Honoring Christian Oliver: What Death Teaches Us About Living A Generous Life

Wellness + Wisdom Episode 603

Listen To Episode 603 As Josh Trent Honors The Death of His Dear Friend, Christian Oliver

This is Wellness + Wisdom, the podcast where we learn to nourish all 5 sides of our Wellness Pentagon:

The physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial wellness that we all signed up to master here on planet Earth.

If you're like us, then you have a deep desire to live your life well, and in order to live our life well we must be intentional, committed, and pure of heart in our skillset development for the Arc of Wellness.

This is where we gather, apply, and most importantly embody the knowledge and information from those wise elders and teachers who came before us such that then we can choose to combine it with our own life experience that becomes our own earned and unique wisdom that we can share for long after we're gone.

Death As A Teacher: Honoring Christian Oliver

This is a really potent podcast because I know it's going to feed a part of you if you have ever gone through a grieving process, or lost a loved one, or lost someone unexpectedly, there is a healthy grieving process.

That healthy grieving process includes a sacred reminder of how we all get to choose to live and that is my intention of what I'm going to explore with you gently and also heartfelt today in this solocast…I'm sure you've seen the news that my brother Christian Oliver and his two daughters were tragically killed in a plane crash just days ago and I've been in grieving, in processing ever since I heard about the news.

Christian and I bonded so deeply about our work, lives, children, and women in our shared Vision Quest with Mark Tollefson and Tim Corcoran in 2022 in Santa Barbara, Quail Springs California.

We both shared a desire to have understanding and softness and integration of the feminine inside of us, and most importantly, to understand the women that we love.

It was a deep learning curve for both of us in this lifetime, and I could feel Christian's pain around his ex-wife, and even learning lessons with his current girlfriend where I also had my lessons with my lady as well…

The Reality of Choice

Because this is the reality of choice that we are all (every day) choosing to either feed our vitality and wellness or we are choosing to starve it.

Part of feeding our vitality is being present and in acceptance to recognize that we all must die.

I'm going through this grieving process when someone we love dies.

My friend Tim Corcoran of Purpose Mountain, with whom I've done (2) Vision Quests and, who has led me through so much of his own shared wisdom in quest said in an email recently:

“What can you learn from Christian's death? It immediately reminds me of how short and precious life is, and reminds me to live fully and unapologetically!  To live my vision!  To live this day as if it were my last, “Hoka Hey, today is a good day to die!” the old Lakota warriors would say.

Christian's last post on social media was a short one that said, “Let love rule. Wishing all of you the best for 2024!”  How can we honor these last words?  What does it mean to “let love rule” in your life?

For me, it invites me further into forgiveness (for both myself and others), self-care, discipline to do what is right, and courage to live my vision.  What does it mean to live the best life possible in this new year of 2024 here on Earth? I believe that doing so truly honors our brother.

Pray for Christian, that his spirit can indeed travel back to the good, bright ancestors, right beside his two precious daughters.

Pray for Christian's family, especially his ex-wife who I can only imagine must be going through an enormous process of grief right now.

Remember that prayer has real power and that your prayers truly make a difference to the living and the dead.

Pray for him the way you would want to be prayed for if you had passed.”

So yes, death is not something that we need to ruminate on, but it is something that is a powerful ally to reflect on daily or weekly because it is this reminder that we all die that allows us to choose to fully live.

So this may or may not be the perfect place for you to start and to subscribe with Wellness + Wisdom.

I know that you saw the title and you're here with us for a reason, and that you already know today's podcast is about honoring a dear friend who has died and what lessons we all can learn from the way that he chose to live.

Honoring Christian Oliver: What Death Teaches Us About Living A Generous Life

What Is Death, Really?

It may seem on one side of the coin that death is the removal of life or the absence of life.

I could sit here and try to wax poetic and use my intellect to describe what I think death is but we all know that science (and really our egoic mind) can't really describe it.

Because in the same way that science can't describe exactly why there's a burst of light when the egg in the womb of a mother is fertilized by the seed of a father, or why the SA node beats in the heart of us all…

…there is a divine mystery that has its own timeline, its own essence, and its own direction that we all must surrender to if we are to choose to live our lives well.

If we choose to fight against this divine mystery, we age faster, we suffer deeper, and we don't live our lives as well as we can… if we don't choose to surrender to God's will.

It's this (painful and difficult at times) surrender to the mystery of God and to the will of our creator, the being that created us and all things, that we can actually go through a personal process of grieving so that we can come out with our light on the other side of it all.

There is a deep sadness in death, and there is also paradoxically a deep well of gratitude that is created in all of our hearts when someone we love leaves the earth.

The message coming from my heart to share with you today is how death teaches us about generosity; how can we learn from the people who have died so that we can have generosity in our hearts, in the same way, they showed us was possible?

Spiritual Bypassing

True story I wanted to share right away, because I realize it's a service to all of us, where we may tend to spiritually bypass or “rush to the lesson” without feeling the pain of learning.

I realized that I was recently (just a few days ago) trying to sit and record this podcast so that I could honestly stop feeling the pain in my heart and get right to the lesson of “why God has taken Christian and his two daughters from this earth?”

I realized it was my ego trying to run from my own grief and my own anger and sadness about the loss of my friend Christian.

So today I finally feel as ready as I can be to share; and not that I'm prepared to let go, but that I'm in the process of letting go.

Again, as Tim said in the very last post of his life on Christians's Instagram, the last resounding message he shared with us he said:

Honoring Christian Oliver: What Death Teaches Us About Living A Generous Life

Christian, my brother it feels so surreal, and I can’t imagine the pain that the mother of your children is going through… I'm sending you and the family, my deepest, heartfelt love, and I know there’s nothing that I could say that would assuage the bereavement of those who love you, including me.

This is also very special because this podcast is being released on January 11, 2024, which is in numerology a designation of an angel number, so anytime you see three ones in a row…

The Angel Number 111

111 is often seen as a powerful and positive number that signifies alignment, new beginnings, and spiritual awakening, it is a message encouraging you to pay attention to your thoughts and focus on maintaining a positive mindset, even in the face of tragedy, what can we learn and how can we move forward using this special day?

The repetition of the number 1 three times suggests that our thoughts and intentions are heightened at this time.

According to numerology, the 111 angel number is a way for a guardian angel to get your attention, not for you to forget, but for you and I to forgive yourself or others.

The 111 means that these guardian angels are giving you the power to leave your past behind.

Christian and his daughters I believe are now guardian angels for those whom they would like to connect with.

And I would like to say, but the reality is, I do not know… none of us know what's beyond… that Christian is watching us now, looking over how we handle this loss and this grief.

And realize that Christian is there, and he is watching us and he's reminding us to live! He's reminding us to live in the way that he did with the ultimate generosity of his energy, time, and spirit.

Christian taught us to LIVE.

I was talking with my friend and Vision Quest guide Mark Tollefson, who has been a guest on the podcast, and in our conversation with tears, he shared with me wisdom of Carlos Castaneda:

Don’t Let The 4th Enemy In

Castaneda talks about the four enemies of the man of knowledge, for a person who lives an examined life and learns through various stages of personal awareness, connection, and ego dissolution.

He explains that a man of knowledge must overcome sequential challenges:

The first is fear, the second is clarity the third is power, and the fourth is old age, or death.

The ultimate adversary, according to Castaneda, is old age.

Christian's death has put a spotlight on my mortality and all of our mortality and the fact that we all die as a reminder to be honest about the way we are truly living.

The conclusive and harshest foe that inevitably confronts us all is old age and death.

Our potential for glory, the opportunity to embody completeness in the odyssey of what Castaneda calls this “knowledgeable individual” hinges on persisting through the challenges of aging and (this is the key) resisting the allure of repose, apathy, and complacency.

After grappling with fear, attaining clarity, and mastering the wielding of power, in the fourth enemy of old age and death there may be a temptation to believe that everything has been achieved, leading to a choice to simply rest and withdraw.

Yet, it is during this ultimate pinnacle of self-actualization (this 4th stage) that it becomes crucial to stay fervently connected to life.

This echoes the wisdom of Buddhists who proclaim:

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

So today, how are we chopping wood and carrying water in the way that we are living a generous life?

How can we honor the life of Christian and his daughters, and all of those who have left the earth by choosing generosity?

By opening our hearts, even when we are in pain, by not letting our past pain dictate our present potential?

By choosing to love ourselves, and to do our deepest work, so that we can show up for the people in our lives, and pour the love we have for ourselves onto them?

That is our work and that is our that is our quest here on earth and as a human being.

A human being that cares deeply about Wellness and well-being.

That is my deepest work: to not let complacency ever set in and to be generous with my heart above all else.

Honoring Christian Oliver

Christian lived with generosity, his smile, his heart, his time, his energy, his acting, and his expression. All of these things poured out of him from a place of love…

And he wasn't perfect because no human being ever is, but what brings me solace is one of the last things he shared with his beloved of three years whose name is Taylor.

He told her that he understood what it was to “truly have unconditional love for someone” and that was her.

What a gift he received from her.

It is what all of us deserve and it makes my heart so happy that he got to experience that before he left.

And although tragic, and so deeply painful to which there is no timeline of exactly how long it will hurt, possibly, and most likely forever.

One thing I have is that I will always remember Christian's smile, and his generosity as a way for me to live generously in my life.

Because this is the ultimate lesson from Christian life: how can we be generous with our our time and our energy?

How can we live our lives with an open heart no matter what challenges we go through? How can we live our life so that we do not let the enemy win, that we do not let old age win, no matter how old we are?

That we lived, and we danced, and we made love, and we shared from our hearts because one day we all will die.

Becoming More Conscious: What Death Teaches Us About Living A Generous Life

And how can we become conscious of the fact that none of these things that we stressed so deeply about were anything other than God teaching us and directing us towards how we can live with more love?

I want to pray for Christian and his daughters in this moment, and let you know that we miss you.

We love you, and we thank you for being our teacher, for teaching us how to love and be generous with our love, because it is through that generosity, that we touch the hearts of others, so that they may touch the hearts of those that they love.

It is this loving generosity that creates a ripple in this cosmic soup…

This is what cuts through the demonic energy and the negativity in the world.

This cosmic lake that we are all in together.

May we learn from Christian, may we embody this lesson.

God may you allow us to live with this generosity in our hearts, from this day forward.

We are loved, we are supported, and we are on the right path.

May the generosity of the heart guide you and I now, and forever.

Christian, I pray that you hear me on the other side and that you know from my heart: We love you, we see you and we cherish you. I am wishing you and your daughters and all of us love and wellness.


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About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, and a cat named Cleo. He is the Founder of Wellness Force Media, host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath & Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 19+ years as a trainer, researcher, and facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. The Wellness Force Media Mission is to help humans heal mental, emotional, and physical health through podcasts, programs, and a global community that believes in optimizing our potential to live life well.

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