Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Winds of Change Are No Longer Whispering

Unless someone has been living in a cave, it is impossible not to know that this is a time of great and powerful transformational change.

Our world is in turmoil, and faces economic, environmental and global challenges. It is also a time when fear is at an all-time high, and honesty, integrity, truth and compassion for others are at an all-time low.

This means it is time for far more conscious and aware human beings to step up and help ensure that the changes we face in our lives occur in a peaceful and orderly manner instead of through destruction, disruption and upheaval.

I believe we have reached the point in the continuing evolution of humanity where we’ve learned enough from suffering and pain, and that we must do whatever it takes to move beyond this stage and grow into more observant and mindful human beings.

What we really need to learn right now is how to take care of ourselves and each other no matter what changes bring, and to choose positive actions that will ensure a better future for us, others and the world.

We can do this by turning within and taking control of our lives, which we positively have the power to do. It is time to remember that each one of us is a spiritual being having a human experience and that we are individual expressions of the universal life force/energy/God – whatever you choose to call it – that permeates us and everything in the cosmos.

The truth is we are being challenged to let go of our present way of life because it isn’t working. Our reality has been focused on the external world and seeking happiness and fulfillment through material success, which leaves us feeling like victims – separate, empty and helpless.

We are being called to turn from our focus on the external, which keeps us shackled in fear, and to open to the higher consciousness-intelligence-love that is within us.

We are either in love or in fear – we can’t be in both at the same time. As we use the power of our minds to keep an open heart, this cancels out fear. Fear blocks action and the ability to reason. When we use the power of our minds to maintain an open heart and to focus on positive feelings such as love, appreciation, compassion and kindness we transform our energy to a higher evolutionary level.

As we do that, we are automatically led to live from higher standards of compassion, honesty, integrity and truth. We are then transformed within ourselves, which strongly impacts those around us and the world.

Each of us has an unspoken need to know there is still good in the world and still individuals who care and perform incredibly selfless heroic deeds that inspire and uplift us and give us hope that nurtures the human spirit.

Here’s one such heroic story that I witnessed firsthand: One of my dear friends, the late Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the internationally known death and dying icon, died five years ago this month. Elisabeth’s legacy was her incredible capacity for caring, which allowed her to become a global force for change. She almost single-handedly brought death and dying out of the Dark Ages and into the light of reason and compassion, fueled healthcare reform, founded hospice in America and elevated the consciousness of humanity

She was one person. Imagine what we can do to ensure positive change in our lives and in the world by turning within and aligning with the power and loving guidance within us. As we take control and use the power of our minds to move from fear to fearless, we gain freedom and inner security – the only real security there is.
Copyright © 2009 Fern Stewart Welch

[For additional insights, go to, click on How-to Lists at the top, then click on “Connect with God,” to read the article and learn how to connect with your inner guidance.”]

“Tea with Elisabeth,” “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within,” are all available at, other online booksellers, bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble and Borders – and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Book Reveals the Controversial and Heroic Woman Who Changed the Way the World Views Death and Dying

Muhammad Ali described Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross – the world-renowned “death and dying lady” – as a champion of life. Dr. Caroline Myss characterized her as one of the most courageous souls of our era. I called her my friend.

Elisabeth was the Swiss-born physician, author and lecturer whose compassionate and heroic efforts against great odds led to health-care reform, patients’ rights, the relief of end-of-life suffering, the proliferation of hospice in the U.S., and humanity’s search for greater awareness of how to deal with long-term illnesses and the death process itself.

In 1999, Elisabeth was named one of the “Greatest Minds” of the century by TIME Magazine, and the New York City Public Library named her seminal book, “On Death and Dying,” one of the greatest literary works of the twenty-first century. She authored more than 20 books that were published in 27 languages, were read by millions, and used in colleges and universities and as required textbooks in medical schools around the world.

Elisabeth sparked world-wide controversy with her groundbreaking approach – putting the rights of patients and their families first – and threatened a medical establishment that was entrenched in the age-old taboos and fears that still surrounded death and dying. Initially dismissed by physicians and the media as “the death and dying lady,” she was attacked both personally and professionally. But she never gave up or gave in, showing a tenacious resolve that did not surprise those who shared her dramatic and revolutionary journey.

At the time of her death, almost five years ago, I was writing a tribute for Elisabeth’s memorial service, and the full concept of a book presented itself to me along with the title, “Tea with Elisabeth.” Elisabeth was fond of the civilized ritual of “taking tea” and it was an essential element of a visit with her. Being an author and writer, I didn’t hesitate to seek out stories from those who knew her, but I also realized I would need the assistance of Ken Ross, Elisabeth’s son, and a mutual friend, Rose Winters. They agreed immediately. It was our goal to present a more complete and human picture of this world icon – the real-life dynamic, fun-loving, vibrant and fully dimensional woman we knew and loved.

“Tea with Elisabeth” features 51 revealing, soul-stirring and sometimes humorous essays from contributors that include Muhammad Ali; Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York; Marianne Williamson; Doreen Virtue; Raymond Moody; J. Donald Schumacher; Bernie Siegel; Stephen Levine; Dame Cicely Saunders and Caroline Myss; as well as family members and friends.

Elisabeth died on August 24, 2004 in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she had lived for the last ten years of her life. She was mourned by the millions of people she touched with her books, lectures and compassionate ministrations, as well as by the multitude of doctors, nurses, aides, caregivers and hospice workers who continue her legacy.

We are overjoyed that our labor of love – “Tea with Elisabeth” – is now available in English at all the traditional online and retail establishments in the U.S. German and Japanese editions are already in print.

Note* For Arizona residents, the three co-authors will be signing books on August 20, 2009, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at Barnes & Noble on 90th St. and Shea Boulevard, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Copyright © 2009 Fern Stewart Welch

The author is the executive editor and co-author of “Tea with Elisabeth.” This title, as well as “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World” and ‘The Heart Knows the Way,” are available at, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.