Monday, March 31, 2008

Living and Dying In Celebration of the Gift of Life

It is mind-boggling to think that it was less than fifty years ago that the medical profession and the world at large were still in the Dark Ages as far as talking openly about death and dying.

It was the combined and courageous efforts of Drs. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Dame Cecily Saunders [both now deceased], Balfour Mount, and Florence Wald, former dean of nursing at Yale University, who brought death and dying into the light of reason and compassion, and allowed people all over the world to die with dignity and surrounded by loved ones.

Prior to this awakening, our culture was so fearful of death that we lived in denial unable to face it, accept it and be open to understanding it was the natural result of being born. Now that we have eagerly embraced the information brought forth by these wonderful pioneers, we can look forward to even more exciting revelations.

I believe there is a deeper, more profound, and imminently knowable awareness awaiting us that includes the truth of how and why we enter and exit life on Earth. I also believe it will far surpass – beyond our wildest dreams and imaginings – the narrow and fatalistic view we still hold of the “beginning” and the “ending” of life.

This realization came to me as a result of the experience I had during my husband’s lengthy decline and death. I learned that death isn’t meant to be the most feared natural life event. It is meant to be a sacred, life affirming, spiritually enlightening event.

Because of my close association during those years with my dear friend Dr. Kübler-Ross, the world expert on death and dying, I realized that my experience was a result of the work she and her colleagues brought forward. Their gift to humanity empowered me and, hopefully, countless others to take another step toward a clearer understanding of death and dying.

I was determined to assist my beloved husband on his final life journey in a way I had never heard of or read about. Unable to do it on my own, I finally turned within. Eventually, I was successful in opening to a connection with the eternal and sublime energy within us, which we call God. With this connection, I gained the love, support, wisdom and guidance that were so desperately needed.

After completing the full mourning, I realized that I had no lingering sadness, no guilt, and was filled with a boundless joy, a reaffirmation of life and a heightened anticipation of the future. I knew this was diametrically opposed to what many people experience in similar situations, and that is why I wrote the book The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within. Dr. Kübler-Ross read the manuscript, and gave the book her highest commendation.

I believe that as humanity continues to open to an expanded awareness of death and dying, the mysteries will be resolved, and we will know our rightful place in the ongoing flow of life. This will free us from our fear—and open the way to living fully, which will allow us to die in a way that celebrates the incredible and glorious gift of life.

[To assist you in realizing a connection with God-Good, go to author’s Web site at, click on How-to Lists, then Connect with God.]
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Becoming Who We Were Born to Be

This is an extraordinarily momentous time to be alive. With the advances of science and technology we are now aware that it is possible with nuclear power to destroy our life-support systems—or to choose a different future. We are at a crisis point in the multibillion year transformation from cosmic dust to us, and humanity has a conscious opportunity and responsibility to help determine what the future will hold for all of us.

It is now fairly common knowledge that what we think and what we do as individuals determines not only the course of our own lives, it also affects everyone and everything around us, including the Earth and undoubtedly the cosmos.

Fortunately, there is a growing conscious awareness that lets us know that things are speeding up. It is time to wake up and take serious action in our own lives and to proactively and positively affect the future of the Earth. This is not a call for social- community or political action. This is a totally personal call for the conscious evolution of individuals.

The good news in this decidedly hazardous time is that we are also finally becoming aware that all the energy that is, was, or ever will be is also within us, and we have the innate ability to consciously direct this positive force to aid the evolution of ourselves and the planet.

What many of us have been lacking is a way to access this energy. Here is the process I learned and lived in writing my book The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within. It is a technique that I was led to during the desperate time of my husband’s lengthy decline and subsequent death. I believe in it and have continued to practice it for the past nine years.

It begins by being willing to go within and plumb the depths of our own invalid thoughts, life patterns, beliefs, attitudes and emotions. These long-forgotten messages and emotions have been stored in the cells of our bodies and have robotically fueled the actions, reactions, decisions and non-decisions throughout the lives of all of us. These are the unknown/silent factors that sabotage our lives.

Allow time each day to sit quietly, go within and set the intention to become a conscious, aware human being. This means releasing the energy held around unnecessary information that is no longer valid, but that subconsciously determines our actions and reactions. As you maintain this intention, trust the process, as the energies will come up to be cleared and released.

Success comes when no matter the emotions of any present situation, or past memory, we have no energy attached to them, therefore no emotion involved. We are then free of these long-forgotten “directives” and are therefore able to act or react from a place of inner peace, clarity, wisdom, love and goodwill.

We will then automatically be manifesting a higher energy vibration and will feel a true inner peace, perhaps for the first time in our lives. This positively affects our lives on all levels, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

As we continue opening to this energy, wisdom, love and peace, which we call God, we will be open to realizing a more beneficial, meaningful and productive life. It could not be otherwise, as like attracts like. In this way, we anchor our connection with the eternal and sublime something that is within each of us and everything in the universe. We then become the conscious spiritual human beings we were born to be—and elevate the consciousness of humanity and our planet.

[To help you release invalid thoughts and emotions, go to the author’s Web site –, click on “How-to Lists” at the top and then on “How to Achieve Your Potential.”]
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Resolving the Weight Issue: Living By Design Instead of by Default

Our culture’s fanatic fixation on losing excess weight is a mixed blessing. While the majority of people in this country are overweight and do need to release weight, the answer does not lie in extreme methods ranging from severe diets to serious invasive surgeries. What many people are seeking is an external remedy that is not only healthful, sure and sustainable, but also fast and easy. It doesn’t exist.

Granted, it is possible to healthfully release weight by exercising discipline and will power and taking in fewer calories than we expend. Millions of people are perfectly capable of doing this and are able to attain and maintain a healthy, desired weight. Millions of others never had a challenge in the first place. So where does the problem lie with the majority of Americans who are overweight and can’t release the pounds and keep them off?

It certainly doesn’t help the situation that we are bombarded on every side with advertisements that encourage us to eat our way to fulfillment and happiness. This conditions us to overeating. But that factor doesn’t change a basic truth: One of life’s major lessons is to take responsibility for our own actions. That’s the reason we are here on Earth, to learn lessons – and the one about weight just happens to be visible to the rest of the world.

The reality is that obesity isn’t just an external, physical problem; it is a body-mind-spirit situation and must be met as such as they are all connected. Trying to alter this situation on a strictly physical level is responsible for the widespread proliferation of harsh diets, dangerous surgeries and such conditions as anorexia and bulimia.

Through my frustrating failures to release a small percentage of weight for health reasons, and keep it off, I gained some insights. I finally realized that either I was not committed at a deep level to the desire to release weight – or I was harboring subconscious thoughts or emotions that were sabotaging my efforts.

I learned that the answer lies first and foremost in dealing with our own inner life issues. Being overweight may be caused by a fear of life itself, which causes us to believe that we need this extra protection – weight – to buffer us from any past or present, real or anticipated hurts and abuses or the insecurities of life in general. It could be the fact that whenever we cried as babies someone stuffed food into our mouths, or we were underfed, so now we use food to comfort us whenever we feel insecure or have a problem. If we don’t have enough sweetness in our lives, we indulge in desserts. If we lack meaning in our lives and are not living to our fullest capability, it feels like a deep hole within us and we try to fill it with food.

Whatever the issues involved, we need to make peace with our weight challenge. According to Eckhart Tolle, author of A New Earth – what we resist persists – and any action we take from resistance will only bring us more of the same results.

I used the following technique to unlock any issues that blocked my success in the past. I wrote out the following statement, filled in the blank and repeated the process until I received answers that resonated as truth within me: I could release weight and keep it off if I … ______________. This exercise can take time, but the result is worth it.

I discovered that my primary problem was in trying to “force” my body to release weight instead of consciously “choosing” to do so and then wisely partnering with my body. Once I recognized the true situation, I immediately felt a wave of love for myself and my body, and from that clarity I chose life and health. At the same time, my body seemed to give a palpable sigh of relief that I finally got it.

As we clear any thoughts or emotions that oppose our desired intention, we are free to partner with our bodies to release weight healthfully. A natural result of doing this inner work is learning to trust in the life process and in our own ability to master our thoughts and positively affect our lives.

My experience confirms the vital importance of being clear on what we desire, and why we desire it. Using this method, we can become aware of and clear any negative beliefs or emotions we hold around the weight issue. Then we can align our thoughts so they support our intention. In this way, we can achieve our desired result and start living by conscious design—instead of by default.

My new daily affirmation: I love myself. I love my body. I choose vibrant health-wholeness. I choose life. I choose to provide my body healthy, attractive and good-tasting foods. I choose to wisely and appropriately exercise my body. In return, my body automatically transforms the foods I eat into health, energy, strength and vitality, attaining and maintaining a balanced state of health. And so it is!

[To learn how to clear invalid thoughts and emotions, go to the author’s Web site at; click on How-to Lists then on Fulfill Your Potential.]
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What It Really Takes to Be a Truly Good Citizen

Thinking about the countries around the world that are struggling to have a democratic form of government makes me realize how fortunate I am to have been born in the United States of America. I also realize that whether you were born here or came here by choice, it is easy to get caught up in daily life and start taking the blessings of living in a democracy for granted. It doesn’t matter whether it is mental or physical laziness, or whether you are new to this country or have lived here all your life, the result is the same.

Millions of people in the U.S. are not fulfilling their civic responsibilities, and are unknowingly weakening the foundation on which our form of government and our way of life depends. This failing has now become a national malady that is eating away at our most cherished institutions.

The few requirements placed on us by living in a democracy include, respecting the law, paying one’s fair share of taxes, honoring the rights and differences of others, as well as serving on a jury. From my viewpoint those are easy. The harder part of our responsibility as citizens is to remain constantly aware of how important citizens are to the democratic process.

When we drop out of the process at any level – when we don’t reach out to help others and serve our communities, when we don’t stay current and aware of issues on a non-partisan basis so we can make intelligent choices – we basically become parasites living off the efforts of others.

The reality is that the present dire circumstances in our country and the world are such that we can’t afford to do that. In order to continue benefiting from the protection of all the rights a democracy offers, it is necessary for each of us to shoulder our responsibility for society. Most of us know the old saying that we get the government we deserve. The success or failure of our government does, in fact, depend on us—no one else.

To remain healthy, democracies require more than exercising the privilege of casting an occasional vote. They need the investment of time, constant attention and the commitment of large numbers of citizens to remain viable. Only then can we be assured of a government that remains strong enough to protect our rights and our freedoms.

This column wouldn’t be complete without offering some form of information to help all of us be better citizens. I Googled two Web sites: Responsibilities of U.S. Citizenship, which offered 1,190,000 links, and Source of non-partisan information on current issues for an American citizen, which yielded 599,000 links. Most of us have computer access today, but for those who do not public libraries offer Internet access, as well as appropriate printed information.

I believe it would do all U.S. citizens and residents a world of good to refresh our memories as to what it takes to really fulfill our civic responsibilities. This would present an opportunity to once again recognize and appreciate the blessings of a democracy, and be reminded of our vital role in helping to support and preserve our chosen form of government.

As the great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi said: "The true source of right is duty. If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek. If leaving duties un-performed we run after rights, they will escape us like will-o-the wisp. The more we pursue them, the farther they will fly."
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Living Simply and Treading Lightly on the Earth

I remember as a child turning up my nose at homemade breads and cakes in favor of the more unusual and tasty store-bought treats. My love affair with what was new and exciting didn’t end there. Soon it was television, central heating and cooling, air-conditioned cars and, eventually, all the high-tech labor-saving and entertainment products that continue to proliferate in our world.

While many of these inventions have added greatly to our creature comfort, I wonder where this obsession with constantly seeking the exotic and new is taking us. Maybe it is wisdom gained from becoming a mature adult, but I am no longer dazzled by whatever is new just because it is new.

For a long time now, I have felt uncomfortable walking through department stores because of the incredible variety of products. They scream out that we are a culture based on conspicuous consumption. I actually feel ashamed, and wonder where many of these often needless products will end up. I also wonder how many different varieties and brands of each item are truly necessary.

I realize that nationally we have created an economic juggernaut. We’re on a huge treadmill that means we have to keep producing all this stuff, and someone has to keep buying it to assure that the economic wheels grind on, growth continues and new jobs are continually being created.

Yet we are already at more than capacity population-wise in many areas of the planet and our natural resources are not all endlessly renewable. Meanwhile the pace of life moves faster, people are more concerned about the Earth’s survival, and we’re moving further and further away from nature, each other and living simple lives with simple needs. Perhaps it is the distraction of new “toys” that numbs people to what is happening in our lives.

Recent statistics show that visits to our national parks have dropped dramatically. It seems that today many would rather get their dose of nature from television.

This is a trend that should cause great concern. The reality is that we need continuing contact with nature in order to remember that we are human. The Earth grounds us, gives us our connection with all of life and confirms our authentic identity as a part of nature. Contrary to what many people may think, we are part of nature and decidedly not above it, as many seem to believe. It is not a coincidence that we live by the same laws as all of nature.

In forgetting our inherent link with nature we can also ignore the fact that we are dependent on the Earth and arrogantly think it is the other way around. It is time we begin to learn how to live on the Earth in cooperation and respect for our home and for our fellow creatures. It will require a bit of humbling as mankind has labeled itself superior in every way to the “lesser” life forms.

If we were really as smart as we think we are, we would have realized the answer long ago and been acting on it. By running roughshod over the Earth, humans have done little to prove their superior intelligence or their ability to care for anything other than their own self interest.

I believe some of the fears most of us have around the survival of our planet would be greatly helped if we individually chose a new philosophy for our lives – one that is based on slowing down, living simply, treading softly on the Earth, and accepting that we are part of the natural life process.

Then, perhaps with deep humility and real caring, we can apologize to the Earth and once again become so connected to nature that we not only hear the cries of the rocks, the streams and the forests, we understand and act on their messages. In this way we embrace the mysterious life process—and in harmony and cooperation instead of domination and mindless mass production there is hope for the future.
Copyright 2008 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available at and other online booksellers, as well as through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.