Transformation, Deepak Chopra, and Death
My show this past week with Deepak Chopra on Lainie Sevante’ Wulkan’s Zeta Global Radio (broadcast in over 50 countries!) really challenged me to get real about how transformation works in business.
Lo and behold I found myself discussing my three favorite topics on the show: soul expression, mindset and death.
What, you may be asking yourself, does DEATH have to do with TRANSFORMATION?
Absolutely everything, my friend.
A lot of folks have asked me how I got to be so successful in my own business and where I got my training as a business coach, because I’m known for helping entrepreneurs see themselves clearly and get out of their own way so they can actually be successful in their businesses.
Here’s the truth: my best business training came through all of my experience, personally and professionally, with death.
I’m a minister, and I spent years helping people die as a Trauma chaplain and a Home Hospice chaplain. I worked in an Emergency Room and ICU in two different hospitals. The big joke, in both hospitals, was that I was the Death Chaplain. The ER and ICU doctors and nurses were always checking their schedules to see whether or not they were working the same shift as me because if they were, they knew someone was going to die. I once had 7 people die during my 24 hour shift in a 350 bed hospital.
As a home hospice chaplain I’d go into cabins and trailers in the hollers of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina to help people to die, some of whom had never been outside of Western North Carolina, many of whom had lived on the same land for generations.
People love to die around me. It took a long time for me to admit that and say that out loud.
That’s not the type of thing you want to write home about – to say hey, guess what? I discovered that one of my greatest gifts is helping people die!
Because death is still taboo.
In his popular book, Being Mortal, Dr. Atul Gawande proposes a radical truth, that few of us actually learn to die.
Death is something that we all know happens, eventually, but at least in American society it is not a process that we are taught, or taught to embrace. Death is other, separate. It is for old people, for unfortunate or horrific inexplicable acts, and for the big screen.
But here’s the thing. Death doesn’t just happen at the end of a person’s life or in trauma or horror. It happens all the time. As humans, and especially as entrepreneurs, we are constantly dying to versions of ourselves in order to step more fully into the truth of who we are.
Being with another person, as they are dying, can be incredibly intimate and vulnerable – especially when that dying person recognizes that death is really happening – that they cannot avoid it. It’s a moment of true reckoning because when that death door opens you’ve got to go through the doorway. There is no going back, so to speak. It’s a non-optional transformation. All of us are born, and all of us will eventually die. It’s the great leveling.
That applies to business as well, except a lot of entrepreneurs get stuck in the doorway. The door opening is inviting you into something new, into unchartered territory, into the unknown. It is a risk to step through the doorway, there are no guarantees, and what’s on the other side doesn’t always seem appealing.
What do you need to walk through the doorway today?
To hear about how I show entrepreneurs to walk through the doorway listen to the show! The replay is available of the show is on the Zeta Global Radio site through Saturday 9/3! If you haven’t already listened, check it out here.
Tell me about how you have walked through a door opening! Leave a comment below.