To my sister, gone but not forgotten.
Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you. —Shannon Adler
Hello, My friends.
This week I’ve been thinking about getting older, having birthdays, and the final roll call.
I was thinking about my sister, Sandra, who passed away 32 years ago, and the legacy she left behind. What I recall about her time on earth with us? The impact she had on those around her? How many people actually remember her and the things she did with her life?
This got me thinking about the things I have done with my life and who I am today.
Have I lived as fully and as well as I want? Have I achieved what I want my life to achieve? Do I have all the stuff, I want to have? Have I experienced everything I want to experience?
No! No! and Nope! Not even close. I feel like up until recently I’ve been living my life in a shoe box.
I lived in fear, and that fear kept me thinking small, and living a very contracted life. I had my little circle of safety wrapped around me, I was comfortable living in my shoe box. Everything was familiar, safe and secure. My shoe box was my entire life. What I didn’t realise, or allow myself to know was my shoe box was like a coffin, in a cemetery, it was holding me in, restricting me, and preventing me from creating and experiencing all the things that I have desired all my life. My shoe box was self inflicted, self restricting, and self confining. I could leave at any time.
In the leaving of my shoe box, I have had to develop different ways of thinking, and being.
One of the tools I have used to define what I want my life to look like, is to go to the end of my long and prosperous life, and ask myself these questions, and writing down my answers. (this gives clarity and allows you to see what you are really thinking, and whether those thoughts are helpful or not)
What does my life look like at 90 years old?
Who am I and Who have I had to become to get here?
What is my reason for being here?
What is my purpose? How well have I fulfilled that purpose?
What difference will I make? What difference did I make?
How will I be remembered? What legacy will I leave behind?
Who will miss me when I’m not here?
By answering these questions honestly and more than once I was able to drive down to what I want my life to mean for myself and for others.
Now this bit may seem a bit morbid, stay with me. Go forward to your funeral, you are in the middle of the congregation, people are milling around you, some are tearful, some are laughing and joking, some are reminiscing about how you touched their lives, some are pleased, most are sad.
What are they saying about you?
What do you want them to say about you? About where you are living? How you treated people? How you ran your business? Or earned your income? How you served your community?
What do you want them to remember you for? Your sense of humour? Your humility? Your generosity? Your kindness? Your sincerity? Your hobby? Your passion? The fear that stopped you? Your meanness? Your style? Your ability to read people?
Who do you want to be known as?
I have been told that when it comes time to meet our maker, people often spend the last little while in regret over what they did, that they shouldn’t have done, or in regret over what they didn’t do, and should have done. We carry our regret like a badge of honour. What if we could drop the regret and let that weight go? What if we made the choice to behave and think in a new way?
Write down three things you regret doing or not doing?
Forgive yourself and those you hurt, also forgive those who hurt you, and let go of the regret. Make a decision to live with no regrets, decide on purpose how you want your life to look.
Write down three risks you wish you had /hadn’t taken? What would your life be like now with or without these risks?
Who would you love more, or love less? Who do you wish you had been there for? Who do you wish you could show your true self to?
If you were given a second chance, how would you live it?
These questions can change your life, They can help you to let go of the past, and guide you to move into the future with confidence. Think about these questions, let them simmer, write you answers.
Then choose to create a future you will be proud to live, that you will be proud to hear people talk about at the end of your long, exciting, and prosperous life.
I challenge you to write your eulogy, as if it were to be published in the newpaper or read out at your service. What would you want to be known and remembered for? Who do you want to be? What legacy do you want to leave for the next generation? Include memories you want to create with the ones you love, places you want to visit, places you want to live, people you share your life with, communities that benefit from your time, money or skills.
Then begin to create your legacy, become the person in your eulogy. Live your biggest and most expansive life.
Remember thoughts create things.
If you can think it you can create it.
Your actions come from your feelings, which come from your thoughts.
Have fun dreaming who you know you are, let the dream out, and then move into action to create it.
Until next time, become the person you want to remembered for. Live your most authentic life.
If you want help to gain clarity, to create your legacy, email me for a coaching session.