SHINE: Thrive By The Spirit — Reflections on a 103-year life well lived!

SHINE … By the Spirit™ with Tonya M. Evans

Reflections on a 103 year life well lived!

© 2012 Tonya M. Evans

July 27, 2012

Today is the birthday of my Grandmother, Celeste Jones Borden, a/k/a Nana!! This is the first birthday since her transition from this life back on March 30th of this year. So I spent a great deal of time this morning and over the last week, actually, reflecting on her life and her intensely bright SHINE.

And the memories have been all sweet, no bitter (as Oprah says).

I’ve written several times about the indomitable spirit, fortitude, strength, intelligence, humor and wit of my Nana. I am so grateful to possess so much of her in me and learned so much about how to live life well from my Nana.

Here are some recent posts about those lessons and reflections in the recent past:

On these benchmark moments of life (dates of birth and transition) as well as the big-ticket holidays (Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas) we often reflect on loved ones who have transitioned on from this life. Every time I think of or dream of my Nana (like today) the memories and reveries are always so beautiful and truly bring me joy.

Yes, I certainly do miss her physical presence. But after getting past the initial grief of accepting she left us in the physical realm, I was filled with the precious reality that hers was a life so very well lived. Then all I could do was to celebrate in gratitude and then, despite my human imperfections, resolve to emulate her divine example.

And she’s still with me. She makes her spiritual self-evident to me in so many ways on a regular basis (the cloudless sky, sightings of a red breasted robin, for example). Then there are the Divinely inspired “chance” meetings with people or unexpected opportunities, reminders and other signs that have “Nana” written all over them! When these “coincidences” occur I just have to smile, to laugh, to say “I see you, Nana!!” and to thank her and God for our unbroken, unending connection and for her consistent support of my SHINE.

So in honor of Nana, I decided to repost one of my favorite “Nana” posts, one that really reminds me of how positive, focused and strong she was during her 103-year life well lived and especially in the final months of her life. She was indeed a gift to me. And the message in the post is a gift to you; a reminder to resolve … commit … and just DO it.

Get about the business of living life well in each moment. The next moment is not promised to any of us, regardless of age or stage of life.

Choose to THRIVE! Choose to live life well … now.


[Originally posted on February 15, 2012]

Resolve. Commit. Just do it!

© 2012 Tonya M. Evans

Celeste J Borden cheering for Eagles Sept 2009

Today many of us will fuss over what outfit to wear, complain about the long line at the coffee shop or whether we have enough battery life left in our mobile devices to check Facebook or Twitter all day at work.

We will engage in elaborate conversations about what drugs Whitney may have taken before dying an unceremonious and untimely death and whether somehow it was Bobby Brown’s fault. We’ll conjure up CSI-like theories about whether “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Taylor’s husband killed himself or was murdered in some nefarious business deal gone bad. And, of course, we’ll pour over the polling data about whether “a woman’s place is in the home” Santorum’s recent surge will hold over Mitt “house and ideology flipping” Romney through March.

Yes, at some point today many of us will undoubtedly engage in moments of meaningless thoughts, waste spoken or written words on mindless topics or fail to do something really important because we are distracted by frivolous things, things over which we have no control and things that have no real impact on our lives – other than, of course, keeping us from participating fully in them.

Meanwhile my 94-year old, mostly bed-ridden Nana will be wondering if she will be able to summon enough strength, confidence and energy to make it out of the bed she’s been in for almost a month on the second floor of her two-story home to the doctor’s office and back in one piece.

She has a singular focus this morning on surviving and thriving; no small feat at this age and stage of life. Despite all of her concerns and anxiety (and ours!) of all the things that could go wrong, she’s committed fully to trusting in God, family and her care providers. She continues to live her life, to desire and strive to attain the best quality of life possible. She maintains this mindset even when it requires that she literally step outside of her zone of comfort. With each challenge, she makes up her mind as she’s done for 94 years. Just do it.

Watching the dignified, fearless way my Nana approaches each moment of the day has led me to renew my own commitment to JUST DO IT, to be about the business of finding new things to do and remembering old things as yet undone and just doing them. To press on even and especially when I feel alone (or lonely), unsure, unprepared or ill-equipped.

I know that God, the Inspiration of my desires, has lovingly written them on the tablet of my heart and is conspiring with me and supporting me in reaching my fullest potential and for my ultimate good. No example is clearer than that of Nana’s life. And, of course, my own.

So …

  • If there is something you want to say, say it.
  • If there is somewhere you want to go, go.
  • If there is someone you want to be with, be with them fully.
  • If there is a friendship, relationship or job you want or need to leave, leave.

All living things either evolve or cease to live. This goes for people, relationships … and for dreams. Life continues to unfold whether you participate or “spectate”. The trick is to engage in and surround yourself with life-affirming energy that inspires and supports you to do what you fear the most. When we commit to that type of Source energy, the fear-filled “what ifs” fall by the wayside and are exposed for the lies they are.

Today, reflect on and identify whatever and whoever makes your heart sing and summon your inner-Nana and go wherever they beckon you. Tune into the key of your life. Conduct the symphony of you. Please share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below

Resolve. Commit. Just do it!

For more spiritual food for thought from Tonya, visit

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[About the BTS Authors] [SHINE By The Spirit™ contributor Tonya M. Evans]


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