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What Really Matters: Everyday Spirituality

What Really Matters: Everyday Spirituality

By Karen Wyatt
Dr. Karen Wyatt shares the life wisdom she learned from her hospice patients as they faced their last days. Learn how to navigate life's challenges and become your best self in the process as Karen shares what she's learning from day to day on her own journey. You'll discover tools, practices, wisdom, and stories to help you figure out what really matters in your own life.
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Ep. 11 Getting Through the Down Times
It's challenging when we feel despair or depression hovering around us and we don't really know why it's there. But, like Rumi's poem The Guest House, it's important to welcome in even the feelings we don't like and wish would leave us alone. So today I'm recommitting to accepting my own despair and letting it in the door. I'll stop rejecting this down time, allow it to be present, and receive whatever it has to teach me. I'll also stop judging myself for wanting to push away the negative feelings. If you are feeling down right now too just remember that you're not alone, we all go through these days and weeks, and it will go away someday. I'll check back in when things are going better to look at these down days from the other side!
June 7, 2021
Ep. 10 Order and Disorder
In this episode I share a simple model for how spiritual growth occurs based on the work of Fr. Richard Rohr: Order, Disorder, Reorder. We'll talk about each of these 3 stages and how to navigate them with a focus on finding a "thread" that carries you through each time of life, loving the life you have, and learning to cherish change and impermanence.
June 1, 2021
Ep. 9 Post-Traumatic Growth in Real Life
Today let's talk about how our greatest devastation can lead to transformation and growth. I've experienced it in my own life and have been excited to read the research on Post-Traumatic Growth. This coincided with reading about Dr. Edith Eger who is a survivor of Auschwitz and wrote about her own healing and growth after the horror of her experiences in early life. She writes about having been victimized but not being a victim and how she chooses to be responsible for her own growth and happiness.  Research on Post-Traumatic Growth by Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun UNC: Article from Psychology Today Father Richard Rohr's Center for Action and Contemplation Dr. Edith Eger's website
May 24, 2021
Ep. 8 Impermanence: Why It's Good to be Mortal
Learn the lesson of impermanence and why it is essential for life. This episode includes: The Buddhist concept of impermanence. How everything that is fleeting becomes more precious to us. Entropy – the 2nd law of thermodynamics – from the Greek word entropia, which means a turning toward or transformation. How life moves from order to disorder, structure to non-structure, physical form to energetic form or Soul. The benefits of mortality: Creativity, growth and transformation are made possible, Even our suffering and pain will not last (“this too shall pass”), This is the unifying characteristic of all humans on the planet: we all will die one day and we all grieve over our loved ones who have died. Rituals for getting comfortable with and honoring our impermanence: Contemplation and journaling using books like The Tao of Death, Observation of nature, Mandala creation, Flowing water ritual. We are here to dissolve into love, our ultimate destiny.
May 24, 2021
Ep. 7 Surrender: How to Let Go of What You Thought Should Happen
Learn how to let go of expectations and your bitterness over life’s disappointments. This episode includes: How suffering increases when we believe that things should have been different. How clinging to the need to control the events of life can lead to bitterness and regret. Life flows like a river and we cannot control or stop the flow by resisting it. Why staying attached to our expectations keeps us from experiencing what life is offering us in each and every moment. How to reframe disappointments by being curious about what life is bringing. Journaling practice to identify attachments and resentments so that they can be reframed. Bridge ritual for letting go of attachments and receiving the flow of life. Untying the knots as a practice for letting go. (Thank you to our beloved angel Megory Anderson and her book Sacred Dying)
May 24, 2021
Ep. 6 Purpose: How to Figure Out Why You're Here
Learn how to find more clarity about your life’s purpose and why it’s not just about choosing the right career path. This episode includes: The difference between “inner” and “outer” purpose. Why it’s important to recognize that there is a larger reason for our existence. Why we must change ourselves before we try to change the world. Steps to discovering your inner purpose: Awaken to the fact that you are here to learn, Look for recurring themes in your life so far, Journal about the pain and suffering you have experienced since they often center around your inner purpose. How the Japanese concept of “ikigai” can help you find your outer purpose: What you love, What you are good at, What the world needs, What you can be paid for. Why your outer purpose should align with you inner purpose. Why you need to let go of attachment to your outer purpose and accept change in your life. If you touch one thing with deep awareness, you touch everything. – Thich Nhat Hahn
May 24, 2021
Ep. 5 The Present Moment: How to Be Right Here, Right Now
Learn how to make the most of the present moment and give the gift of presence to those you love. This episode includes: Presence is an essential skill for working with dying patients. Many dying patients seem to have a new-found ability to focus on the present and appreciate each moment. According to Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn presence is the ability to align body, mind, spirit, emotions in a single focus on the here and now. Being fully present with a patient or a loved one allows us to create a sacred space within which healing and transformation can occur. Steps for developing the skill of presence: Create time (5 minutes) and space for stillness each day, Tune in to your physical body, Breathe deeply with intention, Allow emotions to arise without attaching to them, Let thoughts drift by. Practice total focus during small moments e.g. eating a special food, watching a sunset, listening to music, spending time in nature, being with a loved one. Daily AWE Practice: I am Awake in this moment I am Willing to experience and accept whatever life brings in this moment I am Engaged fully in living my life moment to moment When someone is about to die, if you sit with him stably and solidly, that alone may be enough to help him leave this life with ease. – Thich Nhat Hahn
May 24, 2021
Ep. 4 Forgiveness: How to Move Beyond Outrage
Learn the importance of forgiveness for moving forward in society, personal life, and spiritual growth. This episode includes: Why there is so much outrage in our society today. Why we need to remember our interconnectedness and interdependence in order to solve the problems we are facing, How hospice patients focus on forgiveness as they face the end of life, How forgiveness benefits health, relationships and spiritual growth. Why forgiveness should be an intentional, daily practice. Tools for practicing forgiveness: Journaling, the “4-View” Process for forgiveness, Ho’oponopono. Forgiveness is the fragrance a flower gives when it is crushed. -Anonymous
May 24, 2021
Ep. 3 Love: The Power of the Broken Heart
In this episode I share how love can transform and heal our lives even during our last days. This episode includes: The story of my “Love Project”. The importance of love for those at the end of life. How forgiveness makes room for even greater love. The many ways love can break our hearts. Why we need to remain open to love even after we have been hurt. The “violin metaphor” and why we should allow love to hollow us out. Practices for opening to love.
May 24, 2021
Ep. 2 Suffering: The Thorn and The Rose
In this episode I discuss how our greatest tragedies can ultimately lead us to growth through the gift of grace. This is the lesson of Suffering, the first of the 7 lessons I learned from my hospice patients.  This episode includes: How my father’s suicide changed the trajectory of my life. Why the remedy for pain is found “inside the pain” as Rumi wrote. There is no “other side” of the tunnel of grief. How our grief journey can only be viewed clearly in retrospect. How to “burn our pain as fuel”. The meaning of grace and how it arrives as a mystery. How sorrow prepares us for joy. I do not at all understand the mystery of grace–only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us. – Anne Lamott
May 24, 2021
Ep. 1 Introduction to the 7 Lessons
For the very first episode of this podcast I introduce you to the 7 lessons I learned from my hospice patients and wrote about in my books: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying and The Journey from Ego to Soul.  We'll be diving into each of these lessons in upcoming episodes but this is a brief overview to get you started. These lessons are the foundation of all the spiritual work I've been doing and I hope they will help you visualize your own journey to becoming the best person you can be, even in a world full of challenges: Suffering Love Forgiveness The Present Moment Purpose Surrender Impermanence We have so much more to talk about! Check out the next 7 episodes to go deep with me on these lessons! Leave a message
May 24, 2021
What Really Matters is hosted by Dr. Karen Wyatt who shares the lessons she learned from her patients facing the end of life. She'll share this life wisdom along with what it actually takes to put these lessons into practice in our own lives. She'll be sharing how we navigate the ups and downs of this life and these challenging times while we work to become our best selves.  This podcast makes sure we focus on the important stuff of life and don’t lose sight of What Really Matters when things get tough. Tune in to hear stories and poems, to laugh and sometimes cry and to get inspired to live your own best life. Leave a voice message about your own journey and it might be shared on the podcast.
May 18, 2021