The Physical and Emotional Process of Dying

My dad was one of the few people who met my son Timmy.

After one of Timmy’s ‘heart attacks’ my dad gently cradled him, took him for a walk and gave him an acorn from one of the trees of Vergelegen Estate. Timmy died a few days later aged two weeks.

Twenty four years later it was his grandson Michael who gently supported my father and walked him slowly from the lunch table on the way back to his home. After that time with my dad I never saw him walk again and in January 2019, a month and a bit later, he died.

The Five Non-Linear Stages of Grief

Elizabeth Kubler Ross devised the five non-linear stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We go back and forward through some or all of these. It took me two years to get to an acceptance of Timmy’s death.

Many people disagree with those stages. The stages I went through with my father’s death were immediate acceptance, relief for him that he was no longer suffering, relief for myself that I no longer had to watch him suffer, and then finally a deep sadness.

I have found myself re-grieving Timmy through my dad dying – wondering whether the two of them have reconnected in the after-life.

Understanding the Dying Process

When my dad was dying, the Wits Hospice, who were fantastic, gave me a link to a book ‘Crossing the Creek‘ by John Holmes which helps people understand the dying process. In his book, Michael Holmes gives a general description of what we can expect to encounter during the dying process as people transition from life into death.

This book really helped give me a sense of peace while being with my father as he died. If you are going through a similar experience, I would urge you to download the free book here:

How do you Increase Your Level of Consciousness and What is the Benefit of Doing So?

The consciousness level we are at is equivalent to the lens we use to see reality. Our perceptions, beliefs, mind-set, and values are a result of our current level. Whenever we shift up in our level we change our belief system and attitudes.

Consciousness affects our vibrational level and what we attract into our life. Increasing our level translates into a fuller and richer life. Heightened consciousness not only increases our awareness about ourselves, but also how we impact the world all around us.

The most important work we can do as human beings is to raise our individual level of consciousness. When we do this, we spread higher levels of consciousness to everyone around us.

Imagine what a better world this would be if we could at least get everyone to the level of acceptance.
At the level of acceptance a person lives in harmony and is forgiving. A person is aware of the social constructs present in one’s life, whether family, society, nation, religion, or work. One sees situations without distortion or misinterpretation and is discerning. One honours equality and there is no discrimination and intolerance

How to increase our consciousness:

  1. Eat healthily and avoid chemicals and processed foods as much as possible, as these can act as an internal consciousness block.
  2. Exercise – this helps unblock stuck energy and raises endorphins.
  3. Meditation helps you to access your higher consciousness, control your mind and gain inner awareness.
  4. Stay inspired – be aware of the music you listen to, books you read and television you watch.
  5. Use affirmations to help you to stay focused and also to change deep seated negative beliefs. Quantum Energy Coaching helps shift negative subconscious beliefs.
  6. Spend time in nature – this generally makes people feel calmer and more at peace, which can elevate levels of consciousness and awareness.
  7. Approach life with an open mind and be more tolerant of diverse beliefs, opinions and activities. Exploring and broaden your own perceptions of reality.
  8. Be compassionate.
  9. Spend time with positive people who are living fulfilling lives – sharing thoughts, ideas and experiences.
  10. Focus on what you have right now, whether it is good health, friends, family, your home, your work, food, or other things and be grateful for the positive things in your life.
  11. Live in the present. Practice being present, here and now, in this very moment.
  12. Creativity is great for increasing your consciousness. Explore your creative side by spending some time doing an activity that allows you to express creative ideas.
  13. Set aside time to spend with yourself, in relaxation, with no other distractions and enjoy the silence.
  14. Practice TRE (Tension Releasing Exercises) and release tension from your body.
  15. Be aware of your emotions, but do not let them rule you. Accepting your emotions helps to disperse them more than trying to fight against them.
  16. Release your fears – stop worrying about things that you cannot change, or ruining the present moment by worrying about the future.
  17. Follow your dreams, reach for your goals and live the life that you want to live. Consciously think about every decision you make and ensure that you are making them for you and not just following what other people want you to do.
  18. Open yourself up to new experiences, people, and situations. Seek new opportunities to learn and grow.
  19. Take responsibility for every action that you take.
  20. Be authentic and don’t be afraid to show people the real you. Open your heart and inspire others by living in your truth. Strive to say what you mean and mean what you say. Stand up for love and truth.
  21. Finding our gifts is truly a gift – seek to find what you are great at that you can contribute to better the whole of the planet.
  22. Be of service to the planet and all sentient beings.
  23. Laugh and do activities that bring you joy.
  24. Follow your inner guidance and intuition.
  25. Have a consistent spiritual practice.


What Is Consciousness And What Level of Consciousness Are You At?

Being conscious is more than just being aware. Consciousness is a state of knowing that encompasses the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual parts of ourselves.

The consciousness level we are at is equivalent to the lens we use to see reality. Our perceptions, beliefs, mind-set, and values are a result of our current level. Whenever we shift up in our level we change our belief system and attitudes.

Consciousness affects our vibrational level and what we attract into our life. The higher we go, the higher our clarity of what the world around us entails. In reality nothing about our life or the world has changed  – all these changes are coming from just a change in our consciousness. Increasing our level translates into a fuller and richer life.

The most important work we can do as human beings is to raise our individual level of consciousness. When we do this, we spread higher levels of consciousness to everyone around us.

Dr David Hawkins, an internationally renowned psychiatrist and consciousness researcher, developed the Map of Consciousness® from millions of kinesiology muscle testing calibrations spanning 30 years of multiple research studies. With a logarithmic scale of 1 to 1,000 the Map of Consciousness® explains the classification and characteristics of different energy fields making them easily comprehensible and useful in daily life.

By identifying where you are on the scale of consciousness now compared to where you want to be, the map helps you monitor your progress. While we can pop in and out of different levels at various times, usually there’s a predominant “normal” state for us.

It is important to realize that the calibration figures do not represent arithmetic but a logarithmic progression. Thus, the level 300 is not twice the amplitude of 150; it is 300 to the tenth power. An increase of even a few points therefore represents a major advance in power.

Distinction of levels of Power vs. levels of Force

Hawkins segmented the consciousness into two main categories: one based in force (less than 200) and one based in power (greater than 200).

People in levels of Force vibrate in fear-based emotions. They inclined to exert control over others or themselves (oppression, force, coercion, manipulation, and violence) to achieve their desired outcome.

People in levels of Power vibrate in love-based emotions. They are in tune with themselves, aligned with the present moment and the universe, and respect fundamental human and animal rights. They use positive leadership and actions to bring about desired results.

Overview of the Map of Consciousness

Below Courage – Conscious States that Suck Energy from the World

  • Shame 20 – Someone at this level feels humiliated, has low self-esteem and feels worthless. A person’s life view at this state is misery and cruelty is often found.
  • Guilt 30 – Feelings of blame and remorse hover in this level. Outside forces are blamed for situations. This level cultivates destruction and vindictiveness.
  • Apathy 50 – There is a state of despair and an abdication of a person’s capacity to act. A person feels hopeless and feels they cannot change their situation. They are needy and dependent on others.
  • Grief 75 – Feelings of regret and despondency abound here. The life view is tragic. There is more energy in grief than in apathy.
  • Fear 100 – A state of anxiety and worry.  One views anything uncertain as fearful and so withdraws from the world.  People take action to protect themselves and to resist losing the things that they value.
  • Desire 125 – People crave things that they believe are missing in their lives.  They are quite active in pursuit of their goals. Desire includes the insatiable quest for material possessions, status, power, love, and belonging. One becomes looped into enslavement at this level because desire is a never ending emotion. Addictions are outputs of desire. There is disappointment when one cannot obtain what one desires.
  • Anger 150 – The emotion at this level is hate. Anger expresses itself as resentment, frustration, even revenge. The life view here is antagonistic, where one is hostile, unfriendly, and acts in opposition against others. Because anger is a highly charged feeling, someone who channels this energy constructively will move up to the next level and create positive change.
  • Pride 175 – This level of consciousness leads to a constant defense of my being ‘right’, so others must be wrong.  Highly demanding of myself and of all others around me.  High risk of scorn of others.  The pride relates to an underlying denied set of fears. Pride takes root in dualistic views such as elitism, nationalism, racial pride, factions, religion, as well as pride based on possessions and career achievements. At pride, one undergoes inflation of ego rather than being objective.

Above Courage – Conscious States that Contribute Positively to the World

  • Courage 200 – At the level of courage, one feels affirmed and sees the world as exciting and filled with possibilities. A person becomes empowered and takes ownership of their situation and begins to take steps to improve it.
  • Neutrality 250 – A person becomes trusting of life and themselves. For example, it is ‘okay’ if you get the job and ‘okay’ if you don’t. The life view is satisfactory, where anything goes. These people are easy to get along with, however they are difficult to engage towards causes and visions because they are detached towards everything.
  • Willingness 310 – Optimism and hopefulness runs high here. At willingness, the individual is open to do anything and everything and has an intention to participate in life. They are genuinely friendly, are helpful towards others and contribute to the good of society. Self-esteem is high. The difference between willingness and the levels below it is that at willingness, one is passionate about doing things well rather than just doing things.
  • Acceptance 350 – One lives in harmony and is forgiving. A person is aware of the social constructs present in one’s life, whether family, society, nation, religion, or work. One sees situations without distortion or misinterpretation and is discerning. One honours equality and there is no discrimination and intolerance.
  • Reason 400 – At its purest level, reason and the intellect represent increased reality testing and non-emotional respect for truth. People look for meaning in life. The emotion is understanding and rationality. However, someone at this level falls into the trap of over-intellectualization in concepts and theories.
  • Love 500 – reason is of the mind, whereas love is of the heart. This represents unconditional love – love that is pure, unfaltering, unwavering, not subjected to any external condition. Reverence is the main emotion in this level of love. At this level, duality becomes an illusion; the feeling is one of entirety that rises above separation. Unconditional love is inclusive of everyone and expands beyond self. According to Hawkins, only 0.4% of the population (1 in every 250 people) ever reaches this level.
  • Joy 540 – A state of serenity and compassion where creation is perfect. Everything happens effortlessly and with synchronicity. There is inner joy that arises from every moment of existence rather than from an external source. This is the level where saints, advanced spiritual students and healers dwell. At this level, one is characterized by enormous patience and an unwavering positive attitude in the face of harsh adversities. Individuals are motivated to dedicate themselves to the benefit of life rather than for specific individuals.
  • Peace 600 – A state of bliss where life is perfect. At this level, there is no longer any distinction between the observer and the subject. People here become spiritual teachers and great geniuses in their field to effect great contribution for mankind.  Perception becomes one of slow motion, suspended in time and space. Everything is perceived as interconnected by an infinite presence. The process one undergoes is illumination. Hawkins claims that this level is only attained by 1 out of 10 million people.
  • Enlightenment 700 to 1000 – The highest level of human consciousness, where humanity blends with divinity. Extremely rare. The level of Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus.



10 Life-Changing Lessons I Wish I Learned Sooner

In this article, Joanna Warwick gives us a reminder of 10 lessons we should regularly keep in mind – especially when our sweet little inner critics start talking to us. Below is an extract from her article:

“1. Being happy is not about what we achieve.

I had to start with this one, as someone who has spent so much of her life achieving, striving to achieve, and competing to win. The first half of my life I strived to ride for my country and compete in the Olympics, then to achieve in business, then academically, and always in relationships.

It doesn’t matter what I achieve. No job, promotion, money, relationship, house, highest mountain, or gold medal will ever change how I feel about myself.

Achievement is the icing on the cake, so it’s important to learn to like the cake that’s the sum of who we are first, so we have something to ice.

2. We are all doing our best.

I used to hold myself to the highest scrutinizing criticism and moral compass.

I was excellent at delivering self-punishment as judge, gaoler, and executioner for every small flaw, mistake, or underachievement.

However, I would forgive other people for every fallibility, choice, and indiscretion. I expected so little accountability or responsibility from other people and so much from myself.

I’ve learned to balance it out by being more lenient, forgiving, and loving towards myself and accepting that we’re all doing our best—and this rule applies to me too.

3. We have to know and respect our deal breakers.

Self-worth is an action, so I got clear about my relationship deal breakers. Sadly, I’ve let a lot of people throughout my life treat me with disrespect—lie, cheat, take liberties, bully, blame, shame, and even abuse. I didn’t stand for anything. I couldn’t say no.

Without no, my yes had no value.

Now my deal breakers are respect, honesty, and responsibility.

When we know our deal breakers, we don’t accept mistreatment because we know we’re worth more.

4. Other people’s actions aren’t about us.

When I was in my twenties, my ex fiancé cheated on me. For a long time I believed it was my fault, that it must have been something I did or didn’t do—that I wasn’t good enough.

I realize now that how any other adult chooses to behave is about them, not me. My ex felt there was a problem in the relationship, and in response, he chose to be the kind of person who lies and cheats.

We’re only responsible for our own actions, feelings, and words, which means the buck stops here, but this also frees us from wasting energy and time cleaning up other people’s messes.

5. We need to trust our intuition.

I’ve made many mistakes in my life because I didn’t trust my intuition, nature’s gift of survival, which helps us thrive.

I got involved with the wrong people, relationships, and jobs, ignoring that I knew they weren’t right for me from the start, and then paid the price by wasting time and energy trying to make them work.

Intuition can be as loud as someone shouting in your ear, and other times, it’s subtler.

When we slow down, take our time, allow it to get clearer, and listen, we save ourselves a whole lot of trouble.

6. All the studying in the world will never be enough.

I’ve spent years studying, seeking to understand people and the meaning of life, love, and the universe. I have letters after my name to prove it, and much of it was a waste of time.

Most things are just stepping-stones to somewhere else, often on a cyclical path back to what you knew already.

Knowledge is power, but experience in using it, applying it, seeing how it feels, and making mistakes trumps everything, because that’s wisdom.

Good old-fashioned hands on living and having the courage to get involved and experience makes you wise. Then you have a beautiful lesson to share.

7. Face the scary stuff.

I wasted so much time hiding from the boogie monster, the scary truth inside of me. I just had to be brave and come face to face with how I felt and what I desired.

I had to feel all that I had hidden, repressed, and buried instead of trying to unlock it all through my head with knowledge, or getting someone else to tell me what to do.

Only then was I free; I could I stop caring if other people approved of me or not and just love myself and know what matters to me.

We travel through life alone, and by becoming our own best friend we no longer have to fear being unloved.

8. Accept that life and people are inconsistent.

When I was little, like everyone, I was reliant on others and needed them to be consistent so I could feel safe in the world. Unfortunately, they weren’t, so I got stuck needing to please other people so they would take care of me, but I always felt let down and disappointed.

I was like a drowning young woman at sea, battered around by the force of the waves with nothing to hold onto, because I had nothing of substance to rely on.

Change is the only consistent thing there is. Accepting this empowers us to learn to depend on ourselves.

9. We can be our own best friends.

By facing the scary stuff, getting clear about my deal breakers, starting to trust my intuition, and forgiving myself, I began to like, love, and respect myself.

I turned my curiosity toward finding out about myself and what I actually like, enjoy, and don’t want. I became my own best friend and I’ve got my back if there’s a problem.

I came to know me, inside and out, and what matters to me, so I built a boat of substance and I’m no longer drowning. The world around me can be wild and changeable like the sea, but now I can ride out the waves without fear. The same can be true for you.

10. We are enough.

I never needed to strive to be anyone’s best friend, girlfriend, or wife by keeping a tidy house, cooking like a chef, and making wild passionate love every night, or by being a CEO, earning a fortune, or having a gold medal or a PhD.

It sounds exhausting just writing it, but that was how I used to live my life.

Yes, I sometimes do some cool, fun, interesting stuff; I am curious about the world and enjoying my life. But sometimes I can’t be bothered.

I like to slob around in my PJs watching old movies. I get morning breath and matted hair, but can scrub up well and attend the ballet.

I now know who I am, what makes me happy, and the value I can bring to any relationship or situation not because of what I do, but who I am.

We’re unique, priceless, and irreplaceable, and the sum of every experience.

Our greatest relationship is with ourselves, because it’s through that relationship that we learn how to truly love other people, including our children. And when we demonstrate how to love us, we can get the most joy out of our lives.”

Resisting the Temptation To Stay Comfortably Numb And Conform In Mid-Life

After reading Kathy Gottberg’s blog on Carl Jung and the Art of Aging well, I came across her blog on mid-life comfort and the choice of adventure and possibility over conformity, safety and comfort.

Kathy has a few questions for us to ask ourselves:

  • When was the last time you did something that felt scary or pushed your limits beyond what you routinely do most days of your life?
  • Do you constantly make choices that support comfort in your experiences or do you try to mix that up with challenges?
  • Do you ignore the pain and plight of anyone outside of you family and friends out of a need to “keep what’s yours safe?”
  • Do you routinely self-medicate and go numb in order to deal with what’s going on in the world?
  • Do you avoid all risk even when things aren’t that great because, “The devil you know is better than the one you don’t?”
  • Do you secretly crave to do/be/try something new and different but don’t want to rock the boat?

South Africa and the world is becoming increasingly uncertain – we never quite know what tomorrow will bring and what midnight changes there will be. It is not always easy to jump into scariness, adventure and risks in that environment and we prefer to stick to what we know.

But sadly, at the same time, more and more of our friends are dying far too young. Author and palliative care nurse Bonnie Ware shares the number one regret in her book ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’ “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

“Dwelling in middle-aged comfort, nonconformity asks us to wake up, become more conscious, and be willing to sacrifice all our preconceived certainties for the potential of what lies out of sight.” – Kathy Gottberg

So I challenge all mid-lifers to choose adventure and possibility whenever you can and live a life true to yourself – and try not to worry about the judgement of those who would prefer you not to.



A sensational blend of Nia, Nia 5 Stages and TRE® (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) to fully release, nourish and revive your spirit. Drop into the body  and realign with the Nia 5 Stages + expand your body’s potential to feel and move with Nia + experience the gentle, self-controlled technique of TRE® to reconnect with your body, release stress, and bring more ease into your life!

Date: Saturday, 12th May 
Time: 2 for 2.15pm – 3.45pm
Place: OurNiaSpace Nia studio, 10 Anson Street, Observatory, Cape Town
Cost: R200
Contact: Lynne OR Nicci –  082 462 4844

Nia combines dance, martial arts and mindfulness, Nia tones your body while transforming your mind. More than just a workout, Nia is a holistic fitness practice addressing each aspect of your life – body, mind and soul.

TRE® is a simple technique that helps your body release stress or tension that has accumulated from day-to-day life experiences, immediate or ongoing stressful situations, and traumatic life events. A set of simple exercises invokes a mild tremor which helps bring the nervous system back to a state of calm and balance. Once learned TRE® is a gentle and effective self-healing tool.

Some of the reported benefits of TRE® include:

  • Greater sense of calm and inner peace
  • Less anxiety and worry
  • Reduced pain
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduced symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Increased emotional resilience
  • Relief from chronic medical conditions
  • Release of muscular tension from exercise and sport
  • Increased mobility and flexibility
  • Thriving in times of safety
  • Increased spiritual connection

Be Unique – Live Counter Culturally

“We live in a culture that begs us to conform. Through its various messages, it calls us to squeeze into its mold. It exerts external pressure on our minds to believe in and buy its opinions, hopes, and aspirations. Yet, the pursuits that define most of our culture never fully satisfy our heart and soul.

In response, the world will tell us to just run faster, reach further, work harder, make more, and become conformed more deeply. But its promised offer of fulfillment always remains out of reach. Our deepest longings are left unsatisfied.

Unfortunately, through this vicious cycle, we lose our uniqueness. We lose our passion. We lose our energy. We lose our opportunity to choose a different future. And because we are too busy chasing the wrong things, we sacrifice our opportunity to find something greater and more fulfilling in this life.

Meanwhile, our heart begs us to live differently. Our spirit calls us to seek our own passions. Our soul cries out for us to not conform. Our insides long for us to live counter cultural lives. But all too often, the external pressure from the world calls us back into conformity. And we reenter the race. How then do we break free?” – Joshua Becker

In the complete article written by Joshua Becker he provides 4 steps on how to live a counter cultural life.

Thriving with TRE® and QEC.

I recently wrote an article in the Natural Medicine World magazine about Quantum Energy Coaching (QEC) and Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE®).

There is a synergy and benefit of combining these two modalities – used together they allow us to become more resilient and to move into realising our full potential.

‘We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.’ Maya Angelou

The Ancients Knew Something That We Seem To Have Forgotten

I am fortunate enough to have travelled extensively – a lot in my own beautiful country of South Africa, to Southern and Eastern Africa, parts of ‘developing’ South America and Asia, and also to many ‘developed’ countries and major cities of the world.

I have never come back from my travels in ‘developed’ countries, especially the cities, brimming over with a sense of connection to the warmth and friendliness of the people. They are often helpful and polite – but it is not the authentic warmth that you find in less ‘sophisticated’ societies. In the cities there is a disconnection and an avoidance of eye contact. I know it is extremely childish but I love playing sweet and sour in the large cities, cheerily saying hello, and watching the reactions of all my ‘civilized’ brethren.

I recently came back from spending a few weeks in Uganda and Rwanda, both countries with traumatic histories, and was blown away by the warmth and contentment of the people (just like I was in Bhutan and the rural parts of Peru). The vast majority of people live very basic and physically hard lives, but they seem happy. I challenge all our macho Lycra clad cyclists to keep up with one of the Rwandan locals cycling up and down their numerous hills on bikes with no gears and overloaded with bags of potatoes and bananas.

What really struck me was the gentleness of many of the men in Rwanda and Uganda. Apart from our darling guide Moses – three men especially struck a cord in my heart – a Rwandan tracker next to me who calmly, wordlessly and gently put his hands around my hips to let me know not to move when a gorilla came running at me. I was balanced on a ridge and had nowhere to go but backwards down a very steep hill.

The other was a Ugandan porter who held my hand and dragged me up and down hills for four hours as we bundu bashed our way through dense forests looking for gorillas. He let my hand go once and saw me trip over fresh air and would not let me go after that. We would stop and wait for the others in the party and a few minutes later I would realise that we were still holding hands – a very intimate connection with a complete stranger –  but yet there was a spiritual sense of being nurtured by someone who was actually not a stranger.

And lastly, a Ugandan Wildlife Authorities ranger (I have never seen as many rifles in a country before – most of the rangers are part of the military and all carry a rifle) who was dispatched to find me when I was spotted from afar walking solo through a restricted area in the forest. Coming from Africa I am well aware of the dangers of wild animals and being a woman on my own, but that risk did not even enter my head. I had not noticed a very large sign warning that I was not allowed beyond a certain point without a guard. I was in such a happy bubble that my walk turned into a run as the path got narrower and narrower.  I was unaware that Kampala had been notified and that soldiers were looking for me. One very relieved and lovely rifle free guard was the first to find me on my way back – I think I ran much faster and further than anyone expected – and he happily agreed to run with me as I had misjudged an uphill and was now running late.  I ended up having four guys with guns escorting me out the restricted area. I had a half hour of questioning (sitting in a room surrounded by armed men) as to why I was in the forest, how could I not have seen the very large sign, and I kept on being told that I had broken the law, that I could have caused an international incident, and that ignorance was no defence. There was a lot of communication between my interrogators and the office in Kampala as I do not think they knew what to do with me.  Although very stern and officious the men were at no time unfriendly or intimidating or looking for bribes.  But what kept me calm was that my lovely rescuer did not leave my side at any time and seemed to have an intuitive sense of when panic started rising and would just gently tell me that all was fine. Which it was – luckily my next holiday is not going to be in a Ugandan jail.

I have been pondering as to why the people of these countries are so much more content and more intuitive – one thing is that living close to nature seems to have the effect of settling the mind and allowing people to awaken to their own inner nature, as all of nature connects in a grand web of connection. There is also more of a sense of simplicity, family and community which the western ‘developed’ world seems to have lost with its striving for material possessions, status symbols and its skewed definition of success.

As Albert Einstein says “The ancients knew something that we seem to have forgotten”.
Maybe we need to start the remembering process.