Are you Dying well?
Hello, this video is about Dying, not just big Death, but the process of dying which actually begins the moment we enter this world. From the moment we come in, we start dying. Now, it’s up to each of us to manage how this process will unfold. You have some degrees of freedom to manage the condition of your lifeboat at this end of this trip. By your lifestyle and actions you take every day.
This process can go from good to great or from bad to well, making your life a complete hell. The goal of this video is to help increase your awareness in regard to how your pilot your spacecraft. You have two options.
One is having a trip that is full of turbulence from the moment you take off, your trip is constantly peppered with some problems, thunderstorms, tornados, thick clouds, endless fog. Every now and then something is bothering you in life. A few moments or days ago you were happy, satisfied, then boom, anger, frustration comes back, because those poisonous seeds are within you, ready to sprout at any moment. Maybe because you are unwilling to uproot them, or you think this is who you are or just don’t know-how. So under the right external conditions aka triggers, poisonous emotions come out of you.
Worse, for some of us, we can see that down the line, landing our spacecraft will be rough, because we didn’t do proper maintenance, overweight, unhealthy, hypertension, cancer…some fear so much the landing, facing death, that they are basically closing their eyes to all these problems they could actually fix. This is what Ernest Becker called the denial of death.
A long time ago a wise man told me, every pain and challenge you encounter, face it, and grow from it, if not, it will grow in your shadow and come back to haunt you. Death is one of those monsters we don’t want to think about but it’s affecting how we live every day.
The other choice is having a flight mostly free of turbulence, this requires reaching cruising altitude, it’s airplane lingo that means reaching 40 thousand feet in the air, where there is very little turbulence, you are coasting. This is what peak wellness is all about, the tagline of my website, when you take care of your fitness, nutrition, all the way to improving your mental state…you are centered, and being centered makes you balanced, and balances you are at peace within. You move through life like a river, flowing…hence bruce lee saying, be like water.
But this requires effort and time allocation, sure, more money will help you have a better trip, you can buy more wine and food in your spacecraft, you can buy more movies, more gadgets, browse the internet or social media, or take sleeping pills, smoke weed, but unless you reach cruising altitude…without health, fitness, and peace of mind, how will you enjoy all these things you are purchasing? Can you enjoy a trip in a plane under constant turbulence, think about this.
Boredom is also ready to mess this road trip, so people are constantly running, depression is on the rise, people are anxious, yet America has never been that wealthy.
Are you dying well, is the title of this video, let’s get into it.
Throughout modern history, one of the key insights from scientists and philosophers studying the impact of death on human psychology is that we are unconsciously hunted by the fact that life is finite. And this fact of life influences how we behave every day, our goals and priorities.
Your attitude toward death is an important variable of how you live your life and what meaning you attribute to this life.
Each one of us constructs a sense of self from around four years old, and every time this ego is bruised, it’s a problem. When we get hurt emotionally, feel depressed, or anxious, we look for quick solutions to make us feel good again. Going back to the plane analogy, it’s like feeling turbulence and choosing to buy more food, or watch some movies, or go out and get distracted. In the short term, this might help, but you have to address the root issues, turbulences are negative emotions within us, or fear of death, or boredom, or lack of meaning and satisfaction in our lives.
Obesity, food addiction, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, a lot of people facing those issues were affected by traumatic events in their lives, went or are going through stressful situations, those addictive things were a way to self medicate for many, or move forward.
Now think of the reverse, how would you live the rest of your life if you were fearless of death..shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, if you had no fear of death at all, these emotions would be gone from your mind forever…How much energy will that unleash in you, to make this long flight of life meaningful, joyful?
Being fearless when it comes to death is basically mental, an emotional realization. You first have to become aware of the fact that your life will end one day. Of course, we are all aware of that but I’m talking about reflecting on this, visualizing your last day, even breath, so you embody this reality.
But you don’t even need to become fearless of death for that to have a positive impact on your life, a deep understanding of the process of death, aging and illness will help you greatly.
Ancient stoics in Rome carried a coin with them engraved with the phrase memento morris, which means, remember that you are going to die. They understood that being hyper-aware of death has many therapeutic effects and can help you get a different perspective on your life, one that might be a catalyst for improving your lifestyle.
We all know people, directly or indirectly who after facing situations where they almost died, completely changed their outlook on life for the better. They changed career paths or started living differently. Because they realized that there is no time to waste, every single minute counts, you can make this flight beautiful or constantly be peppered with bad weather, turbulences, and tornados.
A cornerstone of Buddhism philosophy is the insight that life is change. Everything is constantly changing, things arise and die…it’s the rhythm of life. Understanding this, we become less attached to things in life, we can let go of things easily, we can enjoy things without having a strong grip on them.
It’s a tremendous emotional skill because afflictive emotions like anger, pain, dissatisfaction cannot last in us if we are not holding on to them, we know they all come and go, they arise and cease. It’s the rhythm of life.
Applied to nutrition and fitness, understanding the principle of birth and death, that things come and go constantly, will help you muster the will to improve your fitness and nutrition because no matter how unhealthy you might be today, overweight, hurt or obese, it’s not a fixed state, it’s not a prison, because of the principle of change, you can use that to your advantage.
The short pain of training, especially in the beginning month when your body is adapting, or doing your cardio every day to lose fat goes away and you start to take advantage of better fitness, nutrition, and health.
Buddhism has this weird insight that Old people, A dying person and a sick person are messengers from the universe, to remind us how precious being healthy, physically and mentally is, because of what comes with sickness, with the process of aging and with dying.
Take a few moments in your day and Reflect on being sick, we are quick to forget being sick once our health comes back:
Being sick, your body is basically decaying very fast, cells, tissues, bones, liquids, everything is degrading rapidly…also, we lose our zest for life, you can’t enjoy your favorite food, movies, video games, and other hobbies you love.
You also lose your vitality, physically and mentally, it’s a small depression and we feel so weak. Then we have to take medicine, which has side effects, some of us have to get surgeries or cancer therapies.
Then reflect on old age, being young we love to focus on the present, but overseeing older people, which we will become one day, there is a lot we can learn to improve our lives now and for the future:
The body also degrades as we age, slower than when we are sick, and even slower if we are in good physical condition. Our beauty and youth also degrade, our senses, capacity to hear, taste, see, feel, each one of them can be affected drastically with aging.
Reflecting on these processes of dying and the flow of change can help you reassess your current lifestyle for the better, because you can make this long road trip full of joy and pain-free, and thus make the final landing the crescendo of your life, make it a beautiful symphony.
It’s up to you, thank you.