In mid-December, my mother-in-law passed away. Before Alzheimer’s took hold, she was a laughing, vital, alive woman. She had the power to love her whole family and community in the biggest way, and the power to love each individual so sweetly and uniquely.  True to her nature, she died peacefully in her sleep, holding her son’s hand. The precious, exquisite beauty of her passing brought me to tears.
In contrast, my beloved 98-year old father-in-law is still alive but fighting life in every way possible – and it’s not pretty to watch. For many years, he has been cranky and resistant to most things, but has also taken a passive/victim relationship to life. Being passive might sound like surrender, but it’s not – it’s actually working against the flow of life force. For many years I’ve watched my father-in-law dig in his heels, refuse to make choices, and disavow the power he has. It’s a way of rejecting the Divine gift of life.
My husband, Mike, and I have spent a lot of time discussing aging and choosing aliveness.  With Mike’s Dad as our oppositional teacher, we are clear that we want to embrace every bit of life and make empowered choices. Why not celebrate the gift of being in these bodies while we have them?
Over the years, I have consistently inquired, “What does Divinity-as-and-through-me want to experience, create, receive, and give?” Often the first thing I feel is a peaceful yet buoyant yes to all facets of life. This has also made me more aware of the subtle ways that old habits or cultural conditioning might suppress True Divine Nature and True Self-Expression.
These contemplations have taken me down all kinds of fascinating roads, and most recently I’ve been called to approach life as a whole ecosystem. I’m noticing how all elements of life affect each other, and I’ve been deepening my attunement into even the little things – the quality of my home environment, creating enough adventures, embracing and cultivating beauty, learning something new every day. I experience even these apparent little things as an opportunity for more intimacy with Life, and more love for and as Life.
Ultimately nothing is separate from God. Though most people hold spirituality as a separate category, it’s not actually separate. Any area of life is an opportunity for us to hear inner awakened Wisdom, expand in Compassion, shine Divine Light, and see our lives as the Divine Gifts they are.
I celebrate that Light within you, as you. Heart-felt blessings for an alive and radiant year.

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