We think, perhaps, we could have done something differently -- made a move or said the right words that might have tipped the balance in favour of life. Death is not easy on a regular basis, but it becomes tainted and shame-faced when described as a suicide. It's as if we, the survivors, have somehow failed to do our part.
The competition isn't won on coronation night, or the preliminary. The competition is won in the months of preparation prior. It's won in the hours spent in the gym and in personal development and refinement. Perhaps the most important element of preparation is studying. Knowing what it takes to win and studying those that had won before is where half the battle is won.
Bruce: It goes back to the early 90s. I fell in love with someone who was married. I was with a partner at the time. It was very inconvenient but deeply passionate. And shockingly so in a way. I was approaching 50 and somewhere around that point in your life the stuff you haven't dealt with tends to surface and there's a sense of a need to settle accounts with yourself, with your past.
In August 2010, I was attending week three of a youth conference and found myself deep in meditation, sobbing as if I had just emerged from the womb. Here I was, in the middle of Berlin deep in meditation, with the photo of an older Indian man with long hair and in white robes at the front of the room, feeling at my very core that my life was about to change dramatically.
An overnight success story typically travels through many "nights" before the surreal moments are enjoyed. Some time often passes between when the dreamer first sees the vision and the moment when it comes full-circle. To the onlooker it all happens so quickly. To the dreamer it seemed like forever.
I have my own ideas about what it means to control your own life and the right a person should have to end that life if they choose. But I'm not writing this to spout my opinion on suicide. I'm writing this to tell a story I'll never have the chance to tell Robin Williams, as if I would've had a chance of ever meeting the man.
Growing up in the 50's and 60's, my mother Lillian was primarily a "stay-at-home"mother. It's not that she didn't have high aspirations for her future, as she dreamed of being a dancer. However, times required she go to work directly after graduating high school as a bookkeeper for a dress manufacturer, her professional dancing dreams dashed.
There seems to be a certain level of shame imposed on people who choose to work for someone else -- people who make a living off of other people's passions, ideas and investments. The negative stigma around working a 9-5 is getting out of hand. At what point did we begin to feel guilty about earning a living?
The most common view of the human mind assumes that our normal way of thinking consists of concentrated focus upon immediate tasks at hand. But researchers have found that this is not the case. Daydreaming is now considered to be the normal state of our minds, with focus appearing as a break from the more common mind wandering.
When we have a big vision for ourselves -- and are taking steps toward fulfilling that dream -- it can be time of major transition and growth. When we are in this stage of growth, we need to muster all that we have to make our creative dreams come to fruition. Including our self-confidence. But, often it is not wise to share our vision or dreams with others until we are truly ready to do so. Here's why.
Why do people think that others want to hear about their dreams? We all have them. Doesn't that cancel out each other's interest in them? But relaying dreams is like trying to use sign language on the blind. This painful ritual happens to almost everyone every morning of all our lives. We get it -- dreams are bizarre. Big deal.
This morning I rode shotgun in a helicopter and flew though the Himalayas. I trekked through the trails in the Solo-Khumbu, encountered yaks, donkeys, suspension bridges, porters, stunning mountains and beautiful children. For me, this is my ultimate dream. It isn't luck, it isn't a gift, it's something called life-design. How did all of that happen you ask?
On May 19, 2012, Shriya Shah-Klorfine became the first Canadian woman of South Asian origin to summit Mount Everest. Only a few hours later, at the age of 33, Shriya died on the descent. This past weekend, nearly two months later, her friends and loved ones gathered at a memorial service to celebrate Shriya's extraordinary life. I wanted to celebrate it, too. So I decided to honour her in this blog.