Thoroughly Used Up

While walking along the Boise River Greenbelt, I came upon this dead bird. After burying it beside the riverbank, I continued on my journey and thought about Shirley Hershey Showalter’s post, where she shared this quote:

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations.” —George Bernard Shaw

This quote describes what I believe and what want for my own life.

[bctt tweet=”What do you want to hand to future generations?” username=”@TuesWithLaurie”]

What do you want to hand to future generations?



It’s been said that life is from B to D—birth to death. But what comes in-between B and D? It’s C—choices. 

Life is an expression of the choices we make. —Laurie Buchanan

If you’ve ever walked through a cemetery, you’ve noticed that:

Every headstone has a different name
Every headstone has a different birth date
Every headstone has a different death date
Every headstone has a different epitaph

Pioneer Cemetery, Boise, Idaho

But every single headstone, without exception, has one thing in common; it’s the hyphen in-between the birth and death dates. That bit of punctuation—the hyphen—represents everything in-between B and D—birth and death; it represents a person’s entire life.

How’s your in-between coming along?


Knocking on Heaven’s Door

A birds-eye view of a particular section in downtown Boise currently looks like a knoll covered with hundreds of industrious carpenter ants. Heavy equipment and hardhats abound, but the piece that grabbed my attention is one of the sky-high cranes. To me it looks tall enough to knock on Heaven’s door.


Whether Heaven is a geographic location with pearly gates and streets paved with gold, a gathering place for source energy, a reassuring figment of one’s imagination, or something else altogether, it’s the term many spiritual traditions use when referring to where one’s spirit/soul goes in the afterlife.

My father recently passed away and it’s comforting for me to think about his returning “home” after “graduating” from a lifelong class of learnings here on Earth.

A student of purposeful living, I’m ready and rarin’ to continue learning for several more decades. But if I find myself knocking on Heaven’s door anytime soon, I feel at peace with that, too.

Are you prepared to knock on Heaven’s door?


In Celebration Of

Our walks often include the Bethine Church River Trail on the Boise River Greenbelt. Strategically placed along the way are rough-hewn log benches for contemplation. Next to each bench is a flush-with-the-ground “In Memory Of…” marker.

Recently we walked a little further and came upon a raised marker. It said, “In Celebration Of …”


On the return walk home, Len and I discussed the difference. We agreed that while they’re both wonderful, to us the “In Memory Of…” marker has a past-tense feel to it; while the “In Celebration Of” marker feels present-tenseongoing.

We concluded that although we’ve elected to be cremated with our ashes placed in earth-friendly containers—biodegradable urns designed to convert into trees—we’d each like a celebratory marker at the base of our individual trees.

Do you want to be remembered, or celebrated?


Housekeeping — The Kind that Matters

Last week, at her request, I called a potential new client. Questions in hand, I was ready to see if we would mesh in a coaching relationship. Within minutes I discovered that this woman has a short—very short—time to live. The coaching experience I offer is typically nine months in length, so where did I fit in?

Beyond humbling, she shared with me that knowing in advance her approximate date of death has been a tremendous blessing in that she’s completely prepared—except for one thing. Taped to a framed photograph on her nightstand is a clipping from a long-ago magazine article I wrote:

Like the path we walk, giving and receiving forgiveness is a fundamental part of life’s journey. Reminiscent of falling leaves, offenses may scatter the pathway of our heart—the seat of our outlook. This attitude determines the terrain of our path and forgiveness keeps the pathway clear.

It is my perspective that the place to start—the place to launch joy, hope, positive aspirations, and healing begins with forgiveness. Until that bit of housekeeping has been taken care of, everything else is futile.

Since that initial call we’ve had two more conversations. Neither one of us is charging a fee, but you can well imagine that I’m receiving much more than she is. I’m learning how to die.

Do you need to give or receive forgiveness, or are you all set?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
                — Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience— Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence

Holding Vigil

In late September we found ourselves holding vigil for Claire—our Westie. An integral part of our family for almost 15 years, she was affectionately known as “The House Elf.” Trust me when I say she put the “perk” in perky!

And while the death of a companion animal might be a non-event to some, her absence took the stuffing not only out of Len and I, but Lexi and Willa as well. Slowly but surely we’ve gotten back onto an even keel, but we sure do miss our little gal. 

Rabindranath Tagore was Asia’s first Nobel laureate by winning the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. One of the writings that he’s best known for is, “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.”

When was the last time you held vigil for a loved one?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
                — Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
 — Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Don’t Kick the Bucket Before You…

“The future you see is the future you get.” — Robert G. Allen, author

Don't Kick the Bucket Before You...

Don't Kick the Bucket Before You

Spring has finally sprung in our neck of the woods so everything that has roots is growing by leaps and bounds—including the weeds. Unlike my friend Sandi who actually enjoys weeding (I wish she lived closer!), I don’t.

With weeds up to my shins (you can practically watch them grow, crowding out the intended crop), it’s time to do the dreaded “W” word—weed.

Scooting on the ground pulling an over-sized bucket along as I work, I decide to replace my I-hate-this-task thinking with something a little more productive. As my hand grabs the handle for yet another tug, it comes to me. Think about your bucket list (a list of things you want to do, feel, experience, see, and achieve before you “kick the bucket”—die)!

As a person who loves to travel, the first and foremost item on my list is to visit each of the seven continents: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

How Much Does Life Weigh?

Quite some time ago I received a beautiful Papyrus card. This delicate work of art contained the following legend:

Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy, and celebration. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning, and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.”

I love it when we’re gifted with a hummingbird sighting. The weight of these tiny creatures depends on the species:

  • The smallest hummingbird is the bee hummingbird which weighs less than 2 grams.
  • The largest hummingbird is known as the giant hummingbird and it weighs between 21 and 23 grams.

I remember a heated debate in school we had about the 21 Grams Theory and then many years later, the opening lines of the 2003 movie “21 Grams” with Sean Penn:

They say we all lose 21 grams at the exact moment of our death…everyone. Twenty-one grams—the weight of a stack of 5 nickels, the weight of a chocolate bar, the weight of a hummingbird.”

The next time I see a hummingbird it may well remind me of a soul in flight…

A flash of harmless lightning
A mist of rainbow dyes
The burnished sunbeams brightening
From flower to flower he flies
John Banister Tabb



Death is Not the End

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve learned that:

Health is a state
Wellness is an action
Wellbeing is an ongoing pursuit

They all attend the same church but sit in different pews, so to speak. They work hand-in-hand to bring about balance—body, mind, and spirit.

Wellness can’t be achieved from health. Neither can health benefit if there’s no wellness. However, we can experience wellness even if our health is questionable. Wellness is an inner state of being that supports health.

Health is the property of the body.
Wellness is a gift of the spirit.

Every single one of us—without exception—has an expiration date; the date that we’ll draw our last breath in our current body. Most of us don’t know when that will occur. It can happen in any number of ways: heart attack, car accident, natural disaster, illness, war, plane crash, or natural causes from the aging process.

I’ve shared with you before that my mother was a physically small woman, yet she was the biggest person I’ve ever known. She taught me by example that how we live impacts how we die. She lived a life of courage, beauty, and integrity; she died in the same manner.

As human beings we are energy. Each of us has a personal energy signature. One of the fundamental laws of physics states, “Energy can be transferred from one form to another, but neither created nor destroyed.”

As such, birth is not a beginning; it’s a continuation. That lends tremendous comfort because we then understand that equally true, death is not an end; it’s merely a continuation. In either case, it’s a change from one form to another.

Rabindranath Tagore was Asia’s first Nobel laureate by winning the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. One of the writings that he’s best known for is, “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.”

Recently in her blog post – Poem and Book about Death and Grieving – my friend, Sheila Glazov, shared about a wonderful book that explains death—especially to children. I purchased it and fully agree. It’s titled, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia. It’s a beautiful, strikingly simple story that illustrates life and death through a leaf and the changing seasons.

When recognized as a continuation, death is no longer a threat or a tragedy; it’s not a defeat or necessary evil that we have to brace our self against. Rather, it’s the way we embark on the next part of our journey. A journey we can undertake without fear.



Energy Medicine 101

Laurie Teaching by Len Buchanan

Laurie Teaching by Len Buchanan

Last semester in the University of Life we discussed the different lessons some of us are here to learn. This semester I’m offering Energy Medicine 101. Class topics will include: 

– Setting the Stage (definitions)
– Healing versus Curing
– The Master Key to Healing
– The Difference between Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Medicine
– A Look at Different Energy-Based Therapies—What they Can and Can’t Do
– Death is Not the End

I’m not a physician. I’m a Holistic Health Practitioner, board certified with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). In this context, my specific area of focus is Energy Medicine. My training and approach have been greatly influenced by three leaders and teachers in this field: Barbara Brennan, Donna Eden, and Caroline Myss.

Over the next weeks I’ll be sharing my thoughts as they relate to Energy Medicine. That doesn’t mean I’m right. That doesn’t mean I’m wrong. It simply means they’re my thoughts. If you share the same mind-set; fantastic! If you don’t, that’s fine too. Either way, please feel free to speak up and share what’s on your heart and mind.

So batten down the hatches and prepare to take on water because we start Energy Medicine 101 the day after tomorrow. Bring a sharpened No. 2 pencil, a fresh tablet, and be sure to ditch your gum before entering class.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.