Death. There. I said it. It’s not something most of us want to think about or look at but at the end of the day, in a literal sense even, we might as well get comfortable with it because it is in fact a part of living.

I put it to you though: what if death wasn’t the dark spectre we think it is, or even the last station in the line? And keeping that in mind, what ever will we do about the business of living in the meantime?

Living with elegance, as we are told by a very good source, is the willingness to make choices that have a maximum impact and minimum effort. It’s the moxie to make the choice that might not be the most logical, but ultimately works most effectively. It’s having the balls to grab hold of life and live gloriously and with gusto and have your choices create brilliant change and cascades of future possibilities.

If you were to drink from the chalice of life, would you rather a dainty tentative sip or a great big sloppy swig? See what I’m saying here?

Enjoy it

Strangely when we imagine elegance we think it’s all about pearl necklaces and candlelit suppers, or that it’s people with immaculate coiffure being driven around in vintage Jaguar cars in British racing green. While that can be true, and indeed sounds like a great time to me, it isn’t choosing that life from the judgement and superiority of it that creates elegance.

Elegance actually comes from relishing and basking in what a level of hedonism creates if you are to indulge in it and actually enjoy it. Trouble is, so few who have that life truly seem to allow themselves to receive it and really be with it. That’s where we get twisted, sisters!

No regret

Now don’t be mistaken, gentle reader, I am not talking about reckless abandon. Some people think they are doing that by making choices that stagger them with credit card debt and give them a hangover in every sense of the word.

Instead, we are talking about the willingness to never be hindered or slowed by doubt and never leaving anything behind to regret.

So many people I know save the very best they have available to them for special occasions. I recall my grandmother having a big china cabinet full of porcelain and crystal that she covered with plastic wrap. She wanted to keep the dust off it because she rarely used any of it for fear it might be broken.

What if, knowing that eventually our body will be all clapped out, we took the best off the shelf and enjoyed the hell out of it like its our last chance? Even relished it and celebrated it with a level of presence and enthusiasm most people find obnoxious?

If you can make that your modus operandi, every little detail in life can be a flourish of beauty and pleasure.

Unexpected contribution

So what about this business of death? Tender subject for me as just yesterday I woke with a call to say that my faithful steed Noblé had died in his stable in Costa Rica. I loved that horse and what I learned from him taught me more than I can recount in this article, but needless to say it wasn’t the easiest call to take.

He was not an old horse, but had apparently been suffering with colic and died. He hadn’t been in pain long but made little fuss over it and just fell over dead…kaput…finito. He had been trying to tell me, apparently, and I just wasn’t listening.

You see, for the last month I have woken every day with intense nausea and retching; sorry for the visual, but it’s important to the story. What I learned after his death was that horses can’t vomit, and I was, it seems, trying to do the job for him.

From the moment I rode that horse I always had a sense of him in my life, his energy was always present contributing to me. I could reach out and find him and tap in, as it were. There was this kindness and grace that gave me such a sense of serenity. His name was Noblé after all.

As soon as he died, the pain in my guts left and I stopped feeling nauseous at last. The interesting thing is that sense of him hasn’t left and indeed has gotten stronger.

So as I say, death might not be the end and sometimes the most elegant choice to make isn’t to hang around, but just to depart and create an ever greater possibility.

This article was originally published in Access The World digital magazine,