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Live As Though You Were Dying: Call in the Angel of Death for Fun and Profit

Mar 27, 2008
We have an interesting phobia of death in our culture (the dream we live in). We are silent on the topic, as if talking or thinking about death will cause it to occur more quickly. Instead of something to be feared, followers of Toltec Wisdom view death as one of our greatest tools on the spiritual path. When we allow ourselves to acknowledge the incredibly short span of our lives and the truth that our body, our mind, and this particular incarnation are finite, we can either suffer or get motivated to truly savor life.

Every second of our life can be viewed as a given, a chore, or a miraculous treasure. In subtle ways we each have threads of self-importance and self-effacement that run (often almost simultaneously) through our being:

o I deserve to be alive. I don't deserve to be alive.
o I should be happy with what I have/what I have done in my life. I should be ashamed by what I have/what I have done in my life.
o I am more important than other people. I am less important than other people.
o I am the master of my universe. I am the victim of my universe.
o I am better than others. I am terrible.

To the Angel of Death, all is equal. There is no better than or worse than, and there is nothing that one can do to avoid the final curtain. This angel takes both the young and the old, the healthy and the sick, the happy and the unhappy. No one is spared, and no one is exempt.

Cultivating your personal relationship with the Angel of Death is an act of power, humility, and freedom. Take a few breaths and sink into the knowing that everything about your life, from your car to your children to your home to your memories, from your clothes to your friends to your preferences to your bones, belongs to the Angel of Death. Everything you see around you is on loan from her for the tiny amount of time you are incarnate. What do you want to do with the precious gift of your life?

Consciously calling in the Angel of Death for fun and profit is not an outlandish idea, but a way to take yourself less seriously and increase your sense of abundance. It is easier to remember to play and enjoy nature, your friends, and the delicious aspects of life when you weigh, "If this were my last day on the planet would I want to spend it worrying about xyz or loving abc? Do I want to clamp down on my energy and be serious about what I have to do next, or lighten up and taste the beauty around me?"

It is easy to become complacent and fall into old habits and patterns when you live your life as if it were a string of endless days. Whereas, when you embrace that the Angel of Death is standing just behind your left shoulder, as the Toltec masters say, patiently waiting, you can use her to bring spark, passion, and deep awareness to everything you do. This attitude will bring you profit and abundance. It puts you in a perspective where taking the next bite of food is a gift, touching someone you love is a gift. Even the person at work who presses your buttons almost every day is a gift, because you are alive, gratefully.

"Wake up, this moment is precious!" the Angel of Death whispers in your ear. "While you are an infinite spirit, your body is finite, your experience is finite. Savor it. Take risks. Love fiercely. Play. Shine your unique expression into the world."

Her timing is a mystery. From the child who dies at birth to your 95-year old grandparent taking their last breath, there is no right and wrong to who goes. There is no need to blame or criticize the Angel of Death; she is just doing her job. Your job is to live and open to all the richness of your experiences before she comes to claim you.

I invite you to start a new love relationship with death. This is not an invitation to become morbid, hopeless, and distraught, e.g., "There is nothing I can do, I am going to lose everything and it is a tragedy". Rather, begin a relationship of mutual respect, admiration, and joy. In this relationship with Death you are saying, "Thank you for loaning me this body, I am so grateful. Thank you for loaning me this child, I am so grateful. Thank you for loaning me this job, I am so grateful." What abundance.

Transform your vision of death from a punishing, random murderer to a cherished, loving force of nature. Can you learn to love Death as you love vibrant sunsets, snow-capped mountains, and the ocean under a full moon? If you can, then life will be truly magical.
About the Author
Heather Ash Amara weaves powerful practices of shamanic traditions to help people reach their potential. She apprenticed and taught extensively with Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. She wrote Four Elements of Change and Toltec Tarot. She co-authored Spiritual Integrity and runs Spiritual Integrity Coaching with Raven Smith. Get more inspiration from Heather Ash.
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