What will your legacy be?

Legacy is not just about what we do, it’s about how we make people feel when they think of us.

Most days I take the local paper out of my letterbox, glance at the headline then throw it in the recycling bin.  One day the headline, ‘The girl that everyone loved’ grabbed my attention so I took the paper inside to read.  The story was about a 22 year old girl who died after being struck by a car while crossing the road.  It wasn’t a story about a drunk driver, a hit and run or, even about blame.  It was simply a sad and beautiful story about a lovely young woman who had spent her short life making a difference to the people who crossed her path.

Another young girl that I read about was Rachel Beckwith who started giving at a very young age.  When Rachel was just five years old she learnt about an organisation called, Locks of Love, which provided wigs to children who had lost their hair following cancer treatment.  Rachel asked her mother if she could have her hair cut off so that it could be donated to this charity.  At eight years old Rachel started raising money for an organisation that built wells in Africa called Charity: Water.  And when her ninth birthday came around she asked her friends and family to give to this charity rather than buy her presents.

Five weeks later Rachel’s was with her family when their car was hit by a truck in a 13 car pile up.  The only one injured was Rachel and she died soon after.  Rachel’s parents donated her hair to Locks of Love and her organs to other children but Rachel’s legacy didn’t end there.  As her story spread around the world people started donating to Charity Water and since her passing Rachel’s web site has raised in excess of a million dollars for this cause.

Both of these girls lived meaningful lives and left behind a legacy.  They weren’t famous, they didn’t break any records or achieve any outstanding goals, yet their lives left an imprint upon the people who loved them, as well as many who never even met them, simply because of who they were in their daily lives.

Here are some suggestions for leaving a legacy.

 

Support the people you care about

Legacy is more about the people whose lives we affect, rather than the work we do.

Friendships sustain us and enrich our lives. So, if you aren’t sure ask the people you care about the most how they would like to be supported by you. Sometimes we think we know, but our assumptions may not always be accurate.

Knowing you have a friend that will support you in good times and bad, and knowing you will always be supported adds so much to the quality of our lives.

Reflect on what’s most important to you

It’s so easy to get caught up in attaining goals such as making money, owning a home, maintaining a standard of living or travel, that it’s easy to forget what’s most important.

Do you make time for fun? For important relationships? To do what makes your heart sing?

When you make time for what’s most important to you the rest of your life flows automatically.

I have always believed that the Universe cannot give you what you will not give yourself.

Practice gratitude

It’s so easy at times to focus on what’s missing from our lives rather than what is good. By establishing the habit of being appreciative and grateful we remind ourselves of all that’s good in our lives.

Help where you can

So often people say, ‘Let me know if I can help you’. They mean well but how often have you approached someone for help who has said this? I know I don’t.

To me helping is not about offering, it’s about doing. Do something spontaneously for someone you feel may need cheering up. There are many ways we can help. You can give money anonymously to someone in need. Lend a helping hand. Cook a meal. Listen when someone needs to talk. Mind someone’s children. Drop in for a chat, or invite someone to have coffee.

It’s often not the big things we do, but the simple ways we live our lives that becomes our legacy.

When you cease resisting what is

My life is challenging at the moment. Both of my girls have some potentially serious health problems, one more serious than the other, and my automatic response is to find a solution for them. But I’ve also learnt that the way to stay in a state of flow is to resist nothing, so accepting what is while still supporting them and seeking a solution requires a delicate balance. At the same time I know I need to take care of myself.

There are challenges that we all face and if you are faced with one type of challenge more than another, this is an opportunity to master this aspect of your personality. My major life lesson, or opportunity is a more accurate way to describe it, is to accept what is.

Resistance is like shutting a door. To go looking for a solution or to complain about what’s happening in your life may make you feel good for a short while, the problem is that its akin to shutting the door to life, and behind that door are all of the things that you’ve been asking for.

For most of us resistance triggers an automatic response and sometimes that response supports us and sometimes it doesnt. Some challenges are wake up calls. Problems can motivate us. Inspire us. And give us the courage to face our fears.

So next time you find yourself blaming, complaining, worrying, constantly talking about your problems or madly searching for answers PAUSE. This problem may just contain a solution that can change your life.

PRACTICE BEING MINDFUL. In the present moment you will find peace. It’s the best place to practice acceptance.

And when you can accept what is you live in a state of flow, and this is where life gets easier.

 

 

Making Your Life Matter

When Abigail Lupi was 10 years old she visited her grandmother at an aged care facility. Shocked by how sad and lonely many of the residents were Abigail gathered a group of friends to sing, dance and act to put on shows for them. This troupe evolved into CareGirlz, a troupe which has brightened the lives of thousands of people since it first began.

A stabbing, which occurred at Granville Boys High School in 2011, inspired Ali Amood, Adam Alahmad and others to do something. They decided to set up a café to foster a sense of community, to feed the kids whose families didn’t have the means to provide them with breakfast. Pulse Café started with a grant of $500, which they used to buy a coffee machine.

Since the inception of the Pulse Café violence at the school has decreased and students are happier and more attentive.

Louise Hay started Hay House Publishing at 62. She started a foundation at 63. She co-wrote You Can Create an Exceptional Life with Cheryl Richardson at age 84. And although she retired from the day-to-day running of Hay House, she was still involved with her business until her death at age 90.

All of these people felt called to do something, and age wasn’t a barrier. We all have a calling, often more than one, that is sometimes easy to overlook because it may seem too ordinary. Whether your calling is something grand, or an activity you engage in that makes you happy, it’s important because it’s your reason for living. There have been many studies carried out over 20 years that show that seniors with a sense of purpose, that gives them a reason to get up and look forward to each day, live longer, are healthier and have less cognitive decline.

The purpose of my life, your life, everyone’s life is to share our gifts. Purpose is rarely something grand, in fact we usually find our life purpose in simple ways we share our gifts every day. Purpose is always about sharing the best parts of us with others and this could be through: acts of kindness, volunteering, teaching, being a role model, sharing and helping others.

Understanding your calling

Your calling is something different, something that your soul calls you to do and this can change at different life stages. A calling is never dependent upon age.

A calling can be a strong impulse to follow a certain path or to take a particular course of action.

Sometimes we think of our calling as a job, and for some people it is, but often it’s something we do every day. Raising children can be some people’s calling. Being a teacher who really helps their students to believe in themselves, may be another calling.

A calling can change at different life stages. Although we are parents for our entire lives, when our children grow up we need to find a new calling. The same applies for people whose work is their calling, once they retire their calling may be to do something different.

My calling was to be a mother, it’s all I ever wanted ever since I was ten years old and it was more important to me than work, money or success. I’ve always said that if I hadn’t had children of my own I would have adopted, fostered or started an orphanage overseas. I always knew that I was meant to be a mother.

I absolutely loved, and still love being a mother, but my children grew up. Along with parenting, my work has been a big part of my calling for the past 20 years. My work is about sharing what I’ve learnt from my own life experiences with others. Even though I am passionate about my work I still felt a little lost when my time as a full-time parent ended, and this is natural but since then I’ve discovered new passions.

I am passionate about helping baby-boomers find meaning in later life. As I may not be able to teach forever, and I want to make as big a difference as possible with my life, I started my non-profit movement, Be the Difference, to encourage more people to get involved in making our world a better place to live.

I am more passionate now than I have ever been even though I am now 71, and I have no doubt that I will find a way to share until the day I die, although I do admit I may slow down a little.

Stay open and willing

To recognise your calling and how to share your gifts you can:

Look at where you are challenged in life, usually challenges present you with opportunities to develop a strength that shows you your purpose.

Ask questions.

Follow your heart, it always takes you to your calling.

Practice being mindful.

Listen to your intuition.

Give as much as possible, that doesn’t have to be money or even time, it can be sharing a smile, visiting an elderly friend, looking for ways to brighten another person’s day.

Imagine reaching the end of your life feeling fulfilled knowing that you have touched and enriched so many lives. That’s what purpose is, it’s about being the best you possible. Your calling is often a way to express your purpose, it helps you to grow to your full potential, it always supports you to evolve.

My favourite quote about purpose, is from Neale Donald Walsch. He says: “Your life has nothing to do with you. It has to do with everyone whose life you touch, and the way in which you touch it.”

Heart Coherence Contains the Answer to so Many Problems

 

When the twin towers collapsed on September 11 2001 scientists, monitoring the earth’s magnetic field, were astounded by the spikes that occurred in the earth’s magnetic field. These spikes were off the scale when compared to any readings previously recorded.

There were two satellites measuring these readings, both placed in space by the United States, one over the north pole and one over the south pole. When scientists later overlaid a calendar to correlate the events happening on earth with the spikes in the earth’s magnetic field, they found that they correlated to every one of the attacks, with the first spike occurring 15 minutes after the plane crashed into the first tower.

The earth’s magnetic field is responsible for everything from climate to sea levels. This field connects all life on earth from a flower, a bee to animals and humans. We also have an individual electromagnetic field that influences everything we experience including our immune response and cognitive abilities. Science now recognises that both of hese fields can be influenced by human emotion, and the collective emotions of a group of people, although there are still some sceptics.

The heart is the first organ to develop in the body along with our circulatory system. The heart is not only vital to life, it is the centre of our emotions and emotions play a significant role in our individual health and wellbeing, as well as the global wellbeing of the planet.

When we feel happy our brain sends signals that change our body chemistry. When we feel fearful our body chemistry changes in a negative way. One person being fearful is not going to make much of a difference to the world, but when millions of people feel fearful then these collective emotions negatively impact the world around us.

When we experience a collective emotion we create heart coherence, an energetic force field which can be measured. The electromagnetic field that comes from the heart is transmitted throughout and outside of the body. This enables some people to be able to heal others, which was demonstrated in a fascinating TV show called the Healer (on Foxtel’s TLC).

The Healer features Charlie Goldsmith, a young Aussie guy who does not charge for his work, who has an amazing ability to heal others of physical and emotional pain. Charlie has teamed up with some American Hospitals to participate in double blind studies to understand the role energy medicine has in healing.

What we do know for sure is that when the heart and brain work together we create a unified force field that not only has the power to change our own lives, it can impact the world around us.

Heart Coherence

According to HeartMath, a coherent state enables our bodies and minds, to function at optimal capacity. Greg Braden says that coherence triggers about 1,400 biochemical changes. Our immune system improves, we think more clearly, we become less aggressive.

The Global Coherence Initiative, was launched by HeartMath Institute in 2008. It is using advanced magnetometer sensing technology to observe changes in the earth’s magnetic field created by mass human emotions. Their purpose is “to unite millions of people worldwide in heart-focused care and intention, to help shift global consciousness from instability and discord to balance, cooperation and enduring peace,” and the HeartMath Institute believes that purpose will be served as scientists gain greater insight into the energetic heart.

Aligning our hearts and minds makes it easier to succeed at anything, draws people to us, improves our health and mental clarity, benefits the planet and makes us feel good. And it is such a simple process we would be crazy not to try it for ourselves.

All you need to do is spend five minutes a day focusing on feelings of compassion, appreciation, forgiveness. You can do this by following the steps below:

  1. Breathe deeply and focus on feeling calm.
  2. Place your hand, even a finger on your heart.
  3. Think about something you appreciate, this could be a pet, person or the beach. Appreciation helps to open the heart.
  4.  Focus on feeling compassion for yourself, the planet and all the people in it.
  5. As you inhale dwell on feelings of care,  compassion and forgiveness.
  6. As you exhale imagine each breath radiating these emotions to your local neighbourhood, friends and family and to the whole planet. This is very similar to a loving kindness meditation.

To create global coherence. Follow the abovementioned steps then:

  1. Imagine your energy field joining with others to creating healing and peace.
  2. See yourself joining with others to participate in the healing process and generating peace.

I urge you to practice this simple exercise daily and observe the changes in your own life. Then join the International Global Coherence Initiative, and let’s join together to change the world. It only works if we work together.

 

 

What Legacy Will You Leave Behind You?

“Love is my gift to the world. I fill myself with love and I send that love out into the world. How others treat me is their path; how I react is mine.” This is a quote by Wayne Dyer and is indicative of how he lived his life. He was in Australia sharing his message, and a couple of days later he passed peacefully in his sleep.

I don’t know how many of Wayne’s talks I attended, I’ve read most of his books and listened to his audios hundreds of times and I feel as if a personal friend has died, but beyond the sadness is the the legacy Wayne left behind. The legacy Wayne Dyer left behind him is huge, he inspired me to believe in myself and my dreams. Many times I heard Wayne Dyer say, ‘Don’t Die with Your Music still in You’ and this is a message I took to heart and is one that I live by. I encourage you to do the same.

In the world today there are more negative people than positive ones. There are more people who are ruled by fear than by faith. Beyond Blue estimates that 1 million Australian experience depression and 2 million experience anxiety. We can do something about this. Not everyone is going to help others in the way that Wayne Dyer or even I do, but you can inspire people around you with your attitude, by sharing your knowledge, being supportive and kind.

I was blessed to come from a family cursed by depression. I say blessed because watching the way some members of my family lived their lives and coped with depression by hiding away, inspired me to conquer my own fears, to find ways to cope when my mood goes down. When my daughter was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety in her teens I was able to support her to find her way out of the black hole. I am so, so proud of my daughter today, she is still challenged by depression but she has chosen to live her life to the fullest. Every time she falls down she lifts herself up. When she is afraid she forges ahead. Expect to hear about her in the future because she is the one who will take over my work and add her own gifts when the time is right.

Each and every day we have a choice, we can live our lives from a place of love, or we can react and allow our fears to restrict our choices. We cannot have everything that we want in the way that we want it, but we can always attain the feeling. Remember, the feeling is the real goal.

Include as many pleasurable activities as you can into every single day. They don’t have to be major, it could be something as simple as enjoying your morning coffee (bliss!), having lunch in the sun with a good book, connecting with a friend whose company you enjoy. When you become accustomed to feeling pleasure on a regular basis it motivates you to do what makes your heart sing.

Be mindful. When you are mindful you are not thinking about what you have to do next, worrying about how to solve a problem, or thinking about a future event, you place your attention on the here and now. If you feel anxious rather than making a judgment about it, or yourself, or looking for ways to change your state, you accept that this is how you feel right now.

The purpose of mindfulness is not that you plan to be mindful every minute of the day, there is a time and place for everything. There will be times when it is necessary to do something to change your state, or look for a solution. Mindfulness is practised in short bursts.

I urge you to commit to living your life to the fullest, to follow your dream, to connect regularly with people who uplift you so that you too can be an inspiration to others and leave a legacy of love behind you.