Don't Wait Until Death to Celebrate Life
My Grandma died last week, February 29th, leap year day. She was 86-years-old and a beautiful woman. You will often hear these kind words said about grandmothers and either this is the bias of the grandchild, or -- as I choose to believe -- the recognition of a beauty that emanates from age and a level of wisdom and selflessness that comes with motherhood and deepens with GRAND motherhood. Sadly, although she was a beautiful, kind and selfless woman, my grandma didn’t recognize this in herself.  

My grandma, as with many (I daresay most) women, went through her life, fulfilling her perceived duties as a wife, a mother, a member of her church etc. without ever really celebrating her own uniqueness and grace. In fact, if anything, Grandma was far too self-deprecating, unwilling or unable to see her own light.  he gave of herself in so many ways, sacrificing personal comforts in order to ensure that others had them... whether it was for her children and grandchildren, or the many charities to which she would contribute. She always gave, asking for nothing in return. 

Tomorrow I will attend my Grandma’s funeral... People will come and acknowledge what a wonderful woman she was; they will say kind words with quiet voices and look at us, the family, through damp eyes.  My sorrow comes not in the loss of my grandma (she is, and always will be with me), but more for the loss of opportunity to say all that could have been said during her time in this world. 

‘"When the body falls… it is the spirit that remains standing." -- taken from the Bhagavad Gita

My hope for her, as it is for all, is that as her body fell, her spirit was lifted and reunited with the collective energy; that she has found peace and now sees her own magnificent light that all of her family and  friends saw during her time on this earth. 

Thursday, March 8th is International Women’s Day... Too often we, as women, shy away from our own light, afraid and wary of the possibilities within, so I dedicate this article to Mothers everywhere, Mothers to be, Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers, many of whom never see or acknowledge their own greatness. Celebrate yourselves knowing, in the words of my grandmother to my own mother, ‘You have done the best that you can do with the tools you were given.’ Be gentle on yourself, and hold your head high. You are strong and beautiful for you have given birth to a child, carrying on the hope and promise of humanity.

I implore you not to wait for your death before your life is celebrated. Celebrate now. Celebrate the lives of those around you, now. Embrace the richness of the moment and know that you and everyone around you deserve to shine and be celebrated!

My commitment today, in honor of my Grandma, in celebration of International women’s day and in gratitude of this life, is to hold space for courage and for celebrating my own light, my own grace and my own gifts that make this world a brighter, better place.

"The point is not to hope for a good birth, but to aim for a good death." - taken from the Bhagavad Gita

Namaste my friends.
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About the Author

Cat O'Connor is inspired by yoga, surf & all experiences that nourish the body, mind & spirit. As a RYT500, SUP Yoga teacher, SURFSET Ambassador & Whole Food Wellness Educator with a beautiful studio in Orillia, ON Nourish Yoga & Wellness Studio, Cat is beyond grateful to be able to share her life passions with others with the intention of bringing yoga and a higher level of happiness to as many people as possible. She currently works with some of the incredible people at Free People and Lululemon Athletica who are helping her bring nourishment, yoga & surf to the people! At the end of the day, it's all yoga, baby! Be well. Live big. Love bigger. Namaste

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