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embracing change and redefining power

Recently, seven sailors died in an accident at sea. I read their names. They came from all over the United States. It hit me hard. The older I get, the more I mourn that those who die young and haven’t gotten a fair share of life. It isn’t true of course. We all die in precisely our own right time, neither sooner nor later, but still, I wish for them that they had more.

We cannot know when we will die. If we are fortunate, we age, and only gradually does death present itself. Nonetheless, we resist the inevitable.

old women and old men

In our vigor, we define power with various measures: attractive body, professional status, money. We lift weights, vie for promotions, buy expensive cars. All a testament to our stature and authority and meaninglessness. As we age, we lose that proof of our importance one piece at a time. With Botox and face lifts we may seek to delay the inevitable, but the wrinkles always win. We retire and our past positions and titles are never treated with the respect we expected. We become simply old women and old men. If we have money we retain some weight, but if our bodies fail and our feet shuffle, even that loses meaning. We adjust and then again adjust, embracing change and redefining power.

The first time I noticed my ‘dismissal,’ perhaps due to age, or at least to appearance, I was in my early forties. Walking into a room I caught the quick movement of a young woman’s eyes as she glanced and – there is no more fitting description – flicked me off like a bothersome fly. It was a moment of in-my-face insight. Whatever power of physical attraction I ever had, that woman had just pronounced that I was no longer in the game.

A few weeks ago, my husband was in the hospital. Provided a copy of his medical records, we were amused reading the doctor’s description of him as “a pleasant elderly man.” We wondered how others might be characterized and what behavior would warrant an ‘unpleasant’ label.

what we seek is power

What we seek is power, real power. When you can no longer climb on your motorcycle and ride, what constitutes power and where is it to be found?

buddhists speak of attachment

The Buddhists speak of attachment to things of the world and how things are. They urge us to pursue non-attachment. Non-attachment isn’t about old clothes or an unkempt appearance or giving up what gives us pleasure. It is embracing my life just as it is with the problems of my circumstance. This can be the devastating loss of someone I love. More often it’s a snarky co-worker, a depressed spouse, or simply my own anxiety and fear. It is letting go of my expectations for what should happen, how others should behave, and especially of the demand that I myself be better than I am. This kind of work: deep acceptance of the world as it is and myself as I am takes a whole life.

Still, whether we pursue self-observation, whether we are ready or not, the wheel turns. Life comes and goes. We can fight tooth and nail and reality doesn’t care. We grow used to a new situation but don’t want more to change.

In fact, there is no right way. No right way to meet the involuntary metamorphoses of life. Mourning for life the way it was, kicking and screaming, or welcoming what comes. Each in our own way, it really is all good.

a man is shipwrecked

There is a short story I read many years ago1. A man is shipwrecked and struggles for weeks to survive. He finds a cave for shelter, digs shellfish from the beach. Gradually, he realizes his wounds are too great, his body fails and he succumbs to death. When finally discovered, the search and rescue team examines his body and pronounces that he died immediately. He didn’t suffer; it would not have helped if they had arrived sooner. The reader is left not knowing which is true. Did the man survive for weeks or was his experience just a final few seconds, the lightning dream of a dying body making peace with death?

in the face of tumultuous change

In the last few days of my mother’s life, she told me how she longed to walk across the room and straighten the curtain just so, just one more time. Any day, every day, a simple task, so precious. No one could do it for her and she could no longer do it herself.

We each find our way, always, in the face of tumultuous change including death when our time comes. For now, we are alive. To be alive is precious in every moment and circumstance.

1 I cannot recall the name of the story nor the author for which I apologize to his memory.


If you’re looking for Scottsdale holistic spiritual healing, reach out and contact Dr. Sandra Egli at Center of Intention to start your holistic journey. Call (480) 860-0400 today!

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Meditation: Sandra Egli
Music: Torey Ronhovde

The wisdom of a thousand generations guides you today. Only listen. Without a sound their voices reverberate in your cells. Settle within and choose your path.

All of us come from strength, fortitude, perseverance. No matter how difficult their lives, our ancestors made it through and passed on life for the next generation. Over and over, until it came to you. The intelligence that guided them has also come to you.

To Thine own Self be true.

If I could present you with a single blessing, it would be the gift of Mindfulness. Awareness of yourself: body, emotions, and self-talk, all the time. Our immediate experience is the ultimate exploration that only grows richer with time. What we do or don't do, and the roots of our behavior, are accessible with the simple practice of noticing immediate experience. It is this practice that makes it possible to know and be true to ourselves.


Sandra's graceful way of listening & non-judgmental demeanor allowed me to open up effortlessly. I was certain, as I left her office, that I had received precisely the healing I needed.

Female client, age 44
Phoenix, Arizona