March 31, 2013

You Can't Bottle Grief...or Your Creativity & What You Are Meant To Bring Into The World

After people die those left behind keep finding "pockets of grief".  It's been almost a year since my mother died.  Her funeral was the day of my first The Black Folder Workshop which was cancelled. Well, I haven't really put dedicated action and effort towards The Black Folder Project since her death...then...two things happened over the past two weeks:
  1. I got an email from someone asking me what the "Process" was about.  That was over two weeks ago.  I kept thinking about the email and what my response was going to be.  "It's another one of my hair brain ideas that the world isn't ready for".  That's what I wanted to respond, because that's how I was feeling, but that wouldn't be professional. As I type this I still haven't penned the email to the gentleman, but I will. 
  2. My sister and cousin came to visit on their way to the sun and beach.  I looked at them sitting at the kitchen table as they were talking about getting older, feeling old and being old. I thought how much of a disservice it would be NOT to give them a black folder.  I briefly explained the whole thing by showing them my own black folder to my now grown son, David. As I was showing it to them I noticed that the last letter to my son was dated April 1st, 2012 - a year ago. 
My cousin asked something interesting. She asked when was I going to get back on this project and schedule another workshop. I told her soon since it was almost a year since my mother and her aunt had died.

January 3, 2013

Face-to-Face Workshops - Maybe Not...

It's become clear to me that face-to-face workshops may not be the way to start.

It's been six months since I've had to reschedule the July workshop.

Looking at my life for the last six months, it has been difficult to find the time to be coordinating a workshop.

It's occurred to me that maybe this tool needs to be a product (something a person can purchase and do at home in their private time).

I would be happy to consult one-on-one or over the phone to help with the process.

Basically I'm retooling THE BLACK FOLDER PROJECT--- working on making a product/package for folks instead of a workshop to experience.

November 4, 2012

Confronting Your Own Death

“The great secret of death, and perhaps its deeper connection with us, is this: that, in taking from us a being we have loved and venerated, death does not wound us without, at the same time, lifting us toward a more perfect understanding of this being and of ourselves.” 
– Rilke

You can not escape death.

You can not escape the fact that those you love will die.

You can not escape that you too will die.

Death belongs to life.

Facing death makes us more alive.

Right now, if you are reading this, then you are alive.

Live the life that you are destined to live.  Live the life you are meant to live.

Live Your Life Like It Were A Song

August 3, 2012

Like Death ... A Mack Truck Coming At You Can't Be Ignored

As I was preparing for the first workshop I was thinking of my elevator speech to quickly explain the project and I boiled it down to saying: "You will have an opportunity to write your 'Just In Case I Get Hit by a Mack Truck Letter' to loved ones".

I thought it would make the subject a little lighter, give folks a visual and something everyone could relate to.

Well, I've been traveling on the road a lot, since my mother's death, and I've been looking for Mack Trucks as I've been driving.

Although there are a lot of big trucks on the road you don't see many MACK trucks, but when you do see them, you CAN'T ignore them.

The word MACK is written on the grill in big bold letters. The only other truck that I saw that had it's brand predominately on the grill was GMC but it just didn't have that same bold feel as the word MACK.

July 24, 2012

Death is Like Moving to Another City

If you were moving to another city from your home town would you plan for it?

Yes, you would.

You would probably figure out where you are going first, then you would start making preparations to leave your home town.  You would close out accounts, resign from your job, say bye to your friends, sale your house, start packing your things, give away things you don't need, and start on your journey to your new town.

Death is like moving to another city.

July 21, 2012

First Workshop Cancelled...Because Today Was My Mother's Funeral...

I don't know if this is ironic or providence. Today was the date for the first Black Folder Project Workshop and it was cancelled because my mom died on Monday and today was her funeral. I don't know what that means. I just don't know yet, but I know that it has a meaning.  Going through all of the emotions created by the thoughts and memories of my mother over the last week has helped me to see how much I have grown (or not) regarding inner wholeness and peace.  In some aspects I have matured in others I realized I fell terribly short (and only my son really got to see those raw misplaced emotions).

Death is Real - Face it
In all of this I realize, again, that death is a part of life.  You can't escape the death of loved ones or your own death.  At first I was a little "skittish" about even writing the word death on this project for fear it would make some people afraid.  

Actually I asked a preacher friend of mine to look at the website and tell me what she thought. I really wanted to know if she thought churches would welcome me in their buildings and congregations and she said "traditional" preachers might be "skittish" at the topic.  That was interesting, and it will be interesting going forward just how many "traditional" preachers will embrace this head on - for real - not the scaring people about death (the frightening door as Marie Howe calls death in her poem), but really helping people to prepare for it. 

Well, at this point, today, I feel like - so be it.  Death it is.  Straight-up. Bold-faced. This project is about Life and DEATH.  I looked at death in the face today.  In my mother's face and death wasn't scary.  Looking at her face, it wasn't my mother's face, no more than it was my friend Bill's or my brother Paul Wesley's or my father's.  

July Flyer