How would you live every day as if it were your last?  Go skydiving? Attempt to ride a bull for 2.7 seconds? Kathleen Taylor has spent over 20 years as a counselor and community engagement facilitator for the dying and has found that in the last chapter of their lives, most people become their authentic selves. They become courageous - they change their minds, apologize, forgive... they find joy in the smallest moments. In this TEDx talk, Taylor urges us not to wait until we are at the end of our lives to find our true selves.


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  • Eva Johnson

    she has the feeling of being herself, her communication was spot on with honesty as I had encounter with myself and listen to feel of my body, during ones end of life cycle. Very refreshen. Thanks

  • Delmar

    If I am dying in the next few days, introspection may stress me out because I won't be able to do anything about whatever comes up. Introspection for me is good when I have time to do something about whatever comes up. i am not buying into her statement of taking time for introspection during my last days.

  • Jim

    Nails the importance of being authentic right now. Don't wait, start being the person(soul) you really are. Such a powerful message and presenter. Great little nuggets throughout. e.g. "illness and decline force introspection/meditation"... Thank you Kathleen and TEDx!

  • Joanne White

    How we need to stop "Bull-Shitting" it's just not over 40 when we stop, I'm 76 and learning to be "real" as I study death and dying and study with a great orignization, Snowline Hospice from El Dorado County;, California and look forward to assisting the terminal patient. Thank You for such a great TED talk!

  • Lori

    I am a facilitator for our local Death Cafe and I have found that this video is spot on. We need to love now!

  • Kay

    Beautifully said! I, too, work in hospice care and introspection is important and often happens at the last moments or started only when the body stops. When a person comes to the end and realizes that they indeed are special - it is a glorious moment!

  • Mo

    Being your true self creates goodness for the universe and you will have what you need. Be, do, have.

  • Fahad

    I found my life purpose few years ago and I then I realized that dying today for me now became as good as dying tomorrow. It took me more than fifteen years of searching and then I decided to refuse society pressure that asks me to act in a certain way and favored my personal values as an alternative guide. So, what I suggest to anyone who is still searching for a better answer about his/her life purpose to know that he owns freedom to use his resources (Time, money, efforts,believes ...etc) every single minute and how long you live your values is irrelevant, people will get used to your "weird actions". Some of them will respect it but most will give up on you but eventually their lives will continue including their disappointment in predicting your next move!

  • Taylor Mansfield

    I wouldn't change anything as i have lived my life to it's fullest already and do what i always have wanted because i do myself know it will all end at any moment. I live every day likes it's my last day and so should everyone else. Do what you want in life not what others tell you to do i have learned or you will never be happy.

  • daryl

    Awesome. So well articulated. Sounds like what I read Steve Jobs said: "Life is too short to be living someone else's dream." I know it's true. Hope I can keep on this track.

  • Philip F Crouch

    A friend from Canada who is a practitioner in Sage-ing, Wellbeingness and consciousness for persons aged fifty and more. This link will be featured in my own humble Soul Work information relating to group work discussions in Tasmania, Australia. BRILLIANT, encapsulating, and my wife who was a Hospice volunteer for seven years and is a member of our circle relates to every single word. Thank You.

  • Linda Smith

    Elizabeth Gilbert's quote, "God shows up in us as us."

  • A. Martinez

    There is an essential element of bs at the heart of this. It is that there is the assumption that we can intentionally manipulate ourselves into being a way that we are not through thought alone because we think we should. It isn't possible. Access to whatever "they dying" have is not accessible through thought. I speak as someone who was given a death sentence by doctors twice.

  • Chris McMahon

    I enjoyed your frank honesty about what you've gleaned from end of life experiences.

  • kClaire

    I'd like to know more about the experiences of spending time with a dying person. Did any of the dying have visions of people they loved who died before them. My own father in his dying stages, when he was a 'skeleten' of his former vibrant self sat up with his arms raised while repeating the name Mary, Mary. I had a sister who had died before he did, named Mary. And his sister, too, was named Mary. Or he could have been referencing the mother of Christ by saying Mary. He spoke the word very clearly yet he mostly was void of the capacity of making sense in any speech. He couldn't explain to me which Mary he was referring to. But it was amazing to observe such behavior. He was a very religious man.

  • Katie

    It's not just people who are part of that life force. Every living thing is. And every single thing is important.

  • Mohan

    Lovely and from the heart... that's the source of inspiration... the message is so true...thank You.. Mohan

  • Jacob Shepherd

    Kathleen commented that we do not have a soul, but that we are a soul, and she is so right in that.....our soul is the only thing that does not die when our life is over...our soul will be around for all eternity, so it is impeative that we take good care of it...the soul will take it' place in Heaven or hell..depends on you....

  • Jacob Shepherd

    This young lady was so authentic and so descriptive of what she wanted us to hear.....I am 90 years old and as I look back in my life I see so much of what she had to say...I write poetry, mostly christian in content, but a lot about my journey through life, and my belief about what we all will find in the next.....Let A Shepherd Be Your Amazon or Barnes an Noble. Thanks Kathleen for your wonderful insight into what troubles so many!

  • Beth

    I have been on the path of finding my authentic self and my purpose in life since I was 18 years old. I am 57 now and only discovered the truth of who I am last year. I know that this speaker is telling the truth, and I am on the same path that she spoke of trying to remember everyday that I am a unique expression of the life force I call God living my life co-creating with my partner (God) in a way that brings joy and love to others. I am love, I am surrounded by love, even if I cannot always see it.

  • Connie

    It has awakened my spirit to go in the direction that God has for me and to enjoy my life and those around me. It has also let me know that decisions should be made and pondered upon for years. Make a move. I truly thank Kathleen for that message.

  • Tracey

    Thought provoking & beautifully put across. I have worked with those in their last hours & shared the last weeks with My Dad & they were all at peace. There is an amazing courage, & peacefulness about them. Kathleen is right, how wonderful to achieve that in chapter 5 rather than in the last paragraph. Thank you Kathleen for a wonderful talk.

  • karen paula

    i dont have to keep wondering if im good enough for the world. i am part of the ever changing world, and the ever creating me is what the world loves and needs. We are one

  • carol

    I had the fantastic and joyous experience of experiencing exactly what Kathleen is talking about. My ex-husband was dying, I flew to Phoenix to see him one last time. Our relationship was contentious to say the least, but I was compelled to see him one last time. He was at home, hospice care was there and they were fantastic! When I walked into his bedroom I was stunned by how good he looked, sure it was obvious that he was dying, but there was a loving energy that was in the room. I sat down next to his bed and couldn't keep my hands off of him, touching his arms and kissing his cheek. He would come in and out of consciousness. I could feel and hear in my mind my beautiful husband asking for forgiveness and asking me to forgive myself. It was the most important feeling I have ever had and that includes the love I have for my 2 sons. Nothing else was or is more important to me now, it changed me for ever and made his transition so lovely and easy. I left to catch my plane, I asked his my "sister" his current wife what she was going to do, she said, she thought she would crawl into bed with him and sleep. He died 4 hours later. I love him so much and I am so grateful to have had that experience with him.

  • Barb Piscopo

    It's never to early to live each day as if it were your last. BE Yourself!

  • Pauline

    The fact that we truly are not ourselves and it is indeed that we wait until we are so 'old' and not able to do much that we begin to be our 'true selves'. My determination is to be myself at all times in spite of the happenings around me

  • rge2U

    This was amazing and true! The wheels are turning in my mind, is this why the Buddha went around in his area of the world with mindful meditation and simply BEing. Superficial people should look at volunteering at a nursing home to see how elderly people live in their last days.

  • Muralikrishna

    Its ingenuity and unsurpassed originality.

  • Fred Widdowson

    Its odd, but I'm doing today exactly what I would do if I was told my time was short and that happens most every day. I'm either terribly boring or my life has finally come to match what makes me happy and fulfilled.

  • Vicky

    I've seen this before...I enjoy it each time..

  • Jan MacCormack

    an affirmation of my soul's purpose in this lifetime... thank you for pointing out why I love my job so much... "dying people are incapable of bullshit" so true, so true... daily authenticity for my spirit xoxox Thank you!!

  • James Humecky

    What will it take to realize that we don't "have" a soul but that we are a soul!!

  • Anita Gayle

    An Amazingly truthful speaker, Kathleen Taylor you are one insightful being... People who are dying are incapable of bullshit! I absolutely agree... they focus on 'what really matters' and I love it when Kathleen spoke about the question and meaning of our lives... from this day forth, I AM... therefore I BE... At this very moment I AM LOVE <3

  • Dianne

    Kathleen puts exactly how I do my best to live, into words. it's not what we are but who we are... thank you!

  • Jim

    When she quoted E. Gilbert: "God shows up in us, as us." So simple, so true, so hard.

  • Julie

    Lovely! Time is indeed precious

  • Ashara

    Living next to the Bayou Corne La.sinkhole I am grateful for each day that I get to spend with my children and nature.Living in gratitude is the only way! It has helped all of us to step into our own power of creation. Love is the only thing that has meaning to us.

  • Brian

    Thanks guys...Way to go Kathleen...everyone is a unique soul creation..."Awaken to the preciousness of time"..."hopeful consistencies"...while we have life...what a blessing...the mind is the rudder of our bodies...slow n easy...steady...peace

  • Marsha Nelson,Ph.D.

    Kathleen Taylor nailed what Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D.,writes about in her books. Any Creative Journal Expressive Arts facilitator can guide you to become your own unique self. Great presentation, this is EXACTLY the way it is for most of us at the end of life.

  • Linda Hufnagel

    How True - Very Worthwhile Presentation - Good to Hear and remind ourselves each day

  • idle ibrahim

    She gave it out like someone on a death bed - sincerely, honestly and simply. Well done.

  • Maureen

    "Action and creativity and innovation that comes from true authenticity is what moves the world forward, and it has the lovely side effect of creating joy." In a nutshell, this says how best to be and do.

  • Shrini

    Eye opener! Congratulations Kathleen and thank you!

  • Vicky

    Beautifully done!

  • Patricia A Chittendon

    Kathleen's talk is authentic. As a Hospice/Hospital Chaplain I have also experienced the end of life experiences that she spoke about. Thank you Kathleen.

  • Ted Jec

    I felt that for long time. Then I wrote book about the God of Universe with its creative force. When I published that book - nobody would buy it... Jesus said that rejection is part of his life. If it is part of his then rejection is part of everybody's life. What you think? Forum is at

  • Jack Wiens

    I really liked Kathleen's style of being very human, clear and direct, powerful and still a bit funny. The point about being first then the doing flows out naturally is a very important one. Also, not waiting until time is nearly run out. Find out who we are now and be true to our unique selves. Thank you!

  • Amanda

    This is beautiful because Kathleen shows the intersection joy can have on the lives of others. That the universe, or what have you NEEDS you to be true and that you in fact NEED the universe to live a healthy and happy life is beautifully symbiotic and necessary

  • Krishan

    The better question is "Who am I being with my life?" There is an intersection between being and doing, but being comes first... If we all created from the place of true authenticity (from a place of being), what would happen? A lot to ponder from this talk...

  • Maria Mara

    Kathleen, you are so courageous to stand up & share your experience so openly and so clearly! You are soo brave to listen to people who are "on their way home" (we normally say die) and share your quite existential insights. I deeply admire and appreciate your courage and your "mission".

  • Maria Mara

    Kathleen, many thanks for remembering "IT`S TIME" and "STOP bullshiting". Many thanks for your empathy and your wisely put words. from soul to soul.

  • Page 1

  • Read Bronnie Ware's Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
  • Kathleen Taylor directs community engagement for a non-profit hospice organization. Learn more about hospice care.
  • Have you rethought your bucket list?  What is at the top of your list now?

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