Tuesday, 16 September 2014

5 Regrets of the Dying: Important Life Lessons

Image Source: Phillip Brande
I know I said I wouldn't be posting for awhile but I came across this article today that was too good/interesting/important to pass up. If you're reading this, it means it is NOT too late to make these important changes in your life. Please share, I think many of us could use the reminder.

Top 5 Regrets of the Dying 
by Bronnie Ware

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last 3 to 12 weeks of their lives.

 People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

 It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard. 

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings. 

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. 

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Credit: Huffington Post

Friday, 5 September 2014

Stepping Back

My Dear Friends & Readers,

It is with a heavy heart, I've made the decision to step back from Running to Bake for awhile. I've been thinking long and hard about this decision and after MUCH deliberation I feel that it is the right choice for three reasons:

1. I feel like I've really strayed from the original purpose of the blog. While I still run, it is NOT a main focus in my life any more and it feels silly to have a blog where I don't even talk about something that is in the name.

I still bake, but not as often as I'd like to, and it is becoming harder and harder for me to post recipes.

My goal is to step back from here, re-group & figure out where I see this blog going. 

2. Right now, I'm dealing with a lot of emotional baggage. My anxiety is at an all time high, as is my eating/binging. I feel that I need to step back and take some time for me. I've already put a lot of important things in place, but having this blog and not posting to it causes me a lot of stress. .

I also don't feel like I have much more to give anywhere, let alone here. 

3. Work. Ah, isn't is always work that gets in the way? In my case, it is a happy change at work but will require more and more time & energy from me. I won't have the time/energy after work to back, take pictures & post, especially as I enter the busy season at work.

This is by NO means the end, far from it. This is just a break to figure out what the next steps are.

I will still post from time to time on my Facebook Page with great recipes and funny pictures as I will be pinning & tweeting. I just won't be posting here. 

Thank you so much to everyone who has read this blog (especially my amazing friends who read every post & tell me on a regular basis how much they love my blog, I can't tell you how much that means to me) and I hope you will re-join me in 2015 for all new adventures.

Love you all, Lisa