which is present in each and every living being. The word “intuition” comes from the Latin word intueri, which means knowledge from within. Intuition is the connecting path between the subconscious and conscious mind. Your subconscious mind, applicably, converses with the conscious mind all the time.
intuitionThis phenomenon of the inner world is popularly known as “gut feeling”. Having a gut feeling is as natural as feeling sad, happy or angry. “Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung In spite of the knowledge of the power of intuition, we are swayed into believing and developing a logical rationale. In the past, science has always out ruled the power of intuition over logic and its only now that several scientific research has proved that intuition is not a magical occurrence but a well-coordinated process between the brain and the heart.
Listen to your Intuition When you feel contraction of energy inside your system at the thought of something, it’s your intuition giving you a warning signal. Similarly, when you experience an expansion of energy, it’s your intuition bouncing positive feelings. However, in this chaotic world of information, it has become quite difficult to listen and tap into the inner signals.
understanding-intuitionAs one cannot get away with blaming the world alone, one can also be responsible for creating communication blockages within one self. If you are clouded with ego, pre-conceived theories and excessive random stream of thoughts, you might have trouble listening to your inner wisdom. But every problem is a blessing in disguise as it motivates you to seek a new path. Here the idea is to understand how to maintain a smooth communication channel with your intuition. A clearer understanding of the following can help you carve out a way to connect to your inner voice.
1) De-clutter your mind and its garbage If you can think for yourself, you need not take anyone’s unsolicited advice seriously. Rather introspect and use your gut feelings to reach to a conclusion. Harbingers of self-destruction for e.g. ego, jealously, revenge hazes your ability to listen to your inner voice. The aim is to get rid of the negativity to re-boot your self.
2) Meditate There are several forms of meditation that helps one in achieving a balanced and quiet mind. Indulging in few minutes of meditation everyday will help you in getting in touch with your intuitive mind.
3) Spend time in Nature Nature heals. Go for a walk in the woods. Feel the grass and acknowledge the beauty around you. Let the breeze gush through your soul. Breathe and let the soul dance. Discover the joy of being with the self.
4) Listen to sharpen your intuition Listen to experiences of near and dear ones compassionately. You never know, they secretly might know your troubles and help you out in getting away with them. They can help you in knowing your heart.
images (2)5) Try Affirmations Affirmations can help you to purify your thoughts and help you develop a more positive perception of yourself. Writing simple affirmations daily like “I am listening to my intuition,” “I am in touch with my source of energy,” will instill positive feelings and thoughts in your subconscious mind.
6) Be Compassionate towards your body No one can get away with abusing his or her body. Don’t over exert yourself and most importantly, take care of it.
7) Let go Learn to let go and surrender to the need to control. Nothing is worth clinging to, as that will eventually disconnect you from your inner voice.
8) Practice Learn to listen to your intuition and inculcate the habit of following the message it has to give. The more you listen, the stronger it gets. Start off by asking yourself simple questions, like try to guess who is calling you before answering the phone, whether it will rain or not and so on. The more you practice, the better you get at recognizing the whispers from your soul.
9) Emphasis the positive Positive people have been reported to have stronger sense of intuition. So stay positive and smile!
10) Understand Selflessness A person who feels abundance is rewarded in abundance by the universe. Never give a second thought to an act of kindness. Selflessness makes one fall in love with the self. Once you discover the joy of this beauty, the body is filled with positive energy.
Source: http://fractalenlightenment.com/28229/spirituality/listen-to-your-intuition-whispers-from-the-soul

Putting mindfulness in the curriculum

1416129208576

Wow, I can’t believe how much fear people express about teaching their children a little bit of mindful awareness. It sounds like, who believes in organized religion, feels threatened by people who choose to think for themselves.  Personally I think, it would be a blessing for everyone if children get attuned to hearing their inner voice as early as possible in life. Let your children breath!!!
Blessings Edith

TREE HUGGERS: Jack Barlow and Lucy Srzich ‘breathing’ with a plant to help calm themselves.
Lucy says a ‘‘lot of people were giggling’’ when they first tried mindfulness.

Jack Barlow wonders if “neophyte” is in the classroom dictionary (it isn’t). He queries if Charles next to him knows there are more than 120 meanings for “set” (he doesn’t).
It’s thoughts like these that “race” through young Jack’s busy mind. But the 11-year-old is doing his best to concentrate as one of 20 students staring intently at a man, perched like a grasshopper, brandishing a golden stick and bowl in a classroom at Westmere Primary school in central Auckland. Legs crossed, arms folded – out of habit, not instruction – they wait for him to stir the stick. A ringing echoes; everyone inhales.

It’s not easy. Sitting completely still never is at that age. Morning tea is 20 minutes away. Yet students must concentrate on their arms, legs and “deep belly breathing.”

1416129208576 (1)“When your mind wanders,” drones instructor Grant Rix, “gently say ‘wandering’.” Then: “notice the sensations in your feet.”

Westmere Primary School has been part of the Mental Health Foundation’s (MHF) Mindfulness in Schools programme for two years. The trials, lasting eight weeks, included five other schools, four from Auckland and one in rural Southland, and the early results are promising.
Teachers kept journal entries on the progress of the 20-minute lessons and a survey three months later assessed the potential long-term impact, with researchers from Auckland University and the Auckland University of Technology studying the results.
“We found it improved students’ self-control, attentiveness, respect for other classmates and enhanced the school’s mood,” says Rix. It was beneficial for teachers too – many reported reduced stress in their personal lives.

descargaRix – the man with the golden stick and bowl – works for the MHF and has been practising mindfulness for 15 years. He developed mindfulness in schools after seeing similar trials overseas.
And the benefits were plentiful, according to Teck Wee, a teacher at another participating primary school, Te Papapa, who reported gradual change in students as the programme continued: “They were thinking more about how their own behaviour affected situations, rather than how other kids’ behaviour was affecting them.”
He recalls one troublesome student who would run, swear, fight, attack teachers and was academically two years behind.
“Mindfulness has given him some anger management strategies and cleared up his thought process. Now where he gets angry he’s not just sorry, but he talks about what he did wrong and what he will do next time.”

So why is mindfulness the latest buzzword among the US marines, rapper 50 Cent, a group of British MPs (all of whom practise mindfulness) and yoga mums alike? It’s less a buzzword, explains Rix, and more about getting rid of buzz.
It’s a tricky concept but at its simplest mindfulness is about focusing on the present. What it’s not about is only reducing stress (because then you’re striving for something). Or emptying your mind of all thoughts (they prefer you to observe your current ones). Or religion.

descarga (1)The technique draws on breathing exercises often used in meditation and Buddhism, but there the comparison ends. The aim is to be more aware of thoughts and feelings.
It sounds deceptively vague and hippie-ish but, stresses Rix, this isn’t about chanting and spirituality.
Not everyone is onside. The Ministry of Education received five formal complaints from parents at Riversdale School in the South Island after their principal proposed introducing mindfulness classes.
Katrina Casey, head of sector enablement and support at the MOE, says mindfulness shares some characteristics with Buddhism but isn’t specifically tied to the religion.
“There has been growing interest from schools in the technique. Earlier this year the Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand had a guest speaker talk about mindfulness at their annual conference.
“We do not advocate one behaviour management programme over another and we did not commission the Mental Health Foundation’s programme [it was funded by donations]. However, it’s not uncommon for teachers to encourage students to reflect on their behaviour.”

descarga (2)Other schools, she says, are trialling the ‘My Friends’ youth resilience programme as part of a wider, multi-agency initiative aimed at supporting student mental health and wellbeing.
“Schools have a lot of flexibility on all decisions relating to the curriculum and how they encourage good behaviour. Any school is free to introduce such a practice, if backed by its board of trustees in consultation with the school community.”
The modern mindfulness movement, says Rix, is equally informed by neuroscience and psychology.
“It’s nothing new for a secular society to adopt practices from elsewhere and then to study them scientifically, validate and integrate them into secular context.
“It’s a misconception,” he says of the complaints. “But people are entitled to their own views.”

Various district health boards across New Zealand use an eight-week mindfulness course to treat severely depressed or anxious patients. Evidence suggests mindfulness can improve people’s ability to handle stress and alleviate depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and eating disorders.
Overseas, in 2011 Jacob Piet and Esben Hougaard of Aarhus University, Denmark, published a review of the eight-week course in Clinical Psychology Review.
After six clinical trials with 593 people, they concluded mindfulness-based therapy reduced the risk of relapse for patients with at least three previous incidents of depression by 43 per cent compared to people who received regular treatment. However, there were no significant benefits for people with fewer than three major incidents.

descarga (3)It sounds a simple panacea – safe, relatively cheap, no heavy objects or pills. At times it comes close to channelling New Age waffle, but Westmere Primary’s principal, Carolyn Marino, is a firm believer in the benefits.
“There’s far more anxiety among children than when I first started teaching,” she reflects on her 20-year career. “More children have social and emotional disorders as a result of our society.
“Life isn’t as predictable as it used to be and parents are putting pressure on their children – not necessarily on purpose – but questioning if they’re working hard enough to get that job.”
Marino’s received no complaints – parents who had doubts were swayed after an information evening and now some indulge in mindfulness with their children after nightmares.
“Children live in this digital age where they are constantly being got at and don’t have enough down time to get away from that stimulus. Mindfulness gives them a strategy that helps them be a little more present.”
With so much on our minds at any given time we function regularly on autopilot. We don’t think about the physical and mental process that goes into, say, climbing a set of stairs and rightly so – we’d take forever to get anywhere.

meditateSuch mindlessness is why we often walk into a room forgetting our initial purpose or fail to remember what happened on a three hour journey. Mindfulness teaches us to be present rather than distracted by the past or projecting into the future.
So a mindfulness exercise could be having a shower. Instead of thinking about how your day was or what you need to do, simply notice what’s going on – the floor is wet, the air is steamy, the water hot and so on. Don’t judge if it’s a good or bad shower. Just notice it.
The principles and practice of “mindful leadership” are taught at Harvard; and Oxford University has its own Mindfulness Centre carrying out research into clinical and general health benefits.
Recently the World Health Organisation warned that by 2030 mental health issues will have become society’s biggest healthcare burden.
“This is going to come to a state where [mindfulness in schools] isn’t a luxury – it will have to be a necessity,” says Marino. “I worry about the mental health of our children and the society we’re moving into. The sense of risking failure is very prevalent; the need to be perfect is becoming increasingly obvious in young children.”
Eleven year old Lucy Srzich has taken such a liking for the programme that the time the CD malfunctioned, she led the class.
She was hesitant at first, and some of her friends thought the programme sounded silly. That first session, “a lot of people were giggling,” she says. But she was won over, as were her friends and parents who “researched it and then they were into it”.
Srzich continues to use mindful breathing when she is flustered or angry and needs a moment to calm down.
At the end of 20 minutes’ deep-belly breathing, Rix invites the class to share feedback. “It was just normal, yeah . . .” shrugs one student. Another is more receptive: “I feel like the square around me came out of the ground and floated in the air” he explains, to a flurry of giggles.

imagesA common theme was the light, calm, fresh and relaxed feeling most students notice. If anything, mindfulness is doing wonders for their vocabulary. One explains: “I feel relaxed and calm every time I do this. I notice if I’m feeling worried and I never notice that when I’m playing, then it just builds up until I can’t calm down.”
Another chimes in: “It feels like the world stops spinning; I feel more of the little things.”
Marino took a mindfulness course herself when she was finding her early years as a principal stressful.

“It would be great if every child could be exposed to it as a strategy they could implement into their daily lives,” she argues. “What a great time to start. We try to get kids eating healthier and exercising, setting up those behaviours early on. Young people always seem to be looking into the future or something that isn’t necessarily their reality.
“We often work with our children on anger management strategies around breathing and taking anger out on things that are non-animate – telephone books, for example. This is a nice strategy for kids who might have issues with needing to get back to a place where they can make a sensible decision before they punch somebody.”

92Rix agrees. The biggest feedback from both students and teachers is that it has become easier to identify emotions.
“They’re beginning to recognise how that manifests in their body as a physical sensation and understand what they’re feeling is going to pass. They’ve got this skill where they can drop anchor by paying attention to their breathing and just allow that anger to diffuse in a healthy way rather than lashing out.”
Next year he plans to extend the programme to intermediate schools. The final results of the study will be published early in the new year and Rix hopes they will persuade the Ministry of Education to invest.
It’s not quantitative stuff that can be measured in tests, says Marino, but it’s a building block.
“If you give kids enough exposure and skills they start to build a toolkit and that’s where I see mindfulness sitting. You’re not going to change kids overnight but you can create a shift in how they see themselves or deal with things that come into their lives.”

At the end of the course, children are encouraged to bring in something that will encourage them to practise mindfulness.
Soft toys are popular; one girl brings in a pink fluffy cushion, saying that whenever she cuddles it she practises mindful breathing.
“Others bring in mind jars they have made,” says Rix. “Sometimes a little pebble. Pieces of fruit are popular as well.”
Rix quotes a colleague who worked with a student from a difficult background who had trouble controlling his emotions.
“He was so taken with breathing with the green plants that he came and sat next to the plants I had in the chapel at the end of class, closed his eyes and observed his breathing for several more minutes.
“He asked me if he could take one to keep in his room.”

Source; http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/63216075/Putting-mindfulness-in-the-curriculums

Psilocybin Can Help Us Die Better Deaths — Film Review

3502172867by Monica Thunder on MARCH 11, 2015
When we think about psilocybin or LSD, its easy to jump to an image of new-agey twenty-somethings gazing in wonder at a tree trunk or a moldy piece of bread. But with A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin — a recent documentary set to be released next month — we get a glimpse of the enormous medical potential these substances have to offer.
Filmmaker Robert J. Barnhart is a board member at the Heffter Research Institute — an organization working to forward research on the potential uses of psychedelics in healthcare. He took his experience and teamed up with documentary producer-filmmaker Roz Dauber and producer-filmmaker Brady Dial to create A New Understanding.Narrated by Reset’s founder Amber Lyon, the film takes a comprehensive look at the past and present of psilocybin, which was classified as Schedule I substance (a category reserved for the most highly restricted substances) by Congress in the late 1960s. It strings together the stories of people who participated in psilocybin-assisted therapy studies, with talking head shots of psychedelic research psychologists and the occasional fluorescent-hued reenactment of something trippy an interviewee saw during a psilocybin session.

psy1The scientists and psychologists interviewed in the film are working, via various studies, to learn whether psilocybin can mitigate the psychological suffering of terminally ill cancer patients whose days are numbered. The studies themselves have very little money and depend on volunteer patients who are willing to participate.

The film walks us through several different psilocybin studies that have taken place at different universities. It moves fluidly between the “hard science” explanations of neuroscience and the “softer” realm of psychology. In one shot, we’ll have a stiff-looking academic holding up MRI scans and discussing the location of serotonin 2A receptors in the brain. Then, the film will cut breezily to a psychologist wearing a kaleidoscopic green tie, talking about the sense of sacredness imparted to us by psychedelic experiences. In one segment, a researcher holds up a model of the human brain and explains how the cortex responds to psilocybin. In another, a study volunteer tells us she ran into Jesus in the middle of a parade during her psilocybin dosing session.

This may be just what it takes to successfully pull off this kind of documentary: scientific integrity combined with the open-mindedness necessary to deeply explore consciousness.
Annie, featured in the film, was one of 12 terminally-ill volunteers in a study conducted at UCLA. Before she began participating in the psilocybin study, she described herself as anxious and terrified. She said she was so worried about the painful process of dying that she lost her spirituality, and became incredibly irritable towards her husband. It made life difficult for both of them.
“I had lost my faith because of anxiety,” she said during the film,  “And I was just terrified. I was so anxious, it was hard to think about anything else.”

descargaDuring the dosing sessions, researchers dosed her with a moderate amount of psilocybin. She experienced the effects of the drug in a controlled, comfortable livingroom-like environment, where she was monitored and attended by aids. She was observed before and after the study.
After her experience with psilocybin, Annie’s husband said, “Someone had put on a lightbulb in Annie’s head. She was literally glowing.”
Annie said she felt wonderful after the session. She got back in touch with her spirituality, and managed to cultivate happiness in her life despite her approaching death.
“It’s incredibly helpful,” she said during the film. “It’s more helpful than any other treatment I’ve ever had.”

Researchers at NYU conducted a similar study, working with terminally-ill volunteers to see if psilocybin could help them cope psychologically with a terminal illness.
“The greatest source of distress at the end of life is the psychological, spiritual, existential despair that people go through, and the lack of meaning,” said Anthony Bossis, co-principal investigator of the NYU study, during an interview with the filmmakers. “And it is through the search for meaning — and meaning is cultivated in some way — that people die a better death.”
Matt, a terminally ill man who suffered from systemic anal cancer, volunteered in the NYU study. He said he was probably too sick to travel all the way to New York to participate, but it had been well worth it to him.

images (1)Like Annie, the filmmakers interviewed him extensively about his experience with psilocybin.
“Eight… nine hours. It was very intense,” he said in the film, speaking of his psilocybin dosing. “Even if you do have an expectation going into a study like this, something you will get from it, you’re bound to get so much more in ways that you can’t even imagine now, sitting here. The benefit will be even beyond what you can think of, quite frankly.”
Matt said the psilocybin dosing sessions helped him cope with the fact that he didn’t have enough time to fix his relationship with his parents before he died.

“I wanted to die unburdened of anger and angst,” he said.

All of the studies came away with positive results — the researchers reported that their subjects had less anxiety, better relationships, felt less depressed, and were generally better disposed to engage with deep, existential questions about life, love, death, regret, and loss.
Aside from the principal investigator of the NYU study, Stephen Ross, mentioning that sometimes frightening experiences during dosing sessions can have an adverse psychological effect, the film doesn’t hit on any potential negative outcomes of the treatment. In the studies discussed during the film, there were only positive results.

This probably speaks to the mindset of the volunteers — they not only were open to the idea of the treatment, but also went out of their way to participate. Matt, for example, travelled despite severe physical discomfort from his illness to receive treatment. This kind of willingness doubtless contributed to the volunteers having a positive experience.
As of now, there is very little funding available to psilocybin research.

“Right now, the studies are all privately funded,” Ross said. “Not a single person gets paid. In many ways, it’s a labor of love.”
Annie and Matt felt this love throughout the remainder of their lives.

“I believe this study has helped open me up to learn more and accept more as opposed to wondering how cancer was going to affect me tomorrow, where it was going to affect me tomorrow,” Matt said. “I feel like I can die now with peace in my heart.”

Stephen Ross, will be teaching at The Art of Dying Conference taking place from April 24-April 26. The film will be screening at The Alamo Theatre in Austin, Texas on Tuesday April 14. There will be “to be announced” screenings through early Autumn, then the filmwill be available for rental and download over selected Internet sites and outlets. More information is available on the film’s website.