My life is being infused with light understanding insight through reading Kathleen Dowling Singh’s wondrous The Grace in Aging. The book’s quiet wowness touches & connects with my deepest places. Blessing on Bethany for lending it to me!
My world shifted last night, reading before turning out the lights & slipping off into sleep, reading, “Striving to awaken is the action of self-cherishing & will keep us trapped.” In an instant, I went from groggy to fully attentive. Striving to awaken is a dead end? “Ego’s strategies are incapable of moving beyond ego.” Her words truly sang to me, then she totally zapped me – “To create the causes of awakening, on the other hand, is the wise action of a lightly-held functioning self, spurred by essential longing.” (p. 32-3)
Kathleen doesn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know – I just didn’t know that I knew it. She drapes language around the shoulders of something already in my heart but hadn’t connected with my mind. Striving sounds great, but creating is what matters.
Feeling WOWed by what she wrote, I wanted to connect with Kathleen, let her know. Discovered this morning that she died last October. She died. At 71. Yet instead of wanting to howl at the moon in sadness, her death registered as a reminder to DO now, not to postpone until some nebulous later. To live fully & productively, compassionately & tenderly.
As much as I regret never being able to tell her thanks, I am grateful for the sense of Kathleen that I have, thanks to her loved ones’ wonderful words after her passing six months ago:
On October 1, 2017, our beloved mother, Kathleen Dowling Singh, died surrounded by loving family… She is survived by four children, twelve grandchildren, and innumberable loving friends.
The world lost a beautiful soul, whose life was dedicated to the healing of those around her. She was an author, therapist, teacher, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. To her family & friends, she was always full of love & compassion, a trusted confidante, companion, mentor & guide. She was a soothing presence to each of us and her home was a refuge of comfort and serenity. We are incredibly blessed to have had her in our lives.
Kathleen was selfless, she never took more than needed & contributed far more as a teacher & healer. Her memory lives on in the lives of her family and all the lives she touched, emotionally & spiritually. Her family takes comfort in knowing there are many others who love her as deeply as we do.
Even in death, we know she is always with us, she was a gift – not just ours to keep. Her wisdom will live in her teachings and books – The Gift of Dying, The Gift of Aging, The Gift of Living, and Unbinding – the Grace Beyond Self.
As she so beautifully stated, “something of defeat, something of tragedy, can be a sacrament because it stops us & causes us to look deeper.” That is her gift to us all. ~ ~ ~ Herald Tribune, 10/10/17
Life is about doing, not about age. Some people live to their nineties without apparently finding a purpose or leaving a legacy behind. Some people live with grace & abundance from the day they are born.
Kathleen’s books & life are a light & spur to create, to do, to move from longing to acting from a lightly-held functioning, spurred by an essential longing, never mistaking the yearning for action.
A lot of lessons learned & a couple already lived in less than twelve hours!