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Ep66 The power of presence

by Jacqui Brauman
June 30th 2021

In this episode, Jacqui explores a very different level of emotional intelligence with Zenith Virago. Zenith is the EO and founding member of the NSW Charity, the Natural Death Care Centre. Co-auth... More

Yeah. Mm. Yeah. Welcome to the I. Q. CQ podcast. I'm Jackie bremen principal solicitor at T. B. A. Law and ceo of literally wise women and I'm here with Bush Dannon, former corporate lawyer then head of HR and now an emotional intelligence coach. Good morning. English morning. I'm going to say head to head heart or something like that sounds like uh huh. I actually, yeah. Yeah. I'm all right to yeah, I didn't stumble over HR again. I think that's a couple of times now, isn't it? I don't know what's so hard about that at the moment. Well hey, it is always hard and you're going through it at the moment. Yeah. I but so are you, aren't you? Because you've sort of, yeah, as much coaching your sort of back into more of a H. R. E. Sort of H. R. Covid stuff at the moment. But it is what it is. I guess it is coaching in a way because people feel so anxious and don't know what to do around whether to come in or work from home and so yeah. All unusual challenges at the moment.

Very much so. Yeah. So how's your training going? Great? Great. I'm constantly sore constantly, stairs are not my friend. But I'm good. Really good. Really enjoying it. And my biggest achievement of the week actually was two cm off my arms because I'm doing measurements now because the weights aren't working clearly and an insane amount of the waist and bust. So I'm like okay. Something's working. I'm just not going away myself anymore. Yeah. Oh good good staff. And you've got more energy. Well now that I've been iron infusion and injected Yes, 100. I didn't hear about that. What happened? You were? Yeah. Well I'm always below in iron so the doctors are like well the tablets aren't ever going to help you because you're so low that you'll never be able to top up. So every year I do an iron injection. So a few days after that kicks in it's like wow, is this how normal people feel? It's like amazing.

You go that's funny, what else were you doing because you had a couple of presentations or something as well, didn't you? Yeah and just really working with Deana now the instructional designer. So we're in like full blown building content mode so we catch up twice a week, we go over the content, she gets the shit out of my brain and makes it look amazing. So good. Six month project that's going to be Yeah right and this is all for the mighty Network. Yeah well no remember that guy that's now built up the platform so has he? Yeah, he's literally built us a platform as a pay it forward for free Um at a cost of $400,000. That was an amazing manifestation thing. Hell yeah and it's better than any platform out there is a whole full blown learning management system so wow, that's amazing. So all the content is going to go in there. Okay good and that sort of it.

Well the timing is perfect with KPI starting next month as well isn't actually. Exactly. So yeah it's gonna be amazing. Can't wait. There you go. And what about you and your staff was talking about that before we hit record? Nothing. That's the thing. Nothing. I mean well I'm in the magic dark. I'm like you're manifesting all over the place. I'm just black stuck in the dark. Well I'll have to give you a manifestation less than over the weekend. Oh God. Right try and get something moving. Yeah there is just no one out there. There is absolutely no results whatsoever. First R. C. Card then a recruiter you know with national coverage, I don't know where are people, maybe they're too scared to move jobs because of the covid condition. So I'm talking to other similar sized firms to look for some kind of capacity support backwards and forwards when people have capacity problems.

Also on monday talking to another place that does like freelance subcontracting lawyers. So maybe that will be a bit of a solution. It doesn't help building team. It doesn't help to build leadership at all which is what I need but it builds some capacity at least. Yeah that's right because you're right. It's not about at the moment for you to get your team well oil because it's a bit influx isn't it really? I got the core core group which is great. So I you know, I needed some help with leadership though, but that is not what I'm getting mm So yeah, maybe I do need to actually get a little woo woo manifesting happening. I will help you, I'll help you with that. Mm We'll have to, we'll have to do a call over the weekend and I've just done it with another woman I'm working with at the moment and she funny enough, is a stay at home mom at the moment, but she was like in a CFO finance role and she's like, I just don't want to go back to that and she's really into fashion.

She just drops all the time. I'm like why don't you combine you two lads? She's like how I'm like stylists, the Cfos. She was like, oh my God, we're doing this thing at the moment for her, we're building up her, her little profile, her business and just teaching her manifestation of what she needs to create. And she's like, I've never done this before and I just feel amazing. So we'll give you some skills by the end of the weekend, awesome. Yeah, great. So I had a really interesting interview only do this one yesterday and you know, well maybe you know, maybe I manifest but just not what I want to be manifesting, you know what I mean? So I had actually come across, this is zenith Virago, what a great name. I'd come across her about six months ago, I'd listen to another podcast and thought, oh yeah, that was that was pretty cool, very interesting. Came across it again, I think in a different context difference part of her story hadn't connected that it was the same person.

Then Bridget, our last guest suggested that I speak to this lady that she had done this death walking course with and she told me a bit about the story and I'm like, I thought, I think I've listened to that story before, wow. And then yeah, here she is. And so I think in a way maybe that sort of manifested somehow into my life because I needed to hear this. So Zenith calls herself a death walker. She runs the natural death care center and she works with people pre and post death and she also runs courses for people who want to be I guess more comfortable with dying and loss. So let's have a listen. Zenith, welcome to the podcast. How are you today? I'm good, thank you. I'm so pleased to have you. Our last guest, Bridget actually recommended that I talk to you and then I've sort of told you some of the story that it turns out that I've heard about you in a couple of other places as well.

So I'm really pleased we could set this up Now your story is really interesting and I want to go back to when you were a child back in the UK, I believe. What did you want to be when you were growing up? I wanted to be a few things, one was I wanted to be a social worker because I clearly have some sort of social conscience, but I didn't really understand it and social workers were just a new thing. So that seemed exciting. I also wanted to be an air steward to be flying around the world because that was that wasn't socially conscious, but it was very glamorous and I have in fact spent my life now traveling a lot. And the other thing I wanted to be was a spy, but I really was terrible at lying. So I gave that up quite quickly. But again, it had an intrigue to it that I found attractive for a moment just for a moment. Isn't that interesting. And you have led a very international life and you've come all the way to being what you call a death walker, which is fascinating, but I want to sort of here a little bit about the path that you took to get there sort of your steps in your career that led you to that, can you let us know how you came to be a death walker?

sure, I think the most significant part of that in the beginning of that journey was when I was 15, my best friend at school died due to hospital negligence and it really landed death right there for me rather than it being old people or grandparents or you know in some sort of, you know you get old and you die suddenly it landed with me that young people died and I could be dead before the weekend And I lived for many years my young years with that sort of just sitting on my shoulder that you can die at any time. It's random. And then when in the 80s, so in my late 20s and early 30's I was part of the queer community And so a lot of my friends were dying with HIV not a beautiful man. Again it just was and that was an epidemic and there were lots of consequences in that where people were getting a result and killing themselves on the same day.

It was, it was a terrible time. And so death became very familiar for me and I learned quite a lot then from some of those men who were dying and I just remember one of them saying to me and I'm really grateful for that virus. It's really taught me what's important, which seems so shocking to me at the time. But of course his life has gone on. I really understood when he meant by it, but I didn't, I wasn't wise enough then to understand And then a friend of mine died suddenly in the Garden one morning and we decided that we would look after her ourselves that I was working in law. I offered to do it. I sought some advice, I've got the information I needed and we looked out, we built a coffin. We washed and dressed her. We picked her up from the hospital. We drove her to where she needed to go. We had a vigil. We had a ceremony that was really beautiful and meaningful for her and then we pushed her into the cremated And that day was my 37th birthday.

So it really the other things had supported me to that moment, but then it really began then wow. And then I understand that you had just people starting to approach you and and say they wanted a more natural sort of approach as well. Yeah. And so did it then just developed really organically. It did. People just came to me and said, can you do this for us and you know, we want to do it ourselves, can you guide us through that. And there was something very exciting about bucking the system about because of course I live in Byron Bay and Malcolm Bambi and so people had different lifestyles and they had opted out of what we would call a mainstream existence. And so they didn't want to get swept back up into a mainstream death where they wanted to be able to build their own coffin. They wanted to do a ceremony in the forest or in the garden or in a park.

And I just because I had law on my side, I loved filling in forms and I also was unafraid of authority. And so it just was a case of discussing that or arguing with people at the hospital or at the council or a court to make those things happen that people wanted. And then quite quickly and then I also, the more ceremonies I did, I became quite proficient and caring funeral celebrant and then I decided to become a marriage celebrant as well. And so I was often marrying and burying people in the same family over a period of time and people would often ring and say, we've been to several of your funerals. We'd really love you to marry us, which I thought was an incredible compliment from people. But it's because what I had to offer, I didn't grow up with any religion.

So I was just bringing a care and a respect and I began to fall in love with the mystery and that made life much easier for me when I was dealing with the death of small Children for example. And people were trying to look for meaning and I could just sit very quietly in the not knowing in the not looking for meaning, in the just acceptance of things as they were. And I also had to look into my own life about my own Children if they died. And I think the deeper that you look into something, the more you are able to understand it and then to be able to be with it or not. And the deeper I looked, the more able I was to be there for everyone. I was very fortunate in that way, wow. Yeah. And it's one thing I suppose to be doing a lot of the post death things with a grieving family. But I know you do a lot of work with someone who is terminal as well.

So how is that sort of developed and what different skills and approach to you have to have when it's the person themselves? I think, I'm not sure if this will make sense to anybody, but it's the easiest way to describe it. And so I sort of, I needed a big ego. So I needed a big ego to stand in front of a ceremony of 2, 300 people, especially when someone's died suddenly and think that what I had to say would offer them comfort. And so I was willing to do it and I gave it my absolute best and I crafted a ceremony and it worked. But when I went to sit with people at the bedside, I would hang my ego like a big gray overcoat, I would just hang it, not literally, obviously, but visually, I would just hang it on a hook at the front door and when I entered that house, I would just bring all of what I had, but without this bigness and I would just try and be empty but present.

And so and I wouldn't say that in my personal life at that time I was very present. I wasn't a meditator, I wasn't a counselor, I wasn't any of those things. But what I did have was a willingness to be there. And instead of fear, I started to grow trust, a trust that all things were as they were. And if people were asking me to come, I would come and I would just do for them what I would want someone to do for me. And that just seemed to work. I responded to whatever they asked me, I informed them about things. We talked about things and what I found was that most people because if people are deeply religious, they will speak to their own clergy. But for people that don't have a strong faith, what they want to do is just talk to someone who doesn't have an agenda and who also is willing to just share with them, but also not try and make it better.

So not have pity for them. And I never had pity. I've never had pity for anybody. And I probably wouldn't say I was deeply empathetic either. But I'm absolutely present. And in that there seems to be something that works for people, especially for men who really don't want pity. They do not, they don't want charity, They want something noble and respectful. But also what I've learned is that men can often be afraid, but then they're also humiliated that they are afraid, uh and that's very different. Whereas women won't have, they'll just be afraid of the unknown or leaving their Children behind and things like that. Whereas for men, a lot of them have this sense that they are not going to be there and they're not going to be able to support and protect their family and make it okay, which they may have spent their whole lives trying to do doing the right thing.

And and so I found that if I just went in and treated them sort of very equally and I didn't bring any pity into that room, but just a very pragmatic approach that seemed to really work. And I mean, obviously everyone is different, but I would start from that place and then adjust to who they were. But that really helped me. I've learned I have learned so much about gender. Yeah. It's been very fascinated. I want to jump in a little bit more about this presence point that you said because you said originally you could be present there, but we weren't very present in your life, which is really interesting of itself because I also deal with a lot of people after someone's past or sometimes when someone's terminal. And I've also found as as you have if you just have come to you for a reason.

So you just pragmatic don't talk around the point. You know, it is what it is, but I still have that little bit of anxiety about what what they may ask or how they may be. So I'm not completely there. I'm trying to think ahead a little bit sometimes. Yeah. Which won't help you. But what I also feel to just say is that also, you know, you use the word terminal, which I would just say, I would really encourage you maybe to drop back into their a person. They're a dying person. They're dying. And and dying really offers us an insight into the profound and so our language around that for us and for other people that we're talking about, I find very important and I see that when I when we call it for what it is, it really allows people to something becomes clear for them.

But so I would just say to you and anyone that's listening, the word terminal, it's not a friendly word, it's not a it doesn't mean dying can be a shark, but it has a continuum. So someone's dying and then they're dead. And those two sort of go ahead there a continuum. And because I'm involved in that continuum of care. So I work with people who are well, people who are ill, people who are dying and people who are dead and people who are bereaved. But really, so the first time you keep saying or, you know, because when you're sitting with someone, I say to them, you know, how do you feel about dying that you're dying or because often people will say I'm not dying or I know I'm dying, but I'm still hoping for a miracle. But so I think the introduction of the word dying and the fluidity of that in a conversation eventually sort of lands and so for people who are feeling uncomfortable in those conversations or tentative, let's say, I think the best thing to do is grow courage because the person themselves is in a I knew an unknown place and that's a challenge and we will never know what that's like until it's happening to us so we can never know how it is for someone else, but you can absolutely accompany them and growing courage to almost to hold a light so that they can see where they're going is, even though we don't know where that is, but we all know that if we're lost in the dark and someone comes along with the light or just accompanies us, we suddenly feel much better.

We're not alone, even though we're not sure where we're going, the fact that someone else is with us generally relaxes something in us. We feel safer and more supportive and then we can fumble along together. You know, whatever whatever situation that is. You know, most people are incredibly courageous and I see I see that a lot. So I have to bring my courage to that moment to meet them. So that as we walk together, we we are supporting each other with whatever I'm supporting them into an unknown, I'm not dying. I don't know what it's like to believe in my Children or my partner behind, but I'm willing, I'm absolutely willing to be there with as much of myself as I can. And that is all I can do, and that's all anybody can ever do is their best. But second guessing it or being in the future or trying to work out what to say, but generally takes you out of the present.

So to just be there and to respond. So generally what I do is I come present, I'm not in the future in the past, I come neutral that what's happening is neither good thing or a bad thing looking for meaning, I'm not, look, I'm sitting in a neutral position, I'm thinking, what's the kindest thing to do because sometimes the kind of thing is to speak, and sometimes the kindest thing is to be silent or a range of other things in between and then I respond to them. So, and but the thing about if you're and if you're not very good at being present, like I'm not a meditator, I have, but it's not my gig really. But what I know is that if I soften my belly, if I until it's super relaxed. So instead of being tight, then I'm very clear and I am very present.

So when I first started, I would sit in the chair at the bedside, would you know, would be saying things. But while I was saying those initial greetings, I would be softening my belly because that has this, it's your nervous system is in your gut and it really allows you to be much more present. It's the easiest fast track to be in present as a practice. And is that something that you've brought now more to other areas of your life too? It's a skill that you've sort of been able to embrace much more. Yeah, well now I'm just present 99% of the time Because the more you practice something the better at it you get. And so also I have a thing that when I die, I don't want to miss it. So I haven't spent 30 years by those bedsides dealing with people who have died suddenly in accidents to not learn that lesson, that it's omni present. It can happen at any time. So I am very, very calm.

So that for example, if I'm driving along and cars coming towards me on the wrong side of the road, I'm going to stay calm. I'm going to stay calm. I'm going to try and avoid it, but should I die in the accident, I do not want to miss that moment when my body dies. I want to know what happens because my experience is that most people believe that something leaves the body most dying people, most families or believe that something leaves the body when the body dies. And so if I'm going to die suddenly, I want to be present to that, so I can be present to that experience of that pop or if there is nothing fine, Yes, you know, the more I've practiced being present because I'm in the profound with people all the time, I have in fact become constantly present. So whatever is happening and that it almost comes back to what you were doing as a teenager as well, thinking and saying all the time, like I might be dead by the weekend.

Exactly, yes. You know, has that stopped you planning or having goals or is that just made it even more, you more driven to keep things moving because you're like, well, you know, there's so much to do. Well, it's driven me to have a lot of pleasure in my life and to enjoy big things and the small things and people and nature, I have not been driven to have a career because it seemed like too much hard work and I've never had a long term plan and so, but everyone is different, but I would say life has been very kind to me and if I had a plan and I'd gone on that plan or try to follow it, which I haven't, then I would not be this person and I would not have had this incredible life learning about things that are really important And being with people in some of the most intimate moments of their life and being able to be of benefit to them and to the people left behind.

And I, as I say, I feel life has been very kind to me and it's really, I didn't really want to go to university. But what I wanted to do was sit with great what I would call great wisdom teachers. And so I did that. I went to spend time with the Dalai lama, you know, with Tik nat han with joan Halifax who are great. They're all Buddhists and there were their wisdom teachers and to clean from someone who has spent a lifetime learning and practicing what's really important because when you die or when you were dying, it doesn't matter how qualified you are, it doesn't matter how much you own, it doesn't matter whatever you've achieved, all that matters. The only thing that will help you is your internal world and your own peace of mind, your own peace of heart.

And that for me became very clear quite quickly because I was dealing with people who were very wealthy and we're dying and were terrified sometimes because they didn't have anything on the inside. And that was a great lesson for me. And you know, I wouldn't want to be swapping my life with many people. I can tell you, it's been so rewarding on the inside and very simple, but rewarding. Not so much, financially, not so much with possessions, but but with experience and with appreciation and I feel very lucky for that. Yeah. And you also train others to do similar things to what you do as well. What sort of people do you find want to do that sort of work or are they coming because someone in their own family is dying or they is it becoming more and more of a career path?

I guess as well, like for people, I think people have always had a hunger for knowledge around death and dying. And in the past, religion has been the only thing that's been on offer for people. And sometimes religion can be an insurance policy that people take out around death and also about life. But what what I see is that when people who come for the training, so some people come because they are dying themselves, some people come because they will be caring or are caring for someone who's dying. Some people come because they have cared for someone and it didn't go the way they wanted and they want to be more prepared. Now, they've had an experience. A lot of social workers come, which is very satisfying for me as I said before because I thought, I think it's such a great occupation, counselors, masseurs, anybody who works with anybody in that spectrum palliative care nurses come because they want to know what happens before and after they get there and, and anybody in between.

So it's really for anyone who wants to be more informed and more aware and more prepared and educated for, you know what the paperwork is, how to care for someone at home, what your legal and social rights are when someone dies, how long you can keep the body at home, How to care for a dead body. What or even if you want to work with the funeral director to have an equal relationship with them, not to be intimidated by their authority, but to say no, actually we want to build our own coffin. My, we have a granddaughter, She's a carpenter. She wants to build the coffin for her grandparents and or no, we want to drive them in our own Ute because that's what we've always, you know that we spent a lifetime in that unit and we're going to do it and we're going to do the ceremony on the farm or in the back garden wherever.

And so getting a lot of that information and discussing it and curious and enquiring before you need it when you are emotionally affected is so valuable. So that when you find yourself in that situation or someone in your community has that experience. You can then step in instead of feeling helpless. It's a bit like learning first aid when you learn first stage you think, oh, I hope I never have to use that. But if you are the person at the accident scene and you have cpr skills and you can do them, then you are really glad that you've got that information. And whether that person is someone in your family or is a complete stranger on the side of the road, you, you just bring an ability to function, to be very present and to function in those moments. And it's that's a very big part of what people are getting familiar.

They're learning to settle anything that arises so that they can be practical and pragmatic in those situations and caring and responsive and emotional too. So they can have the whole, they are able to access all of the, all of who they are, not just a little part because they're in shock. Yeah. Mm. What aspect of the work that you do at the moment are you most passionate about or have the most fulfillment from? I think teaching right now, I'm here in Perth to teach 2, 3 lots of trainings and I think that's how, you know, I think that's the way you go. You know, you learn something, you practice it and then you teach it, but you don't really teach it until you've embodied the skills and the wisdom that that has to teach you and Now I'm in my 60s now I started in my 30s.

So that's a 30-year journey and and very fortunate to have lived on the North Coast where people were a bit more proactive a bit more up for something different. And so because there wasn't anything else I learned a lot very fast and I've just grown and grown and grown that body of knowledge until it's become a body of wisdom. And it's that that I'm sharing because it means that people can start running instead of crawling so they can find themselves in a situation and be an incredible benefit to anybody in need in that experience, because they're sitting on this bank of knowledge, which in its time will become wisdom and they will take that to their already existing personal and professional skills and they will mold that into what's right for them.

So I'm not teaching people to be like me, but I'm sharing with them everything I possibly can so that they can affirm what they already feel deeply inside or take what they need and grow it in a way that works for them with their personality, their role, and their community and that's very different to what's on offer in lots of places where it's a sort of tick list approach, you have to do it this way. Whereas really I'm full of respect, that everyone has their own capacity, their own inherent capacity to die well or to accompany someone well, and it's a learning journey, but as if I have two minutes on the side of the road in an accident I'm going to be there thinking wow that life was beyond anything I could have imagined and I've shared what I learned. So it doesn't just stay with me and it doesn't die with me, it's free.

And that's a very satisfying place to be at the end of a life. Yeah. What an amazing place to be at any stage in your life I suppose to be able to be there. Uh and you do absolutely use wisdom. I just feel like there's some osmosis of wisdom happening, but but it's probably just waking something up in you that is there or and you know, and it's starting to grow and expand. So, you know, playing small doesn't serve anybody. So taking a risk saying yes, I can do this or stepping up to that mark then you'll see whether you can do it or not, but and you never have to do it alone. You know, I know that I am this person but behind me is all my closest friends, all my community supporting me to be this person. But without them it would have been very hard. I don't know if I could have done that alone.

Well we all have people that are supporting us to do what we do. Yeah. Yeah, probably more than we quite often acknowledge your right. Yes. So knowing all the things that you know now and you were in a very different place at 21, what advice would you go back and give to your 21 year old self, if any, you think she needs to follow the past you followed or Mhm. Yeah. You know what, I wouldn't, I I think um somehow because you can't do that, so I wouldn't be wasting any time thinking about what I would do because the way it all happened the right way in the end. Yeah. Because everybody, I think you are purpose for living is just to become the best person we can be. And sometimes life is kind to us and sometimes it's challenging and we we can't always control or contribute to the our external circumstances.

But what we can do is on the inside just really become the best person we can be with the set of circumstances and what we have to deal with and you know, that's for each person to explore as they live their lives or choose not to live their lives. Finally, I mean, you've given us some really great tips on this already with the softening of the belly and also coming back to being conscious of the kindness and just coming from kindness. Do you have any other little I know you don't meditate. Do you have any other little rituals or little daily things that you do for yourself to keep, make sure that you're checking in and make sure you're well as well if you're you know, being there for so many others. I live near the ocean and I swim in the ocean most days. But if I've had a particularly intense experience, I will run into the ocean. Or lots of my friends fortunately have swimming pools and I will sometimes arrive at their house and say, I just have to dive in the poor and every people say, okay, and they just carry on with what they're doing.

And that's what I mean about being supported by the whole community and I would just dive into that water and just wash it all off. And when I came up I would feel it was gone, whatever it was. But I know that I I couldn't have, I couldn't have done this work for so long and stayed so healthy and well without the ocean or without water. And that really is probably my saving grace. And the only thing that I would say I do regularly, everything else is sort of random. Yeah, Well that's beautiful. It's a great practice anyway, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah. I as I said, half an hour goes so fast. I want to be really respectful of your time and thank you so much for coming on and have a conversation with me. Um where can people find out a little bit more about what you're doing if they're interested and want to do a course or something like that with you. So I created a small charity, the Natural Death care Center.

And I work out of that because for me it was important that that work held an integrity. And so anybody that website is the Natural Death care center dot org. And it has free information there. It has a range of things there to look at. But it also has a list of all the trainings for this year. I haven't scheduled next year yet because I've still got seven to go for this year. So I'm near there at the time. Too far ahead. It could be, I could be I could be dead at any time. But yeah, it's good. It's a great measure as long as you don't take it too seriously at the same time. But it's just a great reminder that all things are impermanent. Well, thank you again so much. I really appreciated it. And it is, it's a great conversation. It's sort of a continuum and something is opening.

So yes, thank you again. You're welcome. Thank you. Thanks for the invitation. I I really, really enjoyed this. I was like so engrossed or listening to it when I was driving and it was really odd timing that you sent me this interview. So I was a little bit freaked out as well yesterday because what's been happening recently is I know she spoke about it where she said, you know that you can die at any moment. It's death is omnipresent. And she talked about being present in the moment, for example, it was a side of the road or in a head on collision? So I've been getting signs from the universe to change my car and I've been ignoring these signs because I've only just paid off my car loan. So I'm like, wow, I'm literally like debt free with my car. I thought I drive for six months before I change it. But it seems like my guides and the universe has different plants. I keep getting signs like, you know, I broke down, my tire burst. My car got broken into in a really secure car park the day before yesterday and then I've been having these visions and I've had them numerous times in the last two days that my car goes into a massive fireable and then I literally leave my body and I see my soul on top of the fireball and my body just dissolves right in the fire.

And then when she spoke about that yesterday, I'm Michael, Michael. This is a sign. I need a freakin change my car. So it made me last night before bed go into car sales dot com. I need to find a car just like, this is like another sign from then is saying, this is going to happen. Oh my God, what a funny response that was my little share about what's been happening in my world with my head and like dying. So when you have these flashes of this anxiety vision that you've got? Do you have it when you're waking or do you have to have it like during the day, but I'm really calm. Like I'm not, I'm not fearful of death in any way, shape or form. Um I almost go well, you know, awesome. Like I wonder what's going to happen a bit like what they were saying, But it's not that I don't have any anxiety, I don't have any worry about it more than anything. It's like, oh wow, it's really fascinating if I was looking at the symmetry of the firewall around the car and I was looking at all of that stuff.

Um but I've had it while I've been like doing something and I see it like in my mind. So, and then when she spoke about this interview and death and I'm like, oh my God, like I just thought my shit out. So, but I I I'm glad you. Yes. That aside. Um yeah, I think it's amazing. I really liked how she explained, you know, they're being present. Like how she said she has to leave her ego, right? And the be kind and kind could mean talking or it kind could mean not talking and that is so true, but I do wonder, I know she says the ocean helps, but I do wonder how she doesn't get emotionally attached like with the whole process of it, you have to be like, I don't know, she must have a way that she can meet them, speak with them, do everything and then yeah, not take it on to be so accepting of what's happening. Yeah. You know, the emotional intelligence is just off the chart.

Yeah, yeah. And I think her awareness, I really liked how she said that there's times that she does have to have the ego, but it's almost like she pulls it in and then lets it go in the instances that she needs to, which is a really cool thing to do because we're so conditioned to go have no ego, have no ego, you know, and from an EQ point of view and it was fascinating to hear her say, well at times she has to call onto it because it's needed for the presence of what she's going to do. Yeah, I thought that was interesting too. But I also thought, well, it's not really if you want to frame it that way, it is ego to think that she has something to say that can help. But on the flip side it's never about her like, yes, it's always about them because ego is almost the wrong word. You know what I thought? The word she was trying to say was almost this the thing that any QB call personal power, it's a personal power is this presence is that in a quiet confidence that, you know what you're doing is really important, but in a way that is without ego and when she was describing, when she brings that in, that's what I thought it was supposed to ego because or maybe a society we conditioned to think ego is really negative thinking word, but yeah, I totally knew what she meant and then she is able to put that aside and just be there.

And I found it interesting when it's really cool, how she said that when she goes there to speak with them, she is neutral, so it's not good or bad because you can tend to go, oh my God, you know, you may not say it that you'll go, wow, this is a really shit situation for them and you put your own interpretation of the situation in the way that you speak. Mhm. But to be able to have a conversation in that neutral stance, it isn't easy, you know? No, no, that's right. And I was thinking it might be easier when you don't really have some kind of friendship or emotional connection with someone, but when you're doing it for people in your community that you do know or she said that the first time she sort of helped someone do the process themselves. It was a friend, her friend That's right, and then also being through the 80s with the HIV, you know, just having so much death around I suppose maybe is where that acceptance comes from.

It made me reflect on a couple of similar experiences I've had When she said that she had a 15 year old friend die suddenly. I had a 13 year old friend die suddenly. She wrote a push back out from the high school and got hit by a truck. Oh my good. Yeah. And it was sort of the late 90s just before there was this big campaign to make it a 40K zone around schools and that had a huge impact on our, our year level And and really, you know, I still vividly remember how small her snow White coffin was. So there was that. And also when she was talking about the silence, it made me reflect because about five years ago, a friend of mine, her husband died suddenly. And you know, they were one of these couples that everyone looked up to because they were the perfect, you know, they loved each other so much and it was just amazing. And you know, we went through the usual, you know, a couple of weeks where everyone sort of rallies around someone and then you have the funeral and then everyone sort of just dissipates and this person has to get on with their life.

And I was really conscious that I tried not to disappear, but it was also hard um, to know where I fit and so sometimes I just go around there and just sit there and recently she said, you know how much she appreciated the first time that I did that I just went and just didn't even have any expectation to talk about anything, I didn't bring anything, I wasn't there to clean her house or whatever. I just came and sat and she said that that was the right thing at the time and I was just like, you know, I don't know what to do, but so yeah, that silence thing I guess without pressure, without expectation, without trying to make her feel better or without her trying to make me feel better or Yeah, just reminded me of something I watched last night on tv and it was a guy who's got one of the characters in the Tv show, he's got really bad PTSD after seeing his wife being blown up in a car bomb and he's a police officer as we've seen lots of other stuff.

And one of the things when he's having that PTSD moment is to call someone you trust and then just get get to sit with them, literally just sit with them. So he called his partner like police partner and she came over and he's like, I don't know what we're doing and she's like we're just sitting here and that's all they did. They literally just sat there, there was no expectation of food talk, like you said, support him. It was just be there in that moment. Yeah, it's really powerful isn't it to be able to do that. Yeah it is and I think I wasn't completely present when I was doing it because like I said to Zenith, you know, I was sort of in my head a little bit going on. Am I doing the right thing? Like what should I be doing? Blah, blah, blah. But her tips around the presence, like you were saying before the presence I think is so important. I feel like I'm always either reviewing something in my head that I've done or thinking about something else. Yeah, exactly. That's right.

So that is definitely something that I really sort of dived into for my own benefit to try and practice more. Yeah. Yeah. It's that like she said, I think she used the word, you've got to empty your mind, right? Is that what she said? Something like you've got to empty your mind of anything and just take on, you know, what's going on for them at that moment. Yeah, she did say just to be respond just to remember to be kind and just respond, respond yes. Not to try and preempt. That's right. Yeah. But I do like how she does the weddings too. I think that's pretty cool. It's like this almost like she named didn't she, who she works with like, you know, and even in the same family as someone that she may have helped with the funeral. There's then the wedding, which is incredible. That must, that must make it, I don't know from an emotional point of view, balance out some of the other stuff that she may be feeling, even though she's dealing with it, but you still got to feel it right. It's not like you don't feel it or you ignore her.

Yeah. And she said it a couple of times about the non religious and still being able to have some kind of ceremony for non religious people because it's right. You know, we in the past have been so reliant on, um, some kind of religious structure to guide us through the ceremonies of life. But more and more of us are just fairly agnostic these days. And so we lose a bit of that community. We lose the, some of the ritual and ceremony around ordinary things and then the big things as well, even that's interesting to dive into. And I know we didn't talk about it much, but she does talk a lot about the importance of ceremony a lot elsewhere. So I think there's so much to learn from her and the wisdom that did choose from her was just phenomenal. And I, I feel like, like I was saying earlier that I'm sort of drawn to try and find out more about her and learn more from her as well.

So I'm gonna try and do a course with her, she can get down to Victoria in the next 12 months or so amazing. Um, yeah, I loved it. It was just fascinating. And I like how she's also just gone with the flow of life, hasn't she of herself and she just seems to like not have any of that worry, anxiety, overly planning type of life and just go with the flow and that must be such a beautiful place to be in and be really comfortable and happy with that. Yes. And it seems to have all worked out really and to for her to be so trusting that it would and also to realize that she has support around her, that if something didn't work out, she could call on that support. I think so many of us, I feel like we're so alone and have to be strong and independent, do it all ourselves and to drive forward with what we think we should have or whatever.

It's fairly relentless and I think maybe that's a lesson that I needed to hear as well, because it's certainly what I do and then I beat myself up big time when I'm not hitting those targets that I set for myself. Mm Yeah, and that's the pressure isn't it, that you put yourself under all the time and to just be able to I've been able to do that bit more and more, funny enough, like I've got more deadlines and plans than I ever have, but I feel a bit detached from it as well, It's almost like, well I'm just going to do the best I can to get those things achieved and done and you've got to stop yourself. Well, I've had to stop myself from going, our life will be amazing once I hit these milestones. Because part of me does feel that because I'm like, oh my God, my course will be automated. The program Ravana can get a trainer in and life is gonna be amazing. But I need to have life amazing over the next six months as well. Not just when it's all done because I might not be here. I might be in a in a five or somewhere. That's right. You could be dead before the weekend, before the weekend before getting to the goal.

Right? That's right. Absolutely. And I was reflecting on that too. I'm like, well if I was dead by the weekend, would I be able to have that to two minutes before you know, knowing that my life was ending, that I would be satisfied, nope. Absolutely not. Exactly. Mm Yeah. An interesting place to be because a little bit like you, I'm not really afraid of death. I am afraid of what it you know, the pain that might come before that. But I certainly have a hell of a lot more to do. I think so. Mhm Yeah. Exactly. And be not just to Jackie Absolutely good point. Experience an experience. That's the thing. Yes. And learn. Mm hmm. Yeah. So there you go. A very different sort of feel with that one. But it's interesting timing than for both of us. That was meant to be yes. A message. A message we were meant to hear.

Right? Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, we'd like to hear from others about what they thought about this one. Whether it was something that people were meant to hear at the time, they heard it as well, because obviously people could listen to it at any point. So yeah, get ahold of this on linkedin, or you can comment on the episode at eq eq dot com dot au. And otherwise you can also reach out to us, where can people find jewish? Yeah. Eq dot Academy. Excellent. And your best email for me lately is Jackie at legally wise women dot com dot au. So there you go. Another one. Another one. That's amazing. Another great. Amazing. Yeah. Mhm. Good. All right, well, we'll catch you next time you guys. Mhm.

Ep66 The power of presence
Ep66 The power of presence
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