DANCE WITH THE ELEPHANT: LIFE'S COSMIC EQUATION
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Don Calhoun and Duane Kuss co-author the ground breaking book "Dance with the Elephant: Life's Cosmic Equation" filled with life-changing stories and personal exercises.
Duane has a special piece of granite he can see outside his Hermit Lake sunroom. There, under the branches of a massive ironwood tree, a small piece of stone is engraved with a picture of his Godmother Aunt Mary and the verse, "She touched me with her unconditional love and filled my heart with her caring compassion." It was in the month of March when Aunt Mary was suddenly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was given, at most, a few months to live. It was on the day that all the immediate family members had gathered to personally confirm Mary's health with her doctor, when the wizard of death denial came to visit at Aunt Mary's home. All the family members were together in the kitchen. Aunt Mary was to be given a morphine patch that would help her through the pain and suffering of her final days. Mary's bedroom had a door that was open into the kitchen. The group was a buzz with concern over Aunt Mary. Even after the first patch had been administered, she continued to sob and groan while lying in bed just a few feet from the kitchen. As the youngest and least senior in the group, I was hesitant to take the lead, but after a gentle nudge by my mother, I went in to visit my Godmother Aunt Mary and attempt to console her if possible.
What transpired next that evening was a purely magical experience that I will never forget and will always cherish. My visit with Mary at her bedside, was not with a person who was dying, but with a loving free spirit that was mourning the loss of her loved ones. Aunt Mary's groaning and sobbing had nothing to do with the pain, but rather to do with the world she was about to leave and her love for the people who she would leave behind. In the end, all Aunt Mary really wanted was the chance to say "Goodbye" to all who were present there that evening. Little did any of us know that just 6 hours later, Aunt Mary would pass on to her eternal home in heaven. If there was any comfort in the words I shared that day with her, the power came from the fact we both knew that death was upon her and we were both comfortable and accepting of the moment. We both exchanged our love and gratitude for each other and the blessing of what would be her life in heaven soon to come. As a strong Christian believer, Aunt Mary was ready with open arms to see her son Wayne again, who had died in a hunting accident at age 13. She also yearned to see her Mother and Grandmother again. At somewhere around 4:00 am on March 9, 2012, Aunt Mary suddenly sat up straight in her bed, opened her eyes wide and gazed off into the distance. After a few moments, she raised her arms in the direction she was looking and big smile came upon her face. I believe the angel of death was with her in the room at that moment and soon there after carried Mary's spirit into her next life, that with her loving savior Jesus Christ. The key here is what Aunt Mary believed and the fulfillment her death gave to the beginning of her heavenly life.
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The Death Denial process is at the very fabric of our culture created social being. It controls most of us. It literally controls us to the point of all of the choices in life we make. What kind of shirt will you wear today? What kind of car with you drive? Who are your friends and who are your enemies? It's all controlled by a death denial culture and dictates who and what you are. Society is controlling you and that control all ties out to a fear based death denial culture where everyone is either running from death, or pursuing immortality. This topic deserves volumes of attention which is outside the realm of this introductory piece. Learning to "Dance With Death" is the true gift that Don and I are so passionate about bringing to the world on a day to day basis.
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