You are currently viewing Lift Episode 2: Turning a Frightening Medical Diagnosis into Life Purpose with Kyra Coates

Lift Episode 2: Turning a Frightening Medical Diagnosis into Life Purpose with Kyra Coates

Kyra Coates is a 39-year-old mother of 4 who was recently diagnosed with cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease. 

After a period of grieving, Kyra decided to draw on her extensive spiritual training as well as her lifelong calling as an artist, and turn her deeply personal transition into a work of art. Putting together a series of 18-20 paintings, woven together with a story, she is creating a modern-day, accessible retelling of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. 

The main characters are herself and her 4 daughters – the people with whom it has been hardest to share the news of her diagnosis – and she leads her daughters through the process of her own death. In it, she shows what the Tibetan Book of the Dead illuminates – that death is not an end, but a transition – a transition colored in a very real way by the states of mind in which we have lived our lives. 

Her vision, is that the project, along with being printed in the form of individual books, will also travel to hospitals, hospices, galleries, and anywhere else that will welcome this hopeful take on death, that welcomes the sadness of loss while seeing it as only one part of the magic and miracle of this process, and, importantly, inspires us to make wise choices about how we live today. 

Join Katya as she speaks with Kyra about the process of coming to the phenomenally courageous decision to turn her frightening diagnosis into a vibrant expression of her life purpose, designed to nourish our current understanding of death.

You’ll hear many synchronicities, such as the work Kyra did in hospice working with Alzheimer’s patients in college, and how this artist who has focused mainly on portraying feminine power, became the mother of 4 daughters. 

Truly a magical, inspiring episode. 

If you enjoy this episode, consider supporting Lift on Patrons at the $2 level and above receive access to exclusive episodes with all our guests. In the exclusive extension to this episode, Katya and Kyra discuss the common question, “what would you rather lose first, your body or your mind?” and what happens when we find out the answer, so much sooner than we expected. We also learn more about the Tibetan Book of the Dead itself, and the fascinating after-death research done by generations of monks that corroborated a specific dying process said to be common to all, including isolating a post-death moment at which we are prompted to make a profound, future-determining choice. 

You can find Kyra Coates and view her artwork at 

Until Thanksgiving, 2019, you can also contribute to her Indiegogo campaign, funding the printing of her book at

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