Erik, she said, for every ten kids we see with this injury, nine of them die. There is only one Kate. We need to come back and we need to see her, because she is what keeps us coming back to work in this place every day. This is the redemption, Erik realized. This is the good. As a young man, George Dawes Green, the founder of The Moth, spent many evenings at his friend Wanda's home on St. Simon's Island in Georgia, where he grew up. He and his friends would sit around on Wanda's porch, drink bourbon, and tell each other stories from their lives--like the time one of them, Dayton, got drunk and let six thousand chickens escape from a barn he was responsible for tending, or the time that another, Kenny, forgot to take his lithium and swam a mile into the ocean stark naked before the coast guard caught him. Kenny, the story goes, told the coast guard to leave him alone: Oh, I'm just fine, he insisted; I'm a whale. Adaptation leads to stability, which eventually results in stagnation, entropy, disintegration, dissolution, and incubation (commonly perceived of as death). In the right season, incubation gives rise to a quantum leap in creativity, experienced as rebirth, resurrection, and renewal. Without this unending cycle we would be doomed to eternal senility. Our collective beliefs, expectations, and choices have been such that the forces of decay and entropy have dominated our experience of life. It is time to turn our attention to the creative forces within us. While the cycle will continue, we believe that as the next few decades unfold, we will see a new era in which human aging will have a completely new expression. As you have learned by now from this article, it is possible to have increased vitality, creativity, and mental and physical capacity as the years unroll. Many have lamented that youth is wasted on the young, but now we have the opportunity to experience the exquisite combination of mature wisdom along with youthful biology. Through our interpretation and choices we can increase both the quality and quantity of human life, adding both years to our life and life to our years. This should be our intention for the world and ourselves.

You might have other items packed in the birth bag that you can use to help Mum relax, and between surges is the time to use them. Massage oil for example. Or a cool flannel to hold against Mum's forehead or neck. Perhaps she has a refreshing face spray or head massager. You can use any and all of these tools as long as they help Mum to relax. Don't forget about the environment as labour progresses - perhaps you will need to re-spritz the room if using a room spray for scent or reapply essential oils if using a rollerball. Perhaps you will need to change the music or play some positive affirmations or a favourite guided relaxation at points. Then, if necessary, birth partners, you will need to be prepared to advocate for Mum and ensure her wishes are respected. You should have a copy (or a few copies) of her birth preferences document for reference. Make sure you request that those providing the care have a read of the document and, if there's a shift change, that any new midwife or doctor also has a copy to read. And told Dad not to make me clean my room. I love how you took me to Shoup Park. And comforted me when it rained and we couldn't go. I love how you tucked me in at night, every night. And how you would come home late sometimes, and hug me with your fake, soft fur. I love the way you ask for guidance, and admit you're not perfect. And the way you are eating healthy foodstuffs and doing your affirmations. I love the way you send Tosh little notes and packs of gum. And, football and basketball Easter chocolates. And how you write us letters beginning with Dear Dolls.

As they took turns telling stories, Green recalls, a troupe of moths staggered around the light, while the cicadas kept time in the live oaks. Years later, Green was living in New York. He had published two novels, one of which, The Juror, became an international bestseller, adapted into a movie starring Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin. Green had made some money, was living in Manhattan, and attended fancy cocktail parties in the city. He was, from the outside, leading the sort of life that most writers dream about living. But there was something missing. One evening, at a particularly dull poetry reading downtown, Green realized that he longed for those enchanting evenings on Wanda's porch. As literary as New York was, there was no place where ordinary people, like Green's neighbors in Georgia, could come onstage to simply deliver a well-crafted, well-told personal story. So Green decided to have some people over to his apartment, where he tried to re-create, in his New York loft, the experience he had on Wanda's porch. By 1997, his idea had grown into a nonprofit organization named after the moths he remembered from those nights on St. We have access to Shangri-La in our own awareness. Modern physicists tell us that quantum mathematics predicts parallel coexisting realities. In the quantum world there are no fixed objects, only superpositions of probability--oscillating fields of possibility. Shangri-La is one such possibility--a projection of consciousness that is beyond the limitations of time and space. The world of disease, decay, entropy, and premature death is another projection of consciousness that is currently our pervasive one. When reality shifts, both the observer and the observed change. The observer in one reality is quite different from the observer in another; Here the observed is the body while the observer is your state of consciousness. Although focusing on the body through diet, exercise, and herbs can be helpful, the real shift has to be in consciousness. When you, the observer, shifts, your body also shifts, and your interpretation of your life transforms.

You can also refer to the document to remind yourself what Mum's wishes are so that you're in a good position to quickly respond if you feel they are not being followed. Finally, if things start to change, birth partners, you will need to engage your B. What are the Benefits? What are the Risks? Are there any Alternatives? What does Mum's Instinct say? What happens if we do Nothing for X amount of time? You can't make any decisions on Mum's behalf, but you can help her make an informed decision by asking the right questions and gathering all the necessary information to enable her to make an informed choice. You might feel like the middleman/middlewoman, the go-between, but you're playing an important role and empowering Mum by doing so. You may never need to use your B. And how you type labels on the tapes you send us. I love how you save (and recycle) water and foil and plastic bags and paper towels. And how you always have fresh flowers in the house, and roses in the garden. And how you taught me to love planting things. And, cooking and cleaning and mothering. I love how you are such a good host at dinner parties. And how you laugh at Dad's jokes, time and time again. I love how you would wave at me from the front porch, or from the road, depending on how long I'd be gone. And how you'd make me salad for breakfast. And showed me how to get up each morning with a smile.

Simon's Island. Twenty years later, The Moth has become a fixture of the New York cultural scene and an international phenomenon. Today, it puts on over five hundred shows a year in cities from London to Los Angeles to Louisville--there's even been one in Tajikistan. In addition to the live shows, which have brought over fifteen thousand stories like Erik's to the stage, The Moth hosts a weekly podcast and Peabody Award-winning radio show, and in 2013, it published its first story collection. Under the leadership of artistic director Catherine Burns, The Moth carefully selects stories for meaning. They find these stories in a variety of ways: through The Moth's website; No matter the source, Burns and her team look for stories that have conflict and resolution--stories that show how the storyteller developed into the person she is today--and they look for tales of change, stories that could end the way the Irish writer Frank O'Connor ended his short story Guests of the Nation: And anything that happened to me afterwards, I never felt the same about again. The most moving stories, Burns has found, are rooted in vulnerability, but they are not too emotionally raw. The stories should come, as she put it, from scars and not wounds. They should have settled in the storyteller's mind so that he or she can reflect back on the experience and pull out its meaning. One consequence of this transformation is the recognition that aging is a choice. According to Ayurveda, every human being is a weaving together of the environment, body, mind, and spirit. The environment has the shortest shelf life, for it is changing every moment. The body has a slightly longer shelf life. It takes about a year to replace almost all the atoms and molecules that comprise it. The mind, which includes the intellect and ego, has a still longer shelf life. Your aspirations, beliefs, dreams, memories, and desires may last an entire lifetime. Your soul is eternal and not subject to the entropy and decay that govern the environment, body, and mind. Live your life from the level of your soul and you will be timeless. This awareness will not do away with the essential fact of your physical mortality.