What is your legacy?
Simply stated, a legacy tells the story and meaning of your life after you are gone. Your legacy could relate to your faith, family, or personal achievements.
One way to leave a legacy is through a legacy project.
A legacy project is different than an heirloom, as an heirloom is an object of value that has been handed down in a family for several generations. A legacy project is specific to YOU.
A legacy project is a tangible item meant to communicate in a summary who you were. It can be in the form of words, images -- or even music -- that provides information after you’re gone about what was most important to you, about your characteristics, and how you’d like to be remembered.
When considering a legacy project, consider talking to people you trust about what would best express what you love to do, your skills, what you want to say, the memories you would like to evoke, and how you’d like to express your love.
In my lifetime, I’ve been fortunate enough to have been the recipient of legacy projects from family and friends who have passed away. Having a tangible item that I can hold and treasure close to my heart reminds me of the special person who is no longer physically present in my life and preserves their memory.
I am moved deeply when I consider the thoughtfulness and effort, in light of all the other circumstances, that must have gone into creating a gift that was meant specifically for me, and how my loved one would prefer for me to remember him/her.
Here are some other examples of legacy projects:
Write a Book
Your legacy book doesn’t have to be fancy or professionally published. If you want to put your life events into words, consider writing a biography.
Maybe you love to cook? If so, consider creating a cookbook of all those wonderful tried and true recipes that you developed over the years that can be passed on for generations.
If you are a world traveler, why not share your impressions of all the places you have visited and the impact your adventures had on your life?
Perhaps there is a story of a single milestone etched in your memory, and it is time to put that experience on paper?
Also, it’s okay to use humor. Your family will love and appreciate that aspect of you if that is your natural demeanor!
Everyone loves to receive a letter in the mail. Consider how meaningful it would be for your loved one to receive a message from you after you’re gone that you penned and put away for such a time?
Topics you might want to consider:
If you don’t like to write or cannot write, ask for help from someone you trust.
A Piece of Art
Whether you consider yourself an artist or not, artwork is something that can be displayed in the family home where everyone can see it and have a personal connection.
Today, if you’d like to explore your own creative nature, consider collaging with magazine cutouts, quilting/sewing, or trying watercolors or pottery. With most art forms, you can usually find a way to add a note or signature to personalize it.
A friend told me that when her mother and father were first married, her father made a wooden side table for her mother to use near her favorite chair in the evenings. Over the years, her mother didn’t have the heart to upgrade the simple table because it reminded her of their humble beginning years together when times were lean.
I recently read an article about a woman who, every Thanksgiving, brought out the same tablecloth and asked her loved ones to write their names on it in pen. After the holidays, she would embroider the names onto the fabric, and then bring the tablecloth out again year after year. Imagine how touching it will be to whoever receives such a well-thought-out and loving legacy project!
Journal or Diary
A journal or diary with a specific purpose can be a unique gift, as it memorializes how one feels through daily challenges. If you are ill, recording your experiences in a journal as the days progress might be helpful not only to your family but will offer an opportunity for you to also express how you are navigating through difficult times.
If journaling doesn’t seem like your idea of a legacy project, perhaps consider making an audio or video recording.
Legacy projects are not only for those who will receive them someday but are powerful tools for the giver, as they have a tendency to resolve issues and express love.
For more information on legacy projects, contact me!
Yesterday, I posted Part 1 of “Moving with Ease and Flow at Home."
Home is the starting place of love, hopes, and dreams.
When I am in my kitchen in the evenings, that is my dedicated "me time." Service to others – through food preparation – I am pretty sure is part of my love language.
In fact, my husband recently bought me a couple certificates for classes alongside renowned culinary chef, Bob, at our local cooking school, EVOO.
Admittedly, part of my personality, too, is that I like to be productive and efficient!
For example, if I’m waiting for our dinner to cook, it's a perfect time to wash and cut up vegetables and put them in mesh bags in the refrigerator, and then use the cuttings to start a broth base to freeze later after its cooled. It's also an opportune time to get the Instantpot going with beans or grains. How easy is it while sautéing or waiting for water to boil to grate cheese and put it in beeswax wrap or do some other little task that will be a time-saver in the following days.
I have this thought: It takes longer to go out to a restaurant, so why not make our own “fast food” at home?
Another thing we have established in our home is that while we are eating dinner together, we’ll decide what’s for dinner the next day!
I have found the best time to consciously choose what to make is when I am partially satiated and not when I’m roaming the aisles of a grocery store trying to figure out what to buy. After sitting down at the dining room table to eat, my memory is fresh with ideas after just being in the kitchen.
While my husband cleans up and loads the dishwasher, I’ll make sure we have everything in stock so that I know ahead of time whether or not I need to go to the grocery store the next day.
I’ve raised a lot of kids and I’ve been programmed to be the meal planner in the family. Nowadays with everyone out on their own, even though I still feel a little pressure to perform, it’s more intentional for me to stay present during the day when I don’t even have to think about what to make for dinner.
I can’t express enough the added value of planning ahead!
Other home-prepared “fast food” meal options I can suggest if you’re short on time or especially exhausted after a hard day:
I hope you find these kitchen hints useful!
And now that you’ve co-created a super cozy home, have plenty of ideas to fill your loved ones’ bellies, and maneuver with ease and flow, here’s a quick side note to wrap up:
It is also VERY GOOD to have a location somewhere else outside the home that also makes YOU comfortable and happy: a friend or relative’s place, a bakery or coffee shop, the gym, a cabin in the mountains, even the library.
When all is said and done, home isn’t a place; it’s a feeling. It's ESSENCE.
There can be all sorts of feelings that arise when looking back on how last year was navigated and also the excitement of what might manifest in the year to come.
I imagine, like me, you’ve had your fair share of challenges as well as celebrated accomplishments, experiencing joy alongside some difficulties and pain.
Here are just 7 things to reflect on, and to replenish and build up reserves for yourself as you start the year with 2020 vision!
2. Recognize Your Uniqueness – In this age of social media, please don’t compare yourself to others, especially what you see on the Internet. You have a special gift to offer to the world exactly as you are. Learn what true authenticity is that brings out your light to the world and what your core essences are -- don’t betray them!
3. Cultivate a Loving Circle of Friends – Hang out with people who accept you as you are, who you trust, and who you respect and respect you. There’s really only so much energy you can give to others, and your life will be richer for using discernment in who you choose to have around you and who you choose to be around.
5. Dream About the Future – Imagine what you want in life, what you’d love for your life to be like, what you want to do, who you want in it, and what goals you want to accomplish. My opinion is that visioning “pre-validates” what is possible.
6. Organize Your Life and Create Home Rituals – Clutter creates chaos. External chaos manifests as internal chaos. Keep things simple and create more space for relationships instead of stuff. Time spent looking for something is wasted time, so put personalized systems in place that serve your own needs. Celebrate all the little things. "Hygge" means cozy...Have a hygge life!
flowers, stones, books or quotes, photos, and various other important tangible items and elements of nature. Choosing what to put on an altar is an intuitive process and connects you inside with people, things, feelings, and thoughts that are beloved.
I consider myself a high-functioning introvert, but it’s still sometimes difficult for me to attend social events and open up to people, even if I've met them before.
(In the Myers-Briggs personality test, I’m an INFJ and in the Enneagram of Personality, I’m a Type 4.)
Introverts tend to be reflective and withdrawn, yet usually feel safe and thrive in one-to-one, deep, intimate and personal relationships.
But in order to find those relationships, we introverts need to put ourselves out there in sometimes uncomfortable situations to meet people in ways we can stretch but not tear.
Being a small business entrepreneur and an introvert to boot can present challenges when it comes to networking. Small talk can be intimidating and doesn’t come especially easy for introverts, and it takes a lot of effort to establish rapport with people we’ve just met.
Over the years I have been in business, I have picked up a few tips and tricks to share with you that have helped me navigate Chamber of Commerce events, business-to-business meetings, big gatherings, and mastermind groups.
Full disclosure: I vividly recall twice in my career when I had implemented the 10-Minute Rule, drove to the event, parked the car in the parking lot, only to sit there and watch people walk in, then turned myself around and drove back home.
Don’t Be A Leech:
Once I arrive at an event, in order to not cling on to one person I feel especially comfortable with and hold them hostage, I commit in advance to meeting three to five new people.
Conversely, if someone latches on to me –- probably another introvert or even worse for an introvert, an energy vampire -- I state to the person I am talking to that I am "stretching myself to grow in social settings," and I tell them that I committed to meeting three to five people at the event. I thank them for understanding and I might ask them if they can introduce me to someone!
Match Body Language:
Work on listening skills if you don’t know what to say. If all else fails, match another person’s mannerisms. Turn your body at a 45-degree angle from the other person if facing them is too intense.
Be authentic and not someone you think they want you to be. If you don't know how to interact or feel frozen, at least observe and use the information you acquire as information to grow and use at the next event.
Side note: It's important to try to show up. I feel like people need at least three contacts with you before they consider using your services:
1. They need to know your name;
2. They need to know what you have to offer;
3. There needs to be trust or a connection.
Ask a Buddy:
Sometimes I will try to find someone I already know in the business community who belongs to a networking group already. I might ask them ahead of time, hey, I'm a little nervous and a little introverted, would it be okay if I look for you when I get there?
Once I find that person at the event and become familiar with my surroundings then with their support, I'm able to venture out from my comfort zone.
Be Prepared and Be Organized:
I wear a name tag on my right side chest so that when someone reaches for my hand to shake it, they can see my name and business right there without diverting their eyes, and perhaps immediately start a conversation either about my name or what I have to offer.
I wear pants or a jacket with two pockets, one on each side. I will keep all my own business cards in the left pocket and all the cards I collect in the right pocket. When I meet someone, I can then extend my right hand to shake their hand and I know that my own business cards are in the left pocket easily grabbing one with my left hand.
Then if they offer me their card, I put their business card in my right pocket so I don't get them all mixed together and have to fumble through cards during the next introduction.
As a small business owner you probably already know how important it is to attend networking events in order to build your business. Whether you are introverted or not, I hope that you find these hints useful. If you have any other hints to share, leave them in a comment!
MICHELE DUNCAN KING
Personal Life Coach
Certified Life Cycle Celebrant
Caritas Conscious Dying Coach
Magic of Essence (TM) Facilitator
State of Oregon Notary Public