Thought Exercise: To Bury or Not to Bury

Today’s Daily Prompt:

Bury. Rhymes with the Larry, Mary and the other berry but looks like jury. Thank you, English Language.

Bury is a word of hiding or of an end. It’s obscure and leaves us curious.

It isn’t a comfortable subject for most but the first thing I think of when I hear bury is a funeral. Nobody wants to talk about funerals. It’s weird and in a lot of settings, it feels like an off-limits subject. But it is important. Part of our culture just so happens to include burials of the deceased. This movie certainly doesn’t shed any light on burial….

But of course, we hope to avoid the whole buried alive thing.

The history of funeral rites is a very interesting topic. A bit morbid on one level but it’s human. It says a lot about different cultures and religious beliefs. Burial grounds have been found dating back to 60,000 BC.!

It’s incredible how traditions and rituals evolve. If we look at afterlife plans nowadays, burial is by no means the only option for the deceased.

I just recently purchased an audiobook called, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. She talks about the “strange lives of our bodies postmortem.” And how you have uh… options. Like getting involved in science or art….as a cadaver….

Yes, I know. It’s a little…off-color, taboo? Disrespectful? … bizarre?

Honestly, I was a little disturbed with myself and my interest in the topic! But when I read the description and listened to the preview, that avid learner in me wanted to know more!

This coming from a girl who, as an adolescent, kept herself up at night worrying about what life was like after death. <<<< This is way too deep of a subject for right now but my point is there’s so much to learn, even if the topic is uncomfortable. Be curious!

“As long as you’re uncomfortable, it means you’re growing.” – Ashton Kutcher

“As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.”  -Robin S. Sharma

Get out there and step out of you comfort zone!

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Wait there’s more!

The deceased are not the only thing we bury.

Sometimes we bury…..

  • something to find later
  • treasure
  • a time capsule
  • the hatchet
  • our heads in a pillow
  • our heads in the sand
  • the secrets of our past
  • or just a dog bone

I hope your thoughts are good and exercised!

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Building Your Legacy Through Reminiscence

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“You have a four-fold life to live: a body, a brain, a heart and a soul . . . these are your living tools. To use and develop them is not a task. . . . It is a golden opportunity.”

~ William H. Danforth,  I Dare You!

Day to day, I try to focus on balancing a four-fold life by acknowledging the physical, mental, social and spiritual impacts and benefits of life experiences.  In many instances of Reminiscence Therapy research I am finding the benefits of the recollection of stories, life lessons, feelings, smells etc. in all four of these areas. Most of the articles recommend this therapy for patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s  but I think it is important for all ages and variations of mental health.

Today I found an organization, by luck of the search, called LifeBio. They provide a service to help family members get to know each other in a way they didn’t realize they could.

Now, I haven’t used this service or done much more research on the organization, but I think the idea is wonderful. I found the post below in the LifeBio blog:

http://www.lifebio.org/about-us/blog/storytelling-for-health-and-wellbeing/

Storytelling is powerful and it is natural.  Why should it be encouraged?  Because it is also good for people’s health and sense of wellbeing.

Here is how LifeBio sees reminiscence touching ALL dimensions of wellness, and why it cannot be ignored as a tool to use with seniors at home, in senior living, assisted living, nursing homes, or with those who have memory challenges.  Besides unlocking a fascinating story, it leads to an amazing opportunity for engagement.

  • Physical – Activate the hippocampus area of brain where memories are stored.  “Autobiography for older adults is like chocolate for the brain,” said Dr. Gene Cohen in a conversation with Beth Sanders, Founder of LifeBio.
  • Spiritual – Deeply touch people as they share beliefs, values, life lessons, etc.
  • Occupational – This gives people an important job to do.  Creating a LEGACY.
  • Emotional – Joys and challenges are recorded and shared.  LifeBio has been found to increase happiness and satisfaction with life.  “Get it off your chest.”
  • Environmental – Life stories build a strong sense of community.
  • Intellectual – Life stories help people learn about themselves and about other people.  Fascinating new knowledge and people learn to listen.
  • Social – People form new bonds with their neighbors and become friends through the power of story.

And there they are, the four-fold and more. The one I found of particular interest is the occupational dimension. “Creating a LEGACY.” 

This is what Downright Ultimate is all about. A legacy is an important part of reaching ultimacy.  We strive to do things that we will be remembered by while we are becoming ultimate.

So let’s do this! If we remember the books that made us think, the toys that made us giggle, the songs that made us dance, the jokes that made us laugh, then we can share these things with others in hopes they will go on to share them too.

Legacy is being created before your eyes. Reminiscence and storytelling give us the opportunity to relive the best moments to pass on the joy and the worst moments to pass on the wisdom.

Think about filmmaking.  We watch many of the movies and television shows that we do because we feel like we’ve connected to the story. Filmmakers do this on purpose. They take memories of their own and add a taste of humor, a lovable best friend, an unexpected twist and we’re hooked. It makes us think, feel and relate.

Okay, you’re right, we won’t all become the next Speilberg, but we should tell our stories. And more importantly, we must listen to other people’s stories. When Grandpa says, “Back in my day …” don’t look away, Grandpa is about to drop some wisdom.

It may seem small, but the sharing of that one lesson or song or joke or quote can make a huge difference.

So now, I encourage you all to recall a time or an object in your life. Look for a time of peace, happiness, humor, adventure, surprise; Or if it’s an object, look for a special memento, an old record, an old photo, a game you used to play, a song you like to sing. Now go tell someone about it. Tell ME about it! Or better yet, blog about it! Tell a story that reminds you that you are a living, breathing, feeling being. Connect with yourself and your family or friends or readers.

Reminisce and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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four-fold life Inspiration

Wake up!!

Today I woke up at 6:00am. It has been a long time since I have woken up to my alarm without pressing snooze. Which is kind of ridiculous because I currently have a lofted bed, right, and my alarm is on my desk, which means my alarm goes off, I climb down, press snooze, then I CLIMB BACK UP…nine minutes later, repeat. There have been mornings where I have done this… maybe three times. It was getting out of control.
Today I didn’t press snooze. I climbed down from my bed and I turned the alarm OFF! I changed into exercise pants and a t-shirt, I put my hair in a ponytail and I went downstairs.
I ran two and a half miles today. More than half of my run was along Lake Michigan. What an amazing way to start the day. And now, at 10:00am. I feel great. It is unbelievable how awake I feel now, waking up early and exercising, compared to the days I sleep longer.
We must learn to love what makes our body, brain, heart and soul feel good and healthy, because why would we want to feel any other way?

Life