Death Literacy, Enoughness, and Why Life Is Long with Humaira Hamid (#CConDD) – SASM 114

Humaira Hamid and Joel Zaslofsky Combined Picture

If you've been avoiding or ignoring the big “D”s, I invite you to stop.

The big “D”s – death and dying – are fundamental to life and central to you living a good one. Think about it: how many of your struggles, addictions, and fears are really just layers on top of death and dying?

My friend and guest for this episode, Humaira Hamid, is well-equipped to be your emotional and mental guide into the realm of death and dying. And is it possible to discuss perhaps the ultimate taboo in an entertaining and sometimes light way?

We say it is.

The conversation starts with Humaira “gazelling around” in the large pen I give her on topics like life's constraints, self-care, and color-coding your calendar to ensure you've done (or will do) what's most important to you.

Then we shift into #CConDD – curious conversations on death and dying – and the fun really begins. In fact, I can almost guarantee this part of the conversation will be better remembered and more impactful than just about anything else I've recorded.

Make sure to listen all the way through for nuggets of wisdom like:

“Saying that ‘Life is short – make the most of it' can feel like a weapon to some people. It can provoke anxiety rather than galvanizing some kind of energy, excitement, or motivation.” – Humaira Hamid

“Taking a hit in a back alley or putting your thousandth pair of shoes in your closet – I think that there's something innately human that connects that all … and that's how I ended up getting to death and dying. Addiction's the way I understand it.” – Humaira Hamid

“When learning that someone has died, try this: ‘My heart felt condolences on the death of [name].' It names what happened, names the person that died, and imbues the honor and recognition that people deserve.” – Humaira Hamid

She also mentions two gifts for you during the episode that you won't want to miss. So let's get into her immigrant story, wonderful phrases like “indoor cat time” and “teddy bear handstands,” and learn why life is long.

Here … we … go.

You're about to Learn ...

  • Why just about everything in life comes back to death and dying.
  • How and where to become death literate.
  • How to surf the waves of “identity death” throughout your life.
  • The difference between people who believe life is short and life is long.
  • Why “enoughness” might be better for you than minimalism, essentialism, or other “isms.”
  • A surprising self-care practice that starts with simply listening.
  • How to invite yourself to amazing events, get in for free, and co-create them.
  • How being support rich can more than even itself out when you're resource poor.
  • How Humaira combines equal parts squishy heart woo-woo and hard data.
  • Why Humaira is so driven to talk about everything that's taboo.
  • How procrastination led Humaira to #CConDD (curious conversations on death and dying).
  • Why I don't use “lost” or “passed on” to describe someone who has died.

Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode

Timestamps and Topics

  • [06:13] Humaira's seeds of awesomeness
  • [08:22] How to invite yourself to amazing events
  • [15:23] How Humaira deals with major constraints in her life
  • [19:00] A self-care practice for over-achievers
  • [24:07] The guiding principle of “enoughness”
  • [27:06] The colors of Humaira's Google Calendar and what each one represents
  • [31:39] Recreating songs by whistling like birds from a Disney movie
  • [34:06] Curious conversations about death and dying (#CConDD)
  • [46:23] Ways to say that someone died other than “lost” or “passed”
  • [51:32] The foundations of death literacy
  • [59:04] The difference between people who believe life is short and life is long
  • [1:04:47] Free and nifty things Humaira is offering you

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