Ask A Death Doula #


Exploring The Transformative Power of Love and Grief: A Conversation with Dr. Karen Wyatt

 Released: 12/12/2023

 Guest: Dr. Karen Wyatt

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Episode Show Notes

Lessons of Love and Letting Go from Hospice Care

What if embracing death could enrich your daily life? Join us as we navigate this profound exploration with our cherished guest, Dr. Karen Wyatt.

A transformative journey awaits, as Dr. Wyatt shares her personal story of finding meaning and purpose in the wake of her father’s suicide, eventually leading her to a rewarding career as a hospice physician.

Discussion takes a turn towards the deep end as we delve into the world of hospice care, unfolding the transformative power it holds over death and its spiritual growth. Dr. Wyatt enlightens us on how these experiences have shown her the importance of love while dealing with pain and forgiveness. We also touch upon the cultural shift needed in our perception of death and the support we extend to our healthcare professionals.

The conversation graduates to the insights from Dr. Wyatt’s inspiring book, “The Tao of Death”. Drawing from this, we discuss how death can be a mindful part of our lives, and how embracing it can ultimately enrich our existence. We conclude the episode with some practical tools to help you connect with your higher self and find peace in life’s turbulent waters. This episode is your gateway to comfort, clarity, and a renewed sense of purpose.


We dive into:

(01:25 – 02:22) Finding Purpose in End-of-Life Care
(05:33 – 07:16) Trusting and Following Higher Guidance
(09:05 – 10:33) Love and Compassion in a Divided World
(15:21 – 17:27) Compassion, Kindness, and Unity in Chaos
(25:06 – 26:25) Inner Light, Embrace Life’s Challenges
(30:13 – 31:05) The Power of Forgiveness
(33:40 – 35:07) Letting Go and Finding Spaciousness


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Links mentioned in this episode:


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More about what we do at Doulagivers Institute – Click here!

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Speaker 1 (00:00):

We have to just be able to show up for one another with non-judgment. And this is what I often thought lately is that the minute we start putting labels on each other and things, we start really separating and pointing fingers, and we’re all human beings.

Speaker 2 (00:17):

I’m Suzanne O’Brien, former hospice and oncology nurse, and now the founder of the International Doula Givers Institute. My life’s purpose is to teach others how to care for those at the end of life. So if you are a family member wanting to learn how to care for someone you love at the end of life, or you are someone who wants to be a professional end of life practitioner, this is the place for you. So sit back, get a cup of tea and relax. This is the Ask a Death Doula podcast.

Speaker 1 (00:52):

Hi everyone, and welcome to this episode of Ask a Death doula. My name is Suzanne O’Brien. I am thrilled to have back our guest Dr. Karen Wyatt. She is one of my favorites. She has such a amazing platform. We have been friends for years and her message, what she shares is so important, especially at this moment in time. So Dr. Karen Wyatt, welcome to the podcast.

Speaker 3 (01:17):

Thank you, Suzanne. It’s just so good to be with you again and have a chance to talk with you.

Speaker 1 (01:22):

I agree. I’m thrilled. She needs no introduction. But for those of you who may not be familiar with all of the wonderful things that Dr. Karen Wyatt does, I want to give you a little bit of background and then we’re going to jump right in. So Dr. Karen White is a former hospice physician. She has been widely recognized in her career for her presence with patients and her deep understanding of the spiritual aspect of health illness and dying. After the suicide of her father, she spent years studying spiritual wisdom while listening to the stories of her hospice patients. From the depths of her own broken heart, she found a path to transformation that changed how she practiced medicine and how she lives her own life. She’s the author of multiple books, one that we are going to share that was just released and she has an amazing podcast called The End of Life University, one of my favorites. So again, welcome Dr. Karen Wyatt. Thank you so much for being here.

Speaker 3 (02:19):

Thank you again. It’s always a pleasure whenever we have this opportunity to chat together,

Speaker 1 (02:24):

You always bring so much peace to this space. And when I say this space, it’s not just the end of life space, it’s the space of the world in which we live in right now. And when I was thinking about our interview today, it’s interesting because I know that you followed your heart on your path and I believe that’s how that you live your whole life and it’s so wonderful to watch and it’s such a gift. But what an example. And when we just shared that your father had died from suicide and that really was a pivotal point in your life for multiple reasons, but also putting you on your path of purpose. So if you would be so kind, can you share a little bit about that and how it led you to working with people the end of life?

Speaker 3 (03:13):

Yeah. At the time of my father’s death, I was a brand new family practice doctor. I had been in practice for about three years. I was a wife and a mom of a 2-year-old and a four month old. And so really kind of just getting my career going as a doctor and my dad’s death by suicide was just such a sudden shock, as you can imagine, and completely devastating. And especially for me as a doctor for one thing, because I trained, I did extra training in psychiatry and I had worked a lot with patients with depression. I’d helped a few people who were suicidal and to think that I had this training and yet I couldn’t help my own father, I couldn’t save my father was that’s what really just destroyed me with guilt and feelings of inadequacy and really just questioning everything, everything about myself.


And the other thing is I came into medicine with this belief that love is the force that heals. And so ever since I was a teenager, I’d been studying love and I realized as a doctor, the most powerful thing I could ever do is learn how to love and show love to my patients. And then again, but my father, who I loved more than anyone in the world, my love didn’t save him. So his death in so many ways destroyed me. I mean, in ways on the spiritual path we need to be destroyed, sometimes destroyed, all those beliefs I had about medicine, about love, about my spiritual path, everything. And it was so much to recover from. I was floundering in my medical practice, not sure I should even be a doctor, not sure that medicine made sense anymore. And then one day I got this inspiration.


I literally heard a voice, which many people would think I was crazy, but I heard a voice that said, call hospice. And at that time I didn’t even sure what hospice did because that’s how little training I’d received in end of life care or anything about hospice. But I trusted that voice. So I looked up our local hospice and called and I just had this feeling like I’m supposed to work with them somehow. So I asked, do you take volunteers? Is there anything I could do? I’m a doctor. I don’t know. I don’t know. I just feel like I’m supposed to work with you. They told me their medical director had just resigned and they said, we’ve been sitting here panicking and didn’t know what we would do. We can’t keep our doors open without a medical director and now you’re calling us right at this moment. So I got a job as a volunteer medical director for hospice in that moment, having no, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know anything about death or dying, but I just knew that’s what I’m supposed to do next. And that ended up being the thing that changed my whole life for me and helped me find the healing I was looking for.

Speaker 1 (06:23):

So quite a few things that I want to emphasize here is that that little voice that speaks to us is to me connected to our heart guidance, that higher wisdom, that being part, we’re human beings, the human part really, really complicated, right? With all of the ego and things that we go through, the being part which is a part of us has the answers, knows the path, we’ll put you on the direction. And when you hear that voice and we all have those moments, when you know that it’s really that higher voice, there should be a calm piece that comes about. Even though like Karen just shared, why was it saying call hospice, I have no hospice. That didn’t entertain me and I followed it anyway. And that one, yes. And trusting that inspired guidance put her on her path of purpose. And this is, in my opinion, what I’ve learned from working with those at the end of life about the two guidance systems, the ego human and that higher being part.


And when we know that there are two and how to trust, which won’t make analytical sense many times when we trust in that it leads us on that higher evolutionary path of our soul growth and our purpose from something that I can’t even imagine how devastating that was that you trusted. It’s sort of like you broke open, right? You released what you had thought, all of these things. And it’s not easy. We’re not saying it’s easy, but it allowed you to sort of empty out to then be open to follow because you were looking for any direction. And I just want to share also about love. I love that you started with that because love is the medicine. There’s only love or fear and through fear is the anger and the ego and the destruction of separateness and all of that. And love is the answer.


However, and I’ve realized this with people in my own life and also with my patients, is that we can’t do the work for them. And I think that that is a combination of something very important for us to learn individually that is ego trying to fix it. And a lot of times we know what would make a situation better, but if somebody is not ready to receive that or do that, we can’t force that and we have to be able to step back and allow the love and the empathy to just engulf them in whatever way. And I think that can be really, really hard to have that realization.

Speaker 3 (09:06):

Yeah, I think that’s something that I gradually came to learn about because it took years of doing this work and sitting at the bedside with hospice patients. But to realize that the message here was that I needed to learn how to love so deeply that I could keep carrying love even in the times of the greatest pain and the greatest suffering and the biggest challenges that I could continue to carry love and not lose my faith in love, not lose my connection to love, and that it doesn’t mean that my loving is always going to make things better for someone else, just as you said, because we can’t necessarily fix other people. And that was something I needed to learn, that I needed to recognize that.

Speaker 1 (09:55):

So I think that for today in our world, what you just shared is so very important because for me, even personally, and I know for many, when we are seeing what’s happening and exposed to just so many different things, I think it’s so important to not lose our level of love because it’s so easy to start getting angry and look, we have to stand up and we have to make change. But if we start to go down those paths of pointing fingers and screaming, we’re not holding a space of compassion and love for the world in which there’s obviously, let’s go back to when you surrendered to let any all go, you couldn’t save your father in your definition of what you shared, although I do believe there was meant every gift in that beautiful space for you, it takes a while to get there, but you had to surrender it.


And I often think, okay, we have to somewhat surrender now that we have to just be able to show up for one another with non-judgment. And this is what I often thought lately is that the minute we start putting labels on each other and things, we start really separating and pointing fingers and we’re all human beings. And I think that the gift of working with people who are dying shows you that we’re all the same. And so I want to talk to you about your beginning days at hospice and what that was like for you and a little bit about how your life started to open up in that space.

Speaker 3 (11:41):

Yeah. Well, of course I knew nothing about death and dying, how to care for a dying patient, which isn’t that terribly sad. I was a family medicine doctor and I knew nothing about death and dying. So I learned everything from the nurses. We had some veteran nurses who’d been doing hospice for 15 years. They knew everything. And I followed them every day. I went on all their visits, home visits with them, and I just soaked it up and learned everything from them. And it was humbling as a doctor just to realize I’m not the person who knows everything. I’m the beginner, I’m the student. I don’t know everything. And I’m supposed to be in charge like the head of the team here, but I’m not the person who knows things. And I will always defer to what these people with experience tell me. And that was a really good experience for me as a doctor as well.

Speaker 1 (12:39):

I’m sure. And I often think about our doctors, especially in today’s world because as we’re going to talk about your beautiful book that you just wrote going back thousands and thousands of years where death was more common and people experienced it and it was in the home and it was in front of them and all that. But as we were saying before we started the podcast that death is a part of all of our lives, but we’ve removed all the teachings and we’ve pushed it out so that it just shows up. And of course that can’t go well, but for our doctors, we expect them in a blanket statement to fix it to. We’re asking that. I’ve heard family members say, doctor, fix this. For somebody who’s 95 years old with stage four cancer, that’s all over their body. We haven’t taught doctors, we haven’t given them the education, the support, and the permission to know that end of life is a natural part.


We treat it like they failed right now if somebody dies, how unfair is that? So shifting the culture of death and bringing it back into the natural fold of life is a multi-prong approach, meaning that we need to start talking about it and pick our wishes and know what quality of life is, but we also need to support our doctors in being able to have that conversation and the tools to support somebody with symptom management and emotional support at the end of life, which we’re not giving right now. So I commend you so much for having the courage to step into that space and taking that role without having any end of life knowledge. And that’s how we learn is when we trust in that and just go ahead and ask questions and experience things.

Speaker 3 (14:20):

And hospice is, it’s such a wonderful place actually to learn how to surrender because every patient and family is different. Every single presentation, even to patients with the very same disease process, absolutely everything about them will be completely different. And you have to be creative in the moment. And the most important thing you can do is just listen and actually hear what they’re telling you because that’s where you’ll start to figure out what the next step might be or what’s needed in that situation. And it’s actually probably the way all medicine should be practiced, but hospice invites you in to practice in that way.

Speaker 1 (15:02):

So I love this because as you’re speaking those words, I’m thinking that this is not only with all medicine should be like this, but this is the way we should show up in our lives with one another is to be present, to not take over, to not try and route it and want our needs met, but what’s in front of us. And I think we’re all really searching for meaning, especially in this world today. And how can we individually show up and what’s the answer? Obviously the answer is not what we’ve been doing. So that’s not what is working. And I think to meet people where they are just like you just shared without an agenda, without judgment, and knowing that every single person, which is correct at the end of life, every end of life is unique because of their journey and their different dynamics of their life. But every person we meet, their journey is different. And we don’t know their story. So they might look a certain way and they might have a certain label, a title or whatnot, and you might put them in a bucket assuming that they have it all, everything’s great. And we don’t know people’s story. We should never assume because I feel like people are carrying burdens, all of us that we don’t know about. And just to show up with more compassion and kindness and presence is something we can all do right at this moment.

Speaker 3 (16:24):

Exactly. And as you point out in this moment when it feels like the world is just nothing but chaos and confusion right now and pain and suffering, all the more, are we called because that’s all happening because it’s lower consciousness, it’s the ego creating all of that, and we’re all being called to step into our higher selves and bring this higher consciousness of presence and love and peace wherever we go and not get waylaid by what’s happening in the external world. We know there’s pain, there’s fear, there’s so much suffering happening, and it’s a scary time, but we need to stay in our higher consciousness and just remember when we walk in with peace and calmness and love in our hearts, we’re changing everything around us as we go.

Speaker 1 (17:15):

Oh, I love that so very much. And it’s so ironic because the first in-person, doula givers certification training I did, there was a woman who traveled the world doing peace work, peace corps, and she talks about being in Israel and Palestine and sitting with the women and they were having at the table, they were having a conversation and they all said the same needs of what they want. They want their family to be at peace, they want everyone to be safe. They want to have a roof over their head and home. And when we look at it really does want the same things. And just when you said that we’re putting labels and pointing fingers and acting separate, and then if the ego starts to create its own energy, which it does, the minute we start to do that, there’s only one winner in the ego’s mind.


And so it will try and destroy everything else. And I think sometimes we lose even. Why are we arguing and fighting if we want the same things? So what we can do, and so this is important for everyone to hear, is that self-care and taking care of yourself and then saying to yourself, how do I want to show up today? How am I going to show up today? Am I going to let that be the energy that I come up with? And also, I think there’s a responsibility to somewhat limit your exposure to negative people and arguments because it can really just get our energy off. And it’s so easy today, or am I going to show up knowing that no matter who you are in this world, everyone is scared, everyone has uncertainty of what is happening. And so having just that meeting each other where we are with no judgment and just holding a frequency of love for each other, like you started out the podcast is something we can all do. And it’s not only something we can all do. It’s actually, in my opinion, really the answer of what’s being asked here. I’m not saying that it’s always easy, but setting that intention is really important every day, not just for yourself, but for the world that we want to create and have there.

Speaker 3 (19:26):

Yeah, that’s so very true.

Speaker 1 (19:30):

Your podcast and your books have always had that high level of awareness and consciousness, and I thank you for putting out such great work. It’s almost like every interview and message that you have, it has that foundation to it. And I want to thank you for that. So with that being said, I want to talk about this new book that you have because the minute that I saw it and I saw it on social media, I saw it. I said, oh my gosh, this is so great. I need to get Karen on the podcast. We need to talk about this. So the Dow of Death is the title of the new book. And by the way, Karen has lots of books and lots of things going on, so we’re going to give you all that information, but this is the latest one, and I really love it. Could you share how you came up with the idea, what it’s based on and what people can expect from this beautiful book?

Speaker 3 (20:19):

Well, we mentioned that during those years when I was working in hospice, I was really on a spiritual path too. I was reading a lot of things and searching for spiritual wisdom to help me through my grief and help me grow. A lot of wisdom came from my patience. But one of the books that I really cherish was the Doda Ching, which is a book of 81 verses that were written, they say around 2000 years ago, they think by a Chinese philosopher named lasu, but no one knows that, knows for sure. But this was a book of basically how to live telling people how to live. And there are just these 81 verses. They’re fairly short verses, but packed with so much wisdom. And it’s incredible wisdom for 2000 years ago is still wisdom for today because we’re still just human and we’re still just dealing with our egos and with all the same issues.


But as I thought, well, a couple of things happened, I was thinking about the fact that the doubting is so powerful and it does mention death. I mean, it talks about the cycle of death that you can tell that in the philosophy, it includes awareness of death, but most of the verses don’t deal directly with death. And I thought, what if I were to rewrite these verses and include death in every verse so that I had the perspective of death kind of added in. And it seemed important to me because 2000 years ago when Laos who wrote this book, I think people then were probably much more aware and embracing of death as just part of life because it took place where they lived in the home, they saw it all the time frequently. And in our society, we really need constant reminders that death is a reality, we’re mortal. And so I thought it makes sense why now this adaptation might seem appropriate now because we need to make sure death is included in this wisdom that we read. So we are not leaving it out and ignoring it.

Speaker 1 (22:33):

I love that We’re going to talk in a minute about the lessons you’ve learned from the dying, but I’ll say that working with people at the end of life has taught me everything about how to live in the most beautiful way, things I would never have learned any other way. And the fact that we are even some people afraid to say the word death is a big part of, in my opinion, the chaos of the world. Because if we brought in the teachings which are universal wisdom teachings of what end of life awareness provides us, and I’m going to ask you some of your pearls that you have from people at the end of life, we would have a much different world that we see right now. But we’d also have an understanding that, and I’m going to say this in a way that hopefully invites everyone, that there may just be a much bigger picture of what this human experience is and what we know of it.


Because when you are at that beautiful threshold at the end of life, there’s something incredible that happens energetically, the wisdom that patients share. Right away, I recognize that people at the end of life were saying the same things of what they wanted to impart before they left. And this would shift grief and it would shift that Dewey dine. It would shift the fact that we’re not separate, and thus then we probably wouldn’t be doing this destruction that we do. So I absolutely love that. Karen, would you share some of the things that you have learned from those at the end of life about how to live?

Speaker 3 (24:15):

Yeah. I think the very first thing that I learned, because it’s what I needed to learn being in the midst of my grief, was first of all that everyone has pain, life has pain and grief, and everyone experiences that. And I was at a time in my own grief when I just wanted the pain of that grief to go away every day. That’s all I wanted. Just make this go away. I just want it to end. I want it to be done. I want to get through this. I want it to disappear. And suddenly I realized from my patients, no wait, that isn’t actually how it works. And I began to see from them that it’s actually our pain that opens the door for us to grow and transform. And that if I tried to just ignore my pain or make it go away, I’d be denying myself this opportunity to learn things and grow and that I needed to go through the pain, I had to experience it, allow it to be part of my life and even embrace it. And that was so powerful. That lesson came to me pretty quickly because you sit and listen to people’s stories and everything they’ve been through as they’re approaching the end of life and it’s like, oh, I’m not alone here. Me suffering from my grief. Everyone suffers in there in one way or another, and I’m not alone, and it’s just part of life. So it helped me turn toward that pain instead of trying to reject it.

Speaker 1 (25:45):

I love that. And I think it’s not only a part of life, I think it’s a promise of life that these are our opportunities to expand to level up. And the other thing that struck me right away working with those at the end of life is many, as a young hospice nurses, a lot of patients would say to me in one way or another that getting that cancer was the best thing that happened to me. And I at the time couldn’t understand what they were talking about, but what you just shared about breaking open. And I feel like when our labels, when we have a terminal illness and our body is changing and our titles are gone, the work is gone, the way we look is gone, the body’s diminishing. I think these people really found who they truly are, the light within them that is always there, that small voice that you started this podcast with sharing that we all have inside of us.


It is always going to be a small, beautiful voice, but you can turn that up and really connect with that and let it be your guiding light, your lighthouse in this human journey. So we all have those things. And the other thing that I’ve learned from people at the end of life, and you can share if you feel the same, is that when we have these opportunities, they’re gifts, they’re wrapped in very different kind of wrapping and present boxes. If we try and avoid them, if we push them away, if we numb or run or whatever we want, they’ll come back in a different form in a different person until we learn it because the universe, God, whatever your belief is always trying to help you to expand. And so my gosh, when I realize that I don’t want to do that again, I don’t want to do that over, I’m going to get grounded and have the courage to say, what is this trying to teach me? What is the gift here? And looking at it in a different way, what do you want to share on that? Do you feel that?

Speaker 3 (27:32):

I completely agree with that because I’ve done that very thing. Of course, at times in my life, we all have my of ignoring and shoving aside and thinking, I don’t need to think about that. I don’t have to worry about that. And you’re so right, it always comes back again. Then I think that’s also where a deeper lesson about love came in. I realized I thought that love would just make all the pain go away. And that’s how I wanted to use love prior to my dad’s death. Like as, oh, here love’s a tool. It will make all the pain banish and the pain’s not good. So we want to take it away. But I was thinking incorrectly about that, and that’s what I needed to see is that isn’t what love is for. Love doesn’t make the pain go away. Love helps us carry the pain and embrace the pain and go deeper and deeper within ourselves.

Speaker 1 (28:26):

It’s interesting because, and we think about this because a lot of us do a lot of this work with just people, the end of life and the whole journey, and when people are carrying wounds from their childhood, which we all have, that’s part of the promise of life. When we think of love of a parent, obviously it’s probably the most intense, beautiful relationship you have that there’s a lot of times that love is conditional in this human world and love is not conditional. And so interestingly enough, when we show up and say, I’m going to shower all this love on this person because I want them to have this result, I have to think of myself. And that was a big thing for me is to realize that I can’t always fix a journey for somebody, but I always can show up with no judgment to give as much wisdom and opportunity for them to have choices and to take it. But if they don’t take it, I can’t make that about me. And I know that’s hard for some of us, but it’s also, it’s an incredible lesson to learn. And it doesn’t mean we don’t show up and give all that love because we do without there being a agenda on the backend, as positive as that agenda might be, we have to always remember that it’s showing up and loving and holding space no matter what is happening on the backend.

Speaker 3 (29:56):

And then that also incorporates a certain amount of forgiveness because we just learn how to release people from blame. And you talked about pointing fingers and needing to blame someone, which is what the ego does. But from our higher selves, we learn that it’s okay, however people respond. It’s okay. We learn how to be in that space of just releasing and letting go and not holding onto lots of anger and blame and bitterness about the things that have happened.

Speaker 1 (30:28):

Absolutely. And I think at the end of life, you and I both know that this shows up a lot because what I always say is everyone’s stuff bubbles up to the top. It’s the time where it’s given an opportunity to have reconciliation to be transformed, and there’s something at the end of life as the physical body’s diminishing, that spiritual body’s growing. So there’s organically a support system of a higher frequency and a higher wisdom that allows us to look at things in our life with almost like safety mittens on from a different perspective. And I’ve had so many patients at the end of life say, I understand that now I know why that happened. And I think when you just mentioned forgiveness, that something that could be a great tool for everyone listening here. And this really was a game changer for me. It was from Ila Van Zant when she was talking about forgiveness.


And there was a family that she was counseling and the mother struggled with addiction, really, really serious addiction where her children were in foster home and there was a lot of abuse. And the children, adult children were so angry and she had the session now the mother was older and they were all there, and Ila turns to an adult daughter and says, ask your mom for forgiveness. And the daughter says, ask her for forgiveness. What are you talking about? And she said, ask your mom to forgive you for expecting her to be the mother that she was never able to be.


And if you just hear that for a minute, I think we are taught and we’re shown in TV shows, and we expect our parents to be these superhuman perfect people, which by the way, there’s no such thing. So we’ll get that clear. But they have their own journey. And if they don’t have the tools and never did have the tools to be the mother or the father that you expected, and you’re constantly wanting that and you’re angry that they’re not, that you’re just suffering yourself because they’ve never had, and this took a lot to get here. It’s an unfair level to put on them when they never had the tools that they could ever be it. So the minute that that was so clear, and I taught that to people, and this has really been a game changer for people to release that. And I’m sorry that I have been expecting you to be something you never were able to be, that’s so unfair. It freed you and it frees them. And we could use that on so many different examples and levels in our life. Yeah,

Speaker 3 (33:03):

That’s so powerful. So powerful,

Speaker 1 (33:06):

So powerful. Yeah, a game changer. So you have just so many gifts and so many tools in your courses and your podcasts that really change this world, Karen. So I want to thank you because again, it’s about how do we show up and how do we share, just like what you’re doing here, gifting us with this interview and just pearls of wisdom that can definitely change somebody’s perspective and direction they’re going in. So with that, I just want to end with, if you could give somebody who’s really struggling today with the intensity and the weight of the world of maybe their own journey, if you could just give maybe a tool about one step that they could do or take in the day that can help align them in a higher frequency where that if they put that into practice, they can start on that path of really breathing, being able to show up in that higher space of love in which you talk about.

Speaker 3 (34:06):

Well, there’s a couple of things. One tool I use a lot is simply putting my hand over my heart and taking a deep breath in the moment because it’s a really good way. Somehow it helps me connect with my higher self, just that gesture. It somehow brings me back into connection with my higher self. And sometimes I find myself flying off, I’m reading something on social media and I’m feeling despair and worry and fear. And if I stop for one moment, take a deep breath and put my hand over my heart, I can come back to my center. But then there’s another practice, and this works, especially if you happen to live near running water, and not everyone does, but that I just love this image and I guess you could even imagine it if you don’t have water nearby, but to step onto a bridge going across a little stream or any place where you can watch water flowing away from you.


And as you stand and watch the water passing under you and flowing away, just imagine that you’re releasing all the things you’ve been holding onto that are actually hurting you and that are becoming obstacles that are keeping you from being in your higher self, from feeling the love you want to feel and share and just let it go and use that moment to surrender it. And when you’re done with that, turn around and watch the water flowing toward you and feel this water now is bringing you openness and spaciousness and more space and more love into your life so that you can go out in your day. So you don’t have to literally be on a bridge, but you can just imagine that scenario as a way of letting go and then allowing higher consciousness to fill you so you can’s beautiful, move through your day.

Speaker 1 (35:58):

I’m thinking that people could maybe even do that in the shower, watching water go down the drain, and then kind of just looking up and seeing it fall. And I mean, that’s the image that came. If we don’t have,

Speaker 3 (36:10):

That’s actually, that’s a really good point. You can do that every day in

Speaker 1 (36:14):

The shower. Yeah, we can do it every day. And what a great thing I really do, and I know from my own practice is that before I jump out of bed and what I call my day gets kind of off and running, I set an intention and it’s almost to me, I think about setting my thermostat of my energy and I want to make sure I’m opening my heart and I want to make sure I’m grounded and present. And it literally just taking a few minutes to set that intention shifts me into that being, shifts me into the parasympathetic, calms my nervous system. And I love that you said when you just literally put your hand on your heart, it brings you back. And I almost think of us as again, operating in two different gears, first or fifth. And we are really in, and most people don’t understand this, that we are in this fight or flight stressful world where we’re like in survival mode just trying to survive.


I mean, everyone’s anxiety and just the weight of that. And if we take a minute to shift our gear and to get back into, and that’s exactly what you just described, not only is it just so calming, but we can connect to that higher voice. We also can give this beautiful body of ours a moment to just breathe and relax and not be in such a flight state of inflammation. So there are very easy tools that Karen just shared that we can start our day and do every day. And I will absolutely tell you they will be life-changing, implementing these little shifts that can really just start you on that path. And I think we all just need an opportunity to have tools that we can breathe and come back to center in a world where we can feel so out of control. But you can do it. So Karen, can you please tell people how they can find you? Get the new book and listen to your podcast.

Speaker 3 (38:11):

They can just go to the website, eol university.com, and there’s a page for books there. So all my books are on that page and they’re links for buying them. And then they’ll also find a link to the podcast there if they’d like to listen to End of Life University podcast, which I’d love and subscribe. Me too.

Speaker 1 (38:31):

Alright, I love it too. And I just want to share that we’ll have all your links down below and it is coming up on holiday time. These make great gifts. You can give these to people, you can do a bundle package of them. I would get them all. And that’s just what I’m saying because again, I think that we are so starving for positive guidance and things that can really help us to not only navigate through the world at this time, but to thrive through it. And these are the tools that can help you do it. So Dr. Karen White, thank you so much for everything that you do for the world and being a guest on the podcast today.

Speaker 3 (39:06):

Thank you, Suzanne. It’s my pleasure always to talk with you.

Speaker 1 (39:10):

Thank you so much. Alright, everyone. That was an episode of Ask a Death Doula with our guest, Dr. Karen Wyatt. Her links are below and thank you for joining us and we’ll see you in the next episode. Bye everybody.

Speaker 2 (39:23):

Thank you so much for being part of Ask a Death Doula podcast. Please remember that everyone everywhere has the ability to have the good death with the right education, kindness, and support. See you in the next episode.


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