I visited South Bass Island in Lake Erie, Ohio this weekend as one of the items on my “When I’m 64 Living Life List”. While some create a “bucket list”, I was inspired by a friend who had created a 50 before 50 list – 50 things she wanted to do or experience before her 50th birthday. It includes everything from running construction equipment, taking a basic electrician’s class, to seeing oddball tourist sites in her state.
I “locked in” on this idea and created a list of 64 events or experiences I would like to have before I turn 64. My friend could feasibly complete her 50/50 list by doing one a week. For me, it’s a little more challenging!
This weekend I crossed off number 3 and number 4 on the When I’m 64 Living Life List. Number 4 was to see and visit Lake Erie. I’ve lived in Ohio most of my life and never saw Lake Erie. And I’ve heard about Put-in-Bay. I took the jet express ferry boat from Port Clinton to Put in Bay, rented a golf cart and toured the island. It was a beautiful sunny and warm fall day. I enjoyed the slow pace of puttering around the island and experiencing all it had to offer.
Apparently, there is a fence in Captain Alfred Parker Park on South Bass Island https://www.putinbay.org/attractions/alfred-parker-park/ where the chain link fence is filled with “locks of love”. While I was visiting last weekend, I snapped this photo.
I was intrigued by these impromptu expressions. The image of thousands of locks of all kinds on a chain link fence which was apparently erected to keep folks safe from dropping into Lake Erie, made me pause. I love images. I love snapping photographs and collaging with others’ images in SoulCollage®.
I invite you to use this photo for your reflection, to write a poem or essay or journal with and about it. Maybe you feel invited to create a collage/SoulCollage® with it. Questions which come to my mind include: “Where are locked in? Where are you locked out? What binds you? Who or what holds the keys or combinations to those locks? What are you bound to? How do you feel when you are “locked in” or “in the zone”?”
Experience SoulCollage® IN PERSON (workshop)
Would you like to find out what SoulCollage® is and experience it? You still have time to sign up for this workshop. It will be held on Sunday, November 13, 2022, 1:00p to 4:30p https://listening-heart.com/events/ Walk the labyrinth for inspiration and create collaged cards. It’s fun and insightful. All materials are supplied. Bring a friend and have fun while discovering more about yourself.
New Service – HealthRhythms® Facilitation
I recently trained as a HealthRhythms® facilitator. https://remo.com/experience/post/healthrhythms/ HealthRhythms® is a protocol developed by Dr. Barry Bittman, a neurologist and international speaker based on his conviction that Recreational Music-making is an effective therapeutic strategy in medical settings. Dr. Bittman led a team of researchers who studied the biological effects of the HealthRhythms® drumming protocol and found that group drumming increased the activity of natural killer cell activity, reduced bodily stress, improved mood, and increased job satisfaction and reduced burnout rates.
HealthRHYTHMS® is a “fun, evidence based whole person strategy which promotes socialization and ensures a healthy non-strenuous workout” and fosters personal expression. It can be used in group counseling, support groups, rehab centers, schools, hospitals, facilities focused on the aging, offices and businesses seeking to reduce stress and build team cohesion. https://remo.com/experience/post/healthrhythms/
Please contact me to discuss scheduling HealthRhythms® for your group, school or business.
New Service – End of Life Companion Services
I am adding a new service in addition to spiritual companioning, SoulCollage®, labyrinth and HealthRhythms®. I feel a call to companion folks in their autumn and winter years – those who are facing terminal illness and death.
Some who engage in that kind of work call themselves end-of-life doulas. A doula is a Greek word, which long ago referred to a woman of service. In the 1980s, the word doula became used again to refer to a person who guided a woman through the birthing process. While the end-of-life doula approach is based on that birth doula model, the work I feel called to offer is non-medical because dying is not a medical event – it is a human event. Dying is a journey through the unknown.
Some individuals who do this work identify as a death doula, death midwife, death coach, end-of-life coach. I have not grafted on to a term yet however, I am committed to providing compassionate companionship and guidance to a person who is transitioning to death and to assisting their loved ones through the dying process.
Our modern western culture has created a deep fear of death. There is an embedded bias in our health care systems which prevents us from accepting the naturalness of dying and more importantly, how to support and companion people going through it. Today, most families live far apart, and generations no longer share homes where family members care for the sick and dying. The way accompanying the dying was handled during the pandemic was deeply distressing to me. Often loved ones were without family in their final hours whether they were dying from the virus or not.
I believe it is time to care for the dying – and those close to them – with an open and listening heart providing presence and compassion. I believe it’s time to re-member and return to the kind of soul tending our ancestors embraced. I believe it is time to return to allowing the process of dying to open us up to the inner healing, beauty and sacredness that can be experienced between people surround a dying person.
My presence can be initiated immediately after a terminal diagnosis, later on when a person is declining, at the point where the person’s body is beginning its final breakdown and keeping vigil or watch is needed, or even after a death to help loved ones start grieving. My desire is to provide emotional, spiritual, and physical support to everyone involved.
My commitment is to provide a deep listening heart to fears, hopes, concerns of the dying person, and to listen to life stories of the person who is dying. I am committed to providing referrals to community resources. I am committed to holding sacred space for the entire dying experience that honors and respects the person. I am committed to deeply listening to the life stories of who the person is and has been in their life and to helping them live with purpose – and hope – up to the final breath.
Please call me for more information.
Let me know how I can support your spiritual growth and healing through individual spiritual companioning or Reiki or support your group, business, retreat center or educational service through SoulCollage®, labyrinth, or HealthRhythms® facilitation.
Autumn blessings ~ Christy
(This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction. Spiritual direction and spiritual companioning are typically done face to face in a confidential setting or via Zoom or other virtual platform. If you would like to explore one-on-one spiritual companioning, group companioning, SoulCollage©, the Labyrinth, HealthRhythms®, or Reiki, please contact me. If you, your faith group, your church or your book club would like to know more about spiritual companioning, please contact me to schedule an informational workshop. In the meantime, my hope is that these photos and this blog serve as a pause in your day, food for thought, or just a reminder to breathe in and breathe out all that is holy and good. The Divine Milieu is all around us. Thank you all for prayers, vibes, positive energy and support.)